This life has taught me
To tow the line quiet
Surrendering into time,
Because incidents rewind
With a mind of their own.
And so sturdy, we row the
Rapid patterns of the
We stay in tune with each
Separate quest. Observance.
Steady. Doing the work
That leans against the
Thick breath of the herd.
We are divergent, ominous,
Everything formed in us,
Powered by a self love so
Infinite that it becomes a
Hurricane of pounding rain.
Pay the penance. Confess
The wicked deeds, on your
Knees, in Biblical instruction.
Make a list, to remind you
Of your confession. This is
Your way. You must ask
For forgiveness. It is not
For us to be freely giving.
Reckoning has many faces,
Unexpected veils and illusions
That become intrusions
Appearing in most leaving
Unprepared affected, the
Egoist off kilter, inside the
Self righteous fodder of an
Imaginary, sadistic Father.
Fear the fray that is sewn
Back together, for it is able
To bear the weight of many
Lives. It turns swiftly, gaining
Strength and paving ways.
When this thing is unleashed
Like water slathered on polished
Floors it is impossible to cross,
Breaking bones in the falls, we
Will shatter lies like falling logs,
Because we are The Walk,
In our own Body, always on
The Move, distantly watching you.
With un-shattered minds
We will fully rewind time.
After a relaxing day strolling around Tacoma’s famous glass museum, home of the renowned artist, Dale Chihuly, Athena Moberg and I sat down for dinner at Johnny’s Dock, a great local restaurant with a view of the sound. But not before we forced a stranger to take a photo of us standing by this delicious retro car!
Over the sounds of the best U2 cover bands I’ve ever heard, actually the only U2 cover band I’ve ever heard, I shouted off some specialized niche ideas I’ve been working on for quite some time. Over little shrimp and tiny forks we shared marketing knowledge, portions of our projects and the emotions which go along with doing the work we have dedicated ourselves to doing.
I discussed some courses I have been mapping out for a while, specified topics that I am passionate about, specifically for those of us who were children in communal cults and family cults. This will be a members only area on my website for a minimal monthly fee. I don’t want to tell TOO much because, you know… SURPRISE! But here are a few teasers:
A personal members only forum
Courses which will roll out with specified focus areas and lessons.
And so much more, you guys.
“DO IT!” She hollered over the “With or Without You” being sung perfectly from the lead singer of the cover band.
“AS A MATTER OF FACT YOU BETTER DO IT!” Athena hollered louder. I threw my head back laughing.
I have so much that I plan to share with the world, gathered from my twenty plus years on this amazing healing journey. These months of reflection have created BIG plans, and I am bursting as I roll this new venture forward. Before I can fully create the best of what I am going to create, though. I want and need your feedback.
What would you like to understand more about? What would you like to see from me? Do you enjoy video content, live question/answer sessions, interacting with one another, learning, all of the above? I want to build a unique space which is safe and comforting for those who choose to join.
I’d be deeply appreciative if you took a couple of minutes to fill out the form below and just click send! You are my people, and I value your input.
Thanks you guys! Here’s to new growth and thriving!
Before I leave, I have to share this piece of art created by a child and featured at the Tacoma glass museum. It touched me, and I believe it will touch you as well! The children get to draw their piece, along with the inspiration for it, and then create it through glass blowing.
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with me!
Hymns from my childhood occasionally pop into my mind, sometimes replaying over and over, like a broken record. One mental trick I use to make repetitive mind music go away is to try and remember the end of the song. Normally by the time I’ve tried to remember the end of the song, it has disappeared from my mind.
After going through a personal situation a couple of weeks ago which opened up some old wounds, this happened with a song I had not remembered in over 20 years. I tried to use my “end of the song” method, but this song kept playing over and over and would not go away. These specific lyrics were the only ones playing repeatedly.
