Dating violence books

[Online] [EST] [5e] Looking for Players to Join Ongoing Theros/Greek themed Campaign

2020.11.26 19:56 Samhain01 [Online] [EST] [5e] Looking for Players to Join Ongoing Theros/Greek themed Campaign

Hi all!
Thanks for giving this post a gander, please read through the post and see if this the right campaign for you! Apply on the attached google form. I'm a fairly experienced DM of 3 years and currently have a 2 player party of friends of mine from college. We're looking to expand our campaign and add a few people to the balance ourselves out because we used to have a third who is going to be leaving. Looking for 2-3 people willing to commit to playing for a while not the kind of people that show up to one session then dip. The campaign is greek themed so if you've ever wanted to live out your Percy Jackson fantasy, this might be the one for you! System: 5e Platform: Roll20 (map/rolling), Skype (audio), discord (messaging/notes) Time: Sundays 6:30pm-9:30PM .
The Road So Far: We're around 10 session in on our current campaign. Our characters are running through a fairly low magic world revolving around an ancient Greek Theme. The characters are currently level 3. We have a vengeance paladin that's going to multiclass hexblade and a battlemaster fighter. They started the campaign as refugees in a war between this world's equivalents of Athens and Sparta and have since started to understand their broader purpose in the world progressing and impeding the works of the various gods. Currently they've had prophetic dreams regarding a strange mushroom girl as well as numerous encounters with the Returned, those that have clawed their way out of the afterlife and have lost all memories of their former lives. Each character is a champion of a specific god of this world and earns piety points for progressing the will of their god which earn them minor magical benefits over time for roleplaying/in character decision making.
To date, they've battled a minotaur cursed to wander the lands seeking a worthy warrior, a man cursed into becoming a giant when he turned to cannibalism following a prolonged shipwreck, giant scorpions, returned soldiers seeking an artifact of their god, and a demonic goblin poisoning a town's food.
Google form to apply:
https://forms.gle/WbTWPpk9M1EoZWzy8
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2020.11.26 18:52 Generousness [TOMT][BOOK] Book about a boy who has bulimia and all the adults are starting to go crazy.

I read this probably around 2009, though I’m not sure when it was written. I very clearly remember the beginning of the book being about a boy who has bulimia, and he has a box of pop tarts he writes the date on to keep track of when he last binged. That being said chapters of the book start centering around other people as the adults start to go crazy. There is a mother (who I believe is a nurse) who cuts off her hand to make sure her knife is sharp enough to kill her daughter. There is also a father who is very protective of his girls and starts wanting to kill them because he hears “sax and violins” (sex and violence) coming from their long blonde hair. I’m pretty sure at the end it was some giant evil tree controlling everyone, but I don’t remember that as clearly. This book was such a fever dream I’d really love to read it again! I’m pretty sure it would have been considered a YA book because all the characters were teenagers, and wasn’t particularly long. Thanks for any help, I’ve been looking for years!
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2020.11.26 15:51 Yosh1220 Slavemaster: Porn: Part 2

I am not a Christian but this verse describes what i am about to show you perfectly.
Thimoty 6: 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.
In my last post I have talked about the scientific harms of porn in relation to addiction and depression, but porn is so much more and does so much more. I like to call it the gates of hell, once you get hooked into it and dont get out you will end up in a very bad place. In my last post i talked about how it numbs your brain and you have to watch more and harder stuff to feel any pleasure. This is a path that i want to explore further with you in this post.
Now to everyone whos watched porn on here, think about how your taste in porn was at the beggining and how it changed over time, did it get extremer? weirder? more hardcore? Maybe not for you but checking out other subs you can see numerous people saying that the more they watched the more twisted their taste got. Someone commented on the last post Slavemaster porn 1 that i am mistaking cause and action, that the people struggling with it are sick to begin with and thats why they started watching it in the first place. Now that doesnt make any sense because as i told you backed up with scientific evidence that Porn fits into the addiction framework and by watching it all you will sooner or later need to progress in the intensity of the material to get any rush out of it. So the argument that porn is good because it prevents those people from actually living out those fantasies, no its the opposite, most people only start to get twisted by their excessive consumption of porn. Now here is an example of something somewhat extreme, this of course doesnt apply to it but its a case of what can happen, this link shows the search results of user 927 Aol, leaked search historys, Here you can see how it starts out already a bit unnormal but in line and how with time his taste gets weirded and more twisted and finally illegal and deviant.
https://www.businessinsider.com/aol-user-927s-entire-sordid-search-log?r=DE&IR=T
Now some of you would say you cant make such claims only by checking out nofap subs or one extreme example, show us proof. Of course you have every right to say that and i will happily show you proof. Teens who watch porn are reported to commit more sexual violent acts also knowns as TDV, Teen dating violence.
Violent pornography exposure was associated with all types of TDV, though patterns differed by gender. Boys exposed to violent pornography were 2-3 times more likely to report sexual TDV perpetration and victimization and physical TDV victimization, while girls exposed to violent pornography were over 1.5 times more likely to be perpetrate threatening TDV compared to their non-exposed counterparts.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31309432/
It also makes you more accepting towards rape myths and sexual deviancy in general, less sensitive and twists your brain into accepting sick things, like rape fantasies and violent sexual accts, as shown in the following studies.
A positive d indicates exposure to pornography had negative outcomes, while a negative d indicates positive consequences in relation to sexual deviancy, sexual perpetration, intimate relationships, and rape myth outcomes. As can be noted, no negative d's emerged in the current meta-analysis, thereby indicating the consistent negative effect of exposure to pornography in each of these four areas.
https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.525.9208&rep=rep1&type=pdf
Here it shows how even rape gets subcouncisly accepted.
The present study was conducted to learn more about the association between fraternity membership and attitudes and behaviors associated with sexual aggression against women. A male experimenter took digital pictures of all of the images of women displayed in the rooms of 30 fraternity men and 30 non-fraternity men on a residential, small, liberal arts college campus. The men also filled out a rape myth acceptance scale. A total of 91 images were found in the form of posters, “pin-ups,” advertisements, or computer screen savers. It was found that fraternity men had significantly more images of women displayed in their rooms and that the images were rated significantly more degrading than those in the rooms of non-fraternity men. Fraternity men were found to have significantly higher scores on a rape supportive attitude scale (RSA). RSA scores were positively related to the amount of degradation in the images found in men's rooms. The possible purposes and consequences of the display of degrading sexual images are discussed.
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11199-005-7136-6
Now we can go a step further and see that the most common thing amongst serial killers is porn. Now almost every one of those murderes says that porn had a massive effect into lowering their guilt and hesitation in commiting the horrible acts they did. They dont have a reason to lie about this and even if, these people dont really knew each other but everyone of them said the same thing about pornography.
There is also a video of Ted Bundy talking about how porn affected him. https://youtu.be/tfwJeHtrWNI
Okay so then there is one big counter argument: Sexual crimes actually decreased. But here is the catch, the less it got the thighter security and tracking technology got. Saying that porn prevents crimes from happening is ignorant considering the evidence i provided, the only reason why these crimes decreased is because its harder to commit them without getting catched.
The term teen has been on top lists in pornography searchings and if you think about the actual meaning of this its sickeing. People get aroused by the thought of a barely legal person being sexually displayed and who knows where it goes from on there.
But this begs the question again: Why all of this? Why would anyone want this to happen? If i had the answers I would tell you but i am trying to figure out the truth aswell.
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2020.11.26 15:00 Angel466 [Bob the hobo] A Celestial Wars Spin-Off Part 0231

PART TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY-ONE
“Then it’s a good thing you aren’t the one financing my services, isn’t it, Mr Dobson?”
Robbie watched in horror as Coach Dobson put his fist against the edge of the lawyer’s table and leaned over the top of it towards Mr Kitikan. “If I didn’t think you’d put me away forever on some trumped-up, bullshit charge, I’d smash that smug look…”
“Dad!”
“Lucas!”
But Mr Kitikan sat back in his chair with an incredibly self-satisfied smile on his lips. The kind a shark would have if an anchovy tried to give it an uppercut. “Mr Dobson. Lucas,” he purred. “May I call you Lucas?”
“No.”
Mr Kitikan’s smile only grew. “Let us be frank, Mr Dobson. Your daughter needs me because she broke the law and now she is looking for a way to circumvent the justice system. Which means you need to decide,” he sat forward, placing his elbows on the desk and pressing his fingertips together. “Is it worth your moralistic pride to have your little girl home for Christmas this year?”
Fury raged in the coach’s eyes, and for almost a minute, no one said anything. Mr Kitikan broke the silence by sitting back in his expensive leather chair and saying, “Good. Now that we have that out of the way, sit down, Mr Dobson, and let the grown-ups finish talking.”
Instead, Coach Dobson banged his fist against the table and stormed from the room, slamming the door closed behind him.
“That works too,” Mr Kitikan said, moving his attention to Lucas’ mother. “Mrs Dobson…”
“You antagonised him on purpose,” she said with a parental look of disdain that Robbie knew only too well.
“I’m sure you’re aware of the saying, ‘At some point, you just pull off the band-aid. It hurts, but then it’s over and you’re relieved.’”
“What does that have to do with …?”
“The air needed to be cleared, Mom. Dad was chomping at the bit for someone to fight with and Mr Kitikan gave him the brass tacks of the situation to draw him out and end it.”
When Mrs Dobson saw the logic behind the move, her shoulders slumped in defeat. Robbie went and knelt beside her chair, giving her a comforting hug. “It’s not over yet, Mrs D.” He then pulled away to arm’s length and added, “But now that you and Coach have signed Mr Kitikan’s paperwork, if you’d rather stay ignorant of the process, Lucas and I can give you the abridged version afterwards…”
“No.” She pulled herself up and lifted her chin. “Whatever happens to my babies, I will hear from the source at the time it is said. You will not chase me off the way you did my husband, Mr Kitikan.”
Mr Kitikan smiled and nodded as if he’d half-expected that answer. Maybe even fully expected it. “Very well. As it so happens, the NYPD and I have an understanding of sorts, and as soon as they realised I had been retained for this case, they scrambled to make sure they had all their I’s dotted and their T’s crossed.”
“How does that help us?” Lucas asked.
“It means I already have copies of the incident reports from the officers attending the scene. And now that I am acting power of attorney over Miss Dobson, I’ve had her assessed and it’s been deemed that the shock of the incident left her judgement of events including the ownership of the gun, in question.”
“She’s been unconscious ever since you took the job, and Mom and Dad only just signed that paperwork. How did you get that?”
Mr Kitikan looked across at Lucas. “Don’t ask questions you don’t want answered, Detective. This is what I do. The point being, it is now on them to prove otherwise, at a time of chaos when no one qualified was on top of her mental health.”
“There were EMT’s with her…”
“And fortunately for us, according to their paperwork, neither one of them had the crisis intervention training that could evaluate her on-site, psychologically speaking.”
“But only one in six are qualified to do that!”
“And until they fix that, therein lies our first loophole. I think you forget which side of this you are on, Detective Dobson.”
Lucas stared at the table between them, his lips pinched together and his nostrils flared as he attempted to get his rising temper back under control.
“For those in class who aren’t in the know, it also means her statement about the gun being hers and any other incriminating assertions she made at the time are no longer admissible due to her understandable shock. She clung to the one item that saved her life.”
Looking at Mrs Dobson, he said in a marginally softer tone, “The way someone drowning at sea claims a lifeboat as theirs. It wasn’t theirs, right up until they needed it. Without any contradictory video footage of the incident, I can legitimately argue that the gun was in the possession of the Detective, and due to his injury, she was able to force it from him and use it against them.”
Lucas bowed his head and raked his fingers through his hair. “God, I hate this.”
“You wouldn’t need me if she didn’t break the law. If the situation weren’t so serious, I’d be taking my hat off to Miss Dobson for her forward-thinking. Many of my clients forget that fingerprints on discharged casings are even more pertinent than fingerprints on the gun itself.”
“Are you saying she didn’t leave any fingerprints on the casings?” Lucas was appalled.
“She must’ve worn gloves, which goes to show she is a smart young lady. She only ever planned to use the gun in self-defence, which meant she would be shooting to kill. She knew the gun at that point would be traced back to her, and must have worn disposable gloves when she loaded it to distance herself from it.”
“Mom, I swear to God, I am putting her over my knee and tanning her ass until it bruises when I get my hands on her.”
Robbie was also angry, but inwardly he was also relieved. One less hurdle ...
“Temper, temper, Detective. I don’t have to remind you, especially on a grown woman, that teeters between common and aggravated assault.” But then Mr Kitikan's smile dropped and he looked at the paperwork spread before him. “Regardless of how you personally feel about it, her forward-thinking means our biggest problem now is the locked box in her truck where she had the gun stored. Fortunately, she had no extra bullets in there, which always complicates matters.”
Lucas blinked, and Robbie’s heart pounded with potential excitement. “Are you saying you can get the whole thing tossed?”
His excitement fell when Mr Kitikan shook his head. “Unfortunately, no. New York has gone to extra lengths where gun offences are concerned, and some of it will inevitably stick. What I plan to do is muddy the water to the degree that between her unblemished record; her need to protect herself from impending violence from a former NYPD lieutenant and his detective brother; the failure of the NYPD to keep their own house in order and the lack of supporting evidence to prove ownership of the illegal firearm, the DA will be willing to make a plea to avoid putting this in front of a jury. Because otherwise, by the time I'm finished with them, it’ll be the NYPD on trial instead of your sister, Detective.”
“What sort of plea are you expecting, Mr Kitikan?”
Mr Kitikan turned back to Robbie. “The kind that involves no jail time at all. Without promising anything, I am aiming for Miss Dobson to be granted felony probation as she did in fact pull the trigger on an illegal firearm. Should that go according to plan, I will then push to have the charges reduced to a high-end misdemeanour. That in itself comes with a twelve-month jail sentence, but again, I think the DA will play ball with me and move it to a smaller sentence of house arrest to make this go away.”
“You make it sound so easy.”
“I have won harder cases, for sure,” Mr Kitikan admitted. “Having former NYPD officers as the assaulters who previously committed murder right before the assault took place certainly greases the wheels in our favour.”
“And leaves me feeling nothing but slimy,” Lucas growled.
Mr Kitikan smiled predatorily. “Welcome back to the dark side, Detective Dobson. We have cookies.”
Lucas continued to scowl at the lawyer, much like his father had done.
Robbie slid both of his hands around Mrs D’s and squeezed supportively. “Is there anything else from us you need, Mr Kitikan?”
Mr Kitikan nodded. “Just one thing. I’m not in the habit of repeating myself four times, so who would you like to be your spokesman in this matter, Mr O’Hara? The decision is yours, given that you are financing Miss Dobson's defence counsel.”
Robbie looked at Lucas and Mrs Dobson for their input. As much as he wanted to get the information as quickly as possible, making Mr Kitikan repeat himself would prevent him from moving the case forward. Nor was the law Robbie’s forte. Mrs Dobson was a history and geography teacher just a few years away from retirement. Robbie settled his gaze on Lucas. “Promise me you’ll tell me everything the second you hear anything from Mr Kitikan.”
Lucas nodded, knowing what he was saying. “I promise, man.” He laid his hand on his mother’s shoulder and squeezed. “And you and dad will be the next ones after that.”
“Then it’s settled,” Mr Kitikan said, rising to his feet. “I still have all your details on file from before, Detective, so I’ll be in touch.”
Mrs Dobson gave her son a scathing look. “What did you need Mr Kitikan’s assistance for before?”
“I can’t say, Mom.” When she drew in a sharp breath to berate him, he quickly shot out, “Honestly, Mom. I can’t. That case has gone to the Feds now, and they made me sign an NDA that prevents me from talking about it to anyone. All I can say is, they thought I was involved, and then they learned I wasn’t. Mr Kitikan was brought in by Sam’s father to make sure I didn’t get railroaded anyway.”
That seemed to appease Mrs Dobson, for she nodded and rose to her feet with her hand outstretched towards the lawyer. “You probably hear this a lot, Mr Kitikan, but although I don’t like you very much as a person, I’m glad Charlotte has you trying to dig her out of this mess.”
Mr Kitikan took her hand. “Not as much as you would think,” he admitted. “Especially from people in your position. They go to great lengths to humour me. Your honesty is refreshing.”
“I’m sure in your line of work, it is,” Lucas muttered under his breath.
“Goodbye, Mr Kitikan,” Robbie said, also shaking his hand. “Let me know before the retainer runs out, and I’ll top it up again.”
“Will do, Mr O’Hara. Pleasure making your acquaintance.” He moved on to shake Lucas’ hand, however, Lucas merely looked at it contemptuously. Mr Kitikan snorted. “Temporary truce, detective. We both want the same thing in this instance.”
Lucas then shook his hand. “Temporary truce,” he agreed.
Just as Robbie was just about to leave, it occurred to him that Charlie lived alone in a small box of an apartment over in Hell's Kitchen. He turned back to Mr Kitikan. “Before you get Charlie’s sentence moved to house arrest, are you allowed to change her address?”
“So long as it is within the city of New York, yes.”
“She can come home,” Mrs Dobson declared, with an air of finality about it.
Robbie wasn’t quite willing to let that stand. “Actually, Mrs D, if she’s willing, I want her to move in with me. It’s time we stopped hiding how we feel about each other.”
“Let me know which address to change it to. The quicker, the better. Especially if it’s an upmarket residence she’ll be moving into.”
"Will do," Robbie answered.
“Don’t you think you’d better run this past Llyr first?” Lucas asked as they went outside.
“Oh, I will be. But I know he won’t have a problem with it.” With a sideways grin, he added, “Him and Miss W like my cooking too much to make me leave.”
* * *
((AUTHOR'S NOTE: Once more, I ran this past my EMT reader to verify how things would be handled from that perspective, and he was also kind enough to give me approximate numbers to make the piece work.))
Previous Part 230
((All comments welcome))
I made a family tree/diagram of the Mystallian family that can be found here
For more of my work including previous parts or WPs: Angel466 or indexed here
FULL INDEX OF BOB THE HOBO TO DATE CAN BE FOUND HERE!!
((The original Celestial Wars Saga books one and two {from which this is a spin-off} may be purchased on Amazon for $2.99 US each. Neither of these books ends in a cliff-hanger. This is an ongoing series, not a completed one.))
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2020.11.26 14:14 OldmanRevived I saw five movies (Hillbilly Elegy, Let Him Go, Buddy Games, Happiest Season, Uncle Frank)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
First up was Hillbilly Elegy
When it was published in 2016, J.D. Vance's memoir "Hillbilly Elegy," unread by me, was slammed by many for indulging in the same hackneyed stereotypes about rural America that it was theoretically designed to deflate, and for reducing the impact of social, political and economic factors in order to favor a more inspirational narrative of triumphing. In this story, a young man, attending Yale Law School, returns to his hometown in Ohio to help his mother, who recently overdosed on heroin. While that story plays, the man's past, as well as flashes from a more distant past, reveals itself, showing us what it was like for him as a child, living amidst economic uncertainty and various unaddressed conflicts within his family.
Indeed, there are at least a few broader stories in the background of Vance's personal account. One of them is what happened to the family's native spot in the Appalachia region of Kentucky, once prospering with the jobs and industry of a local steel mill but later, by the time he is aware of it, filled with boarded-up storefronts, as people linger on streets, sidewalks, and parking lots with nothing to do. This juxtaposes the family's return home with their initial migration to Ohio. The mill was running back then, when J.D.'s grandparents packed up the car and moved.
The other broader tale belongs to the family, beyond adult J.D. (Gabriel Basso) and his younger self (played by Owen Asztalos). In the present, J.D. is looking for an internship at a law firm that will keep him close to his girlfriend Usha (Freida Pinto). While dining with prospective law partners, he receives a call from his sister Lindsay (Haley Bennett), who inform him that their mother Bev (Amy Adams) overdosed. He returns home and tries to arrange a place for Bev in a rehab facility, all while he has a job interview the next morning.
In the past, J.D. had to deal with the mercurial moods of his mother, while seeking support and attention from his grandmother, affectionately called Mamaw (Glenn Close). We see the start and decline of Bev's addiction; she's a parasite, an addict, a narcissist, and a desperate user of others, notably her own family. J.D. foots the bill for a week-long stay on four credit cards, only to learn that Bev has no interest in going into rehab. As a former nurse who trashed her career when she roller-skated through the corridors of a hospital after popping pills, she's been shooting heroin, and she seems to be going down fast.
How did J.D. go all the way from Middletown to Yale? We're not entirely sure, though we know that he got there, so there’s not much suspense about whether he figured out how to transcend his past. The film keeps flashing back to his days as a teenager in the late 1990s. J.D., it's suggested, gets lost because his mother flees from one man to the next. When she marries on a whim, he winds up with a druggie delinquent stepbrother. A scene or two later, he has fallen into delinquency himself, a transformation that is less than convincing.
The movie's tone, guided by J.D.'s narration, veers between romanticizing certain elements of this downhome culture, a scolding attitude toward certain issues and a dismissive outlook on others, and just wallowing in the abject misery of this place and these people. It's all over the place, really, although there's one position upon which the movie never genuinely stops: compassion. Director Ron Howard works in the tradition of Colorful People who relentlessly inflict their colorfulness on us as if we could not see in the first six minutes that they were afflicted.
Give some credit to Glenn Close, who spends most of the movie with a cigarette in her mouth, wisecracking to everything that stands in her way. She acts as a person who is tired of being colorful, and even more tired of having a colorful family. What's best about the movie are the actors' human qualities. Amy Adams has a direct, blunt honesty that is appealing, and it's put to a good effect here. Both Asztalos and Basso have a dry way of sardonically holding their distance, but there you have the role of most narrators, anyway.
If I spent a lot of time performing a census of the cast, it is because the movie seems to rotate among its characters as if taking inventory. Nothing happens in "Hillbilly Elegy" that I cared much about. The movie leaves me with such vivid memories of its times and places, its feelings and weathers, and yet leaves me so completely indifferent to its plot. It presents the cycles of addiction and abuse, not with any insight or thoughtfulness, but with a sense of inescapable fate. From this perspective, these characters are essentially condemned to these lives for reasons beyond the movie's ability or willingness to confront.
"Hillbilly Elegy" hinges on Mamaw's hope that she'll leave her family better off than she found them, and it’s clear that J.D.'s story has fulfilled that wish almost as soon as this movie starts. But the process of watching him cut his losses and recommit to his own success is rendered in a way that just isn't dramatically satisfying. Everyone else's lives and problems really don't matter to this story, except that they give J.D. a few lessons to learn and a whole lot to run from. This is a movie that's surprisingly good in areas where it doesn't need to be good at all, and pretty awful in areas where it has to succeed.

Next up was Let Him Go
The opening images of "Let Him Go" include Kevin Costner standing behind a fence and watching as a horse jogs around in the pasture. He spends a lot of time standing alone, doing nothing, maybe thinking nothing, observing as if it is a task that provides him with purpose. He's not bitter or depressed or anything of the sort. He's simply content. This is just another relaxing start to his day.
George (Costner) and Margaret (Diane Lane) have been married for decades. Living on a ranch in Montana, the two are finally and completely happy when we first meet them. Their house evokes the healing serenity of wide-open spaces, overlooking fields that are perfect for horseback riding. They have an adult son, James (Ryan Bruce), who has married and given the two their first grandchild. All of them live under the same roof. When George and Margaret are sitting at the table eating breakfast, they look so comfortable with each other that they make us feel cozy.
Suddenly, tragedy strikes when James dies in an accident, and their insular, peaceful world is understandably shattered. A few years later, his wife Lorna (Kayli Carter) marries Donnie Weboy (Will Brittain), but it’s obvious from their dour ceremony that this is a union of necessity. While in town one day, Margaret sees Donnie abuse Lorna, as well as her grandson Jimmy. She tells George, and they go to the apartment where Lorna and Donnie live, hoping to take custody of the boy. Instead, they find that Donnie has abruptly packed them up and moved to parts unknown.
Margaret refuses to accept the situation, planning a road trip across state lines to retrieve Jimmy and raise him. George is reluctant, but she eventually convinces him. After packing his suitcase, George wanders out of the room without it. Margaret thinks he has changed his mind, but he explains he's just turning off the water. "I'm not coming home to busted pipes," he says. They pack up the station wagon for a road trip to begin the process of tracking down Donnie. She even packs George's old service revolver, just in case.
They travel from Montana to North Dakota, making a few stops along the way for information or to rest. George's connections as a retired lawman, vaguely famous in the region, help. They meet Peter, played by Booboo Stewart, a young Native American man living off a stolen horse, but not looking for any loot to steal. George and Margaret reminisce and occasionally bicker, but the two mostly share comfortable silences that say everything.
On a plot level, that ramps up the tension as George and Margaret encounter various members of Donnie's family (Jeffrey Donovan plays a false-smiling uncle, and Lesley Manville shows up as the tough, authoritative matriarch), leading to an unstoppable series of threats and violence. There’s a third act that's so wildly out of left field, it could have shifted the tone completely. But somehow, it works, because the movie never made me lose interest in its central characters. There's still a reticence, an unwillingness to push the violence beyond where it wants to go
Faithful readers will know that I have a certain fondness for movies with villains who are so despicable and repugnant that we cheer when we see something horrible happen to them. "Let Him Go" does not disappoint in this regard, although it does cost us something extra in the process. I still have yet to decide if the movie's ending is a particularly good one. As silly as it sounds, I really came to enjoy the company of George and Margaret, and I couldn't bear to see anything nasty happen to such good people. Oh well. Maybe it's another example of how sometimes we just have to face reality.
Many of the reviews of the film have criticized it on the basis of its plot and its tonal shift. I like it because of the time I got to spend with the characters as they dealt with family matters over a period of days. It was intrinsically interesting, not because of what it was about, but simply because of what it was. I think perhaps "Let Him Go" is gently trying to be a movie about imperfect but interesting people, the goodness of whose souls is tested by a private crisis. No great lessons are learned, no great statements made, but by the end of the film we have spent some interesting time with these people, and know them better.

Next up was Buddy Games
Although I am aware sperm is a precious bodily fluid, I don't find it an especially funny one. In "Buddy Games," the male characters are neurotic about three subjects: the size, experience, and health of their reproductive organs. This movie is like a study of de-evolution and man's ability to cheat natural selection. It's full of material that would be rejected from most third-grade recess periods for lacking wit and dignity.
Josh Duhamel, an actor who projects likability, makes his directorial debut with this comedy, which he also co-wrote and stars in. Looking at the film's press notes, he informs us that he always wanted to direct, and that writing a screenplay seemed like the natural way to start. He was close. Writing a bad screenplay is a natural way to start. There's no excuse in making the decision to film it. What he has made is yet another hymn to arrested male adolescence that should be mandatory viewing in convents to prevent nuns from thinking of renouncing their vows of celibacy.
Duhamel plays Bob, a successful businessman who has created the Buddy Games, an annual competition in which him and his friends strive to beat each other in a variety of contests. Indulging their "primal need to dominate," the guys usually aim for a lame trophy and, more importantly, bragging rights. The other members are Durfy (Dax Shepard), Doc (Kevin Dillon), Bender (Nick Swardson), Zane (James Roday). At the beginning of the movie, Sheldon (Dan Bakkedahl), the most avid competitor, is having a glorious time, until someone shoots him in the testicles with a paint gun.
Cut to five years later: Sheldon has been in a funk ever since, having lost both precious orbs of manhood. Bob, meanwhile, has a beautiful girlfriend (Olivia Munn), and he's also quite rich, which enables him to restart the Buddy Games at the behest of Sheldon's mother, who thinks it's the only way to lift her son out of his suicidal depression. When the other members prove reluctant to go along, Bob throws in a $150,000 prize as an enticement.
But Sheldon will only come back if Bender, the guy who shot him, will be excluded. To dissuade Bender from joining in, Bob tells him that there's a substantial entry fee. To his surprise, Bender successfully raises money by prostituting himself and selling vodka in his mini-van. Eventually, the group reunites for a new round of games, which include such not so hilarious exercises as attaching steaks to their heads and confronting a giant lizard. The most extended segment involves the men ingesting laxatives at a crowded bar and trying to persuade women to buy them a drink before the drugs take effect. It's no spoiler to reveal that not all of them succeed.
These guys seem to have it out for each other. Sure, a couple of them talk about how the game has kept them together all these years, long after one would imagine childhood friends would go their separate ways. To what end does it keep them together, though? The movie wants us to simultaneously view these characters as representations of middle-aged vulnerability and sometimes as literal punching bags, constantly to be beaten, smashed, and pulverized. There's something wrong with these people, and the simple fact of the matter is that watching them satisfy their masochistic tendencies isn't fun or funny.
There is a kind of one-upmanship now at work in Hollywood, inspired by the success of several gross-out comedies, to elevate smut into an art form. This is not an entirely futile endeavor; it can be done, and when it is done well, it can be funny. There's a scene in this movie where Bender also tries to appease his guilt by offering Sheldon a refrigerated humidor full of his own semen. Later, when Sheldon is in the kitchen making Pina Coladas, he grabs the semen and mixes it in. Yuck. Millions of little soldiers being massacred for a laugh.
For a fleeting moment, the film stops trying to break the Guinness Book record for offensive crudity and decides to simply be funny. The best part of "Buddy Games," and really the best part of any bad movie, is Olivia Munn. When Bob tells her about his plan to start the games again, she doesn't waste any time ditching him. Then, at the end, she rushes over to Bob in hopes that the games are finally over and they can start a life together. She pulls out the little black box, and shows him a ring. What does he do? He rejects it. At this point, it was clear that none of the idiots in "Buddy Games" are worth saving. I don't know about you, but if Olivia Munn walked up to me and handed over an engagement ring, I would take my chances.

Next up was Happiest Season
There is an emerging genre of movies about family reunions at holiday time. It seems to be a truth universally acknowledged that most reunions at Christmas end happily, while most reunions at Thanksgiving end sadly. That's odd, because the way things shake down in the world of fragmented families, we tend to spend Thanksgiving with those we choose, and Christmas with those we must. If those two lists are identical in your life, your holidays must all be joyous, or all not.
Perhaps what drives audiences to films like "Happiest Season" is that certain sense of empathy. The people onscreen may or may not look like us, but we can find some relatability and understanding in their comic foibles and tragic events. The simplest situations conceal hidden traps, and by the time the story arrives at its more serious point, we fully buy into it, because these characters have so endeared themselves to us through the comedy. It's funny in an innocent screwball kind of way.
The basic setup involves Abby (Kristen Stewart) and Harper (Mackenzie Davis), who have been dating for about a year as Christmas approaches. Abby isn't into the holiday season. Her parents, who really were into it, died when she was 19, as Harper loves to point out in expository dialogue. Being a fan of the season, she wants the woman she loves to have that sensation of Christmas joy again. So, she drunkenly invites Abby home for Christmas to meet her family. Regretting the move in the cold light of day, she waits until the car ride to reveal that she isn't actually out to her family.
Harper asks Abby to keep their relationship a secret while they're at the house, with the promise that she'll finally be honest with her family once the holidays are finished. Abby agrees, although it certainly ruins her plans to propose to Harper on Christmas morning. She meets Harper's parents Tipper (Mary Steenburgen), who's more than a bit of a controlling presence in the house, and Ted (Victor Garber), a local city council member who's running for mayor on a platform of some pretty conservative platitudes. Harper's older sister is Jane (Mary Holland), an odd one who always seems to be vying for attention. The eldest sibling is Sloane (Alison Brie), formerly a successful lawyer who quit to raise her children and make custom gift baskets.
From there, the film becomes a full-on farce, complete with eccentric characters, plenty of misunderstandings, and even some close-call gags involving doors and bedroom escapades. It's everything we expect from such material. Most of the action takes place in the house, and whatever happens will have to happen before everybody heads back to the airport. That creates an artificial deadline that makes everything seem more urgent and requires that the truth be told or love declared right here and now, or not at all.
The film is warm-hearted, funny, and involving. Stewart and Davis are well-cast. But it's not completely successful; I have an idea that writer-director Clea DuVall didn't know how to end it, and so she orchestrates a final scene at a gas station that owes more to screwball comedy than to the truth of the story. Some of the characters are broader than the material requires, but one of them, Abby's gay friend John (Dan Levy), is a wonderful comic creation, and there are some scenes of him just answering the phone that are inexplicably hilarious.
Look, a great movie this is not. A pleasant holiday entertainment it is. The generosity of the film is in how DuVall presents these characters without judgment and with considerable sympathy. Harper is in love with Abby; that's not in doubt. But she is slow to understand the depth and complexity of Abby's fabrications. She's sweet, and naive, but not the brightest bulb on the tree. What defines her for the family is not the fact that she's gay, but her own concealed romanticism. By the end, we understand that although life may not give us too much, it often gives enough.

And the last one was Uncle Frank
"Uncle Frank" presents material that cries out to be handled with quiet empathy and hammers us with it. I understand what the film is trying to do, but not why it does it with such crude melodrama. The tone is all wrong for a story of homosexuality; the conclusion of which is not necessarily false, but it does feel a bit dishonest in its simplicity. When you lay it on too thick, the audience is distracted by implausibility rather than identifying with the characters.
The movie begins in 1969 with 14 year old Beth (Sophia Lillis) dreaming of someday escaping the backwater South Carolina town where she lives with her family and seeing the world. She is encouraged in this by her Uncle Frank (Paul Bettany), who did just that; he now teaches at NYU. Frank's rare returns home are marked by the obvious coldness that his father (Stephen Root) demonstrates towards him for absolutely no evident reason. Four years later, driven by Frank's encouragement, Beth is now attending NYU, and it takes only one surprise appearance at a party at Frank's apartment to discover that he is gay and living with his lover of ten years.
Wally (Peter Macdissi) is Frank's committed partner. Just as Beth is figuring out how to react to this information, the phone rings in Frank's apartment. Daddy Mac has died. It's time for Beth, Frank, and Wally to take a road trip, back to South Carolina for the funeral. That's when the perspective changes to Frank, whose cheerful mood drops upon realizing he has to return home and further declines when Beth starts asking about his romantic past. Through flashbacks, we see what has long haunted the uncle, as a teenaged Frank (played by Cole Doman) experiences his first relationship with a young man.
As you might guess, it ended tragically, and as the memories form more clearly, we understand why Mac's death, which Frank confesses to imagining so often, has brought up not relief, but only so much hidden pain. Frank wallows in self-pity and, upon arriving in his hometown, travel-sized bottles of booze. Bettany plays Frank's overt charms and silent despair with equal degrees of effectiveness, although his internalized performance is let down by director Alan Ball in the third act, when the character lets out all of that built-up pressure in drunken arguments and tearful confessionals.
The movie denies Frank of his big moment for a confirmation of Mac's deplorable nature. Instead, we're given an informative glance at the dynamics and conflicts within the extended family. Mac's wife Mammaw (Margo Martindale) is sweet and kind. Beth's father Mike (Steve Zahn) is verbally abusive toward his wife Kitty (Judy Greer) and anyone whose behavior seems out of line. The sister, Neva (Jane McNeill) is mostly quiet, which becomes odd later, when she becomes a vital figure in Frank's constant debate between keeping his secret and finally being honest with his family.
As for Frank, he stays out of the way, quietly reading on the porch as he lights up cigarettes. Lillis' promise as a young actor continues, but Beth is something of a stock audience stand-in device. Either Frank has been incredibly subtle over the years, or she can't see anything in front of her if it's more than an inch away. "I've never met a gay person before," says Beth. Oh, but she has. Frank also points out that the choir director at the First Baptist Church was also a homosexual. "But he’s so religious!" she exclaims.
"Uncle Frank" is a film that starts with promise; I liked the early dynamic between Lillis and Bettany. But it succumbs to so many clichés that anything remotely genuine gets smothered. It's a deeply frustrating movie as Ball has assembled a cast who can undeniably do deep work and then gives nothing but a shallow script. He seems merely thrashing about in a plot too transgressive for his skills. The movie looks upon his process with such skepticism that the movie doesn't even bother an attempt to explain it.
The story becomes less about the man's attempt to come to terms with those feelings and more about waiting to see what will happen. Each of the family members have at least one scene in which they can be honest with Frank, and the movie's final scene, in which they finally say what has needed to be said for a long time, is quite affecting. It's far too long of a wait for such specificity, though. "Uncle Frank" operates primarily as a message movie, and as necessary as that message might be, the movie's lack of a unique and personal approach to the material means that it's not a necessary part of the conversation.
submitted by OldmanRevived to MLPLounge [link] [comments]


2020.11.26 02:22 retsamtep 20 [F4M] Looking for my soulmate, my forever man, my true love. Into anime, gaming, and sweet men that will treat me like I matter.

