Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Flight to real values; Facebook; Exploration; The Garden

Ludwig von Mises and the Austrian School called it the flight to real values. Whenever people expect inflation to continue - when they realize that inflation is caused by government's manipulation of the money supply - then they start buying real commodities with their money as soon as possible, because they expect their money to be worthless tomorrow, or even five minutes from now.

Do I personally 'expect inflation to continue?' Well, I've continued to buy silver (when I have any money to buy it with) and I haven't spoken a single word of complaint about the fact that the coin dealer is still selling a peace dollar around $17 instead of down at $12-$13 like the 'imaginary silver' price says it should be. Imaginary silver is now much cheaper than real silver. People are expecting the price of silver to keep going up, while the manipulated 'paper' silver price has been squashed down.

I felt excited and hopeful when I read that the bank bailout deal got postponed and that the stock market went down; however, I doubt that this will last long. I expect the government to intervene somehow. All of their interventions resort to some form of 'printing money,' which is inflation. I expect the dollar value of silver to keep going up because of that. That's why I'm not arguing with the coin dealer to get him to lower his coin prices a few dollars to reflect the 'imaginary' price shown on the internet. I keep reading articles where people talk about how it's getting more and more difficult to obtain physical metal for delivery. If the price were what it ought to be, there wouldn't be shortages. The shortages are caused by the price being lower than it really is. The black market price will go up.

When I began buying silver coins I asked myself about a sort of worst case scenario: what if the price of silver went down? I had to understand what it would MEAN. Would that be a 'loss?' I decided that no, it's not a loss. You just ignore what the dollar values are doing, and just keep doggedly buying silver no matter what happens, and always get real pieces of metal that you can hold in your hand.

The government worries about people's 'inflation expectations.' When people stubbornly continue to believe that the prices of commodities and monetary metals will keep going up, then they buy those things like there's no tomorrow, and the price DOES go up. This is NOT a bad thing that has to be avoided - it's just something that happens as a result of government controlling the money supply and forbidding people to create alternative money systems.

The bank bailout deal was postponed but I doubt it's gone forever. I doubt that the government will permit any actual deflation to occur.

I'm confused about something I've read. Somebody said that this isn't a 'deflation,' it's just 'deleveraging.' I can kind of understand that, but also, I'm still thinking there might be some deflation going on anyway.

Deleveraging means that somebody couldn't continue to borrow money that they were using to speculate. It means they couldn't make their margin calls. I learned about that when I played with Forex last year. You borrow money, buy some pieces of paper with it (or buy some numbers and letters on a computer screen), and then watch the little graphs and charts go up and down to see if you won or lost your bet. If you lose too much, then you don't have enough money left over to keep on betting and playing the game. You no longer have leverage. So, large numbers of people have simultaneously all lost their bets and had to step out of the game. But I'm not sure what impact that would have on the graphs. Does it just mean that there's a smaller number of people betting than there used to be? Does it mean that those missing people are no longer pushing the prices to move in whatever direction they were pushing?

Deflation means that the amount of money has been reduced. But I think of not only the overall money supply as a whole, but also specific sectors of the economy that can have bubbles of inflation and deflation. The overall money supply is probably increasing. Or is it? What happens when large amounts of imaginary money are wiped off the books? In other words, defaults?

If you borrow money, and then don't pay it back, does it cease to exist somehow? Is that a small bubble of deflation? I personally think that yes, it is. If people are defaulting on huge amounts of borrowed money, then that money disappears and ceases to exist. They're not merely deleveraging - they're not merely stepping down out of the betting games. The money they borrowed actually disappears. I don't know if this interpretation is correct, but that's how I imagine it.

I don't think deflation is bad. I'd like to see deflation. However, it's the unpredictability, the chaos, the volatility that seems to be a problem. The markets change drastically from one day to the next, when one force pushes them one direction and another force pushes them another direction. If deflation just happened on its own and decreased the money supply gradually and consistently, I think we'd all be better off. (Of course, we'd be better off if we were using precious metals instead of fiat money.)

I expect government to continue to be what it's always been, and do what it's always done, which is: inflate, inflate, inflate. I would be surprised to see them allowing much deflation to occur at all.

Even so, if gold and silver prices go down again, just ignore it. Just keep buying physical metals and avoid buying paper.

Flight to real values: getting out of anything imaginary and going into the real world. That's an echo of my ever-increasing distrust of the internet as a reliable medium of communication. I'm starting to think that if anything is very important to you, you shouldn't use ONLY the internet to deal with it. There should always be some kind of real-world route of communication at all times. So it fits with what I've been writing about for the past few days.

I've been eating wheat, so my writing is a little more disorganized than usual. Wheat gluten seems to be one of my worst ADHD triggers.

I'm noticing something at work which has me rather upset, but I'll wait and see how long it lasts and probably won't complain about it for a while yet.

A few months ago I found someone's Facebook page and tried to look at it. I discovered that I didn't like Facebook much because something on the page wanted me to use Flash. I was confused because Facebook wasn't like MySpace - it doesn't give you a page that you can search for and look at. You have to be friends with somebody to see anything at all.

So I joined Facebook (it turns out there are like ten different people named Nicole Binns) and tried to make a friend request, but it vanished into the ether like all my other attempts at communication. I sent an email saying that I had tried to make a friend request, but that was after the emails had already ended. So I gave up on that. And now, I can't even find that person's page anymore, and also, Facebook changed their site, and I'm not quite sure what's up with all that.

There's more of an emphasis on joining groups there. And there are groups that have already been made, such as groups of people who live in your local area. MySpace has groups too, but they don't emphasize the use of groups as strongly - you can use MySpace without ever really noticing that the groups exist, but Facebook calls your attention right away to the phenomenon of groups. And the groups function differently. I'm not sure if this is true or not, but I got the impression that the whole group of people gets connected to you if you join the group. In MySpace, I don't think you can automatically collect a whole group of people at once, while still keeping them labeled as a 'group' instead of a 'randomly organized bunch of friends.' Maybe you can... but it takes more mouseclicks and more thinking to get there. It's hidden more deeply and requires a conscious intention to go find a group and collect them. Whereas on Facebook, collecting a group, and keeping it labeled as a group, can happen almost automatically and inevitably.

Facebook gave me some really large files that took about two minutes to download before I could even view anything at all on their page. That annoyed me. I have dialup and I have an 'old' computer. I'd rather see things done with the most primitive plain HTML as possible. I'd like people to make very simple websites and pretend they don't know any of the other languages and techniques and esoteric types of software that can be used to make web pages. There's even a kind of nostalgic feeling I get whenever I look at very simple, primitive web pages that look 'handmade.' It's sort of like the way you feel if you use a DOS text editor that doesn't have mouse support (or maybe just minimal mouse support), and no pictures or icons to click on. So I'll be happy if I see a social networking site that uses the ancient handicraft of basic HTML and nothing else.

Today's a bad day in terms of 'all talk and no action.' I have the 'verbal thought barrier' going on, where I can't use my brain the way I'd like to use it - for nonverbal, original, action-oriented thinking. Instead, I was being bombarded with voices when I woke up in the middle of the night, and no matter how hard I tried to make plans to do useful things, somebody always interrupted me. I had to speak verbally, in a useless and unproductive manner, in order to think at all - and that makes it impossible to make plans or prepare for useful activities. Then, I got out of bed and ate something, because I hadn't eaten much the night before, but all I had were some wheat crackers and cheese, and I already mentioned that wheat gluten messes up my thinking even more. So it's a difficult morning.

This is buried in a blog post that's already long and disorganized, but I never told the story of how I learned about a chemical called juglone.

I did some adventurous things this summer, the kinds of things I used to do in college and haven't done in years. I already wrote about the trip to New Jersey. That was one of my adventures even though my grandmother's death was the context behind it. I also was doing a lot of storm chasing. I used to drive my car directly into thunderstorms back when I was in college - not often, but once in a while.

Well, one of the other things I used to do was go walking in the rain. I've read about things that make people feel happy, and ionized air is one of those things that supposedly puts people into a cheerful mood. Negative ions are usually supposed to make people happy. I don't know much about any of this except for the fact that the phenomenon exists.

(I can't recommend any particular brand of ionizing air purifiers, although I've researched them a couple of times. I looked into it as a non-drug treatment for depression. I also researched the SAD lights - seasonal affective disorder - but when I actually bought one of those lights, I learned the hard way that shining a bright fluorescent light directly into your eyes will destroy your vision very quickly. I was lucky to figure it out soon enough to stop using it. That led me into the path of reading about the hazards of certain kinds of fluorescent lights, including the lights used to treat jaundice in babies, and the energy-saver bulbs that we are all going to be forced to use a couple years in the future after incandescent light bulbs are outlawed. People debate and disagree about exactly which kinds of lights are the most dangerous, and what specific problems are caused by them - but in general it's true that certain lights can damage your eyes, cause discomfort, flicker, interfere with people's balance and mess up their ability to walk, and make it hard to think.)

