Catholic vs. Other - 2017-04-17 - Dan Behrman

Author Recorded Monday April 17th, 2017

There are 41 episodes in the Versus:Other series.

Recorded September 21st, 2017

Catholic vs. Other - 2017-09-21 - Tino

Recorded September 10th, 2017

Catholic vs. Other - 2017-09-10 - Judah

Recorded September 2nd, 2017

Catholic vs. Other - 2017-09-02 - William

Recorded October 21st, 2016

Catholic vs. Other - 2016-10-21 - Ben

My first encounter with Dan was listening to his 'Just an Immigrant' show on CKUT in 1994. Five years later I met him when he bought some of my psychedelic painted vinyl records. We became friends instantly.


Catholic vs. Other - 2017-04-17 - Dan Behrman

Author Recorded September 24th, 2016

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hi I'm Dan barman you're listening to Catholic versus other so who are you what do you believe in how did you come to believe it well Who am I good question I mean I've been wondering about that for many years but I am Who I am that I know what is it I'm not so sure but where as it mattered a lot many years ago it doesn't matter as much anymore so pretty much flow with whoever it is that I am and I feel much more peace with it than I have before so I can say wow I'm amazed that I'm pretty satisfied with who I am even though I'm not too satisfied with what surrounds me let's put it that way I basically have been working with music and the messages that music conveys for ever since I can remember in various ways I think I've done just about everything that can be done in the field of music except publishing which was dumb because publishing is what you really make the money but it's I don't know it's too complicated it's a it's a drag and it also has very little to do with music so why I used to play I had a band I operated coffee house and was a sound man was a road manager tour director technician an MC I was a Booker I was a manager I was a recording engineer I've been involved in radio since 1975 first with pirate radio stations in France and that's when I lived in the state so I used to mail them monthly cassettes and then I joined an amazing station in New Jersey called W F mu which in 1966 basically invented the concept of freeform radio and that's where I learned quote-unquote my trade and I did shows on FM you for 14 years and at the same time went on tour with sell them at home and things were quite exciting going really well I was able to develop new kinds of music in the states I mean musical forms that were unheard of that is music coming from foreign countries because at the time music in languages other than English were very hard to come by whether on stage or on the radio that is outside of ethnic communities and as I was part of that world music introduction movement and they really well I mean was able to develop bands from various countries that were known in the old countries but totally unknown in North America and we were able to to make a name for ourselves and have real career and that was not only exciting but it was also rewarding in the sense that I could see that we can make a difference and it's good for people to be aware that there are other cultures out there and it teaches them other ways of thinking of seeing things and it opens them up to all sorts of avenues so I found that when I was doing radio wise and in my profession was was useful I thought I was participating in helping my fellow-citizens go up instead of down also windup programming the biggest jazz festival in the world module International Jazz Festival as well as the Franco Follies of Montreal which is a the largest francophone festival and that was also great we made a difference and then I went to Radio Canada and CDC where I produced and hosted brews world music and jazz and space music shows at the rate of three a week for six years and things went really really well at the same time I was writing I still am writing for a magazine basically review albums but to lens and purposes I'm retired although I'm open to ideas and suggestions I still work with a band but profession has changed so things are quite different and it was always high but now it's almost impossible I mean because everything is digital everything is on the net there's hardly any record labels anymore radio stations don't play rare forms of music anymore and then a touring is a nightmare since nine one one between getting visas and you know security checks and so it's a nightmare the different world I want to I want to take you back all the way back to your childhood from men till now because I used to listen to you just an immigrant on cket student radio Montreal you were sort of a voice of hope and justice for the underdog that's the impression I got sort of struggling to bring a message of hope against all odds it was sort of a romantic atmosphere that I felt when I was listening to you romanticism comes from the fact that I was born in France and I grew up there I had a very dramatic mother she was Ukrainian and she was Jewish so her and her father and her brother had to basically flee from various countries as there were programs and you know I mean Jews weren't very welcome maybe that's where the drama was your father also - yeah yeah although he was not from Ukraine he was from New York and he was much more