Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget

Dear Mols

“How are we supposed to bring up the network if we can’t bring up the servers?”

Posted by Angela Glass on Thursday, December 10, 2015

 

I’m ready to create—to use the tools we created, the platforms, the surfaces, the languages, the software, the servers, the networks,…

Remember when I was a wee one on the internet
Long before we’d ever met?

Violin Recital

I was the guild leader’s girlfriend
I played first chair, first violin

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A performing arts student
And touch prone to sin

Everquest Terris-Thule's The Shadow Council: Cailyn and Suntzu

Everquest The Shadow Council of Terris-Thule: Cailynn & Suntzu Soleil

Cailynn was my character’s name
A level 55 rogue or so
Before I’d never play her again

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SpunkyGidget was my pseudo-name
When the internet became a game
And life was never the same

Molly.com because she was
on the internet before
The Internet is for Porn” was born

MediaTemple

“Women in Technology” worn like a wet t-shirt
They disposed of Ms. Dewey’s digital body
Like she was a Jimmy Chou model

Ask Ms. Dewey

I train Siri daily
Temper autism with creativity
Throw tantrums, test the water
Wanna spark something bigger?

Hey Siri

“Why don’t you tell them the truth?
Say what you want to say,
and let the words fall out,
honestly, I want to see you be brave!”

We never worked together, not technically speaking.

Isn’t it about time?

Brian Rosenthal, to clear up the amibiguity

Don’t you work for free?

You inspire me, I’ve created a classroom of kids who need some of you…

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I hear we can connect face-to-face through technology, almost like we were there… once, sitting around the on the carpet in living room.

Should we live or die, let us do digitally?

After all, that’s what brought us together IRL.

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And in my dreams, one day, I’ll see you again soon in person.

stuck behind a keyboard, characters in keystroke converted into bits and bites bypassing languages to be recorded while they carry no real content.

If the inmates are still running the asylums, let’s be creatively free:

I’m ready to create—to use the tools we created, the platforms, the surfaces, the languages, the software, the servers, the networks,…

Would it be so hard to cobble all this stuff we have laying around in our digital garages and turn it into something useful to communicate cultural and creative content?

I mean isn’t it as easy as connecting the dots of services that are out there to explain how easy it is to … connect the dots?

Dear Mols, I miss me. Do you miss me too?

I love you.

Virtually,
Yours

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Allen Eugene Rodman: December 30, 1974 – October 31, 2015

Allen Eugene Rodman (December 30, 1974-October 31, 2015)

Allen Eugene Rodman, Kirkwood Police Officer, passed away on Saturday, October 31, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri. Allen was buried in Woodland Cemetery in Van Wert, Ohio.

He was the beloved of Jessica Marie Dacus, the son and first born of Wanda Carolyn and the late Graydon Rodman, and a loving father of Michal l’Lena and Evan Elijah Rodman, and to Christopher and Shelby.

Allen will be missed by his only brother, Burton Lowell Rodman, his family and his mother.

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there; I did not die.

And you jump from yer bed, from yer last chapter of dreamin’
And you can’t remember for the best of yer thinking
If that was you in the dream that was screaming

Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie, by Bob Dylan

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Record // Cover : Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget.
Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget

Vanessa and Cadenus


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Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Religion

Vampire Weekend

Dedicated to Candace Conti and other little boys and girls who are dead or molested.

www.seekYeHoWaH.com and escape Christendom.

Jehovah’s Witnesses need not apply. Where did anyone say that anyone would be serving that god in the end? Oh, you’re right. He does factor in…

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— Angela Glass (@Baxley) October 30, 2014

I wanted to design software for the Watchtower when I was 15 years old at it’s headquarters, “Brooklyn Beth’el“.

Guess what? God created Eve, and Eve was naked. And it was good. God said so. He also created weed. He also said it was good to eat.

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I was turned down. They don’t generally “take sisters“.

Now I am a Silent Lamb. Sacrifice me.

Here’s what I did instead: www.linkedin.com/in/angelamarieglass.

“Angela experienced a crisis from an ill marriage and lack of support from the congregation.”

I am a Silent Lamb?—Sacrifice me.

For the record, you don’t lose your faith when you stop believing God is Jehovah. But Melissa doesn’t know what losing my religion is all about. Girl, I was a hoarder, and I still am though that was back then. Show you a few things, pretend to be my friend? Oh don’t mind slandering the Baxley’s while you’re at it for the blood of the noble Niblick’s.

Funny, baxleyvsunitedstates.org versus the Dominican nephew determined to shame me—calling me the “shameful aunt”.

I took it in silence. I have learned how to turn away so it doesn’t sink in. No, not really. It really hurt. But hey, I haven’t got time to buy a new deodarant stick of Tom’s every two months — so I use it but it doesn’t work. I have no cash and thus I stink and am not buying it on Amazon and paying for shipping. So I am waiting until someone thinks I stink enough to do something about it. They have a pretty high tolerance.

Thanks mommy.

When I asked if they were going to stay there—in the DR—he sold me this line from his daddy’s mouth: they aren’t living there, they are missionaries. — For Christ’s sake, who hasn’t heard of God? Oh, yeah…

God isn’t Jehovah. Jehovah isn’t peddling love, he’s got Watchtowers to print and has just discovered the Internet.

