My son Tim is here visiting from Norway where he is in grad school. He came with his lovely Norwegian girlfriend Karin. Karin told me about Sami – the reindeer herders – and now I am obsessed with it! (And no, I haven’t seen Frozen yet.)Read More »
I visited Isla Vista this week. My brother-in-law (aka “little brother”) lives in Isa Vista and is also attending UCSB, where six students were recently killed due to the rage of a frustrated young man who had mental health problems and was angry at women. We panicked all night because we couldn’t reach our little brother. The killings happened just a couple blocks from his home. We called, texted, facebooked, Skyped, emailed. All night. No word. We were terrified. As it turned out, he and a friend had stayed home to watched movies. He heard the gunshots, but he was fine.
(Click each photo to see it larger)
I am also enrolled in a university that is based in Santa Barbara.
I also know what it’s like to be at the receiving end of misogyny and slut-shaming, from personal interactions with misogynists without a conscience, to my former religion, my work, to social media, and even from reputable corporations like Discovery Networks, Investigation Discovery, History Channel and others. (A couple years ago I shared a story from my past of surviving trauma that was orchestrated by a criminal mastermind, but they turned it into one of those “stupid woman caused it herself and deserved what she got” stories. It wasn’t fair and it wasn’t right, but the media is accountable to no one.) The media is absolutely part of the problem, and this is why I am now pursuing my PhD in Media Psychology at a university in Santa Barbara.
Needless to say, I felt a connection with this tragedy and this town, and I wish I could find a way to use media make the world a safer place for women. For everyone.
So a few days ago, my husband and I went to visit Isla Vista. Little brother showed Tolga and I the memorials. We both had a lump in our throats.
This is where it all started. This was the home of 22-year old Elliot Rodger, the UCSB student who expressed his rage against the women who rejected him by slaughtering people, then taking his own life.
Messages were still there. Through heart-felt words, flowers, chalk writings and candles, people expressed their love for those who lost their lives here.
You’re in our hearts forever.
No one was in a hurry to take all the special remembrances away. Someone put a box of chalk there for people to express their feelings. No one stole it.
What they did do, however, was move items from the memorial sites into the UCSB library to create a CD of digital images of the memories, messages and notes. Someone politely left a letter explaining it all on a page covered by a sheet protector, weighted down by two candles.
This is the street outside of the apartment building where Elliot Rodger lived.
The street on Isla Vista where Rodger plowed through people and sprayed businesses with bullets.
Above – the sidewalk outside the IV Deli Mart where Rodger left more casualties
A happy face balloon with a graduation hat. Perhaps it was a message for one of the students about to graduate?
Outside IV Deli Mart. Beautiful signs of life, and of lives so loved.
Messages about gun control still reign prominent.
So much anguish, so much to say.
The recovery message is profound. “Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that” MLK
The names of the deceased are held in place by a Teddy Bear
- a poignant reminder of innocence amidst the pain and sorrow.
A love note or message of caring is tucked into the bear’s shirt. I wanted to read it,
but somehow I felt unworthy.
The community mourned Katherine Cooper, Christopher Martinez, Veronika Weiss, Weihan Wang, George Chen, and Cheng Yuan Hong, and celebrated the incredible lives they lived. Read about them HERE.
Emily Lindin, the founder of the UnSlut Project, wrote “In Killer’s World, Victims are Blamed.” It got picked up by CNN, and this young lady is my new hero. She wrote that Rodgers “is the product of a culture that condones and in many cases endorses the belief that if you are a ‘nice guy’ — or a ‘supreme gentleman’ as Rodger described himself — you are somehow entitled to sex with women.”
“After the killings, the extent of misogyny in this community was revealed in the creation of a Facebook page called ‘Elliot Rodger Is an American Hero,’ with the advice for everyone to ‘share your thoughts and pay your respects to Elliot Rodger here. Also, view this final message from our beloved hero,’ which links to his videotaped rant, with commenters expressing solidarity with his desire for revenge against women. The page has since been taken down.” Emily Lindin
On a piece of cardboard supported by a bike stand, someone wrote,
“Those we love don’t go away,
They walk beside us every day
Unseen, unheard, but always near,
Still loved, still missed and very dear.
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,
Love leaves a memory no one can steal.”
The community is rallying for the victims’ families and the survivors. This donation box is in the IV Deli Mart, where Christopher Michaels-Martinez lost his life.
The community, still reeling in disbelief, tries to carry on.
There’s a message to learn that we all hope does not fade away after the flowers are gone. We have an opportunity to honor the victims, the survivors and the families by making all this make a difference.
Will it be about gun control, mental health, respecting women, victim blaming or something else? Emily Lindin thinks the conversation needs to be about misogyny.
“But as we move forward and try to make sense of what happened, it’s our responsibility to start productive, respectful conversations about the misogyny behind Rodger’s actions,” she wrote.
As I walked back to the car, I saw a homeless man and another man being comforted by a college co-ed. I got the impression the man was a witness the night it happened.
They were perfect strangers, but she stopped walking her dog to comfort him in his time of need. He cried and she listened.
Whoever she is, she is a saint.
Maybe she cried and he listened too.
Maybe that is how we can make beautiful meaning come from this tragedy. Maybe that’s how we can change the world:
Listening when people cry, and then hugging instead of hating.
Just like the fathers of Elliot Rodger, the killer, and his victim, Chris Martinez.
Hugging instead of hating. Loving instead of blaming.
Photo taken from http://bit.ly/1mxMhYT
Read More »
We had a magical time when Tolga’s family came to visit. The Butterfly Grove, the pacific ocean, the city, and of course, Isla Vista & UCSB.Read More »
My family and friends threw me the best surprise birthday party on the planet earth! It was all decked out in pink and it was held at a mansion. There was no detail that was not thought out in advance. To say that I was shocked and overwhelmed was an understatement!!Read More »
Rising pop star Lola Blanc is blowing minds with the trippy music video for her single, “Bad Tattoo,” and RyanSeacrest.com has the exclusive premiere.Read More »
Model: Ashley Ellwood. Normally Ashley is a photographer, but to humor me and let me practice, she let me style her and photograph her. This is what I came up with.Read More »
Over the weekend , Tolga and I went on a customer appreciation trip to several ghost towns, sponsored by Land Rover, Las Vegas. Our job was to photograph.Read More »
I hesitated posting these because I worried what people would think since people my age don’t normally do this kind of thing.
“Don’t you call me a victim!” Robin Brown screamed on a recent episode of “Sister Wives” where I made a brief appearance. But she is oppressed, and neither she more any women in religiously-mandated patriarchal polygamy are free, no matter how much they try to defend their “lifestyle.”
These women are so afraid of the truth that they refuse to even dialogue with those women who have defected from such oppression. For some reason, the average member of the public cannot see this. No doubt a lot of your friends have been influenced by what they have seen on camera. I wish to tell them this:
You have been intentionally misled by money-hungry executives like those at Discovery Networks, who owns TLC, Investigation Discovery & The Oprah Channel, and have all delivered sanitized and dramatically altered media as “fact,” misrepresenting oppression & abuse as the choice of consenting adults. I’ll blog more about that later, believe me, I have a lot to say on that.
In 2009, Oprah Winfrey went inside the YFZ Ranch being run by the now-convicted pedophile and polygamist prophet Warren Jeffs. She had dinner with a polygamist family and painted a sympathetic picture of a group of people who were lying through their teeth.
On Monday’s show, Oprah goes inside the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado, Texas, to talk with children, teens and parents directly affected by last year’s infamous raid. During this special hour, viewers will get an unprecedented look at what life is like behind the gates of the YFZ Ranch, including extraordinary access to the inner workings of the ranch, which until now has been completely off-limits to outsiders. Members of the Yearning for Zion community share a homemade dinner with Oprah and speak openly about their polygamist lifestyle and their imprisoned prophet, Warren Jeffs.
FLDS member Willie Jessops is on record too.
One of the most controversial claims made after the raid was that authorities found beds in the temple that were supposedly used for men to have sex with young women who had just married in the church. Willie says this is absolutely not true. “If they found it, would they have returned the children? What they found was a facility for a groundskeeper or for worship,” he says. “There is no religious ceremony that involves sex in any temple that I’m aware of or affiliated with.”
Below is an audio tape played for the jury during Warren Jeff’s last trial in Texas – explaining how there were 8 ladies that were to share in the “heavenly sessions” (orgies) that took place in the very bed in the temple that Willie Jessops said was not used for sex.
“Betty says she never heard talk that she might be married at 14, and she says she doesn’t know anyone who was forced to marry at a young age. ” Oprah furthered the misconception by saying, “The message that I’m getting is there’s individual choice and every family is different.”
Now watch the video below, start at 1:20, and listen to Mike Watkiss bust Oprah for perpetrating a lie.
If you watched any of these TV shows that portray the smiling women in polygamy as simply “a matter of consenting adults,” then you will doubt that these people are oppressed. After all, Robin Brown went ballistic when Kristyn Decker – who came from the same polygamist sect and knows the inside story, started a sentence that Robin thought would end in the accusation that she is a victim of oppression or injustice.
4:50 Not that I’m aware of.
Not that I have ever seen.
Not that I have ever seen.
Not to our knowledge.
This is what much of America does not realize: People who are oppressed often do not even know it.
“It is better for the victims of injustice not to recognize themselves as such.” ~Paulo Freiro
In my last blog about this I mentioned how the Brown family, like most polygamist families, are separatists – evidenced by their refusal to come visit us for a photo shoot, or even have dinner with ex-plygs. To break bread or commune or dialogue with people who left their belief system was not even an option. It’s too dangerous, too “unsafe,” as Christine Brown put it on the show. Of course.
