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Getting Through : In Remembrance

I write this in an effort to endure

from Seismograph - Tuesday, December 13, 2005
accessed 1872 times

I don't think I can deal with what I saw today without venting to people who might understand.

Today I saw the body of a jumper. The wind blew the yellow sheet off, showing a body face up, right arm in a sort of triangle with hand toward head. The white snow had deep dark stains.

I have twice before happened to pass close to the aftermath of a jumper. But today, in a moment of silence for this person, whose gender I could not distinguish from my vantage point, I sobbed uncontrollably. The tears are back again now.

I just read the article on about the late Simon Novotny (

A translation of his suicide note has the following statement of his that describes exactly how I feel so many times:

"I busted my ass to accomplish something in the System, but had no endurance."

The reason for my depletion, I sometimes think, comes from something else that he also expresses:

"Integrating into society was difficult, too, mainly because I was "different". For the last 4 years my social phobia has continually tormented me—almost relentlessly."

Except that for me it has been relentlessly over more than a decade. And that is with therapy treatment. Like Simon did, I also have a good job...for now.

"I hope I get dealt better cards in the next life," says Simon's note.

I am not sure whether I believe there is a next life, but Simon, you deserve one, and so I think there must be one, even if it's specially for you. At least if there is any justice in the universe.

Sometimes I think what keeps me around is everything I would need to document first, a task that would take a lot of time and painful effort and which I have not yet been able to do.

Other times I think it is the "favorite things" that I now have, which I've learned to use as an anchor, with varying success.

Simon, I probably never met you in the cult, but tonight I think of you and I lay salty flowers at your virtual grave. Rest in peace.

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from a weary soul
Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 02:18


I was drawn to this article today, and in reading it I found myself aching for the day when I can truly say that the loathsome shadow, this curse that engulfs the depths of my being and relentlessly calls to me to surrender myself to it, is lifted. I cannot envisage a time when I will feel differently, and it frightens me. If it were only me that I had to consider, then I would not be afraid to go where my inner workings might take me but as it is, I have to remain strong for as long as possible. But the thing is, I am not strong at all. I fear that it is only a matter of time. It is very hard to fight it, sometimes. I am tired. I am weary of myself.

Rest in Peace Simon, and each of those whose bright, young lives were so cruelly stolen from them.

(reply to this comment)

From Nancy
Tuesday, June 13, 2006, 12:49

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
Tomorrow is the anniversary of his death. Friday is his birthday.

The anniversary of Cherish's death is coming up, too. It has special meaning to a dear friend of mine. I worry about her. Sometimes, when mutual friends call, I don't answer the phone because for a few seconds I fear she might be gone, too.

I know what it is like to barely hold on. I can go to that place so easily, in the most unexpected times, even after all these years. Yet, the feeling of healing and numbness has become more familiar these days. Things have happened. I've passed milestones. I passed the age my mother was when she joined the cult. I am nearly the age my father was when he died. I have a son of my own, and he knows nothing of my childhood and its pain. I'm at a place that I finally feel out of the woods.

Now what is most frightening is seeing that familiar sense of dispair, that I thought I only knew, in others who share my same experiences. I know what it tastes and smells like to barely hold on. When I witness someone else in that state, I find myself wanting to reach for them and hold them. But rather than pulling them close, they fall through my arms and run through my fingers like trying to embrace the sand on the beach. I didn't know what I needed or what would help me make it to morning when I stood where they stand. How much more lost am I when I am the one standing on the outside reaching in? I care, I love, I feel, I cry, but some pain is too deep and some scars will never heal, and all the reaching and groping and grasping to hold on to someone who is sinking in, only leaves me empty-handed, swinging at air.

Then, taking it all in. The new loss, the old losses, the fear of losses yet to come. My pain, anger, frustration and rage find a sharp focus on the very cult that is the common denominator among the list of names of those who slipped away and that is the creator of the despair that is endlessly making its rounds, showing up uninvited, unexpected, leveling years of effort and work with a single visit.