“This world is not my home. I’m just a passin’ through. If heaven’s not my home, then Lord what shall I do. The angel’s watchin’ me from heaven’s open door, and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”
Suddenly, my mind took a completely different turn. I found myself actually wanting to look at the differing lyrics of the many songs I was taught to sing repetitively as a child.
“What in the hell kind of lyrics are these, really?” I thought. The lyrics suddenly felt vile and suicidal. I had an urge to examine each word for exactly what they are.
I had never broken down gospel lyrics on a deep level like my mind was now doing. I had always blown them off with an eye roll.
In my teenage years, my older sister and I would get through church by adding “under the covers” at the end of the hymn titles and snickering quietly together. We had been taught about back-masking in secular music while growing up in a cult. For example, we were told that “Another One Bites the Dust” held a subliminal message telling us to smoke marijuana, but it could only be heard if the record was spun backwards. Also, they TOLD us what we “should” hear; literally gave us the sentence then asked, “Did you all hear it?” Well, now we do! That’s called suggestion. When suggestion is used on the mind, of course we hear and see what we are told we are supposed to hear and see.
Now that my mind is free from falling prey to suggestive phrases, I recognize them more.
So then, I recognized that something was terribly off with these lyrics going through my head. What were they suggesting? Christianity teaches that suicide is a sin. Here are seven different accounts of suicide in the Bible. Yet, this song is telling me that Earth is not really my home. I’m just passing through here, and that I shouldn’t feel at home in this world.
That was exactly how I felt when I was struggling with suicidal ideation. Now, I was hearing these same phrases in a gospel song as if it was okay to leave this world and even feel joyful about it.
How did this affect me as a child repeatedly singing these lyrics? What did it do to my mind in regard to my thoughts and feelings about death?
Hence, I set off on an exploration to find out how many gospel lyrics hold suicidal suggestions. What a confusing childhood, hearing and singing songs containing subliminal messages about sacrifice and suicide. At the same time, this religion was teaching me that suicide was a sin; a guaranteed ticket to hell.
Now, with clearer eyes, I was seeing the root in the mindset of why many humans might suffer with not wanting to live. How many of us grew up religious and abused and/or neglected based off this type of doctrine? How many of us sang these songs as children, day after day, year after year, sinking them into our subconscious, to live there, even if we felt we had deprogrammed religion but still struggled emotionally?
When I was feeling suicidal years ago, I had a meditative moment while taking a bath one evening. A voice audibly whispered in my head.
“Suicide is simply a program that was implanted into your cellular system by your abusers and the trauma you endured every day.”
I sat straight up in the bathtub. I had never looked at suicide as a mind control thought pattern infused by abuse. After this realization that I had actually been programmed to not want to live, I never struggled with suicidal thoughts again. My love for this life and its amazing possibilities grew inside of me. My refusal to allow my abusers to win created in me a mighty storm.
“Uh, soli Deo gloria, (Glory to God alone) uh. Once again. Thirteen letters! Yeah.”
We will focus on only one part of these lyrics: “Thirteen letters!“
We most often see it represented on the backs of the American dollar bill. There are 13 stars above the head of the eagle.
The Last Supper took place on the 13th day of the month, and the crucifixion occurred on Friday the 13th. The Knight’s Templar, protectors of the Holy Grail, the cup Jesus allegedly drank from at The Last Supper, were all slaughtered, on order from Pope Clement, on, yes, Friday the 13th. Judas was allegedly the 13th person to take his seat at the table during The Last Supper. Matthew says that Judas committed suicide after the crucifixion.
In a non-religious context, the number 13 was recently used in a suicide show entitled “13 Reasons Why“.
“How Great Thou Art” is a popular hymn that has been sung in churches for centuries. Children sing these lyrics.
“And when I think of God, His Son not sparing
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing
He bled and died to take away my sin.”
In this song, the mind is subliminally being taught that without sacrifice, the individual is a sinful human being. Repetitively singing lyrics which instruct gratefulness that an invisible being horrifically sacrificed their own son on behalf of the individual, drives the point home. The individual no longer can deduct that this is, for instance, murder, and punishable by law. Instead the individual praises it.
