Out from the Cult

Upcoming Holidays
May
5/29 Memorial Day
June
6/9 Full Moon 
6/18  Fathers’ Day 

6/20  Summer Solstice
6/23 Midsummer’s Eve
6/23  St John’s Eve
July
7/4  Fourth of July/US Independence Day
7/8  Full Moon
7/25  St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God
August
8/1 N Lamas/Lughnasadh
8/7  Full Moon
8/7  Partial lunar eclipse: visible in most of Europe, most of Asia, Australia, Africa, and eastern South America.
8/21 Total solar eclipse: totality visible in parts of Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska Iowa,  Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina; partially visible in other parts of the United States, Canada, Central America, northern South America, western Europe, and western Africa.
Important dates in Nazi groups
6/6 D-Day: invasion of France in WW2
7/29 Hitler proclaimed leader of the Nazi party

.

born into a neon winter
garish and harsh
colors so bright they flamed
no closing my eyes
nothing to suck
only burning neon flames

grown in a cold cold winter
grey and silent
no movement
no comfort
only me, alone

then oh!
on the horizon
sunflowers, rivers. green hills, sun and sand, soaring gulls, deer,
rabbits, suburbs and suburbs of warm homes, laughter, dancing,
song, beds and food and drink
a plentitude, a plentitude

It was a long road, but I got here.

Scapegoating

Upcoming Holidays
May

5/10 S Full Moon
5/14 S Mothers’ Day
June
6/9 S Full Moon
  ce
6/18 S Fathers’ Day  ce
6/20 S Summer Solstice
6/23 S Midsummer’s Eve
6/23 S St John’s Eve
July
7/4 Fourth of July/US Independence Day
7/8 Full Moon
  ce
7/25 St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God
August
8/1 S N Lamas/Lughnasadh
8/7 S Full Moon
8/7 S Partial lunar eclipse: visible in most of Europe, most of Asia, Australia, Africa, and eastern South America.
8/21 S Total solar eclipse: totality visible in parts of Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina; partially visible in other parts of the United States, Canada, Central America, northern South America, western Europe, and western Africa.
Important dates in Nazi groups
6/6 N D-Day: invasion of France in WW2
7/29 Hitler proclaimed leader of the Nazi party

 

The concept of scapegoating comes from Leviticus, the third book of the Old Testament. It contains priestly writing explaining God’s instructions about how to live with purity and holiness.

On the Day of Atonement, part of the ceremony consisted of making offerings for the sins of the people. A steer and two goats were brought into the Tabernacle. Aaron, Moses brother and a priest, sacrificed the steer was as offering as an atonement for his family’s on Yom Kippur. One goat was sacrificed as an offering for the people’s sins. The other was the scapegoat, who carried all the sins of all of the people and took them away into the desert, leaving the people holy.

“Then Aaron shall lay both of his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the sons of Israel and all their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and he shall lay them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who stands in readiness. Leviticus 16:21 Lev 16:21
“The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to a solitary land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness. Leviticus 16:22

Today, scapegoat has come to mean a person or group who is blamed for the problems or transgressions of others. “If we could just get rid of them, all would be fine in our society.” Often this leads to severe violence, up to genocide.

This process takes place within families, too. One child becomes the problem child. If the child’s problems were solved, the family would be fine. But the child does not change, and the family does not change, either. The child is pushed to edge of the family, sent to live with relatives or abused, and, in adulthood,perhaps disinherited.  Even if the child moves far away or dies, the family still has problems. And so another scapegoat is chosen.

Sometimes the child chosen to be the scapegoat is vulnerable or weak in some way. They may need more attention, more medical care, more resources than other family members. Although that child does create stress, it is not the cause of all the families’ problems. Parents may hate their jobs (or each other), the adults may have poor communication skills, the family may have to contend with poverty or discrimination. Fixing or getting rid of the kid doesn’t solve everything.

More often though, the scapegoat is the healthiest member of the family. It’s the kid who sees too much, understands too much, says too much. That’s a huge threat in cult families, where secrecy is of the utmost importance.

It’s also a threat in less pathological families. It’s hard to pretend that there is no problem if your fourth grade child has to refuse all play dates because of baby sitting the younger kids. Or when your kid blurts out, “Daddy drank a whole bottle of vodka last night.”

Rather than confronting and doing something about the problem that the kid has put their finger on, the parents try and shut the kid up. And they try and hide behind, “That was just a dream, dear.” “We don’t talk about such things outside the family.” “Stop exaggerating.” “Oh, she has a vivid imagination.”

I was the scapegoat in my family. Part of the reason was that I was the oldest – I got there first. But the main reason was that I was resistant to their demands and I wanted independence. I was thirsty for life outside the family and managed to get out as much as I could, as soon as I could. I wanted to meet as many people as possible and, even worse, I wanted to emulate them.

To this day I remember my father saying, “It is very good that you learn how other people live and what they believe, so that you can see for yourself that we are right.” Oh, really?

And oh, the trouble I gave them. First it was that I was slow to read, then I read too much. I had no friends, then I had friends my parents disapproved of. Not only did I sing off- key, I deliberately taught my brother to sing off-key, too. I didn’t do what I was told, and when I did, I managed to mess it up. I was stubborn and rude and stupid. And very, very selfish! They didn’t catch on, but I was also quite good at being manipulative and getting what I wanted by disguising what I did.

