Meher Baba copyright 1987 Charlie Mills


Lord Meher

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Reaching Istanbul, Baba and the mandali boarded the Orient Express on the 31st at 9:45 P.M. for Paris, where they arrived on Tuesday, 3 November 1936. After a brief rest, they left Paris and arrived in London the following day, whereupon Baba and the mandali resided once again at Hygeia House.

In London, Baba granted separate interviews to Kitty, her older sister May Cluse, Minta Toledano, Margaret Craske, Mabel Ryan, Delia DeLeon, Christine McNaughton, Will and Mary Backett, Tom Sharpley, Quentin Tod and Charles Purdom. In a similar manner, he met in private with his American lovers who had come to London:  Norina, Elizabeth, Nonny and Rano, Sam Cohen, and Malcolm and Jean Schloss. Three others — John Bass, Kenneth Ross and Edith Duro — also met with him, but Baba decided not to allow them to come to India, directing them instead to return to America. To the rest of his Western lovers Baba explained in detail about their forthcoming stay in Meher Retreat in Nasik. He fixed the date of their traveling to India as a month from then, in December.

After the interviews were over, Baba and the group went to see the movie Mr. Deeds Goes To Town, starring Gary Cooper. Baba was impressed with the film and remarked that it was an outstanding example of how motion pictures can be produced and used for the upliftment of mankind's consciousness while at the same time providing entertainment.

It was exactly this topic which Baba discussed with another "newcomer," Alexander Markey, 45, who met Baba for the first time during this brief visit to London. "Zander" Markey was an American writer and director of stage and film. (A "colorful impresario" is how one critic described him.) Many screenwriters had been contacted to work on the scripts for Baba's film projects, and when Markey's name was cabled to Baba by Norina and Elizabeth, who had contacted him in New York, Baba had cabled back: "Markey is the man!" Therefore, the search for other writers ceased and Baba accepted Markey's treatment of the material. Markey was working on the screen adaptation of Karl Vollmoeller's story This Man David, after Mercedes de Acosta had written a synopsis. 

Strange circumstances preceded their meeting. Markey had been invited to London in November of 1936 to supervise the production of a commercial Hollywood film, but at that time it seemed impossible because he was so involved with other work in America. But circumstances so arranged themselves that he was suddenly freed to accept the job in London, and a few days later left. However, soon after arriving in London, the Hollywood project mysteriously fell through. It was only when Markey received a message that Meher Baba had arrived in London and wished to meet with him that he understood the rapid development of circumstances in his life which had brought him so unexpectedly to London.

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