Keep This Quiet! III: Initiations

Keep This Quiet! III
Keep This Quiet! III



I've read all three and now want more!
The first time I met Margaret, she sat down beside me (or, was it the other way around?) in a meeting and immediately, I knew I wanted to get to know her. She had a certain presence...a "shining"...that was magnetic. The Universe must have been in agreement with my intuition, because over the years I was blessed to become her student and benefited greatly from her wise and loving teachings, but still, there was a certain mystery about her that was never revealed, for she vary rarely talks about herself or her life. Now I know she was saving it all for this brilliant series of autobiographical revelations that comprise the Keep This Quiet! series. My them all, beginning with the first and when you are done, await with bated breath the 4th (and, honestly, I hope not last!) installation of her mind and heart expanding sharings.

- By Conscious Joy, Founder of Wake for Conscious: Sacred Realms

Initiations Secrets Finally Revealed

This remarkable book, Initiations, is Harrell’s third in her series, Keep This Quiet! III! Her revealing memoir begins, in 1985, when attending the Carl Gustav Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland. Jung opened the Institute in 1948 to teach and research Analytical Psychology and psychotherapy to advance science and help others to achieve higher levels of understanding and functioning.

Harrell’s Zurich stay and other later initiations were “life-transforming,” and she shares her intimate experiences while including the science along with body/brain/mind/spirit initiation exercises readers can easily understand and participate in.

The “Dream Interpretation” exercise is amazing. . . .

Another amazing exercise is “Exercise in the Unconscious.” . . .

The book provides abundant information about Jung’s spirit/psyche/synchronicity concepts and compares quantum physicist Wolfgang Pauli’s nature/mass/spin concepts to Jung’s. Readers will learn how both concepts will construe a one-source psychophysical field, and how this initiation model will further a higher level of awareness, understanding and functioning. -

By  Bernie Nelson, publisher of Mindquest Review

Keep THIS Quiet Too! More Adventures with Hunter S. Thompson, Milton Klonsky, Jan Mensaert


Cover HST image: Alan Becker. Cover design: Gaelyn Larrick

 Harrell takes the reader on a transformative journey. As she opens the door the reader is compelled to walk on through and discover alongside her. What a ride. Hurry up and read this book

—Nick Storm, political reporter cn/2 Louisville KY, owner of Storm Generation Films

In her butally compassionately explicitly honest second autobiography, KEEP THIS QUIET TOO! More Adventures with Hunter S. Thompson, Milton Klonsky, Jan Mensaert, Harrell manages to repeatedly pull the rug out from underneath the reader.

- Ron Whitehead, author of Searching for Jack Kerouac: Ron Whitehead's Greatest Hits



Midwest Book Review:

Keep THIS  Quiet Too!" is a real-life saga of living and learning with eyes and ears open.  At times adventurous, at times sensual, “Keep THIS Quiet Too!” hinges upon the  complexities of human relationships, especially the challenges posed by the  heart-wrenching feelings of love that may or may not be fully requited. Highly  recommended.

From the back cover: Wanting her to work on his next book, Hunter writes her in 1971: “Dear Margaret....Where are you and why? I've lost track completely. My last definite word was from a toilet-hole in Algiers.”

Margaret Harrell baited the hook and I bit. Boy did I bite. . . She used titillation, and a masterful way of revealing herself to build engrossment, starting with Keep This Quiet! Any thinking, living person will be locked in from the beginning. Knowledge of the three men is not a must. She oozes sexuality, sensuality and I believe these traits go towards interweaving the three men. I believe it to be spellbinding. A hot sweaty tango of words.

—Martin Flynn, owner of HST Books.

Telling the story again, restory-ing and so restoring the lives of four artists. . . . A book with so many dimensions is a gift with many surprises in it.

—Belgian Chris Van de Velde, philosopher, writer, teacher, and therapeutic coach. . . .

It starts with a wedding. Margaret Harrell pledges her life and love to poet Jan Mensaert, through all the ups and downs (and further downs) of his tempestuous life. As creative and business opportunities come and go, Margaret maintains her yearly meet-ups with mentor Milton Klonsky and keeps up on the maniacal maneuvering of friend Hunter S. Thompson. These three men will come to define much of the coming decades for Margaret, even as she grows, changes, and emerges anew as her own person. Keep This Quiet Too! is the second half of the bounding, time-jumping narrative of Margaret Harrell and three incredible, difficult men who helped make her who she is. . . . an honest and unflinching examination of the choices we make, both for those we love and for ourselves. The three men in Margaret's life may have embodied key moments in it, but every decision was hers, and she accepts the consequences with grace. It's an intriguing glimpse at four lives in one.

