He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore if it be goodness. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance"
The below is a true story of my six nightmare years in the Chuck Hawkins cult, a criminally destructive mind control cult. Photos are included throughout this document.
The chronicle of this horrific story has been shared with numerous organizations including cult awareness groups, Child Protective Services, police agencies including the Kona local police, foundations for abused children, education boards, the Hawaii Dept. of Education, psychology licensing boards, news organizations, the INS regarding immigration fraud, and many others as a warning to those who might choose the route of fanatical idolatry as did those who gave away their minds, their souls, their individuality, their humanity, their knowledge of right and wrong, to commit heinous acts and to defile innocent children as they slavishly followed Chuck Hawkins, "guru" of a criminally destructive cult in Kona, Hawaii and later in San Francisco.
Some of the pages herein are password protected for the time being.
I have been threatened by ex-cult members regarding my making this story public. They would be well advised to bear in mind that the truth is an absolute, 100 percent trump over claims of libel or slander, both of which legal concepts refer to false statements.
The members of this cult fooled themselves into believing that they were working towards enlightenment at the feet of their monstrous"guru," their "psychotherapist," a man who sexually molested young children. They committed atrocities that defy the imagination - and the law.
All the while, these fanatic followers sadly turned into cases of arrested development as they became more and more slavishly dependent on their incestuous group process, harvesting a morbid and self-absorbed preoccupation with their every thought, their every itch, their every whine about every imagined wrong that had ever been committed against them by their parents.
The more horror tales they fabricated about their victimization, the wilder their claims, the better.
"My mother fastened my diapers too tight once when I was only three days old. She stuck me with a pin. I remember it distinctly. I NOW KNOW THAT SHE WAS TRYING TO KILL ME!"
Ad nauseum was their focus in endless groups and individual "sessions," day and night and weekends long, 24 hours a day for months and years, sitting in the lotus position and staring vacantly into each other's eyes as they spewed forth their endless drivel.
As in most destructive cults, there were the main thugs - the topmost hierarchy, the enforcers, the power players - and then there were those who had become so hopelessly dependent upon the process, so spaced out, so unable to live outside the cult, so disempowered, so unable to make their own life decisions that they remained on as slaves to the cult dynamic.
The cult followers, as part of the process, expressed hatred of their parents and families. They reinforced their separation from their former lives by angrily confronting their families from their dizzying, self-righteous heights of their newfound esoterica, their enlightened states of being. They reviled everything about their past friendships, their heritage, their culture, their former lives.
They used the guru's strictures to rip children away from their parents. They confined these same children in tiny rooms for weeks and months on end. They took my own child away from me from birth through six years of age.
They made very dangerous decisions regarding the safety and lives of these children, all in the name of their fanatic adherence to the teachings of their "guru." My own child nearly died at the hands of the main thug-follower, ALLAN FRANK.
Some of these cultists sexually defiled the innocence of the children in the commune absolutely without compunction.
This adolescent game of pretending to "enlightenment" turned deadily and criminal.
To read a story of one victory I had during this time, please refer to my letter to my beautiful daughter who was born in the commune. Follow this link: http://www.missmanagement.com/Commune/CommunePages/LetterToMyDaughter.html.
There are photos throughout these pages. For a look at the Kona coffee farm (the scene of this crime), the "guru," and a few rare photos of me and my daughter, scroll down to the end of this page.
From the body of this story:
POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS * POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS
I recently asked an ex-cult member, "Do you ever stop to wonder why it is that two of the seven children from the commune - BAD odds, statistically speaking - died unspeakable deaths at a young age as a direct result of the abuse they were subjected to in the commune?
POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS * POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS
My very own child, a toddler at this time, nearly died due to the negligence of Allan Frank, the main cult goon whose inattention and wreckless disregard for the life of my tiny daughter as he failed to watch her as she splashed around in a kiddie pool nearly caused tragedy. Her life hung in the balance for an eternity as she choked and gasped for air. Of course, I was never even informed of the near-death of my daughter. Allan Frank and the other cult members kept this secret from me. I only learned of it later when I overheard it being discussed in hushed tones. To this day, Allan Frank, this cult thug, this abject coward has never offered me an explanation of why my child nearly died on his watch, of what was more important to him that day than watching over the safety of my child as she played in a swimming pool, has never expressed to me a single word of sorrow, remorse, fear or responsibility. Not a single word.
POLICE INE DO NOT CROSS * POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS
It is ironic that these very same cult followers who waved a banner reading "SAVE THE CHILDREN FROM THEIR PARENTS' NEUROSES" and used that atrocious lie to separate me from my baby girl from infancy through six years of age, were at the very same time acting so atrociously, not only by using my own daughter in the furtherance of their filthy ends, but by sexually abusing underage children in the commune absolutely without compunction.
POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS * POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS
Note that the sexual abuse of children was not just by the men in the commune against underage girls. Yvonne Edwards and Frances Goode recently admitted to having sexually abused the guru's own 11-year-old son, although they self-righteously declare that they would never confess to this in a court of law. I now wonder if the guru had actually sacrificed his son for these women's "therapy." I wonder if Yvonne Edwards and Frances Goode would talk about their child sexual abuse with the help of the truth serum sodium pentothal. Maybe their children should be taken from them until they confess to their crimes. Or are there laws on the books of civilized nations against such cruel and unusual punishment, even for criminals?
* Shades of Mary Kay Letourneau, the universally reviled former schoolteacher known for having a sexual relationship with her 13-year-old pupil. She was convicted of statutory rape and served seven years in prison.
POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS * POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS
One of these above-mentioned women, Yvonne Edwards, performed a sex demonstration - with the guru - in front of the entire group of 40+ members, within ear- and eye-shot of the children. Both of these women have gotten therapy licenses and dispense lessons in "higher consciousness" to their unsuspecting clients.
POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS * POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS
During their entire lives in the commune, the children, ranging from babies to adolescents, were subjected day and night to the hideously loud, screaming, frightening sights and sounds of 40+ members, all bedded down on one large, dirty mattress, engaging in sex acts of every nature per their fanatical devotion to the guru's perverted strictures and teachings. Sex partners were changed daily according to a "therapeutic" schedule lest any one person become "dependent" on another.
POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS * POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS
Yvonne Edwards, Frances Goode and some other cult followers have also obtained psychology licenses and are out there "therapizing" and manipulating others. Ain't that great news?
POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS * POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS
The crazed voice in my head asks, "What is wrong with this micro picture?" "What is wrong with this macro picture?" What kind of insane parallel universe is it when I am supposed to feel reassured that the guru, a 40-year-old pedophile, is not moving in on my six-year-old daughter BY YVONNE EDWARDS, A CULT THUG WHO IS SEXUALLY ABUSING THE GURU'S OWN YOUNG SON? What kind of world is it where a parent even needs such "reassurance" to begin with? What kind of world is it where a mother is supposed to be satisfied with such scraps of news about her daughter who was ripped from her arms and heart and life by the commune goons for years?
POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS * POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS
These people committed a fatal hit- and- run accident and just drove away. They will get off scot free. They've toodled on down the road on the way to the rest of their lives. It's a sunny day for them and they've surely got their convertible tops down.
Letter to my wonderful former boss in San Francisco:
I always felt very badly about how my co-workers at your company had to carry the ball and work late while I left at 5 p.m.
If only I could have explained back then that I was required to be home by 6 p.m. when the nightly mind scrubbing started in the form of Big Group of the 40 or so devotees of the commune, this 6 p.m. requirement being yet another means of maintaining financial dependence and control over the members.
After all, who could give their all to a career - and thus gain the financial means to leave the cult - when "God" himself commanded you to be home by 6 p.m.? Note that Chuck Hawkins, the "guru," constantly likened himself (in addition to God) to Jesus, Buddha, and "The Big Boys" of the psychotherapy world.
I think this is one more lesson in the importance of being open and honest and taking the high road. You never really know what is going on with another person, the reasons for his or her behavior.
I had not firmed up my escape plans when I first started working for your company, and I was attempting to lay as low as possible while I gathered up the resources to exit from the cult and prepare a home for my daughter and myself.
Note that there was enormous pressure on members never, ever to leave the cult. In angry confrontations in big groups, small groups, and individual "sessions," I was told that I was crazy, that I couldn't make it on my own, that I would die, that I would go insane, that I would destroy my daughter.
The cult went into crisis mode whenever a member threatened to leave. They were extremely threatened at the prospect of a member leaving and actually having a real and independent life because this would reveal the lie of the grotesque lifestyle to which they had spiralled and descended in this horrific, incestuous cult.
They also came face to face with the fact that they themselves had wasted the best years of their lives in this atrocious hellhole. After all, most of the cult members had been there for many years already. By the time the guru died in 1983, most of the members had been in this Godforsaken situation for more than 14 years.
As background, Chuck Hawkins, the "guru" of this cult, had been a psychotherapist with a practice in Greenwich Village. During the 70s, Eastern Mysticism had met Western Psychology. Seeking "enlightenment" was the fashion, and there were many communes set up to live a Walden Pond ideal. A core group of Chuck Hawkins's clients decided to do so in the paradise of Hawaii.
Upon first arriving in the Islands, they rented a rundown mansion on Makiki Street in Honolulu. The commune technically dubbed themselves the "Neuropsyche Analytic Group," but the common name was "The House." Mind-altering drugs were part of the so called therapy just about every weekend (fortunately I was not there during this period of the commune).
One member had a terrible experience with the cult's iron grip on his mind and the LSD he was encouraged to take, and he reported the cult to the authorities. Chuck Hawkins was brought up before the Hawaii psychotherapy regulation board on charges of practicing psychotherapy without a license and encouraging his clients to take hallucinogenic drugs. Unfortunately, he somehow beat the wrap (during this investigation, Chuck Hawkins quickly changed his attire from hippie garb to hastily bought suits, this buffoon who so firmly touted and shouted about his principles).
For transcripts from this legal action, see http://www.missmanagement.com/Commune/CommunePages/LicensingBoardAction.html.
A Hawaii Observer article dated 1.27.77 titled "Psychological Warfare: Regulating the Therapist" will soon be made available on this web site. A partial transcript of Chuck Hawkins's LSD ramblings and incomprehensible and insane spewing forth about his greatness, his constant state of "ecstasy," his sexual affair with the 12-year-old daughter of former Hawaii state senator Mason Altiery (Altieri), and his egomaniacal "head tripping" on what a "super shrink" he is already exists on this site. More will be posted soon.
Note that the stories recounted in this document and in other documents on my website (www.missmanagement.com, click on the beating heart) are so horrifying as to be unbelievable. I am collecting additional documentation from various sources such as the Hawaii State Library serial periodical archives, the Honolulu Police Department case archives, the Hawaii psychotherapy regulatory board, the Child Protective Services Department and others in order to provide as much backup documentation as possible for the narratives herein.
