I tried dating a mermaid; she buys pot from the first mate

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Nova Siecle

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May 19, 2003, 8:33:03 PM5/19/03
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There was a day last week when I thought, 'gee, I like my job.' The
sensations I experienced the other four days, however, completely
overshadow this anomaly. C is determined to quit her bar job come
October, and given that the owners are good acquaintances who live
right down the street from me ... I think being a legal drug dealer
would be fun (at least as it compares to being a corporate drone), but
two different friends have informed me that I don't like people enough
to make a good bartender. They may have a point.

After several months of 9-5, my boy is back to the world of
restaurants. At first, gut wrenching depression set in as I once
again found myself sans dinner companion and conversationalist each
evening. Or maybe it was just my menstrual cycle. In any event, that
particular angst has passed, and I'm back to relishing the freedom
that comes with rattling around the house alone. There is also the
not-so-side benefit of immensely enjoying the nights when he is
around. One night last week we got accidentally hammered and did
handstands and yoga positions in the living room, talked for hours,
and then proceeded to have a song vs. song music war. The worst he
can put me through is Imperial Teen, the Surf Punks and Teenage
Fanclub (two of which I secretly enjoy), whereas I can send him
screaming from the house with my old G&R. Hell, he begged for mercy
before I even broke out the Megadeath and Limp Bizkit. I'm sure the
neighbours were pleased.

I grow increasingly afraid of answering my phone at work. Mother has
taken to calling me here. She has religious angst and for some reason
feels I am the best sounding board. It's nice that we're best friends
and all, but church is just not my area of expertise. Yesterday I
pointed out that since I do not actually believe in 'the big guy', I
am not the best person for this dialogue, but she glossed right over
that shit, mostly because she thinks that deep down I do believe.
Then she left a message saying she had some 'prophetic poetry' on
which she wanted my feedback. I foolishly assumed she meant editorial
feedback because of my job and so said I would be more than happy to
look at her work. As it turns out, she wants to read the stuff to me
over the phone and get emotional feedback. This is soooo not a good
idea.

I grow increasingly afraid of looking at myself in the mirror. It is
too trite to be developing body image issues just because I am over
30. I should be-want to be-could be a stronger woman and persevere
over the notion that the Photoshop'd perfection bombarding me on a
daily basis is actually attainable or desirable. I should be-want to
be-could be a strong enough human being not to allow myself to be
bombarded with the shit in the first place. Kill your television and
cancel that subscription to Vogue. Ok, I do not have a subscription to
Vogue. But still. I am strong enough some of the time. Maybe that
is enough. Maybe it will have to be.

I grow increasingly afraid of the way I log time in life, living not
for the joy of each day and each experience, but for its end. Another
week gone, another odious task completed, another unpleasant goal
achieved. This is not the way humans should live. It is not the way
animals live. R contends that humanity's downhill slide is directly
related to capitalism, but I say it far predates that and has more to
do with the ridiculous notion that we are more than mere creatures.

I grow increasingly afraid of never having another girlfriend. This
fear is complicated by the fact that I sortof just met someone who
might possibly make a good girlfriend.

Maybe I would be less afraid of all these things if I got in touch
with my own spirituality. Would becoming adept at Voodoo and Tarot
and Wicca help? I get this notion every couple of years, and maybe
some day I will walk the four blocks to my local occult store and sign
up for a class or a club or whatnot. I also recently had the wacky
notion of teaching myself math. You know, going to get a high school
algebra textbook, re-learning all the shit I've long since forgotten
and then moving on to the stuff I avoided entirely. Maybe math can
save me.

I should shut the fsck up. We went to see the Camper/Cracker show
last week and it was so beautiful that I actually got teary at one
point, and I felt young and alive and beautiful. That I can still
take joy from something as basic as three hours of booming sound
should probably be enough.

Mica

bob

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May 19, 2003, 9:10:40 PM5/19/03
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On 19 May 2003 17:33:03 -0700, novas...@hotmail.com (Nova Siecle)
wrote:

> Would becoming adept at Voodoo and Tarot
>and Wicca help?

You could join one the yahoo groups I belong to! Not sure why I'm
subscribed but I sent this neat spell to my wife earlier today:

Basil Spell for Business Success -

You will need:
flower pot
basil seeds
soil
water
9 pennies

Fill the pot half full of soil. Using a clockwise motion, form a
circle with the pennies, placing them one at a time on top of the
soil. As you place each penny, say:

Money grow and join in force,
Bring new riches from this source.