So I often suspect that my enjoyment of walking in the rain, and my love of thunderstorms, might have something to do with ionized air, but I don't know what kinds of ions they would be.

Anyway, I went out in the rain one day this summer when it was warm outside. It was a fine drizzle instead of a heavy rain - it was like falling mist. When I walked into it I felt surrounded by peaceful protection and quietness. It was almost like having the mental shield that I've wanted.

I felt playful and adventurous and decided to go walking in the creek. There was a fog rising above the creek and it looked mysterious.

A long time ago, when I was very young, I used to look into the woods, into the darkness under the bushes and trees, and I felt a special emotion, a feeling that there was something amazing and scary, something unknown and magical, under the trees. If I went there, if I crawled through into the forest, I might get into a real-life adventure like something in a movie or a book or a video game. I might find something that really was magical. I might open a trapdoor, or find a piece of magical jewelry, or meet some creature like a dragon or an old wizard. Something unknown and unexpected would happen, and it would lead me into a great adventure of life-or-death importance. I would go into some secret world hidden behind the normal world.

It was sometimes a sad feeling, sometimes boredom, a feeling of loneliness and longing, a wish that my life would be meaningful, that I would have an urgent purpose, some great mission, some great adventure. That life would not be just mundane and meaningless, not just a gray routine of going to work and coming home every day, but instead, there would be such things as good and evil, and there would be some kind of challenge, some danger, and great achievements. I would see things I had never seen before, and I would meet people who understood me better than anyone else had ever understood me. And it might happen if only I explored some part of the woods, or some part of the world, that I had never seen before.

I had a Truman Burbank-like experience where somebody gave me the message: 'Sorry, everything's already been explored!' I found out that other people had already mapped everything there was to map in the world. If there was ever something undiscovered for even a second, some faster person, some stronger person, would jump in there more quickly than I could, and explore it and map it out first. I felt out-competed, inferior, timid. I thought I'd never get to be the person who did something new that had never been done before.

I also heard some famous quotation, which I think came from the early 1900s, when somebody said 'Everything of importance has already been invented.' I believed it.

It turns out that doing something new and original - inventing something, creating something, discovering and exploring something, building and starting something, takes a lot of effort and knowledge and planning. It's not easy to just do it on impulse. You don't really stumble into an adventure merely by being lucky enough to find a magical trapdoor out in the woods.

However, the uninvented things really do exist. They really are hidden behind the normal reality. It's really possible to do things and discover things that nobody has ever done before. But it isn't easy. It's not always easy to know what you have to question in order to find them. You can question a lot of things you take for granted. (However, you need to have enough physical health and free time to be able to do some adventurous things.)

I remember seeing a show on TV, during that time when I was young and feeling as though everything had already been done. It was a show about the human brain. When I watched the show, I had a feeling that the mind was an undiscovered area - that if there was something remaining to explore, it was the mind. I thought I could at least explore my own mind, observe my own dreams at night, maybe learn how to hypnotize myself or meditate, and learn what my mind was able to do.

When I walked into the creek that day, in the falling mist, I felt that sense that something wonderful was around the next corner. I hadn't felt that way for a long time. So I followed the creek to see what would happen.

It was easy at first. But then the creek got deeper. I was already wet but I didn't want to get completely soaked in ice-cold water. My feet were going numb with cold. I reached a place where the water was going to be about waist deep and that's when I decided to get out.

So I ended up on somebody's driveway, just next door. I wasn't even very far from home. On impulse, I walked up the driveway, even though it was somebody else's property, and I might not be 'allowed' to walk there. In that falling mist I felt safe and surrounded and I could do whatever I wanted.

It was an old house that I had never seen up close. There was a gigantic centuries-old tree beside it, with branches as thick as trees themselves. I wondered if this was an apartment house.

I walked around the back of the house, and I hadn't seen anybody yet. Nobody told me to get off the property or that I wasn't allowed to walk there. But then, all of a sudden, there was some guy clipping the hedges. I had walked around the corner and was right behind him. So I decided to say hello instead of running away. I'd just tell him I had walked up here out of curiosity.

He was a friendly old man tending the house's gardens. We ended up talking to each other for over an hour, in the rain. He was covered in hedge clippings. He took me on a tour of the little gardens around the house. 'It IS private property,' he said, 'but nobody's going to come out and shoot you or anything.' He said there were some paths in the woods behind the house, and they came from Lederer Park, so he might see an occasional trespasser walking out of those paths. I had been on some of those paths before but hadn't really explored them.

He told me that the house was very old, just like the Centre Furnace Mansion, and it had been associated with the mansion - it was owned by one of the brothers or something - I didn't quite understand who it belonged to. He told me that now the offices of Hi-Way Pizza were in there.

And the giant tree was a special kind of tree that I can't quite recall the name of. I think it was catalpa or catawba. It had these long green string-bean things that hung down. He said people thought they looked like Indian pipes. (I'll have to google it and see if I remembered it right.)

He told me that he had been involved in the community project over at Tudek Park on North Atherton, where you can rent a small plot of land and garden it yourself for a year. It's only about $40 to rent the land. He said there was some other land that he'd like to see developed into community farmland and that that project was being worked on right now.

He took me around the gardens and told me about the different flowers and vegetables he was growing. He picked a couple of onions and some spearmint and gave them to me. (Now that I think about it, I guess I would need to eat the spearmint after eating the onions.) I nibbled the spearmint - it tasted much better than spearmint gum, which I hate. Spearmint gum makes my mouth burn up with stinging cold fire. Real spearmint is actually good and the intensity is much milder - it doesn't sting as badly. It has more of a green leafy taste in addition to the spearmint oil taste.

Then he showed me some plants that were withered, yellow and brown. He told me that plants wouldn't grow there because of the walnut tree right next to them. I hadn't ever heard about this before. You plant something, and maybe it grows okay for a few weeks. But then, for no reason at all, it just starts to wither and die, and you don't know what the problem is.

It turns out that walnut trees poison the nearby soil with a chemical called juglone. Some plants tolerate it, but a lot of garden plants, like cabbage, will die off.

Suddenly I started remembering what happened to my garden. My little garden just didn't work out very well no matter what I did. I thought it was just because the deer were eating it, but that wasn't the only problem. I remembered that sometimes when I planted things, they would grow for a week or two, but then start struggling and turning yellow and then die. I thought maybe they were just hard-to-grow varieties of plants, or that I wasn't giving them enough water, or that they had gotten a plant virus. I was trying to grow cabbages and tomatoes in particular, and they kept dying. The tomato plants had barely even sprouted before they were dead. I'm not even sure if I saw them sprout at all - I never found any tomatoes growing after planting the seeds. And I tried planting cabbages from seed, and also cabbages that had already been grown in a pot, and they all disappeared. I assumed they had been eaten by deer, but now that I think about it, I also saw a lot of them just dying on their own. (The sunflowers grew though - they grew big enough that the deer noticed them, and ate them. It was obvious that stems and leaves were ripped off, not just withering away.)

There are walnut trees ALL OVER the area right next to my garden, only a few feet away. In fact, the majority of all the trees on the hillside are walnut trees! It turns out that right behind me is Walnut Spring Park - it's named after the very tree that was poisoning my garden, and the entire park and all of the hill is almost nothing but walnut trees. In that particular area, you just can't avoid them. (It won't do me any good to hate walnut trees. They are what they are. I will have to make peace with them, and find some kind of workaround, such as only planting things that tolerate walnuts, or finding some spot that's just enough of a distance away from them. It would be nice if I could make the walnut trees economically valuable instead of a nuisance. It's difficult to break open black walnuts, but maybe there is some special technique to it.)

After walking around with the gardener for a while, I eventually wanted to go home. It was raining harder and I was starting to get cold and hungry. I asked him what his name was again, because he'd told me and I forgot - his name was Joe. I thanked him for the vegetables he gave me and for showing me around. And he gave me a very valuable, essential piece of information that I really, really needed to know, and hadn't even suspected, about why my garden had failed.

I walked by the side of the road on the way back. And I hadn't even gone very far from home at all.

Monday, September 29, 2008

another disclaimer

I'm supposed to give another disclaimer here. People would want to know why I am in a fouler-than-usual mood in the last couple days. I have been really nauseated and feeling sick in general on and off for two or three days and I don't know if I just have a virus or what. There is nothing like nausea to make me write grouchy, hate-filled, long speeches.

What happens is that I usually manage to bottle up my feelings instead of expressing them. They're still there and everything I wrote about was true and this really has been going on all this time, but normally I would just kind of go along pretending everything was okay.

The time I got thrown into the mental hospital, I learned one thing. It is: You can talk about almost any 'crazy' subject at all, no matter how crazy, and they won't necessarily lock you up - UNLESS you show signs of intense emotional distress. If you talk about 'crazy' subjects and you seem to not really care, if you seem to be talking in a neutral way, if you talk about it as a vague abstraction, they ignore you. But if you talk about anything, and show signs of emotion, and say anything that suggests 'IMMEDIATE ACTION!' then they'll lock you up. If you make it sound like you're going to run out and do something right this very instant, they get you. But if all you're doing is complaining in a vague way without any particular direction, as if you don't care much, they ignore you.

