Swaddle Your Heart

Where do I go when I float?

Away from the frayed tentacles

Of memories and ligaments,

Strained from twisting, turning,

Child, they said, this hurts me

More than it hurts you. No.

I go back to moments and sit,

Quiet inside the hopelessness it’s

Good to remember this; to never forget

Lest I leave behind the reasons why

I fight until my brows ache.

You got lucky if you didn’t get raped.

It takes the soul away; flight, it

Wanders in dark nights and mires,

Like quicksand, it is the hand of

Every time we were violated

Again and again and again.

Rock with the sadness, my loves.

Hold it bravely in your tender arms,

Like a baby you can re-love the child;

The defiled despair living there

In the core that is shattered and torn.

Fly with the visions, sweet thrivers,

Take back your mind. Release the ghosts.

You are not that anymore; not the

Forgotten child in the chains

Of monsters and madness. No.

You face yourself in the mirror;

Command the past and swaddle

It into the depth of your soft heart.

Vennie Kocsis is the best-selling author of Cult Child and other publications. She is a also a poet and hostess of the podcast Survivor Voices Show.

A Different Kind Of Narcissist

I didn’t know they could exist. I had seen signs of what I thought might be a mixture of two states of being which are on opposite ends of the emotional spectrum. So it was that I began to observe what I call the Narcissistic Empath to see if I could find a pattern in this type of human.

As I have observed over the years, a pattern which emerged for me was something new and undefinable. It wavered between Narcissism and Empathy. Yet, it was not completely either of the two.

Being an Empath (highly sensitive person) my intuition is finely tuned. I can go into the multiple ways in which I “see and feel” human beings. The reason I share this part of me is to give you a glimpse of how I see others.

I am a behavior watcher. I listen to words, and then I sit back and deeply observe the individual’s behavior. This behavioral pattern which was emerging in this type of person felt like something slightly different.

After having an association with a couple of them for a few years, I now see a definition for this type of human, the Narcissistic Empath.

How can this be? I asked myself this question. How can one be both a Narcissist AND an Empath?

According to psychology, narcissists cannot feel at all. Albeit, I am no scientist with a PhD after my name. I am a self-educated person who has spent hours and years studying psychological subjects out of sheer curiosity and need to understand the workings of the human mind. I began this study to understand my own childhood and journey in life.

When the realization sunk into me that this is what I was observing, I set out to specifically find personality types that fit these exact criteria. Three main patterns emerged in my observation.

1. Narcissistic Empaths are very loving and protective with those they care deeply for. They are softer with the way they communicate with those people. They are less apt to be cruel. They are more sensitive to their loved ones’ needs. It is genuine sensitivity. They are patient and aware of their words.

2. They don’t give a damn about people they do not know or have an interest in only sexually and will often make these types their targets. They target strangers. With strangers there is no emotional connection for them.

3. They are palpable. They change. I watched one associate spend a long period of time in a very positive mindset. They were very dedicated to their creative craft. Their interactions were loving and kind. Then an event happened in their life which hurt them deeply. Enter their Narcissistic state of being, in which they are currently sunk. The projector behavior has been the most disparaging to observe. They teeter from positivity to downright meanness, depending on which way their current state of being has leaned.

The Narcissistic Empath seems to be one who teeter totters from one side to the other depending on who they are dealing with and what their personal situation is. It is natural for all humans to have a change in behavior if things in their life get rough.

However, a Narcissistic Empath will take it to the extreme, projecting in vicious and often very convoluted ideals. Yet, what is the difference between a Narcissist and a Narcissistic Empath? The Narcissistic Empath will still be kind to those they love and actually feel it deeply. This is different from the Narcissist who feels nothing and will, without care, abuse those they love. The full on Narcissist fakes their empathy. A Narcissistic Empath fakes nothing. Their Narcissism is real and so is their empathy.

