Girl Scouts of Utah

16,000 Days, A Set of Random Hidden Memories

2020.10.20 17:31 cjsb28 16,000 Days, A Set of Random Hidden Memories

I posted this on MTF already, but wanted to share this with my friends here too.
16,000 Days, a Set of Random Hidden Memories Claire Joy
Written Sunday, Aug 23, 2020
16,000 Days Ago
Tuesday, November 2nd 1976. Jimmy Carter was being elected as President of the United States, and a confused girl was born in Kansas City, Missouri. A girl who doctors and the world proclaimed was a ‘boy’. I was the apple in everyone’s eyes.
13,120 Days Ago
On my bike, riding down the hill to my house as fast as I can go. Fervently peddling, because I thought if go fast enough I could leave my shadow behind. I know, it’s stupid, but I was a dumb kid. I rounded the corner, and took a bad fall in front of the house in the bushes. To this day, my left wrist bears the scar where the jugular was almost sliced by my stunt. I thought I could drive away my shadow, I wanted it to be true. But no matter how fast I go, how far I go, how hard I try, my shadow is always there.
12,844 Days Ago
From the mirror’s eye I could see her. Long hair let down, dressed in mom’s jumpsuit, rolls of socks on my chest where breasts might go. I’m terrified, and so alive at the same time. My ears wide open for the sound of tires on gravel, telling me to hurry up and get out of the outfit. But they’re not home, so what’s the harm I asked myself, slipping on mom’s hosiery. Even now it was creepy, but I imagined being a girl and a woman, imagined then prayed. As the nights ran into one another, I would often pray that I would wake up a girl, and everyone else would know me as one without memories of being a boy.
12,665 Days Ago
Burke Elementary, the playground behind the baseball diamond there is a huge maple tree, and it constantly shed acorns on the ground. Warm days of recess, everyone else is playing, but I am alone under the shade of this tree. I look at them playing, and hear them shouting in the background. My eyes are closed, I take a breath, I let it go. This comes naturally, there is no concept for me at this time about meditation. There is peace here. There is no internal battle going on because I am one, suddenly alone, truly alone, I am complexly self-aware of my own existence and I become very scared. Quickly I rise up, and run toward the others on the playground. But in that brief moment of time I can imagine life both as a girl and as a boy. At the time, the eighties, there was no concept of a child holding their puberty through drug intervention, no idea that that could ease into what would be discovered later as ‘transition’, the ability to change gender through medical intervention and social acclimation. So in the days and months that follow I would do everything I could to make these feelings go away. No more dressing in mom’s things, no more wondering what life could be like, these feelings are to be left in the trash of my own past, and from now on I was going to be the best friend, brother and son anyone could be. So I started to pretend, I would pretend that I was a boy, a good friend, a good-natured brother, a loving son. I did this for them and myself, thinking this whole being a girl thing was too weird to air aloud, and like the earliest days, kept it buried a hundred miles deep. That old maple tree is there to this day.
11,501 Days Ago
The old church had that old-church smell, and the Thursday night was quiet with me alone. The scout troop remained small all through my teen years. Eventually we had others join, long-time scouts. We were never really good friends, though, something set me apart from others my whole life, some odd disconnect only I could know. It was the same distance that kept me from engaging too much in my own life. The separation between my gender inside and the outside world of expectations. All I wanted from life was a little ordinary. No more thoughts about being a girl, this time I would ‘man up’ and be the best son I could be, a friend when possible, a brother to my sisters. In the years that follow, I would turn away, forget about my feelings. For a time it sort of worked, yet in disturbing intervals it would somehow return, that feeling of disconnect. It didn’t go away when I was eight, it didn’t go away when I was a twelve, or fifteen. Latter, I kept rolling in what I have come to know as ‘dysphoria’ There and back again, over and over, like a fire that will not burn out. Even though I could push it aside, concentrate on being who everyone else thinks I am, often enough it would crop back up in the hidden war raging inside myself.
8,872 Days Ago
The lifeguard gig is the best job I ever had. It was community college just after high school graduation. I had a mind to still somehow become a military officer so decided on a practical major, civil engineering. While getting the basic classes out of the way, I kept busy with the part-time job of lifeguard, mostly to pay for a car to go between home and classes. During a set of my rotations, I watched over girl’s high school swimming practice and meets. Sitting there, it became clear to me I was feeling an odd mixture of attraction and envy or jealously. It was disturbing at the time to feel like that. In the months that followed, I would look back on my own childhood, wondering what was affecting me. This was the dawn of the internet, so why not search this out. I was 20 years old, and this is the first time ‘transexual’ entered my vocabulary. Of course I knew about trans people, but my impressions was based on pop culture of the 80’s and 90’s; caricatures and jokes in movies and trashy TV talk shows. There were chat rooms and online billboards in 90’s style internet, but reading their stories it was all bad news, dark times of transition, loosing most of the people in their lives, work and family and the tribulations of ‘passing’ in a hostile world. The costs, both financial and personal, were too great to consider further notions of transition. So I decided to completely shut it down, to keep myself constantly busy with school or work or exercise. My friends at the time were far away, so I was alone in the early college years. My parents were separating, but we were able to live in the ancient house on Drury full of ghosts from a long faded childhood. Mom and Autumn needed my help, but I neglected them and ignored them. Often I would drive to southern Kansas to be with old friends again on weekends. Any chance to be outside the house I took it. My life was a train wreak, and I believed everything was just fine. Denial is powerful.
5041 Days Ago
University finals are done, and graduation is just before Christmas. Mom and Dad are proud of me, grandma and Autumn are also there on this cold December night. After the pomp and circumstance of the graduation ceremony, we dined at an Italian restaurant, and dad gave me a gold coin for a gift. University was something I wanted to get done and over with, thinking my life was truly begin, but first I wanted to travel, to see if I could make my way west and maybe find work there and move.
5002 Days Ago
After a costly car repair of replacing my alternator to the 1995 Honda Accord I was driving across the country in the winter time, just outside a small town in northern Utah. My mind at the time was a mess, I wanted to get as far from the house on Drury as I could get. I wanted to be done with all thoughts of transition and being a woman. In the mess behind the driver’s seat was the usual disaster of clothes and bags, and in one of these bags are a set of old women’s clothes I was wearing earlier this morning before the breakdown. The sun was falling down, and I was one hour west of Boise. Before driving into the Blue Mountains of Oregon, overlooking the Snake River Valley, there was a scenic overlook. This is where I stopped. This is where I got out of the car, in the crisp air, overlooking the wild mountain valley full of clouds rolling fast like sun-laden water. As I stood there in awe, there was a switchback trail below me going down. I traversed it some, just to a point were there was a clear fall of hundreds of feet. This is where I could end all of it, I thought. This is where my hidden war inside myself could finally be decided. Was this the real reason for my journey west? Was this why I came here? In a daze, I drifted precariously to the edge, my eyes unused to flow waxed to the full. This was it, this is where this will end. I leaned forward. On the road above me, a truck blared its horn. Surprised, I shot backwards into the other side of the trail and on the ground. Breath returned to me, how long did I hold it? Trembling between the worlds I stared, lost in a place that can never be, I stayed there for a long, long time until the sun had fallen down. I climbed back to the car, still shacking, still crying in the cold air. It was a long dark drive to Portland. Just drive, I thought terrified in the darkest night of my life. Up and down mountains, freezing and thawing, getting chains, placing them and taking them off and repeating over three valleys. It took hours, all through the night into the smallest hours of the next morning before I reached Portland. With tired eyes and tired thoughts, somehow I found the hostel, somehow I found sleep, although I don’t remember checking in, or the final reach of the drive. I lost something today. I lost myself.
4985 Days Ago
The journey west was left wanting. I visited Portland but didn’t stay long enough to really apply for work, afraid I would run out of money, a very real possibility. So I carried on, traveling north to Seattle and found it busy and too urban for my likening. Then I went north again into Vancouver, BC. I loved Canada, saw a hockey game with new friends. Time was not on my side, so it was south, back to Portland for a day then just south of San Francisco. I wound up in a private room in a seaside youth hostel where I put on my women’s clothes and despaired. Crashed to sleep in them, and crazily, the room was not mine at all, and others made their way into it and slept in the other bed. Embarrassed that both I was in the wrong room and the fact that I was ‘in drag’ made the situation dire. Desperate and embarrassed, I hurried back into boy clothes and rushed out as fast as possible. I trashed the clothes that moment in the nearest dumpster and drove off as fast as I could out of there. This made visiting my Aunt Marilyn and Uncle Roger that much more awkward with that fresh in my mind. Of course I couldn’t mention the cross-dressing but nervously told my story and my adventure across the country. Today I am in El Paso, Texas, visiting my older sister Mary Lynn. Searching for the map, just a second passed, over the rise in the motorway there was stalled traffic. I could only slow the car before impact. The accident left my car broken again, a crushed radiator that needed repairs. No more money, I had to borrow a thousand dollars from Mary. I hate borrowing money, especially from family, the minute I have it I’m repaying her. Tonight we drank together, Mary and her husband Mike, and a few of their friends from the military, and damn did I need it. Think it was the first time I tried Crown and Seven, but I really liked it. We had a fun time, got caught up on the latest, and just joked around, it was a good time. Tomorrow is a long 19-hour drive back to Kansas City. This journey left me defeated and victorious at the same time. But I can’t help thinking I lost more than I gained. I have bills to pay, the real world demanded satisfaction, and I would have to wait.
4984 Days Ago
It took every bit of 20 hours driving to get back to Kansas City. I hoped never to see that house on Drury again. But here I am, a broken and defeated...man? woman? What the fuck was I? My hidden war inside myself is far from over. There were practical matters to settle. My goals now are to get a part-time job, not in engineering but just a job so that I can maintain my life while physically preparing for the military officer candidacy training I wanted to do, and I’ll give myself 8 months to do it. I will run daily, drop weight, and study for exams. Repaying Mary is top on my list, after that I guess I’ll live in Drury until I can’t anymore. Mom and dad are separating, and mom lives in an apartment not far away, while dad stays with his new girlfriend Janet. I don’t know how to feel about this, with everything else going on inside and elsewhere in my life. All I want to do is forget about this whole misadventure. Put away any thoughts of being a woman and focus on enlisting in officer training school.
4744 Days Ago
After eight months of preparation, delaying my engineering career, I have been officially disqualified from military service for medical reasons, some given were flat feet and severe near-sightless. My scores were mediocre, and not worth mentioning. This entire time was a waste.
4534 Days Ago
After being fired from my first engineering job, it’s clear to me engineering was a wrong path. So I started exploring other options. For about three months I had been volunteering at St. Luke’s Hospital emergency room. I want to give nursing a try, so this week I’m applying for nursing college. My new friends are cool, we talk often and I feel like I’m appreciated here.
4224 Days Ago
Months ago I applied for work at the city of Kansas City as a codes inspector. After my last interview, I got the call and accepted the job. My goal of going to nursing school ran short as money again was too tight, even still living in that dreadful house on Drury. The house is being sold soon, so I would have to move and be on my own for the first time. I’m taking an apartment on Wyoming Street in Westport.
3509 Days Ago
Vietnam has become my new favorite country. Traveling the with my friend from work, his name is Ha, and his family was a blast. This is a book in itself, but briefly we traveled from the Mekong Delta to Hanoi and many places in between, including the mountain town of Da Lat and the seaside town of Hoi An. We spent three weeks in Vietnam. (In case you’re wondering, Ha is married, straight as far as I know, but his wife couldn’t go so I was his “other wife” lol, promise it wasn’t gay, much)
3328 Days Ago
Long had it been since I even though about those times, the darker times where my head was messed up and I was so confused about my life and something as fundamental as my gender. It was wonderful, I could just forget. I lived in my house on 14th Street for about five years now, and I was not alone, mom moved in with me. Still, I had hoped to fall in love and marry and start a family here, but I’m 35 years old now. In many ways, much of my life had slipped me by. I thought I could ‘forget’, but that’s just it, I can’t ‘forget’ if the war is constantly on my mind. It was the real reason my relationships failed all my life, the internal struggle that everyone else seemed to see except me. Because of this, my failure to transition, waiting until after all my hair has fallen out and I had hid myself away in drink and video games until I was severely obese, that I hit bottom. This summer I started reading literature, works of all kinds from Russian to British. One of the authors was Virginia Wolfe, and her book “Orlando”. I had no idea what it was about, unusual as I mostly read cliffs notes before diving in. It seemed boring at first, a 16th century nobleman on his journeys. Then on one adventure, half way through the book, he is magically transformed into a woman, and continues her quest as Lady Orlando. I threw the book across the room. All of a sudden, all those memories of my struggles resurfaced, and I realized my feelings was not a new phenomenon, this book was written in the early 20th century. It was a tidal wave of emotions. I deny all of it, this is not me. Is it?
2689 Days Ago
My mom and sister moved out a year ago and now I find myself alone. Every day I get off the bus from work, and cry while walking to the house. I am trapped by an upside down house mortgage, a job I hate, a town I’m forced to live in completely alone, and now trapped in my own body that has become old, fat, bald and apparently trans. In my house there is a .385 Magnum revolver I had previously purchased from a gentleman I meet on some enchanted evening in the ghetto. The revolver is loaded with one round. Inside a cold, dark house, more alone than at any other time in my life and completely surrounded by darkness, and completely trapped inside. I demonized the world outside and locked myself inside, no clarity about how to get out of the situation. I am caught in a web, in a cage. There is only one way out, right? Play the Game, spin the wheel. I lift the heavy cold steel to the back of my head, aiming for the brain stem to be sure I don’t survive my injuries. Pull the trigger mechanism. In the silence of a cold dark house, the sound of an empty revolver hammer against my skull remains to this day the loudest sound I have ever heard. Wide-eyed terror, I laid the gun on the dinning table. Long had it lain there, as a stared at it. I took it apart, the round was the next one, gathered its parts and rounds, and threw it into the Missouri River. This concludes my second attempt to end my life. To this day I never touched another firearm, and never will again.
577 Days Ago
Eight rounds in the cold of night. It had been a week since the first shooting, a near miss involving the neighbor’s kids who were being shot at by a rival gang drive by. No one then was killed, their kid was injured. I found rounds landed in the bed I was just moments before inside and called the police. That is the first rule of the hood; keep your business to yourself. They came back tonight. Eight rounds into the Honda Civic, one ended up in my bed feet from where I was laying asleep. I fled to Dad’s house. This is the last night I would spend here. To top it all off, I got a job offer in plans review, and if you asked me just a few months earlier before all this I would have took the job gladly. Instead, pacing in dad’s basement alone all night, decided against the job. This is the third time I should be dead.
325 Days Ago
It’s a bright sunny September Day. Work was done early so I returned the work car to the parking garage, to its usual spot on the 8th floor. It suddenly got dark, not an ordinary mid-day cloud cover but a darkness I can barely describe, like a strange night suddenly descended on me. It became hard to breath, and I sat out at the back of the SUV for a long time. All I could see was six feet around me, and the parapet wall some ten paces from me. My thoughts suddenly went to that parapet. How easy it would be hop on, how easy it would be to stand on the ledge, how easy would it be to let gravity finally do the work for me. It was a panic attack, an uncontrolled incident that nearly cost me my life. Someone walked by while sitting at the car and startled me, again an angel snapped me out of it. Dad’s words from earlier last week rang in my ears, “I think you should be happy, I think everyone has a right to be happy”. This was my third attempt, and my fourth time I should be dead. No more. Tonight I reached out to a therapist, I know now I need help. After years of denial, the fact that I’m trans is undeniable. My time has come to finally try to put a handle on this. It didn’t go away when I was 8, it didn’t go away when I was 20, nor at 26 nor at 30 nor at 35 nor at 38; this was going to haunt me until I end up mad or dead. My time has come to stop swinging from a spiral and become the woman I am inside.
57 Days Ago
Ten months of running trails and therapy, over 100 pounds of weight lost. Delaying for three months while waiting for the fertility clinic to open after Covid-19 had been mitigated enough to reopen. Turned out to be another waste of time because I am not fertile, and probably could never have had children. Sad but now anxious to start, I finally got my medication for estrogen and anti-androgens. After decades of dreaming, I gave myself my first injection of estrogen on 27th of June, 2020. I am 43 years and 8 months old. My life is just beginning.
My name is Claire Joy, you see me, it’s good to be here with you.
Present day, Sunday, Aug 23, 2020
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2020.10.20 16:10 cjsb28 16,000 Days, A Set of Random Memories

16,000 Days, a Set of Random Hidden Memories Claire Joy cjsb28
Written Sunday, Aug 23, 2020
16,000 Days Ago Tuesday, November 2nd 1976. Jimmy Carter was being elected as President of the United States, and a confused girl was born in Kansas City, Missouri. A girl who doctors and the world proclaimed was a ‘boy’. I was the apple in everyone’s eyes.
13,120 Days Ago On my bike, riding down the hill to my house as fast as I can go. Fervently peddling, because I thought if go fast enough I could leave my shadow behind. I know, it’s stupid, but I was a dumb kid. I rounded the corner, and took a bad fall in front of the house in the bushes. To this day, my left wrist bears the scar where the jugular was almost sliced by my stunt. I thought I could drive away my shadow, I wanted it to be true. But no matter how fast I go, how far I go, how hard I try, my shadow is always there.
12,844 Days Ago From the mirror’s eye I could see her. Long hair let down, dressed in mom’s jumpsuit, rolls of socks on my chest where breasts might go. I’m terrified, and so alive at the same time. My ears wide open for the sound of tires on gravel, telling me to hurry up and get out of the outfit. But they’re not home, so what’s the harm I asked myself, slipping on mom’s hosiery. Even now it was creepy, but I imagined being a girl and a woman, imagined then prayed. As the nights ran into one another, I would often pray that I would wake up a girl, and everyone else would know me as one without memories of being a boy.
12,665 Days Ago Burke Elementary, the playground behind the baseball diamond there is a huge maple tree, and it constantly shed acorns on the ground. Warm days of recess, everyone else is playing, but I am alone under the shade of this tree. I look at them playing, and hear them shouting in the background. My eyes are closed, I take a breath, I let it go. This comes naturally, there is no concept for me at this time about meditation. There is peace here. There is no internal battle going on because I am one, suddenly alone, truly alone, I am complexly self-aware of my own existence and I become very scared. Quickly I rise up, and run toward the others on the playground. But in that brief moment of time I can imagine life both as a girl and as a boy. At the time, the eighties, there was no concept of a child holding their puberty through drug intervention, no idea that that could ease into what would be discovered later as ‘transition’, the ability to change gender through medical intervention and social acclimation. So in the days and months that follow I would do everything I could to make these feelings go away. No more dressing in mom’s things, no more wondering what life could be like, these feelings are to be left in the trash of my own past, and from now on I was going to be the best friend, brother and son anyone could be. So I started to pretend, I would pretend that I was a boy, a good friend, a good-natured brother, a loving son. I did this for them and myself, thinking this whole being a girl thing was too weird to air aloud, and like the earliest days, kept it buried a hundred miles deep.
That old maple tree is there to this day.
11,501 Days Ago The old church had that old-church smell, and the Thursday night was quiet with me alone. The scout troop remained small all through my teen years. Eventually we had others join, long-time scouts. We were never really good friends, though, something set me apart from others my whole life, some odd disconnect only I could know. It was the same distance that kept me from engaging too much in my own life. The separation between my gender inside and the outside world of expectations. All I wanted from life was a little ordinary. No more thoughts about being a girl, this time I would ‘man up’ and be the best son I could be, a friend when possible, a brother to my sisters. In the years that follow, I would turn away, forget about my feelings. For a time it sort of worked, yet in disturbing intervals it would somehow return, that feeling of disconnect. It didn’t go away when I was eight, it didn’t go away when I was a twelve, or fifteen. Latter, I kept rolling in what I have come to know as ‘dysphoria’ There and back again, over and over, like a fire that will not burn out. Even though I could push it aside, concentrate on being who everyone else thinks I am, often enough it would crop back up in the hidden war raging inside myself.
8,872 Days Ago The lifeguard gig is the best job I ever had. It was community college just after high school graduation. I had a mind to still somehow become a military officer so decided on a practical major, civil engineering. While getting the basic classes out of the way, I kept busy with the part-time job of lifeguard, mostly to pay for a car to go between home and classes. During a set of my rotations, I watched over girl’s high school swimming practice and meets. Sitting there, it became clear to me I was feeling an odd mixture of attraction and envy or jealously. It was disturbing at the time to feel like that. In the months that followed, I would look back on my own childhood, wondering what was affecting me. This was the dawn of the internet, so why not search this out. I was 20 years old, and this is the first time ‘transexual’ entered my vocabulary. Of course I knew about trans people, but my impressions was based on pop culture of the 80’s and 90’s; caricatures and jokes in movies and trashy TV talk shows. There were chat rooms and online billboards in 90’s style internet, but reading their stories it was all bad news, dark times of transition, loosing most of the people in their lives, work and family and the tribulations of ‘passing’ in a hostile world. The costs, both financial and personal, were too great to consider further notions of transition. So I decided to completely shut it down, to keep myself constantly busy with school or work or exercise. My friends at the time were far away, so I was alone in the early college years. My parents were separating, but we were able to live in the ancient house on Drury full of ghosts from a long faded childhood. Mom and Autumn needed my help, but I neglected them and ignored them. Often I would drive to southern Kansas to be with old friends again on weekends. Any chance to be outside the house I took it.
My life was a train wreak, and I believed everything was just fine. Denial is a powerful drug.
5041 Days Ago University finals are done, and graduation is just before Christmas. Mom and Dad are proud of me, grandma and Autumn are also there on this cold December night. After the pomp and circumstance of the graduation ceremony, we dined at an Italian restaurant, and dad gave me a gold coin for a gift. University was something I wanted to get done and over with, thinking my life was truly begin, but first I wanted to travel, to see if I could make my way west and maybe find work there and move.
5002 Days Ago After a costly car repair of replacing my alternator to the 1995 Honda Accord I was driving across the country in the winter time, just outside a small town in northern Utah. My mind at the time was a mess, I wanted to get as far from the house on Drury as I could get. I wanted to be done with all thoughts of transition and being a woman. In the mess behind the driver’s seat was the usual disaster of clothes and bags, and in one of these bags are a set of old women’s clothes I was wearing earlier this morning before the breakdown. The sun was falling down, and I was one hour west of Boise. Before driving into the Blue Mountains of Oregon, overlooking the Snake River Valley, there was a scenic overlook. This is where I stopped. This is where I got out of the car, in the crisp air, overlooking the wild mountain valley full of clouds rolling fast like sun-laden water. As I stood there in awe, there was a switchback trail below me going down. I traversed it some, just to a point were there was a clear fall of hundreds of feet. This is where I could end all of it, I thought. This is where my hidden war inside myself could finally be decided. Was this the real reason for my journey west? Was this why I came here? In a daze, I drifted precariously to the edge, my eyes unused to flow waxed to the full. This was it, this is where this will end. I leaned forward. On the road above me, a truck blared its horn. Surprised, I shot backwards into the other side of the trail and on the ground. Breath returned to me, how long did I hold it? Trembling between the worlds I stared, lost in a place that can never be, I stayed there for a long, long time until the sun had fallen down. I climbed back to the car, still shacking, still crying in the cold air. It was a long dark drive to Portland. Just drive, I thought terrified in the darkest night of my life. Up and down mountains, freezing and thawing, getting chains, placing them and taking them off and repeating over three valleys. It took hours, all through the night into the smallest hours of the next morning before I reached Portland. With tired eyes and tired thoughts, somehow I found the hostel, somehow I found sleep, although I don’t remember checking in, or the final reach of the drive.
I lost something today. I lost myself.
4985 Days Ago The journey west was left wanting. I visited Portland but didn’t stay long enough to really apply for work, afraid I would run out of money, a very real possibility. So I carried on, traveling north to Seattle and found it busy and too urban for my likening. Then I went north again into Vancouver, BC. I loved Canada, saw a hockey game with new friends. Time was not on my side, so it was south, back to Portland for a day then just south of San Francisco. I wound up in a private room in a seaside youth hostel where I put on my women’s clothes and despaired. Crashed to sleep in them, and crazily, the room was not mine at all, and others made their way into it and slept in the other bed. Embarrassed that both I was in the wrong room and the fact that I was ‘in drag’ made the situation dire. Desperate and embarrassed, I hurried back into boy clothes and rushed out as fast as possible. I trashed the clothes that moment in the nearest dumpster and drove off as fast as I could out of there. This made visiting my Aunt Marilyn and Uncle Roger that much more awkward with that fresh in my mind. Of course I couldn’t mention the cross-dressing but nervously told my story and my adventure across the country. Today I am in El Paso, Texas, visiting my older sister Mary Lynn. Searching for the map, just a second passed, over the rise in the motorway there was stalled traffic. I could only slow the car before impact. The accident left my car broken again, a crushed radiator that needed repairs. No more money, I had to borrow a thousand dollars from Mary. I hate borrowing money, especially from family, the minute I have it I’m repaying her. Tonight we drank together, Mary and her husband Mike, and a few of their friends from the military, and damn did I need it. Think it was the first time I tried Crown and Seven, but I really liked it. We had a fun time, got caught up on the latest, and just joked around, it was a good time. Tomorrow is a long 19-hour drive back to Kansas City. This journey left me defeated and victorious at the same time. But I can’t help thinking I lost more than I gained. I have bills to pay, the real world demanded satisfaction, and I would have to wait.
4984 Days Ago It took every bit of 20 hours driving to get back to Kansas City. I hoped never to see that house on Drury again. But here I am, a broken and defeated...man? woman? What the fuck was I? My hidden war inside myself is far from over. There were practical matters to settle. My goals now are to get a part-time job, not in engineering but just a job so that I can maintain my life while physically preparing for the military officer candidacy training I wanted to do, and I’ll give myself 8 months to do it. I will run daily, drop weight, and study for exams. Repaying Mary is top on my list, after that I guess I’ll live in Drury until I can’t anymore. Mom and dad are separating, and mom lives in an apartment not far away, while dad stays with his new girlfriend Janet. I don’t know how to feel about this, with everything else going on inside and elsewhere in my life. All I want to do is forget about this whole misadventure. Put away any thoughts of being a woman and focus on enlisting in officer training school.
4744 Days Ago After eight months of preparation, delaying my engineering career, I have been officially disqualified from military service for medical reasons, some given were flat feet and severe near-sightless. My scores were mediocre, and not worth mentioning. This entire time was a waste.
4534 Days Ago After being fired from my first engineering job, it’s clear to me engineering was a wrong path. So I started exploring other options. For about three months I had been volunteering at St. Luke’s Hospital emergency room. I want to give nursing a try, so this week I’m applying for nursing college. My new friends are cool, we talk often and I feel like I’m appreciated here.
4224 Days Ago Months ago I applied for work at the city of Kansas City as a codes inspector. After my last interview, I got the call and accepted the job. My goal of going to nursing school ran short as money again was too tight, even still living in that dreadful house on Drury. The house is being sold soon, so I would have to move and be on my own for the first time. I’m taking an apartment on Wyoming Street in Westport.
3509 Days Ago Vietnam has become my new favorite country. Traveling the with my friend from work, his name is Ha, and his family was a blast. This is a book in itself, but briefly we traveled from the Mekong Delta to Hanoi and many places in between, including the mountain town of Da Lat and the seaside town of Hoi An. We spent three weeks in Vietnam. (In case you’re wondering, Ha is married, straight as far as I know, but his wife couldn’t go so I was his “other wife” lol, promise it wasn’t gay, much).
3328 Days Ago Long had it been since I even though about those times, the darker times where my head was messed up and I was so confused about my life and something as fundamental as my gender. It was wonderful, I could just forget. I lived in my house on 14th Street for about five years now, and I was not alone, mom moved in with me. Still, I had hoped to fall in love and marry and start a family here, but I’m 35 years old now. In many ways, much of my life had slipped me by. I thought I could ‘forget’, but that’s just it, I can’t ‘forget’ if the war is constantly on my mind. It was the real reason my relationships failed all my life, the internal struggle that everyone else seemed to see except me. Because of this, my failure to transition, waiting until after all my hair has fallen out and I had hid myself away in drink and video games until I was severely obese, that I hit bottom. This summer I started reading literature, works of all kinds from Russian to British. One of the authors was Virginia Wolfe, and her book “Orlando”. I had no idea what it was about, unusual as I mostly read cliffs notes before diving in. It seemed boring at first, a 16th century nobleman on his journeys. Then on one adventure, half way through the book, he is magically transformed into a woman, and continues her quest as Lady Orlando. I threw the book across the room. All of a sudden, all those memories of my struggles resurfaced, and I realized my feelings was not a new phenomenon, this book was written in the early 20th century. It was a tidal wave of emotions. I deny all of it, this is not me. Is it?
2689 Days Ago My mom and sister moved out a year ago and now I find myself alone. Every day I get off the bus from work, and cry while walking to the house. I am trapped by an upside down house mortgage, a job I hate, a town I’m forced to live in completely alone, and now trapped in my own body that has become old, fat, bald and apparently trans. In my house there is a .385 Magnum revolver I had previously purchased from a gentleman I meet on some enchanted evening in the ghetto. The revolver is loaded with one round. Inside a cold, dark house, more alone than at any other time in my life and completely surrounded by darkness, and completely trapped inside. I demonized the world outside and locked myself inside, no clarity about how to get out of the situation. I am caught in a web, in a cage. There is only one way out, right? Play the Game, spin the wheel. I lift the heavy cold steel to the back of my head, aiming for the brain stem to be sure I don’t survive my injuries. Pull the trigger mechanism. In the silence of a cold dark house, the sound of an empty revolver hammer against my skull remains to this day the loudest sound I have ever heard. Wide-eyed terror, I laid the gun on the dinning table. Long had it lain there, as a stared at it. I took it apart, the round was the next one, gathered its parts and rounds, and threw it into the Missouri River. This concludes my second attempt to end my life.
To this day I never touched another firearm, and never will again.
577 Days Ago Eight rounds in the cold of night. It had been a week since the first shooting, a near miss involving the neighbor’s kids who were being shot at by a rival gang drive by. No one then was killed, their kid was injured. I found rounds landed in the bed I was just moments before inside and called the police. That is the first rule of the hood; keep your business to yourself. They came back tonight. Eight rounds into the Honda Civic, one ended up in my bed feet from where I was laying asleep. I fled to Dad’s house. This is the last night I would spend here. To top it all off, I got a job offer in plans review, and if you asked me just a few months earlier before all this I would have took the job gladly. Instead, pacing in dad’s basement alone all night, decided against the job.
This is the third time I should be dead.
325 Days Ago It’s a bright sunny September Day. Work was done early so I returned the work car to the parking garage, to its usual spot on the 8th floor. It suddenly got dark, not an ordinary mid-day cloud cover but a darkness I can barely describe, like a strange night suddenly descended on me. It became hard to breath, and I sat out at the back of the SUV for a long time. All I could see was six feet around me, and the parapet wall some ten paces from me. My thoughts suddenly went to that parapet. How easy it would be hop on, how easy it would be to stand on the ledge, how easy would it be to let gravity finally do the work for me. It was a panic attack, an uncontrolled incident that nearly cost me my life. Someone walked by while sitting at the car and startled me, again an angel snapped me out of it. Dad’s words from earlier last week rang in my ears, “I think you should be happy, I think everyone has a right to be happy”. This was my third attempt, and my fourth time I should be dead. No more. Tonight I reached out to a therapist, I know now I need help. After years of denial, the fact that I’m trans is undeniable. My time has come to finally try to put a handle on this. It didn’t go away when I was 8, it didn’t go away when I was 20, nor at 26 nor at 30 nor at 35 nor at 38; this was going to haunt me until I end up mad or dead. My time has come to stop swinging from a spiral and become the woman I am inside.
57 Days Ago Ten months of running trails and therapy, over 100 pounds of weight lost. Delaying for three months while waiting for the fertility clinic to open after Covid-19 had been mitigated enough to reopen. Turned out to be another waste of time because I am not fertile, and probably could never have had children. Sad but now anxious to start, I finally got my medication for estrogen and anti-androgens. After decades of dreaming, I gave myself my first injection of estrogen on 27th of June, 2020. I am 43 years and 8 months old. My life is just beginning.
My name is Claire Joy, you see me, it’s good to be here with you.
Present day, Sunday, Aug 23, 2020
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2020.09.08 07:32 fractalfay So You Saw It, You Just Chose Not to Believe It: Recap of Happily Ever After, S05E13