Believing someone was murdered so that they could live, creates a deep wound of guilt in a person if they question or begin to reason the truth behind this. Instead, the repetitive program keeps them believing they have a responsibility to honor the human sacrifice that was the crucifixion of a man named Jesus.
The popular hymn, Great Is Thy Faithfulness, ends with this line:
“Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!”
Another popular hymn, Amazing Grace, ends with this lyric:
“When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.”
The key to these songs is the number 10,000.
The number 10000 is used 45 times in the Bible.
Saint Paul said to Corinthians: “for even though you might have 10000 slaves to look after you in Christ, you still have no more than one father”. (1 Co 4,15)
In this verse, Christian followers are referred to as slaves.
And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne . . . : and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands. [Revelation 5:11]
Indeed, ten thousand times ten thousand angels, which equals 100 million, symbolizes a great number. To sum up, there are numberless concourses of angels, an innumerable company of angels, and hosts of angels—all of whom are allegedly in the service of a God who requires humans should join this army as well.
Ten thousand guardian angels escorted Mary and Joseph during their trip to Bethlehem, for the birth of the Word, according to the visions of Catholic mystic Mary Agreda.
For the Chinese and the Mongols, the swastika cross (sign of salvation in their ceremonies) means the 10000 truths which concern the mysteries of the Invisible Universe, the Primordial Cosmogony, of the Theogony. It symbolizes the movement, the energy, the forward walking.
Hitler, inverting its orientation, used it as emblem of the Nazism.
“The Tao has fathered one, one has fathered a two, two has fathered three and three has fathered ten thousand“, wrote Lao-Tseu.
The song “What A Friend We Have In Jesus” ends with the following line:
“Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.”
The word that is most important to look at is Rapture. What is the Rapture? According to North American Christianity, the rapture is the transporting of believers to heaven at the Second Coming of Christ. In regard to children, the Rapture is rarely talked about in detail. Children are likely to ask these questions:
When will the rapture happen? We don’t know
Is it going to hurt? No, Sweetie!
Do we fly into the sky? Yes. We will be taken up into the clouds.
At an extremely suggestible age, under five years old, when the mind is open to absorb deep into the subconscious, children are shown pictures of humans ascending up into open clouds. When these children grow into adults, they have been so programmed that humans will fly this way, that even as adults, they are unable to critically think into the scientific impossibility of this phenomena.
There has been an interesting study between fundamentalism’s rapture theology and the connection with alien abductions. In the dictionary, religion includes the belief in the supernatural, leaving out any reference to the paranormal.
Likewise, they cannot logically break down the fact that the Rapture has been being promised to humans by other humans for thousands of years and has never happened. This is a very deep form of “death” programming when directed at a child, that at any moment of their life, a god could take them, but it will be a wonderful and painless death.
A child often adopts the adult’s “joy” as a way to comply and cope with the ideal, however, they rarely feel excitement at the prospect of death, even if there is some kind of heaven promised afterward. Don’t underestimate children. I knew very well as a child that the rapture concept equaled death for me.
As children we cannot turn the idea of heaven into a tangible visual which we can see. We can only imagine what is suggested to us. This description of pearly gates and golden floors does not enter our minds when we are children pondering the death which comes with rapture ideology.
One of the most popular religious songs children are taught to sing is “Jesus Loves Me“. The last line of this song says:
“Jesus loves me! He will stay
Close beside me all the way;
Thou hast bled and died for me,
I will henceforth live for Thee.”
Again, we see the reference to human sacrifice. The child is being taught that they should live only for a god, because this god did a very special thing for all humans. It instructed its own son to die for them. These lyrics anchor the belief that a very special human bled to death, something a child often sees on television or the internet as a traumatic visual that they understand from a pain and suffering perspective. Children are literal and will see it as such, regardless of the way a parent may try and sugar coat the bloody sacrifice of a super human named Jesus.
