Marking an anniversary: reporting my bullies to Social Services

My entire website needs revising yet again because of a recent WordPress theme change.  It screwed up my quotes, so I have to go through every single post and page fixing them.  Again.  (I spent ALL LAST YEAR fixing formatting, and thought I was finished.  ARGH!)

While revising this post just now, on the first time I pondered reporting my abuser Tracy to CPS, I realized something:

As of several days ago, March 1, it has now been exactly four years since I did finally report her and Richard to CPS.

My, how time flies as you age.  I could swear these people only just moved into my house a couple of years ago, but now even that is 7 and a half years ago.

!!!!!

Anyway, I remember how frightened I was.  I remember I was scared even to let my husband know I did it, so I left off the return address of my letter, just in case it got returned for some reason.

I was scared that Tracy and Richard would find out I did it, and do something horrible to retaliate.

I was so afraid that I didn’t even tell CPS who I was, though I did give them an e-mail address in case they had further questions.  I did not want to give them a phone number and have them call while my husband was home.

It was all done in secret, except for an e-mail I sent to an old college friend.  This friend has worked in this field for years, and lives right here in Wisconsin, so she could give me expert, experienced advice.

The e-mail described the abuse I witnessed and that Richard told me about.  I later adapted it, first into an e-mail, then into a letter, sent to CPS.

She replied, “They both sound very abusive.”  “Your concerns are very valid.”  She urged me to PLEASE report them to CPS.

I sent the e-mail to CPS over the weekend before March 1, but heard nothing back.  So I sent the letter as follow-up.

I typed it late at night, printed it, addressed it, stamped it.

Then with shaking hands, I put it in my mailbox the following day, after my husband left and before the mailman came.

Then later, I found it gone.

It was done.

That same day, Tracy responded to the Facebook post of a mutual friend, “lol.”  This made me think she had no clue, that the letter was not received, or was ignored.

Three months later, I checked via e-mail to make sure CPS received it.  Yes, they did.  Now I told them my name, so they wouldn’t dismiss the report as fake because it was anonymous.

A month after that, I checked the state’s free public website to see if any charges were filed.

YES.

On the exact same day I mailed the letter, Richard was formally charged with choking his step-daughter in 2010.  This was unrelated to my letter, but my letter probably helped bolster the state’s case.  It certainly must have been given more weight with CPS because of the court case.

I realized that CPS probably already knew at least some of what I wrote.

I also realized that Tracy wrote “lol” on the exact same day her husband was formally charged with child abuse.

Which blows my mind.  If I were in her place, I certainly wouldn’t be laughing at stuff on Facebook the very same day my husband was charged.  Was it a joke to her?

Four years later, I am glad I did it.

Obviously my instincts were correct: Richard and Tracy ARE child abusers.  The court case proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt.

I have never reported anyone before or since for child abuse.

The one time I did, I was proven correct because one of them was convicted of choking his child.

I fought my fear and did what was right.

And I would do it again if I had to.

 

ONE YEAR AGO: Early 2010: I speak up about Tracy’s child abuse–and ponder reporting her to authorities–Tracy’s Reign of Terror: True Story of Narcissism, Bullying, Domestic Violence and Child Abuse, Part 29

Tracy’s Reign of Terror: True Story of Narcissism, Bullying, Domestic Violence and Child Abuse

Part 29: Early 2010: I speak up about Tracy’s child abuse–and ponder reporting her to authorities

Very late December 2009 or very early January 2010 is when I saw Tracy smack the 3-year-old upside the head, which could’ve easily sent her flying into the TV, which was a short distance in front of the child.

Keep in mind this child was very small for her age, and toddlers are already small, their heads not fully formed, their brains still vulnerable. 

Even if the child does not fall on something or get a visible injury, smacking a child like that can give a kind of whiplash to the delicate brain as it whacks against the wall of the skull.

Shaking or hitting a child’s head or face is always dangerous. Young children cannot control the movement of their head as well as adults can.

Shaken baby syndrome (shaken baby–impact syndrome) is brain damage caused when a baby is shaken, slammed, or thrown against an object. –“Physical Abuse: Common Injuries in Children,” HealthLink BC

But Tracy popped her child in the back of the head right in front of me one evening, so hard that the child’s tongue flew out.

!!!!!!!!!!!!

I sat in shock and disbelief.  I wonder if it showed on my face, if Tracy saw it–and if this is what renewed her campaign against me.

But she only has herself to blame.  Not me, and certainly not that poor child.  Sure the child was being naughty, but abuse is never the answer, never the fault of the child.

I think I wondered if I should call the police.  But when you’re a guest in someone’s home, and that someone already frightens you….

Afterwards, I spoke to Jeff at home about it, and discovered he didn’t see it happen even though he was in the room.  I went through a moral crisis over the next week or two.

I posted about it briefly on an Orthodox forum late on January 6, 2010, hoping somebody would help me with good advice.

Though I soon took it down again (in the wee hours of January 7) after a guy scolded me twice over: first, for “gossiping” if it wasn’t that hard, and second, for not calling the police if it was so hard a slap.

But another poster got upset with that guy, couldn’t believe he wrote what he did, and understood my predicament.  He understood this wasn’t about “gossip” but about badly needing advice about abusive friends.

He urged me to report Tracy to Social Services, even gave me a link to state CPS phone numbers and said I could do it anonymously.

But I hoped that somehow I could convince her this was wrong, without calling the police or CPS.

Those few weeks were so hard that I finally told Jeff the various abuses I had seen and that Richard had told me about, so he’d know where I was coming from.

He already knew some of them, because I told him at other times.  But now I showed him the e-mail and notes from March 22, 2009, the contents of which I never showed him before, keeping Richard’s confidence.  He finally realized just how bad things were in Richard’s house.

I asked Jeff, “How much more of this can I take?”  Because being friends with Tracy, and not calling CPS or the police about what I saw and what I knew, was working like acid on my conscience.

Jeff and I discussed whether we should report her to Social Services, but set it aside for the time.  I forget why; maybe we thought we could still influence them to stop the abuse.

Later in the year, after we ended the friendship, we set it aside again, in fear that Richard would take vengeance like he almost did with the apartment manager, whom he plotted to kill.  (I also didn’t tell Jeff the full details about that plot until July 2010.)

Shortly after the smacking incident, one of their friends, Chris, stopped over for a bit as we played D&D at Richard and Tracy’s house.

His own wife did some of the very same things Tracy did, but he apparently had no clue Tracy did them:

  1. Chris’ wife fought tooth and nail to keep him from seeing Richard, just as Tracy used to fight tooth and nail in early 2008 to keep Richard from coming over for ten minutes just to pick up stuff they left behind at our house.  (So you see it’s not just fearing affairs that gets people to act jealously).
  2. Chris’ wife went into rages and hit him.

Chris complained about latest developments: She left him again.  He saw her smack his son (from a previous marriage) on the back of the head, and he was very upset about that.  Chris said that smacking anywhere but on the butt or hand is abuse.

Tracy said, “Well, I smack [the 3-year-old] on the back of the head all the time!”

He looked startled, and she laughed and said, “I’m just kidding!”

To which my mind screamed, “You are not kidding!  I saw you!”

Then Richard joked about smacking kids on the back of the head, said the way he grew up it was normal.  He talked like they did this all the time and there was nothing wrong with it.

I cried vehemently, “No, no, no, no!”

To hear Richard joke about smacking kids and apparently condone it, disgusted me. 

But at least I finally had the chance to speak up about Tracy’s actions–and without broaching the subject myself.  Not only that, but Chris supported my views.

It was so Providential that I wrote back to the guy on the Orthodox forum.  I said that God seemed to have answered my prayer, and arranged circumstances so I could say something to Richard and Tracy.

We both rejoiced.  I hoped that everything was settled and I would not have to call CPS.

I made my feelings known another time as well: On February 8, 2010, Chris posted on his Facebook wall,

And some say that ‘waterboarding’ isn’t torture!
Daily Mail: U.S. Soldier waterboarded his own daughter, 4, because she couldn’t recite alphabet

I replied at 8:12pm,

Anyone who thinks the US should use torture of any kind, should read “Proved Innocent” (the story of Gerry Conlon). :P

I wrote at 8:29pm,

And all for not knowing the alphabet. It’s like the parents who made their little girl eat half a bar of Irish Spring and ignored her near-fatal allergic reaction, just for saying a bad word. :P

Screaming, belittling, hitting anything other than the butt (or maybe a quick hand slap), torture–all are child abuse and inexcusable.  :P

Richard’s reply is no longer available for me to quote exactly because he blocked me months later.  But I recall him writing, “Screaming is abuse?  Seriously?”

I replied the next day at 4:53pm,

There’s a big difference between yelling and screaming. I’m not talking about yelling at a kid who’s about to touch a hot stove or run into a street or who isn’t listening.

I’m talking about screaming, screeching, sounding like a demon….

There was no reply.

Um, screaming is not abuse?  Seriously?

It was absolutely appalling.  I used to think Richard was kind and gentle, with a big heart, like his friends kept saying about him.  But I was beginning to see an entirely different person, the wolf underneath the sheep’s clothing.

This post (and a refusal to get into his extremist politics) is probably why, a very short time afterwards, both Tracy and Richard started bullying me on Facebook and the friendship soon ended.

My mother and father never smacked me anywhere on my head.  When an older brother smacked me one day, my mother became furious with him and said to never do that.

My parents raised me in the days when you could still use a paddle, which I don’t condone nowadays, but I don’t remember them ever doing anything that was abusive, at least according to the standards of the 70s and early 80s.

They didn’t scream, didn’t use a belt, didn’t smack me or slap me on the head.  Of course I did naughty things from time to time, as all children do, and got yelled at, but I turned out fine without being abused by my parents.

If Richard told me the above stories of abuse, and Tracy did the above abuse right in front of me, so brazenly, as if bragging, as if to show no fear that I would report them–what else went on when I wasn’t looking, what was I never told?

What the heck were they thinking?  Why did they think they could do this without me ever reporting them to the authorities?

Why did they repeatedly do these things, yet Richard treated me like I didn’t know what I was talking about when I said this was child abuse and Tracy was abusing Richard?

Why did Richard tell me the things Tracy did, how she’d be mean to him over the phone for example, and why did Tracy demonstrate to me that the stories were true, yet they expected me to befriend Tracy?

Why did they think I’d want anything to do with a child abuser and husband beater?  Why did they think I’d ever want to open up to her?

8 Reasons People Don’t Get Emotional Abuse
Unnecessary Force is Emotional Abuse [no longer available on Web]

When I told these things to two friends who were in some way involved in Social Services in my state, both said Tracy and Richard sounded very abusive and I must report them for the sake of the children.  This was in July 2010 and February 2011.  I finally did in March 2011; the story is here.

What did they do when I wasn’t around?  What did Richard not tell me about?  I was to discover the answer in 2011.

originally written 2010-2012

Table of Contents 

1. Introduction

2. We share a house 

3. Tracy’s abuse turns on me 

4. More details about Tracy’s abuse of her husband and children 

5. My frustrations mount 

6. Sexual Harassment from some of Richard’s friends

7. Without warning or explanation, tensions build

 
8. The Incident

9. The fallout; a second chance?

10. Grief 

11. Struggle to regain normalcy

12. Musings on how Christians should treat each other

13. Conclusion 

 

ONE YEAR AGO: Gaining Confidence Through Writer’s Club

Not only is going to the writers’ club giving me social contact again, with local people and not just old friends from other counties.

But it’s giving me more confidence in my writing.  I keep getting praise for the little things I bring in.

Tonight I brought in my sci-fi romance, The Last Night, the 1992 revision. People were so concerned about my characters that they threw out ideas for rewrites and expansions, which would allow them to live instead of being executed.  LOL

People were surprised that I wrote it around age 19, and at how much I had written in general by the time I wrote the first draft in 1990 at age 17.  They called me precocious.

I thought this was normal for writers.  In college, I was a writing major, so I knew a lot of people who were at least as good at writing as me, if not better, at my age.  After all, we’d already been through a year’s worth of various writing courses.

Why do I keep writing the Richard/Tracy story despite being watched so closely by Tracy?  Whenever I ask myself that, the same answer comes up: Because I have to.

Why have I written so much all my life, not just in adulthood but since before I could write?  Because I have to.

It’s not so much a choice as a drive, an ever-pressing need.

It’s driving me to keep posting my Richard/Tracy story and my College Memoirs day after day after day, whether they’re read or not (except by Richard and Tracy), whether the frequency is too much for my subscribers to keep up with.

I MUST write these stories.  I MUST post these stories.

Then when I’m done, I’ll be free to write the next story.  But until then, my inspiration is dry for anything new, because it’s all caught up in what I’m working on now.

That’s just how my muse works.  It won’t let me rest until the story is done.  Unless it’s boring me; then I stop.

If I’m getting such high praise from the writing group, then I should branch out with my writing, maybe try to break into a local magazine…..

 

TWO YEARS AGO: The Tea Party: a pawn for the Koch Brothers

 

Study Confirms Tea Party Was Created by Big Tobacco and Billionaire Koch Brothers

Quotes:

Finally, this report might serve as a wake-up call to some people in the Tea Party itself, who would find it a little disturbing that the “grassroots” movement they are so emotionally attached to, is in fact a pawn created by billionaires and large corporations with little interest in fighting for the rights of the common person, but instead using the common person to fight for their own unfettered profits.