Welcome to another recap of Happily Ever After, the most ironically named show in television history. I’m racing against rolling brownouts to upload this, so without further ado:
Kalani is really overwhelmed by having to raise two babies and one man-child with only the support of her parents, and feels the recently completed trip from hell makes a solid case for a hasty divorce. After accepting a baked good I desperately need to know more about, Kalani opens up to her mother, Lisa, and says that she thinks Asuelu thought that once he was stateside he’d “put her in her place,” as soon as he was done bemoaning the fate of his boohole.
Kalani’s wise mother is ready with some truth bombs, and yes, I would like her to host the tell-all. Lisa states that she thinks Asuelu played her daughter, and came to America pretending to be something he never intended to be. Still, Kalani really wants to be able to say she did all she could before she surrenders, so she once again approaches Asuelu about therapy. He’s concerned about being subject to the clucking of “white people” who don’t understand his culture, and thinks a Samoan man might better understand the ways part-time free sample peddling allows for thousand dollar family handouts.
“No,” Father Kalani interjects.
Kalani reminds Asuelu that they’re in Utah, where most people are distantly related or married to each other, so they’re probably going to end up with a white person. She agrees to find a translator that is better than Deavan’s Random Insult Generator to help Asuelu speak his mind.
He seems confused that Kalani sees this relationship as a world of shit, because he can even disappear overnight, prompting a flight cancellation, so what’s the problem? Asuelu also only required 24 hours away from Kalani to rewrite the narrative to one where the entire family rift was caused by Kalani going to talk to his family without him — never mind that he already knew where she was going. Then he explains that, as evidenced by his family, they don’t have therapists in Samoa, and the “couples and the crazy people in the village” are expected to talk to the pastor about things, then take a number for exorcism. All this is communicated while wearing a backwards hat, which really screams “man of the house”.
“You’re just lazy,” Azan has come out of hiding to spread his truth.
In the therapist’s office the doc prods the couple about their first meeting, and Asuelu says that they met at the resort where he was working, and from the first day thought she was beautiful. “The girls here they look bigger but the age is young,” Asuelu explains, while Kalani assures the therapist that this is a compliment. Shortly after said affection, Asuelu trots out the tried and true “the man is the head, the woman is the neck” thing they apparently have on napkin rings somewhere in sexism.
“I know this one,” Yazan is ready. “I will translate, for Asuelu only. The man has the brains and the woman owes him money.”
“Right,” Asuelu is on board.
“No.” Father Kalani, just here to help.
Asuelu explains that he feels like less of a man because he can’t give his family money, but feels fine about not actually making any. Kalani reminds him that he agreed to equality before he boarded a plane. The therapist is hoping to get Kalani and Asuelu to better understand the expectations they have for one another, and so he gives them some homework for each of them to map what jobs they assign their partner and themselves. Asuelu hastily writes “everything” and “nothing” on a piece of paper, and reports that this exercise was easy.
On the way home Asuelu decides this brief discussion about their problems is a great opportunity to bring up that Kalani needs to get along with his family and not write them off. Kalani says she’ll try, but doesn’t know how possible that is, considering how they treat her. He perceives Kalani’s family as intrusive, possibly because they live with them, but doesn’t have any suggestions for living independently without income. Kalani is uncertain as to why this is his therapy takeaway, but Asuelu feels very manly now.
Colt can’t believe Jess is yelling at him for sending evidence of his acorn dick to eight different women…that she knows about. Clearly this is a sign that she’s out of control, but he figures he’ll put off calling the police until he tells her about Vanessa. Colt then drops the bomb that Vanessa has moved in, while his “I’m feeling myself” eyebrows dance around his head, revealing how few fucks he truly has to give. Thankfully, Jess is on to his bullshit, and is not about to be bullied into reconsidering her own keen observations.
“You play with my face,” Jess declares. Colt says he’s not in love with Vanessa (yet) and that he hasn’t had sex with her (lately/yet/probably a lie anyway). Jess reminds him that he’s just obsessed with the narrative where he’s a “good boy” or as other folks might describe it, a raging narcissist.
“I don’t know where he got that from,” Debbie doesn’t say, as she hovers in the doorway, waiting for the opportunity to blame Jess for her part in Colt lying to her constantly. After she loudly makes her presence known, because of course she does, Debbie searches through her compassion reference manual for a kind gesture, and goes with an empty hug that I imagine smells like moth balls and Mrs. Dash. Jess still petitions for Debbie’s humanity, and says she wants her to think about how she might feel, and Debbie still isn’t comfortable with the reality of other people. After Debbie’s done inserting herself, Colt asks her to go upstairs, so he can lie to Jess some more. Colt goes in for an awkward, poorly acted hug that inspires everyone within 200 miles to shower.
“I done Colt, I so tired,” Jess calls it quits. “Colt trash man, not man enough.” This needs to be on a T-shirt or coffee mug immediately. As Jess leaves, Colt starts theatrically drinking, to mime the emotions he suspects you’re supposed to have here, and if his acting doesn’t improve he’s going to be reassigned to Libby’s storyline.
Jess plans a meet-cute with Larissa, and sparks fly. This means that not only are Colt and Jess donezo, but we don’t have to endure Erik’s bad acting this episode. Larissa meets up with Jess, and if my gaydar isn’t misfiring, we finally we have a bisexual couple, and yes I would watch them next season. Jess tells Larissa she broke up with Colt, and thinks Colt used her. She explains that Colt was all promises, and Larissa suggests he wants to be a pimp without the winning fashion accessories. Then Jess mentions Vanessa, and it turns out Larissa has her own Vanessa story, where Vanessa bought Colt a groupon so some unfortunate body worker can “help him relax”. Then Jess reports she launched a shoe cannon at Colt, so they laugh, joke about his dick size, and someone should have BINGO! On their Girl Power Cliché card.
Larissa calls Debbie an “old wolf” because she believes in accuracy in reporting, but her wisdom doesn’t stop there. “You are beautiful, sweet, have big boobies, and money. What are you doing later?” Larissa has questions. Jess says the problem is Colt, but Jess is happy to have a new friend with the good sense to notice her ample cleavage. Larissa thinks it was a blessing that she interfered and spared Jess greater pain later on, and they shake hands and it’s hotter than Erika and Stephanie’s entire relationship.
“I’m very happy to know Colt is sad and lonely,” Larissa smiles her way into a character sketch for Room 104.
Speaking of Room 104, Abusive Angela is ready for circus combat in her best Rainbow Brite attire, and has paused being angry with Michael long enough to come up with another reason to be angry. Michael interrupts her predictable rant about what she “can’t do” and how “done” she is with news that her flowers, which don’t look like actual flowers, have arrived. This prompts Angela to cry some more that her family can’t be there, and she lets it slip that they’re having a second wedding, which makes this reaction ridiculous, and we’ve officially learned of her plans to squeeze out another season.
“I’m not usually an emotional person,” Angela lies, fully unaware that rage is an emotion. She then unfurls her latest reaction to a minor event, that no translator in the world could decipher for a therapist. She’s not asking for much; just a light imprisonment. “It’s that simple,” she insists. No it isn’t. Michael just nods his latest round of concessions, handing her cigarettes and hoping that, like bees, she’s soothed by smoke.
Angela reminds Michael yet again that he’s not supposed to acknowledge the existence of other women, let along acknowledge the bouncing ass a few feet from his face. Look Angela, in this COVID-19 era, ass is all we have. Thanks to the booty-skimming shorts trend, we can even observe unexpected ass in the grocery store. This trend embraces a wide variety of asses, from homegrown bubble butts to the short-shorts unicorn: elderly man ass. When we fail to notice ass twerking out an SOS on Michael’s behalf, we are lost as a nation.
Later on Angela threatens to stop smoking long enough to get married, and I’m not sure she can make it through an entire vow exchange. Angela is full of anxiety, like any blushing 54 year-old bride, and Michael is happy and excited for some reason. He tries to get Angie to stop focusing on the people not in attendance, and start noticing who is there.
“I’m doing this for the cake,” Angela clarifies, and this is the second T-shirt that needs to happen.
Angela smokes around the bridal suite, while a hairdresser tries to figure out WTF to do with Angela’s head, and the dude is instantly lost, burning her with a curling iron and walking back and forth with hair extensions that might still be alive. Eventually he surrenders and opts for a simple bun, with the hair shellacked up the sides to stay in place. Angela reports there’s something unfortunate about the bra she’s wearing, but I don’t hear what, so I’m going to assume she means it doesn’t have enough pockets.
Michael puts on one of the excellent suits Angela selected, and gets ready to greet her. His friends arrive with congratulations, and they make one last attempt to talk Michael out of it. Michael assures them that everything is fine, and this is what he wants. Besides, he farted in her face this morning, which is the best comeback he’s had in three seasons.
Libby is working on her acting, but the supporting cast she’s chosen gives her nothing to work with, and I have notes. Charlie and Andrei are ready to talk about their dicks by stopping at street side punching bags to ejaculate pure testosterone. They admire each other’s vague threat/air punch, flex flex. Then Libby and Jen Barbie all over it, giggling and twirling their hair, and yelling that they hate mud and are afraid of math.
DUI Jen has gone all this time without interrogating Andrei about something from his past, but shall stand for it no longer. Andrei essentially says the same thing Marcel told them, and Jen struggles to understand police corruption, since all the cops that gave her tickets for DUIs were really straight laced. It’s possible that Andrei did a thing or six before retiring as a cop, as part of his conditions for being let go, but that’s not exactly a family conversation.
Libby wants the truth, and feels betrayed, because she allows her family to dictate her emotions. “I mean, we’re getting married tomorrow,” declares Libby, who is already married.
Andrei says he buried his past because he didn’t want to lose her. He says it’s a corrupt place, he didn’t want to be part of it, he left, and left Moldova to avoid the scorn of the wealthy criminals he didn’t feel like covering for. Libby goes on some more about the dangers of lies, and skips the part about allowing her family to dictate her emotions.
Syngin’s family is still recovering from chronic Tania exposure. They were rattled by their mess of a relationship and all the fighting, and Syngin’s mother reports she was a little bit hurt by having their meal fully hijacked by a rehashing of their many dramas. They go out to a place called Good News, to see its powers can best Tania. Syngin’s father is ready to unfurl his scroll of patronizing advice, but not before announcing that they saw “the real you” last night, and this is not an an endorsement.
Still, Tania is not one to be redirected to another topic of conversation.“From the very beginning I was serious,” says the woman who needed to urgently attend to Costa Rica before they were 90 days deep, for reasons.
“If it gets to the point where you’re arguing more than you love, that’s a bad sign,” Father Syngin says. Syngin and Tania are quiet, because they’re already there.
Then they go to meet Syngin’s friends Andrew and James, and it’s a crutch day for Tania. Andrew can’t resist saying that he’s shocked to see her, probably because he expected them to be divorced by now. They ask how the family braai went, and, unable to resist the opportunity to unload her relationship grievances, starts popping off about red flags. James is ready with the truth bombs as he says, “So you saw it, you just chose not to believe it.” This is T-shirt/coffee mug #3.
Tania insists he’s not changing fast enough, so Andrew defends Syngin and says in the ten years of their friendship, he’s watched Syngin evolve. Unfortunately, Tania insists that two years is a long time, which makes me wonder how long she was with that “soulmate” of hers. They suggest that maybe she should spend a little less time trying to control other people.
“I’m not a control freak. I just need Syngin to have the exact same goals I have (for him), and to do it on my timeline, so I can be a housewife. I mean, what do you think I got that herbalist training for?”
“You want to change him,” they state the obvious.
“I don’t want to change him,” Tania says. “I just want him to be completely different.”
James suggests that maybe Tania should try to live in the present a bit more, which is not part of that plan she’s always referencing. “I threw out my plans when I met Syngin,” she announces. “Maybe because my plan was to meet Syngin.”
Paul needs a job, and he’s looking for a more theatrical way to pretend to try to get one. He has this whole family thing he can use to make transparent bids for mercy, and he intends to use it. So he returns to poop water passion project for another ring around the toilet. Before you go worrying that he’s really just scouting places to stash her body, keep in mind that Paul is never that organized, and Paul thinks that if you run fast in camo no one can see you.
Waste water worker Barry is giving his first tour, because that’s the only way to get Paul to stop pressing his face against the glass. Karine would rather have Brazil’s water and not deal with Paul’s very own bullshit. After a thorough tour of the poop plaza, Paul launches into his woes about how he’s having a hard time finding a job, with that classic Paul beggar charm. The sewage worker has already filed a restraining order, and gently reminds Paul that he’s in violation of it right now.
“(Fill in the blank) is much harder than I anticipated,” Paul Paul’s, as he still hasn’t realized that “difficult” doesn’t mean he can’t do it. Giving up and going back to Brazil was not Paul’s plan; the plan was giving up and moving in with his mom.
“See, Paul has a plan,” Karine sniffles.
Are there really any questions about why Paul is perpetually unemployed? This case was made when they were still in Brazil, and his efforts included going door to door to say, “Hello? English? No English? No English for you to me? El job? El job-o have for me-o? No job-o? Yes job-o? Do you want me to leave? Do you want me to leave? Do you want me to leave? No, don’t call the policia…”
NEXT WEEK! Libby and Andrei’s second wedding happens and Charlie wrestles with his feelings for Andrei, Paul overpacks and can’t find the passports underneath the plasma packs and STD tests, Larissa readies for multiple plastic surgeries, and Mother Kalani comes into a meeting with Asuelu’s mom packing heat with, “they are supposed to fight to make you happy?” before she pours Tammy a cool cup of shut-the-fuck-up to go. This is the confrontation we’ve been waiting for, and there will be blood for all of us to drink up.
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2020.09.08 06:30 fractalfay So You Saw It, You Just Chose Not to Believe It: Recap of Happily Ever After, S05E13

Welcome to another recap of Happily Ever After, the most ironically named show in television history. I’m racing against rolling brownouts to upload this, so without further ado:
Kalani is really overwhelmed by having to raise two babies and one man-child with only the support of her parents, and feels the recently completed trip from hell makes a solid case for a hasty divorce. After accepting a baked good I desperately need to know more about, Kalani opens up to her mother, Lisa, and says that she thinks Asuelu thought that once he was stateside he’d “put her in her place,” as soon as he was done bemoaning the fate of his boohole.
Kalani’s wise mother is ready with some truth bombs, and yes, I would like her to host the tell-all. Lisa states that she thinks Asuelu played her daughter, and came to America pretending to be something he never intended to be. Still, Kalani really wants to be able to say she did all she could before she surrenders, so she once again approaches Asuelu about therapy. He’s concerned about being subject to the clucking of “white people” who don’t understand his culture, and thinks a Samoan man might better understand the ways part-time free sample peddling allows for thousand dollar family handouts.
“No,” Father Kalani interjects.
Kalani reminds Asuelu that they’re in Utah, where most people are distantly related or married to each other, so they’re probably going to end up with a white person. She agrees to find a translator that is better than Deavan’s Random Insult Generator to help Asuelu speak his mind.
He seems confused that Kalani sees this relationship as a world of shit, because he can even disappear overnight, prompting a flight cancellation, so what’s the problem? Asuelu also only required 24 hours away from Kalani to rewrite the narrative to one where the entire family rift was caused by Kalani going to talk to his family without him — never mind that he already knew where she was going. Then he explains that, as evidenced by his family, they don’t have therapists in Samoa, and the “couples and the crazy people in the village” are expected to talk to the pastor about things, then take a number for exorcism. All this is communicated while wearing a backwards hat, which really screams “man of the house”.
“You’re just lazy,” Azan has come out of hiding to spread his truth.
In the therapist’s office the doc prods the couple about their first meeting, and Asuelu says that they met at the resort where he was working, and from the first day thought she was beautiful. “The girls here they look bigger but the age is young,” Asuelu explains, while Kalani assures the therapist that this is a compliment. Shortly after said affection, Asuelu trots out the tried and true “the man is the head, the woman is the neck” thing they apparently have on napkin rings somewhere in sexism.
“I know this one,” Yazan is ready. “I will translate, for Asuelu only. The man has the brains and the woman owes him money.”
“Right,” Asuelu is on board.
“No.” Father Kalani, just here to help.
Asuelu explains that he feels like less of a man because he can’t give his family money, but feels fine about not actually making any. Kalani reminds him that he agreed to equality before he boarded a plane. The therapist is hoping to get Kalani and Asuelu to better understand the expectations they have for one another, and so he gives them some homework for each of them to map what jobs they assign their partner and themselves. Asuelu hastily writes “everything” and “nothing” on a piece of paper, and reports that this exercise was easy.
On the way home Asuelu decides this brief discussion about their problems is a great opportunity to bring up that Kalani needs to get along with his family and not write them off. Kalani says she’ll try, but doesn’t know how possible that is, considering how they treat her. He perceives Kalani’s family as intrusive, possibly because they live with them, but doesn’t have any suggestions for living independently without income. Kalani is uncertain as to why this is his therapy takeaway, but Asuelu feels very manly now.
Colt can’t believe Jess is yelling at him for sending evidence of his acorn dick to eight different women…that she knows about. Clearly this is a sign that she’s out of control, but he figures he’ll put off calling the police until he tells her about Vanessa. Colt then drops the bomb that Vanessa has moved in, while his “I’m feeling myself” eyebrows dance around his head, revealing how few fucks he truly has to give. Thankfully, Jess is on to his bullshit, and is not about to be bullied into reconsidering her own keen observations.
“You play with my face,” Jess declares. Colt says he’s not in love with Vanessa (yet) and that he hasn’t had sex with her (lately/yet/probably a lie anyway). Jess reminds him that he’s just obsessed with the narrative where he’s a “good boy” or as other folks might describe it, a raging narcissist.
“I don’t know where he got that from,” Debbie doesn’t say, as she hovers in the doorway, waiting for the opportunity to blame Jess for her part in Colt lying to her constantly. After she loudly makes her presence known, because of course she does, Debbie searches through her compassion reference manual for a kind gesture, and goes with an empty hug that I imagine smells like moth balls and Mrs. Dash. Jess still petitions for Debbie’s humanity, and says she wants her to think about how she might feel, and Debbie still isn’t comfortable with the reality of other people. After Debbie’s done inserting herself, Colt asks her to go upstairs, so he can lie to Jess some more. Colt goes in for an awkward, poorly acted hug that inspires everyone within 200 miles to shower.
“I done Colt, I so tired,” Jess calls it quits. “Colt trash man, not man enough.” This needs to be on a T-shirt or coffee mug immediately. As Jess leaves, Colt starts theatrically drinking, to mime the emotions he suspects you’re supposed to have here, and if his acting doesn’t improve he’s going to be reassigned to Libby’s storyline.
Jess plans a meet-cute with Larissa, and sparks fly. This means that not only are Colt and Jess donezo, but we don’t have to endure Erik’s bad acting this episode. Larissa meets up with Jess, and if my gaydar isn’t misfiring, we finally we have a bisexual couple, and yes I would watch them next season. Jess tells Larissa she broke up with Colt, and thinks Colt used her. She explains that Colt was all promises, and Larissa suggests he wants to be a pimp without the winning fashion accessories. Then Jess mentions Vanessa, and it turns out Larissa has her own Vanessa story, where Vanessa bought Colt a groupon so some unfortunate body worker can “help him relax”. Then Jess reports she launched a shoe cannon at Colt, so they laugh, joke about his dick size, and someone should have BINGO! On their Girl Power Cliché card.
Larissa calls Debbie an “old wolf” because she believes in accuracy in reporting, but her wisdom doesn’t stop there. “You are beautiful, sweet, have big boobies, and money. What are you doing later?” Larissa has questions. Jess says the problem is Colt, but Jess is happy to have a new friend with the good sense to notice her ample cleavage. Larissa thinks it was a blessing that she interfered and spared Jess greater pain later on, and they shake hands and it’s hotter than Erika and Stephanie’s entire relationship.
“I’m very happy to know Colt is sad and lonely,” Larissa smiles her way into a character sketch for Room 104.
Speaking of Room 104, Abusive Angela is ready for circus combat in her best Rainbow Brite attire, and has paused being angry with Michael long enough to come up with another reason to be angry. Michael interrupts her predictable rant about what she “can’t do” and how “done” she is with news that her flowers, which don’t look like actual flowers, have arrived. This prompts Angela to cry some more that her family can’t be there, and she lets it slip that they’re having a second wedding, which makes this reaction ridiculous, and we’ve officially learned of her plans to squeeze out another season.
“I’m not usually an emotional person,” Angela lies, fully unaware that rage is an emotion. She then unfurls her latest reaction to a minor event, that no translator in the world could decipher for a therapist. She’s not asking for much; just a light imprisonment. “It’s that simple,” she insists. No it isn’t. Michael just nods his latest round of concessions, handing her cigarettes and hoping that, like bees, she’s soothed by smoke.
Angela reminds Michael yet again that he’s not supposed to acknowledge the existence of other women, let along acknowledge the bouncing ass a few feet from his face. Look Angela, in this COVID-19 era, ass is all we have. Thanks to the booty-skimming shorts trend, we can even observe unexpected ass in the grocery store. This trend embraces a wide variety of asses, from homegrown bubble butts to the short-shorts unicorn: elderly man ass. When we fail to notice ass twerking out an SOS on Michael’s behalf, we are lost as a nation.
Later on Angela threatens to stop smoking long enough to get married, and I’m not sure she can make it through an entire vow exchange. Angela is full of anxiety, like any blushing 54 year-old bride, and Michael is happy and excited for some reason. He tries to get Angie to stop focusing on the people not in attendance, and start noticing who is there.
“I’m doing this for the cake,” Angela clarifies, and this is the second T-shirt that needs to happen.
Angela smokes around the bridal suite, while a hairdresser tries to figure out WTF to do with Angela’s head, and the dude is instantly lost, burning her with a curling iron and walking back and forth with hair extensions that might still be alive. Eventually he surrenders and opts for a simple bun, with the hair shellacked up the sides to stay in place. Angela reports there’s something unfortunate about the bra she’s wearing, but I don’t hear what, so I’m going to assume she means it doesn’t have enough pockets.
Michael puts on one of the excellent suits Angela selected, and gets ready to greet her. His friends arrive with congratulations, and they make one last attempt to talk Michael out of it. Michael assures them that everything is fine, and this is what he wants. Besides, he farted in her face this morning, which is the best comeback he’s had in three seasons.
Libby is working on her acting, but the supporting cast she’s chosen gives her nothing to work with, and I have notes. Charlie and Andrei are ready to talk about their dicks by stopping at street side punching bags to ejaculate pure testosterone. They admire each other’s vague threat/air punch, flex flex. Then Libby and Jen Barbie all over it, giggling and twirling their hair, and yelling that they hate mud and are afraid of math.
DUI Jen has gone all this time without interrogating Andrei about something from his past, but shall stand for it no longer. Andrei essentially says the same thing Marcel told them, and Jen struggles to understand police corruption, since all the cops that gave her tickets for DUIs were really straight laced. It’s possible that Andrei did a thing or six before retiring as a cop, as part of his conditions for being let go, but that’s not exactly a family conversation.
Libby wants the truth, and feels betrayed, because she allows her family to dictate her emotions. “I mean, we’re getting married tomorrow,” declares Libby, who is already married.
Andrei says he buried his past because he didn’t want to lose her. He says it’s a corrupt place, he didn’t want to be part of it, he left, and left Moldova to avoid the scorn of the wealthy criminals he didn’t feel like covering for. Libby goes on some more about the dangers of lies, and skips the part about allowing her family to dictate her emotions.
Syngin’s family is still recovering from chronic Tania exposure. They were rattled by their mess of a relationship and all the fighting, and Syngin’s mother reports she was a little bit hurt by having their meal fully hijacked by a rehashing of their many dramas. They go out to a place called Good News, to see its powers can best Tania. Syngin’s father is ready to unfurl his scroll of patronizing advice, but not before announcing that they saw “the real you” last night, and this is not an an endorsement.
Still, Tania is not one to be redirected to another topic of conversation.“From the very beginning I was serious,” says the woman who needed to urgently attend to Costa Rica before they were 90 days deep, for reasons.
“If it gets to the point where you’re arguing more than you love, that’s a bad sign,” Father Syngin says. Syngin and Tania are quiet, because they’re already there.
Then they go to meet Syngin’s friends Andrew and James, and it’s a crutch day for Tania. Andrew can’t resist saying that he’s shocked to see her, probably because he expected them to be divorced by now. They ask how the family braai went, and, unable to resist the opportunity to unload her relationship grievances, starts popping off about red flags. James is ready with the truth bombs as he says, “So you saw it, you just chose not to believe it.” This is T-shirt/coffee mug #3.
Tania insists he’s not changing fast enough, so Andrew defends Syngin and says in the ten years of their friendship, he’s watched Syngin evolve. Unfortunately, Tania insists that two years is a long time, which makes me wonder how long she was with that “soulmate” of hers. They suggest that maybe she should spend a little less time trying to control other people.
“I’m not a control freak. I just need Syngin to have the exact same goals I have (for him), and to do it on my timeline, so I can be a housewife. I mean, what do you think I got that herbalist training for?”
“You want to change him,” they state the obvious.
“I don’t want to change him,” Tania says. “I just want him to be completely different.”
James suggests that maybe Tania should try to live in the present a bit more, which is not part of that plan she’s always referencing. “I threw out my plans when I met Syngin,” she announces. “Maybe because my plan was to meet Syngin.”
Paul needs a job, and he’s looking for a more theatrical way to pretend to try to get one. He has this whole family thing he can use to make transparent bids for mercy, and he intends to use it. So he returns to poop water passion project for another ring around the toilet. Before you go worrying that he’s really just scouting places to stash her body, keep in mind that Paul is never that organized, and Paul thinks that if you run fast in camo no one can see you.
Waste water worker Barry is giving his first tour, because that’s the only way to get Paul to stop pressing his face against the glass. Karine would rather have Brazil’s water and not deal with Paul’s very own bullshit. After a thorough tour of the poop plaza, Paul launches into his woes about how he’s having a hard time finding a job, with that classic Paul beggar charm. The sewage worker has already filed a restraining order, and gently reminds Paul that he’s in violation of it right now.
“(Fill in the blank) is much harder than I anticipated,” Paul Paul’s, as he still hasn’t realized that “difficult” doesn’t mean he can’t do it. Giving up and going back to Brazil was not Paul’s plan; the plan was giving up and moving in with his mom.
“See, Paul has a plan,” Karine sniffles.
Are there really any questions about why Paul is perpetually unemployed? This case was made when they were still in Brazil, and his efforts included going door to door to say, “Hello? English? No English? No English for you to me? El job? El job-o have for me-o? No job-o? Yes job-o? Do you want me to leave? Do you want me to leave? Do you want me to leave? No, don’t call the policia…”
NEXT WEEK! Libby and Andrei’s second wedding happens and Charlie wrestles with his feelings for Andrei, Paul overpacks and can’t find the passports underneath the plasma packs and STD tests, Larissa readies for multiple plastic surgeries, and Mother Kalani comes into a meeting with Asuelu’s mom packing heat with, “they are supposed to fight to make you happy?” before she pours Tammy a cool cup of shut-the-fuck-up to go. This is the confrontation we’ve been waiting for, and there will be blood for all of us to drink up.
submitted by fractalfay to 90dayfianceuncensored [link] [comments]


2020.09.04 07:43 iLoveGushers- My friend is a child/adolescent counselor and today she told me that 90% of her clients are Mormon families with sexual abuse within the family.