There are many quotes available from “gurus”, urging humans to rid themselves of ego. Yet, the definition of ego is simply a self-identity. So, in fact, it is necessary to have an ego/self-identify. The inflation of the self-identity into an unrealistic self-view is what creates the definition for being egoistic. There should be balance in the human ego. It is the center of who we are. When there is unbalance in our authentic self-identity, it is akin to a rocking boat on a choppy sea.

My questions regarding the Narcissistic Empath kept me on a path of investigative observation.

Could the Empathic side heal the narcissistic side of these humans? If so, what would it take? Was it possible to have both a cold and unfeeling part and a deeply loving part; to switch back and forth between the two? Oh yes. Humans do it every day. Yet it’s not Bipolar or even Borderline Personality Disorder in what I have observed. Still, these people are different, from bipolar and BPD people.

The Empath sees life deeper and in a completely different way, based often out of cosmology minded DNA. The Empath feels things the that non-Empaths are feeling. The Empath absorbs. They see into others; their pains and passions, and I wondered if part of the Narcissistic Empath was also a shutting down to feeling because of the heaviness it can sometimes carry, to be a highly sensitive person. I know of Empaths who do drugs or drink to numb the influx of emotion, using synthetics as a blocker, unable to create their own sense of balance by getting to know themselves deeply.

I believe that the Narcissistic Empath can heal by making deep positive choices toward self-love and having willingness to do concentrated work on themselves.

If they clean their social environment and the self-deprecating thoughts that they use to both degrade themselves and justify the times they lash out, I am of the belief that eventually, with daily routine, the Narcissistic Empath will heal the “dead” part of themselves and be able to become an Embodied Empath, fully in their power and sight, knowing how to balance it and throw away the un-needed junk.

I am observing a few such individuals to continue studying this state of being. I want to see which paths they each decide to take over the next few years. I want to know which part of them will “win” based on which path they choose.

How do you tell the difference? That is a loaded question since Narcissists are adept at faking empathy. However, one thing I’ve noticed about the Narcissist. If one knows what to look for, they’re not that good at faking empathy at all. The sign of their narcissism will always show its face.

With a Narcissistic Empath, there is a turning which happens. The empathy is consistent, present, and genuine. There seems to always be a major event that swings them to the side of shutting down all emotion. They make it through small bumps, but the larger ones make their empathy disappear. Then the Narcissistic phase will remain until they heal the pain. Once the pain is healed, they move back into their genuine Empath selves.

It’s like a mold which needs to be removed and the only one who can remove it is the homeowner.

This is where the work comes in. This is where humans tend to falter, and understandably so. It hurts to heal.

We must face all the torn parts of ourselves that are triggered when we are hurt. Yet, our self-identity can be that of a torn shirt. We grab our needle and thread and stitch the hole. Sometimes we have to re-stitch it, but we stitch it all the same.

So then, we can also stitch the patterns of our pain into beautiful patch works, covering ourselves with the finished blanket of self induced empathy. This, dear ones, is a path to self-healing.

Vennie Kocsis is the best-selling author of Cult Child and the hostess of Survivor Voices Show. She is an advocate, poet and artist.

Redirection

Sometimes things in life make me pause and focus on redirection. Being a creative and a passionate Pisces, I can easily become side tracked into projects which aren’t necessarily meant for me.

I can be like a hound dog, occasionally distracted by attractive scents, sniffing successfully until something redirects me.

Technology has changed me. It has created a false sense of urgency which has distracted me. Each time I sign into my brand, there are influxes of posts telling me how important it is for me to be present, every day! And if I can’t, I should be figuring out HOW or I will FAIL, FAIL, FAIL!! 😳

There’s pressure to figure out what day I should post; what content I should present, exactly what time to attract as many “likes” or “retweets” as possible, who my target audience should be, how to search for them, and if I can’t succeed in THAT, I should consider paying someone to do it for me.

I am rebelling. I am redirecting. I am watching the doers. The truth is, that for someone like me, nothing is more important than focusing on my creativity. Those who love me and support me will be waiting in the wings when I emerge from periods of hibernation.

I feel a great sense of urgency to redirect; to deeply travel the pathways into myself on a more intense level. I rise the highest when I am free of influence and distractions.

