Archive for September, 2017


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Proposed Return to Veganism

The more I’ve interacted with Krishna Das’s page and those of his friends, the more I have felt I really should return to veganism.  On my last few shops I have felt really bad about stocking up with meat and fish and thought maybe next time I’ll cut it out and buy vegan.

A couple of days ago I did it!  I submitted an online order then went back to it and cut out all the meat and dairy and replaced them with vegan products.  I had a serious wobble about it when I went to see my mum.  I think I’m a good cook for my own purposes (and actually I’d love to cook for more people, but I AM a bit slow so I don’t think I could make a career out of it) and I was saying how much I would miss everything, named each meat, fish, dairy and honey product with great anguish!  And all the things I won’t be able to eat in restaurants . . . .

The last time I went vegan, about 10 years ago, I was very evangelistic and Pentecostal about it. Everything had to change all at once, very fervent and much resolve.  Took all my meat and whey protein powder to a local homeless project.  This time, however, I’m being much more – organic? – about it, more relaxed and liberal, less intense.  I’ve still got a lot of meat and fish in my freezer so I’m going to eat it.  I’ve got a whole jar of delicious honey, I’m going to eat that, too.  I’ve got dairy cheese (I expect to miss that, especially Stilton) and one egg left, and I will enjoy those, too.  But once they have gone I’m intending not to replace them (I feel I should make a more committed statement than that, but I won’t – what I write here won’t change anything anyway).

When I’ve heard people talking about changing to veganism in the past and doing it gradually, choice by choice, that’s been an approach I have despised as ethically inferior.  I don’t know now, though.  It took me decades before I actually got to grips with making the leap in the first place.  And maybe it is more realistic to think that ethical actions don’t have to be backed up with self-conscious, anxious, instant conversions. No one’s life is 100% ethically pure, anyway.

This post is not a statement or commitment, just an account of my thoughts and recent choices.  I expect a more relaxed approach than before to work better for me this time, it will be easier to maintain and integrate psychologically, I am sure.  I maintained it for about six years last time, it wasn’t a flash in the pan.  So I’ll try this approach and see how it works differently, if it does.  I think it may be like slipping into something more comfortable.

Oh, also, I’ve managed to find some vegan wines, stout and cider at Sainsbury’s online, much cheaper than going to specialists.  Just put the word ‘vegan’ before what you are looking for and the options appear.  The wines I expect to be fine, they are varieties I like, anyway.  The cider and stout is a bit more of an experiment for me.

Proverbs 1:10-16

10 My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

11 If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:

12 Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:

13 We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:

14 Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:

15 My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:

16 For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.

I was thinking of verses 14 and 15 particularly before I looked this up.  I woke up this morning thinking my neighbours were absolutely right and justified in everything they were doing, that I was in the wrong and needed to let this community embrace me on its own terms, which it seemed obvious to me it wanted to do.  Including the screaming into my home every time I move and the computer hacking, which I saw as a good way of bringing a sinner to repentance and for supporting each other and knitting the community together in love and security, that the people who are doing this to me should be regarded as elders and I should love, respect and obey them.  And if I did, that would all stop, it was just a corrective measure.

Then I thought, ‘but they are doing this to someone they know to have a mental health diagnosis’.  Then I thought, ‘they are healing me, this intense stalking, harassment, computer hacking, it is a method of healing of mental illness that I ought to respect’.  Then I thought, ‘But every time I say it’s happening to the authorities they say the fact I think it is is evidence of a mental health issue.  Not the fact that it is and I have a problem with it, object to it.  My objection to it isn’t the problem.  The evidence of a mental health issue, they say, is that I think it is happening at all.  Am I required to exercise something like a willing suspension of disbelief as you would in a theatre to be fully involved with it and let it be real and do what it is supposed to do, without questioning whether it is right or wrong?  Is questioning and doubting and strongly opposing its supposed rightness evidence of bad faith and bad character?’

I read these verses in the context of the whole chapter and found myself more confused.  A question that has just occurred to me is, ‘what is an innocent person?’.  You hear all these news reports about bad things happening to ‘innocent’ people.  I’ve questioned for years that there is any such thing as an innocent person, unless we are all innocent.  People used to say, ‘no one’s perfect’, but they divide people into innocents and perpetrators of evil for their news shows, whether that is the truth about them or not.  Surely it isn’t the truth about ANYONE.  We are being brainwashed and taught to polarise, as if we needed that teaching.  I’ve just thought of something Hegel posited, that in this instance might mean that there isn’t just evildoing and victim making.  Hegel said there is thesis, antithesis and synthesis.  As I understand it, synthesis brings the other two together.