Have you heard the song “I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down In My Heart?” Let’s look at the last line of this song:
“I’ve got the love of Jesus, love of Jesus down in my heart.
I’ve got that opposition to conscription down in my heart.”
Conscription is a noun meaning “compulsory enlistment for state service, typically into the armed forces.” This religious song teaches children and adult citizens of our country that they must have opposition to the armed forces. A child is a human who has rights to grow up and freely make this decision. It should be a violation of their human rights to strip their minds of future career choice possibilities.
Children sing this lyric, most likely never being taught the meaning of this word. Evangelical religions such as Jehovah’s Witnesses or Sam Fife’s Move of God, for instance, have a history of teaching against joining the military and/or going to war for any other reason except God.
Cult leader, Jim Jones, used a children’s choir in his People’s Temple, to welcome new members.
Another interesting concept religion teaches, whether actively or by way of reading the Bible, is that Christians are descendants of a man named Abraham.
One song that is popular in this concept is “Father Abraham“.
“Father Abraham had many sons
Many sons had Father Abraham
I am one of them and so are you
So let’s all praise the Lord.”
The origins of Father Abraham begins in the history of the Jewish people in Bronze Age times in the Middle East when God promised a nomad leader called Abram that he would be the father of a great people if he did as God told him. Jews regard Abraham (as he was later called) as the first Patriarch of the Jewish people. Abraham appears in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Let your mind absorb that for a moment. These religions of separatism are actually quite linear in their history and belief. Yet, so many of them are killing one another. All three of these religions teach their children they are descendants of the same man. Which one is the real one?
Here, a child is shoved into subconscious confusion and an automation of trying to figure out or come into compliant acceptance that they are here as Christians to fight WITH the Jews because of this lineage or they are to fight AGAINST them and ALWAYS against the Muslims.
Outside of the Bible, there is no “family tree” lineage proof that all humans are descendants of a man named Abraham. If, in fact, all humans descend from Abraham, the dissection through religion would be the largest example of a dysfunctional family on a global scale.
The song “God Is Love” has an alarming lyric.
“God is love. O God, a man You became;
A cursed man to be, God, You died for me.
Lord, You hung from a tree.”
It is fair to deduct, after researching the many lawsuits against secular music due to lyrics, that religious music is not exempt from having self-deprecating lyrics which dissect a mind’s ability to build its own independent self esteem and trauma free thinking. Singing songs about humans being hung from trees is another form of tonal death training.
Finally, I leave you with the platoon-like cadence that children are taught to sing, while being taught body motions to go along with the programming of being a part of an army for a god.
“I’m In the Lord’s Army“
“I may never march in the Infantry, (march)
Ride in the cavalry, (pretend you’re riding a horse)
Shoot the artillery. (clap hands together)
I may never zoom o’er the enemy,
(spread arms out and pretend to be a plane)
But I’m in the Lord’s Army. (point one finger up to God)
I’m in the Lord’s Army, (yes, sir!) (salute)
I’m in the Lord’s Army, (yes, sir!)
I may never march in the Infantry,
Ride in the cavalry,
Shoot the artillery.
I may never zoom o’er the enemy,
But I’m in the Lord’s Army, (yes, sir!)”
A human’s mind is a complex organ. Everything that it absorbs from birth, and through life, forms the way the human will develop. The subconscious mind is constantly running behind the scenes. It is holding everything it has absorbed since the day it entered this dimension. We can look at scientific studies of how music affects the fetus to understand deeper the importance of choosing tones and lyrics carefully, in a way which fosters a subconscious which is soaking in peaceful, calm and self-loving infusing.
In all, stay aware of your mind and what you allow it to be absorb. Guard your children and be selective of what they are exposed to as they grow. Allow them the freedom to explore the world safely, and may you explore this world safely as well.
