A light-hearted, humorous look at a classic new age, esoteric and occult subject: the crystal skull and its associates, by Lori Lothian, author of the Tarology column in Looking Deeper at Light-hearted humor is good.

Interview with A Rock Star:
Max the Crystal Skull Reveals All

By Lori Lothian

"I am no longer an old rock head hanging around inside the closet. I am now a Rock Star, presenting my message of unity around the world."
Max, as reported by Jo-Ann Parks.

More than a decade as a reporter and magazine writer taught me some basic survival rules about The Celebrity Interview: One, Assume the star is as nervous as you and let them babble first. Two: Forgive yourself for not knowing your subject's entire history of professional credits, ex-spouses and grade school awards. Three: While asking probing questions, display your teeth as much as the star does. This creates a warm fuzzy camraderie-unless of course your teeth are stained or crooked, which can erect emotional barriers to the candid interview process.

When I recently met Max the Crystal Skull for a thirty-minute interview, I admit tossing all three rules out the New Age Bookstore window and improvising. When quizzing a piece of rock, don't expect it to open up all at once; you might have to scry for answers. Don't let that stony-faced routine make you nervous. And for a real rapport, make sure you are as polished as the rock in your appearance.

Securing the interview with Max, age gadzillion-Atlantean-years, required that I first attend a gig he was doing at a hole-in-the-wall rock store called Special Treasures in ultra-hip Gaithersburg, Maryland. The Burg, I would find out, is a hot spot for clone townhouses on barren farm fields and home to a trillion Washington DC commuters. It is also at the vortex of a nexus of Lexus dealerships and pre-Columbian ley lines.

For my first encounter with Max, I arrived equipped with my trusty son, age ten-earth-years, and a friend who also brought along her ten-year-old boy. Kids are amazingly good bullshit detectors, and frankly I was expecting to detect a lot of the stuff. The story of Max reads like a New Age fluff piece: hunk of quartz leaves Guatemala for twenty-year stint as sidekick to a holy-rolling Texan-Tibetan lama named Norbu Chen before splitting up and spending some years in the closet of Chen's secretary, Jo-Ann Parks. He made his comeback with the help of his new manager Parks, who makes sure Max tours the country in a relentless schedule of public appearances and private parties. Three years ago he hit jackpot fame with a his film debut in a documentary, The Mystery of The Crystal Skulls which aired on the Discovery Channel in the U.S.

That documentary film was also a turning point for Max personally, as he went from a relative unknown entity of possible fraudulent descent, to his new status as a New Age Phenomenon. Forget that he has been reported to incite in his fans spontaneous healings and blinding insights. In the film, electron microscope testing by the venerable British Museum revealed that Max had absolutely, positively, not been carved from a jewellers wheel, diamond drill or any known tool, for that matter. How he came to be, they would not speculate. The 1997 book, Mystery of the Crystal Skulls by Chris Morton and Ceri Thomas documents this amazing scientific inquiry, along with the cryptic no-comment conclusion by the Museum.

So it is with this background research that I ended up sitting in a claustrophobic circle with about 12 others while Max posed inertly on a velvet-draped table. Jo-Ann Park's stood there dressed in purple velour and chunks of amber big enough to clone Jurassic Park Two. She provided a warm-up act with her somewhat breathless and long delivery of Max's story. My son yawned, squirmed, and blew his nose about a hundred times. My friend's son sat frozen, in a staring match with Max, whose eyeless sockets yielded a remarkably vacant stare. Could this cloudy chunk of b-grade crystal really hold a fathomless wisdom and the power to heal? Even more mysterious: what incredible force held up Jo-Ann Parks's gravity-defying halo of beehive hair. Surely, it must be Max, who I surmised just might have a second career with Vidal Sassoon.

As Park's recited the gospel of Max, I perked up for the juicy part: how manager and talent came together is spooky. While tucked in Parks' closet--she had inherited the rights to Max from Chen--Max apparently visited his would-be manager in her dreams, whispering mysterious messages like: Get Me Outta Here, and Find the Man. The Man turned out to be California's Nick Nocerino, manager of yet another illustrious crystal Rock Star, ShaNaRa, formerly of the Beach Boys. ShaNa, for short, came to the US from Mexico and is known for supplying visitors ample visions of the past. Once out of the closet, Max began to date ShaNa and to speak to Park's on a regular basis and the rest is history.

Back at the rock store, the Oral History of Max the Skull ended and it was show time. The room lights went down as Max was underlit in much the same manner as sticking a flashlight under ones chin. My son stopped blowing his nose as the skull's stare now high-beamed and the inside of his head illumined milky quartz and lots of cracks. In fact, pointed out Parks, these cracks make Max even more of a Phenomenon. Just ask any jeweler: to carve a crystal around such imperfections is supposed to be impossible, supposed to in fact end in a skull fracture.

But here was Max, defyingly intact despite having no body and now ready to grant his audience the touchy-feely moment they had come for: one by one each of us had a chance to sit in a chair facing Max and stoke him. The first woman up dissolved in a torrent of tears at first contact. This set the mood, to say the least. I fully expected to see the Virgin Mary any minute, with a yet another message about the end of the world. My friend's son was next with an eerie continuation of the staring match. When my son had his turn, he spent the entire precious five minutes unceremoniously poking his fingers into Max's nose socket. Then it was my turn.

