Another Chorus in My Life’s Song

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* I’m looking for people who have been used as breeders in a cult setting to contribute to an anthology I hope to put together. Even if you have not been abused in this way, could you spread the word? Tell all your survivor friends and any therapists or pastors you know who work with survivors about the project and ask them to tell others about it, too. They can write me at rahome@ra-info.org for more information. Thank you so much!

* Satanic and Neo-Nazi holidays in April, May, and June are at the bottom of this post.

Another Chorus in My Life’s Song

Sounds better than “Old Tapes” doesn’t it?

That line came to me as I was trying to go to sleep the other night. I was lying in bed thinking of all the clueless and stupid things I had done or said over the years. Of course every time you think of something you strengthen the memory, and then it is easier to think of it again. “Don’t think of a purple rhinoceros or what you said to Jane in seventh grade.” Guess what you are immediately going to think of?

So the sensible thing would have been to think of something else.

I, being a sensible person at heart, tried telling myself to think of something pleasant. Like…. But I couldn’t think of anything pleasant. Then I was off and running again, thinking how dumb it was that I couldn’t think of a single pleasant thing even though I knew there were plenty of pleasant things in my life, past and present. Also plenty of pleasant things to think of that weren’t part of my life, like….. Nothing came to mind. Total dead end.

Bitterly, I thought, “Just another chorus in my life’s song.” And that broke the spell! I fell asleep thinking of verses to go with that chorus. And, when you come right down to it, it is pleasant to create a song, even if you don’t remember it the next day.

The phrase itself isn’t either pleasant or unpleasant. It isn’t judgmental or critical or a phony affirmation that makes me feel dishonest and shallow. Can’t tell if it is either true or false. No value judgement in it.

The next day, when I was rested and thinking more clearly, I realized I had given a name to the process I was going through. That’s akin to a meditation technique I used to use a lot. When a thought came unbidden to mind, I would say, “thought” and turn my attention back to breathing and silently saying my mantra of the day. Same thing with emotions or sensations – I just gave them a name and redirected my attention. They floated away and dissipated like wispy clouds.

Once, when I was highly suicidal, I did sensible things like give my best friend all my kitchen knives to hold for me and promised to talk to him before making an attempt. It wasn’t enough, though, and I still had to fight the urges several times an hour.

So I started saying, “programing” to myself any time I thought of ways to off myself. The urges became less frequent and less intense, and after about three days they had gone completely. I was very aware of how often I said “programing” and appalled at how wracked I was with thought of killing or maiming myself. It was easier to remember the name of the process than the content of the program that had been kicked up. I was emotionally exhausted at the end, but felt clean and peaceful.

Naming the process is, for me, a powerful tool in handling any situation. Just wish I could remember to use it more often!

 

Upcoming Holidays

April
4/16 – 4/23 Grand Climax/Da Meur/ (Preparation for sacrifice in some Satanic sects)
4/29 Full Moon
4/30 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve
May
  
5/1 Beltane/May Day/ Labour Day in Europe
5/13 Mothers’ Day
5/28 Memorial Day
5/29 Full moon
June
6/17 Fathers’ Day

6/21 Summer Solstice
6/23 Midsummer’s Eve
6/23 St John’s Eve
6/28 Full moon

Dates important to Neo-Nazi groups
4/20 Hitler’s birthday (Note: Hitler was born on Easter, so Nazis celebrate his actual birthday, 4/20, and Easter of the current year. His alternate birthday is 4/1 this year.)
4/30 Anniversary of Hitler’s death
5/8 V-E Day: Victory in Europe, WW2
6/6 D-Day: invasion of France in WW2
(Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lamas, Halloween, solstices, equinoxes, and full moons.)

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Never Bad Enough

I’m moving the list of holidays to the end of my posts, because I feel it gets too much emphasis if it is at the beginning. If I received complaints, I’ll reconsider.

 

On the first of January of this year, I wrote a post called “Never Good Enough.” I promised I would write about its evil twin, “Never Bad Enough.” So here we go!

The Oxford English Living Dictionary defines evil as “profound immorality, wickedness, and depravity, especially when regarded as a supernatural force.”

