Monday School Blog: GPS to Heaven, please

Monday School Blog: GPS to Heaven, please

Welcome to Monday School!  This is where you don’t have to dress up or get out of bed. Besides being a self-ordained female teacher and believing that females can also lead, there More »

The Art of Communication: A Messy Work in Progress

The Art of Communication: A Messy Work in Progress

Say what you mean and mean what you say, or maybe just keep your mouth and keyboard shut. That is what I have learned this week. The meaning of words can often More »

2nd Plural Marriage: Part One

2nd Plural Marriage: Part One

This is a blog post introducing a new page I wrote for Vickie’s Grin that can be read here 2nd Plural Marriage : Part One This edited cover of “Are You My Mother?” by More »

 

Moving Forward! Step by Step

Last blog post, which was posted on February 8th,  I excused myself for having a “Monday Meltdown”.  Something occurred that left me unable to write, and I was like a deer caught in headlights.  No longer able to fight and no longer able to run, my words came out in mish-mash sentences.  Other times I was hitting the delete button.

fight-or-flight

So, here I am, no matter what time it is on Monday, I am breaking a 10 several week non-post fast and writing for my Monday School. (Actually, this blog post was first published into cyberspace on April 19th 12:01 AM Tuesday, yet I never posted it on Vickie’s Grin Facebook because it wasn’t quite finished. It still isn’t.)

Similar to all my blog posts,  I reserve the right to add content and make changes, as I see fit. This is a work in progress — not a work “engraved in stone.” I will add more detail later and post these updates onto my FB page.

Have you noticed that Monday School Blog is starting to resemble something more like a pilot program? I have.

In the world of Mormonism, if I was a Sunday School teacher, I would have been released from my calling for not being prepared and coming to class. In the business world, I would have been fired by my boss for not showing up. In my world of healing from Mormonism and polygamy, I am learning to take it easy and forgive myself.

For several weeks. I thought about simply telling my story in one-line sentences on pieces of paper, like others do in social media who believe they have been wronged.  That way I would be done with it.

After re-thinking, Mormonism and polygamy deserve an entire website of their very own.  Polygamy is not only a Utah problem, the majority of the world practices polygamy.

A very good case can be made against polygamy. And, what better time to write (this will be a learning experience for me, as well) when Kody Brown & plural wives have just announced that they are taking their polygamy case to the Supreme Court.

The only exception: No Monday School blog days will occur whenever my health, or the health of a family member, needs attention. (That could mean physical or mental health).  It could also mean that I am on vacation, and doing preventative care.

Taking a nature walk.

Now what led up to  “Monday Meltdown” and why did I disappear from my calling as Monday School teacher?

(to be continued . . .)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Morning Blogpost: Meltdown Monday! Mental Health Day!

No lesson this week.

It’s been a rough week.  It started out like this—“It’s nearly midnight and I am too angry to sleep.  I even cried today, which I rarely cry, especially in a public place.  I told my boyfriend, ‘I haven’t been so angry since I left Utah,’ and then I cried more.”

Women are often stigmatized for getting emotional.  I am finally learning to embrace everything about myself—yes, swear words, and all.

It’s easy for me to get angry and slip into a depression because I tend to keep my emotions, and what I am really thinking, inside.

Last week my daughter, who does comedy, called me up and said, “A man in a suit came up to me after my performance last night, and asked if he could make a suggestion. I told him ‘of course’ thinking that maybe he was a producer, or the microphone needed readjusting.  His advice was ‘You know you really don’t need to mention ‘Utah’ in your joke.’”

“Utah was the punchline,” she said.  “Without the punchline the joke would have gone nowhere.”

F-you! All the men who have tried to control me, and my daughters.

We live in California, and I have no idea if this man was a Mormon, or not.  Or, if he is from Utah. His comment  clearly came at the wrong time; due to earlier readings and conversations in the week, my emotions were triggered.

In order for me to stay true to myself, and these blogposts, I have decided to start with a social problem that is important to me as a woman– gender inequality.  I believe one tactic men use to control women is religion, and I believe this is occurring more in Utah than any other state in our nation.

I once believed that “anger” was evil, and a “natural enemy” to god —many women from the FLDS polygamous group have been told to “keep sweet” by their religious leaders.  I was told by my husband to never voice my opinion, if it was contrary to his, unless he asked.  Now I realize that anger is an emotion that is often caused by frustration—it helps protect us, kicks us in the butt, and motivates us to make changes in our life (if we don’t do anything about our situation, it can lead to anxiety and depression).