Chuck Hawkins and his adherents desperately needed distance from the heat of the licensing board scrutiny so they fled from Oahu to the Big Island, leasing an 18-acre coffee farm on Napoopoo Road on the Kona coast overlooking Kealakekua Bay. Back then, leases were more common than outright purchases. This was a holdover from the Bishop Estate system set up by a very old family with large holdings in the islands.
I believe this particular acreage was forever after cursed. After the cult fled from the authorities yet again - this time to San Francisco (story follows) - the 18 acre coffee farm was purchased by a man named Michael Norton from Berkeley, California who re-named the farm "Kona Kai" and proceeded to harvest the coffee beans, package them up with mostly cheaper Central American beans, and sell them as 100% Kona coffee. Michael Norton was indicted and found guilty of wire fraud and tax evasion. He did prison time for these crimes. A Google search on "Kona coffee scandal" or "Kona Kai" will find numerous reports of this incident. However, the Food & Drug Administration account is at the following link: http://www.fda.gov/fdac/departs/2001/601_irs.html.
I went to Hawaii at my older sister's invitation. My sister had been living in Japan for several years, some of them in a Buddhist Zendo. She had a love of the cultures of the Orient, particularly Japan, and has always been a seeker with a passion for meditation, self-analysis and the Eastern ways of life. She earned her political science/Asian studies degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and later a master's degree in Pacific Rim economics from the University of San Francisco.
My sister is a brilliant woman. She achieved the third highest SAT scores in the State of Ohio in high school. She was the one in the family who captured all the awards and accolades. She was a four-star Thespian and a first chair flautist in band and orchestra. She would write brilliant essays, and I would type them. In fact, that sums our relationship in a nutshell. Needless to say, I type a lot faster than she does and boy, am I ever proud of that.
Upon returning from Japan, my sister stopped in Hawaii for awhile and happened to meet a proselytizing member of the commune. She was drawn in, of course, because this was right up her beaded, bejeweled, tofu'd and intellectual alley.
Most of the people who were drawn to the commune were well educated. However, it is only in our insanely wealthy Western society that there exists the opportunity of coddling one's every neurosis, spending tens of thousands of dollars on therapy, and developing a morbid preoccupation with one's every imagined knock in life, all the while that the world's starving billions scramble to scrape together a daily bowl of rice and an even scarcer dung patty to provide the fuel necessary to cook it.
This was a selfish bunch of people, the worst and ugliest of the Me generation - My craziness, My sexual hangups, My needs, My enlightenment, My therapy, My "stuff" - always the focus for them was Me, Me, Me. There was no thought whatsoever for the rest of the world's human beings except to look down upon them as pathetic, contemptible mere mortals for not being on this same Path to Enlightenment, for not being privy to the esoteric knowledge which had been imparted to them by their "guru."
When I arrived in Hawaii in late 1976, the group was in the process of fleeing from Honolulu to the Big Island, running from the heat of the psychotherapy licensing authorities on Oahu. I was pregnant when I arrived.
I had accepted my sister's invitation because I wanted to escape my situation back in Ohio, which involved dealing with my severely alcoholic mother and bailing her out of one jamb after another, such as setting fire to the women's residence hotel room in which she was living. Such problems were all on my shoulders because my other siblings had since moved away from Ohio where we grew up.
In Ohio, I had been working as the news editor and photographer for a small township weekly published by a larger daily paper for a medium-sized metropolitan area. I did not know that I was pregnant when I moved to Hawaii. I sold my car and my few household goods. I was relieved to be leaving this life behind.
When I first arrived in Hawaii and moved into The House, I was swept away by the exciting possibilities for my new life. All the trappings of my liberated generation were there. I had moved from the Corn Belt to the most gorgeous tropical paradise on earth. Finally, I was with a group of people my own age rather than taking care of my severely alcoholic mother.
As any child of a severe alcoholic can well imagine, the care of my mother had been a terrible burden on me for years and years, since my senior year of high school when my parents divorced, but what choice does a daughter have? Social services for such problems were much fewer when I was a young person and problems such as my mother's were generally hidden in the back of a closet.
I immersed myself in books from the commune's shelves - Chogyam Trungpa, Krishnamurti, R.D. Laing, Ram Dass, and others. (The commune later tricked Ram Dass into visiting the coffee farm. Ram Dass does not speak for private groups. He was extremely angry about the cult's use of false pretenses to entice him to come to the coffee farm and has mentioned this episode in many of his talks. I am in contact with his assistant who is gathering his comments on this matter.)
A whole new world had opened up for me. I learned a lot through those readings, and if I were asked today what my religion is, I would say that I identify much more with Buddhism than Christianity. My favorite telling of the life and teachings of Buddha is Herman Hesse's Siddhartha.
It was not long, however, before I came to recognize the deterioration which had clearly turned this group from eager seekers on The Path to people who had fallen sway to a mind control monster.
The House had become a world gone mad, an alternate universe where down was up, where incest and the sexual abuse of innocent children were encouraged, and conformity with the herd was rewarded, all the while that attempts to hold firm to your principles against enormous pressure to comply in the filthy expectations put upon you, including the violation of humanity's most basic taboos, were punished.
That I defied the guru and the enormous pressure of his 40+ fanatics for six years is one source of pride that I maintain. That I survived to tell this story after six years of struggling to maintain my selfhood is source of disbelief. That I still have a modicum of sanity, well, that is a question I need to pose to my therapist.
The scene was akin to the Rev. Jim Jones's People's Temple cult in Guyana. In fact, it was while I was living in the Chuck Hawkins cult (November 1978) that Jim Jones ordered his 908 followers to drink cyanide-laced grapefruit Kool Aid. The only survivors were those individuals who happened to be off the land that day.
Of course, I did not know about this human slaughter at the time it occurred. The cult members were discouraged from reading the news or having anything else to do with the "outside world" except for menial jobs necessary to further the finances of the commune. I did not read a newspaper or look at a TV for six years.
I recently asked an ex-cult member, "Do you ever stop to wonder why it is that two of the seven children from the commune - BAD odds, statistically speaking - died unspeakable deaths at a young age as a DIRECT RESULT of the abuse they were subjected to in the commune? My very own child nearly died at the hands of one of the cult goons (story below).
There were several children in the group when I arrived. Chuck Hawkins, the guru, had two tow-headed sons. An architect who joined the group also had a blond-haired boy. These three children were treated fairly well as far as I could tell.
The two children of a University of Hawaii political science professor and his wife did not fare so well. Upon their arrival these children, Jenny (5 years old) and Brian (4), were immediately separated from their parents, who were clearly delighted to be done with childrearing chores. After all, they needed to get on with their own enlightenment!
These two children were locked up in separate rooms for an entire summer. Their food was brought to them. They each had a pee bucket.
Well, the little girl had the wherewithal to somehow get to a phone. She called her grandmother who lived in Honolulu. Her grandmother summoned the police, and Jenny was rescued. I have heard that Chuck Hawkins was sexually diddling this youngster. Thank God she got out before that went on too long.
I'm not sure why young Brian was not also removed from this scene straight out of Hell.
Brian was kind of a goofy looking kid, really skinny and covered in freckles, an adorable child.
The entire time he was growing up in the commune, from his babyhood on, Brian was kept separate and apart from the three blond ones. He was the designated "bad kid." From an age just past the toddler years, he was physically confined in a small room a great deal of the time.
Rather than playing like a youngster should, this young child was continually overwhelmed and confronted by cult goons who would invade his room or make him the focus in small groups, big groups and individual "sessions" to "have his feelings," all the while that the three blond boys played within his eyesight.
By the time Brian entered his teens, he had become extremely "rebellious." Bear in mind, he had been denied access to his parents and locked up most of his life in the commune. Chuck Hawkins (not the parents, of course), Chuck Hawkins decided to ship him off to a school for "troubled" teenagers.
Later, after Chuck Hawkins had died and the group had disbanded, and Brian was 18 years old, he had gotten himself a little job as a bicycle messenger in San Francisco. He had gotten into a lot of drugs and alcohol by this point in his young life. One night he was found dead on the floor of his little apartment. He had gotten blind drunk and passed out on his back. He had suffocated in his own vomit.
I attended Brian's wake. The parents did not seem very sad to me. After all, they had given over their parental prerogatives and sacrificed their son to a madman years ago. They flitted about, chatting about their own lives and their own progress toward their own "enlightenment" (also known as talking about your "stuff"), giggling and having a pretty good time at this reunion with other group members. Now and then, the parents would sit in the lotus position and do a little chanting - "aum mane padme aum, aum mane padme aum, aum mane padme aum."
In Hawaii, Chuck Hawkins was friends with former Hawaii state senator Mason Altiery (Altieri) who was divorced and had decided to leave his two preteen daughters, Andrea Altiery and her younger sister, under the care of Chuck Hawkins and the cult. Andrea Altiery was about 13 years old and her younger sister, Mona [name changed for privacy reasons], age 12. It was not long before Chuck Hawkins and other men in the commune were sexually abusing these two young girls.
By the time I had arrived and the commune had fled from Honolulu to the Big Island in an attempt to escape from the long arm of the law, I noticed that Andrea Altiery would periodically dress to the nines (like a streetwalker) and disappear for several weeks at a time. I came to find out that she was going to Honolulu and working as a prostitute.
After the group had fled to San Francisco these people who were so steadfast about their principles) and moved into a loft in an old Sears building on the corner of Mission and Cesar Chavez Streets in the Mission District (story below), Andrea Altiery had been gone from the commune for some time. I later found out that she had been working a prostitution route from Seattle-Tacoma to Anchorage.
Andrea Altiery fell victim to Robert Hansen, an Anchorage baker by day and a serial killer by night.
Hansen would take a prostitute up in his private plane, land in the Alaskan wilderness, strip the prostitute, give her a running head start and then hunt her down and shoot her like an animal. His victim count was well over 10 women.
I cry rivers of tears when I picture young Andrea Altiery running naked from serial killer Robert Hansen. And I get insanely angry when I think about how she was used sexually by adult men in the cult. What chance did this young girl have in life after a childhood of being treated in such a manner by these animals who were supposed to be her caretakers?
I learned the details of this unspeakable case when I was reading Mind Hunter, a book by John Douglas (former serial killer profiler for the FBI). I later purchased a fuller account of the Robert Hansen serial killer case, a book entitled Fair Game.
Andrea Altiery's photograph is on the book jacket as well as in the photo pages of the book. If you are interested in reading more about this case, visit these sites: http://www.explorenorth.com/library/weekly/aa021100a.htm and http://www.crimelibrary.com/serial_killers/weird/robert_hansen/5.html?sect=3.
I have sent this story to John Douglas (FBI, retired). He was probably always so involved with the "perp" in any case that he didn't think about the background of a young prostitute victim. I thought he would be interested to read the story about this young girl who had been sexually abused in the Chuck Hawkins cult from her preteen years on and ended up as a prostitute.