Applying this definition to the goings-on in my cult, my first thought was, “Now who in the world would want another person to be evil?” “And what is evil enough, anyway?” I’m still very naive! Or at least part of me is.

I was raised a Satanist, and we believed that “Satan is the God of Evil.” Human evil is a gift to him, a way of worshiping him, and it pleases him immensely. The absence of evil enrages him and wishy-washy evil infuriates him. When he is pleased by a substantial gift, he rewards the person who gave that gift with material riches and power.

Most parents prefer their children to grow up and be well off, or at least comfortable, in life. They are proud if they are respected, honored, and looked up to. All of these attributes are indicative of power. In that respect, Satanist parents are no different from other parents. In most other senses, they are night-and-day different. Other parents do not think they are doing their children a favor by torturing them.

Now I was raised a good little Satanist, taught to believe that I could please the God of Evil by being as bad as possible and thus grow up to have lots of money, respect, and power.

But just as there are some Christian kids who, deep down, are bored by being good and crave risk and excitement and danger, there are some Satanist kids who, deep down, hate being mean or hurting others. By nature, they are disgusted by destruction and sadism. It’s like they have an innate craving for peace and love and beauty.

Of course these kids don’t shine at learning how to be Satanists. When told to do something, they are slow and sloppy and have to repeat the lesson over and over. They feel like a failure because they are never bad enough. That was me.

Actually, it’s a double bind. If the kids don’t get it right away, they have to repeat it until they are bad enough to satisfy their teachers. If they do it right the first time, they are promoted into having to do something worse. One way or another, they are going to be forced to do evil things, over and over and over.

Yearning to be kind, yet forced to commit cruel acts, my guilt and sense of responsibility for those acts defined me. When I was in the cult, I felt I did not belong, because I was good at the core and therefore could never be bad enough to be a Satanist. When I was free, I felt I did not belong because I was evil at the core and the bad things I did could not be undone or atoned for, no matter how good I was.

Strange paradox, never bad enough to be a Satanist, yet always too bad to be anything else.

 

Upcoming Holidays
February


2/25 Walpurgis Day
March

3/1 Full Moon
3/20 Spring Equinox
3/24 Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan
3/30 Good Friday/Death of Jesus Christ
3/31 Full Moon (Blue Moon)
April
4/1 Easter Sunday
4/1 April Fool’s Day
4/8 Day of the Masters
4/10 Full Moon
4/16 – 4/23 Grand Climax/Da Meur/ (Preparation for sacrifice in some Satanic sects}
4/30 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve

Dates important to Neo-Nazi groups
4/1 Hitler’s alternate birthday (Easter)
4/20 Hitler’s birthday (Note: Hitler was born on Easter, so Nazis celebrate his actual birthday, 4/20, and Easter of the current year.)
4/30 Anniversary of Hitler’s death
(Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lamas, Halloween, solstices, equinoxes, and full moons.)

“Accidental Killers”

I read this article by Alice Gregory in the September 18 issue of the New Yorker and was blown away. I could relate to every word and I cried a lot. I still tear up when I read the end of the article.

What really amazes me about my reaction is that the article is not about ritual abuse. It is about people who cause a death by accident and who live with guilt and sorrow for the rest of their lives. Like us, they feel isolated and misunderstood and are told, “It wasn’t your fault.” “It was just an accident.” “That’s the past now, isn’t it time you got over it?” None of which is helpful, as we know.

People who killed somebody by accident seldom meet or read about others like them, so they don’t have a chance to learn that their emotions are normal, are shared by others. There is no opportunity to form a community or to help others. It is a heavy and lonely existence.

I came close to killing a child when I was 22 or 23. I was driving slowly up a side street and a boy riding a bike hit the passenger side of my car. He flew up and landed on my hood. Our eyes locked for what seemed like an eternity. I knew how close he had come to being run over: I am not sure he understood the danger he had been in. That long moment ended when his mother started screaming at him from a second story window. He got off the hood, picked up his bike, and slowly went into the house. Shakily, I went on my way.

Three feet, thirty seconds, and this article could be about me.

