Archive for May, 2013


take a chance

roulette 2

Life’s a crap shoot. Never lose heart.


Groove of the Day 

Listen to ABBA performing “Take a Chance On Me”


lightnin’ strikes



Groove of the Day 

Listen to Lou Christie performing “Lightnin’ Strikes”



Backwards Clock

I have recently learned that the waiver hearing for Paul Henry Gingerich will not be held in early June as announced, but delayed at least until July. An exact date has not yet been determined.

One of the most frustrating things about how the American justice system works is that, whereas kids grow up at a relentless pace, getting justice to happen goes at its own pace: Slow.

But the kids and I see these delays differently.

Part of this phenomenon may be attributable to my age versus the age of our defendants. According to the ‘proportional’ theory, as you get older, each time period constitutes a smaller fraction of your life as a whole.

At the age of 14, one year constitutes around 7% of your life–a large amount of time. But at the age of 30 a year is only 3% of your life, at age 50 a year is only 2% of your life, and at age 65 a year is just 1.5%. So your subjective sense is that these are ever-more insignificant periods of time which pass very quickly.

There is also the not inconsiderable fact that it is the young people who must actually live their lives, while I only have to observe their lives from my perspective. I have less skin in the game.

Plus, I have experienced this before. The novelty has worn off. People new to this game may feel differently than I do. A trip along a known route seems to go faster than along a strange one.

I long ago gave up my impatience to reality.

I just hope I don’t mistake these factors for complacency. That would be a shame.


Groove of the Day 

Listen to Third Eye Blind performing “Slow Motion”



child taped to wall

by Lone Heron

It’s coming up on 28 years since that fateful June evening when I pulled the trigger and my parents passed into the spirit realm. I wonder if my mother were alive today would she have learned a different way and treat me nicer, or would she be the same abusive control freak pushing me in just another cycle of unrealized continuance and projection.

I have forgiven her because I do believe that she really did have it in mind to do her best for me. But she just didn’t understand how to go about getting that message across in another form of delivery, or at least that’s what I choose to believe. It’s preferable to me to believe that way, even if it is wrapped in pieces of denial. I say that because to even begin to believe that is true, I have to forget about the times my mother yelled and screamed telling me how she hated me and never wanted me, while pulling hair, slapping, and hitting.

She may have been telling me her truth in that moment. Not once did she ever apologize, but since she did have me, she did at least make sure I was fed, clothed and got an education, which has been the necessary ingredient for me to unravel my nightmare in order to be here writing you today.

It is easier for me to say she was sick as opposed to just plain mean. or at least, this is what I choose to believe based on what I have learned is true.

Let me explain…

The liver is the organ that generates frustration, irritability, argumentativeness, anger, and rage. According to the Five Elements Theory, the liver operates at its peak between one and three in the morning, and you should be asleep by 11pm for the liver to do its job properly. Was my mother’s liver further irritated because she worked mid-crew shift and was never in bed asleep when her liver would have been at its peak function time?

I know blood sugar which is affected by how well the liver converts sugars to glycogen can also creates anger issues in people. I know personally about this one due to my own blood sugar imbalance, which now seems to reside at an appropriate number 99-100.

Bringing my blood sugar back into balance with food and exercise greatly reduces my anger levels–note I said reduces, not eliminates, but I think you get the picture–and that is one piece of many that moved me from a place of hating my parents to a place of appreciating them and giving thanks for what they did provide. It does not make what they did right, but it does make it more understandable and therefore easier to forgive. Especially when you bring alcohol into the parricide equation.

For parents who already have stress and they seek consolation through alcohol (which then warps the entire picture even more by warping the individual mind, body and soul while aggravating the already stressed liver into overdrive thereby increasing the rage), and the kids
know it’s time to disappear if at all possible.

Once upon a time alcohol was called spirits and it was said that it weakens the individual’s consciousness to the point that negative entities could step in and direct the body as the temporary designated driver… so to speak, is that what happens when a person gets so drunk they are unconscious of their actions even though they are still being active?

I wonder what Jacob Ind and others think of their parents. I wonder if they have forgiveness for them. I wonder have they thought things out as I have or have they gone a different route in their minds. Perhaps one day I will have the opportunity to speak directly to other parricide survivors about the nightmare we have experienced. I have had the opportunity to communicate with two other parricide victims via mail and telephone–one is now free, and the other is still incarcerated.
I believe their individual growth has been limited and stunted due to the system of incarceration that controls the other side of such events.

I have been blessed with many opportunities that those like Jacob Ind will never have the experience of. Jacob has lost twenty years of his life for defending it. How would you feel if you were celebrating your umpteenth anniversary locked in a cage because you wanted to live free of harm, free of pain, and you were pressed so deeply into a corner that your most primal instincts, kill or be killed, were engaged and like a puppet you play the part unable to stop any event in the long chain of events that led to the moment in time where all thoughts of right and wrong roll back in your head like a shark’s eye appears to do in a feeding frenzy.