If there was a God would he care more about anger and using profanity, or allowing human rights to be violated?

After a dozen attempts at trying to suppress my emotions, I could not prepare for Monday School lesson. I was too angry.  Later in the morning, I went to my Facebook page to look at my posts, thinking that maybe if I read my personal Facebook page, and revisited some of the inspirational quotes, I would be more likely to follow my own advice.

It took awhile.

Eventually, after reading a quote from Hermann Hesse, and turning it around a bit, I was reminded that my anger is part of me.  In order to find that stillness, that sanctuary that we all deserve, it means accepting ourselves.

I have been able to let go of the recent anger (and I am certain it will come back again, and then I will let it go…).

As soon as I get home, I will try to write again.

hermann hesse

Hopefully, I will be more prepared for next week.

Monday School Blog: GPS to Heaven, please

Welcome to Monday School!  This is where you don’t have to dress up or get out of bed.

Besides being a self-ordained female teacher and believing that females can also lead, there are several other reasons I encourage Monday school.

My lessons will provide:

1) Reasons why you should never put your trust in a Sunday school lesson or any religion that purports to have all the answers—or anyone who says they have all the answers 2) Emphasis on the here and now with earthly rewards and 3) Free-thought.

If there is a heaven, I would like a GPS navigating me.  There are too many religions that believe they have the “true” “one and only” “perfect” map to heaven. I refuse to put my life on hold while I study every religion and set of scriptures out there.  Have you ever had a library of the Journal of Discourses? Read the entire Bible, Torah, Quran?  These scriptures are about men, men, men.  Where are the women?

lots_wife_pillar_of_salt

If I had not grown up in a Mormon family, I could have been a Catholic, Baptist, Jehovah Witness, Scientologist, Christian, Islamic, or a member of any number of religions. I could have spent my life worshipping a false God and bickering with other people because I thought my religion was best.  Or, I could have remained silent and smug.

Although religion is not for me—it is for some people.  The truth is I get anxious making certain I get to work on time, let alone trying to get to heaven on time or navigating the right path to get there.

As I go through life, I choose and pick teachings from various sources that work for me (last week I picked Weight Watchers). Much of my ethics and lifestyle comes from my Mormon background, and much of my wisdom comes from experience.  Mistakes and all.

I remember as a kid in Sunday school learning the importance of scriptures, and how following the word of God was supposed to guide me to heaven.

My Sunday school teacher compared the scriptures and modern day teachings to a roadmap and signs, and asked her class, “Can you imagine what would happen if we didn’t have a map or use stop lights?”

intersection2

All I could imagine was an intersection of colliding cars. I never considered that the stop signs and lights (hateful scriptures I was reading about minorities—including the subjugation of women) were old, and needed replacing.  I never considered that each driver was unique, and may have wanted to use a different route.

As a child, I never contemplated that individuals choose different places to visit and live, and it was perfectly okay to be different.

In early morning family scripture reading, I also remember reading about another journey using the Liahona. This story in the “Book of Mormon” was about Lehi’s family who traveled through the wilderness together with brass plates (important history), so they could reach the Promised Land. The Liahona was a compass given to Lehi from God, which if faithful and obedient guided his family. Some of the family members, the brothers Laman and Lemuel, often acted out and were disobedient. In this particular story, at least the part I remember, one bad apple or unfaithful family member spoiled the rest.  There were treacherous times at sea because when the brothers were rebellious the waters became thrashing waves, nearly drowning the family.  After being humbled and repenting, the sea became calm.  (Finally man was separated by skin color).

liahona

As a young child, the compass story helped reinforce family togetherness, and the importance of God’s chosen sticking together. At a tender age, I never considered that scripture stories could be made-up stories to produce a certain controlled behavior.  I never realized that someday many Mormons, including myself, would walk the plank for asking questions, and not sharing the same testimony.

I can understand—sometimes paths are not the same.  Sometimes forks are in the road, but the path you chose is the right path no matter how hard or difficult.  (I will write about free-agency later).  Regardless, we can still be kind and loving.

