To Orwell Today,

Dear Jackie:

This e-mail is coming from THE PLACE THAT TIME FORGOT in the mountains and jungle of Costa Rica, via my son in England.

Your website was found by chance following further strange happenings here back in the mountains: The Place That Time Forgot is themed on 1984.


We have Orwell Towers as the (single-storey!) guest quarters – Winston Smith’s eatery – our library is called Minitrue – and we have Victory Coffee, Victory Cascades, Victory Lookout – the 1984 Club - and so on.

My cat is named Winston Smith. On Friday November 30th after many troubles I was in Chapel in the Clouds asking for a message to give me confidence to continue on a certain path.

Early the next morning Winston Smith got up and started miaowing in my face and then went in to the living room, and then came back, and kept repeating this until finally I had to get up. It was 4.00 am and I normally get up at 5.00 am and Winston normally with me.

I put on the radio and went into the kitchen to make some coffee. I could tell that it was some sort of play though the reception was not particularly good (shortwave WWCR Nashville, Tennessee). I heard... 'You owe me three farthings, say the bells of St. Martins...' which aroused my interest, and later 'how many fingers am I holding up...'.

There was an intermission and then the announcer said – 'We will now return to 1984 with David Niven as Winston Smith.'

I am not directly on the Internet here so I contacted my son to ask him to find out about this performance – and he came across your site.

Winston Smith, cat, had woken me up at two minutes to 4.00 am and insisted I get up and go to the living room where the radio is, at the precise time that his namesake was on a radio play!

This happened once before in April when a similar thing happened, though not via Winston Smith.

Just thought that I would share this with you, and George Orwell got it SO right even to TV screens watching you, which they are now doing, and we are WELL informed here despite our location.

The broadcast was from Old Time Classic Radio, Box 13276, Portland, Oregon 97223. I had assumed that it was a BBC production with David Niven, but it was American.

John Howard

Greetings John,

Thanks so much for letting me know you came upon ORWELL TODAY during a search inspired by your cat Winston Smith from a place inspired by Orwell's 1984.

I can perfectly relate to the series of 'godcidences' that bring Orwell 'aficionados' together -- it happens all the time (well, several times a year). It's Orwell's way of continuing to communicate to the world -- using people who love him as channels. It's a form, also, of Orwell giving us encouragement to carry on, and permission, too, to take breaks from the worries of the Orwellian world.

Just as my website came to your attention at the right time, your website came to mine because just looking at the photos of the heaven-like beauty of your "place that time forgot" is a form of mental, emotional and spiritual replenishment for those of us who "feel the abyss opening beneath our feet" and need to recharge the batteries to continue Orwell's work.

I hope some day to make another pilgrimage to Orwell to pay homage and perhaps -- Orwell willing -- that will take me to Costa Rica to your place that time forgot -- but that didn't forget Orwell.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

(Orwell Towers/Winston Smith Eatery/Victory Cascades)
Email, Dec 17, 2012
1.Winston's Diary

David Niven Orwell Official 1949 DAVID NIVEN AS 1984 WINSTON SMITH

1949 RADIO PLAY OF 1984

ESCAPE TO ORWELL'S BARNHILL (Perhaps best known as the home of George Orwell, this isolated farmhouse, still under the ownership of the Fletcher family, is where the celebrated author came to escape the attentions of the London literati and find the peace and quiet he needed to write Nineteen Eighty-Four...)

DIANA SAINT MARTIN'S BELLE (..."'Oranges and lemons', say the bells of St Clement's, 'You owe me three farthings', say the bells of St Martin's".... 'Where was St Martin's?' said Winston. 'St Martin's? That's still standing. It's in Victory Square, alongside the picture gallery'"...)