Having full control of my mind and my rhythm is crucial to feeding my soul. In these times, I call upon assistance and hand her my phone. I go dormant into the cave to do the work which must be done.

Redirection is pertinant to my current existence. Not everything is meant to be. It is up to me to discern these paths; to choose the best route and weed out that which is not contributing to my mission.

Somewhere in the corner of a cafe, a table awaits a girl whose fingers are ready to pound keys and tell the rest of her story.

Vennie Kocsis is the best-selling author of Cult Child and the hostess of Survivor Voices Show. She is an advocate, poet and artist.

Revealing is Healing

It is indeed a time of revealing. In an instant, the nastiest, most profane and viral parts of the human unearth themselves. Like blasts of mire sucked from the swamps of their dark hearts, humanoid mouths remove their masks as tongues are stripped of the ability of restraint. We send to you the strongest ones to break open their spells.

The battles become shorter and shorter; the wins quicker. The seeking ceases, as clearly, the screens play out truth in high definition. Complacent and fearful, the followers shiver, hoping to keep what small sliver of a controlled voice they believe themselves to have.

Oh, dear ones, you are free. No one owns your integrity or ethics. No one owns your creative well. You DO own the choice to be a warrior for what is right, or the sleeper who chooses not to fight. Whichever side in which you partake, the war is imminent.

The vanquishing sucked out air of the wicked screams as it fights to maintain breath. Death sits quietly awaiting to absorb the absence of their souls. Ash to ash. Dust to dust. When evil runs amuck, good must blend it into its boot heel with a powerful grind. The strong of mind survive.

Wounds are rabid. Humans in the habit of wishing and trying to become others, blend into the lashings of the warring Ones who have cloaked themselves in armor, thick and repelling of the stench of the dying.

Give way to the Rising.

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 Never Loved My Body. Here’s Why.

When I broach the topic of my own sexuality and where I am inside of it, I am sometimes told that my state of mind and feelings regarding my sexuality are just skewed by my child sexual abuse. I don’t completely disagree with that perspective. It’s not a new concept. It’s a scientific fact that child rape shatters a human both mentally and physically.

I do however, disagree that’s its skewed. I wouldn’t use that specific word.  My whole view of sexuality was formed from being raped as a child.  To define my perspective as skewed is implying that I once had a choice to know what sexuality even was.  Just as I have had to travel a path of re-programming my DNA back to its authentic thought perspective form, to expel physical and mental childhood trauma, so I’ve also had to do work specifically with my sexuality.

 “You see, I’ve never loved my body, but not because my body isn’t lovable. It’s that the natural urge to love myself in any way was taken from me by abusive adults.”

Vennie Kocsis

You see, I’ve never loved my body, but not because my body isn’t lovable.  It’s that the natural urge to love myself in any way was taken from me by abusive adults.  When I say, “never loved my body”, I don’t mean standing naked in front of a mirror and being happy with what I see. I didn’t love my body by not caring how it was used. I didn’t know what boundaries were. I didn’t know that I had an option of saying no. By the time I was old enough to learn I could say no, I was formed into a fearfully compliant and sexual system. I often moved into a space of sexual robotics, dissociated away from the act itself, even convincing myself that I loved individuals I did not love, so the programmed guilt of my sexuality would not plague me.

Growing up in a religious cult, I was taught that my body was a temple. Masturbation was a sin. Females who had sex before marriage were vile, dirty whores. Girls who were caught being seductively raped by much older men were blamed for their own fear and compliance. We were taught that our bodies belonged to the Christian God until a husband was chosen for us.

We were taught purity in conjunction with being raped by pedophiles, who came in droves to backwoods communes full of children; pedophiles who sought healing from the religious ministry, a ministry more intent on their doctrine and accepting the pedophiles into the fold to cast out the “pedophile demon”, than on the safety of us children.