Cover the pennies with soil until the pot is full. Plant nine basil
seeds, chanting with each one:

Basil seed, as you grow and sprout.
My business shall prosper within and without.

Water the seeds well, and place the pot in the room where most cash
transactions occur. Wrap your hands around the pot and say:

Copper, earth, and seeds, I now enchant
I transform you into a money plant.
Grow lush, bring cash, bring success to me.
As I will so mote it be!

As the plant grows, so will your business.

m.

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May 19, 2003, 10:30:35 PM5/19/03
to

"Nova Siecle" <novas...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:fe4c6b70.03051...@posting.google.com...

>>
> I should shut the fsck up. We went to see the Camper/Cracker show
> last week and it was so beautiful that I actually got teary at one
> point, and I felt young and alive and beautiful. That I can still
> take joy from something as basic as three hours of booming sound
> should probably be enough.

i thought i was the only person in the world that (still) liked them.

favorite writing music.


pinkorangered

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May 20, 2003, 2:00:43 AM5/20/03
to
In article <fe4c6b70.03051...@posting.google.com>,
novas...@hotmail.com raved...

>I think being a legal drug dealer
>would be fun (at least as it compares to being a corporate drone), but
>two different friends have informed me that I don't like people enough
>to make a good bartender. They may have a point.

Have you ever met anybody who enjoyed being in hospitality? It stands next to
dentistry on my list of 'why?' vocations.

>After several months of 9-5, my boy is back to the world of
>restaurants.

Oh ok. Well anybody ELSE?

>I grow increasingly afraid of looking at myself in the mirror. It is
>too trite to be developing body image issues just because I am over
>30.

When you are 40 you'll be prepared to trade your Eminem pyjamas to look like
you do now. My mirror aversion has become pathological. A few months back I
decided to do some shock ugly therapy - a thorough critical analysis of my
decayed reflection. Try it. I won't tell you how it feels, that'd spoil your
fun.

And yet r tells me I'm hot, but I guess that's what girlfs are for.


>I grow increasingly afraid of the way I log time in life,

My days are marked by reaching for the floss, for some reason. The weeks are
logged by bin night which seems to come ever more frequently. *thwack* there
goes another week, *thwack* didn't I just put it out yesterday?

>R contends that humanity's downhill slide is directly
>related to capitalism, but I say it far predates that and has more to
>do with the ridiculous notion that we are more than mere creatures.

Don't forget that capitalsim also gave us longer lives, more leisure time, and
xanax. I think it's a sideband of ageing that we perceive humanity to be
sinking to uncharted depths. It's one of those illusions, like it never seems
to hail any more and they put less flavour on the Savoury Shapes these days.

>I grow increasingly afraid of never having another girlfriend. This
>fear is complicated by the fact that I sortof just met someone who
>might possibly make a good girlfriend.

One of the reasons I liked R in the first place was she had a girlf. It seemed
like a perfect arrangement to me, hot sex without the heart support. Now she
prefers to sit and watch me work than go party with her sapho buddies - you
should see the offers that SMS to her phone, lordy it breaks my heart.

>Maybe I would be less afraid of all these things if I got in touch
>with my own spirituality. Would becoming adept at Voodoo and Tarot
>and Wicca help?

Tony Robins has helped top sportsmen, politicians and business leaders realise
their true potential. All for 6 easy payments of $49.95.


>I should shut the fsck up. We went to see the Camper/Cracker show
>last week and it was so beautiful that I actually got teary at one
>point, and I felt young and alive and beautiful.

Sorry, that was just an illusion. Oh wait, you're just 30. You were right,
shut the fuck up.

bukvich

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May 20, 2003, 8:57:47 AM5/20/03
to
novas...@hotmail.com (Nova Siecle) was grumping about
news:<fe4c6b70.03051...@posting.google.com>...

[ . . . all snippered . . . ]

The answer to your dilemma is . . .

S P R O G S !!!!!!!

snarksnarksnark

Bukvich

['I have the answers']

David O'Lantern

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May 20, 2003, 10:22:29 AM5/20/03
to
On 19 May 2003, Nova Siecle wrote:
[...]

> I grow increasingly afraid of looking at myself in the mirror.

After a while it won't scare you anymore. That's when you'll need
a strong(er) optical prescription.

> It is too trite to be developing body image issues

You've always had those, they were just latent. Trust me on this.


> just because I am over 30.

Yeah, well, I have "body image issues" because I'm fat and ugly.
Being 40 might be easier to take if I weren't.

So, as people like me have no business calling themselves "shy",
those like you . . .

[...]

> I grow increasingly afraid of never having another girlfriend.