Far from a genuine grassroots uprising, this astroturf effort was curated by wealthy industrialists years in advance. Many of the anti-science operatives who defended cigarettes are currently deploying their tobacco-inspired playbook internationally to evade accountability for the fossil fuel industry’s role in driving climate disruption.

The common public understanding of the origins of the Tea Party is that it is a popular grassroots uprising that began with anti-tax protests in 2009.

However, the Quarterback study reveals that in 2002, the Kochs and tobacco-backed CSE designed and made public the first Tea Party Movement website under the web address www.usteaparty.com.

The study referenced by this article is here.

Abstract

Background The Tea Party, which gained prominence in the USA in 2009, advocates limited government and low taxes. Tea Party organisations, particularly Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks, oppose smoke-free laws and tobacco taxes.

Methods We used the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, the Wayback Machine, Google, LexisNexis, the Center for Media and Democracy and the Center for Responsive Politics (opensecrets.org) to examine the tobacco companies’ connections to the Tea Party.
Results Starting in the 1980s, tobacco companies worked to create the appearance of broad opposition to tobacco control policies by attempting to create a grassroots smokers’ rights movement.
Simultaneously, they funded and worked through third-party groups, such as Citizens for a Sound Economy, the predecessor of AFP and FreedomWorks, to accomplish their economic and political agenda.
There has been continuity of some key players, strategies and messages from these groups to Tea Party organisations. As of 2012, the Tea Party was beginning to spread internationally.

Conclusions Rather than being a purely grassroots movement that spontaneously developed in 2009, the Tea Party has developed over time, in part through decades of work by the tobacco industry and other corporate interests.

It is important for tobacco control advocates in the USA and internationally, to anticipate and counter Tea Party opposition to tobacco control policies and ensure that policymakers, the media and the public understand the longstanding connection between the tobacco industry, the Tea Party and its associated organisations.

Then there’s Comment on the Tea Party by Bob Altemeyer.  One quote:

Another example of Tea Partiers’ intransigence in the face of fact was illustrated by a CBS News/New York Times poll reported on February 12, 2010.

Democrats have lowered income taxes for almost all Americans, but the poll found that virtually none of the Tea Partiers realized their taxes had gone down. Instead nearly half of them thought their taxes had gone up, a mistake they made more than twice as often as the rest of the sample.

They simply believed the rhetoric of their movement more than the information on their own pay slips.

I can confirm this.  I do the finances in my house; I saw for myself that the taxes went down in 2010.  It helped a lot, as we began buying decent food again instead of cheapo poor-quality food and toiletries at the dollar and discount stores.

So when I’d hear “taxed enough already,” I’d think, “HUH?  Are you not paying attention to what’s on your pay stubs?”

No, the true “sheeple” are not the Democrats, but the ones allowing themselves to be under this mind control inspired by selfish billionaires.

More quotes:

If you read the book presented at this website, you’ll find lots of evidence that, as a group, social conservatives share the psychological trait of being authoritarian followers. And you can hardly miss the authoritarian follower tendencies in the behavior of the Tea Partiers. Here are a dozen that seem pretty obvious.

11. Ethnocentrism. Authoritarian followers are notably ethnocentric, constantly judging others and events through “Us versus Them” lenses. They largely choose their friends according to their beliefs. They stick to news outlets that tell them what they want to hear.

They live in a polarized world, divided into their in-group, and out-groups consisting of everybody else. They stress in-group loyalty, and try to keep their distance from the out-groups.

I recall thinking in 2010 that my pet stalker had stopped calling except when he wanted something.  That when he did call, he usually talked about politics.  But I wasn’t buying his Tea Party/Libertarian/Anarchist politics.

I noted on Facebook that his other friends seemed to mostly be very conservative politically.

In 2010, he (and his friend Chris) began filling his Facebook with political rants that were getting increasingly bizarre, such as saying let’s get rid of the police, or that the Pledge of Allegiance is socialist and should not be recited, or that the American flag puts us under martial law–and I was somehow “wrong”–even complained about by his radical friends–for objecting on occasion to what he posted.

Then after I found myself devalued and discarded in July 2010, I noted that the timeline of the gradual devaluing seemed to correlate with his involvement with the Tea Party.

In 2010 he even wrote that he–though a Christian who wanted to be a priest–had no problem “hating” his political opponents.  He once told me he hated Democrats.  (In 2010 he showed all sorts of signs of being a poor candidate for the priesthood, and his criminal act in September 2010 will now bar him from it.)

In the early days of trying to figure out what th’ heck just happened, I began blaming the Tea Party for taking my rational friend away and replacing him with a partisan ideologue who didn’t want to be friends with someone who had been a devoted, loyal friend, who had helped him out time and again in rough circumstances, but who did not like the Tea Party.

And this I’ve certainly noted with those ridiculous claims of Obama being a socialist/dictator/worst president ever (no, that’s Bush)/taking our freedoms away (Bush again)/etc.:

5. A lack of critical thinking. Authoritarian followers have more trouble thinking logically than most people do. In particular, they tend to agree with sayings and slogans, even contradictory ones, because they have heard them a lot.

Thus Tea Partiers reflexively, patriotically thump that the United States is the best country on earth, but as well that it is now an Obama dictatorship.

They also have extra trouble applying logic to false reasoning when they like the conclusion. A ready example can be found in Tea Partiers’ assertion that Obama is a socialist. They have heard this over and over again from Rush Limbaugh, etcetera, and “so it must be true.”

But Obama has never advocated state ownership of an industry. He certainly did not advocate state ownership of health insurance, and eventually even backed away from the “public option” (that most Americans wanted) which would have let the government as well as private companies offer health insurance.

TWO YEARS AGO: Charlie Peacock Concert; Random Stories–College Memoirs: Life at Roanoke–September 1993, Part 5

Charlie Peacock Concert

On September 19, Pearl and I went to the S– Evangelical Free Church.  Tara P., a member of the women’s volleyball team, was our driver.  She was a member of the church, and very tall and friendly, with dark hair.

I loved the church, which was big, had beliefs much like my own, and was very lively.  Everyone seemed cheerful and friendly and excited about God.

When filling out my gold registration card one Sunday, I asked for information about the church; this I received in the mail in October, and after reading it through, I decided it was much like my own church in both structure and theology.

I felt I had found my church home for S–, now that there was no longer a Nazarene church.

Sunday School was at 9:30am, and church at 10:45.  There were two services, one at 8:15, but the 10:45 one was packed.

As for Sunday School, this was a college class and had three other students.  Everyone there was friendly.  One was a blond named John, and the others were two young women.

One kept talking to John in such a way that you could tell she liked him.  John was cute, so I asked Tara about them later; she said they weren’t dating but the girl wanted to.

IV planned to go to a Charlie Peacock concert, and taped a flyer about it to the top of the information desk in the Campus Center, such as people often did with flyers.  Next to it was a sign-up sheet.

Some Sigma frat brats, however, got together and wrote derogatory comments about Peacock’s last name.  I had never, ever thought of his name that way before; I always thought of it as referring to the bird with the beautiful, colorful tail, not to a certain four-letter-word.

These frat boys wrote their names in the sign-up list, making us think a bunch of people were coming to the concert, then erased them or crossed them out.  We were incensed at their rudeness and their feeble, immature attempts at humor.  Pearl said they were doing themselves a disservice because “Charlie Peacock is really talented.”

Pearl and I and maybe one or two others went to the concert.  A woman in her thirties or forties drove us there in her van.

Elmbrook was a gigantic church in Brookfield (now we call it a mega-church) with a sanctuary/auditorium that seated the whole church, which I believe held about 5,000 people.  Pearl’s aunt went there, and kept longing to go out with one of the many Christian men she always saw there.  This church was a popular place for Christian bands and singers to perform.

Peacock sat on the stage at a grand piano and played.  He sang “Dear Friend,” to the delight of both Pearl and me.  He told us about his life, and that this was going to be his last performance: he wanted to spend more time with his family.  Though understandable, this depressed Pearl and me.  However, it wasn’t so bad after all, because he released more albums after this.

I wanted to meet Peacock afterwards, but he disappeared, and all we could find was his opening act, Out of the Grey.  I’d bought this couple’s Shape of Grace CD over the summer.

The husband, Scott Dente, was wonderfully cute, with dark hair and a long nose.  The wife, Christine, was beautiful, too, but Pearl and I didn’t want to look at her.  (You can see them here.)

During their act, Scott joked about being overshadowed by Peacock on the tour.  When we found them in the sanctuary, I had just bought Peacock’s CD Lie Down in the Grass in the big foyer.

I don’t remember if Christine was there, but Scott was with some other people.  All I had to give him to autograph were the liner notes from Peacock’s CD.  He said, “Oh, no, not HIM!”  He wrote his initials and drew a little guitar.

I played this CD over and over again the next few weeks, loving its sound.  It was strange, with a unique sound I’d never heard anywhere before, and fun to listen to.  “Human Condition” was one of my favorite songs.

On the way home from the concert, the Michael W. Smith song “Friends” played on the van’s tape deck.  I listened to the words and thought of Shawn.  A tear or two escaped my eyes.  Some of the words to this song are,

Friends are friends forever if the Lord is Lord of them, and a friend will not say never ’cause the welcome will not end.  Though it’s hard to let you go, in the Father’s hands we know that a lifetime’s not too long to live as friends.

I kept thinking of Shawn, and how our friendship had fallen apart.  He hadn’t called me after Cindy gave him my number.

Random Stories

I received an invitation to have dinner in Bossard with Miriam Gilbert and David Janoviak.  Only certain students were invited: I think it was for Writing majors and probably English or Theater majors.  Or it may have been for Honors CORE students; I really don’t remember.  In any case, the partitions were put up so that we were in a small area near the Muskie and the doors to the stairs.

My fiction teacher was also there.  She and, I believe, Gilbert talked on and on about the 60s, and what we students had missed by not being born in time to experience 1969.

I wasn’t sure what had happened in 1969, but I didn’t think I’d missed all that much.  I saw the 60s as an unstable time with revolts against things that didn’t deserve a revolt, such as the church and moral values.  Its drugs and free love were destructive.

I preferred to live in a time when my campus wouldn’t be overrun by protests or snipers or people who wanted to blow up campus buildings.  (High school teachers had told us how bad things got even in South Bend schools.)  Though everyone called my campus apathetic, I found it peaceful and pleasant.

Janoviak was a directing actor, had recently played Hamlet in a critically acclaimed performance, and was a former Roanoke student.  I knew about his accomplishments because Counselor Dude had posted an article about him on his door.  Gilbert was an English professor at the University of Iowa.

The next morning at 10:30am, they held a lecture on Hamlet.  Gilbert acted as a director, and told Janoviak how she wanted him to perform the “To be or not to be” speech.  She would tell him to play it pensively, comically, or with emphasis on this or that, and he would do it.

I noted that, depending on what emphasis you gave it, the same speech could have profoundly different meanings each time you said it.

I thought the presentation was fascinating, and wrote in my day planner, “’twas cool!”  Many students, however, couldn’t hear it, so they thought it was awful.  The bad acoustics in the Bradley auditorium were well known; I sat in one of the front rows, and could hear everything.  I figured if these kids had heard what was said, they would have been just as entranced as I was.

****

The ice cream selection that year was disappointing.  It still had some of the good flavors, but not as many and not as often.

That year or the year before, guys began wearing their baseball caps backwards.  The Group hated it.  We didn’t mind so much if the cap was worn properly, but backwards was just awful.

Around this time, if one of us was accused of lust, we would say, “It’s not lust!  I’m enjoying his beauty.”

Whiteheart‘s album Highlands came out around this time.  I had a bunch of coupons, which came with any Christian album I bought; there were enough to get Highlands for free as a cassette tape.  I didn’t know the songs and had no memories, familiarity, or nostalgia attached to them yet.  But in time, I would.  It had an excellent mix of rock and Celtic themes.  This is significant later.

****

On a day in early fall, perhaps in September or October, the weather had been cool, but then we had the last eighty-degree day of the year.  So I wandered around the woods.  It may have been my first time back there since Peter had broken up with me.  Until senior year, I would only go back there occasionally.

On this particular day, I watched black water bugs play on the surface of the lake, I think I saw a bunny or two, and I know I saw the cutest baby frogs.  I believe I got a little lost.  By the time I got back to the Campus Center, it was after my usual dinnertime of 5 o’clock.

I tried a new thing that evening: a chicken soft shell taco from the taco bar (which was sometimes there instead of the deli bar) and guacamole.  (The deli and taco bars were started before or during February 1992 because of student requests, and gave an alternative to whatever lunch or dinner choices were in the regular line.  They were also meant to shorten the regular line.)

I never found the guacamole there again, but I thought it was delicious on a chicken burrito.  Since I couldn’t find guacamole again, I learned that sour cream sauce was also delicious.

After that, I often went to get a chicken burrito or soft shell taco with chicken.  Since my dad couldn’t eat Mexican food, and I knew very little about it besides what I had in school lunches, I had no idea that you could get chicken burritos or soft shell tacos.  All I ever knew was beef with too many spices.

