What do you think of the “men’s movement”?
I love it. I love it. I love that book Iron John. It’s very accurate, what [Robert Bly] says in that book. I wish he would do a book that was the equivalent for women. I’d love it if he analyzed the story of Joan of Arc, wrote Iron Joan. I think women are not very understanding, and I think it’s our own fault.
Women are in control, whether we see it or not, because we have the babies, we raise the sons and the daughters. So if we don’t like how we’re being treated, we’ve got to see that it’s our own fault because we’re not allowing our sons to be men.
You have said that you are not a feminist.
I’m not an anythingist. I don’t belong to anything.
What does feminism mean to you?
I have a very deep love and respect and understanding for men. I have a love and understanding for women, too, but sometimes I feel more compassion for men because of the pain they’re in. I don’t feel that men are bastards, and I don’t think it’s right to frighten them by trying in a conglomeration to act against them. It’s very difficult to be a man, far more difficult than being a woman. That’s not to make little of what women are saying, because women are being treated abominably by some men, but it’s only because they don’t know what to do.
Do you have any female role models?
Joan of Arc is my biggest. My influences have been men, which is curious. I haven’t felt as safe with women. I’ve never been close to them. Obviously, because of my mom. My singing has been influenced by people like Etta James or Barbra Streisand. But Joan of Arc is definitely the one, because she fought for what she knew was the truth. She took literally what God told her, and she listened to the voices inside her and died for it. Died a most horrific death.
Is the reason for these feelings about women entirely due to your relationship with your mother?
I think probably inside myself I’ve been quite frightened of women. Not that I don’t like them — I love them. But because of my mother, I’m very sensitive to how women look at me. The most frightening aspect is the way their faces look when they actually look at me. I’ve been treated quite badly by women, like the girls at school. They hated me because I was very quiet, and I had long hair, and I would brush it in front of my face, and I would sit in the back of the class, and I never used to speak to them. They thought that I was very full of myself. They thought I was very beautiful and thought that I thought I was great and that’s why I wouldn’t talk to them. So I feel safer with men.
It seems you’ve gotten more focused on religion.
There’s no such thing as religion, there’s only God. Which is truth. Organized religion is a lie. It’s designed to take you away from God, particularly the Christian church. People must learn about the history of the popes, the people who are running the world. ‘Cause whether we like it or not, whether we practice Christianity or Catholicism or not, we’ve got to realize that those fuckers are running the world, they’re running every government in the world. They are the World Bank. I don’t have proof of that, but I know that it’s true.
We’re living in hell as far as I’m concerned. The existence of child abuse means that the devil is winning. The devil to me is not a little red guy with a fork, he’s a guy with a collar and a big red hat on that goes round saying, “Young people of Ireland, I love you,” when the young people of Ireland are sitting on the streets on heroin.
Your spirituality sounds almost obsessive.
It’s from direct experience. I lived in hell for a long period of time. The only thing that saved my ass was God. I suppose it sounds like kind of an obsession, but it’s the only reason I survived. It was the only way I could come out of a pretty grim situation and have a decent relationship with myself and my family. I’m still angry, but I’m alive, and that’s because of God. If I hadn’t believed in God, I would be dead now, I would be drunk, I would be on drugs. God gave me a voice, and that’s what saved my ass. What got me through hell was my voice.
They don’t know what God is; they’re the Roman Empire, the people who invented child abuse. All you have to do is look at their history to know that this is true. That’s why they killed Joan of Arc, that’s why they killed Jesus Christ, that’s why they killed Martin Luther King, that’s why they killed John Kennedy, that’s why they killed [Pope] John Paul I. That’s why they killed Malcolm X. It’s why they’ve locked up Mike Tyson.
Poor Mike Tyson. I mean, there is an example of a man who was treated abominably as a child; all his ancestors have been abused as children. He’s only a little tiny baby, and all of these people are trying to fuckin’ kill him. And they have killed him to a certain extent. They all have a great time saying what a monster he is. Lay off, because there but for the grace of God goes every single one of us. Poor man. He has had the most miserable upbringing.
If he looks for solace in the arms of lots of women, what do you expect him to do? And that woman that is suing him is a bitch. I don’t care if he raped her; he should learn about himself and why it is he behaves like that, et cetera, et cetera. But equally she should look at herself and look at the disgrace that she is making of women. Look at what she is doing to him by trying to get money off him, going around doing chat shows. She’s used him, you know. It’s disgraceful, and she’s a disgrace to women as far as I’m concerned.
You say we need to counter that with love. How do we get to that point?
It takes forgiveness. Forgiveness is the most important thing. We all have to forgive what was done to us — the Irish people have to forgive, the African people, the Jewish people — all have to forgive and understand. The only way to stop the cycle of hate and abuse is not to allow ourselves to get caught up in it.
What did you think about the riots in Los Angeles?
I thought it was great. I really did. I thought it was time something happened and that people had some expression at last. I think it’s a shame that some people went so far as to kill other people, although I understand that people are in so much pain that they don’t know how to stay in control. But I think those people have a perfect right to go into shops and take anything they wanted to take. Absolutely. I admire that, I’m very glad. It was a cleansing experience, and a lot of good has come out of it.