My Presentation at the An Infinite Mind’s “Healing Together” Conference

* The International’s Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD) Annual Conference is coming up. The pre-conference is March 12 – 13, and the main conference is March 14 – 16. It’s being held in San Francisco. Information: https://annualconference.isst-d.org/

I’m attending the conference this year and would love to connect with anybody who is going. We could hang out at break times and get to know each other better.

ISSTD is also offering two regional conferences. 

*A Day With Professor Michael Salter” – plus Margot Sunderland, Adah Sachs, Kathryn Livingston, Mark Linington, Elly Hanson, Sue Richardson, Valerie Sinason, and Nancy Borrett – is in London on March 5. Information: https://www.isst-d.org/training-and-conferences/upcoming-conferences/london-regional-conference/

* “Diagnosis and “Treatment of DID and PTSD in Indigenous Peoples” is in Fairbanks AK on June 17 – 20. Information: https://www.isst-d.org/training-and-conferences/upcoming-conferences/fairbanks-regional-conference/

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The vibe at An Infinite Mind’s conference was just like last year’s, except stronger. It was warm and friendly and accepting, also open and trusting and real. Once again, there was a great deal of diversity compared to other conferences I have been to. There were more men, more differently-abled people, more people of different races, more gay, lesbian, bi, and trans people, a wider range of ages, and more people with green or blue or pink hair. That is greatly to be celebrated.

And guess what? There were almost 100 more people there than there were last year! They must be doing something right.

I learned some new things, met some amazing people, touched base with people I had hung out with last year. It’s relaxing and energizing at the same time to be with others who are like me in so many ways, and I wish I could experience it 24/365. But I’m not complaining – the memory of those 24/48-plus hours will buoy me up for many a day.

So – the presentation. I survived, obviously. There were about 30, 35 people there, over half survivors, and the rest split between therapists and support people. I had prepared the talk for therapists, so I made it more general, more inclusive, as I went along. There was time for questions after each section, and that worked very nicely, People quickly engaged and they liked that format.

It felt weird because I went into flashback almost immediately. I’d expected the flashback to come after the presentation, the way it did at previous conferences. But no, it was 90 minutes of flashback, which gradually lifted afterwards. I felt like an actress playing a part, and I could feel that the way I moved my body and my hands was not normal for me. I couldn’t tell about my voice because I was using a microphone, so, of course, my voice sounded very different to me. Although I didn’t feel like a different person, you might say I switched, and another part gave the presentation. I don’t know.

I lost my place once, fell silent, and then said, “I don’t know where I am.” Nobody seemed to take it literally. I quickly found my footing, apologized, and continued. And I did let one set of questions go on too long and had to rush through the end. None of this was a disaster. People came up to me afterwards and thanked me and were very warm and supportive. And nobody knew I was in a flashback unless I told on myself!

So it was just fine – it really was.

One thing I really love about being in a group of RA survivors is that we can go from tears to laughter in a minute. So many of us seem to have the same sense of humor. It’s a bond. I love it! And I’m glad that people think I am funny – humor is such a gift.

The ice is broken, and now there can be other RA presentations. Maybe even a panel! There is plenty of time to brainstorm and plan.

Perhaps you-all could help start the brainstorming and share your ideas in the comments section. If you could go to a conference on DID, what would you want the RA sessions to be like? Let your imagination soar!! Topics, of course, but also format. Academic presentations, art shows, music, anything.

Perhaps I could develop some of those ideas into a blog post.

 

PS This is not an apology; it’s an explanation. The post is late this time because I was on the plane coming home on the 10th. Yesterday, I made time to write it, but I didn’t post it until today. I read it with fresh eyes, did some editing, and and then clicked “publish.” I still have lots of every-day life things to do – get some food in the fridge, read 150 emails and sort out the important ones, laundry, things like that.

PPS The cat is much better! I was afraid he would die when I was away, and I wouldn’t get to say goodbye. Luckily, I worried for nothing. Magical thinking tells me that it was my fretting that made him better, but logically I think it was his resilient little body.

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Upcoming Holidays

February
2/14 Valentine’s Day
2/25 Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras
2/25 Walpurgis Day
2/26 Ash Wednesday

March 
3/1 St. Eichstadt’s Day
3/9 Full moon<
3/13 Friday the Thirteenth
3/17 Spring Equinox
3/17 St. Patrick’s Day
3/24 Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan

April
4/1 April Fool´s Day
4/5 Palm Sunday
4/7 Full moon
4/8 Day of the Masters
4/9 Maundy Thursday (commemoration of the Last Supper)
4/10 Good Friday
4/11 Holy Saturday
4/12 Easter Sunday<
4/26 Grand Climax/De Meur
4/30 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
2/10 Tu Bishvat/Tu B’Shevat (celebration of spring)

(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices and the equinoxes.)