The reason I eventually found myself confused by these verses is that they are in the chapter that talks about the dark sayings of the wise and teaching subtlety to the simple.  (I’ve never heard it said by Christians that any of the wisdom in Proverbs is bad.  Some of them don’t like Ecclesiastes, they say it is the disillusionment and negativity of a backslidden person, or they used to).  I wondered if computer hacking was the new wisdom and that I am unsubtle not only not to accept it, but not to value it.  I wondered if the (new?) wisdom and subtlety of the authorities is to hack people’s computers and let other agencies hack their computers and stalk them, yet judge the hearts and character of the hacked and stalked by whether or not they are prepared to accept the edict that it isn’t actually happening to them.  They talk about God preparing you for something big.  Oh my Jesus, I find this a big problem, if this is what is involved for people.

Either the Church has knowingly collaborated in this mental health scam or it has been brainwashed.  It is corruption, in my would-be free and independent eyes.  If it has been brainwashed I, and I am sure plenty of others like me, have said plenty over the years to challenge that brainwashing, and I know they read my blog and Facebook page because they are making constant references to it.  The only Church I ever watch these days is Kensington Temple, and then not every week.  I listen to Premier Christian Radio as well.  Both of those are constantly making references to what I write, but also to things that go between my neighbours and me, and things I write in private messages, and comments I make in closed groups and on other people’s timelines and pages, sometimes within seconds or minutes of my doing so.  Not that it is only Christians.  But these are the people who say they have the Word of God and if we don’t obey them we might end up in hell or that what is happening to us is God’s discipline to bring us back to obedience to the truth.  To me this is evil doing and as someone who is being personally betrayed by this I’m a little reticent about sharing a purse, or my life, with them and subjecting my body and mind to them in one of their buildings.  John Pantry, Rick Easter, Colin Dye, the three that readily come to mind, all aggressively and bitterly push the mental health thing knowing exactly the position with me and what they are subjecting me to.  I still believe that in any authority and power relationship this will eventually happen, so guys, come on, can you understand my consternation?  That is why I think you should come to me in repentance and confession, uncoded, without referential stand-ins and all that, either in person or in a letter.  An open and genuinely vulnerable giving up of abusive power.  I think that might have something to do with the revival you always say you are wanting.  You use a lot of methods to try and substitute for that.  How can we do this better and what methods do we need to reach these people?  Sorry, but that is missing the point.  I was taught in Church that it isn’t about methods.  Maybe I heard an incomplete message, though.  The way things are I have to believe that they have either changed their position or that I heard an incomplete message in the first place.  If I heard an incomplete message then I have obviously misunderstood.

Lots of slander and gossip put about enabled, partly, by cyber stalking and computer hacking.  People ‘intuiting’ based on what they’ve already heard on the grapevine.  I know my neighbours hack my computer.  I said to them last night, ‘you’re not loving awareness, you are criminal awareness’.  Elmer Darnall said if someone told him to watch out with someone but he himself had experienced no problems with them he would tell his informant so and assume it must have been a problem in the relationship rather than a problem with their character.  My experience of the Church is that it does not follow his advice and example.  I found myself wondering if the rumour mill actually followed me to London in 1980 when I went there to be a student.  I know it was already active in Nottingham before I left, but it was only over the last week that I thought this church rumour mill might have been activated many, many years ago and been handed over to London when I left Nottingham.  That there was never any discontinuity allowed.  No one ever told me, until my excommunicated years, but it does make sense now I think of it.  I went to Talbot Street and one of the elders reeled off all the churches in London I had been to over the preceding few years.  I told the mental health authorities this and they refused point blank to acknowledge that there could be any connection or organisation.  They also asked me who was involved and I gave them some people to contact, including David Shearman.  I don’t think they ever contacted anyone, they just added it to their evidence base for my paranoia.

