This is a transcript from a speech at the 2014 Ritual Abuse Conference
Today’s topic could be equally applied to any spiritual path or social endeavor where one wants to make personal and social progress.
I will describe how one can do the right thing and also get stronger in their lives. Without doing the right things and persevering to do the right things, one cannot grow and change, nor can one help others or the world. The right thing is determined by one’s personal goals and personal instincts.
I will break each idea down into two sections: what works and what doesn’t.
1) Social advocacy
Social advocacy entails speaking out.
For years, survivors have been silenced, first by harassment and threats. In the last ten years, the harassment and threats have moved more toward Internet bullying and Internet trolling. The Internet has allowed two phenomena to grow. One is the phenomena of Internet attacks. Two is the phenomena of inaccurate information used against child abuse survivors combined with insults. These phenomena and their power are increased by the anonymity of the Internet and by the shelter of Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act. This act in essence protects providers from being responsible from much of what is on their web pages. This has allowed attacks and misinformation to expand exponentially against survivors and anti-child abuse advocates. The harassment spreads misinformation and works to scare off and silence anti-child abuse advocates.
The antidote is to speak up and counter the misinformation, insults, bullying and name calling by those fighting anti-child abuse advocates.
For years, I have been explaining the importance of speaking up and defending our work. When misinformation is published in any forum about our work, it must be countered and rebutted. Otherwise, only the misinformation stands in the public forum and public minds. And we lose.
What has happened over the last twenty years is the reluctance and at times mistaken ideology that if these attacks are ignored, they won’t be noticed. This is not true. The Internet and search engines make all attacks public and accessible to all. This has caused our point of view and research to disappear from the public view. All that is left is the insults and misinformation.
The misinformation is that we are “crazy” and that there was some sort of “panic” when child abuse crimes were exposed twenty years ago. Calling someone crazy is a cheap and well known tactic used to discredit someone instead of rebutting their actual research. Repeating untrue and disproved theories, like “panic” is another false tactic used to discredit our work.
The antidote is to speak up. If we don’t speak up, survivors suffer and children suffer.
What works is to speak up. What doesn’t work is silence.
2) Misalignment with non-growth philosophies
Another mistake survivors make is to align themselves with either religious or negative political philosophies. To try to grow and help the world change, without thinking through and developing one’s own philosophy and using it, doesn’t work.
Religions and religious books may be helpful to get information from, but not to follow or join. They may be helpful as a temporary step for some when leaving a cult, but in the long run, they become a trap.
Many religions discourage original thought and personal action. Members do not realize this. Religions use different techniques to get people to follow them and not think for themselves. They encourage rote learning and repetition to instill ideas in people’s mind. Some are even used to re-access ritual abuse survivors and control them. Socialization in general involves levels of programming, though these may be more mundane and less nefarious than mind control programming. Religion uses a variety of techniques to make a person feel good, but most are not truly one’s own, but are contrived and manufactured by the religion itself.
Many of us escaped groups that controlled us. Now we are free. Let’s use that freedom to develop our own lives and our own ideas.
What works is thinking for oneself. What doesn’t is following another’s ideas without clear analysis.
Another mistake child abuse survivors make is following negative political philosophies. Many of us as cult survivors were used to make a profit for the cult. The society turned its back on us (and still does) because money was made and power was increased. Many survivors follow right wing jingoistic philosophies that in reality are philosophies of hate. These philosophies back the hatred of immigrants or the promotion of war and bombing other countries. Others in the US believe they may be following more progressive philosophies, but in reality many of these philosophies also promote hatred, injustice and violence.
The reality is that as long as there is an imbalance in the social power dynamic, the encouragement of profit over morality and right action and the control of information via the mass media, it will be impossible to have any sort of justice in our country or the world. The only way to help survivors grow and to help the world around us grow is to embrace philosophies that do not foster hate, power imbalances or violence. This means believing in political systems that promote economic and social equality and justice. It will be impossible to stop child abuse and help survivors fully until we live in a world where equality is promoted, violence is stopped and ethics triumph profit motives.
What works is equality, nonviolence and ethics. What doesn’t work is inequity, war and violence (in words or actions) and monetary profit motives above all other goals.
3) Right action equals personal and social growth
If one is really thinking for oneself and really trying hard not to hurt others, then one can begin to make a large difference in the world.
Following through on right action can be difficult without the development of personal courage and personal integrity.
One needs to leave the ego behind. Many survivors get caught up in their health issues, personal struggles and personal relationships to the point where they lose focus on what needs to be done in the survivor movement. In long term recovery, eventually one needs to move on to doing service work.
There is no way one can grow and get stronger without helping others. It is impossible. Helping others builds connections with others. It breaks down the symptoms of attachment disorders, it helps build bonds of trusts between others and it increases the overall connections between people. Doing service also helps people build insights into their own actions and psychological condition.
Right action builds social growth. When one helps others, one helps the people around them and our society. Stopping child abuse by telling our stories, helping others get their stories out and making sure there are adequate resources for child abuse survivors, including adults and children, helps our society grow.
Child abuse robs people and our society as a whole in many ways. From addictions, to health issues, to psychological problems, to long term disabilities, child abuse destroys our society. Exposing child abuse and exposing those that cover up child abuse crimes due to their own denial and self interest helps build a world where someday child abuse will no longer exist. A world where trauma crimes can no longer be hidden. When they can no longer be hidden, covered up or denied, child abuse will no longer be allowed to exist.
What works is right action and helping others. What doesn’t work is being caught up in one’s own personal struggles.
4) Getting Stronger
This is what it is all about. One cannot get stronger by pulling others down. Their strength is a facade. Their actions damage the world, but most of all themselves. Insults, name calling and personal attacks are never part of any growth philosophy and only weaken the proponent of these actions. Standing up to and exposing these tactics is crucial. Running from any false philosophy or believe systems being promoted by others only strengthens the hold these beliefs have on society. Lack of action exponentially damages the individuals involved and our society. All participants are hurt, those watching are hurt and those that do not get help or correct information due to the damage done also get hurt.
Strength entails addressing problems compassionately and intelligently. The ends are the means. Our actions govern the final result. By addressing a problem with strength and caring for those involved, we can build end results that help everyone and others later.
History is written by those that act. It is decided by those that are strong enough to speak up and tell the truth. The only way to grow is to work one’s way to the truth through hard work, courage and right action. This makes all of us strong.
What works is working hard and persevering to get stronger. What doesn’t work is hurting others and running from challenges.
If you do the right thing, you will get stronger. Your recovery as a survivor will get stronger by helping others. And others will get stronger also.
What works is to speak up.
What works is thinking for oneself.
What works is equality, nonviolence and ethics.
What works is right action and helping others.
What works is working hard and persevering to get stronger.
We are at a turning point in the survivor movement. Whether the movement continues or gets lost like last century is up to everyone. A lot of people and children depend on us to do the right thing. We can stop child abuse and trauma crimes and change the future.
This article is also at: https://ritualabuse.us/smart-conference/2014-conference/doing-the-right-thing-and-getting-stronger-at-the-same-time-a-survivors-path-to-recovery-and-helping-others/
This is a transcript from a speech at the 2014 Ritual Abuse Conference