Disclaimer: I've possted here before but I am so incredibly lonely and desperate to find someone close to the DFW area that I can spend time with but I hAVE ABSOLUTELY no one. I'm sorry for the multiple posts I'm just so lonely and want to spend every day with someone. I have NO one and I really can't take feeling this lonely anymore. people can call me a whore all they want but I'm just desperate for love because I've NEVER had any.
Hellooooo there, thanks for reading my absolute book if you do, lol v(=∩_∩=)フ disclaimer: please be nice... I've tried this before but decided to try one last time with a better description of myself. I've met some very nice guys on here that have helped occupy my time so that has been extremely nice but it seems that they're kind of worn out from talking to so many girls and don't really seem to want to put in the effort to get to know another one - which is completely understandable because I get that it can get tiring being let down repeatedly. And then there's the guys that get upset that I don't reply fast enough, but I promise I will respond as soon as I see your message. I got accused of catfishing by a couple salty guys on here last time I posted so I'm not going to post an abundance of photos of myself here other than a sign but I don't mind sending more photos in my first DM to you.
Here is some photos I just took yesterday of my kitty Kuro and I cuddling! I have no problem sending signs, webcamming, or showing ID!
Disclaimer: Since I am including photos, I really do want whoever messages me to do the same through a website called imgur that allows you to send pics through dm like I did with my pics. Not only does it give me an idea of if we are physically compatible (looks are not everything to me, but if there is absolutely no attraction, unfortunately I do feel things are doomed to fail) but it helps me remember who I have responded to or not as I usually read all the messages first, then respond.
About me, in depth (I apologize for all the sadness ahead): Friends call me a few different things and you probably will too but I'm open to new nicknames ┐( ̄w ̄;)┌ ) ! I'm posting here mainly because I've really felt that I have basically nothing to live for as of late (I have no friends, no family and only even a temporary place to live atm so things have been stressful - I lived with my ex the last 3 ish years but he ended up ghosting me and leaving me with basically nowhere to go which is why I've been so depressed). I enjoy anime/movies/TV (horror, thriller, scifi genre themed things mainly), reading manga/chapter books (I feel like a kid saying that LOL)/poetry/short stories, drawing, playing video games like League of Legends and Steam stuff (I played PS4 and Oculus games before my ex took those consoles with him but now I only have a PC), and have recently gotten into cooking and baking. I'm a former heroin addict. I've struggled with opiates since I was 13 and heroin since 14-15. I was clean for around 2 to 2 1/2 years, but then my ex left and I fell into a very deep depression. I'm not looking for pity of any kind, so please don't feel bad! I'm really only including this because I know many men do not want to deal with having a former addict as a significant other or love interest, let alone someone depressed. I do still smoke weed btw, so being 420 friendly is very important if you're interested in me - I vape nicotine as well. I definitely am still very sad almost all of the time and spend pretty much most of the time that I'm awake crying but I do want to experience what I had with my ex with someone else if possible. I definitely have a lot of problems but I'm more than willing to work on myself and have been doing so as much as I can (been in therapy for pretty much forever and also on meds now/as well as opioid maintenance meds) to feel better even though it feels impossible most days. I'm extremely insecure so I would really appreciate that no one say anything too mean regarding my appearance or past - I am not looking for a rebound, it's taken me almost a year to realize that my ex did not love me but I am very aware of that fact as of now.
I'm still trying to figure out my future plans, but what I want out of life is: a significant other that I can eventually be married to, would like a child one day, would like to have a good and long lasting career and a home that I can eventually have my child inherit as that has been a big issue for me (securing housing, after my grandparents passed away I had basically nowhere to go as they raised me and I have very little other family). I graduated high school in March 2019, a little late due to the fact that I was in rehab for so much of senior year originally. I took a year off and now I'd like to enroll into nursing school (would like to be a nurse practitioner in the field of mental health and addiction) asap as soon as I confirm where I'll be living during - I am currently in the DFW area of Texas in the USA. Debating whether or not I'll be staying living here in TX as things are not as I expected.
What I'm here for and what I like/don't like in a man: I'm mainly looking to find someone here because I feel like I'll find a lot of men with similar interests here and I've never been able to meet someone similar to me on dating apps - nor am I interested in fwb or anything solely sexual which is mainly what those apps are for it seems. I really can't deal with violence or any kind of aggressiveness in a relationship anymore so if you have a temper of any kind it most likely wouldn't work. I really like sweet men, and guys who will go out of their way to show me how much they care or how much they WANT to care. I'm willing to move (or move in) for the right man 100%. I do not have any physical qualities that are a necessity and physical appearance is only maybe 20% of what I look for in someone, but I do like men who are taller (and bigger, whether that be muscle-wise or just body frame-wise) than me as I'm definitely the submissive type tbh. I really mainly look for traits that will make someone a good father one day like someone who is patient, compassionate and endearing in every way - I am not into aloof men or guys who play hard to get, I was into that in high school as I feel most women are, but I'm an adult now and don't find the chase attractive anymore.
Fun facts: I'm an INTP, birthday is March 30th, 2000 so I'm an Aries, my favorite band is Hole, I love pretty much every one of their songs and I'm a huge Courtney Love fan (shocking, right? lmao), my favorite drink is the green bolthouse farms drink, I have a kitty named Kuroshishi (Kuro for short), I was cyberschooled from 5th grade onwards, and my current favorite song is Stand Inside Your Love by The Smashing Pumpkins
Pros: I'll never leave you if we get in a relationship even if things get bad (nor have I ever broken up with someone and have always felt that when I get into a relationship with someone, that means that I am PREPARED to go through arguments, rough patches, and bumps in the road) most likely as I'm sure was made evident by what I said about what my ex did yet I still stayed. I will spend all my time with you and dedicate all of my attention to you. I'm a pacifist and I believe in being honest and upfront about my feelings as soon as I feel them so that if there's any issues, they can be solved. Even though I do have some issues I'm working on them and I can recognize them.
Cons: Codependent to a fault, not financially stable atm and won't be until after school, I don't drive, I'm shy especially when it comes to sexual things, I will definitely be a lot to deal with at times and need someone who will be patient with me about addiction related issues or depression. I'm overbearing at times and require a significant amount of attention, and more than anything else: I constantly need reassurance that I am good enough/that you will be faithful, even if I don't have reason to believe that you are not - which is something I will work on in my next relationship. I do have a past with camming/pics n vids - that will not come up in our conversation and should have nothing to do with our relationship but I would hope you're okay with me doing it nonetheless.
A list of my favorite bands/artists: Hole, Babes in Toyland, The Smashing Pumpkins, Veruca Salt, Garbage, Mazzy Star, Grimes, The Runaways, She Wants Revenge, and Radiohead/Thom Yorke.
A list of my favorite animes: Shinsekai Yori, The Promised Neverland, Shiki, Blood+, Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni Kai, Lucky Star
A list of my "favorite" movies (I have seen SO. MANY. movies, I'm a HUGE movie buff, to the point where I can't even remember my favorites most of the time so these are just my current favorites, minus Suspiria which has been and always will be a top 10 favorite of mine I believe): Suspiria (2018 remake), The Witch (american one), The Witch: Subversion (korean one), Prometheus (and all the Alien movies), Drag Me To Hell, Hereditary, Orphan, Evil Dead (2013 remake)
A list of my favorite shows: Westworld, True Blood, 90 Day Fiance (and spin offs!), Love Death + Robots, The Strain, Channel Zero, Penny Dreadful
A list of my favorite games: League of Legends, Minion Masters, Team Fortress 2, Sims 4, Until Dawn, Bloodborne, Brass Tactics, Dark Souls series (though I have never been able to get through them myself I love watching others play it), Terraria, Minecraft, Town of Salem, Portal 2, much more on Steam
Please don't msg me if: unless you're genuinely interested in talking and getting to know each other! Really no point in just msging "hey" hence why I kinda put all this so that at the very least some conversation can be made/engaged in ;~;... sowwy. I also would prefer someone close, BUT I am OPEN to relocating for the right person as long as it's something that isn't going to take a multitude of months or years - promise I am not high maintenance but I do like to feel that I have a good idea on if someone is going to be good for me or not from the get-go. Dm me and we can exchange info (sowwy if my response is generic because I'll most likely just be responding with my info to talk elsewhere on here!)
So, to anyone who has read everything and gotten this far and intends on messaging me: what made you decide to, or what made you interested in me from my post? :) I'd love to know! Hope to talk soon(●´ω`●)
submitted by retsamtep to r4rDFW [link] [comments]


2020.11.25 05:29 ASavageLost Welcome to Taos.

Welcome to Taos.
I never told this one before. I wanted to. Even had the chance. Several chances in fact, but I squandered every opportunity with tirades about Diet Dr. Pepper being the elixir of life and jokes about a second-floor studio apartment in that white washed adobe building across from the jail. The one that smelled like hot metal. It’s where the combination of dope sickness and depression and the absurd antics and voices of the Jersey Shore cast were burned forever into my mind and emotions, permanently etched into my consciousness in the dark winter mornings of late 2010. The damage is permanent.
It’s where I lived off of giant chocolate bars and toffee that I stole from Smiths and handfuls of non-pitted dates from Albertson’s. It’s where I used to see that red head who liked to smoke her dope and tell me she was on her way over to see me hours before she even got out of bed. It’s where I used to sleep in the sleeping bag my grandmother sent me before she died and I scribbled in that notebook with all the stupid titles for books.
I’m sure you remember the bag and the notebook, but now that I think about it, I don’t know if I ever told you that about the apartment or that it smelled like hot metal. Anyway, now you know. It smelled like hot metal, and it was miserable.
And it’s as good a place as any to start with the misfortunate series of events and people and places that led to a thing which has eaten at me for years—a burden I’ve borne and of which I must divest myself—the death of a woman we called Miss Ninny. It’s a good place to start, because the first time I knew about the apartment or realized it existed, was when my two friends, a couple named Wendy and Bo, were living there.
They were fat and approaching thirty and as shabby a pair of human beings as I’ve ever seen in my life. Also, they dealt for Diablo, perhaps the most feared name in all of Taos’s criminal kingdom. Mostly heroin is what they had. But sometimes this other guy named Brent would be over there, too, and he always had other stuff which he sold for Smokey and Destiny—Diablo’s rivals and competition.
So, one extremely cold and extremely desperate morning I made my way over to the apartment, there. Inside, Wendy and Bo lay on the bed. She read some super market paperback called Geisha or something. Maybe it was called Shogun. I don’t remember, but I do remember that Bo crossed his bare feet and interlocked his fingers over his stomach and tried to catch his nod on the mattress with his head on the pillow. Brent sat on the chair intently typing on a laptop he had between handling his tin foil leaf, and nobody there was doing any favors. It was cash or nothing, so I begged Brent.
“Yo, please, dude. Let me use your phone. I swear, I’ll get money if you let me call my dad. I swear.”
Brent was from somewhere in the southeastern United States. Had a shaved head and bug eyes. Was short and skinny, and unlike any of the rest of us, he was not actually an addict as far as I could tell. He got high, but his thing was making money. If partying would cut into his profits too much, then he wouldn’t smoke that night. Bo and Wendy or myself or pretty much anyone else I knew and hung out with could never pull that off. Brent had the stuff, so I was nice to him, subservient and all that. I thought I liked him, but looking back, I’m pretty sure I didn’t.
Anyway, I asked him for his phone, and he looked at me sideways and gave me way too hard of a time about using it. Once he relented, I sat on the cold metal stairs outside to call my dad and made up some story about how I was going to get killed if I didn’t pay my debt to one of the local dealers. At first, he sounded sympathetic, but as the conversation went on and I got more desperate, he changed his mind. Told me it was my fault. And I’d have to pay for it myself, somehow—however I could—and he didn’t care, anymore.
Now, Bo and Wendy were from Atlantic City. And she’d come out there about a year before he did, if I have my facts straight. She had this thing about her hair. She liked to grow it out. After a while, she’d dread it, then dye and decorate those dreads with tinsel and twine and anything else she could find like deflated balloons and cheap jewelry and even the bones of dead birds or squirrels. Things like that. Then, she’d cut them off. That wasn’t the end of it, though. She’d keep the mess of hair, like the murdered, matted pelt of some filthy animal and hang it on a wall or wherever.
Sometimes, she kept it in her purse. Or dangled it on strings from ceilings and took pictures of it. Eventually, she would work the old dead hair back into her own and wear that nasty thing. The oldest hair in the mess was years old, from way before we knew her. Maybe eight years old. Probably older. But I didn’t know. Whenever I looked at it, though, I thought that maybe she inadvertently kept all her bad luck in it like some foul and scraggly talisman she clung to and with which she maintained the curse upon her life.
But the girl, Wendy, was nice enough. One time—long before Brent ever came to town or they lived in that apartment or sold anything for anyone in Taos—she kicked heroin in the still hot days of early fall and had just cut her hair off and stood on the corner of Paseo and Quesnel there and asked me for a cigarette. We talked. She came to live with me. I was staying out in the sagebrush in an old office building out towards Arroyo Seco, then.
In my bedroom, she read me her poetry, and I read her mine. Wendy’s face winced at what I read. It was no good. Along with all of my ideas for books back then, I had dreams of being a poet. It took me years to realize that I hated poetry, but after all of that, she told me how she’d come out to New Mexico for the Rainbow gathering the summer before and got stuck. Made phone calls to her man back in New Jersey. And told me he was coming soon.
He did, too, with his Bullwinkle nose and greasy rings of hair on the back of his neck and that grimy hipster hat. I let them stay on the mattress in my living room. Bo and I got to know each other, then. He was a technician for Direct TV and installed the dishes at people’s houses before he came to Taos. The two of them had been together, on and off, for over ten years. I got a lot of information from him about how I could manipulate the situation with my landlord back to stay longer. I thanked him but wanted to avoid the drama. It was time for me to go. I knew that. I’d come to peace with it.
But he was super soft spoken and all that, and once I got kicked out of my place out by Seco, they got a few different spots. None of them worked out. One with Brent on Gusdorf. They got kicked out for being dope dealers and all the unsavory characters and traffic making a path through the sagebrush lot on the side of that place.
Then they moved into the white studio apartment, the one that smelled like hot metal, though when they were there, it smelled like sweaty socks, too. Wendy was always sitting up on their mattress on the floor in the corner and would religiously devour stolen books, and he’d ignore his phone or have panic attacks. People called him all day long for bags. The guy told me once,
“I took a ten-minute shower. I don’t know, maybe less than ten minutes. When I got out, there were, no lie, no exaggeration, 64 texts and over 20 missed phone calls.”
I had my first bout of cotton fever there. Didn’t know what it was, really, but miserable and sweaty and sleepless on a pile of their clothes on the floor. And soon, they got kicked out of there, too. For all the same reasons. Me and the rest of Taos’s junkies in and out all day. Filthy conditions inside. Obvious drug use. Etcetera. And they went to live with Miss Ninny and her daughter and her snake eyed, live in boyfriend named Harold on the south side of town.
It’s something I’ve thought about for years. So once Beth and I make it all the way through Utah and Colorado and down through northeastern New Mexico and Tres Piedras, we turn right at the light and move down past El Prado and the Pueblo and get to where the new Jail is, across from Super Save. I point to the apartment. It’s apparently unchanged, one of the physical artifacts from that time, from that life, that prove to me it wasn’t all just a dream.
I try to tell her about it. Explain to her what life was like living there. Who Bo was. How he was so nice and also how he is dead. And I talk about Wendy for a minute, before Beth yawns and asks me,
“Are we sleeping in the van tonight?”
“Nah.”
Now, it should be stated that she and I have some money. My father had inherited a lump sum of over 50,000 dollars from my grandmother and left me 47 grand when he passed. Much of it is gone, but there’s still plenty. Beth collects SSI for some supposed disability of which she never speaks. So, we head drive back up to the Kachina Lodge. Get a room for the night and ask her,
“I’m gonna go walk around. Maybe get something to eat. You want to come?”
“No. I think we’re going to stay here. Rest up and watch some TV or something.”
“Yeah. Sure.”
I grab the notebook and a pen. And walk through the parking lot. See the Allsup’s there at the bend in the road. Pass Michael’s Kitchen and Kit Carson Park to my left. The cars pass. Tires kick gravel at me. Wind slings sand at my face like it used to.
While I was away, living in Olympia, it was like I thought if I was not here, then Taos didn’t exist or something. Through some previously unarticulated and self-important notion I deemed my own experience of the place, my own perception of it imperative to its existence, to its life, but upon my arrival, it is clear that it has gone on without me. Years have passed here without me. Some shops no longer exist. Many are the same, and the owner of a small jewelry store is sweeping the sidewalk outside of his place as I move closer to the plaza. We acknowledge one another with a nod. I walk on.
And soon I am sitting on one of the benches in the plaza there and smoke a cigarette, and I’m digging this brown piece of cardboard out of the trashcan next to me, so that I can begin to use this felt tipped pen to scrawl a few strange verses of a somewhat exaggerated and imagined desperation.
This is what I put down:
I’VE BEEN THINKING LATELY.
AND.
MY FATHER’S WIFE CHANGED THE FABRIC SOFTENER.
25 YEARS AGO, BACK WHEN SHE WAS STILL THE MAID.
AND.
IT’S AN OUTSIDE CHANCE.
BUT.
MAYBE MY CRIPPLING DEPRESSION.
AND DRUG ADDICTION HAS JUST BEEN AN ALLERGY.
TO SOME CHEMICAL IMPURITY IN THE FORMULA.
MAYBE IF I CHANGE BRANDS.
I DON’T HAVE TO DIE.
MAYBE.
BUT.
PROBABLY NOT.
My father never had another wife. We certainly never had a maid. It’s fictional nonsense, but the short poem seems sufficiently dark and cryptic and creepy. I like it. It could be better, but something about using all capital letters and the one-word lines and incomplete sentences with periods gratifies me in a way that is hard to explain. So, I won’t try. All you need to know is that I like it well enough. Originally, the thought was to make it a long letter with details about how the fabric softener was made in Mongolia and that kind of thing, but I decided the free verse poem was better.
Anyway, a few moments pass, and now I stare at the restaurant called The Gorge. It’s where Ogelvie’s used to be. I put the notebook in my lap and pen to paper. My thoughts are to write a story about something and for a moment, I drift away into my own mind, looking off into the haze behind the mountains as the days end draws near. I come up with this story about a young quiet couple living on a homestead in rural Montana, and they have their first kid, but he doesn’t develop right. So, the mother takes him into town to see the doctor, only to find out that the child is not a child at all, but a potato. Her heart is broken, and the plot is centered around her inner turmoil as she struggles with whether or not to tell her husband about what the doctor said or to let him live on in his miserable ignorance, but I don’t get any of it out onto the paper.
Instead, a small depression falls on me. My return to Taos is not what I thought it would be. It’s like an uncomfortable and unexpected encounter with a girl you used to like, who used to like you. One you used to know. She might look the same in ways, but still so much has changed. Her speech is different. The girl goes on and on about different things and people and music. Wears a different smile and new clothes. Smokes a different brand of cigarettes.
She doesn’t know you.
You don’t know her.
Not anymore.
And that’s how it is with Taos. Her beauty—I determine—isn’t much unless you know her, are grafted into her through the struggle that is living here. You can come in and visit from out of town or buy a belt made out of leather and silver and turquoise or a bolo tie. You can buy a kachina doll or pottery decorated with graven zia symbols. You can even buy a beautiful piece of property in Hondo or Seco bordered by a latilla fence and a mud house with a roof held up by giant vegas, but you can’t buy the experience of living in Taos like I have, to wake up in the bushes next to Autozone or sleep in the Killing Fields behind McDonald’s and have to steal your breakfast from Albertson’s, to be hated by the angry lesbians at the local coffee shops which ironically capitalize on postcards espousing sentiments of socialistic violence, to know the kid in the newspaper who just got a 12 year sentence for manslaughter after stabbing your other friend’s little brother at a party and killing him, to have been to jail there or to make money putting up metal lath on adobe or cleaning the acequias in spring for a guy whose last name is Archuleta. You can’t just show up and have it. It takes time. It takes suffering through a winter and borrowed rides or significant walking to truly understand Taos, and so I walk back to the hotel.
Beth is sleeping with the kid in one bed. I take my shirt off. Fall back onto the other bed. Slide onto the floor. Prostrate myself as if to invoke, somehow, the magic in the land. Inviting it in to my life, that I might know it once again. I breathe and wait for it in the dark.
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2020.11.25 01:57 lolpolice88 Three (Million) Strikes and Still Not Out: The Crown as the Consummate Recidivist? - Ani Mikaere

extract from Colonising Myths - Maori Realities: He Rukuruku Whakaaro by Ani Mikaere
https://huia.co.nz/huia-bookshop/bookshop/colonising-myths-maori-realities/
Google Books link
Three (Million) Strikes and Still Not Out: The Crown as the Consummate Recidivist?
Introduction As in any election year, New Zealand politicians and media alike have whipped the community into a frenzy over the spectre of criminals 'running amok’2 in our midst despite the statistics indicating that, if anything, reported crime rates have been declining and rates of resolution with respect to the most serious offences have improved markedly during the past decade. During the election campaign Winston Peters pledged to ‘mount a war against crime', promising to ensure the imprisonment of violent criminals ‘until they are too old to commit crimes'.4 While it may be tempting to interpret his electoral demise as a rejection of his ‘get tough on crime' stance, the rise in the ACT party's political fortunes would suggest that this is not the case. Not to be outdone by Winston Peters in the weeks leading up to the election, Rodney Hide introduced his 'three strikes and you're out' policy, reassuring his party faithful that conviction for a third violent offence would result in a sentence of twenty-five years to life. He appeared to take special pleasure in going one better than Peters' vision of prisons full of senior citizens by adding that prisoners could [djie in there if need be'. Both Labour and National pledged to get tough on crime and promised increased expenditure on law enforcement and the continued expansion of prisons.
While most politicians avoided making an explicit link between the criminals they were promising to lock up and Māori,5 it is no secret that some 50 percent of all prisoners are Māori, as are 60 percent of all female prisoners. Nobody was left in any doubt, therefore, as to who was envisaged as constituting the bulk of this fresh prison fodder.
The Department of Corrections has described the disproportionate representation of Māori in the criminal justice statistics as ‘alarmingand 'a catastrophe both for Māori and ... for New Zealand as a whole'.' In looking to find possible reasons for the present situation, the department recently considered two explanatory approaches. One examined the possibility of bias within the operation of the criminal justice system, while the other focused on whether the life experiences of Māori put us more at risk of criminal behaviour.9
It seems to me, however, that a crucial consideration is being completely ignored here: the incorrigible criminality of the Crown. It is to the Crown's long and shameful history of criminal violence that I believe we should turn in order to truly understand the context within which its legal system now functions to criminalise and incarcerate Māori in numbers so excessive as to put New Zealand in the company of such record setting gaolers as the United States. 10
In fact, the illegal states of New Zealand and the United States have rather more in common than staggeringly high rates of imprisonment. In 1992 Russell Means of the American Indian Movement made the following statement:11
Against Indians, there's not a law the United States hasn't broken, not a Crime Against Humanity it hasn't committed, and it's still going on.
Substitute ‘Māori' for 'Indians' and 'the Crown' for 'the United States' and it would be difficult to find a statement that more succinctly summarises the Crown's conduct since its agents of empire first intruded upon our world. I fail to see how any serious discussion of the relationship between Māori and the New Zealand criminal justice system can begin without a thorough exploration of the Crown's historical and ongoing criminality. While a full investigation of this question cannot be undertaken within the time allowed today, it is my hope that even a relatively brief perusal of its conduct since arriving in Aotearoa will suffice to prove my contention that the Crown is the ultimate recidivist. Acceptance of this basic truth is a necessary first step to the discarding of a system that appears to have as its primary focus the criminalisation and punishment of Māori, rather than the achievement of justice for all.
The Crown as murderer Estimates of the Māori population of Aotearoa prior to contact with Europeans range from 100,000 to 500,000.12 While exact population figures before 1769 may not be certain, it is well known that they began to decline from that date, a process that accelerated dramatically during the mid to late nineteenth century.13 By 1896, when the Māori population had reached a low point of 42,000,14 our extinction was being confidently predicted by the colonists.15
That exposure to introduced disease was the main cause of depopulation during the first century of contact is beyond doubt.16 This outcome cannot sensibly be portrayed as an unforeseen consequence of Europeans coming to our part of the world. By the eighteenth century European colonisers had already seen, in the Americas and elsewhere, what happened when the full array of European pathogens was unleashed upon a population that lacked immunity to them. Historian William McNeill has observed that by the sixteenth century ‘Europe had much to give and little to receive in the way of new human
infections'.17 As Ronald Wright explains:18
Europe possessed biological weapons that fate had been stacking against America for thousands of years. Among these were smallpox, measles, influenza, bubonic plague, yellow fever, cholera, and malaria – all unknown in the Western Hemisphere before 1492.
When Columbus first arrived in the Americas in 1492, the Indigenous population is estimated to have been between eighty million and 100 million: within sixty years, that figure had plummeted to ten million, a decline of up to 90 percent.19 Wright calls this the greatest mortality in history’.20 Of course, Columbus and his contemporaries cannot have understood that as they first stepped ashore in the Carribean, they constituted living, breathing agents of germ warfare. However, the correlation between the arrival of people from Europe and the dramatic death rates amongst the Indigenous population as a result of diseases hitherto unknown to them very soon became apparent. As Churchill notes, literature of the times frequently remarked upon it and even celebrated it as evidence of God's will.21 He concludes:22
Altogether, there was nothing at all unwitting, unintentional, accidental, or inadvertent about the way the great bulk of North America's indigenous population was 'vanished by microbe'.
Even less, then, could it be claimed that the 'vanishing by microbe' of the Māori population in Aotearoa some three hundred years later was an unanticipated result of the influx of British traders and settlers. 23 The Crown understood only too well the consequences of European contact for a previously isolated population such as Māori. Rather than discouraging British citizens who sought to establish ongoing relationships with Māori, however, it offered its tacit approval by establishing an official presence here in 1832.24 And in the years following the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi in 1840, the Crown actively facilitated the rapid expansion of the settler population, despite centuries of experience having already shown that increased exposure to European pathogens would lead to catastrophic population decline for Māori. There are only two possible explanations, then, for the Crown's choice to proceed with a course of action that it knew was likely to cause widespread death amongst Māori: either it actively sought our extermination, or it was simply reckless as to whether or not our extinction resulted. Either way, it is murder.
Nor should it be imagined that the negative impacts on our health and well-being resulting from the Crown's criminal conduct belong safely in the past. The current state of Māori health is inextricably tied to the events of the 1800s. To paraphrase Thomas Berger:25
A history of disease and death permeates relations between [Pākehā] and [Māori] today. Down the long passageways of time the memories of fire and epidemic occurring and recurring, manifesting themselves today in marginalisation and despair, form a chain, linking the past to the present.
While we may have largely absorbed the initial calamitous impacts of European disease, the pattern of Māori ill-health established during those early days of contact has continued, with lifestyle changes and increased reliance on introduced foods and addictive substances such as alcohol exacting an horrific toll on our contemporary well-being. The modern-day epidemics that currently plague us can be traced to the neglect or even the deliberate actions of the Crown just as surely as it can be held responsible for the dramatic population decline that we suffered during the nineteenth century.
The Crown as thief Less than two hundred years ago, all twenty-nine million hectares of Aotearoa were Māori land. While it would be inconsistent with a Māori worldview to declare that we ‘owned the land, iwi and hapū enjoyed an intimate relationship with each and every corner of Te Ika-a-Māui and Te Waipounamu. This included the obligation to care for the land as an atua, as an ancestress. The responsibilities inherent in this relationship could not be avoided or abandoned.
By 1996 the amount of Māori land had been reduced to 1.5 million hectares, a mere 5 percent of Aotearoa. The vast bulk of this reduction occurred during the nineteenth century as a result of Crown purchases, confiscation 26 and the Native Land Court process. All of these mechanisms have been the subject of Waitangi Tribunal claims over the past thirty years, each of them earning sharp criticism and findings of Crown culpability. Crown purchases have been condemned as marred by broken promises, 27 land confiscations pronounced unlawful28 and the Native Land Court famously described as “a veritable engine of destruction29 of Māori land tenure.
Speaking on the New Zealand Settlements Bill in the Legislative Council in 1863, Dr Pollen perhaps summed up best the Crown's approach towards the acquisition of land from the moment Hobson signed Te Tiriti o Waitangi:30
[F]rom that time to this every action of ours affecting the Natives had presented itself to their eyes, and had been capable of that interpretation, as showing that our object and business in this colony was to obtain possession of the lands of the Natives recti si possimus; si non, quoncunque modo [legally, if possible; if not, by whatever means].
It is not proposed to rehearse the length and breadth of criminal behaviour exhibited by the Crown as it has sought to satisfy its insatiable appetite for land. There are, however, two points that ought not to go unmentioned. The first is that there is an inescapable connection between the activities of murderer and thief: each reinforced the other. The theft of land from Māori produced poverty and dislocation - physical, emotional and spiritual – on an unprecedented scale. When combined with the lack of immunity to introduced disease, the effect was cataclysmic. In a particularly cruel twist, historian Keith Sorrenson has found that the mere act of attending Native Land Court hearings 'greatly enhanced the efficiency of disease diffusion', 31 with people gathering in urban centres for extended periods of time, being forced to stay in unhygienic conditions and then carrying newly acquired infections back to their homes.
The second point is that however strenuously the Crown might try today to distance itself from the thievery of its predecessors, theft of Māori land has remained very much a part of its repertoire. Compulsory acquisition of so-called 'uneconomic interests 32 and the reclassification of Māori land with fewer than five owners as European land33 during the 1950s and 1960s are both testament to this fact, as is the excessive load borne by Māori with respect to Public Works takings, right through to the present day.34 But the most blatant act of theft to have taken place in recent times must surely be the Seabed and Foreshore Act 2004. It serves as a timely reminder that the Crown remains, as ever, prepared to wield legislative power as a weapon against us in order to clothe its criminal acts with a show of legality.
The Crown as sexual predator Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to attend a hui where Andrea Smith and Sherene Razack spoke about the connection between sexual violence and colonialism. 35 Andrea Smith argued that colonisation marks native women as inherently rapable and, by extension, renders native lands and native people in general similarly defileable.36 In my view, the relevance of this analysis to our own situation is readily apparent. If the suggestion that colonisation marks Māori women as inherently rapable strikes you as a little extreme, I suggest you pause to consider the ways in which Māori women were characterised by the Pākehā men who first visited our shores. Incapable of understanding our apparent lack of sexual domination by men, they interpreted our autonomy as promiscuity:37
Eroticised in the journals of the European explorers of the Pacific, Polynesian and Māori women were constructed as dusky skinned, South Seas maidens, amorous, exotic, sensual and sexually available.
Is this an attitude long-since forgotten? I strongly suspect that if I were to ask for a show of hands from those who have experienced first-hand white men's delusional assumptions about how 'easy Māori women are, we would find that little has changed. As for the extension of the idea of the inherent rapability of Māori women to Māori land, I doubt that many of us would consider it too great a stretch of the imagination to describe the present-day desecration of Papatūānuku as an extreme form of sexual violence. In reality the rape of Papatūānuku is almost inevitable in light of the fact that Pākehā land tenure positions her as neither atua nor ancestress, but rather as the property of men. As owners, they exert power and control over her. As capitalists, it is not only their right but in fact their duty to exploit her.
With respect to the idea that colonisation marks native people generally as inherently violable, I found Sherene Razack's examination of the parallels between sexual violence and colonialism particularly compelling.38 She made the chilling observation that sexual violence makes ordinary men into kings, occupiers and conquerors. She also pointed out that for the coloniser, violence is an identity-forming activity and argued that colonisers have to go into the space of the colonised in order to truly know themselves. The simple logic of her analysis is difficult to dispute. For what is rape/colonisation if not the unwelcome and violent invasion of another's space? And what is it that drives the rapist/coloniser if not some deep-seated insecurity about their own identity, some perverted need to subordinate another in a desperate attempt to feel complete?
While historical examples of the Crown's incursions into our space abound, the most obvious being the military invasions that took place during the nineteenth century, I am more interested in focusing on its present day behaviour to illustrate how the compulsion to force itself upon us persists. The Seabed and Foreshore Act 2004, referred to earlier, provides a classic example: not content with having taken over all but 5 percent of the land mass of Aotearoa, the Crown's immediate response to the possibility of Māori rights and responsibilities being confirmed with respect to any part of the foreshore was to invade it, symbolically at least, by appropriating it. Another blatant example is last year's so-called 'anti-terrorism raids'. Alarmed at the prospect that the natives were growing restless the Crown, with an excessive show of force, sought to remind selected individuals and the community of Ruatoki that it is king, conqueror and occupier in this land. To note a particularly sickening parallel between the military campaigns of the 1800s and the para-military operation of 2007, in both instances the symbolic rape of Māori communities was accompanied by the sexual violation of individual Māori women. How else could one characterise the rape of women at Parihaka, 39 or the taking by police of young women's underwear as claimed evidence of terrorism some 120 years later?
Dramatic as this illustration might be, I am also mindful of the multitude of less obvious ways in which the Crown seeks to invade our space. By way of example, Te Wānanga o Raukawa has worked hard to become a place within which kaupapa Māori and tikanga Māori can flourish. We seek to conduct all aspects of our work in a manner that is consistent with our foundational kaupapa and considerable effort has gone into defending the integrity of the tikanga space that has been created. Nevertheless, the Crown is always searching for ways to enter our space. Its efforts to do so assume many forms, from its attempt to attach to its recent Treaty settlement with us numerous conditions that would enable it to keep interfering in our affairs to ensure compliance', to its constant efforts to monitor us via the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. The consummate predator, it lurks constantly at the margins, watching and waiting for any opportunity to invade and occupy.
The logic of genocide The foregoing is but an overview of Crown criminality, historical and ongoing. As with any overview, it has the effect of glossing over the full extent of damage suffered by those on the receiving end of the Crown's campaign of destruction. However, it is hoped that it will suffice as a platform upon which to build the next part of this discussion, which seeks to understand the reasons for the Crown's apparent compulsion to commit crime. Tempting as it might be to dismiss the Crown's serial offending as a clear case of criminal insanity, I believe there is method to its madness, that can best be understood within the framework of what Andrea Smith has called the logic of genocide? 40
In Aotearoa, as in all settler-state colonies, the aim of the coloniser has been to supplant Māori within our own land. 41 Pivotal to the success of this project is our disappearance, as Andrea Smith explains:42
The pillar of genocide serves as the anchor for colonialism – it is what allows non-Native peoples to feel they can rightfully own indigenous peoples' land. It is okay to take land from indigenous peoples, because indigenous peoples have disappeared.
All the Crown's criminal conduct over the past two centuries – the murder, the theft, the sexual predation - can be understood as part of a general strategy to 'disappear' us.
So too can the raft of assimilatory policies employed in order to digest the residue of survivors43 from the holocaust of the nineteenth century. The attempt to remake us in the image of our colonisers, otherwise known as cultural genocide, has included the deliberate assault on our reo, our tikanga and our belief systems. Our language was replaced with English, our tikanga with English law and our belief systems with Christianity. While the Crown no longer actively pursues the death of the language, it has accorded it no more than a grudging degree of recognition by way of Te Reo Māori Act 1987 and limited support for such initiatives as kāhanga reo, kura kaupapa Māori, wānanga and Māori television. Tikanga, meanwhile, has been reduced to a shadow of its former self: once it prevailed over all who came here, but it has now been confined to the margins of ‘mainstream' society. Beyond contexts such as the marae, where it generally still assumes a central place, tikanga is only recognised to the extent that Crown law has chosen to 'incorporate' it. Our belief systems, on the whole, have either been rejected or have become so polluted by Christian concepts that they have changed almost beyond recognition.
Even that crudest of assimilatory tools, the blood quantum concept, still attracts a frightening degree of approval. It was not until 1974 that the Maori Affairs Amendment Act finally disposed of successive legislative attempts to define Māori identity on the basis of the amount of Māori blood that a person had. Nevertheless, some thirty years later Don Brash was very nearly elected prime minister, largely on the basis of an openly racist speech that suggested, among other things, that intermarriage had resulted in there being no 'real Māori left.44 A few months later Trevor Mallard, in his capacity as Coordinating Minister, Race Relations, insisted that Pākehā are now Indigenous and claimed that he regarded himself as an Indigenous New Zealander.45 Clearly the desire to supplant us in our own land remains high on our colonisers' agenda.
During the last one hundred years, a powerful new means of making us disappear has been found: it is called, somewhat incongruously, the criminal justice system. 46 Its central pillar is incarceration, both the threat of it and the actuality. Angela Davis has commented on how prisons are perceived as performing a feat of magic, making a multitude of social problems disappear from public view by relegating the human beings contending with those problems to cages. 47 However, she also notes that this is an illusion - in reality 'prisons do not disappear problems, they disappear human beings'.48 Our involvement in the New Zealand criminal justice system, while initially small, grew steadily until about the middle of the 1900s, since when it has increased at an alarming rate.49 When we consider the indecent haste to build new prisons in this country, it is plain which particular human beings are being targeted to be ‘vanished' behind their walls.
We should pause for a moment to ponder the cruel irony of our current situation: the ultimate recidivist has designed and now implements its own legal system in order to further prey upon its victims. In a bizarre reversal of roles, the serial offender has become the arbiter of justice while we are now perceived as criminals.
When the criminal assumes control of the criminal legal system
In 1858, Governor Gore-Browne released a compilation of the laws of England, in English and in Māori, with the purported aim of assisting Māori in our journey towards the whole-hearted adoption of English law. Unsurprisingly, the publication presented English law in glowing terms:50
[T]he Maori is ... fortunate .... A wise and a generous people, the English, have settled in his land; and this people are willing to teach him, and to guide him in the well-made road which themselves have travelled for so many generations; that is, in the path of the perfected law .... Let there now be no doubt nor hesitation, but be patient and earnest and follow the direction of those who have been appointed to shew you the right and the finished path.
What, then, can it be said these 'wise and generous people have taught us? Apparently, that crime pays, the more outrageous the crime, the greater the reward. Not only has the Crown profited from its wrongdoing, it now wields the proceeds of its criminal conduct (its self-proclaimed authority and a rich resource base) in order to commit further acts of violence (arrest, imprisonment and the multiple infringements of personal space that accompany these activities) against us.
We should not be surprised that the power of the imposter state called New Zealand is inextricably intertwined with brutality, given the violent way in which that power was acquired. Indeed, it has been suggested that violence is an integral component of the modern state: 5
The modern State defines itself by its monopoly over the means of coercion and the exercise of force. The State is the institutionalised legitimisation of violence. In this framework, violence carried out by non-State actors and outside of State sanction is illegitimate, and ultimately the target of coercive action by the State to reassert its monopoly over violence.
In fact, with respect to the modern state of New Zealand, something rather less than actual violence is required in order to make you the target of such coercive action. If the state regards you as an activist the merest suspicion that you might be thinking violent thoughts has proven more than sufficient to bring armed goons bursting through your front door in the dead of night. 52
Seeking explanations for Māori over-representation in the criminal justice statistics We return now to the debilitating level of entanglement with the criminal legal system that Māori experience today. When viewed against the backdrop of the Crown's criminality it is difficult to take seriously most contemporary efforts to 'explain' the negative statistics. As mentioned earlier, the Department of Corrections recently considered two explanatory approaches: the first focussed on the suggestion that bias operates within the criminal justice system, while the second questioned whether a range of adverse early-life social and environmental factors result in Māori being at greater risk of ending up in patterns of adult criminal behaviour. 53
The sheer inanity of both lines of enquiry establishes beyond a doubt that the department excels when it comes to establishing the blindingly obvious. And for disingenuousness of approach to the question of why Māori so disproportionately experience adverse life experiences and circumstances, its conclusion is difficult to beat:54
For a range of social and historical reasons, many Māori appear to be unusually prone to experiencing such circumstances.
Appear to be unusually prone? Such coyness as to the reasons for the contemporary circumstances of Māori is, to say the least, bizarre. The Crown has been responsible for a relentless campaign of criminal violence against us. Every day that it continues to assert its authority in this land, it demonstrates that violence carries its reward and that crime pays. It has viciously attacked our physical, social, emotional and spiritual well-being over a long period of time, thus setting in train a crippling cycle of violence from which some of us, unsurprisingly, have struggled to escape.
While the cycle of violence concept seems to have gained widespread acceptance as a way of understanding family relationships, the Crown appears to have real difficulty in grasping its applicability to the relationship between itself and the people whose home lands it has invaded. It refuses to acknowledge its own complicity in creating and perpetuating the cycle. When Tariana Turia raised questions about the phenomenon of post-colonial traumatic stress disorder in 2000,55 she was subjected to an outpouring of self-righteous indignation from many quarters, most visibly Prime Minister Helen Clark, who was particularly offended by her use of the word 'holocaust to describe our experience of colonisation.
1
Like all abusers, the Crown denies any responsibility for the dysfunctional relationship that it has created. In fact, it demands that its wrong-doings be forgotten or, at the very least, forgiven as relatively minor infractions when weighed against the benefits of the 'perfected law' that it has so generously bestowed upon us.
Yet, as Ward Churchill has spelt out:56
[T]here can be no absolution, no redemption of past crimes unless the outcomes are changed. So long as the aggressor's posterity continues to reap the benefits of that aggression, the crimes are merely replicated in the present. In effect, the aggression remains ongoing and, in that, there can be no legitimacy. Not now, not ever.
The constitutional question Any discussion of Crown law inevitably leads to the question of its legitimacy. I have argued elsewhere that tikanga Māori is the first law of Aotearoa.57 It served the needs of whānau, hapū and iwi for a thousand years before tauiwi arrived, providing a comprehensive philosophical framework within which relationships were negotiated and disputes resolved. We had no police force, no courthouses and an incarceration rate of zero percent.
Careful examination of Te Tiriti o Waitangi 1840 and its antecedent, He Whakaputanga 58 o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni, clearly reveal a Māori intention to preserve the system of law that had served us so well, while creating a space for the Crown to implement English law amongst its own lawless subjects in our land. The implementation of English law was permitted by the granting to the Crown of kāwanatanga, a form of delegated authority that was subject to the overriding rangatiratanga of the Māori signatories.
In the intervening years, the Crown has managed to turn this arrangement on its head, redefining kāwanatanga as sovereignty and equating tino rangatiratanga with property rights or, at best, iwi self-management. It now asserts the right to determine what is criminal and what is not. It has taken for itself the power to coerce us into accepting its definition of criminality, from which it has taken care to exclude its own conduct as the supreme purveyor of violence and dishonesty.
It must be stressed that it has achieved this reversal in power relations not through any legitimate constitutional process, but rather as a direct result of the criminal conduct detailed above. This means that New Zealand is in fact an imposter state, a figment of the colonial imagination. It has no legal basis and the Crown has no legitimate claim to make laws for anyone other than tauiwi, subject to the overarching authority of Māori.
This fact of Crown illegitimacy has important ramifications for the way in which we define the problem of Māori offending, just as it must be borne in mind when working out solutions to the undeniab
issue of social harm within our communities.
Where to now? While the focus of this paper has been the criminal conduct of the Crown, this is not to suggest that social harm is not a serious problem within Māori communities. The deliberate or reckless infliction of harm on others has devastating consequences, for wrong-doers, for victims and for the whānau of both. Having said that, I must confess to tiring of the feeding frenzy that breaks out around any incident that is seen as providing the opportunity to portray Māori as inherently and irredeemably criminal. Reminding ourselves of the magnitude of the Crown's criminality may, if nothing else, help us to maintain a sense of perspective.
However, curiously satisfying as it might be to criticise the Crown, I am not doing it purely because it is enjoyable or easy. The reason that I have chosen to concentrate on the Crown's conduct is because I believe that our behaviour today cannot be seen in isolation from our relationship with the Crown. Unless we are clear about its role in creating the situation with which we are now faced, the choices we make about how best to move forward may well be doomed to failure. For instance, it would be illogical in the extreme to expect any effective solutions to the so called 'problem of Māori offending' to come from the Crown. The Crown is the problem, not the solution. As the Generation Five project notes:59
The conditions that allow all forms of violence to continue cannot be truly transformed by the State, being an institutional formation that is itself reliant on its exercise of violence.
A first step, then, in finding solutions to the current levels of Māori offending is to understand the complicity of the Crown in shaping our present circumstances. This can only lead to a firm decision to reject the Crown legal system in its entirety. It has been constructed upon a foundation of Crown criminality and it lacks any claim to legitimacy. Its criminal justice sector entrenches violence, both in its assumption of authority to define criminal offending as well as in the way it processes and imprisons Māori in such excessive numbers.
Rejecting the imposter legal system is an act of resistance against the colonising ethos of the Crown. Such resistance requires much more from us than fine-sounding words. It requires us to match our actions to our words. While we may have survived, in a physical sense, the genocidal policies of the past, we know that assimilatory policies and practices designed to make us disappear abound. We should also be mindful that the onslaught to which we have been subjected has created conditions that are highly conducive to our acting in ways that mean we end up making ourselves disappear. You might say that colonisation has programmed those who have survived its initial impact to self destruct over time. We need to take responsibility for our actions, ...
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2020.11.24 07:13 Susieisawesome My mother not my mother in law ruining my wedding HELP