A Miracle in Australia

* Detailed instructions for making comments are in “News Items.”

* There is a public Facebook group titled: “LDS Survivors of Ritualistic Abuse, Mind Control and Organized Abuse.”

* In 1993, Survivorship conducted a survey of its members. Here is a listing of locations where people reported being abused. https://survivorship.org/resources/articles/Survivorshipgeog.survey.pdf

* Help Kathryn Chalmers of The Centre for Mental Health at Melbourne University develop guidelines for non-professionals on dealing with traumatized people by rating the helpfulness of different statements.

To participate you must have been traumatized and also be a member of a consumers’ group or an advocacy organization. (You are a member of a consumers’ group if you have ever been in therapy.)

The project is starting in the next couple of weeks. For more information, contact Kathleen at kchalmers1@unimelb.edu.au.

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Please, please listen to https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zp5IgxPhee4

This is absolutely amazing!!!! In a 18-minute-long speech to members of the Parliament, Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister of Australia, apologized to all survivors of sexual abuse, both those abused in institutions and those abused by trusted people like parents, clergy and teachers. He also apologized for the way in which children and adults were mistreated by being not believed or simply being ignored. The apology included a call to action in helping all survivors receive help and achieve justice.

For me, the highlights were when he said the words “ritual abuse” about six minutes into the speech and when he choked up when imagining his daughters being abused.

Here is the full text of the Prime minister’s apology to survivors of child sexual abuse. Downloaded from https://www.sbs.com.au/news/i-believe-you-your-country-believes-you-pm-s-apology-to-child-sex-abuse-survivors on 11/25/2018.

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“Elsewhere in this building and around Australia, there are others who are silently watching and listening to these proceedings, men and women who have never told a soul what has happened to them. To these men and women, I say this apology is for you too.

“And later, when the speeches are over, and we stand in silence, and we remember the victims who are not with us any more, many, too sadly, by their own hand. As a nation, we failed them, we forsook them, and that will always be our shame.

“This apology is for them, and their families, too. As one survivor recently said to me, “It wasn’t a foreign enemy who did this to us. This was done by Australians to Australians, enemies in our midst, enemies in our midst.”

“The enemies of innocence. Look at the galleries, look at the Great Hall, look outside this place, and you will see men and women from every walk of life, from every generation and every part of our land, crushed, abused, discarded and forgotten.

“The crimes of ritual sexual abuse happened in schools, churches, youth groups, scout troops, orphanages, foster homes, sporting clubs, group homes, charities and in family homes as well.

“It happened anywhere a predator thought they could get away with it and the systems within these organisations allowed it to happen, and turned a blind eye. It happened day after day, week after week, month after month, decade after decade, unrelenting torment.

“When a child spoke up, they weren’t believed and the crimes continued with impunity.

“One survivor told me that when he told a teacher of his abuse, that teacher then became his next abuser – trust broken, innocence betrayed, power and position exploited for evil, dark crimes.

“A survivor named Fay told the royal commission, “Nothing takes the memories away. It happened 53 years ago and it’s still affecting me.”

“I also met with a mother – a survivor named Ann said: “My mother believed them rather than me.”

“I also met with a mother whose two daughters were abused by a priest the family trusted. Suicide would claim one of her two beautiful girls and the other lives under the crushing weight of what was done to her.

“As a father of two daughters, I can’t comprehend the magnitude of what she has faced. Not just as a father, but as a prime minister, I am angrily too at the calculating destruction of lives and the abuse of trust, including those who have abused the shield of faith and religion to hide their crimes, a shield that is supposed to protect the innocent, not the guilty and they stand condemned.

“One survivor says it was like becoming a stranger to your parents – mental health, illness, self-harm and addiction followed.

“The pain didn’t stop with adulthood. Relationships with partners and children became strained as survivors struggled with the conflicting currents within them.

“Parents and siblings felt guilt and sadness for what they had missed, for what and whom they chose to believe, and for what they did not see, while survivors contemplated what could have been.

“A survivor named Rodney asked the question so common to so many survivors. He wonders about the “person I may have become or the person I could have become, if I did not have all of this in my life”.

“Death can take many forms. In this case, the loss of a life never lived and a life denied. Another survivor, Aidan, spoke of not getting justice, because his abuser had died.

“He said, “I was bereft because I was robbed. I was robbed of my day in court. I wanted to tell the world what he did. That was stolen. That was him, again, taking control.”

“Mr Speaker, today, as a nation, we confront our failure to listen, to believe, and to provide justice.

“And, again, today, we say sorry, to the children we failed, sorry.

“To the parents whose trust was betrayed and who have struggled to pick up the pieces, sorry.