Today I was talking with my good friend (also exmo) about the ups and downs of her job as a licensed child/adolescent counselor. She mentioned that she regularly makes calls to CPS, and curious, I asked what were her most common reasons for having to call. She said that she mainly calls for sex abuse, (sad) and that a good 90% or more of those cases are within Mormon families. She said that the predators are usually a family member (I think that’s normal in sex abuse cases) like the dad or the uncle. We live in Mesa, Arizona, which is heavily populated by Mormon families but nothing like Utah so I’m a bit shocked at that staggering statistic considering the numbers here... 6.5% of the population here are Mormon, and she’s telling me that 90% of her clients are Mormon teenage girls being sexually abused by a priesthood holder. I knew that there was a lot of abuse within the church but this... I’m sick. This needs to be brought to light. I’m happy that the Boy Scouts of America are being exposed for the sex abuse, but I don’t know that anybody is talking about this, or if they are, I haven’t heard it.
submitted by iLoveGushers- to exmormon [link] [comments]


2020.08.03 00:48 Taxi_Dancer MUFFINS part 2/ conclusion)

“Thank God for the California governor,” thought Wilroy Jackson as he stretched out on a chair in the back room of the largest sports clothing store on the ground floor plaza. He put his feet up on the desk, taking a drag on a joint. “Yeah, thank you governor and thank you Coronavirus.”
Two months ago, he had been caught lifting merchandise out of a high end department store in a part of the city where protestors were setting businesses on fire and he hit some mother and her child with his car when he tried to escape. It wasn’t his fault, though. If the cops hadn’t been chasing him, he would have been more careful.
Fortunately, bleeding heart Hollywood social justice warrior types had raised enough in criminal defense funds that Jackson was able to hire Lewis Phagas. Phagas was able to get the looting charges against Jackson dropped and all of the more serious homicide charges were reduced to involuntary manslaughter. Yeah, Jackson still had to do a little time, but that was better than doing life. But even that sentence was commuted when the governor of the great state of California released thousands of non-violent offenders back out into the streets for fear of spreading Covid-19. Jackson was loving life. Thank God for social justice warriors.
Jackson’s girlfriend was an assistant manager of this fine purveyor of high class athletic clothing and shoes and she had secreted him into the manager’s office shortly before closing time and had given him her access card. All he’d have to do is to chill out until about nine o’clock when the building was empty, then take the stairs to the first floor where the store’s stock room was the first one on the left. He’d have to be quick to get in. Janice should have left a cart for him there and all he’d have to do is load up the merch and get out of there. The only danger was that the security room was on the other end of the same floor. But, if the guard was actually awake and paying attention, Jackson would be out the back long before some dumb ass, low end, rent-a-cop could stop him.
Chaz was a bleach blonde young man working at the third floor debt collection company. He was relatively new, having only been hired six months ago, but he had already won two monthly cash awards for collecting the most money for two of the six months he’d worked for the Domestic Economic Management Solutions company, or DEMS for short. On his second month with the company, he recovered over $42,000 on dollars and on his fifth month, he had recovered nearly $53,000. Chaz decided to work a little late tonight, as the end of the month was only a week away and he was in the running to win the monthly cash award again from the DEMS. The only way to get ahead in the DEMS employ was to successfully redistribute that wealth, and Chaz was quickly proving that he represented the best that the DEMS had to offer. He was alone in the cubicle city which, during normal business hours, employed hundreds of debt collectors. Rosa and Rita, the young twin Latina cleaning crew girls, came into the large office lugging behind them vacuums and a cleaning cart. Chaz gave them a friendly wave and a big smile.
“Working late again tonight, Senior Chaz?” said Rosa or Rita, Chaz could never tell them apart.
“Of course, ladies,” he said. “Gotta’ make that money!”
He turned his attention back to the computer inside his cubicle, speaking into his headset. “Look, Mr. Wallace. You already told me that your business was set on fire during the peaceful protests and the bank is going to foreclose on your home, but that has nothing to do with me. Your first priority is to pay off your debts. How hard is that to understand?”
While MS-13 was one of the largest, if not the largest Hispanic drug cartels operating in Los Angeles, they were far from the only one. There were others, like the Los Zetas. Carlo hid just inside the stairwell on the second floor, waiting for Manuel to finish cleaning the offices in the law firm. It took Carlo a few weeks to figure it out, but somehow old, innocent, hard working Manuel was employed as a mule for MS-13, dropping off kilos of coke usually at the piers or dockside. Carlo didn’t know where old Manuel was getting his stuff, but he knew that if he could intercept Manuel and take his stuff before he made another drop, Carlo would make a name for himself with the Los Zetas. Carlo peeked around the corner of the stair well, watching Manuel pass the glass door towards the elevator. He’d give Manuel a few minutes to get to the parking garage, then Carlo would follow.
After a few minutes, Carlo opened the door and stepped into the hallway, looking towards the elevators to his right. Suddenly, a loud crash caused him to jerk his head to the left. A tall, pale, elderly white man wearing a tan suit was thrown through the glass doors of the law firm. His body flew across the hallway and slammed against the reinforced windows which overlooked the plaza. The body slumped down on the ground, but to Carlo’s horror the elderly man got to his knees, clutching a hole in his abdomen where his guts used to be. The man reached forwards toward Carlo with bloody hands and pleading eyes before slumping down, unmoving in a puddle of his own gore.
Carlo bit down on his fist, too shocked to move, when something emerged from the law offices. It regarded the dead Phagas lying on the hallway floor then suddenly looked up, noticing Carlo. Carlo gasped, and then turned, running towards the elevator doors. Hearing the thuds of heavy steps looming closely behind him, Carlo ignored the elevators and instead ran down the hallway, taking a quick right and running past the gynecologist office to a set of double doors on the left. Quickly scanning his access card, he threw open the glass doors and ran inside. Praying that running up the stairs instead of down would slow down his massive pursuer, he took the steps two at a time headed to the third floor. His heart sank when he heard the glass shatter behind him and the thudding of footsteps following him upwards.
Rounding a corner which gave him a split second to look down, Carlo screamed. Although the narrow stairwell was only just wide enough for the monstrosity to navigate, it was actually gaining on Carlo as it bounded up the stairs. Carlo scrambled up to the third floor landing, access card in hand and threw open the door. But before he could step through, a crushing weight came down on Carlo, splintering his spine and upper back and pulverizing his heart and lungs. Blood shot out of his mouth and eyes. Carlo’s body kept quivering, long after he had died.
“Rosa! Rita! Whichever one of you is making all that noise, would you please stop? I’m trying to have a convo here!”
The monstrosity turned to the direction of the noise. Sniffing the air, it stalked down a wide hallway towards an open gallery of hundreds of cubicles, completely forgetting the broken form of Carlo. Chaz was seated in one of the cubicles along a long wall made entirely of glass which faced the hallway. His back was to the entrance to the gallery from the hallway and he was talking loudly into his head set and animatedly waving his arms.
“Look, Miss Thomas,” he said sternly. “Again, I heard you that you lost your job due to the pandemic!” Chaz had given up on Mr. Wallace, the deadbeat who blamed his lack of good business skills on the peaceful protestors. Chaz thought it might have been better if Mr. Wallace had burned down along with his business.
“Yes, Miss Thomas,” continued Chaz. “I realize that you are living out of your car, but you have to put your priorities in perspective. If you don’t pay off this debt that you owe, the DEMS will have no choice but to pursue litigation. Look, Miss Thomas, here is my suggestion. You can sell your car, and use the money to quickly pay off your debt! Then with the money that you have left over, you can get your kids something nice to eat at a McDonald’s!”
Chaz was so close to taking the daily lead. Collecting debts was a highly competitive dog-eat-dog game and Chaz played to win. He just needed this bitch to bite. He’d intended this to be his last call of the night and his blood was up for this kill, so much so that Chaz didn’t notice the horrid thing creeping up slowly behind him. “Miss Thomas, I’m trying to put food in your children’s belly but all you’re saying is that you want to force the DEMS into suing you! Is that correct, Miss Thomas? Am I hearing that you want your kids to starve because your priorities are all jacked up?”
Miss Shaquina Thomas, mother of three children aged 2, 3, and 6, where living in their 2002 Mazda Hatchback on a ghetto corner of Kansas City, Missouri. She had been laid off from her job at the IHOP when the pandemic hit and was reduced to working odd jobs here and there. It barely fed the children and put gas in the car, but it was the best she could do for now. Then this person called from the debt collection agency. She tried to explain that she was doing the very best that she could, but the man just wouldn’t listen and she began to cry over the phone. Miss Shaquina Thomas suddenly heard what sounded like a shriek followed by a large crunching noise over the phone before the battery went dead.
Rosa and Rita had just about completed mopping half of the hardwood floors out in the hallway and were returning to the maintenance closet to dump the dirty water and refill their rolling mop buckets with fresh water and pine cleaner. As they passed the gallery of cubicles, they were met with a sight of blood and gore as something which should not exist was feasting on the annoying young white man who always made snide comments to them behind their backs. Either Rosa or Rita screamed, Chaz would never have known which, and the horror looked up. In two bounds it crashed into the glass wall which divided the gallery from the hallway, but the reinforced glass held. Rosa and Rita abandoned their mop buckets and raced down the hallway as the monstrosity launched itself at the cracked glass again.
Turning right at the end of the hallway, Rosa and Rita screamed as they saw the smashed shell of what was left of their co-worker Carlo blocking the stairway going down. They screamed again as they heard the glass partition behind them shatter, followed by thudding feet following close behind. Running halfway down the hallway, Rita stopped at the elevators, frantically pressing the down button. The monstrosity turned the corner just as the elevator doors opened.
Rita pushed Rosa inside the elevator then jumped in herself just as the black monstrosity leapt. Rita was screaming, frantically pushing the ‘door close’ button, but the doors were slow to respond as the thing crouched outside and made to burst into the cramped elevator space. Suddenly, Rosa and Rita each pulled out a small .380 handgun from holsters which were strapped around their ankles underneath their grey work pants and began firing at the horror just outside the doors. As the doors finally started to close, and the elevator began to descend, the twin Mexican cleaning girls yelled at their tormentor, “Los Zetas, bitches!”
Though confused at what had just occurred, as it was not used to prey escaping, the monstrosity sniffed the air around the elevator doors then turned to the stairwell. Once again stomping on poor Carlo’s body as it passed, the unearthly hunter bounded down the steps, eager to catch up to its prey.
Wilroy Jackson checked his watch and, seeing that it was past 9 o’clock, knew that it was time to get the show on the road. Using the pass card that his girlfriend gave him, he opened the door to the back room which led to the private stairs up to the first floor. Once there, he peaked out the window of the door to make sure that the coast was clear. Then he looked up to the ceiling and spotted the surveillance camera. Jackson had dressed all in white. White sweats. White hoodie. White sneakers. White gloves. When he saw that the coast was clear, he put on a white mask and pulled the hoodie over his head. This wasn’t Jackson’s first rodeo, and he knew that it was difficult to identify suspects who dressed head to foot in white, especially with the low resolution camera’s which most security companies used.
In less than three seconds, Jackson was out the stairwell door, turned right, swiped the access card and was inside the treasure room that was storage room of the sporting goods store. As promised, Jessica had left a push cart for him just inside the door which he immediately began to stack with boxes of Air Jordans, Nike Air and Adidas sneakers, each pair of sneakers costing several thousand dollars each. In less than a minute, Jackson had about twenty pairs of sneakers stuffed into the sturdy plastic cart and soon he burst out of the storage room.
Pushing the cart in front of him, Jackson turned left and raced down the hallway. If the security guard was on his game, Jackson figured that he had a one minute head start on the rent-a-cop. At the end of the corridor, he pushed the cart to the right and continued down the adjoining corner running past the maintenance closet, the water meter regulator closet, an electrical room, and another store stock room. He just had to get past the break room and the stairs on the right and reach the service door at the end of the corridor on the left which led to the parking garage.
Once outside, all he’d have to do is take an immediate right and squeeze himself and the cart between a retaining wall and a concrete pillar and push out from behind the bushes surrounding the first level garage area which then led to the side walk with Flower Street on his right. Just up the street, Jessica had parked the van which they had stolen to make their escape south to get on the Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Highway and freedom. Jackson had just passed the break room. The door to the parking garage was just twenty feet to his left when the stairwell doors to his right exploded outwards. Jackson was thrown against the wall opposite along with about $100,000 dollars worth of high end sneakers. He slumped to the ground and, before he could recover from the shock, felt an incredible pain below his waist, accompanied by a loud crunching sound. Confused, Jackson turned over and pulled himself as far along the ground as his arms could take him, wondering why his legs weren’t working. He died not realizing the entire lower half of his body was missing.
The thing bowed its head, nudging the corpse and sniffing. Suddenly, lifting its head, it froze. It took a deep breath then jerked around and raced down in the direction that Jackson had come from. The horror turned the corner and stopped as it began to stalk the corridor past the break room to its left. Near the end of the corridor, the thing saw a door that was propped open by a sliding chair.
“What?” Bradford awoke with a start, momentarily confused as his world was covered by a suffocating filter of haze grey. He reached up and pulled Schmidt’s newspaper away from his face as he stood up abruptly. He looked at the clock on the wall, showing that it was past 9 o’clock. He’d been asleep for over an hour. He cursed, trying to calm himself down. What could have happened in an hour? Bradford sat back down to view the monitors and was horrified at what he saw.
Monitor 19 showed a man’s ripped corpse bloodying the entrance to the second floor parking garage. Monitor 26 showed the disemboweled body of a thin, older man wearing a tan suit sprawled out on the main hallway of the second floor. Monitor 41 showed someone that looked like one of the cleaning crew guys that Bradford saw earlier, crushed and mangled in the stairwell on the third floor, while what looked to be the remains of one of the office workers was lying in the debt collections gallery on Monitor 42.
Bradford stared unbelieving, throat dry, and eyes wide as he continued to scan the monitors. He knew that he had to call for help, but what would he say? His fingers were too frozen to move, anyway. He scanned the first floor monitors, the floor he was on, and saw two young women dressed in cleaning crew uniforms, running out of the parking garage, both pointing handguns behind then as they ran. Panning to monitor 42, Bradford gulped dryly as he saw the gory half eaten body of a young man lying in the hallway surrounded by piles of bloody sneakers.
Wait, that was just around the corner! Oh my God. That means that…
A hot breath enveloped Bradford from behind, followed by the stench of blood and uncooked flesh. Bradford turned on his chair and came face to face with a terrifying beast of nightmares. The thing stood over him, with a mass like that of a bull, only much larger. It stood on four legs, with its muscular front legs standing seven feet high at the muscular shoulders and ending in massive paws at least a foot and a half across. Its shoulders were as wide as its legs, at least seven feet across and it supported a head that seemed almost too big for the rest of its body. The head resembled that of a bulldog, but four feet wide, with a flat snout and a wide nose, but with an oversized mouth that extended as if on unhinged jaws that revealed dagger-like teeth about three inches long. It had two massive horns which protruded from its temples like a bull and they hung over wide spaced eyes which glowed a fiery deep red.
The body tapered towards the rear and ended at a long, muscular tail. The tail itself ended in a spike which seemed as strong as steel which scraped, sparked and gouged as it waved around the room, randomly smacking into objects and the ground.
Bradford leaned so far back in his seat that it almost fell over. Resting his right arm behind him on the desk to steady himself, Bradford raised his left hand up protectively across his face…
… and smacked the monstrous black beast across its fanged muzzle.
The beast yelped in surprise then turned, fleeing towards the far corner of the room with its tail between its legs. Reaching the corner, the beast turned facing Bradford and flopped down on the floor, plopping its massive horned head down and covering it with both of its massive front legs. Its flaming red eyes peered out from underneath its paws, whimpering pitifully.
“Muffins!” yelled Bradford, standing up and pointing an accusing finger at the hellish beast. “What did you do?” The beast yelped again and covered its eyes as Bradford stormed over to it. The beast kicked its rear legs, trying to back its rear end further into the corner, as if trying to make itself as small and inconspicuous as possible. Still hiding its head under its paws, the beast shivered as it panted and licked its mouth.
Bradford stared down at his poor little friend hunkered in the corner, all shaking and confused. He tried to be angry, but how could he be angry at the little girl? She was just a pup, for goodness sakes, and hellhounds are known to be especially hungry when they are growing pups. Bradford thought back to the cross country journey which eventually led him here to Los Angeles. He had picked up his pale blue, windowless panel van from New Jersey from where he began his drive to his grandparent’s farm in Ohio. It had cost him a pretty penny to ship it from Scotland, and he had managed to get a flat tire somewhere in Pennsylvania in the middle of the night. While he was changing to the spare, Muffins somehow got out of the van and ended up in a restricted US Army training area where the military were conducting some kind of night time land navigation for Cavalry Scout trainees. Fortunately, Bradford was able to attract Muffins back to the van before she ate one of the soldiers, although the local papers did print a short blurb about one of the Army scout trainees being tracked by a Bigfoot. A Bigfoot? Really? Though Muffins had been known to get up on her hind legs to sniff around, no one could mistake her for a Bigfoot. Bradford laughed when he read the story at a local garage where he got his tire replaced. If Muffins really wanted to eat that soldier, she would have found him. What a big mess that would have been!
Once in Ohio, Bradford stayed for about a year with his grandfather and grandmother on their farm in Jefferson. It was one of those communities where most of your neighbors were farmers and homesteads were separated by vast tracks of rolling foothills. Bradford’s grandparents owned a large enough farm and had an expansive enough plot of land in their rural and quaint farming community that a neighbor missing an occasional chicken of goat or hunting dog didn’t raise much of a concern. Muffins was practically just a newborn back then and she only stood as tall as a great dane. Plus, her coat was still a pale grey with streaks of darker grey along her flanks, instead of the pitch black fur that it is today.
It wasn’t until a few weeks ago, when the remains of the runaway Smith girl was found on the outskirts of his grandparent’s property that they got suspicious. The Smith girl went to the Jefferson Area High School and her parents had grounded her when they found out that she was dating the Schuman boy. She ran away two weeks ago and her bloodied clothing and shoes was all that were found on a lonely stretch of road which ran parallel to the eastern boundary of grandpa’s land which led to Mill Creek. Soon after the police investigators left, Bradford’s grandpa began asking questions which Bradford had no good answers for. Why haven’t they seen Scooter, their pet basset hound, for the past week? Why were cows and pigs going missing at their neighbor Winslett’s farm? Most of all, after only a year of living on the farm in, why was Bradford’s dog so big that it was now a full two heads taller than Molasses, grandpa’s Ohio State Fair Blue Ribbon award winning giant steer? And what were those two pointy things growing out of Muffin’s forehead, anyway?
Bradford thought he was doing his grandparent’s a favor by releasing Muffin at night to hunt beyond the boundaries of their farmland, but apparently that would not be a viable solution any more. That night, Bradford went to the ATM in town and cleared out his bank account. He put his clothes in an army surplus duffle bag, before whistling for Muffins and stuffing her in the back of his old but trusty windowless van. Obediently, she climbed in, the van’s rear shocks squeaking in protest. Seeing as Muffins barely had the shoulder room to move, Bradford resolved that, when he could afford it, he’d purchase a bigger van, perhaps even a bus.
They drove south for the rest of the night across the state. After crossing the Ohio border, they stopped in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, where Bradford got a cheap motel room on the outskirts of the city next to a truck stop. The taste of the skinny, crack addicted prostitute that Bradford picked up at the truck stop didn’t agree with Muffins, and she spit out the body parts, licking her butt to get rid of the poisoned taste. Muffins gave Bradford an annoyed look, but he just held up his hands and shrugged. They left Pittsburg right before evening and continued driving south, and the unfortunate residents of a mobile home located on a lonely stretch of land in the mountains satisfied Muffins for a while as they crossed into West Virginia.
They had travelled south through Skyline Drive and the Shenandoah Valley where Bradford allowed Muffins to get out and stretch her legs. Only a lone camper went missing that weekend who probably wouldn’t be found for a long time after Bradford and Muffins had left West Virginia. Westwards they drove, through Kentucky, southern Illinois, and Missouri, Bradford avoiding as many of the major populated towns and cities as he could. In Kansas, Muffins managed to wrangle down a heifer on a lonely field in the middle of the night. She didn’t eat again until Utah, when early one morning Bradford happened to spy a portly, middle aged fisherman pushing a small boat out into the Provo River for a little pre-dawn fishing.
That was, what? Seven days ago?
Bradford put his palm up to his face, kicking himself.
“Oh, Muffins. I’m sorry! I didn’t realize that it had been so long since you had last eaten. No wonder you were so hungry tonight!” Muffins tilted her head, staring at Bradford and whimpering.
“Come on, girl, let’s get out of here. But first,” Bradford walked to the black table, ejecting all of the DVR’s which had been recording the day’s events. Muffins eyed him curiously, wondering if she was still in trouble.
“Here girl,” said Bradford, tossing the DVR’s at the hellhound. Muffins leaped up, easily catching the discs in her mouth. She chomped down on them as if they were crunchy doggy treats, then, with a confused look on her face, spit the broken and chewed plastic pieces out and began licking her butt. Those tasteless crunchy treats weren’t yummy at all. She looked at Bradford, confused.
Bradford picked up the newspaper he was reading earlier before he dozed off. In bold black letters, the headlines of the Los Angeles Times blazed a story about how rioters and looters in Portland, Oregon, were being snatched up by men wearing uniforms and badges and being dragged into unmarked vans. Bradford smiled down at his security guard uniform and badge.
“Well,” he thought to himself. “Here’s a bunch of folks that no one will miss.”
“Come on girl,” said Bradford snapping his fingers and whistling. “Do you want to go on a road trip? Do you want to go to Portland? Come on, girl!”
Muffins jumped up and down excitedly, happy that all seemed to have been forgiven. Her mouth flopped open and her tongue wagged as slobber and spittle flew everywhere. The heavy thuds of her excited bouncing knocked monitors off the walls and toppled computers on to the floor, while her horns accidently dug huge gouges into the walls. Bradford laughed, grabbing Muffins by her scruff and hugging her, saying, “Who’s a good girl? Who’s a good girl?”
End
submitted by Taxi_Dancer to DrCreepensVault [link] [comments]


2020.07.27 22:22 colle201 Trailblazer Troop Connections

Hi, I am starting a Trailblazer troop here in the Girl Scouts of Utah Council. I am looking to connect with other Trailblazer troops across the country.
We are in our early planning phases and would love to hear what others are doing with this program. What successes you have had and any insight you could provide?
Thanks!
submitted by colle201 to girlscouts [link] [comments]


2020.07.08 04:15 audibodi01 Crazy ex holding my snake hostage

Hi this is my first post and I’m using Mobile so sorry if this is messed up.
I’m 18(F) Ex is 18(m) mom and dad (47) bf’s ex 16
In 2019 my now ex added me on snap chat around July. We started talking in August he was in a dangerous foster care situation five states away from me. His foster Dad’s had been abusing him. He went to my school my sophomore year note we are now both graduated. Part of the class of 2020. We decided we would have a long distance relationship and at the height of the drama five days after his adoption and one day after his 18th birthday CPS and case workers were called and all children were removed from their custody. My dad paid $500 for a greyhound ticket to get him here. Everything looked like it would be great. Once he arrived he quickly showed that he was not over his ex girlfriend. He would constantly send her I love you texts whilst sitting next to me. Pick fights try and pull my nails off yank on my belly button ring. Now note I’m not skinny but I’m also not very big I danced and played soccer until I was 14 and have kept most of that muscle. However I’ve always had a bit of stomach flab ever since I can remember. He would constantly pinch it tell me I was over weight tell me I stank (I did not he just didn’t like me) and at this point he had come to live in my basement instead of the toxic situation at his mothers house. This was around Christmas, and my whole extended family had even gotten together to buy his younger half siblings Christmas presents as his mother couldn’t afford it and had already given them gifts. There were at least 10 small gifts for each child including clothes and toys that they could not have had any other way. He was thankful and nice enough about this. As time went on nothing got better he lied to his ex about me said I was a 24 year old cougar and asked me if he could fake a relationship get engaged to her and ditch her at the alter. Now not only is that not messed up it was not his true plan. Note I have bipolar 1 disorder so I’m manic most of the time however I have seasonal depression and am miserable all winter long. The state I am in had snow year this last winter so that just shows our winters are not great. Ex would constantly start fights call me a bitch yet again ask me if I wanted to get hit. He actually gave me a bloody nose and claims it was an accident but there is no way this could be true. I also have a picture for proof. He would tell me he swore he would never hit a woman but I made him want to. I was not the nicest but I was always sweet until he said something like this and I would become upset in return telling him to stop acting like a dick and asking why he couldn’t just be nice to me. This went on for a few months. Eventually his ex girlfriend started to date one of his old foster brothers my exes best friend. He became livid wanted to hurt/kill them all and claimed he would ejaculate on this girls grave. I was terrified and he decided to take a lot of his anger out on me. He didn’t hit me but he was verbally abusive. I was so depressed to the point where I could not make it to school on time. I had a nail technician class in the morning in the state I am in you can participate in trade school as a high school class and receive the hours and the credit. I love nails and am happy to say I will soon be a licensed technician. These classes were the highlight of my day. I would constantly find myself sleeping through them in my car or crying having such bad anxiety that I would not be able to attend. In March I became suicidal and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for a med change and a safe place to be away from my ex as we did not know what happened and he had already bullied me to the point of severe suicide ideation. This was the week school was canceled the perfect opportunity for him to leave and live with an extended family member right? Wrong the only family member he could’ve gone to was a high risk for covid 19. My parents also weren’t fully aware of the situation and wanted to help the kid graduate high school. The disrespect and toxicity continued into April. I have a particularly hard time with this month. I can not make this up I went missing when I was 15 more than anybody will ever need to know about me. I would link the news article or my missing person picture in here but I don’t need anyone knowing my personal information. There is a week in April where my PTSD gets so bad that my 18 year old self has to sleep in my parents room and take anxiety meds to the point where I am so sedated I can not even walk. My ex lived in our basement at this time and was upset I wasnt giving him attention. Now we have a hunting rifle in our basement storage room. However all three of my siblings including myself the youngest being 11 have been shooting and are very aware of gun safety since I went missing. This my dad’s Eagle Scout hunting rifle. The bullets for this rifle are about two inches long. The bullets for this rifle are not in the basement they are locked in a safe in my mothers closet and to get into her closet you have to punch in a number code to enter. Her and my father are the only ones who know this code. There were bullets for a 22 rifle in this basement however there was no gunpowder and due to the size of the bullets in our basement (two centimeters) the gun would not have been able to fire them even if there was powder. My ex had to dig to find this gun. He had pointed it at me which is not okay. Please note that he though the bullets went to that gun. The gun the bullets went to was not even in our house as my family has gun safes. All my uncles have one concealed carry they keep in their own personal safe while all sport guns are kept separate and bullets are constantly at another family members house to avoid accidents. I knew I was not in danger but he did not. I notified my parents of what was going on but we couldn’t get the gun out of the basement without him losing it. Later in the week I had the worst panic attack of my life. I am not able to breathe when I have panic attacks and I get shaky at this point I was also having flash backs to being locked in a motorhome and night terrors that I was trapped in my kidnappers house again. My ex had started a fight and said if I didn’t go into the basement in the next hour we would be over. This caused my panic attack to escalate to the point that I was crying uncontrollably and my dad had to Cary him into his room and hold me until I calmed down and my mom has to feed me my medication because I was shaking so bad. I didn’t want my ex to be angry so once I had calmed down I slid on my butt down two flights of stairs so I wouldn’t tumble to my death since I couldn’t walk straight. Just for him to give me a hug lay down on the opposite side of the room and play fort night until midnight. The next day he faked a panic attack said he was suicidal and had put a bullet in the gun. Note again the gun would not fire. However he did not know this. I went down (almost fell down five stairs) and grabbed the box of bullets. He had purposefully taken out three little packs to scare me telling me he had hid them in the basement and if I took the bullets he would finish himself off. He blocked me from leaving the room and started screaming at me. I in the state I was in did the best to push past him and go upstairs to my parents room crying. I threw the bullets on their bed and broke down saying I couldn’t do this anymore to take them away and not let him know I had given them to him. We were supposed to go on vacation the next day. He threw a tantrum said he would run out the door to our nearby highway and throw himself into traffic he was texting horrible things and I snuck down the steps to see him just fine playing fortnite. (I don’t play the game idc if I spell it wrong) I want back upstairs and mentioned what was going on to my dad I loudly said I’ll go check on him I walk down the stairs again and hear sniffling and rapid breathing. He is mimicking my panic attack. When he is anxious he gets a stomach ache that can lead to an ulcer he had never done this before. I had to go down and hold him for an hour then again until he fell asleep. All why I’m hallucinating things in the corner and struggling myself. We were supposed to go on vacation the next day I took my meds so I could sleep the whole drive. My mother drove our car down to my grandparents vacation home. I slept all four hours. Once we arrived I laid on the couch fell asleep again. Due to my meds I can’t remember every detail also I’m sorry this has gotten so long I just really needed to get this out. We ended up breaking up. We went boating the next day and again meds made me drowsy as I stepped into the boat I rolled my Macklemore and hit my ankle bone on the corner of one of our wake boards. This ended with me being in a brave for three weeks. If you’ve ever broken a bone you know they can’t cast it for five days. We didn’t want to waste the money so I sat on the couch for the rest of our vacation and would either hop or need to be carried to the bathroom if I needed to pee. Ex would always sit next to me poke my anchor to see if it still hurt and would always carry me to the bathroom before we were broken up. Around this job I applied for and received a job in our unemployment office so I could finally escape. This is my current full time Monday-Friday job until salons open up. He was upset when he found out he couldn’t control me all day every day. For some reason I can’t remember why as I was still medicated we got back together. We have broken up and gotten back together since it’s hard to stay broken up when he’s manipulative and living in my basement. Fast foreword to our graduation in june he was talking about marriage and I had gotten him hired at my work. I’m also religious and believe in the law of chastity however I hadn’t been following all the rules 100% I started the repentance process in my church this was my third try the last three failed because he’d shove his hands and lay on top of me and hump me until I couldn’t really do anything else. This time I agreed to watch him play video games. He was fine at first then started touching my chest and putting his hands down my pants until I was almost crying and gave in again. A few days later after our graduation he had a break down broke up with me and went to live with his aunt because none of his family supported his graduation. This resulted in him losing his job as at this time he had just barely gotten his license and did not own a car. He broke up with me durring this time. He then left his aunts when she became upset at him and moved in with his cousin. They were growing shrooms in their apartment. This was not a safe situation. He constantly called me begging to get back together and threatened suicide. I didn’t want him to go through with it so I agreed to “date him” not be bf and gf just go on dates. That ended with us being back together by the end of the week bad on my part. I know. This was theee weeks ago. Things were going alright the last few weeks he had been very rude very manipulative and unblocked his ex. During this time he sent one of his friends after me on snap chat. I was depressed and liked the positive attention from a boy being nice. My dumb self sent a pic I shouldn’t have I immediately received a message saying you’re fucked. Then Gabe sent a screenshot and said he would put it on his Facebook I immediately break out into tears as we were dating and I was allowed to see other people. I’m 18 I don’t want to get married rn. This was three weeks ago. The week after I will admit I was drinking he ended up cumming in me without my consent four times. Bottom line this is rape. I bought a four year old male albino ball python we had talked about possibly living together in the future so because of my moms deathly fear of snakes it lives with my ex. I spent $400 on this snake and called it his snake maybe twice. It is mine it just lives with him. The next week I met up with an old friend I ended up cheating this part is all my fault I take full accountability there is no excuse for cheating. I couldn’t let ex find out. This last weekend I stayed over ther for the Fourth of July saturday was great Sunday I was on snap chat he ripped my phone out of my hands and saw the messages again this is my fault. However when I go to get my phone back he grabs my neck and pushes me away I fall off balance and stick my arm out so I don’t fall over he thought I punched him in in tears and terrified at this point and I just keep trying to get my phone he keeps grabbing me by my throat shoving me agains the wall he picked me up by my neck and threw me on the couch I just wanted to leave I beg for my phone and he throws the snake at me six feet across the room yes Clyde(the snake named after the yellow ghost from pack man) is okay I caught him and immediately ran out the door I had nail extensions on my ex had hit them and I now have blood pockets under my nails along with some bruising on my neck and chest you can’t see it but it hurts to touch. I ran out of there got in my car he followed me I’m hysterically screaming that he hurt me and to leave him alone I got in my car and left without my phone. I eventually had to turn around because Clyde wouldn’t hold still and now I wish I wouldn’t have. My snake got under my seat and I was abiut an hours drive away from home I didn’t want Clyde to get hurt or him to cause an accident so I turned around and tried to get my phone back. And just so everyone’s clear I threatened to press charges against him for everything that had happened. When I made it back to his house he had screen shotred every message I had sent to any male in my snap chat and posted it on his Facebook. He took bavk my snake and is now refusing to give him back because I guess the one text I sent is considered legal documentation in utah. I am not sure if this he also called my dad said I had smoked weed and drank which I will fully admit I did however it was always with ex. Told my dad I thought I was pregnant which five tests later I am not and also told him I was on sugar daddy websites. Which frankly I was not. I need to know if I can press charges and I need to know what the odds of getting my poor snake back are. Ik this is messed up but I’m more worried about my snake than anything else. Can I still press charges because him cumming in me without consent counts as sexual assault because yes I agreed to sex with him but i told him use a condom I even provided him. I didn’t know until last weekend. This happened two weeks ago. That is rape. I do not want a kid. He’s threatened to chop Clyde up and I don’t want anything happening to him I’m sorry this was so long but I’m honestly at a loss. Does anybody have any advice? Again this is my first post ever and idk where to put this I hope I came to the right spot.
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2020.07.04 14:49 AnathemaMaranatha Wolf ---- [RePOST]