It's as real as the shadow that took the first born son of every household in Egypt. We speculate about its origin. Some say it was born in Macau or a Victor Camp in Japan. Some say it was a school in Mexico. It's one part isolation, one part hard labor, one part silence restriction, one part public humiliation and torture and ten parts hopelessness.

But, whatever its genus/species, there is no lamb's blood antidote. It seeps past gates in upper class neighborhoods. It pours into locked dormitories. It overcomes time and physics. It's invisible to strong, watchful spouses. It's deceptive to medical professionals. It gets to us wherever in the world we might hide. It's a ravenous monster that feeds on our peace, our happiness, our comfort, our souls and our lives.

It was created by David Berg, and it feeds on the children of his followers. It was made strong and protected by the leadership of the cult, who deny its very existance, but to whom they secretly sacrificed their own children. It lives on after Berg's death and will be here long after our generation is gone.

1969 was the year it was born, and every year we write articles and post memorials for another victim of this immortal evil. And like I said above, tommorow is the anniversary of another of its conquests. Next month is another.

For God that it doesn't take my friend. If she goes, I don't know why it matters that I made it out of the woods. (reply to this comment
From EyesWideShut
Wednesday, June 14, 2006, 07:14

Beautifully written. I'm sorry that it's so hard for you and I wish peace for you.(reply to this comment
From Randi
Wednesday, June 14, 2006, 00:52

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

Beautifully delivered...The whole thing is just so sad, and the pain so real and so great it's hard to describe in words...but you did so, perfectly.

Ironically, sometimes I find this sight to be very discouraging and annoying, however, reading an article like this...though sad, reminds me that I'm not alone in this pain, that I'm not the only one who struggles to remain strong, that I'm not the only one who wants to "run away," and that is comforting.

I think that though most of us are surrounded by many it work mates, fellow students or what have you....we feel so alone. The difficult thing is finding someone to talk to about our pain and struggles. I've spoken to relatives, but they can't bare it, it sends them to a state of depression as they simply cannot comprehend it. Can't talk to family, can't talk to parents because either they are still in the club or they refuse to deal with their unforgivable mistakes by making the oddest and most outrageous excuses, or their selective memory takes charge, or they give the typical offensive line: "everybody goes through bad things," which minimizes our pain and further alienates us from them. Either way it is most unhelpful and further destructive. I'm a big fan of therapy, however, it is not always monetarily plausible...I think this is a big problem, and that this is one of the principal reasons why so many have committed and unfortunataly, will commit suicide...Who do we turn to?? I think most of us are pretty good at putting on the happy smile and putting on the act of appearing to fit in just fine....I for one, learn the ropes very quickly, and like a cameleon, "can be all things to all men." However, it's that consistent internalization of suffering and anger that only serves to intensify and prolong the agony....What I'm trying to say is that we have to find somebody to talk to, somebody to show our weak and "ugly" side to. I think that if we can all do that, the suicides will stop.

In closing, I want to say that I'm proud of us....most of us are dealing with a hell of a lot and we're still here, we are striving towards our chosen goals...I think it's the best way of saying "FUCK YOU" to the past and those who endorsed our pain. "We are the champions my friends, and we'll keep on fighting till the end!!" That's the best revenge: that we don't give up, that we achieve our goals and that we not just survive, but thrive. It matters "that we made it out of the woods" inspite of the loss and unbearable heartache...collectively, we are breaking this evil cycle of pain and destruction and that is worth staying alive for, and worth facing our fears for. If we can survive this, imagine what we are capable of....nothing can stop us.

We're not alone, we have each other, or at least the knowledge that somewhere out, there are people who know exactly what "it" feels like!!

(reply to this comment

From Hell's Kitchen
Tuesday, June 13, 2006, 18:05

My plague is 10 parts having been sexually abused by my supposed caretakers.(reply to this comment
From Nancy
Tuesday, June 13, 2006, 19:15

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
And that is, in my mind, worst of all. It takes away your dignity and sense of self worth. With physical abuse, I always felt bloodied but unbroken. Sexual abuse takes even that. The inner sense of strength in having withstood the beatings and not letting them break your spirit is taken when your body is sexually assaulted. It defiles the last place in your mind we hide as children, the place you were safe within yourself, the place where you could withstand anything that happened on the outside.