I felt like that on and off for many years till I moved in here.
There's no cure for wanting a soulmate like having one. (I'd make
the ambiguity here less implicit if I dared!)

> This fear is complicated by the fact that I sortof just met
> someone who might possibly make a good girlfriend.

"But Bullwinkle, that trick NEVER works."

> Maybe I would be less afraid of all these things if I got in touch
> with my own spirituality.

Has it worked for your mother?


> Would becoming adept at Voodoo and Tarot and Wicca help?

Ask Layo. Or Ilya. Or Chia.


> I get this notion every couple of years, and maybe some day I will
> walk the four blocks to my local occult store and sign up for a
> class or a club or whatnot.

What, you STILL haven't met Layo? After all the effort I went to?


> I also recently had the wacky notion of teaching myself math.

I had that notion too! Starting around when I turned 30!


> You know, going to get a high school algebra textbook, re-learning
> all the shit I've long since forgotten

For me that's start with "percents" and "negative numbers". Algebra?
It'd take me years to get that far.

> and then moving on to the stuff I avoided entirely.

Oh boy, you *are* becoming middle-aged. Welcome to it, I suppose.
That's like welcoming someone to a permanent concussion though.

> Maybe math can save me.

There is no cure for middle age except old age or death.


> I should shut the fsck up.

Novel idea. I mean, come on.


> We went to see the Camper/Cracker show last week

Camper Van Beethoven? They got back together?

> and it was so beautiful that I actually got teary at one point,

Maybe not Camper Van Beethoven then. Unless you were very drunk.


> and I felt young and alive and beautiful.

But you ARE. Compared to me, at least.


> That I can still take joy from something as basic as three hours
> of booming sound should probably be enough.

Yes, it should.

Mica honey, you ain't seen nothing yet.

I still feel like I should have paid more attention to that damn
"you must be THIS tall to ride this ride" sign. Actually, if I'd've
had an inkling of what 40 would be like even at 31 I'd never have
lived long enough to get on the Internet -- let alone meet Layo.

You should meet Layo. She might be *somebody's* soulmate anyway.


Agedly,
The

--
"I really don't understand the situation. But it's no game." - Bowie
(C) `TheDavid^TM' 2003 | David, P.O. Box 21403, Louisville, KY 40221

bukvich

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May 20, 2003, 11:26:12 AM5/20/03
to
em...@tvoid.com (pinkorangered) wrote in message news:<fwjya.43$4n.1...@nasal.pacific.net.au>...

> Tony Robins has helped top sportsmen, politicians and business leaders realise
> their true potential. All for 6 easy payments of $49.95.

That reminds me of something I have been meaning to pass along to you.
In the Yalom textbook on group psychotherapy he has quite a few
paragraphs on est and the forum. His view is that works by placebo
effect and some sort of effort justification fallacy. You spent the
dough and by golly you are going to get something out of it. He also
questions the consistency of their paradigm as keystone of their
method is willpower enhancement and they use cult-willpower
undermining techniques (such as using fatigue and sustenance
deprivation) to get their message across.

Did you ever see the Mother Jones expose on Werner Erhard?

Last I heard he was on the run from the Internal Revenue Service.

Bukvich

[ ' apparently lacked the will power to pay taxes due ' ]

pinkorangered

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May 20, 2003, 11:50:14 AM5/20/03
to
In article <60c15f9c.03052...@posting.google.com>,
buk...@my-deja.com opined thusly:


>That reminds me of something I have been meaning to pass along to you.
>In the Yalom textbook on group psychotherapy he has quite a few
>paragraphs on est and the forum. His view is that works by placebo
>effect and some sort of effort justification fallacy. You spent the
>dough and by golly you are going to get something out of it.

I don't recall that approach being put forward either overtly or subliminally,
and in any case the money becomes the least of your sacrifices after...

>...(such as using fatigue and sustenance


>deprivation) to get their message across.

But it probably accounts for why nobody stood up on the last day and took the
refund offer.

Did I ever post about the Hoffman Quadrinity camp? Now those guys had the
deprivation thing all worked out, and for a whole week. Apparently the last
night is musical bunks, or so my friend says. I only lasted one session and
scarpered. She got her brains shagged out, or at least that's what I assume
happened to them.


Nova Siecle

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May 20, 2003, 12:59:23 PM5/20/03
to
em...@tvoid.com (pinkorangered) wrote in message news:<fwjya.43$4n.1...@nasal.pacific.net.au>...
> Have you ever met anybody who enjoyed being in hospitality? It stands next
> to dentistry on my list of 'why?' vocations.