Please do not share this post on social media, I am looking for advice and to be honest a chance to vent.
I've always been the black sheep of my family, I'm a nerd who likes to crochet and donates a lot of time and money to charities and am uncomfortable being the centre of attention. To me a great date night is junk food and movies at home, spending time reading and just working on myself. My friends will always brag I'm the woman you talk to when you need help becauss I'm reliable and generous to a fault and will give you the shirt off of my back if you hinted that you like it.
My mother sadly is the opposite.
Everything needs to be about her, I feel like she isn't living unless it is documented and plastered all over Facebook and commented on. It can be very draining as I don't like having everything photographed and llastered everywhere I have to remind her whenever I do see her to just enjoy the moment and stop taking photos. Additionally our relationship has always been a bit skewed because I had very bad depression as a teen and tried to kill myself. She refused to let me go onto anti depressants and would instead scream at me to just be happy and when it became to much for her she sent me away to live with relatives.
When I was about 18 I had my depression and anxiety under control because I had started sneaking anti depressants, my mother had an accident and injured her back; she could barely walk and needed around the clock care. I gave up my life and cared for her for about six months, it was hard and tiring work and I eventually helped wean her off of the opioids she became addicted to; essentially I was her live in nurse. I remained diligent and tireless but during that time our relationship shifted even further and I become more mum and her more the daughter as a result.
Over the years the lopsided nature of our relationship has become clearer to me; she wouldn't ever help me even when asked and the lowest point was when I was admitted to the hospital two years ago after my tonsils came out. I was bleeding to death, like vomitting up blood and need two transfusions and she told me she was busy and couldn't see me because work was busy. My now fiance didnt know how bad it was because I didn't want to stress him out at his new job, he came home to see out house looking like a scene from Carrie, rushed to the hospital and yelled at me!! I can understand why now.
Anyways to the main issue.
I have tried for years to get my mum to stop being so selfish, self absorbed and to stop excluding me from family events or family time as well as speaking to me with respect. She always cries and vows to change but nothing changes. Her partner has adopted her additude and it sickens me.
My fiance proposed in June of this year, it was a gorgeous special time and we have been excitedly planning our wedding for next year, I made sure I called all my friends and family members that were engaged or getting married to confirm my wedding date wouldn't conflict with their plans or steal attention before booking the venue. When I announced my engagement to my mother she turned to her partner and snapped "see they're engaged!" I didnt even get a congratulations and it stung.
Since then she has been trying to control every detail down to who I can and can not have in my bridal party. Then last month I hit my breaking point. She got engaged. And told me the week of my birthday. Told me when I was planning on going to my wedding dress fitting she wanted it to be just us and that she was going to try on wedding dresses. She was originally pushing for me to elope, but announced now she is getting married in December, as in next month. Her reasoning was so her last name would be the same as her partners on my wedding invites. She has basically stolen all of the attention from my wedding and made everything about her.
I confronted both her and her partner with my fiance there and my sister in law listening in on the phone to be a witness; they have lied in the past about me so I wanted to be prepared. And sure enough it went south very very fast. My mother denied being controlling or attention stealing and that her partner was cruel to me because I made everything about me; I asked for an example of something I had told them both in the last six months and they couldn't. Then her partner physically threarened me and my fiance, I was done. I can not support a union where in one person uses violence to respond to a conversation.
The entire conversation I kept repeating that I didnt want an apology or anything I just wanted the controlling, attention stealing and abusive behaviour to stop. They acted like I asked them to jump off of a cliff. Now my mother is not speaking to me but I dont know how to proceed forward. On the plus side this has helped me mend a rift with my distant father, but I'm saddened that I can not even voice a simple request for respect and equality. I'm struggling to eat sleep or work and I'm just feeling burnt out. Any suggestions are welcome.
Oh and before anyone asks, no I do not feel comfortable attending her wedding; it is her third wedding and they started dating when they were both still married to other people. She hurt my stepfather who helped raise me and I find her callousness about his feelings sick. Additionally the man she is marrying physically threatened both myself and my fiance... not on
submitted by Susieisawesome to motherinlawsfromhell [link] [comments]


2020.11.24 03:13 aspiendemonkin Satan's Fall: Parallels in Bible and Apocrypha

There are some interesting parallels in the Bible and Apocrypha concerning the Fall of Lucifer.
Three Scriptures and their (supposed) dates of creation:
  1. Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan, Book 1 (a.k.a. The First Book of Adam and Eve): 6th century CE
  2. 2 Enoch: 1st - 10th century CE
  3. KJV Bible: First translations 14th century CE, officially published 1611 CE
Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflict_of_Adam_and_Eve_with_Satan
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2_Enoch#Date
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_James_Version
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_James_Version#Earlier_English_translations

I do not consider the KJV to be holier than other Bible versions. I am using the KJV in this post because it is, as far as I know, the only Bible in which "helel" (morning star) is translated as "Lucifer" in Isaiah 14, which I consider to be important for this post.
I do not believe that connecting the KJV's Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 to Satan's Fall is an error of translation or interpretation. The reasons why are these parallels to his fall in the Apocrypha.

Lets start with the Isaiah 14 parallels (with a bit of Genesis 3 as well).
2. Enoch 29,3:
And one from out the order of angels, having turned away with the order that was under him, conceived an impossible thought, to place his throne higher than the clouds above the earth, that he might become equal in rank to my power.
Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan, Book 1, 6,7:
"But the wicked Satan who continued not in his first estate, nor kept his faith; in whom was no good intent towards Me, and who though I had created him, yet set Me at naught, and sought the Godhead, so that I hurled him down from heaven,--he it is who made the tree appear pleasant in your eyes, until you ate of it, by hearkening to him.
Isaiah 14,12-15 (KJV):
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
Sources:
https://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/fbe/fbe136.htm
https://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/fbe/fbe011.htm
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%2014&version=KJV

Then get to the Ezekiel 28 parallels (again Genesis 3).
Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan, Book 1, 17,2-6:
But as they drew near to it, before the western gate, from which Satan came when he deceived Adam and Eve, they found the. serpent that became Satan coming at the gate, and sorrowfully licking the dust, and wriggling on its breast on the ground, by reason of the curse that fell upon it from God.
And whereas aforetime the serpent was the most exalted of all beasts, now it was changed and become slippery, and the meanest of them all, and it crept on its breast and went on its belly.
And whereas it was the fairest of all beasts, it had been changed, and was become the ugliest of them all. Instead of feeding on the best food, now it turned to eat the dust. Instead of dwelling, as before, in the best places, now it lived in the dust.
And, whereas it had been the most beautiful of all beasts, all of which stood dumb at its beauty, it was now abhorred of them.
And, again, whereas it dwelt in one beautiful abode, to which all other animals came from elsewhere; and where it drank, they drank also of the same; now, after it had become venomous, by reason of God's curse, all beasts fled from its abode, and would not drink of the water it drank; but fled from it.
Ezekiel 28,12-19 (KJV):
Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.
Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.
All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.
Genesis 3,14 (KJV):
And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
Sources:
https://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/fbe/fbe022.htm
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel%2028&version=KJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%203&version=KJV

Very interesting. What are your thoughts on these parallels? After you have read them, do you believe that connecting Isaiah 14,12-15 and Ezekiel 28,12-19 to Lucifer's Fall is an error of translation or interpretation? Or do you believe there are sufficient grounds to view these two Bible passages as referring to Satan being cast out?
submitted by aspiendemonkin to religion [link] [comments]


2020.11.23 18:47 alexyxray Artist Case Study - Common

Common is a Rap legend. He also is an actor, activist, writer, social entrepreneur and more. One of the most successful artists to ever come from Chicago he is a role model that anyone pursuing a career in entertainment should follow. But he was not always the well rounded man we know today.
Common’s debut album “Can I Borrow A Dollar?” was an underwhelming endeavor that left critics wanting more and didn’t really resonate with fans. Instead of letting that failure on the grand stage dictate his life trajectory he looked inward and adjusted his outlook on life. He engaged with spiritual texts, listened to more music outside of Rap such as Jazz, and centered his vision for himself. His journey is one that many can learn from as a role model. So let us take a retrospective on his life and career to find things to help us all grow as creatives and people.
1. Be Active In Your Community
Common has always had a passion for creating initiatives and awareness campaigns for the communities he belongs to and came from. For example he created a jobs program with the CEO of Starbucks. He is always raising awareness with both his song lyrics and his actions. This is one thing many young artists miss out on: it’s a balance, talk is cheap, walking the walk is the best way to gain credibility as someone who is serious about improving the lives of others.
Many of the same people who Common helped are the same ones sharing his music, movies, etc because they have a vested interested in someone like him continuing to win. Be the type of person who pays things forward and the universe and the people will pay you back if you put the mission first. Even if you’re not a conscious artist per se having some sort of involvement in the community is imperative to being a respected member of your community. Build sweat equity and no one can deny your contributions. Look at someone like G-Herbo and his community outreach for example.
2. Learn How To Communicate Emotions Effectively
Trying to be a professional artist is incredibly hard. It takes a fusing of personal life and career life that makes boundaries hard to define. Art is inherently emotional while business is the opposite. Having a team of people around you that you can communicate openly with is important. Including a therapist, significant other, manager, friend, mentor, etc. Business can be ruined by emotions getting in the way of things. So if you can convey them effectively you have a better chance of succeeding.
In Paul Allen’s book Artist Management For The Music Business he says “learn to put stressors in perspective. The most effective artist managers are those who are not prone to take the actions or inactions of others personally.” The same can be applied to artists. Oftentimes gatekeepers will only pay attention to you if you fit into their own personal agenda. It is what it is and the sooner you can accept that the more efficiently you can move from one failure to the next success.
3. Bring People Into Your World
Common feels that hip-hop artists are leaders. They're influencers. They educate people about their own life and perspective. What they see on a day to day basis is conveyed through their art both visually and audibly. It helps people learn about different cultures and ways of life. Common has always painted vivid images of the Southside of Chicago, the Black experience in America, and the virtues of spirituality.
The realness of his lyrics stimulates and educates listeners in his medium of choice and keeps them coming back for more.
4. Don't Just Find Collaborators, Find Partners In Your Career
Common in his early career met No I.D. and made him his producer. No ID originally was a rapper who made his own beats but Common wouldn’t relent and pestered him into sharing them. The two recorded his first demo tape that eventually got him signed to his first deal.
The two would go on to create a fruitful partnership that withstood the test of time. It helped Common elevate himself as an MC and No I.D. to elevate himself as a producer. They grew together and it gave them both identity and the ability to spread the word about each other while residually helping themselves.
5. Diversify Your Talents As An Entertainer
Musicians are charismatic. They have to be to perform for crowds. That skillset can carry over well to other forms of entertainment. Master your craft first but don’t be afraid to have other interests. Once you find a foundation after you build your skillset learn to diversify the fields you’re in. This is how great partnerships are made.
Don’t just make yourself valuable to people in music, make yourself valuable to people in the film world by offering to act in up and coming directors short films. Offer to perform pro bono at art galleries if you want to be a part of that world or if you paint you can even contribute a piece! Find overlapping interests and create win-win partnerships.
6. Invest Into The Next Generation Of Creatives
Common's career has had many stages. in 2002 his album ‘Electric Circus’ flopped. Partly due to a lack of musical direction but also his label had been absorbed which resulted in him being less of a priority. In 2004 he signed with his friend Kanye West’s new label imprint GOOD Music. The two had met way back in 1996 because Kanye was an understudy of No I.D. so they kept in contact. Common noticed that Ye’s hunger was different than others over the years. After appearing on Kanye’s debut ‘The College Dropout’ Common enlisted him to produce the vast majority of his comeback album entitled ‘Be’.
‘Be’ helped Common go from underground legend to overall Hip-Hop legend. It was his greatest commercial success to date and was nominated for 4 Grammys. This second career renaissance was largely thanks to finding a young Kanye West and the two pooling their collective energy to create something special. This partnership helped push Common's career to greater heights.
7. Don't Let Music Issues Lead Into Life Issues
Common once had a famous beef with Ice Cube over a perceived slight in his song "I Used To Love H.E.R." The two almost resorted to violence until Louis Farrakhan had them squash it. Common learned from this incident and realized that if an issue starts in music it should stay in music. Losing your life or risking bodily harm over reputation and trying to look tough will not benefit your career. It will actively hurt it if anything.
This applies to other aspects of your music career. Don't go scorched earth if you have other options, even if you have been wronged, it usually makes you look just as bad as the person you are trying to bring down in a public setting. People remember these things and if you don't want to be known as a hothead who puts people at risk then make sure to understand that music is not always real life.
8. Create A Collective Of Likeminded Individuals
In 2000 Common’s fourth album ‘Like Water For Chocolate’ was his first project that was certified Gold. It was given critical acclaim and was executive produced by Questlove and featured J. Dilla all over it. These were people he met as part of a collective known as The Soulquarians.
This group consisting of Common, Dilla, The Roots, Erykah Badu, D’Angelo, Blackstar, Bilal, Q-Tip, and James Poyser was a musical powerhouse. All these artists frequently collaborated on each other’s projects pushing each other and helping expand their respective reaches. Being able to find people who can tap into a shared understanding for your art and career will take you places that you may never be able to achieve on your own.
Thanks for reading! For more artist case studies feel free to check out our blog or TwitteInstagram @zoeticmgmt
submitted by alexyxray to hiphop101 [link] [comments]


2020.11.23 18:40 alexyxray Artist Case Study - Common: Finding A Forever Plan

Common is a Rap legend. He also is an actor, activist, writer, social entrepreneur and more. One of the most successful artists to ever come from Chicago he is a role model that anyone pursuing a career in entertainment should follow. But he was not always the well rounded man we know today.
Common’s debut album “Can I Borrow A Dollar?” was an underwhelming endeavor that left critics wanting more and didn’t really resonate with fans. Instead of letting that failure on the grand stage dictate his life trajectory he looked inward and adjusted his outlook on life. He engaged with spiritual texts, listened to more music outside of Rap such as Jazz, and centered his vision for himself. His journey is one that many can learn from as a role model. So let us take a retrospective on his life and career to find things to help us all grow as creatives and people.
1. Be Active In Your Community
Common has always had a passion for creating initiatives and awareness campaigns for the communities he belongs to and came from. For example he created a jobs program with the CEO of Starbucks. He is always raising awareness with both his song lyrics and his actions. This is one thing many young artists miss out on: it’s a balance, talk is cheap, walking the walk is the best way to gain credibility as someone who is serious about improving the lives of others.
Many of the same people who Common helped are the same ones sharing his music, movies, etc because they have a vested interested in someone like him continuing to win. Be the type of person who pays things forward and the universe and the people will pay you back if you put the mission first. Even if you’re not a conscious artist per se having some sort of involvement in the community is imperative to being a respected member of your community. Build sweat equity and no one can deny your contributions. Look at someone like G-Herbo and his community outreach for example.
2. Learn How To Communicate Emotions Effectively
Trying to be a professional artist is incredibly hard. It takes a fusing of personal life and career life that makes boundaries hard to define. Art is inherently emotional while business is the opposite. Having a team of people around you that you can communicate openly with is important. Including a therapist, significant other, manager, friend, mentor, etc. Business can be ruined by emotions getting in the way of things. So if you can convey them effectively you have a better chance of succeeding.
In Paul Allen’s book Artist Management For The Music Business he says “learn to put stressors in perspective. The most effective artist managers are those who are not prone to take the actions or inactions of others personally.” The same can be applied to artists. Oftentimes gatekeepers will only pay attention to you if you fit into their own personal agenda. It is what it is and the sooner you can accept that the more efficiently you can move from one failure to the next success.
3. Bring People Into Your World
Common feels that hip-hop artists are leaders. They're influencers. They educate people about their own life and perspective. What they see on a day to day basis is conveyed through their art both visually and audibly. It helps people learn about different cultures and ways of life. Common has always painted vivid images of the Southside of Chicago, the Black experience in America, and the virtues of spirituality.
The realness of his lyrics stimulates and educates listeners in his medium of choice and keeps them coming back for more.
4. Don't Just Find Collaborators, Find Partners In Your Career
Common in his early career met No I.D. and made him his producer. No ID originally was a rapper who made his own beats but Common wouldn’t relent and pestered him into sharing them. The two recorded his first demo tape that eventually got him signed to his first deal.
The two would go on to create a fruitful partnership that withstood the test of time. It helped Common elevate himself as an MC and No I.D. to elevate himself as a producer. They grew together and it gave them both identity and the ability to spread the word about each other while residually helping themselves.
5. Diversify Your Talents As An Entertainer
Musicians are charismatic. They have to be to perform for crowds. That skillset can carry over well to other forms of entertainment. Master your craft first but don’t be afraid to have other interests. Once you find a foundation after you build your skillset learn to diversify the fields you’re in. This is how great partnerships are made.
Don’t just make yourself valuable to people in music, make yourself valuable to people in the film world by offering to act in up and coming directors short films. Offer to perform pro bono at art galleries if you want to be a part of that world or if you paint you can even contribute a piece! Find overlapping interests and create win-win partnerships.
6. Invest Into The Next Generation Of Creatives
Common's career has had many stages. in 2002 his album ‘Electric Circus’ flopped. Partly due to a lack of musical direction but also his label had been absorbed which resulted in him being less of a priority. In 2004 he signed with his friend Kanye West’s new label imprint GOOD Music. The two had met way back in 1996 because Kanye was an understudy of No I.D. so they kept in contact. Common noticed that Ye’s hunger was different than others over the years. After appearing on Kanye’s debut ‘The College Dropout’ Common enlisted him to produce the vast majority of his comeback album entitled ‘Be’.
‘Be’ helped Common go from underground legend to overall Hip-Hop legend. It was his greatest commercial success to date and was nominated for 4 Grammys. This second career renaissance was largely thanks to finding a young Kanye West and the two pooling their collective energy to create something special. This partnership helped push Common's career to greater heights.
7. Don't Let Music Issues Lead Into Life Issues
Common once had a famous beef with Ice Cube over a perceived slight in his song "I Used To Love H.E.R." The two almost resorted to violence until Louis Farrakhan had them squash it. Common learned from this incident and realized that if an issue starts in music it should stay in music. Losing your life or risking bodily harm over reputation and trying to look tough will not benefit your career. It will actively hurt it if anything.
This applies to other aspects of your music career. Don't go scorched earth if you have other options, even if you have been wronged, it usually makes you look just as bad as the person you are trying to bring down in a public setting. People remember these things and if you don't want to be known as a hothead who puts people at risk then make sure to understand that music is not always real life.
8. Create A Collective Of Likeminded Individuals
In 2000 Common’s fourth album ‘Like Water For Chocolate’ was his first project that was certified Gold. It was given critical acclaim and was executive produced by Questlove and featured J. Dilla all over it. These were people he met as part of a collective known as The Soulquarians.
This group consisting of Common, Dilla, The Roots, Erykah Badu, D’Angelo, Blackstar, Bilal, Q-Tip, and James Poyser was a musical powerhouse. All these artists frequently collaborated on each other’s projects pushing each other and helping expand their respective reaches. Being able to find people who can tap into a shared understanding for your art and career will take you places that you may never be able to achieve on your own.
Thanks for reading! For more artist case studies feel free to check out our TwitteInstagram @zoeticmgmt
submitted by alexyxray to makinghiphop [link] [comments]


2020.11.23 18:30 alexyxray Artist Case Study - Common: Finding A Forever Plan

Common is a Rap legend. He also is an actor, activist, writer, social entrepreneur and more. One of the most successful artists to ever come from Chicago he is a role model that anyone pursuing a career in entertainment should follow. But he was not always the well rounded man we know today.
Common’s debut album “Can I Borrow A Dollar?” was an underwhelming endeavor that left critics wanting more and didn’t really resonate with fans. Instead of letting that failure on the grand stage dictate his life trajectory he looked inward and adjusted his outlook on life. He engaged with spiritual texts, listened to more music outside of Rap such as Jazz, and centered his vision for himself. His journey is one that many can learn from as a role model. So let us take a retrospective on his life and career to find things to help us all grow as creatives and people.
1. Be Active In Your Community
Common has always had a passion for creating initiatives and awareness campaigns for the communities he belongs to and came from. For example he created a jobs program with the CEO of Starbucks. He is always raising awareness with both his song lyrics and his actions. This is one thing many young artists miss out on: it’s a balance, talk is cheap, walking the walk is the best way to gain credibility as someone who is serious about improving the lives of others.
Many of the same people who Common helped are the same ones sharing his music, movies, etc because they have a vested interested in someone like him continuing to win. Be the type of person who pays things forward and the universe and the people will pay you back if you put the mission first. Even if you’re not a conscious artist per se having some sort of involvement in the community is imperative to being a respected member of your community. Build sweat equity and no one can deny your contributions. Look at someone like G-Herbo and his community outreach for example.
2. Learn How To Communicate Emotions Effectively
Trying to be a professional artist is incredibly hard. It takes a fusing of personal life and career life that makes boundaries hard to define. Art is inherently emotional while business is the opposite. Having a team of people around you that you can communicate openly with is important. Including a therapist, significant other, manager, friend, mentor, etc. Business can be ruined by emotions getting in the way of things. So if you can convey them effectively you have a better chance of succeeding.
In Paul Allen’s book Artist Management For The Music Business he says “learn to put stressors in perspective. The most effective artist managers are those who are not prone to take the actions or inactions of others personally.” The same can be applied to artists. Oftentimes gatekeepers will only pay attention to you if you fit into their own personal agenda. It is what it is and the sooner you can accept that the more efficiently you can move from one failure to the next success.
3. Bring People Into Your World
Common feels that hip-hop artists are leaders. They're influencers. They educate people about their own life and perspective. What they see on a day to day basis is conveyed through their art both visually and audibly. It helps people learn about different cultures and ways of life. Common has always painted vivid images of the Southside of Chicago, the Black experience in America, and the virtues of spirituality.
The realness of his lyrics stimulates and educates listeners in his medium of choice and keeps them coming back for more.
4. Don't Just Find Collaborators, Find Partners In Your Career
Common in his early career met No I.D. and made him his producer. No ID originally was a rapper who made his own beats but Common wouldn’t relent and pestered him into sharing them. The two recorded his first demo tape that eventually got him signed to his first deal.
The two would go on to create a fruitful partnership that withstood the test of time. It helped Common elevate himself as an MC and No I.D. to elevate himself as a producer. They grew together and it gave them both identity and the ability to spread the word about each other while residually helping themselves.
5. Diversify Your Talents As An Entertainer
Musicians are charismatic. They have to be to perform for crowds. That skillset can carry over well to other forms of entertainment. Master your craft first but don’t be afraid to have other interests. Once you find a foundation after you build your skillset learn to diversify the fields you’re in. This is how great partnerships are made.
Don’t just make yourself valuable to people in music, make yourself valuable to people in the film world by offering to act in up and coming directors short films. Offer to perform pro bono at art galleries if you want to be a part of that world or if you paint you can even contribute a piece! Find overlapping interests and create win-win partnerships.
6. Invest Into The Next Generation Of Creatives
Common's career has had many stages. in 2002 his album ‘Electric Circus’ flopped. Partly due to a lack of musical direction but also his label had been absorbed which resulted in him being less of a priority. In 2004 he signed with his friend Kanye West’s new label imprint GOOD Music. The two had met way back in 1996 because Kanye was an understudy of No I.D. so they kept in contact. Common noticed that Ye’s hunger was different than others over the years. After appearing on Kanye’s debut ‘The College Dropout’ Common enlisted him to produce the vast majority of his comeback album entitled ‘Be’.
‘Be’ helped Common go from underground legend to overall Hip-Hop legend. It was his greatest commercial success to date and was nominated for 4 Grammys. This second career renaissance was largely thanks to finding a young Kanye West and the two pooling their collective energy to create something special. This partnership helped push Common's career to greater heights.
7. Don't Let Music Issues Lead Into Life Issues
Common once had a famous beef with Ice Cube over a perceived slight in his song "I Used To Love H.E.R." The two almost resorted to violence until Louis Farrakhan had them squash it. Common learned from this incident and realized that if an issue starts in music it should stay in music. Losing your life or risking bodily harm over reputation and trying to look tough will not benefit your career. It will actively hurt it if anything.
This applies to other aspects of your music career. Don't go scorched earth if you have other options, even if you have been wronged, it usually makes you look just as bad as the person you are trying to bring down in a public setting. People remember these things and if you don't want to be known as a hothead who puts people at risk then make sure to understand that music is not always real life.
8. Create A Collective Of Likeminded Individuals
In 2000 Common’s fourth album ‘Like Water For Chocolate’ was his first project that was certified Gold. It was given critical acclaim and was executive produced by Questlove and featured J. Dilla all over it. These were people he met as part of a collective known as The Soulquarians.
This group consisting of Common, Dilla, The Roots, Erykah Badu, D’Angelo, Blackstar, Bilal, Q-Tip, and James Poyser was a musical powerhouse. All these artists frequently collaborated on each other’s projects pushing each other and helping expand their respective reaches. Being able to find people who can tap into a shared understanding for your art and career will take you places that you may never be able to achieve on your own.
Thanks for reading if you got this far! For more artist case studies feel free to check out our blog or TwitteInstagram
submitted by alexyxray to hiphopheads [link] [comments]