Afterwards, it feels like nothing is left because your body is no longer safe. Your sanctuary to which you always reverted to protect yourself is decimated. How do you heal from that? How do you feel whole again and reclaim what is yours when your own body feels defiled? How do you begin to feel a sense of self again?

For me, nothing but time helped. I removed myself so far in time and space from it that now it seems just a distant memory, almost like to happened to someone else. I made a new life for myself. I kept nothing from before. I couldn't. I couldn't have "worked through it." I just threw it all away, so to speak, left and started another life completely.

Even now, talking about it, my past life and what happened to me seems dirty. I can't do it too often. I cannnot acknowledge very often that I am that girl, that she and the woman I am now are one and the same. I did such a good job leaving everything behind years ago and never revisiting it that I even have trouble comprehending that I and that freightened girl are the same. I was a throw away child. I was so broken that there was no fixing me or rebuilding. I could only walk away and start over completely. I did not even acknowledge for twelve years that I had that childhood and past life. It was dead to me. Not until I'd made a new life in which I felt safe did I ever finally say, "Yes, that was me. All that happened to me." But, even then, I was safe in knowing, it wasn't me anymore.

Unfortunately for many, especially those who have sacrificied themselves to speak out to the media and police or try to help their siblings, there is no place to which to go for twelve years to make a new life and to be safe from the past. A lot of us have only to "work through it" because there is no other option. For those, I have nothing but respect. I don't know how they do it. (reply to this comment
From gragon
Tuesday, June 13, 2006, 15:01


It would matter to your son, and to those of us on this site that you have graced with your presence. It would give those of us left behind one more anniversary in which we doubt whether we can continue to make it out of the woods, and perpetuate the cycle.

I identify with everything you have said, and everything I have told you I have had to tell myself many, many times. Hang in there. (reply to this comment

From Marc
Tuesday, June 13, 2006, 14:42

Interesting about the "milestones" we have all past.

Here are a couple I have passed:
- I am now older than either of my parents were when they joined the cult. My father was 22 and my mother was 24. I will be 30 this year and still feel young (at times). How young they were when they joined.
- I have passed the age they both were when I was born. An interesting side note here: There is only one time in your life when you are exactly half your parents' age; for me, it was the year I turned 25. Forever afterward, they will be less than twice my age.
- I have passed the age my parents were when they had their last child. Here I am, never married and without any children. How young they seem when they had their children.
- A milestone I have yet to pass is being longer out of the group than I was in the group. Since I was 18 when I left, I will have to wait another six years until this milestone passes.(reply to this comment
From Nancy
Tuesday, June 13, 2006, 14:57

Longer in than out. That is an all important one. I'll be there next May.

This month, I will be older than my mother when she chose to drag us all back into the cult after a lovely little stint in the US.

I cannot wait until dates like my son reaching the age I was when I left. Or out-living cult leaders. Eventually, they will begin to succumb to bad health.(reply to this comment
From Thank you
Tuesday, June 13, 2006, 13:17


How strange. I didn't even notice the significance of the date. I wonder what it was that made me read this article today? Perhaps the universe remembers more deeply and with greater affection than we could ever fathom.

(reply to this comment

from JohnnieWalker
Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - 22:59

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

I have fond memories of Simon. We lived in the same Homes together as JETTs. I remember his cheery smile and his humor. He was a great kid to be around.

I seldom cry, but reading his suicide note brought tears to my eyes.

How long before people stop long enough to ask, "Why?"

You will be remembered, Simon. Rest in peace.
(reply to this comment)

From Seismograph
Thursday, December 15, 2005, 00:33


It seems that most of our parents' generation forgot when their icons also questioned, as you do above:

"How long before people stop long enough to ask, "Why?""