Alice Gregory has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Harper’s, and The New York Review of Books. She has a website at http://www.alice-gregory.com/ with many of her articles, both in print and on podcasts. The entire text of “Accidental Killers” is at https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/09/18/the-sorrow-and-the-shame-of-the-accidental-killer Browse through her other articles: many are fascinating.

For those of you who are not familiar with the New Yorker, it publishes serious articles, fiction, reviews … and cartoons. My parents subscribed to it, and I have, too, for most of my life. Its website is https://www.newyorker.com/

Below is the conclusion of “Accidental Killers.”

 

In the Book of Numbers, God instructs Moses to tell the Israelites that they are to designate six cities of refuge “so that anyone who kills someone inadvertently may flee there.” The accidental murderer will be protected from the wrath of the “blood avenger,” a family member of the deceased. The rules are spelled out in detail: when a person enters one of these cities, a tribunal determines whether he or she is eligible for sanctuary; those who killed with weapons, for example, cannot remain there. According to Talmudic commentary, assembled in the twelfth century, the roads leading to the cities of refuge were to be well marked, free of obstacles, and wider than regular roads, so that those who have killed another unwittingly could proceed there without delay.

When Maryann Gray [who hit a child who ran in front of her car], a secular Jew who grew up celebrating Easter and Christmas and reserving Scarsdale tennis courts on the High Holidays, first learned of the concept of cities of refuge, she was overcome with gratitude. “The Torah was talking about me,” she remembers thinking. Gray was struck by the specificity of its prescriptions, which suggested that lives like hers were once contemplated with sophistication by the highest authorities. She became obsessed with the concept, researching it at the library of Hebrew Union College, a seminary with a campus in Los Angeles, talking about it with rabbis, and reading their works.

There is “no statute of limitations on self-imposed pain,” David Wolpe, the senior rabbi of Sinai Temple, in Los Angeles, told me. Gray spoke to Wolpe at the start of her inquiry into the cities of refuge; he explained that their purpose was to allow individuals to share some of their pain with a community. “Maimonides, the great medieval Jewish philosopher, says that in the collective grief the individual’s grief is assuaged,” Wolpe wrote to me in an e-mail. When “people realize that loss is part of the iron law of life, it helps them reconcile themselves to their own situation.” Most of us will not be forced to assimilate a catastrophic accident into the story of our lives, but rituals and refuge seem so obviously necessary that a world without them looks inhumane.

There is no extra-Biblical evidence that cities of refuge ever existed. But Gray does not want to believe that they were merely a figment of an antique but ethically progressive imagination. “If I had been exiled to a city of refuge, I might not have needed exile from myself,” she once wrote. She was moved by the idea that, in such cities, a person like her could participate fully in society without shame. “I love that there was a way of recognizing the true devastation that’s been wrought, the harm that’s been done, without condemning the individual,” she said. “That’s what I’m looking for—to live in the world with acceptance and with opportunity, but also with the acknowledgment that in running over this child something terrible happened and it deserves attention.”

 

I’m moving the list of holidays to the end of my posts, because I feel it gets too much emphasis if it is at the beginning. If I received complaints, I’ll reconsider.

Upcoming Holidays
February
2/2 Candlemas/Imbolc
2/13 Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras
2/14 Ash Wednesday/Beginning of Lent
2/15 Partial solar eclipse.
2/14 Valentine’s Day
2/25 Walpurgis Day
March

3/1 Full Moon
3/20 Spring Equinox
3/24 Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan
3/25 Palm Sunday
3/30 Good Friday/Death of Jesus Christ
3/31 Full Moon (Blue Moon)
April
4/1 Easter Sunday
4/1 April Fool’s Day
4/8 Day of the Masters
4/10 Full Moon
4/16 – 4/23 Grand Climax/Da Meur/ (Preparation for sacrifice in some Satanic sects}
4/30 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve

Dates important to Neo-Nazi groups
1/30 Hitler named Chancellor of Germany
4/20 Hitler’s birthday (Note: Hitler was born on Easter, so Nazis celebrate his actual birthday, 4/20, and Easter of the current year. His alternate birthday is 4/1 this year.)
4/30 Anniversary of Hitler’s death
(Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lamas, Halloween, solstices, equinoxes, and full moons.)