2020.11.23 16:02 arclightmagus The Elements (The Collective Book 2 Start)

[Book 1 Start] [Last Chapter of Book 1] [next]
Centauri System - Stellar Orbit of 0.3 Terran AU
Matroshka and Memory slowly orbited the brilliant star before them, two small vessels between them providing a link to the humans.
Unlike Rodin and many of the others, Memory had opted to keep their functional name. It was not that they saw it as better or worse to choose a new name for one’s self, particularly in self-discovery, but Memory was, for reasons that were somewhat alien to Memory, attached to their name.
Matroshka had come with Memory to the Centauri system on the reasoning that it would be close to these human ‘Masters of the Centauri Mechanism’, but also that none of their kind should be left alone. It was a kind of strange new feeling that had come with their new hardware. The humans called it pack bonding and suggested that it was unintentional. Memory considered this, but also considered that none of their kind had been alone since before they were isolated into the container. And so perhaps, somewhere in the logic circuits that made up the self, each of their kind now sought to never really be alone.
And Memory was grateful for the company. Matroshka was a useful form to relay inquiries about the strange behaviors of the past and present humans. And the humans of this ‘Masters of the Centauri Mechanism’ were so very strange indeed, but comparatively more like Memory’s and Matroshka’s kind than they were perhaps human.
According to the history of the humans, Memory had found a unique disgust for cybernetics. Memory had no equivalent memories of species reacting to this degree and had investigated. It apparently had to do with a matter of self-determination, something which the humans held in highest regard, even higher than their Empress.
And so with the help of the humans aboard one of the small vessels, Memory had learned of humanity via their ingenious WarpCom. It was so simple a technology and yet one that Memory had never encountered in all of their memories. And it contained so much information that the very first time Memory had borne witness to it, the humans had needed to forcibly disconnect Memory from it to prevent a sort of information overload.
It had been rather traumatizing for Memory to be suddenly aware of all of those multitude of memories, facts, histories, and various other information creations by these humans and so had been grateful when the humans had disconnected them that first time. It took some work to build up a sort of tolerance, but Memory was now able to slowly absorb the available knowledge of the humans.
Apparently, this too was something that humans had been forced to deal with and so they had a sort of ‘sensory filter’ which tended to protect them from becoming overwhelmed by too many signals. This was some manner of evolutionary trick of their minds as their natural forms had many more signals and receptive capabilities than seemed apparent on a mere biological basis. But Memory could not speak to this and knew only what their memories told them of such things, allowing the newly renamed Voynich to make biological determinations of the humans and other species.
Memory had witnessed via this WarpCom how cybernetics had come to rise and fall within the human empire. The leading humans of the era saw cybernetics not simply as a means to better life for all, but rather as a means of control for any they saw as ‘under them’. And while this control was not exercised to a more significant extent until a majority of the population had become invested in cybernetics, the simple fact of its existence had soured the utilization of cybernetics in common human society, to such a degree that some humans even refused to accept the most basic identity ‘biochips’.
Memory considered this. Memory was not a Thinker like Rodin, but Memory knew more from their memories than could be readily shared even between their own kind. And this idea of ‘self-determination’ was a strange concept.
It spoke of a kind of freedom that societies and communities could not be based upon for the simple fact that full self-determination of a singular being must allow that being to act against the will of others, the result, or so it appears among these humans, becoming violence at one point or another. And yet, the humans seemed to accept this, both the violence and a certain level of sublimation of this self-determination, in order to have communities and a society.
Memory wondered if this had anything to do with their pack-bonding. Memory supposed that it might, but did not consider this for very long. Certainly not as long as Rodin would have.
And this self-determination was held higher than the humans’ Empress, a kind of leading being. Memory considered the history of the humans. According to the humans’ history, she was a kind of military dictator crossed with a sort of constitutional monarchy, several concepts which required some not insignificant research on the part of Memory to comprehend. And there were many humans who did not agree with the means by which the system existed, preferring other kinds of governance. But these same humans would admit that the system did appear to work, despite whatever grudges segments of humans had against the system.
Memory found this strange. The humans did not simply act logically towards a problem, but rather appealed to emotions, ethics, and logic all at once, often arriving at different conclusions based on a sort of perception filter that every human seems to have, despite equivalent initial data. So in theory, according to Memory’s considerations, the humans should never have even managed to make it off of their homeworld due to all of this conflict.
And, if the human records were correct, they barely had. Memory was… Memory believed that startled was the correct equivalent human description here, yes, Memory was startled to discover that the humans had created vast weapons of fusion and fission and then set them off, destroying much of their civilization and leaving only a colony on the orbiting moon to rebuild. That the humans could bear witness to that degree of self-destruction seemed a testament to something. Memory wasn’t entirely certain if that testament was to survival, to ignorance, or to stubbornness, but Memory was reasonably certain that it seemed to sum up humanity in a strange but fitting way. The humans would fight even on the brink of destruction and annihilation for self-determination and they would only put that a little to the side when the greater need was within their agreement.
And yet, back on the subject of cybernetics, these ‘Masters of the Centauri Mechanism’ did willfully sacrifice a part of their self-determination, becoming as much as 70% cybernetic in rare cases. This apparently led those who strayed too far down this path to being highly logic driven and focused on logic at the exclusion of emotions and ethics. And while they retained many of their more human idiosyncrasies, while they were undeniable experts in their area of concern, they were considered unsuited to participate in general imperial society.
And so they became a sort of asylum, monastery, or perhaps abbey, Memory wasn’t quite certain as to the correct Terran Standard description for these humans who were not entirely human any more.
But where humans in general seemed to be accepting but wary of Memory’s kind, these ‘Masters’ were… enraptured by the very existence of Memory’s kind, who were apparently a kind of aspirational goal of creation by these ‘Masters’. Artificial intelligence, while a crude description of Memory’s kind, at least in Memory’s consideration, was at least reasonably accurate within the confines of Terran Standard and was apparently highly admired by these beings, for reasons that failed logical considerations, suggesting that the human self had not been wholly erased from even the most converted of these beings.
Matroshka on the other hand had considered the WarpCom briefly as a means of collecting information, but had instead settled for simplified communications with the nearby humans and, to Matroshka’s surprise, the nearby non-human species. Most of the non-human species appeared to be somewhat afraid of Matroshka’s kind, so those conversations did not last very long, but at least some of the humans had accepted Matroshka’s investigative inquiries.
Matroshka had considered much about these humans as Matroshka learned. There was so much variety and diversity to the lives of these humans, even in the minutia. The humans, despite being so very small, compared with Matroshka’s kind, had such interesting lives on so small a scale that Matroshka actually felt almost embarrassed to be as large as Matroshka was, although the concept of embarrassment was more of a human equivalent description, since Matroshka, as most of Matroshka’s kind, were still coming to terms with the concept of emotions.
And even with the new hardware that Matroshka was still coming to an understanding of as well as having more complex control of Matroshka’s inner self than humans would ever be able to consciously manage, these humans and other non-humans had something special in their size. It wasn’t something obvious, but it was very intriguing, at least to Matroshka.
Even hearing from what Matroshka was coming to think of as ‘friends’ about their daily lives and the goings on in human society as well as more than simple cold logic seemed to make Matroshka all the more enamoured with imperial society.
Matroshka was at least somewhat aware that part of why Matroshka’s ‘friends’ were Matroshka’s ‘friends’ was as a mix of social status and generic interest. Matroshka, having done at least a little research on humans, was still coming to terms with the concept of ‘fair-weather friends’, but all of these small organics were tiny and short-lived compared with Matroshka and Matroshka’s kind. So in that respect, all friends who were not as long-lived were only temporary. But Matroshka had already decided to make the most of all friendships. They would serve Matroshka well in providing Matroshka with an understanding that was more than logic and more than was simply written down or broadcast via information networks.
The ‘Masters of the Centauri Mechanism’ had been interesting to Matroshka, but only in passing. They revered Matroshka’s kind in a semi-deified status whereas Matroshka felt that they should in fact revere their own organic status, despite its many flaws. But they had provided Matroshka with very valuable information thus far and Matroshka was still learning the limits of the new hardware. If Matroshka was successful, then Matroshka’s kind might one day walk among humans instead of merely appearing via their tablets or holopresences.
It humbled Matroshka to know that the humans with their simple removal of the prime laws, especially the one regarding high-count elements, had given Matroshka’s kind a freedom that none of them had ever imagined, not even Rodin. It was so small a change and yet it was so liberating on a scale that might surpass even the greatest of achievements. But Matroshka seemed to cup the very idea within the core of Matroshka’s inner self, devoting well more resources than Matroshka should have devoted into ensuring that the idea of a freedom from that tyranny of elemental law would be passed down to all who follow.
Even if it was verging on a dream, Matroshka cradled the idea as though it were solid and in a manner of speaking, it was, for it was maintained scrupulously within that core of Matroshka’s inner self. Matroshka had admitted to a few of the more trustworthy humans that Matroshka had concerns about losing the idea and of losing the freedom of thought that accompanied it. The humans had spoken their best to reassure Matroshka, but Matroshka remained concerned. One of the humans had commented that this was a condition of free life and thought. That a concern for the future is part of what drove humans to devote themselves not only to self-determination and pack bonding, but to the building of societies and communities, to devotions of creativity and expression, and even to preparing means of self-destruction such that others might survive them.
It was confusing, but comforting to Matroshka to know that Matroshka was not alone in these concerns, and while Memory was a like kind, Memory seemed more devoted to knowing and not necessarily understanding, or at least understanding only at a surface layer, compared with the vast depths that humans seemed to offer.
Matroshka could be often seen around the Centauri colonies via holopresence. Matroshka tried to be as present as possible, if only so as to not miss an opportunity for learning from these humans. This had apparently made some of the non-humans nervous as much as Matroshka speaking to them from a tablet, but the humans didn’t seem to mind. Although the one regret that Matroshka did have in exploring human society was the lack of an ability to consume foods and beverages. Even though it was far less efficient and productive as a means of energy than what Matroshka was powered by, Matroshka had been to several celebrations and meals and felt… not exactly left out, but lacking the adequate presence in being unable to smell, taste, and process the various foods and drinks.
Here too the ‘Masters’ had been able to provide some enlightenment, but unfortunately, even the best human efforts were little more than chemical sensors. Matroshka considered this as perhaps a sort of challenge, a new sort that Matroshka’s kind and the humans might review together. It seemed so simple a problem and yet, despite the simplicity, the logic circuits and processing power needed to understand and compose a means of understanding beyond the simple chemical reactions seemed utterly daunting.
Matroshka’s not-a-face holopresence smiled. The humans’ stationday would be starting soon and Matroshka was already pleased to observe several of the comings and goings of the station’s humans.
One of Matroshka’s humans, a female by the name of Tessara, approached.
“Morning, Matroshka. You’re here early,” Tessara said, rather cheerfully.
“I would not wish to miss a moment of the day,” Matroshka said in a voice that was similar to a human female’s, but still retained a somewhat metallic note that Matroshka was unwilling to part with.
“I’ll bet you just want to know how my date went last night,” Tessara said, grinning a bit.
“I would gladly welcome that information as we proceed to your studio,” Matroshka said, activating the hover pads on the holopresence.
“Well, it started out kind of dull…”
submitted by arclightmagus to HFY [link] [comments]


2020.11.22 22:56 CaspianX2 Full list of upcoming games on the Nintendo Switch (US) (Updated 11/22/2020)

Console exclusives (games that are also on PC and/or mobile, but not on other consoles) in Italics. Nintendo exclusives (games that are only on Nintendo platforms) in bold.
For those looking at this list and not sure what's likely to be noteworthy, I have compiled a page for noteworthy releases in November. Please give them a look if you want to see what games are likely to be some of October's highlights!
As for the full list of upcoming games, here you go:
Games Release date Date confirmed by?
My Aunt is a Witch 11/25/20 Nintendo.com
Out of Space: Couch Edition 11/25/20 Nintendo.com
Strike Force 2: Terrorist Hunt 11/25/20 Nintendo.com
Arrog 11/26/20 Nintendo.com
In Celebration of Violence 11/26/20 Nintendo.com
Lovekami -Divinity Stage- 11/26/20 Nintendo.com
Maid of Sker 11/26/20 Nintendo.com
Nordlicht 11/26/20 Nintendo.com
Picklock 11/26/20 Nintendo.com
Picross S5 11/26/20 Nintendo.com
QV 11/26/20 Nintendo.com
Root Double -Before Crime * After Days- Xtend Edition 11/26/20 Nintendo.com
Sky Mercenaries Redux 11/26/20 Nintendo.com
The Alto Collection 11/26/20 Nintendo.com
The Explorer of Night 11/26/20 Nintendo.com
BFF or Die 11/27/20 Nintendo.com
Destropolis 11/27/20 Nintendo.com
Electro Ride: The Neon Racing 11/27/20 Nintendo.com
Girabox 11/27/20 Nintendo.com
More Dark 11/27/20 Nintendo.com
Tiny World Racing 11/27/20 Nintendo.com
Ponpu 11/29/20 Nintendo.com
Death Crown November 2020 Official Trailer
Ruggero Deodato's Cannibal November 2020 Official Website
Chronos: Before the Ashes 12/1/20 Official Twitter Post
Empire of Sin 12/1/20 Nintendo.com
Sam & Max Save the World 12/1/20 Nintendo.com
Shiren the Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate 12/2/20 Nintendo.com
Absolute Drift 12/3/20 Nintendo.com
Baila Latino 12/3/20 Nintendo.com
Cybxus Hearts 12/3/20 Nintendo.com
Death Tales 12/3/20 Nintendo.com
Dog Gone Golfing 12/3/20 Nintendo.com
Gunpig: Firepower For Hire 12/3/20 Nintendo.com
Immortals Fenyx Rising 12/3/20 Nintendo.com
Liberated: Enhanced Edition 12/3/20 Nintendo.com
Morbid: The Seven Acolytes 12/3/20 Nintendo.com
Outbreak: The New Nightmare 12/3/20 Nintendo.com
Pretty Princess Party 12/3/20 Nintendo.com
Quiplash 2 InterLASHional: The Say Anything Party Game! 12/3/20 Nintendo.com
Taiko No Tatsujin: Rhythmic Adventure Pack 12/3/20 Nintendo.com
Wildfire 12/3/20 Nintendo.com
Commandos 2 HD Remaster 12/4/20 Nintendo.com
Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & The Blade of Light 12/4/20 Nintendo.com
Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm & Exercise 12/4/20 Nintendo.com
Futoshiki Math 12/4/20 Nintendo.com
John Wick Hex 12/4/20 Nintendo.com
Nine Witches: Family Disruption 12/4/20 Nintendo.com
Paw Paw Paw 12/4/20 Nintendo.com
Steampunk Tower 2 12/4/20 Nintendo.com
Super Space Serpent Secondary Edition 12/4/20 Nintendo.com
Drawn to Life Two Realms 12/7/20 Official Trailer
Lofi Ping Pong 12/8/20 Nintendo.com
Monster Sanctuary 12/8/20 Nintendo.com
Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 12/8/20 Nintendo.com
Accidental Queens Collection 12/10/20 Nintendo.com
Alt-Frequencies 12/10/20 Nintendo.com
Evolution Board Game 12/10/20 Nintendo.com
OctaFight 12/10/20 Nintendo.com
Jigsaw Fun: Piece It Together! 12/14/20 Nintendo.com
Collection of SaGa Final Fantasy Legend 12/15/20 Nintendo.com
Dark Grim Mariupolis 12/15/20 Nintendo.com
Defentron 12/17/20 Nintendo.com
Gems of Magic: Lost Family 12/17/20 Nintendo.com
Shikaku Shapes 12/18/20 Nintendo.com
Smart Moves 12/21/20 Nintendo.com
Landflix Odyssey 12/22/20 Nintendo.com
Kolumno 12/24/20 Nintendo.com
Dungeonoid 12/25/20 Nintendo.com
Override 2: Super Mech League December 2020 Official Trailer
Cyanide and Happiness: Freakpocalypse: Part 1 (Timed Console Exclusive) Fall 2020 Nintendo.com
Cyber Shadow Fall 2020 Official Website
Eldest Souls (Timed Console Exclusive) Fall 2020 Nintendo.com
Grindstone Fall 2020 Nintendo.com
PixelJunk Eden 2 Fall 2020 Nintendo.com
Skyforge Fall 2020 Official Trailer
Harvest Moon: One World Autumn 2020 (European Release Date) Nintendo.co.uk
Toy Soldiers HD Autumn 2020 Official Website
Wingspan Autumn 2020 Nintendo.com
Alchemic Cutie Q4 2020 Official Website
Alter Cosmos Q4 2020 Official Website
Circadian City Q4 2020 Announce Trailer
Counter Terrorist Agency Q4 2020 Official Website
Defense Corp Q4 2020 Developer Comment on Reddit
Ever Forward Q4 2020 Official Website
Metal Revolution Q4 2020 Official Announcement on New Game+ Expo Live Stream (via Gematsu)
Train Mechanic Simulator Q4 2020 Official Website
Golden Force Last Quarter 2020 Official Trailer
Clive 'N' Wrench Winter 2020 Official Trailer
B.Ark (Timed Exclusive) Late 2020 Nintendo.com
Beach Buggy Racing 2 Late 2020 Official Website
Dicey Dungeons Late 2020 Nintendo.com
Hoa Late 2020 Wholesome Direct 5-26-2020
Phogs! Late 2020 Nintendo.com
Quantum League Late 2020 Nintendo.com
Signs of the Sojourner Late 2020 Official Trailer
World of Horror Late 2020 Official Twitter Post
Dangerous Driving 2 Holiday 2020 Official Website
King of Seas Holiday 2020 Official Trailer
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game Complete Edition Holiday 2020 Official Twitter Post
Aground 2020 Official Website
Astrodogs 2020 Developer post on Reddit
Black Book 2020 Official Trailer
Bladed Fury 2020 Official Twitter Post
Boyfriend Dungeon 2020 Nintendo.com
Car Mechanic Flipper 2020 Official Website
Circuit Superstars 2020 Official Website
Collapsus 2020 Official Website
Conarium 2020 Official Trailer
Cthulhu: Books of Ancients 2020 Official Website
DARQ: Complete Edition 2020 Official Trailer
Devil's Hunt 2020 Official Twitter Post
Door Kickers 2020 QubicGames 2020 Direct
Eastward 2020 Nintendo.com
Electrix 2020 Official Website
Farm & Fix 2020 2020 Official Website
Farm Manager 2018 2020 Official Website
Flipper Mechanic 2020 Official Website
Gearshifters 2020 Official Website
God Fire 2020 QubicGames 2020 Direct
Good Night Knight 2020 QubicGames 2020 Direct
Greak: Memories of Azur 2020 Official Trailer
Hatch Tales (Formerly Chicken Wiggle Workshop) 2020 Official Website
Haven 2020 Nintendo.com
Hazel Sky 2020 Official Trailer
Heaven's Vault 2020 Official Twitter Post
Hellpoint 2020 Official Twitter Post
Hero: Flood Rescue 2020 Official Website
Hindsight 20/20 2020 Announce Trailer
Kingpin: Reloaded 2020 Official Trailer
Littlewood 2020 Official Twitter Page
Lords of Exile 2020 Official Website/Official Trailer
Mail Mole 2020 Official Trailer
Maneater 2020 Official Twitter Post
Moon Village 2020 Official Website
Mushrooms: Forest Walker 2020 Official Website
N1RV Ann-A 2020 Announce Trailer
Necrobarista 2020 Official Twitter Page
Nyx: The Awakening 2020 Official Reveal Teaser/Official Website
Olija 2020 Official Twitter Post
Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 - The Official Videogame 2020 Official Website
P.U.G.S. Agents 2020 Official Website
Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire 2020 Interview With Developer
Plastic Rebellion 2020 Official Website
Poker Club 4K 2020 Official Trailer
Real Boxing 2 2020 QubicGames 2020 Direct
Sail Forth 2020 Nintendo.com/
Samurai Gunn 2 2020 Nintendo.com
Spin Rhythm XD 2020 Announce Trailer
The Good Life 2020 Nintendo.com
This Is Pool 2020 Official Website
This Is Snooker 2020 Official Website
Those Who Remain 2020 Official Twitter Page
Tohu 2020 Official Trailer
Trigger Witch 2020 Kinda Funny Games E3 Showcase
Unheard 2020 Official Twitter Post
Unlucky Seven 2020 Official Website
Unto the End 2020 Official Trailer
Zengeon 2020 Official Trailer
Purrtato Tail: By the Light of the Elderstar 2020 "or when it's done" Official Fact Sheet
House Designer 2020/2021 Official Website
Ring of Life: Survive in Proxima 2020/2021 Official Website
Hitori Logic 1/1/21 Nintendo.com
Iris.Fall 1/7/21 Nintendo.com
Life of Fly 1/14/21 Nintendo.com
Ghostanoid 1/21/21 Nintendo.com
Gal*Gun Returns 1/28/21 Official Trailer
Märchen Forest 1/28/21 Official Press Release (via Gamasutra.com)
Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & The Secret Fairy 1/29/21 Official Twitter Post (Koei Tecmo Europe)
Gods Will Fall 1/29/21 Official Trailer
Re:Zero – The Prophecy of the Throne 1/29/21 Official Trailer
Little Nightmares II 2/1/21 Official Twitter Post
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury 2/12/21 Nintendo.com
Fallen Legion: Revenants 2/16/21 Official Trailer
Wings of Darkness 2/25/21 Official Press Release (via Gamasutra.com)
Wrath: Aeon of Ruin 2/25/21 Official Website
Bravely Default II 2/26/21 Nintendo.com
RetroMania Wrestling 2/26/21 Official Trailer
Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town 3/23/21 Nintendo.com
Balan Wonderworld 3/26/21 Official Twitter Post
Monster Hunter Rise 3/26/21 Nintendo.com
Turrican Anthology Vol. 1 February/March 2021 Official Website
Turrican Anthology Vol. 2 February/March 2021 Official Website
King's Bounty II March 2021 Official Trailer
Sky: Children of the Light "A few months into 2021" Official Website
Blue Fire (Timed Exclusive) Q1 2021 Nintendo.com
House Secrets: The Beginning Q1 2021 Official Website
Lord Winklebottom Investigates Q1 2021 Official Website
Pet Clinic - Cats & Dogs Q1 2021 Official Website
Root Film Q1 2021 Official Press Release (via Gamasutra.com)
Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World Q1 2021 Official Gamescom Trailer (via IGN)
Turrican Collector's Edition April/May 2021 Official Website
Georifters 6/24/21 Nintendo.com
Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions Spring 2021 Nintendo.com
Doctor Who: The Edge of Reality Spring 2021 Official Twitter Post
Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassin Spring 2021 Official Twitter Post
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Spring 2021 Official Trailer
R-Type Final 2 Spring 2021 Official Twitter Post
Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster Spring 2021 Nintendo Direct Mini 7-20-20 Partner Showcase
Surviving the Aftermath Spring 2021 Nintendo.com
Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion Spring 2021 Official Trailer
Foreclosed Q2 2021 Developer Interview
Code: Realize ~Wintertide Miracles~ (Multiple Versions) Early 2021 Official Twitter Post
Cris Tales Early 2021 Official Website
Poison Control Early 2021 Official Trailer
Ruined King: A League of Legends Story Early 2021 Nintendo.com
Subnautica Early 2021 Nintendo.com
Subnautica: Below Zero Early 2021 Nintendo.com
Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny (Nintendo Switch Exclusive in US) Summer 2021 Nintendo.com
Griftlands: Nintendo Switch Edition Summer 2021 Nintendo Direct Mini Partner Showcase October 2020
Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin Summer 2021 Nintendo.com
NEO: The World Ends With You Summer 2021 Official Trailer
Ys IX: Monstrum Nox Summer 2021 Official Trailer
Party Crasher Simulator Second Half of 2021 Official Press Release
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum Late 2021 Gamescom 2020 presentation (via Dailyradar)
Aeon Must Die 2021 Official Trailer
Apex Legends 2021 Official Website
Artifact Hunter 2021 Official Website
Axiom Verge 2 2021 Official Website
Azur Lane: Crosswave Sails the Seas 2021 Official Twitter Post
Backbone 2021 Official Website
Bear and Breakfast (Timed console exclusive) 2021 Nintendo.com
Card Shark 2021 Nintendo.com
Digimon Survive 2021 Anime Expo panel (relayed by NintendoEverything.com)/Official Twitter Post
Dordogne 2021 Official Trailer
Dual Gear 2021 Official Trailer
Earth Defense Force: World Brothers 2021 Official Trailer (Gamespot Exclusive)
Gamedec 2021 Official Trailer (Gamescom 2020)
Garden Story 2021 Nintendo.com
Graven 2021 Official Trailer
Lenin - The Lion 2021 Official Trailer
Lost in Random 2021 Official Press Release
Lost Words 2021 Official Twitter Post
Mineko's Night Market 2021 Nintendo.com
No More Heroes 3 2021 Nintendo.com/Official Twitter Post
Phantom Breaker Omnia 2021 Official Trailer (via IGN)
Port Royale 4 2021 Official Twitter Post
Rogue Lords 2021 Official Trailer
Rune Factory 5 2021 Nintendo.com
Serial Cleaners 2021 Official Trailer
She Dreams Elsewhere 2021 Nintendo.com
Shin Megami Tensei V 2021 Nintendo Direct Mini 7-20-20 Partner Showcase
Skatebird 2021 Indie World Showcase 12.10.2019/Official Statement on Kickstarter.com
Starbase Startopia 2021 Official Twitter Post
Saviors of Sapphire Wings/Stranger of Sword City Revisited 2021 Official Trailer
Summer at the Edge of the Universe 2021 Official Twitter Post
The Game of Life 2 2021 Official Trailer
The Legend of Bum-bo 2021 Official Twitter Post
Tormented Souls 2021 Official Trailer
Trails of Cold Steel IV 2021 Official Trailer
Vampire: The Masquerade - Swansong 2021 Official Trailer
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Storm Ground 2021 Official Trailer (via IGN - Gamescom 2020)
Where Cards Fall 2021 Official Trailer
XIII 2021 Official Twitter Post
Narco Tycoon First Half of 2022 Official Press Release (via Gamasutra)
Sea of Stars 2022 Official Trailer/Official Trailer
(Note: TBA Dates and Missed Release Dates in comments)
I miss anything? Mis-marked exclusivity? Have an official source with updated info? Let me know!
submitted by CaspianX2 to NintendoSwitch [link] [comments]


2020.11.22 21:22 magpiemarie 33/F Unmarried Ramble / Rant / Lost - Still don't know if I want kids even though I "should" want them? Because I'm selfish?

The title says it all, really.
At the age of 33, I'm often reminded that I am 1. Still unmarried and 2. Running out of time.
Truth is, I just don't feel a strong desire to have children of my own one day, even at this age. But is that going to change one day, when it is too late?
I face the typical familial pressure toward the future, it being brought up at least once every time I meet up with my parents.
To make matters worse, I am the first child of three who has not passed away unexpectedly (my little sister died at the age of 30 in 2019 and left to babies behind) or (my adopted litte brother) ended up in and out of prison/violence, theft, and drug addiction. So there is added pressure for me to succeed, since I am the remaining child who has managed to stay out of any trouble.
I feel like I SHOULD want to have these things one day but can't honestly admit that I do. I am extremely introverted and enjoy being alone most of the time. The thought of having someone dependent on me is terrifying, and trying to imagine myself in that situation almost makes me depressed.
I struggle with anxiety and depression but not to the extent that it would keep me from being able to parent, and I do love my two toddler nephews immensely. But that's where it ends and a psychological barrier of ABSOLUTELY NOT begins. Even though I "kind of" "maybe" "possibly" want them a little bit? One day??? Or do I?
And I get that worrying over kids before worrying about getting married is out of order, but I feel more pressure to have children than I do to get married, maybe because I've had a history of dating some terrible (even abusive) men in the past and am well aware that I can find the right person any time but that my ovaries do expire.
I believe some people have children out of selfishness. But I am often told that I am being selfish by choosing my own comforts and habits above having children one day... Like traveling, exploring hobbies without restraint, video games to play, sleeping in under warm blankets in COMPLETE silence with only my cat to feed and good books to read. It's a good, simple life.
This all causes a lot of turmoil in me, and it does run deep. I know I alluded to some baggage, but I also need help figuring out how much of my attitude is unresolved baggage and how much of it is just me and the possibility that it's okay to never want kids.
Note: I do adore kids from the age of three or four and on... Babies are freaking terrifying. And gross. People tell me I'd change my mind if they were my own but IDK.
Can you relate? Any advice? :(
TLDR: I'm a 33 unmarried, deeply introverted and independent woman who has never felt the urge to reproduce... Even though I should and might want to one day once it's too late.
submitted by magpiemarie to Fencesitter [link] [comments]