****

One night, the Phi-Delts had a party in the Pub.  Sharon played pool in a kind of tournament, and Pearl and I watched her.

As she played, a drunk, tall guy, Asian or Hispanic, came over and began talking to us.  He must have been older than college-age.  He kept hitting on Sharon and me.  Neither of us liked him because he was drunk, smoking and kind of scary.  Fortunately, his sober brother watched over him.

****

IV Bible Study/Small Group schedules: Daniel: Astrid in her room on Mondays at 8; Exploring the Gospels: Sharon in her room on Wednesdays at 8; Job: Pearl on Wednesdays at 9.

I don’t remember much about the other Bible studies, so maybe I didn’t go to those, but I do remember Astrid’s.  Only Clarissa and I went, but we loved it.  I would grab a piece of Werther’s butter candy as Clarissa and I went all the way up the back stairs to the third floor and Astrid’s room.

Astrid was UCC, but conservative.  Sometimes, her roommate Chloe sat nearby, doing homework.  We read the chapters out loud and talked about them, then Astrid led us in a short prayer.

We loved the many and repetitious verses detailing all the different officials and different instruments played at celebrations: They were fun to read out loud.  Outside of the Bible study, this would become our inside joke.  Here’s an example:

And King Nebuchadnezzar sent word to gather together the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up (Daniel 3:2, NKJV).

These officials are repeated in verse 3.  Verse 5 reads:

[T]hat at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.

These instruments are repeated in verse 7.

****

One day, the obscene phone caller struck again.  Now that Clarissa and I lived in Krueger, his favorite spot, we got a call from him one day.  I don’t remember much about it, just that I answered, told him very little, and hung up quickly.

One day, probably during bingo in Bossard, a girl we knew named Mona V. sat with us.  She started throwing food around, probably those dry Cheerios which were put in bowls and supposed to be used for bingo chips.

One struck Frank right on his ever-bigger bald spot.  Embarrassed, she didn’t want him to know she did it.  She and my friends disliked him because he was a bit of a pervert, cracking crass sex jokes all the time.

As for my friend Mona S., who started a prayer group with me freshman year, she dropped out of school early sophomore year.  But we kept in contact by letter.

Kids in the Hall, a Canadian comedy troupe, now provided the Group with another catchphrase: You shut one eye, look at somebody, frame her head with your index finger and thumb, start squeezing your fingers together, and say, “I’m crushing your head!”

Whenever I felt bored at meals and had drained most of my Mountain Dew, I poured a bit of salt into my cup and watch it fizz up.

Carol called Astrid “Boing-Boing” because she was bouncy like Tigger.

Buy My Books! Buy My Books!


My books are available for purchase here.  E-book downloads are only $3.  You can see text previews at the links for the print versions.  Descriptions:

Tojet:

A fairy tale for adults.  A mysterious girl named Tojet appears in a convent-run school one day.  Two teachers, Sister Elizabeth and oddly-named Merkit Terjit, take her under their care.

But is she a lost, imaginative orphan or a time traveler with fairy powers?  How does she know who Merkit is and how he was named?

Tragedy drives her away, but she returns as a young, beautiful woman, far more mature than she should be.  She shows Merkit a world of obsession and dark fairies.

He can’t help falling in love with her, but what about the monastic vows he’s about to take?  Can he fight the temptations that surround him?

—Preview available here.  So far, this book has been given the highest rating by four readers.  Also see professional reviews here and here.

 

The Lighthouse:

Enter the world of the Lighthouse, a club for supernatural beings and social misfits.  In this Gothic story collection you will find castles, ghosts, vampires, romance and terror:

 

Bedlam Castle–An American college girl loses herself in the hallways of a 900-year-old castle.  Eccentric characters invite her to dinner.  One is a genie, one is an undine, and most of the others are ghosts.  One man intrigues her the most–but is he a mortal man or a supernatural creature like the rest?

 

Jarkin–Becky Stevens falls in love against her will with Archibald Jarkin, an eccentric, austere and charismatic preacher.  Their passionate marriage is tested when Jarkin’s TV ministry turns into a witch hunt.  When Becky discovers the Lighthouse, their life together takes a startling new path.

 

Alexander Boa: Or, I was a co-ed vampire slave–When a young woman’s college is taken over by a vampire, she becomes his secret mistress.  Will she be torn apart when her friends decide to kill him?

 

Candida–A young man is stricken with a girl who falls under a vampire’s spell.  Soon married and pregnant with the vampire’s baby, she has no idea what danger she’ll be in if the baby is a boy.

 

All Together Now–This story combines characters and settings from the other four stories.  Jenny, a social misfit, is introduced to the Lighthouse, supernatural creatures, and a deceptive man.  When he leaves her and then accuses her of stalking him, she can only vindicate herself by facing the horrors of a haunted cave.  Will she survive?  Will she fall in love again?

THREE YEARS AGO: My College Memoirs: Life At Roanoke

 

Copyright 2006

Synopsis:
My memoirs are a mix of good times, along with stories of verbally/emotionally/sexually abusive boyfriends, and probably some undiagnosed form of NVLD/Asperger’s.  How dark times finally gave way to coming out into the light. 

They reflect 4 years of apparently dealing with a little-known learning disorder, without the benefit of knowing I had it.  It has caused difficulties.  But it also gave me certain abilities which helped with my writing and later jobs.  

These memoirs are meant to entertain, to help young women avoid making the relationship mistakes I made, and to show how I finally came through my relationship struggles triumphant.  

Also note that while I still struggle with many things because of NVLD, I graduated college and have made a decent life for myself–the roots of which are in my college story.

Index: 

Link to my page on NVLD and a bit of my life story dealing with it
Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

Below: Links to all of the chapters of this web-book.

 

Freshman Year 

September 1991:

 

October 1991:

 

November 1991:

 

December 1991: Ride the Greyhound

 

January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD

 

February 1992:

 

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

 

April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign

 

May 1992:

 

Sophomore Year 

 

Summer 1992:

 

September 1992:

 

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

 

November 1992

 

December 1992

 

January 1993

 

February 1993

 

March 1993

 

April 1993

 

May 1993

 

 

Junior Year 

 

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

 

September 1993

 

October 1993

 

November 1993

 

December 1993

 

January 1994

 

February 1994

 

March 1994

 

April 1994

 

 

Senior Year 

 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There

 

July & August 1994

 

 

 

 

 

January 1995

 

February 1995

 

March 1995–Phil Finds TCB; Gypsy’s Party; Before I Met Tracy, There Was the Avenger; TCB Flame Wars; First SCA Event

 

April 1995–Easter Trip; Breakup with Cugan

 

May 1995–Graduation

(Disclaimer: These memoirs are from my point of view.  The points of view of other people may differ.  Whether or not mine is correct is subjective.  It’s also probably safe to assume that most, if not all, of the people in these memoirs who did something that hurt me would act differently in the same situation today.  

I keep the details of bad things here not to hold onto hurts, but to make the story complete, and to help others who may be going through a similar situation and don’t know what to do.  These memoirs are also for the amusement of my friends, some of whom have lived through these events.)

History of these memoirs: I began writing detailed diaries and letters to friends in 1991.  At first, these “diaries” were mostly notes written into my day planner to record special moments with my boyfriend, Peter, such as details of the Link (explained in my memoirs) and things he told me.

In 1992, I was given a diary for Christmas, and began filling it with accounts of my troubles, since I was going through a breakup.  Soon, I filled that up and began using notebooks, filling several notebooks and diaries by the time I graduated in 1995.  These diaries were like any diary: a mix of good and bad experiences.

In 1992 or 1993, I typed my freshman year day planner into my word processor to preserve it, in case of fire.  I included more details that came to mind.

In early 1994, I began making notes for novels based on my own experiences, because I felt that nobody was capturing the kind of college experiences I and my friends were having.  The closest thing to that was the TV series Class of ’96, which was criticized as being unrealistic, and soon canceled.  Yet that show came closer to my reality than any other show or movie I had yet seen.

In late 1994 or early 1995, I began putting my experiences into a semi-fictionalized form for future publication, but the events of senior year put them on the backburner.

As I began my first job as an insurance clerk, I also began working again on my memoirs, putting them into fictional form as a series of dialogues between the protagonist and a wise, older friend.

Yes, this was much like Felicity’s tapes sent to a dear friend, in the first season of Felicity–only this was 1995 and 1996, a few years before anybody ever heard of Felicity Porter.  So I had the idea first.  Nyah.

I could change events as I wished, having my protagonist do what I wished I had done.  But first, I would write down the truth, to be fictionalized later.  In the meantime, I still wrote entries from the point of view of my protagonist’s friend, which basically were my own, wiser view a few years after the events.

Because of my job, I couldn’t go very fast on the memoirs, doing most of my writing–of the memoirs and of fictional works–on weekends and vacations.  In 1998, I was downsized and became a housewife; during that time, I made lots of progress.

However, I also read an article about libel, and feared I couldn’t publish my fictionalized version without being subject to libel suits.  I kept writing the true accounts for my own use, but no longer intended to fictionalize them in a novel.  Instead, they would be my journal of college.

In 2001, I neared completion of the accounts of freshman year (I had started working backwards because Phil’s abuses were fresh in my mind and needed to be dealt with immediately).

Friends from college kept saying, “I want to read your memoirs!”  But how was that possible, when they filled two fireproof vaults, and much of them were actually letters and personal diaries?

It was for my own use, so it was not made into an easily accessible form for anyone else to read without going to my house.  It was also full of private details.

So I decided to clip and paste bits of my journals, sometimes including copies of diary entries and letters, into e-mails sent to all those who wanted to read my memoirs.  This e-mailing began right before 9/11, and was kept up twice a week for quite some time.

In the years following, I kept the e-mails, and sent them to anyone new who wanted to see them.  But this was impractical because there were so many e-mails to send at one time.

In April 2006, I discovered Myspace.  On my Myspace blog, I started posting various things I had written before, such as travelogues.  I also posted them on this website in case Myspace crashed.

Then I began posting my memoirs–risky, because strangers could read them (including the Avenger, who happened across her story in maybe 2007).  I expanded and edited them as I went.

I put a copy of each blog on my website, calling them the Archives.  Which means even more people could read them.  It’s risky, but if I didn’t want anyone to read them, why did I spend so much of my life writing them?

At last, the story is out.  And yes, this is the true version, not at all fictional.  Eventually, I hope to also include memoirs of my childhood and possibly adulthood.

On Pat Robertson

(I also write extensively about Pat here, regarding Charismatic sign-gifts and their legitimacy.)

I believe that, mixed in with the true things he says, that he also says many false things, and sometimes even dangerous ones spiritually or politically.

In addition to what I wrote on page 1, here are more of my reasons why Pat Robertson should be dismissed as a charlatan and a liar both about politics and spiritual things, and why The 700 Club should be treated as a whacked-out religious far-right propaganda machine rather than a good, Christian show:

I watched The 700 Club from 1987 or 1988 until maybe 1993, plus occasionally around 1985 or 1986 when I was 12.  That would be my late teens until my very early 20s.  I heard many things that later turned out to be wrong.

  1. For example, Dungeons and Dragons is not a Satanic game that will possess you with demons and make you want to become a Satan worshipper.
  2. The existence of Satanic Ritual Abuse is highly questionable, though the occasional psycho may imitate it.
  3. We did not get the whole story on various news stories about liberal vs. conservative issues.  They were more heavily biased on the conservative side than even the “liberal media” supposedly was on the liberal side.  (They were like Fox News is today.)
  4. God has not been taken out of the schools with some sort of Nazi vigor, and personal prayer is not forbidden.  Christian students are not being persecuted left and right by school systems.  (It may happen, but probably not that often.)  My high school allowed us to post Campus Life announcements and have a prayer group in a classroom after school.
  5. Operation Rescue is not necessarily doing the right thing with their “civil disobedience.”
  6. Liberals and Democrats are not the servants of the Evil One.
  7. Feminists did not cause the downfall of civilization.
  8. The government persecution of Christians in the USA is greatly overrated, and we do not need new laws to fight it (or to take rights from other groups).
  9. Celebrating Halloween does not mean you are corrupting children or worshipping Satan.
  10. Creationism has no business in a science classroom, unless you’re also going to include the creation stories of every other religion.

Pat Robertson would go off by himself every year to pray and fast and get prophecies from God about the coming year.  On the show, the co-host would read over his predictions from the last year and say how they all came true.  Then Pat would give his predictions for the coming year.

I believed in this for some time because I would write them down and they all seemed to come true.  I taped the show, so I got his words exactly.

Of course, I have a copy of Pat’s Perspective from March-April 1992.  It’s especially amusing how he congratulated himself on the first page for telling Perspective readers in advance about all the things that would happen during the war.

He may have been right about that, but more often than not, this copy of the Perspective is filled with things that turned out to be wrong.

For example, by now we’re supposed to be under New Age leadership in the New World Order and facing devastating consequences for our Christian freedom.  We all know that hasn’t happened.

Also, George H.W. Bush ran for re-election with his sitting VP, Dan Quayle, not with Colin Powell.

Starting at the end of the Gulf War, Pat said God told him that Bush would ride the euphoria of a successful war all the way into re-election in 1992.  He kept saying this, so there was no mistaking what he said.