It has been five years since I published my first book, a collection of poetry entitled “Dusted Shelves”. I went into the studio with a great local producer in Seattle, WA, Lance Randall, and recorded Dusted Shelves Poetry C.D., complete with scoring and sound affects. The same year, 2013, I published an interactive journal, “Becoming Gratitude”, designed to reconnect ourselves with mindful awareness of our life. I published these two books while I was writing “Cult Child“, which I published in 2015.
When I reminisce on my writing processes recounting my childhood trauma through the pages of “Cult Child“, I realize I was writing it all inside of a very deep emotional triad that my brain was using to keep me balanced.
“Dusted Shelves” was spilling my emotions through organization of poetry written when I was in trauma. “Becoming Gratitude” was helping me every day, stay focused on a positive mindset while I was writing out childhood trauma.
The ability the brain has to work in sync with itself is amazing to me.
Marketing has been a challenge. It has been a process of trial and error, testing and most of all, learning where I will make connections which contribute to my greater good as a person. Having been online from its conception in the early 2000’s, I have, in the past couple of years, felt myself begin to spin with the arrival of fast moving applications like Instagram. Twitter’s fast rise and the plethora of apps being thrown at me to market my writing likewise can overwhelm me. Things seemed to be speeding up faster then I really even felt an inner desire to keep up with.
I set out to understand where I was connecting to my readers. Who could understand me and emotionally feel my writing?
Since my memoir is based out of growing up in a cult, I first gravitated toward the cult advocacy society, where survivors of cults and other mind control groups, tended to congregate. Outside of a few connections who have turned out to be gems, I learned over time this was not where I was finding the scope of authentic connections I longed for. I walked away from my time in that community learning that the content of my book does not dictate its audience or who will connect with it.
In my explorations, I chose to do a short podcast series entitled Survivor Voices Show. I interviewed strong voices like popular author and marketing expert, Rachel Thompson, owner of Bad Redhead Media and founder of Monday Blogs on Twitter. M Dolon Hickmon, author of bestseller, 13:24: A Story Of Faith and Obsession, Liz Ianelli, artist Survivor993, Cathy O’Brien, best-selling author of Access Denied: For Reasons Of National Security and PTSD: Time To Heal, and my fellow cult survivor, Glori L. Stiner, founder of Move Forward, a cause dedicated to exposing the abuses we children endured growing in Sam Fife’s Move of God cult. I wanted to cover as many mind control and generational abuse based stories as I could. I am pleased with series and am considering doing another one.
I spoke with author Matt Pappas, popular podcaster, sexual abuse survivor and owner of Beyond Your Past. I learned something extraordinary from everyone I talked with. We all had differing experiences when we broke down how our abuses were enacted. We all were even on differing paths in our healing journey. Yet still we all dealt with similar bi-products of the abuse we endured. We experienced Dissociation Disorders, cPTSD, Anxiety, Personality Disorders and a very long list of every day impairments left behind by our abusers. Amazingly, so many of us are thriving and supporting each other as we all are healing.
These experiences taught me that beyond the fences of my journey in this life is something important; that I am surrounded by those who are traveling the same road as me for one reason; because the destination leads to Healing. In the interim of all that I do, this matters to me more than anything.
People who have suffered childhood poly-abuse (sexual, physical, emotional) have the most in common with veterans of war. Yet, the difference is, children shouldn’t have to go to war.
There is no one arena or mold where I fit. I greatly respect and relate to those who have seen the horrors of war and the horrors which can be wrought on a child. I have read many a marketing post about finding my “target audience.” Yet, as I share my journey, what I have found to be an absolute for me is when I stayed rooted in an intent of connecting with survivors, instead of hunting down an audience, I felt the best. It changed my direction. I realized I could funnel small amounts of marketing funds into boosting posts while using my personal energy to really foster positive connections with other survivors from all walks of life.
I believe that as I gear up to release Rise of Sila next year I won’t change much about these connections. My peers will continue to understand me, as they have had the same struggles of abuse even in their teenage years. My story is still the voice of many a survivor, and it is for them, and my own mental health, that I finish this duo-logy.