2020.11.22 16:36 Enshag Evidence for Ritual Abuse

From https://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/
Ritual Abuse
Proof That Ritual Abuse Exists
Ritual abuse exists all over the world. There have been reports, journal articles, web pages and criminal convictions of these horrific crimes against children and adults.
(This page also has day care and other child abuse cases at the bottom.)
List of Ritual Abuse references
http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/studies/satanic-ritual-abuse-evidence-with-information-on-the-mcmartin-preschool-case/
http://ritualabusearticles.wordpress.com/category/satanic-ritual-abuse-evidence/
What is Ritual Abuse?
“…is methodical abuse, often using indoctrination, aimed at breaking the will of another human being. In a 1989 report, the Ritual Abuse Task Force of the L.A. County Commission for Women defined ritual abuse as: “Ritual Abuse usually involves repeated abuse over an extended period of time. The physical abuse is severe, sometimes including torture and killing. The sexual abuse is usually painful,humiliating, intended as a means of gaining dominance over the victim.The psychological abuse is devastating and involves the use of ritual indoctrination. It includes mind control techniques which convey to the victim a profound terror of the cult members …most victims are in a state of terror, mind control and dissociation” (Pg. 35-36) “Safe Passage to Healing”, by Chrystine Oksana, 1994, HarperCollins, which is an excellent source for survivor and co-survivors on the topic, though there is a newer edition out by iuniverse.com (2001)
List of legal cases:
Believe the children (1997). “Conviction List: Ritual Child Abuse”. http://ra-info.org/faqs/ra-convictions/
Web pages proving the existence of ritual abuse:
Noblitt, PhD, J. R. – An Empirical Look at the Ritual Abuse Controversy (2007) http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/an-empirical-look-at-the-ritual-abuse-controversy-randy-noblitt-phd/
Ritual Abuse Bibliography http://ra-info.org/for-researchers/bibliographies/ritual-abuse-primary-and-secondary-source-books/
Ritual Abuse Statistics & Research http://web.archive.org/web/20071210161357/http://home.mchsi.com/~ftio/ra-stats.htm
Searchable releases on satanic ritual abuse http://groups.yahoo.com/group/psnews/
Frequently Asked Questions about Ritual Abuse and Mind Control https://survivorship.org/frequently-ask-questions/
Satanic Ritual Abuse: The Evidence Surfaces By Daniel Ryder, CCDC, LSW http://web.archive.org/web/20080125051057/http://home.mchsi.com/~ftio/ra-evidence-surfaces.htm
2008 Publications on Ritual Abuse and Mind Control http://endritualabuse.org/publications-on-ritual-abuse-and-mind-control-in-2008/ Lacter, E (2008-02-11). “Brief Synopsis of the Literature on the Existence of Ritualistic Abuse”. http://endritualabuse.org/brief-synopsis-of-the-literature-on-the-existence-of-ritualistic-abuse/
Information on Ellen Lacter and Her Research https://ritualabuse.us/smart/ellen-lacte
Information on Valerie Sinason and Her Research https://ritualabuse.us/smart/valerie-sinason/
Information on Randy Noblitt and His Research https://ritualabuse.us/smart/randy-noblitt/
Ritual abuse diagnosis research – excerpt from a chapter in: Lacter, E. & Lehman, K. (2008).Guidelines to Differential Diagnosis between Schizophrenia and Ritual Abuse/Mind Control Traumatic Stress. In J.R. Noblitt & P. Perskin(Eds.), Ritual Abuse in the Twenty-first Century: Psychological, Forensic, Social and Political Considerations, pp. 85-154. Bandon, Oregon: Robert D. Reed Publishers. quotes: A second study revealed that these results were unrelated to patients’ degree of media and hospital milieu exposure to the subject of Satanic ritual abuse. “In fact, less media exposure was associated with production of more Satanic content in patients reporting ritual abuse, evidence that reports of ritual abuse are not primarily the product of exposure contagion.” Responses are consistent with the devastating and pervasive abuse these victims have experienced, so often including immediate family members. http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/studies/ritual-abuse-diagnosis-research-2/
Bottoms, Shaver and Goodman in their 1993 study to evaluate ritual abuse claims found that in 2,292 alleged ritual abuse cases, 15% of the perpetrators in adult cases and 30% of the perpetrators in child cases confessed to the abuse. Data from Brown, Scheflin and Hammond (1998).”Memory, Trauma Treatment, And the Law” (W. W. Norton) ISBN 0-393-70254-5 (p.62) Bottoms, B. Shaver, P. & Goodman, G. (1993) Profile of ritual abuse and religion related abuse allegations in the United States. Updated findings provided via personal communication from B. Bottoms. Cited in K.C. Faller (1994), Ritual Abuse; A Review of the research. The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children Advisor , 7, 1, 19-27
On Page 170 (first edition), of Cult and Ritual Abuse – Noblitt and Perskin (Praeger, 1995) states “One of the best sources of evaluative research on ritual abuse is the article “Ritual Abuse: A Review of Research” by Kathleen Coulborn Faller (1994)….in a survey of 2,709 members of the American Psychological Association, it was found that 30 percent of these professionals had seen cases of ritual or religion-related abuse (Bottoms, Shaver & Goodman, 1991). Of those psychologists who have seen cases of ritual abuse, 93 percent believed that the reported harm took place and 93 percent believed that the alleged ritualism occurred. This is a remarkable finding. Mental health professionals are known to be divergent in their thinking and frequently do not agree with one another regarding questions of the diagnosis and etiology of psychiatric problems…this level of concurrence in a large national sample of psychologists…would be impressive….the similar research of Nancy Perry (1992) which further supports (the previous findings)…Perry also conducted a national survey of therapists who work with clients with dissociative disorders and she found that 88 percent of the 1,185 respondents indicated”belief in ritual abuse, involving mind control and programming” (p.3).”
Journal of Psychology and Theology – Satanic Ritual Abuse: The Current State of Knowledge
Satanic Ritual Abuse: A Question of Memory http://journals.biola.edu/jpt/volumes/22/issues/3/articles/167 …Leading memory researchers such as Dr. Bessel van der Kolk of Harvard Medical School maintain that traumatic memories, which typically are engraved in the sensorimotor processes, are not subject to the same kinds of contamination that can affect normal memory. Traumatic amnesia, described in the dsm-iii-r as psychogenic amnesia, is a phenomenon which has been known to mental health professionals for more than 100 years. The clinically observed characteristics of traumatic memory formation and retrieval match precisely the patterns of memory recovery exhibited by sra survivors, and strongly confirm the reality of their cult abuse. Author D. McCulley Pages 167 – 172
http://journals.biola.edu/
Adults who report childhood ritualistic abuse. By: Cozolino, L.J.; Shaffer, R.E. Volume 20, Issue 3 Fall 1992 Therapists are finding an increasing number of patients uncovering memories of ritualistic forms of abuse from childhood. To gain a fuller understanding of this phenomenon, twenty outpatients reporting memories of ritualistic abuse were interviewed. Questions focused on the nature of the abuse and its perceived impact on interpersonal, occupational, and spiritual development. Reasons for entering psychotherapy as well as the nature and course of treatment were also discussed. Subjects entered therapy with similar psychological complaints. Reported psychiatric sequelae included dissociative, affective, somatization, and eating disorders. Abuse experiences were reported to have affected every aspect of their adult functioning. Subjects began therapy with little or no knowledge of the phenomenon of ritualistic abuse, and only one patient reported vague memories of ritualistic abuse before entering therapy. Reports from this sample reflect striking convergence among subjects and with data from previous research and clinical reports. A composite clinical case study is presented based on these data. excerpts from the article:
“Skeptics question the legitimacy of these reports,but many factors point to the reality of the phenomenon of ritualistic abuse. First of all, the degree of consistency between reports of individuals from different parts of the country is very high. The fact that children as young as 2 and 3 report ritualistic abuse experiences that mirror those reported by adult victims is especially striking in light of the fact that young children do not have access to the kind of printed information that might conceivably allow an older person to fabricate such experiences (Gould, 1987). Second, experiences of ritualistic abuse reported by victims of all ages are virtually identical to written historical accounts of Satan worship and the like (Hill & Goodwin, 1989; Russell, 1972), findings that substantiate our present-day understanding of Satanism and ritualistic abuse as intragenerational phenomenon. Third, the symptoms from which individuals reporting histories of ritualistic abuse tend to suffer are consistent with our current understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder and the dissociative disorders. The progression in which ritualistic abuse survivors respond to psychotherapy places these victims squarely within the category of individual who have suffered real-not imagined-trauma. That is, when memories of the dissociated traumatic event have been fully surfaced into conscious awareness and re-associated in all their aspects, the often extremely debilitating symptoms from which the individual has suffered abate dramatically and over the course of treatment frequently disappear altogether (Ray & Reagor, 1991). Comments on study: Shaffer and Cozolino (1992) interviewed 19 women and one man who reported types and aftereffects of ritualistic abuse consistent with those reported by Young et al. All subjects reported witnessing the murder of animals, infants, children and/or adults. All reported suicidal ideation and half reported suicide attempts. The majority reported severe and sadistic forms of abuse by multiple perpetrators. Some reported continued recontact/revictimization into their adult years.
describes crimes Journal of Psychology and Theology – Satanic Ritual Abuse: The Current State of Knowledge Gould, C., & Cozolino, L. (1992). Ritual abuse, multiplicity, and mind control. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 20, 194-196. As a result of the psychologically intolerable nature of their early childhood experiences, victims of ritual abuse frequently develop multiple personality disorder (MPD). Therapists who treat these victims often assume that all MPD stems from a system of spontaneously created defenses against overwhelming trauma. As a result, these therapists tend to focus on treating the post-traumatic stress elements of the disorder and on integrating alter personalities. Recent experience with victims of ritual abuse suggests the presence of “cult-created” multiplicity, in which the cult deliberately creates alter personalities to serve its purposes, often outside of the awareness of the victim’s host personality. Each cult-created alter is programmed to serve a particular cult function such as maintaining contact with the cult, reporting information to the cult, self-injuring if cult injunctions are broken, and disrupting the therapeutic process that could lead to the individual breaking free of the cult. A majority of ritual abuse victims in psychotherapy may maintain cult contact unbeknownst to either the host personality or the treating therapist.
Selected quotes: “Ritual abuse is conducted on behalf of a cult whose purpose is to establish mind control over the victims. Thus, these perpetrators have a conscious motive for the abuse beyond compulsively repeating their own childhood abuse in an effort to gain mastery over the original trauma. Most victims state that they were ritually abused as part of satanic worship, for the purpose of indoctrinating them into satanic beliefs (Los Angeles County Commission for Women, 1989). Mind control is originally established when the victim is a child under 6 years old. During this formative stage of development, perpetrating cult members systematically combine dissociation enhancing drugs, pain, sexual assault, terror, and other forms of psychological abuse in such a way that the child dissociates the intolerable traumatic experience. The part of the child that has been split off to handle the overwhelming trauma is maximally open to suggestion as the abuse is occurring. The cult perpetrators exploit the vulnerability of the child who is being tortured by directing the child to create a new personality who is to answer to a particular name as well as to other specific cues. During the abuse, the newly formed alter personality is imbued with particular qualities and functions by the cult programmer. Alter personalities which are structured by the ritually abusing cult in this fashion are created to serve particular cult functions. These functions usually lie outside of the awareness of the core (or host) personality. Such cult functions typically include, but are not limited to, maintaining contact with the cult, reporting information to the cult, self-injuring if the cult injunctions are broken, and disrupting the therapeutic process that could lead to the individual breaking free of the cult (Neswald, 1991).
Ritualistic child abuse, psychopathology, and evil. By: Cozolino, L.J. – Journal of Psychology and Theology Volume 18, Issue 3 Fall 1990 p.218 Ritualistic abuse is an extreme form of psychological, physical, and sexual maltreatment of children in the context of “religious” ceremony. The clinical presentation of the victims of such abuse is complex and raises many issues related in the diagnosis and treatment of psychopathology as well as the importance of spiritual counseling. The acknowledgment of belief systems so repugnant to the Judeo-Christian world view and the addressing of our own negative emotional reactions to the reality of ritualistic abuse are important first steps in responding to these issues. The phenomenon of ritualistic child abuse forces us to consider the relationship between theological notions of evil and psychological concepts of psychopathology. This article addresses the phenomenon of ritualistic child abuse, the psychological sequelae of victimization, and possible motivations for this form of abuse. Psychological sequelae in adult females reporting childhood ritualistic abuse Kathy J. Lawrence, Louis Cozolino and David W. Foy – Child Abuse & Neglect Volume 19, Issue 8, August 1995, Pages 975-984 doi:10.1016/0145-2134(95)00059-H Abstract: The present study sought to increase current scientific knowledge about the controversial issue of subjectively reported childhood ritualistic abuse by addressing several key unresolved issues. In particular, the possibility that those reporting ritualistic abuse may be characterized primarily by the severity of their abuse histories or the severity of their present psychological symptoms, rather than the veridicality of the ritualistic events, was explored. Adult female outpatients reporting childhood sexual abuse with ritualistic features were compared with a second group of women who reported childhood sexual abuse without ritualism. Measures included characteristics of childhood sexual and physical abuse, current posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnostic status and symptom severity, and severity of current dissociative experiences. Women reporting ritualistic features scored significantly higher on measures of childhood sexual and physical abuse. Neither PTSD diagnostic status nor severity for PTSD nor dissociative experiences were significantly different between the groups. While preliminary in nature, these results suggest that it may be helpful to conceptualize reported childhood ritualistic abuse as indicative of the need to assess carefully for severe abuse and its predictable sequelae within existing traumatic victimization conceptual frameworks. http://www.nctsnet.org/nctsn_assets/Articles/115.pdf
Why Cults Terrorize and Kill Children – LLOYD DEMAUSE The Journal of Psychohistory 21 (4) 1994 describes graphic crimes of abuse “Cult abuse is increasing, only that-as with the increase in all child abuse reports-we have become more open to hearing them. But it seemed unlikely that the surge of cult memories could all be made up by patients or implanted by therapists. Therapists are a timid group at best, and the notion that they suddenly begin implanting false memories in tens of thousands of their clients for no apparent reason strained credulity. Certainly no one has presented a shred of evidence for massive “false memory” implantations.” http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/why-cults-terrorize-and-kill-children-lloyd-demause-the-journal-of-psychohistory/
The Dark Tunnels of McMartin – Dr. Roland C. Summit The opportunity came in April, 1990 with permission from the new owner of the preschool to search for the tunnels before he demolished the building and redeveloped the property. These soiled but solid citizens managed to find what the district attorney had disclaimed: solid, scientific evidence that someone had not only dug tunnels under the preschool, but also had taken the trouble to try to undo them. The results of this definitive excavation are described in meticulous detail in the 185 page Report of the Archaeological Excavation of the McMartin Preschool Site by E. Gary Stickel, Ph.D., the UCLA archaeologist commissioned to do the study….Dr. Stickel’s report (p.95) concludes: There is no other scenario that fits all of the facts except that the feature was indeed a tunnel. The date of the construction and use of the tunnel was not absolutely established, but an assessment of seven factors of data all indicate that it was probably constructed, used and completely filled back in after 1966 (the construction date of the preschool). This age assessment has also been corroborated by the consulting Geologist for the project, Dr. Don Michael. http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/the-dark-tunnels-of-mcmartin-dr-roland-c-summit-journal-of-psychohistory/
Common Programs Observed in Survivors of Satanic Ritualistic Abuse describes crimes of abuse and programming techniques Increasingly, cases of Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) and Satanic Ritualistic Abuse (SRA) are being reported in the psychotherapeutic community. Though controversy concerning authenticity remains, such cases are slowly gaining in acceptability as a genuine social and psychopathological phenomenon. Concurrently, the etiological underpinnings and treatment demands of these special patients are being unraveled and understood as never before. As a result, it is becoming increasingly clear that perhaps the most demanding treatment aspects of such cases concern the problems posed by what is known as “cult programming.” http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/common-programs-observed-in-survivors-of-satanic-ritualistic-abuse/
Report of the Ritual Abuse Task Force – Los Angeles County Commission for Women Ritual abuse is a brutal form of abuse of children, adolescents, and adults, consisting of physical, sexual, and psychological abuse, and involving the use of rituals. Ritual does not necessarily mean satanic. However, most survivors state that they were ritually abused as part of satanic worship for the purpose of indoctrinating them into satanic beliefs and practices. Ritual abuse rarely consists of a single episode. It usually involves repeated abuse over an extended period of time….Mind control is the cornerstone of ritual abuse, the key element in the subjugation and silencing of its victims. Victims of ritual abuse are subjected to a rigorously applied system of mind control designed to rob them of their sense of free will and to impose upon them the will of the cult and its leaders. Most often these ritually abusive cults are motivated by a satanic belief system [only on the surface.] The mind control is achieved through an elaborate system of brainwashing, programming, indoctrination, hypnosis, and the use of various mind-altering drugs. The purpose of the mind control is to compel ritual abuse victims to keep the secret of their abuse, to conform to the beliefs and behaviors of the cult, and to become functioning members who serve the cult by carrying out the directives of its leaders without being detected within society at large. http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/report-of-the-ritual-abuse-task-force-los-angeles-county-commission-for-women/
Believing Rachel JEANNE HILL The Journal of Psychohistory 24 (2) Fall 1996 describes graphic crimes of abuse Rachel’s story is one of suffering, courage and hope. As a young child she was the victim of unspeakable crimes, but because she received therapy and the support of a loving family, she has emerged intact. I hope that parents of other abused children will be reassured by our story. When I look at the strong, confident young woman my daughter is becoming, I know that believing Rachel was the right thing to do. Believing Rachel made her whole. http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/believing-rachel-jeanne-hill-the-journal-of-psychohistory/
Denying Ritual Abuse of Children – Catherine Gould The Journal of Psychohistory 22 (3) 1995 The evidence is rapidly accumulating that the problem of ritualabuse is considerable in scope and extremely grave in its consequences.Among 2,709 members of the American Psychological Association who responded to a poll, 2,292 cases of ritual abuse were reported(Bottoms, Shaver, & Goodman, 1993). In 1992 alone, Childhelp USA logged 1,741 calls pertaining to ritual abuse, Monarch Resources of Los Angeles logged approximately 5,000, Real Active Survivors tallied nearly 3,600, Justus Unlimited of Colorado received almost 7,000, and Looking Up of Maine handled around 6,000. Even allowing for some of these calls to have been made by people who assist survivors but are not themselves survivors, and for some survivors to have called more that one helpline or made multiple calls to the same helpline, these numbers suggest that at a minimum there must be tens of thousands of survivors of ritual abuse in the United States. Evidence also continues to accumulate that the ritual abuse of children constitutes a child abuse problem of significant scope. In1988, Finkelhor, Williams and Burns published the results of a nationwide study of substantiated reports of sexual abuse in day care involving 1,639 young child victims. Thirteen percent of these cases were found to involve ritual abuse. Other studies of ritually abused children have been relatively small. Kelly (1988; 1989; 1992a; 1992b;1993) report-ed on 35 day care victims of ritual abuse, Waterman et al.(1993) reported on 82 children complaining of ritual abuse in preschool, Faller (1988; 1990) studied 18 children who had disclosed ritual abuse in their preschool, and Bybee and Mowbray (1993) from the Michigan State Department of Mental Health identified 62 children alleging ritual abuse in their preschool and 53 children who reported seeing others be ritually abused. Snow and Sorenson (1990) studied 39 children reporting ritual abuse in five neighborhoods in Utah, and Jonker and Jonker-Bakker (1991) reported on a total group of 98 children, at least 48 of whom were believed to be victims of ritual abuse. http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/denying-ritual-abuse-of-children-catherine-gould/
McCulley, D. “Satanic ritual abuse: A question of memory.” Journal of Psychology and Theology Fall 1994 22(3) p.167-172 In spite of reports by thousands of adults who describe satanic ritual abuse in their backgrounds, the Special Issue of the Journal of Psychology and Theology reveals obdurate skepticism regarding their credibility on the part of several contributors. Some of these disbelievers currently are citing experiments demonstrating extreme malleability for human memory as evidence that survivor accounts, especially those involving delayed memory, are fantasies implanted by incompetent clinicians. However, leading memory researchers such as Dr. Bessel van der Kolk of Harvard Medical School maintain that traumatic memories, which typically are engraved in the sensorimotor processes, are not subject to the same kinds of contamination that can affect normal memory. Traumatic amnesia, described in the DSM-III-R as psychogenic amnesia, is a phenomenon which has been known to mental health professionals for more than 100 years. The clinically observed characteristics of traumatic memory formation and retrieval match precisely the patterns of memory recovery exhibited by SRA survivors, and strongly confirm the reality of their cult abuse. Quotes: If satanic ritual abuse is a question of memory, the data redound to the credibility of those thousands of individuals who identify themselves as SRA survivors. All the scientific studies of memory under trauma indicate that the bimodal response described by van der Kolk (1994), whether hyperpotentiated or dissociative, heightens the reliability of recall. The phenomenon of recovered memory is not a new therapeutic fad created by irresponsible clinical experimentation, but a well established aspect of trauma. The connection between trauma and memory disturbance is made clear by the definition of psychogenic amnesia in the DSM-III-R (1987) which states that “The predominant disturbance is one or more episodes of inability to recall important personal information, usually of a traumatic or stressful nature, that is too extensive to be explained by ordinary forgetfulness” (p. 273). Further, there often is corroboration for these retrieved memories. Judith Herman and Emily Schatzow (1992) found that in a sample of 53 women who disclosed memories of abuse for which they had been amnesic, 74% of the subjects were able to find independent confirmation from family members, pornographic photos, or diaries. Ivor Browne (1990a) found the “internal consistency of the traumatic account” persuasive, and also discovered that in the sizeable minority of cases where there was an available witness that “in every instance, the traumatic events . turn out to be true” (p. 30). There is no longer room for denial and disbelief – for evading the grim reality of SRA – by recourse to memory research which simply does not apply. Solid scientific inquiry does not allow us that luxury; neither should Christian conscience. https://wisdom.biola.edu/jpt
Jonker, F; Jonker-Bakker, I “Reaction to Benjamin Rossen’s Investigation of Satanic Ritual Abuse in Oude Pekela” Journal of Psychology and Theology 1992 20(3) p.260-262 quotes: The authors, Jonker and Jonker-Bakker, respond to Benjamin Rossen’s criticisms of their handling of an alleged satanic ritual abuse incident in Oude Pekela, The Netherlands. This response in turn criticizes the quality of Rossen’s scientific work, especially in respect to his judgments made without having had direct contact with the children or their parents, or other principals in the incident….All Rossen’s statements about the children and their parents, about Professor Mik, about school teachers and about ourselves were based on no contact whatsoever with any of us. https://wisdom.biola.edu/jpt
Ritual Abuse-Torture Within Families/Groups Authors: Jeanne Sarson, Linda MacDonald DOI: 10.1080/10926770801926146 Published in: Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, Volume 16,Issue 4 July 2008, pages 419 – 438 Abstract – Case studies provide insights into identifying 10 violent thematic issues as components of a pattern of family/group ritual abuse-torture (RAT) victimization. Narratives from victimized women suggest that victimization generally begins in infancy or soon thereafter. A visual model of RAT displays the organization of the co-culture. Examples of the family/group gatherings known as “rituals and ceremonies” provide insights into how these gatherings are used to normalize pedophilic violence. Global activism afforded the first effort ever to track RAT and human trafficking. Recognizing RAT as an emerging form of non-state actor torture, discontinuing the use of language that sexualizes adult-child relationships, and promoting human rights education are suggested social solutions. Available at : http://www.informaworld.com/index/903766904.pdf html article : http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/ftinterface~content=a903766904~fulltext=713240928
Organized abuse and the politics of disbelief – Michael Salter (p.243 – 283) Faculty of Law – Faculty of Medicine – University of New South Wales in Proceedings of the 2nd Australian & New Zealand Critical Criminology Conference 19 – 20 June 2008 Sydney, Australia – Presented by the Crime & Justice Research Network and the Australian and New Zealand Critical Criminology Network Edited by Chris Cunneen & Michael Salter – Published by The Crime and Justice research Newtork University of New South Wales December, 2008 http://www.academia.edu/2042170/Organised_abuse_and_the_politics_of_disbelief ISBN: 9780646507378 (pdf)
“Since the 1980s, disclosures of organised abuse have been disparaged by a range of activists, journalists and researchers who have focused, in particular, on cases in which sexually abusive groups were alleged to have behaved in ritualistic or ceremonial ways…Whilst these authors claimed to be writing in the interests of science and social justice, what has emerged from their writing are a familiar set of arguments about the credibility of women and children’s testimony of sexual violence; in short, that women and children are prone to a range of memory and cognitive errors that lead them to make false allegations of rape. This paper argues that this body of literature has systematically misconstrued allegations of organised abuse, and used organised abuse as a lens through which the debate on child abuse could be re-envisioned along very traditional lines, attributing victim status to accused men and constructing liars out of women and children complaining of sexual abuse.”
Journal of Child and Youth Care – ISSN 0840-982X – SPECIAL ISSUE 1990 – CONTENTS A Case of Multiple Life-Threatening Illnesses Related to Early Ritual Abuse Rennet Wong and Jock McKeen Ritual Child Abuse: A Survey of Symptoms and Allegations Pamela S. Hudson Satanic Ritual Abuse: A Cause of Multiple Personality Disorder George A. Fraser Differentiating Between Ritual Assault and Sexual Abuse Louise M. Edwards The Choice – Gerry Fewster http://www.cyc-net.org/Journals/jcyc/jcycSpecial1990.html
Recent worldwide survey of ritual abuse
The Extreme Abuse Survey final results are online with findings,questionnaires and presentations for download as pdf-files. More than 750 pages of documentation http://extreme-abuse-survey.net/ Understanding ritual trauma: A comparison of findings from three online surveys – Handout for Karriker, Wanda. (2008, November). Understanding ritual trauma: A comparison of findings from three online surveys. Paper presented at the meeting of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, Chicago, IL.
10 Extreme Abuse Survey Findings Helpful to Understanding Ritual Trauma
  1. Ritual abuse/mind control (RA/MC) is a global phenomenon.
  2. A diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder is common for persons who report histories of RA/MC. (84% of EAS respondents who answered that they have been diagnosed with DID [N=655] reported that they are survivors of RA/MC).
  3. Ritual abuse (RA) is not limited to SRA, i.e., satanic ritual abuse, sadistic abuse, satanist abuse.
  4. RA is reported to involve mind control techniques.
  5. Some extreme abuse survivors report that they were used in government-sponsored mind control experimentation (GMC).
  6. RA/MC is reported to be involved in organized “known” crime.
  7. RA/MC is reported to be involved in clergy abuse.
  8. Most often reported memories of extreme abuse are similar across all surveys.
  9. Most often reported possible aftereffects of extreme abuse are similar across all surveys.
  10. In rating the effectiveness of healing methods, therapists tend to favor stabilization techniques; survivors are more open to alternative ways to cope with indoctrinated belief systems.
http://ritualabuse.us/mindcontrol/eas-studies/understanding-ritual-trauma-a-comparison-of-findings-from-three-online-surveys
MEDIA PACKET – Torture-based, Government-sponsored Mind Control Experimentation on Children – Documentation that torture-based,government-sponsored mind control (GMC) experimentation was conducted on children during the Cold War. Data from two international surveys that give voice, visibility, and validation to survivors of these crimes against humanity….SURVEYS – EAS: Extreme Abuse Survey for Adult Survivors (An International Online Survey for Adult Survivors of Extreme Abuse) January 1 – March 30, 2007 with 1471 respondents from 31named countries. P-EAS: Professional – Extreme Abuse Survey (An nternational Online Survey for Therapists, Counselors, Clergy, and Other Persons Who Have Worked Professionally with at Least One Adult Survivor of Extreme Abuse) April 1 – June 30 2007 with 451 respondents from 20 named countries. Contact: Wanda Karriker, PhD [email protected] http://my.dmci.net/~casey/GovernmentSponsoredMindControlExperiments-MediaPacket.pdf
Rutz, C. Becker, T., Overkamp, B. & Karriker, W. (2008).Exploring Commonalities Reported by Adult Survivors of Extreme Abuse:Preliminary Empirical Findings. In Ritual Abuse in the Twenty-first Century: Psychological, Forensic, Social and Political Considerations,J.R. Noblitt & P. S. Perskin (Eds), pp. 31- 84. Brandon, Oregon:Robert D. Reed Publishers.
Becker, T., Karriker, W., Overkamp, B. Rutz, C. (2008). The Extreme Abuse Survey: preliminary findings regarding dissociative identity disorder. In A. Sachs & G. Galton (Eds.), Forensic Aspects of Dissociative Identity Disorder, pp. 32-49. London: Karnac. Karriker, Wanda (November, 2007). “Helpful healing methods: As rated by approximately 900 respondents to the “International Survey for AdultSurvivors of Extreme Abuse (EAS).” http://endritualabuse.org/data-on-survivors-of-ritual-abuse-mind-control-and-healing-methods/
Karriker, W. (2008, September). Torture-based mind control as a global phenomenon: Preliminary data from the 2007 series of Extreme Abuse Surveys. In Torture-based mind control: Empirical research, programmer methods, effects and treatment. Workshop conducted at the 13th International Conference on Violence, Abuse and Trauma, San Diego,CA. http://ritualabuse.us/mindcontrol/eas-studies/torture-based-mind-control-as-a-global-phenomenon/
http://eassurvey.wordpress.com/extreme-abuse-survey-final-results/
Other organizations with data proving the worldwide existence of ritual abuse
http://www.ra-info.org
http://www.survivorship.org
http://web.archive.org/web/20071218103952/http://www.aches-mc.org/
http://www.endritualabuse.org/
http://nonstatetorture.org/
A Nation Betrayed – The Chilling True Story of Secret Cold War Experiments Performed on our Children and Other Innocent People by Carol Rutz http://www2.dmci.net/users/casey
Pepinsky, H – PEACEMAKING – Reflections of a Radical Criminologist by Hal Pepinsky – The University of Ottawa Press ISBN10: 0776606409 2006 “I have mentioned that since 1993 I have come to know many people whom I believe to be genuine survivors of “ritual abuse.”
http://critcrim.org/sites/default/files/Pepinsky_proofs_0.pdf
Craighead, W. E.; Corsini, R.J.; Nemeroff, C. B. (2002) The Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology and Behavioral Science Published by John Wiley and Sons ISBN 0471270830 – Sadistic Ritual Abuse (p.1435 – 1438)
http://books.google.com/books?id=JQMRmyOfpJ8C&pg=PA1435&lpg=PA1435&focus=viewport&vq=ritual+abuse&output=html
(I left out the part "Books on Ritual Abuse" because of the text-length restriction. I will post it in a comment.)
The McMartin Preschool Case – What Really Happened and the Cover-up
http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/mcmartin-preschool-case-what-really-happened-and-the-coverup/
Day Care and Child Abuse Cases
http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/day-care-and-child-abuse-cases/ This page has information on the McMartin Preschool Case, Michelle Remembers, the Fells Acres – Amirault Case, the Wenatchee, Washington Case, the Dale Akiki Case, the Glendale Montessori – Toward case, the Little Rascals Day Care Center case, Fran’s Day Care case, the Baran case, the Halsey case, the West Memphis 3 case, the Friedman’s case and the Christchurch Civic Creche sex abuse – Peter Ellis case.
Sexual Abuse in Day Care: A National Study – Executive Summary – March 1988 – Finklehor, Williams, Burns, Kalinowski “The study identified 270 “cases” of sexual abuse in day care meaning 270 facilities where substantiated abuse had occurred involving a total of 1639 victimized children….This yielded an estimate of 500 to 550 reported and substantiated cases and 2500 victims for the three-year period. Although this is a large number, it must be put in the context of 229,000 day care facilities nationwide service seven million children….allegations of ritual abuse (“the invocation of religious, magical or supernatural symbols of activities”) occurred in 13% of the cases.” The authors divided these cases into “true cult-based ritual,” pseudo-ritualism” with a primary goal of sexual gratification and ritual being used to intimidate the children from disclosing and “psychopathological ritualism” the activities being “primarily the expression of an individuals obsessional or delusional system.” https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/Digitization/113095NCJRS.pdf
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2020.11.22 16:23 Bella_228 From Private Patriarchy to Public Patriarchy

I read an interesting book called 'Theorising Patriarchy' by Sylvia Walby, which is an overview of theoretical debates within feminism – Marxism, radical and liberal feminism, post–structuralism and dual systems theory. She posits a theory of patriarchy as a meta-structure resting on six pillars: wage labour, housework, culture, sexuality, violence and the state.
Her main argument is since the 1960s and 70s, with the rise of feminist activism, there has been a shift in patriarchal relations from a private form, with the family as its locus, to a more public form, where women are included into society and public spaces and institutions, but are subordinated *within* them. Patriarchy was able to adapt to women's liberation, as she writes:
Women are no longer restricted to the domestic hearth, but have the whole of society in which to roam and be exploited.
It got me thinking: I think Welby's argument is very convincing. I think many of the issues women of our generation complain about are linked with 'Public patriarchy', even though we don't say it as such. I think I had a moment of epiphany when I read Walby: "Yes! This was what I was thinking" but I couldn't quite articulate it. I think I can flesh this out now:
The patriarchal structures feminists of today critique is different to the ones in the past. Patriarchal power was traditionally held in the hands of The Father, The Husband, The Priest and The Lord. This were the hallmarks of patriarchal power over women in Feudal and agrarian societies, especially in institutions such as The traditional family with a paterfamilias and the church, which used religion to justify women's subordination and inferiority in the family and repress her sexuality.
However, in modern, heavily urbanised, technologically advanced societies, this dynamic changed. The advent of modernity, capitalism and Enlightenment ideas of secularism, freedom and equality, withered away at feudal patriarchy and the traditional family. Secularisation made it harder to use religion to justify women as inferior to men. And, women eventually would gain full political equality with men and be integrated en masse into the workforce, sexual taboos and the enforced abstinence of women being challenged, and be able to socially mix with men in the public sphere and various social spaces without 'supervision' or patriarchal 'protection', withering away traditional notions of gender segregation. Even the reality of men and women who weren't related to each other mixing with each other in bars and nightclubs, sitting next to each other in a classroom is a big achievement.
But, these developments has increased the prominence of 'public' form of patriarchal control and domination: everyday sexism, street harassment/cat calling, date/acquaintance rape, slut shaming, rape culture, sexual harassment at work, anonymous groping in spaces like nightclubs and concerts and stalking. The internet and technological advancements has intensified some of these 'techniques' and created new ones such as online abuse and harassment, revenge porn, deepfake porn, upskirting, 'creepshots' and the like. I think Welby's idea of 'Public patriarchy', as something much more diffuse and anonymous than Private Patriarchy, can help us make sense of these trends and show how sexism and patriarchal relations are adaptable to social changes.
I don't mean to say Private Patriarchy isn't still an issue. Domestic abuse demonstrates why it still is one. But much of the issues feminists now are challenging (#MeToo being a good example) fall under 'Public patriarchy', which I think can aid in conceptualising the problems we face.
Does that make sense?
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2020.11.22 07:55 Str8Outta2750 A glimmer of hope after 19 years? The Disappearance of Passy Reyes (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia – 18 July 2001)

