Archive for July, 2017


Three Wheels On My Wagon

The humour in this is delightful and so apt at the moment.  I’ve often sung it over the years, putting my own feelings into it, but to actually listen to it – it is so sweet and it really ministers to me.  You must listen.  It’s a hoot, it’s amazing.

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My Lord, What Love Is This?

I can’t remember how I started thinking about this a few minutes ago, but I’ve just been grossed out, outraged and horrified by a piece of Church teaching that has never really hit me as so horrific before. It’s been presented as something good and deeply loving and pastoral and sadly necessary, without question, totally uncritically, and I along with many others have swallowed it, accepted and validated it in exactly the same way.

It is about the way God (and, by extension, His leaders, both temporal and spiritual) supposedly disciplines us.  He has been likened to a Middle Eastern shepherd. They lead their sheep from the front, apparently.  They have names for all of them (if it still works that way).  Jesus said His sheep know His voice and won’t follow another.

We have been told, so I suppose it must be true, that if a shepherd had a sheep that was constantly wondering off, he would break its leg and carry it until it was healed.  During that time the bond between the shepherd and the sheep would become so strong that the sheep wouldn’t wonder off after its leg had healed.  Wow.  How deep.  How lovely and romantic and heart-breakingly beautiful, that a shepherd could love his sheep that much – we are supposed to think, and feel, and some of us have, for many, many years, and grieve that we make it necessary.

I know this is going to offend a lot of people, but I think this thinking is warped and comes from a sick mind and makes its recipients and adherents sick, blind and cruel, to and about themselves and others.

Even if that shepherd thinks he loves his sheep, he is deluding himself, maybe because of the demands of the job and his need for it, and not facing the fact that he is raising them for one sole purpose: to be butchered, slaughtered, killed, violently deprived of life and end up on someone’s dinner plate, feeding someone’s selfish, animal appetites – these days, maybe mine.  And in the meantime he is causing an errant sheep pain by breaking its leg just so he doesn’t have to keep going to find it when, with its awesome, cute and endearing little personality it doesn’t always go where he wants it to go on its innocent and oblivious, happy little journey to the slaughterhouse.  So it might get attacked by wild animals. He is raising it to be killed anyway, so rescuing it can only be an economic and employment contract concern.  Where are his love, joy, humour, delight, relationship, humility and respect, in, with and for the animal?  So as I say in my title, what love is this??? How is this really a model of love in any kind and healthy person’s mind?

The Middle Eastern shepherd would lay down his life for the sheep.  Among other things, he would get them all into the pen at night and lie down and sleep at its entrance, to protect them.  And yet he was taking them to certain death.  That was the purpose.  So maybe this was required of the shepherd by his employers rather than being anything like the act of love and devotion it is presented as.  This has been far too romanticised and idealised outside of its economic context.  I wonder why shepherds were a despised group?  I’m sure that, with their mindset (if, as spiritual principle makers would have it, there was love and concern for the sheep involved), they must have had many emotional and mental problems.  I’ve often thought this in recent years reading David’s Psalms.  But everyone loves King David, and so should I.  I mustn’t touch him.  I’ll get myself strung up, by all sorts of people.

Oh, wait – I already have done!  Would someone please be so sweet and so kind as to cut me down?

Yesterday in my blog entry I said I thought the people I believe are trying to communicate with me and get me to go to them should be coming to me, and I thought I should clarify my reasons for this.  I did state my position on it years ago, from which I have not, by my actions and commitments, deviated very much, although I have given in to emotion and feelings of urgency (mine and others’) from time to time, but my position remains the same.

First, I think it is an abuse of power for people to use media or any other platform to put people on the spot at a distance by identifying them to themselves and others in various ways, while not actually naming them and fully and openly committing themselves to the communication.  They assume the right to do this while giving themselves a get out clause if, for some reason, they don’t like the person’s response.