happy-go-lucky he enlisted for World War two and and he was journalist and he was an interpreter well my father grew up in New York his parents were not religious do you know if they were Sephardic Morosco not asking us because my ancestors old Russian so my father really had nothing to do with the Jewish religion and it's funny because later on he and my mother put me in when I was 12 put me in a religious Jewish boarding school near Paris and my father wanted me to be bar Mitzvahed because he never had so I had to deal with all the crap you know because I hated it my mother was not really just either her father was a well-known Zionist writer in Ukraine who spent many years in jail because of his writings and basically they they came from Odessa on the Black Sea and they had to leave because of the problems and they went to Germany but he moved to France at the beginning of the war but she was able to escape but at that time she had married a man from Latvia who was really in Paris and that man just like my grandfather was very involved in political Zionist activities but none of these people from my family were religious there were political but political czar not Haley just that would use they knew they were Jews because it was dangerous to be Jewish at that time you could lose your life because you were Jewish but there were fighters so this is informing your character growing up do you maintain to this day sympathy for the Zionist movement or not no no no no no no no I'm not a Zionist he never were no my mother was my mother eventually wound up living in Israel she died there okay so we were not religious in our family but I remember for Hanukkah my father had built a menorah okay and so did like the candles you know Veronica and I'd get presents but I you know my friends all had Christmas trees and I wanted the Christmas tree you know because it was much prettier than a menorah and my mother would tell me nan and we don't do Christmas trees here we do menorahs and so my sister moved to Israel when I was 8 years old of 1958 and the first time my sister came back to visit she said ok was Friday so it's Shabbos so we're gonna light the candles she taught us the the prayer you know the Shabbos Prayer we didn't eat kosher at home or anything but after she left my mother kept that ritual going so every Friday night like the candles but the rest of the night and on Saturday we would do you know we would live normally because really just use don't work on Shabbos also religious you don't turn on the light or turn it off or like the stove or work or touch money we never a normal life it was just I think connection to my sister and maybe to Israel I couldn't care less I mean I hey it didn't bother me or but I wasn't crazy about it either you know did it ever occur to you that maybe were created by an all good God and that all this religious talk has some basis well as I said my parents were not my mother was very she was a philosopher she was really Cartesian you know and I guess my father to know they didn't believe in God but when you were laying in bed at night having witnessed some of the good and evil that obviously in the world did you ever think there's a spiritual choice that you need to make for better for evil or the way I was educated and kids were educated in France basically you always had to be fearful of something which means that given that I wasn't quote/unquote a good boy most of the time you know I could always expect some sort of a punishment so if it wasn't for my parents or my professors it has to be from some sort of a divine entity you know so I'd go to hell or something you had me stocks or sure sure of course because I was credulous I was dumb I believed what I was being told okay would you ever reach out in prayer to God yeah I have and uh sure I remember when when my ass was about to get fired I had that pray you talking about the punishment new dad or getting kicked out of the school or failing an exam or being found out for one reason or another because something that I had or hadn't done but I would still be accused for it sure of course did you always feel like you wanted to be on the side of justice and goodness so it was that an impulse that you had growing up well I didn't want to get in trouble but uh I always got in trouble yeah but was there a turning point maybe an adolescence or after or early adulthood yeah well something happened to me actually on New Year's Eve 1969 1970 I took my first acid trip I was 19 and it wasn't a good trip oh it was pretty terrible I took acid about 4 times in my life I took it three more times because I wanted to try to reverse see the pattern I wanted to to have a good trip because that Unleashed some pretty dramatic fearful reactions where I wound up basically suffering from panic attacks and very high anxiety at one point I thought you know that God had chosen me to undergo all these hardships in order to teach me something so I started hanging out you know with Buddhists and and Zen freaks kind of hung out a little bit with Hare Krishna people I was looking for answers because this was really disturbing me because if I slipped I'd wind up having a panic attack then that was it it was the end of the world I mean no and I would take along with me the 15 musicians I was travelling