Five Ways To Maintain Your Critical Thinking During Socially Triggering Times

1. STAY MINDFUL OF WHAT YOU WATCH/READ IN REGARD TO NEWS

I wouldn’t watch the news these days without a pen and a piece of paper in hand. Why? I’d need to take notes as to what is being presented TO ME. There are two phrases that make me shut down immediately toward a journalist who has taken upon themselves the ethical responsibility to investigate and report facts about important situations, doing so SEPARATE from their own personal opinions or thoughts on the subject. “Just the facts, please.”

The two phrases that make me turn it off, turn the page or click that X in the top right hand corner are:

“I think…”
“My opinion is…”

This is not journalism. These are opinion voices.

I don’t care about a journalist’s opinion. Again, “Just the facts, please, along with fact checking to back it up would be nice.” I can form my own conclusions from facts.

Listen very carefully to what is being said by news anchors about what is happening in the world and your country. There is a side of NLP called Dark NLP. It is a neurolinguistic programming used from a negative angle to control your mind, the way you think, react and feel about a subject. NLP existed long before the trend of using it as a “therapy” tool. NLP originated in the 1950’s and soon became a very handy tool of the CIA.

How CIA and Secret Agents Make Use Of NLP

Dark NLP is language purposefully used to skew your mind. It is filled with specific words and body language strategically inserted into information that is being fed to you visually and audibly.

A very simple example of the use of NLP by media is dropping name brands into music. Not only does the name brand pay for the artist to promote their brand, but the listener now feels a deep desire to buy and boast the brand in order to be “cool” like their peers/fans of the artist. That is a win/win for the music industry and the brand. Below is an exploration of the use of mind control techniques in music.

A Look At Music and Mind Control

What is happening to your mind when you are engrossed with a speaker in all ways, from their verbal to non verbal language and the speaker is telling you possible falsehoods as if they are truths? Will you be able to spot signals of things you do not want sinking into your subconscious mind? If not, this video may give you a little kick-start into how you are fed repetitive sequences of information. This video is posted only for the purpose of showing you identical speech patterns through multiple news outlets across the United States.

News and NLP:

In NLP the meaning of any communication is the response that you get.” David Snyder

NLP is not only verbal. It is also visual. Hand motions, facial expressions and body language is a science that is known to influence the average person’s mind even in observatory conversation. Mirroring is taught at sales seminars, where salespeople train to watch their consumer’s behavior and listen to their conversation so the salesperson can behave like them and seal the deal. This results in the sales target becoming comfortable enough to buy. It is rampantly used by politicians, pastors, self-help gurus and corporations around the world.

Peter Bull, from the Department of Psychology at the University of York, studied the use of hand gestures in political speeches. He includes some case studies in this fascinating abstract:

The Use of Hand Gestures In Political Speeches: Some Case Studies

Mega-church pastor, Joel Osteen is one example of someone who uses both verbal and non-verbal NLP.  These are techniques taught in pastoral schools. Learn them and become adept at spotting them. Joel’s most popular non-verbal gestures:

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Joel Osteen using NLP to avoid questions and respond in a form of crazy making conversation in this interview with Larry King.  It is important to listen to vocal tone, when his voice goes soft, such as when he says “they love God”.  These are very subtle ways of creating an ebb and flow in a person’s emotions.

The Forbidden Knowledge Archive is an interesting 49-page thesis which explores the many facets of the uses of NLP.  As with all information I share, I in turn urge you to do your own study, dive in, find and read information for yourself and draw your own conclusions.

Lets face it. The news is meant to make you feel like shit. The world is ending. Everyone’s at war. A race war is coming. A civil war is coming. The economy is crashing. The list of fear-based information goes on and on. The commercials inserted between this continual rocking of your minds, not just in news, but in mainstream media in general, is a consistent up and down of humorous commercials meant to pacify you, coupled with brand based pieces geared to make you have buying urges, or fear based programming commercials such as, “if you have [this grave disease] you need this [pill] which will also cause another [grave disease], but there’s a [pill] for that” and so on.

Do you ever ask yourself where the positive mainstream news channels are? Have you ever asked yourself why there isn’t at least one mainstream channel in your community which reports only on the great things which happened in your area during the day? It’s because that won’t leave you in trauma, and that is an ultimate media agenda, to create and blast multiple traumatic scenarios at you every day, resulting in filling you up with fear and anger.

Real-time Murder Shows
Lifetime Murder Movie of the Week
Dramatic Reality Shows
Craziest Police Chases
Cops

The list of shows and news outlets which have increased over the decades is extremely long and disconcerting when it comes to the way media can make a person panic that the world is self-destructing, causing them to turn on one another, have increased social anxieties or severe isolation. Stay very keen if you choose to let yourself be subjected to mainstream media.

If fear is not the media’s agenda, then the public would simply be watching more positive media than fear-based media.

2. WRITE DOWN THE FACTS AND MISSING PIECES AS YOU HEAR THEM AND TAKE THE TIME TO CRITICALLY CHECK THEM

Remember that pen and paper I mentioned before? This is where it comes in handy. When you are watching, listening or reading the news, use mindful thinking. Listen to all versions of the story while writing down what you would consider facts.

