Archive | October 2021

Does Privilege Matter?

Do you live to sleep or sleep to live?

I think mostly I live to sleep. I can live a “good” life today living to sleep. I think that’s my privilege. The privilege that I don’t have to really worry about being awake, I can nap and love to nap, I can sleep late and lounge when I wake, I can sleep all day if I want and I don’t have to worry about anything really bad happening. This is an unprecendented privilege in the human era.

How much do you have to think about your humanity to live a “good” life?

For me the answer is clear. I don’t. I don’t have to think that much about my own humanity in order to live what I’ve been taught is a “good” life. In fact it’s not a good idea to think too much about my own humanity IF I want to continue to live my “good” life. Because if I think deeply about my own humanity and if I start to connect with it “bad” things will start to happen.

Do you live to sleep or sleep to live?

Humanity is all of us. Every person that’s ever lived, everyone that’s currently living, everyone that will live and maybe it’s even everytyhing we’ve created and will create (I’m not sure about that) but it’s all of us people. And the question is, how much do you HAVE to think about other people in order to live a “good” life?

I think some people will say, I think of other people because it’s imperative to me to think of them in order to have a good life. In other words, my life wouldn’t be good if I didn’t think of other people.

I have a point to make here.

It’s good to think of other people. Not “good” but Good. But you can’t do it all the time AND we don’t do it all the time, right? If you’re reading this right now, you’re not thinking of other people. Maybe after, maybe before, but not now. We don’t think about other people all the time and I don’t think it would be good if we did. Also everyone has their own level, right? It’s not possible to get inside of someone’s head an measure how much they are thinking of others, right? So we just make an assumption that everyone has their own amount of thinking about others. Right? Do you agree? If you don’t please drop a comment and share your view…

So we’re all thinking about others at some point, for some amount of time. But my question, the analogy, do you sleep to live or live to sleep…Do you HAVE to think about others in order to live a “good” life?

To the critics at this point…I am debunking your little white lie (if you don’t think so after reading, drop me a comment and tell me why). The little white lie is that you say “Yes” to the question. The critics say “Yes, I have to think of others in order to live a “good” life”. The critics also say (another little white lie) “my Good life is not “good” it’s Good”. The critics also feel very possesive about living a non-contradictory life. The critics feel so possesive about living a non-contradictory life that they will tell little white lie after little white lie to avoid seeing the truth about what they actually believe good means and about how well they think about others.

You’re a critic.
Ha!
I’m a critic too!

I know this because I live in the world today and all you need to do is to look around. Look at our discourse, what jumps out? Look at our cities, what do we value? Look at our politics, our media, our schools, our jobs? What do we value, what have we been valuing?

No.

The answer is NO. We do not need to think about others in order to live a “good” life and we do actually lead a “good” life rather than a Good life. If you don’t understand this, drop a comment and tell me why, because this is the essence here and it’s something I’m seeing clearly.

No. We do not need to think about others.
No. We do not live a good life, we live a “good” life.

Things are changing. There’s a new consciousness blooming, a new way. It’s a way that’s trying to come into being, right now. It’s been trying, I suppose, for all of history but it’s coming to a head now. It’s bubbling up in all the different human forms, it’s horrid, oppressive, profound, angry, true, beautiful, destructive and even contradictory. What’s coming into being right now is finding it’s voice through us, through everyone, through all the humans because that’s what waking up does, it finds its voice the only possible way, through humanity’s infinite voices. It expresses itself through all our voices and all our actions and all our silence. It expresses itself through you, whether you want it to or not.

Read this article but first read this very personal disclaimer.
Up until right now I have not been a fan of Ibrahim X. Kendi and I’m not saying that I am a fan. I have also not been a fan of The Atlantic Magazine and I’m not saying I’m a fan. But as someone who feels the way I feel about Justice and about Peace…this article rings foundationally true for me and that is more important on my journey than my other disagreements or feelings about past things.