It was a huge relief for them, I am sure, when I finally did get away, thanks to marrying somebody they didn’t approve of. My brother was obviously the next in line, but he was too compliant. So my poor mother inherited the job. Eventually, when the cult disbanded from old age and lack of interest, the need for a scapegoat waned. Or if they found another, I wasn’t around to see who it was .

What’s sad is that in spite of all my resistance and rebellion, I did internalize a lot, or maybe all, of what they accused me of. It makes sense. Little kids take all adults very seriously and soak up their every word. By the time I had enough experience to question their views, my unconscious was full of poison. I built a new view of the world, a new view of myself, and the beginnings of a new life. But what was in my unconscious was in total conflict with my felt beliefs. It was very, very confusing for the longest time.

Ritual Abuse and the Protestant Work Ethic

Upcoming Holidays
4/10 Full moon
4/14 Good Friday
4/16 Easter Sunday

4/21 – 5/ (third week of April) Preparation for sacrifice in some Satanic sects
4/30  Walpurgisnacht/May Eve
5/1  Beltane/May Day/ Labour Day in Europe   
Important dates in Nazi groups
4/16  Hitler’s alternate birthday
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

This post is not about ritual abuse itself, it is about my family, which practiced Satanism, and how they raised their children. It was strictly ordered, with no room for children to be spontaneous or independent. Everything had to be down the right way, in a defined length of time. And the children were watched to make sure they were doing things right. My therapist feels that this child-rearing method was as harmful to me as the cult, albeit in a far less violent way.

Now back to the present. The weather has been cold and overcast or rainy for weeks, it seems. At least three weeks. Not good gardening weather – soil too soggy to work and temperature too chilly to enjoy. But for a few days the skies cleared and the temperature rose to seventy. Bliss!

Except some days I didn’t go out. The other days I went out so late that most of the garden was in shade. It wasn’t particularly enjoyable.

I brooded over what was happening and came up with the realization that I was using gardening as a reward after I did all the things (or most of them) on my to-do list. That’s “If you don’t finish your vegetables you don’t get dessert” thinking. Why can’t I start the meal with dessert? After all, I live alone: nobody will see and nobody will know unless I tell them. Why can’t I garden in the nicest part of the day, replenish myself, and then do the stuff on the list calmly and proficiently? Gardening without guilt! But that’s not the way my family did things.

This is such a simple idea that I am sort of embarrassed that it took so many years to think of it. It is absolutely amazing how tight a hold lessons taught in childhood have on us. There must be hundreds more habits that I never question; I just do what I was made to do as a child.

I can remember being resistant to being told what to do. “I can’t help talking with my mouth full…of teeth.” Being told to hold my knife and fork correctly and then starting to eat the European way. How sophisticated I was at twelve! (In case you don’t know, you hold your fork upside down in your left hand and cut with the knife in your right hand. You then spear whatever you have just cut and put it in your mouth. You can also use the knife to shovel food onto the back of the fork. You don’t need to put your utensils down until you are finished. Much simpler and more efficient than the “correct” American way.)

I can remember sitting at the table silently fuming and not eating my vegetables. “I don’t want to, I won’t do it, you can’t make me.” Yet the orders bore deeper into me than the memory of my resistance.

Back to the work ethic. (We always called it the Protestant work ethic, as if nobody else worked hard.) I know people who don’t make to-do lists. They have a vague idea of what they want to accomplish that day and then they do what they feel like. Their actions are fluid and they seem to expend very little energy. But yet a tremendous amount gets done with very little stress.

I notice they don’t procrastinate. They don’t do a crossword when they feel stuck writing something. Instead, they do the dishes or water the plants. They have faith that they will get unstuck pretty soon and meanwhile they get a pleasant break doing some simple.

I don’t have that faith. I believe I have to push myself, force myself, to get something done. If I lift my eyes, I can see at least twenty things that need doing. I’m afraid that if I don’t push myself, nothing at all will get done. I will drown in guilt and spend the rest of my life staring into space. It’s very tiring.

I think this goes back to the days when I was constantly dissociated, with no idea what state of mind I was in. I didn’t know where I was, what I felt, not doing anything,why or if I was tranced out, nothing. I didn’t move. Somehow I snapped out of it and started my homework, fighting all the time not to slip back into that space where I was floating, didn’t do anything, didn’t know how to read, couldn’t talk or move. I only made myself do the homework because I would have gotten yelled at if I didn’t finish it within a certain time and got everything right, with lovely handwriting. Talk about tiring!

So, yeah, I still am tempted to slip into a trance when I hit a rough spot.  For example, about three paragraphs up I didn’t know what to say next. So I did the New York Times crossword. I was still stuck. Then I thought I would try to do something physical and simple, so I cleaned the cat boxes and watered my Spanish moss. I came back, and I was no longer stuck. Perhaps it was the physical movement that freed me up.

I could get resentful that I am still, after all these years, figuring out ways of breaking old patterns, some from my family, some from the cult. These are my golden years! I am supposed to be dancing around having fun! But I prefer to be grateful that I have a mind that can think things through, hands that can type, and people (you guys!) that are willing to listen to me.