A re-post for the 4th of July, a day when we put aside all our differences, if we can, and remember we are all Americans. The things that unite us are deeper, stronger than the things that divide us. You just have to dig a little sometimes. Story time:
There is a wolf shelter not far from us. You can go meet the wolves. It’s an interesting experience. Our domestic dogs are deliberately kept in a juvenile mindset - those who grow out of it are culled out of the dog species. Even hunting dogs are teen-stupid - they must look like giant, insane babies to wolves and wild dogs - noisy, reckless and unhinged, willing to endure a life-ending injury for no profit at all, willing to track and attack anything, even things that are not edible, even things that will kill them.
A mature wolf is an adult. Look in a wolf’s eyes - there is a profound intelligence there. They are, like us, a loping predator, but much better at it than we ever were. Unlike us, they think the hunt is about lunch. Unlike us, they do not believe in unprofitable violence. They are not interested in the prospect of a fair fight - they seek the weak and wounded. Unlike us, this intelligent predator, along with orcas, has evaluated us as non-food, possibly dangerous, surely crazy.
Yet we project the very things that wolves find craziest about us back on them - we name military units after them, we have our cub scouts wear pictures of wolves on their uniforms, we imagine a wolf that would never survive in the wild, noble, spiritual, totemic, feral. We misunderstand them and ourselves. This is a war story about misunderstanding.
After the Fall
Bernard Fall died in 1967 while observing the 4th US Marines of 3 Mar Div conduct a sweep of the Street Without Joy. Fall was the author of La Rue Sans Joie , the authoritative book on the French War in Vietnam. I tried to read it before I came in country, but it was too remote in time for me, lost in old hostilities and causes that I knew nothing about. There was a clash of empire and culture that I didn’t understand. I couldn’t make sense out of what the participants were up to.
So I guess it was ironic that I found myself in the same place 7 years after Fall described the road leading northwest out of Hué, paralleling Highway 1 on the east as “La Rue Sans Joie.” It was as he described, a series of villages, bamboo woods and rice paddies thick with good cover, from where the Viet Minh had ambushed French forces moving along Highway 1. East of the Rue were sand dunes and fishing villages. As you got up toward Quang Tri the dunes came inland about four to five clicks, rising to a ridge maybe 200 feet high parallel with the coast of the South China Sea. Along the top of the dunes in a kind of forest of feathery conifers were fishing villages.
About halfway between Hué and Quang Tri, there was a road that cut off to the northeast at right angles to Highway 1 all the way across the Rue and to the South China Sea, where on the shore was a firebase known as Utah Beach. That was the home of the Armored Cavalry scout battalion of the 9th ID. The rest of their division was 500 miles south, in the Delta. No idea why they were all the way up here.
But they were away from home, and Division support. A bunch of people from Bravo Troop got some kind of tropical fever, including their Commanding Officer (CO) and artillery Forward Observer. My South Vietnamese Army (ARVNs) unit was taking some garrison time, so I was volunteered. I was maybe a month away from being a 1st Lieutenant.
Rue with a Difference
So was the Bravo Troop commander. He was one of two remaining officers, but a West Pointer, and one captain’s misfortune could mean career-advancing command time for a young LT. He was eager to make the remainder of his troop work. He was glad to see me.
That wasn’t a universal sentiment. I never did figure out how the troop was divided up. They were in M113 armored personnel carriers, four or five men to a track. We had tanks, M48 Pattons, which occasionally would show up as we passed by Utah Beach, only to break down again and disappear. We had between 15 and 20 tracks (the sand made for a high breakdown rate) armed with .50 cal machine gun turrets and a couple of M60 machine guns on each side. We operated more like a reinforced platoon than a troop. The CO would subdivide the troop more or less randomly, depending on the situation.
Sergeant Wolf was officially - I’m guessing - both the 3rd Platoon Leader and the Platoon Sergeant. He might as well have been the company First Sergeant too. He seemed to fill that slot. He was not sure about me. I wasn’t even in the 9th ID. He didn’t trust ARVNs, and he didn’t trust people who worked with ARVNs.
That lasted a couple of days, until one of our squads poked its way into a treeline behind a paddy dike, and got backed out again by Rocket-propelled Grenade (RPG) fire and at least one 12.7mm machine gun. The squad joined the rest of us back at the far end of the rice paddy, and the CO decided it was our duty to go see what those boys didn’t want us to see. I had already called up a battery of 105mm howitzers, and I was working the treeline. Trouble was that our right flank on the line of advance was also a paddy dike and bamboo thickets. I didn’t like it.
So I check-fired the battery I had, but made them stay lined up on target, called up another battery, adjusted it in on the flanking paddy dike and dropped a battery one of High Explosive rounds as close to the tracks as was reasonable. In the meantime, the CO had gotten the troop’s tracks on line, and started to move across the rice paddy to where the fire had come from. I walked the battery on our right flank ahead of us as we went, just to shake up anyone hiding there.
I remember this fire mission so well because it was fun and easy. I could see everything. There were visible location markers on the ground - church steeples and buildings that were actually on the map. Anyway it went well. The troop assaulted the tree line. Nobody was there. No sign of anyone. Aw. My introduction to the tunnels and bunkers of the Rue.
Leader of the Pack
But not everyone was disappointed. Sergeant Wolf had also been worried about the right flank. He commented in the after-action brief that he had never seen better artillery support. I told him I would let the batteries know he liked it.
And from that point on, Wolf was okay with me. It wasn’t just that. The whole troop just kind of settled in with me. I wasn’t an outsider any more. I was a member of the pack. Huh. The CO couldn’t manage that. Wolf was my introduction to a senior Sergeant (NCO) in the field. It’s a kind of animal that doesn’t live back behind the wire. He was the first I met, but not the last. They are a rare breed, absolutely the backbone of a fighting unit.
We need to talk about Wolf here. First of all, that was his real name - yeah, no shit. He was a buck sergeant, but I suspect he had lost one or even two rockers not too long ago - he looked like he might be a drinker when he was bored. He was about 30 or so, maybe 5' 10", blond, perpetually sunburnt, kind of pear-shaped. He had an angry/annoyed snarl on his face most of the time, a thin, blond mustache and a perpetual stubble of black beard. He didn’t say much - not to me, anyway - but he was obeyed instantly by the troopers. They utterly trusted him, no backtalk, very little grumbling. Me too.
I’ve written before that there is a certain kind of senior sergeant (NCO) that does not do well in peacetime. Stupid, goofy soldiers who don’t take things seriously just make them angry and sullen, drive them to drink and hot-tempered exchanges with battalion Sergeant-Majors. They are not good teachers in a rear echelon (REMF) environment. But put them in the field, where the young soldiers are intensely interested in anything they have to say, where things seldom have to be said more than once, where things are taken seriously, and these NCOs shine.
Wolf was an alpha-dog. Give him a cigar stub, and maybe a better physique, and you could star him in a comic book. He was in his environment. He was well adapted for it.
Alien Invaders
But he was no diplomat. None of us were. We were assigned to patrol the fishing villes on the dune ridge. These Vietnamese families were subsistence fishermen. They had huts and nets and boats. No radios, no TVs, no idea about Communism or politics or wtf was going on. They were living there on the dunes - generations of them, kids, parents, grandfathers, grandmothers, uncles, aunts.
And here came these people. Young men of every color and race except theirs - huge, hairy, sweaty, funny smelling, loud, grinning, incredibly generous and friendly, insanely dangerous. We had giant clanking machines, and we pretty much looked just like the French. We acted like blowing up one of their houses was nothing. We acted like none of this was real. We had food and drink and clothing that came from nowhere around here. We stomped all over their food and drink and livelihood like they could get more from the same place we got ours, and then acted like what we did was nothing for them to get excited about. We were crazy, and they had to learn to live with that. They did, too.
Hospitality
Our goal that summer was to find the hospital. Battalion Intelligence (S2) assured us that there was a hospital in those dunes. They were absolutely sure. Higher intelligence was sure. The Pentagon was sure. Walter Reed was there under the sand with operating rooms and wards and the whole nine yards. All we had to do was find it.
So we went barging from ville to ville looking for the hospital. We found abandoned North Vietnamese Army (NVA) packs with vials of medicine in them. We found more medical equipment. We even captured some NVA medics. But no hospital.
Finally, the pressure was too much. The Battalion Area of Operation (AO) S2 came out to direct us to the very spot he knew that hospital was. We were waiting for him when he choppered in. He looked around gobstopped. Fishing family hooches. Boats. Nets. Nothing. He was sure - all the interrogations of captured NVA said this is where the hospital was. It had to be here.
My West Point LT walked him through it. “Look around. This is a nice place. White sand, friendly villagers, cool breezes from the sea. If you’re a wounded NVA guy, this would be a good place to get dropped off by your buddies, no? Local girls, good food.” He walked over to a hammock. “Here’s a hospital bed.” He picked up one of the NVA packs and dumped it on the ground. Glass vials and some medical equipment fell out. “Here’s the nurse’s station. Here’s the operating room.” He picked up another pack, “Here’s a doctor’s bag. They’ve got medical units roving around. This is the hospital!”
The S2 wasn’t buying it. Or maybe he was, but he just couldn’t disappoint all those senior officers who were avid to capture the enemy version of Johns Hopkins. Those prisoners were telling the truth. They had been at a hospital. But they were both literally and figuratively speaking a different language than the Americans.
Who's Your Daddy?
So we kept on looking for the hospital. Which meant barging into fishing villes, forcing their patients to go underground, forcing their remaining young men to go into the bush, and the rest of the ville had to endure the company of American jägermonsters.
We’d roll across the sand-dunes, pick a random fishing village, line up and move in ready for bear. We had some attached South Vietnamese interrogators, called “Ruff-puffs” (Regional Forces/Provisional Forces) in case we needed to grill somebody. But we hardly ever did.
Here’s what we found. Women and kids. Old women. Young, pregnant women. Maybe one or two old guys. It was a running joke to point at one of the pregnant village women and ask the old guy, “Where’s the father?” He’d point to himself. He’s the Dad. Uh huh. Point to another girl. “Where’s the father of this one?” Well, guess what, that’s his too. After about twenty minutes we’d all be laughing, the old man included.
But still, big, scary, smelly, armed invaders all over your ville. Kinda edgy. The villagers were all fake smiles and tension.
Sand Doin's
Picture this scene then: A hot, bright day on the low conifers that top the dunes. We’ve just rolled in. No resistance, but the villagers have been careless - there were medical packs dropped here and there. Someone had been here recently. The Ruff-Puffs were talking harshly to the resident old man.
I was plotting fire and getting lunch. Across the white sand stomped Sergeant Wolf. He was hauling a boy, about 10, by one arm. The boy was screaming in protest and dragging his feet. Wolf looked pissed off. He was wearing his helmet, fatigue pants with a pistol. He had no shirt - a totally white, hairy guy about twice the size of Vietnamese male. The kid’s other arm was being held by his mother (or grandmother - hard to tell) who was also being dragged along, even with both her feet planted in the sand. She was screaming too. Behind her, half running, was another old man, pleading the boy’s case in rapid Vietnamese. This procession was headed straight for the Ruff-Puff track.
I was eating C rations. Dinner and a show! I picked up my food and joined the parade.
When grandpa-san and momma-san caught sight of the Ruff-Puff track the wailing and crying and pleading doubled in volume, but Wolf was relentless. He dragged them on.
He dragged them right past the Ruff-Puff track and over to the medical track. He stopped there, turned around, broke Momma’s grip on the boy’s other arm, lifted the boy up, sat him down in the track, lifted the kid's leg in front of our medic’s nose, and pointed to an infected, infested pus blossom on the boy's leg. “Lance that,” he said. “Clean it up.”
Then he glared at momma-san and grandpa-san who were staring at the red-cross on the medic’s bag getting a clue. As soon as he saw they understood what was going on, he turned and stomped over to his track without another word.
One of his track crew gave him a look. “Fuck,” said Wolf. “I got kids. You need to take care of that shit. Can’t just let it fester.”
No one said anything. We were all kind of astonished. I don’t know about anyone else, but I was having difficulty imagining Sergeant Wolf with a kid. Wasn’t possible, was it? Damn.
But y’know, that was the most sane thing I saw that day. Good to see. I like to think that somewhere a pack leader lifted up his muzzle and smelled the air. “They’re capable of producing an adult alpha,” he said to his mate. “There’s hope for them.”
Maybe so. We should get a second opinion from the Killer Whales.
Swan Song
So after all that, it's just a story. Started with SGT Wolf's dragging of that boy. That's the core.
You know how some restaurants will box up your leftovers? The regular ones will box it in styrofoam, but the nice ones will fancy it up, make a paper swan foil pouch or something? It's still just leftovers in there. But it's nicer, too.
Sometimes things that seem different and unrelated reflect back and forth and enhance each other: There was Wolf, acting like a mensch, being a good Dad, in spite of how he looked. There were all these pups around him imprinting on that behavior.
I wanted to show that. It seemed like a good thing in the middle of all the bad misunderstandings, some of them decades old, that littered the Street Without Joy.
Yeah. Some joy - even there. It ain't much, but it's something. I like that memory. I made a paper swan.
submitted by AnathemaMaranatha to MilitaryStories [link] [comments]


2020.07.04 01:38 boo909 The Bear Lake Monster of Utah

The Myth
Many years ago when the Mormons first came to Bear Lake, and began mingling with the Indians, they noticed the Red men always avoided the lake when possible, and became very much alarmed at the whites when they went boating or bathing, on or in the lake. The white people wondered what could be the reason for their fear, so one day they inquired of one of the Indians, who told them the following legend of the Bear Lake monster: It was the custom of their forefathers to go bathing, and fishing in the lake. It sometimes happened, that some of them would not return. In some mysterious way, which the Indians could not understand, they were taken away. One day a large monster was seen to rise out of the water and catch one of the braves, while bathing in the lake. Often after this it was seen by the Indians at different places in the lake. So the story was handed down from their forefathers. Always the Indians remembered the silence, the waiting, the longing for the Indian braves who never returned to their wigwams. True to their memories and the fear of some command given by the chiefs, the Indians never entered the shimmering waters of the lake. Long they watched for the monster’s return and even now feel that when the buffalo return to their old hunting grounds and feed in their old haunts, that the Bear Lake monster in all his fury and strength will return (Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Association, 1917, p271).
The Shoshone explained the presence of the Bear Lake Monster as the result of a forbidden love between a Sioux warrior and lovely Bannock lady (the Bannock are another tribe closely related to the Shoshone) and the subsequent intervention of the Great Spirit.
The Hoax
Joseph C. Rich was a prominent and well respected figure in the early Mormon settlement of Utah, he was a big shot in the Church of Latter Day Saints, an aspiring Journalist and he also had an established reputation as a humorist and prankster. The July 27, 1868 issue of The Deseret News printed Rich’s account of his “research” into the Bear Lake Monster, and a Bear Lake Monster flap ensued.
All lakes, caves and dens have their legendary histories. Tradition loves to throw her magic wand over beautiful dells and lakes and people them with fairies, giants and monsters of various kinds. Bear Lake has also its monster tale to tell, and when I have told it, I will leave you to judge whether or not its merits are merely traditionary. The Indians say there is a monster animal which lives in the Lake that has captured and carried away Indians while in the Lake swimming; but they say it has not been seen by them for many years, not since the buffalo inhabited the valley. They represent it as being of the serpent kind, but having legs about eighteen inches long on which they sometimes crawl out of the water a short distance on the shore. They also say it spurts water upwards out of its mouth. Since the settlement of this valley several persons have reported seeing a huge animal of some kind that they could not describe; but such persons have generally been alone when they saw it, and but little credence have been attached to the matter, and until this summer the “monster question” had about died out. About three weeks ago Mr. S. M. Johnson, who lives on the east side of the lake at a place called South Eden was going to the Round Valley settlement, six miles to the South of this place and when about half way he saw something in the lake which at the time, he thought to be a drowned person. The road being some little distance from the water’s edge he rode to the beach and the waves were running pretty high. He thought it would soon wash into shore. In a few minutes two or three feet of some kind of an animal that he had never seen before were raised out of the water. He did not see the body, only the head and what he supposed to be part of the neck. It had ears or bunches on the side of its head nearly as large as a pint cup. The waves at times would dash over its head, when it would throw water from its mouth or nose. It did not drift landward, but appeared stationary, with the exception of turning its head. Mr. Johnson thought a portion of the body must lie on the bottom of the lake or it would have drifted with the action of the water. This is Mr. Johnson’s version as he told me. The next day an animal of a monster kind was seen near the same place by a man and three women, who said it was swimming when they first saw it. They represented [it] as being very large, and say it swam much faster than a horse could run on land. These recent discoveries again revived the “monster question.” Those who had seen it before brought in their claims anew, and many people began to think the story was not altogether moonshine. On Sunday last as N. C. Davis and Allen Davis, of St. Charles, and Thomas Slight and J. Collings of Paris, with six women, were returning from Fish Haven, when about midway from the latter named place to St. Charles their attention was suddenly attracted to a peculiar motion or wave in the water, about three miles distant. The lake was not rough, only a little disturbed by a light wind. Mr. Slight says he distinctly saw the sides of a very large animal that he would suppose to be not less than ninety feet in length. Mr. Davis don’t think he (Davis) saw any part of the body, but is positive it must have been not less than 40 feet in length, judging by the wave it rolled upon both sides of it as it swam, and the wake it left in the rear. It was going South, and all agreed that it swam with a speed almost incredible to their senses. Mr. Davis says he never saw a locomotive travel faster, and thinks it made a mile a minute, easy. In a few minutes after the discovery of the first, a second one followed in its wake; but it seemed to be much smaller, appearing to Mr. Slight about the size of a horse. A large one, in all, and six small ones had [sic: “hied?”] southward out of sight. One of the large ones before disappearing made a sudden turn to the west, a short distance; then back to its former track. At this turn Mr. Slight says he could distinctly see it was of a brownish color. They could judge somewhat of their speed by observing known distances on the other side of the lake, and all agree that the velocity with which they propelled themselves through the water was astonishing. They represent the waves that rolled up in front and on each side of them as being three feet high from where they stood. This is substantially their statement as they told me. Messrs. Davis and Slight are prominent men, well known in this country, and all of them are reliable persons whose veracity is undoubted. I have no doubt they would be willing to make affidavits to their statement. There you have the monster story so far as completed, but I hope it will be concluded by the capture of one sometime. If so large an animal exists in this altitude and in so small a lake, what could it be? It must be something new under the sun, the scriptural text to the contrary, not withstanding. Is it fish, flesh or serpent, amphibious and fabulous or a great big fish, or what is it? Give it up but have hopes of someday seeing it, if it really exists, and I have no reason to doubt the above statements. Here is an excellent opportunity for some company to bust Barnum on a dicker for the monster, if they can only catch one; already some of our settlers talk of forming a joint stock arrangement and what they can do to the business (J.C.R [presumably Joseph C. Rich], Deseret News, July 27, 1868).
Rich was living on the Idaho side of Bear Lake, which at the time was considered “the Boondocks”, since most of the action was happening in Salt Lake City to the south. Rich was 27 years old in 1868 and in courting a young lady from a prominent Salt Lake City family, who had not consented to marry him as she was a city girl, and didn’t relish the idea of moving to the more rural Bear Lake area. If Rich wanted to get the girl, he needed to put Bear Lake on the map, so to speak. And thus began the era of the Bear Lake Monster hoax. The Millennial Star, the longest continuously published periodical of the Church of Latter Day Saints (1840-1970), published out of Manchester, England, repeatedly mentioned additional sightings of the Bear Lake Monster from 1868 to about 1880.
A common thread ran through the reports, the Rich family were often mentioned. Joseph Rich himself suggested that perhaps the famous P.T. Barnum could try to capture the creature and charge the public for viewing. Rich also made several tongue in cheek statements, saying things like the Monster was “absolutely essential to keep the fish from overrunning the country”.
Rich's scheme seemed to have been successful, he married the girl and she moved to Bear Lake.
In 1870 a new literary movement was afoot in Utah, associated with a periodical called The Keepapitchinin (“A Semi-Occasional Paper, Devoted to Cents, Scents, Sense and Nonsense”), which is generally thought of as one of the earliest humor periodicals in the West. One of the noted contributors listed was Joseph C. Rich (who went by the nickname “Saxey”), by 1870 he was credited as the man who made the Bear Lake Monster.
Distinguished Contributors to Our Columns: Uno Hoo, Tibet Yerlife, By Jingo, Resurgam, Viator, Another Trollop, Saxey–well known as the inventor of the Bear Lake monster (The Keepapitchinin, April 1, 1870, p15)
The Bear Lake Monster became a figure of fun and local humorists ridiculed the notion by concocting interviews with the lake monster.
Bro. Simpkins of Ogden sends a startling account of his interview with the Bear Lake Monster. It seems that Bro. Simpkins had determined to take him dead or alive, and for that purpose went to Bear Lake, a short time since. Being exhausted by his journey, he thought it prudent to rest himself upon its banks, when his slumbers were suddenly disturbed by the appearance of the above head over his prostrate form. In this critical situation, our hero fortunately had sufficient presence of mind to rapidly sketch his portrait. The monster, greatly amused, looked over his shoulder while he was thus engaged, nodding approval now and then; but suddenly, being dissatisfied with some pencil stroke, he snapped at the head of our hero, who sprang into the tree as here represented. Simpkins represents him as decidedly playful when calm; but there is a sinister expression in his countenance when aroused. Simpkins is quite certain that he could have captured him had not he (Simpkins) been taken unawares; as it was, it never happened to occur to his mind. The confusion incident upon a sudden awakening somewhat embarrassed him. He would know better How to go to work next time. He is sorry that his business is in such a condition-that he will be obliged to forego the pleasure of a second attempt. (“Bear Lake Monster – Great Excitement in the Waters of Bear Lake – Big Fish Eating the Little Ones”, The Keepapitchinin, April 1, 1870, p12).
A Modern Day Monster
However, sightings of the Bear Lake Monster by credible witnesses did not end in 1870.
Bear Lake is perhaps preeminent for its mysterious reputation, inasmuch as there is abundant testimony on record—or the formally registered oath, moreover, of men whom I know from personal acquaintance to be incapable of willful untruth—of the actual existence at the present day of an immense aquatic animal of some species as yet unknown to science. Now credulity is both a failing and a virtue—a failing when it arises from ignorance, a virtue when it arises from an intelligent recognition of possibilities. Any ignoramus, for instance, can believe in the existence of the sea-serpent. And Professor Owen, one of the very wisest of living men, is quite ready to accept testimony as to the existence of a monster of hitherto unrecorded dimensions. But while the former will take his monster in any shape it is offered to him, the professor, as he told me himself, will have nothing unless it is a seal or a cuttlefish. In these two directions recent facts as to size go so far beyond previous data that it is within the scientific possibilities that still larger creatures of both species may be some day encountered, and until the end of time, therefore, the limit of size can never be positively said to have been reached. With this preamble, let me say that I believe in the Bear Lake monster, and I have these reasons for the faith that is in me: that the men whose testimony is on record are trustworthy and agree as to their facts, and that their facts point to a very possible monster —in fact, a fresh-water seal or manatee. Driving along the shore of the lake one day, a party surprised the monster basking on the bank. They saw it go into the water with a great splash, and pursued it, one of the party firing at it with a revolver as it swam swiftly out toward the middle of the lake. The trail on the beach was afterward carefully examined, and the evidence of the party placed on record at once. Other men, equally credible, have also seen “the monster,” but, in my opinion, the experience of the one party referred to above sufficiently substantiates the Indian legends, and establishes the existence of this aquatic nonpareil. Let the Smithsonian see to it (Robinson, “Saunterings in Utah”, 1883).
By 1907 more sinister accounts of the Lake Monster had started to emerge
We camped on the eastern shore of Bear Lake just after sundown. After getting our horses tied to a large tree near the water’s edge, and fed, we started to prepare our supper. My partner, Mr. Horne, called my attention to something out in the lake about a half mile. As we watched, it would sink into the water for a second then out again. The lake being perfectly calm we couldn’t account for the strange object, but it came nearer to us and still going down and out of the water. Had it not been for this we would have thought it a gasoline launch or some other vessel. It was now close enough for us to see that it was some water monster. We grabbed our 30-30 rifles and each of us fired at it, but could not see that we hit him, although he turned slightly to the south. Before we had time to fire again he turned towards us. Our horses were now very frightened, one of which broke loose. We stepped back into the trees a few feet and both fired, and my God, for the growl that beast let, then started towards us like a mad elephant. We ran up the hillside a few rods to a slift of rocks and then began to shoot as rapidly as possible. With every shot he seemed to get more strength and growl more devilish. The animal was now so close to shore that we couldn’t see it for the trees. We thought of our horse that was tied to the tree and after reloading our guns we ran down to protect him if possible. Just as we reached our campfire, which was blazing up pretty well, we could see that ugly monster raise his front paw and strike the horse to the ground. Then he turned and started for deep water. In our excitement we began to pour lead at him again, and then with a terrific growl made a terrible swish in the water and sprang toward us. Before we could move he grabbed the horse with his two front paws, opened its monstrous mouth and crashed its teeth into it like a bullterrier would a mouse. After tearing the horse badly he made an awful howl and then was gone, plowing through the water. But the sight I’ll never forget. It seemed to be all head, two large staring eyes as large as a front wagon wheel, nose and mouth like a great largo fish. Its arms seemed to come out on either side of its head where the ears naturally would be. The hind legs were long’ and bent like that of the kangaroo. Then the hind end was like the tip end of a monster fish. We walked to a ranch up the shore, a quarter of a mile and staid till morning. When we went back in the morning we found the animal had come back again in the night and carried the dead horse off. He also broke off trees four and five inches through. Also tore largo holes in the beach, and its tracks were like those of a bear, but measuring three feet long and nearly two feet wide. We could not tell if our bullets would go through his hide or not, but noticed some of them would glance off and hum like they had struck one of his teeth, which always seemed to show. As there was so much blood from the mangled horse, we could not tell whether the beast of the lake was bleeding. Yours respectfully, T. R. MOONEY, FRED HORNE (Letter from Mooney and Horne, The Logan Republican, September 18, 1907).
The sightings continued, a four-year-old claimed to have seen it in 1937, and a Boy Scout leader spoke of seeing it in 1946. The last reported sighting of the monster was in June 2002, when Bear Lake business owner (is it just a coincidence that he owned the Bear Lake Monster Boat, who can say?) Brian Hirschi claims to have seen the monster, skeptics were quick to point out that his recounting of the sighting appeared in a Salt Lake newspaper on Memorial Day weekend — the start of the summer tourist season.
It happened, he insists, one night two years ago as he was anchoring his large pontoon boat — shaped like a sea monster — after a day of ferrying tourists around the 20-mile long, 8-mile wide and 208-foot deep crystal blue lake. After throwing the anchor, he saw "these two humps in the water" about 100 yards from the boat. At first he thought they were lost water skis, but they disappeared. Then, his boat lifted up. "I started to get scared," said Hirschi, who owns five watercraft rental locations around the lake. "The next thing I know, a serpent-like creature shot up out of the water." He said it had "really dark, slimy green skin and deep beet-red eyes." It went back under water and made a sound like a roaring bull before taking off. Hirschi said he hesitated before telling anyone about his experience, fearing they would "think I was crazy or on the lake too much." But eventually he broke his silence. To those who say it's obviously a publicity stunt, Hirschi responds: "Once you've seen the monster, you really don't care what other people say."(Deseret News, August 15th 2004)
The monster has since become a part of local folklore, partly due to sporadic sightings and partly in jest. For years a Bear Lake Monster Boat—a tourist boat shaped to look like a green lake monster—offered a 45-minute scenic cruise of Bear Lake with folklore storytelling.
References and sources
https://esoterx.com/2014/04/10/the-bear-lake-monster-you-can-lead-a-hoax-to-water-but-you-cant-make-it-sink/amp/
https://www.deseret.com/platform/amp/2004/8/15/19844493/monster-sparks-tall-tales
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bear_Lake_monster
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_C._Rich
I can't find any actual direct quotes from Rich admitting to the hoax, though it's generally accepted that he did, if anyone finds any, I'd love to add them to this.
submitted by boo909 to ScienceBehindCryptids [link] [comments]


2020.06.20 10:56 zeldianiac I didn't have a shelf break.