He also blamed liberals and Democrats for society’s ills and for leading America down a path of unrighteousness.

So I supported Bush and, even when I thought maybe Clinton had a better position on some issue, I’d think, “What’s the point of supporting Clinton when Bush is going to win?”

So I wore the button and followed the Republican party line.  I proudly stated who I was voting for, and expected all those misguided Clinton-supporters surrounding me to be sorely disappointed when the election finally came around.  They said Clinton would win and how they did not like Bush; I secretly laughed.

When polls showed Clinton in the lead, I knew the polls were wrong and could not change what God proclaimed.  When Bush won, I would hold my head high because I voted for the winner.

Well, we all know what happened in 1992.  I watched the election returns in disbelief as Clinton decisively defeated Bush.

I watched The 700 Club every night afterwards for Pat’s explanation.  Ben Kinchlow finally brought it up one day.

He said this guy came up to him with tears running down his face and said, “What happened?”  Pat’s response: “I guess I missed it.

Now there is a philosophy out there that these days, prophets can occasionally be wrong.  Pat and such writers as Jack Deere hold to this philosophy, that sometimes prophets think they hear God but it’s really themselves, and that prophets should never say, “thus says the Lord.”

But where does the Bible say things have changed?  It clearly states that if a prophet is ever wrong, that is a false prophet and not from God.  And the biblical prophets surely must have known how to tell the difference between themselves and God’s voice, because they repeatedly said, “thus says the Lord.”

Benny Hinn is in this same category.  He once came on The 700 Club and said he’d been taken into a trance by God, who took his spirit over various parts of the earth and showed him things that would happen in the 1990s.

In naïve gullibility, I wrote these things down exactly.  I’m not sure where that paper is now, but I remember that few, if any, of those things came true.

  1. I remember him saying that two of God’s “great giants” would die in the 90s.  I thought this meant Billy Graham (or even Pat Robertson).
  2. I remember there was supposed to be a wondrous revival in which people would be in the parking lot on their way into church, and get healed.
  3. One of the prophecies I remember distinctly: “Castro’s Cuba will fall in the 90s.”  Well, that never happened.
  4. I remember a prophecy in the early 90s that there would be an economic collapse and only the givers in the church would survive.  Was that Benny Hinn?  There are accounts of him saying such things in 1999, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he said it on The 700 Club in the early 90s as well.  Or it could have been Pat Robertson, giving one of his own yearly prophecies.

So Benny Hinn is also a false prophet who, like Pat Robertson, has lots of followers and tons of money coming in.  And if they’re false prophets, then their faith healing, “words of knowledge”/prophecies, and religious teachings are also suspect.

Benny Hinn–False Prophet Extroardinaire by Jackie Alnor

Questions for Benny Hinn by Bill Alnor

This website lists many prophecies for the 90s, several of which sound like the ones on my missing paper.  (Also note that God destroying the homosexual community with fire in the mid-90s is greeted with a round of applause.)  He says that Fidel Castro will die in the 90s.  Um, no.: Benny Hinn Prophesies for the Mid-90s

A simple Google search on “Benny Hinn prophecy 90s Castro” reveals many more websites exposing Benny Hinn’s false prophecies.

On faith healers in general, naming several well-known ones: The Hurt of Healing

Check out this video exposing fake evangelists: Marjoe Gortner Exposes Fake Preachers  It’s about an “evangelist” who conned congregations for years, explaining how he did it.

I’ve found references to these allegations against Pat Robertson in various news sources: Pat Robertson’s Right-Wing Gold Mine by Bill Sizemore, Pat Robertson’s Gold by Colbert I. King

Wikipedia has three good articles on Pat Robertson, collecting various facts and references together in one place so you can research them further: The 700 Club, Pat Robertson, Pat Robertson Controversies

ABC exposé on Pat Robertson’s Operation Blessing during the Katrina disaster: Some Question Robertson’s Katrina Charity

Also read Pat Robertson’s Katrina Cash by Max Blumenthal

Quoted from Deception in the Church:

Gerry Straub, a former associate of Pat Robertson and his television producer, pointed out that in his book Salvation for Sale the astonishing fact that God seemed able to time miracles to conform with standard television format.

God would stop speaking to Pat and stop healing exactly in time with the theme music. He described his former employer’s “Word of Knowledge” performance:

“There was nothing ‘mystical’ to understand; it was simply ‘statistical’. Robertson’s little faith-healing procedure is a charade — he simply ‘calls out’ an illness and predicts its cure, and with millions of viewers the statistical probabilities are that someone will have the disease named and that they they will naturally recover. People put their faith in the belief that God speaks to Pat.” (James Randi, The Faith Healers, 1989, p.201)

(Gerry) Straub relates a nonmiracle he witnessed while still a believer in the ministry he worked for. He describes Robertson, at the close of a ‘700 Club’ videotaping, shaking hands with members of the studio audience:

“He stopped when he reached a man sitting in a wheelchair … Pat … laid hands on him as everyone prayed for healing … at Pat’s urging the man stood up. The people cheered as the man took a couple of very shaky, small steps.

“While everyone applauded God, I feared the man might fall. The next day we showed the nation the miracle (on the ‘700 Club’ broadcast). I simply wanted to know if the old man in the wheelchair was permanently healed by God or if he temporarily thought that he was healed.

“A few weeks later I had an assistant track down the man’s family in order to see if the cure had lasted. He had died 10 days after his visit to [the Christian Broadcasting Netwark]. We reported his ‘healing’ but not his death.” (James Randi, The Faith Healers, 1989, p.201)

“(Gerry) Staub sums up his experience with faith-healing in the Robertson ministry with these words:

“During my two and a half years at [Christian Broadcasting Network], I never saw one clear-cut, ‘beyond a shadow of a doubt’ type of healing; however, I did see a tremendous amount of faith in healing — cleverly created, I believe, by Pat Robertson …

“The prophet-turned-healer could have been described as prophet-turned-fake for the sake of profit.” (James Randi, The Faith Healers, 1989, p.202)

For many years, Pat Robertson’s book Answers to 200 of Life’s Most Probing Questions had an honored place on my bookshelf.  But on the night of June 14, 2005, I flipped through it and realized that it is full of errors, particularly prosperity theology.

There is the error of seeing spirits/demons in everything, even things that are easily explained by human nature.

And don’t forget his teachings that you can get words of wisdom/knowledge (prophecies) in your everyday life by following these simple steps.

Apparently these teachings come out of the charismatic traditions.  The last two teachings in particular, on demons and prophecies, really screwed me up in college.  Freshman and sophomore years would have gone a lot easier if I hadn’t seen demons in everything and followed words of wisdom that were not real.

Yet I did as Pat said when I got the “words,” and even tested them!  Despite what some people might have thought, I was not going off the deep end; I was just misguided by a popular show and charismatic teachings.

By some accounts, The 700 Club is the “most respected” Christian TV show!  And, after feeling like it was just me, I have since discovered that all sorts of people have done the same things I have, getting words about whom they’ll marry (and getting it wrong), seeing demons and spiritual warfare in everything, etc.

I’m told that young people are especially susceptible to these things, wanting to be special, feeling passionate about God, wanting to know God’s will as they make big decisions about careers and spouses, and wanting to see the supernatural in their lives.

This is a real-life demonstration for you of the harm that such teachings can cause.  I shudder to think now of how this affected me in college and the actions I took because of it.  I would have let go of my ex much sooner if I could’ve simply listened to friends who said he has either changed a lot, or he only pretended to be what you wanted.

If not for the deception of the “words,” I could’ve seen he was not right for me, and God did not “choose” him for me.  Instead, I fought my “unbelief” and strove to “lean on the promise” even when I fell out of love and wanted to move on.

I don’t think we need to consult God on everything from breakfast to whether or not to accept a date to what career to choose.  I don’t believe he is into micromanaging our lives; he has enough to do already.  Instead, we should read the Bible and learn how to make these decisions ourselves in keeping with God’s principles.

In 200 Questions, Pat gave some reasons why someone would pray for healing and not get it:

  • We do not “exercise true spiritual discernment” (for the cause of an illness),
  • “[o]ur access to power is clouded by sin and unbelief, or earthly cares,”
  • “many people have been taught that God does not heal today,”
  • some people enjoy being sick (“an excuse not to face up to life”), they don’t want to be healed,
  • “unconfessed sin,”
  • demons are causing the sickness and need to be cast out,
  • they are not receptive or do not appreciate the promises and the truth of God (p.238-239).

Basically, it all comes down to you.  It apparently has nothing to do with God healing through medicine, God’s will, or natural forces.  It ignores the fact that many devout Christians suffer from chronic illness, arthritis, even a disability.

But in the book of Job we are taught not to call sickness or calamity a punishment for sin.  So if we are not healed, how does it follow that our sin is the reason?  How about an easier answer: It’s because the faith healer is a charlatan!

In 200 Questions, there is a lot of stuff about moneymaking: If you invest this much for so long, you can end up with $50 million.  Why does financial advice belong in a religious book?

Another page says you can do “anticipatory tithing”: “Consider the income that you anticipate receiving, and tithe as if you already had it” (p. 146).

There’s that old prosperity doctrine again!  Tithing is supposed to be an offering, not an “investment” with expectation of returns!  And how about this:

Thinking about [tithing] causes me to speculate on an ideal taxation system.  It would be wonderful if 10 percent of everyone’s income would go toward religious instruction, teaching, and worship so that the whole population could be instructed in the Word of God.

Then, a second 10 percent could go for welfare, roads, harbors, various social projects, old age relief, and any other social needs.

Then, another 5 percent or so could be spent on personal vacations.  Not vacations that were orgies of lust and personal pleasure, but vacations where people rested, worshiped and enjoyed God, thanking Him for what He had done.

This would be a time when people could go to pleasant places and eat good food.  They could relax, praise the Lord, and acknowledge that He is in their midst.

This plan would require 25 percent of our national income.  I believe that if we adopted the first 10 percent for religious training, our needs for welfare would be reduced dramatically as people began to look after their own elderly and their own sick, thereby reducing the burden on government (p. 145-146).

I’m not making this up.  It’s right there in the book.  It’s wrong on SO many levels.

Even your vacation plans have to be religious under this government taxation system?

Somehow I don’t think Congress and the many Americans of other faiths (and no faith) would go for that system!  I wouldn’t because I have a bad feeling about what Pat means by “instructed in the Word of God.”

I don’t want to live in any sort of theocracy–fundamentalist Islam, fundamentalist Christian, fundamentalist anything.

(Though Pat speaks of a future “theocracy” under the reign of Christ on Earth, I lean more toward the interpretation that Christ’s reign is a spiritual one, not a political one.  It is not limited by time or earthly systems; it does not have to wait for the “Millennium,” and does not have to end after 1000 years.  I believe we are already in the Millennium.)

And maybe you don’t have even that 5% for personal vacations because you have a tiny income that hasn’t been properly “blessed.”

And maybe there are people who don’t “look after their own elderly and their own sick” because they can’t, not because they’re degenerates who don’t take responsibility.  Sometimes getting a nurse is the responsible thing to do, because you’re already stretched to the limit by holding down a job and raising a family–or you’re sick yourself.

And 25% is pretty high; isn’t that more like the level of taxation that the wealthy get?

Don’t forget that after all those taxes, tithing 10 percent is an “irreducible minimum” (term used p. 146).  There’s 35% of your income gone right there, no deductions, no progressive taxation levels.

If you made only $20,000 a year, you’d have $13,000 left to live on.  And you’d be living in a theocracy based on a faith you may not even share.

Yeah, sure even a blind squirrel can find a nut sometimes.  Sometimes Pat says things that are actually true.

But considering what Pat Robertson says about such things as prosperity theology–

and the way he makes the Republican Party sound like God’s Own Party and the Democrat Party sound like moral degenerates–

I would trust nothing that comes out of his mouth unless I can back it up in Scripture.  That includes his teachings on words of knowledge/wisdom.

It’s scary to think of the influence this guy has, and the influence he once had on me.  It took many years of progressively discovering the truth, to break out of his programming.

I have read webpages which charge Pat Robertson with not being a Christian.  I will not go that far.

But I am convinced that The 700 Club is not just an innocent TV program giving God’s perspective and teaching God’s truth.

I believe it is being used not only to spread false doctrines that twist God’s word, whether out of Pat’s design or ignorance, but also to form a far-right political army to push its own agenda on the rest of the country.

I believe Pat is being treated as a prophet so that this “army” will not only listen to him, but send him money.

I believe that these things are poisoning the Evangelical church.