Well I was in the middle of pestering this corporation called “The Watchtower” on Twitter, when I realized I needed a mood swing. Being a heavy hitter dealing with porno and pedo’s is a bit much for this do-gooder.

I mean the internet is for porn, right?

Well anyhoo, distracted again from that to get the video to prove the point that I’m not lost on how I feel about life, I’m just so DAMNED tired of having to stay up all night to work against all of you.

So I /quit.

Yeah, see I’m not a cultural fit. I’m not a woman in technology and there’s no way come hell or high water, well—we all know which—I would never have a daughter, as I could never let her see this world. Dear God, preserve my seed within me. Save my belly for the beast. I am yours and have ever been devoted. I am sorry for so long I thought that the Watchtower’s disapproval of me was somehow was the directive from God. Dear God, if you don’t love me—Um? Who could you?

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A couple of weeks before she died, Rebecca informed us that she was about to be a big girl of six years old, and Becca was a baby name. Once she turned six, she wanted everyone (not just me) to call her Rebecca, not Becca. She made it to six. For almost twelve hours, she was six. So Rebecca it is and must be.

 

Pedophile alert!

Travis Foote, you touched me one too many times. And my mother blamed me. The Watchtower will pay and you shall be certain you won’t see the outside of that cell. Enjoy.

Tangled Up in Jews

I’m ready. I’m not a clown, exactly. I’m the last generation.

I’m the joker. Hello thief, it’s time.

Sleep No More with @xtianbovine @dens

Dear Watchtower…

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Matthew Raymund Michael Morris Niblick

Oh! Breathe Not His Name
by Thomas Moore (1779–1852)

OH! breathe not his name,—let it sleep in the shade,
Where cold and unhonored his relics are laid;
Sad, silent, and dark, be the tears that we shed,
As the night-dew that falls on the grass o’er his head.

But the night-dew that falls, though in silence it weeps,
Shall brighten with verdure the grave where he sleeps;
And the tear that we shed, though in secret it rolls,
Shall long keep his memory green in our souls.

Niblick

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Religion

Apostate means to Turn Away from God, not The Watchtower

“‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”

“‘Jehovah’—because of people’s familiarity with it since the 14th century. Moreover, it preserves, equally with other forms, the four letters of the tetragrammaton JHVH.” — The Watchtower defends “shallow scholarship” in response to “Jehovah Not Correct as God’s Name”

YHWH = JHVH ?

If you meet a Jehovah’s Witness they’ll tell you God’s name is Jehovah, and they probably don’t even know that it’s not true.

They probably whole heartedly believe that what they were taught was “the truth” and that it is a life-saving message that they bring to you.

Go easy on them. I know how much it hurts to learn you’ve been lied to all your life.

So, please if you can, help in this campaign:

  • explain how the letter “J” came to be only recently, and
  • how “hovah” is a real word that’s actually in the scriptures, but it doesn’t mean what they have been told that it does:

Disaster [hovah] after disaster [hovah] will comeand there will be rumor after rumorThen they will seek a vision from a prophetbut instruction will perish from the priestsand counsel from the elders.”

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Baxley + Glass

The Baxley & Glass families of Charlotte, North Carolina
have been family friends for generations.

Philip Darryl Glass and Angela Marié Niblick-Baxley Glass

Darryl and Angela

We invite you to sneak a peak at into our social life…

Darryl Glass

Philip Darryl Glass

Darryl “expounds upon Angela’s virtues a little”

“Angela is personable, beautiful, loving, joyful, spiritual-minded, brilliant, playful, serious about important things, sociable, likable, engaging, charming, studious, always thirsting for knowledge, one of the best friends a person can have, and she’s committed to ‘us’.

Angela is a designer in the tech world, I am a consultant in the business tech world. She loves people, family, and culture, like me. She loves to travel and experience other cultures, like me. She’s anxious for the end of this bad system and being a part of God’s new one, like me. She hates all the cruel injustices of this world, like me. She wants to make life a little better for people, like me. She loves the Bible, like me. She believes in the enjoyment of life, like me. She loves the ocean and the beach, like me. She’s also weird and slightly off, like me. All in all, we’re a pretty good fit. 🙂 Good thing since we are becoming “one flesh.'”

Angela on Darryl

“I just asked for the guy version of me.”

David said to Mi?chal: "I will celebrate..."

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My Grandpa, Herbie Schaadt

HERBERT LOWELL SCHAADT, 78, of Fort Wayne, passed away on Thursday, June 13, 2013, at Visiting Nurse Hospice Home.

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Born April 26, 1935, in Willshire, Ohio, Herb was a son of the late Dorothy Fritz & Edward Schaadt.

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On Jan 23, 1957, he married Laura “Katy” (Hilton) Schaadt. He retired from International Harvester and enjoyed being a musician in Audiences Unlimited.