How do you equate facts? I look at what would stand up in a court of law. I look for holes in the story, and then I research that hole. I go inside of it. Is there a missing piece? Why? Where is it? What is off with this story?

The key here is to ask questions. Question Everything. In doing so, you will be able to equate the truth.

Is there evidence, even circumstantial, upon which a case could be built? Does the story hold weight? Is it a story built off of someone said something that someone said, or are there experiencers being showcased telling their personal stories? If a news story, for instance, is about certain regions of the world or social constructs, write down your questions.

Then take the time to connect with people in those regions or social constructs, and ask them the questions. They are your counter weight to global news. Citizens in your community are your counter weight to local news. Social media can be used as a very good information source if you actually TALK to people, not just watch one minute videos, believe it to be truth, and then pass it on as truth.

When things began to really get worse between Israel and Palestine over the last few years, I purposely sought out through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, average citizens like myself, who lived in these regions. I let them know I’m an American, and I want to understand their stance on this issue. I found out something very interesting. They all actually didn’t hate one another. They all wanted peace. They did not even express religious views about the conflict.

The patterned feedback I found in my conversations with people inside this conflict was that they all are just trying to live life, and were ALL most concerned about the peace and safety of their families. It convinced me that the issue is a political game and these people are simply collateral damage. This was never reported in American news, and undoubtedly never will. Yet, you could easily understand it by having simple conversations with the intent to listen and understand. You have access to people across the globe. Why aren’t you conversing with them?

I find there to be no excuse for individuals not having conversations that will help them understand the perspective of other individuals who are on the ground in certain situations. If you want to know what it’s like to live in poverty, talk to some poor people instead of watching the news. If you want to know about race relations, talk to people in your community. If you want to know about sexual abuse, talk to some survivors. If you want to know about cults, seek out those who grew up in them. If you want to understand politics, get into your community and see what is happening around you. What change would improve your community as a collective?

It hasn’t been hard for me to connect with people. If you are reading this, you are online. Therefore, it shouldn’t be hard for you either. What you must do, is the work. What you must do, is open your mind to the answers, and accept they may not match what you saw on the news. Accept that what you find may change your reality, and allow that to exist. It’s called growth and evolvement.

“If you heard it on the internet, it’s probably true.” Abraham Lincoln

 3. HAVE THE ABILITY TO HAVE A MULTI-PERSPECTIVE VIEW

The way I separate the “wheat from the chaff“, so to speak, is a combination of listening to my intuition and letting it work in sync with a mind clear of anyone’s influence, including my own. I look at information from all angles. I don’t immediately take sides. I investigate. Once I’ve done that and deducted the truth, then I make a decision if I want to take a stand, walk away or simply observe and hold space.

Take politics for instance. I make a point NOT to follow any one side. Why would I ever immerse myself into situations which are focused on being devise when I can move in an Independent arena, taking no sides, and instead, focusing on politicians working on issues which are important to me? I may support a politician on some things and not others and decide not to vote for them because what I don’t like overshadows what I do like and vice versa.

I’ve watched people shouting about the blue and red, and I realize what I’m observing is America’s re-play of the 90’s Crips and Bloods battles, only the politicians’ drive-by shootings are their disinformation and defaming of one another.

If it’s not okay for the streets, it’s certainly not okay for any institution which is ethically supposed to be committed to having the best interest of the people at heart.

If you can’t have a multi-perspective view, you may be looking at a situation from your own trauma foundation mindset. This can result in you projecting your own traumatic experiences into someone else’s situation. This is very self-deprecating behavior. Please don’t take on other people’s situations as your own. I talk with dozens of people about a myriad of things, from select friends in war torn countries to individuals in my own community who are struggling, to trauma survivors, veterans and more. While I care very much about their well being, I also keep my critical thinking intact and remember that their situations are not my situations. So I am able to listen, observe and not let it turn me into a triggered ball of tears. I do so on my terms and in my own time.

Being able to have a multi-perspective view will also help you see holes in stories, because you are using your critical thinking mind instead of running solely on emotion that is being projected from unresolved personal traumas. Gain the ability to look at a situation objectively over time. With keen eyes and an open mind, you can see the truth for exactly what it is, even if it goes against what you have been told you’re supposed to do/believe/be.

4. DON’T BE A FOLLOWER

One of the worst things a human can do is become a follower and stay complacent in that space. People become followers for many reasons. Some follow an institution or a cause because it makes them feel relevant.

For example, I know of anti-cult “experts” who claim to be know everything about Scientology if that’s what’s trending. Then they’ve moved now to knowing everything about Jehovah’s Witnesses, because that’s what’s trending. They will move on to whatever other new cult subject comes up when that starts trending. But they are NOT experts on these cults. They are people adept at trying to stay in the spotlight. This is not an intention rooted in having anyone’s best interest at heart. That is the behavior of a follower with an ulterior motive disguising themselves as a leader.

Someone with the motive to let truth be known and to help without needing recognition, for instance, would know there are dozens and dozens of Jehovah’s Witnesses on social media speaking out and would encourage the media to talk with the experiencers to get the truth. Understand the myriad of people with agendas that serve only them or their latest book. Research the people you are following. Read everything about them and get to know who they truly are. Talk to people who have had experiences with them and listen to their stories. As humans, we have an innate ability to know truth vs lies when we don’t deny that ability within ourselves.

