Blog: 20th Anniversary Of Londons Times Cartoons. How Did That Happen?

 

harper lee jpg

Today is the 20th anniversary of the launch of Londons Times Cartoons and the time has zoomed by most of the time, and felt like walking through thick molasses at other times.  It almost seems like a dream, sometimes mostly entertaining and at other times a vivid nightmare.  In many ways it seemed like yesterday that I was back on my hometown in Ms, broke, without a job and no government assistance. My only resources were my wits and they were running dry.

I had been helping my mom in her final days of  cancer and selling television ads for a small television station whose employees reminded me of the characters in the sitcom WKRP Cincinnati. I’m not sure which one I was but definitely one too.

A friend owned a tin shed on the outskirts oftown; sort of like a small warehouse full of rotting cans of vegetables on makeshift wooden shelves he’d built on the wall in sort of a rural spot between two counties.

A can would explode every once in a while due to its contents fermenting and it being way past its expiration date.  My friend had also installed electricity, plumbing (but no bath or shower) and a phone line.   I bathed in the cold-water only sink.  I washed my stray dog Thor in it as well. Within months Thor found a friendly calico kitten meowing from a low branch outside who I also adopted. Somehow we managed.

Friends would come by and bring me meals or take me out to eat.  Those were exciting, fun, and frightening times.  I was but a tin wall from the outside elements.  For most that time I had no car. I slept on a concrete floor in a sleeping bag.  I bought and way overspent for an IBM Clone PC from a guy near Hot Coffee, Ms who bought old computers and fixed them.

salad bar exaFBfixed

His garage was full of computers, parts, and tools.  He was asking $800. We settled on $600. I know now it was worth about $150, but for back then it was a bit of a workhorse and I was so naive about technology I hadn’t a clue that he probably would have taken much less for it.

The tin shed had a fenced-in acre and a half yard that overlooked I-59, the main road to New Orleans or in the other direction about 20 miles from The Free State Of Jones.

It was March 19, 1997, and I was a very late bloomer due to a number of issues and events, but the main one being a lifetime of un-diagnosed Autism and punished for it, mainly by family but also by community.  The family press release was very much like Joe Kennedy’s of Rosemary “Severe issues,  she needs to be locked away.”  As we learned much later, she was probably Autistic with mild depression.  She was extremely bright as her brothers.

The big question was,  “Could I ever get past those demons?  Could I ever get past being unwanted and put away in an attic bedroom with each of my friendships parentally controlled” and my being unwanted? Could I get past the pTSD and low self-esteem it caused?  Who was I to think I could be at the helm of a cartoon project (or any project for that matter)?

They say time flies when you’re having a good time. I can remember most of those times not being so fun for me.  In fact I was not sure if I would make it. By then my heart was giving out but I didn’t know it.

I also had vanus (a severe form of flat feet) but had been a long-distance runner and even completed two marathons from Lafayette to Crowley, La. in 1978 and 1979. When finally diagnosed at age 60, the doctors said I had been running (and walking) on “a bag of bones”.  I was fitted for orthotics which I wear daily. Vanus is inherited at birth.  My dad had it, but I was never checked for it until age 60. Lee noticed it first and saw it on a doctor’s site poster when I was getting a brace for tendinitis. The orthotic inserts have allowed me to walk without hurting for the first time, and even do high-mountain hikes with Lee. I’ve learned to love nature and wildlife.

Dial-up Internet was slow.  There was no Google, no Twitter or facebook, nor was there any social media.  There were forums and Yahoo!  Since I was a novice at the Internet, I didn’t know.  I bartered my way through the whole thing.

ad cartoon ikea smallFB

I contacted cartoonists who had paved the way long before me.  While I could draw, I couldn’t draw to the level of which I wanted to to project in this project.  I wanted it  to be a “Dali meets The Far Side”,  a cartoon which could be appreciated as art. Sometimes that worked, sometimes not.

I can remember the most generous people with their time were Charles “Sparky” Schulz,  Leigh Rubin (Rubes) and also helpful were Dave Coverly “Speed Bump”, Jon McPherson “Close To  Home”  and several others.   It seemed the bigger they were, the most generous with their help.

So as per Sparky’s suggestion, I wrote the concepts and dialogue, and assigned them to my illustrative partner who rendered them.   He only did black and white for a long time but within a year I talked him into color.  That year a California tee company paid us $10,000 for the rights to 12 color images. We thought we’d arrived.

Though I made a number of barters, I don’t think we made another sale for another 4 or so years so we just kept creating cartoons. I continued to write them and tweak several I’d written years before.  I had a shoebox full from early college days.  My parents talked me out of doing anything with them so I kept them hidden away and finally used them.

prozac3

We made a few sales to academic publishers which never paid much but every little bit helped.

I was living out of my suitcase, which was a good thing since every now and again I was evicted. Friend’s couches or extra bedrooms became “my best friend”.  I always had to pay something but never much. I never needed a lot of space; just enough to type and talk on the phone.  God bless those who gave me a chance.

By the year 2000, we had close to 3000 cartoons (mostly color), but the unpredictable and dangerous lifestyle was taking its toll.   I had my first major heart attack in 2001, and another one in 2010 with three surgeries.  In between that time I had a vagus nerve stimulator implant installed to assist my vagus nerve to work properly.

In 2008 I met my later-to-be amazing wife Lee Hiller. She was (and is) a constant support.  She was with me during the 2010 surgeries which were touch and go. All the while she has been developing her own line of designer gifts LeeHillerDesigns.com and taking incredible nature photos (many on gifts) in our National Park in her blog titled HikeOurPlanet.com.  She’s an incredible person and talent.

Rick London c2011

Londons Times Cartoons had been the Google  #1 ranked offbeat cartoon for 3 years. It has now been for the past 12+ years (since Jan 2005).  It is usually Bing’s #1 ranked too (though it tends to fluctuate there down to #4 or so). I’m happy with that given that on both engines there’s about a half million competing offbeat cartoons.

We put a counter up on my cartoon site in Jan. 2005 after Google first named it #1.  We were eight years old.  It shows we’ve now had about 8.9 million visitors worldwide.  That boggles my mind still. It is very easy to say “Look what I did all by myself” but that’s not how it  has been at all.  I have been but a cog in the wheel of amazing illustrators, managers, tekkies, vendors and Lee all of whom took the time to contribute to a project that had but a slim chance.   Alone,   I would surely have walked away from computers and try to learn something that didn’t require them.