If you think all rape is violent you are wrong. There are many ways a predator takes what they want from children and/or adults. Sometimes it’s soft coercion through gifts and items given, so the predator can later say, “Now you owe me.” Sometimes it’s offering sweets, toys or gadgets to little children. Sometimes it’s seducing a teenager or adult who blindly believes and hopes for love. Sometimes there is the use of drugs and/or alcohol. Sometimes it is taken by force as the victim fights to no avail. The list of ways rape is enacted is long and varying.

The media tends to highlight violent rape when soft coercive rape is possibly more often used. It can leave even the victim blaming themselves. It can coerce the victim into believing they participated and even enjoyed it. It shatters the mind into countless pieces.

Whether through physical violence or mental coercion, when the intent of the rapist is to TAKE for them-self, it is, indeed, rape. It is not a fully consensual act.  Children cannot consent to and should not be consenting to sexual acts.  It is a violation for which there is no coming back.  There is no argument for this.  The fact that child rape damages a human so deeply, is proof enough of its dissecting aftermath.   When fear or falseness is involved in the taking of anything from another human without their awareness, it is an absolute act of taking. It leaves scars. It leaves a broken body and mind as the predator walks away full and fed.

Shattered throughout my whole-body system, physically and neurologically, I ran through life in many modes. At times I was in fight or flight for days. Other times I was dissociated. I had other states of being come into my forefront as the authentic me wandered and self-moved like a robot behind them. I had no way to gauge what was healthy for me.

I would search many facets of sexuality, from bisexuality to the lifestyle of fetishes and BDSM; to poly-amorous attempts and more. Being a sexual abuse survivor, I had no self-awareness to connect my spirit with my sexuality.  I had yet to call my soul back into my body.  Instead, sex became a way to both numb and sometimes expel rage and pain.

I had been trained to never say no. I had been trained that saying no would leave me punished and/or shunned.  Saying no meant I wasn’t a good person.  Saying no meant I was selfish. I had been trained for compliance since the age of three. It was all that my mind and my body ever knew.

Many victims of sexual abuse take a journey through exploring extreme sexuality. I do not blame them or judge them for this journey. There is both a disconnect and a confusion in the mind towards our sexuality when we have been raped starting at a very young age. We sometimes become dominant to control being hurt. Yet, in the quiet of our mind, the pain still exists. We sometimes become compliantly submissive, believing if we give our bodies fully, that we will be loved, often ending up further abused.

I am not ashamed of my sexual past.  You should not be either.  Let no one shame you, and please do not shame yourself.  All my experiences, especially the ones which left me hurt and damaged, with more scars, remnants of my pain left in the hands of men who only cared about their own wants and having visuals to hold for their own pleasure, have formed me into who I am today. This does not erase their accountability for their predatory behavior. Acceptance is merely my path to freeing myself from the hold these sexual patterns have had on me.

I believe deeply in my own sacred sexuality. I now know that my vagina belongs to MY body. I am not a fan anymore of the ideal that sacred sexuality means giving my body away. This does not at all feel in alignment with my spirit or what makes me feel comfortable inside.

I have misgivings about the industry of sacred sexuality. It is a new-age trend rife with predators, many seemingly moving through one partner after another, and charging money to other humans to “free them from their sexual traumas and blocks”. One can only wonder the effect this has on individuals emotionally, especially when they have been severely sexually abused. I see the trends of sexual gurus, and their followers crawling behind them, believing that “free sex” means “healed wounds”.  I’ve see the aftermath from those who have awakened to understand they were being preyed upon by ill-intended individuals.

I am becoming very comfortable in owning this personal space. As the numbers of my age rise, the more I am deeply connected to the ethereal strand holding my body together. I have come to many realizations over the years. I have given my body to other humans for the wrong reasons, most of which did not align with my greater good.

Sexual healing, for me, has been learning to say no without fear of rejection and loss.

Healing from my sexual abuse has meant being willing to walk away from anyone who can’t respect the space I am choosing to be centered into, who would still coerce me or place me in a compliant or humiliating position, even after me having said it wasn’t where I wanted to be.  Healing has meant walking away from those who may have a hold on this part of me. Healing is putting my body first in health and energetic care.  Healing has involved learning to be alone with myself without feeling lonely and loving my body with a healthy perspective.