This columnist expresses what Pat Robertson-type teachings are doing to the Evangelical church, though he does not name Pat (who is probably not the only one teaching them): A Too-Thin Slice of “Moral Values” by Ed Scholl

More: Pat Robertson and the 700 Club by Fred M. Fariss

 

Written mid-2005

Index to my theology/church opinion pages:

Page 1:

Tithing 
End Times and Christian Zionism 
God’s Purpose/Supremacy of God Doctrine 
Cat and Dog Theology 
Raising One’s Hands in Worship 
Christian Music 
On the “still, small voice” and Charismatic sign gifts
On church buildings 
The Message Bible 
The Purpose-Driven Life 
The Relevance Doctrine, i.e. Marketing Churches to Seekers 
Republican Party 
Abortion Protests 
Creation 
The idea that God has someone in mind for you 
Literalism in Biblical interpretation
Miscellaneous 

Page 2:

Name it and Claim It Doctrine, Prosperity Doctrine, Faith-Formula Theology, Word-Faith Theology,  Positive Confession Theology, Health and Wealth Gospel, and whatever else they call it
More about Pat Robertson
Dr. Richard Eby and others who claim to have been to Heaven
Women in Marriage/the Church
Spiritual Abuse 
Other Resources 

Page 3:

Why do bad things happen?
Should we criticize our brethren’s artistic or evangelistic attempts?  Or, how should we evangelize, then?
Angels: Is “This Present Darkness” by Frank Peretti a divine revelation or fiction?
Halloween: Not the Devil’s Holiday!
Hell and the Nature of God 
Is Christmas/Easter a Pagan Holiday? 
Is everybody going to Hell except Christians?
How could a loving God who prohibits murder, command the genocide of the Canaanite peoples? 
What about predestination?
Musings on Sin, Salvation and Discipleship 
An Ancient View which is in the Bible, yet new to the west–Uncreated Energies of God

Page 4:

Dialogues
The Didache 
Technical Virginity–i.e., how far should a Christian single go? 
Are Spiritual Marriages “real”?  (also in “Life” section, where it’s more likely to be updated) 
Does the Pill cause abortions, or is that just another weird Internet or extremist right-wing rumor?
What about Missional Churches, Simple Churches, Fluid Churches, Organic Churches, House Churches or Neighborhood Churches?
Is Wine from the Devil–or a Gift from God?
What is Worship? 
Evangelistic Trips to Already Christianized Countries
Fraternities, Sororities, Masonic Lodge 
Was Cassie Bernall a Martyr?
Some Awesome Things heard in the Lamentations Service (Good Friday evening) during Holy Week

Conversion Story

Phariseeism in the Church

 

Meeting the elusive Speaker–College Memoirs: Life At Roanoke–March 1995, Part 5

Catherine started planning a movie night, and we planned to play Dungeons and Dragons on Saturday the 11th.

Cugan called me to chat several times before then.  He had a musical phone number and a soothing, gentle, pleasant-sounding phone voice.  He said he liked playing D&D at about noon, but Catherine told him it was hard to get me up before then.  He’d been to Ireland; I was jealous.

Catherine also called me on the phone a few times.  When I told her Cugan had been to Ireland, she said, as one of the reasons I should go out with him, “He’s a world traveler.”  Then, “Just listen to how soothing his name is.”  She cooed, “COO-gan!  COOO-gan!”

At first, neither Cugan nor I said much to each other about dating, despite how pleasant and chatty our phone conversations were.  It was an unspoken understanding, and I was too nervous to bring it up.  But then Cugan said with a smile in his voice,

“Is Catherine pushing you as much as she is me?”

****

One day at lunch, Persephone and Phil sat with my friends and me.  I don’t know why Phil sat with us, since Persephone had broken up with him for good and none of the rest of us liked him.  Maybe he just wanted to stalk us.

Persephone and I sat across from each other, and somehow got on the subject of men.  I went on and on about Cugan and Stimpy, and how fun it was to date two guys at once.  We both laughed about it.

Phil said nothing at all to anyone.

Then, all of a sudden, he got up in a huff and left.  He didn’t come back.

?????!!!!!

I was both amused and mystified.

Why should Phil care who I dated?

It was five months now since he left me, and he made it clear he did not want to come back–even dating Persephone instead and telling her he loved her and wanted to marry her.

I sometimes wonder if he planned to get back together with me.  If so, this discouraged him.  But by now, I had moved on, and–with so many new prospects–no longer wanted to shackle myself to my abuser again.

****

On Tuesday, March 7, Stimpy and I went on a triple date with Krafter and Sharon, and Ish and Pearl.

This was the first time Pearl met Ish.  I think we dressed up a bit.  We went to Country Kitchen at 6pm.

We had fun, though Pearl wasn’t sure about Ish, and the guys all kept going on and on about computers.  Pearl thought Ish was too old for her (at 30).  Now, if Turtle had been in her place, you know she would have drooled all over him!  Darn statutory laws….

Soon after this, Pearl met W– online and agreed to go on a date with him.  He was between eighteen and twenty, probably more like eighteen, and a good friend of Flezter, who said, “Don’t hurt W–.”

After the date, however, Pearl came back complaining of the psychotic time she had.  I forget if W– himself was part of this, or if it was just the circumstances, but I think he was.

I don’t remember much of the details, but I do remember that near the end of the evening they stopped at his house, where he soon argued with his family over something.

That night or the next, W– said to Sharon online, “Should I talk to Pearl?  I’m afraid she thinks I’m psycho!”  I think Sharon encouraged him to.  Despite all this, W– did seem like a nice guy.

****

On or before Wednesday, March 8, Speaker ignored me whenever he came online.  I got mad at him for this.

Then in the late afternoon, just before dinnertime, he called Sharon.  We never spoke to him outside of TCB before, so this was quite an event.  Sharon wanted to give me the phone, but I grumbled,

“If he even wants to talk to me.”

He did, so I took the phone.  Speaker was surprised and, I think, amused that I was mad at him, and explained what had been going on.  (I think he was just playing around.)

He said I had “a cute Southern accent,” which surprised me because I didn’t have a Southern accent, just a mix of S– and South Bend accents.

Of course, my mom sometimes sounded Southern with her lower Michigan accent, so maybe some of that rubbed off on me.  South Bend is right next to the border, so there is a lot of intermingling, yet there is a distinct difference between the accents.  Michigan’s accent is “rougher,” more “country,” with the old folks saying “dinner” for “lunch,” “davenport” for “couch,” and “crick” instead of “creek.”

Speaker had a cute accent, himself, with a strong “o” in his “no’s,” even stronger than in the local accents.  I believe he was from M–.

I said I wanted to meet him, but he kept saying no, and “Why do you want to meet me?  You don’t want to meet me.”  He said it all playfully, making me wonder how serious he was.

I finally talked him into meeting me, so we decided on Wednesday at 6:30 in the Campus Center lounge.  We’d have dinner at Burger King, and then watch an episode of Doctor Who in my apartment.

I figured these things fit Krafter’s specifications for safely meeting a BBS user: a public place first, and my roommies would be in the apartment the whole time.  He said he’d be wearing a blue coat, not zippered; jeans; and a black shirt.  His hair was brown.

****

I went to the Campus Center lounge at that time with my Nyssa cup from Gypsy’s party, and waited for quite some time, watching the TV.  It was just me and the guy working at the information desk.

Had Speaker stood me up?  I got up to go back to the apartment and look for him on TCB.  On my way out, I saw a guy fitting his description right outside the Campus Center.  His hair was about shoulder-length and curly, and though he had unusual features, he wasn’t bad-looking.  (Don’t ask me for details 20 years later, especially with my NVLD.  But I believe his face was kind of pinched.)

He asked if I was Nyssa: To my great delight he was Speaker.  He said he was late because I thought he was from a different place, and gave him the wrong directions, so he had to stop and get new ones.  Oopsie.

We went to Burger King in S–, where we spoke of Avenger.  (The Big Flame War was just an embryo at the time.)  We returned to my apartment and watched the episode of Doctor Who, possibly “Paradise Towers.”

I gave Speaker one of my college senior pictures, which had just arrived, and said, “Have a picture of your Nyssie.”  I didn’t like the pictures, since I forgot to remove my glasses, but my friends thought they were good.  They were certainly better than the ones from junior year.

We got along well in person, and often flirted online, but he kept saying, “You’re Stimpy’s Nyssie” and acting like he didn’t want a girlfriend.

I told him Stimpy and I agreed we could date anybody we wanted, but that changed nothing: Speaker said he wanted to be single all his life, despite his complaints about no one ever wanting to date him.  He also didn’t like having to compete with other guys.

In those days my roommies and I still didn’t know why the vacuum cleaner kept spitting stuff out, so there were hairballs and dust bunnies all over the place.  Silly us, it wasn’t broken, just needed a new bag.  Argh….

Since all my life I have gone around in my stocking feet inside, I’d sit down and find blonde and brown hairballs sticking to my socks.  Speaker laughed.

****

InterVarsity had a Lock-In from 7pm on Friday the 10th to noon on the 11th.  It was supposed to be a sleepover in the Ley Chapel basement, but there weren’t enough people, so we made it a party in the apartment.  Krafter and Stimpy came.

At the time I thought I could handle dating two, three, even four people at once.  I felt no need to make a decision yet.  Other people were able to date around.  There was nothing ethically wrong with it as long as the guys knew they weren’t my one and only.

After what I’d been through with Peter, Shawn and Phil, I didn’t want to commit to one person and find out that, yet again, it was the wrong one: abusive, manipulative, deceitful, whatever.

However, I soon discovered that with Cugan I thought of Stimpy, and with Stimpy I thought of Cugan.  Then there was the other guy I wrote to….I felt pulled every which way.

Though even my mom said it was okay to date around, and even though this is the time-honored way to date, it still felt weird, like I was supposed to pick one guy to date and potentially marry.  Still, as I said, I was wary about commitment.

Index 
Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

 

For the first time in five years, my once-friend Richard,

I listened to a song that always reminded me of when we first decided to become friends.  It was on rock radio all the time back then, Wings of a Butterfly by HIM.  This must have been around September 2005.  I loved it and downloaded it, so I listened to it all the time while reading your posts and e-mails and researching Orthodoxy.  So it attached to you.

Because our friendship was important to me, the song became a symbol of that, and special to me as well.  But I never told you about this.

For five years, I have avoided that song like the plague.  Took it out of my playlist, skipped past it on MP3 players and CDs.  Because it made me sob.

I think today was the first time I tried to listen to it again.

And it didn’t bother me.

Heck, I listened to it twice, because I missed it so much.

Now I read that the song is about killing something beautiful and pure in order to attain something you want. 

Which is exactly what you did, murdering our beautiful friendship for whatever reason.

Ville Valo in a Kerrang magazine says that it comes from a Greek mythology that they believed that if you ripped the wings out of a butterfly then they would live forever. Would you be able to destroy something Beautiful to live forever. The first verse tells of excitement “the blood on our hands is the wine” “heaven’s ablaze in our eyes” “we offer as sacrifice”. But the second verse shows the regrets they face but they still don’t have to worry about dying, they have become immortal. But they still want forgiveness. “This endless mercy mile” “hell’s freezing over in our eyes” “gods kneel before our crimes”

A whole slew of songs used to remind me of you for various reasons, but this was the last holdout, the last one I still could not listen to.

And now my life is full of new and old friends, various church activities, and clubs.  I no longer need you to stave off the loneliness.

That’s what happens when you nearly kill a child:

That’s what happens when you treat loyal, loving friends like crap:

That’s what happens when you refuse to apologize to and make peace with those friends:

They get over you.

Good-bye.

 

Anti-Muslim and anti-black language is disgusting: There is a better way

Recently, the local newspaper reported on racial and religious/ethnic tension in the community.

And the response in the comments online, was to deny it.  To dig in the heels and refuse to see what’s going on.

For example, a black man moved here a short time ago, and was disturbed to see pickaninny statuettes.  He even had to remove pickaninnies from the wallpaper when he moved into his home!  He has also experienced racism in other ways.  (See here, here and here.)

I came to this city 20 years ago, having grown up in a larger city with many black friends; I knew those statues were racist.  I was shocked to see them around town, brazenly displayed as if the owners didn’t care what message they were sending.

Now, finally, the newspaper laid it bare.  I was glad that somebody finally addressed this problem.  (I did not know the owners of the statues, so I couldn’t do it myself.)  To my relief, the owner of one statue simply did not know it was racist.

Which amazed me, because how can you be so clueless?  I’ve known for decades that such images are racist.  But at least it was not malicious.

While some people in the newspaper’s online comments were glad to see this addressed, several made comments like, These people offended by statues must have huge chips on their shoulders and need counseling. 

Even one of my old college friends said this when I posted a link on Facebook.

I was floored.

Not everyone here is like this, of course.  I know people around town who are not like that at all.  And there were plenty of comments from people who recognize racism rather than denying it exists.

But I was surprised at what so many people wrote.  Openly.  On the Net.  With their names attached.  And no shame, just derision for the article and the man described in it.

Then we had a couple of articles this week about a local group which brought Muslims and Christians together for dialogue, study and fellowship.  It was led by Sisters from our St. Agnes convent, who are very much involved in social justice, and wonderful people.  (Here and here.)

The response in the comments: to spout off against how evil Islam is and, to the one person who defended the need for dialogue, the “left liberals” who are “anti-Christian.”

Floored once again.

Good heavens.  Still?  In 2015? 

I could’ve sworn I took a time machine back to 1960!

The comments, both about racism and about Muslims, were highly offensive and disgusting.

(Though this does explain how we keep electing politicians who are getting more and more extreme and wacky, with their crazy conspiracy theories.  Even our long-time and revered Republican Congressman, Petri, has been treated lately like he’s too “liberal”!  Once upon a time, I was a Republican, but cannot be in good conscience anymore.)