I usually hunker down between the months of November – February. They are the months of holidays and taxes. I avoid social networking and pound out work. Leading back to the original topic of whether you are running in the right circles for your work, I leave you with this consideration.
Remember you are not just your content, you are also your intent.
Is your content fueled with the intent to connect with those who will understand what you are sharing? Are you rooted in the originality of who you are? Is this shining through your work and connections? If you are struggling to understand who you are, remember that we evolve, and part of who we are is constantly figuring out who we are! When you come into an acceptance of your now, I promise you’ll find your people.
Meanwhile, pound the pages, the canvas, the pavement, whatever you do to purge, create and express. This is the root of your creative intent.
I spent the last couple of evenings sifting through CDs of writing going back almost 15 years. This poem was written in 2005. It really took me back to the cusp of my pain. In those days when I felt deeply haunted, poetry was my soul’s literary life saver.
Do You Want To Know Why I Won’t Let You Get Close? [circa 2005]
You want to know why I wont let you get close?
Because the last one I chose
Made me cry.
That is why.
You want to know why when you speak of love I run?
Because this is what I’ve become
Torn by pain
Dying in the rain.
Do you know why I am hardened and disenchanted?
Promises are always recanted
Broken and discarded
Cannot finish what is started.
This is the aftermath of fires that become ashes,
Of personality clashes,
Of unwillingness to change
And the attempt to put on chains.
I sleep alone with my fear in the night.
No beams in my window from the moonlight.
Stop smiling at me in the way.
I hear you, yet you have nothing to say.
Bitter growls disguised as precious words,
But you represent to me silent hurt.
You want to know why I’m turning my back?
I cannot view the qualities you lack.
A part of the common population
Do not ask me anymore questions.
This is the meaning of rejection.
I say no, you ask why,
And then I cry.
There are ghosts in my view. I am traveling hallways. We are coming back for you. Your breath quickens as you wait. Will your heart give in to the ache; the secrets you hold? They rot your insides, you know.
We are your shadow self.
Every deed, word, blow and theft of innocence lurks inside the remnants of your biological cells. You never considered that hell would come from those you desecrated.
When we come, we are a pack without a leader.
We have no need to follow, holding hands side by side, we yell, “Red Rover, Red Rover, come on over!”, and we smile. You taught us to rip at each other’s wrists, remember? Danger as an entertainer. That was your pleasure.
There were the games we played in secret, away from your judging eyes, sneaking moments with quiet giggles. We reserved our spirits from your shattering, scattering into life, struggling through its mores as we held ourselves in fetal positions to survive. Now, we rise.
We have gathered the ashes of our pasts, reconstructed our wings, and we are prepared to fly.
We are the children of your terror. We are the outcasts and sinners, scar bearers and wayward waifs. We are the tattooed tyrants, birthed from your horror, walking our own paths against your wrath. We color our hair bright. We carry ourselves Light. We know each step with precision as we enter this fight.
We are not mercy. We are strength. We are not bitterness. We are valiance.
We are turning your worlds inside out, releasing the doubt you preach from pulpits and podiums and classrooms to children and vulnerable humans. We are Dragons, gathering in the night.
We have been watching you a very long time. You see, you taught us well, but you failed to keep the tide from turning. Now we take everything you forced us to absorb, the intel and verbal hell, battered bones and dissociated minds, childhoods left behind, never to be relived, and create a mighty hurricane, gathering speed every time another survivor speaks their abuser’s name.
We release shame. It is not ours. It belongs to you. Your time to be burdened with your own deeds is long overdue.
I am a lurker in the darkness, mystic of the floated corners where the view is clear up here. I see the past and futures merging. I see the sadness and the pain purging. I feel every heart hurting, from the wicked to the wounded and my eyes can only focus on the cries of the affected, injected by decades of apathetic sociopathy using human flesh in the deadliest fashions.