Read the article…tell me what you think.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/10/martin-luther-king-critical-race-theory/620367/

What NXIVM Taught – It’s People

There’s a very good chance that we are wrong about most of our diagnoses for what ales us as humans. It’s been proven again and again that what we think is the story of our life is really just a process of expirementation over time. We find things out, we have opinions about them, we test them, we find more out and we usually find out we were wrong or at least very limited in our understanding as we discover new and more things about our world and about ourselves.

Some of us have stopped trying to discover all together which is the greatest tragedy of all. Some of us think we’ve discovered everything there is to discover and what we have is what have, that life is finite and definite, that they way they feel about right and wrong are somehow infallible or unassailable.

Look at our discourse today…one side is right and the other side is wrong. One side are terrorists and the other side are fighting terrorists. One side is the enemy and the other…well that’s where it gets fuzzy. But you know what I mean.

I was listening to the DOS women today, as I do whenever they put out a new video. I like to hear them speak because in general they don’t blame and more, they have a principle that is important to them to uphold, which is more important to them than their “reputations”…even their safety. People like this are good to listen to even if you don’t agree with them because they will tell you things you may not want to hear, but they also might tell you things that you’d forgotten about, things that used to be important to you but you’ve since left behind. These types of people are valuable voices.

One of the things you learn right away in ESP is that you are the best liar and you lie the best to yourself. I didn’t believe it. But now I do…spoken like a really good liar.

The reason we’re such good liars is because we don’t have anyone else inside our minds to check us. That’s why speaking up and freedom of speech is so important, because other people are great fact checkers. But inside, in the silence and echo chambers of our own stories, we can and do spin any yarn we want. This spinning of yarns (lying) is non-discriminate. It happens in every human mind, no matter what position they’ve earned in society or how much or little they’ve acquired. People lie to themselves and it’s now become endemic in our society and the effects are playing out in front of our eyes thanks to technology and an addiction to comfort.

What Keith Raniere was doing with ESP was developing a framework from which people could become more human. The assumption was that human is good and more human meant more good. When we lie to ourselves, often innocently enough, we put a separation between our “truth/self” and the person we currently act as. It’s the creation of a disingenous actor and this disingenous actor is often on a spiral in the wrong direction because even if they want to, they don’t understand how to stop the lies and unfortunately our society often rewards the lies, encourages the lies and reinforces the lies.

Not lying to yourself is a universal good that’s been talked about for all time. What ESP taught was a path to understand the lie itself, where it came from, why it came to be and what the truth is underneath that’s being covered up. There are other paths for this, many other paths for this, but for me, ESP was the best path. It was the best path for me, and many, because of it’s reliablity, success rate and speed.

Anyone who has done any type of soul searching or gone through any kind of humiliation or emotional trauma probably has an understanding of what it means to lie to themselves and to, finally, admit the lie, see the truth and began building on the truth rather than the lie. When this happens it’s transformative for you and everyone around you. There are many lies and many opportunities for transformation.

Part of the vision, as I saw it, in NXIVM, was to free people from their self-deception not only because free’d people would experience a much more joyful self and therefor help create a more joyful world but also because people who are self-decieving can create tremendous amounts of pain and suffering for themselves and others. There was a recognition in NXIVM that a world full of more genuine and joyful people would be a better world and that our world could use this change and if not you, than who?

There was never the slightest pressure that if you didn’t think the world needed to change, you should come to ESP. If anyone said, no, I’m good, I don’t want more, ESP would not be the right place for them. The reality is that many people said they wanted the world to change, many said they wanted more for themselves but didn’t really understand what it meant or what it cost. And that’s no different than what exists outside of NXIVM. Many people say they want change, very few actually change, very few actually understand the cost of the change. Very few actually see how much is invested in the world not changing, or how much they’ve invested in not changing.