So, for that reason, I have to re-bottle-up all the complaints that I have made and pretend that they don't really matter that much, and I have to mention that normally I wouldn't be so hate-filled except that I'm really not feeling well. And that is actually true, I really have been sick and nauseated for the past couple days and seem to be fighting an illness. It lowers my resistance to complaining.


There are some more things that have been going on - beliefs and rationales and explanations that they've been giving me all this time.

One of the very first beliefs that they gave to me was: He's hacking your computer. He sees everything you write in your journals. Therefore, direct communication isn't really necessary. You can write anything in your journals and he'll get the message.

Since it's physically possible and easy to hack into other people's computers, this isn't so implausible. The younger generation has grown up with the internet, more so than I did, and so I assume they have always known about how you can just go to some website and download spyware and, with a little practice, find ways to make it work on whichever computer you want to look at.

I myself don't spy on other people's computers - it's just something I never learned how to do, and I figure I would be the one person in ten thousand who actually got arrested for doing it, even though lots of other people do it. And it seems cowardly somehow.

Over the past few years, somebody constantly and deliberately did things to demonstrate to me all the various places they were able to hack into. That makes it very easy for me to believe anybody's claim that somebody is reading everything I write in my journals.

So that particular belief was used to try to tell him things that were difficult or embarrassing to talk about. It's convenient that you don't have to talk about difficult subjects in a direct conversation where you feel vulnerable and embarrassed. Then you assume the other person already knows all of this stuff, but actually, in reality, you HAVE to say it to each other for real in some way so that you KNOW the other person heard it.

They told me that they were telling him that I was doing the same thing to his computer, and also that I was psychic and I could read his mind. I can't read minds. What happens to me is that I passively hear voices and passively see images, and I have no control and no choice about what I see and hear. I sometimes see or hear things that later turn out to be accurate, but just as often, they are lies, manipulations, and meaningless random gibberish that turns out to be garbage.

So that was the 'you don't need to explain anything to him - he already knows it automatically' fallacy.

And once I stopped receiving emails or return calls, it wasn't any use trying to write directly to him anyway.

There is also the 'jump through these eighteen flaming hoops and you'll finally get a reward' fallacy. Through the whole summer I was being told that if only I did A, B, C, and D, he would finally talk to me again. I was familiar with that trick already - I had been through it during the previous period of sending hundreds of emails to a person not responding. That was before I knew about mind control. Even now that I know about it, I still can't really fight back against it or resist it - whatever lies they tell me, I still believe them, even though I know better.

However, this particular time, they told me to do some things that I already partially agreed with. Whenever they tell you to do things that you already somewhat believe, somewhat agree with, and wanted to do anyway, it doesn't cause as much friction between you and the people telling you to do things, and you're more likely to actually do those things, and you're more likely to continue doing them afterwards, for a longer period of time. It's more sustainable.

There is a separation between the different worlds, the different parts of my life. People have an online identity, and a real-world identity. I write in my blog, and yes, it's under my own name now, but still, it's a separate world.

I don't even know if he received the email where I told him that I had a myspace page. I have no way to know if he can even read my blog.

But if I talk to him in the workplace - when both of us are busy and rushed and we have to do other things besides stand around and talk - how can you talk to someone about 'how's the weather?' after all the things you said in the other world? I write in my blog about electronic mind control and disinformation wars and what's going to happen to the world, and about things that I hear voices asking me about. You don't go up to somebody at work and start talking about that. So you have to talk about normal things instead.

The blocked feelings are twisted, and humiliating, and intense. I started talking to somebody about very painful, secretive, private things, and then suddenly lost contact with that person without any explanation. So I can't just go up to him and act like everything is fine and normal. Something terrible has happened and it hasn't been resolved.

And emails don't work, and the telephone doesn't work. No answer on either of those. Evasive behavior and no real answer during my very brief attempt to tell him that I hadn't heard from him. So what's left? Am I supposed to write handwritten notes and go up and give them to him?

First, we're in two separate areas. I don't really go to the area where he has to work: we are in two separate social groups. It would be a territory violation to walk into places where I have no legitimate work errand. Somehow I can chat with other people up there, other people besides him, at least briefly, but there is this 'forbidden zone' surrounding him in particular.

I can see this image, where I picture myself going up and handing him a piece of paper. It doesn't matter what the paper says. I've thought of a million different things that would go on that piece of paper and they change every day. The piece of paper just says some crucially important thing, whatever it happens to be that day. In the big scheme of things, in the context of the universe, the stuff written on the piece of paper is trivial. It could be 'how's your day going?'

Meanwhile, people are watching as I go up and hand him a piece of paper. As everyone notices and talks about what's going on, they have to figure out why in the world I can't just say something out loud, or call him on the phone, or email him with this crucial question about how his day is going.

Well, of course, as we all know, Nicole has to hand him notes on pieces of paper because she believes (*here we roll our eyes at how ridiculous this is*) that someone is intercepting all the emails she sends and receives, which is why she's not getting any emails from him; and also, she can't just call him on the phone, either, because she believes that somebody is redirecting all of her phone calls to some duplicate answering machine that sounds exactly like his voicemail, and plays exactly the same message, but in reality, it's someplace else, and he never gets the message she leaves on his voicemail, which is why he's not calling her back. So Nicole is handing him pieces of paper because she's MENTALLY ILL and she thinks this is the only way she can communicate with him. (Poor girl.)

So I deal with this whole problem by not even looking at him. And guess what, that's not working very well. It triggered a voice that said, 'if you don't look at me, i'll change my schedule.' That pushed a button. Immediately I started thinking about what happens if he changes his schedule or leaves. It doesn't even matter what actions I take, what I do, or whether I look at him or not. He is still able to leave whenever he wants to. I have no contact information except for a phone that doesn't work and an email address that doesn't work.

Meanwhile, all of this was used as a tactic to get me to answer my phone. My landline phone - I never answer it because it gets telemarketer calls and credit card calls and prank calls all the time. I would get three or four prank/hangup/telemarketer calls one after another, and then there would be one call where somebody just hung up on the answering machine, and I'd hear voices (in my head, not on the phone) telling me that it was him - but by then, I'd given up on trying to answer the phone, after all the junk. If I kept being optimistic and tried to answer it, thinking it might be him, it was guaranteed to be yet another prank/telemarketer call.

During the brief couple of days when I attempted to answer my landline phone (the 'harassment line' if you want to call it that), they got my collection agencies to call me. I answered. The guy who picked up on the other end of the line was totally confused. He thought that I had called HIM. But I thought he had called ME.

This is something that the hackers/phreaks demonstrated to me years ago. They get into the computers at telemarketing companies. Those computers are programmed to automatically send your number to some phone operator or salesperson or whatever, who just sees that number pop up on their screen, and they have to talk to you. I know about it because I worked for a couple of weeks as a telemarketer at MBNA, a credit card company. I quit because I couldn't stand that job and I wasn't very good at it. You just sit there and random people's phone numbers get connected to you and you have to talk to them. Anyway, several years ago I kept receiving harassing/prank calls from people taking surveys or telemarketing various things that were supposed to be funny or relevant to things I was doing, thinking, reading about, etc.

Anyway, the collection agency guy didn't understand that HIS phone called ME. He thought I called him. I was used to that kind of thing by now, so I just let him believe whatever he wanted to believe. He probably still to this day thinks that I called him.

So we talked, and I wasn't ready. I had been planning to officially inform the collection agencies that I no longer intended to pay the remainder of my debt, due to the fact that I was going into debt because of circumstances beyond my control. I can't pay off my debt, because over and over again, some artificial disaster ruins my entire life and destroys all of my progress, every year, at least once a year. This is caused by several things: economic boom and bust cycles (which led to layoffs and major job losses) and also the electronic harassment. The particular nature of the disaster varies each year. It's always something different. There are repeated job losses, but also, there are other things that happen, such as the ephedra contamination disaster.

So I struggled to tell him bits and pieces of this idea, but of course, I only could blurt out a little bit of stuff that didn't explain much of anything except a very vague idea.

And then, just as I predicted would happen, some attacker triggered a bout of fake crying. I knew that would happen. They attack you in a way that makes you start to cry. You can't help it. It's not a real emotion and it doesn't come from you. You suddenly start bawling and can't help it. In reality, I was somewhat numb and cold and stony - nowhere near bursting into tears. I do cry, sometimes, but I don't burst into tears about the fact that I am not going to pay the rest of my credit card debt. Credit card debt is something cold and abstract and faraway, almost imaginary. I cry about things like the death of my cat Alexander, or I cry when I have PMS and get in a bad mood. But they wanted the phone call to be 'humiliating,' and it wasn't humiliating enough, and my cold stony behavior was rather disappointing.

So after the bout of fake crying ended, eventually I conveyed to the debt collector guy that I wasn't paying off my debt. And that phone call only happened because I kept hearing voices shouting at me to answer my phone, and they kept telling me that I was going to receive a call from this OTHER person who I was waiting to hear from - which never happened.