40.Electric Shock Brainwashing (...O'Brien held up his left hand, its back towards Winston, with the thumb hidden and the four fingers extended. "How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?" "Four." "And if the Party says that it is not four but five - then how many?" "Four." The word ended in a gasp of pain. The needle of the dial had shot up to fifty-five. The sweat had sprung out all over Winston's body. The air tore into his lungs and issued again in deep groans which even by clenching his teeth he could not stop. O'Brien watched him, the four fingers still extended. He drew back the lever. This time the pain was only slightly eased. "How many fingers, Winston?" "Four." The needle went up to sixty. "How many fingers, Winston?" "Four! Four! What else can I say? Four!" The needle must have risen again, but he did not look at it. The heavy, stern face and the four fingers filled his vision. The fingers stood up before his eyes like pillars, enormous, blurry, and seeming to vibrate, but unmistakably four. "How many fingers, Winston?" "Four! Stop it, stop it! How can you go on? Four! Four!" "How many fingers, Winston?" "Five! Five! Five!" "No, Winston, that is no use. You are lying. You still think there are four. How many fingers, please?" "Four! Five! Four! Anything you like. Only stop it, stop the pain!"...)

1.Winston's Diary (...For whom, it suddenly occurred to him to wonder, was he writing this diary? For the future, for the unborn? For the first time the magnitude of what he had undertaken came home to him. How could you communicate with the future? It was of its nature impossible. Either the future would resemble the present, in which case it would not listen to him: or it would be different from it, and his predicament would be meaningless.... He was a lonely ghost uttering a truth that nobody would ever hear. But so long as he uttered it, in some obscure way the continuity was not broken. It was not by making yourself heard but by staying sane that you carried on the human heritage. He went back to the table, dipped his pen, and wrote: To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free, when men are different from one another and do not live alone - to a time when truth exists and what is done cannot be undone: From the age of uniformity, from the age of solitude, from the age of BIG BROTHER, from the age of doublethink - greetings!...)

3.Surveillance (...The invention of print made it easier to manipulate public opinion, and the film and the radio carried the process further. With the development of television, and the technical advance which made it possible to receive and transmit simultaneously on the same instrument, private life came to an end. Any sound Winston made, above the level of a whisper, would be picked up by the telescreen; moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. Every citizen, or at least every citizen important enough to be worth watching, could be kept twenty-four hours a day under the eyes of the police and in the sound of official propaganda, with all other channels of communication closed. The possibility of enforcing not only complete obedience to the will of the State, but complete uniformity of opinion of all subjects now existed. Never show dismay! Never show resentment! A single flicker of the eyes could give you away. It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself - anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime it was called. Your worst enemy was your own nervous system. Any moment the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom....

17.Falsification of Past (...Sometimes he talked to Julia of the Records Department and the impudent forgeries that he committed there. Such things did not appear to horrify her. She did not feel the abyss opening beneath her feet at the thought of lies becoming truths. He said, "Do you realize that the past, starting from yesterday, has been actually abolished? If it survives anywhere, it's in a few solid objects with no words attached to them, like that lump of glass there....I know, of course, that the past is falsified, but it would never be possible for me to prove it, even when I did the falsification myself. After the thing is done, no evidence ever remains. The only evidence is inside my own mind, and I don't know with any cerainty that any other human being shares my memories....)

28.Reality Control (...All the beliefs, habits, tastes, emotions, mental attitudes that characterize our time are really designed to sustain the mystique of the Party and prevent the true nature of present-day society from being perceived. Ownership of the print media made it easy to manipulate public opinion, and the film and radio carried the process further.... In the ramifications of Party doctrine Julia had not the faintest interest. Whenever he began to talk of the principles of Ingsoc, doublethink, the mutability of the past, and the denial of objective reality, and to use Newspeak words, she became bored and confused and said that she never paid any attention to that kind of thing. One knew that it was all rubbish, so why let oneself be worried by it? She knew when to cheer and when to boo, and that was all one needed. If he persisted in talking of such subjects, she had a disconcerting habit of falling asleep. Talking to her, he realized how easy it was to present an appearance of orthodoxy while having no grasp whatever of what orthodoxy meant. In a way, the world-view of the Party imposed itself most successfully on people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening. By lack of understanding they remained sane. They simply swallowed everything, and what they swallowed did them no harm, because it left no residue behind, just as a grain of corn will pass undigested through the body of a bird....)


Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~