San Francisco/Sacramento Book Review


Assuredly entertaining, assuredly eye-opening, the story bounds along, shockwave after shockwave—integrating real-life dream-life characters in a compelling personal narrative.

For the Hunter Thompson followers, this is your story. For the literary icons, Klonsky and Mensaert, this is also their story. And for the novice to all three, Harrell gives a good ride.


KEEP THIS QUIET! My Relationship with Hunter S. Thompson, Milton Klonsky, and Jan Mensaert

Hunter Thompson memoir, Keep This Quiet!

Keep This Quiet has been designed by two top-notch professionals, Gaelyn and Bram Larrick, of Waking World.

Keep This Quiet! offers an illuminating look at Hunter S. Thompson in full throttle trying to make it as a Top Notch prose-stylist. Harrell fills in many important biographical gaps. . . . Read it.

—Douglas Brinkley, editor of The Proud Highway and Fear and Loathing in America. 




The back cover of Hell's Angels from 1/1967. Hunter campaigned unsuccessfully to have a photo of his naked backside there (gun in hand). He said in an interview that in publishing Hell's Angels, he felt like he went through a door just before it closed—that reopened into Vegas 


Harrell’s memoir details her relationships with Hunter S. Thompson, Milton Klonsky and Jan Mensaert, and how these partners influenced her life by the way in which they lived their own. . . . Memoir will likely please Hunter S. Thompson fans and appeal to readers with an interest in the beginnings of the post-modern era or the personal sacrifices involved in bringing serious written work to fruition.

Outlaw Journalist, Facebook. William McKeen:

Keep your eyes peeled for this new book by Margaret Harrell, the editor who guided Hunter through Hell's Angels. Hunter often said she was the best editor he ever worked with and they were close friends. I read the manuscript and I think Hunter's fans will appreciate this view of the man's life and work.

MORE REVIEWS of Keep This Quiet! 

***** ON B & N, September

If you're a Hunter Thompson fan, you'll love this book!!!

I've read most of the post-Gonzo bios of the good Doctor, but this one is unabashed in its revealing some of the behind-the-scenes craziness & creativity that took place while he worked to create some of the best(if not the best) journalistic history of the American scene in the later part of the 20th century. I highly recommend this book to any & all fans of the late (and great) Hunter Thompson.

Rory Feehan's review on Totally Gonzo Website (below):

In the ever expanding list of biographies and memoirs about Hunter S. Thompson, this latest offering, Keep This Quiet! by Margaret A. Harrell, is quite simply a breath of fresh air. This is by no means intended as a slight against previous publications, the majority of which are solid and have contributed much to our understanding of Hunter S. Thompson – the man and the myth. However, what sets Keep This Quiet! apart is the extent to which Harrell explores the question of identity and myth, in her quest to simultaneously answer questions concerning her own character and that of one Hunter S. Thompson. As Harrell writes early on – “Who was he? There was no indication how complicated that answer was.”

Keep This Quiet! is a fascinating memoir in this regard, one that is multi-faceted in terms of Harrell’s own journey of self-discovery, both in a personal and artistic sense and the manner in which this is mirrored by the events of the period, with the tumultuous Sixties marking a nation tragically losing its innocence courtesy of the assassins bullet and the toil of war. Click to continue reading  on Totally

Below is the wonderful review, from Marty Flynn,

September 24, 2011

Keep This Quiet? Not Likely. Margaret Harrell’s “Keep This Quiet” is A Feast for the Gonzo Soul.

There are folks who enjoy reading Hunter Thompson’s work and are happy to leave it there. Then there are those who want more. More being a need to know as much about Hunter’s process as possible, the nitty-gritty, who helped him?  Who influenced him? Call them freaks if that’s your pleasure, Gonzo freaks. I’m one. We …

Continue reading»

JUST IN Nov. 27!!

It seems – from the review below – that an audience is defining itself beyond the one defined by me. This additional readership involves artists and others struggling with the intricacies of their relationships.  Welcome aboard.