The straight and narrow path leading to the tree of life was another map story in the Book of Mormon.  As a child, I believed there was only one way to get to heaven.  I never thought about how my religious leaders, who were telling me how to get to heaven, had never been there themselves.  (Btw: Who hires a tour guide who hasn’t ever been to the spot they advertise?)

narrow path and tree of life

I had always trusted the person leading me. I never considered that the map my teachers were using, the scriptures, were older than a scene from the “Raiders of the Lost Ark”.  I never considered that my religious leaders, who were supposed to be an updated version of a map, were really caught between two worlds—the old and the new. Plus, they were men holding onto the same archaic ideologies they had been taught.

Though the world is filled with people committing horrific human rights violations—I believe we are not going backwards.  I believe we are continually evolving.

This week I watched this You Tube video from a father who composed a song for his daughters. I love this because it represents moving forwards—not only do we have technology to create music videos for the world to see, which can support cultural diversity and send positive messages to our children, it represents the power we each have to make a difference in this world.

Love Yourself

Youtube Video

Mormon Sunday school taught a message of loving your neighbor as yourself, yet the people we really need to love are often the non-neighbor – “those over there” (poor, homeless, needy,  people that are different, etc..).

There are many contradictions in life.

Last week I started Weight Watchers and I am not a fan of Oprah Winfrey.  In fact, I believe she has been very irresponsible when it involves educating the public about polygamy.  No biggie— I will still go to my WW meetings, and look at the Oprah poster on the wall.  (Self-talk) I will separate my personal biases because I don’t have to believe or love everything about Oprah to go to Weight Watchers.  I know the program works.

Likewise, although I am not a Christian, many individuals and families find inspiration from attending church. I went to church a couple weeks ago to listen to some jazz music.  I was grateful for the religious leaders hosting an important event for children, and providing a beautiful venue.  Next month, I am working alongside a church that helps the homeless because I believe in volunteerism and clergy-community action.

There are so many options and choices.

Interesting articles & images this week (topics of future blogposts):

War Criminal

 

 

 

 

Adolf Eichmann

Psychic      Expensive Psychic

Militia

 

Choices and Consequences…..

                                              

 

 

I believe that direction and guidance are very important; part of our human nature is following others.  Unlike many of our non-human friends, we are able to use our cognitive abilities. That is what Monday School is about—learning to control our own life, and not be controlled by others.

M-1441 - MAY 11, 2002 - WALTHAM : Blissfully unaware of traffic, a Canada goose and her young cross busy Winter Street at the intersection of Route 128 , Tuesday afternoon, May 7, 2002 in Waltham, Mass. The very young siblings followed their mother's every move to and from nearby Totten Pond. AP/PTI

Have a nice week!

Monday School Blogpost: Introduction

Come Join Me!!

Church lady

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PVal8Fy7CM&sns=em  (I love this!)

As a former Mormon & ex-sister-wife, today was a special day, I appointed myself “Monday School teacher”.  I am very excited about this new calling — it coincides with me joining Weight Watchers, and a recent career change. What a terrific week!

As comedian Shawn Rapier said in his Latter-day Night Live (this is a comedy imitating an LDS Sacrament Meeting talk) — “I realize I need this comedy more than any of you.”  The truth is, I need my Monday blogposts more than anyone else.  I hope to re-inforce some of my prior education, and share with others, anyone interested,  some of the fascinating things I learned in sociology and psychology.

The first blogpost lesson will begin next week.

Purpose:

The purpose of Monday School Blogpost, besides making use of my schooling, is to provide readers with a different perspective about issues relating to religion and social psychology; family, collective behavior, social self, social movements, symbolic interactionalism, cultural psychology, shared meaning, general psychology, abnormal psychology, and some social theory.

Why do humans think and behave the way they do? When does religion become harmful?  What role should social policy have protecting freedom of religion?  What about protecting children from religion? Where do we draw the line?

Kimball & LDS family

Jesus Camp I'll do what you want me to do

Jesus Camp Ill say what you want me to say

 

I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord.

I’ll say what you want me to say, dear Lord.

I’ll be what you want me to be.

 

 

 

 

Credentials:

I have a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in psychology.  I am also a member of Alpha Kappa Delta International Sociology Honor Society.  My favorite subject in college was social psychology, and my worst area was writing research papers (I generally turned my papers in one minute before the deadline–just like tonight).  I am presently working in the field of behavioral psychology hoping to modify some of my own behavior.

Much of my education comes from the school of hard knocks.  On my days off, I can surf the web pretty well, so what I don’t know I can find.  This is what I love most–not needing any credentials to create a website and write a blogpost!

