I was a religious kid, raised with Roman Catholic Mass every Sunday, plus Pentecostal Wednesdays during my mother’s teaching stint at a school connected to a church with a neon crossword “Jesus Saves” sign hanging out front.
I changed schools a lot. They were mostly Catholic with a touch of Holy Roller Evangelical Christianity at the Neon Crossword church school. By “touch,” I mean a hard swat to the bent over butt with a ping pong paddle riddled with holes so wind resistance wasn’t an issue for the teacher. At that school, I heard the phrase, “Ah don’t hafta do mah [fill in whatever task/schoolwork]. Mah soul’s bin sayvd” from the other students pretty much daily. And the teachers, having instilled the ideology, couldn’t argue. Way to get the message of Salvation through so clearly!
I grew up in a family of eight, most of whom seemed to need to make the other seven feel the hell that was living inside them more than they needed anything else on earth, starting with one parent whose depression was their most valued trait, to the other who I am now certain was on the autism spectrum. Then, the six kids clawing to get some scrap of caring after the depression got the nurturing and the undiagnosed autism destroyed connections.
Out in the world, I was the freaky outcast who got picked on and had no friends. Serious. Pain. The kind that sends a 12-year-old to the nearest hospital’s Intensive Care Unit after a nearly successful suicide attempt.
But when I thought about Jesus, it took away the pain, and even the anger and meanness developing in me, if only for a little while. I loved him and wanted to be near him, but with all the soul-breaking training I’d had, I believed that the only way to be near him was in a group, following their rules, no matter how abusive that group was. I stayed Catholic so I could stay with Jesus.
When I was 24, an accidental trip to the Vatican showed me the greed usurping what Jesus had taught. My fear of leaving Catholicism was overtaken by my disgust at the hypocrisy.
So, my time as a Catholic was over, but I didn’t really know what to do with the leftovers. I still loved Jesus, or God, but I didn’t have anywhere to share it.
A year or so later, in 1994, I was hitchhiking near Aspen when I got a ride from a guy about 20 years older than me in a white van. Every parent of a girl’s worst nightmare, yes, but the only thing this guy cut was through my veil of deception. It was the first time I’d heard the word “Sheeple,” and I loved it.
We had a real unicorn of a conversation, ranging from God to current events to utterly hilarious cosmic randomness, so we exchanged numbers and planned how he would guide me through the Fireside Chats of the Faith of the Baha’is, “Under the provisions of the Covenant. This series of lectures covered everything from the only correct rules and regulations for access to God’s Grace, and subsequently, Heaven; how the nine major religions are related; and how you would know their prophets with proof from the Bible, Koran, Bhagavad Gita, and Native American prophecies, etc., with bonus points for Nostradamus and understanding the Pyramids, and the golden key to the Book of Revelation. Hallelujah. Amen. I was going to be one of God’s favorites! Jackpot.
I was psyched to be part of the group that would rule the world with strict, but loving fairness, and equality for all peoples and respect for all Creatures on Earth—once the prophecies foretelling the doom of one or two-thirds of humanity (I can’t remember which, but it’s pretty safe to go high) came to pass, Blessed Be.
Sure, we were only about a hundred, give or take, and most of us were just this side of homeless and couldn’t hold down a job, but, come the catastrophes, we would be the ones to whom the world would come running for the answers.
My education consisted of understanding the codes of Ezekiel and the other Old Testament prophets and The Book of Revelation and other sacred texts like the Baghavad Gita, etc. For example, the Number of the Beast is actually 616 because something happened in 616 AD that propelled our doom, but the guy in the monastery copying the bible swatted a fly or dripped some ink, thereby transforming the number to 666.
We used similar scientific methods to decipher Nostradamus and the Pyramids, which means we were the only people on earth with the ability to decrypt such vast swaths of texts and symbols, drawing lines from Adam and Eve to the Pyramids to Jesus, Mohammed, Zoroaster, and so on, all the way through to this guy living in Montana (New Jesus) who you knew you could trust because he was prophesied all over the Bible and every other religious text, but only would you know if you had the eyes to see.
This guidance was not limited to religious text, no sir. Using those same eyes and with the help of my teacher, I started connecting the dots to all sorts of “underground knowledge,” available only to those willing to search, like the fact that George W. Bush had f*cked a baby’s skull in order to be POTUS. It could have been Clinton, though. Probably both. The facts are fuzzy, seeing how this was 20-plus years ago and, according to the incredible research I was privy to, they’re all in cahoots with Satan, so they blur together a bit.
I felt it my duty to let all the Sheeple around me know how stupid they were to continue letting these demon worshiping plutocrats possess the soul of our country. I knew that others’ poor response to me was actually a reflection of their inability to cope with the Truth, not because I sounded utterly contemptuous and insane. It was okay, though, because I had a small (tiny) army of other truth-tellers behind me. People who wanted to have fun, a normal life were shallow. We were righteous. Who needs fun when you’re right.
Somewhere around 1998-9 came the death of New Jesus and the predictable power grab among those who were left. After a series of mostly-to-ALL CAPS emails where I pledged allegiance to one side over the other, I got kicked out by the winning side. Under Baha’i law, I had to be shunned by all True Believers. Devastating. Shambles though the group was—it was my life. It was a repeat of my early years, where shunning was everyday life, but this time the consequence wasn’t merely isolation and loneliness; it was condemnation to wander the earth in exile and regret, never to feel the warmth of God’s Love, to be followed by Eternal Damnation.