Rick London c3022

This year I learned I also have type-2 diabetes and she has gone right to work on helping me figure out a lifestyle diet that works. While it continues to be vegan, the portions are different as is some of the food variety.  We’ve beefed up the exercise/hiking (or we’ve  “soyed it up” as we don’t “beef” anything).

Today we sit with a gorgeous view of Hot Springs National Park from our office.  We see just about every type of flora and wildlife imaginable outside our window. Hawks and falcons fly by often. Squirrels greet us at the window along with a variety of birds and insects.

All the while we create our gift ideas using digital design on our computers.  While my cartoons are fun to put on items so are my “Famous Historical Quote Designs” which came much later.

We are going hiking later today on our favorite trail known for its deer and woodpeckers (and much more).

red bubble butterpillar

Nature has been very good to  us and provided healing, not always so available in cities (where we have lived most our lives).

A well-known quote in the Autism world  is “The Internet does for Autistics what Braille has done for the blind and sign-language has done for the deaf”.   So I accidentally also found my tool for living, by being a part of the cartoon industry.  I would probably have never learned the Internet; as the Interest wasn’t there.   I developed a bit of interest when I returned to college at age 50 at WGU.EDU.  I learned a lot and Lee has taught me a great deal also.  I would have never have known it to be “my lifeline” as an Autistic.

waldochin

Click To Enlarge

I was trying to sum things up and our good friend, Sally Jane Paulson in Norway did so for us with a Harper Lee quote she happened to post today.   I believe it tells the whole story. It’s  at the top of this story.

_________________________________________________________________

Rick London is an author, gift designer and founder of Google #1 ranked offbeat cartoons and funny gifts Londons Times.  He is active with outdoors and environmental, animal, Autism and Veteran’s causes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Patient Veteran, A Beloved Wife, A Sweet Irish Setter And Now My Life by Rick London c2016

By now most know Lee’s and my love for animals.  For much of my life, that meant domestic animals such as dogs and cats, and the occasional iguana or hamster, but for the most part dogs and cats and horses.

animal collection elephant

I had surmised by the time I was ten or so that I may be the biggest animal-lover in the world, thanks to my late friend Dickey Randolph who, though six years older than me, took the time to teach me about dog care. I got my first Irish Setter from him.   And though I will never forget Dickey’s kindness and goodwill (we stayed friends until his untimely death several years back), I know now it was dogs and cats I loved.

I mention that as, I’d never had anyone explain anything that important to me in detail, that stuck with me throughout my lifetime, and became one of the most important parts of who I am; and most likely began my quest as being a vegan as I am now too.

Part of that “memorable miracle” with Dickey was that I was a disabled, but not diagnosed child with Autism (and now of course an adult with autism).  I was quite hyper, didn’t make good eye-contact, and my attention-span was dismal.

He didn’t care, nor did  it bother him in the least when he returned from Viet Nam, a multi-decorated hero, and very good man.  His guidance led me to the curiosity of nature and animals, and Lee took me to further explorations into the forest to see it in all its glory and how animals behave.  I never get bored with that and it has a very healing nature, very similar to the dog I got from Dickey, “Rusty”.

animal collection lion sleeps mug

I didn’t hate cows, pigs, sheep and chickens, but I dined on them.  Along with overcooked veggies that was my staple until college, at which time McDonald’s took over as “the family kitchen”.  I look back and wonder how I ever lived through that, and in reality, almost didn’t.  I was still 35 years away and two major heart attacks from “seeing the cruelty” in what I was doing.

amusing shoes vegan autism

Having owned one of the first health food stores in Ms. with a $10K loan from the now defunct (like my health food store) Bank Of Hattiesburg, with a preacher from Glendale, Ms. who was later bought out by an ex-math professor at USM, I had an early curiosity of health foods, yoga, running etc.  It never occurred to me that something as simple as animal protein (including dairy and eggs) was not only holding me back, but eventually killing me, and how I didn’t die on at least 4 occasions has stumped all my surgical specialists.  I am a blessed and grateful man.

I went full-fledged into that business.  Most of my “education” came from salespersons with high-school degrees and books written by outdated writers.  Food science was moving forward as fast as one could turn a page.  The animal sciences were not far behind.  I was dedicated to trying to eat right, take the right herbs and vitamins, run marathons, and you name it.

I have since learned that cooked vitamins might as well go in the toilet.  To my knowledge there is only one firm that makes 100% organic vegan raw vitamins and that is “Garden Of Life” which we buy in powder form from Amazon or Ebay.  It is amazing and one can tell the difference immediately from the ones we see advertised on tv often which have had all/or most of the nutrients and more importantly live enzymes cooked out of them, so they are useless.

I learned that herbal tinctures, in most cases are far better than the tablets or capsules as far as potency. I also learned that organic and wildcrafted are every bit as important.  In addition I learned that “organic” in China would not pass for edible in the U.S. (for herbs and vitamins).  There’s still much more to be learned.  Not all of it works. Some of it is nothing less than miraculous.   More learning.  It’s neverending.

Click To Enlarge

Click To Enlarge

Enter Walmart, a new “box store” to the town and exit my store, an old overpriced relic.   I sadly closed my doors in 1981

So I spent some time educating myself regarding food sciences and animal science.

I was married in June 2010 to my beloved wife Lee Hiller-London (Lee Hiller of Hike Our Planet)who became a vegan one year later. I had already read the health benefits and how it helped the planet but that still wasn’t, for whatever reason enough for me. However I did go mainly vegetarian for a year before my conversion to veganism.

animal collection beaver pillow

It was impossible to watch Lee’s positive changes and not want that for myself.  I didn’t know if it could happen but I was surely willing to try.  She’d lost about 90 or so pounds and about 20 years of age.  I was astounded and still am.  But that was not her goal. It just happened.

She was very patient with me as my evolution kept going with at least some dairy or cheese and finally I said, “I’ve had it”. I thought she’d be surprised but she was not in the least.  She said, we’d both cook alternate days and eat as much raw as we could, and that is just what we did.  I had no idea I would not only actually like it, but crave it, and the thought of my old “food” never even crosses my mind.  I truly don’t think my body could absorb it.  Lee kept looking and feeling better and her mood became very kind. It was not an act.  I’ve seen lots of acts.  This was a natural evolution.  I wanted that too. (Still working on it  LOL).

The life changes are dramatic.  Forget the goodness to the planet, and though I am tickled to death that it happens, there is nothing that would take me back to my old eating lifestyle. I say that because there is no such thing, really, as a vegan diet. Veganism is more of a learning/lifestyle philosophy.

A Robin Williams Tribute Cartoons from 2003 by LTCartoons.com

A Robin Williams Tribute Cartoons from 2003 by LTCartoons.com

Well, Lee retained the good looks, common sense and brains, and I got to feel human maybe for the first time.

Because nobody gets it perfect (I was told that would happen by Ed Begley, Jr.) on Twitter….. (It’s a long story)….I’ve decided not to become a militant vegan, and that fits me well. While I would love the planet to all turn vegan, I also know as Ed told me, “It ain’t gonna happen”.  I would love to live the rest of my life on the planet not killing any animals, but again, it’s not going to happen.  Even in the making of my computer animals are killed.  Lee and I kill insects for instance on our hikes, our ride to the grocery, etc. but not on purpose of course.

Click To Enlarge

Click To Enlarge

So I wish the Gandhi-wannabes good luck, and let me know how that turns out.  When curious persons are ready, they usually ask us questions. Lee has come up with the idea to have them start with a Meatless Monday which is now a worldwide movement.

chicken 222222222222222222.jpg

As time goes by and they are still interested, I often direct people to YouTube to watch Sir Paul McCartney’s “Glass Walls”.  Any time I’ve growled or gotten snarly, they ran they other way and ate more meat, with guilt, more meat, nevertheless.  They didn’t want to be much like me and who was I to blame them.  So I changed, and hopefully so did they.

armadillo tee

Meantime I’ve put together a collection of my favorite animal cartoon gifts and tees and I have a lot more in the store collection.  A percentage of each sale benefits various animal and/or vegan causes.

Also for yet even more entertainment, there’s plenty on my cartoon website.

zazzle orgnanic tern

Happy laughing…and eating….and hopefully shopping!

————————————————————————————————————

Rick London is an author, songwriter, designer and cartoonist.  He is best known for launching Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts from an abandoned tin warehouse in rural Ms.  He is married to his best friend and hiking buddy, his beloved bride Lee Hiller-London who owns the nature photography blog Hike Our Planet. Though of course cetaceans are animals (Dolphins, Orcas etc.) Rick keeps a separate section for his ocean mammal friends (gifts).

We Can Do Something About Isolation, Torture, And Neglect Of Disabled Children by Rick London

Beginning this past January 2016, in the UK, neglecting (willfully not getting diagnosed) an autistic or otherwise disabled child, and instead, putting him/her in unbearable living conditions such as isolated attics, basements, cages etc. (which is severe torture same as prisoners of war and banned by even the Geneva Conventions), and/or manipulating the child financially in childhood and at times into adulthood may result in a felony with 14 year federal prison sentence
For an NPD family model (Narcissist Personality Disorder) the scapegoat child being
created (they don’t “just happen”)  only need to be treated dramatically different than the other children, or if an only child, neglected, abused etc.  If the parents have the resources, it is ideal to build an attic and/or basement, with “all the accouterments”. It is the bedroom that “everyone wants”…the “cool bedroom”.  That seals the ruse. Nobody suspects a thing….except the savvy psychiatric community and many film producers now.  They “get it” the minute they see it.
npd 12 scapegoat rsponschild-abuse-2-638
As predicted, America is quickly following suite. It is so good to see this atrocity corrected for this new generation. Two thumbs up for the UK and USA. Real civilization before our eyes…. and the culprits are falling into the fringes of society (just don’t realize it now). Always, please always, keep these, and every other case of which you hear or see alive.
autism puzzle
Keep a candle lit for these domestically-neglected/abused disabled. Thanks.
Report quickly if you even “have a bad feeling” from what you’ve seen; yes in your own neighborhood. NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) is pandemic in our country. It doesn’t always involve an attic, basement etc with “a wayward neglected child in it) but often does. Otherwise, America could easily fall back into the dark ages.
In America, it is now considered domestic violence and severe neglect and (from what is predicted) the laws are getting much more stringent). One can only hope/pray so.
autism bill gates
Some with Aspergers/Autism Turn Out Fairly Successful If
Recognized And Diagnosed Young By Caring Parents (See Above). Let’s open
the gates for all the rest.
Those who are decent, please never remain silent, ever. Fighting for this new generation of children, to prevent the atrocities, is the only humane thing to do. To remain silent is to remain who you were. If you are satisfied with that, then by all means do so. If you want to help children without a voice from suffering needlessly PLEASE SPEAK UP. You’ll be okay. The Narcissist/bullies can no longer (legally) hurt you. You can fight back with huge support.
abuse 1
Disabled people are now officially the largest minority in the world, and clearly I am not the only one who was neglected, isolated/tortured and lied about (so as to be a “bad child” rather than a disabled/autistic child).
I feel confident as we find out more about this monumental population of disabled and/or autistic people on our planet, millions were treated as if they didn’t exist. In fact most their families/later communities too, wished that.
autism 222222222
Now the communities are discovering who the real monsters were/are, thank God. It may take time for it to sink in, for the communities not to feel intimidated by the monsters (who actually it turns out are generally well-dressed and/or behaved cowards), and speak out with impunity.
From what I understand they will have to, or the rest of the 21st Century will pass them by. And that would be a shame that a few powerful narcissists can hold an entire society hostage to continue their brutalization of the disabled and Autistic. How much hate can someone have in them?
autism 9999999999999999999999999999999999999
I want to recommend a film that my beloved wife Lee Hiller-London had seen and suggested I see. Thank God I did. David O. Russell got it totally right in “Silver Linings Playbook”. The cast was perfect. The golden child was perfect, the scapegoat in the attic, and Robert DeNiro got the “distant father” perfect and his wife played the enabler as well as anyone could. The “wayward adult child/now adult in the attic”, turned out to be “the sanest one”. Please see this film. Russell doesn’t make such films unless he knows there is a huge audience, and he knows. It’s pandemic. It sold a lot of tickets for a reason.
————————————————————————————————————
Rick London is a writer, designer, songwriter and cartoonist, best known for his launching of Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts.   He is married to nature photographer Lee Hiller-London (Lee Hiller) Nature/ Wildlife Photographer and founder of HikeOurPlanet.com
#crime #torture #autism #disability #ada #americanswithdisabilitiesact #recovery #happiness #lifestyle #success #autism #aspergers #mentalhealth #mentalillness #culture #society

Why Are Some Of My Cartoons For The Birds? by Rick London

Long ago, it seems like in a different life now, I didn’t pay a lot of attention to nature.    Though I got to enjoy nature, I didn’t understand anything about respecting it and why.  That’s a whole other story, and I won’t get into it now as I’m just learning, but it has morphed into a love of wildlife and birds.

chicken 222222222222222222.jpg

Since my amazing wife Lee Hiller-London (Lee Hiller) who is founder of Hike Our Planet and Lee Hiller Designs started taking me on her hikes, I’ve found an amazing new relationships with wild birds.  Many of these are birds that fly to South and Central America.  Some come back to our forest, stay for awhile and move on.  Most of them are very affectionate and talk to us from low branches.

ew book bird cage

Rick London c2011

Click To Enlarge

They show off their snacks (usually caterpillars or insects) etc. and sing long songs for us.  Many of them follow us along our hikes singing all the way.

Mockingbirds and I have a special relationship and I’ve been known to sing with them for 30 minutes at a time within feet of each other.

Click To Enlarge

Click To Enlarge

A lot of the tropical birds know Lee well and pose for her camera.  The robins often “escort” us to and from the forest. It’s really magic and quite healing.

autism duck dynasty

Someone who wants to enjoy nature need not live in the mountains or next to a National Park (though it doesn’t hurt).  They can live near a park in their town and just sit on the park bench and look around or at a table, or just take a hike around. Some live in a wooded isolated area or next to a large tract of undeveloped land. Nature is everywhere, and if you watch it with patience, you’ll  see a type of drama, comedy and every other “movie genre” that actually is not available in the media; no, not even Animal Planet or Wild Kingdom.

Before long one realizes, as Emerson and Thoreau taught us, we are a part of this wonderful thing called nature.  It changes just like we do. Watching it change makes our own human changes much easier and we look forward to it.  Though there was plenty to love about NYC, Washington DC and L.A. this is a whole new ballgame; and a healthy one.   Lee and I have the “been there got the tees” on the others, and this will do just fine, thank you.

My Bird Mentor & Beloved Wife Lee. Click To Enlarge

My Bird Mentor & Beloved Wife Lee. Click To Enlarge

You’ll may find that the birds are not as foreign to us as we’ve been brought up to believe. In fact we learned today that sparrows have the same DNA as humans.  No wonder they like us.  At least seems that way.

Click To Enlarge

Click To Enlarge

————————————————————————————————————

You can see my funny bird gifts at RickLondonGifts.com.  I am the founder of Londons Times Offbeat cartoons and funny gifts which have been Google #1 ranked since 2005.  I am blessed to have married nature photographer and gift designer Lee Hiller-London who has taught me a great deal about nature (and life).

Living Well – Fine Revenge This Valentines By Rick London

Today is Valentine’s Day.

caged

For many years that day didn’t mean a lot to me, whether I was in a relationship or not.

That may sound like a “call for pity” yet it is just the opposite.  I know now how blessed and lucky I am, not just to have my wife Lee in my life, but both of us understanding with what we deal; autism as well as building our lives together.

Some think I talk about autism too much, and that’s too bad and their issue. Autism is very much who I am, why I do what I do, and how I do it.

For numerous years professionals wondered how I “lived through what I lived through”, and there are times when I did too, yet they never told me what it was in which they were amazed about.

mat ar zmd 2

More than one psychiatrist I told I was hidden away in an attic at age five which lasted my entire youth up until age seventeen and then thrown to the wolves.   I am sure most of them knew what that meant, but maybe most of them felt it was best to tell me I had been severely abused, simply by the act of “residential segregation” and the very different rule structure set for me as compared to my siblings.

They also felt it best that my siblings were quite abusive as well, for the most part of their own survival.  That part I understood and even forgave. One extremely well-versed very well educated therapist told me, “If they’d had a backbone, if they’d had an ounce of good in them, they would have turned off the “hate Rick campaign” and done the right thing, as adults after your parents died, but they were too ambitious to “have their name in lights”.  I could easily see them given that I’d had my name in lights several times (and it was highly overrated). I’d never scapegoat a sibling to do so, nor did I ever.

npd trauma 1

So given the abandonment (and even abuse) combined with the autism, it is beyond comprehensible to most that I survived. I did have the wherewithal to continue seeing professionals in an extreme effort to find out what had happened to me.  Remember, I didn’t know I had autism, nor that I’d been severely abused until I was 61. I was programmed not only to fail but to die young.

npd flying monkey 2 meme

And that’s probably why I decided I was not going to die young. In spite of two major heart attacks 3 surgeries and stents, I was determined to discover what had happened and who did what.

Then came Lee.  She loved me and loves me unconditionally.  She helped me in my quest, so that I might not dismiss abuse when it came my way.

paris 7

Remember, I never even knew I was “at war with my siblings” (I just felt they didn’t care for me) until age 61.  At age 60 I decided to write one of them to let them know of my autism diagnosis. Also of my vanus diagnosis; an extremely painful form of flat feet, also congenital.  As always, I was dismissed by one sibling by email with a line that read “My spouse’s niece had a bit of autism but is fine now. What will you do for symptoms”. (In other words people live with autism all the time.  Get used to it).

Truth be told, most autistic children do not get hidden away in an attic, scapegoated by their entire family, and never diagnosed.  The difference is apples and oranges (than simply “being autistic”.  I survived a pre-meditated war against me, one I never knew I was in, only to find the real truth, and that the perpetrators of that war were rancid cowards, bigots and haters,  and still are.  Now they will coddle their autistic niece to show “their goodness”.   Educated people expect that and are not impressed…in the least.

0325

I lost it. I was livid.  Symptoms?  Autism does not have symptoms. Autism is who someone is. It is not something to cure. It is something with which to have compassion because the tools to teach autism are just now coming into fruition.

aqualung

I told the sibling a thing or two about symptoms (the only true symptoms of such a condition are hate, prejudice and fear) projected by ignorant people, and I made certain this sibling knew what that meant. I never heard from that sibling again and if I’m fortunate I never will.  I know it sounds erudite but these siblings do not deserve to be a part of my life.

I am not perfect, in fact far from it.  But the torture of another person, especially a child who later becomes an adult, to me falls in the category of serial killers and such.  Before you say, “how crude”, so do a majority of the members of the autism groups which have at least 3.2 million diagnosed members not to mention even more than that that are un-diagnosed.

This feeling is real, and the experience/torture is very much of a similar sociopath nature. Those people need help and need it today.  They will within a few years, most likely, find themselves way on the fringe, at least that is what is being reported by knowledgeable scholars acting within the mainstream autism communities. I believe it wholeheartedly.

And I don’t regret writing that. I do not want that kind of “person” in my life, ever.  And though I know they cannot help that they are that sick, they do have the responsibility to get professional help.  After all, I did, and I was not even the one who needed it most. In fact, I am quite at peace with myself most times, knowing that I finally know what really happened to me, and not the “family press release”.

Click To Enlarge

Click To Enlarge

Yes, I still get the occasional PTSD that I used to get often.  But PTSD is not a character flaw or weakness. It is a healthy response to something very bad that someone experienced or saw.  I can remember having it since age 5 (the year my first attic isolation tank) aka bedroom was built).  Why would a five year old have PTSD?  Child abuse is the reason about 99% of the time. I was part of that 99%.  I survived it and am very proud of that.  Not all do. And that is why I write these blogs.  I don’t believe any of my family will change.  They have too much invested in “the lie”.  But I know others might read it and see hope. I know NPD parents might read it and seek help.  If just one reads it and seeks help, it’s a success.  Torture is torture and if it prevents just one, it proved to be a good thing.

I merely ask you to imagine a 5 year old child alone, isolated in an attic, for 12 years. The first 4 years crying every night to no response (they couldn’t hear me in such a large home and made sure of that).  This causes all sorts of psychological problems, the worst of all chronic insomnia (which is not even allowed in the most brutal wars by the Geneva Convention). Neither is that sort of isolation.  Some parents truly need not be parents.  They are forgiven (by me).  They are also forgotten (by me).   I survived that and I am tougher than I thought.  They are more cowardly than I ever knew.  Sadly, they knew what they were doing.

november 999 kneeds small

The rest of my life went downhill from there.  Until age 58.  That’s when God presented my wife, and there was a definite curve upward.  Beautiful things began to happen.

I realized rather rapidly I was the lucky one by not scapegoating anyone. I was the lucky one for “taking the fall”. I was the lucky one for letting them cast aspersions and tell lies etc.

I  look at my life and I look at theirs.  I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone else.    God made certain I would not only enjoy but cherish my 61 year old Valentine’s Day.  We have wonderful friends, most married who share the same affection for their spouses.

Click To Enlarge

Click To Enlarge

I now am learning how to navigate life with autism. I realize I read and saw and thought everything differently. I also know that was not my fault.  I was not diagnosed purposely for nefarious reasons. Now I am diagnosed for decent reasons and have a beautiful chance to enjoy my life.  Lee and I will only associate with good people who support our relationship.  If you are one of those who find you are not, do not try to be a trickster.  We’ve seen it all, and we fight back. We will defend our love no matter what.

If you and I have been friends in the past, in real life, but you are frightened to express it due to NPDs and their “flying monkeys”, might I suggest those days are over, and they turned out to be wrong.  Very wrong.

june fly down 3drose

And if you don’t believe me try contacting one of the major Autism associations.   Most of them know me now, know the dynamics happening, and are not happy with it at all.  It’s very nice to have that support.

They will assure you that abuse and prejudice against autistics will be a dark part of American History. Please, consider siding on the right side of history.  Not the side in which someone might throw you a few nickels or “property one day”, or if you’re really lucky “be a part of their popularity circle”.  Just remember how they obtained that popularity.  With torture.   I will not tell you not to be a part of that.  We all have to answer to our God.  You know best.

You might look at my life and think it was quite unfair.  The real facts is that I was dealt a very bad hand of cards (by humans).  When I let God take over, things changed.  Suddenly my offbeat cartoon of which I’d worked on for 8 years was the Google #1 ranked offbeat cartoon and a few years later my designer offbeat gifts also became #1 ranked.  They have maintained that ranking through hard work all the way up until now (2016).  That is 11 years.  I am proud, very proud, but I clearly understand now it is from a Hand Above and from the loving Support of my Wife Lee.  I couldn’t have dreamed of this.

That may not seem like much, but given there are 100,000+ offbeat cartoons and gifts on the net on any given day (am told), I feel pretty good about that.  Had I been treated fairly, that would have never happened.  So I do have the culprits to thank, and thank them forever and ever.  Nobody has been as good to me (but surely not on purpose), and of course my Angel wife Lee who willfully has been good to me, and has showed me the world in a whole different manner.  I will always push to look at it correctly, and not as a “mean ol’ place”.  It’s not a bad place at all, and most the people in our circles are very very decent.

kenny rogers

Scapegoating toddlers who become children who become adults, with a pre-planned “program” to make them the bad guy and then “buy their friends” is not even considered humane in the very worse cultures and societies.

Sadly, it is done quite often in these United States, and most children/later adults never knew what hit them.  My parents never figured I would have the photographic/date/time memory that gave them away the first time they committed such a crime.  They were busted. They just didn’t know it.  It took me this long to figure out just what the abuse was.

It was so subtle, so professional, so well done in privacy with me; not when other siblings or friends were around, you would have thought it was an Alfred Hitchcock film.  But most Hitchcock films offer a bit of grace and negotiation. Mine offered neither.  I believe with the help of God and amazing friends, I lived long enough to figure it out, and have enough life in me to help others who find themselves in similar situations.

I am able to vocalize to them they are not alone. I am able to shout to them to hook up immediately with autism legal programs, autism support groups, and the like.  They can then safely tell their story and if someone interferes, it can easily become a civil rights matter and that interfering person may just find themselves on the wrong side of history, not where they want to be.

Scapegoating humans and torturing them is horrendous. Doesn’t work nor should it.  It’s hate. It’s prejudice and it’s fear.  It’s masochistic and brutal.  To support it is as cowardly as the act itself.  That’s not you I hope, and pray.

Love is truly the answer

The Beatles were right. Money can’t buy that.  It can’t even buy “like”.

Click To Enlarge

Click To Enlarge

————————————————————————————————————

Rick London is a writer, songwriter, gift designer and cartoonist.  He is best known for his Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts “Londons Times” LTCartoons.com.  He is married to popular nature photographer and gift designer Lee Hiller-London who owns nature blog Hike Our Planet and brand store LeeHillerDesigns.com.

Autism, Isolation Blame Game And The Geneva Convention by Rick London

autusm williw wonka

Am very excited to announce “Anti-Emotional Coercian” laws have passed in the UK. Bullying and abuse are more often than not, not about physical damage, but about “financial/emotional slavery”.

For instance hiding a child away in an attic or basement (or anywhere away from the family core and treating them very differently to make them dependent is some of the most severe abuse imaginable).

I was a prisoner of war in my own family home for 12 years in an attic with tiny frosted slit windows overlooking tall hedges in the back. The abuse actually “looks kind”. It is not. The NPD (narcissist personality disorder) parents make the (usually) weak, disabled child dependent so that a short leash and guarantee of bad public behavior and skills results.

titanic useless FB

NPD parents want perfection or nothing at all. Trust me, an autistic child is not even close to perfect in their eyes. It is “a curse from God”, evil, characteristically bad, etc. Those are bad parents and siblings (who go along with that); not a bad autistic child.

That child develops PTSD which is a healthy response to such abuse. It is if the child did not have it, that there would be a worry. That generally means the child thinks it is okay and passes it on another generation. No thank you.

This PTSD is absolutely no different than returning veterans who have witnessed or been a part of such atrocities. War is hell. So is isolation.

npd 2 pretense

The room was decorated beautifully so as not to give away the ruse. I was also autistic and that abuse began at age five. I cried for 5 straight years to no answer. Then I was “numb” and did whatever I was told the best I could. But isolation is isolation and has been studied to be the cruelest form of punishment on the planet. That is why it is not allowed in any war and is policed by the Geneva Convention.  But it still exists at home.

The Geneva Convention does not even allow that kind of cruel and unusual isolation confinement and hasn’t for years. The damage it does is too monumental and inhumane. Sometimes reversal (I got lucky) but sadly more often than not, not.

Mark Twain Quote

I (truly) don’t ask for sympathy. I got through it and am quite happy with a loving wife, community and friends. My life is very blessed.

I mention it (the newer stricter laws) as an alert, it is now coming to the U.S. and if by some change you’ve found yourself as an abuser or enabler of one, please re-evaluate that relationship.

This is a very big day for those of us on the autism spectrum who had no rights (other than basic human/civil ones) but nothing beyond that and often not even that.

kenny rogers

I understand the sentence in the UK can be about 14 years but more often than not 5 years. So think about it, parents, especially NPD parents before putting a child/later adult through such a cowardly act.

Now things have changed, and as it turns out, we were “the good guys” after all, just being ourselves. God bless America.

Thanks to my beloved wife Lee Hiller-London who recognized the whole thing. After that, with a bit of research and therapy, all the pieces fell into place. Chances are very slim I might be here otherwise. And it gives me a chance to purvey this important message to others in need. There is plenty of help. Lots and the law is on your side now.

Click To Enlarge

Click To Enlarge

You never have to go through this. Autistics: “Stim, rock, scrape paint”, whatever you have to do for release. It is now allowed (and even encouraged) in public. Public and private school officials are aware of it, as are most advanced workplaces.

When we discovered this, I was sure my beloved wife Lee would run off. I thought to myself “Who could blame her?”  Not Lee. She dug in deeper and studied ways to make this work.  I will be forever grateful to Lee and to God who sent her into my life.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Rick London is a songwriter, author, designer and cartoonist.  He is best known for his Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons and Funny Gifts he found in a tin shed in 1997.  He is married to his beloved wife Lee Hiller London who owns Hike Our Planet, a popular nature and wildlife photography blog.

Why Some Parents Create Identified Patients (Scapegoats/Blacksheep) As A Necessity

(Part of this blog repeats a bit of some past blogs (but has to to tell the story correctly). If so, and you’ve read that part, my apologies. Please gloss over that part and get to the new stuff).  Thanks.  Rick

Fifty years ago last week, I saved the lives of my brother Andy Stetelman and sister Carol Stetelman-Abshire from a raging fire that destroyed our home.  It had started from a lawn mower gas tank that the landscaper left with the cap open next to the hot water heater in the storage room.  My parents were at a cocktail party at the Fine’s house.  It was 6:40 (give or take a few moments) CST on a Thursday night, October 1965.                                   npd trauma 1

 

The maid/baby sitter had locked herself out of the house and was repeatedly ringing the doorbell.  My six year old brother Andy was paralyzed with fear crying on the couch in the den on the west side of the house closest to the front door.   My sister Carol was in the hall bathroom taking a shower.

My 11 year old aspie mind assessed the situation. I could see it was bad and about to get much worse.  First I ran to the beige dial-up phone under the stairs next to the bridge table and called the fire department which was on a yellow sticker on the phone. There was no 911 in 1965.

fire

I then knocked loudly on the hallway bathroom door to alert my sister who didn’t believe me (at first) but as smoked filled the house, she did and left through the front door.

I then pulled Andy next door to Richard Ward’s house who generously kept him calm there and safe so he wouldn’t re-enter the burning home.

For two weeks I had the role of “hero child”.  It felt awkward as I was not used to positive attention from my parents or family.

How do I remember these lucid details such as times, days of the week etc?  I actually remember much more of that night but no room to include.  Some people afflicted with autism/Asperger’s can remember details of situations as far back as 2 years old, some even further. I remember a lot of milestone details as far back as age four.  The fire is one of them.  I even remember how long it took for the fire department to get there after I called. I remember being nervous and twice having to hang up the phone as I could not dial the number correctly.  I remember how the smoke bellowed from my closet door as the Munsters played on tv.  That was 50 years ago. I was 11.

bullied no more

Then I was told never again to mention what I had done and they were back to treating me as “the core of all the problems they ever had”.  My father mumbled something about humility and that was the end of the story.  I thought he was doing me a favor, teaching me social skills; but if asked about the events of the fire, which I often was, I simply told people, “I don’t talk about that anymore”.

It ruined my bedroom as well which was in an isolated attic away from the family. For all my childhood, I thought living in an isolated attic was normal. It was not. It was very sick, and often done with disabled children who “don’t fit the family lineage”.

mandalay connie Large blocked2222222222222222222222222

I don’t bring up this dark time in my life to get a pat on the back or receive the tag of “hero”.  That, of course, is not what I am/was at all.  Any brother or sister, I believe would do everything possible to get their sibling(s) out of harm’s way.

The reason for writing about that event, is what was to follow.  The “erasing of Rick”.  It was already happening, I simply was not aware.  I was an undiagnosed autistic child, barely making it in the world, and punished severely for my behavior.

Joe and Rose Kennedy did this with Rosemary with a lobotomy and an isolated cottage in an institution that Joe had built.  On a much smaller scale, that was basically what was being done to me.  In both instances, lies were manufactured so the public would be assured they were being protected from this “accidental monster they’d created”. My family did it to me on a much smaller scale; but with just as little class as Joe Kennedy. Not much.

rosemary-kennedy-435

In medical/psychological terms, they were creating the “Identified Patient”.  In street terms, the black sheep or scapegoat.  Scapegoats don’t just “happen”, they are created and for a very specific reason (click on link below for article explaining).

Why would any parent do that?  Narcissistic abuse follows one way into adulthood. Siblings and their friends begin to “believe the lies” as to face the truth would make them fall apart, literally.

rick london 333333333

I’ve decided this family secret has officially ended.  Whoever believes me or not is immaterial.  I now know what happened and it has been confirmed by some extremely knowledgeable people in the medical community.  And now, of course there are articles and stories all over the media with the Kennedy story being leaked all at the same time.

I am in the process of writing a book, and soon thereafter a film.  I’ve set up a strategy that should something happen to me, members of one of my autism communities will finish both.  Also one member owns a very large film studio. So it will happen whether I’m dead, in jail, or unconscious.  My beloved wife Lee and an autistic group will receive the proceeds of both should something happen to me (I also have congestive heart failure) and active “flying monkeys”, now very angry ones.

These stories need to evolve no matter how scary they are, no matter how much they make waves, no matter how much they disrupt the status quo.  For if they don’t the very soul of this great country is gone.  And it is up to us, the citizens of this great country, to set such stories straight.  Not everyone will believe them and that’s fine.  Those of us who have the epiphany of the real truth is what matters. And if it helps one more person or family, it was all worth it all along.

npd laughter meme

Excellent Story On Why Parents Scapegoat:    http://bit.ly/1Lo8Q21

————————————————————————————————————

Rick London is a writer, cartoonist and designer.  He is best known for his Google #1 ranked Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons which he launched in 1997 and Rick London Funny Gifts.

Autism, Scapegoating And That Which Is Revealed by Rick London

It is said that if you are patient, especially regarding an issue that has been bothersome, “more will be revealed”.

autism flap hands

I decided, for the first year to alert my contacts in the autism network regarding my entire story, so that if anything happens to me, the story will be written.  The whole story. Not just the very late discovery of the condition, but the scapegoating, the being hidden in an attic for 12 years, the current flying monkeys, etc.  So the world is aware.

(For those who aren’t aware flying monkeys are generally low self-esteemed persons recruited by narcissists, who often give the FMs money or material goods or both and pretend to be their friends), in trade to do “their bidding” and purvey lies, rumors etc about the scapegoat in their family-of-birth. This can, and often is a “lifetime friendship”.  Flying monkeys can also often be narcissists as well).  Though most are unaware of “their roles” they’ve been given,  many are aware and enjoy further damaging the real family victim to receive favor from the narcissist.

The second year, I plan to get more formal education on the topic and write a book, and the third year release a film.  I don’t feel those are lofty goals, and I will have more education at that time to temper my knowledge with more researched information, making for a better film.

Autism_Awareness_Penguin_by_shugo974

But back to the people with whom I cyber-associate.

For the several years I’d looked up to one, given that he has a descendant in his family with autism, and he showcases her, especially regarding her accomplishments.  That made my heart flutter; to see a family that embraced the condition, and is actually quite proud of it.

I posted an Anne Lamont meme, one of her famous cynical quotes regarding “If you wanted me to write nice things about you, you should have behaved better”.  I didn’t say I was going to follow that “order”, I only posted it.

npd 12 scapegoat rspons

This kindly grandpa (and good man) wrote under it,  “Oh so now you’re going to write about them”.

Am not sure what he meant by that.  I am in hopes he was just having a bad day rather than projecting double-standards; that it would be okay for me to be abused, but not his own.   Those things happen.

But much more important are the positive aspects of learning of this condition and how to deal with it.  It is part of life. It is biological. It is inherited. It is not something I necessarily wanted.  But it is something I ended up with.

autism not me x0x0x0x0x0x0x00x0x0x

I learned that the woman I chose to be my wife is the best wife anyone could ever have.  She is not deterred in the least by the condition. If anything, she is my greatest advocate.  We both make fun of, and laugh at “some of my little rituals”, mainly because they are, indeed funny, and it’s fun to laugh at that kind of silliness with someone I love dearly.  I like to scrape paint off our walls (really); even in my sleep, I occasionally flap my hands, and other funny things.  Really.

npd flying monkey 2 meme

Also, emails and messages have come in almost weekly, many from my hometown who have told me they have children or other family members with autism, and discrimination is alive and well there (in Hattiesburg).  In fact, they still “eat their young”.  That is sad to hear, but really not so surprising.  Hopefully the next generation is ahead of us in such ignorance and will do the right thing.

I also have received emails from scapegoats of NPD (narcissist personality disorder) families in which they are just now discovering what happened to them, why they are not liked, why the lies have spread to everyone except them, etc.  That is also alive and well.  NPD is a disorder (not a condition like autism) that is addictive and people with it are in denial.  If they are parents they tend to “triangulate” their children creating a “golden child”, a “scapegoat” and often on that overlaps (or leaves) who is the “lost child”.

npd laughter meme

They often don’t help their own, yet are hyperactive in community affairs, doing far more than anyone else in charitable work, but of course it is all a show.  They almost always have “to advertise” all the good that they’ve done.  True charity is very quiet.  NPD charity is fired with a cannon.

Those of us who are survivors of both autism and NPD families will continue to pray for them.  Miracles do happen. People do get better. But only if they want to.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist, and gift designer.  He is best known for his Google #1 ranked Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons and Funny Gifts.  He is married to nature/wildlife photographer Lee Hiller-London who is best known for her popular hiking blog HikeOurPlanet.com.

Enlightenment, Anger And Forgiveness by Rick London

Upon my enlightenment of what happened to me (early in my life) up until age 60, I became angry.  That is normal (many scapegoat children-turn-adult) never lose that anger.  Even more,  never even discover what happened to them, as it is “the family secret” and all participants who choose to engage “play a role” and play it well for their own survival.

 One of the main roles is to help “build the hierarchy” of the dysfunctional family model, by helping the parents scapegoat the “weak child”, hence removing responsibility of their own dysfunction and projecting it onto the scapegoat (and if that model scapegoat is created at a young enough age) i.e. vis a vie triangulation, isolation, etc. it works quite simply.