But, but, I'd get to *drink*. At *work*.

> >After several months of 9-5, my boy is back to the world of
> >restaurants.
>
> Oh ok. Well anybody ELSE?

Oddly enough, as a youth he started out on path to dentistry. A
penchant for pain? Would explain why he married me.

> >Maybe I would be less afraid of all these things if I got in touch
> >with my own spirituality. Would becoming adept at Voodoo and Tarot
> >and Wicca help?
>
> Tony Robins has helped top sportsmen, politicians and business leaders
> realise their true potential. All for 6 easy payments of $49.95.

Years ago I was offered a temp job working for his San Diego op. I'd
never heard of him prior to that, but once the agency explained the
gist of the office demeanor, I turned it down flat. C went to one of
his 4 day seminars recently and from that sprung the decision to quit
her bar job. Have you been tapping my phone?

> Sorry, that was just an illusion. Oh wait, you're just 30. You were right,
> shut the fuck up.

I am not just 30. I am thirty *two*, which makes all the difference.
You old curmudgeon you. So, will you brighten my day with pix of R
(your R, not mine)?

Mica

Nova Siecle

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May 20, 2003, 1:03:17 PM5/20/03
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bob <than...@coldmail.nu> wrote in message news:<c00jcvspdkk8b8q58...@4ax.com>...

> On 19 May 2003 17:33:03 -0700, novas...@hotmail.com (Nova Siecle)
> wrote:
>
> > Would becoming adept at Voodoo and Tarot and Wicca help?
>
> You could join one the yahoo groups I belong to! Not sure why I'm
> subscribed but I sent this neat spell to my wife earlier today:

Isn't it bad karma to use your supernatural powers for personal gain?
And if so, what the hell is the point of them?

> Water the seeds well, and place the pot in the room where most cash
> transactions occur.

Now, see, I'm out of the game right here. There is not a room in my
house in which any cash transactions occur. I guess becoming a
different kind of dealer could fix that.

Mica

Nova Siecle

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May 20, 2003, 3:00:17 PM5/20/03
to
David O'Lantern <thed...@shell.rawbw.com> wrote in message news:<20030520064728...@shell.rawbw.com>...

> On 19 May 2003, Nova Siecle wrote:
> [...]
>
> > I grow increasingly afraid of never having another girlfriend.
> I felt like that on and off for many years till I moved in here.
> There's no cure for wanting a soulmate like having one. (I'd make
> the ambiguity here less implicit if I dared!)

I already have a soul mate. I'm just greedy.



> > Maybe I would be less afraid of all these things if I got in touch
> > with my own spirituality.
> Has it worked for your mother?

She certainly exhibits no signs of fear, about anything. She does,
however, exhibit signs of radical insanity.



> What, you STILL haven't met Layo? After all the effort I went to?

Nope. She turned that web cam thing right down.

> > You know, going to get a high school algebra textbook, re-learning
> > all the shit I've long since forgotten
> For me that's start with "percents" and "negative numbers". Algebra?
> It'd take me years to get that far.

I was probably giving myself too much credit.

> > We went to see the Camper/Cracker show last week
> Camper Van Beethoven? They got back together?

Just a reunion thingy. Cracker is the active extension of the old
group.

> > and it was so beautiful that I actually got teary at one point,
> Maybe not Camper Van Beethoven then. Unless you were very drunk.

I was NOT very drunk, and you are a wretched BLASPHEMER. She Divines
Water, Sweethearts, All Her Favorite Fruit ... I can't believe you
don't appreciate this stuff. Ah well, to each his own.

> Mica honey, you ain't seen nothing yet.

And I am reminded of that fact on a near daily basis. R's just about
your age after all.

Mica

David O'Lantern

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May 20, 2003, 3:03:12 PM5/20/03
to
On 20 May 2003, Nova Siecle wrote:


> There is not a room in my house in which any cash transactions occur.

So you take credit cards and checks then right? What about PayPal?

(I know, but I just couldn't resist. Of course you don't take PayPal.)

bukvich

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May 20, 2003, 5:22:07 PM5/20/03
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pinkorangered <mai...@inhell.com> wrote in message news:<W8sya.861$Ac3....@news-server.bigpond.net.au>...

> Did I ever post about the Hoffman Quadrinity camp?

Not that I recall.

I looked at the first page from google and it looks like more of the
same.

> Now those guys had the
> deprivation thing all worked out, and for a whole week. Apparently the last
> night is musical bunks, or so my friend says. I only lasted one session and
> scarpered. She got her brains shagged out, or at least that's what I assume
> happened to them.

Have you ever tried a months long group psychotherapy regimen with a
credentialed professional? They had a cover story in the New York
Times today about the proliferation of anti psychotic meds.
Prescription for zyprexa and risperdal and their ilk ("atypical
anti-psychotics") is the fastest growth market in all pharmaceuticals
according to one marketroid they quoted. It is a frightening read if
you know many people taking that shit.

Hanging out in a bar with drunken poets doesn't seem nearly as
dreadful, in comparison.

Zyprexa is 300 dollars a month.

Bukvich

David O'Lantern

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May 20, 2003, 8:45:33 PM5/20/03
to
On 20 May 2003, Nova Siecle followed me up:
[...]

> > Mica honey, you ain't seen nothing yet.
>
> And I am reminded of that fact on a near daily basis.
> R's just about your age after all.

I thought you knew better, but that wasn't the point.

Blasphemously,
D.

P.S. I forgot what my point was. Maybe if I stand here and
stare off into the distance long enough I'll remember.

pinkorangered

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May 20, 2003, 11:39:41 PM5/20/03
to
In article <60c15f9c.03052...@posting.google.com>,
buk...@my-deja.com raved...

>> Did I ever post about the Hoffman Quadrinity camp?
>
>Not that I recall.
>
>I looked at the first page from google and it looks like more of the
>same.

They read you the constitution in the first session:

You will surrender your tobacco, coffee or alcohol supplies forthwith. Show us
your meds. For the next week you will not smoke, meditate, pray, have sex,
masturbate, exercise, do yoga; and you will not consume any substance which we
did not give you. You must surrender all communications devices. You may not
make phone calls unless it's an emergency. You will not speak to other
particiapnts except when we say so.

That reduced a few to tears. Then we did a rebirthing pantomime with a
total negative spin to the point of suggesting you were conceived by rape,
which took care of about 2/3 of the group. Then came the gestalt stuff where
we had to beat the fuck out of our parents with a cricket bat.

Their contention of course was that all our angst is unresolved hatred of our
parents, and they will teach us to forgive. They prove this scientifically
with a lengthy questionnaire where you tick all your negative traits and
experiences, then do the same for your parents and your parents parents.
Simple aritmetic proves a correlation. I couldn't believe nobody pointed out
how bogus this all was, but maybe they couldn't believe I didn't point it out
either.
.
This, incidentally, is how performance hypnotists operate. Nobody is going to
stand in front of an audience of paying believers and TV cameras and say "no I
won't bark like a dog, you're a tool and this is a sham". It's much safer to
bark like a dog.

So I split at bedtime on day 1. They tried very hard tp pursuade me to stay and
to find out who I was writing for. A week later they refunded half my money.

Of course I cannot tell you this, I signed a confidentiality agreement.

>> Now those guys had the
>> deprivation thing all worked out, and for a whole week. Apparently the last
>> night is musical bunks, or so my friend says. I only lasted one session and
>> scarpered. She got her brains shagged out, or at least that's what I assume
>> happened to them.
>
>Have you ever tried a months long group psychotherapy regimen with a
>credentialed professional?

This seems to be a uniquely american thing. I've never heard of group therapy
sessions here. The Forum is one mass group therapy though. I guess anything
where everybody gets naked is therapeutic because most neuroses are isolating.

They had a cover story in the New York
>Times today about the proliferation of anti psychotic meds.
>Prescription for zyprexa and risperdal and their ilk ("atypical
>anti-psychotics") is the fastest growth market in all pharmaceuticals
>according to one marketroid they quoted.

I thought it was sexual performance enhancers? Research isn't done to cure
disorders, it's there to create them. Right now I have Donut Deprivation
Disorder. I have enough faith in sccience mot to be fooled into thinking the
best treatment is to take a donut, or to ignore the craving for a donut.

>Hanging out in a bar with drunken poets doesn't seem nearly as
>dreadful, in comparison.

It's group therapy?

bob

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May 21, 2003, 9:30:55 AM5/21/03
to
On 20 May 2003 10:03:17 -0700, novas...@hotmail.com (Nova Siecle)
wrote:

>bob <than...@coldmail.nu> wrote in message news:<c00jcvspdkk8b8q58...@4ax.com>...
>> On 19 May 2003 17:33:03 -0700, novas...@hotmail.com (Nova Siecle)
>> wrote:
>>
>> > Would becoming adept at Voodoo and Tarot and Wicca help?
>>
>> You could join one the yahoo groups I belong to! Not sure why I'm
>> subscribed but I sent this neat spell to my wife earlier today:
>
>Isn't it bad karma to use your supernatural powers for personal gain?