The shrinks and counselors, judges and lawyers, and general society gather around to analyze it.

Gotta blame someone, so it’s the kid that takes the heat ’cause the parents are dead. And society in its limited capacity to understand that which it has not experienced and then doesn’t understand why the kids do not acquiesce. Inspection and analysis are major pieces in the role played by parricide parents. So when the officials get involved after the fact, well… most times it’s just another form of hypocrisy. Another know-it-all thinking they know how to fix it.

I propose they are not truly interested in fixing it because if they really were, someone would have knocked on my door by now and said “hey– you own you committed this “crime” side stepped long term incarceration, have not regressed but instead progressed, have never killed again after 28 years? How did you do it? What suggestions from having come through this experience would you offer those of us on the outside trying to help rehabilitate and understand it?

But no no one wants to hear my thoughts on healing these atrocities. They want to grab and run just like parricide parents. Eventually, they, like parricide parents and all other bullies in all walks of life, will meet the one that even, if only for a moment, is bigger than them and then finally they will perhaps begin to understand, they too, are part of the problem that blocks and interferes with the natural course of healing.

My childhood prepared me for life in many ways better than those who had the perfect Leave It To Beaver childhood. It made me strong and motivated me to do better. For many years I beat myself–after all I was a murderer. But I am not. If I were a murderer, as opposed to a survivor, I can think of at least 3 other people who are still alive and kicking that would be six feet under somewhere.

With each passing year I feel more connection and gratitude for my parents. As awful as they were they could have been worse, and they did create a survivor in me, or maybe I already was, they were just the ones to help me to learn about that aspect of myself. I have no doubt that I will meet them on the other side of my death bed. Whenever that day arrives I will be looking forward to new levels of communication that could never be achieved here on this side of life.

Where once upon a time I ranted, raved, cried and even for a period denounced God, trying to understand what I had done wrong to deserve this life, now I have come full circle and thank God for putting me through the strengthening fires of negativity. I am stronger for it due to the healing path I have followed. I hope the same is true of my parricide brothers and sisters who have fallen into incarceration. I hope they can with time, find value in the path they have traveled as have I.

Thank you for reading my post.

Reprinted from Survivingrage’s Blog.

Questions and comments can be directed to:

Inherited Rage is my story which is frighteningly similar to other parricide events. It can be found at Amazon.


Groove of the Day 

Listen to Little Feat performing “Cajun Rage”


the veil

rydberg ctc

As one who has experienced a great deal of loss in his life, Memorial Day has become a somber day for me.

As many of you know, it was my 65th birthday a few days ago. I was blessed by a great many greetings not only on this blog, but by phone, e-mail, and Facebook. I am thankful for all the birthday greetings, but one stands out: a message from my friend Michael, who recently died.

He had apparently scheduled this greeting from his Facebook page, but his account was not shut down when he ceased breathing. It was as if Michael was speaking to me from beyond the grave. This has happened to me only once before, when Holly had arranged for a delivery of Christmas tree decorations to me and our son after she died.

Most of the years that we were married, a poster of a vase of flowers from The Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis (CTC) had hung by her desk. A couple of weeks before her death, I discovered the original painting for this poster at a gallery, and I bought if for Holly. It was my last gift to her.

A few months after Holly’s death, I finally had the pleasure of meeting Steven Rydberg, the artist who had been commissioned by the CTC to do the art for the poster. He had been told by the gallery owner about the unique role his painting had played in Holly’s last days. Steven was captivated, and he asked me if I had noticed a subtle image that he had included in the background.

I had not.

“It is a curtain which is blowing in the wind,” he said.

The next time I stood before Steven’s painting, I saw that gossamer veil, plain as day. How could I have not seen it before?

Since then I have kept Steven’s painting with me always. That blowing curtain has assumed a greater importance to me with time. It hangs above my living room sofa today. It serves as a constant reminder of the thin veil between life and death. A veil that is barely noticed, but always there. A veil that can be disturbed and crossed by the slightest breeze, the subtlest force.

That veil was disturbed the other day. Its mystery once again was rippled with Michael’s greeting.


Groove of the Day 

Listen to Haken Hakegard performing “O du mein holder Abendstern”



volcano in cloud 2


Groove of the Day 

Listen to Damien Rice performing “Volcano”


is adhd fake?

psychotropic drugs

A few days ago, one of my readers sent me a link to an article which asserts that the man who “discovered” ADHD admitted on his deathbed that it is an invented, fictitious disease. The source of this story was a 2012 article in Der Spiegel, about an interview which took place seven months before the death of American psychiatrist Leon Eisenberg MD, who passed away in 2009 at the age of 87.