Others follow because they’re terrified to stand alone. Some follow because they love the frenzy of being a part of a big crowd. While I believe in peaceful protest, there are some protests that have held so many people in frenzies, I think about how many individuals they could have helped if they had taken those plane tickets and hotel money and poured it together into a support fund.

The women’s march in Washington DC would be a good example of this. Almost a million women bought plane tickets to the 2017 march. They financially supported the airlines. They financially supported the vagina hat maker. They financially supported the hotels, hostels, motels and/or Air BnB’s they stayed in.  A million women spent almost 1000 dollars or more apiece to gather and protest.

Let’s do that math: 1,000,000 x 1000 = 1 BILLION dollars. Let me repeat that. 1 BILLION dollars.

How can a million women not take a billion dollars and actually create action to help one another, but they can organize to wear vagina hats and vie to be on the news? Why can’t the average American woman look at that with critical eyes and see how counter-productive that was in the larger scope of how those finances were used?

Would those same women have donated that money if that had been an option? I believe some of them would have, but I do not believe the majority of them would because that wasn’t their intention. Their intention was simply just to march and say they were there as if it was a political Woodstock. This is a follower mentality, in that they are not clearly thinking about the best plan of action for their agenda or the best plan of action for the finances they’re willing to invest into their cause.

Do you see the problem with American society here? I do. It’s action vs. attention. Attention, too often, wins.

Americans are used to protesting, but many are not used to doing on-the-ground work to actually help the causes they are so passionate about. Instead, they spend a few days worked into a frenzy and then head back home to continue on with their lives. Be careful of this behavior in yourself. Be willing to donate your money to help someone in your community in regard to causes you are passionate about. Make that money WORK with education and support. That will last someone a lifetime. Action changes lives.

Group think is a dangerous ground to tread on. It is a quicksand which often builds blinders around a human’s eyes so that the person can only see what the group wants them to see.

We must gain the ability to stand on our own two feet and stop following along after other people’s beliefs. We must re-tie the strand that connects us to our individuality and clear thinking. If we all look into our own lives and focus on PERSONAL change, this requires NO following at all. It simply requires work and motivation to be SO incredibly strong that no group nor gust of frenzy can shake you.

5. TAKE A BREAK, DAMMIT!

Turn those damn electronics off. Shut that computer down. Put that phone in the other room. Turn off the news notifications. It is OKAY to take a break. In fact, I beg you to take a break if you cannot clearly see the world outside of yourself with open eyes. If you’ve become one-sided about issues, you may want to ask yourself why? No issue is ever one sided. When in doubt, shut it down.

If you are being pushed into a personal negative mind space as a result of what you are seeing or hearing, give yourself a break.

Get into nature and take a walk. Turn on some music and dance. Bake something. Go play some pool. Go to a movie. Do anything except watch the news, read the news or deal with social networking. Clean up your feed. Un-follow anyone who you feel may be posting triggering opinions. I just went through a major social media cleanse on all of my networks. Now, when I sign in, I’m seeing who and what pertains to my passions. I have to tell you. It felt good.

You are ultimately in control of what you watch and what you take in. You are in control of when you turn it on or off. You are simply in control. The moment you believe you are not in control is most likely a signal that you need to take a break and re-ground yourself into your own reality so you can regain your inner balance.

Your reality is hopefully rooted in your own path; your own healing, your own growth and especially your own personal community. Inside of us is where true change begins; when we continue to promote healing and resist falling prey to fear frenzies, a very easily used mind control tool, given a wide open platform by the internet and media, we realize that beyond the trauma, beyond the social triggers, is a possibility for teaching moments and healing. This starts with the conversations we have with ourselves. our children, friends and family, and dedicating ourselves to a healing path.

So please, please, take a bubble bath (those aren’t just for chicks, by the way). Invite a friend over for dinner and a board or card game. Watch a funny movie alone. Clear your mind. Sit with a sunset, a sunrise or beneath a tree.

Take care of yourself and your mental health. We cannot carry the weight of the planet’s pain within us. Before you dive into anyone else’s trauma, make sure you are grounded into your own healthy reality.

Balancing Our Trauma and Creativity

The other day I was having a conversation with a fellow trauma survivor and writer. She posed a question to me.

How do you balance everything you want to do and keep your head together?

There are many blogs about creativity which advise on this subject, and many of them contain very valuable information.  So, I had to answer her from my own personal perspective.  Instead of repeating what is suggested, I wanted to answer her direct question about my daily process specifically.

You see, I am a free-flow creative. Forcing me to follow a set schedule is a sentence for the death of my creativity and passion. It is the driving force that will push me into emotional flat feel. I will strain against the confined system and begin to have a growing irritation towards the control of a schedule until I wither.

Any rigid type of living, for me, is a recipe for depression as I stare at the screen because it’s 1 PM, this is my scheduled time to write, but I don’t want to be writing at the moment. My soul wants to create art, work on other projects or even rest for a while.

Many branding gurus advise to stick to that strict schedule and don’t vary from it. because that is how successful people happen! So it was that I redefined the meaning of success for myself.

