Monthly Archives: July 2013

How Bigotry Works: Stealing “Goodness”

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Every once in a while, I encounter bare-faced personal bigotry aimed at me.  In many ways, I am deeply privileged and fortunate – as a member of the White tribes  – to not experience this on a daily basis; a point made regularly by those who experience bigotry they cannot ‘hide’ from, with racism being a prime example. There’s an aspect of me that believes my complaints are anaemic by comparison. They probably are if we’re playing comparison ‘games‘ where we point-score to see who has the greatest claim to being the ‘victim’. This ‘victim-competition’ between groups often seems to me to contribute to the overall problem because it continues to frame us within the bigotry dynamic and it is this that I am trying to get a handle on. I want to understand, on my terms, exactly what is going on.

 

The advantage of my example is that, because there are clearly disturbing facts involved, it forces people to think about their attitudes and identifies those who refuse to. My example concerns bigotry towards criminals, particularly prisoners. When it turned up on my twitter timeline this morning, it looked like this:

 

FireShot Screen Capture #053 - 'Twitter _ dylanandmolly_ @Prison_Diaries @wildwalkerwoman ___' - twitter_com_dylanandmolly_status_358773050009219072

 

For those interested in the full exchange this tweet was contributing to, it can be found here. This ‘contributor’ brought with them a whole barrel-load of bigotry to a twitter conversation between a serving prisoner (with an illicit cellphone) and a former prisoner. The conversation focused mainly on our own experience, so this ‘new’ contribution was unsought yet shines a very clear light on how bigotry works within the UK prison system. For example: there is the contributor’s assumption of the reasons we were banged-up at ‘Her Majesty’s Pleasure’. Despite the fact that I have no criminal convictions for murder, rape or paedophilia, here are the same old ‘charges’ because… well, you know, all prisoners are ‘bad’ so who cares about the details? In addition, the ‘contributor’ was also under the impression that s/he had been very clever in ‘outing’ us two criminals because, well, we were busy hiding our true status from our followers. S/he really ought to have checked out facts first before leaping to such conclusions, as I pointed out in my response:-

 

FireShot Screen Capture #059 - 'Twitter _ wildwalkerwoman_ _@dylanandmolly My _revelations_ ___' - twitter_com_wildwalkerwoman_status_358818656513298434

 

Whilst I may not always agree with @Prison_Diaries, one thing is for certain; neither of us disguise our status. We are upfront about our situation, so we can already begin to see the signs of bigotry from our contributor. S/he obviously thinks that s/he’s got one ‘over’ the pair of us when, in fact, the so-called ‘revelation’ is nothing new to any of our followers. In my own case, I discuss my offences and their consequences regularly because I believe these are conversations that need to occur.

 

@Prison_diaries had a longer twitter conversation with this contributor and came to the conclusion that he was probably talking to a prison screw.  ‘Screws’ are the prisoner’s pejorative term for Prison Officers who believe it is their personal mission to make our lives as miserable as possible. I’ve met quite a few on my journey through prison but I have also met those staff who are genuinely professional and have earned their title of ‘officer’. Those are the Officers who comply with Prison Rules, which clearly state the standards expected of both prisoner and officer alike:

 

Purpose of prison training and treatment

3.  The purpose of the training and treatment of convicted prisoners shall be to encourage and assist them to lead a good and useful life.

Maintenance of order and discipline

6.—(1) Order and discipline shall be maintained with firmness, but with no more restriction than is required for safe custody and well ordered community life.
(2) In the control of prisoners, officers shall seek to influence them through their own example and leadership, and to enlist their willing co-operation.
(3) At all times the treatment of prisoners shall be such as to encourage their self-respect and a sense of personal responsibility, but a prisoner shall not be employed in any disciplinary capacity.

Use of force

47.—(1) An officer in dealing with a prisoner shall not use force unnecessarily and, when the application of force to a prisoner is necessary, no more force than is necessary shall be used.
(2) No officer shall act deliberately in a manner calculated to provoke a prisoner.(my emphasis)

 

As a prisoner, I met and came to deeply respect all those Prison Officers who understood the spirit contained within these rules. With this standard of staff on duty, it was possible to meet the requirements laid upon me under Rule 6(3). With ‘screws’, however, it was not because they failed in their own responsibilities. After a while, prisoners learn to tell these staff apart because it shows up in their attitude. For example:

 

 

FireShot Screen Capture #061 - 'Twitter _ dylanandmolly_ I dislike murdering bastards_ (A lot)' - twitter_com_dylanandmolly_status_358778210794082305

This does not bode well for any lifer or IPP-sentenced prisoner, even though professional Prison staff are perfectly capable of treating prisoners with human understanding – as has been my own experience by the very best officers. If this contributor is actually working in the Prison estate, I wonder how s/he complies with Prison Rule 3.

 

Then came this:

 

FireShot Screen Capture #060 - 'Twitter _ dylanandmolly_ I dislike whining whinging ___' - twitter_com_dylanandmolly_status_358778697874014208

 

So if this were a Prison Officer on duty and I, as a prisoner, had a genuine problem, what kind of ‘extraordinary’ job would s/he do. Even an ‘ordinary’ job might be better than anything done by someone with this attitude. But I saved the best for last:-

 

 

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I wonder, from this tweet, exactly how this ‘ordinary’ person is doing an ‘extraordinary’ job. Precisely how does this comply with Prison Rules 6 or 42(b)? In fact, as far as I am aware, the Prison Service screens-out such people from their recruitment process because these screws cause far more problems than they ever solve. It is a build-up of such attitudes within prisons that eventually result in riots.

 

If the Prison Service wants me to report the good work done by Prison Officers – often in the teeth of opposition from those who regard prisoners as worthless – I would be happy to provide chapter and verse because I met many staff who truly were extraordinary but this contributor is not one of them. S/he may well have ‘reported’ @Prison_Diaries for breaking prison discipline but let’s make sure the reporting is evenly balanced because I’m not sure it is at present. Perhaps it might be worth noting that my own prison disciplinary record in prison was spotless and I never lost my enhanced IEP status over a total period of almost five years. Somehow I doubt this ‘contributor’ could manage that themselves based upon their present behavioural standards. Indeed, from my perspective, there is little difference between the attitudes expressed above and the worst of the worst prisoners I ever came across.

 

So I can take these exchanges apart to see where the problems are occurring – if  prison staff cannot model the behaviour they are demanding, they are really not in any position to complain when prisoners break rules too. Personally, I regard this contributors behaviour as provocative, which was why I blocked them. But that is not what this blog is about. This is about ‘stealing goodness’ and I wonder if it applies to all forms of bigotry but I won’t know until I ask.

 

BPsDzGGCIAAuRIcIf we accept that human beings – regardless of individuality – are a mixture of good and bad, then what seems to occur is that bigots steal ‘goodness’  by colonizing it for themselves whilst irresponsibly dumping all their own undesirable personal aspects upon the ‘object’ of their hatred.

 

Those who are hated in this way are reduced to having ‘no good in them at all’ whilst the bigots claim all the best parts for themselves. This contributor ‘dislikes murdering bastards a lot’ – clearly this is considered ‘good’ in his/her eyes because there is no hesitation in tweeting it. S/he claims to be an ‘ordinary’ person doing an ‘extraordinary’ job – I wonder if the Muslim prisoners would agree… ah, but they are “fuck-off and die ‘retards'”. Notice how even their prayers are hijacked to bolster the self-claimed ‘goodness’ of this screw.

 

To “turn away” from the “self and/or other” destructive evil impulse within ourselves and to “turn towards” and reorient ourselves towards the good is to genuinely “repent.” Repentance is the highest expression of humanity’s capacity to choose freely – it is a manifestation of the divine in humanity. Repentance is a living manifestation of the power within us to extricate ourselves from the binding power of…  the chains of endless causality that otherwise compel us to follow a path of “no return.” As Jung points out, “The sin to be repented, of course, is unconsciousness.” From the Kabbalah’s point of view, a “sinner” who “repents” is on a higher level than the saint who has never sinned.  (link)

 

tumblr_m7f5b0Rgak1qz4d4bo1_500In a civilised society, prison is a corrective measure but in an uncivilised one, it is a tool of repression. This ‘contributor’ assumes that his/her views are acceptable – why else make such remarks or comment so negatively on a conversation between two people who were sharing personal experiences of prison? The contributor is quick to implement procedures to silence @Prison_Diaries but I do wonder where they think they got the power to silence me. My sentence was spent in 2010, I haven’t reoffended and I continue to work to desistance standards even now. Yet this possibility seems to be beyond the imagination of this contributor. Indeed, I’d put my chances of rehabilitation at zero if I were ‘managed’ in this way and from this perspective. The contributor feeds his angry, jealous, greedy, resentful and inferior ego with lies and denies those s/he despises of any joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy and truth – despite the fact that the Prison Rules themselves point in that general direction.

 

This is bigotry and, as far as I can see, it crosses all the intersections that link universal bigotry of all descriptions. Perhaps it is rooted in inferiority – it must surely be a painful place to live if the only goodness we can ascribe to ourselves has to be stolen from those who we attack, despise and look down upon. Are these people not capable of funding their own goodness by feeding their personal Good Wolf?

 

And if they can’t, then they have no business working in the criminal justice system because, until they start locking-in their own bigotry and learning what it means to rehabilitate their own attitudes, they are unfit to do the job and consequently bring the Prison Service into disrepute. Prison staff are not exempt from discipline, no matter how much our contributor may like to think otherwise:

 

Code of discipline

68.  The Secretary of State may approve a code of discipline to have effect in relation to officers, or such classes of officers as it may specify, setting out the offences against discipline, the awards which may be made in respect of them and the procedure for dealing with charges. (Prison Rules 1999)

 

Stealing goodness from others is a lazy and incompetent way of failing to live your own life. Because this goodness is stolen from those who are willing to learn – in any number of different ways – it cannot last. Our own shadow will find us out – as it appears to have done to the contributor today. It isn’t the prisoners/former prisoners who emerge from this situation looking dishonest, but a self-proclaimed ‘extraordinary’ employee of the Prison Service.

 

And we wonder why we fail at rehabilitation in this country!

