Keepers of the Lies

“Necrophilia includes the desire of certain people to control others—to make them controllable, to foster their dependency, to discourage their capacity to think for themselves, to diminish their unpredictability and originality, to keep them in line.”
M. Scott Peck, The People Of The Lie: Hope for Healing Human Evil

 

Sister Cathy

 

I had never heard of Sister Cathy Cesnik before.

No reason I should have. In 1969, I was in 8th grade and far more worried about passing Ms. Anderson’s English class than I was about some random murder in Baltimore. The only person I knew with any connection to Baltimore was Edgar Allen Poe and I only knew him tangentially because of the aforementioned English class.

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Trump: A Cult Personality

Moon

Jerry Falwell Sr. & Rev. Moon

Donald Trump is more than just a president. Trump is the leader of a cult.

This cult worships Trump above all other gods, and Trump likes it that way. He prefers it that way.

I have studied cults since I was an undergraduate at Oregon State University. Back then, the biggest cult on the West Coast was the Moonies. Remember them? They were (are) followers of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon. Much like Trump, Moon was a political as well as a religious leader. Americans found Moon particularly appealing because of his outspoken opposition to communism and his embracing democracy as a divine path toward establishing the Kingdom of God.

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Immigrants Get the Jobs Done

IMG_7262

 

I stopped at the concierge desk. It was nearly 8 p.m. and we had not yet had dinner. “Where’s a good place to get pizza?” I asked.

“Giordano’s,” he replied.

“Is it far?”

“No, easy. Three blocks up to Michigan and then three blocks up to Randolph.”

“Where are you from?” I asked, responding to his thick accent.

I ask everyone in Chicago where they are from because almost everyone has an accent. The Uber driver who picked me up from the airport was from Kakistan. He’s earned his Bachelor’s degree in Moscow and is currently working on his Masters degree at DePaul.  The Lyft driver who took us from the library presentation to our hotel grew up in Mexico. “I was homeless as a child,” he said, explaining that he had a troubled mother. It is for those reasons, he has never smoked, never drank. His Muslim faith enables him to heal from all that childhood trauma.

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Our Brother Terry McGregor

DaNang, Vietnam with Sons & Daughters in Touch.

DaNang, Vietnam with Sons & Daughters in Touch.

Every now and then there are people we meet who change the trajectory of our lives in the most unexpected but eternally astounding ways.

Terry McGregor was that person for me.

There were others, of course. The poet George Venn who first declared me a real writer. Patsy Ward, that beautiful young woman who helped me find my way to Jesus, after years of abandonment. Judge Rufe McCombs who asked me to write her memoir. Marc Jolley who agreed to publish my first book and is still publishing my books.  I could probably spend all day writing about the people who have shaped me into the woman I am.

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Me and Baby Jane

Betty Jane

I keep running into people around town who want to know where I’ve been. They are, of course, assuming that I’ve been somewhere adventuresome. Folks around these parts are used to me jaunting off to faraway places, I guess. It is true that I have been lost in the woods of Michigan and Wisconsin as of late. But I’ve done all that mostly without leaving the house.

Yep. That’s right.  I’m working on a new writing project. One that I’ve been researching for the past three or more years. It’s an odd thing, researching parts of the country that I am pretty unfamiliar with.  Thank goodness the National Park service provides those interactive maps. I can sit in my home in Oregon and pretend I’m picking out a campsite in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

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