I recently spoke with the Alaska State Police officer in charge of open murder cases, which Andrea Altiery's is still considered to be because they have not yet recovered sufficient of her remains to close the case. For this reason, this police officer could not divulge details of Andrea Altiery's case. However, he did tell me that Robert Hansen is alive and in prison in Seward, Alaska and has no interest in speaking with the police.
One of the women from the commune once showed me video footage that Chuck Hawkins had taken with a camcorder set on AUTO. He had filmed his sexual activity with Andrea Altiery's younger sister, Mona. I was nauseated, sickened, disgusted when I viewed this footage. Go to the bottom of this web page to read Chuck Hawkins's own admission of his criminal defilement of this young girl.
To quote Chuck Hawkins's own words - at the very end of this page - "Ooh, ooh, I just had an attack of Mona. I couldn't do anything but feel Mona. Mona's the daughter, the 12 year old daughter of a friend I'm presently in love with." Note Chuck Hawkins's Freudian slip. He is admitting his affair with 12-year-old Mona, but his wording is that she is the "daughter of a friend I'm presently in love with." How very appropriate for this trained psychologist who has so much self-knowledge.
This criminal, this pedophile, this defiler of young girls, Chuck Hawkins was the man that the rapt cult fanatics looked to for healing, for therapy, for wisdom.
Another ex-commune member recently said to me, "None of the men raped children in the commune." I was flabbergasted - FLABBERGASTED - at her remark. She conceded that many of the men in the commune had repeated sex with Andrea Altiery and Mona while these girls were underage teenagers. If she had NOT agreed, I would have pointed her to Chuck Hawkins's very own admission. There it is right out of the mouth of the monster: "Ooh, ooh, I just had an attack of Mona. I couldn't do anything but feel Mona. Mona's the daughter, the 12 year old daughter of a friend I'm presently in love with."
The fact that this member did not consider the sexual abuse of these two underage girls to be rape further points up the absolutely cavalier unconcern for the everyday sexual torment of children by these cultists. What do they think the term "rape" means? No one even lifted an eyebrow about this atrocity. It was no big deal. Just another day in the life of the cult.
Note that Mona was the younger sister of Andrea Altiery, the young girl whose story of sexual abuse at the hands of the cult and her subsequent career as a prostitute and murder by serial killer Robert Hansen is recounted above.
These ex-cult members tell me that they have "gotten over it" and "gone on with their lives." My God, this cannot be true if they to this day cannot even admit to the reality of the continual rape of children in the commune.
Why did the commune flee from The Big Island to San Francisco? Because they were on the lam yet again. This was a now familiar story. A very angry ex-member had gone to the Honolulu press and exposed the atrocious goings-on in the commune. One morning, the commune members woke up in their jungle home (a scene straight out of Apocalypse Now, when Marlon Brando had gone completely mad) to find a sky full of press helicopters flying low over the coffee farm, trying to get a scoop on a story fit for the tabloids or the most horrendous true crime book. The cult members must have looked like insects scurrying for cover as they ducked into various coffee shacks on the property to avoid the press helicopters' cameras. I have contacted the Hawaii State Library Serial Archives department to help me locate the resulting media reports. The results of the search will be published on this website.
Within a week, the 40 commune members, these brave souls who were so firm and steadfast in their principles, had quit their jobs as resort hotel maids and bus boys, closed their bank accounts, purchased airline tickets to San Francisco, and placed the coffee farm lease with a real estate agent. This en masse exodus made quite an impact on the small and provincial Kona coast.
Note that the 18-acre coffee farm was situated between two other little farms belonging to Filipinos. Sex accompanied by clamorous "primal screaming," moaning and subhuman sounds shattered the air DAY and NIGHT in the commune, sex being the main tool for control of and by the members.
Be aware that the 40 or so cult members bedded down at night on a wall-to-wall foam mattress floor in an open air coffee shack, all except for Chuck Hawkins, of course, who had his own private lair. There was no attempt whatsoever at modesty or courtesy for one's neighbors, even - or especially - at night to keep down the noise that pierced the Hawaiian night air.
Prior to the cult moving into their midst, these poor farmers had probably not heard anything but the normal sounds of farms and families - roosters crowing in the morning, dogs barking during the day, human beings communicating in human voices. The absolute in-your face discourtesy of the group for their neighbors brought about an answer from these farmers who began screaming and moaning back in mockery. It was a given that the group would eventually have to move on yet again. These people who spoke of their love of nature and the beauty of Hawaii had defiled the islands with their loud and intrusive presence.
I have previously recounted to you numerous nightmare stories of the double bind I was subjected to at the hands of the commune. Some of them are included in another document on this site and recounted herein. Other writings will be posted as they are completed. Although there were always ugly new twists in Chuck Hawkins's efforts to force me into compliance, the basic dilemma is that I was expected to "do things" with the guru (whom I loathed) to earn points toward being with my infant daughter.
There are many Internet sites devoted to recovery from mind control cults. More links will be added to this page. In the meantime, three excellent resource are at the following links:
Quoting from http://www.factnet.org/rancho5.htm?FACTNet,
COMMON PROPERTIES OF POTENTIALLY DESTRUCTIVE AND DANGEROUS CULTS
The cult is authoritarian in its power structure. The leader is regarded as the supreme authority. He or she may delegate certain power to a few subordinates for the purpose of seeing that members adhere to the leader's wishes and roles. There is no appeal outside of his or her system to greater systems of justice. For example, if a school teacher feels unjustly treated by a principal, appeals can be made. In a cult, the leader claims to have the only and final ruling on all matters.
The cult's leaders tend to be charismatic, determined, and domineering. They persuade followers to drop their families, jobs, careers, and friends to follow them. They (not the individual) then take over control of their followers' possessions, money, lives.
The cult's leaders are self-appointed, messianic persons who claim to have a special mission in life. For example, the flying saucer cult leaders claim that people from outer space have commissioned them to lead people to special places to await a space ship.
The cult's leaders center the veneration of members upon themselves. Priests, rabbis, ministers, democratic leaders, and leaders of genuinely altruistic movements keep the veneration of adherents focused on God, abstract principles, and group purposes. Cult leaders, in contrast, keep the focus of love, devotion, and allegiance on themselves.
The cult tends to be totalitarian in its control of the behavior of its members. Cults are likely to dictate in great detail what members wear, eat, when and where they work, sleep, and bathe-as well as what to believe, think, and say.
The cult tends to have a double set of ethics. Members are urged to be open and honest within the group, and confess all to the leaders. On the other hand, they are encouraged to deceive and manipulate outsiders or nonmembers. Established religions teach members to be honest and truthful to all, and to abide by one set of ethics.
The cult has basically only two purposes, recruiting new members and fund-raising. Established religions and altruistic movements may also recruit and raise funds. However, their sole purpose is not to grow larger; such groups have the goals to better the lives of their members and mankind in general. The cults may claim to make social contributions, but in actuality these remain mere claims, or gestures. Their focus is always dominated by recruiting new members and fund-raising.
The cult appears to be innovative and exclusive. The leader claims to be breaking with tradition, offering something novel, and instituting the only viable system for change that will solve life's problems or the world's ills. While claiming this, the cult then surreptitiously uses systems of psychological coercion on its members to inhibit their ability to examine the actual validity of the claims of the leader and the cult.
Quoting from http://freedomofmind.com/resourcecenter/articles/BITE.htm#behavior, thought control groups are characterized as follows:
I. BEHAVIOR CONTROL
1. Regulation of individual's physical reality
a. Where, how and with whom the member lives and associates with
b. What clothes, colors, hairstyles the person wears
c. What food the person eats, drinks, adopts, and rejects
d. How much sleep the person is able to have
e. Financial dependence
f. Little or no time spent on leisure, entertainment, vacations
2. Major time commitment required for indoctrination sessions and group rituals
3. Need to ask permission for major decisions
4. Need to report thoughts, feelings and activities to superiors
5. Rewards and punishments (behavior modification techniques- positive and negative).
6. Individualism discouraged; group think prevails
7. Rigid rules and regulations
8. Need for obedience and dependency
II. INFORMATION CONTROL
1. Use of deception
a. Deliberately holding back information
b. Distorting information to make it acceptable
c. Outright lying
2. Access to non-cult sources of information minimized or discouraged
a. Books, articles, newspapers, magazines, TV, radio
b. Critical information
c. Former members
d. Keep members so busy they don't have time to think
3. Compartmentalization of information; Outsider vs. Insider doctrines
a. Information is not freely accessible
b. Information varies at different levels and missions within pyramid
c. Leadership decides who "needs to know" what
4. Spying on other members is encouraged
a. Pairing up with "buddy" system to monitor and control
b. Reporting deviant thoughts, feelings, and actions to leadership
5. Extensive use of cult generated information and propaganda
a. Newsletters, magazines, journals, audio tapes, videotapes, etc.
b. Misquotations, statements taken out of context from non-cult sources
6. Unethical use of confession
a. Information about "sins" used to abolish identity boundaries
b. Past "sins" used to manipulate and control; no forgiveness or absolution
III. THOUGHT CONTROL
1. Need to internalize the group's doctrine as "Truth"
a. Map = Reality
b. Black and White thinking
c. Good vs. evil
d. Us vs. them (inside vs. outside)
2. Adopt "loaded" language (characterized by "thought-terminating clichés"). Words are the tools we use to think with. These "special" words constrict rather than expand understanding. They function to reduce complexities of experience into trite, platitudinous "buzz words".
3. Only "good" and "proper" thoughts are encouraged.
4. Thought-stopping techniques (to shut down "reality testing" by stopping "negative" thoughts and allowing only "good" thoughts); rejection of rational analysis, critical thinking, constructive criticism.
a. Denial, rationalization, justification, wishful thinking
e. Speaking in "tongues"
f. Singing or humming
5. No critical questions about leader, doctrine, or policy seen as legitimate
6. No alternative belief systems viewed as legitimate, good, or useful
IV. EMOTIONAL CONTROL
1. Manipulate and narrow the range of a person's feelings.
2. Make the person feel like if there are ever any problems it is always their fault, never the leader's or the group's.
3. Excessive use of guilt
a. Identity guilt
1. Who you are (not living up to your potential)
2. Your family
3. Your past
4. Your affiliations
5. Your thoughts, feelings, actions>
b. Social guilt
c. Historical guilt
4. Excessive use of fear
a. Fear of thinking independently
b. Fear of the "outside" world
c. Fear of enemies
d. Fear of losing one's "salvation"
e. Fear of leaving the group or being shunned by group
f. Fear of disapproval
5. Extremes of emotional highs and lows.
6. Ritual and often public confession of "sins".
7. Phobia indoctrination : programming of irrational fears of ever leaving the group or even questioning the leader's authority. The person under mind control cannot visualize a positive, fulfilled future without being in the group.
a. No happiness or fulfillment "outside"of the group
b. Terrible consequences will take place if you leave: "hell"; "demon possession"; "incurable diseases"; "accidents"; "suicide"; "insanity"; "10,000 reincarnations";
c. Shunning of leave takers. Fear of being rejected by friends, peers, and family.
d. Never a legitimate reason to leave. From the group's perspective, people who leave are: "weak;" "undisciplined;" "unspiritual;" "worldly;" "brainwashed by family, counselors;" seduced by money, sex, rock and roll.