Second, in my case they seem to be saying that, now they are actually convinced of what I have been saying for years, and now they have read my defences and explanations, everybody’s doors are wide open to me, I am not alone, I have support if I will respond.

a) That should ALWAYS have been there.  Instead, they decided it was all a mental health issue and distanced themselves from me and everything I said.  Apart from that, they are still hiding behind the same stuff they have always used.

b) I believe what they have been doing to me has been a human rights abuse from the beginning, and they are prepared to continue with it if they don’t get the required response from me: the media targeting, invasion of privacy, gang stalking (even if it is from official and so-called responsible people), computer hacking or collaboration with other sites I use (I don’t know how it works, but how else would they get some of the information about my internet activities that they have (see yesterday’s entry re: John Baldock and St Matthew’s Church)?

“I believe that to abuse a person’s legal and human rights until further information comes to light that makes you think it might possibly be time to recognise and respect those rights again as long as the person co-operates with your terms, is neither justified nor reasonable.”

I just made that up.

For everyone they try to convince that they are a special case in the way they are being ‘reached out to’ for restoration (Church terms, I think, rather than legal), there are many others who, for one reason or another, are not receiving the same overtures.  I said years ago that I stand with other involuntary mental health patients whose legal and human rights have been butchered and who have been virtually abandoned and invalidated, along with their perceptions and true assertions, because of the prejudice and stigma which are attached to their mental health diagnosis and are possibly the original cause for it in the first place.  There are many people who appear on tv programmes these days whose voice of gratitude for their diagnoses is promoted.  I don’t know, I haven’t checked this statistically, but I think there are many more who, like me, are not grateful for diagnoses or the ways they have been treated.

I feel a lot of pressure and less-than-honest expectation is being put on me to show a right heart and attitude.  I think I have to question the heart and attitude towards me of the people who do this.  I believe I am showing a right heart and attitude, but I hope it is towards others who have been similarly disenfranchised rather than people who want to secure a nice relationship with the odd individual here and there and come to a loving understanding rather than come clean unilaterally about their abuse (hate crime, if you will) and give proper legal redress, leaving the person, and other people like them who might likewise find redress as a result, free to decide if and how they want to pursue any further relationship or affiliation.

To me this is not a position of pride.  Committing it to a blog entry like this makes that clear to me, although I have often felt as if I’m just being proud and pretentious.  I think it is the necessary position in view of the legalities I believe need to be met.  Rights are not the same as privileges, so I heard in Church.  They are not given and conferred, or even stolen somehow, but are recognised.  I believe that we all have the same rights, and we all have the responsibility to recognise and respect those rights for everyone else.  We may lose privileges, but never rights.

Here I stand.  I believe I should do no other.

I posted the following on Premier Christian Radio’s Facebook page about an hour ago, and it was removed.  I usually take copies of what I post and email them to myself, so I am able to post this to my blog.  I’ve added a couple of little bits but it is basically the same.

I have known and said for ages that Premier Radio, among other media organisations, including Church, like Kensington Temple, where I spent some time over 20 years ago, is stalking me, somehow. I have suspected computer hacking, among other things. They keep pressing my emotional buttons, putting snippets together from my life, appearing to appeal to me in some way, while never making committed contact or answering the emails that I have sent them. I’m not bombarding them, as they are me. Over the last few years I might have sent 5.

A little while ago I was searching Amazon for some books on the Sufi poet Rumi and came across a book written by someone called John Baldock. I took a closer look because I used to have a youth group leader at St Matthew’s Church in Bestwood, Nottingham by that name. He went to a theological college, that is the last I knew of him. it wasn’t him, it was someone else. But either last week or the week before on Inspirational Breakfast both St Matthew’s Church and John Baldock were mentioned in close proximity, and this is only one of many such incidents. It is making me sick, literally. I didn’t do anything with that book, I just looked at the information to see if it was him and it wasn’t. So how did Premier get this information?

Last week they were saying something about security and all working together in a way which made me think that lots of organisations are involved in an effort towards me, short of making proper legally recognised contact, as if THAT might cause a security breach? On my blog I used to write a lot about accidents and people being killed, which seemed to be coming thick and fast, that had some resonance in my life, in terms of similar or same names, places, lots of different references. I live in Nottingham now, I lived most of my life from 19 in London. Mark Aldridge at New Wine used to be assistant vicar to John Coles at St Barnabas Church. Mark was featured on a New Wine video a few months ago. On the local news on ITV the other day a newsreader called Sameena Ali Khan seemed to me to be close to tears as she reported a story of someone being killed and the name Aldridge was involved. I think there was another killing related close to that story in the same new programme and the names Wood something and Bar or Bart something came up. My last name is Barnett and there have been ‘Woods’ in my life, I thought of several but the only one I can remember now is Woodside Park, where St Barnabas Church is.

