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Martin (James M.) diaries
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  • Biography
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Scope and Contents

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
    Title: James M. Martin diaries
    creator: Martin, James M.
    Identifier/Call Number: Coll2008-035
    Physical Description: 0.2 Linear Feet 1 box.
    Date (inclusive): 1971-2015
    Abstract: Journals, a newsletter and an autobiographical note from James M. Martin. Born in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1943, Martin was a writer, activist, and attorney. This collection contains journals documenting Martin's life in Los Angeles and Texas in the early 1970s, an issue of his self-published newsletter for Servants of the Star and Snake, as well as an autobiographical timeline written by Martin in 1995.
    Container: 1


    James M. Martin was born on March 23, 1943 in Corpus Christi, Texas. In the early 1960s, Martin attended Texas Christian University and received degrees in English and Journalism. After graduating, he moved to Los Angeles and attended film school at the University of California at Los Angeles. While living in Los Angeles he was active in anti-war and counterculture movements and earned a living as an editor and contributor to several Los Angeles-based magazines and newspapers. It was during this time that Martin entered into one of his first homosexual relationships.
    In the late 1970s, Martin married a woman whom he met while working for the magazine, Coast. The two moved to Vermont where their first son, Alex, was born. The family returned to Texas, where a second son, Zack, was born. Martin then entered law school at Saint Mary's University, San Antonio and subsequently went into private practice. In 1981, Martin and his wife divorced.
    Around that time, Martin "underwent a spiritual transformation" and by 1985, founded an occult fraternal order, the Ordo Templi Baphe-Metis, as well as the American Gnostic Church. In 1995, he founded the Servants of the Star and Snake as well as the Sahaja Society, which explored tantric, Kundalini and Sahajayana theory and practice. In addition, Martin wrote and published occult periodicals and newsletters, including The Aurea Flamma and The Trident.
    For the rest of his life, he continued to practice law while pursuing work as a freelance writer. He wrote as a film and theater reviewer, and worked on creative writing projects as well.
    James M. Martin died at the age of 72 on December 13, 2015 in Corpus Christi.


    The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.

    Publication Rights

    Researchers wishing to publish materials must obtain permission in writing from ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives as the physical owner. Researchers must also obtain clearance from the holder(s) of any copyrights in the materials. Note that ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives can grant copyright clearance only for those materials for which we hold the copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright clearance for all other materials directly from the copyright holder(s).

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of James M. Martin in 1995.

    Preferred Citation

    [Box/folder #, or item name] James M. Martin Diaries, Coll2008-035, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Loni Shibuyama, June 12, 2008.
    Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

    Scope and Contents

    This collection comprises two journals, a newsletter, and an autobiographical note from James Martin. The two journals, entitled "The Homo File: Episodes in the Life of a Lavender Nigger," contain notes, clippings and photographs documenting Martin's life in Texas and Los Angeles during the years 1971-1973. The collection also includes an autobiographical timeline written by Martin and an issue of The Trident, a newsletter Martin published for the occult organization Servants of the Star and Snake.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Gays -- United States -- Texas
    Homosexuality -- United States -- Texas
    Occultism -- Periodicals
    Martin, James M.