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Herb will be sadly missed by his wife, Katy; daughters, Wanda Rodman of Antwerp, Arlene (Melvin) Baxley of Statesville, N.C. and Audrey Knapp of Sarasota, Fla.; brother, Marvin of Fort Wayne…

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seven grandchildren

  1. Allen Eugene Rodman
  2. Burton Lowell Rodman
  3. Angela Marié Niblick Baxley Glass
  4. Sandra Nicole Knapp
  5. Heather Reneé Niblick Baxley Puckett
  6. Matthew Gabriél Niblick Baxley
  7. Erin Estellé Baxley Hagar

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and 13 great-grandchildren

  1. Luc Andrew Rodman
  2. Nathaniel Marc Rodman
  3. Madelynn Grace Rodman
  4. Hannah Marie Knapp
  5. Tyler Jayce Roberts
  6. Michal l’Lena Rodman
  7. Brittany Leann Hagar
  8. Katie Danielle Hagar
  9. Evan Elijah Rodman
  10. Hailey Estellé Hagar
  11. Mackenzie Leigh Puckett
  12. Hannah Nicole Hagar
  13. Jackson David Puckett
  14. (Addison Rae Knapp)
  15. (Charlotte Avery Baxley)

Uncle Randy and Grandpa

He was also preceded in death by his son, Randy; and brothers, Richard and Raymond.

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See “You Died“, originally published on Medium, and the threeriversband.com

And Grandma rocks my beats

Grandpa Schaadt and Gidget the Clown, his grand daughter

Service is 2 p.m. Monday, June 17, 2013, with viewing two hours prior to the service, at Dooley Funeral Home, 202 W. River St., Antwerp, Ohio. He will be laid to rest at Maumee Cemetery. Memorials to Hospice Home.

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Condolences and fond memories may be shared at www.dooleyfuneralhome.com.

Published in Fort Wayne Newspapers on June 15, 2013

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Ancestry, Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Music

Closed Head Injury

Letter to a Friend

I graduated to a larger keyboard in procrastination.

I went back to do the dishes and thought to myself, ‘this isn’t the life I want’. Did I tell you? I had even tried to convince myself that I just had to get things all in order so that everything in life would be ‘ready’. See how that worked out? Needless to say these hands have yet to hit dishwater. So much for Southern.

But is there really anything wrong with that?

If someone would give me just one cup, plate, bowl, spoon, fork, mug and what else do I need?

I’ll tell you what, just a really cool place to put them!

I need to figure out how to be happy, or this is going to suddenly feel like a very long life, I get the feeling, from here on out…

Today is the day that my daddy died, 30 years ago today, or some time within 12 hours or so either way, because I can never quite remember if the accident happened the night before, or if it was already considered the next day, and when it was that he died, or rather, how long it took him to die. And since I move so damn often, the paper which answers this question every year when I inevitably go searching for it to determine once again, for another year, just it was ‘when’ that ‘what’ happened, is buried in boxes which are worn and disheveled from the packing, repacking, and moving again, again, and again.

Any way, I’m listening to Yo-Yo Ma do Johan Sebastian Bach while considering doing my dishes, or just throwing out all my clothes, …or just moving to a life I’d prefer to be living?

It wouldn’t take a psychiatrist to be able to tell you that if I could have anyone with me here tonight to have a glass of single girl microwaved a few seconds to knock the chill off red refrigerated wine it would be my dad. No, not the one who called yesterday to make sure that I was okay, I think because he knows even if only from the signs from my mother’s odder than usual behavior triggered by it nearing that day again… No, I mean my father, the one who gave me life. He was an artist and a lover, a singer and a movie maker, although I have to tell you his song in the band is pretty much dreadful.

Here’s Dog Sweat, by Matthew Raymond Morris Michael Niblick. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, you’ll want to cover your ears. But to me, it’s music. That’s my daddy’s voice. When I heard this ‘song’ this past year, it was the first I’d heard my daddy’s voice, since he died thirty years ago. Still, Dad! What were you thinking?!

My Daddy, the artist Matthew Raymond Morris Michael Niblick (movie footage 1979-1983) from Angela Baxley on Vimeo.

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Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget

Daddy and Father Al

Years ago my aunt, the nun, apparently worked in the same parish as Father Alfred Kunz, a rebel Roman Catholic priest who performed exorcisms. They became friends, and like all friends of the Niblick’s at some point he was at the house with the family. Father Al admired my father’s art and invited Matthew out to work on his church in Dane, Wisconsin. What artist would deny the Church as a patron, not even Da Vinci?

Just a few years later, my father dies in a tragic accident in the lonely hours of that pre-light March morning.

Nobody foresaw it on that cold, gray March morning, but the aftermath of Kunz’s death would get strange, and then even stranger. There would be stories of exorcism referrals, a satanic assassination and, eventually, innuendos of sexual impropriety by Kunz, who was known at St. Michael simply as “Father Al.”

Later, there would even be allegations that his murder could somehow be linked to evil in the most unthinkable of places: the vast Catholic hierarchy that Kunz was tied to as a diocesan priest. Some even blame the Vatican in Rome.

In the absence of an arrest, the Kunz case also has developed into a religious Rorschach for many — certainly among those close to the case who consider themselves traditionalists within the troubled Roman Catholic Church, which all but invented the Easter holiday as Western civilization knows it today.

Fifteen years later—March 4, MCMXCVIII—fifteen years ago today, Father Al was found murdered.

“Fifteen years later, someone could still be haunted…

The all-consuming rage at the cockeyed old priest; the uncontainable hatred, day after freezing winter day. The wee-hours confrontation in a dim school hallway outside the priest’s office, where he’d slept like a castaway for the past 31 years.

The attack, the frantic struggle: It all ended in a heartbeat, when the killer plunged a razor-sharp blade into Father Alfred Kunz’s neck, slicing the major artery below his jaw.

