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Where Is It All Leading?

by Bernard

The question 'Where is it all leading?' is one that many of us have asked from time to time. It was an expression used often by the late G, usually when he had received yet another batch of amputee material from a new devotee he had just made contact with. The tragedy in G's case was that it led to his death.

I had known G. for about 20 years. We met by chance, but as a result of our shared interest in the amputee scene in general. We were both youngish professional men, working hard to make our way in the world, but at the same time we were both very apprehensive, if not frightened by the thoughts we had and about our early involvement in the amputee scene, such as it was in those far off days. We were both drenched in guilt and spent many hours discussing what in those days we considered to be an affliction of the mind.

Over the years, as we made more contacts, and became more aware that there were others like us, we began to understand a little better what was going on, but I think that in both of our cases the guilt remained.

G. went through a couple of periods of 'going off the scene' and destroying material, but each time he returned to the hobby. His first mariage ended in in the late '80's, partly as a result of his involvement with the amputee scene, and when he remarried he tried to keep the whole business secret. It also appears that about that time G. decided that he was going to acquire the largest collection of amputee material possible. He opened a PO Box and mounted a major campaign to contact as many devotees as possible. He was very successful, and in time he developed a large number of contacts all over the world. As a result of these contacts he was able to collect a very large amount of material. G. very kindly allowed me to share his box number and he also generously gave me unlimited access to his collection.

A considerable amount of letters, packages, and parcels passed through the box and G. and I were both aware that occasionally the Customs and Excise people opened and searched a letter or package. They always resealed what they had opened and included a slip to say that the package had been searched.

Over the past five years or so I saw a lot of G. I live close to his place of business, and I would visit G. usually about once a week if I was not away on business.

Around 1991/92 G's second wife discovered what he was up to, and although they talked about the business at great length, she could not accept what he was doing and his involve ment with other devotees . She became very unsympathetic about it to the point of calling all devotees 'perverts', and she gave G. a very hard time. She asked G. to give it all up, and in fact G. did destroy a few token videos and photographs, and he told his wife that all his collection of material had either been destroyed or returned to the original owners, and that he would cease activities. In reality, as we all know, G. carried on with his activities whilst all the time reassuring his wife that it was all finished.

The exact details of G's death are a bit of a mystery, but I will relate what I know about the affair: In early November '94 G. had an unexpected visit from the Customs and Excise, and the Police, at his place of business. They were very interested in the activities of the PO Box. They produced a Search Warrant and searched both his place of business and his home. G, not wanting to appear to be concealing anything, showed the police where his collection of material was located. The result was that they confiscated the entire collection amounting to some 5000 photographs, 100+ videos, a large collection of written material, and all of G's letter files.

G. told me all about this event by 'phone just after it had happened. I had little contact with G. over the next couple of days as I was working away from home. On Saturday November 26th G's wife telephoned me - she had found my number in G's desk 'phone book. She told me that she knew who I was and that I was part of the Amp. scene that G. was involved with. She told me that G. had committed suicide on Thursday 24th November. Her reason for contacting me was to ask me if I knew anything about G's whereabouts on Wednesday 23rd November. Apparently, that morning G. had dressed himself in a smart suit. This was unusual because G. normally wore jeans and tee-shirt to his office for normal business. His wife wanted to know from me if I knew anything about G's whereabouts on that Wednesday that would require him to wear a suit. Having had no contact with G. for a couple of weeks I had to tell her that I had no idea what he had been doing on that Wednesday. The only thing certain is that the very next day G. hanged himself at his place of business.

That's as much as I know. I naturally became concerned about my own position; I shared the Box Number with G. and my name appeared on a number of the items in G's collection. How ever, to date I have had no contact with the Police or the Customs, and no further contact with G's family. As a result of all this I decided to keep my head down for a while and to see how things develop.

It seems to me that the whole sorry business raises a few points:

  • Is what we are, and what we do now to be considered obscene, indecent, subversive?
  • Is exchanging letters and material through the post now going to become at risk?
  • Was G. using the PO Box for something that I was unaware of?
  • Why did the Police and Customs appear to want only G?
  • Why have they not pursued others doing the same thing (me for instance)?

For my part I do not want to end my correspondence with other devotees . I feel that I have still much to learn about it in general, and about my own particular interest in the wannabe and part-time amp. scene; but it does seem that we have to be more careful with the kind of material we send to each other.

I would be very interested to hear other comments about the tragedy of G, or perhaps there are other people out there who can shed light on the whole sorry business.

G. was a good friend to me and I will miss him very much indeed. He was also a very generous collector and it is a great pity that we have lost one of the major collections of material. I cannot agree with the suggestion made on page 6 of OverGround 4(4) that G. was betrayed by somebody, for the simple reason that there would be no point in doing such a thing. [When I made that suggestion I was not in possession of the facts that have now emerged. I agree with the author: I was mistaken to suggest it, and I apologise for any distress my speculation might have caused. Ed.]

I last spoke with G. over the telephone just after the Police and Customs had removed all his material. Towards the end of our conversation G. actually said to me 'Where is it all leading?'

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