My beliefs:

I consider myself an agnostic since I don’t “know” what exists outside of mortality.  If being an atheist is not having enough evidence to support a belief in God, then I am an atheist.  The truth is I really don’t care.  I am grateful for being a skeptic, and having an open-mind.

Look forward to Monday!

 

Pushing for Personal Integrity with Derren Brown

Last week I watched Derren Brown, a mentalist and illusionist on a YouTube video Pushed to the Edge.  Brown’s pseudo-experiment was taken to the extreme; his goal was to take people to the very limit — to find out if they would kill.  His production spared little expense.

According to Brown the crucial point of his show was to demonstrate “how readily we hand over authorship over our lives every day and the dangers of losing that control . . . how someone can be easily influenced, and also how a person can influence others.”

That’s what this writing is about.

During the show there were three separate incidents where a participant was talked into pushing an innocent man off the edge of a high-rise building.  Only one out of the four participants refused to push the elderly gentleman off the edge.  One of the shocking results of this experiment is that it only took about an hour for each participant to be persuaded to kill (fortunately, it was an actor being pushed off the building with ropes and not a real person).

The Push Darren Brwon copy

How does this happen?

As I watched this YouTube video, I thought about all the male leaders in my life, dead and alive, who led me into danger, and didn’t give a shit about whether they hurt me or not because their end justified the means.

Similar to Derren Brown’s instigator in the show (it could have been a real psychopath and/or sociopath), these individuals find susceptible victims and determine how best to manipulate them.

What every human has in common, the function of behavior, is to either get something or escape something.  It is that simple.  A sociopath studies the unsuspecting victim and what she wants, or what she wants to avoid.  (I was an easy target who had never been taught the warning signs of a predator.  I wanted love, acceptance, and family.  I also wanted to avoid hurting others, lessen conflict, avoid damnation, etc.).

During my days as a Mormon, and in my intimate relationship with my husband as a plural-wife, I never knew about religious abuse, or heard the phrase “personality disorder”.  In church we never discussed subjects such as group-think, conformity, patriarchal cultures, domestic abuse, sexual assault in a marriage, or the importance of boundaries and critical thinking skills.  If that had occurred, no one would have attended Sunday School.

Here’s my Monday School blogpost:

First of all, since sociopaths don’t change, and most often their followers are content dangling by a string (until it snaps), this blogpost is not for them.

puppetmaster

Education can only help those people who want to be helped; it is also best served before the manipulation process begins. That right there is the key. It is extremely difficult to regain power once it is given away (or stolen), and it takes years to heal from the trauma.

victim mindset

 

How compliance works from “Pushed to the Edge”:

My visual aide this morning is “Pushed to the Edge” (it is worth watching, even if you cringe wondering about ethics and if the participants were fully compensated for their part).  

Derren Brown held a compliance test to find out who was the most impressionable; he explained that “the more socially compliant person the more they will look to others for a sign to behave.” (Sociopaths look for a person they can manipulate and control).

  • Once Derren Brown had his “follower”—someone he knew was easily influenced, he created a situation where the “leader” asked the follower to do something uncomfortable and each task became increasingly more challenging. (A sociopath creates situations to reel his victim in and his requests become greater until he has achieved what he wants).
  • The follower (or pusher) was in a lower status position, and this alone influenced the victim’s decision-making. (A socio-path puts himself in a position of authority because it gives him more influence).
  • Each time the follower was involved in something unethical; it created a stronger bond between him and his leader, and among the group. (A socio-path cements his relationship by holding something over someone. This is also true of a community of followers; they love to find favor with the leader even if it means tattling on each other).

There were also other examples of manipulating and compliance in Brown’s show—the instigator/leader brought in influential people, such as celebrities, for validation. (Sociopaths always use other people to help influence). Subliminal words and messages were used like “it needs a push,” “push into action” – which ultimately helped solidify pushing someone off the edge of a building.  One of the participants had the same surname as someone in the group (fictitious or non-fictitious commonalities such as a name, ethnicity, religious background, birthplace, family members and friends etc. help bond the victim to her perpetrator).

Derren Brown’s message: “This experiment wasn’t about who pushed, and who didn’t.  This was designed to make the participants act in a way that went away from their decent values, morals and personalities.  The point is we are all profoundly susceptible to this kind of influence whether it is driven by our peer group or an ideology.  It is like we are handed other people’s scripts of how to live our life to achieve their ambitions and beliefs.  But by understanding it, by understanding how we can be manipulated, we can become stronger.  We can say ‘No’.  We can push back.”