And then came all the blood — warm, slippery torrents of it, coating the painted cinderblock walls and the worn, gritty floor tiles. Almost instantly, Kunz fainted into a lifeless heap, his white T-shirt and black slacks soaked from the gaping wound. According to emergency room medical experts, he would have lived for about another minute, probably in a deep, dreamlike haze.

Asperges me domine… Thou shalt sprinkle me, O Lord…

… et mundabo. …and I shall be cleansed.”

Pedophilic Satanism in the bed of Roman Catholicism—the Vatican, otherwise known as the house of Babylon the Great—exorcisms, animal sacrifice, Luciferians; it’s a terrifyingly truthful tale entitled “The Devil and Father Kunz: An Easter tale about murder, the Catholic Church and the strange paths of good and evil“.

Kunz had also traveled to Rome and met Pope John Paul II as the pontiff prayed alone one morning at a secluded Vatican chapel.

One of Kunz’s closest associates was best-selling novelist Malachi Martin, a one-time Vatican insider under Pope John XXIII, who convened Vatican II. Martin would later leave the Vatican circle and become an exorcist, as well as the author of six religious novels, one of which, “Windswept House,” was compared to “Dr. Zhivago” by the Washington Post in 1996…

“What Luciferians resent is interference with someone they regard as theirs,” Martin told me in that interview, adding that his friend believed his life was in danger in the weeks before his death. “We are all convinced beyond anything that Father Kunz was killed in hatred of the faith as punishment — and as an example for the rest of us.”

Martin also repeated his belief that the aftermath of Vatican II was nothing less than a coup by Satanic forces – that, he said, was why he eventually broke with the church’s new mainstream after Vatican II. Martin wrote about the alleged dark influence often in his novels. In “Windswept House,” for instance, he described a satanic animal sacrifice linked by telephone to the Vatican’s Chapel of St. Paul – and the account does bear eerie similarities to a calf mutilation that occurred near Dane almost exactly 24 hours before Kunz was last seen alive.

It’s been thirty years later now, and I wonder more than ever of the short days of my father on this earth. I find 33 a little young to feel so world weary, just look at all my father got in by 23.

I had wondered about whether or not my dad had ever made it to San Francisco the year he hitch hiked across the United States to California for his summer vacation when he was 15. As I realize that he escaped from a Moonie camp, whose home base was in Boonville north of San Francisco out past wine country, it dawns on me, of course he did.

And maybe one day I’ll make it out to Father Al’s church in Dane, Wisconsin, to see my father’s art, though I doubt it… I imagine it would be hard to concentrate with the image of the slain Father Al, hanging before me, throat cut from ear-to-ear, beheaded and bled.

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Ancestry, Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Religion

We fly away…

I am emotional. I feel betrayed. I was raised in faith that the Watchtower was God’s organization. I believed that my mom and dad knew the answers that one day I’d come to learn. I just felt slow and stupid and that eventually I’d get it. I trusted. I had faith. I believed. I knew my parents were smarter than me. I had read it in the poem that hang on his bedroom wall.

I now learn that while they can’t answer me from the scriptures when will my father live again they will deny the scriptures as they are written as truth.

“And the rest of the dead do not come to life until the end of the thousand years.” — Revelation 20:5

Despite that verse, and the one which precedes it which clearly defines who will partake in the first resurrection (which is immediately followed by this verse—”And the rest of the dead do not come to life until the end of the thousand years.”) she’d say that “apparently” my father, and all other loved ones, such as my uncles and my best friend, will come to life again during the thousand year reign.

“But who will they rule over?”, she asked. Continue reading

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Religion,

this block of wood

Life is infinitely stranger than anything the mind could invent.
— Sir Aurthur Conan Doyle

I couldn’t invent the story of my life if I tried, it’s hard enough figuring out how to write it. Life has been non-stop and I just can’t seem to figure out how I’d ever explain it all — I imagine with the tools now I can basically rig up a wedding photo montage with music introducing the couple style experience if I could just compile all the images (curate them) and add the details like the music, atmospheric settings, etc, and if technology could only get as good as the ideal—it being fully recorded for full sensorial experience upon playback, upon editing.

Unlikely adventures require unlikely tools.” — Mr. Magorium

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Randy Lowell Schaadt 1957-2012

Grandpa, Me, and Uncle Randy

Randy Lowell Schaadt, 55, of Fort Wayne, passed away Friday, September 21, 2012 at his sister’s residence in Antwerp, Ohio.

Uncle Randy: Family Photos

Randy, known by his three sisters as “Bubby“, asks that you watch his collection of family photos (on Flickr, above) with the accompanying track “GOODBYE” (below, on SoundCloud) as a slideshowAngela suggests playing the video (further below, on YouTube) on low volume over the soundtrack as you watch the slideshow, too.

Randy was born in Van Wert, Ohio on August 31, 1957, the son of Laura “Katy” (Hilton) and Herbert Schaadt of Fort Wayne.

Uncle Randy

The last song the family, the Three Rivers band, played together—Angie, Katie, Herbie, and Randy—was the Animals “House of the Rising Sun“.

He will be sadly missed by his parents and sisters, Wanda Rodman of Antwerp, Arlene (Melvin) Baxley of Statesville, NC & Audrey Knapp of Hobe Sound, Florida.