The thing I’ve always said is that I won’t validate this kind of stalking by media or Church or government organisations that won’t actually communicate with me normally. What they are doing is INCREDIBLY distressing and personally undermining, when I’m not drawing false comfort from it. I have a diagnosis of schizophrenia. I didn’t have it when I was first admitted to hospital in 1996, I don’t know when that diagnosis was settled on, I’ve had several. They say the fact I think this is happening to me is evidence of mental illness. I have said that over and over to many of the people doing this to me, and they cynically persist while pushing a mental health agenda. It is nothing short of torture, and cowardice, and I think if, for some reason, it isn’t recognised as criminal, it should be. Today, I feel really ill, weak and sick. I feel so isolated, my whole community is up in arms, I get really frightened. But the media keeps putting out this narrowcasting at me and I’m supposed to respond? It seems to me they are trying to cover something, get out of something, not have to deal with the consequences and ALL the implications of the situation by appealing to me as if I am suddenly an exception and someone special who can help them. They make ME feel as if I am perversely refusing to accept a responsibility which is being put to me and offered as grace, mercy and an honour.  My problem is that I believe we are responsible for what we know, and I feel as if that has been played on.  But today I thought that, if what I know is being thrust on me in an under the radar way which is not legally accountable, even though it makes me feel responsible, in truth I am not and must not try to be or think I should be.  I really believe it is for them to make committed contact with me.

There have been a couple of bombings close to my emotional and activity related home as well, including Manchester, recently, on 2 counts – it was the 45th anniversary of my father’s suicide, and I used to share a house with someone from Manchester who has figured in my situation as it is at the moment. Premier, and others, should not be doing this to me. It is a violation of my human rights and manipulative and an invalidation of me as a person. Will someone please listen to me? They should not be holding me in this situation, as they have now for 20 years or more. I really need help. I daren’t go to the police, they have treated me really badly in the past, I have a difficult relationship with them, and they also would uphold the mental health approach. And for obvious reasons I can’t push it with the mental health authorities, either, unless I want to find myself back on drugs or in hospital. And my immediate neighbours are making themselves impossible to live with since it started affecting them. My housing patch manager has been involved, the last email I had from her threatened me with a mental health assessment, in spite of the fact I have told her absolutely everything about the situation with my neighbours months ago. That was last Friday. I wrote back to her saying why I thought she shouldn’t and have asked her to clarify her intentions, and she has left me hanging ever since last Friday, not a word from anyone at the council. I have a psychologist appointment today that I don’t really want to go to, I feel as if I am going at gunpoint. I don’t want to go because I don’t think he will talk about any of this stuff. In spite of the book he wrote that made me think he might be helpful, he is really evasive and won’t touch it. He argues with me instead, tells me why he thinks it’s not happening. Makes his feelings about the way I sometimes react my problem, a relationship issue.