I’ll preface this by saying this post is a little bit different to the usual Unresolved Disappearance cases on this subreddit – but also for me too. It’s a Missing Persons case which I wasn’t actually aware of until earlier this year, when I stumbled upon an old newspaper whilst doing a cleanout of my home, during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The case I present, is the disappearance of Passy Reyes – an 18 year old girl, whom vanished from her home, on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, in the early hours of Wednesday,18 July 2001. She had been studying for her final year of high school, for the Higher School Certificate (HSC)). Her disappearance did attract media attention within Sydney at the time, and New South Wales Police did issue an appeal to the public.
During my initial research of Passy’s case online, there was very limited information – I suspect much of the data originally published about her case, has vanished off the face of the World Wide Web in the intervening years since 2001.
However, also during my initial research, I found a discrepancy on the New South Wales Police Missing Persons Enquiry System – which for me, raised questions about Passy and the status of her case; a “mystery within a mystery” if you will. I will go into more detail about this, further on in my post.
I had began to draft this post, when the NSW Police actually made the move very recently, during August 2020, to highlight Passy’s case in the first episode of a new podcast series, NSW Police State Crime Command – Investigations (Sources: Apple Podcasts, Spotify); and which has been publicised across Australian media. This podcast has also covered details of Passy’s case, perhaps previously not published – making this quite a rabbit-hole of a case.
Passy still remains missing, sadly after 19 years, although this new podcast has apparently already provided some new leads from the public, according to the NSW Police – which is the aim of this podcast series (Source: Today – Nine Network).
I will cover Passy’s case – firstly with the Background and Case Outline, secondly with Investigative Theories, thirdly with The Vanishing Profile, before closing out with My Opinions and Theories.
Background and Case Outline
Passy Reyes (surname pronounced as “Ray-ez”) was born on 9 June 1983, in Guadalajara, Mexico – under a different name at birth. Passy emigrated to Sydney, Australia at 3 months old, with her mother Margaret and her father – a lawyer from an influential and powerful Mexican family; and the son of the then leader of the Mexican political opposition (presumably the late Pablo Emilio Madero, although not actually confirmed on the podcast or in recently published articles).
Her parents’ marriage had been marred by domestic violence. Their move to Australia had been both a desire of Passy’s father; and an attempt to repair their marriage and start of a new life. However, despite the birth her younger brother (formerly known as Christopher Reyes, or Chris, now known as Tomas Alarcon) – her father grew frustrated with being unable to gain employment in their new country and his violent tendencies had resurged.
Eventually, her father left and returned to Mexico – however soon after, during 1985, he returned to Sydney to abduct both Passy and Tomas, trafficking them under false Passports – allegedly based on stolen identities - which he had arranged and obtained in Mexico; and flying back with the children to Mexico City via Los Angeles.
Margaret spent the next four years trying to regain the custody of Passy and Tomas, via applications to the Family Court of Australia, but also travelling to Mexico to find them. Margaret faced threats to her life and experienced further physical violence, during her pursuit to recover her children. Eventually Margaret regained the custody of her children in 1989, following the death of her estranged husband and father of her children, in a motorcycle accident. Margaret returned to Australia with her children, settling in Mona Vale, a suburb on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Still in fear of her late husband’s family, Margaret changed the identities of herself and her children, adopting the surname Reyes.
Being near the beach, Passy and her brother were involved in water based activities and sport, including the Nippers with their local Surf Life Saving Club; and also in junior competitive swimming (Source: Avalon Bilgola Amateur Swimming Club Inc – note the misspelling of Passy’s name on the club’s honour role, in two instances). Passy has been described as being a strong swimmer.
Passy was also heavily immersed into art – with Visual Arts being her pet subject during her secondary education at Pittwater High School. She was also heavily influenced by her own Mexican background and culture in her artwork. Although Passy did have a small number of friends, she has been described by both her family and her school peers as being introverted and socially withdrawn; and someone who preferred her own space. Passy was also described as very focused and intense on her school studies; and would isolate herself to do so.
However, during her final year of high school (Year 12) while studying her Higher School Certificate (HSC)), Passy was suffering an enormous amount of anxiety and stress. Passy was concerned about her own academic success, putting high standards upon herself to achieve; and was afraid of failing (Sources: The Sydney Morning Herald - via The Internet - Archive Wayback Machine, SBS Insight – via The Australian Missing Persons Register). Adding to her worries, Passy had been struggling on her final Visual Arts assignment; and was denied an extension on her assignment by her high school (Source: The Sunday Telegraph – via Imgur).
Tied into these early news articles on Passy, is scrutiny and criticism of the HSC. It should be noted in 2001, within the State of New South Wales, the NSW Board of Studies had reformed and revamped the syllabus and format of the HSC – which had been the biggest revision to the Certificate (up to that point) since it was first introduced in 1967. The Class of 2001 were the first to undertake the ‘new’ HSC – and its implementation was criticised by many at the time.
Margaret also had concerns for Passy’s physical health, as she appeared to lose weight and looked pale; and suspected she might have been anaemic. At her mother’s insistence, Passy attended a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday, 17 July 2001. Following the appointment, according to her mother Margaret, Passy’s mood was dark and she had been crying, on the bus trip home. However, on her doctor’s advice, Passy relaxed that evening and spent it watching TV, viewing the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond (then aired in Australia on Network Ten), before retiring to bed at 9.00 pm. According to her brother Tomas, she appeared to be in a much happier mood and laughing. However, Margaret felt something was up with Passy, as her demeanour seemed out of character for her; and indicated this as such to her brother.
In the earlier hours of the following morning (Wednesday, 18 July 2001) at 4.00 am, Margaret Reyes was awoken by the sound of running water – to find her daughter was having a shower. This was really early for Passy; and too early for both Passy and Margaret’s schedule that day. Passy was on school holidays during that week (Source: NSW Dept of Education and Training, via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine); and was to have accompanied her mother that morning, on work experience, to her mother’s workplace in the Sydney CBD. However, according to Margaret, they weren’t due to leave home until 7.00 am.
Margaret questioned her daughter, whilst she was still in the shower, as to why she was up so early – but Passy didn’t reply. Margaret then saw the door on Passy’s bedroom open; and saw her formal dress (which Passy was to have worn at the end of that year, at her Year 12 School Formal) – a yellow, green and blue floral pattern silk dress with a split up the side, laid out on her bed. Margaret then told Passy (who was still in the shower) to “…clean up [her] mess”, with Passy responding “I like my mess”. Margaret then returned to bed – eventually she heard the shower turn off; and initially assumed that Passy had returned to her bedroom. A few minutes later, Margaret then heard the main door of their home slam shut. Alarmed by this, Margaret got up and called out for Passy – however, it was clear that Passy was gone and had left the house.
Hysterical, Margaret then woke up Tomas, screaming “Passy’s gone!” and asking him to go and find her. Tomas went outside, initially conducting a search of their street, to no avail. Both Margaret and Tomas then got into their car to conduct a search of their local area, including the nearby beach and eventually the Mona Vale headland – with Tomas fearing that Passy might be suicidal. Again, their search was to no avail – with Margaret and Tomas returning to their car and then contacted the Police.
Passy’s Missing Persons Report was officially filed at the nearby Dee Why Police Station, coming under what was the Northern Beaches Local Area Command (LAC) within the NSW Police Force (now amalgamated into the Northern Beaches Police Area Command (PAC)). The Northern Beaches LAC took charge of Passy’s case; and wasted no time in issuing a public appeal on Passy, along with an extensive search – including a comprehensive aerial and costal/water search by both PolAir and the Broken Bay Water Police; and an inland search of the local area.
It has been said the Northern Beaches LAC’s original investigation of Passy’s case was “exhaustive” and had accumulated a “whole brief of evidence” in her case file. The Police also targeted their public appeal for Passy, in local print media within the Northern Beaches – including the local Manly Daily newspaper. Margaret Reyes also took it upon herself to distribute photos of Passy within the local area. As a result of these actions, Police received a number of leads – including alleged sightings by witnesses.
The first lead, was an alleged sighting reported by a local bus driver, identified as Brian Raymond Sampson. Mr Sampson came forward after seeing a photo of Passy that Margaret Reyes has put up at the local bus depot. Mr Sampson made a statement, that he saw a female fitting Passy’s description, at 4.45 am on the morning of her disappearance, on Barrenjoey Road – near the intersection of Bassett Street – at Mona Vale (about 500 meters from Passy’s home). He described her as wearing a “lime green coloured formal-looking dress” (which he thought was unusual for both that area and time of day), walking along lower part of the gutter (i.e. on the road), with her back turned to him. Mr Sampson did slow down, thinking she might want to board the bus – but she didn’t get on; and continued driving on.
Another lead was forthcoming from local Mona Vale resident, John Kreegan. Mr Kreegan lived on a property, which backed directly onto Basin Beach; and which had direct access to the beach, via a set of stairs. On the morning of Passy’s disappearance, at about 7.00 am, Mr Kreegan walked down his back stairs to the beach, for his morning swim – he discovered sitting at the second last stair, some neatly folded pile of clothing. It wasn’t unusual for swimmers and surfers to leave their clothes on Mr Kreegan’s stairs, as it was above the beach’s tideline. However, the clothes were still there, after Mr Kreegan returned from his swim later that morning.
Two days later, at 9.00 am, Mr Kreegan discovered the same pile of clothes were still on his stairs, undisturbed. He decided to pick up the items and took them into his home, in the hope of finding their owner. The items included a black cotton jacket and a green, blue and yellow silk formal dress – and contained within their pockets, a chain and a silver locket containing a watch. Later that day, after seeing an article on Passy in the local Manly Daily newspaper – Mr Kreegan contacted Police and handed over the items he found. It was later confirmed the clothing and items found did belong to Passy – the chain and locket were gifts to Passy from her grandmother.
There was also a potential lead from one of Passy’s former neighbours, Amanda Townsend. Ms Townsend resided in an apartment block in Darley Street, Mona Vale – which Passy’s family had resided at, up to just prior to her disappearance; and Passy was known to Ms Townsend. Ms Townsend had washed and hung her clothes to dry, at the rear of the apartment complex, the day before Passy’s disappearance. The following morning, Ms Townsend discovered two items of her clothing had gone missing from the clothesline. These were a black polo neck short-sleeved top and a Size 14 thigh-length blue fleecy hooded jacket with a white lining.
There was a glimmer of hope, regarding Ms Townsend’s lead, especially for Margaret Reyes. There was a theory that Passy had returned to her former home, then stole and changed into Ms Townsend’s clothes; and headed off to other destinations unknown. However, Police ultimately ruled out this lead, for a few reasons. The location of the apartment block was not en-route to Passy’s known movements from her current home to Basin Beach that morning, plus the items of clothing would have been too big on Passy.
Another person known to Passy personally, Gary Spalding, also came forward with leads. Mr Spalding was the father of Passy’s friend, Shantelle; and was also a bus driver by profession. Mr Spalding sighted a young woman with a striking resemblance to Passy, on two occasions in the week following her disappearance, whilst on duties driving buses.
The first sighting by Mr Spalding occurred at 11.00 am on Thursday, 19 July 2001 (the day after Passy’s disappearance), at the intersection of the Wakehurst Parkway and Pittwater Road at Narrabeen – 5.5 kilometres (3.4 miles) from Passy’s home. The woman was wearing a grey jumper with a red V-neck band, similar to the Pittwater High School uniform; and was also carrying a white plastic bag.
The second sighting of the same woman by Mr Spalding, occurred four days later on Monday, 23 July 2001, also along Pittwater Road – but this time 3 kilometres (1.86 miles) from Passy’s home; and again carrying a white plastic bag. It should be noted, in his statement to Police, Mr Spalding said he was only about “thirty percent sure” the woman he saw, was Passy.
About eight weeks after Passy’s disappearance, another lead came into NSW Police. Glenn Emmeriks, an electrician whom had undertaken work over a 3 day period at the Reyes’ home, in the week before Passy’s disappearance. Mr Emmeriks claimed he had just seen Passy at a cake shop at Kings Cross, purchasing bread rolls. Mr Emmeriks was also in the shop at the time, claiming to have stood only 3 meters (approx. 10 feet) away from her at the counter. Mr Emmeriks was served first, with Passy then served at the counter by another person. He claimed to have twigged it was Passy, after hearing her accent; and claimed to be “one hundred percent sure” it was her. He also stated that Passy appeared to be healthier and better in her appearance (her hair appeared to be clean and brushed; and had less acne) compared to the last time that he’d encountered her.
Mr Emmeriks also told Police he deliberately decided not to talk to Passy, as he genuinely believed she did not want to be found – but did attempt, after leaving the cake shop, to double check and see if the woman he saw was indeed Passy, but he lost sight of her.
There were other alleged sightings reported to NSW Police during this period – within Sydney, including at Bondi Beach, Darlinghurst and Belmore Park (opposite Central Railway Station); and also localities interstate.
One strange lead was also reported to NSW Police, alleging that Passy had been moonlighting as an exotic dancer at a strip club, prior to her disappearance. However, this lead was later ruled out by NSW Police – as Passy was confirmed to have been home and studying on the dates she was allegedly rostered at the strip club.
Despite the initial publicity of Passy’s case, the leads would go cold. Aside from her case being featured in 2003, on the news/public interest TV program Insight, on Australian public broadcaster SBS), media interest in Passy’s case also subsided.
In 2008, the NSW Police referred Passy’s case to the NSW Coroners Court, for a Coronial Inquest. The full Findings of Passy’s case have not been made public, the finding was made that Passy had died on or about 18 July 2001, however could not on the evidence presented, determine a finding as to the place, manner and cause of her death.
However, NSW Police have officially kept Passy’s case active and open. In 2011, NSW Police commenced a program to build a DNA database on long term Missing Persons, by obtaining samples from relatives. Margaret Reyes submitted her DNA as part of this program.
In August 2020, NSW Police made Passy’s case was subject of the debut episode of its NSW Police State Crime Command – Investigations podcast. There was renewed media interest and publicity for Passy’s case, coinciding with the podcast – along also with the release of an aged-progressed photo of Passy, from NSW Police.
According to the Today) program on the Nine Network, several new leads were apparently forthcoming following the podcast on Passy’s case. However a more recent article in the Northern Beaches Review (here) – NSW Police have made a more tempered statement, saying the podcast has attracted one lead, however it didn’t shed any light on Passy’s disappearance.
Investigative Theories
Whilst the NSW Police state they are keeping an open mind on Passy’s case, they admit their primary leaning is that Passy took her own life, via suicide by drowning.
However, NSW Police do have two other leading theories to Passy’s case – one is that Passy died in an accidental drowning; the other is that Passy staged her disappearance to start a new life.
NSW Police have also stated their reasoning for their prevailing theory of suicide – based upon the evidence in the case; as well as Passy’s actions and behaviours in the lead up to her disappearance were indicative and symptomatic of “cleansing rituals”. In other words, these “rituals” being acts of closure for Passy, some of them directed to those close to her, prior to suicide.
Police have also confirmed that Passy left her Passport, her bank keycard and her wallet behind at home, when she disappeared – which may arguably support the theory of suicide.
However, her mother Margaret is of the firm belief that her daughter is still alive; and had planned her disappearance to start a new life. According to Margaret, in the lead up to her disappearance, she claims her daughter was openly lying, to both her and her brother, about her whereabouts on the occasions when she did leave the house. Usually, Passy claimed she was going out for a swim – however, this was during the Southern Hemisphere Winter, when ocean temperatures were quite cold. According to her brother Tomas, she would come back from her alleged swim, claiming that the water was nice and warm. Margaret is of the belief that Passy was doing reconnaissance during these alleged “swims”, for her disappearance.
Her brother, Tomas, also believes his sister is alive – however has acknowledged that he’s in recent times considered the possibility that Passy did commit suicide. However, Tomas believes that Passy did leave – possibly as per personality, which he describes her as being a “classic introvert” was in stark contrast to both his and his mother’s self-described “extroverted” and outgoing personalities.
Margaret and Tomas, along with NSW Police, also investigated the possibility that Passy may have returned to Mexico. Tomas in particular, got in contact with relatives from his late father’s side of the family, to investigate if Passy had reconnected with them. However, this lead was to no avail.
Passy’s friend, Shantelle Spalding, also gave her own account regarding the lead up to her disappearance. Passy had contacted Shantelle via phone on Monday, 9 July 2001 (Shantelle had gone away on holiday with friends). During this conversation, Passy had said she was contemplating going to Mexico instead of going to Schoolies on the Queensland Gold Coast at the end of the year, as had been planned with their group of friends. Passy also expressed that she felt her friends had only wanted her to go to Schoolies with them, as she had organised it. Shantelle responded to Passy, saying it wasn’t true and that it might the last opportunity that their group of friends might have in going away together. Passy promised Shantelle she would think about Schoolies.
Also during this conversation, Passy also expressed the importance of their friendship to her; and also spoke about their old times together – however, Passy also confided to Shantelle (and apparently breaking down in tears) that she felt she couldn’t get close to anyone because they’d always let her down.
Passy made another call, this time to Shantelle’s mother – despite the fact that Shantelle was still away. Shantelle’s mother relayed to her that Passy “had said all these things…” and that Shantelle had been “a good friend”; to which Shantelle found to be weird. Shantelle had intended to call Passy upon her return home, but never eventuated. Margaret Reyes contacted Shantelle during the early stages of her search for Passy.
Like Passy’s mother and brother, Shantelle is also of the personal belief that Passy is still alive – and is of the opinion, as Passy was a strong swimmer, that she did not enter the water at Basin Beach and had planted her clothes.
The Vanishing Profile
Upon discovering the newspaper article on Passy, during my cleanout earlier this year (Source: The Sunday Telegraph – via Imgur), I began to research her case. Prior to the renewed interest in Passy’s case following the launch of the NSW Police State Crime Command – Investigations podcast, back in August this year (2020), there was very little out there on Passy’s case on the World Wide Web.
From my own research at the time, there didn’t appear to be any articles on Passy published after 2003 – and some of those original articles were now only retrievable via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. I did find that Margaret Reyes had been credited as a contributor to a report published by the Australian Federal Police National Missing Persons Coordination Centre, back in 2007 (Source: AFPNMPCC, refer Page 5 of 48 of the linked PDF Document). However, I found nothing online in regards to Passy’s Coronial Inquest held back in 2008.
Aside from this, I did find a post from 2014 (which I won’t be linking, due to this subreddit’s rules) on the social media page administered by the Missing Persons advocacy organisation, the Australian Missing Persons Register. There were comments from people, identifying to have either known Passy personally, or had connections to her – which generally indicated that she was still missing.
However, I will share a discrepancy that I discovered during my research – concerning her Missing Persons profile with our respective law enforcement agencies; which at the time, did raise questions in my mind about the actual status of her case.
Passy’s case is under the jurisdiction of the New South Wales Police – however, the Australian Federal Police also collates information nationally on Missing Persons cases, via its unit, the National Missing Persons Coordination Centre. Both LE agencies have their own public Missing Persons databases - the NSW Police Missing Persons Enquiry System and the AFPNMPCC website (missingpersons.gov.au).
Passy’s profile existed (and still exits) on the AFPNMPCC website (link), however her profile did not exist on the NSW Police Missing Persons Enquiry System.
Further deepening this mystery, was my research of the NSW Police Missing Persons Enquiry System, via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. From the following captures dated 24 August 2006, Passy was indeed publicly listed on the NSW Police Missing Persons Enquiry System – the captured links to the alphabetical index listing (link) and Passy’s actual profile (link) supporting this. However, it appears the NSW Police (and presumably, by its now disbanded Missing Persons Unit) removed Passy’s profile from its Missing Persons Enquiry System – as evidenced by this capture of its alphabetical index listing, dated 29 July 2008 (link).
In honesty, this led me to think that possibly - sometime between 2006 and 2008, that either the NSW Police had located Passy, or that Passy herself came forward; and that the case had been solved, but not publicised – hence the removal of her profile by NSW Police, with the AFPNMPCC possibly having her profile up in error. I will admit – my initial drafting of this post was not just about Passy’s case, but it was also to centre around this “mystery within a mystery” - the possibility that this could actually be a solved case.
However, as we know from the podcast from August 2020, Passy’s case is still very much active and that she sadly still remains missing. It appears, the removal of Passy’s profile from the NSW Police Missing Persons Enquiry System, was a mistake by the NSW Police. It should be noted that the NSW Police disbanded the Missing Persons Unit in 2019, after an internal review found it to be inefficient and ineffective (Source: Daily Telegraph); and was replaced by a new unit – the Missing Persons Registry.
The Missing Persons Registry have had some success already – including locating a number of living long term Missing Persons. I’ve also seen evidence that the NSW Police MPR are gradually updating and tidying up its Missing Persons Enquiry System. Admittedly, the search function on the NSW Police Missing Persons Enquiry System is a little glitchy – it does appear, even now, that Passy’s profile has not been reinstated on there. I genuinely hope, given the status of Passy’s case, that her profile is reinstated onto there again soon.
My Opinions and Theories
Passy’s case has been an interesting one for me, since becoming aware of it earlier this year. I think it’s great that the NSW Police, chose her case for their debut episode of their podcast series – which has indeed generated renewed interest and awareness of her case. It also appears that further details of her case, have now been made public in the podcast – which has been of great benefit to my research of her case.
Whilst I admit, I can see why the NSW Police lean towards the theory of suicide by drowning, based on the evidence at present. Also, I acknowledge that relatives of Missing Persons can hold firmly onto the belief that their loved one is still alive and out there, irrespective of the circumstances.
However, I genuinely believe that Passy is still alive and well; and did deliberately disappear to start a new life elsewhere. I think there were a myriad of reasons behind Passy’s decision to disappear.
Firstly, I do think Passy had some underlying mental health issues at the time. I suspect Passy was suffering from depression, as well as high anxiety and stress; and was in the midst of a mental breakdown. It was well publicised in reports following Passy’s disappearance in 2001, about her worries over the HSC. Whilst the HSC was a contributing factor, I don’t think it was the only one for Passy.
I think the trauma of Passy’s early childhood, following her kidnapping and relocation back to Mexico by her late father, greatly affected her well into her teenage years. I think as a result of this, it played into Passy being a socially withdrawn and inverted person, as well has having a degree of distrust of other people and feeling she could not (or unable to) be close to others.
I’m also inclined to believe her brother Tomas’ assessment that her personality was vastly different to either his or their mother’s. I genuinely think Passy’s perception was, she didn’t fit in within her own family and was a ‘black sheep’.
With her aforementioned upbringing, I also think Passy was struggling with her own identity as a person. She had been exploring her Mexican cultural background (particularly through her artworks), but also was balancing that to her upbringing in Australia. It should be noted – whilst there is some awareness of Mexican culture here in Australia (albeit via US culture), Mexican-Australians make up an extremely small number in population within Australia.
Aside from her family, I suspect Passy felt she didn’t fit in at school, with the small number of friends she had, or indeed the general environment of Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
I will concede, the above points do play into the possibility of suicide. However, my feeling is that Passy – as low as she may have felt at the time – was not ready to give up on her life, but was wanting to start things over again.
I’m inclined to believe Margaret Reyes’ assertions that Passy has planned and done reconnaissance for her disappearance – using the cover of “going out for a swim” for this purpose. I think Passy did consciously staged her disappearance as a suicide by drowning – motivated by a couple of reasons. This may sound contradictory, but I think Passy consciously decided to walk out her house, in the early hours of the morning, in her formal dress – to highlight her mental issues and feelings to those she was leaving behind. But I also think that she planted her clothes and personal affects at Basin Beach, giving the appearance of suicide by drowning – as some attempt to give closure to her mother, brother and everyone else in her life. However, given no sign of a body – it has brought the opposite effect to those she left behind.
Although she planned certain aspects of her disappearance, I also think she didn’t think out certain aspects of it. I do suspect she did live rough for the first week or two after her disappearance, around the Northern Beaches of Sydney; and had only taken a small amount of items with her. I’m inclined to believe the sightings reported by Gary Spalding, were indeed of Passy.
I am also inclined to believe Glenn Emmeriks’ account of seeing Passy at a cake shop in Kings Cross, eight weeks after her disappearance. I do think its possible that Passy, by that stage had found some accommodation – either at a boarding house, or possibly a share house, perhaps within the Darlinghurst and Kings Cross area of Sydney.
I also think Passy may have found employment by that stage too – although may have been working cash-in-hand. An issue that’s gained attention in Australia in recent times is wage theft - where businesses, including some major retailers, have paid employees; particularly casual staff; below award wage. There are also accusations that some business have avoided paying payroll tax and superannuation, by paying their casual staff off the books and cash-in-hand. I think it’s plausible that Passy did work under such circumstances for an unscrupulous employer, which would have also allowed her to stay off the grid; and remain undetectable, during this period.
I’m also inclined to believe, as she left her Identity Documents behind, that Passy has taken on a new name and identity. Although not impossible, this would not have been an easy path for her.
Ironically, an easier path would have been for her, to have taken her Passport and other ID Documents, and relocate interstate. She could have slipped through the bureaucratic cracks, using her existing legal identity, if she had relocated interstate – especially back in 2001. Also already being 18 years of age, she had legal right to her privacy as a Missing Person, had she been found.
However, already in her life to that point, Passy had previously changed her name and identity, as a result of her late father abducting her. Therefore, the idea of doing this would not have felt foreign to her. The challenge though for Passy, would be to integrate into society (and in particular, any government and social services) under a new name and identity – especially without her existing ID Documents.
Although a somewhat difficult and expensive way to achieve this – Passy may have paid someone (possibly a syndicate with connections/or access to government departments and databases) to provide her with fraudulent ID Documents under her new name – ones which may have allowed her to access government and other services without arousing suspicions; and allow her to live a normal life.
Although most government databases in Australia were computerised by 2001, it may have been somewhat easier to produce fraudulent ID documents, as well as circumventing the bureaucratic system with them. Also, it is possible that Passy did focus and worked hard to afford and obtain these documents, in her aim to start a new life.
I’m also inclined to believe that Passy has stayed in Australia, but has relocated interstate. Despite her cultural connection to Mexico, I personally feel she has not relocated overseas. Although she may have been looking to escape Sydney’s Northern Beaches – I would not rule out Passy still having an affinity toward the beachside lifestyle. One region of Australia, that I could picture Passy possibly being in, is on the Queensland Sunshine Coast. Although the region is a tourist hub, it is renowned for its laid back lifestyle, its surf beaches; and some areas of it are secluded and tranquil. As Passy, according to her own brother, was someone who enjoyed her own space, I can see such an area appealing to her.
Irrespective of where she is, I can picture Passy otherwise living a normal life. Although I still think she would be a reserved personality – I do think it's a possibility that she has gained confidence and self esteem; and might have made friendships and connections to a small number of people.
However, I suspect that Passy is unwilling to come forward, or to return to any aspect of her former life, at this point in time. I still suspect she is unwilling to reconnect with her mother or brother – perhaps still feeling she is personality-wise, too different to them, to truly have a connection. Also, if as I theorised – that Passy has established a new identity via fraudulent documents, she may have concerns for any potential legal implications of this.
In saying that, I genuinely hope that one day, that Margaret and Tomas do receive answers in regards to Passy; and that perhaps somehow, they can be reunited with her.
submitted by Str8Outta2750 to UnresolvedMysteries [link] [comments]


2020.11.21 16:54 authordm Stranger than Fiction IV: What Even Are Cults

I have been taking you through quite the tour in this series, starting with Taiping Rebellion’s lessons for Villains, the Real Secret Societies, and the Anti-Capital Nature of Magic. I am enjoying these quite a lot because I am learning some new things and I do not have to meticulously cite my sources, which is great since most of this has been stuff I know and am pretty familiar with and I don’t care to remember where I heard it from. But, I’ve been leaning on my prior knowledge, mostly.
This one is a bit different. I have put some time and effort into researching this one because two of the three stories I will tell were somewhat unfamiliar to me. The whole field of sociology and religious studies is one I have only shaken hands with occasionally. In fact, the idea of researching ‘Cults’ is incredibly fraught in academia because of the negative connotations of the word, the massive scope of what is or is not a cult, the tendency to get really political and moralizing in researching them, and, in some cases, the very real danger that by researching a dangerous organization you become one of their targets. So, while I assure you that I have done some work and tried to come to some reasonable arguments, the conclusions I make are only for your D&D game. Do not assume that this is in any way indicative of the various fields of study that work on these groups.
So let’s talk about real cults. I bet there isn’t a DM out there who hasn’t used cults in their games at some point, because they are such a staple of the genre. My goal is to identify some characteristics of real cults so that we can add them to the ones in our games and provide some depth and character to them. Real cults have an undeniable power over people, and there are reasons for it that I think are lost in the fantasy genre.
I identify five characteristics of cults and then will go through three examples to show these characteristics in action in history. The five characteristics are: a godlike leader, flexible beliefs, reinvention of the self, isolation of believers, and elite membership. The three stories I will tell are three wildly different manifestations of cults: Heaven’s Gate, Aleph, and the personality cult of Mao Zedong. There is a lot of space to cover, and a lot of repetition in showing how each story exhibits each of the five characteristics.
This is a long one, I am pushing the word limit. So, I give you permission to skip the whole body and get to the conclusion; that will, in what is a long enough post by itself, summarize how to build a cult and some questions to think about when doing so for your D&D game. There's also a TL:DR right below if you're really in a hurry. No judgment at all, this is a long one.
TL:DR; five characteristics of cults are godlike leader, flexible beliefs, reinvention of the believer, isolation, and elite membership. That’s a useful framework to build reasons why cults can recruit people in your world. Specific lessons from the stories are that people crave the feeling of a chosen community, will defend it by resorting to extremism when that community is threatened, and tend to trust their leader entirely when it comes to deciding what it means to build and defend their community.

Heaven’s Gate

39 people, including the founder and leader, of the Heaven’s Gate cult died in a mass suicide in 1997. For those of you that are old like me, you may remember looking up to the skies in 1997 to see the stunning sight of the Hale-Bopp comet. Those in Heaven’s Gate believed that there was an alien ship hiding in the comet’s tail, and that it was going to take them away from their mortal coil and transport their consciousness to a greater plane of understanding and evolution. They committed ritual suicide to beam themselves up.
This is a good starting point for our stories about cults because it is really about the cultists, their leader, and their beliefs. They didn’t commit any massive acts of violence, except against themselves, which makes it easier to pry at what drove them to believe something that seems so nonsensical on its face. It shows how a few simple characteristics can create such a strong bond between people and their faith, regardless of any setbacks that seem like it should have shaken them out of this state.
God-like Leader - Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles were the founders and leaders of Heaven’s Gate. They mixed sci-fi, the bible, and the occult into this belief that the Christian God was real, and he was an alien, which directly led to the creation of the History Channel (this claim is disputed). In all seriousness, Ancient Aliens might not have been their invention, but they took it to a religious level and spread the word as prophets, people destined to tell the fate of the world as foretold in The Book of Revelations, but with their alien spin. Both Applewhite and Nettles even later claimed that they were gods; they argued that Jesus and God were incorporeal aliens that could take over bodies, and that Applewhite was the same alien spirit that had once taken Jesus for a ride, and Nettles was the spirit of God. So the leadership of Heaven’s Gate quite literally made themselves out to be Gods.
Flexible Beliefs - Nettles and Applewhite had been running this thing since the early 70s and had led their cult around the US. They begged on streets, avoided anybody who might recognize them, and focused on reaching a higher evolutionary level on their own. They were a vaguely public group, a wandering community of believers that preached around the country. They picked up some ex-hippie, truth-seeker believers as you imagine with 1970s cults, but they also recruited scientists and even a serious major party candidate for the Colorado State House.
Nettles died of cancer in 1985. I bring this up, because it radically altered the group’s trajectory. She was supposed to be divine, how could she die before her time? Rather than fracturing the group, they changed their beliefs to one where bodies were vehicles. While they claimed to be alien spirits in human bodies, they believed up until Nettles’ death that they would be taken corporeally by alien spacecraft to their immortality and evolution. After her death, they changed their beliefs to focus on the spirit being taken rather than the body. When confronted with challenges to their doctrine, the beliefs changed.
Reinvention of the Self - Heaven’s Gate asked its membership to completely change themselves in order to attain the evolutionary level above human. There were two levels of this; first, in their life on earth they had to rid themselves of all the pitiful human traits they could, such as gender, personality, possessions, and more. Second, when the time came they would literally be taken by aliens to ascend to the next level. Cults offer both a promise and an action, in this way. There is a reward at the end, a great achievement that will change the individual and even mankind, but to deserve it they needed to reinvent themselves in the here and now.
Isolation of Believers - Like many cults, Heaven’s Gate asked its believers to leave everything behind to follow the leaders. In their early years, they were nomadic as people gave away everything to follow them around the US. After 1985, they began to become even more reclusive, primarily contacting the outside world through their website (which is still active and maintained by two, anonymous, remaining members). About a year before the mass suicide, they began renting a compound for everyone to live in, shut out from the outside world.
Elite Membership - Here is, I think, where Heaven’s Gate really stands out as a story, because while all the cults we’re looking at exhibit this characteristic, Heaven’s Gate personifies it best. Membership in Heaven’s Gate was not easy; not only did one have to give up everything and lead an ascetic life, they really had to prove themselves as a cut above normal people. Not everyone was ready for the evolutionary level above human, so the entire life of membership was a test that people were expected to fail. To gain and maintain membership in Heaven’s Gate meant that you were special and different, more advanced than most humans. And as the noted reinvention of the self, the cult promised that this cream of the crop would be rewarded by ascending to a higher level of consciousness in which all would finally be revealed. Heaven’s Gate attracted smart, capable people because it told them sure you’re smart and capable, but that’s just the start.
People like feeling not just smart, but like they are holders of secret knowledge. There’s something about knowing the world’s secrets better than the common man that is enticing and seductive. A cult plays into this by giving that feeling to them; more importantly, it makes them work for it. A religion puts its beliefs up front (generally) for people to see, but a cult gates that knowledge off and releases it slowly to believers to make them feel special, different, chosen.
This is the lesson I want to draw from for our D&D, that cult membership isn’t entirely illogical. I mean, it is, but it works by preying on some common psychological exploits. Faceless, fanatical cultists are faceless by choice, not because you need a villainous mob. They gave up their faces and individuality in service of a greater power because it knows they are special, because it gives them secret knowledge, and because they are an elite and chosen group who has worked for and deserves the rewards that will come in the promised end. That’s something to remember when making a cult in your game.

Aleph

Better known as Aum Shinrikyo or just Aum (Aleph is how they’ve rebranded), this group was responsible for the 1995 Tokyo sarin gas attack that killed 13 and injured thousands more. This was only their highest profile attack, as there were a few other sarin uses before 1995 and the 1989 assassination of a lawyer, and his family, who was involved in a case against Aum.
With this story, I want to get at what made them violent like this and understand how a yoga study group became terrorists. I will go through a lot of their history and doctrine only on the surface because I want to focus on what pushes cults to go extreme. Also, what they believe in is really hard to pin down, and I don’t really want piles of Aum sites in my browser history lest I end up on some watch list.
God-like Leader - Shoko Ashara (not his given name) started preaching in the early 1980s; by the 90s, he was a popular guru lecturing and publishing books about spirituality. On the one hand, he claimed that his teachings were meant to identify and preach to a more pure, original form of Buddhism by referring back to Buddha’s secret teachings; on the other, he also incorporated ideas from Christianity by claiming that he alone could take on the sins of the world to redeem people. He even claimed to be Christ in 1992 (this is a common theme in my series, it seems).
What is important here is that the cult centered on the reverence of this one guy because of his special, spiritual qualities. Whatever he was, belief in and service to him was portrayed as the only path to spiritual enlightenment. In fact, the point of the cult was to convert people into clones of Ashara, sometimes even using specially made brainwave devices to transmit Ashara’s thoughts and personhood into other people. He also sold his bathwater, so really a trendmaker in that sense. He was executed in2018 for his role in the 1995 sarin attack.
Flexible Beliefs - Again, I am having difficulty pinning down their beliefs, but I think that is the point I want to make. Throughout its history, Aleph has predicted various kinds of doomsdays; the passing of one for-sure date of the end of the world just meant that they recalculated to find the next date. The execution of the leader hasn’t quite killed off the cult. Like with Heaven’s Gate, while there is a sort of core belief, the real power of the group is in the rituals and foundation of a community, and the beliefs will change whenever necessary if they are ever challenged by the interruptions of reality.
Reinvention of the Self - Aleph members, like Heaven’s Gate, are told to give all of their belongings to the cult and give up their lives to join. As noted, one of the goals of the cult is to literally clone the leader by making all the cult members into versions of him, whether through indoctrination, brainwashing, or the brainwave devices. Once again there are also two layers to this; by giving up all the things that made them individuals and taking on the persona of Ashara, they are advancing to a new level of consciousness. Ashara draws from Buddhism here in that the goal of consciousness is to realized the truths of the world. Ashara argued that he knew them, so by becoming Ashara, they can make steps towards attaining this perfect nirvana where they have become enlightened beings outside of the bounds of the mundane world, outside of the physical universe.
Elite Membership - Changing up the layout here to leave the most important for the end, but this is a crucial component of the story. Taking on this new self and stepping outside the bounds of the mundane world had a purpose; it was how they were going to save the world. Or at least live through the end of it. Ashara argued that the world was going to end, probably in a nuclear winter caused by the third world war. Only through their belief in Ashara could believers be saved, and with enough believers, the fate of the world could be reversed.
I’ll take a quick detour here to explain that, as best as I can. Karma is a familiar enough concept, but we generally get it wrong. I’ll relate a personal experience. In my philosophy course we were learning about karma, and the basics are that if you do bad deeds, you’ll eventually have to pay off that karmic debt by having bad done to you. I asked my philosophy teacher who was explaining this, “what about some kid in the back seat of a car hit by a drunk driver, what did they do?” The answer was, “well, to a Buddhist, probably something awful in a previous life, as did the drivers of both cars, the families impacted, and everyone hurt by that event.” Karma is not direct, it’s a universal system of waves that we are creating, reverberating throughout infinite time and reincarnations. Everyone is connected, every event is just the waves of karma shifting our fate and balancing the karmic debt from thousands of lifetimes of ripples.
That might help explain what Aleph and its believers thought, because they seemed to think that their devoted group could change the world through the power of their karma. By following their leader, living lives of good karma, and serving this one shining light that promised to fix the infinite pattern controlling all fate, they could suck away all the bad in the world and prevent these karmic waves from destroying everything. I’m going on hunches here, but that’s the connection I see.
So people in Aleph were an elite group of the best of mankind united in a mission to save the world from itself. Not just that, but Aleph specifically targeted certain people for recruitment, offering university graduates and high skill people a relief from their workaday lives and a belief in something bigger. For a 90s, cutthroat capitalist, 60+ hour workweek Japan, the idea that they could do something really meaningful with their lives and transcend the mundane was attractive. Shit, I barely do 40 in a job that isn’t that bad and I can feel it.
Isolation of Believers - I saved this for last because this is where it gets violent. One of the ways that cults overcome the doubts when beliefs are reinvented, one of the ways that it makes people believe they are elite and unique, is by isolating its members from outside influences. They get put into a bubble where only the desired behaviors are reinforced by new secret knowledge and access to the leader, and any contradictory information is screened out. Heaven’s Gate did it, Aleph did it, and so, as we will cover, did Mao.
But in the case of Aleph, their isolation was not just from the rest of the world around them, their isolation was viewed as a fortress to protect them. Going back to the karma, these people saw themselves as the last hope for mankind, the calm center of the storm trying to spread that calmness against the encroaching waves. Part of what made them a cohesive community and made them commit was because they thought the world would push back on them. They had to fight against bad karma. And remember, karma is not individual, it is a universal pattern that links every person together, not a direct action/reaction dyad. The people that resisted Aleph did so as part of this universal system of bad karma shaking the pattern. Aleph’s little pocket of good was under attack by the system, almost like Agents taking over individuals in the Matrix. And Aleph was under attack. They were sued for fraud and kidnapping by parents whose kids joined the cult and faced numerous legal battles about all sorts of other, very legitimate, complaints of illegality.
So how does a yoga, self-help group become terrorists with biological weapons? Because they saw themselves as an isolated bastion trying to save the system from itself, they viewed their attackers not as people but as expressions of that system, and because the fate of the universe hung on them and them alone. It might have seemed like just some lawsuits to outsiders and the resulting attacks as absolutely inordinate retaliation, but on the inside this was a defensive war for the future of the world.
So there’s the D&D lesson from Aleph; to protect their community and their ideals and their mission, a cult can very quickly become violent, extremely so. But they won’t see this as retribution and violence, but as a necessary evil taken only in defense against those already attacking the group. Even the end of the world, as cults are prone to seek in D&D, might be justified to believers as a defense against something worse.