“To the whistleblowers, who we did not listen to, sorry.

“To the spouses, partners, wives, husbands, children, who have dealt with the consequences of the abuse, cover-ups and obstruction, sorry.

“To generations past and present, sorry.

“Mr Speaker, as part of our work leading us to this today, I recently met with the National Apology Survivors’ Reference Group, as did the Leader of the Opposition, who is with us today.

“I want to thank this wonderful group of people and brave people. Many are survivors. They have all worked so hard to make today a reality. They said to me that an apology without action is just a piece of paper, and it is. And today, they also wanted to hear about our actions.

“It’s a fair call. In outlining our actions, I want to recognise the work of my predecessors, former Prime Minister Gillard, who is with us here today – and I thank you for your attendance – former Prime Minister Rudd, the member for Warringah, who continues to serve us here in this place, and the former Prime Minister, Mr Turnbull.

“And I want to thank them for their compassion and leadership, as they also confronted these terrible failings.

“The foundations of our actions are the findings and recommendations of the royal commission, initiated by Prime Minister Gillard. The steady, compassionate hand of the commissioners and staff resulted in 17,000 survivors coming forward, and nearly 8,000 of them recounting their abuse in private sessions of the commission.

“We are grateful to the survivors who gave evidence to the commission. It is because of your strength, and your courage, that we are gathered here today.

“Many of the commissioners and staff are also with us today, and I thank them also. Mr Speaker, acting on the recommendations of the royal commission with concrete action gives practical meaning to today’s apology. The Commonwealth, as our national government, must lead and coordinate our response.

“The National Redress Scheme has commenced. I thank the state and territory governments for their backing of the scheme. It recognises the impact of past abuse and provides justice for survivors.

“It will provide survivors with access to counselling and psychological services, monetary payments and, for those who want one – and I stress for those who want one – a direct personal response from an institution, where the abuse occurred.

“It will mean that, after many years, often decades of denials and cover-ups, the institutions responsible for ruining lives admit their wrongdoing and the terrible damage they caused.

“The National Office of Child Safety is another big step forward to ensuring the prevention and detection of child abuse wherever it occurs. It was announced as part of our government’s response to the royal commission and it was established from 1 July of this year within the Department of Social Services.

“As prime minister, I will be changing these arrangements to ensure that the National Office of Child Safety will report to me. To me. It will reside within the portfolio of prime minister and Cabinet, as it should. And the Minister for Social Services will assist me in this role, including reporting to me on the progress of royal commission recommendations and the activities of the Office of Child Safety.

“The office has already begun its work to raise awareness of child safety and to drive cultural change in institutions and the community, to ensure that systemic failures and abuses of power that brought us here today are not repeated.

“Importantly, children themselves are being empowered to participate in these initiatives, because our children must be heard. And when it comes to the work of safety, it must be approachable and child-friendly.

“They must know who they can tell. And they must be believed. And they must know where they can go.

“All Australian governments are now working together to establish a national database to ensure highest standards for working with children and that data about people’s ability to work with children is shared nationally.

“And our work does not stop at our borders. We are ensuring children across the world are protected by stopping child sex offenders from travelling overseas without permission, which will disrupt, prevent and investigate the abuse of children globally.

“And we recognise that as survivors age, those who were abused in, or by, an institution have real fears about entering into aged care facilities. It’s an understandable fear given what happened during childhood, and we will work with survivor groups about what we can do to alleviate those fears and, indeed, the work of the royal commission into aged care will be able to address this as well.

“And to assist with lasting change, we recognise that there are many survivors who were abused in other settings, such as their own homes and in their communities, who will not be covered by this redress scheme.

“These survivors also need to be heard and believed and responded to with services to address their needs.

“So today, I commit to fund the establishment of a National Centre of Excellence and I call on the states and territories to work as partners in this venture. This centre will be the place to raise awareness and understanding of the impacts of child sexual abuse, too deal with the stigma, to support, help and seeking and guide best practice for training and other services.

“All of this is just the start. The Australian Government has not rejected a single recommendation of the royal commission. We now actively work on 104 of the 122 recommendations that were addressed to the Commonwealth, and the 18 remaining are being closely examined in consultation with states and territories.

“And today, we commit from December this year we will report back to the Australian people through the parliament to be held accountable each year, each year, on the progress we are making on the recommendations over the next five years and then beyond.

“We will shine a spotlight on all parts of government to ensure we’re held accountable. And the institutions which perpetrated this abuse covered it up and refused to be held accountable must be kept on the hook.

“Already, many of those organisations have made their own apologies and have signed up to be part of the National Redress Scheme, as they should, but there are others yet to join and today I simply say justice, decency and the beliefs and values we share as Australians insists that they sign on.

