The world and all its changes

Featured image
Wrapped up in a good story in Central Park. Photo: JH.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020.  Sunny and very warm, with humidity  early yesterday. Then the grey clouds came over about 3:30 in the afternoon and we had rain, and the temps dropped from 86 to 72. And some more showers in the early evening, adding to the cool.

The world and all its changes. The story to take to the beach (with your mask) this past weekend was the discovery and arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell at her retreat/hideout at the foot of Mt. Sunapee in New Hampshire. 

Aside from the scandal, the mysteries, the Epstein death/suicide/disappearance, it’s become a turgid subject of what used to be the world of society in New York. That world over the last now century and a half has not only changed but in many ways dissolved. The last gasp might have been provided by Covid. 

Ghislaine Maxwell. Photo: ©PatrickMcMullan

Ghislaine Maxwell, ten years ago was riding high, along with her cohort Epstein. I never met him. I had met her. That is not to say I got to know her. But I did have a favorable first impression. That does not confer reality but it does provide some clues. I knew background from the press and her famous father’s death. She was very personable and in a very pleasant way.  I never knew about her relationship with Epstein until his closing scenes. She seemed intelligent. And congenial. Ghislaine Maxwell,

There was no sign of intense ambition. Ambition, you say? Yes, hers was a world of ambition be it socially, financially, sexually or sociopathically a/k/a the final insanity. In a way, having met and having an impression of the woman, I was sorry to learn the facts. Now I and the entire world know who she is, and what she was up to.

The story is to divert our attention and creep us out at the same time. Jeffrey Epstein was clearly the man in her life. There have been references of other people but surely Epstein was, for her, the man to know. People’s sex lives are never entirely a secret because they always involve others. And if there’s enough “activity,” word gets around in the world that they made themselves a part of. 

Jeffrey Epstein was an important social figure to many people who did not partake or indulge in his sex-business. He sought social connections with all kinds of prominent and important people. Felicia Taylor, who knew him socially, recalled the time he invited her to his mansion “for tea.” They sat in one of his parlors where there was a grand piano and had tea. Afterward he gave her a concert on the piano. He was an accomplished pianist. After the concert, that was that. Teatime over, Felicia departed. 

He had a reputation among many for his financial impression. I first heard of him in the late ‘90s when he was described as Leslie Wexner’s financial adviser. Wexner, a very successful retailer in the last quarter of the 20th century, got around among the rich business people in this country. He was likely a good connection for Epstein. It was Wexner who owned and had restored the mansion, which in the early 90s he signed over to his “financial adviser” Epstein for the sum of one dollar.

His “private” business involving underage females is how he will be remembered or forgotten, but his self-image was a role that reflected a successful (having accumulated a quarter billion fortune) investor and investment advisor. 

There was another element always mentioned by those who see a bigger picture. That’s where Ghislaine Maxwell comes in. Her father besides being a major newspaper investor (until he lost it all) was also a major supporter of Israel and was often believed to be involved in political activities. Maxwell died of a heart attack, or mysteriously drowning in the Atlantic, having fallen from his motor yacht.

Ghislaine had many social connections in this country as well as the UK and elsewhere. According to Emily Smith in yesterday’s NY Post, Prince Andrew helped launch Ghislaine into the New York social  scene when she was nothing after the death of her father. She always saw him as a real friend.” It may have been that Andrew met Epstein through Maxwell. Or Maxwell met Epstein through Andrew. Whatever it was, they all clicked. Between the three of them, the connections were plentiful. Together they could only grow. 

In her Post article, Smith quoted Stephen Hoffenberg, once a close business associate of Jeffrey Epstein, who said “given Maxwell’s luxurious lifestyle, she’s gone from the top of the mountain to the bottom of the sewer. She won’t be able to handle jail – and she’ll immediately start talking to try to get out of it.”

That’s understandable. Jeffrey Epstein has been gone now for more than a year, maybe two. That way of life and its schedules — because it was, after all, a business-cum-social life — ended for Maxwell. Whatever it was, it was a long time coming, and now it is, like Mr. Epstein, gone, completely gone.

Peeking into the Frick across the street from Jeffrey Epstein’s former residence.

But there is also the now former “clientele” of the Mr. Epstein’s sex business where Ms. Maxwell is said to have played a key physical and mental role with training underage girls how-to. We already know several of the “names.” These are not necessarily the most important players. Not the women, girls, or boys, who might have been part of the “business process.” Most important are the boys who put up the jack for their fun-and-games or whatever it is they were up to that nobody was supposed to know anything about.

“It’s a big club, and you’re not in it,” the late George Carlin advised his fans. It is also what Society became as an international and/or global clustering at the turn of the new century. Wealth is the main ingredient. That includes all types. Those who pursue the wonders of wealth often come to travel in the rich, elitist circles where you don’t and won’t reveal the most unseemly (or criminal) behavior. Such “secrets” give you power and something in common with others of that “station.” It provides group cohesion and loyalty, if you really are serious.

In the case of Epstein and Maxwell they had something special which included their hazy crazy maybe notoriety. And it had to do with sex. And all kinds of sex. And all kinds of participants. This went on for decades, and well within the knowledge of those who have every reason to NOT want the world to know what turns them on when Mommy’s not around.

Although many believe (imagine) that Epstein’s still with us over in Israel. If so, it’s doubtful we’ll never know. Believing isn’t knowing. If there is a civilization fifty years from now, maybe they’ll know. Maybe. 

Whatever happens, we are not going to find out what Ghislaine Maxwell knows. What we, “the great unwashed,” are getting to see is how some people, mainly male, who acquire great fortunes and/or acquire “power” in the public arena, are inclined to push the “power” in other areas of one’s life. Potential gross humiliation is probably the motivation behind a love of taking a chance.

Ghislaine knew all about that. She was, in a way, a 21st century madam in a world of corporatacasy.  So maybe this is the end of her life. Maybe this is where her head is at now. Because if, in fact she does reveal The Story of a lot of the Epstein clientele, it would affect many lives and many who are innocent. If that is The Story.

Recent Posts