I dare say be mindful of your intuition, fluttering there below your rib cage. If you feel as I feel, in a space of exclusivity, with no urge to give yourself to others out of a “free sexuality” trend following or patterns of past abuse, don’t let anyone persuade you away from yourself.  Do not judge, but more so, do not let yourself be judged for not following along with any patterns of group think.  You have the right to be an individual with your own choices.

This poem grew out of this journey, as my childhood sexual abuse has been the deepest wound I’ve had to clean.  It is the wound which has held the densest toxins and had the strongest hold on me.

Somewhere

There are kisses invisible

Sent by men who

Stare at ceilings

Dripping with strands

Of hair.

I don’t dare travel there.

Imagine surprises;

Beach town getaways,

Watching watery sunrises.

But aloneness

Doesn’t call

For such privileges.

Floating to other circles,

Hoping for different hues;

Something new,

Unfamiliar.

Some call it

‘Being loved unconditional.’

I don’t know what

That feels like.

I know abuse and use,

Sex feigned as passion.

Forever exists;

Waiting somewhere.

by Vennie Kocsis, 2015

As I am rising higher inside of my own power, I am wielding an invisible sword called boundaries.  I reserve and demand the right to say no. I do not consent to being love bombed and flattered into giving myself away. I hold onto my power, as it is my sovereign right to be in full control of my human body. My mind can no longer be persuaded to go against the greater good of my own thoughts and desires.

As it is, so shall it be.  img_3657Vennie 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.

LOCKED IN: by John Huddle

At the 2014 conference for the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA), I was in a conference filled with cult survivors. We were sitting in a large circle, some of us child survivors, some parents who had been lured, yet all of us had one commonality, we were victims. We shared openly, and a comradely connection swept through the room.

There was a man with a great sense of humor who seemed to interject at just the right time with softly funny quips that seemed to break moments of heaviness.  He had a gentle smile and kind demeanor.  John Huddle, survivor of Word of Faith Fellowship cult and author of LOCKED IN, ended up spending time with our group of survivors.  It was a great connection of healing and realizing that none of us were alone.  I was thrilled to meet another author, and we exchanged our books with each other.

Huddle’s book, LOCKED IN, opens with a young John, innocent minded, with a heart to do good in his community, a working man who volunteered at his local church.  He meets a like-minded woman and soon marries.  Life seems fulfilling, with Christian oriented goals of giving and helping in the community.  But this simple life quickly takes a turn when a woman named Jane Whaley enters the scene. John’s church, formerly led by Gerald and Linda Southerland, merges with the Whaley ministry and morphs into what would be re-titled as Word of Faith Fellowship.   Jane Whaley rules her congregation with an iron fist.  Her intensive and extensive set of rules are strenuous, dictating everything from styles of dress to her members’ employment, relationships, how children should be disciplined and much more.  In time, John and his wife have a family, but as his family grows, so does the sadistic, abusing and controlling environment and rituals set out by Jane WhaleyThe congregation travels to Brazil on recruiting trips. Over time, John becomes conflicted.  He struggles to come to terms with the truth of what he is embedded in.  Eventually, John is forced to make a decision that will ultimately change his life forever.

LOCKED IN is an excellently written, compelling and fast read.  Well-crafted with a style that can be related with, LOCKED IN allows the reader to follow the slow unfolding of religious based mind control on an adult.  The question of how an adult is slowly lured, turned and trapped into an abusive cult is lain out with brilliant precision.  With an informative forward by Lorna Goldberg, L.C.S.W, Psy.D, former President of International Cultic Studies Association, and quoting cult experts such as Janja Lalich, PhD, LOCKED IN tells the story of how innocent humans are preyed upon by swindlers who use religion to extract everything they can from their victims.