I had burned so many bridges I had nowhere to go from my past, and the only thing that “forward” held was the cold darkness of being rejected by God for all eternity.
The shock of expulsion forced me to look at what I’d been doing all those years and broke past the dogmas instilled over the course of my life. I found the same sweetness I’d felt as a kid when I thought about Jesus and I recognized that it was deeper and more real than the pain of banishment. Now I knew that sweetness had never been something outside of me; it was never controlled by any group or any one person, not even Jesus. I realized that when I was communing with this historical figure, I was actually going to the sweet core of love that moves everything and is the core of all of us.
This realization started an ongoing healing process and the ability to see more clearly. Armed with this newfound treasure, I started to examine the means I’d been using to view religion, history, politics, and so on. I took note of how derisive I’d been of other religions. Christians were people who “worship a dead thing on a stick” (direct quote from my teacher). I understood that it is so enjoyable to spend as much time as we can swimming around in anything that supports our beliefs, hence we think our every angle is so well researched and airtight that we will pray for the opportunity for some unwitting Jehovah’s Witness to ring the doorbell or some idiot wearing a mask or refusing to wear a mask to cross our path.
Although my lens was skewed, that was the start of looking more critically at and asking questions of organized religion and government. Because I couldn’t find satisfactory answers from mainstream sources to the very real tragedies that happen as a result of greedy governance, I stuck around the conspiracy theory tables. And, let’s be honest: I was grappling with horrible feelings of inferiority, which kept alive the need for superiority. I enjoyed thinking I knew more about what was going on behind the scenes than everybody else.
The past few years have shown the rise of QAnon. Note the word “piracy” in conspiracy. They’ve come on board and are ready to commandeer the ship by force.
Before I moved to Sweden in 2012, I had become friends again with my former Baha’i teacher after it was established that I wasn’t cursed with a heart of pure evil. One day, he and his fourth wife and I were having a lovely Skype chat when they started telling me about the “Holohoax.” Yes, you read that right. They had conducted devoted research into proving that the Holocaust had never happened, the most damning evidence being that Anne Frank had allegedly written in ballpoint pen. I was stunned. I could not come over this. I’ve visited places where the effects of Nazi policies are still profoundly present and have known families who lost members in those camps. I see what the Holocaust has done to generations of humanity, and to fight to prove its nonexistence is unfathomable.
I want to be the kind of person who can listen to anybody’s point of view, and I tried, but I had nothing to say after hearing about this hateful campaign, especially coming from one who professes loving wisdom. That was the last time we spoke.
As Q rises, so does the attention to human trafficking, which could be helpful, but using the horrific reality of trafficking and ritual abuse for political gain is not. Slavery has always been here. Many people in positions of power have devoted their lives to control over others, which is demonic in itself, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say they’re not eating babies. No need. They’re killing them with starvation and bombs and it’s plenty easy to control the minds on this planet. I don’t think the people being accused of drinking terrified children’s blood have the imagination to see beyond the material in hopes of spiritual gain. In a way, Q and followers give a lot more credit than is due to normal politicians’ depth of thought.
Blood libel is not new, either. Q and followers are convincing an alarming number of people that anyone who disagrees with Donald J. Trump is a satanic, cannibalistic pedophile. Guess how medieval Christians justified their persecution of the Jews?
The only thing that’s new is the greater ease of communication. People can now watch YouTube videos for hours and hours, chasing ever more complicated theories that, in the end, have no end. Scientists at MIT published a study in 2018 that analyzed millions of tweets sent between 2006 and 2017. The conclusion: “False news reached more people than the truth; the top 1% of false news cascades diffused to between 1000 and 100,000 people, whereas the truth rarely diffused to more than 1000 people. Falsehood also diffused faster than the truth. The degree of novelty and the emotional reactions of recipients may be responsible for the differences observed.”
One of my addictions growing up was to TV; I know the hypnotizing power of a screen. When people see something on a screen, they believe it must be true. I think of the people I was in school beside so long ago, and I know how easy it is to convince people who don’t feel good about themselves that they will have power over those who don’t believe the “Righteous Truth.” Give the illusion of superiority to someone who feels inferior and you’ve got a loyal follower. The food of greed is the souls of people who don’t know their worth.
The biggest problem with the Satanic pedophilia frenzy is that the believers, who do honestly believe they’re doing good, take much-needed focus and energy away from groups who are doing the godly work of rescuing people who have been trafficked and helping them recover their lives. The United States National Human Trafficking Hotline has been overwhelmed by wrongful accusations. People who do actually need help are being forced to wait in torment because of this.
Groups who do serious, on the ground rescue are having to waste precious time debunking myths. Talk about good intentions paving the road to hell.
As a former believer, I know that fighting the adherents is not going to change the mind of anyone who thinks of themselves as a True Believer. Fighting on Facebook will not prevent another Holocaust when people have themselves so convinced that it never happened in Germany, that the rest of us are duped. Fighting the followers is not going to rescue any human who is actually being held in slavery. Intelligent action aimed at rooting out the system that gives rise to traffickers will do that.
Learn who is doing the work of reparations and rescue, and support them in every way you can. This article elucidates what signs are readily apparent in trafficking of various forms, right in front of our eyes.
To reach the National Human Trafficking hotline 24 hours a day toll-free, call 888-373-7888 or send a text message to 233733. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children can be reached 24 hours a day at 800-843-5678.
Below is a list of groups doing good work in ending human trafficking, as well as groups working to eradicate the effects of racism of all sorts, and hopefully more will be added to this list as time goes on: