The NPD Family, The Scapegoat Child, And “Flying Monkeys”. The Remedy – by Rick London#the trac

First, thank you to my wonderful, understanding wife nature and wildlife photographer and gift designer Lee Hiller London who has made 2015 “The Year Of The Rick”, that is, I am able to feel comfortable in my development and growth (that never happened) due to un-diagnosed autism, vanus, and NPD Disorder parents (and subsequent “flying monkeys”).  A thought hit me the other day.  I wonder what it looked like to neighbors who knew I was put away in the attic and my other siblings encouraged to go outside to play.  Don’t get me wrong. I had a bike and all the accoutrements to appear to have some normalcy.  But that’s all they were, like braces on my teeth at age 12.    One might ask, “But Rick, you were given expensive braces. How can you say they ignored you or scapegoated you”.  Every child with crooked teeth whose parents had the resources got braces because that can be seen by the public, plus it played into “the perfection syndrome” of the NPD. npd meme 9 Autism cannot be seen, extremely painful vanus (flat feet with shattered joints, cartilage cannot be seen by the public.  Straight shiny white teeth can; futher proof of “all the good they were doing for their ungrateful child”. So I queried a facebook friend who moved into my neighborhood when she was 5 years old with her parents who were very well known and respected in the community.  Normally, my parents did their best to ingratiate themselves to that type.  Not this couple.  Why? Upon asking questions, I asked her a bit about herself several days ago in facebook private message.  As it turns out she is now a grandmother, and has grandchildren diagnosed with autism.  Upon noticing that, she could see many of the symptoms in herself. ADHD was one of them.  That was no big surprise to her as she’d been reading about it awhile.  She is starting therapy next week to try to lessen some of the painful side effects of what appears to be autism (When I say painful I mean emotionally so) such as depression, anxiety, esteem issues, etc. She feels from reading if not full-blown autism, surely somewhere on the Asperger’s Spectrum (of which I can also identify). I have both. npd meme 1 I asked her if she remembered my attic bedroom.  I imagined 50 years later, she didn’t.  I was very wrong.  She not only remembered it, she remembered wondering what the hell was happening at our home as did her parents.  Why were my other siblings out and about, and I was at home brooding in my attic bedroom away from everyone else most of the day after school. I occasionally had friends, but my parents “ran them off” for being “a bad influence on me”.  The only ones they allowed in my life, were the ones that truly were bad influences on me. Some nearly got me killed.  They remained “just fine” in my parent’s book.

My neighbor (and I’m sure many others) knew to a certain degree something was very wrong; she simply didn’t make it that blunt as you can see in her message to me further down the page on the “facebook screen shot”.    The narcissistic parents can be so self-absorbed, they haven’t a clue others nearby are curious at worst, concerned at best. Even 5 year olds (and of course their more worldly/educated parents).  I asked her if I might block out her name and photo and post it in my upcoming book (of which I am blogging various chapters now).  She said, “Not only can you post it, there’s no need to block out my name or photo. I can see quite well what they were doing to you”.  Still I decided to block it out. Her family was very well known and respected and though she’s moved far away, she still visits occasionally.  npd 7 The shocker is that though her loving parents didn’t know she had autism (which she may not), they knew something was different and took a very different approach than my parents did.  They loved her unconditionally and being good with academia, helped her nonstop with her homework and encouraged her to try new things and face challenges. Of course mine did the opposite.  jung meme 3 Here is a screenshot of her memories of me hidden away in the attic.  This was our third home, but our second home in Hillendale, the subdivision my maternal grandfather Marcus London developed, the home that burned down and rebuilt.  The home that I made sure the fire department arrived by calling them and the home where I dragged my 5 year old frightened brother to safety next door at Richard Ward’s home and made certain my older sister got out of the  bathtub and out of the burning home that had smoke billowing through it. She has even noticed that my wife Lee is an angel, learning with me all we can, so our lives are as happy and fulfilling as we deserve. And we deserve good now.  We’ve seen what rough edges can be.

We know what “flying monkeys” can and will do. We now have the tools to stop them in their tracks, with the help of major networks and government agencies if need be, but we know our rights, and we use them accordingly if need be.  I deserve my remaining golden years to be good ones. I spent 12 years in “attic captivity” in a place where NPD tactics were used regularly to create a “scapegoat child” and later a “scapegoat adult”.  The more you read about NPD, the more nauseous one gets.  There’s no way around it. I know I will have to forgive one day, not for them but for me. Meantime, my newfound anger, energy and contacts only drives me to help other families and/or children who might find themselves in similar situations.  

That has become, other than God and my wife, the most important thing.  That story was told often in my family….for a few months.  Then suddenly it disappeared as if it had never happened. I went from “the bravest little boy ever” back to the “snotty bratty kid who could do nothing right”.  Even in adulthood, my siblings never thanked me or acknowledged that I’d saved their lives.  My parents concluded I had, the maid said I did, I’m sure it appeared to next door neighbor Richard Ward I did, at least with my 5 year old brother (as I had him tightly by the arm dropping him off there to safety from the burning home, and finally am sure it is somewhere in the record archives of the Hattiesburg Police and Fire Departments.  

But suddenly it disappeared from my family records.  Rick never saved anyone; or at least it was never brought up again, and I was discouraged from talking to others about it.  It even seemed creepy to me then. Now that I know what that was all about, it is worse than creepy. It is maniacal, yet I’d do my best to save their lives again if put in a similar situation.  They never could help being emotionally ill anymore than I could.  My parents couldn’t help that they had NPD Disorder.  However, they could have gone for help.  They didn’t (to my knowledge).  If they did, it didn’t “take”.  mandalay connie Large blocked2222222222222222222222222

Anyone who knows he/she has not done wrong, longs to clear his/her name; no matter how many years later if it has been tarnished. Often, at first, it is a total surprise as to why it even has (been tarnished). I was never told I had done anything wrong.  I was never corrected for anything above regular childrens “crimes and misdemeanors.   One knows if he has tried his best. I’d not hurt anyone, at least not purposely, and was baffled figure out why their family of birth keeps those “imaginary wrongs” in the public eye.   Though I have a good name outside of my hometown in most cases (even worldwide..and should, I treat my friends and fans as I’d want to be treated), remnants of NPD occasionally resurface.

 I was raised in an NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) home.   NPD is a dreaded emotional disorder in which parents abuse their children, all of them, but particularly the “scapegoat archetype” child, well into adulthood.   That is a necessary dynamic to the NPD (according to Jung and Satir) in order for the NPD model to work.  Make no mistake, the other children; hero, golden, and/or lost child are injured every bit as much.  They simply don’t know it as they get “some soothing” via material possessions, less mental abuse etc. NPD is so subtle, unless one is trained, studied, or looking with a microscope, it can be very difficult to be revealed. In fact it appears the opposite. It appears the victims are the parents and the perpetrator is the scapegoat child. Nothing is further than the truth. In fact it is the overly-sensitive, truthful scapegoat that is chosen for those very qualities in most cases (to be the scapegoat) to the NPD parents.  

The other NPD children, the golden child, the lost child etc. may not have been brutally criticized etc. daily, but they were carefully and artfully manipulated into their roles to help do their parents bidding, and to make certain the “scapegoat child” was hated within the family unit, and then help broadcast it into the community.  Children are not dumb.  They knew early on it was a lie but had to do what they had to do to survive in that family unit.  So they did.  It became habit and possibly even fun.  But a lie is a lie, and even as adults, especially as adults, they know exactly what it is (unless they are just too far gone) in denial.  npd 3 meme parent The narcissistic parents do not recruit friends, they recruit to what are commonly referred as “flying monkeys” named after the flying monkeys from the film “Wizard Of Oz”.  Those FMs are completely unaware, at first, why they are recruited, at least most of them.  Ironically, not only Jung and Satir (and to for the most part Freud, were aware of this entire sick family dynamic, so was Mark Twain. He warned people with his famous quote regarding “getting fooled”.  It pertained to this very issue.  So where is the closure?  Where is the justice that was a lifetime of chaos and capriciousness facilitated by parents who used their scapegoat child as a diversion (for the public) to their own mental illness? 

What is left but “flying monkeys” who, haven’t a clue they were duped, wouldn’t believe it if the best psychologist (or psychiatrist in the world told them), and why do they continue, as if chronically ill themselves to blacken your name, no matter where you live by insidiously broadcasting to local religious organizations, law enforcement, friends, students and even mutual friends of the scapegoat etc. many of whom all tell me what they are up to.  At first some of it thought it was “sort of fun”.  Then they saw the damage that was being done to me.  Then they saw the damage that was being done to them. Then they got sick of it; at least the ones with a little bit of sanity left.  The others continue to enjoy it as it is “what makes them tick”.  They will (most probably) need legal intervention to stop if it invades my space, hurts me in personal or business situations etc.  But it takes what it takes.  Lee and I have a motto in our home and it applies to everywhere we go, “Nobody wants to bully either of us. They may not know it at this time, but they really really don’t.”

Most are sick of them and, like most adults, feel that if one has unfinished business with someone, they should confront that person themselves.  Flying monkeys are cowards.  Cowards of the worst kind.  Some think they are strong and mighty (because they have brought the scapegoat to his/her knees) but quite the opposite.  It was the numbers of them, not any one of them.  It was also the element of surprise in that the scapegoat hasn’t a clue that he/she is “in a war” until way after it is too late.  The negative feedback usually begins early on (and from parents, then siblings, then community) so that’s “just how life is to the scapegoat”, a bit difficult but hey, that is life, right?  No, not even close.  

In real life a person is not purposely undermined on a daily basis by hundreds, sometimes thousands.  The good news.  There is a solution and it can be reversed, and often is.  No one of them could endure, or even come close to endure what the scapegoat has (and deep down every one of them are quite aware of that fact), hence they never confront or even mention any of the “wrongs” to the scapegoat ever. 

When word has occasionally gotten back to me by 3rd parties, I always ask, “What was my wrong?”  Of course all I get is radio silence.  I always then ask, “Do you think you could get them to take a lie detector test with me?  I’ll gladly pay for it.” Again radio silence.  That has happened so many times, it is what led me on my two decade journey to finally discover exactly what the issue was, and the issue was not me, it was a  horrid social/mental disorder of which my parents suffered called NPD. npd meme father 2 Recently, I mentioned it was discovered that I have autism. I mentioned this to several relatives, close relatives (or as close a birth relatives that I might have).  One does not “catch autism” as if it is an airborne disease, it is congenital.  One relative had nothing to say except, “Well we didn’t know much about autism back then.”  I followed up, “Why wasn’t I tested?” 

She continued, “Well if we didn’t know much about anything why would we have you tested?”  I responded, “Then why at age 6 was I hidden away in an attic far removed/isolated from my other two siblings?  (radio silence).  I knew then my parents knew there was indeed something very different about me. It turned out not to be a disease, but a gift.  But a gift of which they were ashamed, since it was so different.

When emailed from me to one blood relative of my autism he replied, “Funny, I have a bit of dyslexia and I volunteer with some local doctors and we get great results. I’m very interested in yours. Please tell me more as my wife’s niece has a mild case of it, hence we have it on both sides of the family”. (In other words, “Shut up, Rick. You’re making a big deal over nothing.  Sorry your autism was never diagnosed. Live with it.  The rest of us are doing just fine with my wife’s niece with her mild case.”)

Unless he is totally naive, which is very possible, I think he thought I’d listen to his garbage and just let it go.  He thought so very wrong.  I will one day let it go. though, but of course that’s another season. Now is not that season. Now that I am in touch with it, know what it is, and finally know what it is I am battling and learning to grow, develop, and learning to live comfortably with  it, I won’t stop, especially given the NPD/flying monkeys continued behaviors, until the world is extremely aware.  That is a promise.

If anything happens to me, there are 25 others writing with me in the autism/Asperger’s network and they are very familiar with my case and the players.  FYI, there are no “mild cases” of autism or Asperger’s. One is either on the spectrum or not.  There are different places on the spectrum of which they are, but that isn’t mild or intense, it is autism, a different way of thinking. Period. Only the most ignorant and uniformed would call autism “mild”.

 I almost couldn’t believe what I was reading in the email, and then remembered it was from a related (one of the core) “flying monkey” recruiters. I showed that to my PhD psychologist expert who simply shook her head.  She knew what I’d been up against for many many years, and how very cruel it was, and is; as are the people involved in such virulently negative behavior. 

It’s way too late for them to continue the flying monkey routine and think it is productive. If anything it is simply more “grist for the mill” for our publishing and/or productions to do anything possible to help other families avoid it, or if they are already on the narcissism spectrum, how to change the dynamics from extremely sick to healthier, and possibly to healthy (with the right professionals).  So the more they “act out”, the more information we have on various “worst-case scenarios”.  As I mentioned, some “writers” who are not quite aware they are writing the ending….are writing the ending of my story 🙂  

My wonderful wife Lee seems to have a very instinctual understanding of it all, and is very supportive.  I am very lucky for that.   I get so much more done in my personal life, my business life, and now my educational life (that is in helping others understand what is happening to them with NPD and/or un-diagnosed autism/Apserger’s; and “flying monkeys and cruel/ignorant families.  She is a brilliant writer with excellent contacts and knows how to complete my project, and will, should something happen, along with the autism network.  It will be completed, no matter what. 

My blood relative added, “In 4th grade mom and dad learned I had ADD so mom threw me a Valium, put me on my bike and sent me to school. It’s a wonder I ever made it to adulthood”.  Then he added an “LOL” at the end of that statement as if that were funny, and of course another subtle request for me to “stop making a big deal out of nothing”.  

Of course those of us who are halfway studied, understand that child abuse is anything but “nothing”.  It could only make me wonder how he has raised, and is raising his own children.  I shudder to think.  Hence the isolation and subsequent mental abuse.  Possibly a part of them felt the abuse would “change those differences”.  I had tics, I blinked my eyes incessantly, I flailed my hands and numerous other obvious movements.

Healthy parents would have at least had their child assessed by a child psychologist. Even a mediocre one in those days knew enough about autism to know it was “not something to be cured” but something to be educated in a different manner (special education) and in my case it would have simply been “the gifted program” and I would have fared quite well. Keep in mind after the parents are deceased, with nothing, of course, but unfinished business, not just with their scapegoat but with their golden child and lost child, what happens.  Long before the parents are deceased, the siblings of the scapegoat learn they can join in with the abuse, and this for the most part keeps the focus off them, and their imperfections. 

Remember, NPD is all about ambiance, (the way things look and seem to the general public) and they must seem as perfect as humanly possible; even if that means “creating a scapegoat” as “the one who is always trying to mess things up”.  That scapegoat actually is, but not because he/she wants to, because he/she has to. He/she has been programmed by the sick parents to do so, and if he/she doesn’t misbehave, he/she can and often is criticized even more severely and for longer periods of time.  This is the parent’s “alarm bell” to say to them, “See, we are perfect and we are doing the best we can, but we’ve been cursed with this demon child” who cannot do anything but wrong.   And wrong I could do. I must have responded to my programming with such preciseness, they were quite proud (while badmouthing me the whole time). npd meme 9 A recent flying monkey reared his ugly head not more than a few months ago.  He lives in Houston and contacted several local businessmen of which I have a good relationship.  They wondered why, if he had a gripe with me, he didn’t simply contact me.  He grew up in this area, but really didn’t know them or vice versa.  One spilled the beans and let me know what he was up to.  I contacted the ADA (Americans With Disability Act). When I tell you they are on your side (if you have a disability, and believe me you do whether you have autism or NPD or both).  The casting of aspersions stopped as rapidly as they started.  I called for a complete federal investigation (and would again next I hear of one). 

I now have heart disease and high blood pressure (and civil rights) and if they do anything to affect my health due to my disability (and now that is what the flying monkey business is about), they are asking for prison time.  And I am willing to help them pack their bags.  I can no longer be run over, not by them, and not by an unsuspecting third party they “recruit in innocence”. 

The healthy places I’m now going in my life, are they don’t “want to go there” places…not because they don’t want to, because they can’t. Unless they come clean (which is highly doubtful), they will remain bitter sick “flying monkeys” into the grave.  As sad as that sounds, it happens every day.   Plus they are no longer invited. I now know who they are and their sick sick game. They do not have the honor of my company, even in proxy by 3rd or even 10th party “flying monkeys”. 

They will have to create their own new fantasy life that does not include me.  Maybe new scapegoats (Though I don’t wish that on anyone, a “flying monkey must have a scapegoat” in their minds, in order simply to “be”, to “exist” if you will.  Many do not understand that yet. They will when my book and subsequent film is produced, though.  The flying monkeys are writing the ending.  They simply aren’t aware of that fact yet.  Maybe now they are aware now, or figured it out awhile back. 

They’ve been writing it for the past 1.5 years.  I hope they like what they’ve written thus far. I mention that part of the story because one cannot do enough for narcissists.  The “scapegoat role” is way much more important than anything so temporary and expected as risking ones life to save there’s.  Thankfully there are still people alive who remember that incident, and I believe the fire and police departments keep that kind of thing on record.  npd flying monkey 2 meme Never try to satisfy a narcissist. They do not look at you as human, only as a tool to further their role as victim and covert abuser. Mark Twain knew that. Jung knew that, Virginia Satir knew that, and for your own peace of mind, please learn and know that. Twain possibly knew more (by instinct, not training) than any other in contemporary history on the dysfunctional family.  Often he felt it necessary to describe it from a child’s point of view.  Huckleberry Finn is chock full of quotes regarding this type dysfunctional family as well as other dysfunctional type family dynamics.  Mark Twain Quote If you are someone’s flying monkey, do the healthy thing and distance yourself. If you find yourself unable, get professional help. They will give you the tools to do so.  To abuse a child is unforgivable. To abuse a child with autism, or any such disability is beyond unforgivable. It is the definition of abuse and sin.  Even in the best of conditions, any scapegoat child would have had a very difficult time moving forward and grow as his/her peers. To stunt that is evil (in the serial killer level of evil….the dynamics are the same; having others/minions do the “soul murder” by carrying out their dirty work, but keeping their hands clean). Didn’t someone named “Manson” use similar dynamics in the 60s?  

True, it is difficult to see the similarities…..unless you’ve been the victim of this type of crime, but it is easy to see that the dynamics were/are identical. The narcissist makes the rules of who is bad or good, and then sends out “flying monkeys “to punish them”.  It’s pretty clear.  The narcissists hands are clean and rarely if ever puts such orders in writing.  The flying monkeys get the blame if caught.

  I’ll be clear.  As sick as these people were/and current ones are, I don’t compare them to Manson and his evil crimes.  (He is a monster), only the dynamics of their crimes.  The dynamics are exactly the same.  The perpetrator’s hands are clean.  Their flying monkeys have all the blood on their hands, and like Manson’s “flying monkeys”, don’t most (not all) but most, don’t even have a clue they are being used, and their best interests are not at heart.  Often they are given “gifts” or other material things to make them forget that.  The ones who continue it are the ones who never had moral or ethics in the first place and if they’ve passed middle age, they still have a chance to get well, but that window is closing rapidly. 

Make no mistake, it is a brutal horrible inexcusable crime (that rarely goes punished); except for the inner-demons and very low self-esteem that exists in any narcissist and “flying monkey”.  That is the extent of their punishment unless legally made to stop.  And that is my goal; plus to educate others as how to do the same.   The difference is Manson’s poor victims never had a chance to get help and understanding as to what happened to them.  Soul murder is different.  A victim does get that chance, if bright enough, but it won’t be due to the flying monkeys sharing private information or handing them the key from bondage.  It will be from self-awareness, education, and very good professional people who understand “the whole game” very well. In fact they see it daily.  They are the best psychologists that profession has to offer.  

And I have several of them working with me personally, and several more in my network.  I hate writing that, and don’t want to think it, but it is true (according to textbook psychology and psychiatry).  It is a type of murder (soul murder) that lasts a long time. Sometimes a lifetime.  Sometimes the scapegoat gets lucky and with a lot of help, figures their game out, and how it can and must stop (not just for my own good, but for theirs as well).   It is even more difficult to write, given that many of the central players of the “flying monkeys” are blood relatives to me, but I don’t call them “my relatives” when mentioning their names.  It is best for healthy people to not have association with someone like that; in fact pertinent.  Pioneer NPD therapist Virginia Satir understood the dynamics of an NPD family possibly better than anyone.  Here are her “Five Freedoms”….. npd virginia Satir If you find you are the family scapegoat of an NPD family, find a way to get the information into the community.  This type family crisis is fixable, or at least treatable so that the amount of abuse and flying monkeys are minimal, and you get to lead the productive healthy life you deserve.  But first one must confront every “demon”, and stop worrying about making waves.  As Shakespeare most briefly stated, “To thine own self be true”.  jung wolf ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————— Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist and gift designer.  He is best known for his Google #1 ranked Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons which he launched in 1997. His funny gift shops are very popular as well.

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Romney Almost Cut My Hair (Song Parody by Rick London cs2012) Sung To CSN “Almost Cut My Hair”

Romney almost cut my hair,
It only happened ‘cause I was gay,
Didn’t seem like I belonged,
At Cranbrook School…..it was clearly foul play,
If he hadn’t I would have wondered why,
I was a bit effeminate & he a Bogart-type guy,
But Mitt ran on testosterone so his bullying must be done.

I should have fried his hateful bigoted ass,
This man is so beyond bizarre,
I think he has chronic paranoia,
With posthumous baptisms from afar,
His lies are are such a thin veneer,
Wouldn’t buy what he had even if egay was the auctioneer,
He must owe taxes to someone…..

He wants to cut the fat and run the country like an entrepreneur,
He went to the south for cheesy grits & instead got sunny weather;
Romney will never live down the gaffe,
But will separate “We The People from the Thief Of Staff?

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Rick London is a songwriter, author, cartoonist and designer.  In 1997 he launched Londons Times Cartoons  which have been Google’s #1 ranked Offbeat Cartoons on the Internet since 2005.  He also has numerous funny gifts shops which Google and Bing also rank #1 such as Rick London Gifts.  His main cartoon site has lured over 7.8 million visitors and his inventory of products is over 1/4 million and is sold at such venues as Sears, Amazon and many others. He and his nature photography wife Lee HillerLondon with  live and work in the Ouichata Mountains of Arkansas and are active in animal, children and environmental causes.

Abuse On facebook Happened To Me…And It Can Happen To You Too. Here’s Something That Works

       My wife Lee both have been on social media for about four years.  And though it seems (to many) we are “facebook addicts”, we utilize Twitter much more often. Facebook is often “more fun” because we get to find old friends and/or relatives of whom we may have never been in contact again.  Twitter is fun because we meet so many new people; and keep constant contact with new friends made for years.

      Between the two of us, we have close to 70,000 followers on Twitter and perhaps 3000+ on facebook (given our personal pages, fan pages and groups). Though I can honestly say more than 99% of our cyberfriends are very well behaved, or ambivalent as to our activities and rarely comment, the remaining 1% are the loudest, the crudest, and cruelest. They live to hurt.  Sometimes they succeed, and if we can help it, sometimes they don’t.   Early on we met some of the “usual suspects” that is the “Internet crazies” about which most of us have been warned. At first, we hadn’t a clue how to handle them (people with no healthy boundaries, bullies, crooks, life coaches (I know, I know crooks and life coaches is redundant),  plagiarists and others irritating characters.  We’ve read informative articles on how to avoid them, not get baited into their cyberfights (which is where they feel they get their “power” and delete them, and I’d taken classes when I went back to college a decade ago which gave some useful instruction.

    Finally, we got it right, or so we thought, by simply blocking rapidly. That often remedied much of it, but not all of it.  Bullies are rarely lone-wolf renegades.  They are, for the most part cowards, and “travel in packs”.  They may not even know each other or associate in real life, but they are there covering each others backs, in case people like us decide to fight back (they quickly become “the victims”).  It never fails.   When blocked, especially if it is someone you have once known (and liked) many years ago, feelings can be hurt. We feel  “lighter and more free”, however when we take action immediately.  Nobody has the right on your facebook page to dictate to you what you should write, what you should think, how you should act,  how to feel, how to vote, what to believe, etc. That’s not just bad manners. The person doing it has a serious compulsive illness and truly needs professional help.   For goodness sake, we are in our fifties.  Do we really need that from people who think “we haven’t seen and/or heard all that before”.  As Eric Clapton once sang, “Don’t Show Me Anything New, I’ve Seen It All Before”.  And though I agree with the spirit of that song; of course there are elements of life I don’t know, and I’m learning every day.

    But when anything is force fed to me in the way of “useful information” or someone is bullying me into “how to think”, they are a part of the history, a negative memory in my life; but  not totally negative, because even with the very worse, I’ve learned “But for the grace of God, there go I”.

     Several weeks ago I was bullied on my personal facebook page by (at first) one person I’d met on facebook who, it turned out had forged a friendship and suddenly was “a best friend” in a regional shared memory facebook group.   I didn’t notice the bullying at first. The victim of bullying usually does not notice at first, since it may be a rarity in his/her life or maybe one is bullied often and it becomes “the norm” hence unnoticable.     I have about 6 groups on facebook.  This particular group is a popular (and is modeled as a safe one given its strict TOS regarding fair behavior)  of which I founded and am administrator and personal attacks are not allowed.  Nor is using the group to “meet dates” and following them to their pages (unless that is clearly acknowledged by mutual consent)  etc.  In other words, “Insane Cruelness Is Not Allowed Within The Group Nor Any Other Form Of Trickery”.  Or the member is gone, deleted permanently.

    One month after founding it came the complaints, all from women, most of whom I knew and had known for a lifetime, and they came fast and furious at times. And I’ve known them to be honest and non-rumor spreaders. Their theory was he was using the group to meet women and hit on them; and “taking over their personal pages”. The actions of the main bully was not innocent or benign. There was a common thread in the complaints that he took over their pages and in some cases made sexual innuendos.  They were not aware of how to report it; a few were but didn’t think it would help; so they’ve all blocked him, but…they quit coming to my group because he (and his gang) were in it, and my hands were tied as to how to kick him out.  He was well behaved….there in my group. His sociopathic behavior was uncanny and consistent. Jeckyl in my group, Hyde on women’s personal pages (often ones he’d met in the group).

     After this well-behaved in the group lead bully did his dirty deed on my personal facebook page, trying to dictate to me what to post and what not to; I simply blocked him. But I knew I’d be unable to see what he was writing in the group.  Thank God for friends. At least 4 of them had copy and pasted his vitriol against me he’d posted in the group and sent it to me. It was full of vitriol and personal attacks and finally he’d melted down in the group (along with a few of his “male groupies” and I was able to delete him and his band of thugs from the group permanently.

    Within two weeks we had 100 new members; about 70% women. My only theory is that my group had developed such a bad reputation due to his (and his buddies behavior) they were frightened to join). Now they are in full force and posting nonstop.  It is more successful than ever with the troublemakers gone.  Funny how that works.

     The culprit had hit on the ones complaining to me, and they told me they didn’t know if I was endorsing his behavior or not; but seemed like I was because he seemed to be “my best online friend” in the group where he was a perfect gentleman; very crafty.  I couldn’t remove him because he was breaking no rules in the group; only using the group to meet the women and harass them on their own personal pages (as was his male groupie following).

     It confused my old female friends though, as that is not my modus operandi  to even come close to that kind of behavior.  First, I am happily married and don’t hit on women, married or single.  Second I don’t associate in real life with men (or women) who don’t respect the sanctity of marriage.   I am not a moralist and don’t in any way believe I am “better than them”. If they want to do that, that is their business.  But I simply don’t want nothing to do with it. Even a simple life can be complicated. Why add to it with people who don’t have your best interest in mind?  I don’t like to be a secret-keeper. I don’t like to hide other’s secrets. I don’t trust people who have those kinds of secrets.  And I’m usually correct.  

     One of the women revealed to me that a mutual friend had started another southern regional group on facebook over a year ago similar to mine, and allegedly, according to several members, the same culprit took it over and bullied and intimidated them so terribly, she shut it down.  My method (in my group) of now nearly 1000 happy people,  is block and block more if need be as his “gang buddies” kept showing up asking for a reprieve. My job as group administrator is to uphold the rules, not allow personal attacks or provocative political/or religious attacks and watch for the safety of the group. I demand that of myself (and so does facebook).

   Then as facebook requests, I report the abuse here and facebook does listen and monitors them carefully after that. And they highly suggest you do too when you see it. It doesn’t have to be in a group. It can be on your own page. And it doesn’t have to be sexual or even hate speech. It can be someone dictating to you what you should or should not be posting. Yes, that is real bullying, pure and simple.  And facebook does not like them hanging around, at all. This includes everything from harassment, bullying, hate speech, cyber-stalking (or taking over your group or personal facebook page) and a myriad of other no no’s of which facebook very much frowns upon.

     Then came the Trayvon Martin case.  Even though most of my personal page is generic and is more humorous than anything else, I tend to post important news events.  I felt that one was important because I discovered that, like in Iran, Syria, former Libya and Iraq, a minority had been killed, and the state “let it go”. Case closed.  Wasn’t that one of the main reasons we were sending all our young people to those countries to be in harm’s way to teach them that is not the way justice is done?

     I had no opinion over if George Zimmerman was and is guilty (even though my instincts tell me he is). That part was and is not important. What is important that we are better than the countries of which we are at war. And the way we prove that is with civil legal cases; especially in the realm of murder and other serious felonies. Not just a case closed on the state’s opinion.

    The man in my group came to my personal page where I was posting (I didn’t post it in my group as I would have been breaking my own rules; nothing of that nature is posted nor are personal attacks, etc).  He began telling me I was siding with the Black Panthers, Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson. 

     At first I felt sad, because I so hoped they wouldn’t jump in and exploit such a situation as they often do; just as I did  that an armed neo-nazi group had also convened upon Sanford, Fl.  “to protect the citizens and make sure justice was served”.  Regarding Jackson and Sharpton. It’s rare that I agree with them, but I have to admit that even a broken clock is right twice a day.

     All of those clowns understand that their very presence impedes justice because they just cost the city that much more in taxes and overtime to TRULY protect the people from the exploiters (and protect the exploiters from themselves). It gets very expensive when such groups enter town to further their agenda (and see their mugs on tv) and very much slows the wheels of justice. Good, they’ve left and justice is beginning to be served.

     Then came a “group of facebook thugs” that I discovered were part of “the main bully’s camp”. They are all gone from my page and blocked from the group as well.  The final straw is when one of them requested I post more humor; maybe something like “When Eric Clapton’s baby fell from the high-rise to his death”.  Of course he was blocked immediately but I decided to leave the post up on my personal page, since he apparently had a reputation as being an “upfront guy” in my region of the south; and I wanted them to see who he really was. I will leave it up forever.  Bullying I can handle.  Cruel “humor”  involving the loss of a grieving family member is mental cruelty.

    So, within a week or so of drama, it finally ended to my knowledge, though who knows.  Usually when people are that emotionally ill; they will hold onto a resentment for a lifetime.  So I did what I was told to do by former college professors. I cut and paste everything and sent it to facebook security who will now be watching these bullies at every move.  I wish them luck.

    I explained to a close relative who is also a friend on facebook what had happened who responded, “It is your Constitutional right to post what you wish, but I really wouldn’t do it on facebook”.  I looked at my relative’s  page and there was a “Sign A Petition For Trayvon” on it. I took a screenshot in case the relative had no awareness of the bullying; or that the said relative may be sucked into the group. After all, after I deleted one of the bullies from the group, I noticed he had friended my relative just 2 days later.

     He had known my relative all his life and known my relative was on facebook for years.  So I knew he did not “friend” my relative for a simple “hello”. He had more of a Machaevillian scheme in mind.   Someone else had tagged my relative and put the Trayvon petition there.  But he never removed it as he was not even aware it was there until I finally told him.  I didn’t know.  I thought by age 50 perhaps this relative had come to his senses, and in spite of the status quo of the geographic area, the relative had come to the conclusion that all races deserved equal rights.  In other words he finally felt mature enough to speak his heart, and not continue to appease his peers as if in grade school.  It was not to be. The relative deleted the post as soon as I pointed it out; never thanking me for pointing it out to him. I was still “the bad guy” for posting an injustice regarding a minority on my own facebook page (the same post he had on his, but claimed not to know about it).  Hmmm.   There is some interesting irony for being chastised in an email; only for the emailer to find they are heralding the same message on their page.  

      I understand why the relative suggested to me that even though I had the right to say what I wished on my page, I should not.  Where my relative lives, his livelihood depends on it, as everything must think a certain way. We live in different worlds. Where I live, diversity is not only tolerated but celebrated.  A person who lives in such a world, would never understand this kind of freedom; the kind of freedom our founding fathers fought so hard for all of us to appreciate and experience. Had he been a real leader, a real patriot, the correct answer would have been, “Rick, though I may not agree with you but I will always respect that you’ve spoken your mind on YOUR facebook page on an issue that is important to you. I wish I had those kinds of guts. I don’t.”

     This relative lives in a culture where thinking for oneself is more or less a crime.  The correct adult brave non-cowardly response to me would have been, “Though I don’t agree with you on what you have posted about the Trayvon case, I salute you for being brave enough to speak your mind.  This is a free country and it is what makes us different than say, the former Soviet Union or Iraq. Thank God you have the thinking ability to go against the grain if need be. To speak your mind when you feel something is right even if you know you know it could result in conflict. And though I disagree, I will agree with you regarding why this case *had* to make it to court.  Otherwise we really have no business fighting and educating other countries on the beauty of democracy.”  He didn’t quite say those words, just more like “Don’t let it happen again..it could affect me hence my business”.

     Instead, his response was predictable.  That of the coward who is stuck in a situation of thinking he’ll never get to live a real life. Never get to speak what’s in his heart.  That he will have to die bitter knowing he will have to tow the line of his peers or perish.  The great irony is none of that is true but the opposite. Yes it is scary  to walk away from the status quo for a few days. But once one has found one’s independence there is no turning back.  It’s why our founding fathers fought as hard as they did (they were fighting against bullies dictating to them how to think, believe, live and act by incorporating a very fundamental religion in to government (Church Of England).  Our founding fathers ran for their lives and they made it. 

    My group has Republicans, Tea Partiers, Democrats, Independents, gays, straights, Christians, Jews, Muslems, whites, African-Americans, Asians,  atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, several Wiccans and pagans, and just about every other person with philosophy and belief system imaginable.  We’ve only had to ask 5 people to leave the group in a year for breaking the rules.  We don’t ask people their beliefs, race, politics etc. when they enter. It’s not important.  We never ask anyone their philosophy, beliefs, religion, politics or any other personal part of their lives.  If they wish to share it, its up to them; and that’s the only way we know we have such a mix.  Otherwise we’d never know and that would be just find with me. As long as they follow the rules, their “accidents of birth” are a moot point. Nobody can help what they were born.  And this group is a very safe place for anyone

    The group is to post shared memories and/or photos of  birth hometown or other parts of the south and the group is a safe harbor where they know they are not going to get attacked, or if they are, the attacker will be gone within a day.  And it works. At least 10-20 people post daily and close to 50-100 drop by to see what is going on (even if they do not post). And they live everywhere from California to Norway and anywhere in between. They are not all southerners, but people interested in southern culture.  So in our group the get to see the best of the best;  the sharing of memories with no political or racial overtones; and occasionally the worse.  And they know when they see the worst, they will be deleted from the group as rapidly as possible.  And they write me emails and send private messages how much they appreciate that.

    I heard one friend tell me her facebook page is like her living room. She is happily married.  She said can post whatever she damned well pleases, and others may too as long as they are not hateful, racist, sexist, etc.  or they simply get blocked.  And she was one of the ones who was sexually harassed by the main bully in this story.  She (and several others) felt they were also definitely cyber-stalked by him.  Whatever page they were on, he showed up immediately after to make a comment under hers.  That is cyberstalking.  If that has happened to you, it needs to be reported.  No matter who the person doing it is, what their station in life is now or has been, it has to be reported.  facebook strongly suggests it because if you don’t, they will do it again and again. It is an illness, not just bad manners.

    Our founding fathers fought very very hard so that we the people could think for ourselves and write and express ourselves as we please as long as we do not harm others.  Our personal facebook pages are a perfect example of that freedom. If we only use them to post what we think others want to see posted so they will  “like us”, we’ve missed the mark.  We post whatever we please, and if someone does not like it, they do not have a right to dictate to us what is and isn’t right to post.  In fact our founding fathers would frown considerably at an action like that.

    Do we really want to let our Founding Fathers down?    No bully EVER is going to talk me into letting them down. There’s another term for it.  Don’t tread on me.  And if I may humbly speak for my group, “Don’t tread on us”. 

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 Rick London is a freelance writer and fascinated with social media.  He founded Londons Times Cartoons in a tin shed in rural Ms in 1997 which has become Google & Bing’s #1 ranked offbeat cartoons & funny gifts.  He also founded numerous shops featuring his licensed images such as Planet Hoodie which features his funny hoodies.  He is married to nature photographer Lee Hiller-London who founded Hike Our Planet blog in 2009. They are both avid hikers and nature loves and hike the beautiful Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas regularly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

Bullying, Politics, Herman Cain, Joe Paterno & You Name It..It’s Here by Rick London

              I just read a Twitter post about bullying written by a guy I know to be a bully.   The government of Iran wants to blow us up.  Herman Cain probably chases women, and is sort of sure who President Obama is and what Libya is.  Jerry Sandusky is very ill and a criminal.  Joe Paterno went from hero to great disappointment and possibly a criminal along with the ex President of Penn State.  Syracuse has come out with similar allegations.  Let’s not be surprise but there could be more.  Ironically I’m not that much of a news junkie and certainly not a political animal.  I love nature, hiking, and watching Netflix movies with my wife. I occasionally make people laugh with my cartoons.

        On the other hand…………………….