with worldwide you know and that would be plus the 36 we'll do spirits because my band was there were heavy voodoo practitioners which taught me a lot incidentally maybe it's the religion I would identify with the most I wasn't even initiated and the Voodoo in the ceremony in 1992 or 93 I'm still wearing the concept that was given to me back then so I wear this I wear a Star of David so when people ask me what my so because of Voe doin in their faith in voodoo we were able to accomplish things or that were just about impossible and I saw the couple of miracles happen did they ever pressure you to come into the fold no no they as I said I was initiated because they considered me as one of them we're a family and we're all fighting for the same thing does your initiation involve certain obligations on your part no you don't need to maintain a certain prayer life or no no do you practice any voodoo at all just smoke well I don't practice you don't want the power that comes with Moodle well whether I want it or not I don't think is going to make any difference you know if things happened to happen if they don't they don't I do believe in in action-reaction I do now at one point I lived in New York I lived for three months with a with an Indian Swami but he turned out to be a quack haha but you know there was a certain discipline every morning we'd get up at five o'clock and do meditation and yoga I was terrible at yoga I wasn't that great at meditation either it was like trying to meditate on top of a volcano you know this type of person I am but the other thing which has to do with spirituality I always worked with trance music I worked with noir musicians you know from Marrakech Morocco I worked with the Voodoo roots musicians from Haiti and their rhythms which are hypnotic they induce hypnotic trance which are spiritually grounded these are ancestral rhythms that emanate from religious ceremonies okay and their aim is to induce a trance the trance put you in a state of grace you are in a close relationship with God to the point where you can be invested by God or by one of his messengers and you become the voice of God or one of the messengers I did that when I was in school I documented Baptist gospel ceremonies I remember New Year's Eve 72 73 I went down to John's Island in South Carolina and recorded the midnight watch which is a an eight hour long ceremony with people going to trances left and right now when they're in trance they are mounted by spirits and they speak in tongues or they speak in English and they have messages and people usually will come to these people when they're possessed and ask questions you know about themselves or about some departed ones or about whatever and they get answers same thing in voodoo did you not find that disturbing on some level I found that beautiful I like things that are mysterious I like things that you cannot explain but where you can see you see a reaction you can see a response you can see an effect whereas in religion they say well you know if you're good boy you go to heaven if you're bad boy you go to you go to hell well I don't feel a lot of mystical stuff when I go to church but I have faith and I believe everything with church teaches I so when I go to church and that bread gets transubstantiated into the body blood soul and divinity of Jesus Christ I'm experiencing something that's mystical but I'm not having a light show and audio-visual experience or tears or hair standing on end or anything just pure faith I believe and I think that's the way it is for most Western Catholics would dig this very often some band members would go into trance during the show and they'd get possessed so they would become a spirit and they would have all the attributes the spirit and one of them and I know him really well because I've known him since he's 12 years old when he joined a band and I was there the first time that he went into trance that he got possessed and he got possessed by a spirit or law by the name of zakah zakah is the spirit of farming agriculture and zakah is an old man and he's got a clubfoot he starts to show his normal ease himself then all of a sudden in the middle of the show he goes into trance and bang not only does he go in to try to get possessed he gets mounted by his spirit and the spirit happens to be zakah because all of a sudden he's limping you got a clubfoot and his face he's a kid by an old man and in order to let themselves known as to who they are in terms of spirit each spirit has a special handshake and he's giving me this handshake and he tells me in Cairo so you have a lot of courage you have a lot of courage and then he breaks and he goes back onstage and I felt that like a lightning bolt had hit me you know I got all this energy that came into me that took hold of me and I felt like Superman you know and I kept that energy for the three remaining months of the tour and I needed that energy so you know I saw those manifestations I saw one time in Long Island here we are and the band is playing and one of them the bandleader goes into trance and is mounted by spirit and there she is on on the on the stage along the floor you know acting like he's having an epileptic seizure you know that's what happens when you interact and then she gets up and she has