NXIVM and ESP was not “the answer” but it was an answer and it was a process that “struck at the root” of the problem by identifying it and by identifying it also brought to light the solution. It’s people. Only people. All people. There is no other problem and there is no other possible solution.

This is what was taught in NXIVM. More to come…

If you like or find valuable, please share. If you have questions please comment or if you have comments. I won’t answer or publish anything that is presented in a savage or un-civil way.

Savagery

I’m a savage. Down deep, in places I don’t talk about at parties, I want vengeance. I want to hurt those that hurt others.

That’s my savage talking.

When I read about a case like this I wonder what I would do if I came upon the criminal perpetrating the crime. What if it was my child who was the victim? And now this violent MOFO is getting out and going to live near me and my family? If I had a gun, I’d grab it.

That’s my savage talking.

I’m also a father. And a son. And a coach. And a husband. And a leader.

And there’s something deeply disturbing about the letter put out by the local police and shared more than 1300 times (as of Wednesday night) on Facebook (and this isn’t a national case) and the comments. Something that makes me…afraid. Yes, afraid. More afraid, even, than I am of the horror of the crime itself and the certainty that crimes like this have always been and will always be a part of our lives.

This letter and the response…it’s…savage. And it’s savagery created and perpetuated by thousands. Why is it savage, what makes a thing savage? It has something to do with a lack of consideration for human feeling and lack of respect for humanity in general (including our own humanity not just the humanity of the victim or perpetrator). I think the crime this person committed was savage and I think the response by local police and community members is savage. Whose savage is better? Wait, isn’t the point of Civil Justice to not respond to savagery with savagery, otherwise why have a Justice system at all?

If the best we can do, if all we will do, is savagery, why have anything?

Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe I’m just blind. Maybe the idea that Justice would be blind is bullshit and there’s no importance to it. Maybe it’s not worth the trouble. Maybe it is right that a local police officer and local police unit have the power to ruin a person’s life. Maybe they’re right to ruin a person’s life, if that person ruined another person’s life, or worse, took another person’s life. Maybe an eye for an eye is the best we can do. Maybe we shouldn’t want more.

People are going to hate what I’m saying so much here that they’re going to make it about me. It will be said that I’m defending a monster, that I must be a monster, that anyone who feels this monster deserves anything less than this is not fit to be a member of society.

How did we get here?

And is this where we really want to be?

Do you think trial by jury, rule of law, the Bill of Rights and the Consitution are important and if so, how important? Are they more important than our disgust and our rage? Are they more important than our own savagery because this letter not only flies in the face of those things it makes them irrelevant. The Bill of Rights, The Consitituion, The Rule of Law…irrelevant.

Savage!

Our justice system in this country is screwed up. Really screwed up. It’s screwed up right in here in little Vermont and I think it’s worth calling out because it’s important to our communities. A strong Civil Justice system means we choose peace over violence, we choose talking over violence and when we call the system out for being savage it doesn’t mean we condone violence or criminal acts, it actually means the opposite. It means we’re willing to put our savagery aside for something bigger, more important, something that will transcend us and keep our kids and their kids more free, more safe in the future. I think it’s the biggest deal.

I’m not saying don’t feel your rage. I’m not saying forgive.

What I’m saying is that if future peace, prosperity and freedom are important to you and yours we need to be aware of how our own savagery is tainting the only thing that can ensure those things. Savagery, no matter how good or right it feels will never achieve peace, propertity and freedom. It will never make you safer and it will never help you to enjoy your life with your loved ones. Savagery begets savagery and grows savagery.

Do we really know what we’re allowing to be built? I know it feels good, it feels right to want to destroy the destroyers. Maybe it is right, maybe it is good…think about it. Because one thing that is true, no matter what, we will reap what we sow. We may pretend like we can justify our way out of it, but it won’t matter. If we continue to react to savagery with savagery we will continue to build a savage system. And that will be our legacy.