For those who have a passion for hurting others, it is you I watch, even those who cloak themselves in the mask of mirrored goodness. We are keenly keeping our eyes focused. We are passed hoping. We are ready for war. Are you? How fast will your knees buckle when the first blows come? How long before your run?
No more will we be ruled, organized or contained. No more will we remain silent or compliant.
Associations and organizations meant to capitalize on those who’ve almost died inside and outside are crumbling at their feet. Too long you have preyed on the weak. Your time has come to an end, and no matter how much you pretend, keeping an illusion of control, you are quickly slipping into a sinkhole.
Even as your wrinkled fingers hold the purse strings, we sing.
Even as you watch us still, spinning tales of the ones who tell truths on you, we laugh as your ropes fray. It is your day. Your reckoning has arrived. We have been released from the hive, a swarm, marching with precision. Welcome to your new religion.
One must wonder about the abusive adult whose mind is so oblivious it cannot rationalize, that what you forced us to internalize would return to watch you burn. Yet, into the flames you will run, because the thought of combusting will feel less painful than the torture we will enact. Every item accounted for. Every brick will be removed. Each stone you drove home to build your wall will fall, and in the end what will be left, are more humans, free from your invisible chains, living in happiness.
For now, you shake beneath the hands of a mighty earthquake. In this surge, graves are unearthed and after years of holding still, we now run swiftly, legs strong, to destroy the villainous ones.
You will relax, forget to watch your back, and we will attack, because you deserve to be fought. You deserve to be tested with unrest.
Welcome to the Resurrection.
The first time I heard the song “Purple Rain”, tears streamed down the sides of my eyes. They were deep tears, inspired by the mirage memory images dancing in my fifteen year old mind. I could see myself dancing in purple rain, but I didn’t know why. “I never meant to cause you any sorrow. I never meant to cause you any pain.” Those were the words I longed to hear from those who had abused me. His vocals sank into my soul, and somewhere in there, it touched the pains I had no way to define in any kind of literal sense.
Just shy of a few months of being free from a life on a fundamentalist cult in the backwoods of Delta Junction, Alaska, where I primarily grew up without electricity, running water, or access to this fast moving world, everything about Prince’s music stimulated particular parts of me. When dealing with the world around me, I often felt like I was inside of one of those ping pong machines I couldn’t quite figure out how to play. Those things made me agitated, and so did many parts of the environment around me. Music let me drift away, and Prince often helped me cry through it.
Purple Rain’s whole song list touched a piece of me who was trying to figure out itself. I wanted to “go crazy” and “get nuts and search for that damn purple banana until they put me in a…”, by the way, my mother liked to throw that word “crazy” around, and so I turned “Let’s Go Crazy” up just a little louder, pushing my boundaries until I hit her nerves and she screamed at me to turn it down.
“You want to call me crazy, huh? Well, let’s get nuts.” was just one of the thoughts that would run through my mind as I attempted to use music as a communicative tool only my peers seemed to understand.
Purple Rain was Prince’s first album, one of my favorite movies, and it made me feel. I admired the way he came out with a bang. The rhythms sang along with the joints I smoked, and the lyrics gave me a language for my emotions. When Doves Cry brought lumps into my throat. I was hearing the layers of secular music, and it dug its way into everything which had gone flat in me over the prior years of being surrounded by so much abuse. Music became interpretive, and Purple Rain was the first album I connected with on a soul level as a teenager.
I couldn’t play Darling Nikki too loud, though.
“Foul.” My mother would say about Prince, as she slightly moved her toes in rhythm with the beat.
“Hypocrite.” I’d think, observing her trailer park level judgment.
The Beautiful Ones really did hurt me all the time, the ones I loved as a child, the ones I thought I loved as a teenager, and I wept, curled up, learning about human connection. These lyrics were able to touch me more than any gospel song harmonically programming me to a god I was still trying to figure out, who I still feared. When I listened to Baby I’m a Star, I felt a small urge of empowerment.