I recently had the honor to guest host one of their broadcasts and sit down to talk with John about the experiences he details in LOCKED IN.  John also discussed the current court case involving assault victim, Matthew Fenner by members of Word of Faith Fellowship.  Click below to listen to John’s interview.

John’s blog is a hub which details the history and the current drama involving the criminality of WOFF.  To stay abreast with the current events of the WOFF criminal case, follow John’s blog.  Word of Faith Fellowship has been deemed an extremely brutal cult and is currently charged with human trafficking of its Brazil members.

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 Know Anger. It Is the Unleashing of Pain.

I visit Ethnic Fest in my city today and encounter an end times, sign toting, fear dealing kid in the park who I wind up so hard, his last words screeched at me are “WOMEN SHOULD SUBMIT TO MEN!”

But let’s back up. It happens like this. I admit. I bait him. I see the big, hypocritical sign. I go cynical and comedic. I go in for the kill. However, he IS partially responsible, since he walks my way.

Everything in its season, yes? Maybe it is his time to be touched.

When he walks by, I beckon him to a table where I sit with friends. They remain silent throughout. Then so, the conversation between the two of us begins.

“I have a question, sir.” I ask politely, pointing to his sign. “What if God tells me to believe something that Jesus says I should never obey? What then?”

“That would never happen.” He states.

“Then why tell everyone to do that?” I ask.

So begins our back and forth banter as I “innocently” start pecking at his cognitive dissonance. I ask blanketed biblical questions as if I “kinda” know the Bible. He quotes scripture like a robot. I act curious. I am wringing him like a sponge to see where his head is.

Then a couple of things happen, and things change to a negative tone very fast.

ONE

“So, the whole ritual of eating bread and drinking the juice, what does that represent?” I ask.

I have on bright blue eyeliner. I am shiny, smiling and leaned forward in interest. To him, I am a potential. His face lights up at the chance he now has. He believes he is educating me. He is in an undercover linguistic role reversal, and his ego is blind to it.

“This is how we signify ourselves. Jesus said, eat of my flesh and drink of my blood…”

“So like cannibalism.” I interrupt.

That’s when the body language shift happens. I see his muscles tense and the anger set in. He just got challenged. This is against the rules. No one trained him for this one.

“YES!” I think to myself. “I’ve got him.”

TWO

At this point, a very attractive young woman, in her possible mid twenties, passes, and she low fives him. I watch as they lock hands for a second. She has on a long, body fitting and low cut, bright green maxi dress. She sashays her hips as her shoulder-length, brown hair sways over her back.

“Good job, Brother.” She says directly to him.

“Thanks!” He responds.

His face changes as she passes. His ego was just injected. He is reminded of why he does what he does, by that beautiful girl in the green dress who says “Good job.” That feels good, something no one often said to him in life. My senses are reading multiple movements, emotions and gray areas at once.

“Flirty fishing, huh.” I say casually.

“Yeah.” He laughs. “No, wait, huh?” His face changes to very serious.

“Oh, there was this cult. You know they used attractive females to lure members.” I explain.

“Oh, no. That was just a girl I met in the parking lot who’s a Christian and KNOWS what I’m saying is true.” He is defensive.

He doesn’t catch my subtle hint, that I am educated on luring and religious scamming; that I used the word cult; that I get she is giving him her approval, and I just watched him soak it in like it was his last drink; that there’s no parking lot anywhere close to the park. She represents their possibility. Evangelism brings income, and pretty Christian girls bring possibilities.

But hey, that’s just semantics. Back to the more important topics.

“Ok, so back to the cannibalism.” I re-direct.

That word is a trigger word for him so I make sure and use it again. I want him to think about it every time he takes his communion. I want to plant anti-virus words inside his programming. He scrambles to talk about signification, and I watch him change with agitation as the conversation grows.

I am fascinated with his body language and eye movement. Each piece of debate is flipping and turning him. I play with him, arguing scriptures, letting him feel like he is winning, and I stay dumbed down.

I rile him back up by accusing him of disobeying the Bible by arguing with me, but because I won’t tell him the exact verse to back that up, he says it’s not in there.