Read here to find out makes me feel successful.

Do I pay attention to the marketing side of my brand? Absolutely. I am a lone wolf with a friend who helps me with computer tasks when she can. I have no expectations of her. She has a family and helps me for free. I bow and kiss her feet for that! 95% of my brand is solely controlled and operated by me.

Do I read branding blogs? Absolutely. Following branding bloggers like BadReadheadMedia, by 30 Day Marketing Challenge author Rachel Thompson, have given me excellent information. Partaking in Twitter hashtags like #MondayBlogs, #SexAbuseChat and #NoMoreShame, have helped me connect with some great trauma survivors who are vulnerably baring their souls. Connecting with creative trauma survivors, like artist Liz Ianelli and podcaster Matt Pappas, keep me inspired.

What I don’t do is allow what I read about suggested success methods to pressure me. I glean what feels fitting for my own life and my brand, and I incorporate it. I don’t change the specific routine I have for my-self care, a routine for which no specific schedule really exists. I make a “to do” list almost every day (because 1/2 of it is usually carry over from the prior day), and if there’s a timeline due, I make note of it. In the end, though, I always do things in a rhythm which matches my own positive flow. If something sinks me, it’s not for me.

Being a trauma survivor and a creative can be daunting. When I put too much pressure on myself, I tend to drop into shutdown. My creativity flow is dependent on the state of my mental health.

I always put my mental health and quest to continue being the healthiest before everything.

If two hours is all I have to give to my creativity on some days, that’s what I give. Some days I don’t create at all. Other days I catch a wind and go for hours. All of this is is unpredictable and unknown for me.

My creativity is flowing water at a pace I currently feel happiest following. I cannot re-carve the banks of its river. Instead, I float its calm stretches and row its rapids, staying with the grain of the waves and enjoying the view along the way. To me, this is balance. For me, this is the best route to reach the vast sea of success.

I hope you stay balanced through your creative journey by putting yourself first. I hope you take walks in the trees or lay in the grass and count the clouds. I hope you free flow with yourself, absent of any painful expectation, and know that if you care for the growing plant of your creative well, you are guaranteed to grow into the tallest tree.

P.S. Today I accomplished vacuuming and this blog post. SUCCESS

Vennie Kocsis is the best-selling author of Cult Child and the hostess of Survivor Voices Show and her live Sunday broadcast Off the Cuff. She is an advocate, poet and artist.

I See You

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Liz Ianelli

I met her online, but I feel like I have known her forever. We have conversations like sisters, laughing and saying whatever we want.  We understand each other’s brash language and sarcastic thinking.  I feel so happy to have this connection.  Child abuse survivors understand other child abuse survivors.  We have our own way of conversing.  We joke about off color things. We find the macabre fascinating and nerd out on unexpected subjects.

Liz Ianelli was sent away as a teenager.  For 993 days she suffered.  Now, she rises out of the ashes to speak for those who cannot.  Liz sat down with me and shared her story on my radio show, Survivor Voices Show.

Click below to listen:

Liz’s story and incredible artwork was recently featured in ICSA Today’s 2017 Fall Quarterly Journal. After over 80 deaths of her fellow survivors, many of them suicides, Liz decided to begin the #ISeeYou campaign to inspire others and let them know they are not alone in their struggle. She rallied up her fellow survivors to make videos sharing their stories and what we deal with on a day to day basis as a result of being abused. Soon, survivors were sharing their stories. Liz hopes to continue rallying survivors, asking them to make videos as they feel comfortable.

Vennie Kocsis is the best-selling author of Cult Child and the hostess of Survivor Voices Show and her live Sunday broadcast Off the Cuff. She is an advocate, poet and artist.

Abuse Is Not Just “Being Harsh”

The Eyes Don’t Lie by Vennie Kocsis

“No, you don’t understand.” I explained through the phone. “I witnessed abuse; cruel, verbal abuse.”

Well, you know,” the lady on the other end replied, “some people can be a bit harsh.”

Harsh, that’s what my mother’s generation called verbal abuse. Harshness. Harsh meant you could be spoken to however an adult wished. Harsh meant you were a pain in the ass, always fucking up, couldn’t do anything right, controlled, sequestered, gossiped about, and all the while your abuser feigning to the outside world that they are a good person.

Too many times than I care to count, I have heard how wonderful and kind my mother was.  Yes, it was hard to watch my mother be nice to other people for the sake of appearances.  My mother’s abuse was subtle. She could pinch you on your upper arm to shut you the hell up while smiling at the stranger she was speaking with.

Harsh. This woman I was speaking with had just called blatant verbal abuse “a bit harsh.” I knew in that moment, that none of this was worth my energy.  It was futile to even try anymore, so I said, “Well, I love you.” Because I do. I have love for her existence and the gifts I’ve seen her display.

Then she laughed at me, as if the statement of “I love you” was ridiculous.  She actually outright laughed at me.  I was momentarily stunned.

“Well, I wouldn’t say THAT. That’s not something we just throw around.” She retorted.

I realized even more, that this is the problem. Lady, your generation didn’t tell us you loved us. You didn’t “throw around” love when we needed it, and you still don’t. You throw denial. You throw self service, because “who is going to do this and that for you because you didn’t keep up with age of technology?” You don’t throw out, “I’m sorry you had to witness that. This is not okay. I understand why you ethically wouldn’t want to be associated with that kind of behavior.”