After looking into the story, the context of the Der Spiegel article appears to have been Dr. Eisenberg’s expression of dismay that the disease he discovered is so widely and inappropriately diagnosed. It’s sort of like Dr. Frankenstein wondering what kind of monster he’d created. So in these instances of misdiagnoses, at least, ADHD is a fake disease. Maybe the writer from Der Spiegel took Dr. Eisenberg’s comments further than Eisenberg had intended, maybe not. What’s circulating on the Internet, though, is that the creator of ADHD said it’s not a real disease. And it’s a good thing, I think, that some people are taking a second look.

In the area of psychiatry, any human shortcoming can be spun into a disease—especially if it can be “treated” by prescription drugs. From an early age, we are taught to run away from our issues and pop a pill. There’s a lot of money in human nature.

Of the 137 panel members for the DSM-V manual (the book which is used to define and document psychological disorders for financial reimbursement) who have posted disclosure statements, 76 (or 56%) had one or more financial associations with companies in the pharmaceutical industry. Some are extremely well-paid. Just one example: The Assistant Director of the Pediatric Psychopharmacology Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School received “$1 million in earnings from drug companies between 2000 and 2007.”

There have been instances of a drug being created before the disease for which it is to be used for treatment. The vocabulary of the psychological field is driven to a great degree by the drug companies.

Since 1968—for some 40 years—Dr. Eisenberg’s “disease” has haunted the diagnostic and statistical manuals, first as “hyperkinetic reaction of childhood”, and now as “ADHD”. In the United States every tenth boy among ten year-olds already swallows an ADHD medication on a daily basis. Approximately 90% of patients with ADHD take the drug Ritalin, a drug that is very similar to cocaine.

Dr. Mary Ann Block is the author of No More Ritalin. She refers to the drug as “kiddie cocaine” and contends it can cause dangerous behavior. “These drugs are mind-altering drugs. And in the case of Ritalin, it’s a drug almost identical to cocaine—goes to the same receptor site in the brain, causes the same high when taken in the same manner,” Dr. Block said.

Experts do not agree about the safety of this and other drugs. There is considerable evidence that psychotropic drugs may cause psychotic episodes in a minority of patients that result in violence and death. Two-thirds of ADHD symptoms can be more safely controlled by diet. In other words, the prevalence of processed foods may be contributing to ADHD.

But the ethical considerations go beyond this.

In November 2011, the Swiss National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics (NEK) critically commented on the use of the ADHD drug Ritalin in its opinion, Human Enhancement by Means of Pharmacological Agents. The consumption of pharmacological agents, they said, altered the child’s behavior without any contribution on his or her part.

That amounted to interference in the child’s freedom and personal rights, because pharmacological agents induced behavioral changes but failed to educate the child on how to achieve these behavioral changes independent of the drug. The child was thus deprived of an essential learning experience to act autonomously and “considerably curtails children’s freedom and impairs their personality development.”

Not good.

fukitol copy


Groove of the Day 

Listen to Weezer performing “We Are All On Drugs”


targeting the weakest

Cops Go Undercover at High School to Bust Special-Needs Kid for Pot: Why Are Police So Desperate to Throw Kids in Jail?
by Kristen Gwynne

Via Alternet May 22, 2013

Californians Doug and Catherine Snodgrass are suing their son’s high school for allowing undercover police officers to set up the 17-year-old special-needs student for a drug arrest.

In a video segment on ABC News, they say they were “thrilled” when their son—who has Asperger’s and other disabilities and struggled to make friends—appeared to have instantly made a friend named Daniel.

“He suddenly had this friend who was texting him around the clock,” Doug Snodgrass told ABC News. His son had just recently enrolled at Chaparral High School.

“Daniel,” however, was an undercover cop with the Temecula Police Department who “hounded” the teenager to sell him his prescription medication. When he refused, the undercover cop gave him $20 to buy him weed, and he complied—not realizing the guy he wanted to befriend wanted him behind bars.

In December, the unnamed senior was arrested along with 21 other students from three schools, all charged with crimes related to the two officers’ undercover drug operation at two public schools in Temecula, California (Chaparral and Temecula Valley High School). This March, Judge Marian H. Tully ruled that Temecula Valley Unified School District could not expel the student, and had in fact failed to provide him with proper services.

“Within three days of the officer’s requests, [the] student burned himself due to his anxiety,” Tully said. “Ultimately, the student was persuaded to buy marijuana for someone he thought was a friend who desperately needed this drug and brought it to school for him.”

In January, a juvenile court judge decided that extenuating circumstances applied to the student’s case, and ruled that he serve informal probation and 20 hours of community service, which would translate into “no finding of guilt.”

Since being allowed back to school, Snodgrass says his son has been “bullied” via suspensions and threat of expulsion. “Our son was cleared of the criminal charge, but the school continued to try and expel him,” Snodgrass said.