“You haven’t read the whole Bible then.” I reverse taunt. “If you did, then you’d know that verse.”

I want him go look it up, in his need to be right and find he’s wrong. Just a couple cracks in the screen.

I ask him what church he attends. He tells me they don’t have a church. He tells me that they go to people’s houses, “PREY” with them and have Bible studies.

“So what’s your story. Tell me about your past.”

He immediately shuts down.

“I don’t talk about my past because God instructs us to be ashamed of our pasts. To ask for forgiveness for those sins, but to stay in shame. They are not to be boasted about. Aren’t you ashamed of your past?” He demand.

“Not at all.” I calmly reply. “The Bible says to testify about the struggles we come out of.”

“Well, you should be.”

Ah, the crazy making. That is supposed to trigger my shame. Yet, I have none to trigger.

“How sad.” I say quietly, looking directly at him. “To live in shame.”

He is talking over me now, and he is angry. I understand talking over. It is akin to choking someone to shut them up. He is now telling me that I am a woman, and God instructs me to submit to him. I laugh. I can’t help it. It’s funny. I know this one also. They’re trained to try and trigger females with that stupidity. It’s a sad state of mind.

I try to give him a card. He refuses to touch if. Like it might be a demon. I am glad he doesn’t take it. I’m good with this wacko not knowing who I am.

I can see he is really riled up in a very negative angry way. His roots are rocked. I know anger. Anger is the unearthing of pain.

I feel I should probably make a slight turn to calm him and wrap this up.

“Well, let me ask you something. Does the Bible say God is love?”

“It does.” He agrees, still agitated, his foot tapping rapidly.

“And we are made in God’s image?”

“Yes.” He agrees again.

“Then we are all love by that definition?” I ask softly.

He is suddenly silent. It is as if a robot has been turned off. I am actually surprised at this silence. I expected an immediate robotic response of some contrary scripture as has been his pattern. I didn’t think it would be this simple of a concept which would stump his “hell, hatred, believe and obey” theology. He appears, for the first time, to have grasped a simple thought.

I decide it is a perfect time to be done.

“Hey, thanks for talking to me. Now we can go be love!” I say cheerily, waving my hand as I turn back around to the table.

He walks away, carrying his huge sign as he calls back that I am a wicked, evil woman sinner that should submit to him aka he didn’t, as the man, get the last word in or win the possibility of my pocketbook. Or to shove his questions down; to make me the villain because being wrong isn’t an option.

And I’m thinking “People actually let this man in their homes.”

As my friends and I walk out I see another young man just like the one I’d been speaking with. He has this fancy loud speaker hanging around his neck. It has volume buttons and is attached to a headset and microphone; like the ones used at trade shows.

This guy is also holding a sign and is standing on the corner screaming to the people passing by, talking about their sins. No one is paying any of them attention. They are just park nuisances.

“You sound like Jim Jones.” I lean in fast and hard, hoping my voice picks up on the microphone.

He turns the volume off.

“What?” He asks.

“You sound like Jim Jones.” I repeat.

“Who’s that?” He’s got this confused look on his face.

“Google him. He was a preacher who talked in a microphone just like yours.”

The fact he doesn’t know who Jones is lets me know these individuals are trained cultists who’ve been sequestered from common known truths and possibly internet access. Evangelistic missions with youngsters like this are managed by their handlers, who keep them on tight leashes.

These are swindlers’ puppets standing on festival corners looking for their handler’s next victim. Their masters have chosen the most programmed, best looking and youngest, yet legal, of them to send into the streets.

I think of Scam City. There is a tier racket going on. Extremists looking for followers. He has no church. His church is gaining entrance to people’s homes and lives with the use of a religion.

This is a dangerous criminal racket for which the “tourist” of life should be aware. Becoming a “tourist”, away from our own capable existence, molds a human into prey for the predators who use their religious wares to reel in the “tourists” who’ve become lost. But it’s a scam. Beware the mind pickpocket. They take your thoughts AND your wallet.

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.