 

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“Back to the Future”

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Waterfall nebula

Waterfall Nebula

This blog begins with a complaint from the ‘future’ about the failures of the past. One of my social-media friends was tweeting his anger and frustration towards his elders – my generation who, from his perception, had used their lives to free-ride whilst bequeathing all our problems to them. As far as I know, it’s possible that every up-coming generation feels this way – I remember expressing the same anger and frustration when I was young. Now my situation is reversed and it becomes ‘my fault’ the world is now the way it is. I have a lot of empathy with that view and it was remembering my own anger that frequently prompted me to enter situations that, without it, I may have let pass me by.

There’s always been that nagging question when I’ve faced down problems or blockages I’ve found in myself or my environment; what do I say to the children when they ask me what I did to stop this occurring? I’ve always known what kind of answers I would give but, then, have always been faced with the actions I must take to ensure my responses are authentic because children deserve no less. Yesterday, my long-awaited ‘moment’ arrived and this blog is my reply.

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Artwork by Memtitued

Without doubt, the youth of today have a very valid complaint about the state of the world we are bequeathing to them. To all intents and purposes, any benefits my generation of Baby Boomers enjoyed have now been swept away and our grandchildren are facing the same poverty as was faced by my grandparents. It is as if we – and the world – have come full circle. It is not surprising that the young would criticize my generation’s apparent laziness and selfishness – we were, after all, the ‘me generation’ – because it certainly looks that way from their vantage point.  I remember feeling the same kind of grievances when I levelled equally valid criticisms at my own elders. It seems almost as if I have been preparing for this moment all my life. So here is my own answer.

On a personal basis, I have never stopped challenging the inequalities and iniquities of the social systems of the West I was born into. I fought as a shop steward in my twenties; an educator and psychotherapist in my thirties and forties; and, now, as a shaman in my fifties. My battles have ranged from the intrapersonal (with myself), through the familial, interpersonal, political, social and spiritual – and this is what I have learned along the way.

BPdgnHYCUAAopefFirstly, the social problems we are facing as a global community, are an ancient system buried deep within the pysche of humanity. Within our human community, there are very few who have remained untouched by this system and that it has caused untold harm to all life on earth – of that there can be no doubt. But how to describe this ‘Long View’ I have discovered during my travels. I tell the story in this way.

People have always drawn their deepest wisdoms from our environment and, in the West, we translated some of that wisdom into the discipline of Astrology. The astrology I learned, when I was thirteen years old, worked as a map – or guide – to the internal experience of life as ‘known’ by a particular moment in time on Earth. The moment of ‘birth’. Both astrology and psychotherapy attracted my teenager because they represented my first awakening that my human experience could be understood and, if need be, changed – I didn’t know people knew such things until then and I was so hungry to learn because I knew I had real problems I needed to deal with.

Nevertheless, the pressure of the mundane world – making a living and doing all those ‘things’ I had been socialised to do – forced these studies onto the back burner. I didn’t really start unpacking these maps until my thirties when I entered therapy, eventually becoming one of my teenage ‘dreams’ – a psychotherapist. Therapy deepened my understanding of how the planets worked in astrology, but neither study gave me the answers I was looking for. Those didn’t arrive until I realised my other teenage ‘dream’ by becoming a shaman. I discovered that by directing my intention down our least colonized pathways, I was gifted with the ability to see a compassionate tale of our human evolution despite its terrible consequences and the appalling situation we all find ourselves in now. Let’s see if I know the story well enough to tell it to my young friend now, in response to his perfectly valid criticism of my generation.

Armenia’s Stonehenge

Long, long ages past, lost within human memory but ‘known’ still deep within our souls, our experience of Earth was as if we lived in Eden because we dwelt within our natural instincts. It’s not to say that death, injury, sorrow and pain were unknown – for they surely were; these experiences have formed a part of the Life-Death-Life cycles on Earth from the very beginning. The tales are writ deep in our Great Mother’s bones. We humans live our tiny lives alongside the much longer cycles of Great Mother, She who leads the Dance of Life-Death-Life.

The way the story was told to me was this. The last time Great Mother entered Her Great Dying, She released a Great Cry of agony and grief for the loss of all her beautiful children – the echoes of her grief are still told amongst humans to this day. To ease her grief, the Creator Spirit elected to teach some of her new children emerging from the ashes how to help heal Her Wounds and assist during the next Great Cycle of Dying and ReBirthing. Both Creator Spirit and Great Mother searched amid the ashes of her Great Dying and found the few remaining females who became all of our foremothers so long ago in Africa. Into these mothers, the Creator Spirit placed a catalyst which would eventually result in the human spirit as we know it today: the ability to think, to become ‘conscious’; to become self-aware in a whole new way.

It’s not that we were ‘unconscious’ before – we were naturally instinctive, responding to the energy streams of Great Mother as naturally as breathing – an integral part of Her Great Tapestry of Life. The catalyst that resulted in our capacity for independent thought has enabled us to grow into an understanding of this world around us – where we could shape this world to fit our needs in ways that weren’t possible before. Human civilisations emerged from this catalyst – this ability to think in new and different ways. But what was the catalyst itself? I was told it was this: Free Will.

Thus began the Great Cycle of Human Evolution. When we began our journey through the explorations of Free Will, we still lived close to our instincts and our Great Mother. Our societies were Mother-led but as Free Will worked it’s way through our consciousness, we discovered we had other choices and began to explore where these would take us. With each move we made away from Great Mother, so we ‘lost’ our innate connection to our instinctive selves and came closer to our intellectual capacities to understand the world around us. We moved from Mother-knowing to Father-understanding. With each move towards intellect, our capacity to create miracles like Stonehenge or the Pyramids dwindled and this also included our knowledge of the universe around  us.  For example; there was a time when we had known and understood our solar system and Her place in our universe but this knowledge became buried in our instincts where our minds could not reach. At the very height of our Great Separation from Great Mother, the White peoples knowledge was limited to only seven visible satellites around our Great Sun Mother/Father and, so foolish did this limited knowledge make us that we believed Great Mother was flat and that we were the centre of the universe around which all Creation circled.

envisat_karman_vortex_canarie_20100606_h1It was the catalyst of Free Will coupled with human ingenuity that created our way out of this terrible error in thinking. Humans began to be industrious in work and sciences – eschewing and dismissing old knowledge like astrology in favour of mind-based understanding. We developed learning that could test our knowledge of the world. In the 1770’s, the White peoples ‘discovered’ that there was more to reality than we realised. The discovery of Uranus not only changed perceptions of the solar system, the ‘energy’ of this planet enabled a collective shift in consciousness. This gave the ability of ordinary people to collectively change their world and gave rise to dreams of a better world than contained within earlier  limited thinking imposed upon us.

Cross-section of a Molecule

Cross-section of a Molecule

In the following centuries came more new ‘information’ which re-established conscious links between instinct and intellectual awareness with the rediscovery of Neptune and Pluto. These impacts caused further changes within collective human consciousness that resulted in, at its very best, human beings being able to show Great Mother Her Own Beauty and, it worst, the true meaning of genocide and holocaust.

Our instinctive knowledge is being returned to us now, just as we enter the Great Dying again. For those humans who remember the reason for our journey, at the beginning of the Great Cycle, the time we have been yearning for throughout this bitter and painful journey has arrived but, as with all Creation, we must let go of our past in order to move forward, with our Great Mother, into Her Future.

Neutrino tracks (copyright: Cern Laboratories)

Neutrino tracks
(copyright: Cern Laboratories)

This is where we stand today. We better understand Free Will;  our power of Choice and its consequences. Until now, true Free Choice has not been available to humanity as we worked through the consequences of our choosing. Collectively, we are already down the Road of Returning. In human terms, that path began over three hundred years ago for the Peoples of White Medicine. Returning does not mean to live past mistakes all over again, but to re-turn towards Great Mother and Her instinctive wisdom of Life gifted with the intellectual knowledge of how Creation occurs. This is what our Great Journey outwards has been about.

When Great Mother’s season moves on to Rebirth, those humans who keep choosing to Re-Turn to Her Ways will be Her Allies and Helpers. Learning how to do that wisely has been what this past adventure has been about.

And this was where my story-teller ended the Tale.

So, how does that influence what I might say to the younger generation, who are angry with mine for our irresponsibility and the mess we are leaving behind us.

QT7i8Firstly, I have seen some of this wisdom in action in my own life. As I look down the generations of women I am birthed from, both my mother and grandmother were born before Pluto’s discovery. Each, in their own way, carried the Planet’s transformational power but only on an unconscious level. In Astrological terms, this means that the access to deep transformation was blocked to them – they could only go so far and no further. As a young woman, I did not understand this and there was no-one who could explain it satisfactorily to me at the time. Perhaps now, as someone on the other end of the argument today, I might offer my version to see if it is yet satisfactory to our new ‘young’.

I am amongst the first generation who was born with the power to transform. Pluto was rediscovered when occupying the sign of Cancer – the transforming ‘Mother’. We notice the synchronicity of Mother issues – together with the highly destructive expression of ‘father’ issues within human society. The first generation to feel the full impact of Pluto upon our consciousness was my own. Pluto was in Leo – a perfect description of the ‘Me’ generation but it is also interesting in the message that seems to say ‘Before we can change the world, we must change ourselves.’ It might look like self-indulgence to those who face such enormous problems in their own future but our collective awareness didn’t finish expanding. Chiron was rediscovered in 1977 – I don’t have conscious awareness of this power unless I choose to go looking for it. For you youngsters, you were born with this gift.

BPdfJjyCUAAJb_mThe solar system I studied in Astrology some forty five years ago has altered beyond all recognition. It has become infinitely more complex. As young people, you will have access to knowledge and wisdom now that I cannot even conceive of, because I am now – like my mother and grandmother before me – a woman of my time. My conscious ability is limited in what I am able to do, not because I am stupid – far from it – but because I am wise enough to know my limitations. We are but leaves of one season on the Tree of Life – you are unfurling to your fullest abilities whilst I turn the colours of autumn and will soon nourish the Earth to nourish this Life we are a part of.

Your Elders are wise in experience but limited in their ability to see the Future because that is your skill. Your ‘limitations’ will be to deal with the consequences of our mistakes when we took a hand, not because we are the irresponsible generation but so you can see how we failed. If you look around you, you will see members of your own generation failing too. This is because we have all yet to deal with the original catalyst.