The Bible says do not receive an accusation against an elder from one person alone.  I wonder how that actually worked out?  I wonder, if the person was alone with no witnesses, they had to confide in someone thought responsible and convince them to take their side and that person, based on their judgment of the complainant’s character, would then be acceptable as a witness, even though they were not at the scene of the crime.  If not, how many people would be required to be victims of rape or sexual misconduct, for instance, before it was decided they had enough witnesses to act against the elder?  Or embezzlement, or cruelty, or corruption of any kind?  On the face of it it seems unfairly loaded to me.  People lie, too.  Romans 1, I think, throats are open sepulchres and all that.  For the record, I think the mental health professionals know they are lying and being evasive as well.  And I think they still read my blog.  I’d like to call them out on it.

I love my neighbours.  They seem adorable to me.  I feel like a let down sometimes.  I am not predisposed to hate anyone.  The question is, as it is with those further away from me, are they right to stalk and harass my every move and hack my computer, knowing I have a mental health diagnosis and am being told that the fact I think any of this is happening is evidence of mental illness?  Are they right to do all these things aside from that consideration?  There is no question in my mind that this is happening.  And to me that is terrorism, whatever the reasons behind it.  Maybe I need a bit more behaviour modification and brainwashing before I see and surrender my heart and mind to the light.  And that is not simply bitter humour, it’s a very hurt and confused statement which really thinks, as I am often inclined to, that I really am the one who needs to change and come into line and accept the overtures already being made.  Here endeth. . . .

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Every single day my neighbour and his guests set up camp in their bungalow and start a vocal campaign.  It seems to be led mainly by a woman who doesn’t sound very old at all who doesn’t live there.  If I challenge her often the men start to sound angry, and they throw me around between them all day.  They seem to have made it their mission to ruin and control my day, every day.  If I make a strong statement that feels like truth and that feels empowering to me, a man will appear outside my bungalow and start making some sort of noise, clearing his throat or something, and sometimes it is several people together, just mouthing off outside my bungalow.  Harassing me, really.  This morning I said they were doing everything they could to make me present as sectionable while denying their own activities in relation to me (the woman has started chiming out strongly against me and I believe she is involved with hacking my computer), and immediately a man was outside my bungalow clearing his throat in a way which I found confrontational, contemptuous, threatening and harassing.  He must know it is harassment and it seems so wrong, it feels to me like an assumption of male domination of me and misogyny (they have started reacting again at this word).  I think it is Tony at number 13, next door but one to my neighbour and they often talk, posturing and positioning.  He’s done it before.  It was him I heard the other day reacting to something I read on Facebook, then to my post on Facebook saying it was happening, then to a comment I made about him in a private message.  In the end he and his wife had a little conversation, he said something like, ‘don’t worry, it doesn’t matter’, and laughed falsely and contemptuously.

I’ve called this post Constant Craving because that is what it feels like from these people.  The woman is someone I experience like a demonic, monstrous baby bird, taking the food from my mouth all the time, trying to starve me.  This morning I said, ‘angel torture from hackers and harassers’.  I hope I am free to say all this without people becoming opportunists about it and getting me hospitalised and back on drugs.  I think that would be really dishonest.  I don’t only think it, I know it, and so do they.

https://www.gotquestions.org/Proverbs-26-4-5.html

I found the article above on these verses and I suppose it is fairly typical of the answers that would be given.  When I was at Bible college Elmer Darnall said the best way to approach answering a problem or question is to preface your answer with ‘it seems to me’, I suppose so as not to be dogmatic and unreasonable.  I try to follow that.  When I say ‘it seems to me’ I am doing the exact opposite of assuming a position of authority.

I’ve had an awful day today, though, and I was lying upset and terrified in bed.  Terrified of the prospect of possible further torture, as the UN calls forced psychiatry, at the hands of the mental health services, terrified of the way people in my community, including professionals, are treating me, many of them knowing I have a mental health diagnosis they can call on at any time, knowing that I fear that.  That is torture in itself.  I feel as if people are trying to brainwash me and I find my thinking in crisis.

I think people apply these verses as and when they see fit, for the most part, and that there is no fixed agreement on when to use one or the other.  Play it by ear and intuition, I really think must be the way it is done.  But tonight I thought the ‘it seems to me’ approach really needs to be backed up by a good body of wisdom and understanding – but again, whose wisdom?  I was wondering about the wisdom at the time and in the tradition it was written, that might be the first port of call.  But it seems to me that the original wisdom is not automatically the best wisdom for all time, though it must be interesting at least.