*****The Art of Complicated Relationships, November 27, 2011

By Rachel Escobar, yoga teacher, Parisian-trained cook

Margaret Harrell brilliantly illuminates the sentiments of three complicated relationships. This memoir is a unique exploration of Margaret’s memories, supplemented by letters from her three main characters. The letters allow the reader to become familiar with the men in a way that dialogue cannot. The heart-wrenching ambiguity of what is lost in translation is augmented by this form of conversation. Harrell’s writing is crisp and easy to follow. I found it nearly impossible to put the book down. Her adventurous spirit keeps the reader guessing what she will do next, and how these men will manage to keep up. This rare peek into the lives of three literary legends is seen through the eyes of a legend herself. The enthusiasm she brings to each page in her writing is a clear demonstration of her approach to life. Harrell is just as unforgettable as her characters. She has taught me to always search for artistic beauty, even in the most complicated of situations.I highly recommend Harrell’s memoir. I wish there was a sixth star option for the rare, exquisite pieces of literature such as, Keep This Quiet! 

Just in:

From "outlaw poet" and exceptional human being Ron Whitehead:

a "masterpiece" (Facebook)

Midwest Book Review:

Hunter S. Thompson is perhaps one of the most enigmatic figures of the twentieth century. Keep This Quiet! My Relationship with Hunter S. Thompson, Milton Klonsky, and Jan Mensaert is a memoir from Margaret A. Harrell as she discusses her own way with many of the legends of the literary world in the middle of the twentieth century.  With a solid dose of humor and another perspective on these writers from a personal friend, Keep This Quiet! is a moving read and much recommended to any literary studies or memoir collection.

***** From the San Francisco/Sacramento Book Review:

 . . . While the job at Random House did offer her the opportunity to meet a lot of writers and famous people, it is Hunter that became her secret office romance. The two start a correspondence within letters and long distance phone calls that morphs from a concealed passion into a long-term friendship. Keep This Quiet! is a book about a woman's life and her loves, determination, and discovery.

Harrell is a great writer, and it’s amazing to see her thought process and inner-workings, as she tells a story. A great deal of the book is personal letters from Hunter to Margaret, with Margaret's inside emotions written in the theoretical margins. Harrell is an excellent storyteller, in a story that is never about the narrative, but about the real people. Every person in the book is bold and well defined; and I especially liked the notes where Harrell backs up her story with proof.

From Portland Book Review (Melissa Boles):

Keep This Quiet! A Memoir: My Relationship with Hunter S. Thompson, Milton Klonsky, and Jan Mensaert 

Margaret A. Harrell tells her own story through the stories of three artists; men who had written impacts on people they weren’t acquainted with, and likely changed Harrell’s life more than any of them will ever know. Harrell takes the reader through her life from 1965 on, detailing her meetings and interactions with Hunter S. Thompson, Milton Klonsky, and Jan Mensaert along the way.

Most captivating are the various letters from Thompson, Klonsky, and Mensaert to Harrell, who includes everything from short quotes to help describe how and why they react, to large portions of the letters that tell you what was happening to both the author and Harrell at the time. Thompson’s letters are most intriguing, and give the reader insight into the mind of a widely admired artist. Harrell beautifully tells the story of how her relationships with the three men, predominantly Thompson, progressed, sharing intimate moments and keeping the reader turning the page.

MORE Reviews and Comments

Beautiful in its directness and its openness

Chris Van de Velde, Numenon Counseling Institute Director, Ghent, Belgium

Readers will be privy to never-before-published letters from Hunter Thompson, deepening insight into the turning point in his career and emergence into gonzo.

—Bernie Nelson, The MindQuest Review

Margaret Harrell from early on had as her goal to live the most meaningful life possible. Three mentor/lovers helped in turn to light her way: Hunter Thompson for his ability to see the world for himself through as few distorting cultural lens as possible; Milton Klonsky for his deep wisdom and nurturing of the intelligence and sensitivity he saw within her; and the man she married, the Belgium poet Jan Mensaert, who sought out extreme experiences, encouraging her to come along and test her own limits.

—Virginia Parrott Williams, coauthor of Anger Kills and In Control, President, Williams LifeSkills

Fascinating and riveting. So there's a sequel? In progress? What a story!!

Mary Paul Thomas, Raleigh, NC