(Content Warning - Depression, Suicide)


I stopped attending at age 17, in 2017. My family is still full of believers, and I have to go to extended family to find anyone who has left the church. And many people believed me to have the strongest testimony of people they knew (all because I could string some fancy words together, and maybe make someone cry).
I didn't leave because of friends. My friends in high school were so called "bad influences" because only 1 of them was Mormon, but none ever pressured me to anything Mormon-Me felt uncomfortable with, and they were all pretty great kids.
I didn't leave because some great truth came to light, or some doctrine changed in front of my eyes. I was oblivious to any changes that happened in my lifetime, the 2006 alteration to the introduction of the BoM for instance. I was raised in rural Utah, where news like that didn't happen often, and when it did it always was filtered through the bishop.
I didn't leave because I was "addicted" to porn like I was lead to believe I was.
I didn't leave because someone else left that I knew.
I didn't leave because I felt lied to or suspected anything was awry. In fact I completely believed for a large portion of my life, wasn't too sure on a few things but I did as any good cult boy can do and I obeyed.
I didn't leave with a hatred in my heart for the scamming, cultist, corporation that I was a part of for so long. I didn't leave with that.
I left... because whatever faith there was slowly died. Maybe subconscious noting of inconsistency? But I felt it. I felt like a black sheep in deacons, teachers, and priests meetings. I hated going to scouts with my ward, to the point it brought me to tears in front of my parents. Even one time for scouts I told my parents that I would "rather kill myself than go to camp" in complete truth, and in tears begging them not to force me to go.
Then it happened.
Ever since the age of 10 I struggled with depression. Not your white-girl-I'm-feeling-sad-depression. I would spend days in my room with lights off, with no drive, desire, or energy to be a child. I spent a lot of time at my computer so I didn't have to talk (and also because video games were one of the few things that brought me joy). At age 10 I first contemplated suicide by dropping an active lawnmower on my head. At age 12 I began to think about a gun. 13 I thought about cutting an artery to make it "look like an accident." At age 15 I became morbidly fascinated with hanging myself.
At age 16 I made my first attempt, a bit of para-cord tied around a bedpost in my room before dinner. I felt the surge of blood in my head, and vision began to fade, before *pop!* the cord broke. In the next year I made vague attempts that were more "Maybe I'll do enough damage to die but I just need to feel" or out of desperation and not knowing what to do or who to talk to.
At age 17 I made another serious attempt. I messaged my goodbyes to the few people I felt would care to notice, my girlfriend, and close few friends (no more than 3). I set up a noose in my closet, closed its door and began preparing myself. Then I set myself in my contraption, and put weight down. Pressure began to build, my vision blurred to darkness.
*knock knock knock* on my door. I stood quickly detaching myself from the rope, and answered to my girlfriend and my closest friend. They both rushed me and hugged me in tears. We sat and talked for a bit, before a knock at my door proved to be my mother, flanked by two officers. One friend called the cops because they were too far away to do anything, and I'm so happy they did. They asked what was going on, and I gave the vague answers that only confirmed what they were told.
After the officers left, knowing I was alive, and after my friends were dismissed by my parents we had a talk. A talk about what happened, what lead to it, and possible fixes to it. I told them how I felt, to a small degree, and that one thing that would help me would not force me to go to church. Almost forgot this was a deconversion story didn'tcha?
My parents accepted. I wasn't going to church anymore. We all knew it wasn't a permanent fix, but it was helping.
Fast forward two and a half years, late 2019. I to this point identified as deistic, believing in something but not sure what. This is when I began to explore the atheist side of youtube, watching channels like Professor Stick, Genetically Modified Skeptic, Telltale Atheist, and finally Dear Mr.Atheist (now under the name Jimmy Snow). These people eventually lead me here with their occasional talks on Mormonism, which I found strange as I believed it to be like any other sect of Christianity.
Boy oh boy was I in for some shit. These talks eventually lead me here, where I found out more and more about this scamming, cultist, corporation that I was raised a part of. And really the rest is history.
I don't hate these people who identify as LDS now. I still don't make a single judgement about them upon learning it. I hate TSCC's influence it has, the statutes it put in place, the legacy it left behind, and the sour taste it left in my mouth. Hate the Church. Not the people.
Thanks for reading the 3am ramblings of a depressed college student. But for those of you who didn't:

tl;dr:
I didn't leave because I found out something, was guided to it or anything like that. I left because factors involving it drove me to suicide multiple times.
submitted by zeldianiac to exmormon [link] [comments]


2020.06.16 09:20 thetoastyninja Looking for some help/guidance/understanding on some complex feelings persisting from a traumatic trip

So first some history back to the beginning of this feeling.
It was because of an extremely powerful trip on mushrooms in the sacred lands of Wasatch National Forest in Utah. Well two trips but you have to start somewhere. And to admittedly, and literally, be a little too floral, I’ll share some details before divulging into the trip. It was autumn. The warm colors in the gamble oaks dappled the landscape of the thumbprint valley. We were staying up in a cabin wedged between two mountains overlooking an ancient and energetic site formerly inhabited by shamanistic American Indian tribes for tens of thousands of years, containing a monumental mound with a well in the center so deep, scuba trainers now use it for certifications. The cabin was tiny, with only enough space for … Shit dude I just realized the think I’ve practiced and prepared for most in my life is writing and speech. I have traveled across many media trying to find a means of expressing myself creatively or scientifically or physically and I would always look first to the skills I had already practiced, but not to the medium I first used to fully speak,, words …. Okay back to the point. Okay. I planned on taking about an eighth but ended up eating eight or more grams. At first I was nervous because I was in a group of new friends and there was a girl I was crushing on [whom I later went on to date for almost a year afterwards] and I didn’t want to embarrass myself but as the first day passed into the next, I felt more at ease [especially after my breakfast of two bong rips and a breakfast burrito and a long time spend in hammocks getting deep in conversation with my friend]. I cleaned the substrate off of the mushrooms and weighed everyone’s desired dose out with equal proportions of caps and stems for everyone and whatnot yada yada yada, I weighed out my dose of an eighth, around what everyone else was taking and ate them piece by piece chasing with bites of strawberries. After I ate my dose slowly, I could feel the mushrooms on my system and I felt even more at ease. There were still so many mushrooms in the bag. I brought a full O. I decided, since I was already in a state where I was no longer held back by my previous worries, I would dose up to my usual sessions dose at the classic five grams. After I ate all of those, I wasn’t feeling nauseated anymore and I was enjoying eating the mushrooms while everyone got ready to walk, I ate more, and more, and more. I have no idea how much I ate. And I guess this is where the story really begins.
The comeup was smooth, integrating cleanly with my high. We walked out across the parking lot to the bathrooms before our journey. I was one of the first ones in and out and as I walked out onto the uneven, graded parking lot, the feeling of not being on flat ground completely , well I don’t even really know how to describe how it felt but my body was overcompensating for the angle of the lot and I was leaning over as if gravity had shifted thirty degrees. Nuts. Then we walked through the lot into some trees with fresh leaves fallen on the ground, and the layers of the leaves started to separate and the patterns began to tesselate which was the first major instance of visuals. We kept walking through the trees until my friend, from earlier, and I decided we wanted to take this group on a path circling around a hill with a beautiful view, one we had scouted earlier in the day. We start walking up and The Mushrooms are really starting to hit us all. Hard. We couldn’t walk more than twenty feet before someone in the group would stop, then everyone would stop and get lost in the scenery of the view or the plants around us or the fucking tons of mud on our feet. It took us ages to get up this relatively short path. At this point I’m getting really fucking deep. Deeper into mushrooms than I have ever been before. I for the first time am breaking through, which I didn’t even know was possible until that point. It felt like I was stuck between two dimensions, with my body being sucked into a massive chasm of ineffable dimension with one of my hands gripping onto the familiar headspace of the usual five grams. The only Image I can remember was seeing myself, in the third person, walking around the same corner, millions of different times in millions of different ways, impacting the environment, littering, whatever it may be, making every single footstep that had ever walked that path. And if this can get any weirder, immediately after I felt that, we rounded further up the hill past the tree line into a massive stretch of dry grasses between trees in the steepest part of the hill. Right as I walk into this clearing, I had the most intense episode of déjà vu recalling a dream, in which this same group of people, was on this same hill, watching the same events happen, to a tee. This dream was many months prior to this trip, and wasn’t actually just one dream. It would happen over and over and over again, every different way, and my perspective in the dream would change drastically through everyone and the trees and even from inside a helicopter hovering above the hill watching us. At this point I’m trippin. So the plot here is that C, we’ll call her, decides to sit on the side of the hill and look at the clouds and the valley but the rest of the group wants to keep walking and were walking away without her. I was stuck in the middle and right then I was struck again with déjà vu because I remembered that this was the plot and the changing point of the whole dream and I remembered what happened with each thing I did. So the conflict here is that in my dreams, if I am in a dreamspace with other entities and we travel without one of them, they are gone, maybe forever. So stay with the fucking pack always because that’s how its safest. So I’m tripping because idk if im dreaming or awake or what the fuck is going on but I remember that if I go with the group, C would find us again. So with this confidence I continue with the group into the most vivid concentration of orange I have ever seen. The ground curved up to meet the trees which loomed over, all covered in the same bright orange leaves. It seems to be a very comfortable dead end until we came across a small gap leading between the oaks. A short but not unforgettable path through the trees led us to a small open circle in the trees, hidden away from everything. A different friend of mine discovered this patch first and found her way comfortable into the center of the circle. I enter behind her intrigued by the find, and into the clearing. Immediately after I enter the clearing I have this fucking weiiird sensation that time as a whole stopped when I was in there. Im extremely unnerved especially after everything I’ve experienced already today and I try to walk out but my friend tells me to stay and get comfy, so I do. In my mind I thought she was a witch who would take people here to trap them outside of the circle of time. Then finally the most grounding couple came in with bright lovely smiles on their faces and I felt much more at ease. Eventually we had everyone laying and sitting in the clearing with not much space to spare. I felt as though if everyone laid down, we would all get beamed into space or higher dimensions but there wasn’t a time where everyone was so bummer I guess we’ll never know. At this point I’m getting deep again to spaces I cannot put into words. After a while of being in this space within a space where there is no time, I felt as though it was time to leave. We make the push to get up and go back to the camp to return to our friend at the cabin. I was afraid of staying outside of time and losing track of the flow or the "PacK" or something. So we pushed on. This time we’re all tripping so hard we can barely walk ten feet before stopping for like two whole minutes. As we walk back, I start to feel this intuition about everything that is about to happen before it happens, and everything is giving me déjà vu as if I have already done all of this millions of times. After being back at the camp for a while I thought to myself “fuck is this going to go on forever?” And for a couple days, it did. But waning each hour of each day. Until it was only every week or couple of weeks between times. And even a year a half later it will still happen. Now, Every time I get this déjà vu trigger, I go into a thought loop that brings me into a more recent and much worse trip that I had which holds the contents of these thoughtloops.
This fucking trip man. I think the anniversary of it will be in one month at the time of me writing this. At this point, I had been dating this girl for a long time and feeling weary about our relationship. I was uncomfortable with how serious things had gotten so fast and I couldn’t see myself spending the rest of my life with her. I knew that I would have to break up with her eventually about a month into the relationship, but stayed for almost ten months. We broke up a few weeks after this trip, also after the worst month of my life. There were major pros and cons to being in this relationship but eventually the cons started to ware on me. But I didn’t want to leave her so I didn’t, and then the cons kept weighing on me further, and further, until I was in a mental rut with how much time I was spending with her and whenever I would get time to myself I would get high as fuck purely for escapism. This tendency towards escapism turned into a very bad habitual activity with me pushing the boundaries of how high I could get every night. Eventually, after my mother being hospitalized twice in two weeks and almost dying both times, me being hospitalized for testicular torsion the week after, and a family vacation two days after my surgery that my ex invited herself on without telling my family, I felt like there was nothing holding me back from escaping as far as I could go. So I did. With a friend, without telling anyone, while my parents were thousands of miles away, I decided to take seven grams with a person who I met through university. This person’s energy was wack fucked and dark and evil and fucked with me so hard. At one point he was talking about suicide and he said to me “you must really fucking hate yourself.” Right before he said that I felt like he was hades, or like some kind of reaper demon that snatches souls that wake when the soul should be sleeping. And he convinced me that I had to die. He kept talking about how I didn’t need food, or water, and how it was all toxic. He tried to lure me out of my house, and at first it didn’t work, but eventually it did. I assumed that the second I breached the gap between those world I would die and instantly pass on. But it didn’t happen. So I just kept waiting and following his orders. I was completely under control. But then I had this fucking crazy image of the shadowed head of a jaguar, which had shown up in my dreams many times over the last year, coming out of a cave and revealing that it was actually a huge dragon. And this dragon was me. And this guy was the other dragon. You know, like THE other dragon in the infinite oroboros. And there was this weird underlying tension and energy between us like this eternal battle. So I was like oh shit, am I supposed to kill him? Is he supposed to kill me? Am I supposed to kill myself? Am I supposed to embrace him with love? What is going on. It felt like I was me, and he was everything else. Every atom, every soul, every person typing and talking on the internet advocating for psychedelics. At this point I’m convinced he is inside of my mind and knows all and is all. He keeps making tangential references towards a place I fantasized about committing suicide as a kid and I assumed he was bringing me there to send me over the edge. But im weary, and incredibly unnerved that I just keep stopping on the sidewalk, still feeling like I am anchored to him, also intensely dehydrated and without shoes. Everything he says seems to be this offhand way of indirectly talking about what I am thinking without bringing it up with was trippy as fuck but probably just conformation bias and a lot of drugs. Eventually he gets me about a mile away from my house into a construction site and I just freeze. Theres arrows everywhere and now there are other people around too that seem to be not real at all. I’ve picked my thumbs apart to the point of bleeding from stress which is a long term habit, and I twisted my fingers so tight in the belt loops of my pants that the loops ripped off. This is the first time I have enough of my body to start to fight against this feeling and a rush of adrenalin that pushes me to charge him. I back off at the last minute to see what would happen and eventually hes backing away from me so I run home. I get home with blood blisters on my feet crying with cracked lips and bleeding thumbs and suddenly things start to feel real again once I’m in my house. The first thing I think to do is call my dad to tell him what happened. My parents are incredibly concerned and they bring me back to reality enough so I can breathe and pet my cat. Then the cops show up at my door. Two officers said that my friend was tripping nuts and went into a gelato shop to hide from me. I was clear and coherent with the officers and they made me call someone to take me to their house since I was home alone. Very very kind officers, I feel immense privilege to be in a state like that so far out of my mind and be safe and protected while there are people of color and homeless people getting murdered for it. Eventually my girlfriend picks me and my cat up because I’m scared hes going to come back to my house and hurt her and I end up at her place. For a few hours before I come down and go home.
Now to this day almost a year later I have reoccurring thought loops triggered by déjà vu that make me spiral into a pit of considering that I was supposed to die and that I am selfish for not dying or that my life is going to be filled with crazy awful things and that he was here to warn me to take the “easy way” or that I've lived my life a million and a half times trying and failing to learn the lesson or do the right thing. There a million and a half different things that go through my head and they all make me feel anxious as fuck and awful. I have been trying to put the pieces back for the time since, still not having a true mushroom trip since, having only tried extremely small dose which were beneficial but not completely alleviating of the loop like most of my trips have been for my thought loops. My mental states are getting better but the triggers still hit me like PTSD sending me into a dissociative trance. I want to live. But these fucking thoughts are making it hard to do that comfortably. It feels like its never going to change but I know from past experiences that thought loops like this can be broken but I cant shake this one. Before all of this though I had only had phenomenal mushroom experiences that worked miracles for my mental health, solving decade old problems and making me the happiest and most productive I had ever been.
I want to get back to that place. I want to be spiritual in a way that is enriching instead of being stuck in this existential thought trap.
After the trip I went sober for a period and then collapsed back into addiction where I’ve been struggling and feeling stuck. Although I have also been pursuing art, music, exercising a lot, all driven by drugs minus exercising, but also at the same time I feel stagnant. I’m writing this while high, obviously, so at least these means allow me to express myself instead of purely just escaping.
I should probably go to a therapist for all of this but my insurance doesn’t cover shit and this seems like the right place to go. Idk really what I’m looking for whether it be grounding words, similar experiences, insight, advice, or what will help but I guess just being heard and maybe understood will.
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2020.05.11 18:11 the_dark_dove The Nearus

Most children say they want to run away from home but few ever do it. My brother Joey was definitely in the latter category, using the excuse of freedom and independence to constantly break our parents’ rules.
He was a dreamer, an adventurer, someone that refused to be tied down by limits. But I never knew how deep his obsession became until last year.
Three of his friends, Brad, Robert and Jeff, had started scouring deep web blogs to find the ultimate getaway spot, somewhere so remote and off the beaten path that it would allow them to go do whatever they wanted without anyone to judge them.
Iremember when I saw him chatting away on Discord he would always say that he wasn’t really going to just up and leave for some make-believe fantasy, but that changed after he started reading articles about Andrew Slater.
Slater was a nature photographer from Central Idaho with a story that seemed like the opposite of my brother’s. A single dad with hardly enough time to keep two jobs, let alone see his kid or even have a social life. Sometime last spring though, all that had changed for him when his son had gone missing in a stretch of the Sawtooth National Forest.
Joey and his friends talked about the case constantly, how Slater had spent three weeks with a posse to try and find his kid, only to emerge from the woods nearly four hundred miles from where he started a full month later entirely alone.
According to Slater, something magical had happened during that period of time, his son captured by an evil force called the Nearus and Slater refused to speak to anyone about it unless they took him back there. Most chalked it up to him being some kind of serial killer, having used the woods as a burial ground for his unsuspecting victims, his son being the first one.
But not Joey. He had always been a believer in the fantastical and the bizarre.
So one August day, he too decided to gather his friends and go out to the forest, to complete the picture that Slater had painted for him in his mind so vividly. To go find this mythical beast.
“What if you don’t come back?” I remember asking him. “Sis… I’ll be fine.”
I wasn’t concerned about him finding fae or even his mysterious Nearus. I was thinking he was finally using this as a reason to escape responsibility.
“If it makes you feel any better, how about I livestream the whole thing? You’ll be able to keep an eye on me night and day, me and the guys,” he told me.
For some reason I agreed to that ludicrous notion. Brad and Rob were amateur vloggers anyway so if anyone could keep tabs on Joey, it was them.
I was sure that my brother would find a reason to explain why his dreams weren’t able to come true and call the whole thing off. But instead what transpired over those next few summer nights; was nothing short of a living nightmare.
He uploaded his first stream on August 16, our father’s birthday; and made it an interview with Slater himself.
As you may have guessed the local authorities didn’t buy his whole “the trees swallowed up my son” story and he has been spending his time in the county lockup. Probably going to serve a life sentence at the state penitentiary or worse. Anyway, Joey managed to convince the cops he was a reporter and got this statement from Slater.
For the sake of this account, I’ve transcribed it:
Slater: You’re going back there? You think it’s that simple, do you? To find the Nearus?
Joey: Why wouldn’t it be?
Slater: The Nearus only lets those in that it calls.
Joey: I’ve read your transcripts with the police. I know the steps it takes to get inside.
Slater: you don’t know a thing. I went in there to rescue my kid. That’s why it let me in. But you… you’re a trespasser. A thrill-seeker. You don’t have a purpose other than your own selfishness.
Joey: What’s wrong with that?
Slater: because it will consume you. You and all your friends. The closer you get the stronger the pull.
Joey: Look I didn’t come here to listen to your voodoo crap. Now the cops here have agreed to let you be my guide under a few conditions that I coaxed them into. Do you want to hear them or not?
Slater: Waste your breath if you want, but I won’t be going back there.
Joey: One, that you will agree to have a police detail with us at all times. Two, you’ll guide us to where your son Ryan is buried. And three, you will change your confession to guilty so they can get you sent up to the max sec quicker.
Slater: (laughing) none of those will even be possible. Well, the first one maybe. But the others? Why would I ever agree to that? I don’t even know where Ryan is.
Joey: what if I told you that I did.
Slater: (noticeable pause here in the recording) I would call you a liar. I searched that entire hellhole of a forest for a full month and never found him. Not even a trace.
Joey: I’ve looked into the local legends about the Nearus, gone to the dark web and found images, found articles on other missing kids. I… I believe you, Andrew. I believe there is something wicked about those woods. I think I know how to find it.
Slater: So then it has called to you. You’re next.
Joey: what?
Slater: (another audible pause) I’ve changed my mind. Tell Deputy Jackson I’ll agree to the terms. But I am stipulating one of my own. I want to bring my own camera along.
I could probably spend days dissecting that interview. Wondering whether Joey was lying just to get Slater to cooperate. Realizing how crazy my brother was for asking a convicted criminal to guide him into a supposedly mystical forest to find an ancient evil. It sounded like something out of an adventure book. None of it made any sense. But Joey was never one to think rationally about these kinds of things. He acted on impulse. And the consequences were always the ones that hurt everyone but him.
A few days later his next stream made me stop dead in my daily routine. Andrew Slater was center stage, a small hunting blade in his right hand and a fresh kill in the other. It took a second for the camera to adjust and I realized it was one of the K-9 units the police had brought.
A dozen officers were pointing their weapons at the felon, demanding he drop his knife but Slater was so nonchalant it was as if the animal’s death had been decided long before they ever made it to this stretch of trees.
Slater: You wanted passage. Now the bond between our world and the Nearus is stronger. Be thankful the Nearus accepted such an offering. Last time, one of the team had to slit their throat to make it across.
There was a bunch of murmuring and confusion from his audience. Joey directed the camera toward himself and provided an explanatory monologue.
Joey: I’ve tried to capture the essence of Andrew’s madness as best as possible. Signal is weak here. Honestly, I don’t even know if we will get another chance to speak. I know, this was supposed to be foolproof. But we are well past the point of no return, sis. I’ve seen too much to go back now. Slater… I don’t know if he is psychotic or a visionary. But he claims this patch of trees is the gateway between our reality… and something bigger than the universe itself.
My brother paused and started to become emotional.
Joey: I didn’t want to say anything before… ‘cause I know you don’t really believe in ghosts and shit. But ever since I saw those photographs and those drawings the ones that Slater did bring back with him. There were these mangled corpses from the forest… I’ve been having these dreams. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s not the normal sort of dream. It’s like what happens when you’re just listening to an audiocassette or trying to learn a new language. There aren’t any images, just voices. At least a dozen swarming voices that make my head feel like it’s going to explode. Then I see that… thing. The Nearus. It’s stretching its wings like a mutated bat, beckoning me.
Behind him there is a commotion as it seems that Slater has somehow disappeared, he crossed the trees and then faded into darkness; or so the image makes it seem.
Joey: crazy right? That’s how it’s been since day one. Something about this whole thing…. it’s like Slater said before. The forest and the creature inside it are calling to me. Telling me to come. There’s something here I’m meant to see. It’s just beyond this stretch of trees….
My brother sounds different somehow. As if he is under a trance.
A few officers are shouting orders, following the path Slater took; all of them fading into the darkness like it’s a fog.
Joey: Guess this is goodbye? Hopefully not forever.
It took a whole two weeks for the other videos to come, and I frantically checked my phone and email every chance I could. The search and rescue operation was only supposed to take a few days.
I knew something was wrong, could feel it in my bones. The way Joey seemed infected with the same madness. Maybe they all were? Was it possible this strange creature was drawing them nearer as its own namesake claimed? Soon the videos only confirmed it, a nightmare unlike any imaginable happened to those poor men and women. And Joey got to see every glimpse of it.
Bodycam of Joey: He is staring down at a body, noting the decay and the ashy skin, trying to determine the age of the corpse perhaps. One of the troopers moved toward him, tilting his head slightly as he also examined the oddity.
“They’ve been dead for a while,” he confirmed. A few of the other men also came to look, all of them as equally perplexed by this discovery.
“All right, quit your gawking and spread out... Slater couldn’t have gotten far,” Rob barked. He was one of the few that refused to get close to the decaying flesh.
“Where could he have gone?” another officer, one of the few women in the group, asked. I wondered the same thing. He was just in front of them in the last video and this one seemed to be from the same grove of trees.
“Whatever sort of trick he played to get us here is probably how he escaped,” Brad reasoned. I thought about the corpse and how I felt certain that the facial structure resembled Slater. I wondered if Joey saw the same thing.
Joey: Maybe we should check the footage?
The officers watched as he started the feed, the image of all of them moving toward the forest playing again. Slater was standing there, moving toward the ash to spread the blood across the ground.
Then the forest shimmered and Joey remarked, “Did any of you notice that?”
The two men didn’t answer and kept watching as the strange reflections returned and finally Rob muttered off-camera, “What kind of witchcraft is that?”
Joey: It’s this place… I have a feeling that this is the place Slater kept telling me about it... The realm of the Nearus…
The cop laughed. “That’s a dumbshit name, where did he come up with that?” he muttered. “It’s weird, that’s for sure... but what else did he tell you about it?” another wondered.
“Nothing except that this creature controls people and consumes them. Makes them a part of it,” Rob said.
“The path will be near once you see, what your eyes say cannot be,” he added. I remembered that being a famous line Andrew had repeated over and over. Like it was a chant.
The next video skipped forward a few hours near to sunset.
“So... you really think maybe we aren’t where we think we are?” a cop asked. A few of the other officers were returning from their search for Slater without any results. Someone mentioned that the markers they were using now were suddenly gone. Replaced by scratch marks.
“Are you sure? I could have sworn I saw a marker a few miles to the east,” Joey argued. “GPS has been acting a little funny too,” a forest ranger added. Brad checked his phone, unsurprised to see that the screen was totally black.
“Can you lead us to the marker you saw?” someone asked. “Yeah, should be easy, it was a humongous old birch,” Joey said and gestured for all of them to follow him to the east. As the video shook it felt like I was there listening to the sights and sounds.
As they traveled I noted that the sun had almost dipped below the horizon and darkness was covering the forest quickly.
It gave off a strange orange glow as the last bit of twilight pierced the canopy. How could that be when the time stamp for Joey’s stream said it was mid-afternoon? Was something playing tricks on them?
As they got further into the forest, it got darker until nothing was visible above and I could only hear the sounds of boots crunching leaves.
Finally, Joey turned on his flash on the body cam and I could see immediately why the monstrous birch stood out to him, it was wider than anything that could have been in that region of the forest. And a grove of gray and purple flowers covered the forest floor which made the eerie tree seem a little more frightening for a reason I couldn’t quite discern. Joey also seemed to regard them cautiously.
He led the video feed around to the opposite side of the tree to show the mark he was referencing. It was large, like a wild animal had used the bark of the birch to sharpen its claws.
“We saw the same thing. We sure didn’t put it there,” Rob muttered.
The markings looked like they were too precise for any creature, and they formed what looked like an upside-down capital letter A with three lines straight down the middle of the lettering. “It looks fresh, maybe a few hours old at the most... Must be campers close by,” Brad reasoned as he looked about the grove.
“We’ll set up camp here tonight,” an officer instructed everyone. “I can take the dogs and make another sweep, see if we can pick up Slater’s scent.”
They sat in silence for a moment as they waited and Joey addressed the camera. His viewing audience of one.
Joey: sis… all of this feels strange. It shouldn’t be this dark. I haven’t seen any animals or even insects. No running water… everything is off. Slater led us somewhere… but I don’t think it’s a forest from our world. And I’m not even sure it was really him. I think it was this creature. It wants people to know it exists. Why I can’t be sure…
As he finished talking the officer with the K-9 units returned to the grove.
“It’s a bit disorienting out there, sir. The dogs are picking up several scents but none that seem fresh,” he explained. “It’s like someone is dragging a carcass all around the woods.” “Well, ain’t that the shit?” the Commander said, glaring at Joey. “Slater couldn’t have gone far. It’s dark and this forest has a lot of animals that prowl at night. He’ll seek shelter,” Rob said.
“He killed 12 people out here, he’s been a ghost before,” Joey pointed out. A ghost. Maybe that was what he had been all along, I wondered recalling the corpse. Or maybe it was the creature… taking on his human form to entice others?
Come nearer. Nearus.
Make us yours.
Near to the dead.
To be alive.
Now we are gone.
Part of the hive.
That was Rob in the background. Humming like a mad man. What did it mean?
The group settled down around the wide grove taking out what little gear we had to sleep, and a few of the SWAT officers guarded the exterior in different shifts. Joey kept his light on to illuminate the strange stillness.
Despite the calmness of the forest, it felt disturbing to watch. Like there was a predator waiting to strike.
The next few videos were clearly Joey and his friends talking to different people to get their opinions on the forest. And on the Nearus . “Is this gonna wind up online or something?” the woman asked. “I’ve been camera shy my whole life. Can’t really say I won any beauty pageants, so forgive me if I don’t like to talk,” she added.
“Shit is strange, man. You know that song I was singing earlier? Ain’t got a clue where I heard it before. Just came to me,” Brad said.
The atmosphere seemed peaceful for a moment. But it didn’t last long. There was a soft chirping echoing across the forest, almost like crickets. But as they all listened, it grew louder and louder until it seemed to surround the entire grove. Even the cops nervously raised their rifles to see if something might come out of the darkness.
Then silence covered everything again. “I don’t like it here,” Rob remarked.
“I think that makes all of us,” the commander said. My brother turned his video feed toward the flowers that covered the forest floor, trying to relax and focus on their vibrant colors.
As Joey kept looking at them, I couldn’t help but notice that the tiny petals seemed to flicker back and forth. Joey seemed to notice it as well and reached down to touch one of the flowers, picking it up and marveling at it’s simple but elegant beauty.
As he kept staring at the petal I noticed that it flickered again and then it lifted from his finger and fluttered about his hand. It wasn’t a flower at all, I thought as I watched the small strange-looking insect glide about.
“It looks like a butterfly of some kind,” the female officer observed as she looked about at the other flowers and noticed they were also starting to shimmer with movement.
“Maybe we should move somewhere else,” Joey observed. Several more of the winged insects spread their shiny wings and lifted into the open air to fly about. “There have to be hundreds of them here,” the commander realized.
Slowly the chirping noise we had heard earlier returned to the forest. As Joey kept recording I saw the butterflies speed up as the noise grew louder, as though agitated by it.
“Ow!” someone cried out in surprise as one of the insects flew across their upper wrist and cut them. “What the...?” Joey muttered, and then one of the insects sliced across an officer’s face like a razor. Several more of the butterflies began to swirl about the group, like miniature fighter jets cutting at them as a perceived threat.
“We need to move!” Joey barked. The swarm was growing larger by the second as they all tried frantically to find cover. I felt my heart beat faster as they ran for cover.
The noises grew louder as well, the strange insects furiously attacking all. Behind him an officer fell to the ground as more of the butterflies swarmed around his body, each one slashing across his exposed skin as they angrily attacked.
“Rob!!” Brad shouted as a trooper behind him took out his firearm and began to fire at the endless array of insects. It seemed like they were all forming a singular mass.
But amid the hollow shell of the countless butterflies, it was clear that firing on them was simply a waste of ammunition. Joey moved to the other side to try and help Rob, his screams grew louder as the swarm surrounded him.
I held my breath and watched as the creatures consumed him like ravenous piranhas, cutting at him relentlessly. They all moved together as one. Getting nearer and nearer until the swarm suffocated.
“Leave him!” the commander called out as the other butterflies rose to join the storm of blood and fury. Rob writhed in pain trying to cover his body and face as much as possible as the butterflies finished their feast.
Then the feed slipped to the next video.
It was day time. There were fewer members of the team now, and others with more blood and bruises from the bizarre forest. There was this strange deep moaning in the background too. As if the entire woods were chanting that bizarre melody.
The group was moving deeper into the dark forest, more sounds surrounding them as the SWAT team turned on their night goggles and led them through the maze of trees. All Joey could do was hold onto his camera and use the same type of lens effect and try his hardest to keep up. Something grabbed a hold of his foot and he tumbled downward, his camera slipping from my hands as my brother fell onto a mass of wet leaves.
From this angle, I saw the canopy and held my breath. The tops of the trees were made of people’s carcasses. Their bodies twisted and pushed almost beyond recognition.
Food for this supernatural garden. And there amid the feast was the Nearus. Its ghastly wings spread impossibly wide. Its glowing eyes mesmerizing my brother. It leapt toward him for the kill.
The feed went black again.
Somehow the group had returned to the grove. But the massive birch was now gone. Brad was the one filming now. Had something happened to my brother? I had no choice but to watch and find out.
There in the shiny gray mass of flowers I could make out what remained of Rob’s body, and the female officer took off her helmet to honor her fellow comrade. The constant song from the forest had the few remaining officers seem agitated. Was it making them turn on one another?
The next clip showed what I feared the most. Joey was a victim as well and now his carcass seemed to be host for some new life. Brad zoomed into the open wounds. My brother’s body was swollen near to his abdomen and thighs as though the bites from the insects had caused some sort of allergic reaction.
“Help me turn him over,” a voice said, trying to sound professional. I saw only a handful of patrol officers left.
I heard bones crack, and under the unsettling noise another strange sound; like something moving. Brad looked at the pallid face and eyes, and I was left wondering if the Nearus had taken control of his corpse.
Then I watched in shock as small green worms began to wriggle their way out of his open mouth. “Claire,” Brad said, pulling the officer away. She saw them as well, and Joey’s face became more swollen as the worms split his skin open, sliding down across his pale cheek and making soft screeches in the morning air.
Brad shut off the camera again. I found myself hyperventilating. Those creatures were the larvae of this beast. Seeking out new hosts to come and be infected. Devouring all life.
It took all my strength to click the final video. But I needed to know where this ended.
Brad was examining a bag that had Slater’s name tag. Then I realized it was the photographer’s son’s backpack.
The Nearus was silently watching in the lens reflection as Brad flipped through the contents of the bag.
The first item was a photograph of a group sitting around a campfire. All of them were wearing a logo connected to what looked like a scouting program.
Slater was in the picture and despite its age he looked the same. Other faces looked familiar. Rob and Jeff were in there too.
“They said they didn’t know anything about Andrew. Guess that was another lie? Or maybe the Nearus is creating this narrative now. Making its own story,” Brad told the camera as it focused on the image of the two together at the camp alongside Andrew.
The picture looked unfinished Next there were some news articles that he held on the camera to give viewers a chance to read. A southern college student that had applied for a film class disappeared over the weekend of September 13, 1998, with no clues to suggest where she went. The studio in question, Fusoya Entertainment, was later found to be a shell corporation. They were creating a movie based on the Nearus.
“I can’t really explain where I got the idea for the legend,” the director said in an interview. “It just sort of came to me the other day. I felt like I was a child again experiencing my first boogeyman when I sketched it out. It felt like I was being guided somehow,” he explained.
The movie was never finished due to the college student disappearing.
But no evidence ever linked them to the girl’s disappearance. Several of the other articles Slater’s son had related to missions involving the Navy or Homeland Security. An experimental bioweapon to use the Nearus against terrorists.
“It makes itself become what they fear. It creates itself and feeds off of itself. It’s a self-perpetuating monster,” the report said. Then there was one about a clinic that got shut down in Utah for questionable practice. A doctor that was on the run for illegally selling prescriptions. Stuff that made people have hallucinations.
Brad was examining the picture the scouts closely again.
“It’s the same number of victims. Slater brought them here. These patients are the ones that first made a connection to this Nearus.”
As though hearing its name evoked its strength, I heard the ungodly beast scream in the background.
And the pictures started to fade. To become a part of the forest too.
“Nothing here is real,” Brad realized as he touched the ground. His lens focused on the central part of the grove, where the tree had once stood and tried to touch it. It looked like he was pressing against something invisible. The tree was still there. Cloaked. Like a weapon.
There was a throng of voices around him as he too began to fade away.
“The path is set. Your guide awaits you. Mourn for those who come, for those who were before shall be found again.”
Who was he talking to? I saw that strange creature bound off into an empty landscape and then the video ended and I found myself numb and confused.
What had happened to my brother? The strange story these videos told haunted me. I showed the videos to the police but they didn’t believe my story. Said it was a hoax from a sicko that likely had killed good cops.
I know I will need to go to this strange forest and see for myself. I suppose you could even say that I heard the Nearus calling me too. I can’t stop thinking about it.
I’m nearly at the grove now where Slater took them to a world behind and I see the sun going over the western edge of the tree line behind me, I can hear the creature calling out for my blood.
I take the first step in the direction my brother went, into a forest of magic and danger. A place that doesn’t exist except to destroy.
It felt as though it were right, the path I was meant to be on. But I can’t say for certain why. I just know I have to get nearer.
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2020.05.09 00:35 AutoNewspaperAdmin [Health] - Harmons Grocery helps Girl Scouts of Utah sell cookies during COVID-19 Salt Lake Tribune