The Chuck Hawkins cult on the Kona Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii and later in San Francisco, was characterized by all of the above as follows (this not being a complete list):
I doubt if you could ever begin to imagine the profundity of this double bind, for each time, day after day, week after week, month after month, that I would refuse to comply or go along with the filth expected of me, to betray my mind, my heart, my soul, my instincts, and my basic knowledge of what is right and what smells horribly rancid, I knew that it would be that much more time - that much more time - before I could be with my newborn daughter.
I was not a part of any of these stages in my own daughter's life. I have only a handful of photos of me and my daughter before the age of seven.
The background cacophony for this horrendous prison was the guru's constant and loud sexual activity. The ticking of the clock was a horrible pounding in my very heart. I became frantic, desperate every time I was backed into a corner with this double bind day after day, for interminable days and weeks and months and years on end. I don't know how I endured such unbearable pain and enormous stress. In fact, the jury is still out on that one. How does a mother survive such a loss?
The above does not even touch upon my deep and desperate concern when my daughter suffered physical and emotional dangers at the hands of people who were taking care of her because it happened to be their turn:
1. nearly drowning;
2. nearly freezing to death;
3. falling off a kitchen table as an infant and possibly suffering a concussion;
4. being exposed to rattlesnake danger in the summer;
5. nearly passing out from heat exhaustion;
6. being subjected at one week old to the 10,000 foot level of Mauna Kea during a weekend-long, orgiastic LSD camping nightmare, and oxygen deprivation that even grownups had extreme difficulty coping with;
7. exposing her visually and audibly to the frighteningly loud sexual activity of 40 people every single night of her life until she was six years old.
The list goes on and on. I have blacked out many of these hideous memories from my mind. I will add to this list as they painfully re-emerge into my consciousness.
On and on, day after day, month after month, year after year. The clock pounded on and on.
And all of these nightmares were inflicted by a man and his zombie followers who claimed that they were seeking "enlightenment."
During most of my months of pregnancy I worked as a hotel maid at one of the big resorts on the Big Island. Such low paying work is about all that was available. Hotel maid work is enormously hard physical labor, especially during the blisteringly hot Hawaiian summers.
I was extremely worried about the vegetarian diet mandated by the cult. After all, I had just come from the Corn Belt. When I first went to Hawaii, there seemed to be sufficient protein in the diet - TVP (texturized vegetable protein) in the spaghetti sauce, milk, cheese for the sandwiches, and tofu. (I had my first experience with tofu when I was concurrently suffering terrible all-day-long morning sickness.)
I personally had no problem cutting meat out of my diet but I was very concerned about the child growing within me. As Chuck Hawkins and the cultists played and pretended at being on a level with the Big Boys of the spiritual world, the protein in the diet got less and less. Out went the TVP. Then they cut the cheese. Pretty soon there wasn't much left but sprouts, flatbread, and tofu. For this reason, I would gorge on meat and other proteins during lunch at the hotel.
By the ninth month of pregnancy, I simply could not be on my feet to perform the strenuous, backbreaking work of a hotel maid. I quit my job and began staying at the farm. The infestation of flies was so bad due to the filthy living and latrine situation that I spent most of the time during the day hiding under a sheet. Eventually, I decided to spend the remaining days of my pregnancy at the beach. I hitchhiked my way there. Although there was a barn full of beat up old Volkswagens for the use of Chuck Hawkins and his goons and favorite women, I was not entrusted to drive one of them. I was always on the outs in the commune.
During this final month of pregnancy, a nervous time for any first-time mother, a terrible pall hung over what should have been a time of relaxation and wonderful anticipation of the new baby to come. I had seen the complete separation of parents from their children in the commune. I knew what was in store for me.
I went into labor on the morning of August 17, 1977. I went to the hospital accompanied by three wardens and of course the head coach, Chuck Hawkins. (This man, this misogynist and child rapist, had no interest in me and my daughter as people. His interest was purely prurient.) Cult members felt it necessary to be there at the very moment of my daughter's birth to ensure that I would not transmit my "parental neuroses" the minute my newborn daughter's head crowned.
Normally a hospital will allow only one birth coach in the small and cramped delivery room. However, Hawaii being the beautifully mellow place that it is, my obstetrician was forgiving of this excess of "coaches" and "supporters." The doctor was very annoyed, however, as he tried to work around Chuck Hawkins, who immediately took center stage under the spotlights and sat there like an immovable lump. Understand that I was supposed to fix my eyes on Chuck Hawkins's and follow his breathing instructions (as if I needed even more pain during birthing labor). However, everything - EVERYTHING - was all about Chuck, Chuck, Chuck. Chuck Hawkins's buffoonish and obnoxious behavior in the delivery room made it that much more difficult for the doctor as he helped me deliver my child.
Note that the egomaniacal Chuck Hawkins espoused "breath work" and he would sit in the lotus position in front of his rapt and captive audience during the all night, idiotic "big groups," puff himself up, take great dramatic breaths and then exhale and "aum" loudly. After all, he was a dilettante yoga and meditation "teacher" and had successfully convinced 40 willing believers that he had breathed his way to "enlightenment."
As any mother knows, breathing is fast and furious during the final moments of delivery. Guess who was the only person who fainted during the last moments of the delivery of my daughter into the world? Chuck Hawkins was a great teller of lies as he imparted to his rapt worshipers his travels along the path to his enlightenment. However, I noticed he left this story out when he had returned from the hospital back to the coffee farm.
I have a tape recording of the last hour or so of my daughter's birth. I cry deeply and profoundly every single time I play it, especially when the doctor beamingly announces "You've got a nice baby girl!" That was the baby who was jerked out of my arms the moment she emerged into the world.
The care and love for a newborn infant is a precious time for a new mother. The ineffable bond is so strong that it is an actual physical need. This is the case in the entire mammalian world. However, I was robbed of this experience. The separation of my daughter and me was the most nightmarish of all the double binds this cult inflicted upon me. Who had the right - WHO HAD THE RIGHT - to destroy the holy bond between me and my newborn child?
I nursed my baby for three months. These were times of horrific anxiety for me. I was not allowed to spend a single, solitary minute with my infant outside the presence of an assigned warden. Chuck Hawkins ordered a feeding schedule which was rigidly adhered to. When my child cried at night off of this schedule, I was not allowed to go to her. Various members were assigned on a rotating schedule to handle this duty. Thus I awoke upon hearing my baby cry and watched as others tended to her.
One night I saw the assigned female groupie walking my crying child up and down the hallway of the coffee shack. This woman had her blouse open and was attempting to suckle my daughter. She wanted to see what it felt like. My infant was not a baby, not a new soul to these people. She was an object for their own selfish impulses and for their total control of me.
It is ironic that these very same cult followers who waved a banner reading "SAVE THE CHILDREN FROM THEIR PARENTS' NEUROSES" and used that atrocious lie to separate me from my baby girl from infancy through six years of age, were at the very same time acting so monstrously, not only by using my own daughter in the furtherance of their filthy ends, but by sexually abusing underage children in the commune absolutely without compunction.
The Hawaii cult was truly a world gone mad, a scene straight from Dante's Nine Circles of Hell.
I was browbeaten and confronted in endless mind numbing groups night after night, weekend after weekend, all day long that I would do irreparable harm to my daughter if I were to leave. My earnings were next to nothing as a hotel maid on the Big Island. I had left Ohio seven months ago. I had no other home. I had no support system anywhere.
This remote jungle lair was isolated and isolating and there was enormous, daily input that I simply could not make it on my own because "I was too crazy." There were endless attempts to destroy my self-confidence and individuality. Chuck Hawkins would regularly try to convince me that my mother was a whore and my father should be shot.
By the time my daughter was 1 year old, she still did not have a name. The group had not decided upon that yet. When she was taken for appointments to the pediatrician and still had no name after a year, the pediatrician began to wonder what was going on. She was still just listed as "Baby" and the doctor had never met her mother.
Finally, this pediatrician reported the situation to the Hawaii Child Protective Services. The commune received notice that they would be receiving a visit to examine the circumstances under which this un-named baby was being raised. The commune spent a weekend cleaning up the filthy mess which was the constant state of the jungle home. They purchased some cheap sticks of furniture. They were trying to make it look like a fit place for a child to be raised. Unfortunately, this Theresiendstadt-like façade worked and the inspectors left none the wiser. I have contacted the Big Island Child Protective Services department for records of this episode.
The cult members always had a smug and self-satisfied air when they had pulled one over on The Man. It is ironic that they were scamming the Child Protective Services in particular. After all, the commune claimed to be on the side of children, yet the Child Protective Services was treated as the enemy.
As an aside regarding cheating the system, several cult members committed immigration fraud, marrying foreign-born members solely to ensure that these members would never leave the cult.
I became a total nut case during my six years in the commune. I refused to be sucked into the circular, entrapping double-speak of the guru and I became totally catatonic in the process. Put any creature in an untenable position with no escape route, back any creature into a corner long enough, and this creature will not survive intact.
The members of the group treated me as I were not capable of understanding the intellectual constructs of the guru/disciple game. I am learning from my wonderful therapist about closed systems and how the most dysfunctional one in such a situation is almost always the healthiest.
The fanatic cult devotees had bought into an adolescent game, believing that they would achieve enlightenment at the feet of their monstrous"guru," their "therapist," a man who sexually diddled young children.
Ironically, while the guru railed against "dependency" - his lie for separating parents from children, for instructing cult members to have a different sexual partner every night, for making sure that no one got too close, and that all eyes were in the end focused on the guru - these fanatic followers sadly became cases of arrested development as they harvested a morbid and selfish preoccupation with their every thought, their every itch, their every perceived wrong that had been done to them from their diaper days on.
How often did I hear a rant such as, "My mother fastened my diapers too tight one day when I was 3 days old. I TRULY BELIEVE SHE WAS TRYING TO KILL ME!!!" The cult members spewed this infantile crap ad nauseum.
Any intellectual construct involved was nothing but a huge cop out and a mind fuck and God help those who still don't "get it." (I fear that this is a rather large group of people to this day.) Fortunately for me, I not only got it but I also saw way beyond it.
As you may know, cult members consider themselves to be Gnostics and members of an elite inner sanctum, privy to arcane teachings not available to the average jerk, and they employ a code language to further their separation from the outside world, all of God's children, upon whom they look down with utter disdain and contempt. In the case of this therapy/enlightenment commune, the code language was in the form of pop psychology gobbledy-gook.