They keep telling me 'so-and-so is expensive.' This person is EXPENSIVE. Whatever communication I get with him, whatever interaction I get with him, occurs at great expense. It can't be easy and straightforward. They're always saying, over and over, that he's 'expensive.' That's supposed to explain why this whole thing has been such hell and why he and I both are suffering.

They also say dark, ominous things, like 'You will never touch him again.' One day they were obsessing about what I should write on the piece of paper that I was supposed to hand to him, but I was fighting against them and saying, 'get me through that barrier, you get me through that communication barrier and we'll figure out what to say to each other.' I cannot even approach him - how am I supposed to hand him a note? That requires walking towards him and going to parts of the store where I have no legitimate work errand, while we're both on the clock, and there's an imaginary invisible wall around him. I kept telling them 'get me through that barrier,' over and over. Then my whole thought process was wiped out by a voice that said 'YOU WILL NEVER WIN.'

I don't even need to say that electronic mind control is evil.

What they are doing is getting a lot of mileage out of a tense situation. It's useful to make me do things like answer my harassment-line phone and burst into tears while talking to the debt collection agency.

They were making fun of me tonight, saying 'all you have to do is hand him a note,' making it sound like that would be easy to do. But I would walk in front of everybody, all the people watching, and somebody would have to explain why on earth I was handing him pieces of paper. With a miserable, twisted, agonized look on my face. While he tries to avoid me and go someplace where I can't confront him. 'Because she's mentally ill' is the inevitable answer.

If these 'controllers' think they know what needs to be done in the world, why don't they just do it themselves? If they think they know what my fate should be, what role I should play, what I should accomplish in this world, what I should achieve, and what I should be prevented from achieving - if they know that, why don't they do it themselves?

There is no prophecy and there is no religion. They tell me there is a prophecy and that certain people are supposed to do certain things which have been foreseen, things which have been planned in advance - and to them, it doesn't matter whether the particular people they pick on actually ARE the people spoken of in their little fantasies. Making people artificially fit into the roles of the characters in their fantasies, so that it seems as though our lives are big and exciting, like something in a book or a movie, or prophecies, or religious texts -

which person is more mentally ill: me, or the controllers?

It keeps us entertained for a while, and it prevents us from doing anything truly original or enjoying our lives. I told them the other day: they will never know ME. They'll never know what the real Nicole Binns is like. This is a regrettable loss.

Someone values you, someone values who you are as a person, values your contribution no matter what it is. Someone cares whether you live or die. There are real people who value each other like that - not for entertainment, not for slavery, not as a tool to accomplish their purposes, not as a character in their stories and fantasies and games, not as objects of fear and distrust ('we must watch and control these people constantly or there will be a rebellion') -

there are people who value each other as real human beings.

Remember who you are.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

saint patience

Sometimes if you need to cry, but can't (and you've had enough water and you know you're not dehydrated), it helps if you start off by fake crying. Just pretend to cry, even though it's unnatural, and sometimes the real thing follows. It doesn't always work. But it's sometimes useful.

The computer hacking problem began in about 2000 when I met a guy in a chatroom, and became infatuated with him, and we began emailing each other. For a variety of reasons he decided to stop emailing me, while I continued trying to email him. He refused to answer.

When you get in a situation like this, and it just so happens that you're also using antidepressants, or really, it could be any of a variety of mind-altering drugs that distort your emotions, and if you are also the target of electronic harassment/mind control attacks, then some terrible things can happen and they can go on for a very long time.

I wrote emails and tried to reach this guy for about FIVE YEARS. If you sit down and think about that - that I wrote emails and made phone calls to a guy who wasn't answering, who never answered me for five years - it does seem really strange. I've written about this before, I know.

This problem was central to the fighting and the eventual breakup with my former boyfriend. It is central to why I don't find it easy to meet people nowadays and form any new relationships. Trying to establish or maintain relationships with people, while at the same time being the target of unwanted voices and thoughts and feelings in your head, alternate personalities that jump in at the wrong moment and insult somebody or say or do something cruel, and computer problems - such as disappearing emails - is almost impossible. When things go wrong, no one can interpret what exactly is happening or who's responsible for it. Or at least, I can't. Maybe the other person can.

I did in fact meet somebody interesting a while back. He knows who he is. The very instant that I began communicating with him at all, the problems began immediately. I was bombarded with voices, new personalities, and constant interrogations and questions in my mind for weeks. Every time I used my St. John's Wort I ended up doing or saying things that I didn't really want to do, or didn't think I ought to do. I had to actually stop using it in order to avoid writing excessive letters again - especially since he stopped communicating, very early on, after only five emails (while I myself ended up sending 27, whether I wanted to or not) - and after the previous five-year incident, I decided that I would not continue trying to write to somebody who stopped answering. He also, of course, wouldn't return phone calls.

My goal was to avoid getting another stalking/harassment conviction. It was a few years ago that I had a court case that involved harassment, and I was accused and convicted of harassment, when in fact I myself was being attacked and was writing letters to somebody trying to ask for help about it, and saying things which I was being forced to say - but at this time in human history, the legal system does not admit that it's physically possible to force people to do and say things, so instead, I got labeled 'psychotic,' thrown into a mental hospital, and convicted of harassment.

Terrible things often seem to happen when I meet people. One of the most frustrating problems is when 'alternate personas' jump in. (I still sometimes refer to them as personas, as if they are another personality - but my real belief is that they are coming from an outside source, from somebody using an electronic device.) I wrote several letters from other personas, saying things that I wouldn't normally say. All it takes is one or two bizarre/cruel letters from one of the malicious personas, and the recipient never trusts you again. From their point of view, the abuse is coming from YOU, and it certainly doesn't help when you tell them that you were being controlled by some other person when you said or did X.

In recent weeks the new battle has been this constant obsession of voices trying to induce me to go ask him if he's been receiving my emails or if he's sent any emails to me, and how many, to verify that they're not being intercepted. I battle this voice again and again every single day - it never ends. People talk about obsessive thoughts, and I get angry when I read about that phenomenon - when people write about obsessive thoughts as though they come from inside you, when actually they are NOT your own and they are being forced upon you from an outside source. You hear a voice saying something - it's not actually 'heard' inside your head, but rather, it's whispered in your voicebox as though you yourself are speaking - this is called 'subvocal speech.' It feels as though you're thinking the thought yourself. Several times each day they try to urge me to go talk to him and ask him this or that question.

They're skipping a step. There's this really big obstacle, this barrier to communication, the fact that I can no longer even look at or approach this person, because of the events that have occurred. If you can't even speak to somebody at all, then it isn't very useful to sit there obsessing about what exactly you would ask them if you could speak to them. Getting through the communication barrier would have to happen first.

Again, my main goal was to avoid behaving like a stalker. One false harassment conviction and one wrongful incarceration in the mental hospital was enough for one lifetime. I am not looking forward to doing that ever again.

I'd like a reality check. When you are stuck hearing voices all day, whether you want to or not, and the voices tell you outrageous fantasies and unbelievable things, while you're struggling to be as logical and realistic as you can be about the situation, then you really want to hear the other person's point of view, their side of the story, their experiences as THEY would describe it - not as it's told by the voices. The voices give me theories and explanations all day long, and it's useless garbage. A reality check is the most helpful thing I could have.

One disclaimer, however, is that it's not his fault that I'm hearing voices about him. He can't control that and he can't help the fact that it's happening. They probably won't stop and they probably won't let go of the whole situation very easily. That's been my past experience.

I hadn't originally intended to start a blog about my mental experiences and mind control. In fact, originally, I had intended to just keep that private, as I was afraid that the harassment would get worse if I talked about it publicly. But as soon as the problems began, this summer, I started blogging about my mental phenomena - and, yes, that is something 'they' wanted me to do. Now that it's out there, I'm not going to try to hide it. The only thing I can salvage, to give me any dignity, is the fact that I do struggle to be as realistic-minded as possible under the circumstances, no matter what they say to me in my head, no matter what they try to make me believe, no matter what they try to make me do. I try very hard to be realistic. It is not easy to have any kind of relationship at all, even a friendship, with someone who is hearing voices and turning into alternate personalities at unexpected moments. It must take the patience of a saint.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

some photos are ready now

I finally set up my page on Flickr. I had a really bad couple of weeks and didn't get to do any of the things that I had planned to do, but things are settling down a little bit now. The Flickr page is http://www.flickr.com/photos/eagledove9/.

A lot of the photos are practice pictures. I wanted to learn how to operate the camera, and how to arrange the objects in the picture. They're kind of boring, but also happy in a quiet way. I'm lucky to live next to this pond - it's like having my own little park.