Even if humans were raised the same, had the same personalities, same IQ level, same experiences, no two people are the same.  Besides that, it’s illogical playing the blame game, because it doesn’t help.  The only change people can make is by taking accountability for their own actions.

One of Derren Brown’s four followers, who was compliant throughout the entire experiment until the very end, and who did not push the elderly man off the building explained, “You can’t always live your life on guard because then you live your life constantly on edge, which is not a good way to be.  But when certain situations present themselves think about it before you act on it and ask yourself what am I doing? ”

Stanley Milgram, a grandfather of social psychology, who created a somewhat similar experiment said, “The social psychology of this century reveals a major lesson: often it is not so much the person a man is as the kind of situation in which he finds himself that determines how he will act.”

Derren Brown’s experiment, and what individuals did on his show, went far beyond what I ever experienced.  I am fortunate to be alive and well.  In case you want to know (this is me bearing my testimony):  Although I avoid religion, and people who do all the thinking for me, I am not cynical. I now pick the right friends and associates. heart

Best-wisdom-quotes-collection-002

 

The Art of Communication: A Messy Work in Progress

Say what you mean and mean what you say, or maybe just keep your mouth and keyboard shut. That is what I have learned this week.

The meaning of words can often be misunderstood because of the gap between giver and receiver.  Sometimes we forget who are audience is, especially when we can’t see them in front of us.  Words can be hurtful, spiteful, manipulative, half-truths, educational, loving, insightful, and everything in-between.

I have a love-hate relationship with words.

This morning I woke up and opened my Facebook, and the first thing I saw was a post from one of my children with the words “Good! Kill those Mother Fuckers!”

I am not so keen on swear words or killing people.  Yet, his words paled in comparison to the shock of finding out the night before that my daughter was going to be baptized into the LDS Church this month.  I didn’t even know that she was interested in joining the LDS Church until this month.  Not even a week to brace myself after learning about the LDS Church, and their new policy to disallow membership for children of gay parents.  I had just been telling a friend there should be public policy created for ALL children of religious parents protecting them from baptism, and here I was changing my own law to include preventing adults from being baptized.

My daughter, and our conversation, went from several jokes back and forth to acceptance.  We realized  that in the end; we are both going to do what we want, so we might as well love each other in spite of our differences.

same bird

Earlier in the day, I had read a threatening e-mail, and watched a video full of lies about me from former polygamist husband #2.  The experience was a mixture of being slightly entertained by watching an actor perform, worrying about malicious intent and terroristic threats, and wondering how much I could win in a law-suit for slander.

To say the least, there have been many mixed emotions within the last 24 hours, and that is where my artwork at the top of this blog post entitled “Words” fits in.  It was created from pieces of earbuds that I found.  During the creation process of bending down on all fours, working with unruly wires, I was reflecting on the theories of B.F. Skinner, and Ivan Pavlov.  These scientists were behaviorists who claimed behavior was a result of negative and positive conditioning (not whisperings or promptings from the Holy Ghost, or Satan; real live human-beings conditioning through the use of actions or words).

This is what happened.

A couple nights ago, my family walked through the front door after a nice evening together.  I immediately noticed two different earphones, with wires completely ripped apart, it was like viewing severed body parts in a double homicide. Panicking, I told my youngest daughter, “Oh no, Misty got them again!”

I quickly hid the electrical appendages behind the television screen before my boyfriend saw them.  This was not the first time our cat had destroyed John’s earphones.  It started out very innocent with a young kitten chasing a string, which gradually resulted in every pair of earphones that were not put away to eventually be destroyed.  (As a mother, it made perfect sense).  Trying to re-train Misty by using feathers, instead of strings, didn’t work because of the prior conditioning.  In fact, if anything, we probably trained her to start chasing birds.  Besides the expense of buying new headphones, I also noticed my boyfriend’s anger escalating with each new chewed pair of ear buds, and gnawed cell phone cord.  So, I wasn’t certain how to deal with the situation.

Since 2007, I have had a boyfriend that has told me to say whatever is on my mind, and so I do.  It has been very therapeutic to be able to speak freely, and for him not to be offended.  Of course, in the public world, it is a different audience, so I use a slightly different communication style.  The not sharing the truth is what made the chewed ear buds situation so uncomfortable.  I didn’t tell him what happened because I feared he would threaten getting rid of our cat, and then I would have to get rid of him.

