Missing My Brother

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

* Background on Pagan winter holidays is at https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/yulewinter-solstice/

* And here is a post on how I handled Christmas through the years. https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2014/12/20/ephemeral-equilibrium-another-christmas/

* Don’t forget that I’m putting together an anthology of accounts of survivor’s loss of a baby through forced abortion, sacrifice, or forced adoption. I am also looking for submissions from husbands, partners, close friends, therapists, or pastors.

You can ask me questions or send your submission through this blog’s comment section, rahome@ra-info.org, or PO Box 14276, 4304 18th Street, San Francisco CA 94114. And tell your friends!

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I’ve been in a funk for the best part of the last two weeks without knowing why. I didn’t think I was triggered, but one never knows. I thought I was just overtired from poor sleep due to pain from arthritis.

My new friend, Starling, and I meet weekly to discuss cult matters and life in general. We talk uninterrupted for ten minutes and then ask for feedback. I chose to describe my low mood and Starling said that she thought I was grieving. I talked about my Australian friend David, who died last year, for a while and then suddenly remembered that my brother’s birthday had passed unnoticed.

My brother has always been very important to me, as he was the only person in my family I liked or loved. We were close as children but grew apart as adults, mostly thanks to his extreme social anxiety. Then in 2001 he had a massive stroke which left him almost completely paralyzed and unable to talk. He spent the next eight years in a nursing home before dying of MRSA.

All my adult life, I had watched him slowly disappear and I had grieved the progressive loss of our relationship. And now he really is gone and there is nothing I can do about it. There are so many things I wish I had said to him even though it would have made him uncomfortable. I hope he knew how much I cared about him and how sad I was – and am – that his life was so hard.

One didn’t talk about important things in our family. It just wasn’t done. We pretended that unimportant things were important, things like the kind of clothes you wore or whether you went to a fancy school. Or table manners. You wouldn’t believe the amount of energy my parents put into criticizing our table manners. All this attention to trivia masked the family secrets.

By then, I was talking a little more freely about real things and so disclosed the ritual abuse to him. He said, “I am sorry I can’t help you. I have no memories.” But he didn’t reject me or think I was crazy. Under the shock of having me disclose, he leaked some information. He told me that the reason he couldn’t look people in the eye was that he saw a knife in their eye and blood. Tell me that is not a cult memory trying to push up to the surface! He never wanted to hear anything about my abuse after that. It was too much, and his defenses tightened up.

I am sorry he never had a chance to remember and to feel the relief of knowing what actually happened, knowing that his symptoms made sense and were not his fault. I sometimes irrationally feel that I prevented him from remembering, that I magically took all the memories and all the healing and left him with nothing.

But it doesn’t work that way. It is a mystery why one person remembers and another doesn’t, why one person’s defenses crack and another’s stay rigidly in place. All I can do is accept that fact and be very sad for him, and for my parents, too.

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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
12/31 New Year’s Eve
January
1/1 New Year’s Day
1/13 Satanic New Year
1/20 Full moon
February
2/2 S Candlemas/Imbolc
2/14 Valentine’s Day
2/19 Full moon

Dates important to Neo-Nazi groups
11/9 Kristallnacht
(Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lamas, Halloween, solstices, equinoxes, and full moons, as well as some Christian and Jewish holidays.)

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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.

 

Ritual Abuse and Denial

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

* If you are concerned about being tracked through your search engine, here is one that, unlike even duckduckgo.com, is encrypted https://www.searchencrypt.com/.

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

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I promised I would write about denial. I started off thinking, “Oh this will be easy,” but I was mistaken. I found that denial, minimization, repression, and amnesia were all mixed up in my mind. After sleeping on it for several days, I figured out that in denial and minimization the thought, feeling, or memory is not forgotten, it resides in the conscious mind; it just isn’t interpreted the way most people would interpret it. Whereas in repression and amnesia the thought, feeling, or memory is unconscious.

Denial is. well, denying something is so. Minimization is admitting it’s so, but believing it isn’t really all that bad.

I’ll give an example from my past. For years I said (and believed) I didn’t self-harm. All that time, though, I was scratching the back of my neck and picking off the scabs. That’s denial. On and off I was aware I was doing this but I never really thought about what it might mean. When I finally admitted to myself that I was self-harming, I said that it didn’t really count because it was so much less severe than taking drugs or cutting or burning myself. That’s minimization.

True, it was a mild form of self-harm. But it still was self-harm.

I figured out that I had been abused in the woods as a young child and that the twigs and stones on the ground had left scratches on my back. I was recreating those scratches and I didn’t know why. It was the memory trying to surface and I made sure those scratches stayed open until I recognized it as a sign from my unconscious that I needed to pay attention to something.

When I got the memory and processed it, I no longer had the need to scratch myself. If I need to remind myself, I can take a mirror and see the scars. I can’t see the internal; scars, but I know they are there and sometimes I am acutely aware of them.

This example of denial didn’t cause any real harm to me or to anybody else. But often denial leaves destruction in its wake, like a hurricane. It ruins relationships and sucks the joy out of life for the person in denial and all those around them. People adapt to the denier’s behavior and this, rather than bringing peace and harmony as hoped, feeds the denial. The behavior being denied becomes a secret, corrosive as all secrets are.

Think of an alcoholic who says, “I’m not an alcoholic, I only drink beer.” But how many beers a day? Or “I only drink after five o’clock.” But how much? Does the money spent on alcohol strain the family budget? Does that person turn nasty and say horrible things to his kids? Are there fights, sometimes ending in violence? And what happens when that person blacks out?

Now the role of denial in alcoholism is much better understood than it is in survivors of ritual abuse, perpetrators, and family members. I think that’s because amnesia and multiplicity are much more central in ritual abuse and denial tends to be overlooked.

Let’s take a ritual abuse perpetrator who is also an alcoholic. (I am using the masculine pronoun, although we all know that there are many female perpetrators, probably just as many as male.) Chances are that he is amnesiac for his ritual abuse activities. If confronted, he would be baffled and think the person who was accusing him was crazy or had some ulterior motive to cause trouble. Why would anybody make up something like that? It would make no sense to him.

Of course, it might be possible that some of this information had leaked through to him. Perhaps he dreamed of orgies. This bothered him because he had never been to an orgy and had absolutely no desire to go to one. But he might have an uneasy, irrational fear that the accuser could read his mind and he might react defensively out of shame and fear. Whereas, if the action is conscious, no matter how much the person tries to push it away, he would know, on some level, that the accusation is true.

So, I believe that the closer the information is to the surface, the more angry and defensive he would be.

Now, although he may tell himself his drinking isn’t to the point of being alcoholism, the drinking is not close to the surface, it’s on the surface and he is conscious of it every day. In other words, he knows, but, in order to justify holding on to his addiction, he denies its severity and minimizes it, both to himself and to others.

When he is confronted, he may be defensive, angry, and argumentative. Unless he is ready to give it up because it is causing him too much pain, in which case he will react with relief. Relief, of course, isn’t available to a person if he is amnesiac and doesn’t know of his behavior.

Writing this has sorted some things out for me. I hope it helps to sort things out for others, too.

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Upcoming Holidays

November
11/22 US Thanksgiving
11/23 Full Moon
December
12/21 Yule/Winter Solstice
12/22 Full Moon
12/24 Christmas Eve
12/25 Christmas Day
12/31 New Year’s Eve

Dates important to Neo-Nazi groups
11/9 Kristallnacht
(Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lamas, Halloween, solstices, equinoxes, and full moons.)