Exit counselors refer to this constant use of platitudes and catch phrases as "thought stopping," a means of ensuring that members do not stop and take an objective reality-check of the world around them.
The specific result of the actual words and phrases used in this particular "therapy" cult, wherein the premise was that members were receiving help to overcome their "dependencies" (the most used catch phrase) was further disempowerment of the members who had already given their minds and souls over to the guru. "I am so freaked out." "I can't feel my feelings!" "I really need a session with Chuck/a big group/a small group." "I just can't deal . . ." "I'm really feeling totally dependent." My God, they sure got that last one right! Talk about a case of not seeing the forest for the trees!
Note that this cult was gathered around the concept of "therapy" and the code language used psychobabble from pop psychology. "Dependency" was the most tossed around concept. "Getting over your dependency" was the lie. NEVER was there a group of more dependent people than these who could not make a single independent decision as to spending, diet, sexual partner on any given night.
Any TRUE therapist has the goal of helping a client through a problem and sending him or her onto their life's journey. Not this mind control cult, wherein a horrific dependency on the group was cultivated, where no one was EVER encouraged to go out into the world as a free individual. Quite the contrary. Most of the cult members had been in this situation for over 14 years by the time Hawkins died. If he had lived, I have no doubt whatsoever that this cult would still be together.
A transcript of a group "therapy" session exists in a document on this website under the link "Group Therapy Sure Was Stimulatin'". This transcript is a representative sample of the quality of the stupid, mindless dialog engaged in by these people who had completely and absolutely lost their minds. This particular session occurred during a proselytizing junket when the cult traveled throughout the Hawaiian Islands trying to snare new members.
The "Stimulatin'" document treats the dialog in a humorous manner. I am ever so slowly working to regain a sense of humor with the aid of my wonderful therapist. There is only so much pain a human being can endure. If some of it is not finally turned over into a little humor, then what is one left with?
I have put this dialog in a separate document, however, to maintain a wide distance from this document of any vestige of humor. There is nothing funny about the fact that 40+ people spent years and years engaged in this insanity every single week night from dinner until bedtime and all day and night long on the weekends. This all-consuming involvement was a means of distracting the members from the fact that they had been not only scammed and horribly betrayed but that their very selfhoods had been bulldozed into an early grave.
There was a clearly defined hierarchy in the cult:
The Real Seekers
The Outer Fringe
The Lunatic Fringe
The Henchmen/Henchwomen panted after second-level power, obviously the highest they could ever hope to obtain since the real prize of sexual conquest and power over the stable of women and young children ripe for victimization was held close by Chuck Hawkins and apportioned out only as he saw fit.
Men in particular were held in Chuck Hawkins's sway as they watched his conquest over women who had been rendered totally insecure, children and sometimes men.
These wanna-be's prayed that someday they would BE Chuck Hawkins. One ex-cult member, who later fell sway to cult guru Rajneesh, told me he would have traded places with Chuck Hawkins in a heartbeat. He lusted after Chuck Hawkins's total power and control over women - and men - and indulged in this thoroughly adolescent sexual fantasy.
Rajneesh, it will be recalled, was the Indian guru who set up his operation in a small town in rural Oregon and taught that "sex is fun, materialism is good and Jesus was a madman" and claimed that he himself was "the world's greatest lover."
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
Rajneesh followers dressed in saffron colors and were required to wear a wooden beaded necklace with a pendant containing a photograph of their god and lord high master. They would line up along the driveway into "Rajneeshpuram" to show their devotion and supplication whenever Rajneesh arrived or departed the farm in one of his 93 Rolls Royces.
A Google search will locate many Internet sites regarding this dangerous cult.
Quoting from http://www.watchman.org/na/.htm:
Controversial Indian Guru, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, "who turned a central Oregon town into a tumultuous commune of free love, hedonism and murder plots before being deported," died on Jan. 19th of heart failure in Poona, India. (Ft. Worth Star Telegram, 1/20/90).
Rajneesh captured the nation's attention in 1981 when he moved his ashram community and 93 Rolls-Royces to Antelope, Oregon and advocated "enlightenment" through sexual promiscuity. Oregonians were concerned when Rajneesh's followers, who outnumbered the permanent residents of Antelope, took over the small town changing its name to "City of Rajneesh." Critics charged that the Guru later tried to take over the county by bussing in street people gathered from the nation's inner cities to out-vote the regular citizens.
Ma Anand Sheela, the Rajneesh's personal secretary, later pled guilty to a number of charges including, "plotting to kill Mr. Rajneesh's physician with a poison-filled syringe and orchestrating a food poisoning outbreak that sickened more than 750 people in The Dalles, the county seat, as part of a plot to take control of the county." (Ibid).
The Bhagwan was also arrested and deported on charges of immigration fraud as part of a plea bargain arrangement with U.S. officials. He returned to his native India after unsuccessfully attempting to immigrate to several other countries.
In 1988 thirty years after taking the title, "Bhagwan," (which means "the embodiment of God") Rajneesh admitted the title and his claim to be God were a "joke." "I hate the word... I don't want to be called Bhagwan (God) again. Enough is enough. The joke is over," stated Rajneesh saying he was really the reincarnation of Buddha and claiming for himself the new title of "Rajneesh Gautaman the Buddha," (Star Telegram, Dec. 29, 1988; Sec.1, p. 3). Later he took the title, "Osho Rajneesh," a Buddhist term meaning "on whom the heavens shower flowers." (Ibid, 1/20/90).
Quoting from http://www.apologeticsindex.org/b40.html
The only proven incident of bioterrorism the United States has ever experienced, we learned, was a bizarre plot by the Rajneeshees, a religious cult, to steal a county election in Oregon in 1984. The Rajneeshees, followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, a self-proclaimed guru exiled from India, had moved into a ranch in rural Wasco County, taken political control of the small nearby town of Antelope, and changed its name to Rajneesh. Next, the cult sought to run the whole county by winning the local election in 1984.
The amazing story of the Wasco County election scandal was revealed to the conference's riveted participants by Leslie L. Zaitz, an investigative reporter for The Oregonian, and Dr. John Livengood, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control. To win the county election, the Rajneeshees planned to sicken a good portion of the population in the town of The Dalles, where most Wasco County voters live. Their weapon of choice to keep local residents from voting was salmonella bacteria. Cult members decided to test the use of salmonella and, if successful, to contaminate the entire water system of The Dalles on Election Day. First, the Rajneeshees poisoned two visiting Wasco County commissioners on a hot day by plying them with refreshing drinks of cold water laced with salmonella. Then, on a shopping trip to The Dalles, cult members sprinkled salmonella on produce in grocery stores "just for fun." According to reporter Zaitz, that experiment didn't get the results they wanted so the Rajneeshees proceeded to clandestinely sprinkle salmonella at the town's restaurant salad bars. Ten restaurants were hit and more than 700 people got sick.
History has known worse demagogues but the methodology of entrapment varies little.
Chuck Hawkins fancied himself as one of the "Big Boys" of the spiritual/psychotherapy world. "Super Shrink" was his constant egomaniacal refrain. He would turn over in his grave if he realized what a bit player he was. However, if one has defiled the innocence of even one child or ruined just one single life, is that person really a bit player?
As to Chuck Hawkins, since he only doled out the leftovers, the scraps remaining from his table of torn and ruined victims, these Henchmen/Henchwomen ended up as a hungry army of enforcers, of goons, of Brownshirts for Herr Commandant on whose every word they hung, and whose every command they carried out and enforced on members weaker than themselves, their convenient "audience."
These Henchmen/Henchwomen are all dead now, to me anyway, victims of their own Holocaust of the soul. There is only so much time that each of us is allotted on this earth. Those who lost their very personhood to the extent that they raped children without compunction and exercised control over weaker human beings for their own selfish ends will almost certainly not have sufficient time to return to the land of the living. There is a limit to the amount of selfhood, integrity and control over one's impulses that one can hand off before it is simply too late for redemption. Sadly, those who behaved thusly comprise a rather large number of the cult members.
The Drones were not bad people. They had most certainly started out as Real Seekers. However, they were not strong, they were not aggressive, and they had wandered off onto a very wrong path while not paying attention. They had become lazy. The Path is very unforgiving of this.
The Drones remained in The House because they had become so disempowered in the face of unrelenting pressure to stay that their very will to resist was destroyed. The average human being can take only so much. The Drones became too tired to fight and they settled into a sorry little comfort level. They finally acquiesced to the fact that even the most basic decisions - their diet, their sexual partner on any given night, their spending decisions, and any other thing that made them individual human beings - were already beyond their control. The Drones were necessary to the guru and his Henchmen/Henchwomen only because they provided bulk - number statistics - to "up" the audience count. Chuck Hawkins needed a big audience to feel big.
The Real Seekers were those lovely souls who truly had been on The Path toward self-knowledge when they unfortunately, in their beautiful innocence, one day knocked on the wrong door while out trying to locate a real teacher.
The Outer Fringe know who they are. They had one foot out the door but they remained in the hopes that things would better, that they would come to find out that they had not been thoroughly defrauded and duped. They were the kids that I would occasionally throw spitballs at to get their attention. No woman, not even a Lunatic, can remain an island forever.
The Lunatic Fringe group was very lonely for me. I was the sole member.
The hierarchical group names are descriptive and don't really require additional explanation. However, I have a story about one of The Real Seekers.
I was so terribly concerned about this beautiful woman. She was - and is - absolutely the most brilliant, giving and generous woman I have ever known. This woman is my beacon. She is my standard of excellence. She is my role model. She is who I want to be when I myself grow up. Part of her utter beauty was her willingness - her very need - to seek, to look at her own role in any situation of conflict with another person, to be introspective about how she herself might have contributed to a misunderstanding in any encounter with another human being. Hers was the high road - always.
It is this very same lovely acquiescence to truth that Chuck Hawkins used against her. She spiraled into a life-threatening self-putdown in the commune. One time she made the mistake of trusting Chuck Hawkins. The next morning, after emerging from his lair, I saw that her back was black and blue, that her skin had been torn to shreds and was bleeding. There are some things that Chuck Hawkins was not stupid about, such as how to totally destroy a person's self-confidence and to turn her own beautiful qualities against her.
After moving to San Francisco, the group purchased 300 acres of rattlesnake-infested, waterless desert acreage in the Siskiyou Mountains on the border of California and Oregon. Children were exposed to the rattlesnake danger in the summer and frostbite in the winter during every required trip.
Everyone was expected to be gung-ho for the new land acquisition and was required to do time in this mountain hell. When the purchase was first made, all members were required to jump in the cattle truck for the weekly 10+ hour drive on Friday evenings after they had rushed home from a long work week, all except Chuck Hawkins, of course, who sat around the Mission District loft all day. At various times, his favorite concubine of any particular moment did not have to work an outside job and was financially carried by The House. Chuck Hawkins needed company during the days while everyone else was out working for a wage.