BPfOcz2CIAExCd7We all have to explore issues of Free Will ourselves and on our own terms. Humanity, as a whole, is slowly moving towards the consequences of the choices we have made – particularly in the West… what I call the White energies of the Medicine Shield. Astrologically speaking, each generation born now comes with a greater capacity for Free Will than before which means that some people have the potential to lead our White energy in our Re-Turn to Great Mother’s Medicine Shield. But we will have to leave behind our bad old ways. This cannot be done overnight. Neither yours nor my generation have that ability. All we can do is ‘grow’ ourselves towards it and our histories are like rings within the Tree of Life. Each generation is ‘bigger’ than the last. You may not feel it now but the generation behind you is already nipping at your heels, chivving you along, challenging you not to be the hypocrites you claim we are.

And your challenge… eventually? To stand in my shoes and give answer to the charge to from the young that your generation was irresponsible when you were caretakers for the planet.

To you, my young friend, my answer is that I have always done by best with what was available to me at the time. I won’t apologise for my mistakes because they taught me to be wise enough to answer you but I am sorry for them nonetheless. No human being would wish our current situation upon another. My generation were prevented from dealing with it but I know you will be able to do more than we could and I am still here to help. I haven’t stopped battling – once we learn how to exercise our Free Will for the sake of others, we know our true worth and we never give it up, no matter how much it might hurt us.

And the prize?

tumblr_lzjcjsGDXG1ro46rko1_500For me? Three times in my life I have had the chance to turn a dream into a reality. The first was political – I ran a trade union for a short while but I ‘failed’, so I turned inwards to find out if the problem was me. In doing so, I began to realise my second dream; to become a psychotherapist but I still didn’t find what I was looking for. My third dream was to become a woman of magic dedicated to healing. This was the most unattainable of all – the crazy notion of a 1950’s child of the ‘respectable’ Tory-London suburbs. Yet, this ‘dream’ is my life now and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else on earth, not only for loving it so much but also because it gave me the answers I share with you now. This is what Pluto in Leo taught my generation – the power of personal transformation. I have learned that for as long as someone uses that power for personal gain rather than collective benefit, the Peoples suffer. I have learned to pay close attention to quantum mechanics, Complexity theories and other sciences because they are revealing how my magic works. These are the gifts of my generation to yours – they are the baton in our evolutionary Re-Turn relay that will eventually create the Rainbow Nation.

In our times, we are the Rainbow Warriors – acknowledging our responsibilities; accepting our limitations; and yet still leaping into the Void in pursuit of our Peoples’ dreams.

Welcome to the world of Adults, young man. I offer unconditional Respect; for you are our Future and, as both Creator Spirit and Great Mother know, we need you now.

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Thanks to Julienne for this picture.

Thanks to Julienne for this picture.

“The Wormhole of Evolution”

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When I was first being taught the shamanic pathways of my Land – the Spirit of the Islands of Britain and Eire, with all their tribal diversities – my teacher, John Matthews, spoke of the shaman’s way as being ‘seamless’. I have come to understand this to mean being alive to both Spiritual and manifest reality – to ‘live my visions’.

 

When we follow a true shaman’s path, especially living in the ‘West’, it is inevitable that we will encounter opposition. It is fascinating to observe, now I have ‘arrived’, how those I oppose define who I am and who I believe myself to be (with all my flaws visible to the eye). Equally, if I look at the behaviour of those who oppose me, the sins I am clearly guilty of seem to pale into simple misdemeanors by comparison – it would seem there’s hope for me yet.

 

The Chalice Well - Glastonbury Source - unknown (happy to attribute)

The Chalice Well – Glastonbury
Source – unknown (happy to attribute)

 

Nevertheless – a shaman must deal with the ‘reality’ they find themselves in. I am not ready to go back into that fray yet. I haven’t completely closed off the option of seeking medical help yet – if only for the sake of the hearts of my friends – but I first want to share my experience of stepping through the Veil of Death. In some ways, it is the equivalent of Jesus’s ‘eye of the needle’.

 

(As I was writing that last paragraph, my electricity meter cut out because my credit had run out. Clearly, I’ve been able to top it up but the process involves lifting a heavy ladder to get to the meter. With the ‘weight’ in my chest reminding me of it’s presence – and being in the middle of this blog and not at the end – I chose to lie down afterwards. My Otherworld Allies and Teachers have been doing a lot of healing work on my heart and, just now, we removed the most toxic black object (a long lightless sharp-edged sliver) from it I have ever been asked to ‘handle’. Whilst most of my other symptoms remain, the ‘dark weight’ in my heart has gone.)

 

tumblr_lavqrsd7jY1qephwdo1_500The world of the ‘Dead’ speaks the Language of the Ancestors, I have found, and She imparts her Wisdom to me through the legends, histories and deeds of the People and our past.  It’s where the richest seam of practical Ancient Magic of Britain resides; where we find the Halls of the Heroes and the Weavings of the Wisewomen. We have to be True in our Intent when we cross the Veil – any wavering of our intent topples us into the Abyss, for Death becomes quite real now… for some people. For others, we are merely experiencing a transition from one form to another. The journey into the Underworld is well mappedit involves a stripping away of ego and property until La Búsqueda is brought before the throne of the Queen of the Underworld (this is a woman’s tale, remember!). It is a tale told in many Lands of our Great Earth Mother, but the major template for the West is this one.

 

When I was in prison, I did a number of Soul retrievals and power extractions for both staff and prisoners. It was always interesting to see who still clutched to their selfishness afterwards. Nevertheless, there was one lass who approached me again after I had been recalled to prison. It seems that the written record of my work had been stolen from her by an ex-boyfriend and ‘ could I do it again?’ Well, no – and my present sense of ‘unfinished business’ makes me think that I need to share the work I did for her now. She’ll know who she is when she reads the parts I remember.

 

I cannot recall how I got to the Lower levels of the Lower World, but I do know that when I got there, the Soul part I was seeking was cornered and under severe attack. I know I was able to bear the Soul part safely-enough away, despite continued pursuit because a portal to the Void opened before me and I stepped through it onto the back of my power animal. My Power ally then conveyed me, with the Soul part, through the Void to another portal of Light into which we stepped with perfect safety. All our pursuers fell into the Void and were lost to light – I’m told that what occurs to them afterwards is God’s business. This is what I remember from some seven years ago.

 

tumblr_lqcjztuOdF1r1vfbso1_400When I step through the Veil of Death, I step into the Void. I am reduced to Spirit alone – nothing ‘manifest’ can accompany me. It is at this point my Soul is ‘weighed and measured’ and shown the correct destination for me to follow. The ‘judgement’ is always about which way to go next – I’m never going to be perfect at present because I have no desire to be. I grow much more from my mistakes and I have yet to tire of growing. This is how it works in my ‘Heaven’ anyway. Once we know where we are going, the path opens up before us because we are in accord with the Will of Heaven. I know this path well because I have walked it in both Spirit and Life.

 

To pass safely through this portal and into the Wormhole of Evolution; the Eye of the Needle; is to become ‘naked and bowed low’ because this is the only place we learn where we truly belong in our Universe. When our own Honesty drives us to the edge of Death, we need to understand what we are doing. Not all of us do, and we die in great pain and suffering. In the Underworld of the Dead, this soldier – and all those like him – dwell in the Halls of Heroes; the Soul’s of Love severed from them in life restored to full glory and honour for holding to the truth of their situation. In the Realms of Women dwell all our unsung and unknown heroines who were ‘tortured to death’ in the same way. These wounds are healed with Forgiveness and Compassion. But there is also a place in the Underworld of the Dead for all those who inflict such wounds upon the ‘Children’ of Love and in this Queen’s Kingdom, any hierarchy gets determined by behaviour-on-earth or by learning. By our deeds shall ye know us. In this world, everything is turned upside-down and topsy-turvy compared with the ‘real’ world – and it is in this living experience of ‘here’ that we learn to ‘see’ Truth face-to-face.

 

tumblr_m3bmiqYSCs1r2zdh7o1_500It is a rare breed of human who can withstand the pain of watching someone they love go through their personal experience of facing Death – I am Blessed with dear friends of this nature. They are willing to trust that this journey is needed – this blog is, hopefully, about proving them right. More often than not, these days, the tale of the descent to the Underworld seems to end in Death alone. This is the man’s way. It does not belong to women and children. We have our own path – which a man might walk only if divested of his ego. In our legends, there is a Return from Death. The Hero/Heroine descends for a reason – to claim some ‘prize’ for the community – and is reborn to Life ready to share it with those who can hear.

 

According to Jesua, the first to recognise the Truth from a returning hero or heroine will be ‘last’ and the last will be first. He turns mundane understanding on it’s head. The ‘gift of knowledge’ borne by the hero/ine contains the power to overcome the tyrant Holdfast. In my ‘real’ life, Holdfast runs my country – if I am truly the returning hero then something in these blogs of my journey to the underworld will enable those, previously disempowered, to act in ways they were in some way prevented from doing before. I hope, too, that those who presently find themselves in the Void of Despair see their path to new Life opening up before them.

 

tumblr_m3g57cWoIW1r312weo1_500Remember that true change often comes disguised at first – we believe we are dealing with one ‘thing’ only to discover that we have loosed a ‘jinn’. If we are in the midst of living this nightmare, please keep trusting your feelings and sharing. For all those who have been lost, how many are still miraculously alive and finding their way through? We have to make our own way but if we trust that Love is real, we will encounter it in our lives and each hand of kindness offered is the handrail through to your own version of the Light. Expect the unexpected – the more unlikely it is, the more authentic it is likely to be. Trust your instincts – not every hand offered will be that of a friend. Use the experience for learning – then you can spot the problem coming in future and side-step it. In my Otherworld, No is a word that is respected but our best results come when we say Yes.

 

It’s the gift of this journey to be able to write authentically about the process Holdfast the Tyrant is inflicting on my country, Her People and Land. It is an Abomination in the eyes of my Goddess – She who gives Life. In my Heaven, the Power to apply the Law of the Creator Spirit on Earth resides with Her. This is the Message I bring back. The plethora of difference in human spirit currently present on our planet is to be likened to the Cambrian Age of Life on Earth. We are all the result of Free Will and we have all been necessary for this stage of our Spiritual Evolution. Nevertheless, Mother Earth is cleansing Her Body as She has done many times before. Following the cleansing, only those Spirit/Souls chosen by Mother Earth will remain. The Choice is ours but Earth Mother is only likely to nurture those children who Love and Respect Her in return for Her Gift of Life.