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2020.05.09 00:07 AutoNewsAdmin [Health] - Harmons Grocery helps Girl Scouts of Utah sell cookies during COVID-19

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2020.04.16 21:20 krylotech Girl Scouts Of Utah's Cookie World

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2020.04.01 05:07 psychodavidest0001 how and who do i trust after this...

who and how do i have sex or love when these assclowns put a gun to my head when i wanted to date or marry...and disobey Jim Crow Laws?
I sent a letter to the LA Sheriff’s Department…I had been speaking with a German Steven Ochoa, the FBI, the ACLU, The Archbishop of LA, St Paul (Libby Lafferty) and Father Anthony Page at Beatitudes of Our Lord Parish and School. This has everything to do with the murder of Smiley Rodriguez in 1980 at the liquor store near La Palma and Acacia…I seem to be related to the Hepburn family and my biological Dad is Arturo Sanchez. I was to have an open adoption. Instead of solving Smiley’s murder the police covered it up because Debbie Jones…the biological mom of the adopted sister who molested me was a drug addicted meter maid and her police friends found Melvin Zercher and Donald Esenbach were hired to kill Smiley so these white power friends of Denise Jones could extort money from the Hepburn family.
In August 1996 at the Zercher home on 16041 Marlinton in Whitter California…they had guests from Colevile, Utah and I was very drunk and because of my kidney transplant and Art Sanchez knowing the assholes were trying to extort my biological family I was wearing a wire…a simple pager…now a smart phone….but these guys began talking about 9/11 in 1996 and I told them very very drunk that my brother was in the NAVY and I was going to kick their asses…but they laughed at me. And I don’t know for sure that this pager was a wire or if these ‘Elks’ who said the klu klux klan was part of the ‘Network’ (it sounds worse in Arabic)…I don’t know if anyone took what happened that night seriously or if I’m to blame…
July 26, 1997 in the La Mirada/Whittier Area...11732 Elmrock Ave Whittier CA the Loomis Home…there should be some police record or 911 records. I tried to tell the background investigators about this when I applied to the OC Probation Department, but I didn’t remember everything. More than I went to a party and something no one wanted to talk about happened. Neo-Nazis brought guns to a party and threatened to kill me because I had sex and I will never stop talking about White Power Whittier…or these white power neighbors stopped me from having sex to enforce their Jim Crow laws while saying that because I’m Roman Catholic…premarital sex is out of the question…?
I was part of an open adoption with Detective Arthur Sanchez (741 Ridgehaven Ave La Habra CA), Mary (Hepburn) Towels and Jesus and Mary Estrada.
I was 18 months old in 1977 my aunt Audrey Hepburn, Mary Hepburn and Mary Estrada carried me into the Anaheim Police Station to visit my uncle ‘Smiley’ Officer Cesario Rodriguez Jr and some dirty police officers or administration hatched a plan to extort money from the Hepburn family using me and the Estrada family as leverage. Toni Jones was the daughter of someone who worked there and her family falsified police records to have her put into foster care with Jesus and Mary Estrada’s family namely David (me).
January 20th 1980 my parents adopted me as part of an open adoption. Toni was adopted as well and she wasn’t supposed to have contact with her family but they are the extortionists I speak of…Toni uses aliases…Denise Jones, Margaret Zercher, Melvin Zercher, Donald Esenbach, Cathy Esenbach…among others…some police officers, or like Margaret Zercher a court clerk who helps arrest warrants go away…
I grew up on 12425 Maybrook Ave Whittier CA... I’m Hispanic and the (adopted) son of Mary and Jesus Estrada. I'm light skinned and confused with someone who would just accept racism...Melvin, Margret, Matthew, Martin Zercher of 16041 Marlinton Dr and Don and Cathy Esenbach of 12430 Maybrook ave were my introduction into White Supremacy...My uncle Officer Cesario "Smiley" Rodriguez Jr was killed in the summer of 1980 at the liquor store off Acacia and La Palma in Anaheim CA by two men in a white Ford Mustang...Melvin Zercher and Don Esenbach were unaware that my mom and I just dropped off my uncle and began to flirt with her and then Don asked Melvin for his gun and as my mom drove away the shots that killed her brother rang out and she drove home fast and asked me to pray the Hail Mary in Spanish as I was bilingual...until “speak English or Die” was a thing said by my sister (adopted as well) Toni. Melvin (Butch) Zercher and Don Esenbach followed us home and soon after Don Moved in and the police didn't believe or even investigate my Mom's story. I used to be babysat by Stella Chavez or her daughter Stella Vega...and I will always be in love with Yesenia Vega…my Rainbeau... she called me Rainman at St Paul High but thats later. Toni told me that speaking Spanish is stupid and not for me to speak in kindergarten at Meadow Green Elementary where Martin Zercher would punch me in the stomach to teach me how to be a 'Good White Man' as his family encouraged. I was born with deformed bladder and kidney that lead to chronic kidney disease and kidney failure and the need for a kidney transplant on January 20, 1996. When I was 5, Toni told me never to go to the Vega or Chavez home again because they are evil and that was the beginning of her molestation being coached by Don and Melvin's families. I was seven and Toni told me that because of my kidney disease no woman would love me...even though before i stopped going to the Stellas homes I would tell Yesenia (Jessica/Kristi/Zaineb) that i loved her before leaving and Stella would say 'What about me?" and i would hug either Stella Vega or Stella Chavez...I began to forget who Yesenia was and i didn't know how to tell my mom what Toni said because aren't we supposed to trust our siblings. Toni said that she would marry me...even though that is against most religious traditions and laws of man...adoption or no as a Roman Catholic i can't marry my adopted sister. Toni's adoption was supposed to be closed and mine open as i think Art Sanchez is my dad and because of the murder of my uncle they had to step back to keep themselves safe and seeing as Don was the triggerman and no one takes our story seriously Don and Melvin began to influence my childhood...Pat Zercher is Melvin's brother and i dont think his family would stand up for these two killers...Pat lives behind my family home, one Larrilyn ave. Mike Zercher and Yesenia (Jessica) Vega were my nurses at CHLA when i had my transplant. as the molestation progressed i was at Beatitudes of Our Lord Catholic School in La Mirada...not know if it was right or wrong i would hear my classmates say that Toni would touch them...and in 4th grade i said i fucked her...I lied but she had begun to play on a little boy's curiosity. Toni was born in April 1972 and she went to public school. I was put in the hospital in 5th grade for some test to know the cause of my constant wetting myself and the bladder and kidney infections and a treatment was to use a catheter. and so I came home and used the catheter to drain my bladder more fully so that i would not wet myself. Toni claimed to a school counselor that my dad was molesting her...he was not Toni would cut on herself and manipulate my family being told what to do by the neighbors who killed my uncle and the police never investigated because my mom was the only credible witness...My dad was acquitted and Toni was taken away and i never said that she was molesting me...I didnt have intercourse with her but it was close...Somehow Toni (my adopted sister 04/20/1972 and my child molester) came to Beatitudes a year ahead of me as Bethany...and then in my grade as Yolie at St Paul High and i never got close enough to see the truth.
In 1985 or 1986 there was some surprising graffiti on the Temple Beth Ohr in La Mirada…a Swastika inside of the Star of David. I was not privy to any of this until recently. Matthew and Martin Zercher (16041 Marlinton Ave Whittier CA) along with Toni Estrada (she uses the aliases Bethany, Yolie, Randy, Lisa Wise) Cory Hobgood, Donald Esenbach and Melvin Zercher helped the two men who killed my uncle as part of the extortion plot of the biological family I cannot speak with because of these extortionists and their police friends. Toni wrote a letter to the synagogue in her hand writing trying to frame me for this hate crime.
In July 26, 1997 a birthday party for my biological brother Marc Sanchez and Yesenia Vega...My aunt, nun, and Spanish teacher Sister Mary Martin (Anita) Estrada was there telling me that i was the genius of St Paul and the Valedictorian but the Melvin Zercher family had been threatening to kill me and Toni, Martin, and Matthew tried to frame me for a Swastika on the Synagogue...Temple beth Ohr in La Mirada before Toni was taken away...these people were not my friends and may have gone to juvenile hall and jail for what they did...I was never told much about it but what I know is from some investigation of my own. I was 17 and I was reintroduced to the Zerchers of Marlinton and introduced to peer pressure and Worship of Adolf Hitler...White power music became mixed with normal metal and punk rock and these were my only friends...so in 1997 I told Yesenia and some of the high school classmates about what was going on. Yesenia Vega and I danced, spoke of dating and marriage and that she was my nurse but ethics prevented her from accepting my advances and that why she used Jessica a nickname because Yesenia Vega is a popular name in her family...unbeknownst to me at the time the white power 'so called friends' crashed this party and had dissolved roofies in a 2 liter of coke to be given to the St Paul girls so they could be raped. Art Sanchez was already there...my Biological dad and Sheriff Detective...Yesenia and I were pulled apart by Josh Hazelett as he didn't want me to dance unless I danced and dated the sister who molested me Toni/Yolie her friends were the Zerchers and she is white power. Marc Sanchez almost got in a fight with Josh and Yesenia and I went to play a fake poker with no money just the wave of a hand and a "I'm good for the money" Yesenia bet her Life and I bet my car...she folded and she asked me to walk her back to her brother Anthony's home on Elmrock the same street as the party at the Loomis home. Yesenia and I made love and we wanted to have children in case I needed another kidney transplant in the future we could ask our children to save their dad...Martin and Matthew Zercher came into the Vega home on Elmrock while Yesenia was having sex with me...they came with guns went inside and then into the backyard to look in through the window as they tapped the barrel of the handgun on the window. when we were done they accused me of rape and I was still drunk and very confused they escorted Yesenia and I back to the party at gunpoint saying that will never happen again. i called Don Esenbach a motherfucker and he and these white power neighbors with guns took me and both my Dads to my family home where Don woke my mom up with a gun pointed to my head...'Mary, I'm going to teach you people a lesson...I'm going to smoke david the same way i smoked your brother..." not noticing the Swat member in the master bath with an assault rifle pointed at Don...we were escorted back to the party were no one was arrested because loaded guns and white power are jokes not hate crimes. in 2006 I applied at the probation department and in November 2007 I began to work at a Pavilions in Santa Ana Canyon and Festival Center Anaheim Hills With Yesenia Vega...as Zaineb Ali and other investigators would come and go but I didnt remember much at all of July 26, 1997... since no one was being arrested and we had to live next door to the man who killed my uncle Smiley and bragged about tampering with my kidney medication and having sex with the sister who molested me when she was 9 or something...My cousin and Fullerton College Counselor Robert Ortiz hypnotized me so I wouldn't remember the death threats but remember Yesenia Vega wanted to marry me...I repressed both. I didn't remember fully until I began emailing the LA Times. please this deserves some investigation the police are doing something but I don't know what...
10/27/2018, I received texts saying they were IMF and FBI 850 781 0936 and 269 7433522
I have received other texts that I want to believe are from Yesenia Vega and I don’t use voice so that I have a record of what this person is saying since she doesn’t want to meet with me or I was sent a strange postcard after I sent her family flowers and a hat…they are supposed to be friends with my family and it’s the mysterious nature, the aliases, and the death threats that worries me. 213 349 3065…712 746 7163…218 2882299 they also asked for personal information, ordering them 4 new iphones and then sending the iphones to 10125 SW Winter Beaverton Oregon,
I don’t think I am safe to date Yesenia Vega otherwise why the aliases at pavilions and at Fullerton college she was Kristi Ruiz…ask me about the gibbon story. I there is more, this is the meat of the story.
I graduated from UCI in 2006. I’m sure I was failed because of the death threats or because I don’t dance, join a frat (much like the Nazis in WWII if one doesn’t join a frat, they may not have a good life) or date. My medication was tampered with and I was overweight because The Vega family wanted me to go to their home but the white power neighbors said they would kill me. So UCI faked my grades I applied to work at the Orange County Probation Department and was denied November 21, 2007 I began to work at Pavilions Anaheim Hills and this was the beginning of an undercover investigation into what happened that night and why on my Autobiography for the background check I told them, something happened but I was unsure what it was and I never remembered having sex with Yesenia Vega…that part sounds crazier than any of the other parts of this story. I do write fiction, but this is the most factual account of July 26, 1997. So, in 2013 Lisa Wise/Toni Jones/Yolie Rodriguez began to work in the deli because she uses so many aliases, I didn’t recognize my child molester. I think someone may be tampering with my food, water, and kidney medication…I think they are putting so much sugar in my water or other food that I have diabetic hives even though I take medication for this condition…I think Don Esenbach and the Melvin Zercher Family have caused me to be diabetic when I began to lose weight and remember that they pulled guns on me when I made love with Yesenia Vega…they also roofied some of the women at the party who I went to high school with. They are White Power and it seems because my skin is lighter, they wanted to groom me to be like this Ian Long…and the murderer of Mike Kelley at Cal Trans…what they do is sell the person the gun and encourage them to hurt others to take back the country. Much like Charles Manson, they don’t see that telling people to kill or carry out domestic terrorism is any sort of crime.
I write fictional books as a way of getting the word out about these Neo-Nazis and circumventing any Slander laws…but if they try to file suit the police would have to investigate the validity of my allegations. So, to keep me quiet Don Esenbach tampers with my medication and medical care by using connections within the Elks Club and connections made while working as a Pharmaceutical Representative. I believe Toni/Yolie/Lisa Wise still works at the Pavilions in Anaheim Hills. I want to rid the United States of Neo-Nazis and it seems that it is easier for everyone to say in insane than to investigate what I say. I already sent a letter to the FBI, Sheriff’s department and the news media. I don’t think anyone cares…
Other Persons of Interest
Roman Zavala, Steve Craig, Ryan White, Dennis Wiley, Stella and George Chavez, Stella and George Vega, Juan and Mary Garcia, Marisa and Tim Nolan, Lauren and Tim Nolan, Jack Estrada, Jack Amador,
Stephan Nelson/William Theodore Glass the Fifth/Finn Glass, Ross Beckley, Pamela Newberry (Newell), Joshua Hazlett, Shawn Hobgood, Carry Hobgood, Cory Hobgood, Arturo Sanchez, Marc Sanchez, Kevin Boyd, Tony) and Cathy Vielle, James Kelley, James Anderson, Mary Walker, Linda Walker, Elizabeth Walker, Mike Walker, Ronald Wilkerson, Frank Sanchez/Frank Siegrist, Lataivian Moore, Chris Jensen, Anshuman Tripathi Delbert Alcorn, Michael Holden, Alan Schoner,
David Estrada
312 N Kodiak St Apt D
Anaheim CA 92087
I don’t have a phone anymore
I was hoping to have a career writing fiction. But these White Power Police and Neighbors had me sign a death contract saying I cannot make money from being smart. And if no one ever arrested them for murder, extortion, a swastika on Temple Beth Ohr (trying to frame me)…
the Cal Trans Killings (selling the SKS and encouraging the shootings) Martin and Matthew Zercher sold the gun used in the killings at CalTrans. Melvin Zercher and Matthew always said they worked at BNSF railroad but they work for Caltrans and used my name, David Estrada, as an alias to sell the gun to a man who worked at another workyard…one of the men who was killed was Michael Kelly he was a fellow parishioner at Beatitudes of Our Lord Catholic Church. The police don’t investigate what I say…
any time I was in a car crash was to hurt me…I was shoved at the gym so quickly I thought I just tripped…the gaslightings when I went to the psych wards Don Threatened my mom because he tampered with all of my family’s medication and that how Don Killed my dad and that how Don will try to kill me…he has connections as he was a pharmaceutical representative
[[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
David Estrada CDL B5616874I was Adopted with a sister Toni (Jones) Estrada by Jesus and Mary Estrada. I was part of an open adoption between the Estrada family, Arthur Sanchez and Mary Hepburn (later she married Richard Towels). Denise Jones is Toni’s mother. She was to have no contact because Denise’s children were taken away because of drugs and negligence. In the summer of 1980…My uncle Cesario “Smiley” Rodrigiuz Jr was killed by Don Esenbach and Melvin Zercher because I’m the nephew of Audrey Hepburn and they were helping Denise Jones to get money from the Hepburn family.
Don and Melvin hit on my mom not knowing that we had just dropped off my uncle or knowing that they were there to kill her brother because the Art Sanchez and the Hepburns would come for me. They did not. Cesario was working at the liquor store of La Palma and Acacia in Anaheim. He may have been an undercover police officer, or he was targeted because of the hope that a 5 year old boy related to Audrey Hepburn could be ransomed. “Give me my gun Butch.” Don said as he got out of the passenger seat of a white 1965 Ford Mustang. Don and Melvin killed my uncle as my mom drove away and then they followed us home to 12425 Maybrook in Whittier and then later they moved into the neighborhood**. One day in kindergarten Denise had Toni try to help her kidnap me but Art and Mary were nearby, and Arthur is a detective with the Sheriff’s Department. In first grade Denise hit my family’s blue Buick regal on Imperial Hwy and Tigrina getting out of the truck saying so racial epithet about how Hispanics don’t know how to raise “White” Children**.
Arthur and Gloria Sanchez have other children and Mary Hepburn is the sister of Gloria. It was an open adoption because Mary couldn’t find anyone better to have children with and she was devoted at the time to Audrey’s career management. I went to kindergarten with Marc and Audrey and after these incidents I cannot have a relationship with my biological family.
Stella and George Vega, Stella and George Chavez would babysit me from time to time and at five I would say to Yesenia (Jessica because Yesenia is a popular name in the Vega family) I love you…Stella Vega would ask ‘what about me?’ I would say I love you, too Stella I remember telling her she had the most beautiful long black hair. Toni heard me and told me never to go back to Stella’s home because they were evil people. Who do I trust when I’m 5 and a seven-year-old tells me that and “because of my kidney disease that no woman would ever love me, but she would marry me when she was 30…”
Don Esenbach began to coach Toni on how to seduce me and also, he began to have sex with her.
I believe because I called Toni “Stupid” and hit her once or twice when I was ten that Don Esenbach a pharmaceutical representative began to tamper with my medication. And I think he still does.
In 1985, I spent some time in Children’s Hospital Los Angeles dealing with my chronic kidney infections.
Yesenia Vega was secretly part of a test to see if catheters would work. She was nurse Jessica…my petite nurse but my mom assured me she was an adult. I had forgotten about Yesenia and that I was welcome at Stella Vega’s home. I met Audrey Hepburn my teacher…in the hospital. She gave me an IQ test…I think my score is over 170 but because of these people the schools have to fake lower grades or Toni and her Friends of Hitler will hurt me. Toni used one of my catheters with someone who had Chlamydia and I used it thinking it was clean but I had been taking Sebtra an antibiotic so I got none of the symptoms. Toni asked me to have sex in the hallway bathroom after our parents went to sleep. What could I say as an 11-year-old boy? She tried to wake me up but I turned over and pretended not see her having all day to think about the consequences.
Toni and Melvin and Margert Zercher’s Children (Matthew and Martin) tried to frame me for a graffiti Swastika on Temple Beth Ohr in La Mirada. They did by asking Toni to forge my writing which she could not copy an 11-year-old boys handwriting. Toni began to molest me by teasing an 11-year-old with her body…and having the neighborhood children bully me and teach me I’m worthless.
Toni was coached to manipulate my parents and she started cutting on herself as a suicide thing and the psychiatrist told my mom or dad to supervise her bathing…they didn’t tell me, so I was confused. Toni told the police my dad was molesting her, but it was part of a plan concerning the Hepburn’s, but these people killed my uncle and instead of disappearing they followed me and the Estrada family.
Toni was born April 20th 1972. She is 3 years older. My dad Jesus Estrada was acquitted but Toni was pregnant with Don Esenbach’s child, but he never had to register as a sex offender.
I was in seventh grade after Toni was taken away…she came to my school Beatitudes of Our Lord as Bethany…Toni was 16 years-old in eighth grade using an alias. Two years later she was an 18 year old freshman at St Paul High School in Santa fe Springs…Yolie Rodriguez. I didn’t really ever notice her except for once that Shawn Hobgood pointed out Yolie…Toni is disgusting to me and she has vascular arms and a froggy looking face. She molested me. She spread rumors and threatened the girls to stay away from me.
Toni/Bethany/Yolie Rodriguez became the Valedictorian or runner up next to Yesenia Vega. My grades were faked so that Toni and her Friends of Hitler would leave me alone…which seems strange. In college I wasn’t given scholarships. I had a kidney transplant on January 20th 1996…the same date I was adopted in 1979 and Audrey Hepburn’s death in 1993.
Mike Zercher, Pat Zercher’s son who lives on Larrilyn behind my parents’ home was my Nurse at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. Yesenia Vega again was my Nurse Jessica. Just like when we were 10 and at the Santa fe Springs Mall movie theater. She was there when Marc and I we to see fire in the sky but snuck into CB-4. I didn’t recognize her as Yesenia or any woman who would like me…Toni and the neighbors teaching me my body is worthless.
In 1992, Shawn Hobgood reintroduced me to Matthew and Martin Zercher.
I think they sold the assault riffle to the man who killed the Cal Trans workers…Mike Kelley was a friend of mine from Beatitudes of Our Lord Parish bingo. I help set up the tables and such since I was about 17 or 18.
July 26th, 1997 Yesenia Vega, Marc and Audrey Sanchez had a birthday party. I was at the Loomis home on Elmrock Dr in Whittier**. I was kept drunk all day because the White Power Neighbors had two stories about me and my family and they made up one to hurt my family because my relationship with the Hepburns and trying to cover up the Murder of Cesario Rodriguez Jr…the Swastika on the Synagogue, arson of the SUV’s on Candlelight and a Stabbing at the Showcase Theater in Corona.**
I went to the Loomis home at noon and kept drunk and high without food until Yesenia Vega arrived at about 7 pm. She and I danced…Josh Hazelett tried to pull us apart when we went to play poker for no money at all…like all joke bets. I bet my car and Yesenia Vega bet her life she folded and I own her life. She took me back to her brother’s home on Elmrock as well. We made love but Toni, Matthew Zercher, and Martin Zercher invaded the home with guns and then went around to the backyard to watch Yesenia and I make love and tap the barrels of their guns on the outside of the bedroom window.
They pushed guns in my back and said that ‘this will never happen again’. Toni pushed the gun in my back and Martin and Matthew tried to accuse me of Rape but Yesenia asked me back to her brother’s home and he was in the home when Toni/Bethany/Yolie and the Zercher brothers invade the Vega home. At gunpoint they escorted us back to the Loomis home and to the party. Martin and Don Esenbach were bragging about how Don doesn’t need to register as a sex offender and he tampered with my medication since I was a kid because at 10 years old I hit Don’s 13 year old girlfriend…
And because Margert Zercher worked in the courthouse Friends of Hitler could not be arrested.
Martin’s uncle John is also helping to obstruct justice. At some point I asked Don Esenbach what he was doing at the party using the word Motherfucker…such language at a college birthday party called for Don to put a gun to my head and take me to my parents’ home.
Both Jesus Estrada and Arthur Sanchez were at the Loomis home. Mary Estrada was at home with my sister in law April and her baby. The Swat team was already in the home because Arthur Sanchez is a police officer and he thought caution might be wise. Don Esenbach and a couple other people had me go into my parents’ home at gunpoint and into my parents’ master bedroom. Not noticing the Swat team member Don Esenbach said… “Mary, I’m going to teach you people a lesson, I’m going to smoke David the same way I smoked your brother…” Don stopped when he noticed the SWAT team member in the master bathroom holding an assault rifle towards us. We then were escorted back to the party by the Sheriffs…the party was already being held hostage by…Josh Hazelett, Matthew Zercher, Martin Zercher, Margert Zercherr, Melvin Zercher, Kevin Boyd…at some point these idiots who I thought were my friends dissolved roffies in coca-cola and My cousin Teressa “Nesta” Ortiz got the worst of it…these friends of Hitler would serve mixed drinks to the girls from 2 liter soda bottles already having Rohypnol dissolved into the bottles in hopes of raping these girls I went to High School with.
Don Esenbach threatened to kill me and admitted he killed my uncle with a police officer at a witness.
Many of the girls were roofied…
And I was to sign a ‘Death Contract’ that I was never to profit from being creative or smart…and never date any woman under penalty of death. I was told to sign, and the police asked to have copies and so Art Sanchez would not let anyone leave…but no one was arrested. Instead, Jack Amador and these white power neighbors held a ‘Kangaroo Court’ in the back yard. My cousin Robert Ortiz….Teresa’s father hypnotized me to forget all the guns but that I would go to Yesenia Vega’s home and no one would mess with me. But with all the death threats, guns and no arrests I am still sure I would be killed for dating…and not giving some money to the white power neighbors.
Toni/Bethany/Yolie/Lisa Wise…started working at the Pavilions in Anaheim Hills…I didn’t recognize her at first. Why would I be told I have to work with the sister who molested me and tried to kill me for having consensual sex…. the Probation Background check…Yesenia Vega was Zaineb Ali. Serigo Ocampo could use his given name. Teressa Ortiz came into the store…I never go to High School reunions because for a long time my memory was foggy and afraid that these Neo-Nazi neighbors would kill me. Eric Estrada (Craig Glechman) and Daniela Estrada (At in cahoots in Fullerton)…at Pavilions.
Melvin Zercher’s family tried to share their love of Adolf Hitler…mixing regular punk rock, metal and country music with white power music bands like…Skrewdriver, Extreme Hatred, Aggravated Assault, Johnny Rebel…music you can get from Resistance Records a company run by Hate Groups.
They sold an assault rifle to Steve and Anthony Vega at the Chavez home one night when I was in the car drunk thinking I wouldn’t remember.
They did this often…taking me to a white power bookstore in Newport…Jeff Uribe was at this bookstore and later met him in Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
A party in our neighborhood where Yesenia Vega played drums. I said how beautiful she was and since I was drunk and Matthew Zercher drove me around and then back to our neighborhood I didn’t know I could walk home if I stayed and talked to Yesenia Vega…or just enjoyed that party.
They spoke of a meeting of White Power Groups from all over in Arizona called ‘Aryanfest’…
Martin Zercher Pointed a gun at my face and asked if I believed in guns now…with off duty police helping and on duty Sheriffs not knowing what to do because I have a nervous giggle.
I was told that this has nothing to do with Hate Crimes, Domestic Terrorism, or Racism.
I was told if I ever date or marry all the neighbors…this has nothing to do with White Supremacy or Domestic Terrorism…would kill me. I thought it was just the White Power Neighbors and police.
I have trouble getting kidney transplant medication. I can’t see my Doctor Lakhi Sakhrani who may have been at the party that night. I have been getting the run around from receptionists and at St Jude I cannot even get seen by a doctor to refer me to a doctor for medication.
I’m sure Don Esenbach and the real Patriot neighbors can tamper with the food in my apartment in Anaheim or the medication…I ran out of refills and no one can talk about the Gene Therapy I received at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. But I have diabetes because I spoke out against the White Power Law Enforment and the KKK neighbors enforcing Jim Crow Laws since Yesenia Vega and I don’t have the same White Power Skin.
I will bold all the crimes and maybe someone will investigate.
I doubt anything will happen except that I will get sick and die…
No one will bat their eye or admit the truth.
I was at work when the Oklahoma bombings happened
At an AM/PM a huge muscle bound asshole walks in and accuses me of not caring.
I was in shock
He was a friend of these white power neighbors who accuse me of not loving America because I’m Hispanic and not
I’m guessing that these white power neighbors and Police are having me blacklisted from publishing books and slandering me from getting a new job.
I’m guessing the white power police and neighbors put Toni Estrada/Bethany/Yolie/Lisa Wise into St Paul high with me…Vons…because they don’t care what I say or my darkie family says
Toni molested me and a social worker came to the house and asked if the Estradas hurt me…Toni was never an Estrada…the social worker never asked if Toni molested me
When will anyone help me and my family? I was told I have to disown my family in favor of my biological family…only biology makes a family real…
I guess America isn’t for people like me
I guess the police are the ones who helped Toni molest me and teach me my body is worthless for love and marriage and I guess the police and white power neighbors will kill me if I date or marry any woman Especially Yesenia Vega…
This is like the White power version of the notebook
Except the white power neighbors know better that the Hispanic Families and two 21 year olds who wanted to get married at the very appropriate age of 21…
Om not supposed to have a relationship with my Adopted family and my biological family or the white power neighbors will kill me. If I go to my biological family the men who killed my uncle Smiley will kill my mom, the only witness besides myself.
They had me sign a contract saying I would be killed if I date or marry any woman…if I make money because I’m smart…if I have a relationship with my biological family and my adopted family…if I write books…if I tell anyone about these white power Freemason’s, Off Duty Police, or just white power neighbors who killed my Uncle Smiley…Cesario ‘Smiley’ Rodriguez JR
I just wanted someone to corroborate any part of my story or investigate what I say without saying in schizophrenic and what I say and think doesn’t matter. The Knights of Columbus (Anthony Vielle) or some fraternity like the elks freemasons…tamper with my food, drink and medication because I have to ‘Lighten up’ about White Supremacy… and im sure the ‘Raelians’ are the State of Israel helping fuck Neo-Nazis in the ass for a long while now…
Sceintology is the Roman Catholic Church the Holy See ie the Vatican is the Sea Org…L Ron went on a Cruise or a Cruz…a Cross Tom Cruise is Tomas Cruz…
I'm sure I'm a worthless person...a human's value is not intrinsic it is the value other people let you have... Al Queda sounds innocent when you say it in English...the network and David Duke, the KKK and the neighbors in Whittier who were extorting my biological family and killed my uncle Smiley were part of this Network... Iran wants the USA out of the Middle East and so they help David Duke and the KKK with 9/11 but it kind of failed... and the white power neighbors who i tried to warn people about brought men from the KKK from Coleville, Utah to their home and they spoke of David Duke's plan in August of 1996... my family tried to speak out... but no one would believe David Estrada...I'm not a member of the Elks club or the Knights of Columbus... the den mother at Cub scouts would put tranquilizer in my drinks because the neighbors who killed my uncle told her i was violent...my sister was telling me my body is worthless because of kidney disease and she would marry me because no woman would ever want my penis...so maybe i should have killed my older adopted sister whose family killed my uncle as part of their extortion of the Hepburn family and the KKK's plot to extort the media to bring back slavery...
submitted by psychodavidest0001 to u/psychodavidest0001 [link] [comments]