Schaadt's in Hell

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Culture

A California Teenager Goes Undercover to Investigate Life Among the Moonies

By 1977, with a fledgling community of committed and dedicated people, and with a sound teaching that inspired us to live our ideals, the Unification movement in California had grown rapidly. Our first challenge was to become ourselves a model of what we wanted the world to become. The love-ethic presented in the Divine Principle demanded a life of prayer, study, and service to others. We sought within our community to be caring, creative, and loving people, and upon this foundation to work actively for the sake of God and humanity.

We called ourselves “The Creative Community Project” and used a former fraternity house on Hearst Street as a place to teach the Divine Principle at luncheon and dinner programs. We were inspired by an ideal and wanted above all to communicate that ideal to those around us who, so it seemed, had very little commitment to anything other than self-interest.

Most people we encountered had only the foggiest sense of ethics, so we felt great meaning in sharing with them, through our dinner discussions and lectures, the significance of our own ethical ideals. Those who were serious and wanted to pursue those ideals further were invited to workshops at Boonville and, later, to other country retreats. — To Bigotry, No Sanction: Reverend Sun Myung Moon and the Unification Church by Dr. Mose Durst

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay area, Scott Keeler, 18, knew what every other teenager knew. As one of his classmates put it, “There’s this place you can go if you’re fighting with your parents. They’ll take care of you.”

But unlike most of the others, Keeler also knew that the “place,” Creative Community Project, was owned and run by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon‘s Unification Church. As student body president at Alameda, Calif. High School and reporter for his school paper, Oak Leaf, Keeler decided last spring to go underground and investigate the Moonies.

Using the alias Dirk Schwerte, he quickly discovered that Moonie recruiters were on the lookout for unattached teenagers.

“All anyone has to do,” he says, “is put on his backpack and walk down to Fisherman’s Wharf.” Though no mention was made of Reverend Moon or his church, Keeler was invited to the Moonies’ San Francisco headquarters. Here is his account of his bizarre experiences:

Creative Community Project is a large white Victorian house on Washington Street. I felt my stomach in my throat as I jabbed the doorbell. Before I could ring again, the door swung open. “Come on and join our circle,” said a young man with a fixed smile. He offered his hand. I cautiously took it and sat down. He squeezed my hand, smiling and staring at me.

Later a low-protein, vegetarian dinner of rice and broccoli was served. I noticed that all the first-time visitors had acquired a new Moonie friend hanging close by their side. “Come on, let’s go over and pull up some rug,” said a young man, putting his arm around me and beaming. His name was Bob. I noticed he didn’t have any food.

“Aren’t you eating?” I asked.

“No, I’m fasting this week. It’s spiritual fasting. Some of the people in our community do it.”

An hour and a half later Bob was still sitting beside me and holding my hand. We were being lectured by a Moonie leader named Sherri Sagar when there was a loud crash at the front door. A man was shouting “Jeannie!” and trying to force his way in. Suddenly at least 25 Moonie reinforcements flooded the entry, trying to push him back out. “Where is Jeannie?” he shouted. “Jeannie! Jeannie!”

“There’s no Jeannie here,” insisted one of the Moonies. “You’ll have to leave.”

“What do you mean?” shouted the man, clinging to the door molding. “She came here last week, you bastards! What have you done with her?”

The Moonies kept pushing, peeling his fingers from the door, and finally shoved him outside. We could hear him shouting after the door was closed and locked.

“What was that about?” I asked Bob.

“Just somebody being negative,” he said. “People attack us because they don’t understand what we’re doing.”

At the end of the evening everyone clasped hands and formed a circle. “Okay!” said Sherri Sagar. “I hope you all liked what you saw tonight and will come up to our farm. We have cars leaving tonight. But before everybody goes, we’re going to do a mass Choo-Choo!” The newcomers shrugged and exchanged glances. “Got it?” she shouted. “It’s easy! Just shake your partner’s hand until we’re through. Ready? One, two, three—Choo-choo-choo! Choo-choo-choo! Choo-choo-choo! Yea, yea, pow!” We newcomers began to laugh, but the Moonies just smiled. “What’s the matter?” they asked.

The Dodge van was packed with 15 people heading north to the Moonies’ farm at Boonville, Calif. The lecture about the farm had sounded appealing—being out in the country, by a cool creek, with people you liked. Sitting beside me was a Moonie named Joanna. She was 20, already married and divorced. “I’m so inspired now that I’m in the Family, I never want to leave,” she said. “There’s so much meaning here.”

No one had mentioned Moon or the Unification Church yet. I decided to take a chance. “How long have you been in the church?” I asked. Joanna’s eyes became distant. For a moment I thought she wasn’t going to answer. “How did you know about the church?” she asked finally. “Most people don’t know this early.”

I told her my cover story, and she seemed satisfied. “Well,” she said, smiling again in the darkness, “it’s good that you’re so open. Most people don’t understand and say bad things about us and the Principle.”

“What’s the Principle?” I asked.

“Well, it’s…” Then she stopped. A man on the other side of the van was looking at her with intense disapproval. “You’ll get that in the lectures,” she said finally. The stranger smiled and nodded. I nodded back.

“How are you feeling, Family?” shouted David, our leader, the next morning. “Great!” everyone yelled.

“Is everyone ready to have the best weekend of your life?”

“Yes!”