 

tumblr_m2y10u0jRM1qav48no1_500I say these things because I believe we are in the midst of a Spiritual, Instinctive, Thoughtfully-Awake evolution with Mother Earth. We are going to have to align ourselves to Her Laws if we have any desire to survive. She’s testing our resolve now. Those, from the White Peoples of Medicine Shield must step forward and take up our Spiritual Duties to our Earth Mother, whether we perceive it in that way or not.  When all four Peoples of the Rainbow Medicine unite, more pathways will open. Those who have already Chosen will find their paths Blessed with Assistance or necessary lessons. Those who freely and generously share their wealth with those in need will find their actions Blessed in the same way. Our proper attitude is Gratitude for all Life. The proper approach is to deal with your realty and begin removing that which does not favour Earth Mother in all her life-forms – the task is huge and will not be completed in our lifetimes, or even that of our greatgrandchildren. What results from we begin now is for Earth Mother to determine, not us. Simply put, we are ‘merely’ the turning of the tide marking the onset of the tsunami that will be human transformation. Wise are those who have learned to heed the signs and start moving to safe ground. Wise are those who trust the ‘messages’ that find them during their waking life or in dreams. Wise are the men who, not always ‘understanding’ but with trust in our ‘mystery’, listen to the intuitions of their mothers, sisters, wives, daughters and friends. Wiser, still, are those men who ‘hear’ the same ‘secrets’ within themselves.

 

I hope the above is enough to heal the wounds and wipe the tears from the Love of my friends who stood with me yesterday. It is a terrible thing to do to anyone. I am ‘free’ to do this because I have no children. Mothers should never have to walk this path – I can do a better job because I have no future to be concerned about. There is a very special place in my Heaven for the Stephanie Bottrill’s of our country and an equally special Blessing for her children and grandchildren, for she died a heroine and an honest woman. She died believing there was no Hope – Jesua has things to say about those who make good, honest folk believe lies like that. For sure, I would never want to be in their shoes now. For others, still living on their last knockings of hope, I hope this blog shows a possible turning point.

 

When we turn to face death as result of the murderous behaviour of others, we are not choosing to kill life itself. We are choosing to kill that which murders life that has, in some way, attached itself to us. If we truly are honest, Life will show us mercy through release or it will return us to life without the parasite obscuring our vision or mind. This is the shamans way.

 

Today an increasing number of us are stepping through the Veil that is the Fear-of-Death because there is something more important than just the life we call our own. This trickle is going to turn into a flood as the prophecies about secrets being shouted from rooftops comes into manifestation. The pattern is the same each time this dynamic plays out only this time, Mother Earth isn’t playing and we humans are expected to be responsible adults about it.

 

Within all of this are going to be my generation’s flaws – there are things I cannot see that seem blindingly obvious to those who follow. My errors are supposed to be corrected on the understanding that their solution will also be flawed too, and so on down the generations. The intention of any Spirit path I open to others is to enable you to find your own connection and make your own course corrections.  Our own Soul is always our best pilot.

 

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Idle No More UK

Idle No More UK

 

 

‘The Disability Extremist’: Choices and Consequences

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Today I find myself back in the realm of making life or death decisions regarding myself. Last Saturday, on the return journey to our coach, I think I may have overdone it. Most of the villagers who attended the Durham Miners Gala suffered aches and stiffness the following day – including me – but the exhaustion has not worn off in my case. The sensations I am presently experiencing remind me of when my heart failed last November and, at the moment, I am undecided as to what action to take.

So, No; I haven’t been to see my GP; I haven’t reported it to anyone until now (by posting this blog); and, No, I have no immediate plans to anything about how I am feeling at the moment. Of all the ‘intellectual positions’ I am capable of taking, I suspect that this is the one that frightens people the most – particularly those who care for me. Nevertheless, I will not relinquish it because, for me, it is the position of greatest ‘power’ I can hold. It is a shaman’s position and I claim to be shamanic in my spiritual practices, so the issue ought to pop up sooner or later.

This blog focuses on this ‘power spot’ and the energies I believe flow in, around and through this ‘point of choice’ – do I choose to live or die? And why? How does anyone come to this point in their lives? This is my version – perhaps it might illuminate the path that so many others find themselves upon.

The Road to the Choice between Life and Death has been a very long one for me – it’s taken a good twelve years to dig itself into my psyche with the result that, now, I’ve become very familiar with the place. The roads leading to this choice spot can be many and varied, but they all have one thing in common: the choice they offer me is, as far as I am concerned, no choice at all and I prefer death than the ‘offer’ of ‘life’ being made to me.

BOesCKQCAAEJ888The Road to this current choice began here, continued here and is culminating now as I come round to completing the ESA50 that leads to my next Work Capability Assessment. I hope each post explains the detail of my situation, together with the facts that support it. The consequence of this is that either I accept the bigotted and proven lies of this coalition government about me – and if I refuse, then I will be subject to the kind of sanctions I regard as closely akin to psychological torture.

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As far as I am concerned, these are moral and ethical matters pertaining to law. As a desister, I have to obey the law. This becomes far more difficult when the government of my country has embarked upon a wholesale undermining of Law in Britain and I find myself on the receiving end of its declared ideology.

 

 

On the Today programme (BBC Radio4) on July 15, this exchange occurred (JH is John Humphrys; IDS is Ian Duncan Smith; Secretary of State for Work & Pensions):

JH: “The problem is that you made claims about how things were changing on the basis of the trials that were being carried out and all the rest of it, and they turned out not to be well-founded. You said we’ve seen already, already you said, this is a statement you made in May, already we’ve seen 8,000 people who would have been affected by the cap move into jobs. But when the National Statistics Authority looked at that, they said ‘not true’.”

IDS: “No, what they said was that you can’t absolutely prove that those two things are connected.”

JH: “Your statement is unsupported by the official statistics published by your own department.”

IDS: “Yes but by the way, you can’t disprove what I said either. The reality is [interruption] no, no, no, let me finish. There’s an answer.”

JH: “You can make any claim on that basis.”

IDS: “I am, I believe that this to be right. I believe that we are already seeing people go back to work, who were not going to go back to work until they were assured of the cap. Look we just published some polling today, John, on this very group.”

JH: “Polling isn’t statistics.”

IDS: “Hold on let me just give you this. We polled and we found that something like 72% of those who report have been very infrequently in work in the past since being notified by the cap have gone back to work. I believe that this will show, as we go forward, that people who were not seeking work are now seeking work because that’s the way to avoid the cap.”

(link)

For anyone still in any doubt that these coalition-espoused policies are ideological rather than evidence-based, try this from Chris Grayling, The Lord Chancellor:

 

The minister also insisted that his proposals to cut legal aid for much of prison law were ‘ideologically’. In a striking exchange, the minister was pushed by Jeremy Corbyn, Labour MP for Islington North about the place of prison law in the legal aid scheme.

‘I suspect Mr Corbyn is very aware that there is an ideological difference between us on this,’ Grayling began. ‘I’m absolutely of the view that somebody in prison should have the right to legal aid when it is a matter relating to their sentence and the length of time they spend in prison. When it is any matter relating to the conditions in prison or the choice of prison in which they are detained, we have a prison complaints system and an ombudsman.’

Corbyn quoted the HM Inspectorate of Prisons stating the internal prisoner complaints system could not be ‘relied upon to consistently resolve prisoners’ complaints in a fair way’ and that there were ‘many examples’ where prisoners had been able to take the case to court through legal aid and achieve resolutions where the internal prison system failed.

Corbyn continued: ‘There might be an ideological difference, but you have a duty of care to ensure that prisoners are able to exercise their rights. You are trying to save £4 million on prison law. Is this ideological or practical?’

‘It is ideological,’ Grayling insisted. ‘I do not think prisoners should be able to go to court to debate which prison they sent to.’ Corbyn asked him about cases where prisoners claimed ill-treatment or suffered neglect to medical conditions. ‘I think these are matters for an ombudsman. What we are seeing is the area of prison law expanding dramatically. It has more than doubled in the last few years and, in my view, it now covers areas that it should not.’

(link)

 

I’m very grateful to all those interviewers who managed to coax these admissions from our government because at least everyone knows where they stand now. We are not dealing with people who based policy on evidence or facts, but upon ideology alone and I am already clear, in my own mind and after considering facts/evidence, exactly where this ideology intends to take us.

 

Returning to my own situation, these newly obtained comments are particularly informative. and contribute to my decision-making processes, which now goes something like this:-

 

I am clear in my own mind that my personal ethics, morals, faith and principles of desistance cannot allow me to collude with government ideology about me. I am also clear that my country’s government intends people to kill those who refuse to comply with their plans by resisting them. This presents me with a dilemma. Do I choose to preserve my own life in order that I might ‘live to fight another day’ or do I die in battle? The Honourable Warrior aspect in me says the latter is necessary at this point in time because the issue is still not being acknowledged by the wider British public. Until the public collectively decide that we prefer the rule of Law rather than the imposition of a psychotic (as in ‘unconnected with factual reality’) ideology, many more thousands of people are going to find themselves in my position but lacking the intelligence and resources I have been blessed with. If I have been so blessed, then I have a duty to speak my truth where others, for simply lack of authentic learning, cannot – it becomes my social responsibility to those more vulnerable than me. So who is it that deeply attracts and calls to my compassion – who needs my ‘blessing’ most? Those who are still half-asleep, or those who have already been marked for death?

 

"I know that people who hate have good reason to do so. But why should we always choose the cheapest and easiest way?" Etty Hillesum (B: 1914 D: 1943 in Auschwitz

“I know that people who hate have good reason to do so. But why should we always choose the cheapest and easiest way?”
Etty Hillesum
(B:15.01.1914 D: 30.11.1943 in Auschwitz)

 

When the peoples of Europe experienced the imposition of this kind of ideology, individuals responded in different ways. Some escaped in the ‘nick of time’;  some survived the concentration camps; some were sent to safety (<< this is my ‘uncle’); and some, even though they had the option to leave still chose to stay – and die – for their own reasons.