2020.03.19 22:09 Defiant_Smell My broken shelf / faith crisis story (long)

With the world hitting the pause button for a while I figured I'd bite the bullet, create a Reddit account, and post my story here. Guess I'm hoping for a bit of catharsis, or maybe just a serotonin hit here and there. It's long - sorry not sorry.
My bio is typical - born in the church, mid-40s, married, 4 kids, mission, etc. My wife served as well. I've always vaguely known that there were historical issues with the church but I never really looked into them, because for me it was more important to know that the church was GOOD than to know it was TRUE. As long as I felt like it was good, well, why bother reading all the anti stuff anyway? So I guess my path was a little backwards from the usual story.
There were moments, though. I've had an ongoing suspicion for years that the happiest / most satisfied TBMs fit in a very narrow mold, and that in fact a good portion of that happiness and satisfaction comes from a sense of moral superiority rather than any sort of eternal truth. Several years ago we lived in a pretty much exclusively Mormon town in northern Utah county and never felt like we quite fit in. I distinctly remember a picture of my oldest daughter as a Beehive with the rest of the YW group, which had to be at least 30 girls. She was right smack in the middle of the photo but at the same time she was completely alone.
Once in that same ward there was a brush fire that came within maybe 50 yards of our house. We had a new baby at the time and had gone to bed early. I happened to catch a glimpse of the lights from the fire truck through the blinds and went outside to find the entire neighborhood / ward (same thing in that part of Utah) congregated in the street outside our house. But nobody thought to knock on our door to let us know or make sure we were OK.
Fast forward to now. We're living in a different state, pretty chill liberal ward. My wife and older kids have been mentally out for a couple years now, so it's been a slog for me to keep trying to drag the family to church especially with a special needs kid. The ward is split right down the middle between well off professionals in the rich part of town and a lot of struggling folks barely scraping by, and I noticed the same phenomenon - the beautiful people spent a lot of time with the other "praiseworthy and of good report" types and more or less ignored those who were struggling, either financially or (like us) with family issues. One thing that really hurt my wife was a few years ago when her dad died unexpectedly and there was little to no response from the ward, while at almost the same time one of the "cool kid" sisters lost her mom and was just absolutely smothered with love and support.
So I'd been going through the motions trying to "keep the faith" until a few months ago, when I was absolutely crushed by the news that one of the boys in the troop while I was Scoutmaster had killed himself. He was from one of the have-not families in the ward, though I personally loved them to death. His dad could always be counted on to help with Scout stuff even if it meant losing hours at work, whereas it was pulling teeth to get the rich dads to ever show up. It hit me especially hard for two reasons. First, my oldest kid had been struggling with depression for years, so I knew it easily could have been us. Second, I had a pretty deep talk a couple months earlier with the kid and his parents and they opened up about some of their struggles. Like a good Mo I let the bishop and the YM pres know they needed help and as far as I'm aware they did nothing at that point. I'll never forgive myself for not having done more.
I gave the eulogy at the funeral. My wife and daughter did a beautiful (secular) musical number together. Even though it was at the ward house and the Bishop presided there were only a handful of ward members there - most of the support was family and non-Mo friends.
So my view of the church as GOOD was badly shaken, at least at the local level. Shortly after the funeral the WaPo story came out about the $100+bn fund and I was incensed, like a lot of people. Basically it turns out the church is a hedge fund with a religious branch it uses to maintain tax-exempt status. Awesome! This is going to sound weird but the thing that really broke me was the unbelievably corporate non-denial they sent out via e-mail after the story broke. I've been in the corporate world my whole career and I know a PR firm damage control effort when I see one. It was just impossible for me to reconcile that response as being from a divinely led organization.
"And verily, Jesus said unto Peter: Go ye into the land and seek out the finest public relations firm, for verily our tithing receipts are going to be completely boned if we don't get out in front of this."
Yeah. no. At that point I was done, it was pretty much all over but the logistics. And once I couldn't believe the church was GOOD anymore I looked at CES Letter and some other stuff and confirmed that yeah, it isn't TRUE either.
So I'm gutted, but committed. Now we just need to figure out what we do with the rest of our lives.
Epilogue: My wife was thrilled, of course. She had been shaken by the whole "hat and seer stone" revelation a couple years earlier, since as a kid she remembered her mom getting in huge fights with a JW neighbor trying to tell her about the seer stone.
When I told my oldest daughter I was done with the church she said "I'm glad to hear you say that. Because I'm gay." Turns out that was a big part in her depression, and she would come home from Church activities (especially standards nights) and cut herself due to her feelings of unworthiness. So if there was any chance I was going to come back that totally ended it.
Thanks for reading.
submitted by Defiant_Smell to exmormon [link] [comments]


2020.02.11 02:21 blue_haired_goddess WIBTA for not supporting my son's activity chosen by his dad?

Edit: Thanks to everyone who read or commmented--this post blew up! I've been trying to respond to as many comments as I can. I just wanted to add a few clarifying statements that should answer some repeated questions.
-We live in a small rural community in Kansas (not Utah), and the nearest troop that accepts girls is about a 40 minute drive away. My daughter isn't begging to join or I would take her, even with the drive.
-I don't hate the Scouts. I said I didn't like them. There's a big difference in my mind between those two statements. I just don't like them enough to want to spend all my free time supporting them. The double standard that I said I do hate was directed at my ex, not Scouts. I want him to have the same standards/expectations for both our kids.
-Tom started Cubs when he was in the first grade and is now in his third year of Boy Scouts. He has been doing this for six (almost 7) years. He didn't like Cubs either, but didn't hate it quite as much and the time commitment was a lot less.
-I (and Tom) have spoken repeatedly to my ex about this topic over the past several years. It just hasn't had any effect. I will try again, with some of the great tips you all suggested. I will also find another service opportunity to offer, one that Tom can actually enjoy.
Tldr at the bottom
Background: My son ("Tom")'s dad and I divorced when Tom was 3. Tom is now 13. So far, his dad and I have mostly been successful at co-parenting our two kids (we also have a 14F together). However, my ex is adamant that Tom participate in a service organization that he himself belonged to at that age. He says it will build character and open doors for him in the future. I personally do not like this organization due to their history of homophobia and male exclusivity, which I admit makes me less excited about wanting them to play a role in building my son's "character." I also hate the double standard (my daughter's character doesn't need building? She doesn't need "doors" opened for her?!?).
Current situation: My son hates going. He complains about it every time. My ex says Tom's just being "lazy" and wants to play on his phone, and to some extent that's true. However, my son also takes music lessons and LOVES them. He has never ONCE complained about having to go to lessons or practice, so being "lazy" definitely isn't the full picture.
It's a huge time commitment (two hour weekly meeting + one hour weekly service activity + fundraising + one overnight activity on the weekend per month + 10 days during the summer minimum, and frequent extra service opportunities that his dad expects him to participate in).
I am tired of my son missing out on half of the activities I have planned for my kids and I on my weekends (we alternate custody).
WIBTA if I tell my ex that if he wants Tom to participate on weekends, it has to be on HIS time? That would mean not only switching weekends (which we often do), but would also mean he would end up with less time with our daughter since she's not allowed to go with them. I don't want to keep him from his kids, but I work full time and like to do fun things with them on weekends. He mostly sits around the house on his weekends with them anyway. His response will be that I have them "all the time" so it's not fair to expect him to give up half of his weekends with his daughter.
Tl/dr: My son hates the activity his dad wants him to do. I don't support the organization and it eats up half of "my" weekends with him. WIBTA if I make his dad switch his custody around?
submitted by blue_haired_goddess to AmItheAsshole [link] [comments]


2020.01.26 13:02 Norenzayan A history of modern apostasy and the church's attempts to address it

Updated 2020-01-27 7:16 am MST. Updates since the initial post appear in italics.
Beginning in the mid to late 2000s, the church started experiencing a large increase in the number of active, faithful, even multigenerational members leaving the church. This can largely be attributed to three major factors: 1) an increased availability and ease of access to historical information that undermines the truth claims and correlated narrative of the church; 2) increasing distance between the social progress of much of the developed world and the entrenched retrogressive views of the church on issues like LGBTQ+ equality, women's empowerment, race, and dealing with issues of sexual abuse; and 3) emergence of social networks (message boards, forums, Facebook, podcasts, etc.) that validate the legitimate concerns of doubting/questioning members and provide a "soft landing" and exit strategies for those whose belief has been challenged by the first two factors.
Highlighting the severity of the crisis, in the fall of 2011 then-church historian Marlin Jensen declared to a Utah State University religious studies class, "Maybe since Kirtland, we’ve never had a period of - I’ll call it apostasy, like we’re having now." There are no signs that the decline has slowed in the eight-plus years since that statement; in fact if anything it has accelerated, to the point that in the church's stronghold of Utah the number of members is actually declining in many places, despite strong overall population growth.
In 2014, renowned exmormon podcaster John Larsen prophesied, "The battle's over. The church has lost the war. They're changing things so quickly now...[the church] knows it has a big problem, and we're going to quickly reach the tipping point, when the exit will be starting to happen so quickly that the church will just start grasping, they'll start doing a hyper-reform, they'll start reforming everything they can that they don't have to hold onto doctrinally." (Mormon Expression episode 281, 12 min mark, edited for clarity)
Fulfilling the John Larsen prophecy, in recent years church leaders seem to have taken a "throw everything at the wall and see what sticks" approach to address these issues and attempt to stanch the hemorrhaging of the types of members that hitherto would have formed the backbone of the church. It has been fascinating to watch the flailing dance of church leadership as they do their damndest to square the circle of Mormon doctrinal paradoxes and find a way out of the corner they've painted themselves into. We are living through history, and I wanted to document all the major efforts the church has undertaken so we can all step back and enjoy the show. Here, in rough chronological order, I list the steps that have been taken and give a grade on how effective they have been.
Emergency "Rescue" firesides (and others) (2010, 2015) One of the highest profile apostasy events in recent history was when Hans Mattsson, an Area Authority in Sweden, went public with his doubts in the early 2010s. To respond to a wave of doubt and apostasy in Sweden, the church sent historian Marlin Jensen and assistant historian Richard Turley to Sweden for a closed-door fireside to frankly discuss the members' doubts, which was recorded by an attendee (audio can be found in the links on the MormonThink page, linked to from the heading above). Apostle Tom Perry was also sent, promising he "had a manuscript in his briefcase that, once it was published, would prove all the doubters wrong." According to Mattsson, the document was never produced.
A tri-stake meeting termed the Boise Rescue was held in Boise, Idaho in June 2015. Dallin Oaks and Richard Turley were sent to confront apostasy stemming from followers of Denver Snuffer and Rock Waterman (although as usual the leaders never directly mentioned the obvious reason they were there, and denied the SnuffeWaterman connection).
As can be heard from the audio of these meetings, leaders continue to equivocate and emphasize having faith in the face of evidence, and they have been unhelpful for members in faith crisis.
Effectiveness: C- Addressing the issues: C+
Lower mission age (October 2012) This move was sold as "hastening the work" to get people excited for a final big push as Jesus prepares (as he has been doing for the past two thousand years) to come back to Earth. In reality it was most likely an attempt to lock in young people to a Mormon life before they go off to college and fall away. Initial predictions (most prominently by Jeff Holland) were that there would be a large uptick in the number of missionaries followed by a new baseline of 100,000+ missionaries. The uptick did happen, but it peaked at around 88,000 in the fall of 2014 and has since declined to 65,000. For comparison, the pre-surge number of missionaries in 2012 was around 58,000. Talk of "hastening the work" has also declined in step. It should also be noted that the number of convert baptisms per missionary has declined each year since the lowered age.
Was this move effective? It certainly got members excited for a while, but it also resulted in less mature missionaries being sent out, and data shows that more missionaries are coming home early than ever before (with the caveat that this trend started before the age change). The "hasten the work" refrain became a recurring theme from conference talks down to local testimony meetings for several years, but is rarely heard anymore. It's not clear that fewer return missionaries are leaving the church than before the age change, and it fails to address any of the three root problems I describe above.
Effectiveness: C- Addressing the issues: F
The Faith Crisis report (2013) Between 2011 and 2013, a team of researchers including Greg Prince, John Dehlin, and Travis Stratford conducted a study of church members experiencing faith crises. A report summarizing the research and a collection of personal experiences of the subjects of the study was given to Dieter Uchtdorf. The stunning report shows the level of detail that church leadership knows about the problematic issues and about the personal and interpersonal trauma experienced by members in faith crisis. The report is well worth reading in full. It was reportedly kept "on file at the Church’s “restricted” research library (with only top leaders able to access the sensitive reports)" (p. 138), where few people knew about it until it was leaked in October 2013.
The report shows unequivocally that top leadership knows exactly the problems with the correlated narrative and the harm it is causing members by continuing to downplay, spin, hide, and deny these problems. All subsequent church action can be viewed through the lens of this report.
Gospel Topics essays (2014) One of the biggest moves for the church was releasing a series of essays in 2014 addressing specific controversial issues in history and doctrine, including the historicity and translation of the Book of Mormon and Book of Abraham, polygamy, racism, violence in early Mormonism, and multiple contradictory first vision accounts by Joseph Smith. The essays are undated and unattributed to any authors to easily preserve plausible deniability. They are not widely publicized, are made intentionally difficult to find on the website, and to my knowledge the Q15 has never directly acknowledged their existence in a formal setting such as conference. The intent is clearly not to actually resolve the controversies for members who have discovered the less savory side of church history and are seeking answers, but rather just to have something "out there" to make members who have struggling family/friends feel like the issues have already been resolved. Additionally, the essays are extremely disingenuous in the evidence they present and the way they use footnotes, as has been discussed in many podcasts, blog entries, and reddit posts.
The essays have been effective for some members, but have also been a gateway to further study and loss of faith among many others, including its own missionaries.
Effectiveness: C+ Addressing the issues: C-
"Face to face" events with leaders (2014-present) Beginning in 2014, leadership began holding these events in which a small group of youth or young adults meet with a prominent church leader or celebrity in a more informal setting than a traditional fireside talk. Sometimes they involve a Q&A session, but invariably the questions are prescreened and vaguely answered. They ostensibly try to address some of the "hard issues," occasionally answering a question about social positions of the church or troubling history, but never getting into specifics.
Effectiveness: C Addressing the issues: D-
Changed institute curriculum (2015) The church revamped its institute curriculum in 2015, requiring four "cornerstone" courses that are built around themes rather than following the four standard works linearly. Some controversial issues are addressed, and the manuals do include the gospel topics essays as part of the suggested reading for some of the lessons. I actually took the "Foundation of the Restoration" course myself, but at least in my class the gospel topics essays weren't actually brought up or discussed in class.
Effectiveness: C Addressing the issues: D
Exclusion policy and reversal (November 2015 - April 2019) In a truly stunning series of events, in November 2015 a new policy barring the children of gay parents from being baptized and automatically branding couples in a same-sex marriage as "apostate" was quietly inserted into the secret leadership-only handbook, but quickly leaked to the public. A massive backlash led to a confusing series of walk-backs and "clarifications," including an awkward, staged "interview" with Todd Christofferson (whose brother is gay). The news roiled members and directly led to an estimated 1,500 resignations at a protest event and followed by a steady stream of more resignations, while shaking the faith of and deeply hurting countless other members. A few months after the change, in January 2016, then-Elder Russel Nelson declared that the policy change was a revelation from God to then-President Tom Monson.
The policy needlessly hurt members, damaged family relationships, and confused everyone. Bowing ever so slightly to public pressure, the policy was amended without apology or explanation in April 2019. The children of gay parents can now be baptized at a local bishop's discretion, and confusingly, "immoral conduct in heterosexual or homosexual relationships will be treated in the same way." In a sign of the pressures and criticism he faced, Russell Nelson gave a defensive, gaslighting explanation speech to BYU students five months after the policy "adjustment" (for an excellent and thorough analysis of the speech, see the Radio Free Mormon podcast episode.
Effectiveness: F- Addressing the issues: F-
Ceasing the statistical report at April conferences (April 2018) The church stopped its traditional annual statistical report over the pulpit after the last one in April 2017. Instead, it now publishes the numbers online (see the 2017 and 2018 reports). No explanation was given for the change, but surely the declining numbers of missionaries and slowed growth overall were disincentives to draw attention with an over-the-pulpit report. Another possibility is that this was another hobby horse of Russell Nelson's, as the change was made for his first conference as president.
Effectiveness: F- Addressing the issues: F-
"Saints," a new history of the church (2018) This is a planned four-volume new history of the church, with the first volume being released in 2018. The intent here is much the same as the Gospel Topics essays—rewriting church history to include the controversial aspects that can't be swept under the rug anymore, but presenting them only as much as necessary and in as faith promoting an angle as possible. The book is written at an eighth grade reading level, and it shows. As an added bonus, yet another must-have book is purchased by thousands of faithful members.
Effectiveness: B Addressing the issues: C-
Deemphasizing the Mormon moniker (2018) Shortly after taking the wheel as president of the church, in 2018 Russel Nelson announced the church would stop using the word "Mormon" to refer to itself or its members. He also begged the press to stop using the word by issuing a style guide, which most major publications continue to ignore. Church websites and materials were rebranded and members were reprogrammed to correct friends and neighbors when they say "Mormon." In the next conference, Russel threw the not-long-deceased prophets who approved and orchestrated the "I'm a Mormon" campaign under the bus when he called use of the term a "major victory for Satan".
It's clear that this has been a long-time hobby horse for Nelson over which he had sparred with more senior leaders, as evidenced by his 1990 talk on the subject which was directly rebutted by then-president Gordon Hinckley at the very next conference, saying that "We may not be able to change the nickname, but we can make it shine with added luster." Millions of out-of-breath Mormons Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have shrugged and gone along with Nelson.
Effectiveness: F Addressing the issues: F
Two-hour church and new curriculum (2019) In the October 2018 general conference, and to the immense relief of closeted nonbelievers everywhere, church leaders announced that Sunday meetings would be shortened from three hours to two hours beginning in 2019. At the same time, they released a new correlated Sunday School curriculum with a focus on home study. Members were instructed to use the extra hour on Sunday to do a kind of homeschool church and study the lesson for the coming week, then continue to study the lesson daily. This move was sold as a way to build stronger faith and more resilient testimonies as The World continues to get more and more wicked. The more likely reason was to accommodate areas of the world where the church is less established and to allow for smaller wards with fewer callings as the church continues to decline. The new curriculum created an opportunity to yet again revise the narrative and whitewash/deemphasize certain teachings. This seems to be a "rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic" move.
Effectiveness: D Addressing the issues: F
Temple changes (2019) Among the most substantial doctrinal/policy changes are in recent memory are those to temple ordinances and policy, although despite leaders' insistence that the doctrine and ordinances never change, it is certainly not unprecedented. The biggest change was in the substance of the endowment ceremony, in January 2019, rewording the covenant script to put women on a more equal footing with men and removing the requirement for them to veil their faces.
Soon after, a longstanding policy requiring couples married in a civil marriage to wait for one year before they could be sealed was amended; couples can now be married civilly with non-member family and friends and then have a sealing without any waiting period. It's impossible to overstate the family discord caused by the previous policy; by changing it the church implicitly admits that there was no "doctrinal" reason for it in the first place, and it was undoubtedly held as a control and shaming mechanism.
Additionally, in October 2019 some minor policy changes were made to allow women to be witnesses in temple ordinances. An insubstantial change to the temple clothing was also made just recently.
Again, the most significant change was revamping the endowment ceremony. This is a positive step for Mormon reformation, but obviously undermines the authority and doctrinal infallibility claims of church leaders, although they continue to pretend that this is just a minor "clarification" that doesn't change the covenant itself. They also refused to apologize or acknowledge that anything was wrong with the previous ceremony.
Effectiveness: B+ Addressing the issues: B+
Excommunications (recurring) Several high-profile doubters and would-be reformers have been excommunicated in the last few years, including:
The goal of excommunication is to fence off antagonists and invalidate their voice, as TBMs can easily brush aside the words of an excommunicated member who has "lost the spirit." However, religious researcher and journalist Jana Riess has shown that this tactic has mixed results, with nearly 60% of Mormons saying they are "very" or "somewhat" troubled by excommunications of "feminists, intellectuals, and activists." History has also shown that after enough time passes, the church often eventually adopts the ideas of activists it excommunicates, claiming it is revelation from God without mentioning or crediting the work of said activists.
Effectiveness: C Addressing the issues: F-
Announcing more temples (2018 - ongoing) Few things excite the masses like a temple announcement near their home or mission location. Despite clear evidence of slowed membership growth, and after a decrease in new temple announcements during the last few conferences of Thomas Monson's tenure, the church has paradoxically announced a large number of temples in the last few conferences: April 2016 (4), October 2016 (0), April 2017 (5), October 2017 (0) April 2018 (7), October 2018 (12), April 2019 (8), and October 2019 (8). However, it should be noted that an announced temple is not a temple under construction, and the church has no public guidelines on the timeframe or how certain an announced temple is to be built. According to an unofficial tracking website, there are currently 35 announced temples, but only 14 of those have an actual site announced. Some, like the "Russia Temple," do not even have a city announced and sound more like wishful aspirations than concrete plans. Five are in temple-saturated Utah, where the church is able to follow the example of Joseph Smith and capitalize on increased property values after a temple announcement.
Having temples nearby does increase pressure on members to keep all the rules (especially tithing) so they can conform for ward temple nights and youth trips, but does nothing to address the rot at the roots of the church.
Effectiveness: D+ Addressing the issues: F-
Other minor changes
These changes are probably largely corporate in nature, serving to streamline the institution, hierarchy, and bureaucracy. The new youth programs are a response to the recent progressive changes in the Boy Scouts of America, which now allows gay leaders and girls (although still excluding atheists, that last bastion of American untouchables).
So there you have it. There is little evidence that these combined efforts have had much effect on the crisis of the church's own making. The exmormon subreddit subscriber count was at around 23,000 when I joined in late 2015, and it has continued to grow at a steady pace, recently passing 150k. Thus there's no doubt the church will continue grasping at straws and adding to this list.
Is there anything I'm missing here or corrections needed? Also I'm curious for the members of this sub, did any of these tactics delay or accelerate your exit (whether it was a full break it just mentally out)?
ETA: Thanks for everyone's responses (and the gold etc.!). I won't have a lot of time to work on this today, but there are some important suggestions in the comments that deserve treatment here, and I will do so when I have a chance.
Some have suggested a website or sticky. I would love to keep this available as a living document to update the church continues its hyper reform, and I'm open to suggestions on the best way to do that.
submitted by Norenzayan to exmormon [link] [comments]


2019.12.30 21:52 meeseeks2000 Any help with these historical issues?