Of course there are numerous downsides to this type “family model” that are far too numerous to mention. One is the deception and manipulation mentioned above.  The family generally then turns to their community and screams, “See what a madman we have?  No wonder our family is in turmoil”.  Of course it is all based on deception and untruths. 

And though it “works”, this model harms a lot of people (even outside the family unit) as well as the children (not only the scapegoat child).   All models from the golden child to the lost child are angry (at whom, they are a bit confused/misguided) but that’s merely a fact of the NPD family model (they all think they are angry at the scapegoat). Sadly they are not.

Mix in a heaping tablespoon of  Autism Spectrum (with which I was born),  didn’t only make life difficult, it made it impossible.   Believe me when I tell you, Clark Kent couldn’t have changed into his Spandex and flown out of there without some heavy duty kryptonite burns.

Jung and Satir’s psychological and psychiatric papers are chock-full of these dynamics which are the “fingerprints” of any NPD family.  Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled) penned his 2nd book “People Of The Lie” on this very family model.  It is much more commonplace than people know.

So how to heal?  I’ve been reading a great deal on that, and consulting with several top professionals in that field.  I am also now hooked into several large networks that allow me support, and the ADA has assured me they would assist in any external issues that might arise while I attempt to begin my life, possibly for the first time;   and of course my wife Lee is a tremendous support.  Together we are walking through this.

Anger and fear are actually healthy responses to “my enlightenment”.  In fact, I’ve learned that had I not had such emotions, I should be worried.  It would mean I had likely gotten to the point of dissociation and void of all feelings (which would put me right back in the mud, wallowing with the narcissists and their“flying monkeys”)  who continue to occasionally pop up (I choose not to engage with them anymore, however; and that is healthier for both sides

As Katy told Boon in “Animal House” when asked to be his date to the toga party, “I’ll write you a note. I’ll say you’re too well to attend”.  And actually, just as promised from various therapists, once I purged the anger and blogged it, the anger subsided. Have I forgiven the culprits yet?  Of course not.  I know, I know, forgiveness is “the solution” to many things, and I agree, and feel I will forgive one day.

 But if I give a “fake performance” (just to show “how spiritual I am”),  and not feel the anger and “loss of innocence” if you will, that’s exactly what it will be, “a fake performance”.  Fake performances were the very foundation of what I had to do in that original family unit to survive. I refuse to be involved in that kind of behavior ever again.

So forgiveness is on my agenda in the future, but not forgetfulness. It is every bit as important to remember who did these deeds to me, and who enabled them (and who continues to enable some of them) and never, ever allow them in my life again.  They do not deserve that honor.  To be forgiven?  Yes one day.  To be forgotten would be naive and myopic.

Will I write a book (and/or screenplay) regarding my life? I have been approached by several very capable people “interested parties”, and am tossing that idea around.  I’d say “probably so” but I don’t want to do so while my moods are still volatile.

First I want to allow those around me who really love me (Lee) to help in the healing, which she has been doing, and that doesn’t go unrecognized, and continue our hikes as I’ve learned late in life that God’s handiwork aka nature is a healer like no other I’ve ever seen.  Lee agrees, and together our hikes are like magic. 


In college, my first time around, I was not a great student. Now of course I understand more clearly as to why.

I could barely read, and, I actually had never read even one entire book cover-to-cover until age 27, and again, now I have a greater comprehension as to why that occurred too.

A combination of struggling with both autism and scapegoatism, hindered my ability to do so. 

When I finally learned how to read properly (using a ruler or other similar object), it made things much easier.  And though I loved some of the great nature/spirituality writers such as Emerson and Thoreau, I didn’t fully comprehend their core message until experiencing it.  In fact I used to snicker at some of it, sadly.  Now I know how much smarter/wiser they were than I will ever even hope to be.

Lee on the other hand is and always was an avid reader and comprehends what she reads.  Using her instincts, one birthday she got us both Kindle Fires.  Suddenly, due to the brilliant background lighting and large font, enabled me to read and absorb the words (without using a flat object to keep the letters from jumping all over the place).

And though I realize the autism will never go away, I am slowly learning to accept it.  It is in fact a gift after all (I had always heard otherwise). It is why I am able to do a lot of the things I am able to do (especially on the creative side).  In my diagnosis, which was done by the top neuropsychologist in Arkansas, (and allegedly one most respected in this whole region) who does most of the neurological evaluations in this state as she is that respected, and has sat on the Ar. State Autism Board about 35 years who wrote a letter to my GP (which is the result of the evaluation).  She says that even my work is autistic in nature.  (I gave her the URL of my web site). 

Ironically, Lee’s guess and later my guess was Asperger’s.  She noticed numerous “Aspie” movements/gestures etc. for several years.  It took time but upon deep assessment, finally so did I.  But we found out I am much deeper on the Autism spectrum than the Asperger’s spectrum. And though Asperger’s is considered a type of autism, not everyone with autism has it.  I got lucky and have both.

As each day passes, I learn just how lucky and blessed I really am.  I have what I need; more than I ever desired.  I am alive and, though on some days struggling with health issues, I have survived and I am strong.

I am a survivor, of things that (I am told) most people don’t survive.  I don’t say that in glee.  I say that because that is one of the main reasons I blog this topic, very different than my cartoon/humorous stuff, which I find equally important.  Laughter was not easy on many days.  I have been writing cartoons for 18 years.

I notice on days I am able to find humor on which I could rely for a laugh, sometimes that is all I needed to make it through the day.

But I also needed information like this (on this topic). 

It is not fun to write, and sometimes it isn’t easy to write. But for me, it is very necessary to write.  I’ve already been told of several families who have been helped.  Young lives who won’t have to go through what I did.

Several families have opted for professional help rather than ego-driven narcissism/power etc. to greet and welcome in life.  To them I say, “God bless you” and please do keep the faith.   All that pain, made this day worthwhile for me, and I hope and pray that in your own journey toward recovery, both of us will be able to look back and say, “Now what was that that was bothering me back in July of 2015? I don’t even remember”. 

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Rick London is an author, songwriter, cartoonist and gift designer.  He is best known for his Londons Times Offbeat Cartoons & Funny Gifts which have remained Google #1 ranked since 2005.  He is active in such causes as autism/Asperger’s, animals, children and the environment.

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.