I was thinking about terrorism and suicide bombing and stuff and I thought of these verses and thought I had been a fool thinking I was being wise.  That answering a fool according to his folly in a situation like that might mean opposing and frustrating and arresting and even, in some people’s opinion, imposing the death penalty.  And if someone in the street has a gun then the police should shoot to kill, it must mean.  That’s what I was thinking.

Then I thought about things I have heard about Gandhi and his policy of passive resistance and I thought it couldn’t be that simple.  But how do you use passive resistance when dealing with suicide bombings and all that?  Maybe I have an incomplete understanding of Gandhi’s position.  And OK, back to me, do people like me need to have our computers hacked and lives stalked and harassed so we learn to think right, responsibly and wisely?  I’ve been thinking all this hacking, it’s like the wild west with computers instead of guns.  I believe at least one of my neighbours is hacking my computer because I believe I have heard many instances of reaction to what I have been writing or reading.  This stuff that I and the UN call torture, is it necessary to bring people to their right minds?  Am I being alternately answered and not answered according to my folly?  Not answered by being ignored, answered by being subjected to all the stuff I’ve just talked about?  If I am as wrong as some people seem to want to make out, have I lost my right to be taken seriously and treated equitably?

I wrote to the police on 18th August, following the Barcelona bombing.  I’m still waiting for a reply.  I put in a complaint to the IPCC a day or two ago about the fact they haven’t contacted me yet.  People who have read some of my recent posts will understand why I might have done this and I’m not going into all that again, I couldn’t cope.

People approach me surreptitiously and skirt around stuff.  Last Saturday I was in town and a community officer was walking towards me with what felt to me like an assumed nonchalance and I thought, ‘Oh yes?  Let’s see where this is going’.  I felt his attention towards me, even though he seemed to be trying not to appear to be addressing himself to me.  As he got near where I was standing at the bus stop he drew up close and touched his radio then touched his ear, like a coded action.  I just stood there, I didn’t react, just took it in, and when he got past me he cleared his throat, it seemed to me in annoyance or frustration.  So I, without doing it in his face, went, ‘ahem to you, too’.  He didn’t look round.  The bus came almost immediately and as it turned the corner I saw him standing making notes.

Is this normal procedure in a case like mine?  No direct approach, just signals you’re expected to follow or be broken by the ‘consequences’ of not doing?

Later I was in Tesco’s.  A couple of men were behind me on the escalator and I felt they were after my attention.  When I started trying to disengage myself from hearing them one of them said something about a ‘big fashion thing’ in a way that sounded to me like a ‘big fat thing’, and he quickly followed it up by making a strong reference to his wife Sue.  At the bottom of the escalator I said, ‘oh yes, very interesting, who are you, then?’, and they looked sheepish and embarrassed and sidled off.  This sort of thing has happened to me before.  I said a while ago that when I was staying in a hotel I was out in the street one day and decided to stop walking, feeling driven, and just stand still, and after a couple of seconds a man I didn’t know drew up to me and without looking at me or stopping said, ‘hi, Sue’, then carried on walking without looking back.  I think I recognise it when it is happening.  If these people were police, was I wrong not to try and co-operate?

Something else, too.  This thing some people seem to have about telling stories instead of making reasoned and reasonable approaches.  It seems to me that if you think you need to tell a story to reach a person or know them, you are setting yourself up as some sort of authority whose terms are more important than the person you are using the story on.  The story says, ‘it’s like this’, or the story teller tries to say that with the story, whereas the hearer might not agree, and it seems to me it is quite patronising to ‘try to get through’ to a person that way instead of dealing with actualities and entering into a communication based on equality and clarity.  What happens of the person you want to see the point of your story interprets it completely differently and wishes you would just be up front because you are confusing them and making them feel guilty for ‘not getting it’ or not being prepared to get it?  Does that mean the person has a bad heart?  Maybe the story teller has a bad heart, if they won’t communicate accountably.  A story teller examines the hearer, as much as anything else.  That seems to me to be an arrogant and/or fear based position to take.  Not quite ready to deal with things, not willing to be challenged and questioned.

Man, I need to sleep.  Shouldn’t they make a formal and explicit approach?  Or is it different when dealing with something like I’ve been talking about?  It makes ME feel foolish and that I am making myself vulnerable to mental health interventions by being explicit when no one is making a response to anything I have said in a way that I have been prepared to recognise and validate.

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