The commune members would not get back to San Francisco until very late Sunday night from these trips to the mountains, ensuring that they would be exhausted when they had to go to work the following Monday morning. On the first trip up, a member who had broken his leg and suffered a serious compound fracture was dragged up during a major snow blizzard on a travois.
No one was ever allowed to miss a group event. It did not matter that everyone but Chuck Hawkins had to work the following Monday morning, just so long as Chuck Hawkins could sleep in late and renew his energy for his continual sexual activities the next day. The drives up and back had Chuck Hawkins riding in a 4-wheel drive truck while everyone else was piled in the back of a rented cattle transport. It was an hours-long hike in - through blizzards in the winter and blistering heat and rattlesnake danger in the summer - on a rocky road that could only be covered by a 4-wheel drive vehicle.
The Siskiyou trips were an unbearable double bind for me. In San Francisco, I was determined to make my escape and rescue my daughter. To do so, I needed to have a good enough job that I could afford to support her on my own. For this reason and also because I loathed these godforsaken excursions, I fought every single weekend to remain in San Francisco. One time I was bodily carried, kicking and screaming, into the cattle truck. Finally, on Fridays I simply began remaining away from the loft until such time of night that I knew the group would already be on the road.
However, staying behind was yet another double bind because, given that my child was inevitably dragged along on these nightmarish group trips, I was not able to oversee her safety from my distant perch which was my only contact with her at this point. I had seen the careless way my child had been treated and the dangerous situations to which she had been exposed. In addition, while my weekends alone at the loft were a brief respite from the group, I knew that they would inevitably return and that there would be further punishment and hell for me to pay for my disobedience.
The woman in the following episode had gone up to spend a week in the mountains. This woman had a week vacation from her low-paying job. She spent her week on the Siskiyou property, probably working on the road-building chain gang to help improve this property purchased with her money as well as the money of others (but which she would never profit from after the land was sold).
At this point, her lovely, giving nature had been so turned against her and she had so physically deteriorated and let her appearance go that she could not even pull a comb through her hair. Her gorgeous curly hair had gotten very long and matted to the point that it looked like waxy dreadlocks. She accompanied some other members on a "shop" trip to the nearest town, riding in the back of the commune's old Army personnel carrier. She had temporarily lost her seeker strength at this point in her life. Her Mojo was running on empty. While wandering through the grocery store during this group shop, she absent-mindedly picked up a bag of peanuts or candy or something (she was thin to the point of looking like a Holocaust survivor and probably needed the calories). Anyway, she was nibbling out of this bag of food. She absent-mindedly walked out of the store without paying for it. She was nabbed by the grocery store security guard and taken to the Ashland (or whatever town) police station. She was let go without a charge being filed against her.
I am so very relieved to report the total recovery of this beautiful soul. She is a Real Seeker. It is hard to keep a good woman down.
John, I don't know if you are aware that a particular landscaping business in the Bay Area (your business partner once got a quote from them), was started up by the commune soon after the move to San Francisco. (Someone recently asked me if I had ever thought of suing this company for damages.)
One of the key individuals in that enterprise, Allan Frank, was also Chuck Hawkins's closest thug enforcer and heir apparent. My toddler daughter nearly drowned while Allan Frank was supposed to be watching her. Apparently Allan Frank was doing something to further his own "enlightenment" when he forgot to watch my tiny daughter as she splashed around in a kiddy pool. Her life hung in the balance for what seemed an eternity.
Note that the children in the commune weren't given much in the way of material goods such as toys, nice clothes, etc. (and they were forced to eat tofu). And like I said, I personally was never allowed to give my daughter anything. I wasn't allowed to take cupcakes down to her elementary school class when it was her birthday, as all the other parents did. I was completely disempowered by this point and had not been with my daughter without a warden present in years.
After Chuck Hawkins died in 1983 or so, this guy, Allan Frank - this main bootlicker from the landscaping company - married another group member and they had a child.
At one time, I had occasion to be in their townhouse in San Bruno. The entire house was a shrine - A SHRINE - to their extremely spoiled daughter. Toys were piled ceiling high. The entire living room was overwhelmed with a jungle gym, swing set and slide.
And this child is uncontrollably spoiled, throwing fits and temper tantrums if she doesn't get every single thing she wants. I guess this pompous guy, bloated with self-importance as he is, only employs his enlightened child-rearing principles on other people's children, but not on his own.
These two ex-cultists have enrolled their pampered kid, whom they have overfed to the point of obesity, in a multitude of after-school classes as do parents who over-program their children in an attempt to assuage their own insecurities about their childrearing abilities. They have saddled her with enormous behavioral problems.
I understand this kid is tap dancing and somersaulting is bliss for this sorry kid, I guess.
I doubt Allan Frank has told her how he sexually abused underage girls in the commune, as did his pedophilic "guru" after whom he modelled himself and by whose teachings he defined his life.
My very own child, a toddler at this time, nearly died due to Allan Frank's negligence, inattention and wreckless disregard for the life of my tiny daughter as he failed to watch her as she splashed around in a kiddie pool. Her life hung in the balance for an eternity as she choked and gasped for air.
Of course, I was never informed of the near-death of my baby. The cult members kept this episode a secret from me. I only learned of it later when I heard it being discussed in hushed tones. To this day, Allan Frank, this animal, this abject coward has never offered me an explanation of why my child nearly died on his watch, of what was more important to him that day than watching over the safety of my child as she played in a swimming pool, has never expressed to me a single word of sorrow, remorse, fear or responsibilty, his only concern being that his image remain intact.
Note that this buffoon, this clown, this cult thug who walks around judging others to this very day, has returned to the scene of his crime and is now swaggering around the Kona Coast in his flip-flops and Aloha shirts, driving his grandstanding daughter from class to class, and selling Kona coffee from his farm for $24 a pound.
I sometimes wonder how Allan Frank would have reacted had our situations been reversed, if I had ripped his child from his arms and prevented him from being with his daughter for SIX UNENDURABLE YEARS unless he agreed to perform unspeakable acts which were against his very nature.
I wonder if I would have reacted as this coward has, in total fear and desperation to fend off acknowledgement of inhumanly sadistic behavior towards a parent and child. Would I have been so afraid of admitting to my cruelty that I would have reacted by threatening retaliation against the very person I had already thoroughly destroyed?
Would Allan Frank have fought to be with his child or would he have succumbed, given up the fight, and realized that he had no choice but to act contrary to his very soul in order to earn permission to be with his child every now and then? This is a difficult fantasy for me to fix in my mind because it is not my nature to torture others for the satisfaction of total power and control over my fellow human beings.
My daughter recently had reason to travel back to the Big Island of Hawaii, the land of her birth. I am always concerned when she does so because she is then dangerously near Allan Frank. She flew into the Big Island on February 3, 2005, the exact same day of the recent Kilauea volcano eruption on the Big Island. Even Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess, is warning my daughter away from this man.
Other ex-cult goons are also out loose in the world and raising children. Another thug from the commune, also a principal in the company, has children who by all accounts are any babysitter's worst nightmare. I notice that in regard to ex-cult parents and their own children, their methods are quite dissimilar to those they so obediently held fast to in the commune. I would certainly pray so, especially as regards sexual abuse.
Note that the sexual abuse of children was not just by the men in the commune against underage girls. Two women, Yvonne Edwards and Frances Goode* , recently admitted to me to having sexually abused the guru's own young son, although they self-righteously declare that they would never confess to this in a court of law.
* Shades of Mary Kay Letourneau, the universally reviled former schoolteacher known for having a sexual relationship with her 13-year-old pupil. She was convicted of statutory rape and served seven years in prison.
I now wonder if the guru had actually sacrificed his son for Yvonne's and Frances's "therapy." I wonder if they would talk with the help of the truth serum sodium pentothal. Maybe their children should be taken from them until they confess to their crimes. Or are there laws of civilized nations against such cruel and unusual punishment, even for criminals?
Yvonne Edwards had previously perfomed a sex demonstration - with the guru - in front of the entire group of 40+ members, within ear- and eye-shot of the children.
The hideously selfish behavior, the utter depravity and stupidity of Yvonne Edwards and Frances Goode was purportedly in the service of their "enlightenment" and "getting through their stuff." My God! Did these two women ever give a single thought to the child whose soul they were destroying, this child who looked up to them as caretakers and authority figures? Were their own filthy impulses all that mattered to Yvonne Edwards and Frances Goode? Or are they just completely lacking in intelligence? In even a modicum of self control?
One wonders how two women can so violate basic taboos regarding the sanctity of children in the service of their own selfish ends and then go out and pose as people who are qualified to counsel others and to give seminars in "higher consciousness"! And raise children! It is truly frightening, given their proclivities and total lack of self-control and character, that these frauds are wandering loose in the world, ready to pounce on unsuspecting people who are in pain and need authentic help.
As an ugly twist to the above story, Yvonne Edwards recently assured me she had been keeping a close eye on Chuck Hawkins to make sure he didn't start abusing my own daughter, then six years old. I had to ask myself, "Was this before, after, or - Oh my God, while! - Yvonne Edwards was sexually abusing Chuck Hawkins's own son?"
My God, who did we have guarding the henhouse?
The crazed voice in my head asks, "What is wrong with this micro picture?" "What is wrong with this macro picture?" What kind of insane parallel universe is it when I am supposed to feel "reassured" that the guru, a 40-year-old pedophile, is not moving in on my six-year-old daughter BY YVONNE EDWARDS, A CULT THUG WHO IS SEXUALLY ABUSING THE GURU'S OWN YOUNG SON? What kind of world is it where a parent even needs such reassurance to begin with? What kind world is it where a mother is supposed to be satisfied with such scraps of news about her daughter who was taken from her by the commune goons for six years?
In my experience, such sexual torment of a child is considered in the criminal codes as a "felony" resulting in "prison time."
Other cult flunkies have also obtained psychology licenses and are out there "therapizing" and manipulating others. Ain't that great news? If they are honest, they have printed this caveat on their shingles: "Abandon all hope ye who enter here."
In truth, these individuals should be reported to the authorities. They are not fit to be advising others, to be holding paid seminars in "higher consciousness, "and they are engaging in damaging manipulation of people who pay for their services as they dispense the filth and worthless crap they learned from the guru while bent over to receive his teachings. Their diplomas are not worthy of lining my cat litter box.
To this day these very same men and women lie to my daughter, now a grown woman. They pretend that they are - always were - her mentors and protectors. Yet they are posers, hypocrites, imposters and frauds.
They have attempted to lead my daughter to believe that they are other than who they really are. When my daughter learned of their treachery against young girls in the commune, they lied. They said they didn't do it, these very same people who claim to have "gotten over it" and "gone on with their lives." I can well imagine not wanting to admit to having raped children. However, their dishonesty renders false any relationship they might attempt with my daughter. Life is too short to waste on such characterless individuals who lack the courage to be open and honest about who they really are. Time spent with these individuals is time trashed.