I don't know. There was a time when I thought I had supernatural
powers. During that time I "discovered" that it was bad karma to use
those powers to harm another person. Now I don't believe in much but I
like reading the groups now and then.

>And if so, what the hell is the point of them?

Parlor tricks?

>> Water the seeds well, and place the pot in the room where most cash
>> transactions occur.
>
>Now, see, I'm out of the game right here. There is not a room in my
>house in which any cash transactions occur. I guess becoming a
>different kind of dealer could fix that.

I'm sitting in the room where most of the cash transactions take
place.

bukvich

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May 21, 2003, 12:05:54 PM5/21/03
to
em...@tvoid.com (pinkorangered) wrote in message news:<1yCya.110$4n.1...@nasal.pacific.net.au>...

> You will surrender your tobacco, coffee or alcohol supplies forthwith. Show us
> your meds. For the next week you will not smoke, meditate, pray, have sex,
> masturbate, exercise, do yoga; and you will not consume any substance which we
> did not give you. You must surrender all communications devices. You may not
> make phone calls unless it's an emergency. You will not speak to other
> particiapnts except when we say so.

This is cult mind control shit. Go to the psychology section and look
up "Stockholm Syndrome".



> That reduced a few to tears. Then we did a rebirthing pantomime with a
> total negative spin to the point of suggesting you were conceived by rape,
> which took care of about 2/3 of the group. Then came the gestalt stuff where
> we had to beat the fuck out of our parents with a cricket bat.

Now see some of that is sound method. But not on the first day. That
is an inappropriate level of intimicacy to dive into.

If you are interested in helping people, that is, as opposed to
subverting their will to siphon off their cash.

> Their contention of course was that all our angst is unresolved hatred of our
> parents, and they will teach us to forgive.

That is a useful heuristic for many people. It is not a law of nature,
us all being unique snowflakes and all.

> They prove this scientifically
> with a lengthy questionnaire where you tick all your negative traits and
> experiences, then do the same for your parents and your parents parents.
> Simple aritmetic proves a correlation. I couldn't believe nobody pointed out
> how bogus this all was, but maybe they couldn't believe I didn't point it out
> either.

How are you going to have the initiative to point out their bogosity
when they have taken your cigarettes, taken your right to speak
freely, taken your dignity and subsumed your identity into that herd?



> This, incidentally, is how performance hypnotists operate. Nobody is going to
> stand in front of an audience of paying believers and TV cameras and say "no I
> won't bark like a dog, you're a tool and this is a sham". It's much safer to
> bark like a dog.

I have never seen a hypnosis performance like that. Apparently there
is a big bimodality in the distribution of human hypnotizability. Can
you roll your eyes upward and lower your eyelids simultaneously? One
study (they used to study the most interesting stuff before the
pharmaceutical industry commodified the psych profession) concluded
that was an almost one hundred percent correlation with
hypnotizeability. If you had that plasticity in your optical muscular
wiring you could be hypnotized, and otherwise not.



> So I split at bedtime on day 1.

I would hope so.

> They tried very hard tp pursuade me to stay and
> to find out who I was writing for. A week later they refunded half my money.
> Of course I cannot tell you this, I signed a confidentiality agreement.

Tell me what?

> This seems to be a uniquely american thing. I've never heard of group therapy
> sessions here.

The premise is as follows: many of your problems are due to
maladaptive interacting with other people. Those maladaptations will
inevitably surface in the interactions in the group, where they can be
systematically worked on. Then you carry this retooling of your
adaptations and coping mechanisms back outside of the therapy group
and your interactions with real life people should be less
problematic.

I have no idea how well this works in practice; but that is the
theory.

> I thought it was sexual performance enhancers?

This was according to some pharmaceutical guy the NewYorkTimes saw fit
to publish yesterday. They claim atypical antipsychotics like
Risperdal and Zyprexa are currently the fastest growing profit center.

> Research isn't done to cure
> disorders, it's there to create them. Right now I have Donut Deprivation
> Disorder. I have enough faith in sccience mot to be fooled into thinking the
> best treatment is to take a donut, or to ignore the craving for a donut.

I do not like donuts.

B.

Jonah Thomas

unread,
May 22, 2003, 3:50:17 PM5/22/03
to
pinkorangered wrote:
> buk...@my-deja.com raved...

