ADIOS DR. SCOTT
I was introduced to the force of nature that was Dr. Gene Scott by a god fearing, Uzi toting, coke smoking drug dealer named Jon. Jon would sit in his condo in Los Alamitos with hundreds of kilos of cocaine and his guns, lighting his bong load of cocaine with a blowtorch in the bathroom. When he was good and high he would come out and sit in the darkened living room mesmerized by the flickering image of Dr. Scott who was telling a truth that totally resonated with Jon.
Because I worked in Los Alamitos, and was incredibly naive and stupid, I would stop by Jon's house a couple times a week on my way home from work and pick up a couple of kilos cocaine for my roommate who was selling it to supplement her waitressing income. A lot of it was going up our noses too. It was all good fun.
Because I didn't realize that I was carrying around 4.4 pounds of cocaine with a street value of about $36,000 at the time. Nor did I ever think about what would've happened to me if anyone had decided to rip Jon off while I was in his house. And I really never thought about the fact that I was hanging out with a paranoid drug dealer who had loaded automatic weapons that he liked to sit and fondle as he watched Dr. Scott preaching the word.
The realities of that world became dramatically clear a few years later, but that's another story.
I would sit down with Jon and watch Dr. Scott who I found fascinating not so much because of what he was saying, but because he was great theatre! It was hard for me to believe that there were people taking him seriously although he was incredibly intelligent and could back his shit up with facts and figures that he would write on a blackboard with chalk as he strode back and forth orating and puffing on his cigar.
Yes, he smoked a cigar.
And sometimes he wore costumes.
The language that he used to make his points was, well, colorful. He would toss off the N word, which I cannot even bring myself to write, much less say, and even though he was using it as an example of denigrating language he was still saying, nay he was YELLING it, as he ranted.
One of the most surreal experiences I ever had with Jon and Dr. Scott was one Saturday when we were heading out to Hollywood Park to go to the races. Dr. Scott loved horses and so did Jon. He even bought a thoroughbred racehorse. So we're driving down Century Blvd. in Jon's 1971 convertible Cadillac El Dorado, with the top down. My roommate is in the front seat with Jon and I'm in the back with Santos my bodyguard for the day since I had $50,000 in cash in my purse for Jon's betting pleasure. Dr. Scott is blasting from the radio, and it's loud because, you know the top's down. On this particular day Dr. Scott was really using the N word a lot and with much vehemence so every time we stopped at a light that word was just booming out of the car. Have you ever driven down Century Blvd. to Hollywood Park? It's in Inglewood, not too far from south central, and definitely not a place that you want to be sitting in a car with the N word booming out of the speakers.
Did I mention that Jon had a loaded handgun on the seat next to him? It must've been all that money that he sent to Dr. Scott and God that kept things from going horribly wrong. At least that was always Jon's contention. He was paying to be bulletproof. And all that coke he was smoking helped him to believe it to be so. Of course it also eventually made him believe that the FBI was coming to get him motivating him to attempt to flush about 20 kilos down the toilet. It was only little kids playing outside. Jon had to leave town and has never been heard from again.
But I was left mesmerized by Dr. Gene Scott. I kept vascillating between thinking he was completely insane and way ahead of his time. This was back in the very early 80s before cable access took him world wide. I used to watch him on channel 56 and I would go looking for him because some times he would show up on other random stations. There was no mistaking when you found him. He was always doing something bizarre, yelling like he was furious. Other times he would sit in a chair and speak, as though exhausted, the camera close up on his face, his angry blue eyes glaring at you through the camera, as he exhorted people to send him money. He not only exhorted he shamed them into doing it.
I know Jon sent him THOUSANDS of dollars from his drug profits. Basically what I got from Dr. Scott was this bottom line - you could and should buy your way into heaven. And sending money to him was the best way to do that.
As a gift, not a donation. You got no tax deduction on your fare.
The way he said it made you believe in that moment while you were watching him that everything he was saying was true. He was one hell of a charismatic, crazy talker, and all kinds of people got on board with his message. If you ever tuned into one of his church services that was beamed around the world you would see all kinds of people listening and nodding and putting money in the plate. All colors, all ages, all socioeconomic groups sitting there resonating with his message about God and life.
And paying top dollar for the privilege.
He died yesterday of a stroke at age 75 and I must say the world will be a little more boring without him in it. I can't help but wonder who he paid for his ticket to heaven.