People who have behaved abominably and committed crimes against children and other human beings do not like it when a victim of their atrocities finally overcomes her fear and finds her voice. They think such a victim should be quiet and keep her healing to herself.
Note that some ex-cult members, those still in the sway even these many years later, are very angry at me for speaking my mind about what happened in the cult. The accuse me of having a "victim complex."
These are the very same members who would call their parents from the jungle, their parents with whom they had cut off all communications YEARS AGO, and confront them angrily about heinous crimes real or imagined that their parents had committed against them, perhaps fastening their diaper too tight one day. They blamed their parents for RUINING THEIR ENTIRE LIVES.
These phone conversations with their parents were always ominous and dramatic occasions. Chuck Hawkins or the group would have decided it was time for an angry confrontation with a family member. Recording equipment was set up prior to the call. Sometimes other group members would listen in - for "support."
The taped phone calls were then replayed and psychoanalyzed AD NAUSEUM in endless big groups, small groups, and individual sessions. Everything the parent had said in the phone call was given an ominous interpretation. The parent was ridiculed for his or her stupidity. The cult members would blame their parents for everything that had ever gone wrong in their lives. Then they would SCREAM and CRY, HIDEOUSLY and LOUDLY, day and night about what poor innocent victims they had been, accusing their parents of the most heinous crimes.
These primal explosions of rage and anger pierced the Hawaiian night air and constituted a hugely rude discourtesy to the farmer neighbors on either side of the coffee farm. As stated elsewhere in this document, these Filipino farmers began screaming back in mockery. This was soon before the cult packed up en masse and fled to San Francisco.
These are the people who think I should be quiet about a REAL hurt, a REAL nightmare - the separation of me and my daughter - that I was subjected to by them, these cowards, these craven and characterless robots who didn't have an ounce integrity.
My therapist has taught me that their efforts to make me feel bad by accusing me of having a "victim complex" is evidence that these people have learned NOTHING about themselves since the cult disbanded around 1983. An abuser who makes their victim feel guilty about speaking up and facing her tormentor SIMPLY WANTS TO DENY THE CRIME COMMITTED. It is a common technique used by parents who have physically or sexually abused a child, to keep an iron boot on that child, to keep that child feeling dirty and guilty, and to keep their victim silent.
Of course, the concept of victimhood can be abused by a person who does not want to live up to the consequences of their own actions. That does not mean there is no such thing as a victim - Holocaust survivors; children of alcoholics; survivors of sexual, emotional and physical abuse.
When I went to Hawaii at my sister's invitation, I was in a terrible situation with my severely alcoholic mother. I had been taking care of her for years by myself since my siblings had moved to other parts of the country and of the world.
I had cut all ties to my former life, sold all of my few household goods, liquidated my little apartment, and moved to Hawaii at my sister's invitation, believing that I was going to get some help. I was pregnant. I had no support group anywhere in the world. My father was running a paper mill in the Philippines. My mother had NEVER been a support to me. Quite the opposite; she had been an enormous burden and drag on me for years. The cult moved back into the jungle. Employment opportunities were scarce and very low-paying. I was confronted daily, hourly in the isolation of this situation that I was crazy, that I could not make it on my own. I had no financial resources, no emotional or social support system anywhere in the world. I was a victim.
And I escaped as soon as I was able to, in San Francisco where work opportunities allowed me to earn enough money that I could set up a household and support my daughter and myself.
With the help of my therapist, I am learning to make the simple statement - I was a victim - without guilt.
The irony of this victim issue is that ANY THERAPIST WORTH THE PAPER HIS OR HER DIPLOMA IS PRINTED ON SHOULD KNOW THESE BASIC CONCEPTS OF PSYCHOLOGY.
Yet a number of the cult members who have become licensed to practice psychotherapy are the very ones using the guilt ploy just mentioned. It doesn't take a PhD in psychology to understand these basic concepts. It doesn't take an MFC graduate. I am not a trained psychotherapist. I have a journalism degree. I am just using my God-given good sense and basic knowledge of right and wrong, something I think these cult fools lost long ago when they handed their selfhoods lock, stock and barrel over to a mind control monster.
Revisiting and voicing these nightmares has been very frightening for me. There are residual effects from my six year entrapment in Hell.
Noted cult exit therapist Margaret Singer has this to say on leaving a mind control cult (credit http://www.factnet.org/rancho2.htm#five):
It is very hard for former members, especially high level and long term members, to admit they have been thoroughly deceived and speak up about what they know. The group has rocked and tranced them into believing that they are totally and completely responsible for everything that happens to them and the group is never responsible.
The result is victims tricked into believing they were completely responsible for their decision to get into [the cult] so they blame themselves. Sometimes they are completely unable to conceive that they have been had. They might deny they have been fooled, because that would make them a tremendous fool on the most major decisions they had made to this point made in their lives, or they deny that they have been hurt because it's too hard to face that pain.
To mistrust one's own major decisions and perceptions of reality is frighteningly close to that ultimate terror: insanity. Without the information which was unavailable to them in the cult and professional counseling, this level of denial of past reality is difficult to overcome.
The trap is not an accident. Along with other such tactics, cults deliberately inculcate self-protecting, secrecy insuring, and liability redirecting catch-22 denial mechanisms into their members. The organization is always right, the individual always wrong and responsible, bad things happen to those who break the code of silence, etc.
I would recommend that these people read the true book - or watch the movie - "Sleepers" by Lorenzo Carcaterra. Were he and his three childhood friends wrong to finally confront their prison guard tormentors who had raped them repeatedly when they were young boys in the Wilkinson Home For Juveniles in upstate New York?
Do these young victims just have a "victim complex" that they should feel further guilt about?
This is a universal theme, this victory for those who have been violated, when they finally find their voice and the courage to speak up about the atrocities they were subjected to - and to direct their feelings to those who were instrumental in their torture. This is part of their recovery so they can put the nightmare behind them and get on with their own lives.
Henchmen/Henchwomen were at the top of the hierarchical structure in the commune. They were the ones who actively sought and gained control of the weaker members and furthered the diabolical plans of their guru. It must be lonely at the top when inevitably with pride and hubris comes the fall.
However, the fall for them will only be in their own consciences if in fact they are even capable of admitting, if just to themselves, the error of their ways. There will never be any satisfaction for their victims. An apology, an explanation, an admission of wrongdoing would be WAY too costly for these characters.
These cult thugs committed a fatal hit-and-run accident and just drove away. They will get off scot free. They've toodled on down the road on the way to the rest of their lives. It's a sunny day for them and they've surely got their convertible tops down.
The guru died around 1983 or so of lung cancer. As to the ex-commune members, they did suffer a great deal of separation anxiety after the group split up. After all, they had not made a single independent decision, such as what they would have for dinner, in years. There was a great deal of hand-wringing if they had to perform something as complicated as balancing a checkbook.
However, they report that they are "getting on with their lives." They have "put it all behind them." As I mentioned before, some of them have become licensed to practice psychotherapy and are out there spreading the esoteric knowledge they learned at the feet of their guru - the ad nauseum cult command to "have your feelings" was the main catch phrase yammered constantly by these puppets.
Anyway, John, after the above long diversion, it was during the time that I was working for your company after arriving in San Francisco that I finally felt empowered enough to make my break. I rented a room in a house on Sanchez Street in Noe Valley. I met Michael (I had gone to the Last Day Saloon on Clement Street to dance, our eyes met across the crowded room and that's all she wrote!). We got pregnant and we married on Leap Day, February 29, 1984.
We purchased a dreadful two-story fixer upper on a street in the Mission District of San Francisco. I was so nauseated with morning sickness that I didn't even go in to look at it before Michael signed our names to the promissory note. We paid $78,000. That property had real potential because the lot was twice the width of the normal city lot. After a three story addition in 1987, it is now valued at over $1,000,000.
We moved into the basement of this fixer-upper (on Tax Day 1984) and camped out there for the duration of the pregnancy, most of the time with nothing for plumbing but a garden hose and a pee bucket. Michael demo'ed and rebuilt the upstairs in the nick of time for my younger daughter's birth on November 1, 1984. I felt enormous fear about letting anyone hold my new baby. After all, I had lost my first baby from infancy through six years of age. Dare I ever, ever let go of this new one, even for a minute? It was a long before I felt safe handing her to anyone else.
During this time, Michael and I went to the old Sears building on the corner of Mission and Cesar Chavez streets, where the cult was living in a converted loft, and met with the "Dhyana committee." We rescued my then7-year-old daughter and brought her home with us.
Michael and I laughed when these buffoons presented us with a bill for thousands of dollars for my daughter's food and old clothes and toys they had purchased over the years at Goodwill and the Salvation Army. Remember, never ONE TIME while I was in the commune did I independently purchase an item of clothing, a gift, anything for my own daughter.
I believe I got my daughter out of the grasp of the cult in the nick of time. She was going on seven years old and the guru and his toadies liked 'em really young. After all, child sexual abuse went on in that purgatory on a daily basis and didn't raise much more of an eyebrow than the nightly ringing of the dinner bell.
After I had married Michael and we had rescued my daughter from the commune, he completed a step-parent adoption of her. The process involved an inspection of the home in which this child would be raised. At that time, the social worker told my daughter that her last name would be changed and this was an opportunity for her to change her first name if she so wished. She did in fact come up with a great new name - and thus a new identity - for herself. When she went to school and told her classmates, they all went home and asked their parents if they could change their names too!
I recently went through a file - yet again - that the "Dhyana committee" handed me the same day that Michael and I took my daughter from the commune. I sobbed deeply as I looked at notes taken by various members of the rotating committees who were her caretakers in The House, including school applications and back-and-forth correspondence with her teachers from nursery school through beginning elementary school. I also saw her immunization record from one year old. She was still listed as "Baby [Last Name]." Also see How They Tried To Kill Me
Here are two poems from my daughter's stubby pencil:
I like to go to school
Even though I can't play pool.
I wish that we could run and play
Instead of having to work all day
But I don't want to be a fool.
Soft and tender is a deer.
How can I explore it, full of fear?
It lives in a great big forest
It is scared of an explorest.
It won't even let you come near.
There is nothing on this earth to compare with the joys that your children provide as you watch the stages of their growth.
Although I was in love with Michael, our marriage may have been doomed from the start. In the course of only nine short months, we had:
1. met and fallen in love
2. gotten pregnant
3. gotten married
4. purchased a "fixer-upper" (to put it mildly)
5. completed a major renovation during 9 months of pregnancy, much of that time with nothing for "plumbing" but a garden hose and a pee bucket
6. brought a step-child element (my daughter rescued from the commune) into the new home
7. started up my new husband's contracting business, using the kitchen table as an office
8. given birth to a new baby girl
9. welcomed my mother-in-law, who camped in the living room for a solid month right after the new baby baby arrived (I fed her tofu - my mother-in-law, that is.)