 

There is no doubting the value each and every survivor (above) contributed to the wisdom and culture of humanity following the demise of ideology and the rise of Human Rights. I could use their example as a template for my own behaviour now except they are all men and I am a woman. Etty Hillesum’s tale of personal and spiritual development in Amsterdam, during the Nazi-occupation of Holland, is the one that resonates with me most deeply at present.

 

I was a prisoner when I read her story for the first time as preparation for an ‘art’ display commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day. She led me to question many of my deeply held opinions as well as hone my ability to shine a light into the surrounding darkness.

 

 

I see no alternative: each of us must turn inward and destroy in himself all that he thinks he ought to destroy in others, and remember that every atom of hate we add to this world makes it still more inhospitable”.

…you must be able to bear your sorrow; even if it seems to crush you, you will stand again, for human beings are strong and your sorrow must become an integral part of yourself… you mustn’t run away from it, but bear it like an adult. Do not relieve your feelings through hatred, do not seek to be avenged on all German mothers, for they too sorrow for their slain and murdered sons. Give your sorrow all the space and shelter in yourself that is its due, for if everyone bears his grief honestly and courageously, the sorrow that now fills the world will abate. But if you do not clear a decent shelter for your sorrow, and instead reserve most of the space inside you for hatred and thoughts of revenge – from which new sorrows will be born for others – then sorrow will never cease in this world and will multiply.”

What is at stake is our impending destruction and annihilation; we can have no more illusions about that. They are out to destroy us completely, we must accept that and go on from there.”

Etty Hillesum

 

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This is exactly the kind of woman I admire – soul-searching the Light of Love in the darkest of places. Etty is a model of everything I value in a human being as well as a woman. Courageous to the last, she chose to remain with her people right to the bitter end, knowing exactly what she was facing and looking it straight in the eye. She doesn’t turn away and she doesn’t flinch from death but walks towards it in full awareness.

 

On witnessing the trains:

“There was a moment when I felt in all seriousness that after this night, it would be a sin to ever laugh again.”

About the guards:

” I study their faces. I try to look at them without prejudice… Now I am transfixed with terror. Oafish leering faces, in which one seeks in vain for even the slightest trace of human warmth”

Etty Hillesum

I saw those same kind of faces on the government benches during the recent Commons debate regarding the need for cumulative impact assessment on disablity welfare cuts. The result included the same absence of human warmth.

BNtdtxWCAAIsj1CLike Etty Hillesum before me,  I hope I have looked clearly at my situation. To the shelter of pain and grief, I would add the need to honour our rage. Rage is not hatred when it erupts in the face of hate-filled circumstances – what is dangerous is to let it loose. To act from our rage is what they do – if I am the polarity of this particular expression of human behaviour, I must apply the same controls to myself as I would apply to them. This is why we have Laws – to enable such healthy boundaries to be established by fair minds. But there is no law being applied to Britain to halt the vicious and cruel treatment of citizens like me. No-one is launching a D-Day to deal with this as far as I can see. From here on in, I’m going to be on my own. Yet I am not alone – millions of British citizens are facing this ‘purge’ and, more alarmingly, a large section of society doesn’t appear to even know, so completely have they swallowed Coalition propaganda.

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I will die from repressed rage at what is being done to my home; to my country and Her people. I will defy these lies by shining a bright light on every unwilling single step I have been forced down that brings me to the point where my body starts telling me my heart is failing. All true matters of Life and Death are the property of my God, except in issues of murder, as far as I am concerned.  If, at this point, I better serve my God’s Will by dying then so be it – these are issues of Soul and I don’t argue. Death looks attractive because I will be free of my government’s insanity. Whilst I am alive, however, it is important for me to share this part of the journey with others in my position.

 

I believe that for as long as the sick, disabled, poor, jobless, homeless – all our social exiles regardless of physical form – are subject to the ideological whims of this government, each and every death in our community is now a result of serious breaches of our Human Rights. Each one of us who records our journey and whose name and memory is recalled by groups like Calum’s List (who, as far as I am concerned, follow in the footsteps of Simon Wiesenthal) provides evidence that will nail these bastards to the Law. If I have an ambition, for all of us, it is to make every Soul being destroyed in this way known. I want us to stop being statistical footballs and step out of those inhumanly-applied figures into our full humanity. I am not a statistic to be discarded for the convenience of liars. Perhaps my death – and the manner of my death – will change things; perhaps it won’t, but God and I won’t know unless I try.

 

BOOSe_lCMAEaMwONo – I am not going to do anything about my instinct that my heart is failing. I realise this is going to upset a lot of people – many of whom I share ties and links of the deepest affection. They always vote Life each time I ask them; just like I’m asking them again to, once more, trust the Spirit I Serve.

 

The problems we face are going to take – at the very minimum – seven generations to correct; for human beings to relearn how to live gently ‘in the Womb’ of Mother Earth. My one life is supremely unimportant in this grander scheme of Life. What is important is what I do with that life. Etty Hillesum agreed.

 

And whether or not I am a valuable human being will become clear only from my behaviour in more arduous circumstances. And if I should not survive, how I die will show me who I really am.”

“What I fear most is numbness… And yet there must be someone to live through it all and bear witness to the fact that God lived, even in these times”

Etty Hillesum

“In such extremes, when everything is stripped away, people can only survive if they have discovered meaning.”

Viktor Frankl

 

If I lose my life – which must be lost one day anyway – then inevitably the parts of you heart you allow me to occupy will break. This hurts. It’s supposed to because this is the Greatest Teaching of Love human beings can experience. It’s a precursor to transformation. I don’t know how it would work in anyone else – I only know that it does. It’s why those who mourn are called Blessed.

 

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When we have a ‘brush’ with Death, we learn the difference between what is truly valuable and that which is mere illusion.

 

If I die a warrior’s death, your grief will also contain gratitude. Gratitude, such as I feel, for every small kindness and every gesture of greatness shown to me along my path through life – I only got this far because of you. Be grateful for grief because it measures the depths of our capacity to Love and teaches us to beware those still unable to feel it because they have lost their compass to life. Love – which embraces and shelters grief and pain gently – is our guide to the Light. Both Love and Light own the Law of Life where pain informs judgement whilst Truth is revealed by evidence.

 

In my Law, I have to demonstrate a callous disregard for Life on four separate dimensions: spirit; intellect; instinct; and manifest. The Spirit Aspect is my own – no-one else has to believe any of it; it is enough that I believe. I believe I loosed an ancient instinct amongst the people last month and I am satisfied that it has taken root. The Spirit aspect has been honoured under the Law as far as I know. The Intellectual aspects of the case are summed up in one word – ideology – from which many unexplored consequences have already emerged. The personally-related Instinctive response shows up in the responses to this blog of mine. Which leaves the Manifest dimension.

 

The evidence is there – no doubt about it – but still nothing is being done to bring this insanity to an end. For as long as I see ‘No Change’, I see no point in living. My personal circumstances go FUBAR in about six weeks time – with a Work Capability Assessment inbetween that will fail me and a system which will deprive me of any income whatsoever whilst they ‘make up their minds about me’ again! It’s not going to be much different from four months ago, except this time I have symptoms.

 

If I’m right and my heart does fail, and my body dies, I want it known that I named my murderers before I died – every single politician or senior officer – public and private – who issued, followed or profited from orders that drove me, personally, through this psy-ops nightmare into total social exile in my own country, and in so doing deprived me of my Life. I am fully aware I am simply one amongst many but this blog is where I get to share with the world how I feel about it.

 

The Talmud asks why the human race was created as a single human being, as opposed to creating many people at once (like the animals which were created en masse1 )?

This teaches us that just as Adam was created in the beginning, and he was the entire human population of the world, likewise we need to look at each individual as if he/she were the entire population of the world. Therefore, when you save one life it is as if you saved the entire world.

Talmud, Sanhedrin 37a states:

“FOR THIS REASON WAS MAN CREATED ALONE, TO TEACH THEE THAT WHOSOEVER DESTROYS A SINGLE SOUL… SCRIPTURE IMPUTES [GUILT] TO HIM AS THOUGH HE HAD DESTROYED A COMPLETE WORLD; AND WHOSOEVER PRESERVES A SINGLE SOUL…, SCRIPTURE ASCRIBES [MERIT] TO HIM AS THOUGH HE HAD PRESERVED A COMPLETE WORLD.”

(link)

 

A butterfly may only ‘live for the day’, but if she figures out how to start a tropical storm where it is most needed, she will be ‘Some Butterfly’!!! That sounds like a great kind of Life to live – one with no regrets other than having to say goodbye to those I Love.

 

Unattributed through ignorance - would be delighted to correct.

Unattributed through ignorance – would be delighted to correct.

“Unfinished Business”: Further thoughts on “Extremist”

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If there is one good thing about all this ‘Big Brother’ malarkey, it’s that when someone like me hoves into view with a litany of observations about an event, folk can go have a look for themselves to see what all the fuss is about.  So, thanks to YouTube, you can listen to Paul Maynard yourself.

 

I posted, a couple of days back, my reaction to the above, likening it to a ‘cluster-bomb of the psyche’. There must have been something that resonated with others because the reblogs, tweets and comments have blown me away with gratitude. There have also been a couple of troubling responses too – some seem to ‘get’ the general idea but either through genuine kindness, or personal ‘blindness’ (which has nothing to do with sightedness – most physically ‘blind’ people I’ve encountered ‘see’ very clearly indeed), they miss out a very important step in the Judgement process. Both issues, however, intersect neatly in the realm of Emotional Intelligence. My previous post addressed ‘spiritual intelligence’ (that which is found through morals and ethics). When something is deeply wrong in the ‘spiritual’, imaginal or Otherworld dimensions – whether an individual is religious or otherwise – this will appear in all other realms too. When we see the same thing, in the intellectual (free-thinking); emotional intelligence (instinct) or material dimensions, the evidence to be rendered for Judgement is complete. Religion only serves to try and impose order on this ‘otherworld’, at worst. At best, true spirituality offers guiding tools for human spiritual behavioural interaction which turn up in qualities of moral and ethical practice.