Instead, I received defense statements which melded into victim blaming as if we are over-exaggerating; as if our feelings and observations and hurt don’t matter.  As if we don’t understand your blurred line between “Harshness”and blatant Abuse.

“Well, I say I love you to people I appreciate, so know you’re loved.” I reply. I realize it doesn’t matter. I can feel love for whomever I wish. If she chooses to mock it, that is for her to feel, not me.

I don’t have the where with all to associate myself with these kinds of apathetic mentalities. They are damning and counter-productive. They are petty and cruel. They are lacking depths of self-accountability, and there is not healing within those confounds.

There is a generational gap where the strong are over taking the weak. I feel a sense of empathy for the dying. A Generation of Sociopaths created a grave problem in our societal construct, spent the next fifty years studying these self-created problems, used their children as test subjects for their abuse and study and wrote mass books about it; books which contain no “on the ground” solutions. Regurgitation is not for our generation.

I feel empathy for the waning because they will never know how good it is to heal, to love, to stand in truth instead of denial, to call moments for what they are, to own their own behaviors and make a choice to change them; to speak truth no matter who throws stones, instead of running on passive aggression. They’ll never what it’s like not to care what others think of them or not base their worth on another’s opinion. That’s rather sad, yet that energy is a dense weight on this rising Earth, needing to be healed or dispelled.

When a person is hanging on the edge of a cliff, there comes a moment, their hands become weak.  They know that death is inevitable.  Yet still, they grasp onto that rock with all of their might. Finally, they take that last breath, and free fall into the inevitable destiny of change.  Welcome to a new era of letting go and flying.

Vennie Kocsis is the best-selling author of CULT CHILD, and hostess of Survivor Voices radio show every Sunday at Freedom Slips.

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VennieKocsis.com

 

GASLIGHTING: The Movie That Should Make You Shudder

Gaslighting

GASLIGHTING is a twenty minute film packed with a raw and candid look into the true-life story of a teenage girl named Brooke, played by Hannah Walters, who has suffered sexual abuse as a child. In just a short twenty minutes, her whole life unfolds. With a mother who is caught in a domestically violent relationship and rearing three other children, Brooke is often left in the care of questionable adults who use her compliance and fear to their advantage. The child welfare system continually fails her. Held silent in mental fear, she is victim blamed by teachers, her own mother and a court judge. In essence, for Brooke, there is no safe place.

If this film makes you cringe, cover your eyes, gasp or even cry then you are one of the good ones. This movie is a raw depiction about how a child protection system, justice system, parents, teachers and caregivers continually fail children who have been abused.

GASLIGHTING is a perfect example of what society must fix in order to bring about change in our world. This movie is a reminder that the planetary social construct can no longer ignore the horrors being wrought upon the most innocent of its inhabitants, our children.

Children deserve to have a safe space. Children deserve care, love and protection. GASLIGHTING will remind you of something incredibly important. That teenager you can’t stand, who you think is so horrible, is most likely in even more emotional pain. Beneath their sullen silence, the lashing out, the self-harm and inability to communicate, is a child needing someone to listen to them tell us why they are broken.

As a survivor of sexual abuse I can assure you that this ripping of innocence shatters the very core of a child. I am a firm supporter of anyone working with children being required to go through an intensive course on recognizing the signs of child abuse. GASLIGHTING should be added to the list of required viewing.

Anger is not a base emotion. Pain is. Anger is the projection of that emotion. When you see anger you are really seeing pain.

Watch GASLIGHTING here:

Gaslighting

Please support  GASLIGHTING by leaving a review or donating to the work involved in utilizing this film for global education.

Vennie Kocsis is the best-selling author of Cult Child and the hostess of Survivor Voices Show and her live Sunday broadcast Off the Cuff. She is an advocate, poet and artist.

A Story of Religious Abuse and Torture

Introduction:  This piece is a contribution from an abuse survivor.  It details extreme abuse and could be triggering to readers.  Please consider caution if you are a trauma survivor.  

By Lusciana Philomena

I was born in the US in the nineties. My sister was quite older than me. She had her own issues, but this is my story. What I will say, is that at one point, I discussed my childhood abuse with her. She believed me in our mutual conversation, then betrayed me and told one of my parents about it. The result was the family turning against me and calling me a liar. It created a new wound in me. Yet, I also saw that the Narcissistic triangulation that my parents created with my sibling never ended. It was hurtful to have a moment of validation taken from me by the betrayal of my sibling.

My parents were blue collar workers who both came from military families. We didn’t move around a lot, but we did move churches quite often. Yet, regardless of what denomination my mother and father were trying out at the time, we always reverted back to fundamentalist, Pentecostal Christianity. This was my life from birth into my twenties.

For those who don’t understand the Pentecostal religion, it is a belief system of rituals such as prayer through laying on of hands, speaking in tongues, frenzies, clapping and dancing as if filled with the “Holy Spirit”. I imagine Christianity is wide spread enough that most people have a grasp on this sect of the religion. We were taught about demons, ingrained with demonic threat and fear. We were often put through rituals where throngs of the congregation members would lay their hands on us children to fill us with the spirit of God so that the demons wouldn’t enter us. I was claustrophobic. I felt panicked when I was in these moments. They scared me, and the energy pressed down on me, as I felt small inside of these moments.