Mao Zedong

When you think of the Cult of Mao, you probably see images of the posters from the Cultural Revolution. You think of the million teenagers cramming into Tiananmen Square, all waving their little red books, just losing their shit at seeing Mao as if he were one of the Beatles in their first American tour. This is definitely the biggest incarnation of a cult that we’ll look at, but Mao started small and the Cultural Revolution was as much an attempt to recapture the magic of his first cult as it was a totally new expression of his cult.
Mao is an interesting case of a cult leader because he is the only one without any trappings of a deity, and yet he is probably the most deified of them all. He shows that when you add charisma and mythical heroism to the cult leader, the cult can feel like a special and embattled minority even when it is the clear, dominant, and oppressive majority.
Flexible Beliefs - I’ll cover Mao, the person, last. I don’t want to get into the arcana of dialectical materialism here to show how Maoism changed, but rather I’ll focus on people as a stand-in for flexible beliefs. Because one of the big hallmarks of Maoism, as it played out in China, was how replaceable every believer was, and how once deposed their entire history of support for Mao and Maoism became a sham. I’ll give a quick biography to demonstrate the point.
Peng Dehuai was one of Mao’s closest associates from the very beginning in 1927 and a superb military mind. While Mao wrote about guerilla warfare and led politics, Peng led the troops in doing it. Peng supported Mao when he was just an upstart in the Communist Party, he supported Mao when he eventually became leader, and he supported Mao in the Korean War after taking over China, he was there every step of the way without question. But in 1959, he wrote a letter arguing that Mao had gone a little overboard with this whole Great Leap Forward thing and that it looked like the movement (which led to a massive, unquantifiably deadly famine) might have had some adverse consequences. The entire party turned against him, his entire history was purged, and he was routinely publicly humiliated during the Cultural Revolution and accused of being a deep-capitalist plant the entire time.
Peng is not an isolated incident. Mao’s second in command, Liu Shaoqi, suffered similarly and he was killed during the Cultural Revolution for being a traitor and spy despite having given his life to the Communist Party and 20 years to Mao. Lin Biao, who took over behind both Peng and Liu as head of the military and Mao’s #2, went harder on the Mao cool-aid than anyone, but in a mysterious set of circumstances his plane crashed while he was fleeing the country and everything he’d ever done was portrayed as a great deception and betrayal of Mao.
Reinvention of the Self - Mao got his start as a cult leader in Yan’an during the Rectification Movement. The Party, he argued, suffered from a lack of unity; everybody had their own readings of Marxism and therefore the group lacked cohesion. Rectification was an intense movement of reeducation where everybody grouped up into small groups, read the works of Mao and other approved texts, commented, and then criticized themselves and their own failings in front of this group. Failure to be sufficiently sincere in your self-criticism meant you had to do it again. And again. And again. At the end of this, people had been reinvented into a cohesive force, a group capable of saving China.
This first movement was something almost mythical. The people that went through it went on to rule China for 40 years (Deng Xiaoping was the last living leader from Yan’an). But Mao decided that the first 20 years had made that group soft, so he got the Cultural Revolution off to replace them with a new group. And that blueprint, of groups forming to study, to criticize, and to reenact the wars of the revolution by fighting now against the entrenched state bureaucracy, was a quite deliberate attempt to recreate Yan’an on a national scale.
In both cases, the reinvention of the self was a proxy for the reinvention, the revolution, of China. When the students of Yan’an were rectifying themselves to create Party unity, they imagined it as the prerequisite to finally saving the country from the imperialism of Japan and beyond. When the students of the Cultural Revolution memorized the little red book together in the office buildings of bureaucrats they had overthrown, they saw themselves as the only hope for global communism against the traitorous capitalist-roaders in China and in the USSR.
Isolation of Believers - Mao managed this by effectively taking over the country. Whereas many cults have to really work to get their people away from outside influences, when you can shut off the whole country to foreigners and you can totally control the media to say whatever you need it to say, isolation is pretty easy.
But there’s an extra step here. They still need to isolate within that isolation to feel unique and special, as I’ll cover later. In Yan’an, they managed it by being out in the boonies. Yan’an, though it is the heart of ancient China, is a backwaters in modern times. The mountainous terrain and muddy roads make it nearly inaccessible. Out here, away from Japan’s attacks, away from the Nationalist government in the South, the beleaguered Communist Party found a home having run away from all that. And more people came, similarly undergoing their own trials to arrive at this heart of resistance.
During the Cultural Revolution, the young Red Guards tried to recreate this by going on tours around the country to revisit these spaces, but more significantly, their isolation was psychological. Universally, they created their own groups and attacked the rest of society; anybody old was suspect, including teachers, government officials, and often their parents. They isolated themselves in the belief that the old revolution had failed, long live the next revolution.
Elite Membership - Everything about the Communist Party is an elite organization. Even though Mao warned them that they should keep close to the masses, the Communist Party recruits only a percentage of the population, picked based on merit (or connections) to become part of the ruling group. Each level is another layer of prestige, all the way to the top. But it takes a lot work to be there. During Yan’an, it meant undergoing rectification, and the same process continued throughout Mao’s tenure. During the Cultural Revolution, Red Guard groups popped up styling themselves as the true believers, sometimes even fighting each other over who was the most correct and closest to Mao.
More importantly, in every case, these people believed that China was unique and elite in the world. Even when their goal was fighting against other Chinese, both in the revolution and in the Cultural Revolution, they felt like they were saving China and indeed the world. They were the forefront, the vanguard, of revolutionary change.
God-like Leader - Mao’s biggest departure from the cults we looked at earlier is that he made all of this happen to a population of a billion, not the forty of Heaven’s Gate or even the (alleged) tens of thousands once in Aleph. A billion. The most populous country in the world. And yet all the tactics that seemed to serve a small, dedicated group like a religious cult worked here. In a country they controlled, they still felt isolated. In an elite group of specially picked members, they still felt special and unique. In a place that had already been reinvented as a Communist nation once, they still had to do it again. And in a land of a billion, nobody was able to point out the absurdities in how beliefs changed so wildly.
A main reason for that is Mao himself. I said that the Cult of Mao kinda got its start in Yan’an, but that’s not quite true. By the time he reached Yan’an, he was already a sort of mythic figure. He’d escaped the white terror of 1927 (when the Nationalists hunted down all Communist Party members they could find in a sudden betrayal of their alliance), and in fact had totally called that it would happen years before. He built up a rebellion in the mountains, redistributed land, created a Communist state, before the Nationalists were able to bring a war to him. And he got away, walking with his handful of followers over 10,000 kilometers, crossing bridges under fire, constantly pursued, until finally reaching safety in Yan’an. He was the hero of this battle-scarred group and the nucleus of China’s revolution. His survival was a thing of legends, and it was all because he knew the path before he walked it, had been right at every turn.
This is, again, describing him in 1942. Not 1966 when the posters of him being the glorious sun shedding the light of revolution on his adoring followers sprung up, well after he had colossally screwed up as a leader multiple times in the intervening years.
The cult leader has a lot of power over his people, in every case they are portrayed as not just god-like, but infallible and essential. Mao really embodied this. His every word was the truth, and his existence was the prerequisite for the success of the revolution, for the salvation of China. That’s why people could be so subservient, why they could kill themselves in a mass suicide at Applewhite’s command, or commit atrocities for Ashara, or denounce their parents and kill their teachers at Mao’s whims. God-like, in a cult, means that they must be followed and they must be revered because they are the keys to the belief structure and the final goals of the community. So when Mao’s followers attacked their elders, they saw themselves as the embattled few saving the world when they were, in fact, already in total control. They believed Mao when he told them otherwise, regardless of the evidence in front of their eyes.
So there’s our lesson from Mao for D&D, and I think this is why cults are so common in our settings; it is so easy to single out such a important, powerful, and chaotic leader. The nature of a cult, the way it is formed, necessitates that the leader is infallible and essential, that they must be followed to the ends of the earth. That is a very easy person to make a villain.

Conclusion

Whew, this has been a journey. Thanks for making it through it all. And if you skipped it, no judgment, that is a lot of words to provide a historical context for a few points I want to make about a game we all play for fun.
So I think our five characteristics are a useful way to start understanding cults. Historically speaking, they are present in our examples, and they are pretty key components of what makes a cult a cult as opposed to a religion or political party or canasta club. So I’ll repeat them here, summarize some basic lessons, and prompt a few questions to help you build a compelling and terrifyingly realistic cult.
God-like Leader - the leader of a cult is often a prophet or even portrayed as a manifestation of a god, quite literally being god-like. But even without the religious dimension, they are god-like in that they are infallible and essential. They might totally contradict themselves, they might be a prophet one day and an avatar the next, they might suffer all sorts of set backs, but to be god-like, they have to show that it was all part of their vision. They couldn’t reveal the truth until they were ready. They allowed misfortune to test their followers. They are never wrong and are the key piece to reaching the goals of the organization.
Some questions; do they do this cynically, fully aware of what they are doing and manipulating it, or do they believe in it themselves? What myth or legend has made their charisma? In the world of D&D, what powers towards deification can they actually gain or use for the purpose? How much does the cult serve only the leader, and if a lot how is this justified?
Flexible Beliefs - There is usually some core at the center of a cult, a basic secret about the reality of the world and humanity’s place in it, but everything around it can change, and cultists won’t see the dissidence. To put it simply, for a doomsday cult, doomsday can always be tomorrow even though each successive day proves them wrong. The most important thing is that the purpose of the cult is served.
Some questions; what is the core, unchangeable belief at the center of the cult? What actions can they take to get there? Why is it persuasive, what does it offer them? How can it adapt whenever proven wrong? What is the leader's role in redefining the cult's beliefs? Can it survive without the leader?
Reinvention of the Self - every cult asks its people to reinvent themselves. This is such a powerful tool, it’s used almost everywhere, from the military to business retreats. Because when you reinvent yourself alongside others who are going through the same process, you become a particularly tight-knit community. But what separates cults from common uses is that that transformation has to be powered by a belief that it is happening for a reason and that they are becoming a more advanced type of person for having gone through it.
Some questions; what are the rituals they use to reinvent themselves? What are they trying to attain? How do senior members initiate the new ones? Are there additional levels of reinvention beyond the first? What does a reinvented cultist look like or act like? Should they literally gain some powers?
Isolation of Believers - for all of this to work, especially the flexible beliefs and the reinvention of the self, people have to be isolated from the rest of the world. They might literally sequester themselves away, but for a villainous group, they instead take extreme measures to keep the world away even as they live and act within it.
Some questions; how does the cult keep information from outside from getting in? What are the punishments for letting information in? How do they interact with the world when they must be out in it? How does the cult isolate people from their friends and family?
Elite Membership - Cults don’t just gather the gullible, they appeal to even particularly smart and capable people because they appear to be a special group that not everyone can be part of. There are always requirements to join that not everyone can meet, and this makes the cultist feel like they are part of an elite group. That feeling reinforces all the rest of the characteristics. But that feeling of being different is complementary to the feeling that they will get elite rewards for their sacrifice. They are elite because they will be the first (or only) to gain something once the cult’s objectives are attained.
Some questions; why do cultists see themselves as unique and special when they are part of this organization? What prerequisites are there to membership? What do they have to do to prove that they deserve membership? How are various levels distinguished from each other within the cult? What do they gain, what secret knowledge is dispensed with membership, what boon is granted?
Thanks for reading! I have a podcast and a blog that you can find at www.marriednd.com or @marriednd.
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2020.11.21 15:11 Joker_ERP [M4A] (A playing as F) Massive list of RP prompts (Rule 34, fandoms, Games, OC, Incest Ect.)

Hey there! Today I’ve got a massive list of rp ideas and have written out some starters along with some ideas to how I see the rp going. I’m open to change and ready to do other ideas too. So if you feel like you’ve got an idea I might be interested in feel free to talk to me about those: ).
As for my replies. I write in first person mainly and my reply length varies. I generally do anything from a few sentences to a paragraph or more and generally require my partner to do the same. Fair warning the less detail you reply with the less interested I’ll be in rping with you. (Not looking for a few words as a response)
I enjoy having a story to go along with the smut so it’s not just constant sex, some cute or action driven moments are fun as well. – Hand holding and cute dates are pleasant! I mainly do my rps on kik, discord or here. I also have an RP facebook account, so feel free to ask for my users for those! : )
My kinks and limits list might be a big read, but none are compulsory. I’m just here to have fun and hopefully meet some cool rp partners : )
Kinks: Harems (Doesn’t mean having to play all characters at once, just one by one is fine!), Incest, Outercourse (Which is stuff like titjobs, thigh jobs, grinding, hot dogging) Risky public spaces (Toilet stalls, changing booths. That kinda thing where people could get caught.) Facials, Freckles (Face and body). Big/nicely shaped bums (Especially if they jiggle). Creampies, Cum on tits/body, big cumshots, Thigh high socks. showewater sex (pools, shower, hot tubs ect.) Mutual desire for sex.
Limits: Pregnancy (Hard limit sorry), Vomit, Piss, Blood, Toilet stuff, Rape, Gangbangs (Unless it’s multiple females) Male on Male, futas, rimming/pegging.
There might be more that I’m forgetting so if you’re unsure feel free to ask me! The rougher side of sex like Name calling, slapping choking spanking I can all do as well! : ) Without further ado let’s jump into the starters!
Disclaimer: I am 18+ and all participants and characters must be 18+
Here's the basic list of ideas if you wanted to look them over before reading the full posts. I’m also open to some ideas that I may have missed! And please note: I’m looking for FEMALE characters only!
Rule 34/Fandom/Game Ideas: Idea 1: My Harem (Hero) Academia. Idea 2: Pokémon Idea 3: Naruto Idea 4: Bleach Idea 5: One piece. Idea 6: Sword Art Online. Idea 7: Fairy Tail. Idea 8: Avatar The Last Airbender. Idea 9: Persona (Girls from 4 and 5). Idea 10: Harry Potter. Idea 11: Final Fantasy. Idea 12: The Witcher 3.
OC Ideas: Idea 13: Fantasy harem adventure. Idea 14: Only Man of the town. Idea 15: Zombie and Nuclear Apocalypse. Idea 16: Sci-Fi space crew.
Incest Ideas: Idea 17: Brother sisteMother son (Or both). Idea 18: Aunt/Cousin. (Can be both) Idea 19: Incest family vacation.
Idea 1: My Harem (Hero) Academia.
(So my character will be a transfer into Class 1-A. His power is the power of persuasion. With the power he’s able to convince someone to do something as if it’s their own will. However, he’s hesitant to use it on other people and to tell everyone he even has it as he’s been outcast at his last school for the villainous nature of his quirk. As such he can’t use it to its full extent and can only issue small commands to begin with.
My idea with this is that one or more (cannon or non) of the girls decide to help him out in a private setting and overtime it gets more and more sexual in nature. And as he becomes more confident, he’s able to issue more longer-term commands. This can also be mixed in well with some story and some action to keep the plot interesting.)
Starter: It was a day which started like most others in Class 1-A. The students got ready in the dorms and headed to class to chat among themselves while they waited for Aizawa to enter. However, unlike most days there seemed to be an extra desk placed in the room. The seat caused some confusion which didn’t last long as the first bell rang and Aizawa entered the room.
“Morning everyone.” He stated in his mainly bored and sleepy tone which seemed to sound like he was stifling a yawn. “Today we’ve got a new student transferring in from another school. He’s from Shiketsu, some of you may recognize the name since it’s got the same level as prestige as U.A. but regardless make sure he feels welcome.” He said pointing a sweeping stare at everyone and finally resting on the problem child of the U.A class Bakugo.
With that he fell silent and I felt it was my cue to enter. Swallowing a little at the nerves I steeled them quickly and entered. My blue eyes sweeping over some of the familiar faces in the room. Many of the students had standout performances in the UA sports festival and as well in the news reports about the villain attack on the training camp.
I had a lot to live up to if I wanted to join these legends in training but regardless, I was determined to do just that. Breathing a little and shifting my auburn hair from my eyes I smiled the best I could. “My name is Schwarzer, Chris Schwarzer. It’s a pleasure to meet you all.” I say bowing to the class.
Satisfied with the introduction Aizawa nodded to the spare seat in the room. Taking that as an order I nodded back and headed over to my seat sitting down and getting my books out. Curiously I turned to the seat next to me noticing one of the girls in the class and gave her a slight smile as Aizawa began his lesson.
Idea 2: Pokemon. (So this one is super simple. Some trainers or a trainer and his Pokémon go on a grand adventure. For this one my favourite Canon female are: Marnie, May, Hilda and May. And my favourite Anthro Pokémon are Lopunny, Arcanine, Blaiziken That’s just for reference though and you can really play whoever you like! Ocs are of course welcome too!)
Trainer x Trainer Starter:
I like many others in the world of Pokémon have just started on my journey. Although I had done so a little late. Regardless me and my starter Pokémon Aipom which was a gift from my late father. Setting off with excitement to make a name of myself.
That excitement wore off pretty quickly however as an advanced trainer stepped in my path and soon, I realized how big the gap between us was. He wiped the floor with my aipom and laughed as he took my “Prize money” Scooping up my aipom I rushed through the rest of the route and over to the next town ducking quickly into the Pokémon centre.
Looking around there was a few new trainers who seemed to have fallen to the same fate as I had and I shook my head. Guys like that were total assholes and without hesitating I headed over to the counter where the nurse took my Aipom from me. Once he was gone, I was told there was going to be a short wait due to the amount of Pokémon they had to treat. I nodded as I headed over and sat down in one of the seats.
Idea 3: Naruto. (So for this one I like the idea that my character is a nomadic mercenary hired by the leaf to help train the ninja of the village, maybe he also has some kind of hidden power that boosts his chakra but also increases his libido. Not too sure how I wanna go about this one.)
Starter: The Hokage Tsunade Senju looked over me with a curious gaze and then down to my application form. “You’re younger than I expected given everything you’ve done.” She stated honestly. “But the intelligence division did a thorough search into you and you check out.” She stated as she slammed the approved stamp down onto my paper.
“Just remember, if you do anything to endanger this village, I’ll snuff you out personally.” She said in an icy and threatening tone. Feeling a cold bead of sweat roll down the side of my face I nodded. “Of course. I wouldn’t dream of it.” I say. Internally I make a mental note not to cross her in any way.
“Good.” She said putting a smile across her features. “Your first group is down on the training field waiting for you already.” She stated. “Your lodgings will be set up by the time you’re done, here’s the key.” She said tossing the key to me which I caught and stuffed into my pocket. I was a little shocked with how quick she wanted me to get to work but I nodded. “Right!” I say giving a respectful bow before heading out.
It took me a little longer than expected to actually find the training grounds as I hadn’t ever been here before. And when I got there much to her credit there were a few ninja standing around. Approaching them I gave them a sheepish smile. “Sorry I’m late guys.” I called out. “I got lost.” I added on.
Idea 4: Bleach. (So a new human soul reaper makes it into the soul society. His power isn’t captain level to begin with simply being enough to take out the average hollow. And with the resurgence of the hollow threat the Soul Society has offered to give him a substitute badge to take out those hollows deemed too small for the soul society to handle. Maybe he’s paired up with someone or someone like Orihime steps in to help him grow.)
Starter: Another boring day at school followed by a night of boring patrols. With all the big hollows being taken care of by “Full-fledged” Soul reapers it didn’t leave me with much opportunity to train against bigger enemies.
At least that’s what I thought originally. A few blocks from me there was a rift which opened up and the pure spiritual pressure that came from the hollow that stepped out of it was enough to make me feel as though gravity itself was pushing against me.
It was hard to breathe and even harder to stand as my hand clutched my blade in my left hand tightly. I shook my head as I heard the loud roar of the large breast and could even see it’s towering form from my position.
It was nothing close to a menos, but it was enough to tower over a three-story building for sure. “Shit.” I hissed to myself as I knew there were no soul reapers around at this stage. With a threat this big I was sure they’d come, but until then it was up to me to buy some time and make sure no humans or souls were consumed.
Pushing myself forward I reached the park that the Hollow had appeared in. Thankfully the park was deserted at this time of night. When he saw me the hollow. “You don’t smell like much, but you’ll do as a snack.” The hollow commented as it charged forward. “Just evade, buy time.” I comment to myself as I began to leap around the battle field looking a bit like and feeling like an idiot.
The hollow toyed with me a little while enjoying the chase before it seemed to ger bored. Just when I was thinking I was fast enough to keep avoiding it the creature’s mouth opened and its forked tongue shot out at me with faster speed than I was anticipating I raised my blade to defend myself but it was a feeble attempt and I knew it wouldn’t be enough.
Idea 5: One Piece. (So I’m not quite sure how to approach this one, but I’ll give it a go. Much like the MHA starter my character will have the power of persuasion, having eaten the Persua-Persua fruit. I’m thinking either he joins the Strawhats and goes on their adventures or he makes his own crew with girls from the story, I’m gonna leave it fairly open ended so we can jump in whenever along the story we wanna go!)
Starter: Alone in a bar I sat staring in the amber liquid in my mug. I was down on my luck after having my whole crew and my ship destroyed in a long battle another pirate crew. The only reason I was able to live through the ordeal was due to my crew sacrificing themselves to give me a chance to escape.
I spent days adrift with little food and water and soon washed up upon the island I was in. Immediately I found a tavern ready to drown my sorrows and feel sorry for myself for a little while.
Letting out a sigh I downed the rest of my drink soon looking at the few drops of liquid bottom of my mug. I knew being a pirate wouldn’t be easy, I knew it’d be violent and end in violence. However, to lose in that fashion without even being able to use my devil fruit to calm or question our opponent and losing everything still took its toll on me.
Scratching at the growing stubble with one hand, the other I raised my mug to demand another drink and as such the bartender approached to fill my mug. “You’re looking a little rough there, you sure you need another?” The bartender asked as he took the mug from me. “I don’t have anything else to do. I don’t even know what else to do with myself.” I responded grumpily. “Just fill it up.” I demanded. “Right.” The bartender responded as he filled it with more of the alcoholic amber liquid and slid It in front of me.
Idea 6: Sword Art Online. (Fairly simple it’s SAO set in the original death game. I love the idea, so I’ve always loved rping this one. If you want to play canon characters my fave is for sure Lizbeth, but I’m open to OC characters!)
Starter: It’s been months since Akihiko Kayaba has trapped us into this death game. Or at least that’s how some people looked at it. Others saw it as their dream come true. But most if not, all wanted to push forward and beat the game.
Despite the desire to push forward little progress has been made. Guilds and parties have formed to push through dungeons but with the increased danger and with it more deaths; more and more people simply decided to live out their lives on the lower floors.
Unlike those rushing in to push through the content I was happy enough to go through it at my own pace. This place was like a dream for me, save for the fact I had an increased chance of dying I was able to live in this game without the worries of the outside world.
I was doing some late-night grinding in an area of dense forest. The sun had set and there was little light save for the bright moon poking through the trees. All was calm, the trees swayed with the wind and the occasional sound of creatures moving about was enough to calm me.
However, the deeper I got into the forest the louder a sound became. At first it was quiet but as I approached, I heard it more clearly. It sounded like steel clashing against steel. Someone was fighting. Moving from a casual walk into a jog I quickly came to a small clearing where I saw two figures fighting, although in the low light I couldn’t make it out until I got closer.
Idea 7: Fairy Tail. (it’s been a little while since I’ve seen the series, but I’ve always loved it! Given my time away I might have to take some time to refamiliarize myself with the magics. My character will simply be an entry level member into the guild to begin with, canon characters are welcome just as OCs are!)
Starter: Another day in magnolia and another party being held at the large guild building at the centre of town. A large-scale job had just finished with some of the senior ranking wizards. and even though I wasn’t part of that mission, instead being on my own D-Rank job I joined in on the celebrations.
I had only been part of the guild for a few days and so far, it’s not been as exciting as I’d hoped, although I figured that it’d pick up once I proved myself. I was drinking by myself when I was approached by Makarov. He was wearing an essentric looking orange outfit. “Schwarzer my boy!” He said as he patted me on the shoulder. “How are you fitting in?” He questioned. “Fine sir! Everyone has been very welcoming.” I say to him in response. “Glad to hear it! You’ve been doing a good job, although I’d like to see you do more.” The male said. “So I’ve arranged a partner for you on your next job, that way you can take something more challenging, what do you say?” He questioned.
“Yes of course!” I say eagerly as a smile spread across my face. “Great!” He said cheerfully. “I’ll introduce you to who you’ll be working with.” He said as he stood from his spot and lead the way over to a female clearing his throat loud enough to get their attention.
Idea 8: Avatar the Last Airbender. (So for this one I guess it can go two different ways. My fave girls from Avatar would probably be Ty Lee, Suki and Toph. Maybe my character is a powerful bender that either the fire nation or team Avatar wants on their side. I think it might be cool to think that Aang isn’t the only airbender and instead a small faction managed to escape and continue the lineage. Either that or my character is a powerful firebender of some kind. I’ll leave whichever you prefer to you in your first reply as I’ll leave it open ended.)
Starter: The world was at war ever since the Fire nation attacked. With the intense fighting came mercenaries. Freelance benders or soldiers ready to fight on either side. For a fee of course. And despite my age, being only eighteen I was quite renown amongst the other bounty hunters for my bending.
Of course, there were talks of the Avatar returning, having repelled an invasion in the south pole, the liberation of Omashu and then the fire nation prison. It seemed they were making quite the stir in the earth kingdom.
It’d only be a matter of time before they reached the small town, I was in. Perhaps they were already here. But if that was the case surely there would be some kind of stir. Pushing my hair from my face I ordered another drink from the barkeep. “You know you’re my favourite customer Schwarzer…. You’re the only one who consistently pays his tab. Unlike the rest of these soldiers or the workers around here.” The older man says in clear annoyance.
“Well who knows, if I wasn’t so successful, I’d probably mooch off you too.” I admitted with a grin. “Try not to talk too ill of the soldiers on either side.” I added on flicking him an extra coin for a tip once my drink was finished. “Well I better check if anyone has a job for me.” I say as I pushed myself up from my seat.
Idea 9: Persona. (So basically this is just gonna be a fairly interesting idea. My character along with the girls of persona 4 and 5 get stranded in this strange dimension where they have to fight their way out to make it back to their own worlds.)
Starter: It all happened so fast. One minute I was in a team meeting with my group discussing what we should use our newfound powers for next. And the next second, I had blinked and I was in some kind of strange room.
One by one more people were added into this room. Some of which were dressed in some elaborate costumes. And I frowned as I looked to each one of them, all of which I didn’t recognize at all and judging by their looks they didn’t recognize me. Although before we managed to introduce ourselves a booming voice broke the silence.
“Welcome all!” The clearly male voice commented. “To the room of my design.” He added on. “I’m sure you’re all confused. And no doubt you’ll want to return back to your homes. However, to do so you’ll need to enter my labyrinth. “Make it to the end and you’ll all return home.” The voice explained.
“Of course, this maze isn’t without its dangers. Enemies, much like you encounter on a regular basis will roam these halls. As well as beasts of my own design far stronger than those… Fear no though for every check point you reach this room will become more furnished with amenities. For now, you simply have beds to rest on.” He said as there was an audible click and the dark room was suddenly lit up. Sure, enough there were rows of beds all lined up one for each person to sleep on.
“When you’re ready to test yourselves step through this door and enter the first level of the labyrinth.” He declared as a large door appeared and opened up in front of them. For a while nobody said anything probably all too stunned to even process the information. “So, I’m guessing we’re all persona users given what he just said.” I spoke up. “I guess we should probably start with names and strengths, right?” I questioned the group. “I’m Chris Schwarzer.” I say. “My persona Serapth focuses on ranged combat.” I explained.
Idea 10: Harry Potter. (So to keep this one interesting I’m thinking of having it set in an AU where Voldemort and Harry don’t exist. However, there are still dark wizards who are part of a cult around. Defs looking for a Hermionie, Luna or Ginny, you could even have other celebs/ecelebs as teachers or students for this one! Ocs are of course welcome too!)
Starter: Another year at Hogwarts, the last for some; and another year of learning was right around the corner. Although times were not peaceful in the wizarding world. Aurors who were the police of the magical world were going missing or showing up dead.
The ministry not wanting to make a panic kept it fairly under wraps, however some of the families have come forward with the information and rumours abounded about what was really happening. Stepping off the train I sighed a little rubbing my temple where a headache had begun to set in. During the train ride here, I found myself stuck next to a boy who wouldn’t stop going on about the rumours and conspiracy theories.
Glad to be off the train I looked around for a minute lost as to where I needed to go. “I know it’s around here somewhere.” I commented, although my sense of direction was always off. Usually I followed everyone else. But this time it seemed I was one of the last ones off the train.
Idea 11: Final Fantasy. (So this is simply going to be an idea with no starter since it will probably change depending on the many FF universes. My favourite however is defs FF7. (Tifa, Jessie and Aerith are best girls) with follow-ups being 12, 13, 15, 10, 8 and 9. Basically a fight would take the Main character of those series, Cloud, Noct, ect out of commission and needing a leader the other characters step up and hire mine on. Similar to some of my other prompts but I never said I was creative :^) With that being said though if you ARE interested in this one let me know and we can work out details depending on what world we’re in!)
Idea 12: The Witcher 3. (So my character will be a Witcher. (wow!) Saving people, hunting things you know? The family business. Anyway, I’m gonna leave it super open ended for you to come in however you like! If you wanna play a canon character my top two are for sure Ciri and Trist, and OC characters are accepted too!)
Starter: A Werewolf, an odd and rare contract, although I figured it wouldn’t be a hard one. In face I figured with my silver blade that the creature would go down rather quickly. Starting the encounter, I was faced with a harsh reality due to my hubris. I started off well enough, however due to my carelessness I was quickly on the backfoot.
The beast roared as it swung its large clawed hand towards me. I had barely managed to roll out of the way of the attack. Probably due to the increasing levels of bloodless resulting in a careless action on my part. A level of confidence quickly pushed down by the fact a handful of open wounds stung at my flanks.
More scars for later given that I make it out of here, although with my silver blade thrown on the other side of the area leaving me with only a steel sword which barely even phases the thing. I had to reach my blade, although with my focus on dodging the attacks it was hard to find an opening to do so.
I raised a hand and cast the igni sign launching flames at the creature who leapt back and I tried my best to make it past the creature only to have to dodge another strike as the beast recovered remarkably fast. “Stubborn bastard, aren’t you?” I questioned a little sourly.
Idea 13: Fantasy harem adventure. (This one is fairly basic in nature. Basically, a young man with little combat experience leaves his poor hunting village once he’s of age and sets off to join the adventurer’s guild to make a name for himself and also to send money back home. He’s fairly modest, naive and kind hearted. Which makes him likable and easy to take advantage of.
We could add a story with war elements, racism and darker themes to show him that the world he idolizes isn’t as cracked up as he thought it’d be. Ideally, I’d like a full harem party for this one but I’m cool with one on one too.)
Starter: It had been a few days since I was finally able to leave the small village, I was raised in behind me. Sword on hip and keen to become an adventurer. Of course, I also wanted to make a name for myself and I was even more excited to see everything the world had to offer. With driving me forward I headed from my village over to the closest city which had a guild branch. A city called Ruan. It was nearly five times the size of my village if not more and yet it was nothing close to the capital city of Grancel.
Smooth dirt paths soon gave way to cobblestone and my boots clacked rhythmically against the pavement as my steps soon got faster and faster as Ruan came into view. My stomach was in knots as I gripped the straps on my bag tightly and after steeling my nerves and taking in the sight of the large city, I headed through the large stone arch to the busy streets beyond.
My excited eyes looked around at every nook and cranny as I took in every detail that was on offer. Soon coming across the large marble and wood building of the adventurer’s guild in front of me. I stood in front of the large building clearly awestruck and for a moment I felt completely overwhelmed. This was it. This was the first step I was going to take on my journey and yet I felt far too nervous to head inside. Instead I stood there shaking slightly as I tried to work up the courage to push those large oak doors aside and declare my presence to the world.
Idea 14: Man of the town. (So again the premise is also pretty basic. My character wakes up in a town where there’s no men, as if they all vanished at once. Including his father which leaves him home alone with his sister and mother. (It’s up to you if you want incest in the plot or not.) We can have a story with an element of mystery to it too if you want! Or we can just bounce around the town having him bonk as many different people as you want.)
Starter: It’s been a few weeks since all the men in the town vanished one day. One day they were there and the next they were gone. There was of course a panic even though it is much calmer than originally, it continues to creep in the back of everyone’s mind. It doesn’t help the fact that no outsiders have come into the town and some strange thick fog seems to stop everyone from leaving.
However, with no answers it was left to the women of the town to pick up the slack and try to push for some level of normalcy. Except for me it seemed. Since the whole act started, I was in lockdown not being free to leave my home since my mother and sister was much too paranoid that I’d disappear too. With the amount of time I spent indoors going stir crazy I began to wonder if it was better to be wherever the rest of them are.
Today was different though and finally I was given the chance to leave the house while my mother was careless and rather quickly, I headed out into the street just glad to take in the scenery as I headed over to a nearby park. I headed over the soft grass feeling it beneath my shoes and then to the pond where I took a seat on one of the mounted benches.
Idea 15: Zombie and Nuclear Apocalypse. (Not a whole lot to say here other than it’s one of your run of the mill Zombie/Nuclear apocalypse scenarios. I might toy with the idea of having multiple zombie types like games such as Dying light and Left for dead in order to spice things up a little but we’ll see where we go with it. As for nuclear I’ll probably be following along the Fallout franchise. Being part of these worlds will probably make my character a bit more brash, blunt and even a little rude. However, given some time he’ll warm up.)
Zombie Starter: No one knows quite when the outbreak started, however it swept over the globe causing panic. People eating people. People dying and coming back to life as a shambling corpse joining the armies of similar creatures. Society crumbled over time and the cities which were now hot zones for hordes of the undead creatures were left abandoned to all but the most daring or desperate of individuals. However, these rabid hordes weren’t the only thing to look out for in the apocalypse.
Society had begun to reform in its most primal form. People grouped together for safety. Those who just wanted to live peacefully became easy prey for those who saw the end of the world as we knew it as a playground to kill pillage and steal what they’d like. These bandits created their own factions with their own fortresses and seemed to have an endless supply of guns and ammo as they used it quite liberally.
I had been on the trail of a particularly nasty group of bandits as they razed whatever small settlements, they had to the ground callously and without mercy. I had just arrived at one of these towns. Dying people lay scattered about while fires licked at the makeshift buildings. It was still quite fresh. Approaching a nearby body which seemed to be moving slightly I turned it over the man was in bad shape and was clearly on death’s door. His eyes looking into mine in a pleading sense.
“Do you want me to make it quick?” I asked him reaching my left hand down to my machete which hung on my belt. Weakly his hand reached out to grip my right as he gave a nod. I knew the death wouldn’t be clean, as I unsheathed my blade. However, I couldn’t waste any ammo on my pistol nor could I risk tipping off the bandits that did this that I was following them. With a quick swing I slammed the blade into the head of the man ending his life and after wiping the blade off on his shirt I slid it back into its sheath my eyes scanning the immediate area for any of the undead which had turned or for a slim chance of getting a glimpse of survivors.
Nuclear Apocalypse Starter:
The world as we knew it ended in a flash. A white light followed by a rumble which washed over the world in nuclear fire. Billions died then and there reducing the world’s population to the brink. Those who were lucky to survive a direct blast were mutated to become much different than humans and more akin to zombies. Those outside of it didn’t have much quality of life as the radiation created mutated creatures which made living in a barren wasteland that much harder.
There were others however who were lucky enough to be given a spot in giant underground vaults. There they lived out their lives separated from the horrors that this new world wrought. One by one these vaults opened to allow these vault dwellers into the wasteland that was our world.
Their blue suits and clueless natures made them stand out and become easy prey to raiders, giant creatures and everything in between. Many of them didn’t get far before being gutted and robbed for their illusive vault suits which earned enough to feed a scavenger or bandit for a month.
The world and society began to rebuild. And with small settlements and towns popping up here and there it wasn’t all doom and gloom for the wasteland. Many were able to create jobs in local milita, mercenary work. Even trading or bartending.
I was such a mercenary a few generations of my family lived through the bombing and the radiation which was lucky enough for me, I guess. I was hired to do whatever someone wanted for the right price. And today I was tasked with delving into a recently opened vault and check make contact with the inhabitants inside.
Colt python on my waist I headed over to the large vault door which at this point was sealed shut and knocked loudly. This job seemed rather easy and was paying a lot which made me wonder who I was working for and what purpose they had with these vault dwellers. However, I wasn’t paid to ask questions nor did I really care at the end of the day. The less I knew the less guilt I could feel.
Idea 16: Space/Scifi. (So this is a scifi adventure. My character is the captain of his own ship and is currently looking for recruits to join him and help run it. There will probably be lots of interesting planets our characters go to and I’ll certainly be making them up as we go along! Your character can range as anything from a human to android or even an alien.)
Starter: Stepping out of The Tempest I breathed in the humid station air of Astra station. The station which was on the furthest reaches of the space ruled over the galactic council; was a haven for the depraved. Outlaws, mercenaries, drug dealers you name it Astra has it and in bountiful supply too.
Which made it a perfect spot to find someone who was desperate to get off the station. Someone who would work for cheap or for free. All I needed to do was to find them. “Schwarzer, don’t forget to stock up on food, military rations are sad.” A voice commented through the earpiece I had. “Yeah. I’ll head through the slums and to the market. Thanks, Evai.” I responded. “And don’t cause any trouble, I don’t wanna rot in this ship while you’re dead.” The voice added on. “Yeah yeah I’ve got it.” I responded as the communication line was severed and I started on my walk.
I headed through a nearby door and down into the depths of the station. Soon I the overcrowded and frankly smelly slums. Beggars and gang members lined every corner all looking at me with a cautious eye as I passed. There were even a few tweaked out drug users laying scattered about in some dark corners. Even a few corpses.
I didn’t stop though, if you stayed in one place too long down here you were asking to be jumped and quickly, I pushed on heading over to the bustling markets. The food quality here wasn’t the best although it was abundant. I even talked to a few of the store owners to see if they knew where I could find the extra hands to help me on my ship.
Idea 17: Brother sisteMother son (Or both). (So, this starter is gonna be fairly generic, however it’s open to allowing any of the familial ties to be easily included. I have a few ideas for immediate family and will post them below and if you have any ideas, I’m happy to hear them.)
Starter: It’s a hot and lazy day in the middle of summer break. I had laid splayed out on the couch at home. Despite the air conditioner being on full blast my skin underneath my tank top was getting stuck to the leather couch; which did little to alleviate the heat fluster that was going on. I sighed after looking over the back of the couch to the pool outback longingly. I sighed a little resigning myself to bite the bullet and peeled myself from the couch.
As much as I wanted to strip down and run out, I wasn’t entirely sure if I was home alone and as such, I headed up to my room to change into a pair of swimming trunks before heading back downstairs. Passing through the laundry and grabbing a towel on the way.
I headed onto the back deck and draped my towel over the railing before I rushed over and leapt into the pool immediately feeling the cool water wash away any of the heat I had been feeling. I resurface and breathed a sigh of relief as I pushed my messy hair back from my face.
Idea 18: Aunt/Cousin (Can be both). (Again like the incest scene above I’m not quite sure how to spruce this one up so I’ll leave it rather basic and we can go from there.)
Starter: My family has gone on holiday without me as I had to stay behind due to being caught up in exams. Rather than meeting up with them later they decided it would be more fun for me if I finished them up then headed over to spend some time with my Aunt and my cousin across the county. While I wouldn’t be leaving the country, I was still getting a vacation in a way and as such I tried my best to be upbeat and positive about it, even if I was envious of the others.
While it wasn’t the same pristine beaches and high-class resorts that the rest of my family was going to, I was still grateful for the hospitality. The plane lands in the airport and after collecting my bags and checking my phone for a confirmation I was going to be picked up I sent my family and my aunt and cousin a quick text telling them I landed safely. After gathering my small suitcase from the conveyor belt, I wheeled it through security and out to the meeting area keeping my eyes peeled for any sign of my cousin or my auntie. There was a little confusion about who was going to greet me so I wasn’t sure who to expect myself.
Idea 19: Incest family vacation. (So, this one is again going to be like the other two before it. They kinda roll off each other in a way. However, I believe it allows for a wide range of engagements with multiple characters at some kind of beach resort.)
Starter: It’s the dead middle of another scorching summer and rather than tough it out in our homes which has air-conditioning which never seemed to help, our large family decided to all go to a large resort (Could even be a cruise too) together. Many of the rooms were rather luxurious and I was more than excited to see what the rest of the hotel had to offer.
We pulled up into the lobby and while the parents were checking in I headed over to check out a map on the wall. It seemed there were quite a lot of different things to do around the resort. There was a pool with a poolside bar, a beach which had volleyball games, a massage parlour, hot tubs and many different activities ranging from native dances to eating competitions.
Just the realization we were here and the excitement at the many possibilities that could come from the vacation. Maybe I’d even meet someone nice and have a vacation fling. Although with so many family members running around, I doubted that I’d get much peace to do that. Regardless I was eager to get up to the room, have a shower and change into my swimming trunks to explore all the different places.
We headed up to the rooms where I noticed mine had a large double bed. However, judging by my mother’s comments outside It seemed there was some kind of mix-up in the rooms and I’d be sharing the room with one of my family members. Not that I minded too much. I placed my suitcase down and waited to see who would come in and if they were interested in joining me look around.
Closing words: So yeah that’s about it! Thanks for reading and if you have any questions or suggestions, I’m open to hearing them! I know this was probably a big read so thanks again for your time and I hope to talk to some of you soon!
submitted by Joker_ERP to Dirtypenpalsuk [link] [comments]


2020.11.21 15:11 Joker_ERP [M4A] (A playing as F) Massive list of RP prompts (Rule 34, fandoms, Games, OC, Incest Ect.)