Possible Mental Health Assessment

I asked my housing patch manager to get involved with the situation with my neighbour. She spoke to him once before, months ago, and he said there was no problem. On Friday she told me she has spoken to him again and he now says I shout and play my music loud and she thinks a referral for a mental health assessment would be appropriate. That really scared me as, when I was in London, if I dared to say I thought I was being stalked and harassed they would set the wheels in motion without even telling me and turn up early in the morning unannounced being aggressive at my door. I wrote her a long email telling her why I thought it wouldn’t be appropriate which I also sent to my old CPN and my present psychologist, who is against the medical model in psychiatry. The only person I heard back from was my old CPN on something different I had added in another email as an afterthought, and she didn’t even mention what my housing patch manager had said, and I’ve heard nothing from my psychologist on it either. I’ve been really nervous all weekend, while at the same time trying to be relaxed about it and succeeding, I think, to a great extent, and believing I have every good reason to be. I’ve even been scared to write a blog post or Facebook status about it in case that somehow went against me. I’m not sure what is going on or why I have received no answer on the issue and am hoping they are not going to do what they did in London, but I stayed up to slice some bread I baked on Saturday morning and put it in a bag and into the freezer as a way of setting my house in order in case they turn up in the morning. Usually it has been a given that they are going to detain me. If they do, I won’t be allowed to use my laptop in the bedroom and I think not on the ward either, and they didn’t let me go out last time for about 2 weeks. Something to do with getting habituated to the environment but actually they just let me go out once they had completely broken me down and destroyed my confidence. I don’t know why, they just did. So if I get detained, if an assessment takes place, I might be offline for a while. I’m hoping my passport application goes through OK as well and I think I’m supposed to be at home to sign for it, so I don’t know what would happen there. All being well it is due within the next week. If they don’t turn up though I’m going to see my mum tomorrow, as usual. I feel as if I am being silly and making a fuss about nothing. I hope I’m right. The ridiculous thing is, months ago it was ME that told her I was shouting and losing it in reaction to the harassment, and she did nothing. Now she has it from him, though, she is talking about a mental health assessment. Why would she give his word so much power over mine? She did nothing when she heard it from me and he denied there was a problem.  I have wondered if maybe he thought he was giving me a chance and I have blown it.  For the sake of accuracy she did say she would, however, be prepared to talk to me about it again, but I said that I thought we had said all we could and I didn’t really want to have to go through it all again.  So the silence frightens me.  No feedback or discussion at all so far.  If this turns out to be the preliminary to someone knocking at my door I think it is totally wrong.  Having told me she is considering a Mental Health Act assessment I hope she might at least tell me she is going to go ahead with it and maybe even make an appointment, it would be consistent. But no one has ever given me an appointment for an assessment before, it’s always, without exception, been a surprise visit.

A Drug No Longer Needed

I used to have to take a capsule called Lansoprazole every day for acid reflux, but I’ve realised over the last few weeks that I don’t have to now. I take one really occasionally now. I think it must have something to do with the fact that I have lost some weight, for me. I noticed this once before, a few years ago. Michael Mish had introduced me to prill beads, that you put in a gallon jar of water and just leave them there and keep topping the water up. They alkalinise the water. I think I might have lost some weight during that period as well, I can’t remember. But I went to Wales for a week and, even without that water, I had no problem with acid reflux, and I put it down to the water quality at the time. I didn’t need it or medication in Bulgaria, either. I also thought it might be something to do with my vegan diet, which lasted about 6 years, but I’m not vegan now. So I think it must be the weight loss, I can’t think of any other explanation. My idiot GP when I was in London, who once gave me reason to think he wasn’t just an idiot, he was dishonest, told me I would need the medication for the rest of my life. It seems to me that state sanctioned drug pushers like to tell people things like that.

Michael Mish is a New Age musician.  My Church background had made me hear him with a little bit of reserve.  Prill beads aren’t New Age, I think they were developed for a space program or something. But it has reminded me of something I’ve been thinking for a while.  ‘My kind of Church’ often calls Eastern medicine and therapy techniques occult.  Things like acupuncture, for instance, which works on meridian lines in the body.  But while being suspicious of Eastern approaches to health to the point of hatred, ‘my kind of Church’ has swallowed the Greek medicine model wholesale and apparently without question, these days, anyway.  It didn’t use to be like that, to my memory, in the 70s.  When I was in Church then at least one preacher said that psychology wasn’t compatible with Christianity and preached against reliance on psychiatric drugs.  When I first saw books about psychology and started reading them because I wanted to try and find out why I was so messed up I felt incredibly nervous about it, if not guilty.  It was a very lonely and dark activity for me.  It never occurred to me, because of the preaching, to try and discuss anything I was reading with the Church leadership.  There have been times in recent years that I have felt the roles have been reversed, that I have thought that they were right then and not now, that I have grown into their position (if I really ever didn’t accept it) and they have grown out of it, or abandoned it, and in so doing have abandoned me and people like me. But I really think that the deep suspicion of Eastern and New Age medicine is, more often than not, cultural bias and blindness, insensitive, ignorant and a form of racism.

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