become somebody else he's transformed and then later on she goes back into herself and so on but there's a woman from Texas a white woman who's there in the audience with her husband she goes into trance and so we took her backstage in the dressing room and she was just coming out of it and they took care of her the coached her they told her what was happening and she was a painter and it changed her painting the way she started painting again was totally different it was free-flowing it was totally liberated it was and she made a career out of it so I saw spirituality very often and there were a couple times where I was close and I wished that it would happen to me I figured that will liberate me that will get rid of this paranoia you know this inherent fear that I have and it didn't happen you know and I felt bad for it in a way I felt relieved I didn't lose control yeah but I felt bad because I wished I had lost control because that could have opened you know many other doors of perception because there's still one thing that I'm afraid of and especially since I'm getting closer to it because of the years I'm afraid of dying do you have any hope about an afterlife no I think somehow we wind up in the same dimension as where we were before we were born you know and if I was able to survive my birth who knows maybe I can survive my death yeah on the other hand I don't know if I want to survive my death because it's going to be a pretty sorry sight there's a whole bunch of people out there that I really wouldn't want to be what do you think in a Christian idea that that all the accounts get settled and justice is it established in heaven and the Last Judgement that's it does ideal to you know not at all I think that's another you know organized religions and the way they're set up it's a control thing you know to get people to do what was wanted by the ruling class and at that time the priests where the ruling class but if you just think about having in the abstract and never mind the abuses of man on earth does it not appeal to you never-ending joy and bliss and fulfillment oh no I aspire to eternal bliss you know peace nothing nothing that's peace because otherwise you know you wind up in the dimension where everything is you know so supposedly beautiful and but you still have to interact use that I have to do anything come on you know I've had I've had a life of that you know it's fine I don't know what I believe in or if I believe in I think there's just you die and and that's it I don't believe in that and being judged you know by a divine tribunal that's too human that's too hokey that's too easy it doesn't work that way and if it worked that way we would have been obliterated a long time ago because we got away with and we're still getting away with so much horror on a daily basis what happens in this world when has happened historically with all the genocides and crazy lunatics nasty people ruling certain countries I mean it God's out to lunch man I can understand how you say that but it's easy to identify sort of hell on earth but would have been the moments in your life where you've experienced firsthand a little taste of heaven where there was peace that would bliss there with joy I've experienced that not very often a couple of times and it always happened I never had to work for it okay we spontaneous yeah I don't know I might be in front of a beautiful natural scenery like I don't know sunset or sunrise right for the even one beautiful no not another not a woman because it's too focused and there's interaction and no it's got to be grandiose you know it's going to be big it's gonna be bigger than you not that I'm bigger than a woman but a woman hasn't been bigger than me I mean yeah I have put Sur and women on a pedestal in my life but that wasn't a good thing ha ha ha I paid a dear price with you knows I don't do that anymore but you don't put you know a majestic landscape on a pedestal it's just there and you're hit by it by its magnitude and where I felt totally at peace with the world and with myself it's happened a few times these are fleeting moments it do not last for hours but there might be a lingering sort of pieces or a yeah for until the next thing happens you know I know it exists you know and like you see a possibility of attaining that state more regularly or well I'm not a you know I'm not a sadhu I'm not a another Zen monk I'm not a monk so I don't have the discipline for that but then again I mean I've seen people who have been striving their entire life to achieve perfection and basically life has passed them by and they're not necessarily happy in fact a lot of them can be like dried prunes you know but that's because they have used a lot of rigor too much discipline self-discipline a formulaic approach oh my god especially amongst Western practitioners it's different with Africans people from the West Indies Asian India Asia I don't I've been to Japan I found it to be a really sick Society I turned me off totally I mean there were so and regimented they were like a bunch of ants no personality what is it about freedom the message I'm getting from you seems to Center on freedom and it's very important to me for me God is freedom and the ultimate freedom is being with God in heaven and there's a freedom in