Hey there! Today I’ve got a massive list of rp ideas and have written out some starters along with some ideas to how I see the rp going. I’m open to change and ready to do other ideas too. So if you feel like you’ve got an idea I might be interested in feel free to talk to me about those: ).
As for my replies. I write in first person mainly and my reply length varies. I generally do anything from a few sentences to a paragraph or more and generally require my partner to do the same. Fair warning the less detail you reply with the less interested I’ll be in rping with you. (Not looking for a few words as a response)
I enjoy having a story to go along with the smut so it’s not just constant sex, some cute or action driven moments are fun as well. – Hand holding and cute dates are pleasant! I mainly do my rps on kik, discord or here. I also have an RP facebook account, so feel free to ask for my users for those! : )
My kinks and limits list might be a big read, but none are compulsory. I’m just here to have fun and hopefully meet some cool rp partners : )
Kinks: Harems (Doesn’t mean having to play all characters at once, just one by one is fine!), Incest, Outercourse (Which is stuff like titjobs, thigh jobs, grinding, hot dogging) Risky public spaces (Toilet stalls, changing booths. That kinda thing where people could get caught.) Facials, Freckles (Face and body). Big/nicely shaped bums (Especially if they jiggle). Creampies, Cum on tits/body, big cumshots, Thigh high socks. showewater sex (pools, shower, hot tubs ect.) Mutual desire for sex.
Limits: Pregnancy (Hard limit sorry), Vomit, Piss, Blood, Toilet stuff, Rape, Gangbangs (Unless it’s multiple females) Male on Male, futas, rimming/pegging.
There might be more that I’m forgetting so if you’re unsure feel free to ask me! The rougher side of sex like Name calling, slapping choking spanking I can all do as well! : ) Without further ado let’s jump into the starters!
Disclaimer: I am 18+ and all participants and characters must be 18+
Here's the basic list of ideas if you wanted to look them over before reading the full posts. I’m also open to some ideas that I may have missed! And please note: I’m looking for FEMALE characters only!
Rule 34/Fandom/Game Ideas: Idea 1: My Harem (Hero) Academia. Idea 2: Pokémon Idea 3: Naruto Idea 4: Bleach Idea 5: One piece. Idea 6: Sword Art Online. Idea 7: Fairy Tail. Idea 8: Avatar The Last Airbender. Idea 9: Persona (Girls from 4 and 5). Idea 10: Harry Potter. Idea 11: Final Fantasy. Idea 12: The Witcher 3.
OC Ideas: Idea 13: Fantasy harem adventure. Idea 14: Only Man of the town. Idea 15: Zombie and Nuclear Apocalypse. Idea 16: Sci-Fi space crew.
Incest Ideas: Idea 17: Brother sisteMother son (Or both). Idea 18: Aunt/Cousin. (Can be both) Idea 19: Incest family vacation.
Idea 1: My Harem (Hero) Academia.
(So my character will be a transfer into Class 1-A. His power is the power of persuasion. With the power he’s able to convince someone to do something as if it’s their own will. However, he’s hesitant to use it on other people and to tell everyone he even has it as he’s been outcast at his last school for the villainous nature of his quirk. As such he can’t use it to its full extent and can only issue small commands to begin with.
My idea with this is that one or more (cannon or non) of the girls decide to help him out in a private setting and overtime it gets more and more sexual in nature. And as he becomes more confident, he’s able to issue more longer-term commands. This can also be mixed in well with some story and some action to keep the plot interesting.)
Starter: It was a day which started like most others in Class 1-A. The students got ready in the dorms and headed to class to chat among themselves while they waited for Aizawa to enter. However, unlike most days there seemed to be an extra desk placed in the room. The seat caused some confusion which didn’t last long as the first bell rang and Aizawa entered the room.
“Morning everyone.” He stated in his mainly bored and sleepy tone which seemed to sound like he was stifling a yawn. “Today we’ve got a new student transferring in from another school. He’s from Shiketsu, some of you may recognize the name since it’s got the same level as prestige as U.A. but regardless make sure he feels welcome.” He said pointing a sweeping stare at everyone and finally resting on the problem child of the U.A class Bakugo.
With that he fell silent and I felt it was my cue to enter. Swallowing a little at the nerves I steeled them quickly and entered. My blue eyes sweeping over some of the familiar faces in the room. Many of the students had standout performances in the UA sports festival and as well in the news reports about the villain attack on the training camp.
I had a lot to live up to if I wanted to join these legends in training but regardless, I was determined to do just that. Breathing a little and shifting my auburn hair from my eyes I smiled the best I could. “My name is Schwarzer, Chris Schwarzer. It’s a pleasure to meet you all.” I say bowing to the class.
Satisfied with the introduction Aizawa nodded to the spare seat in the room. Taking that as an order I nodded back and headed over to my seat sitting down and getting my books out. Curiously I turned to the seat next to me noticing one of the girls in the class and gave her a slight smile as Aizawa began his lesson.
Idea 2: Pokemon. (So this one is super simple. Some trainers or a trainer and his Pokémon go on a grand adventure. For this one my favourite Canon female are: Marnie, May, Hilda and May. And my favourite Anthro Pokémon are Lopunny, Arcanine, Blaiziken That’s just for reference though and you can really play whoever you like! Ocs are of course welcome too!)
Trainer x Trainer Starter:
I like many others in the world of Pokémon have just started on my journey. Although I had done so a little late. Regardless me and my starter Pokémon Aipom which was a gift from my late father. Setting off with excitement to make a name of myself.
That excitement wore off pretty quickly however as an advanced trainer stepped in my path and soon, I realized how big the gap between us was. He wiped the floor with my aipom and laughed as he took my “Prize money” Scooping up my aipom I rushed through the rest of the route and over to the next town ducking quickly into the Pokémon centre.
Looking around there was a few new trainers who seemed to have fallen to the same fate as I had and I shook my head. Guys like that were total assholes and without hesitating I headed over to the counter where the nurse took my Aipom from me. Once he was gone, I was told there was going to be a short wait due to the amount of Pokémon they had to treat. I nodded as I headed over and sat down in one of the seats.
Idea 3: Naruto. (So for this one I like the idea that my character is a nomadic mercenary hired by the leaf to help train the ninja of the village, maybe he also has some kind of hidden power that boosts his chakra but also increases his libido. Not too sure how I wanna go about this one.)
Starter: The Hokage Tsunade Senju looked over me with a curious gaze and then down to my application form. “You’re younger than I expected given everything you’ve done.” She stated honestly. “But the intelligence division did a thorough search into you and you check out.” She stated as she slammed the approved stamp down onto my paper.
“Just remember, if you do anything to endanger this village, I’ll snuff you out personally.” She said in an icy and threatening tone. Feeling a cold bead of sweat roll down the side of my face I nodded. “Of course. I wouldn’t dream of it.” I say. Internally I make a mental note not to cross her in any way.
“Good.” She said putting a smile across her features. “Your first group is down on the training field waiting for you already.” She stated. “Your lodgings will be set up by the time you’re done, here’s the key.” She said tossing the key to me which I caught and stuffed into my pocket. I was a little shocked with how quick she wanted me to get to work but I nodded. “Right!” I say giving a respectful bow before heading out.
It took me a little longer than expected to actually find the training grounds as I hadn’t ever been here before. And when I got there much to her credit there were a few ninja standing around. Approaching them I gave them a sheepish smile. “Sorry I’m late guys.” I called out. “I got lost.” I added on.
Idea 4: Bleach. (So a new human soul reaper makes it into the soul society. His power isn’t captain level to begin with simply being enough to take out the average hollow. And with the resurgence of the hollow threat the Soul Society has offered to give him a substitute badge to take out those hollows deemed too small for the soul society to handle. Maybe he’s paired up with someone or someone like Orihime steps in to help him grow.)
Starter: Another boring day at school followed by a night of boring patrols. With all the big hollows being taken care of by “Full-fledged” Soul reapers it didn’t leave me with much opportunity to train against bigger enemies.
At least that’s what I thought originally. A few blocks from me there was a rift which opened up and the pure spiritual pressure that came from the hollow that stepped out of it was enough to make me feel as though gravity itself was pushing against me.
It was hard to breathe and even harder to stand as my hand clutched my blade in my left hand tightly. I shook my head as I heard the loud roar of the large breast and could even see it’s towering form from my position.
It was nothing close to a menos, but it was enough to tower over a three-story building for sure. “Shit.” I hissed to myself as I knew there were no soul reapers around at this stage. With a threat this big I was sure they’d come, but until then it was up to me to buy some time and make sure no humans or souls were consumed.
Pushing myself forward I reached the park that the Hollow had appeared in. Thankfully the park was deserted at this time of night. When he saw me the hollow. “You don’t smell like much, but you’ll do as a snack.” The hollow commented as it charged forward. “Just evade, buy time.” I comment to myself as I began to leap around the battle field looking a bit like and feeling like an idiot.
The hollow toyed with me a little while enjoying the chase before it seemed to ger bored. Just when I was thinking I was fast enough to keep avoiding it the creature’s mouth opened and its forked tongue shot out at me with faster speed than I was anticipating I raised my blade to defend myself but it was a feeble attempt and I knew it wouldn’t be enough.
Idea 5: One Piece. (So I’m not quite sure how to approach this one, but I’ll give it a go. Much like the MHA starter my character will have the power of persuasion, having eaten the Persua-Persua fruit. I’m thinking either he joins the Strawhats and goes on their adventures or he makes his own crew with girls from the story, I’m gonna leave it fairly open ended so we can jump in whenever along the story we wanna go!)
Starter: Alone in a bar I sat staring in the amber liquid in my mug. I was down on my luck after having my whole crew and my ship destroyed in a long battle another pirate crew. The only reason I was able to live through the ordeal was due to my crew sacrificing themselves to give me a chance to escape.
I spent days adrift with little food and water and soon washed up upon the island I was in. Immediately I found a tavern ready to drown my sorrows and feel sorry for myself for a little while.
Letting out a sigh I downed the rest of my drink soon looking at the few drops of liquid bottom of my mug. I knew being a pirate wouldn’t be easy, I knew it’d be violent and end in violence. However, to lose in that fashion without even being able to use my devil fruit to calm or question our opponent and losing everything still took its toll on me.
Scratching at the growing stubble with one hand, the other I raised my mug to demand another drink and as such the bartender approached to fill my mug. “You’re looking a little rough there, you sure you need another?” The bartender asked as he took the mug from me. “I don’t have anything else to do. I don’t even know what else to do with myself.” I responded grumpily. “Just fill it up.” I demanded. “Right.” The bartender responded as he filled it with more of the alcoholic amber liquid and slid It in front of me.
Idea 6: Sword Art Online. (Fairly simple it’s SAO set in the original death game. I love the idea, so I’ve always loved rping this one. If you want to play canon characters my fave is for sure Lizbeth, but I’m open to OC characters!)
Starter: It’s been months since Akihiko Kayaba has trapped us into this death game. Or at least that’s how some people looked at it. Others saw it as their dream come true. But most if not, all wanted to push forward and beat the game.
Despite the desire to push forward little progress has been made. Guilds and parties have formed to push through dungeons but with the increased danger and with it more deaths; more and more people simply decided to live out their lives on the lower floors.
Unlike those rushing in to push through the content I was happy enough to go through it at my own pace. This place was like a dream for me, save for the fact I had an increased chance of dying I was able to live in this game without the worries of the outside world.
I was doing some late-night grinding in an area of dense forest. The sun had set and there was little light save for the bright moon poking through the trees. All was calm, the trees swayed with the wind and the occasional sound of creatures moving about was enough to calm me.
However, the deeper I got into the forest the louder a sound became. At first it was quiet but as I approached, I heard it more clearly. It sounded like steel clashing against steel. Someone was fighting. Moving from a casual walk into a jog I quickly came to a small clearing where I saw two figures fighting, although in the low light I couldn’t make it out until I got closer.
Idea 7: Fairy Tail. (it’s been a little while since I’ve seen the series, but I’ve always loved it! Given my time away I might have to take some time to refamiliarize myself with the magics. My character will simply be an entry level member into the guild to begin with, canon characters are welcome just as OCs are!)
Starter: Another day in magnolia and another party being held at the large guild building at the centre of town. A large-scale job had just finished with some of the senior ranking wizards. and even though I wasn’t part of that mission, instead being on my own D-Rank job I joined in on the celebrations.
I had only been part of the guild for a few days and so far, it’s not been as exciting as I’d hoped, although I figured that it’d pick up once I proved myself. I was drinking by myself when I was approached by Makarov. He was wearing an essentric looking orange outfit. “Schwarzer my boy!” He said as he patted me on the shoulder. “How are you fitting in?” He questioned. “Fine sir! Everyone has been very welcoming.” I say to him in response. “Glad to hear it! You’ve been doing a good job, although I’d like to see you do more.” The male said. “So I’ve arranged a partner for you on your next job, that way you can take something more challenging, what do you say?” He questioned.
“Yes of course!” I say eagerly as a smile spread across my face. “Great!” He said cheerfully. “I’ll introduce you to who you’ll be working with.” He said as he stood from his spot and lead the way over to a female clearing his throat loud enough to get their attention.
Idea 8: Avatar the Last Airbender. (So for this one I guess it can go two different ways. My fave girls from Avatar would probably be Ty Lee, Suki and Toph. Maybe my character is a powerful bender that either the fire nation or team Avatar wants on their side. I think it might be cool to think that Aang isn’t the only airbender and instead a small faction managed to escape and continue the lineage. Either that or my character is a powerful firebender of some kind. I’ll leave whichever you prefer to you in your first reply as I’ll leave it open ended.)
Starter: The world was at war ever since the Fire nation attacked. With the intense fighting came mercenaries. Freelance benders or soldiers ready to fight on either side. For a fee of course. And despite my age, being only eighteen I was quite renown amongst the other bounty hunters for my bending.
Of course, there were talks of the Avatar returning, having repelled an invasion in the south pole, the liberation of Omashu and then the fire nation prison. It seemed they were making quite the stir in the earth kingdom.
It’d only be a matter of time before they reached the small town, I was in. Perhaps they were already here. But if that was the case surely there would be some kind of stir. Pushing my hair from my face I ordered another drink from the barkeep. “You know you’re my favourite customer Schwarzer…. You’re the only one who consistently pays his tab. Unlike the rest of these soldiers or the workers around here.” The older man says in clear annoyance.
“Well who knows, if I wasn’t so successful, I’d probably mooch off you too.” I admitted with a grin. “Try not to talk too ill of the soldiers on either side.” I added on flicking him an extra coin for a tip once my drink was finished. “Well I better check if anyone has a job for me.” I say as I pushed myself up from my seat.
Idea 9: Persona. (So basically this is just gonna be a fairly interesting idea. My character along with the girls of persona 4 and 5 get stranded in this strange dimension where they have to fight their way out to make it back to their own worlds.)
Starter: It all happened so fast. One minute I was in a team meeting with my group discussing what we should use our newfound powers for next. And the next second, I had blinked and I was in some kind of strange room.
One by one more people were added into this room. Some of which were dressed in some elaborate costumes. And I frowned as I looked to each one of them, all of which I didn’t recognize at all and judging by their looks they didn’t recognize me. Although before we managed to introduce ourselves a booming voice broke the silence.
“Welcome all!” The clearly male voice commented. “To the room of my design.” He added on. “I’m sure you’re all confused. And no doubt you’ll want to return back to your homes. However, to do so you’ll need to enter my labyrinth. “Make it to the end and you’ll all return home.” The voice explained.
“Of course, this maze isn’t without its dangers. Enemies, much like you encounter on a regular basis will roam these halls. As well as beasts of my own design far stronger than those… Fear no though for every check point you reach this room will become more furnished with amenities. For now, you simply have beds to rest on.” He said as there was an audible click and the dark room was suddenly lit up. Sure, enough there were rows of beds all lined up one for each person to sleep on.
“When you’re ready to test yourselves step through this door and enter the first level of the labyrinth.” He declared as a large door appeared and opened up in front of them. For a while nobody said anything probably all too stunned to even process the information. “So, I’m guessing we’re all persona users given what he just said.” I spoke up. “I guess we should probably start with names and strengths, right?” I questioned the group. “I’m Chris Schwarzer.” I say. “My persona Serapth focuses on ranged combat.” I explained.
Idea 10: Harry Potter. (So to keep this one interesting I’m thinking of having it set in an AU where Voldemort and Harry don’t exist. However, there are still dark wizards who are part of a cult around. Defs looking for a Hermionie, Luna or Ginny, you could even have other celebs/ecelebs as teachers or students for this one! Ocs are of course welcome too!)
Starter: Another year at Hogwarts, the last for some; and another year of learning was right around the corner. Although times were not peaceful in the wizarding world. Aurors who were the police of the magical world were going missing or showing up dead.
The ministry not wanting to make a panic kept it fairly under wraps, however some of the families have come forward with the information and rumours abounded about what was really happening. Stepping off the train I sighed a little rubbing my temple where a headache had begun to set in. During the train ride here, I found myself stuck next to a boy who wouldn’t stop going on about the rumours and conspiracy theories.
Glad to be off the train I looked around for a minute lost as to where I needed to go. “I know it’s around here somewhere.” I commented, although my sense of direction was always off. Usually I followed everyone else. But this time it seemed I was one of the last ones off the train.
Idea 11: Final Fantasy. (So this is simply going to be an idea with no starter since it will probably change depending on the many FF universes. My favourite however is defs FF7. (Tifa, Jessie and Aerith are best girls) with follow-ups being 12, 13, 15, 10, 8 and 9. Basically a fight would take the Main character of those series, Cloud, Noct, ect out of commission and needing a leader the other characters step up and hire mine on. Similar to some of my other prompts but I never said I was creative :^) With that being said though if you ARE interested in this one let me know and we can work out details depending on what world we’re in!)
Idea 12: The Witcher 3. (So my character will be a Witcher. (wow!) Saving people, hunting things you know? The family business. Anyway, I’m gonna leave it super open ended for you to come in however you like! If you wanna play a canon character my top two are for sure Ciri and Trist, and OC characters are accepted too!)
Starter: A Werewolf, an odd and rare contract, although I figured it wouldn’t be a hard one. In face I figured with my silver blade that the creature would go down rather quickly. Starting the encounter, I was faced with a harsh reality due to my hubris. I started off well enough, however due to my carelessness I was quickly on the backfoot.
The beast roared as it swung its large clawed hand towards me. I had barely managed to roll out of the way of the attack. Probably due to the increasing levels of bloodless resulting in a careless action on my part. A level of confidence quickly pushed down by the fact a handful of open wounds stung at my flanks.
More scars for later given that I make it out of here, although with my silver blade thrown on the other side of the area leaving me with only a steel sword which barely even phases the thing. I had to reach my blade, although with my focus on dodging the attacks it was hard to find an opening to do so.
I raised a hand and cast the igni sign launching flames at the creature who leapt back and I tried my best to make it past the creature only to have to dodge another strike as the beast recovered remarkably fast. “Stubborn bastard, aren’t you?” I questioned a little sourly.
Idea 13: Fantasy harem adventure. (This one is fairly basic in nature. Basically, a young man with little combat experience leaves his poor hunting village once he’s of age and sets off to join the adventurer’s guild to make a name for himself and also to send money back home. He’s fairly modest, naive and kind hearted. Which makes him likable and easy to take advantage of.
We could add a story with war elements, racism and darker themes to show him that the world he idolizes isn’t as cracked up as he thought it’d be. Ideally, I’d like a full harem party for this one but I’m cool with one on one too.)
Starter: It had been a few days since I was finally able to leave the small village, I was raised in behind me. Sword on hip and keen to become an adventurer. Of course, I also wanted to make a name for myself and I was even more excited to see everything the world had to offer. With driving me forward I headed from my village over to the closest city which had a guild branch. A city called Ruan. It was nearly five times the size of my village if not more and yet it was nothing close to the capital city of Grancel.
Smooth dirt paths soon gave way to cobblestone and my boots clacked rhythmically against the pavement as my steps soon got faster and faster as Ruan came into view. My stomach was in knots as I gripped the straps on my bag tightly and after steeling my nerves and taking in the sight of the large city, I headed through the large stone arch to the busy streets beyond.
My excited eyes looked around at every nook and cranny as I took in every detail that was on offer. Soon coming across the large marble and wood building of the adventurer’s guild in front of me. I stood in front of the large building clearly awestruck and for a moment I felt completely overwhelmed. This was it. This was the first step I was going to take on my journey and yet I felt far too nervous to head inside. Instead I stood there shaking slightly as I tried to work up the courage to push those large oak doors aside and declare my presence to the world.
Idea 14: Man of the town. (So again the premise is also pretty basic. My character wakes up in a town where there’s no men, as if they all vanished at once. Including his father which leaves him home alone with his sister and mother. (It’s up to you if you want incest in the plot or not.) We can have a story with an element of mystery to it too if you want! Or we can just bounce around the town having him bonk as many different people as you want.)
Starter: It’s been a few weeks since all the men in the town vanished one day. One day they were there and the next they were gone. There was of course a panic even though it is much calmer than originally, it continues to creep in the back of everyone’s mind. It doesn’t help the fact that no outsiders have come into the town and some strange thick fog seems to stop everyone from leaving.
However, with no answers it was left to the women of the town to pick up the slack and try to push for some level of normalcy. Except for me it seemed. Since the whole act started, I was in lockdown not being free to leave my home since my mother and sister was much too paranoid that I’d disappear too. With the amount of time I spent indoors going stir crazy I began to wonder if it was better to be wherever the rest of them are.
Today was different though and finally I was given the chance to leave the house while my mother was careless and rather quickly, I headed out into the street just glad to take in the scenery as I headed over to a nearby park. I headed over the soft grass feeling it beneath my shoes and then to the pond where I took a seat on one of the mounted benches.
Idea 15: Zombie and Nuclear Apocalypse. (Not a whole lot to say here other than it’s one of your run of the mill Zombie/Nuclear apocalypse scenarios. I might toy with the idea of having multiple zombie types like games such as Dying light and Left for dead in order to spice things up a little but we’ll see where we go with it. As for nuclear I’ll probably be following along the Fallout franchise. Being part of these worlds will probably make my character a bit more brash, blunt and even a little rude. However, given some time he’ll warm up.)
Zombie Starter: No one knows quite when the outbreak started, however it swept over the globe causing panic. People eating people. People dying and coming back to life as a shambling corpse joining the armies of similar creatures. Society crumbled over time and the cities which were now hot zones for hordes of the undead creatures were left abandoned to all but the most daring or desperate of individuals. However, these rabid hordes weren’t the only thing to look out for in the apocalypse.
Society had begun to reform in its most primal form. People grouped together for safety. Those who just wanted to live peacefully became easy prey for those who saw the end of the world as we knew it as a playground to kill pillage and steal what they’d like. These bandits created their own factions with their own fortresses and seemed to have an endless supply of guns and ammo as they used it quite liberally.
I had been on the trail of a particularly nasty group of bandits as they razed whatever small settlements, they had to the ground callously and without mercy. I had just arrived at one of these towns. Dying people lay scattered about while fires licked at the makeshift buildings. It was still quite fresh. Approaching a nearby body which seemed to be moving slightly I turned it over the man was in bad shape and was clearly on death’s door. His eyes looking into mine in a pleading sense.
“Do you want me to make it quick?” I asked him reaching my left hand down to my machete which hung on my belt. Weakly his hand reached out to grip my right as he gave a nod. I knew the death wouldn’t be clean, as I unsheathed my blade. However, I couldn’t waste any ammo on my pistol nor could I risk tipping off the bandits that did this that I was following them. With a quick swing I slammed the blade into the head of the man ending his life and after wiping the blade off on his shirt I slid it back into its sheath my eyes scanning the immediate area for any of the undead which had turned or for a slim chance of getting a glimpse of survivors.
Nuclear Apocalypse Starter:
The world as we knew it ended in a flash. A white light followed by a rumble which washed over the world in nuclear fire. Billions died then and there reducing the world’s population to the brink. Those who were lucky to survive a direct blast were mutated to become much different than humans and more akin to zombies. Those outside of it didn’t have much quality of life as the radiation created mutated creatures which made living in a barren wasteland that much harder.
There were others however who were lucky enough to be given a spot in giant underground vaults. There they lived out their lives separated from the horrors that this new world wrought. One by one these vaults opened to allow these vault dwellers into the wasteland that was our world.
Their blue suits and clueless natures made them stand out and become easy prey to raiders, giant creatures and everything in between. Many of them didn’t get far before being gutted and robbed for their illusive vault suits which earned enough to feed a scavenger or bandit for a month.
The world and society began to rebuild. And with small settlements and towns popping up here and there it wasn’t all doom and gloom for the wasteland. Many were able to create jobs in local milita, mercenary work. Even trading or bartending.
I was such a mercenary a few generations of my family lived through the bombing and the radiation which was lucky enough for me, I guess. I was hired to do whatever someone wanted for the right price. And today I was tasked with delving into a recently opened vault and check make contact with the inhabitants inside.
Colt python on my waist I headed over to the large vault door which at this point was sealed shut and knocked loudly. This job seemed rather easy and was paying a lot which made me wonder who I was working for and what purpose they had with these vault dwellers. However, I wasn’t paid to ask questions nor did I really care at the end of the day. The less I knew the less guilt I could feel.
Idea 16: Space/Scifi. (So this is a scifi adventure. My character is the captain of his own ship and is currently looking for recruits to join him and help run it. There will probably be lots of interesting planets our characters go to and I’ll certainly be making them up as we go along! Your character can range as anything from a human to android or even an alien.)
Starter: Stepping out of The Tempest I breathed in the humid station air of Astra station. The station which was on the furthest reaches of the space ruled over the galactic council; was a haven for the depraved. Outlaws, mercenaries, drug dealers you name it Astra has it and in bountiful supply too.
Which made it a perfect spot to find someone who was desperate to get off the station. Someone who would work for cheap or for free. All I needed to do was to find them. “Schwarzer, don’t forget to stock up on food, military rations are sad.” A voice commented through the earpiece I had. “Yeah. I’ll head through the slums and to the market. Thanks, Evai.” I responded. “And don’t cause any trouble, I don’t wanna rot in this ship while you’re dead.” The voice added on. “Yeah yeah I’ve got it.” I responded as the communication line was severed and I started on my walk.
I headed through a nearby door and down into the depths of the station. Soon I the overcrowded and frankly smelly slums. Beggars and gang members lined every corner all looking at me with a cautious eye as I passed. There were even a few tweaked out drug users laying scattered about in some dark corners. Even a few corpses.
I didn’t stop though, if you stayed in one place too long down here you were asking to be jumped and quickly, I pushed on heading over to the bustling markets. The food quality here wasn’t the best although it was abundant. I even talked to a few of the store owners to see if they knew where I could find the extra hands to help me on my ship.
Idea 17: Brother sisteMother son (Or both). (So, this starter is gonna be fairly generic, however it’s open to allowing any of the familial ties to be easily included. I have a few ideas for immediate family and will post them below and if you have any ideas, I’m happy to hear them.)
Starter: It’s a hot and lazy day in the middle of summer break. I had laid splayed out on the couch at home. Despite the air conditioner being on full blast my skin underneath my tank top was getting stuck to the leather couch; which did little to alleviate the heat fluster that was going on. I sighed after looking over the back of the couch to the pool outback longingly. I sighed a little resigning myself to bite the bullet and peeled myself from the couch.
As much as I wanted to strip down and run out, I wasn’t entirely sure if I was home alone and as such, I headed up to my room to change into a pair of swimming trunks before heading back downstairs. Passing through the laundry and grabbing a towel on the way.
I headed onto the back deck and draped my towel over the railing before I rushed over and leapt into the pool immediately feeling the cool water wash away any of the heat I had been feeling. I resurface and breathed a sigh of relief as I pushed my messy hair back from my face.
Idea 18: Aunt/Cousin (Can be both). (Again like the incest scene above I’m not quite sure how to spruce this one up so I’ll leave it rather basic and we can go from there.)
Starter: My family has gone on holiday without me as I had to stay behind due to being caught up in exams. Rather than meeting up with them later they decided it would be more fun for me if I finished them up then headed over to spend some time with my Aunt and my cousin across the county. While I wouldn’t be leaving the country, I was still getting a vacation in a way and as such I tried my best to be upbeat and positive about it, even if I was envious of the others.
While it wasn’t the same pristine beaches and high-class resorts that the rest of my family was going to, I was still grateful for the hospitality. The plane lands in the airport and after collecting my bags and checking my phone for a confirmation I was going to be picked up I sent my family and my aunt and cousin a quick text telling them I landed safely. After gathering my small suitcase from the conveyor belt, I wheeled it through security and out to the meeting area keeping my eyes peeled for any sign of my cousin or my auntie. There was a little confusion about who was going to greet me so I wasn’t sure who to expect myself.
Idea 19: Incest family vacation. (So, this one is again going to be like the other two before it. They kinda roll off each other in a way. However, I believe it allows for a wide range of engagements with multiple characters at some kind of beach resort.)
Starter: It’s the dead middle of another scorching summer and rather than tough it out in our homes which has air-conditioning which never seemed to help, our large family decided to all go to a large resort (Could even be a cruise too) together. Many of the rooms were rather luxurious and I was more than excited to see what the rest of the hotel had to offer.
We pulled up into the lobby and while the parents were checking in I headed over to check out a map on the wall. It seemed there were quite a lot of different things to do around the resort. There was a pool with a poolside bar, a beach which had volleyball games, a massage parlour, hot tubs and many different activities ranging from native dances to eating competitions.
Just the realization we were here and the excitement at the many possibilities that could come from the vacation. Maybe I’d even meet someone nice and have a vacation fling. Although with so many family members running around, I doubted that I’d get much peace to do that. Regardless I was eager to get up to the room, have a shower and change into my swimming trunks to explore all the different places.
We headed up to the rooms where I noticed mine had a large double bed. However, judging by my mother’s comments outside It seemed there was some kind of mix-up in the rooms and I’d be sharing the room with one of my family members. Not that I minded too much. I placed my suitcase down and waited to see who would come in and if they were interested in joining me look around.
Closing words: So yeah that’s about it! Thanks for reading and if you have any questions or suggestions, I’m open to hearing them! I know this was probably a big read so thanks again for your time and I hope to talk to some of you soon!
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