10. begun another business - my telecommuting for you, also from the kitchen table
Three years later, we embarked on a three story addition to the house, which took more than nine months to complete.
Most couples complete these major life passages over many years at a studied pace.
When I met Michael, I had just begun to pick up the pieces of my shattered life. I should have had many healing years with my daughter. I should have sought the help of a cult exit counselor such as the noted Dr. Margaret Singer in Berkeley, California. However, even the very thought of therapy scared me since it was therapy itself that had comprised my nightmare to begin with.
Dr. Margaret Singer has this to say about the aftereffects of the problems faced by those coming out of such a longterm situation of unbearable stress (credit http://www.factnet.org/Margaret_Thaler_Singer/Post_Cult_After_Effects.html:
POST-CULT AFTER EFFECTS
After exiting a cult, an individual may experience a period of intense and often conflicting emotions. She or he may feel relief to be out of the group, but also may feel grief over the loss of positive elements in the cult, such as friendships, a sense of belonging or the feeling of personal worth generated by the groups stated ideals or mission. The emotional upheaval of the period is often characterized by "post-cult trauma syndrome":
sense of loss
depression & suicidal thoughts
fear that not obeying the cults wishes will result in Gods wrath or loss of salvation
alienation from family, friends
sense of isolation, loneliness due to being surrounded by people who have no basis for understanding cult life
fear of evil spirits taking over ones life outside the cult
scrupulosity, excessive rigidity about rules of minor importance
panic disproportionate to ones circumstances
fear of going insane
confusion about right and wrong
In the midst of my own residual post-trauma effects, I was suddenly embarked in the frenzied fray of the above life altering events with my new partner, a person I had not even had the chance to get to know very well. Suffice it to say that there was no time for fun and relaxation and really getting to know and enjoy the person I had just married, overwhelmed as we were.
Those were good times, though. Our activities were of the positive kind - working, nest-making, etc. We were young and had the strength and energy to conquer the world. Today, at the age of 53, I feel like I am living a reversal of 1984 - my children have grown and my nest is empty (Where did the time go? Where did it all go?), I am finalizing my divorce and I am living alone in a very different environment. My life today seems like a process of shutting down.
However, my current situation now that the divorce is nearly complete, my nest is empty, and I am living in solitude with no one to do for except a little black cocker spaniel and two new kittens, is an opportunity to finally sit down and think - and write - and hopefully recover - from what happened 20 years ago. Until now, these thoughts have banged around in my head chaotically and inchoately, knocking me all over the map. As the story takes shape, so will my healing.
Thank God my daughter is very well today, children being the resilient creatures that they are. Mine is a story of a mother's pain.
Part of my recovery involves learning how my travels through life as I was in my mid-20s led me to choose going to the commune in the first place, aside from wanting a life away from my alcoholic mother and trusting that I was leaving Ohio for a better life.
I think about the story of the Rev. Jim Jones and his People's Temple. Coincidentally, this story originated in San Francisco, where Jim Jones started his church and where the Chuck Hawkins cult ended up.
While different in scope, all of the Biblical themes are there - rape of children, wresting an infant from her mother's arms. I am reminded of the wisdom of Solomon.
One day, the wise King Solomon was approached by two women arguing over a baby. Each claimed the child was hers. Unable to judge, King Solomon thought up a plan - he offered to cut the baby in half, giving half to the one and half to the other.
The first woman agreed with the King: "Let the baby be neither mine nor hers, but divide it. If I can't have the child", she cried, "she can't have it either". The second women pleaded with Solomon not to hurt the child. "Give her the baby. I'd rather lose the child that see it slain".
Solomon knew immediately that this was the rightful mother. He returned the baby to her.
Two children died as a direct result of the abuse they suffered at the hands of the Chuck Hawkins cult. While this does not compare in scope with the 900+ victims of Jonestown, the principles are the same. After all, what good is the body when the soul has died?
In the late 1970s, Jim Jones moved his operation and all of his followers - the innocent, beautiful people who loved and trusted him - to the jungles of Guyana in South America. Once settled into the jungle hell they named "Jonestown," Jim Jones was free to unleash the full horror of his sadistic control over the people who had burned all their bridges, liquidated their homes and all ties to their prior lives and followed him back into his hellish lair. They thought they were on their way to a better life.
Word got out of the atrocious goings on in the Guyana hell. Finally, a California congressman, Patrick Ryan, travelled with an entourage of aides to investigate the nightmare stories that were seeping out of Jonestown in order to determine if United States intervention was necessary.
Things went horribly awry. Jim Jones became terribly paranoid and frantic at the knowledge that he had finally been cornered. When Congressman Ryan and his aides realized that the situation of their investigation had become extremely dangerous and returned to the tiny jungle airstrip for their return back to the United States, Jones sent his thugs out after them. As these U.S. representatives were boarding their tiny plane, the thugs fired on these people. Congressman Ryan was shot dead. Others were shot but survived.
Jim Jones, knowing what was coming next, ordered his 900+ followers to drink cyanide-laced grapefruit flavored Kool Aid. It was better that 900 people die than that Jim Jones lose control and sway over his followers. All of the members complied with the order and they all perished. The only survivors of this slaughter were those few individuals who happened to be off the land that day. Obviously, Jim Jones had pre-planned for such an eventuality because the barrels and barrels of poisonous drink had already been prepared and were always on hand, at the ready.
Two excellent resource sites regarding Jonestown, including links to source documents, are at these links:
John, during the six years in the commune, Chuck Hawkins and his followers tried to convince me that I was not intelligent. This is the way cults operate - shatter your self-confidence and then promise you a "rebirth," so you will be remade in a new image - the cult's image. I believe there was one role and one role only that was planned for me in the commune, at least until I acquiesced to the ways of the group, which I never did. Thank you for seeing me for who I am.
That was a long time ago. I had my first experience with personal computers when I went to work for your accounting firm. Back in those days, we had to insert two diskettes into this weird machine, each the size of a dinner plate - one for the software program and one for the data. Those daisy wheel printers sure made an awful racket. And what a pain feeding that paper through the rollers and onto the sprockets.
It hadn't been too long before that the first data was transmitted between two personal computers over telephone lines. You soon bought into this technology so that you could work from home and wing your work product back to us, your team at the office. Computers have come a long way since then. And so have we. Mine has been a long, strange trip but those were good times for me, my first steps on the long road to recovery.
I hope you realize from the above narrative how extremely fortunate I was to have been hired by you those many years ago. In my employment as operations manager of your capital management company, I ended up earning a greater salary and having a position of greater responsibility in a job than just about all of the ex-cult members. Me. The bad one. The crazy one. The one who would not go along. And the one whose heart was broken for so many years.
John, you may have read Joel Chandler Harris's Brer Rabbit stories to your kids when they were young. My younger daughter loved them and we laughed uproariously as I tried to assume the required accents as I read them to her. Anyway, those stories comprise old slave tales. They were a means by which the weaker race, personified by Brer Rabbit, maintained a little self-respect by always managing to outwit the much stronger master, incarnate in Brer Fox.
I sincerely hope I have not turned into Brer Rabbit by putting these writings up on my website. (I don't want to wake up someday and realize that the only job I might qualify for is assistant to Carl Rove, Dubya's "brain" and dirty trickster.) After all, the guru's methods were all about manipulation and this Rabbit was not just sitting there contemplating her navel for six years.
I truly do hope that airing these feelings, possibly opening up a dialog with others who have suffered through such nightmares, will be therapeutic and healing. I would even welcome dialog with ex-members of the commune. Even though they claim to have put it all behind them, I have a hard time believing that because I personally am still hurting very deeply, especially now that I finally am in therapy and examining the nightmare that I underwent for six long, heartbreaking years. However, I guess I should realize that the others did not have my experience in that they did not have a child of their own, entrusted to them by God, about whom they were deeply and desperately worried.
John, little did you know that you were playing a grand role in an incredible rescue when you hired me so many years ago.
Isn't it strange how epic struggles can be happening right under our noses and we don't even realize it?
P.S. - I am glad that I spent some time up here in Maine learning HTML and web authoring, rather than just watching the snow fall in winter and thwacking black flies out of my face in summer. Eventually (this is kinda technical) I will add "key words" to my home page "header" so that search engines such as Google and Yahoo will locate my site during a search for words and phrases such as "cult," "mind control," "sexual abuse of children," etc. My hopes are that this site will become a forum for dialog, even for ex-members of the commune. After all, the "enlightenment" process involved "healin' thru revealin'."
P.P.S. - Further to my confliction as to my motives in opening up this dialog, I am reminded of the Holocaust deniers. Would anyone ask and expect that the victims of Nazi atrocities be silent? Would that be healthy for them? Obviously, I am not talking scale here, but principles. My therapeutic exercise in committing my thoughts to paper and my website have been terribly frightening for me as to this question. It is very frightening to come out of a closed system and reveal the atrocities which you were absolutely forbidden to express - or even think of - within the place of entrapment.
P.P.P.S. - John, while writing the above, I had a brief flash, a moment of doubt, a shudder of fear. Is all this deep thinking actually evidence I somehow succumbed to the now-dead guru's mind control in spite of my desperate fight to maintain my sanity and selfhood? Did his lies seep into my brain through some process of osmosis against all of my struggles to prevent that from happening? Is my current therapeutic writing evidence that I "learned" some "lesson" from him - to examine my heart and soul, to "have my feelings" about such deep issues? Yes, I am having my feelings but this is nothing I learned from him. I am seeing my therapist in a few days. I think that she and I can probably deal with this last vestige of the guru's omniscience and omnipotence with a quick smack of a flyswatter.
A final P.S. to the above P.S.'s:
As I sit here finishing up this letter to you, a little black kitty is sitting on top of my head. Her name is Satine. She is a black shorthair. I got her and her brother, a male gray tabby named Marcel, from the Bangor Humane Society. I hoped they would help heal the wounds from the loss of my gorgeous orange tabby cat, Ennui, whom I brought to Maine from San Francisco. I believe that Ennui was killed by coyotes who live in the woods behind the development where I live. I do not allow Marcel, the gray tabby, to sit on top of my head. He is much heavier than Satine.
I am reminded of a serious conversation I was having with my older sister. During that conversation, Ennui (my beautiful orange cat) was sitting on top of my head. My sister told me that she refused to speak with me further until I got that cat off my head, that it was distracting. Please realize that my wonderful older sister was cast as my caretaker in the family when we were growing up and she has always been somewhat bossy with me.
However, I am living alone now. I am working on my own re-empowerment. I make my own rules. And I can do anything I darned well please, including jotting down my thoughts while a little black kitty is sitting on top of my head.
Toward The Healing
Additional links (this list will be added to):
Because the above pages are difficult to read, I have provided a typewritten transcript at http://www.missmanagement.com/Commune/CommunePages/Rape.html.