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      Our economy is on the skids, and politicians are circling the Presidental wagon. Rick Perry says “Whoops” in a cute way in which he does not pronounce his “W’s”, but we’re in big big trouble when Ron Paul has to give him the answer to an easy beltway trivia question.  The thirty year old Natalie Wood case is being reopened. Famous Hollywood Couples are announcing not only their divorces but “What the marriage meant to them” on Twitter.  Newt’s wife likes Tiffany’s.  Newt “did it with women” for our country.  One has to ask, did she yell “Oh Newt baby Sign me with you John Hancock” at, um…the end of the act?  Michele Bachman applauds our founding fathers for freeing the slaves.  She’s anti-socialism but got one of the largest social farm grants ever (then voted against it).  Romney passed a health care bill more socialist than Obamacare while in Ma. (but says now “that kind of bill only works in states). Oh.  LOL.  Uh, Mitt…this is the United States. 50 of them. Ok, never mind.  The whole thing, Democrat and Republican is the keystone cops we’ve come to expect

      My homestate  of Mississippi voted on a bill called Personhood. Fortunately it was unanimously voted down but had it passed something like a wet dream and one could have found oneself life in Parchman or even the chair. A miscarriage could have meant solitary confinement or something like that.  God knows what a menstrual cycle could have gotten ya.  I don’t even want to know.  Kudos for Mississippi for knowing better than insanity.  Much better.

John Huntsman is quiet….and sane; and is actually the only one of the candidates on either side who has stated publicly exactly what the job description of President is.  Can you imagine..a candidate that actually understands the job. I know, I know…he’s not exciting/charismatic enough but has cute daughters.

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     Obama is smart but not in the least when it comes to economics (excellent on snuffing out big time terrorists and my hat’s off to him for that).  Congress is dismal.  Occupy Wall Street is worldwide but can you imagine the greedy 1% suddenly begin throwing money to them out their high-rise windows in complete shame and guilt with tears running down their eyes? Ain’t gonna happen.  Life is compromise and both sides will one day learn that.  Maybe the hard way.  Hope not.       

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       I am a designer and write cartoons and blogs and am sometimes asked, “What goes through your head?” (see above paragraph).  And even when the items in the above paragraph (to borrow a phrase from Herman Cain “are twirling through my head”), there is always the chance of creative or writer’s block.

      When that happens, I have learned over the years never to mention it, at least not on social media or in public.  When I used to, I found myself surrounded by the dregs of society known as “life coaches” willing to sell it back to me (for a nominal fee starting at app. $5000), but I get a lot of their cool cd’s and workbooks).  So it’s a tough decision.  When questioned what they have done on a creative level etc.  I’m often led to their “free ebook”.  They have a similar demeanor of an Elmer Gantry or a moat of crocodiles surrounding a once creative human in a moat who could write and swim but suddenly has writers and swimmers block.  The only difference between a crocodile and a life coach is the crocodile has not learned to charge exorbitant fees for eating you alive.

         So I have these online shops you see and they sell my designs on products like tees, mugs, mouse pads, aprons, etc ., and its starting to get busy again.  I asked myself why, as I could tell many were buying gift items.  I never used to shop for Christmas or Hanukah gifts this early, but some started in the summer.  Why?  It’s simple.  Best prices and service (which still exists as I decided to keep it all the same all the way through the 2012.  But also many like to get it out of the way. Keep in mind these are usually folks who’ve not been bankrupted previously by the crafty lifecoach. 

        When (again thanks Herman) my mind begins twirling with all the things around me, I think of why I’m grateful. I have the most wonderful wife in the world.  Our home office eclipses the most beautifully mountain in the Ouchita Range (possibly the world). We hike it and others when we want to. Our quality of living is very high, cost of living very low.   We have no debt. Our cars are paid in full.  We both are published authors and have our own brand businesses. 

      Are we smarter, more talented, better than anyone else? Not in the least.  I mention that because people sometimes ask “our secret”.  Its far from being a secret.  I can only say, “Start where you are; even if its at the bottom. That is where I was.  Learn. Ask questions.  Stay persistent.  Keep working.  And when something sidetracks you (and it will); forgive yourself and go back to work.  On several occasions over the past year, Lee and I found ourselves entrapped in “helping someone else build their empires for slave labor”. We gave them every opportunity to offer some kind of compensation.  They totally ignored they were doing anything wrong….our answer?  We totally ignored them. 

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     We don’t mind helping others succeed, but help us back.  It need not be money. It can be promotion, co-branding, etc. but please, please, understand fully what that means.  It can’t be what you want it to mean, or what some life coach taught you.

     Otherwise, Lee and I design some of the most unique (we think) gift items on the planet. So its okay if we go it alone (we have a great deal of fun).

      That is the way it should be for you too, but please be advised,  chances are good it won’t happen overnight.  I’ve been at it 14 years and Lee has been at it 2 years.  There are many sleepless nights and lots of fires to extinguish and still much to learn (for us). 

And we both started at middle age.   So can you.  Now get to work but first visit our shops and buy things so you’ll know even better how its done.  J    See, I can act like a life coach too.    

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I’m just a goofy vegan mountain man who has developed a few talents (though that is a matter of opinion). I’m a freelance writer, cartoonist, and designer. I write music; and my wife Lee Hiller-London and I are active in childrens, animal, and environmental causes. I founded Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts in 1997 which have remained Google’s #1 ranked on the Internet since 2005.  I founded the world’s only famous love quote shoes & gifts called Shoes That Amuse (USA Today Like’s ’em), and Wisdom Quote Shoes & Unique Gifts at my Rick London Wisdom Shop.