Because of my old college friend’s comment on the statues, and her Tea Party rants lately against anything I post that’s even remotely political, I have been considering dropping her from my Facebook.  Which would be sad.

But this, and her anti-children comments as well lately, make me understand better how she and my BFF Mike ended up parting ways back in 2010.

(This was the same time that I had to drop my supposed “BFF,” Richard, only to find that Mike and other college friends are my TRUE “BFF’s.”)

But this problem is NOT isolated to our little community.  It is all over the country.

Meanwhile, I hear about Muslims in Jerusalem celebrating Christmas, Muslims and Christians protecting each other from violence, and Muslims forming a line around a synagogue in Norway.

I recall the sweet, quiet Muslim lady who used to drop off and pick up her son at the same church where my son went to 4K.

I recall TLC’s reality show on American Muslims, which demonstrated how “normal” they really are–and how prejudice affects them.  But it got dropped before the end of the first year, while junk like “Honey Boo-Boo” stays on.

I recall that many practices of Muslims are shared by more traditional Orthodox Christians, such as headcoverings, onion domes, and prostrations.

And I note that my own religious leader, the Ecumenical Patriarch, signed a Joint Declaration with the Pope last November, which included this paragraph:

The grave challenges facing the world in the present situation require the solidarity of all people of good will, and so we also recognize the importance of promoting a constructive dialogue with Islam based on mutual respect and friendship.

Inspired by common values and strengthened by genuine fraternal sentiments, Muslims and Christians are called to work together for the sake of justice, peace and respect for the dignity and rights of every person, especially in those regions where they once lived for centuries in peaceful coexistence and now tragically suffer together the horrors of war.

Moreover, as Christian leaders, we call on all religious leaders to pursue and to strengthen interreligious dialogue and to make every effort to build a culture of peace and solidarity between persons and between peoples.

We also remember all the people who experience the sufferings of war.

In particular, we pray for peace in Ukraine, a country of ancient Christian tradition, while we call upon all parties involved to pursue the path of dialogue and of respect for international law in order to bring an end to the conflict and allow all Ukrainians to live in harmony.

 

Over the years, it has disturbed me to find so many Orthodox believers disparaging this Patriarch because of his work toward environmental and ecumenical causes. 

I see a true leader striving to further the ends of the Gospel through peace, love, tolerance, understanding, and protecting the world God made for us. 

The Patriarch was one reason why I became Orthodox instead of remaining in the liberal Presbyterian Church.  I saw in him that you did not have to be a liberal Christian to live out the tenets of the faith (described in the above paragraph).  Liberalism has many good traits but often goes too far the other way; now I had an alternative.

I, a lifelong Evangelical, fled and became Presbyterian in the first place because of what I saw taking over the conservative churches: intolerance, treating the Republican Party like God’s Own Party, fighting against Harry Potter instead of poverty, treating environmentalism like a lie from the pit of Hell.  Not everyone was like this, of course, but I saw even good people infected by it to some extent.  I myself was once infected by it.

But the Patriarch knows all too well what it is like to be persecuted, truly persecuted, not just from ridicule, but from a government which suppresses your religion.  He, more than anyone, is qualified to speak of the necessity for tolerance, even for the religion of your oppressor.

And note that both he and the Pope agreed to this Declaration, both spiritual leaders of millions of Christians in the oldest Churches on the planet.  These churches are as “conservative” as you can get.

But so many–at least in America–speak against the Patriarch, sounding like the far-right political fanatics who try to further the interests of corporations and Big Oil, deny the truth of climate change, sabotage the progress made in protecting our world, and promote bigotry, war and hate.

They defame our Patriarch by saying he does not further the Gospel, that he is too “politically correct.”

On the contrary, the Patriarch is fighting for Christ, carrying out Christ’s commands, a true prophet for our times.

Those who deny this, will be left behind in the dust bin of history.

The same as those who fought to keep the slaves in chains.  And those who fought to keep blacks under a reign of terror in the South, and suppressed and oppressed in the North.  The ones who are to blame for many ills still suffered by generations of blacks, long after the Civil War and the end of Jim Crow.

I do not agree with the Patriarch on everything.  My church still opposes gay marriage, for example.  But to most things I read of and from him, I cheer inwardly.

Such as his book, Encountering the Mystery.

Which I highly recommend.  It is prophetic and beautiful, all about how we are to live out the words of Christ in today’s world, promoting peace, love and environmental harmony.

These words are hard and forceful because bigotry and hatred are evil and the sources of most evils in this world.

UPDATE 3/2/15:

It just frustrates me to NO END that the guy who wrote this letter spoke the TRUTH about what so many minorities are dealing with, yet so many refuse to see it.

I spoke up in favor of what he said, I say that I know people this has happened to, I express the problem with intolerance is very real, yet there’s a guy who’s just so frickin’ BULLHEADED he refuses to accept it.

Just dismisses me as a “left liberal.” Just says I should “get over it.” Well, I’m not the one who has suffered, so I’m not the one to “get over” anything.

It was suffered by a little girl, only about 6 years old or so.  Richard’s daughter (the one he choked), who is mixed-race, was told by classmates that their parents would not let them play with her because she’s black. This was in 2008.

It was suffered by minorities around the year 2000 when a local white supremacist group was putting posters up all over town and writing letters to the editor.  I ripped one of their posters off a telephone pole.

These groups pop up every now and then. As recently as 2010, a white supremacist group put fliers on cars in N. Fond du Lac.

I’m not the one suffering it, but others. And so I speak up because somebody in the majority has to.

It is suffered by blacks who–even in these modern times–see offensive pickaninny images around the city, including statues and wallpaper, yet get accused of needing therapy for saying this is racist.

I also see people responding to this letter calling the writer “smug” and “arrogant” because of one little thing he included which is inconsequential to the point he’s making. Meanwhile, they ignore–or deny–the actual points. It is an ad hominem argument used to dismiss the whole letter.

I hope the guy who wrote this letter sees the comments and knows that no, we’re NOT all intolerant in this town. That there IS hope. That change can happen. The trouble is there is such a vocal group of people who are intolerant and are blind to their own behavior. Hopefully a small group, but they are loud.

CHANGE CANNOT HAPPEN THROUGH DENIAL.

Everyone has the right to live wherever they wish without experiencing hate, prejudice, bigotry. It is not about special treatment by any means. It is simple, normal, basic human decency which everyone should be able to expect.

The guy arguing with me, and others, also recently rejected the idea that Muslims are being prejudiced against. Not because of it not happening, but because HE THINKS IT’S OKAY TO BE PREJUDICED AGAINST MUSLIMS.

AND IT MAKES ME SO ANGRY. Not on my own behalf, but that of others.

IT MAKES ME ANGRY TO SEE ANYBODY BEING BULLIED AND ABUSED. That includes groups of people: black, yellow, red, brown, white, gay, any religion, whatever.

We need to LISTEN to the stories of people who claim they’re being hurt by prejudice and bigotry. Don’t just dismiss it because you don’t see it yourself.

NOBODY IS CALLING YOU A BIGOT/RACIST/SEXIST/etc. WHEN THEY DISCUSS THEIR OWN EXPERIENCES WITH BIGOTRY. Unless you were in that story, of course. It is a raising of awareness of what happens, to open the eyes of everyone to what is going on, so we all can help stop it.

Many times we don’t notice our own racism until it is pointed out. Over the years people have pointed out things to me which I had no idea were racist; afterwards, I was shocked and ashamed.

This is a human failing common to everyone, so everyone needs to root it out, even when they don’t realize it’s there.

IT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for such stories to be shared. Otherwise, it is just swept under the rug, and the victims of prejudice are silenced. Just the same as when victims of other forms of abuse and rape are silenced. It is necessary so we recognize problems in ourselves, and can recognize cases of prejudice that happen in front of us, so we can speak up. Otherwise, the problem simply continues unabated.

I do the exact same thing on my blog all the time. I write about what it is like to have a brain which does not “see” things the same as other people. I write my own experiences with bullying and abuse so others can learn from them and open their eyes.

It does NOT mean that the reader is himself/herself an abuser (except when my bullies/abusers are the ones reading it). In fact, I would be amazed if anybody ever took it that way. Yet somehow, pointing out cases of abuse and bullying has turned some people defensive.

We need to carry out the teachings of Christ, which were to love even the stranger, even the hated Samaritans. Christ’s teachings tell us to love even those who are different from us.

Yet the guy arguing with me, claims to be a “Christian” while violating what that means. And accusing people of not being Christian for saying we need to be loving towards others instead of hateful.

I’m bowing out of arguing with this bigoted creep.

 

On Name it and Claim It Doctrine, Prosperity Doctrine, Faith-Formula Theology, Word-Faith Theology, Positive Confession Theology, Health and Wealth Gospel, and whatever else they call it

These doctrines suffer from the serious error of thinking God is there to make you rich and/or to make all your dreams come true.

God never promised he would provide us with a spouse, a fancy house, a wonderful career, perfect health, or even children.  God never promised he would take away all our suffering, hard times, or poverty.

He did promise to keep us fed and clothed and to be with us as someone who can empathize.  Suffering, hard times and poverty are seen as leading us to salvation.

“Name it and claim it” sounds like demanding God do something for you, rather than “humbly bringing all your requests to him.”  Who are we to demand God give us anything?

Word-Faith Theology

Word-Faith Movement

 

Written around 2005

Index to my theology/church opinion pages:

Page 1:

Tithing 
End Times and Christian Zionism 
God’s Purpose/Supremacy of God Doctrine 
Cat and Dog Theology 
Raising One’s Hands in Worship 
Christian Music 
On the “still, small voice” and Charismatic sign gifts
On church buildings 
The Message Bible 
The Purpose-Driven Life 
The Relevance Doctrine, i.e. Marketing Churches to Seekers 
Republican Party 
Abortion Protests 
Creation 
The idea that God has someone in mind for you 
Literalism in Biblical interpretation
Miscellaneous 

Page 2:

Name it and Claim It Doctrine, Prosperity Doctrine, Faith-Formula Theology, Word-Faith Theology,  Positive Confession Theology, Health and Wealth Gospel, and whatever else they call it
More about Pat Robertson
Dr. Richard Eby and others who claim to have been to Heaven
Women in Marriage/the Church
Spiritual Abuse 
Other Resources 

Page 3:

Why do bad things happen?
Should we criticize our brethren’s artistic or evangelistic attempts?  Or, how should we evangelize, then?
Angels: Is “This Present Darkness” by Frank Peretti a divine revelation or fiction?
Halloween: Not the Devil’s Holiday!
Hell and the Nature of God 
Is Christmas/Easter a Pagan Holiday? 
Is everybody going to Hell except Christians?
How could a loving God who prohibits murder, command the genocide of the Canaanite peoples? 
What about predestination?
Musings on Sin, Salvation and Discipleship 
An Ancient View which is in the Bible, yet new to the west–Uncreated Energies of God

Page 4:

Dialogues
The Didache 
Technical Virginity–i.e., how far should a Christian single go? 
Are Spiritual Marriages “real”?  (also in “Life” section, where it’s more likely to be updated) 
Does the Pill cause abortions, or is that just another weird Internet or extremist right-wing rumor?
What about Missional Churches, Simple Churches, Fluid Churches, Organic Churches, House Churches or Neighborhood Churches?
Is Wine from the Devil–or a Gift from God?
What is Worship? 
Evangelistic Trips to Already Christianized Countries
Fraternities, Sororities, Masonic Lodge 
Was Cassie Bernall a Martyr?
Some Awesome Things heard in the Lamentations Service (Good Friday evening) during Holy Week

Conversion Story

Phariseeism in the Church

Why I post my abuse experiences

[This is already an often-read page along my sidebar, but I’m posting this for old readers who have not yet seen it.]

I post My Journey Through Recovery from Abuse.  I post college memoirs of how I’ve handled abuse/bullying in the past and risen above it.  I post the process of my journey from a recent, traumatic bullying experience, through the anger and pain, hopefully to rise above it through writing therapy.

I DO NOT NAME MY ABUSERS ON THE INTERNET.  That information is reserved for friends and family (and people in authority if needed).  The names used here are false.  I do not give addresses or post pictures of my abusers.  So revenge is out of the question.

This isn’t about holding onto pain or a “pity party.”  I don’t sit around all day brooding over how I’ve been treated in the long-past.

This was about analyzing what happened, fighting to understand, so that I could recognize patterns, weaknesses, and what could have driven my abusers to act in such a manner (without blaming myself, as they wanted to do).

One purpose of writing this was to get out all those feelings of anger, sadness and depression, to pull myself out of that deep funk, so that I could function again, enjoy life, pursue my dreams and interests, and have energy to give to others.

The blog is a journal to hold all those negative feelings so that my “real life” can be content–and so I have the strength to deal with what else comes my way each day.

In fact, most of the time, whatever incident you read about in these blogs, I barely think about anymore in my “real life.”  But I put it here not just to vent it out and heal, but to help others, as I explain below.

My own purposes in writing this have been fulfilled.  I continue to share this journal with you, my readers, to help you reach that stage of healing and contentment as well.

You can see every stage of my confusion, anger and grief, as I keep it up for you, along with how the abusers were able to entrap and keep me in their webs.  Through this, you can recognize your own experiences, and know that others have been there–yet survived.