 

For example: psychotherapeutic tools cannot be used to ‘analyze’ a public official without their full and willing consent. It can be done – Antony Clare’s Radio programme “In The Psychiatrist’s Chair”, is a prime example. So when I start taking Paul Maynard apart within the Emotional dimension, he has not given his consent; to be moral and ethical, I need to find a way around this problem. Here is my solution:

 

Any following observation I make regarding Mr. Maynard’s behaviour come from my memory of what I saw on the day. I have no wish to revisit that experience because I have enough problems with my present reaction to needlessly put myself through it again – but you, the reader, can look. We know that what he said set off this clusterbomb of negativity within me and I am going to have to deal with this first before I go near this subject again if I am to retain as semblance of personal responsibility. Anything I say is going to be me dealing with damaged aspects of myself – a form of internal self-healing, if you like. Nevertheless, as a wounded-healer/warrior shaman, I also believe it is important to shield those more trusting than myself. Trust is a precious and vulnerable commodity in this materialistic world and if there is one thing I cannot abide is to see it abused, especially in matters of Judgement. So I’m going to begin my internal ‘fight-back’ or ‘jihad’ in defence of a dear and valuable friend to many of us.

 

I love Suey Marsh. If ever the sick and disabled community delivered up an illustrious heroine, then we got one in Suey. As expected, she had her own response to Paul Maynard. If ever you, the reader, needed an example of turning the other cheek; following the precepts of the Dalai Lama; and answering hurt with compassion, that post meets every standard. It’s a measure of Soul and the human capacity to be great. This is why I consider it an honour to be Suey’s friend – her generosity of Soul makes her “Great”. Nevertheless, on this occasion, I fear Suey may be casting her pearls before swine (no offence to Pig Spirit intended).

 

Suey is one of the known and identified ‘extremists’. It’s probably wise to adopt this ‘negotiating’ position when dealing with someone who is complaining she has nothing good to say about ‘him’ and his espoused policies. How else does one ever bring these profoundly-reluctant people to volunteer to take responsibility for their actions? The choice always has to be there because it’s an ethical and moral requirement NEVER to withhold the possibility of Redemption from any Soul. So, well done Suey – in the spiritual dimensions, you’ve just done the perfect job but… and this is the point where we have to part company, because whilst you hold the Compassion end of this polarity – I am holding the Judgement end. I’m holding it in the same way I held my spiritual opinions – I don’t claim to be right. I am merely reporting what I see.

 

Suey is ‘wrong’ to offer Paul Maynard redemption at this time because he hasn’t earned it. To be truly redeemed, we must first be sinners and acknowledge our sin – this he has not done. Paul Maynard has not earned Sue Marsh’s compassion because he has shown her none at all. His speech (above) was an active betrayal of every single human being who ever gave love, care and daily support to him. Suey is absolutely right to detail and list all those Maynard betrayed last Wednesday, when he personally insulted Suey and all those who stand with her, because we need to know who they are. Paul Maynard has cerebral palsy – only the second MP of his kind. I didn’t know that when I wrote my first blog – when Suey told me that, I found myself more deeply sickened than before.

 

If there is one dream Suey and I share, it’s of finding our way back to living in an inclusive community and, my additional dream, to learn to live gently with our Mother Earth. This is a community where everyone – regardless of human packaging – belongs; where we can fulfill our potential; where everyone gets to both creatively  give and receive with those around them; where there is a high tolerance for individuality without any loss of the cohesive community Soul. She might not describe it that way, but I’m probably on the button. Souls made of Love have a tendency to yearn for that kind of home. I can easily imagine a great shoutout of recognition, even if we disagree on everything else but… this only comes about by sharing.

 

Paul Maynard doesn’t share. He has apparently, given his behaviour which did not appear to be coerced in any way, absorbed the Love of many carers to people of disabilities but he doesn’t pass it on – like Suey and so many others. No, this man hoards it to himself and openly insults those who do. Could any action, coming from a disabled man obviously given all kinds of life-long assistance to get to where he is today, be any more grievous a betrayal of all those who gifted him their love and support? He called them ‘extremists’ too. So he happily absorbs that which has been freely given but refuses to even meet with those who come to him in dire need, hiding behind his party’s propaganda and the language of terrorism. Is there really anything more emotionally abhorrent? In my mind, his behaviour summons words like ‘abomination’, ‘treachery’, ‘treason’. Someone, on my first blog, labelled this the ‘cowards’ behaviour – maybe it is that too but the word that really nails it for me is ‘Traitor’. In the Emotional dimensions, this is an unforgiveable sin and remains so until the sinner shows true signs of remorse. I have yet to see them. Until such time as those signs appear, this will remain my judgement.

 

Suey’s compassion is wasted on this man. Compassion only accompanies repentance. Whilst she is showing Maynard compassion – which he clearly only knows how to hoard at present – the community who genuinely needs  and who would most value it – is deprived by his ‘greed’ and disrespect. It’s useful to observe that bigotry, prejudice and all other ugly inhuman attributes are entirely equal opportunity! To show compassion to ourselves, would be to continue all the legal actions we have underway at present, but see if we can raise this process to a class-level one. Maynard’s behaviour, coupled with the rest of that particular department, is now raising very serious human rights concerns. What do we do when it is actually occurring in the here and now? How to we get past this legal thicket of ‘approving criminal behaviour in law’? Those evil bastards aren’t listening to anyone else but themselves – to deal with that requires law. That’s what Judgement is all about – applying the Balance of Law, particularly in unbalanced times. Let’s start showing ourselves some compassion instead of wasting it on those who only have compassion for themselves.

 

Moving away from Suey, I’d apply the same kind of standard to men who start sulking when women point out we have it harder than them. One recently described the process I described in my first blog as being ” it’s anything but theatrical for those of us on stage, being buttfucked :-s”.

 

Buttfucked may be the man’s view but a woman’s body offers a greater variety of experience for those with a ‘taste’ for rape.  I am sick to the back teeth of having to explain it to men who’s behaviour resembles Paul Maynard’s. Let’s remember what we are REALLY talking about when this kind of male-think gets out of hand (WARNING: GRAPHIC).  Maybe I read the guy wrong but I’m sure I’ll find out soon enough when I post this blog.

 

I’m tired of men dropping their ego problems on women and expecting us to cope with it these days. So when I let fly at Paul Maynard’s behaviour, I am letting fly from my woman-power. How dare he treat women this way! How dare any of them treat vulnerable people this way! And how dare Paul Maynard treat Sue Marsh in that way because if anyone lives up to the word ‘inspirational’, it is she!

 

Our best men do not stand by whilst our honourable women are publicly insulted by traitors to Life, Love and Truth. How long must the women take the brunt of these attacks upon our community values, ethics and morals whilst the men stand-by and permit this? Shame on all of you who are not yet standing alongside us – you are not fit to call yourselves men anymore – you are still little boys thinking you can order ‘mummy’ around to suit your own little needs. Well, this ‘Mummy’ is fully aware of what you are doing and I am now in the darkest storm you have ever experienced from a woman before. Treat me with respect and you will have no problem at all – I love and value true men as Sons of our EarthMotherGoddess because they know how to share. This is the Model of Ethical and Moral Behaviour on Mother Earth. It is the one we learn through the process of evolution – the ego state is regressive and anti-ethical to Earth. Those who promote selfish ambitions will never be sated – they feed upon the suffering of others. They invite the judgement I place upon them by their disrespect.

 

It’s time the true Children of Mother Earth began acting together to put a permanent end to this corruption.

 

This is my opinion, based upon my personal response. I share it with others so they might clarify their own thinking and to observe where we might agree or differ. You are invited to compare my observations with Paul Maynard’s actual behaviour to check my responses for errors. If I think Suey made a mistake, I’ve probably made one too.

 

All I ask, if you choose to respond, is that we are respectful of not only ourselves but also the dignity and integrity of others. I am very tired of having to reassemble myself because those qualities have been absent. This will mean some very sharp-tongued responses if I don’t delete your comment entirely – that last bit has nothing to do with your free speech and everything to do with my right to not have to listen to lies.

 

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“Extremist”: My government’s latest ‘label’ for me!

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Door to Hell, Darvaza Gas Crater, Turkmenistan

Door to Hell, Darvaza Gas Crater, Turkmenistan

 

Watching UK parliament in action is not something I do very often because I find the levels of cognitive dissonance too great to tolerate, but there are exceptions and yesterday was one.

 

The debate centred around a request from the opposition for a Cumulative Impact Assessment of the variety of welfare cuts affecting the sick and disabled in the UK.

 

During the debate, an MP from the government benches made an allegation, repeated several times, that some of the disability activists who has been trying (repeatedly) to meet the Government to discuss the impact of cuts were ‘extremists’. The reason, apparently, is due to the fact that these ‘extremists’ refuse to accept that government changes to their personal situation are ‘constructive’. I’m not going to go into detail about this because the subject has been covered by other ‘extremists’ more knowledgeable than me.

 

No doubt, analysis of the detail of the debate will occur but I want to look at the ‘psychic effect’ this statement – this is not a blue-print for the ‘correct’ response, this blog is about the impact the extremist ‘meme’ has upon me personally. I am directly affected by what occurred yesterday and, despite all my training, knowledge and acquired wisdom, this ‘meme’ still had the impact of ‘internal destruction’ that, I suppose, it was meant to have.

 

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The government’s ‘spin’ on their refusal to reveal the facts of their welfare reform is very telling and fits with observations I have made in the past.  Nevertheless, within the social structures I dwell within, they have ‘social power’ and I, apparently, do not. The attitude and demeanour of those very few government MP’s who actually made the effort to turn up for the debate made it very clear how they viewed the folk they were debating; comply with our view or be excluded from any and all discussions on the grounds that we are extremists. Basically, this seems to include anyone who disagrees with current UK policy – no matter how lethal, harmful or damaging to those on the receiving end. Pain, suffering and death are not things the present British government need to worry itself about because it holds to the certainty of its own ‘righteousness’ – anyone who disagrees or protests becomes an ‘infidel’ to be condemned, rejected and ignored.

 

This reminds me of all those criticisms leveled at all those folk who meekly filed into the gas chambers of the Third Reich. Why didn’t they fight back or protest, goes the narrative of post-apocalyptic studies? Well, if we consider the dynamic that occurred yesterday, the answer is fairly easy to find – they had been bombarded with the kinds of messages delivered to the sick and disabled of Britain by their own unelected government.