Dr. Jack was our exercise leader. “Now let’s do 25 regular jumping-jacks and 10 free-style.” We began bobbing up and down in count with Dr. Jack. I started wondering whether I was 8 or 18. After exercises we were separated into new groups, each recruit accompanied by a Moonie. Eight of us sat on the grass in a tight little circle with blankets and songbooks.

“Okay,” said Dr. John, our group leader, supposedly an M.D. from New Zealand. “Let’s start off this fantastic day by giving your name and sharing a little bit about you.”

When my turn came I talked about Dirk Schwerte, but emotionally I was telling about Scott Keeler (“My mom and dad are divorced. I keep mostly to myself. A lot of people call me a sissy because I don’t play sports…”). “That was really fantastic,” said Dr. John at the end of the sharing. “It shows how open you can be up here in the fresh air.” He laughed as we all clasped hands, and we laughed too. I was beginning to feel so warm and comfortable I wondered why I had ever suspected there was anything wrong with these people. I felt intensely guilty about deceiving them.

The first lecture was a 70-minute presentation of ambiguous references to God, cosmic principles and spirituality. Oriental symbols were put on a blackboard but never explained. After the lecture broke up, we went back to our groups. “Does anyone have any questions?” asked Dr. John. I raised my hand. The other recruits still did not know these people were connected with Reverend Moon and his church. I wondered what would happen if I mentioned it. “You know in the lecture when you talked about God being everywhere?” I began. “Well, is that what the church believes?”

Dr. John dropped his smile. The other Moonies stared at me. A fellow recruit named Paul looked bewildered. “What church?” he asked. No one answered. My eyes locked with Dr. John’s for what seemed a long, uneasy time. “That’s a good question, Dirk,” he said slowly. “Who can answer that?” His eyes never left mine.

“Ah, yeah,” Bob began uncertainly. He talked and talked and didn’t tell us anything.

It was time for volleyball. “Everybody hug in close,” commanded Dr. John. “We’ve got to be positive and chant so loud every second that we’ll love-bomb ’em right out of the game!”

“Yeah, yeah! Great! Yeah!” Every Moonie in our huddle was screaming. I forced a smile and chanted along with everyone else: “Win with love! Win with love!”

“Follow the game!” shouted Dr. John. “Keep your eyes on the ball!” It got easier and easier to chant as I followed the ball with my eyes. I began to lose track of the words I was repeating over and over. I felt I could do anything. A smile spread across my face as I heard our voices echoing off the surrounding hills. Suddenly I fell, and it took me several moments to realize I was on the ground. A Moonie was standing over me. My breath had been knocked out, but I went on chanting “Win with love” in a whisper. I couldn’t stop and it scared me. “Are you okay?” he asked. I picked myself up and checked my watch. We had been playing for more than an hour and had finished two games I couldn’t even remember.

The next evening I walked to the van to return to San Francisco. I said I was sorry I had to go, and I was. “Where am I ever going to get love like this on the outside?” I thought to myself. I was almost crying, and I went up and hugged Dr. John.

“Look, Dirk,” he began slowly, “can’t you just call your mom and tell her you’ll be home in a couple of days? You can call her right now.”

“Sure, just call her now,” said Bob. “You like it up here, don’t you?”

“Well, yes, but…”

“Good,” said Dr. John, “because you can go up to Camp K with us tonight. I’ll drive you myself. Why don’t you tell your mom now?” Stepping forward, they closed in on me in a way I didn’t like, and I took a step backward.

“Hey,” I said finally. “I told you, I have to go. I’ll be back when everything’s straightened out, okay?”

A few days later I did go to Camp K, a converted Girl Scout camp in the Napa Valley where the Moonies continue their indoctrination. Before I went there, I spoke with several authorities on the Unification Church. They warned me that the Moonies were trying to isolate me from the outside world and to keep me from critically examining what they were saying. “If you’re good,” one of them warned me, “they smile and love-bomb you. But if you argue, then they descend on you.” Later one of the Moonies told me the church teaches that you don’t have any responsibility to your friends or family; your only duty is to Moon.

Unification Church members are smiling all of the time, even at four in the morning. The man who is full of love must live that way. When you go out witnessing you can caress the wall and say that it can expect you to witness well and be smiling when you return. What face could better represent love than a smiling face? This is why we talk about love bomb; Moonies have that kind of happy problem.

By the time I got to Camp K, I was beginning to understand some of the things I guess I hadn’t wanted to see before. At Boonville I had become close with a girl named Maureen. At Camp K they deliberately split us up. That’s when I realized they were playing with people’s lives. Any one-to-one sexual activity is absolutely forbidden. Couples are selected for marriage by church officials, often before they get to know each other. After I left, I seriously thought about kidnapping Maureen and having her deprogrammed. It took me about two months to reach her. I told her who I really was, and she got very defensive. She said, “I’m not leaving here. I’m better off here than on the road.” I knew I had to let her go.

In all, I spent three days at Camp K. Then I went back to Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco to continue researching my article and to photograph Moonie recruiters. While I was there I ran into Dr. Jack and another recruiter who knew me. They demanded to know who I was and what I was doing. I told them.

“Give me your film,” Dr. Jack demanded quietly, moving close.

I told him I wouldn’t.

“Give me the film,” he insisted.

“No,” I said, trying to hold my ground.

“Give it to me,” he droned. “Give me the film.”

I grabbed my camera, wrapping the strap around my arm and gripping the lens barrel. I almost gave in from fear, but then I exploded.