The worst part about this scenario is that my daughter watched me being intimidated by my boyfriend.  Why else would I hide the strings of air buds, besides waiting until better timing (which I did, the next day after he had a good night’s sleep and a cup of coffee).  I was concerned that there would be some sort of confrontation, and negative repercussion.

The next day, I opened my purse and pulled out all the wires—his only words were: “Those aren’t mine.”

Sometimes I make words become bigger than life.  I don’t recall my boyfriend and I ever expressing anger towards each other.  Yet, similar to Misty, my past experiences often intersect with the present, and I am easily affected by them.

For example, every time I see a white paper pinned to my door the first thing that pops into my mind is a “Three day Quit!”  Whenever I walk into the Dollar Store, especially during the holidays, it reminds me of a panicked time trying to stretch dollars for my children.  There are certain e-mail addresses that bring with them a sign of doom.

I can change some of my negative perceptions and behavior by creating positive ones.  Sometimes this means staying clear of negative situations altogether — delete buttons, trash, junk, unsubscribe.

Leaving negativity

Personally, I get along better with people who talk straight, and who don’t have hidden agendas.  I can’t stand being around control-freaks.  There are some people that are purposely unclear because their words, or lack of words, can be a form of manipulation. Often religious leaders, business people, public-relations persons, and advertising companies use the strategy of withholding information to close their sale.  Sometimes personal conversations go this route.

IMG_2783 (6)

Recently on a plane trip the lady in D23 said, “Ah-um, you might not be aware of it, but the open window shade is causing a glare.”

I really didn’t understand what she was saying.  I figured it was probably her way of saying, “Shut the window blind.”

“I can close it,” I said, half-way asking.

As I closed the rectangular window shade, I thought, “Why wasn’t I more direct?  Why did I use the same rhetoric?”

I could have easily been more explicit by asking her what she wanted, and I probably would have felt better about myself, if I had asked in a robotic voice, “Do. you. want. the. window shade. shut?”

What made this situation uncomfortable was the lull in conversation, the mixed messages, and the irritated “da” expression on the woman’s face.  I wasn’t aware that the open window shade was causing a glare because it wasn’t causing a glare for me.  (Our eyes are different, our perception is different, and it is impossible to read a person’s mind.)

So, here I am this week, like every week, perplexed with words realizing that communication is an important part of life, and there is no way around it.  Talking to my animals is not good enough.  Even if we are dead, words live on, and if we don’t tell our story, someone else will.  By the time it has passed on from person to person, it is no longer an authentic history, it is just hearsay.

 

 

 

Why a Personal Website Now? My Recent Experience with a Cyber-Bully in Utah

 

Reality Quest — the beginning

11-1-93 Reality Quest One -photo copy

Reality Quest

“Reality Quest” are newsletter writings from my former spiritual husband Chris, aka Christopher Nemelka, during 1993-1994 (possibly 1995).  Forgive me for using the word “spiritual” — it’s a bit confusing. I don’t know if I believe in things spiritual. However, I do not know what other word to describe our relationship when there was nothing spiritual about it: 1) We were never legally married  2) I was Chris’s third plural wife 3) now I realize our relationship was based on fraud. (Yes, the word “spiritual” seems rather fitting–illusionary?)

I believe there are many things that we don’t understand, and it is convenient to use terms like “spiritual” to describe them.  Could it also be that some of the attributes that we possess as  human are qualities that we don’t understand.  Instead of waiting for science to explain it, we get impatient (faithless) and start creating names for these experiences such as “gifts of the spirit”?  Maybe these experiences or attributes are merely a sixth sense that humans have developed in the process of evolution, or scants of our early ancestry that have remained with us — perhaps in the same way as our animal friends use their keen senses.

Right before (and I am talking about the night before the Northern California fires broke out) I had a vivid dream of a fierce fire which I saw start at one end, and travel to the next end within seconds.  I woke up from the dream, and told my boyfriend (anyone can ask him if I am telling the truth).  What really made an impression in this dream was how BIG and FAST this blazing fire could travel.  The scene wasn’t pine trees like here in California where I live; it was a field, so it wasn’t as if I was seeing a California fire.