I began having nightmares as a child. I would lay in bed awake for hours at night praying and pleading with God to please not let Satan take me. Because of the extreme nature of the fear and torture I was experiencing, I became adept at dissociating away from my body. I was often threatened with eternal torment in a place called “Hell“. I was told that I could lose my salvation and be damned. Yet, in those same breaths, I was also told how much God loved me. I could not make sense of anything around me. Many days were filled with fear, uncertainty and there was no safe place for me. There was gossip, deceit, and trickery everywhere in my environment. I never knew who I could fully trust.

I also attended a private Christian school from kindergarten until I graduated high school. Private schools are not required to adhere to the same curriculum or child safety rules as public schools. In private school, abuse was constant. Since the religious belief systems were also the same as the church we attended, they used the same methodology of punishment. Teachers subjected me to solitary confinement in closets and rooms until I lost track of time. There was physical abuse, severe mental and emotional abuse, spiritual abuse, public shaming and humiliation, degrading remarks, inappropriate sexualization and touching, and isolation from other children and the outside world. I was kept inside of a bubble of fearful compliance.

There were layers upon layers of cover-ups at school, as the staff was always watching us and each other. I felt constantly surrounded by human predators waiting to pounce. My mind was terrorized. I was often the focus of being targeted. I thought I was just the worst child in the school. In the beginning, I was a well-behaved child who merely daydreamed. Looking back, I believe at that time I was actually beginning to dissociate from life as a whole. Soon, I decided that since I was going to be in trouble anyways, I might as well give them a reason to punish me, so I began to act out. This at least gave me a satisfactory feeling of justification versus being punished for nothing.

In my home life my father was a confusing man. He could be the most loving father and also the most brutal. Since this was all going on at the same time as the abuse at church and school, I tend to remember these time periods as one, long bundle of abuse. My father taught me “games” that I eventually was conditioned to ask for and even enjoy, which haunts me to this day. I believed that I was born to please my father and make him happy, protect him, and do his bidding at all costs. I also believed that once my father died I would have nothing left to live for therefore I would have to end my life after his. I was conditioned to be my father’s puppet by him directly as well as his immediate family, who told me that I must do what my father commanded.

Some of the “games” he played with me included nerve shock torture where he pressed his fingers deeply into trigger points in my body, pulling the tendons up and away from the bone, then twisting and grinding them. Places he targeted were behind my knees, my neck, and my pelvis area. He purposely created a mixture of pain and sexual pleasure in my body. Regardless of my age, my body scientifically responded, giving him the results that he wanted.

Other forms of torture included tickle torture where I was forced to stay still or else the game started over; he used light breath, fingers and whiskers to tickle my body. All of my father’s sadistic leanings were filled with sexual elements. My household was rife with sexual inappropriateness. My mother would also sometimes behave in inappropriate sexual ways, behaviors that I should not have been exposed to as a child. I soon believed that my mother knew what my father was doing and didn’t care. My father would freely smack me on the behind, as if I was his girlfriend, whenever he wanted. He pinched my skin in inappropriate places, tried to get me to kiss him and chased me around the house. My mother simply hollered at us to settle down.

My father contorted my limbs, bending them the incorrect way. This caused excruciating pain, and I would scream. He threw ice water on me randomly when I was showering. Sometimes he would just stand in the doorway and flick the light off and on, off and on, repeatedly. I could not say a word or ask for him to stop. I was in complete compliance. My mother sometimes participated, throwing water on my face in the morning until I woke up feeling like I was drowning. I was yelled at to get up for the day, again my lights being flicked on and off, on and off. It was all because I was a heavy sleeper, they would say, sometimes laughing at me at the same time.

The torture my father enacted on me seemed endless. He would press into my sternum until the pain was excruciating. He pulled my fingers apart so wide it felt the skin would rip. He’d instruct me to stick out my tongue, grab it with a towel and pull until I screamed from the intense pain. He would laugh when this was happening. He would laugh intensely, as if it was the most entertaining thing. Sometimes he would lead me around by my tongue as I was in pain. Yet he would be laughing, since to him, it was a game. My father allowed me to have pets. Not because he wanted me to be happy. No. It was so he could use them to abuse me further by abusing them. I had the belt used on me to the point that I dissociated from my own body in order to withstand the pain.

As I became older with my father grew more deeply confusing, because coupled with his “games” of inducing mind blowing pain on me; he also showered me with love. At times he whispered in my ear that he loved me and would whisper other loving sentiments. There were moments of doting on me. He had endearing pet names for me. He also treated my pets the same way, sometimes loving them, sometimes cruelly abusing them. These moments induced a great love and bond with my father which intersected itself into the fear state that I existed inside. His behavior created a duality through which I could not critically navigate emotionally.

This abuse was also coupled with ritualistic religion, such as my father quoting Bible verses in the middle of abusing me. I have many gaps for which I don’t have answers. My body and my intuition have an idea of what hides inside those gaps. I often don’t even want to think about the possibility of what more my father did to me, that my mind has chosen to suppress. My mother projected jealousy onto me and in doing so, also physically and mentally abused me. She made me shower with her. Both my father and mother bathed me far beyond the years that I should have been being taught to bathe myself.