I’ve believed for nearly 2+ decades now and served a mission too but as I’ve learned more about the church its become harder to believe that it’s true. With the increasing evidence it seems that my spiritual and testimony experiences were merely emotional occurrences in my mind. I Thought I’d share my concerns to see if there’s any good answers. At the least, hopefully my concerns can relate to others out there with similar concerns. However, it seems that although the church may be good in general and have some beautiful beliefs I’m starting to conclude that it’s probably not true. my (mostly historical) Concerns:
1) Joseph smith seems to have copied Adam Clarke’s previous publication and used it to produce the Joseph smith translation of the Bible as indicated by the study done by BYU by a student named Haley around 2018. She left the church and said she wasn’t allowed to publish everything and now the research project is being finished my university of Utah .
link1: BYU research http://jur.byu.edu/?p=21296
link2: BYU research podcast w/ researcher https://ldsperspectives.com/2017/09/26/jst-adam-clarke-commentary/
link3: BYU research podcast w/ researcher https://mormondiscussionpodcast.org/2018/05/haley-lemmon-joseph-smith-translation-revelation-plagiarism/
Link4: Adam Clarke commentary on the whole Bible http://www.godrules.net/library/clarke/clarke.htm#commentary
2) book of Abraham (BOA) issues - mormon and non-Mormon Egyptologists show that the translation does not match the papyri and are merely funerary texts. The church admits that the papyri doesn't match. The papyri has Joseph smiths handwriting and the papyri indicates that a direct character by character translation was attempted.
link1: Church Website BOA admissions https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics-essays/translation-and-historicity-of-the-book-of-abraham?lang=eng
link2: church run website's BOA admissions https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/intro/introduction-to-revelations-and-translations-volume-4
link3: summary of BOA problematic issues https://www.ldsdiscussions.com/blog-abraham-in-1000-words
3) Book of Mormon issues - Church did an internal study to see the similarities between the previously published View of Hebrews book (written by Ethan Smith) and Book of Mormon and found about 20 similarities and was released in the "Studies of the Book of Mormon" by BH Roberts a church general authority (seventy) indicating Joseph used some base source material. Chiasmus are often used as a claim to the Book of Mormon Authenticity but are already in other books previously published so really don’t support truth claim like "The Late War" book. DNA doesn’t support the claim that the Native Americans are descendants from the hundreds of millions of people from the book of mormon and the church later updated BOM introduction to not say that it’s not "primarily" from Native American descent and instead to be only "among the ancestors" of the native americans, BOM contains errors that are in the King James Bible indicating that’s what was used as source material. Lehi’s vision is a copy of Joseph smiths fathers vision.
Link 1- about 20 similarities of BOM & View of Hebrews https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studies_of_the_Book_of_Mormon
Link 2- Chiasmus in previous books http://www.mormonthink.com/glossary/chiasmus.htm
Link 3- principal ancestors change https://www.heraldextra.com/lifestyles/book-of-mormon-introduction-change-may-reflect-new-thinking-about/article_a645beb5-d963-5606-b91f-ac401d5f859d.html
Link 4- King James Bible error also in BOok of Mormon http://actuallytextual.blogspot.com/2019/09/an-error-from-1769-edition-of-king.html
Link 5- Joseph smith's father had Tree of Life vision https://www.ldsliving.com/Joseph-Smith-s-Father-Saw-the-Tree-of-Life-19-Years-Before-the-Book-of-Mormon-Was-Published/s/80997
4) seer stone - Joseph smith put a rock in a hat and then put his head in the hat for the majority of the translation process . The majority, if not all, of the time he never even had the plates with him during translation. He used this same hat-rock process to look for gold and convince people to pay him to help them find gold. joseph went to court for this. The church has not been upfront with the translation process and has only recently admitted the rock and hat translation process due to people just finding out through other sources.
Link1 - seer stone & treasure hunting https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics-essays/book-of-mormon-translation?lang=eng
Link2 - brought to court for seer stone treasure hunting https://byustudies.byu.edu/content/joseph-smith-and-1826-trial-new-evidence-and-new-difficulties
Link3 - plates not present during significant part of translation https://rsc.byu.edu/coming-forth-book-mormon/firsthand-witness-accounts-translation-process
5) polygamy - married 30+ women , some as young as 14, married several other teenagers, married women who were already married and whose husbands were on mission elsewhere even though revelation D&C 132:61 says women can't be married to other men to be part of polygamous relationship, faked a second wedding to avoid upsetting Emma and making her believe it was the first wedding, married women without telling Emma even though D&C 132:61 says to ask for consent of first wife, used forceful language to marry young women by saying an angel with a sword said they needed to marry, polygamy was practiced several years after they had already publicly stopped polygamy, some evidence of adultery with Fanny Alger with Oliver Cowdery condemning him and perhaps Emma catching Joseph with Fanny,
Link1 - several polygamy issues mentioned here https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics/plural-marriage-in-kirtland-and-nauvoo?lang=eng
Link2 - some accounts showing an affair with Fanny Alger http://josephsmithspolygamy.org/plural-wives-overview/fanny-alge
Link 3 - polygamy continues for several years even after Brigham Young publicly said it was stopped https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/topics/the-manifesto-and-the-end-of-plural-marriage?lang=eng
6) kinderhook plates are not real but Joseph said they were historical
Link1 - kinderhook plates http://www.mormonthink.com/kinderhookweb.htm
7) tithing - changed from paying 10 percent of your surplus of your income after all your needs are taken care of (so you could pay Zero and still be full tithe payer) to being paying 10 percent of your income no matter what your needs are . Changed Around the 1930s. Church is really ambiguous now on clarifying this and just says it’s a personal decision. And this ambiguity leads to more money and indicates a money driven rule instead of a god given rule.
Link 1 - how tithing used to be calculated on your surplus https://wheatandtares.org/2015/12/27/tithing-have-you-considered-paying-on-surplus/
8) Adam-god and blood atonement doctrine taught by Brigham young but now the church says he’s wrong
Link1 - blood atonement - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_atonement
LInk2 - adam-god theory - https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Mormonism_and_doctrine/Repudiated_concepts/Adam-God_theory
9) authority issues - Joseph smith did not mention getting authority until after ordinances had been performed including getting married to fanny Alger. The original doctrines of covenants 27 of the year 1833 does not mention receiving authority and only in the newer 1835 edition was it inserted into D&C 27.
Link1 - D&C 27 of 1833 edition https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/book-of-commandments-1833/9#full-transcript
Link2 - Fanny Alger relationship happened before sealing authority http://mit.irr.org/joseph-smith-and-fanny-alger
Link3 - no mention of priesthood til 1835 http://www.mormonthink.com/priesthood.htm
10) Emma smith and her son left the church and started new church. While this doesn't directly mean the church isn't true it is a small part that just adds to the story showing that even those close to Joseph fell away which for some can indicate that it must not be true if even his spouse and child left the church.
Link1 - Emma & son leave and start new church https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/history/topics/emma-hale-smith?lang=eng
11) 3 degrees of glory idea are much copied from Swedenborg’s book
Link1 - Swedenborg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degrees_of_glory
12) temple practices are largely copied from masonry and Joseph Smith became a mason or master mason the same weeks that the second part of the Endownment was started.
Link1- when did Joseph become a Mason https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormonism_and_Freemasonry
Link2 - when did Joseph start 2nd part of Endownment https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/history/topics/masonry?lang=eng
13) Unreliability of personal revelation - causes truth seeking issues and decision making issues and if the church isn’t true that relieves a lot of decision making frustration where I’m trying to understand what the spirit is saying (which ain’t easy). Saying that there’s no spirit solves the problem of decision making by allowing me to completely own my decisions instead of trying to interpret the spirit. just resolves a lot of my decision frustrations and truth seeking frustrations. Other religions and believes use the same method "pray and find out" and other people get the same answer for other religions.
14) There’s a voice recording of apostle oaks ( I think oaks) in a fireside where he says that he doubts that most of the apostles has seen god. Growing up I was taught that most of them have since they were special witnesses.
Link1 - oaks doubts most others apostles have seen god https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrMJ2YZD62M
Edit#2: adding some other concerns i forgot below
15) social policy issues - racism in Book of Mormon, racist priesthood ban only lifted 1978, poor gay policies and gay camps that led to suicides, gay parent baptism ban and then unban 2018ish, condemning contraception and then not In 1900’s to 1990ish, condemning oral sex in 1980s and then due to member backlash on the policy they withdrew the policy that was signed by three apostles, huge Mormon campaign from pres Monson and then no more use of term Mormon name change from pres Nelson, a church environment that give men more rights than women like the boy scouts program vs the young womens program where more budget was spent on the boys than girls among other examples of inequality,
Link1 - racism https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics-essays/race-and-the-priesthood?lang=eng
Link2 - suicides https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_Mormon_suicides
Link3 - contraception https://medium.com/@jellistx/mormon-doctrines-changed-in-my-lifetime-54aa9b98299e
Link4 - oral sex banned and then un-banned https://faenrandir.github.io/a_careful_examination/lds-church-ban-on-oral-sex/
Link5 - I'm a mormon campaign https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/-i-m-a-mormon-campaign
Link6 - Mormon name a "victory for satan" https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2018/10/the-correct-name-of-the-church?lang=eng
Edit #3: will be adding more source links to this just as a reference for myself but also for anyone else. 2/18/2020
submitted by meeseeks2000 to mormon [link] [comments]


2019.12.28 20:59 Bad_at_Clicking Haunted buildings had the best scrap metal. And a lot of people wanted it to stay there. (Part 4)

PART 1 PART 2 PART 3
I finally met up with my old pal Lyndsey Fallon for coffee today.
She kept cancelling on me, three times since Thanksgiving … but I’m such an awful pest and I just wouldn’t let her go dark.
She sounded scared on the phone. But she seemed okay today in person.
It was good to see her. She looks the same. Just a little thinner. A little wider between the eyes.
Back in high school, Lyndsey had seen a lot of the same crazy things I had seen. And then some. Lyndsey had been in a lot of bad situations back then.
I asked her, “If you could go back and undo some of it, what would you undo?”
Lyndsey said, “Don’t start that.”
And I guess she’s right. Trauma isn’t something you can undo. But trauma is why she sent me that text message out of the blue a few weeks back and I needed to know what had her so scared lately.
“It was paranoia, is all it was,” she said. “I feel silly about it now. I had a big panic that turned out to be nothing.”
Lyndsey kept spinning her coffee cup like a merry go round.
I said, “Have you been seeing any nice ghosts lately?”
She said no. “Shut up. No, it was just me being paranoid.”
Lyndsey told me she had had a co-worker who died a few days after Halloween this year. It had been a suicide and it had rattled her and it reminded her of the old days in a bad way.
“This guy,” she said, “he seemed happy but I guess don’t they always?”
“Damn Lynds.”
“What scared me,” she said, “was he had plans with his kids for Thanksgiving and was talking about some half-marathon he registered for and then for no reason he was gone. He had this storage shed at one of those self-storage places and he went there and he used a gun to do it.”
“Damn,” I said.
Lyndsey said, “It just reminded me of Amy Cressel … and Beth. And I panicked. But it was just me being paranoid and seeing old ghosts is all.”
And I completely understood what she meant.

To really understand what we went through, you’ll need to understand what happened to Beth Crews. And to understand what happened to Beth, you’ll need to know about the Fourteenth Ward.
Back when we were kids, a lot of our neighbors were highly superstitious about the odd things happening in and around Ogden.
Keep in mind, this was Utah. There are a LOT of Mormons in Utah, and whenever you have a religious group bottled up like that, anything unexplainable is going to seem downright evil and terrifying to them.
They acted like the urban decay was some kind of virus. As if bad spirits could spread like a disease from one abandoned building to the next.
They talked about BECA fences as if they were quarantine zones, and that anybody who broke into an agency-sealed building carried some kind of demonic contamination back out with them when they left.
It horrified them. Trespassers like me and my friends were nonchalantly hauling scrap metal out of these buildings. Think of what could happen.
We saw a lot of eyes “peering through the blinds,” as it were. People calling the cops anytime they saw anything fishy. A lot of gossip in the Mormon ward meetings.
And some people were bound to take things too far.
Of course, we always had to worry about getting caught during a salvage.
Our number one concern was law enforcement.
Abandoned buildings are dangerous enough on their own, but the last thing we needed was some random security guard noticing our trucks and sniffing us out.
Breaking a BECA seal had been elevated to felony criminal trespass, back then. Most of us were underage, so felonies didn’t scare us as bad as they should have … but it was still a serious risk and we knew better than to take it lightly.
We had a few aces up our sleeves.
First, people were afraid of those buildings. Even BECA and the cops. They didn’t want to go inside at all, let alone stay inside long enough to investigate strange noises or set up complicated security systems. They relied on the fences and the notion that nobody would be foolish enough to cut through them.
Second, Adam’s uncle and the rest of the Railyard Club seemed to have a sixth sense as to when a certain part of town would be “lightly patrolled.”
Which is to say, they probably bribed a few cops.
Adam Wallace had his safeguards too. He always had lookouts. Walkie-talkies at the ready. And he had a “rabbit.”
To be specific: he had Megan Rollins.
Megan came along on every salvage but she never once lifted a toolbox.
She always wore those rollerblades.
That was her job. A rabbit. If the lookouts caught sight of a BECA watchman or a sheriff's patrol, it was Megan’s job to lead our guests on a chase.
Her job was to buy the rest of us some extra time to get out of dodge.
And she was an all-star.
So, as dangerous as it was to do what we did, we felt relatively safe on salvage.
The Fourteenth Ward changed that.
They were fanatics.
I was never Mormon myself, but growing up in Odgen I knew the Mormons had their zealots just like any other religion.
And the Fourteenth Ward was exactly that.
I don’t know how many of them there were, but like any other Mormon ward they had their bishop, and they had their priests, and they had their gossip.
Add to that all the anxieties of a dying city and it was an absolute grease fire.
Let me tell you about my very first run-in with the Fourteenth Ward.
It was at Monson Clinic, in Century Towers.
I’d gone there with Beth … but Adam had nothing to do with this one. It wasn’t a Railyard Club job.
That was our first mistake.
It was Beth’s idea. She needed extra money and took a job from Ben Regan, at the Boneyard.
Ben dealt in curiosities. What he called “cursed objects.” Dolls, gloves, tattered baseballs, eye-glasses, photos, things that had been left behind in haunted buildings and had absorbed some of the bad mood.
Adam always warned us never to remove anyone else’s personal belongings from BECA buildings.
“Too many rotten feelings,” Adam said. “Something angry could follow you home.”
But Ben Regan didn’t care about that, and his clients actually sought him out because of it. Most of them just wanted to own some haunted thing. Others were looking for something they lost.
For this particular job, Ben had offered Beth two-hundred and fifty dollars to break in to Monson Clinic and retrieve an old journal left behind in a cabinet in one of the exam rooms.
She didn’t know what was in this journal and she was expressly told not to open or read it. She was also told to go by herself, absolutely alone, and tell no one. Whoever wanted this thing, they wanted it kept secret.
“Bullshit,” I told her. “I’m coming with you. I don’t need a slice. The money’s yours. But bullshit, I’m coming with you.”
I kept saying that until she got tired of hearing me say it and she said I could come along.
So we went.
The good news was, Sean had already scouted the place for Adam. Adam had been planning to strip the security system from Century Towers one of these days. He just hadn’t gotten around to it yet.
“It’s mostly clean,” said Sean. “The South Tower has most of the problems. The Northeast Tower only has one. And it’s easy to avoid.”
Apparently, he explained, one of the office workers at Century Towers Northeast had pried open the sixth-floor doors to the elevator shaft and jumped. This was about a year ago.
When the fire department showed up, they found this guy crumpled up in the elevator car, which was on the ground floor. In the fall, he had busted through the top.
The thing was, he was still alive. Just barely. Whispering “Please let me go home. I don’t want to fall.”
“He died on the way to the hospital,” said Sean.
The haunting had started a few weeks after that. People said they could hear the dead man whispering, late at night. “Please. I don’t want to fall.”
Sometimes they’d see him. Prying open the doors on the sixth floor.
The reason BECA had eventually sealed the place was: a few of the nightshifters who heard the whispering ended up jumping to their own deaths too, in the same elevator shaft. Days or weeks after hearing the voice.
But Sean said not to worry about that.
“You just have to stay away from the elevator doors,” he said. “Or plug your ears when you walk past. Just make sure you don’t hear the whispering.”
It seemed easy enough.
We took Beth’s car that night. Some time after 2am.
She brought a few basic tools and said we’d be in and out in a flash.
“Don’t tell anybody about this,” she said. “Anybody asks, I was here alone.”
We parked outside the BECA fences and cut a flap in the chainlink just big enough for us to crawl through. No need to get the car inside, since we wouldn’t be hauling anything heavy.
This building didn’t have floodlights and it was a quiet night. The door popped open with a quick tug of the crow bar.
But right away, I had a bad feeling.
Inside the door, someone had written in charcoal over the wall: “He was filled with the Spirit of the Lord. He is now behind the veil.”
Under that, the dust on the tiles was rashed with scrapes and footprints.
“Someone’s been here,” I said.
“Your brother. When he scouted,” said Beth.
But Sean would not have written something like that on the wall. “And plus that was weeks ago.”
“Who knows. Don’t worry.”
We were supposed to go upstairs. Monson Clinic was on the third floor.
I could see the elevators from here, but we wouldn’t need to go anywhere near them since the stairs were at the opposite end of the hall.
The stairwell was hazy with dust. Some of these old buildings still had power, even if just for the exit signs and fire alarms, so every floor had this green glow outside the stairwell doors.
We climbed. Four flights if you counted the mezzanine.
Monson Clinic took most of the third floor. We passed through the waiting room where there were more footprints. Not Sean’s and not old.
I whispered at Beth that we should go home but she shushed me.
I wish we had left.
It didn’t take long to find the exam rooms. Beth had a little piece of paper where Ben Regan had written which room this journal would be in, and how to recognize it. We had enough light from the various exit signs, Beth could read the notes without her flashlight. But we each had one of those too.
“Footprints all over in here,” I said. “Beth, we should just go.
“It won’t take a second.”
“Fine. Get what you need. But christ be quick. I don’t wanna stay.”
My anxiety levels were near the top of the gauge by now. What sent me over the edge though was we found a folded newspaper lying in the hallway. I guess it must have been tossed and slid through the dust, leaving a skid over the tiles. Again, not very long ago.
I thought, maybe it was one of Sean’s tricks. He had a lot of ways to test for hazards, paranormal or otherwise. Sometimes you could tease up a ghost by throwing something, or singing, or knocking on doors.
Beth was the first to reach the newspaper and she picked it up. A Standard-Examiner from three days prior.
“Shit Jenny,” she said. She showed me the front page.
Someone had circled one of the articles. Something about another missing girl. And whoever had circled that had written, “The Martyr is with us.”
“What the fuck, Beth. It’s from three goddamn days ago? This wasn’t Sean.”
It didn’t make sense. But why would somebody break in, and leave this here?
“Whatever,” said Beth. “That’s the room up there. Let’s haul ass and then we can scoot.”
The exam room was at the end of this hall and the door was open. More footprints outside of it.
“What if someone’s still here?”
“Heads will roll,” said Beth. “If Ben jobbed this out to both me and someone else I’m going to break his neck. I need this.”
I angled my light through the doorway of the exam room. We stood just outside of it and I checked the corners.
The room was basically empty, but at the back corner hung one of those curtains you always seen in hospitals, to give the patient some privacy to get dressed or whatever. This curtain was shut, so we couldn’t see whatever was behind it.
But my flashlight caught something under the curtain, as if someone were standing there.
We both flinched and stared.
Beth went red. “Who’s in there? Come on don’t fuck around. Who’s in there?”
I ducked down and shined my light under the curtain again but there were no feet. Just some chair legs and cabinets.
“Damnit Jen, it’s nobody.” Beth was shaking.
So was I. I said, “Beth, don’t go in there.”
She shouted at the curtain. “I’ve got a bunch of friends with me out here,” she said. “I’m coming in there and if you try anything, you won’t like what we do next.”
No answer.
I thought, maybe we hadn’t seen anyone standing there after all. Maybe it was just a few shadows from the curtain or the chair. I noticed, there weren’t any footprints in the dust inside the exam room itself.
Beth had noticed that too.
“Okay, I’m going in,” she said. “Just real quick. If it’s a problem, Sean would have known about it, right?”
“I dont’ know …”
The second she stepped inside, the light seemed to change. It seemed to get darker, as if both of our flashlights and the emergency lighting in the hall were on low power. They flickered.
From behind that exam curtain, a man spoke. “Give me your name,” he said. Deep and cracked and mad.
Beth stopped where she stood and started backing away. “Who is that?”
The curtains moved. Fingers tickled out from the gap. A hand. A reaching arm, pale and darkly veined and dead.
“Give me your true name.”
I told Beth to get the fuck out of that room and she did. She nearly knocked me down jumping backwards into the hall as that dead hand stretched for us.
The fingers waved, and they made some strange symbols in the air like sign language.
The dead voice said, “Give me your hand and come through to me.”
As Scrappers, we both knew the best thing to do at times like this was to calm down. Get to a safe distance, calm down, and think. The idea was that if you ever disturbed something unnatural, it was usually just as confused as you were about the encounter and it didn’t really want to hurt you. It was like a bird defending its nest.
But sometimes that nest is bigger than you think it is, and what happened next happened fast.
Beth and I were both watching that hand as we stepped away. Then I noticed something else moving along the adjoining hall.
Two men scuttled toward us in a fast crouch. There was nothing paranormal about these two. They were just as real and alive as me and Beth.
A flash flood of adrenaline spun me around and I scrambled to the nearest fire alarm and I pulled it.
It worked, too. The alarm sounded, blaring all through the halls, and the emergency flood light started to flash. It was blinding.
By then, the two men in the hall, plus a third man who had flanking us from the other direction, jumped at Beth and dragged her to the ground outside of the exam room doorway.
These men wore cotton sacks over their heads, with eye holes cut, hiding their faces. They wore gloves, too, and they had a good hold on Beth even though she was bucking like a rodeo steer.
I rushed up and hit one of the men with the crow bar I was still holding. He winced from it. I might have even broken his shoulder blade. But he had enough strength to catch my wrist and he pulled me forward off balance.
I lost the crowbar.
The other two men by now had one of Beth’s shoes off and were tugging at her belt.
I remember what they said to her. It was the strangest thing. “Forever a bride,” they said to Beth, and that scared me more than anything.
I kicked and kicked at the man who was trying to hold me down, and eventually I was able to push him off long enough that I could get to my feet. He had me by the shirt and pulled me down again on top of the other two guys and Beth.
I saw that hand again, coming out from the curtain. A sickly long arm, stretching and stretching toward us.
The crowbar wasn’t far from my own hand so I took it up and started swinging. I think I even hit Beth once, but everyone in the dogpile started to cower away and I was able to tug Beth to her feet with me.
We ran, and I threw the crowbar at the men as they chased us. Maybe that bought us enough time, because we were able to round the next hall and duck into another exam room.
We held our breaths and listened.
The men tiptoed after us. They didn’t have flashlights and hadn’t picked ours up from the floor. I think they were listening for us and stalking through the halls. I don’t think they had enough light to see our footprints, or else they just weren’t thinking about that.
I don’t know what would have happened if we hadn’t heard the fire engines. I don’t know what those men would have done to Beth, or to me. I have my guesses.
But when those fire engines sounded outside the building, all five of us stopped and listened. One of the windows on this floor had been busted-out and we could hear the sirens very well. We even heard the breaching of the door as they started into the building.
The masked men scattered. They hissed at each other and they ran.
Once they’d gone, we did the same.
One thing Sean had mentioned to us was, there was a sky bridge on the mezzanine level, to the South Tower. I pulled Beth after me and we went that way, and down the stairs and out into the weeds and into the cold air as two police cruisers rushed in through the BECA gate to join the fire engines.
We kept to the shadows all around the perimeter. We slipped through the cut fence and rolled into Beth’s car and drove away.
It was a long time before Beth’s nerves cracked. She started laughing and said, “Jenny, I lost a shoe.”
“I’ll buy you a new pair,” I said, and I started cracking too.
We didn’t see those masked men again that night but I know one thing for certain: the cops didn’t catch them either.
That whole ride home, that night, I didn’t know what to make of it. The only thing that made sense was, this was frontier justice. Those men were out to rid the world of a wicked trespasser. That’s all. I was wrong about that, but that’s what made sense at the time.
Anyway. That was the first time I met the Fourteenth Ward.

Lyndsey had heard that story before, but I told it again today as we sat there hushed up in the back corner of the Coffee Garden.
She said the Fourteenth Ward scared her more than anything supernatural.
“Me too,” I said. We had talked about that before, too.
“You ever think to just call the cops on them?” she said. “I know, you were trespassing too. Plus what would they have to go on. But you ever think to just show your hand and call the police?”
“It never seemed like an option,” I had to admit.
“They wanted her to go there alone,” said Lyndsey. “You know what they were going to do.”
I did indeed.
But then Lyndsey said something I hadn’t heard before. She said, “Jenny, did you ever get a good look at that exam room, in the clinic with Beth? Did you ever notice what room number it was?”
I had no idea why she would even ask me that, so I said, “Not really, why?”
“That was exam room 112. I went and took a look one night.”
Lyndsey had stopped spinning her coffee cup and she was looking right at me without blinking. She looked seventeen again.
“That was room 112,” she said. “Just like it was locker 112 at the Odgen City Mall where I found the Burnt Book. Just like it was 112 Matson Street, where they found Drew’s mom. And my friend, Greg Piter, the guy who killed himself just a few weeks ago? That was storage unit 112.”
It was a gutpunch. I still feel like I’ve lost my wind, sitting here writing about it.
I said, “Jesus. Lyndsey. Okay?”
She shut her eyes and opened them wide again.
“Don’t worry about it,” she said, “I’m just paranoid. Any time I see that number I get the shivers. But back then, it meant something. I think it was their calling-card.”
I asked if she thought some of the old trouble was starting up again. I worry about that from time to time.
She said, “No. It’s just a coincidence. But you can probably understand why I freaked out.”
I was done with my coffee and I shoved it aside. “The Fourteenth Ward’s calling card?”
“Back then it was.”
“Okay,” I said, “so what does 112 even mean?”
“Everything they did, the number 112 was there.”
She finished her own coffee and kind of shrugged about it all.
“Where they got the idea for it,” she said, “is it’s a Mormon thing. From way back in the 1800s, when the Mormon religion was just starting out. Back then, the Mormons believed in a lot of very strange things. A lot of occult notions and magic. All of it’s buried now. I guess all religions have a dark past, and the Mormon church sure as hell doesn’t want its people talking about those things in Sunday school today. But I the Fourteenth Ward took a shine to it.”
It gave me a cold goddamn chill.
“I don’t know much else,” said Lyndsey. “It was all written down in that Burnt Book, I guess. Ben Regan told me about it. Spooky huh?”
Spooky is right.
I guess it’s just weird for me to think how much I didn’t know back then. How much I still don’t.
I wonder if it would have made a difference.
But I suppose Beth knew more than I did, and look where it got her.
After that night at Monson Clinic, I had no idea who the Fourteenth Ward even was. Let alone that they had set her up. That they’d sent her there alone for a reason.
But Beth had known. She must have known. And yet she went back.
Two days later, she went back to that dark, dark room, and none of us ever saw her alive again.

(continued in part 5)
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