Monday, September 15, 2008

primitive subsistence community, losing jobs, diana leafe christian

the good thing about 'jobs' in the primitive subsistence community is that you can't really 'lose' your 'job' due to economic bubbles.

plant foraging specialist:

become an expert at identifying local plants and trees. classify plants as edible, poisonous, medicinal, or useful for tools and materials. memorize and record the locations of specific plants. know which plants are available at any given time of year. collect and prepare plants for use. expand your familiar territory outwards to other areas to help guide travelers, hunters, nomads, traders, and other people in their food choices as they move around over longer distances. sell, share, and distribute plants to community members.

would it be boring and depressing to live in a primitive subsistence community?

i call it 'the same four walls' syndrome: you feel stuck in one small, parochial village and feel a longing for a larger world community, with a greater ease of living and more modern conveniences and a more varied culture. a small subsistence community, with a small number of people, and a harsh lifestyle, seems like a bleak and depressing image. This is described somewhere in the book, "The Communal Experience: Anarchist and Mystical Communities in Twentieth-century America," which i have glanced through in Google Book Search. it did happen in some of those small communities out in the middle of nowhere: some people felt that it was too lonely and depressing.

this is why i fantasize about networked villages with traders and nomads who move around (on the land) and go from place to place. (right now, the community is only at the fantasy stage.) this would help get news from other communities, buy products they made, or meet new potential members elsewhere. i have also thought a little bit about communication methods, like an 'off-the-grid' informal telephone/radio system of some kind, or an internet over ham radio. that would connect people with a larger outside world.

traveling 'on the land' means: you walk, ride horses or other beasts of burden, or ride bicycles, and avoid using fiat money or trading with the mainstream community; you forage for plants and animals, and you bring a non-perishable food supply with you. you might travel at night, avoid being seen (if you wish), and walk through wooded areas or less-populated areas. hitchhiking might also be an option (although i personally don't feel comfortable with it).

i imagine a community whose goal isn't explicitly 'ecological,' but rather, economic. the goal is to use less and less fiat money, instead of using fewer environmental resources. those goals are slightly different in their focus, although they overlap greatly, because fiat money, and the borrowing and malinvestment of it, encourages wasting of environmental materials and resources.

defining the goals of an intentional community:

diana leafe christian has written two books about building or joining an intentional community. from the bits that i've read, those books look excellent. it's all practical information.


it fascinated me to read about the process of building an intentional community. different people have different goals, expectations, and realistic or unrealistic fantasies about what the community should try to do.

for instance, i like the idea of 'a job you can never lose.' that is one of the purposes of the community i imagine.

my life has been unsettled over and over again by layoffs, firings, quitting of jobs, and temp agency assignments coming to an end. i've gone into debt because of these periods of unemployment.

in addition to that, i am chronically underemployed even when i do have a job. this is because the laws require employers to pay people 'time and a half' (one and a half times your usual pay rate) for any hours worked over forty hours. employers never want to do that, so you are always stuck working forty or fewer hours. this forces everyone to get a second job, or remain underemployed. when you get a second job, then of course, you are working at the original 'low' rate at both jobs instead of the time-and-a-half rate.

(the WORST thing they could possibly do about this situation would be to make a new law requiring employers to 'share the overtime' if you had two jobs. they could divide your overtime between your two employers and force them both to pay you time and a half for your total hours worked over forty. i have a bad feeling about this. it seems so believable, i'm afraid they might actually try to make that a new law someday.)

diana leafe christian's books talk about how to express those ideas about what you want from your community. a job you can never lose? sure, you might get that. but realistically, as a subsistence farmer or small-scale for-profit farmer, you might have bad years, with bad weather, crop failures, and all kinds of problems caused by nature rather than by economic problems. so realistically you can expect a certain kind of job security by working in an intentional community, but you also know that you can never be perfectly safe or have everything perfectly controlled to avoid every unexpected disaster.

she writes about how to get a group of people to express those unrealistic expectations ('i'll never lose a job again,' 'everyone will always love me and i won't feel rejected,' 'i'll never be lonely again,'), and mold them into something which can be done in reality. intentional communities really do provide real, practical benefits for their members. but the expectations must be clearly defined and realistic.

she talks about how to enforce consequences on people who violate the rules of the community. as an anarchist, you are responsible for putting yourself in the role of government, while avoiding doing all of the things that you think the government does wrong. you must learn how to enforce consequences for broken contracts or other more serious crimes, and avoid using physical force, jail, excessive bureaucracy, and other things that you object to in the mainstream community's government. (i could call it the 'UNintentional community.')

when you look at the 'unintentional' community that surrounds you, you notice that everyone has different goals, and they are not all working together.

the diverse goals of a community:

this concept is helping me imagine how to interact with strangers who aren't doing things that i value. i was thinking of the goals of the community that i live in - stuff like 'spend lots of time and money to watch football, sit in the stadium, sit on tailgates, and sit in traffic.' that's one of the things my community values that i don't value at all. this is the 'what would i do if i had all that money?' fantasy. there are huge amounts of money associated with football in this town, directly and indirectly. (we often say things like 'if i had all that money, i'd find a cure for cancer,' or something.)

this is the concept of community goals. a large group of people ARE working together. there are some projects that can only be done with large amounts of money and lots of people working simultaneously. for instance, if you decided to bake a thousand cakes by tomorrow morning, you probably could not do this all by yourself in your own home kitchen.

in an intentional community, a lot of like-minded people are working together for the same purpose. you discover that there are lots of people who already agree with you about many of your basic goals, although they differ about lower-level values and goals. 'lower-level' means a less important or less urgent goal.

as i read diana leafe christian's web page, i feel that almost everything she says is familiar to me. she's expressing things that i was thinking all along, but didn't have the words to say.

it's exciting to look at a book written by an author who feels convinced that building a community is possible. she has experience troubleshooting the things that go wrong with intentional communities. and she also knows a lot about how to do it right.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy Anarchist Day

I saw a news article that said today was September 11th. I hadn't even noticed that there was anything special about today until I read that headline. This date has been given a name: Patriot Day.

Today is the day when I think back and remember how Harry Browne and all the libertarians always said that meddling in the affairs of foreign countries would make them hate us and attack us sooner or later.

I hadn't called myself an anarchist until relatively recently - I was calling myself a minarchist and advocating a small government instead of self-government. I feel better psychologically when I call myself an anarchist and advocate for small communities of people taking responsibility for all of the functions supposedly performed by government. And they are to do as much as possible to avoid behaving like government: use talk and negotiations instead of force and imprisonment; allow variation between communities instead of government's one universal rule for everybody no matter what their circumstances; and so on.

Fortunately, I don't know anybody who's really gung ho about celebrating Patriot Day and arguing that government is something great to be worshipped. It's very tiring to try to communicate with people who are talking that way. I'd rather talk to people who at least partially agree with me so that we don't have to write a list of word definitions for every single word of every single sentence.

There better not be any decorations put up. In the past few years I have become disgusted by the sight of the American flag on all the vehicles and everywhere else.

Secondhand Smoke Withdrawal

I learned about tobacco this past year during the contamination. One of the herbs I tried to grow indoors was tobacco. It sprouted and grew for a few weeks before I got rid of all the herb-growing equipment because of the ephedra disaster. I threw all of it in the garbage, including the tobacco plants.

To recap what happened: I touched the seeds of the ephedra plant, which triggered a terrible reaction - it went through my skin. I then touched a few other objects and contaminated them. I also had touched things with the envelope the seeds came in. I didn't realize how bad it was at the time.

It wasn't only ephedra that contaminated various things. I also grew, as I said, tobacco, and St. John's Wort, indoors. I have touched various objects, such as the floor beneath where the plants grew, and had symptoms of those drugs - they all have the ability to go through the skin (transdermal route of entry).

My theory is that the live plants emitted vapors. I have done many tests of inhaling the vapors from St. John's Wort without eating or touching the leaves, and I do get the effects of the drugs. The vapors are very volatile. I believe that some of these vapors settle on nearby surfaces, such as walls and floors and carpets. The ephedra wasn't around long enough to do that - I threw away the seeds immediately after having the reaction. But the tobacco and SJW were around long enough to emit vapors that settled on surfaces.

I think that's how the whatever-it-is got all over the floor. I tracked it around the carpet by walking on it, and when I tried to shampoo the carpet, I successfully removed some of it, but also spread it around and didn't remove it entirely. It is very difficult to dissolve an oil that's poorly soluble in water. It requires very hot water, or some other solvent.

Some of the things I've touched gave me nicotine effects. I discovered that yes, I like nicotine, and it's a very good thing that I never started smoking, because I would definitely be addicted to it. I find it helpful, and it cheers me up and gives me energy. I wanted to use it for that very reason. I was going to try to use it as a transdermal herb instead of through cigarettes. I've abandoned the whole idea of doing that.

I think it also makes my heart pound. There's something in this house, and I don't know what it is, that makes my heart pound, and it raises my blood pressure. SJW also does that, to some extent - all three of those things affect the heart, which is one of the reasons why I've abandoned any attempt to use nicotine.

Also, nicotine makes you very sick and you have to be careful not to use too much of it, which is the reason why people don't like nicotine patches, from what people have told me. I talked to someone who used a nicotine patch and it was much stronger than ordinary cigarettes, and it made him deathly ill.