My father was an alcoholic and pill user. One night when I was a young adult he physically and sexually assaulted me. I hit him multiple times to get him to stop. Years later, when I confronted him, he alleged not to remember those moments. Yet, with persistence, I finally got him to admit to abusing me, and he said he was sorry. Then he proceeded to use emotional blackmail on me, victim blaming me and trying to make me feel sorry for him, saying that I was “killing” him. My mother was no help when I called her, blaming me for the situation and saying that she didn’t have time to be bothered. I felt helpless and in shock. She further stated what a terrible person I was for hurting my father with such lies. I knew that when it came to accountability in my family, I may never have it.

Because of my childhood, I endure flashbacks, complex PTSD, an eating disorder and fibromyalgia. I have insomnia to avoid the night terrors. I am hyper-vigilant about being followed, and I am often in fight or flight mode, feeling trapped. My capacity to develop my own spirituality as an adult has been severely hindered due to having a constant, tangible fear which lingers inside of me. Being an abused child left me with mental health and physical disorders. I have severe body somatic pain which can’t be associated with any one specific physical injury, leading doctors to connect my body pain to the reality of body memories.

Body memories are caused by trauma settling into our cells. Therefore, the body manifests the abuse on a daily basis, causing severe genital pain, joint and tendon pain, neuropathy that shoots nerve pain through my whole system. The nerve pain mimics the tendon shock rituals performed on me as a child.

The most confusing part about my abuse is how my parents could be so loving at times and so sadistically brutal at others. I realize that my identity belongs to them and now, I am struggling to figure out who I am before I was born into a childhood of abuse and confusion. I am sifting through broken pieces to integrate them so I can get to know who I really am.

Because of my experiences I have a great capacity to understand others who have been tortured. I know that as I continue to work through the aftermath of my own abuse, I will continue to grow and be a strong support for my fellow survivors.

I don’t know if I’ll even understand why I was tortured, except to understand mind control on a level so deep, a parent believes a religion justifies the abuse of their child. I want to know who trained my father to utilize such specific torture methods on my muscles and limbs. There are so many questions that leave tangled pieces in my mind. As a child my mind fragmented into “pieces or aspects” in attempt to endure what I was being put through however they have more or less integrated now. I wish my parents knew how much accountability and truth would change the course of each of my days. I wonder if my paternal grandfather learned these torture methods while serving in the military, and in turn, used them on my father. Again, I may never have these answers.

And so, I must stand inside of radical acceptance and continue creating who I truly am.

ART

When art comes out of me, it can take on varying forms, depending on who is holding the pen or the paint, as you will see in the pieces below.

 

POETRY

                Another outlet for my pain is writing poetry.  This expression has been a crucial part of my healing journey.

Porcupine No Longer

Ashamed and frozen in fear, time stops.
Pretending to be asleep; staying very still…
Lying and waiting, pretending it’s all just a dream.
“NO! Get up! I have to do something!” SCREAM!
*Silence*… I don’t make a sound. No one can know. Ashamed!
Eyes now scrunched up tight and fists form into balls.
Go into my mind. Pretend I am a porcupine.
Can’t touch me! Can’t touch me! I am a porcupine!
Doesn’t work…
Porcupine’s quills have been plucked clean away! Exposed.
Body is a map whose lands have been plundered before.
Monster’s fingers are legs, walking the map, exploring it all.
Monster is greedy: taking what is not his to take.
Too scary. So scary. Can’t be happening.
Dumb, wretched girl.
Pretend. Pretend. Pretend. Smile. I’m alright.
Tomorrow I’ll pretend I don’t remember what happened at night.

Healing Under a Canopy

Stroll through the shaded wood I must;
Liniment for a marred soul.
In love with the seclusion it offers;
I yearn for the peace it brings.
Amble about in nature’s song
I stroll along to such sounds:
Singing birds, dinky feet on Forest’s floor, water-a-trickling.

Healing from a pain so deep
It threatens to crush my voice.
I rebel, fight back, scream, kick, cry.
I will not allow this.
You cannot have my soul.
My past will not destroy me!
Your ‘control’ is merely an illusion.
I am no longer a child.

For I see the light.
It’s above me,
Filtering through the leaves.
It streaks my face with gold.
I feel its warmth on my skin.
This is the color of confidence.
I give myself the permission.
I can heal.
No one else can have
Me.

I smile.
I laugh.
I cry.
I’m filled with joy.
I am at peace.

Up ahead, I see a bridge.
I will cross it.
I will burn it down.

My story is the story of countless children being raised just like I was. Please don’t forget them. I want other survivors to know that you are not alone. Time and self-work make days easier. Please know that healing to a level of thriving is absolutely possible. To kids everywhere being abused, you are so strong and brave. You have the right to speak up; to tell your story; to be believed, heard and protected. You have the right to be safe and loved. You are not alone, and there are many of us Advocates dedicated to rescuing you and helping you heal.