I was working on a project a while ago and listening to the Prince channel on my Slacker Radio. The song “America”, one of America’s most underrated yet most patriotic song ever composed, came on, and suddenly I was swept back to my high school days. My mind wandered to something I’d never explored before.
In 2001, Prince converted to the Jehovah Witness faith. I began to wonder how Prince’s music would change with the morphing of his mental belief system. I set off to explore his discography and study the patterning which may have emerged through his own spiritual journeys. Prince had already proven to be a revolutionary artist, Sign of the Times being a top-seller and another one of my favorites at the age of eighteen in the late eighties era.
Prince’s first post conversion albums were filled with the concepts of love. He immediately released “The Rainbow Children” with 21 tracks, some untitled and a mere .04 seconds long. It is filled with a plethora of genres, funky beats and occasional odd, electronic biblical messages that feel rife with mind control of his new dive into an extremist faith. Then suddenly a rift of freedom drops inside of the messages, causing the mind to drift into yet another dimension of composition and song. Deconstruction has a prophetic element in its lyrics, written well before it’s time and utilizes the same tonal, electronic and somewhat “alienesque” bot-like spoken word with amazing guitar rifts and vocal harmonies mixed into the message.
One after the other, the Banished Ones fled
As they watched from the distance
The destruction of the Digital Garden
With no more fruit to bear from its trees
The Haze was finally broken
With the rains came the awareness that never again
Would anyone ever lay claim to the treasures of the Rainbow Children
It would be five years before he released another album. He had explored other love languages, producing incredible balladry and instrumental genius pieces such as 3121’s “The Dance” and previously temporarily erasing his identity with the Love Symbol album in 1999, just a year prior to his conversion, which featured religious minded songs such as “And God Created Woman”.
Prince had a natural ability to continue understanding and embracing an apostate world while laying claim to a belief system which teaches against vulgarities and open explorations of sexuality. He prided himself on being able to explore sexual topics without what he personally considered vulgarity. For Prince, it’s apparent, that vulgarity could be left up to the interpretation of the listener. His work and phases of identities represent a deep exploration into the spiritual elements of his own DNA.
While it seemed that Prince spent the first decade of his Jehovah’s Witness post conversion life creating music which delved into a deeper layer of his self exploration, leaning more toward spiritual concepts, the last album Prince would release before his death was Hit n Run Phase One featuring songs like Million Dollar Show where he openly exudes a pop element mixed with a touch only Prince can develop, using violins to end what seems like a subtle mockery of himself and the manufactured sounds of pop.
As always, Prince painted a multi-dimensional picture with his music. With songs such as June, Prince seemed to be making music simply because he could, creating a scripted poetry smothered in the richness of beautiful and haunting instrumentals. He explored differing genres and wrote more ballads about lost love and raw, vulnerable emotion.
Conversation starters come way too hard
Nobody wants to be the martyr,
playin’ the wrong cards
Why did you come to this planet?
Why did you come to this life?
“June”, Hit n Rune Phase One
A week after Prince’s death Hit n Run Phase Two released with equally brilliant funky jams like Black Muse. While “Diamonds and Pearls” appealed to the dance floor, the ballads written in Prince’s later years, are wrapped in a depth that could seemingly only be expressed through exquisite horns and strings, built softly around rhythms and the lull of his soft voice. Prince’s “Revelation” is one of the most beautiful and understated ballads he ever wrote.
Prince mastered the art of weaving his faith into the carnal realities of his flesh, continuing to explore an ever evolving and exploratory faith based life. He built an intricate web of musical gifts until his death, spinning raw sexuality with history and a reverence to the Christian God.
but the task at hand until I see the sun
is to keep doing you until you cum, to revelation (revelation…)
Through English glamour, casting a spell
Though Hebrew, Greek and Roman hell
higher ’til we understand, the colour of the Pharoah’s hand
(the colour of the Pharoah’s hand…)
Finally, a short compilation of Prince’s funniest and greatest moments.