The Snodgrasses are now suing the school for unspecified damages. District administrators, they told ABC, should have protected their son, but instead “participated with local authorities in an undercover drug sting that intentionally targeted and discriminated against [him].”

“Sending police and informants to entrap high-school students is sick,” says Tony Newman, director of media relations at the Drug Policy Alliance. “We see cops seducing 18-year-olds to fall in love with them or befriending lonely kids and then tricking them into getting them small amounts of marijuana so they can stick them with felonies. We often hear that we need to fight the drug war to protect the kids. As these despicable examples show, more often the drug war is ruining young people’s lives and doing way more harm than good.”

Stephen Downing, a retired law enforcement veteran and former captain of detectives in the LAPD, said the behavior of the police in this case points to troubling trends in policy. “It is evidence of just how far we have gone, and how callous we have become, in treating our children with the care and dignity they should be entitled.”

“The fact that the police officer chose to prey upon the most vulnerable” is “egregious” but not surprising, he said. He pointed toward policing tactics and policies—like quotas, the increasing criminalization of America’s schools, and the war on drugs—that put pressure on police to treat normal teen behavior as criminal.

Downing, who is a member of the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, also pointed out, “The less fortunate are always targeted.”

“Do we ever hear of an undercover operation like this conducted in an exclusive private school, or on a university campus, or on the stages of a movie studio in Hollywood? No, we don’t. Why? Because those people would complain, get lawyers and make life miserable for the status quo.”

“The parents of this child are right to bring a lawsuit, to take that needed step that will, hopefully, bring about the kind of change that will stop this kind of tyrannical corruption and harm to our children,” he said.

Drug crimes are not the only charges unfairly leveled against students. Marginalized youths are regularly the targets of the school-to-prison pipeline, as in the case of Kiera Wilmot, a 16-year-old girl who was arrested less than a month ago for accidentally causing a small explosion during a science experiment.


Kristen Gwynne is an associate editor and drug policy reporter at AlterNet.  Follow her on Twitter: @KristenGwynne


Groove of the Day 

Listen to The Beatles performing “Piggies”


day off

wtf 1

Yesterday I took the day off to think. I’ll cut to the chase and tell you what I’ve come up with.

And it is this: I think that childhood sexual abuse is a more significant and more central problem than most of us have any idea.

The experts say that there are 300 parricides a year. This makes it sound like a bigger–and more fundable–problem than it is. What the experts don’t tell you is that most of these parricides are committed by the adult children of the people who are killed. Juvenile parricides–murders committed by children under the age of 18–number about 30 a year. This is the finite demographic “slice” that I have chosen to focus on.

Just because I have chosen to not to get involved in the roughly 270 adult parricides a year, does not mean that I have chosen to ignore them. I have observed that adults who have been sexually abused as children carry this baggage with them into adulthood. It is significant to me that this is held by most victims as “secret baggage” which is only rarely disclosed, and as in the cases of the prosecution of abusive priests, usually only far into adulthood. And I emphasize this again–such disclosure happens in only a minority of total cases.

It seems to me that the central issue with all parricides is extreme anger and rage. The main difference between individuals–all individuals–is how this rage comes out. We focus on children, after-the-fact, who see murder of an abuser as the only way to prevent further abuse.victims who shoot back

You can see their point. Even though you and I would be able to devise better solutions (they are kids, after all), you can almost justify their actions. In my personal opinion, the world is better off without such “caregivers”–such abusive scum–in it.

Now here is the point which you may not want me to acknowledge. It is an uncomfortable point. Statistics on the incidence of childhood sexual abuse are lacking, unreliable, and greatly under-reported. The most reliable (but not most conservative) research on childhood sexual abuse suggests that 30-40% of girls and 13% of boys experience sexual abuse during childhood. But I think that even these numbers are too low.

What the real numbers are, I do not know. What I do know that our entire society has been over-sexualized, and that relations between children and adults are not excepted. Too many “normal” adults somehow justify sexual relations with children. Too many adults sow lifelong anger and rage in their children. And I happen to deal with the slice of victims who are arguably the youngest, bravest, or most desperate survivors among them.

When victimized kids try to find another way out besides murder, the system almost inevitably fails them. Cops return runaways to their abusers. Teachers and school officials fail to report warning signs. Kids are put into foster care by social services, where they are raped or sexually abused at rates that are just as high (if not higher) than if they were to remain with their abusers. And almost no one wants to talk about it.

That’s what I know based on the evidence. What I don’t know is this.

How do we avoid sexual abuse, and its outcome, parricide? Our mission should be prevention; we should move beyond after-the-fact solutions.

But I don’t know how. Maybe you do. Or maybe a good idea will strike you. If it does, please let me know.


Groove of the Day 

Listen to Rod Stewart performing “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?”





Groove of the Day 

Listen to Christopher Cross performing “Sailing”