I post my abuse experiences to help others recognize how abusers operate–and get out of that relationship.  I also post to validate and comfort other abuse victims, show them they are not crazy, that this happens to others.

I also post because two of my abusers have been keeping close watch on this blog since May 2012, and I want to prove to them (and myself) that they cannot intimidate and threaten me into silence–as I hope that maybe something I write will finally get through to them.  This is a safe way for me to confront them with what they have done, so that I can one day forgive them.

Abusers fear exposure, which is why they tried to threaten me into silence.  Oddly enough, by keeping up this blog despite threats, I seem to be keeping the abusers at bay.  Maybe because they know if they do anything else, I will post it–and that I am not afraid to go to authority figures for help.

I also post because I’ve been through some wacky and unbelievable stuff in my life, but it’s all true, it all really happened to me.  So I post it because I’m a born writer who just HAS to tell a good, wacky or tragic story when I have one.  Otherwise my writing would all be just boring, meaningless drivel.

I also post to raise awareness and understanding of abuse and how it affects people with social learning disorders (Asperger’s, NVLD).

I am joining the worldwide conversation on abuse.

[written 2014: ] I am stickying old posts to breathe new life into them, something bloggers often struggle with, especially old posts from before they got readers.  I am also revising a web-book (Tracy’s Reign of Terror) which I wrote from 2010-2012, and posting it here, to get more readers.  I’m also revising and posting my College Memoirs web-book, for the same reason.  These are, or include, stories of abuse and bullying.

(A 21-page version of the Tracy story is here.  A 4-page summary is here.)

In both web-books, since I wrote them about and/or during emotional periods in my life, there are passages which reflect this emotion.  But rather than take out all my anger, grief, etc., I will often keep those passages the way they are–even if I have long since moved past those emotions.  I believe this will connect more with my readers, especially those who are still in the midst of such emotions in their own struggles.

These web-books are for you my readers, after all, who can glean comfort, validation and lessons from my own struggles.  You can identify my mistakes and avoid them; you can realize you are not alone.  And, well, the college memoirs aren’t just about grief, but about fun times, too.  :D

I’m posting them quickly, though they are long and there are many, because I want to get them OUT of my system for good.  From the movie “The Help”:

God says we need to love our enemies. It hard to do. But it can start by telling the truth. No one had ever asked me what it feel like to be me. Once I told the truth about that, I felt free. And I got to thinking about all the people I know. And the things I seen and done. My boy Trelaw always said we gonna have a writer in the family one day. I guess it’s gonna be me.

 

 

The Avenger Starts a Flame War (Sociopathic Female Bullies Pt 2)–College Memoirs: Life At Roanoke–March 1995, Part 4

I previously wrote about “the Avenger” here.

I soon discovered the full extent of Avenger’s abusive personality: You could call her the teenage version of Tracy, another abusive and/or personality-disordered bully whom I met later on in life.

Avenger and her boyfriend Lima constantly carried out smear campaigns against innocent people with reckless abandon, yet still some people were so ridiculous as to try to tell me Avenger was a nice person.

Soon after Gypsy’s party, Sharon heard there had been some sort of flame war over Pamela in the forums, and checked it out.  I did also, soon after.

Lima, Avenger and possibly others flamed Pamela and told everyone how “horrible” she was.  Pamela, of course, got upset.  I think she even tried to defend herself, but they just flamed her more.  In the end she said her presence in the forums just brought on more trouble, so she wasn’t going to read or write anything in them anymore.

It’s such a shame when nice people are forced out by mean ones.  It’s such a shame when a bully chooses to justify his or her behavior rather than repenting of it.

I was so upset by this that I wrote a post chewing out Avenger and Lima, and anyone else flaming Pamela, for bullying her.  I unwisely accused them of immaturity–though, as you see in the link above, immaturity is a common trait of bullies–which would keep coming back to haunt me.

Avenger wrote a scathing reply, but she seemed to disagree and yet agree with me at the same time, as Speaker said when I met him on the 8th.

She seemed to defend her actions, and yet say that we should all respect Pamela and let the thread die.  She was sure one to talk about respecting Pamela!  She was as guilty as the rest of them of harassing her.

Lima complained that the thread was old and people should look at the dates of the messages.  Though, from what I’d seen in teleconference, what I said still needed to be said: Even if the thread had died, their harassment of Pamela hadn’t.

Avenger also insisted, “I am mature.”  My future husband Cugan told me once that this statement showed she was immature.  He said immature people don’t like being told they’re immature.

Meanwhile, Speaker avoided Avenger, and often typed “ignore Avenger” when he went online.  When he did this, nothing she did or said online showed up on his computer, as if she were never there.  She was harassing him now.  She knew his embarrassing real name, and teased him about it, among other things.

Once, I found Pigpen and Speaker online, and Pigpen said to Speaker, “Is Avenger being mean to you again?”  (Speaker told me once that he didn’t know why Pigpen and Cankersore liked to come see him every Saturday.)

Stimpy soon sent me an e-mail saying, “Please don’t say any more to them about this.  Do this for me!”  They were vicious people who loved arguing, and that was all I would get out of them.

So I stopped saying anything in that thread.

Probably around the time of the Big Flame War, which happened later that month, Avenger and some of her friends voted in one of the forums on whether or not Franz, whom some of us called Znarf, was cool.

(Franz was in college now, a freshman at MSOE, or Milwaukee School of Engineering, which was also Cugan’s alma mater.)

I voted that he was cool.  Avenger said my vote didn’t count because only the cool people could vote.

Apparently she meant that only her worshippers could vote.  She didn’t seem to want to have anyone else on the BBS considered “cool” except for her and her cronies, and if you disagreed, she ripped into you.

As far as I was considered, everyone in her clique was very uncool, while nice people like my roommates, Krafter, Stimpy, Ish, Speaker, and others were cool.

According to Love Our Children, such polls are yet another means of cyberbullying.

Check out the answer to the “Bullies prey on the weak” myth here: It says, among other things, that “bullies prey on people with a kind heart” and “bullies are irresponsible people who refuse to accept personal responsibility for their behaviour and the effect of their behaviour on other people.”

Also look at the answers to “Victims are unlikeable” and “People who get bullied are wimps”: Basically, these are myths, the victims are normally likeable, and their good points are seen by bullies as vulnerabilities.  Let’s not let bullies decide for us who the cool people are.

Even after discovering that Avenger found this chapter of my Memoirs

–I keep this story in here and haven’t tempered the wording.  This is why:

Because bullying in any form has always been, always will be.  The victims need to know that it’s not right, they’re not weirdos, and they don’t have to let the bullies decide who they are or what they can accomplish.  

Victims of bullying can read the articles I linked to, for ideas on how to combat bullying.  Bystanders can get past the myths and stand up for the bullied.

A year or two after this, Avenger tried to ridicule and harass another woman (who was older than she was, which, I believe, Pamela was too), the same as she did to Pamela.  She said this woman had done something bad to one of her friends.

I didn’t know the other woman’s side, so I don’t know what really happened.  But whatever the case, I thought Avenger should not be carrying this harassment out in the open on the public forums.  I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to see this in the forums.

The woman found Avenger’s comments amusing–things like, she was ugly and fat–and zinged her right back, which I admired her for.  The forum-op broke in and said if the argument continued, she would move it to the Pit forum (which was for arguing).

I think this Avenger is either narcissistic borderline personality disorder, or a narcissist, or more likely a sociopath, because of her constant bullying of so many people.  And the way she quickly took offense at NOTHING, flamed you, and then you became her enemy for life.

This was in US News and World Report for March 22, 1999, in the article “E-Mail Nation”:

Emboldened by E-mail’s seeming anonymity, kids send bomb threats to school and hate mail to teachers–and are often suspended from school if caught.  Moreover, they could be sued for libel, says attorney Christopher Wolf of Washington, D.C., if they defame someone’s character in an E-mail (p. 58).

So Avenger was treading dangerous territory here.  She could get in serious trouble if she ridiculed and harassed the wrong person.

I haven’t been on TCB for some time (it’s March 24, 1999), because a couple years later it had become a haven for people like her, and most of the nice people had left.  So for all I know, it’s already happened, and she’s been slapped with a libel suit or two.

After all, she’s not exactly anonymous on TCB: She’d be easy to track down and sue.

Okay, now it’s May 19, 1999, and I’ve been on TCB again.  No one seems to use it for anything other than games and the Internet, so even Avenger hasn’t been on for a while and Lima’s account has been deleted.

Avenger seemed like the ringleader of a clique which worshipped her.  The “clique” title fits because other people were kept out and ridiculed.

Ish said privately to me once, after I read a message from Lima, that Lima just did whatever Avenger did and didn’t seem to have a mind of his own.

Also, Avenger, Lima and a few of the others couldn’t even type a regular, non-flame message without cussing.  Since the BBS was set up to censor such words, their messages kept showing a bunch of asterisks, making them hard to understand.  If the words didn’t show up anyway, why bother writing them?

And the whiny group kept crying “censorship” because their swear words didn’t show up, even though it was a family BBS, and the sysop CD had every right to restrict such words on his own BBS.

As for Avenger, she had a serious persecution complex: She thought everyone over twenty (Lima’s age) was out to get her and all teenagers, and owed her something.  No matter what anyone said, no matter what the subject or how totally unrelated to kids, in her mind it must have been a cutdown on kids.

Not only that, but she and her clique showed absolutely no respect for authority, cutting down on the sysop just as viciously as anyone else–despite the fact that he could ban them all from the BBS if he wanted to.

She’ll get nowhere with that attitude, and if she treats people that way, that’s how she’s going to be treated: It’s the “what goes around, comes around” thing.  Just wait until she has teenagers just like her (though I do hope her and Lima’s future kids will rebel against them and become nice, sweet, wonderful people, like Saffy in Absolutely Fabulous).

I liked to play online with a teenager named Mustang, and we shared stories of our genies (mine was Zara, and I think his was Abu).  To my surprise, I found one day (probably after the Flame War) that he was getting to be good friends with the clique.  I really, really hoped he wouldn’t start acting like them, since he was such a nice, fun guy.

The Big Flame War began after Gypsy’s party and before the BBS party on March 18th, 1995.  I believe it went on for several weeks, so in the beginning I may have still been dating Stimpy (or just broken up with him), and in the end I was with Cugan.

This is how it began: In one of the forums, probably /events, CD and others discussed the BBS bowling party, which was to be on the 18th.  They wondered what time it should be, and suggested some late evening times.

Sharon posted that they should keep in mind that many users were under eighteen and might have curfews; the time should be early enough for them to join in the fun, too.  She was just being sensitive to the needs of the kids online.

That’s it.

Avenger posted, “ExCUSE me!” and how sick she was of adults looking down on kids like that.

????!!!!?????!!!!!?????!!!!!

It was a clear case of someone not reading a message thoroughly and reading in things that were never there.  Stimpy quoted her and replied simply, “Um–um–what?  Um–um–what?”

No matter how much Sharon tried to explain that she didn’t mean it that way, Avenger refused to listen to her.  Instead, Avenger insulted her in various ridiculous ways.  For example, she accused her of sleeping with her professors to get good grades.

Irate at Avenger for defaming my smart and virtuous friend, I wrote that she was totally wrong, and told her off.  I did for Sharon what I would want a friend to do for me.

Avenger and her clique began a vicious attack on the both of us, making personal remarks and cutting us down.  And this all because Sharon was trying to be sensitive to the needs of the younger users!

I didn’t know back then that this was called trolling, or baiting people to start fights online.  I didn’t know that it was best to ignore such mean, rude people, aka, “Don’t feed the trolls.”

Sharon apparently didn’t know this, either, because we both got caught up in a Big Flame War with Avenger and her clique, which included Nobody and Sub-Zero.

Avenger and her cronies threw around all sorts of personal remarks like you hear from children on the playground: making fun of our looks and clothes, calling us “dorky,” ridiculous crap like that.  They proved themselves to be just as immature and childish as Avenger insisted they were not.

I didn’t do that to them.  Heck, even as a child, I did not behave in such a ridiculous fashion.  There is no need to go into details; flame wars on the Internet are now a dime a dozen, and everyone knows now how they go.  But eventually all sorts of people began taking both sides.

When the contested bowling party finally happened, Pearl joined Sharon and me.  Though Pearl and I didn’t bowl, we all joined a group with Krafter, CD, and Ish.  Avenger and her clique were in the lane right next to ours, and CD joked, “Nobody say anything about maturity!”

Avenger ignored us all, of course.  This was Pearl’s first look at Avenger.  She later told Sharon and me that Avenger had this snobby or snotty way of holding her head and looking at people, which Pearl imitated for us.  She said, “It was like she was thinking, ‘I’m hot.'”

Though Pearl wasn’t in the Flame War (and was sick of hearing Sharon and me say “Avenger this” and “Avenger that”), one night she found Avenger online, and argued with her about how Avenger treated us.

One girl told me that Pigpen was two-faced, and would seem nice, then do something really mean to you.  Pigpen pretended to be this girl’s friend, then stabbed her in the back.  I forget the details, but it had something to do with the girl’s brother.