Do I have a gift of seeing into the future? I don’t think so. Some might say I do.  However, it could have been that it was a coincident, or maybe I heard the word “fire” that day and it stuck in my mind before I went to bed and became part of a subliminal message making its way into a dream.  Perhaps the fires had already started earlier and I smelled something (those instincts), or I felt the dryness from the drought in the air, and it reminded me of a fire.  Maybe I was hungry before I went to bed thinking about S’mores. It could have been my PTSD acting up because the fire scene was in Moab, Utah, where I once lived as a Mormon fundamentalist.  I hate to include this detail, but in the dream, I was several miles from the Rockland Ranch (a sandstone cave) where I lived.  This is where I saw the fire start, and (some of) the people there died, including children.  Could the tragedy of these polygamous families dying in my dream be related to the horrible recent flashflood tragedy in Southern Utah, and women and children dying there (close to the same time the fires in Northern California took place)?  Was there a correlation? Or was I  getting my visions mixed up? Was I not using my Seer Stone correctly?

The next night I saw streams of futuristic planes (unlike anything I have ever seen, sort of like large missiles with wings–I didn’t see any side windows) flying through the air into the United States, EVERYWHERE, and Russian civilians getting out.  These Russians were also arriving on railway. I looked around at the people next to me, and it was as if  everyone was sleepwalking–no one noticed them, or cared.  When I started making a holler, another person next to me took notice.  It was as if our government had already given approval (or had no power to stop it), and then I woke up.

After my experiences within religion, I no longer put ANY credence in these types of dreams as being a spiritual manifestation.  If I gave this power to an entity how would I know if it was a good one, or a bad one–an angel’s warning, or Satan deceiving me?

These doomsday dreams are not going to motivate me to do more good in the world.  Certainly following dead prophets (or any profits!), extrapolating scriptures, visions, dreams, prophesies is NOT going to help decaying neighborhoods, feeding the hungry, housing the poor, and bringing water to the thirsty.

I never wanted to tell anyone about these dreams, and here I am sharing them. Am I being used as a pawn in some greater plan?  Am I fulfilling Chris Nemelka’s “Marvelous Work and Wonder?” Damn the bad luck! Or, is it true what some Mormons are saying that September 28th will be the beginning of earthquakes along with the “blood moon” and “days of tribulation”. (I hope not — I have a 5K marathon that day! I wanted to get out of it — but, this would be taking it WAY too far!)

Before I start posting “Reality Quest(s)” of Chris’s (that are mine) — I can see the future now!  I realize that my former “spiritual” (fake) husband will use whatever I post and write to his advantage — let me warn the readers: Beware.  Christopher Nemelka has some of the most powerful leadership qualities that a human can possess, and he knows it.  Never put your faith in a human! (or ALIEN!) That is my message, and I believe that was his before he got lost in his ego.  The reason I wrote “alien” is because Chris wrote in his first Reality Quest over twenty years ago, “. . . perhaps he’s [Christopher] not of the same species . . .”

Hmmm . . . come to think of it.

There have been many species of men like Chris who have walked the earth.  I believe there are certain qualities that both he and Joseph Smith share that make them unique, but  I do not believe these are quality character traits — they are defects, or more commonly known as a personality disorder.  I am not a psychologist, yet I have studied enough to know that many cult leaders fall into the category of a sociopath.  (Here is a link from the Exit Support Network for more information about this personality disorder).

Chris and I parted ways, and I moved to Grass Valley, California, and on September 20, 1993 he wrote me and told me that he hoped this manuscript (that he would send in newsletters) would help me “and anyone else who might be interested search for the truth.”

These are his truths (or lies). I am posting them because many individuals follow his “message” and I’d also like to set the record straight regarding rumors about me.  Perhaps someday these individuals/followers of his message will realize that they have wasted their life chasing a rabbit down a dark hole.  Listen to someone who fell for his joke:  Move on.  Get out there and make some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and feed the poor. Close your wordy-MAWA books and play ball with your children.  If you want to “gain a greater perspective of the origins of life” take opiates they work much faster! Don’t waste your time trying to figure out what the dead tokens mean in the temple — No ADVANCED being cares.  These are all diversion tactics.

Perhaps if some of these individuals looking for eternal truths begin to look at the bigger picture, and connect the dots, they will realize MAWA has nothing to do with separating the messenger from the message.  No higher power, or intelligence, would want ANY of us swimming in circles spending our whole life figuring this out or reading books  trying to figure out dates when the world will end, and attempting to know the “mysteries” when they are a MYSTERY. The meaning of life is right in front of us.

WAKE UP FOLLOWERS DON’T GET BURNED!