> Their contention of course was that all our angst is unresolved hatred of our
> parents, and they will teach us to forgive. They prove this scientifically
> with a lengthy questionnaire where you tick all your negative traits and
> experiences, then do the same for your parents and your parents parents.
> Simple aritmetic proves a correlation. I couldn't believe nobody pointed out
> how bogus this all was, but maybe they couldn't believe I didn't point it out
> either.

What difference does it make whether they claim that's all there is? If
it's a big thing that's worth dealing with, you can deal with other
issues later.

My concern about that sort of claim is that when they make silly
universal claims, why should you trust them on the details? And the
reason is, their methods don't come from their universal principles,
their methods come from experience. Which gives a whole different set
of concerns.

> This, incidentally, is how performance hypnotists operate. Nobody is going to
> stand in front of an audience of paying believers and TV cameras and say "no I
> won't bark like a dog, you're a tool and this is a sham". It's much safer to
> bark like a dog.

No, it isn't. Stage hypnotists get maybe 20% who'll go along really
easily. They have some tests to tell the difference between those and
the ones who try to fake it to make them look bad. Yes, there's
somebody in every crowd who'll do his best to say it's all sham.

Jonah Thomas

unread,
May 22, 2003, 4:01:13 PM5/22/03
to
bukvich wrote:
> em...@tvoid.com (pinkorangered) wrote

....

>>That reduced a few to tears. Then we did a rebirthing pantomime with a
>>total negative spin to the point of suggesting you were conceived by rape,
>>which took care of about 2/3 of the group. Then came the gestalt stuff where
>>we had to beat the fuck out of our parents with a cricket bat.

> Now see some of that is sound method. But not on the first day. That
> is an inappropriate level of intimicacy to dive into.

> If you are interested in helping people, that is, as opposed to
> subverting their will to siphon off their cash.

That's always in dynamic tension in for-profit groups.

>>They prove this scientifically
>>with a lengthy questionnaire where you tick all your negative traits and
>>experiences, then do the same for your parents and your parents parents.
>>Simple aritmetic proves a correlation. I couldn't believe nobody pointed out
>>how bogus this all was, but maybe they couldn't believe I didn't point it out
>>either.

> How are you going to have the initiative to point out their bogosity
> when they have taken your cigarettes, taken your right to speak
> freely, taken your dignity and subsumed your identity into that herd?

You choose how much dignity to give them. You might not notice making
the choice. If you notice that you've chosen badly, you can choose
again from where-ever you are at that point. You might not get your
dignity back but you can establish that it's being taken without your
permission. Likewise your identity.

> The premise is as follows: many of your problems are due to
> maladaptive interacting with other people. Those maladaptations will
> inevitably surface in the interactions in the group, where they can be
> systematically worked on. Then you carry this retooling of your
> adaptations and coping mechanisms back outside of the therapy group
> and your interactions with real life people should be less
> problematic.

> I have no idea how well this works in practice; but that is the
> theory.

If it's connected to childhood trauma etc then you're likely to remember
the connections better with concrete examples, too. You may have firm
beliefs about what behavior is appropriate, that you wouldn't notice
otherwise.

Jonah Thomas

unread,
May 22, 2003, 4:52:50 PM5/22/03
to
pinkorangered wrote:
> buk...@my-deja.com opined thusly:

>>That reminds me of something I have been meaning to pass along to you.
>>In the Yalom textbook on group psychotherapy he has quite a few
>>paragraphs on est and the forum. His view is that works by placebo
>>effect and some sort of effort justification fallacy. You spent the
>>dough and by golly you are going to get something out of it.

> I don't recall that approach being put forward either overtly or subliminally,
> and in any case the money becomes the least of your sacrifices after...

I saw it. But there are two entirely separate issues here. One is what
good it actually does you, or whether it truly affects you at all. The
second is what good *you think* it did you. The latter is what gets you
to go out and persuade other people to enroll. It's what gets you to
sign up for the next course. It's what keeps them in business.

If their graduates resolved all their personal problems, and learned to
levitate, and raised their IQ 50 points each, and all ran for public
office and won, but they didn't come back and they didn't bring friends,
then it would be a failure for the Forum.

They repeatedly tell people what benefits they'll get, and then they
tell them what benefits they're getting, and then at the end they tell
them what benefits they got. Besides the ones the people decided for
themselves they got. They explicitly point out that people who sit
through it and don't get the benefits are just losing their time and
money. It isn't something they do to you, it's something they provide
you the opportunity to do for yourself. If not now, when?

All of this affects what people think they're getting, to the extent
that people are susceptible to it. But that says nothing about what
benefits or damages the people actually get. For that you'd need to
actually study the people and look at what they do, instead of listening
to what they say they got from it.