“Today, I also commit to establishing a National Museum, a police of truth and commemoration, to raise awareness and understanding of the impacts of child sexual abuse.

“We will work with survivor groups to ensure your stories are recorded, that your truth is told, that our nation does not turn from our shame, and that our nation will never forget the untold horrors you experienced.

“Through this, we will endeavour to bring some healing to our nation, and to learn from our past horrors. We can never promise a world where there are no abusers, but we can promise a country where we commit to hear and believe our children, to work together to keep children safe, to trust them, and, most of all, respect their innocence.

“Mr Speaker, I present the formal apology to be tabled in this parliament today, which will be handed to those in the Great Hall shortly. It reflects all of the sentiments that I have expressed on behalf of the Australian people, this parliament and our government, and I table that and, as I do, I simply say I believe you, we believe you, your country believes you.”

May Australia be only the first of many countries to wake up to the wide-spread existence of child sexual abuse and to take the steps necessary to stop it.

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On a personal note, this is especially meaningful to me because I was friends with the Australian activist David Free. We met in 1993 online and were in continuous contact until his death a year ago, almost to the day. David was one of the 17,000 people who gave testimony to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. (The full report of the Commission is at https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/)

I so very badly wish he had been able to hear this speech.

David’s webpages are still up. They are well worth visiting, whether or not you are Australian.

An index to the website: http://survivingritualabuseaustralia.blogspot.com/2011/10/surviving-ritual-abuse-at-australia_23.html

David’s personal history: http://survivingritualabuseaustralia.blogspot.com/2011/10/my-story_08.html

The resource section: http://survivingritualabuseaustralia.blogspot.com/2011/10/surviving-ritual-abuse-at-australia_23.html

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Upcoming Holidays

December

12/21 Yule/Winter Solstice
12/22 Full Moon
12/24 Christmas Eve
12/25 Christmas Day
12/31 New Year’s Eve
January
1/1 New Year’s Day
1/13 Satanic New Year
1/17 Feast of Fools/Old Twelfth Night/Satanic and demon revels
1/20 Full moon
February
2/2  Candlemas/Imbolc
2/19 Full moon
2/14  Valentine’s Day
3/20 Spring equinox

Days important to Neo-Nazi groups:
January
11/12  Birth of both Rosenberg and Goering, Nazi leaders in WW II
February
1/30 Hitler named Chancellor of Germany

Many Neo-Nazi groups also mark the euquinoxes, the soltices, Beltane, Candlemas, Lamas, Halloween, and full moons. Some pervert Jewish holidays as well.

 

Update on Kim Noble, Activist Artist

I check the statistics for my blog every week or so to see which posts are popular and what key words have been used in searches. The number of people reading  “Kim Noble, Activist Artist” started to climb. At first, two or three people consistently read it each day and I thought maybe I should do an update if Kim was willing. But then something really weird happened – the numbers of views increased steadily to a high of 280 on 12/14. I wrote Kim and asked her if she knew what was going on.

Then I found out that things had gotten really wierd!

I don’t know how many of you are aware of the conspiracy claims about Pizzagate. Basically, some private email of John Podesta was hacked and leaked. (Podesta is the former chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and champion of declassifying many CIA documents, including those on UFO’s.) People started to claim that the e-mails contained secret codes relating to child sexual abuse. “Cheese pizza” was supposed to stand for “child pornography.” A summary of this confusing conspiracy theory can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pizzagate_conspiracy_theory

Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington D.C. was accused of being the center of a child sex ring. The owner and employees were harassed and received dealing with trollsdeath threats both by phone and on-line. Other business in the neighborhood were also targeted.

Kim Noble believes that somebody found my blog post and shared it with the “Pizzagate” conspiracy people, saying that she had sold one of her paintings to the owner of Comet Ping Pong. She, too, started to get badly harassed. She told me that she got 90,000 hits on her paintings’ website in one day!!!  Luckily, things have calmed way down by now.

Kim says:

“It has been strange and in the beginning very frightening. I was told by my agent, therapist and friends not to respond. I sat watching for two days and thought no they are so wrong I need to respond. I then answered or commented on every comment. Now it is quiet and people have been very supportive, thanked me and said I should be a spokes person for Pizzagate, not that I would, but the turn around and support now is amazing. One person answered that they would of preferred to learn about abuse from my paintings rather than their babysitter. What else needs to be said?”

Talk about bravery! I think the world of Kim.

P.S. Remember that we can’t all be Kim, and that we shouldn’t try. We can try to be our true selves and put ourselves out in the world as much or as little as is right for us. By being our true, real selves, not what the perpetrators taught us we were, or tried to turn us into, we make the world a more genuine, more loving place.