The Horror at 1379 Milepost

If you take a drive from Fairbanks, Alaska, an hour down Richardson Highway, through Delta Junction, you will arrive at 1379 Milepost. There you will turn onto a solitary road. At the end of that road is a religious commune with a history so horrible, the average person can only listen with radical acceptance, in order to grasp the total truth about the roots of this cult.  Child Abuse.  Sexual Molestation.  Mental Brainwashing.  Torture.  Public Humiliation.  Sleep Deprivation.  Control.  Triangulation.  All orchestrated in a patriarchal society of narcissists.

Three years ago, a couple of young reporters made a trip out to two of the Alaska compounds. At the 1379 Milepost compound, where I lived from the ages of seven to fourteen, they were met by a man named David Johnson, Their eyes were wide with disbelief. What my fellow survivor and I had told them was in fact, truth. There are compounds deep in the Alaskan woods, secluded, patrolled and controlled, a place where they were not allowed to step foot anywhere, except the office inside of the Tabernacle.  A tour of that compound was out of the question, according to David Johnson.

Plans for The Land Cult Compound 76-74

The original survey plans for “The Land” cult compound at 1379 Milepost, Delta Junction, Alaska

The compound I was on had several names including, but not limited to, Dry Creek, Living Word Ministry, The Farm, or as we referred to it when we lived there, “The Land”. They quit claimed the deeds back and forth, most likely to avoid taxes, changing names, hustling land parcels together. Douglas McClain, Jr was just a child on this compound with me. His father, Douglas Sr, groomed him on a path into prison, where he sits today, awaiting appeal. They were hustling a drug derived from goat’s blood. You can read the actual court complaint here:

Security and Exchange Commission vs Stephen D. Ferrone, Douglas A. McClain, Jr., Douglas A. McClain Sr., and et al.

Doug McClain Quit-Claim Deed

This is just one of several deeds I have showing the quit claim sell of The Land between Douglas McClain and George Harris.

l_b0180077765b4bed80949cc27fd5a15a

Sam Fife in the green coat, with his wife and their private plane, scoping out “The Land”

The words the main reporter used to describe his brief visit to the compound felt familiar to me:

Creepy.”
The energy was so thick and heavy it could be cut.”
An air of sadness hovering.”
Desolate.”
Isolated.”

Indeed. I nodded. I know. I remember David Johnson, with his slit eyes and foul energy. He doled out a few beatings.  Many of the adults where abusers. It was, after all, God’s will to strip a child of its flesh, as Brother Sam Fife would instruct. If we weren’t being punished, we were being humiliated, gossiped about, and any sexual abuse that was found out in later years is blamed on the victim.  Still today, the mentality remains the same. Religion cloaking forced insanity.  We were monitored, lived in continuous fear and told the “night watchmen” were there to keep the bears out.  Yet, the compound was so large, it was impossible for them to watch everything at all times, hence my brother’s success on his second escape.

Bryce and Pat Alloe

Young men at “The Land” approximately, 1980/1981, monitoring with guns.

Three years ago I was there as an adult, hunkered down in Fairbanks, Alaska, just miles away from so many people who had either abused me directly or who I had witnessed abuse other children. I wanted to drive onto that compound myself. I remember the layout like the back of my hand. I could navigate it in the dead of night. I wanted to find Marilyn Hagley and ask her why she beat me so much when she was my teacher.  Maybe if abusers experience what they have doled out onto children, they will get a notion of the affect it leaves behind.

Not far from The Land at 1379 Milepost is another compound owned by this cult. It is controlled by a man named Bill Grier.  Whitestone Farms is located not far from The Land. Some cult apologists have adamantly denied being associated with Sam Fife. Yet, Whitestone is on the cult’s Convention schedule, and Bill Grier’s criminal record began in the 1970’s. Their website proudly boasts about the man who helped broker their land; a man named Doug McClain.  When the pieces fit, they fit.  When the puzzle reveals the picture, it’s existence cannot be denied.

History of Whitestone Screenshot

ScreenshotBillGrierArrestedforExorcism

Press release naming Bill Grier in the use of exorcism on children in school from “Today’s World”, edition dated: 5/23/1974

I remember conventions. Six, sometimes eight hours of sitting with no breaks or food. My mother sometimes kept mints in her purse.

To give us all a little sugar so we won’t get faint.” She’d say.

Conventions are hardcore mind control sessions with the Elite Move Leaders all gathering, vying for the position to preach their sordid interpretation of Biblical text. None of it matters. It’s all just long sessions of angry preachers feeding the fear of Hell and counter love bombing with the concept of Heaven and God for the good people.

Conventions provide a chance for the Movite “big wigs” to cavort with one another and shake their peacock feathers to impress the gathering of cult members, who often travel thousands of miles to attend the conventions and participate in lengthy frenzies of speaking in tongues, singing and serving their religious Handlers who feed their minds controlled instruction.

I wonder if the poor children still have to sit like we did for hours, on hard, backless benches or folding chairs. We sat so long, our hips ached.  Do they at least break for meals now?

There are mini countries inside of America. They make their own rules. They abuse children and swindle their “citizens”.  They are mind terrorists who get away with abuse under the guise of religious freedom, and American citizens have chosen to look away for too long.

I wonder when people will begin to care about the cult no one ever talks about?