morality there's a freedom in doing God's will not my own will you don't have religion but I think you still strive for freedom it seems to be coming across that that is really central to your worldview are you consciously aware of a quest for freedom I know that this has been the common denominator in my life that's what has motivated me ever since I'm little I didn't necessarily formulate it like that but if I look back if I look back at all the things I took flak for in my life and I took a lot if I look back at all the things I fought for and against if I look at the way I I see the world what it's doing and what it's not doing why I'm the same person I was when I was rebelling when I ten years old 15 20 I'm the same person and always had I still have those ideals there's a sort of don't rock the boat attitude that comes with the status quo mentality and I think Jesus was rebelling against that and he was showing us the way the way to live is to be spontaneous be yourself be generous be in the world be present you know this is the message of Jesus Christ and sounds very much like you would agree with that and that you are rebelling constantly against the alternatives which are all protectionist which are all hunkering down in order to secure something which at the end of the day doesn't feed your soul right especially these days when religion is used in the way in which it never was designed to be used you know and people are killing in the name of religion Muslims are killing Muslims because some of them are supposedly infidels and you know they're fighting they're fighting conflicts that date back to several centuries ago and what they're doing to people is got nothing to do with religion you know these people are monsters but Christians have done it just a second you know and most of the the colonized world I mean rifles were quickly followed by crucifix bearing priests you know who basically forced people to convert whether it was in Africa in South America you know because the savages had to be Christianized so I have a hard time with with that kind of religion I don't know if you remember Jesus was walking with John and James and John said that village we just came from wasn't doing things right he want us to bring down fire and destroy the village and Jesus rebuked him it's a sort of fanaticism with religion it's easy to fall into but Jesus didn't stand for that he didn't stand that he didn't tolerate that but I have to tell you that as far as I'm concerned Jesus was made he was a human being he was not God that to me that is totally if you believed otherwise you'd be mr. I don't know see I mean the Jewish religion you don't have yeah you have a few prophets is Judaism your favorite religion no you don't have my favorite or voodoo I have to admit I'm very cautious about every religion that's not my own because I believe that I belong to the one true religion that everything else is departing from the fullness of the truth if two religions disagree about something they can't both be right they could both be wrong but they can't both be right so I think the fullness of truth resides in the Roman Catholic Church and I think I would hope that an Orthodox Jew feels the same way about his worldview and that the atheist feels the same way about his worldview and that the voodoo popular feels away about his when Orthodox Jew or Orthodox anyone automatically has his vision obliterated because of his authority how's that that will build walls because that community does not want to be corrupted by what's different from them by the world even here in Montreal you promote you have different sects and the authors of Jewish Orthodox community that don't agree with the same principles and they are against one another then why they don't fight it out with a fair but they don't see eye to eye and quite often they don't speak to one another it's terrible talk about freedom no that's a that's pretty limit ating my religion in a way dooms me because being a Jew I'm automatically discriminated against by some people I'm being a cultural chair by being born a Jew I didn't decide to be born a Jew I mean if I could have decided I would have been born nothing at all you know let me choose later on if I want to if I need to but in the country and the city where I was born if I had been born six years before I could have been killed because I was a Jew some of my relatives died in the camps some of my relatives were shot on the street just because they were Jewish that was their only canonical crime that kind of image ones freedom away I was discriminated against in France you know I was called a dirty a few times I was beaten up a few times I remember the first time I was called a dirty guy gets a leaf in school I'm a Sabine I don't know seven years old and a kid punch me in the face you know but I remember one time I was in a boarding school it was a Catholic boarding school that one of the many crazy places my parents put me in and we were in the shower and I was the only one who was circumcised and I don't know about six or seven of them ganged up on me and they kicked my ass you know spitting at me and kicking me and punching minion if all else is equal which Catholic is more Catholic the one they would engage in that violent hateful behavior or the