This was posted on Facebook. All the details were available for anyone who wanted them but I didn’t allow them here, read why…

Part 7 – What Did NXIVM Teach?

NXIVM didn’t teach.

NXIVM was the organization that held everything else. Underneath NXIVM was ESP (The educational arm) and then too many other unique “companies” or groups that acted in and of their own accord while using the foundations learned in ESP.

The foundations we learned in ESP allowed us to explore more deeply in all the other organizations, from SOP to Jness to The Knife, EXO/ESO, The Ethicist, Ultima etc, etc, etc…Each organization was it’s own entity with it’s own unique purpose. Each unique purpose was as intriguing and inspiring as a unique purpose can be (if you’ve experienced a unique purpose you know what I’m talking about).

So really someone could talk all day about what they learned in any one of those unique organizations, connected by ESP and under NXIVM. One could (and most did) also take ESP courses and go back into the world equipped with more tools to succeed.

And of course this is where there’s a lot of energy, “SUCCEED”! What does it mean, what does success mean…we talk a little about this in ESP. You only need to talk about it a little, it means whatever you want it to mean. ESP helped you in whatever you wanted to be helped at…of course one of the challenges, more apparent now, is that many people didn’t know what they wanted to be helped at.

There’s a great quote in “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”,

The truth knocks on your door and you say, “Go away, I’m looking for the truth”, so it goes away, Puzzling.

Robert Pirsig

And I think it describes most humans and because most humans are the same humans that got involved in ESP and NXIVM, most people in ESP didn’t really know what they were looking for and didn’t really know how to look for it if they did know what they were looking for. ESP lit a path and gave you tools to discover. I can imagine certain responses from the reader at this point…just tell us what you learned…tell us… But it’s not that simple.

If ESP teaches Spanish and you ask what did you learn, what were you taught and I said, Spanish. That would be acceptable? Right? But not here and maybe that’s fine, but more to say that’s it’s difficult, precise and complex and that what you’re looking for, dear reader, is not an answer like…Spanish. Right? You want to know how we learned “Spanish” and what “Spanish” is for and why “Spanish”…right?

I’m not sure I’m up to the task because it’s an enourmous freaking task but I’ll try.

We learned that there was more to life than what we thought.
We learned that there was more to life that what we felt.
We learned how to see what was underneath thoughts, underneath feelings.

We learned how to use our human machines. That’s what we have, after all. Most of us don’t treat them that way, and some of us, treat machines badly and treat our bodies the same.

We learned that the captain of the ship is not, often, who we think it is. We learned how to settle more comfortably and reliably into our own captain’s chair.

How does a baby learn language?
Tell me, exactly how?

We went through an experiential process, scientific in the sense that’s it reproducible and verifiable…at least as far as I can tell and as far as we were able to see through thousands and thousands of points of data. Data taken from brain energy readings (very common and simplistic and agreed to) and thousands of anonymos surveys taken after every intensive and every new objective. The FBI has these now, I’m sure. Ask for their release. I was one of the people who handled these surveys, no identifying info, people knew this and could write whatever they wanted and they did and in only the short duration I did, for the courses I did it for, it was over 90% and sometimes as high as 95% excellent feedback. Not good, not average, excellent.

But back to the question…what did we learn? What were we taught?

More to come…

Part 6 – Don’t Want Hate

I left ESP and NXIVM before the shit really hit the fan. ESP was the best thing I had ever done up to that point, for myself and my family but it had also run it course in it’s current iteration. There was plenty of human disfunction going on and when that was rolled up in the depth of the vision and the mission it became clear to me that I needed some space and time away from the organization. I’d basically had enough of the hypocrissy and I think the hypocrissy had had enough of me. I don’t know if I was like others in this respect but I really hurt the mission by thinking that my knowledge and what I had learned in ESP was enough. I put other aspects of my life on hold, which isn’t bad, but I felt so good and inspired about what I had learned (this occured over about 10 years) that I thought it was enough. I thought I could just take the knowledge and kind of bask in it’s awe without carrying the heavy weight of the responsibility. There was and is great responsibility in what we learned in ESP, SOP, JNESS and all the rest. Tremendous responsbility that I failed to uphold then. I knew this while in ESP but it was covered by all sorts of feelings, thoughts and emotions and it was only after the shit hitting and after a lot of soul searching that it became a clear part of how I let people down and how I let myself down and how I contributed to the shit.