After I learned how to recognize the effects of nicotine, I learned that I get those effects from secondhand smoke. I have found that the nicotine also affects my blood circulation and it cuts off circulation to my feet. My right foot is especially sensitive to this. It was 'burned' by pesticides a couple years ago when I had some flea spray on the floor and I let the right foot press down on the wet flea spray for several minutes before I realized I was getting a chemical/poison burn. (This is why I think it's horrible and inhumane to put flea spray on animals. I also can't stand flea collars. I wore one on my wrist to see what it felt like, and it burned a lot and felt very uncomfortable.) Anyway, that foot was burned by the flea spray, and ever since then, that foot has been hypersensitive to various things, like the loss of circulation caused by nicotine use, and also, more vulnerable to frostbite. So I have observed that when I'm around secondhand smoke for a very long time, in large amounts, the right foot loses circulation, and it becomes extremely painful. The first time this happened, I had no idea why my foot was hurting so badly. It took a while to figure it out.

Well, I also noticed that I would go into withdrawal after accidentally touching nicotine. It hasn't happened in a while, so I forget exactly how long it took to happen. I think it happened about four hours after the contact. I would go into withdrawal, and feel hungry and get mysterious cravings, and get irritable, and sometimes I would even start crying.

So I suspect that people who are around a lot of secondhand smoke - if they're nonsmokers - get the same withdrawal symptoms as people who are trying to quit smoking. They would get these withdrawal symptoms every time they had a major exposure to secondhand smoke. If someone was a smoker, they would know they wanted a cigarette, and would just go get one. But if someone was a nonsmoker, they wouldn't necessarily know what was happening, and they wouldn't have any cigarettes, so they would just go through the withdrawal over and over again. They'd have food cravings and those 'unknown' cravings when you don't know what you want, irritability, moods, crying, and all the other withdrawal effects.

I don't advocate smoking. I was growing tobacco for a couple of reasons - I was going to try to use it through the transdermal route instead of through inhalation. I also wanted to give it to friends who smoke. I abandoned the whole thing and I'm not going to try it again. All of the herbs that I handled cause severe insomnia, high blood pressure (immediately), pounding heart, and increased heart rate. (I emphasized that the high blood pressure happened immediately, because for a long time, whenever I read about how so-and-so causes heart problems, they made it sound as though you would only suffer those effects after years and years of chronic use. No, it happens immediately, within minutes.) The side effects are so undesirable that I do not find them worthwhile to use. I can't tolerate them.

I don't have much knowledge about lung cancer, but I did learn one interesting thing. Supposedly, there is something called 'snus,' originally from Sweden, which is similar to snuff in some ways, and it's processed differently from the tobacco for cigarettes. The different way of processing supposedly doesn't create the nitrosamines that are thought to cause cancer. However, I knew a smoker who tried using snus, and she said that the drug effects felt different from cigarettes. So it might not be a perfect substitute for cigarettes. But it is still worth a try to anyone who wants to experiment or make changes to their smoking habits.

Anyway, I was thinking about the secondhand smoke withdrawal symptoms because of something that 'the voices' were asking me about tonight (that's a whole separate subject of its own). So I thought it might be worth posting a blog about. It seems like a possibly helpful piece of information that not everybody would know.

I have to edit this and add something, which is that nicotine is SO ADDICTIVE, you don't want to even start it, if you are a nonsmoker. Again, I don't advocate smoking. I tried growing tobacco because I thought that I would be able to use it in a careful, controlled way, like an herbal medicine. I also thought I would be able to help other people who are already addicted to cigarettes. There are real benefits to using nicotine, but the dangers are also very real - I knew a chronic smoker who was also diabetic and he had some part of his foot amputated because of the poor circulation (if I recall correctly - I'm not sure if I'm remembering that right). I just don't want anyone to think that I would tell people to start it if they haven't already. The idea was, instead, that a nonsmoker would get effects from secondhand smoke.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Some horrible disease

I'm feeling very pessimistic right now. It's getting close to wintertime. I am waking up with aches and pains more and more often, which happens as the weather gets cold, every year. The days get shorter and I can't do anything on those days when it's dark at 5 PM. I have some horrible disease right now, but I'm getting over the worst of it - I was awake all night in a miserable, disgusting state, blowing my nose, coughing, drooling, and spitting, and trying not to throw up. I would have wanted to call off work, except there's no excuse, since I'm feeling almost human again.

I feel pessimistic, because in the wintertime, especially during football season when a hundred thousand people (or however many) visit this town a couple times each month, the colds and flus just come back again and again and again, so that I might have one healthy week (or, really, just a couple days) followed by a sick week, and just as I'm getting well again, the viruses come back and I'm sick and useless again for a week or two. It's this neverending cycle of illnesses with brief interludes of feeling okay. The cycle has begun. It won't be over until about June of next year. The summer is the only time when I resemble a functioning, healthy human being. I know that all I have to look forward to, right now, is months and months of barely tolerable misery.

I love autumn and the colored leaves and clear skies; I love the beauty of winter; I love the snow; I love many things about winter, but I don't do well with the constant fatigue, body aches, cold-induced arthritis, dry indoor air, short days and long nights, and recurring cycles of colds and flu.

So I really don't have much good to say today.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My counterfeit pennies are being rejected by Wal-Mart's coin acceptors! >:(

I am trying to gradually get rid of my big bowl of spare change. But some of the pennies get rejected at Wal-Mart's self-checkout over and over again, no matter how many times I put them through. I have had this happen many times and it doesn't surprise me anymore.

I hate how our money is always changing. They change all the various dollar bills to protect them against counterfeiting, but the only result that I see is that it prevents people from using them in any dollar bill acceptors. Now apparently they're diluting the metal content of pennies to make them cheaper, I'm guessing, since the price of metals has gone up, and now even THOSE won't go into any machines.

The 'We're not really talking on the phone' belief

I forgot to mention another kind of scary idea about the things I experience. Sometimes the voices I hear are people who act like they think they're talking to me on the telephone. I'm actually walking around the house, or lying in bed, or doing whatever, and talking to someone in my head. But I hear someone shouting 'Answer the f---ing phone!' Or I hear someone say 'I'm not going to hang up.'

So I have these long conversations with people in my head, and they sometimes behave as though they think it's a telephone call instead of a talking-to-Nicole's-head call. I have no way of knowing whether that's true or not. So many of the voices are just bizarre and impossible to interpret, that I can't really explain why they do what they do. All I can do is theorize.

(I used St. John's Wort today to help me get some stuff done, and that's the reason why I'm writing so much. This is the recognizable 'antidepressed' style of writing. I never used the word 'antidepressed' until I started hearing someone say it in my head. So if you notice that this is an unusual way of writing, you can just say 'Nicole is on drugs.')

I HAVE actually been answering the phone more and more often lately. But they are always telemarketing calls or calls for the previous owner of this phone number. It upsets me to imagine that maybe, someone was trying to call me, and they got redirected to some telephone twilight zone, and it automatically triggered the system to call me from some other place, from some automated telemarketers.

This is one of the vulnerabilities that 'they' have been taking advantage of: the belief that somebody is in danger and I have to help them, or someone needs me and I have to do something to make sure that person is okay. I don't like the idea that people are being kept away from me and prevented from interacting.

There is this compartmentalization of my life: the internet/blog world, and the real world. In the beginning of this summer, they tried to get me to join those two separated worlds: they got me to start blogging about my 'secret' experiences of electronic mind control, and to write about it under my own name so that I was not anonymous. The mental experiences had been going on underneath, all along, but I was not talking about it openly to anyone, and was just pretending to be a 'normal person' all day long with everybody. I was afraid that the harassment would get worse if I wrote about it in a public way.

And originally, I had been telling people quite openly what was happening to me, but it led to my getting thrown into the mental hospital (this was also caused by Prozac), and that was the point when I learned: Do Not Talk About It. The mental hospital doesn't teach you what they allegedly, supposedly are meant to teach you: On the surface, they pretend that they exist in order to convince you that your delusions are false. That's what everyone thinks the mental hospital is for - to help you get better. You're supposed to go into the hospital, get better, and leave the hospital after finally learning that yes, I was wrong, the whole thing was a delusion, I was crazy but I'm not crazy anymore. That's what they think you're supposed to do in the mental hospital. But in reality, nothing changes - you leave the hospital, and you still believe everything you believed originally (but you've lost your trust in people), and all the problems are still happening just as badly if not worse - and the only message that you learned was 'Do Not Talk About This Or We Will Lock You Up.'

My mom used to be a nurse. She told me that she sometimes worked with mental patients. I see my mother as a nice, kind person. She believes that as a nurse working with mental patients, she REALLY WAS trying to help them 'get better' or 'get well,' or at least just survive day to day. I don't actually know what she DID in her job as a nurse. I don't know if she had to give them their drugs, or what. I know that she just took care of people in the hospital but I don't know any details. I think that the individual employees in mental hospitals have some rationale for the jobs they do, and it's not their fault that, overall, the hospital plants this 'taboo' message into the patients instead of actually helping them in any way. My mother would never have said that her job was to deliberately force people to merely 'stop talking' about their mental experiences. She would have said that she was part of the team of people working to convince them of the falseness of their delusional beliefs. She would have believed that she was helping people get better. Or just helping them survive.