 

BMNphbECMAENZdHIt really gets me down when I am coerced into accepting views that are based upon prejudice rather than fact, particularly when those views are espoused by those who have ‘control’ over my personal circumstances. It gets me down because I have been around this dynamic for most of my life. It could be argued that this ‘meme’ or ‘irritant’ has been a stimulus for my own growth and development – I would not disagree with this. Experiences of closed-mindedness has prompted me to explore it in very great depth. My problem is that although I have learned a great deal, many more have not and continue to perpetuate such ugly ideas to this very day.

 

The ‘Extremist’ ‘meme’ is a cluster-bomb of the psyche because attached to the word are ideas, experiences and histories that explode into my internal experience with the same devastating effect. It’s a word that, in recent times, has been used by government after government – particularly since 9/11 – to justify the most appalling atrocities against their civilians. The meme refuses to differentiate between justified objections to abuse and cruelty inflicted on innocent others and encourages those who oppose it to become as reactionary and close-minded as their oppressors.  It assumes a righteousness to the opinions of those in power that, when examined under the cold light of evidential fact-finding, can be proven to be flawed at best and downright prejudiced at worst. In the case of the British government versus their sick, disabled and vulnerable citizens, the arguments for seeing government policies as prejudiced gain ground every day, not because opponents and protestors are ‘righteous’ as such but because their protests are validated by facts and evidence.

 

BNfv1psCYAAplJnThis government ‘meme’ about folk like me seems to act like a cancer-cell within my psyche. It reproduces itself very quickly, invading and colonizing much of the hard-earned lessons of my life, reducing me to a state of ‘No-Worth’. According to the label ‘extremist’, I can never be trusted to tell the truth, no matter how much evidence; how many facts; or, even, how many predictable deaths weigh in to validate my viewpoint. The meme is not interested in facts – it’s interested in reproducing itself as fast as possible until nothing remains of those who might remove it. This meme is intent on ruling everything and everyone and destroying anything that does not accord with its distorted and corrupted world view.

 

As far as I can tell, the message it seeks to impart to extremists like me is that I am not only mistaken, I am so ‘wrong’ I am not even worthy of existence. It feeds my suicidal ideation; bolsters hopelessness and despair; and ultimately makes suicide/self-destruction personally attractive. I start asking myself “What’s the point? Give these death-dealing ideas what they want!” whilst I reexamine my suicidal methodology for effectiveness – what do I need to do to die?

 

I have powerful feelings and opinions about those who promulgate such memes which, no doubt, are the extremist views being complained about. It appears I can no longer demand that they back up their claims with fact because yesterday’s debate makes it quite plain that no such facts will be forthcoming. Prejudice against those who think differently is regarded as entirely justified, not requiring explanation or examination, up to and including eugenics, mass-incarceration, slavery and mass-murder. It’s a very poisonous seed designed to destroy everything that it is not and my response, at the very thought to being required to live under such circumstances, prompts me to self-destruct rather than comply. I suppose that is an extreme response to a government notion of who I am, but the meme itself is a far more perniciously destructive idea than anything I could ever dream up. My destructive impulse is turned upon myself – the death-toll of this meme in my reality will be 1 person; me. However, this meme is actually being used by those who turn it’s destructive power on others and who are refusing to even gather the information which shows how effective it is.

 

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So my question is this: who, exactly, is the ‘extremist’ here?

 

In those psyches who refuse ‘personal growth’; who refuse to countenance facts that ‘upset’ their world view; who cling to old ideas and reject the new; there exists a psychological phenomenon called ‘projection’.

 

Psychological projection was conceptualized by Sigmund Freud in the 1890s as a defence mechanism in which a person unconsciously rejects his or her own unacceptable attributes by ascribing them to objects or persons in the outside world.[1]

Although rooted in early developmental stages,[2] and classed by Vaillant as an immature defence,[3] the projection of one’s negative qualities onto others on a small scale is nevertheless a common process in everyday life.[4]

Jung writes that “All projections provoke counter-projection when the object is unconscious of the quality projected upon it by the subject.”[28] Thus what is unconscious in the recipient will be projected back onto the projector, precipitating a form of mutual acting out.[29]

Carl Jung considered that the unacceptable parts of the personality represented by the Shadow archetype were particularly likely to give rise to projection, both small-scale and on a national/international basis.

Wikipedia

 

Projections – of the ‘extremist’ variety – occur when we refuse to engage with our fears of others; when we decide our perceptions are ‘right’ whilst refusing to explore the evidence that we might be wrong. What we project has little to do with the individuals (in this case) we are forcing our beliefs upon – there will be something ‘true’ in the projection to create the dynamic – but the subsequent beliefs extrapolated from this first ‘truth’ are all about us. We have cut ourselves off from our own ‘shadow’ – all those aspects of Self we disapprove of or reject – and project these qualities onto others.

 

BKjUw8NCMAA6GiwSo what was Paul Maynard MP* talking about when he justified government refusals to meet disability campaigners like Spartacus and Pat’s Petition by accusing them of being extremists? He claimed they weren’t ‘constructive’ – that they refused to consider the ‘good’ aspects of government welfare changes. Could someone please explain to me how my suicidal ideation – triggered by yesterday’s events – is to be regarded as constructive? How is removing – at great speed – everything my society has determined I need for basic survival (like food, warmth and a roof over my head) for the last 65 years (longer than my own 58 year lifetime) to be considered constructive? And how does a complete refusal to countenance the real-life consequences of those affected by these changes render me an extremist?

 

I ask these questions for a reason. I need a reality check. I do not assume that my views are accurate. For this to be ‘true’ the evidence needs to be weighed by less-involved minds than my own. All I have is my response: a desire to die and not have to dwell in this small-minded, cruel and abusive environment where my very being is considered a negative.

 

Yes, I know I can ‘get over’ it but, frankly, why should I want to? I’ve been ‘getting over’ these notions all my life and, now, I am not well, I’m hurting and very very tired of this. I’m sick to the back teeth of having to justify my existence to those who believe they can ‘order’ Life itself and I find it increasingly difficult not to fall into the trap of playing into the projection.

 

This is my personal response. I share it with those in similar situations for the purpose of swapping notes – perhaps others feel the same way I do but I won’t know until I ask.

 

And to all those who want me to ‘buck up’ and get back into the fray? I won’t deny my feelings and I’m not going to collude with your demand that I do so because it’s the same kind of ‘instruction’ issued by those who define me as extremist. I may have extreme thoughts and feelings in response to such a projection upon me – shutting them away just renders me more liable to act on them when the time is right. At least, in the moment, I’m talking about it and not doing it.

 

You’re going to have to settle for that for now!

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* I originally attributed the ‘Extremists’ quote to MP, Philip Hammond. I apologise unreservedly to Mr. Hammond for my mistake; thank Fibromites for bringing it to my attention (see comments below). The comment was made by Paul Maynard MP.

And thank you, Creator Spirit, for enabling me to prove my genuine imperfections 😉

 

Professional Betrayals towards Women in Prison

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Whilst rustling through my surprisingly extensive collection of blogs looking for a particular prison story, I came across this. It’s the blog I wrote and posted immediately before my heart-attack (same day) and in scanning through it’s contents for the telling-tale I was after, my eye fell upon these words..

 

You may not know this, but research into women offenders ‘in their own right’ is relatively new. For years, all research on offenders was based upon male offending. The researchers were just beginning to take notice of us women when I was in prison in 2008/9 and they found they had to go back to the drawing board.

 

And therein lies another whole story that it is time to bring out into daylight for ethical supervision.

 

We hear a lot of propaganda  from Criminal Justice professionals about their ‘dedication’. For some, this is undoubtedly true but we – us criminals down here – don’t get much of a voice about how that dedication works.

 

Let’s have a look at the psychologist’s take on women prisoners – the majority are designed for men. I’ve taken part in any number of surveys and research studies during my time as a prisoner but no-one ever came back and told me what they found. Some ‘choice’ questionnaires were so obviously designed for the male psyche, I doubt if they got any worthwhile information at all. But there was one I took part in. I’m sure the woman in question will deny it because she’s bound by her ethics to maintain my confidentiality. That word, ‘confidentiality’ is not designed to protect me – not one bit of it – it’s there to protect her. Let’s see what happens to your, the reader’s, sense of personal ethics as my tale unfolds.

 

This particular piece of research was done on the High-Security wing at HMP Low Newton. This wing was also home to the Primrose Unit – a Rampton Hospital out-reach for prisoners with serious mental health problems. As far as I know, it was the first of its kind which, in itself, would have produced lots of research material too. This particular project was sold to me – I forget by whom – as one of the first real studies into women’s criminality and mental health. I didn’t quite fit the criteria but, because I was considered something of a rare bird, I was asked if I minded being thrown to the researcher (metaphorically speaking). I didn’t mind at all. There was a very great deal wrong with the way my peers were being treated. If there was a psychologist around willing to listen, I was more than willing to talk and I did.

 

The research was, I found, much more conversational and we covered a very great deal of professional ground. My background as both psychotherapist and shaman meant we had considerable common-ground. But our reasons for being there were very different. On my part, I shared so much of myself because I wanted to show that I knew what I was talking about. In fact, we shared many professional agreements and I came away hopeful that, somewhere, a psychologist would do the math and start producing ways of helping these women emerge from their prison experience. Most are not supposed to be there. I retained good memories of that experience but like all the other researchers before her, I never got to see the fruit of our joint efforts.

 

I can see why. When I did a quick google search, it produced this and this.

 

I wasn’t told the research I was being asked to participate in was a study in women’s psychopathy. I was told it was the among the first studies for targeting women prisoners. I helped because I genuinely thought the intention was to help my peers. Instead I find the researcher teaching her peers to fear and hate us – everything human has been stripped away from me. My name. My identity. My compassion and strength. My Honour and Dignity. I am labelled psychopath simply from having participated in the study. So where did my value, my individuality, my creativity go if all I am left with is the epithet ‘psychopath’.