“No!” I yelled. “Forget it! I’m not going to give you the film!” People in the park turned and looked at me.

“Scott Keeler?” asked Dr. Jack. “Alameda?”

“Yeah,” I said.

“We’ll be in touch.”

My Daddy escaped the Moonies camp with a new friend in tow. They met again at the NIblick’s Hessen Cassel.

Works Cited

A California Teenager Goes Undercover to Investigate Life Among the Moonies.” : People.com. N.p., 24 July 1978. Web. 04 Mar. 2013.

Heartbreak and Rage: Ten Years Under Sun Myung Moon: a Cult Survivor’s Memoir” Neufeld, K G. College Station, TX: Virtualbookworm.com, 2002. Print.

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In memory of adorable Jamie Glass

When I was younger, my family was good friends with the Glass family. I’ll never forget when Darryl came back from Peru with his beautiful Angela.

Her name, like mine, was Angela Marie/a—except in Peru the girls were all named Maria and then a different middle name, so technically she was Maria Angela, and referred to as Angela: I adored her.

Darryl and Angela married, and had Adrian and Jamie.

Jamie died in a very tragic family accident at three and a half years old.

“The most unnatural death is that of a child before the parent.”

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Ancestry, Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget

Send in the Clowns. Roger Dale Niblick, 1928-2011

Listen to He Walks With Me (In The Garden) “Song for Grandpa” by Tina and Herbie Niblick

My grandpa, Roger Dale Niblick, was Roscoe the Clown in the style of Emmett Kelly, and had also stepped into Ronald McDonald’s clown shoes.

Niblick Family of Hessen Cassel, Fort Wayne, IndianaHe and my grandma Madonna conjured up fifteen kids to fill up an old large white house on Hessen Cassel in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to go to school with the Niblick kids. My momma has a clue, rumor has it that it was not just one, but at least two of the Niblick boys that she’d dated.

You’ll note that there are just three girls, and twelve strapping handsome boys—my daddy is the long haired one, cross-legged, front and center, Matthew Raymund Morris Michael Niblick.

Roger Dale Niblick (1928-2011), as Roscoe the ClownIn 1983 when my daddy died, I remember my momma “getting sad” from a song on the television. It was Judy Collins on the Muppet Show, Send in the Clowns (video below).

Until now, it had never occurred to me whether or not any of her sadness came from the fact that his daddy was a clown,… and how it must feel for a parent to lose their child. Isn’t enough that she was just 21, widowed with two children, and pregnant with her third?

Sometimes life just isn’t fair.

I had wanted to talk to my Grandpa Niblick about his time in Nicaragua. A little bit after my grandma died a few years ago he up and moved to Nicaragua.

It wasn’t entirely shocking as my Aunt Tina had been in Barbados for what seems like forever. She, known in her work as Sister La’el, tells me, “he clowned for MANY years, even while in Nicaragua. During the service years he was also in Africa and Greenland.”

I think it’s only appropriate, twenty eight years later, to play Send in the Clowns.

This time, it’s for my grandpa, who was always the only clown that mattered in my life.

 

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Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget

The House of Glass

  1. ‘wow, I haven’t seen you since you were, like, a teenager!’ — Darryl messaged Angela

    First Facebook message July 12, 2011 7:05pm

  2. Ang just thought she saw your Angela.” — Mom responds to Darryl

    Momma responded July 20, 2011 5:13am

  3. It’s Angela (Baxley). Saw your post. Reposted. Thinking of you. Going to my grandfather’s funeral today. On Facebook you’ll see photos of me as a clown.

    Via SMS; Accepted Facebook Friend Request: August 8, 2011 6:29am.

I saw her first.

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Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Neuroscience, Technology, Writing

Creative Tools Specification

Stephen Jenvey, as per my style I am listening to waves crash to some

[thesaurus: words for beautiful sounds; retrieve:images, music; sort: color, timbre; todo:look for a better word here. i’m trying to capture how magical it is to be able to think freely and design the future because you can see clearly, now the rain is gone.]

does that designer language speak to your interface?

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Lost, Please Find.

It started with opening facebook to a post Patrick Terry had just put up:

“That’s all I wanted, something special,
Something sacred in your eyes,
For just one moment, to be bold and naked
At your side”

Daddy and Me

I wondered for a moment at who wrote it as I gestured over the comment notifications, coming to one from a name I know from my oldest memories, Rosalee.

Rosalee Matt was a great artist, he had his Lincoln Life uniform on. I hope Arlene saved some of his work, it was amazing.

Angela Baxley Hey Rosalee—unfortunately I don’t think we have anything left of his. It seems each piece one by one met by some untimely demise along the way. I’m most heart broken over the one he painted specifically for me. If you do come across anything of his, including reproductions, Heather and I would love to collect whatever we can.

Daddy's Tired

Pam That’s you, Heather—in his expression!

Lisa Is that the hat that they gave your brother in December? The one of your Dad’s!

Heather You know—I don’t know. I’ll hafta ask Momma. That would make it that much more special!

Lisa Yes it would.

Heather It certainly does look like it!

Lisa That’s what I thought. I think it was Wonda was tagged, ended up being your pics. So I was checking them out again. But it’s time since your trip home. When I looked at this one I was like OMG I think that is the hat!