Anyway, that taboo on the subject was part of what compartmentalized my life. It's the 'secret identity' phenomenon. Two separate lives. One life where you have these experiences and write journals about them, and another life where you talk about ordinary things, or nothing at all, and just go to work every day.

It was a little bit of progress towards rejoining those separate worlds when I started blogging about it. But I still have a lot to do in the real world.

Modern Delusions

I read an article just recently about 'The Truman Show Delusion.'

For anyone who hasn't read about it, the Truman Show Delusion is the belief that everything you do is being watched by someone - that's similar to the 'old' beliefs about being watched all the time - but the new aspect of this belief is that everybody is an actor, and that your life actually is some kind of reality show.

Based on my experiences and things that I've read, I would add something to this: the belief that people are betting money on what you will or won't do in some situation, and that people 'own' and 'buy' and 'sell' you - that you are a slave, a toy, a game piece, a puppet, or a useful tool to somebody.

I personally don't believe that I am on a 'show,' exactly. It's not quite like that. If it's a 'show,' that means that there is a large number of people watching only me and a few other people - it means a high ratio of watchers to 'show stars.' With ordinary television, there is a huge number of viewers, and a small number of actors/celebrities being watched.

My experience has led me to believe, instead, that EVERYONE is being watched and manipulated, but that maybe the watchers focus more attention on some particular person for a period of time. There is a huge number of 'show stars,' and a small number of watchers. Some people are ranked as more popular or more interesting to watch, and their popularity rises and falls. This has to do with the betting, the speculating, the marketplace trading, of human beings. I think that you're worth more money when your popularity is high.

But the watchers are reluctant to casually 'sell' their claims on people because they become attached to them, believing that it's some kind of 'relationship' they have with the target, like the target is their 'pet.'

This is only one of several theories/interpretations that I have about what happens to me. I don't always view it that way.

I don't know how they protect their claims of ownership in a person. In my experience, there are many different voices talking to me at all hours of the day, and they aren't necessarily 'all on the same team.' I used to think that was a trick - that they WERE 'all on the same team,' but just playing 'good cop, bad cop.' Talk to the target with a mean person, then comfort them with a nice person, to get them to confess whatever you want to hear. That's good cop, bad cop. But now I really think there are multiple groups and individuals speaking to me, and they are NOT all on the same team. And they do, in fact, have trouble protecting their claims of ownership on a person. Sometimes one group of people does something to me that another group doesn't like. Sometimes one voice doesn't seem to notice that another voice/attacker is doing a particular attack at some moment. They often act like they believe they themselves are the ONLY people attacking me, and are in denial about or not aware of the other people getting involved.

There is something I don't like about the Truman Show Delusion. I don't like anything that suggests 'everybody's in on it.' That belief seems dangerous. It is unbearable to walk around believing that everybody around you is evil and inhuman, and that they are lying to you about everything. And that they know the answers, and they're hiding those answers from you, no matter how much you beg for them to tell you. That would mean they don't care at all about your feelings, about your suffering.

I, and others with similar experiences, notice that sometimes the ordinary people around us, such as friends, family members, and co-workers, say and do things that make it seem as though they know about things we've been doing and thinking, privately, in our homes, in our minds. They might mention a very specific topic we've been thinking about but haven't said out loud, and it's so specific that they could not possibly have guessed it at random. And it happens again and again, so that if you thought it was random, it couldn't have been random thirty times in a row.

Whenever this happens, you start to believe that person must be spying on you. In the beginning, when these things started happening to me, I believed (like many other fellow sufferers have believed) that someone had installed a hidden camera in my house, and I had to find it and remove it. It turns out that actually, the situation is much worse - they are able to see through walls and watch you without hiding any cameras in your house.

When I learned about that, when I found out that this technology exists - and I don't know which particular technologies are being used to watch me, but I have read about a few things - I felt a lot less confused, a lot less 'crazy.' When you try to think logically, to figure out HOW some camera could have been in a particular location, such as an empty room with no objects, no nooks and crannies, no holes in the wall, nothing, it makes you go crazy trying to understand how somebody saw you doing or saying whatever you did there. It is actually a RELIEF (in some ways!) to discover that the 'cameras' aren't even inside your house, but that actually people are looking through your walls, from possibly a great distance away. Suddenly, all the impossible contradictions make sense. That explains how they saw you doing and saying so-and-so in a particular closed room with nothing in it. Of course, it's NOT a relief to know that you are this exposed inside your house and that you cannot hide from it. But you feel better when you can understand how things work.

The next thing you need to understand is that they are able to make people say things. They can put thoughts into someone's head and suggest that they do or say something - and they don't need to install any chips or implants in you to do it. They do that with ordinary people, friends and family and everyone you know, so that these people mention whatever specific 'secret' they want to harass you about. The people who say it, the people who actually come up to you and mention your specific secrets to you, are INNOCENT. Always assume that those people don't understand the significance of what they're saying to you. They will always have some rationale for why they wanted to say that to you - it makes sense to them somehow, and they believe it was their own idea.

I've read Eleanor White's web page (www.raven1.net), and she mentions 'street theater.' I think that 'street theater' might be the 'puppets' phenomenon that I'm describing. She talks about people on the street, strangers, or people you know, coming up to you and saying or doing something to harass you. From the way she describes it, it sounds like she thinks those people are actually gang members and that they know the significance of what they're doing to you. Like they know who you are and they're getting paid to harass and attack you. (Or forced to do it - she talks about the people in the gang who know that they or their loved ones will be killed, attacked, or harassed if they betray the gang or refuse to do what they're told.) I think instead that most of those incidents involve innocent people who have been manipulated to do things, and they have no idea what it's all about.

The 'most people are innocent puppets' interpretation is a vitally important part of my belief system. It serves a protective purpose. When this first began happening to me, I got scared that I was going to be forced to go out in the street and shoot a bunch of random strangers. I didn't want to do that. But if you believe that everyone around you is an evil liar playing sadistic games with you, it seems more likely that you wouldn't mind killing them. In the beginning, when the attacks were the most severe, when my situation was barely tolerable, I used to lie in bed every night interacting with voices and working out a set of protective beliefs to hold onto so that I could comfort myself in this terrible situation. I was comforted by Julian Simon's book, 'The Ultimate Resource,' for instance, which helped me feel like the world wasn't necessarily going to be destroyed because of electronic mind control. (His book has nothing to do with mind control, but he sees everything from a perspective that says 'It's not the end of the world.') And the belief that most people are innocent puppets was one of the protective beliefs that I developed to prevent myself from doing anything destructive. I was committed to surviving this, no matter what. I still am.

Scott Adams just recently wrote about how marriage means that someone is a witness to your life. This means that somebody can vouch for you, in a way, that somebody else knows what happened to you, your complicated story, no matter what it is, and they know the reasons why you do what you do. Something might be impossible to explain, but your spouse was there and they saw it happen, and don't need the explanation.

I don't like to talk about this, but it is true, my experiences with 'the voices' are not entirely negative. Sometimes they feel like friends and they keep me company. The reason I don't like to say that is because it might seem to encourage them or to imply that it's okay to do this to people, which it isn't. But one of the things that they do is they serve as the people who saw whatever happened to me - for instance, they were watching everything when I had the ephedra contamination incident and went to the hospital. I can't explain that ephedra contamination to anybody - it seems impossible to believe - but 'they' were there all along seeing what happened. (With the negative interpretation, I sometimes believe that some of 'them' were responsible for giving me the idea to try to grow ephedra in the first place, but it's not really that simple. The reasons why I tried to grow ephedra, I think I might have written about in my myspace blog.)

It is difficult to tolerate the constant presence of other people in your head when you don't always want them to be there. I call it Stockholm Syndrome - you learn to tolerate them, to endure them, to eventually feel like they're your friends even though you originally hated them. My REAL belief is that nobody should be putting any voices or personalities into your head at all, unless you somehow could participate voluntarily or have a choice about shutting them off when you didn't want to hear them anymore. But when you can't avoid them, when they are with you all day every day, you don't have enough energy to constantly fight an angry battle that never ends. You don't have enough energy to fight against every single misleading belief that they give you, every single suggestion that they give you, every action they urge you to take. So sometimes, you do what they tell you to do, feel what they tell you to feel, believe what they tell you to believe, because the constant struggle is exhausting.

It's especially difficult whenever they ALMOST AGREE with you. When you interact with voices whose personality is almost like your own, it feels like you're being forced to be slightly different from yourself, and it's like interference. You don't want to just do the OPPOSITE of everything they say, because actually, you agree with it, up to a point, with some minor differences.