 

All my skills, generosity, honesty, truthfulness and humanity were offered up to a ‘professional’ who purported to be genuinely interested in understanding women prisoners. Instead, I discover she went straight off and got her doctorate in selling the ‘professional’ idea of psychopathy which she obtained, under false pretences, from women who have been subject to the grossest forms of abuse already. We are all robbed of our identity but not so we can be seen on our terms and given the help we need. This research was done to the further the individual career-path of said researcher by giving her a title – she can call herself a  ‘Chartered’ Psychologist now – with a reputation for knowing about psychopaths. And the unidentified women who are the  source of all this wealth and success? Probably still where they are; cutting, ligaturing, going more insane as the cruelty of the Prison Service increases, even though we’ve known for over five years that eighty percent shouldn’t be there.

 

Either you are a professional who understands the proper healthy ethical standard or you don’t.

 

As a former qualified and acceditted Gestalt psychotherapist with twelve years London-based private practice, I see no ethics at all in the above arrangement. If that is what passes for ethical practice in psychology, the entire profession should be shut down. I’ve never seen anything more disgraceful in my life and no amount of apologising will do. It won’t cut it. This is the most appalling example of professional abuse and I cannot express my rage, I am so angry.

 

Just who the fuck do you people think you are!!!

 

How DARE you treat another human being that way. That researcher wasn’t alone. She has tutors and whatnot involved in what she was producing – it’s a conspiracy to rob abused women of any remaining compassion around.

 

When something is unethical, it is unholy.

 

May God forgive you because I’m not sure I can.

 

The Fruit of this Research are not true. They are not even true in Hell.

 

 

 

 

“I am a Fighter and a Lover” #Prison #TellingTale

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When I publish material like this it upsets my friends. Some come to stand alongside my despair and urge me to rest whilst other fellow warriors demand that I fight on; to not let the bastards win. They are all right but, when seen together, these are paradoxical injunctions – a “Catch-22”.

 

Here is a woman prisoner’s Telling-Tale about that problem which, this morning, I found myself relating to a very dear friend of mine:

 

 

The stuff you talk about re fighters is quite true and 35 years ago I would have agreed with you – until I learned, in therapy, to take my armour off. Here’s why…

You are quite right to say we need armour when dealing with the Dark Side. The thing to remember is that, although there will always be one Dark Star somewhere in the midst of cruelty, they lead groups of ‘followers’ who, in one way or another, behave like Dark Stars but would choose differently if they believed they had an authentic free choice. A true warrior must be able to differentiate between the two – absolutely vital if we are not to ‘become’ our enemy –  so we have to engage each person individually to find out what they are made of. Whilst Jesus might use the sword against the Dark Side, he offers the other cheek to brothers and sisters. To be able to learn these differences requires us to take our armour off. In therapy, the best defence is no defence and it is this that is the key to transforming others.

Here’s how it works: Those who battle the Dark Side need armour in order to survive – this is the Warrior aspect of shamanism – but our armour is our faith, which means we battle within the Law. We must make every effort to avoid inflicting unnecessary harm. However, once we have beaten our opponent, we must offer them a choice – true Faith is always rooted in Free Will. If our opponent – at any stage in the war –  surrenders to the Truth, a true Warrior must immediately move to the Healer position. Our opponent may have fought with us because they needed to be shown that the Dark Forces, who had “possessed” their Soul’s absolute entitlement to free choice, can be vanquished because they didn’t know it could be. When they went into battle, they endured terrible losses instead. When that has happened to me personally, and my opponent has surrendered, I must immediately put up my weapons and extend the hand of friendship if I am to remain ethical – I must support and empower this new choice they have made.

The example I’m thinking of occurred on the block at New Hall – when I was first in prison.

In 2003, the women’s prison ‘Area’ which covered all of the North was managed by this man. So despite the fact that HMP New Hall actually had a very competent women Governor-In-Charge who authorised all kinds of innovations (certainly for me), she could be easily undermined by going over her head to this Area Manager. One governor who did this was in charge of the Segregation Unit where I was first remanded from court. He was an active Dark Star, so all the orders he issued would have carried that energy. Responsible for the day-to-day running of the Unit, was a chap – let’s call him John – who, although a committed ‘by-the-book’ man – carried out these orders, so his behaviour looked just like the governor’s. I was to learn later that he didn’t know how to challenge what was occurring on his watch. He did, none-the-less, have a very high reputation amongst those efficient staff he managed, and he needed his ‘governor-given’ authority to deal with the ones that weren’t (there were a few of them too).

So when I arrived in prison on remand, instead of coming into the prison on ‘standard-treatment’ (with my known suicidal ideation/behaviour less than 2 years old), instead of putting me on suicide watch (a very common occurrence amongst women on remand at that time) in Healthcare, I was actually taken to the punishment block and put straight on to their full-on punishment regime. I bet the unit’s governor got a nice little back-hander from the criminals in Hull for doing that.

Punishment regimes are 23-hour lock-up. No TV. No nothing apart from a fixed bed and a cardboard chair and table. I wasn’t inducted into the prison regime so I had to learn as I went along. I know the wing has me recorded as being ‘standard’ but that is not how I was treated. The wing day officers were casually abusive and the governor took great pleasure in ensuring our lives were as rotten as possible. Meds were abused by staff on the unit. There were a couple of bi-polar women experiencing the mania that is triggered by such casual abuse. ‘Nessun dorma’ (“No-one sleeps”) wasn’t the half of it. The whole place had the aura of a medieval torture chamber. So I fought.

It took me a month to force the unit to start treating me as a standard prisoner. I did that by putting in an “App” asking to be informed of the ‘sins’ for which I was clearly at fault, due to my punishment regime, but which I couldn’t correct because I didn’t know what they were. John, the SO – “Rulebook Man”, must have squared-off the governor because the way I was treated improved dramatically. It was still 23-hour lockdown but I was given proper furniture to begin with and, soon after, moved to one of the ‘long-stay’ cells for prisoners like me.

(Let’s observe here that I spent 9 months continuously on that block – solitary confinement. Prison Rules forbid the use of solitary confinement for longer than 28 days if a woman has been convicted – if, however, you can use mental health reasons, there is no limit to how long you can keep a woman in solitary confinement. If you are guilty, it’s fixed. If you are ‘innocent’, they can throw away the key – or that’s how it seemed to me at the time. Certainly, there was one 21 year-old who spent 14 months there. The Unit taught her serious self-harming and suicide – fortunately she ended up at Rampton but not before two other prisons had fucked her over too.)

So, anyway, my conditions improved but by this time, I’d become very difficult. I was demanding copies of the Prison Rules, Orders, Advice etc from governors who had to visit me daily (Prison Rules require that prisoners in solitary are visited daily by a governor, a GP and a ‘priest’). There were some lovely people who were ‘forced’ to visit me daily and there were some absolute dogs. From the best, I would ask for things I could reasonably guess were permitted (like library access) and they’d issue the orders to John who would carry them out. He would also carry out the Dark One’s orders and, much like now, I got handy with the complaints procedures to deal with the problems they caused.

This one day I put in a complaint about the way I was being treated and said it put me in a Catch-22. As Senior Officer on the wing, John was always first port-of-call for complaints and, although he was a competent man, he hadn’t had the benefit of a wider education. I didn’t know this. From what followed, I learned a great deal about what he thought I was doing. He marched into my cell whilst I was sitting writing, threw my complaint on my desk, furiously demanding I write in plain English and cease using my intellect to play tricks on him because he didn’t know what a Catch-22 was. He thought I was trying to make him look stupid when I was, in fact, treating him as the intelligent human being I believed him to be. It was a moment studied with irony and paradox. He was also wrong and I had to sit and take all his pent-up aggression (probably from dealing with his governor boss) in silence and without response. How does anyone respond to such an attack anyway? Fighting would certainly not have worked!

When we are good people, we know when we’ve done something wrong. If we’ve been subject to abuse we were unable to stop ourselves, we are instinctively drawn to people who do know how to stop it. John will have figured out – somewhere in his being – that here was someone he could ‘show’ his problem too (however unconsciously). By getting himself into that ‘sin’ of mistreating a prisoner, he woke up. I don’t know what happened to him but he never treated me that way again. I think I got hold of the Segregation Unit PSO soon afterwards. It was the strangest experience because here, written down in Prison-speak, was exactly what I had been arguing for in the unit in my own ‘over-educated’ way (not bad for a 16 year-old school-leaver!). When I started using PSO rules, the SO and I were singing from the same hymn sheet. That was when I could start showing him that the unit governor was issuing forbidden orders.

For example: the treatment on meted out on that block triggered my suicidal ideation and I was eventually put on suicide-watch (PSO2052) by the Governor-In-Charge. The Unit governor hated this but although he was forced to follow procedures, it meant he did it badly, seething with fury all the while. On one occasion, when my ideation was running high, I asked this governor – during his daily visit – if it made any difference to him whether I lived or died? I insisted on a Yes or No answer. His answer was No. John was witness to that. When I complained about it, I was informed – by one of the governor’s acting-PO lackeys, that I had asked an inappropriate question. When I appealed, it was answered by the Governor himself (I’m sure I sent a copy of it to Ann Owers – I met her when I was on that Unit); when I appealed again, it was was the lackey who  replied again; he was indignant that I had dare to question a governor (as far as I recall). I suspect that particular complaint never found its way into the records – there was something odd about the reference number – if John wasn’t around, some staff had no problem with circumventing the system for their friends. (Another example was how the Unit managed to update my computer records to show I’d been convicted but failed to update the reasons why. I discovered my record showed I’d been convicted of Attempted Murder when I was in HMP Durham. I had to write to Hull Crown Court asking them to correct the Prison Service because they clearly were mistaken. I wonder what difference that mistake made to my treatment in Durham?)

 
I have a very great deal of affection for that New Hall SO. He was a good man, subject to managerial abuse, trying his best in a nightmare situation for all of us. He had to witness the governor ‘ordering’ me not to ‘Love’ him, at which point I asked if it was alright for me to like him instead? It is not possible to share such experiences without developing affection – call it ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ if you like but people who know – or are willing to learn – how to remain human under fire are worth their weight in gold. We take off our armour in the presence of such people and compare scars, treat wounds, heal each other.

But to do that, we have to know how to take off our armour. If we can’t, all we can ever do is repeat the problem. We need every bit of armour we can muster when we are dealing with the Dark Ones but we MUST take it off when we are amongst friends so we can find out just how much our battle is costing us.

 

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Idle No More UK

Idle No More UK