one that would be kind and loving to you I suppose I'm concerned these people weren't Catholic so they were morons and I'm glad you can make the distinction between a cavaquinho but no I mean not all Catholics or like that and I've met some stupid Jews - I mean it's my religion is no religion I like spirituality that's universal some people have it some don't what if you found out that by what about all these people who go to church every week or the synagogue and or the church because Catholic religion is the only one where you can confess all of your sins Sacramento and so they come out of their you know feeling old giddy and and they keep doing the nasty you're not fasting things getting the following week and until the following Sunday weird absorbs again you're not you're not supposed to eat it's one thing to fall because you're weak it's another thing to plan on it like the Simpsons did an episode where Burt turn Catholic and he went into the confessional laughing and saying well I'm going to confess this now and I won't do the same thing and I'll come back and get involved again you know this is a complete mockery of the sacrament of confession you have to change your life you have to and if the priest doesn't understand that and he's been ill formed and there are many priests that are ill formed and we live in a fallen world if you're truly contrite if you you know you've done wrong you acknowledge that you've done wrong and you confess your sins it doesn't really matter if you fall into the same bad habit you've got a bad habit and you fall into the pattern of behavior that's insignificant that doesn't matter that's just because you're a weak idiot but God loves you he loves us as we are and as he finds us but he loves us far too much to leave us as we are and as he find it well that's not true he has left us as we are because look at how we are I see I see God's hand at work in my life and how if I cooperate with God I can change because it's like if you want to think of it like a dance God is a perfect dancer and he's the perfect dance teacher but it takes two to tango if you're but you were really quite perfect so as far as I'm concerned if I live my life towards the coracle advancement of humankind or myself or she's the same then doing God's work so the way I like to wrap up these interviews always it just let my guest talk directly to the audience just as a sort of final thought to wrap up what would you say to anyone that's listening well I remember one time the winter of nineteen seventy one going into nineteen thirty two I had arrived in New York with $100 a backpack and my guitar and a dog and I had found a job peddling flowers on the street there was one other guy selling flowers to he was living in a in a rooming house he put me up so I was sleeping on the floor and one day I tried to commit suicide I pop to a bunch of pills when he was in there and what shave me basically was my dog who showed howling he figured something was going on I was going out pretty fast I managed to drag myself to a telephone in the corridor it was a public phone I don't know how the hell I put in the dime but I called my cousin and my cousin came and I could hardly move he took me down to this French polyclinic it was called and when they popped my stomach and I remember the next day walking in Central Park in the snowstorm in the state of total despair and all of a sudden I raised my eyes and I'm in front of the statue of Lewis Carroll and on the stand it's written in quotes in the midst of despair may I never lose hope oh and the rest is history what I mean to say is I figured that I didn't wind up in front of that statue for nothing as a coincidence and whenever things are really really really bad I think of that statue and what was written what's written is still there I even last time I was in New York I went and I took a photo of it but basically just follow it follow your instinct do what you think is good just live your life be kind and if you can't be kind do it kindly yeah I like that if you can't be kind do it be mean but do it kindly know so don't do things to others that you wouldn't want done to you and sure there's a lot of injustice there's a lot of stupid and incompetent and unfair people a lot of things that maybe vote you there are ways to deal with those they take time and there's other people who think that way too so it's a good thing to associate with them and to find a way to use all those problems but it doesn't have to be peaceful what I mean is don't use weapons no and listen the army but yeah demonstrations public speaking and so on that's important even on Facebook hahaha because people read it you know if you get a negative reaction if you get insults from somebody well you know you hit the spot you know it it was worth it and you can block them lock that person anyway so we don't have that many means at our disposal but we have quite a lot and you know if if we look at the way kings and rulers lived 200 years ago a hundred years ago we live much better than they do you know we have access to much more information we can do much more things than they did we we are the kings if you want to do if you think it's awesome flashes ready and I'll tell all you got

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