This Is Not An Odd Book Discussion: Looking at my comments

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

So, as we all know, or should know, I am often sucktastic about replying to comments. It’s a part of my avoidant personality, I’m told. Sometimes I can deal with digital evidence of human interactions and sometimes I can’t. So a lot of comments here may go unanswered because I am a notorious flake.

This comment, however, went unanswered because I simply did not know what to say. It’s stayed with me for a while because… well, I’ll show you the comment, left to my entry about John Coleman’s book about conspiracy theory and disease:

Im really nobody special. No special degree nothing fancy..just experience. All I can really say is dr. Coleman is gutsy. He taked a big risk. For that I commend him. I will never see another Dr for as long as I live. Its too bad …im only 22 and really wanted a family one day. Dont think I can do that now…its ashame fear runs through me knowing what theyll do to that new born baby. dr. c if you ever read this…I rrally think youd be interested in hearing what my father has come to find. I think you got it but theres more…much more. Maybe you know though, maybefor your own safety you stay quiet on the other things…probably smart however I hopeone day we meet face to face… I feel lonely in this. Its too bad my family wasnt part of the elite, born into it. Four families in this world striving for world domination. Can you guess who they are ? My dad figuredit out. Somehow someway I hope you get tomeet him.

This comment bothers me because it challenges my attitude wherein I enjoy conspiracy and wallow in its lunacy. I do challenge it here from time to time, but I also take an attitude wherein I just revel in the panoply of bizarre belief. But this comment makes it clear that there is a price to be paid with bad belief. Here is a young woman (or so she says – this could be anyone) who thinks that she cannot have a family because something bad will happen to her newborn child. Something so bad it makes her ashamed to think of it. There are other problems with this comment, but that is the one that stood out to me the most – the loss of potential family because of some bizarre, unspecified fear.

Bad belief is so bad because it discourages independent thinking. Bad belief is almost always black and white thinking, an either/or proposition that leaves no room for any middle ground. The middle ground is important because it is a place of no pressure wherein people can find the answers they need. But when you think God/god/Allah/whatever dictates a belief from which there can be no deviation, when you believe that there is a conspiracy of elites set to destroy the world and control your children, it’s hard, if not impossible, to find a middle ground. And without a middle ground that encourages critical thinking, you end up with a 22-year-old who is so scared of the world that she cannot even think of having a baby. She is so certain of external control over her life that she cannot even research alternatives to hospital births, like home births or birthing centers. Half the women I know give birth at home and selectively vaccinate their children. Some question the need for constant well-baby exams. Whether or not I agree with these decisions, there are alternatives to simply refusing to have a child because Doctors Are Evil. But bad belief makes it impossible to see any alternative.

Here’s another comment that alarmed the hell out of me. It alarmed me so much that after a basic Google, I determined that the person possibly existed and I took the editorial decision to X-out all of her identifying information. Rather than reproduce the entire comment, here are some quotes:

I spent the last year worried sick about my daughter(4)-I had never heard of ritualistic abuse in my life, but was researching other types of abuse to see if I could find out what was going on with her. I came across one line about creatures in hooded robes-and ended up on the floor screaming uncontrolably (Ive never been affected like this before, but have always had a deep fear of the occult). I asked my mom about it (a pastor) and she informed me that when the ritualistic abuse scare was taking place in Xxxxxx in the early 90′s that my father was called in as a specialist (he was the chaplain at XX).

So she was worried about her daughter and researched abuse to find an answer. Okay, I guess that is not too unusual, but then she goes on to say she has always been terrified about the occult and that her father was a specialist in ritual abuse and yet she had never, ever heard of such a thing. That raises red flags for me because when you have been taught the world is flat, you live in fear you will fall over the edge. If she was raised with a father who was a specialist in ritual abuse cases, every scab is going to be evidence of torture, every toddler tall tale is going to be direct evidence of actual events because children never lie. It seems impossible that she could have been raised with a father who specializes in such things and never have heard of them.

The next day, when my children came back from their dads (weve been separated for about a year), I prayed for them. Neither of them had heard a word about any of this. When I told them that Jesus gives us power over the scary things, and that they dont have power over us, my children went insane. They started tearing through the house-they talked about sleeping in coffins, rape, spiders, my daughter put her fingers down her throat and told me there was a bad baby inside her and that she was going to have a new mom and a new dad…

If you have read anything about the bad approaches used by therapists and pastors to elicit testimony from children in Satanic and Ritual Abuse cases, you can already see bad things at work here. How does she know the children did not know she prayed? How does she know they are not acutely aware of her searching endlessly for what she thinks is wrong with them? She was raised by a “ritual abuse specialist” and she is so worked up she left a comment on an entry about a book discussing the CIA’s involvement with rock musicians – she’s not really being as discreet as she thinks. And the kids’ reactions? One has no idea what she has left out of the story but again, once you start planting ideas that Jesus protects us from scary things, don’t be surprised if your kids begin to speak of scary things. And don’t be surprised if they continue to overreact and spin stories about coffins, rape and impossible toddler pregnancies. And if they do, don’t assume the toddler pregnancy is real, or that the coffins are real because once you begin to go down that road, you are victimizing your child without meaning to. But the really unfortunate part is this:

I told CPS, and they sent me to a psychiatrist/psychologist thinking that Im insane. My tests all came back normal. I know my children-they couldnt have made that up

So, CPS investigated and determined the problem is the mother. I’m not sure what psychiatrist would tell her she is insane when all her “tests” were normal. I have no idea what test she could be talking about. But instead of gain some perspective and engage in reasonable fact finding and determine reality from fantasy (does my daughter show signs of rape, how could a toddler be pregnant, have I ever seen a coffin at my husband’s place and if not, is there a place he could reasonably hide one from my view, have I been tainted by my father’s odd beliefs, etc.), she digs in further, insisting that a four-year-old could never come up with outrageous stories, even with a frantic, religious woman with a history of questionable belief questioning her. Because even though she says she only talked about Jesus, I wonder what a hidden camera of her examination of her children would reveal. Regardless, I think of this woman from time to time and wonder what the hell is happening to her children. I really hope this was someone yanking my chain. I really hope there is no woman raised by a dogpatch Ted Gunderson mentally torturing her kids.

And just to end this discussion of my comments (and be glad I don’t reproduce the e-mails I receive – be very glad), here’s one that’s creepy in a way that at least does not leave me worried for two possibly fictional children or an undereducated woman whose fear prevents her from having a child. This gem was left in the comments for Part Two of my discussion of 2083. The link takes you to this video:

Oh dear lord, that voice. This is evidently a piece of writing from a person called Mox Mäkelä and the video links to a site where you can experience more creepy, odd videos. Hurrah for things that won’t make James Randi depressed or Penn Jillette shit blood.

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