Keith is not innocent. Nor is anyone. ESP in some very consistent ways, was a shitshow. Keith is also not guilty and ESP (NXIVM) is not a criminal organization or a sex cult as it’s been portrayed. But for me the fuckery within ESP needs to be out, to serve the process, to make the process clear. Justice, truth … these things are principles. They appply across the board, they are the great equalizers and when one aspect is kept from their light, all aspects are darkened.

People didn’t get paid. Fuck man. It was a complete joke and a complete travesty of the the mission and the core values of ESP (as I read them). I’m not sure anyone who had any role in ESP beyond just attending the classes would disagree with me. It was well known, and it was an experience that the most dedicated (is that the right word) people had, they were the ones doing most of the work. It was also a choice to continue to work. It was no secret and became apparent very quickly that the pay was not straight forward and that there were many times you didn’t get paid what you thought or agreed to, contracts were broken and/or you had to invest inordinate amounts of time tracking down payment for work you did. It was a joke and completely sucked. It was also a choice that every single person continued to make, until they didn’t. And many eventually decided to simply stop and leave. I decided to stop and leave.

This needs to be part of the dialogue, it needs to be part of the story of NXIVM and Keith Raniere. I don’t think Keith should be in jail based on what I know and I know a lot more than most. What’s fucked up is that we may never know, because of the way everything went down and because of the tremendous criminal behavior by the US Government, the FBI and the prosecution. But that’s nothing new, right? Criminal behavior by the US Governement, FBI and prosecutors is nothing new? Right? It’s just that NXIVM and Keith came under their magnifying glass, a glass that’s been passing over people and organization for all time. If you’re doing the “wrong” thing, that magnifying glass will come for you and it came for NXIVM. Why?

Why did it come?

It came because people wanted it come. It came because people felt hurt, angry, betrayed and scared. It came because other people didn’t recognize this. Let me say this more clearly…The true corruption in the world, the corruption we need to be worried about lies at the top of the power structure. This doesn’t excuse bad behavior or violence on any level but there are so many people who think the worst is the best. In the case of NXIVM people got themselves so worked up they thought the FBI and the Government and the media were the best options. They engaged their options. I don’t think they understood the depth of depravity in those options and it wasn’t long before the options took over. The power structure seeks to keep itself in power, that is it’s only objective and anything that lies outside of that operating system is a virus to be destroyed. The further from from the path of “power keeping power” you lie, the more virulent you are considered and the quicker you must be exterminated.

And so we have the trial of Keith Raniere, another jewel in the crown of “power keeping power”. A crown that is full of sick jewels of corruption and violence. A travesty of Justice.

PTSD moment…

Yes…a travesty of Justice can exist at the same time as bad things happening. A travesty of Justice, such as the NXIVM case in general can occur, did occur and continues to occur, while at the same time a reality exists where NXIVM was a fucked up organization at times, people behaved badly and without care at times. These things are true and for the people who were inside, they need to be addressed and dealt with before any type of unification, forgiveness, reconcilliation can happen. I hope this happens. However there is a bigger monster and that is the power structure that exists, is corrupt and has deep roots into our culture and society and is currently and has always destroyed lives in it’s process.

So yes, fucked up shit went down in ESP and it should be addressed.
So yes, the travesty of Justice train continues to roll in the NXIVM case perpetrated by the media, FBI, and the governement.
And, yes…it’s up to you to do something about it.