I didn't read this whole book, I just skimmed it, but in John Stuart Mills' book 'On Liberty' (I think that's what it's called - I'd have to go hunt for it), he mentions this problem: is it 'morally virtuous' for an alcoholic to walk down a street full of bars, and resist the temptation over and over again to walk into the bar - is he being virtuous merely by being tempted and resisting these temptations over and over again? Is that productive somehow? Is that all there is to being virtuous? Merely being tempted and then resisting temptation, over and over again all day long, is exhausting and wasteful of your energy. Your mind could be focused on more useful things. You would have been thinking about some entirely different subject. You would have been using your energy for something which could have been virtuous in a different way. It could be more virtuous to build an orphanage or donate money to the poor, but instead, you were walking down the street being virtuous by resisting the urge to go into all the bars. He explains that there is a big focus on merely resisting temptations as a way to be morally virtuous.

This is like what I experience. What other things would I have done or been thinking about, what would I have experienced, felt, said, what would I have noticed or observed, if I had not been talking to the voices in my head all day long? What if I didn't have to use my energy deciding whether to agree or disagree with them all the time? The subject matter, the content of my thoughts and actions, would have been entirely different.

Actually, that's one benefit of the communities that shield their members from certain temptations, like the Amish community. You're not even tempted to go watch television, because there isn't even a TV in your house at all. You don't have to figure out how to resist that temptation. You don't have to think about how many hours a day would be an okay amount of TV, or which shows are psychologically healthier for you, or how to argue against negative messages and beliefs in the shows and advertisements. Your energy is spared for other activities.

Peace lets people be productive. In countries or cities where you can't walk down the street without being shot at, you can't spare the energy to create new ideas and plans, or enjoy your relationships with people. You always have to worry about how you are going to protect yourself.

(This is the moment when I realize I've been writing for a long time, and the blog is getting too long for people to read! I wrote a list of subjects I wanted to talk about and I have barely even begun covering them.)

I've been reading about community - about what it is and what purposes it serves. I've hardly begun to write all my thoughts about that subject. I know that I'm not happy with the particular community that I live in - that I feel like most of the people around me don't understand what my life is like, don't know how to help me, or are actively working against my values and beliefs and my needs. This is how you feel when you tried to tell people that something bad was happening to you, and the whole community has a taboo on that subject, so that no one is allowed to talk about it, believe it, or do anything about it. Most of the people around me still seem to believe that all talk of electronic mind control and nonlethal weapon attacks is all a delusion. I 'fell through the cracks' in that community and became isolated when nobody was able to help me or talk about the voices and the attacks, without asking me 'Are you taking your medication?'

This situation, of being isolated and separated from a sense of community, from friends and from everyone, is involved with one aspect of my particular 'delusion.' I was originally writing about the Truman Show Delusion. That article also mentioned delusions involving people on the internet - I have that phenomenon also, because 'the hackers' were central to the experiences I had from the very beginning.

There is a new belief I have now: the belief that perhaps phone calls, email messages, and even my blogs, might be redirected or censored, so that my target audience, or my friends, or whoever, cannot read my words or communicate with me at all. This belief is reinforced the more that I read about how the government and the military are now more and more active in manipulating cyberspace for their purposes, for disinformation, for total control of the computer systems. I don't know whether, for instance, my blog might not be visible to everyone, or whether maybe certain words get changed, or some things are hidden from particular people, and if they try to send me emails, their emails get lost and never reach me. Eleanor White also said this. She cautioned that if you wrote her an email, it might not ever reach her (something to that effect).

So if that's true, please don't take it personally or think I'm ignoring you. That is something which 'the voices' have been asking me about just recently. I have, indeed, experienced communication problems. I have no way to know what's true, or how to interpret things. I've decided to think that people have a reason for whatever they do.

Many years ago, for some reason, I was thinking about the concept of 'pure, absolute evil.' I used to wonder whether I myself was 'evil.' I'm sure that this had something to do with philosophical questions from Objectivism. Nathaniel Branden explained that Ayn Rand called people 'evil' too often and too readily.

I have a personal experience with being seen as evil: my old friend Rachael got married, withdrew from all contact with friends and family, and began interpreting everything I said and did as something with questionable, suspicious motives behind it. I'm sure all the rest of her family experienced the same thing. The last time I managed to talk to her on the phone, she kept asking me why I called her, and when I explained that I just wanted to find out how her life was going and just keep in contact with her somehow, she interpreted a 'hidden evil motive' behind it all - it could not possibly be just a mundane, human desire to stay connected with my old best friend who was central to my life for over a decade - and she refused to communicate and she wanted to avoid starting the friendship with me again. In a way, I can understand that: she wanted to protect her belief system from conflicts with my belief system. But being on the receiving end of that rejection, I knew exactly how it felt to have somebody interpret your every action as something suspicious and evil.

('No longer evil,' they whispered just now.)

I've been in abusive relationships where I did and said crazy things in order to survive, when I could not know what to believe, what to trust, what was reality. I would have been seen as evil during those times.

The concept of absolute evil never worked out. No matter how I thought about it, it always seemed as though the person had some reason for what they did. I learned a little bit about psychology and a little bit about illnesses that can cause people to do terrible things. The brain is a physical organ like every other part of the body, so it's able to have mechanical malfunctions just like everything else. I think I mentioned this somewhere else, but a good example is the Hatfields and McCoys feud. It turns out that there is some genetic disorder that gave one of the McCoys (I think) a tumor on his adrenal glands, so that every time he got the slightest bit angry or afraid, he would overreact in some horrible way, like grabbing a gun and going out to shoot somebody. Supposedly this genetic disorder still runs in the McCoy family today (from the article that I read which I will never find). Anyway it's that kind of thing that makes me think there is no such thing as absolute evil, but instead, that everybody has some combination of physical, psychological, and environmental circumstances that cause them to do what they do.

It seems like what they call a 'flat character' in a story, if you describe someone as being absolutely evil, and never explain why they did what they did. Flat characters seem fake and unbelievable; they have no motives, and they never change, make progress, develop their characters, or learn anything. In fact, I think I was trying to write a story with an 'evil' character in it, at the time when I was wondering about the concept of pure evil. I did actually write fiction stories a long time ago, but they are all unfinished. I didn't know how to solve the problems that the characters were experiencing. They just kept wandering deeper and deeper into disasters. The stories in that way mirrored my own life in adolescence when I was 'crazy.'

This is one of the last topics I jotted down and it's not very connected with the other topics. I was thinking the other day about how my particular version of atheism is intended to protect me against destructive actions and beliefs. A voice was commenting to me that it seemed awful to imagine that a God would refuse to tell you the true nature of reality, that you were living in some kind of 'Matrix,' a system surrounding you and giving you an illusion of a world (again, that was mentioned in the article about the Truman Show Delusion), and that the only way you could understand the world, or see it from outside the Matrix, was to physically die - it seemed unthinkably cruel and sadistic that the God would put you in that position. You couldn't know whether to trust God until after you were dead, and only if you were lucky enough to reawaken, discover that you were now still existing in some kind of afterlife, and could say, 'God was telling the truth all along - I understand, I see it all clearly now.' I was thinking of the hijackers who flew the planes into the Twin Towers. They believed that they were going to reawaken in an afterlife where they would be rewarded as heroes. My belief system is intended to protect me against doing anything like that. You could waste your life prematurely, get killed and never do any good by it, and instead do something terribly destructive, and then never actually go to heaven afterwards. I just don't feel that I can trust any concepts of God or the afterlife that I have ever seen - I can't trust those ideas enough to feel that I'm going to be safe if I get myself killed.

My approach to death is more like existentialism: death is something that happens, and it's cold, and sad, and painful, and scary, and this is something that's an ordinary part of life, something we have to accept and get used to, and you simply can never really get used to it or lose your fear of it (unless you're on mind-altering drugs).

But I like the idea that if I die, the rest of the world will go on without me, and I like to imagine that the world is going in a direction I would be happy about, or that other like-minded people exist out in the world, and they will continue to do the things that I would have been doing if I had still been alive.

On a happy topic, to avoid ending my blog on the subject of death, I will mention that I'll soon be uploading photos to flickr. They are mostly practice pictures: a lot of flowers, bees, trees, skies, and so on, as I'm learning how to operate the camera and how to set up the composition of the image, as in, where to place objects so that they are in certain positions relative to each other and the sides of the photo. (I only know one thing about composition, which I was taught years ago in high school: the rule of thirds. I also know that I like having some kind of object close to me in the foreground if I am taking pictures of a faraway object, so that it feels like you're 'in' the picture when you look at it - for instance, you might be looking through the leaves of a tree or some flowers to see the pond in the background.) I'm working on technical things like operating the focus, the colors, the number of megapixels, and finding out what all the various buttons and menus are for. (I've learned that my skin color looks horrible when I take a picture of myself with the flash - I didn't know how to turn off the flash at first, but now I know how.) I'm learning how to change the settings on the camera so that it does what I want it to do. So most of the pictures are not all that interesting, but in a way, they're happy pictures. I might work on that project a little bit tomorrow.