When I was in the cult dreaming of freedom and a normal life, I somehow got ahold of these lyrics long enough to memorize them. Like many songs -- even, ironically, some of their own that ironically denounced them (if they had only been awake), it became part of my exit soundtrack:

"How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, 'n' how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, 'n' how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned?

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?

How many years can a mountain exist
Before it's washed to the sea?
Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head,
Pretending he just doesn't see?

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind."

(Dylan version above)
(reply to this comment

From gragon
Thursday, December 15, 2005, 07:24


My favorite Johnny Cash song.

I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that's real
The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything
What have I become?
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know
Goes away in the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt
I wear this crown of thorns
Upon my liar's chair
Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
Beneath the stains of time
The feeling disappears
You are someone else
I am still right here
What have I become?
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know
Goes away in the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt
If I could start again
A million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way

(reply to this comment

From placebo
Thursday, December 15, 2005, 08:14

actually it's a NIN song that Johnny cash covered, but he did a right lovely job of covering it.Love the song as well.(reply to this comment
From I'm sorry for your loss.
Thursday, December 15, 2005, 14:35


This song from temple of the dog has always helped me through hard times, I don't know why. Nothing heals these wounds. I hope he has found peace.

Please, mother mercy
Take me from this place
And the long winded curses
I keep hearing in my head
Words never listen
And teachers never learn
Now I'm warm from the candle
But I feel too cold to burn
He came from an island
And he died from the street
He hurt so bad like a soul breaking
But he never said nothing to me
So say hello to heaven

New like a baby
Lost like a prayer
The sky was your playground
But the cold ground was your bed
Poor stargazer
She's got no tears in her eyes
Smooth like whisper
She knows that love heals all wounds with time
Now it seems like too much love
Is never enough, you better seek out
Another road 'cause this one has
Ended abrupt, say hello to heaven

(reply to this comment

From temple of the dog
Thursday, December 15, 2005, 16:29

great band that it seems that no one has ever heard about. "Call me a dog" is definitely my favorite song off that album. Definitely an album for if you are feeling a little down. (reply to this comment
From Nancy
Thursday, December 15, 2005, 21:12

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
I love that group. Wasn't it just a one time collaboration of a few folks from two separate bands? I've never been able to find it in stores, though.

On a similar note, one of my clients just died. I just found out today. I felt such a loss. She was a wonderful lady. It was just a few weeks ago she was showing me her house.

God, some days are just overwhelmed with sadness. I can feel it surrounding me and enveloping me. The hardest part is not giving in to it completely. If I do, I know there will be no one to pick me up. That is when isolation truly appears. A friend of mine recently told me that some people are meant to be alone. He said he was one of them and so was I. I guess I always really knew that. I just got so busy that I tried to ignore it. (reply to this comment
From Sorry
Thursday, December 15, 2005, 21:57

It was members of Pearl Jam & Sound Garden. I love "All night thing". Chris Cornell has an awesome voice.(reply to this comment
from Nancy
Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - 20:34

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
It is amazing what beautiful thoughts spring from human suffering. I love your words. I love how they express what is so often impossible.

How does one document ones life? Where do we put the thoughts and emotions that make us human so they can be remembered?
(reply to this comment)
From ESJ
Thursday, December 15, 2005, 02:51

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(

Just know that you're not alone, Seismograph, even when it feels that way. Society is in many ways a contrived reality anyhow, with everyone conditioned to think and see things a certain way that's not really 'real', so it's little wonder a lot of us don't fit in or relate to it. When we left TF, we just traded one contrived reality for a somewhat less intense, more widespread version. Once you've seen through one bunch of bullshit, you tend to more easily see through all the rest.

So a lot of us will always be 'on the outside looking in' to some extent. This can lead to a deep sense of isolation, loneliness and depression, but this doesn't have to be a 'dead end'. It can actually be a tunnel through to whole new ways of thinking and seeing, and a new form of internal empowerment in the long run. Hang in there. Be okay with the pain, it is part of waking up to a higher level of awareness. Regards, Eva(reply to this comment

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