Read, share, respond, contribute, participate, inspire.

Don’t. Want. Hate.

Your Monsters

More information is not necessary
for most.
Do you find yourself locked in?
Sure.
Sure of your conclusions.
I’m sure you do.
Ooops.
There I go again.

What’s hard, then?

All you need is to feel your life,
your life is good.
So why, then,
are you so dissatisfied
and so intent
on making your life bad?
Full of problems.
Full of fear.
Full of monsters.

What do your monsters look like?
Are they invisible and lurking
around every corner
or
do they sit in plain site
and torment you?

More information is not necessary.

Part 5 – Emotional Trauma Questions

In expressing my experience of the NXIVM “Saga” I come down, often if not always, to some core questions for and about women. And I would like help…will you help?

So, ladies and gents…here goes…

It seems like driving force behind the NXIVM narrative and subsequent actions and consequences for anyone who expressed anything from a general questioning of the narrative all the way up to Keith who lied about the existence of DOS and who proclaims, outright his innocence in all legal charges, was emotional trauma. 

Is that what it was? 

It also seems that if anyone did or does oppose the “official” narrative they were and are met with the rationale of emotional trauma. 

Is that what happened(s)?

It also seems that there was and continues to be a system of authority, in this case the US Government and the media, who created the current narrative, imprisoned people and labeled the entire organization “Criminal” in response to this emotional trauma. 

Is this what happened?

One thing that I think is important before going much further as a man and this is addressed to all the guys involved (or not). Guys, where is our responsibility? How have we created this response by women? What have we done and why? We need to figure out how we’ve treated women so badly all our lives in order…

Stop.
No we don’t. Guys…No. We. Don’t.

When I was writing this, I was PTSD’d into basically putting down these questions about emotional trauma. Internally I had a voice saying to me, it’s you, it’s you, you need to look at how this is all about you and how you’ve acted so badly. I spoke to another man about this and he said the same thing…we were having a gentle and questioning experience of exploring some of the above questions, we were not feeling violent or angry towards women (or men), and all of sudden the male voice of “it’s your issue, you’re the bad one, you need to fix yourself before you can say anything, it’s all you, it’s YOUR RESPONSIBILITY” came out and tried to shut down our own thoughtful and genuine and real questions. What the hell…

So, guys (and ladies)…No, we don’t have to justify our genuine questions, we are allowed to have them. They might be painful to consider or difficult to answer or impossible to answer, or phrased wrong or even tinged with our own programming and faults but, we are allowed. We are allowed to ask, it’s ok to ask. Your questions are genuine, they are your truth, they are not irresponsible as they are almost always made to appear and as you make them appear.

I don’t even realize I’m doing this. I don’t even realize I’m taking responsibility in my heart for everything. Nothing escapes and it is always my fault. Ladies, are you aware that your man does this?  Do you know that your man’s habit and indoctrination to internalize his own irresponsiblity leads him to feel an often impossibly heavy weight against even knowing his truth let alone expressing it?

Ladies, expressing your truth is important to you, we all know this, we all accept this. Well is it important for men also? Women, I know that you know about this, you struggle for it and the world welcomes your struggle and struggles with you. But that’s the thing…you know about it and the world accepts it.

Men don’t even know that they have a truth that might be expressed. They’re not even aware that there is a struggle in this regard. To men, it’s our responsibility and our fault and if we have a genuine, innocent question or concern or observation (which is a big “IF), we, men, will often kill it before it reaches the light of day. This is obviously not good for men but it’s also not good for women.

So if there are any females out there that would like to take on some of the questions above I would really appreciate it. These are genuine questions for me, there are questions that are not meant to harm or hurt or demean. I think emotional trauma and the way it’s being used is causing great harm and I hope to find some folks willing to do the painful work of talking about it.

As always, thank you for reading and please share if you find this good and feel free to comment in a civil manner.

Click here to read earlier parts of my NXIVM story

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