The program could be harmless like a placebo. Or it could hurt people
in observable ways. Or it could hurt some people and help others, or
help people, or do consistent things to people that hurt some of them
and help others, etc. What the people themselves say they got from it
is irrelevant. Except of course that when people pretty consistently
say they got great value, that says it might be worth doing for the
sensations. Kind of like going to a movie, _20001: Space Odyssey+ or
_The Go Masters_ etc. A nice movie, you come out feeling exalted,
tomorrow you wake up and you're mostly the same old you but you're glad
you went.

I'd be very interested in objective measures that show how people are
affected by that sort of thing. Like, track suicide rates over the year
after people take it. Compare against the general population and
against the people who register and then walk out. But they absolutely
refuse to entertain the possibility of collecting statistics like that.

It makes sense given their goals. Nobody will get with the program
because they hear about objective statistics. "You mean, if I take this
thing I'm 70% less likely to kill myself over the next two years?
Great, I'll do it!"

It may not be appropriate to judge this sort of thing in terms of
psychotherapy. They might fit more into the role of mystery religion.

bukvich

unread,
May 23, 2003, 9:37:21 AM5/23/03
to
Jonah Thomas <j2th...@cavtel.net> wrote in message news:<3ECD38A2...@cavtel.net>...

> If their graduates resolved all their personal problems, and learned to
> levitate, and raised their IQ 50 points each, and all ran for public
> office and won, but they didn't come back and they didn't bring friends,
> then it would be a failure for the Forum.

That is multi-level marketing, yes?

> All of this affects what people think they're getting, to the extent
> that people are susceptible to it. But that says nothing about what
> benefits or damages the people actually get. For that you'd need to
> actually study the people and look at what they do, instead of listening
> to what they say they got from it.

One of the interesting things I read about Fritz Perls is that he was
very selective about which patients he did the real heavy handed
interventions with. He didn't take his one tool and use it on
everybody and selectively recall the times where it actually worked.

Some of his followers are not so subtle. They go hog wild on every
subject and pay close attention to the times when this works. And they
do a bunch of collateral damage along the way.

My speculation would be that the forum experience causes net damage
more often than not. I have seen a couple people get really messed up
in it. Like being-converted-to-Jehovah-Witness messed up.

> It may not be appropriate to judge this sort of thing in terms of
> psychotherapy. They might fit more into the role of mystery religion.

Now this I agree with.

B.

Ashurbanipal

unread,
May 24, 2003, 3:38:08 AM5/24/03
to
On Tue, 20 May 2003 07:22:29 -0700, in message
<<20030520064728...@shell.rawbw.com>>, David O'Lantern
<thed...@shell.rawbw.com> spleniated...

>I still feel like I should have paid more attention to that damn
>"you must be THIS tall to ride this ride" sign.

Then youc ould have arranged for someone to string a wire across the
roller coaster track and gotten yourself decapitated! Yeah!

>Actually, if I'd've
>had an inkling of what 40 would be like even at 31 I'd never have
>lived long enough to get on the Internet -- let alone meet Layo.

If you'd had an inkling about what life would be like at 40 you
would've composed a rant about how you wanted to die, then briefly considered
bonking a bunch of nerdy babes, given up the idea as requiring too much
effort and then gone back to sitting around and kvetching.

>There is no cure for middle age except old age or death.

There is no cure for TheDavid bitching about getting old.

>Agedly,
>The

Picture it! Forty more years of TheDavid complaining about not being
dead! A real never-ending story!

ash
['At least it'll be better than the Matrix.']

--
"We oughta tell 'em th' whole Army don't look like us, Joe."
_________________________________________________________________
Give me Liberty or give me a nice house in France from whence I
can hunt some Liberty down. Or you can eat lead. Get off my wave.
Two|Riven against a Black Sun|six|...that which we are we are|One

David O'Lantern

unread,
May 24, 2003, 2:49:26 PM5/24/03
to
On Sat, 24 May 2003, Ashurbanipal wrote:
> On Tue, 20 May 2003 07:22:29 -0700, in message
> <<20030520064728...@shell.rawbw.com>>, David O'Lantern
> <thed...@shell.rawbw.com> spleniated...

> >I still feel like I should have paid more attention to that damn
> >"you must be THIS tall to ride this ride" sign.

> Then youc ould have arranged for someone to string a wire across
> the roller coaster track and gotten yourself decapitated! Yeah!

Now THAT's an idea! I wish I'd've thought of that myself before! DAMMIT.

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