I will post the Reality Quests that I have in my Document section according to dates, so that you may continue in your folly — or finally decide to get rid of the shackles or “WORDS” that often imprison us.  My prayer is that you may become the savior of your own lives. (I will black out content that would expose family members, and protect irrelevant family history.)

 

 

 

I Love My Body!

Journal Entry from 25 years ago — “Let me go!”

I have neglected “Vickie’s Grin” for way too long. A writing block occurred after seeing the tagline “Embracing my polygamist past!” on my website. (I even included an exclamation point, as if I was really excited about my past–Whoopee!). I took it down.

Maybe I was having an embracing-moment when I started this website, but like plural marriage, it didn’t last long.
It soon became apparent that embracing my past living polygamy wasn’t entirely true. I hated my Mormon fundamentalist past; it had controlled my life, wasted my time, ruined my children’s life, left me financially destitute, and to top it off, all my efforts in Utah helping others leave polygamy was sabotaged by certain public officials, including the former Utah Attorney General’s Office under Mark Shurtleff. (Don’t I sound like a victim?)

After daily events and reminders of my past unexpectedly crept up on me, I melted into a depression. It became obvious that I still held resentments; I wondered why I had created a website in the first place, and how I could possibly write anything positive, and remain honest. (Embracing and resentment don’t go well together).

Since then, I have learned a couple things about this website: 1) It is very difficult to be both in the moment (which, for the most part I love), and also revisit the past, which I don’t love. PTSD explains some of it. Besides that, there is an uncomfortable chasm that exists between these two polar opposite time zones which seem light years apart, and it can be unkind. I prefer living for today. 2) A person can embrace their past and simultaneously hate the abusive actions of others; they can advocate, bitch, complain, and fight against a particular abuse without so much as a pause, so others do not have to go through it.  This is where I would like to be.

(Btw: Thank-you to the cult survivor who sent me this photo of the three little girls! I have been holding on to it for weeks because it is so appropriate).

Lately, I have had some personal experiences that have helped me realize how fortunate I am for my past.  In spite of all the negative consequences due to my former religion, which I would not wish upon anyone, there have also been positive outcomes that have occurred from my years in Mormonism and trying to find an escape route leading out of the Mormon maze of madness.  Finally, I am finding my way home “in a 1000 different ways”!!  I can do this!!  And, I am putting my sub-title, tagline, topper, or whatever it is called back up as a way to give myself a hug!!  (The fact is I have not been able to write a book, so this website is it).

Recently I was asked by a non-profit organization in California, “My Sister’s House” to speak to the media about my experiences involving Human Trafficking. I figured the organization wanted me to talk about my experiences helping others who were trafficked into polygamy, until I realized that wasn’t the case. They wanted my story. Most people think human trafficking is moving females from one place to another for commercial sex, yet there are many forms of human trafficking such as migrant workers.  As far as polygamy and human trafficking women and young girls are often moved across state and national borders for the purpose of forced marriage, and members of polygamous groups, including school-age children, are often used for the purpose of slave-labor. It doesn’t stop there. Recruited women through coercion, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or fraudulent means (such as scriptures or using religious propaganda) for the purpose of sexual exploitation, involuntary servitude, servile marriage, debt, bondage or slavery is human trafficking.  Today’s Mormon polygamy is another form of modern-day slavery.

I would have never lived polygamy (the emotions of sharing a spouse is similar to the emotions of being cheated on–not fun!), if I wasn’t recruited by my husband and others through coercion and fraud.

The climax of this blog post is a journal entry that I wrote 25 years ago on October 3, 1990 denouncing my polygamous marriage vows, as I was trying to extricate myself from my eternal marriage. Back then, I had not heard of anyone leaving polygamy without horrific consequences.  The date is written at the bottom of the second page, yet the date doesn’t seem to add up. Or, does it? According to this date, my former husband would have only been married to his second wife a couple years. (Maybe I left sooner than I thought–a kudos to me!)  The Morrisons’ whom I mention in the journal entry are my (former) sister-wife’s family members who attended and officiated the marriage ceremony.

As I read this, I was grasping at straws.  It took me a long time to finally unravel the religious indoctrination, and understand the psychological processes that occur under these types of conditions.  It also reveals that I am not unloving or vindicative–I just wanted out!

Unfortunately, because I am trying to make up for “stolen” time this website and its blog posts are going to be a hit and miss thing. Life is calling, and I have yet to write 2nd Plural Marriage: Part Two!