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Geoff Gilbertson obituary

Geoff Gilbertson said he had come under sustained psychic attack after writing the book The Dark Gods
Geoff Gilbertson said he had come under sustained psychic attack after writing the book The Dark Gods

My friend Geoff Gilbertson, who has died of cancer aged 67, was co-author with Anthony Roberts of the conspiracy book The Dark Gods (1980). Its contention was that there was a malignant force in the universe, undermining humanity at every turn, which the authors attempted to delineate using a variety of sources. It was said that The Dark Gods influenced the Stranglers in the making of their 1981 concept album The Gospel According to the Meninblack.

Geoff was born in Pembury, Kent, and educated at Berkhamsted school, Hertfordshire. His father, John, a linguist who spoke more than 30 German dialects, had served at Bletchley Park during the second world war. He died early and Geoff and his two older sisters, Isolde and Mary, and his twin sister, Jill, were brought up by their mother, Nanette (nee Ponder), who struggled with a debilitating physical condition.

When Geoff “dropped out” and became a hippy, he was considered the black sheep of the family. But to his young nephews, he was the embodiment of an alternative lifestyle, doing things on his own terms. He was always travelling and lived all over the UK and at one point in France.

Geoff blamed the illness that dogged his later years on the writing of The Dark Gods, telling friends he came under sustained psychic attack after its publication. He had a minor breakdown, and spent time recuperating in a monastery. Later he told people he no longer believed many of the things he had written.

In the 90s he became a website designer and was also involved at Megatripolis, the underground London nightclub that flourished at the height of the rave era.

There was something vulnerable about Geoff; he was always in love with someone, and would often find himself being ripped off. One friend described him as being entirely devoid of protective armour. After a major breakdown he ended up in a psychiatric hospital in London, after being found vagrant in France. He became infantilised and spoke in a strange, high-pitched voice.

When Geoff was diagnosed with cancer, in 2016, he declined treatment, saying, “Well I’ve got to go some time.”He remained cheerful, visiting a friend’s house days before his death and offering to help her carry her bags up the stairs.

He is survived by Isolde.

This article titled "Geoff Gilbertson obituary" was written by Christopher Stone, for The Guardian on Wednesday 6 December 2017 05.40pm


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