Angela Wow. That makes me so happy. I’ve always hated Matthew hasn’t had anything of his. It seems so unfair they never met—they look just alike. It’s so hard to see my father stuck at the same age as my brother. We’ve all grown older than he has now.

If you have any artwork by the artist Matthew Raymond Niblick (1958-1983), this is my father. Please contact me via spunkygidget@facebook.com.

Momma and Daddy

Update 4.9.2013

This morning via Twitter I was alerted to the Facebook “Other” inbox—others also being made aware that there might be messages missed… I went to check and there was a message from a nun in Wisconsin responding to this post. She had written in February:

A friend of mine is doing research on the paintings in the back of St. Michael Church, in Dane, Wis… I know that these were painted by Matthew Niblik as they are signed..

He painted these pictures when our church was new…1975. One of St. Michael sending Lucifer to hell, one of Our Lady of Guadalupe and one of our school and church.

I remember he had a sister who is a sister of St. Agnes…Sister Lael.

Not sure if this helps you.

longtime teacher at St. Michael…now Blessed Trinity School.

I’m hoping to they’ll be able to send digital photos — so exciting to really get to see artwork of his we’ve never seen!

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Dad

I’ve been told that I was Daddy’s girl. I’m not quite sure if that means he adored me, or that I preferred him over my mother—the concept is difficult knowing how critical my relationship with my mother is to me, but then again, perhaps that’s because the first best friend I lost was actually my father?

I took my love, I took it down
I climbed a mountain and I turned around

After he died, I was taught that one day, I could see him again in a resurrection in a paradise earth where we could live forever, together. As long as I made it there myself.

And I saw my reflection in the snow-covered hills
‘Til the landslide brought me down

Today was a special day for me, one of reconnection. I experienced my nervous system exploding where it felt like my nerves were crawling, struggling against the skin on my face for release from capitivty in my body.

Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love?

I wasn’t raised to believe that he’s in heaven, looking down on me. My mother sat me on the back stoop on Reid Street and explained how he was no longer, and that he would go back to the earth—crumbling a leaf in her hand demonstrating how life deteriorates, ashes, dust. It was March, in Indiana.

Can the child within my heart rise above?

I’ve struggled—”would he be proud of me?”—my whole life to live.

Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?

I have. I will. I am.

Can I handle the seasons of my life?

He would be proud of me.

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you

I don’t know how to breath, and I don’t know how to feel emotion—my nerves are deadened, a life lived in conflict.

But time makes you bolder

I guess today was the day I came to terms with my life.

Even children get older

My sisters had babies, and they are growing up without me.

And I’m getting older, too

And so is my mother.

Oh, take my love, take it down
Oh, climb a mountain and turn around

I wonder if my mother will hold true to this torture our whole lives.

And if you see my reflection in the snow-covered hills
Well, the landslide will bring it down

I had my father for 42 months, and the days of my birth and his death.

And if you see my reflection in the snow-covered hills…
Well, the landslide will bring it down

I wish I could know my mother.

Oh, the landslide’ll bring it down.

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Angie & Brad Benson

Just thoughts…

It’s eleven o’clock, and I’m just thinking. I just watched a movie which in the end showed what true friendship is about. (Brokedown Palace) I can’t help but think about my friends, or the one’s I had. Life is so different now. So far from what it used to be. According to the rules I grew up by, I don’t deserve my friends, and I’ll never talk to them again, according to the way I live.

My parents don’t believe I’ll ever “make it back”. I guess I’ve just proved them right. The life I used to know is just gone. I don’t remember it. I don’t remember how it feels. I’m crying now. I guess because I know what it feels like to admit to it.

Driving home the other night I thought about how alone in this world I am. I put the one person I feel a connection with on a plane, and realized that was the one person. Funny thing is I can’t say that I’m lonely necessarily. I’m just here. I’m just living. I do what I have to do, day by day. Live how life is there to be lived. I find enough to wake up to the next morning.

It’s weird – Not remembering. Not being able to touch the past. I can’t long for it. I can’t look back and reminisce. It’s just gone. If anyone out there is listening, don’t be hurt. It’s like my dad. I miss him so dearly, although I never knew him.

Looking back, I can’t help but wonder what choices I could have made that would have so drastically altered my life. what if my dad had never died? What if I had never made the mistakes I did with my “first love”? What if I had never met or married Brad? What if I had never given up?

Maybe I don’t stop to cry because I refuse to believe the story I have to tell. How could I have ever had this happen, all the things in my life? What did I do to ever deserve this?

I was captured in a moment today when I heard “Still the One” on the radio. That was supposed to be Brad’s and my song, in a silly backwards way. What do I even say to that? What do I say to the past four years of my life? What do I say to sitting around and taking it, until my spirit and heart was crushed? Why did I ever believe I should be so strong? Why didn’t I give up in the right place?

I don’t wish for anything – I don’t have a vision in my head of the way I wish things were. I’m here, and I’m fine. I’m alive and that’s enough. I just have a story to tell that I wouldn’t even believe myself.

So how freely to I vent my soul to the world? To those who don’t know me, or the ones who know the most? Do I tell you all the stories, and hope that no one is listening? Do I find strength in coming to terms with the sadness some turn their eyes from?

So many do not feel it is their place to know what goes on inside a marriage. What went on is my only solace for where I am. With that here’s my words, a story from a night – July 29, 1999. Continue reading

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