Park's escorted me to the chair and then backed off. I found my hands landing on the sides of Max's head, where ears would have been had the poor guy had any flesh. I wanted to hear something, anything. Yoo-hoo Max? Are you really in there? I closed my eyes and tried for the blinding vision approach. Ah ha! Dolphins. Lots and lots of dolphins swimming in a cerulean sea while on land, white robed folks watched.

Then Park's hand was on my shoulder and it was the next person's turn, a woman dressed in a bohemian made-in-India outfit that jangled when she breathed. Hunched over Max, she snickered a few times--Max does have a wicked sense of humor noted Parks--then returned to her seat. By the time the group was finished, I noticed there had indeed been a miracle: my son's nasal condition had escalated to a veritable waterfall of discharge and he was elbowing me frantically for Kleenex. Maybe I reasoned, it was a healing crisis, the new age excuse for times when the cure actually makes you worse.

I was decidedly not coming back for the thirty-minute private session on Sunday. The evidence for Max-as-phenomenon was underwhelming. I'd nodded off and dreamed of dolphins, big deal. Yet, as I prepared to leave I happened to overhear the woman who had sat with Max right after me: "Dolphins," she said to a friend. "When I touched Max I saw dolphins." The fated interview was scheduled for two days later.

I met Jo-Ann--Max's mommy as she called herself--outside the rock store and she followed me inside as I readied myself for the private audience. Today she was wearing a basic black pantsuit, her big blond hair as outstanding as ever. George, the store's burly proprietor grinned idiotically as I approached the counter. I'm here for Max, I said.

"Of course you are," he said knowingly. He pointed at a curtained room. Inside Max waited on his velvet display while John Teshian music piped softly into the room. I felt awkward meeting a disembodied subject. No handshake to start things off, though I still cringed at the memory of a pre-interview handshake with actor Robert Wagner, who wiggled his finger suggestively into my palm. No such threat from Max.

I sat down with my pen and paper--no tape recorder would do this rock star justice--and waited. I was certain Max was just composing his thoughts. Ten minutes ticked by. No still-small-voice whispering universal secrets inside my head. I tried for a personal thought-question:

Opportunistic Interviewer Who Happens to Invest in the Stock Market: So, is the Dow headed for 36,000 or are current valuations unrealistically high?

Max: Valuations are by nature subjective and therefore can climb as high as the collective reality consensus. Some people actually pay to see me, for instance.

Interviewer: I paid fifty bucks for this interview. Are you saying you're not worth it?

Max: I am worth the monetary value of non-optical grade quartz. My net worth however can be assessed only in the spiritual currency from which I derive the sum of my parts.

Interviewer: Huh?

Max: Good question. The answer is no.

Interviewer: What?

Max: That's right.

Interviewer: Can you clarify for me, your historical origins.

Max: All I remember is waking up with a running shoe on my head and a vacuum cleaner beside me.

Interviewer: Jo-Ann Parks' closet?

Max: No, the Temple of the Atlantean High Priests. They don't call it the lost CIVILIZATION for nothing.

Interviewer: So you're saying you came from Atlantis?

Max: I'm saying that's my first waking memory. Who knows. Before that?

Interviewer: Some say you are extra-terrestrial in origin. Do you believe it?

Max: The Truth is Out There.

Interviewer: The truth is supposed to be in your noggin, Max. You're not impressing me.

Max: I'm a hunk of rock. You have one last question.

Interviewer: What is the meaning of life and will Microsoft recover from its third quarter current earnings slump and the monopoly ruling?

Max: That is two questions.

Interviewer: I meant, is there meaning to life without Microsoft as we know it?

Max: Microsoft will become a trinity of its software, its operating system and its Internet parts. And when you see Bill Gates rising in the East, know that the end time is nigh.

I looked at my watch. I had five minutes left with Max. I decided to spend it testing his accuracy with the future. According legend, there are thirteen cyrstal skulls that will one day be discovered and come together to help mankind in a time of global need. These skulls are repositories of information that we will somehow understand how to access. Max rattled off dates and locations of future crystal skull discoveries. I wrote them down skeptically. Time would tell. The session ended with some professional advice for me and review of a past life--name, dates and the meaning for the present included. I jotted all this down too in the event it would oneday prove useful.

On the fifty-minute drive home to Annapolis I pondered the meeting. The truth is, talking to Max is a lot like talking to yourself in a mirror. And maybe that is all he is meant to be and ever was--and incredible tool for self reflection and introspection, and yes, self-healing. In a way, Max claims no more for himself. Says Max (as reported on his website Max The Texas Crystal Skull ): "I am here as a teacher and a tool. I am a connector that goes back to self. When you look into my eyes, you are looking at a reflection of your own self, of who you are , and all you aspire to be."

Copyright 2000, Lori Lothian. All rights reserved. Ms. Lothian is a former journalist and now professional clairvoyant with clients across the US and Canada.

Be sure to read Lori's Tarology column which appears here regularly.

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