This put me on guard against Pigpen being two-faced to me.  Pigpen had seemed like my friend because I was friends with Speaker.  But now she turned two-faced to me, too, joining in with the Avenger clique, making me believe this girl told the truth.

I got all my forum replies in my BBS inbox, so I couldn’t stay away from them simply by avoiding the forums.

Keep in mind, Pearl’s computer was an 8088, and had no mouse or Windows OS, which was in its infancy.  We were running on DOS.  Also, the BBS’s in S— were different from the ones back home in Indiana, so I didn’t know how everything worked.

On BBS’s in 1995, you got your messages immediately on logging in.  It’s not like an e-mail program in Windows which lets you look at a list of headers before deciding what to read.  Some e-mail programs even let you delete without opening, though Thunderbird does not do this.

But there was no such option on this BBS.  The BBS sent me each message as I logged in, and I had to open it before deleting it.  So every time my bullies replied to one of my forum posts, it came directly to my attention and I had to see what they wrote.

I was increasingly bombarded again and again and again by these creeps, with no way to get away from them, unless I stopped going on TCB.

And why should I be forced away from my new online friends and all the fun of playing games with them, when I had done nothing wrong?  This was also my principal means of communicating with my new boyfriend Stimpy and with Krafter, whom I now knew personally, not just online.

So every time I logged in, I’d get all these attacks in my inbox, and tried to defend myself against them.

Not only did they make personal remarks (calling me ugly etc. etc.), but they twisted my words and told lies about me on the forums, which the more gullible kids began to believe, so they started defending the bullies!

Since they kept attacking my friends and me, I kept defending, since nobody ever told me this was not the way to deal with bullies.  When our friends stepped in to defend Sharon and me, they got hit with the bullying, too.

Yet more proof that Avenger is a narcissist and maybe other Cluster B personality disorder as well–probably even a sociopath–surrounded by sycophants and sociopaths who mob-bullied anybody she wanted.  And no, there was no justification for what they did, no matter what they dreamed up in their sick little minds.  This was a cold, calculated smear campaign.

This whole thing also did a number on my self-esteem, making me doubt myself and my looks, and wonder if I was as awful as they said.  I wasn’t, of course, but the residual effects lingered long afterwards.

I believe it went on for weeks.  I was so upset that I carried it through my days, thinking of it even as I sat in class.  I felt like the dork and retard these creeps called me.

I shouldn’t have let little Avenger and her pipsqueak friends get to me like that, but I did.  It was like middle school all over again.  (And yet she insisted she was mature….)

One big problem with bullying is the way sensitive, kind people are made to look like idiots and nerds by the insensitive, immature and unkind.

Instead of accepting it as a “part of life,” bullying of any kind should be stopped by bystanders and/or those in authority: teachers, parents, forum moderators.  

When a bully is supported by his friends, when authority figures aren’t interested in stepping in–even resorting to blaming you for the bullying, when the bully “gets away with it”–this makes it much harder for the bullied to reach “closure.”

When insecure egos feel threatened and you disagree with them – they go on the attack – like children.  Then like in playgrounds – they find another spiteful friend and gang up.

Then they do the whole giggling and laughing – you know as some children/teenagers do when being nasty and spiteful.  They are simply bullies – like children – in grown up bodies.

Emotional development stunted. Lack empathy, lack remorse, lack conscience….

You will note the laughing and chuckling – which is further proof of sociopathic/narc behaviour – as they ‘enjoy’ trying to upset people and think it’s amusing.

Normal adult people don’t act like that.  Normal people don’t delight in nasty behaviours, in ganging up on people – in enticing others to cause hassle and harassment too.  That is just delighting in evil.Healing from Complex Trauma and PTSD, “An example of watching ‘children in adult bodies’ at play”

At one point, I heard that harassment online was illegal, so I sent a message to CD asking him to step in.  He said the best thing to do would be to ignore Avenger, Lima and Nobody, and they would get bored and go away.

What he really should’ve done was ban the whole lot of them–

–not just for their constant bullying and harassment of me so I couldn’t even log in in peace–

–but for how they bullied so many others on the forum, gang-style, and occasionally chased people away. 

As I noted earlier, that BBS became overrun with flaming gangs and eventually died.  Not banning bullies is a good way to allow your BBS/forum to be overrun with bullies, while the victims get no justice.

CD and Krafter set up a secret, invitation-only forum, which would not show up in the list of forums.  This way, only the nice people could be in the forum and wouldn’t have to deal with the Avenger trolls.  (I didn’t know this usage of the word “troll” until 1998, so I didn’t actually call them that.)

It was called the /elite forum, and in the beginning included maybe a handful or a dozen people: me, Sharon, Pearl, Ish, Krafter, Stimpy, CD, a young girl named Grace and her boyfriend.  If one of us wanted a friend to join, we mentioned the friend in the forum.  If everyone agreed, this person was invited in.

This worked for a few days, but then Lima, Grace’s brother (talk about siblings who are total opposites), came over by the computer and saw the /elite forum when Grace was online one day.  He got mad, wanted his own forum, and told the others in the Avenger clique, who promptly cried, “Censorship!”

This was ridiculous: Forums often have private sections like this, whether for the admins/moderators, or for people to discuss how they’ve been abused without the abusers and trolls finding it, or for some other reason.

(The Forum has such a section.)

This was the abusers and bullies finding the sanctuary and refusing to let anyone have peace and quiet without their trolling, to let their targets have a safe place to get together without their bullies harassing them.

The /elite forum was scrapped, especially when CD or one of the others decided maybe it wasn’t such a good idea.  The Pit, or /thepit, however, was formed.  Here, anyone could argue all they wanted, but it had to be kept out of all the other forums.  We applauded this improvement.

I finally wrote a message intending to end the whole thing.  I set things straight about accusations made against me, which some of the kids believed merely on Avenger’s word, and said I would stop my part of the argument:

To ALL

I’d like to set a few things straight to everyone who’s been reading this forum, especially to those who seem to think Avenger is some sort of hero for standing up to those ‘b—- college students who think they’re better than us high-schoolers.’

I don’t care anymore if Avenger or Nobody hates me. Avenger’s friends say she’s ‘nice’ and ‘cool’; well, maybe she is in real life, but I’m not dealing with her in real life, I’m dealing with her on here, and this is the persona she’s chosen to have online.

She’s chosen to treat myself (and others) this way online.

I did not start the argument and neither did Sharon; it was, I admit, stupid of me to respond to what was said to me, and be an ‘easy target’; but I learn from my mistakes and will know better next time.

Now I am trying to end this once and for all so there can be peace, or at least a truce. Also, I don’t want everyone hating me without reason.

I never cut on the age or intelligence of anyone in here. I have not made personal remarks, which the argument has turned to. I have merely responded (though ill-advisedly) to remarks made to me, with ‘an equal and opposite reaction.’

Such as IQ’s, etc.–that was merely a sarcastic response to being called a ‘tard,’ as Nobody termed it. I said nothing about his or anybody else’s intelligence, only mine.

As for age–I have nothing against high-school students. I used to be one myself. What I’m against is the immaturity many high-schoolers have, and also–brace yourself for my unexpected admission–many college students.

I am against immaturity in general, especially when it is the cause of someone else’s relationship problems. Many high-schoolers are also–gasp–mature.

But it usually irritates someone older to see blatant immaturity and popularity games in a group of younger people. It irritates me.

Also Sharon was concerned about younger users having curfews and not being able to go to the bowling party.

I have a note which says, “and might not be able to join in the fun,” though I’m not sure where that was supposed to fit in the sentence.

We had curfews too, everyone under eighteen has curfews (usually), and she was concerned. Her message was the focal point of the argument, originally; it has gone too far off base and has no further purpose.

There has been a lot of assuming, reading between the lines, and twisting of words going on here. There have also been personal comments made to me that are actually ludicrous because they’re the opposite of what I really am or look like.

I’ve had many intellectual conversations here and elsewhere, I’m most definitely not ugly, and the thought of ME being a conformist just makes me burst out laughing! Go ahead, tell me more! I like a good laugh.

Plus, Avenger, I never called you–to yourself or to anyone else, not even to myself–a “dumb blonde.”

I do not believe in the concept of dumb blondes. I have at least four blonde friends (natural blonde) who are very intelligent, as well as brunette friends who, it is said (as a joke, not as a rip), ‘are blonde but their hair doesn’t know it.”  (I did not make up this phrase; an intelligent AND blonde friend of mine likes to say it.) And I was in an environmental group in high school.

This paragraph referred to things said by Avenger, such as “you may think I’m a dumb blonde but I’ve been accepted to UW-Stout and I’m in an environmentalist group.”

Anyone who has thought I meant differently about anything than I did, I’m sorry you took it wrong, but you must realize how it was truly intended. And please, before getting on the bandwagon of one side, look at the other side as well.

Plus–I do realize this is the /argue forum, for arguments. Argue away, but if someone doesn’t want to argue, let them be instead of harassing them. It’s much easier on everyone.

}] Nyssa[{

Four years later, this letter still makes me proud.  Ish, one of my supporters, saw my letter and approved.

I soon checked the responses, however: It was just Lima saying, “Blah blah blah,” nothing more intelligent from any of them, and Lima saying we must worship them (or something like that) before we could ever be in their good graces.

Like I even wanted to be in the good graces of a group of bullies.

What, did he get the silly idea that I was apologizing?  I did no such thing!  Obviously he didn’t actually read the post.  Do you see an apology to the bullies anywhere in that post?

I complained to Ish about these responses.  He said that group doesn’t want to read anything longer than a few paragraphs.

Considering how mean these people were in general, I suppose I shouldn’t have expected that they’d listen to me and lay off.  After all, that would violate the sociopath code.

But back then, I didn’t understand this about bullies, having the naïve notion that bullies could be talked into reasonable behavior and apologizing.

Ish and I were in tele when Lima, probably Avenger, and maybe others showed up.  I whispered to Ish that I would act nice to these people because, as the Bible says, that would “pour burning coals over their heads.”

I greeted Lima with the usual “hello Lima bean–olleh amil neab,” but he made some strange remark about “groupies.”  Then he started talking about bowing down and worshipping him!  I certainly didn’t do that, though I may have joked around a bit.

Then Lima and the others ganged up on me, despite my attempts to be nice, and treated me the same as they did Pamela.  Sharon, watching, said I should show them a thing or two by just leaving, so I did.  I then paged Ish about it, and he consoled me.

Sharon wrote a post to everyone saying that those who adopt online “personas” different from their own personalities, should realize that some people online are real, not “personas,” and do get hurt in real life by things they read online.

For the next several days, I refused to go into the forums.  I may even have stayed away from the BBS for a couple days.

CD soon forced Avenger to apologize to Sharon, which she did, sort of, with a public message in the forums.

I was upset, though, because she apologized only to Sharon when she should have also apologized to me.  I deserved an apology for her b**chiness and bullying of me, just as much as Sharon did.

I don’t remember how CD made her apologize to Sharon–maybe he finally threatened to ban her from the board–but it was a victory for our side.

(Either late that year or in the next year, Avenger wrote on the forums how much she liked Third Rock From the Sun, and sympathized with the aliens for being different and being misunderstood.  She actually said she didn’t make fun of people for how they look or dress, because that was stupid.

(LOL

(What a liar and a hypocrite!  She made all sorts of personal remarks about my looks and dress during the Big Flame War, and accused me of being a snob when I was merely quiet and shy!)

Around this time, CD or Krafter posted a warning to all the users on TCB to not use the same password on different BBS’s.

I didn’t go on Solaris, a rival BBS, very much, especially since it was apparently just some kid trying to go up against TCB instead of just having his own BBS and supporting all the other ones in the area.

But it was popular with the Avenger clique, who figured out people’s passwords (such as Pamela’s), began logging in as those users, and left nasty messages to other users and on the forums.

The innocent users looked bad and had to explain that no, they didn’t write the messages.  I was afraid to go on Solaris during the Flame War, for fear the same thing would happen to me.

This is yet another form of cyberbullying and trolling, which still happens online all the time.

This makes me wonder if Lima and Avenger (who got married eventually) and their sycophants have gone on to become hackers and trolls, spreading hate and trouble throughout the Net, hacking into people’s accounts, spreading viruses, etc.

Because you can see above that they behaved just like those sociopath trolls we still find all over the Net, doing the very same things to harass people–for fun.

In maybe 2006 or 2007, Avenger found these memoirs and posted in my guestbook.  She said little other than that I have “an interesting perspective” on what happened.

Mindblowing.

She must have been well into her 20s by then, and more than 10 years had passed. 

Yet she still thought SHE was right, and did not apologize for her actions.

My childhood bullies tended to apologize to me years later, yet she still had this twisted, false view of herself. 

Don’t most people GROW UP eventually?

Yet more evidence that this wacky broad has some Cluster B personality disorder, most likely sociopathy, keeping her still stuck at 16. 

Though when I was 16, I didn’t behave that way, and neither did most people I knew, so age is no excuse for her behavior.

After all, this is yet another way she behaved just like Tracy, another sociopath I had the misfortune to cross paths with in 2007. 

Sociopaths will laugh at you for calling them abusers, and refuse to admit wrongdoing or apologize for their bullying and abuse.

And that’s what Tracy and the Avenger both did.

 

Index 
Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)