“The man or woman who proclaims devotion to the cause of liberation yet is unable to enter into communion with the people, whom he or she continues to regard as totally ignorant, is grievously self-deceived.” ~ Paulo Freire
Friere calls it sectarianism. This is my new favorite word. Polygamy sympathizers justify decriminalizing polygamy with the rationale that abuse is less likely to happen if people could live out in the open – is nothing more than oft-repeated propaganda that has never born fruit in the real world. These groups, like the AUB sect that the Brown’s are part of, separate themselves from “the world” anyway. They are sectarians.
By avoiding dialogue with “apostates” like me, or with others who have left their world for the real world, their minds remain blocked, uneducated, ignorant of their own oppression.
Here is another thought-provoking quote from Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
Fear of freedom, of which its possessor is not necessarily aware, makes him see ghosts. Such an individual is actually taking refuge in an attempt to achieve security, which he or she prefers to the risks of liberty.
- of religious group: relating to or involving relations between religious groups or denominations
- of single religious group: relating to, involved with, or devoted to a single religious group or denomination
- dogmatic and intolerant: rigidly adhering to a set of doctrines and intolerant of other views
Sectarianism, fed by fanaticism, is always castrating. Radicalization, nourished by a critical spirit, is always creative. Sectarianism mythicizes and thereby alienates; radicalization criticizes and thereby liberates. Radicalization involves increased commitment to the position one has chosen, and thus ever greater engagement in the effort to transform concrete, objective reality. Conversely, sectarianism, because it is mythicizing and irrational, turns reality into a false (and therefore unchangeable) “reality.” (P. 37
Sectarianism in any quarter is an obstacle to the emancipation of mankind. The rightist version thereof does not always, unfortunately, call forth its natural counterpart: radicalization of the revolutionary. Not infrequently, revolutionaries themselves become reactionary by falling into sectarianism in the process of responding to the sectarianism of the Right. This possibility, however, should not lead the radical to become a docile pawn of the elites. Engaged in the process of liberation, he or she cannot remain passive in the face of the oppressors violence.
The radical, committed to human liberation, does not become the prisoner of a “circle of certainty’ within which reality is also imprisoned. On the contrary, the more radical the person is, the more fully he or she enters into reality so that, knowing it better, he or she can better transform it. This individual is not afraid to confront, to listen, to see the world unveiled. This person is not afraid to meet the people or to enter into dialogue with them. (P. 6)
Compare those of us arguing against polygamy on the panel to the Brown family.
We wanted to hug and love and have a dialogue.
They were afraid.
Men and women rarely admit their fear of freedom openly, however, tending rather to camouflage it—sometimes unconsciously—by pre- senting themselves as defenders of freedom. They give their doubts and misgivings an air of profound sobriety, as befitting custodians of freedom. But they confuse freedom with the maintenance of the status quo; so that if (awakening) threatens to place that status quo in question, it thereby seems to constitute a threat to freedom itself. ~ Paulo Friero, Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Who Was Paulo Friero
Dr. Paulo Freire was a Brazilian educator and philosopher who was a leading advocate of “liberation theory” and critical pedagogy which attempts to help students question and challenge posited “domination,” and to undermine the beliefs and practices that are alleged to dominate. SOURCE.
He is best known for his influential work, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, which is considered one of the foundational texts of the critical pedagogy movement.
Wikipedia: Freire is best known for his attack on what he called the “banking” concept of education, in which the student was viewed as an empty account to be filled by the teacher. He notes that “it transforms students into receiving objects. It attempts to control thinking and action, leads men and women to adjust to the world, and inhibits their creative power” (Freire, 1970, p. 77).
To enter into dialogue presupposes equality amongst participants. Each must trust the others; there must be mutual respect and love (care and commitment). Each one must question what he or she knows and realize that through dialogue existing thoughts will change and new knowledge will be created.
Culture of Silence
According to Freire, the system of dominant social relations creates a culture of silence that instills a negative, silenced and suppressed self-image into the oppressed. The learner must develop a critical consciousness in order to recognize that this culture of silence is created to oppress. Also, a culture of silence can cause the “dominated individuals [to] lose the means by which to critically respond to the culture that is forced on them by a dominant culture.”
The oppressed, having internalized the image of the oppressor and adopted his guidelines, are fearful of freedom. Freedom would require them to eject this image and replace it with autonomy and responsibility. Freedom is acquired by conquest, not by gift. It must be pursued constantly and responsibly. Freedom is not an ideal located outside of man; nor is it an idea which becomes myth. It is rather the indispensable condition for the quest for human completion.
Reality which becomes oppressive results in the contradistinction of men as oppressors and oppressed. The latter, whose task it is to struggle for their liberation together with those who show true solidarity, must acquire a critical awareness of oppression through the praxis of this struggle. One of the gravest obstacles to the achievement of liberation is that oppressive reality absorbs those within it and thereby acts to submerge human beings consiousness.6 Functionally, oppression is domesticating. To no longer be prey to its force, one must emerge from it and turn upon it. This can be done only by means of the praxis: reflection and action upon the world in order to transform it.
No pedagogy which is truly liberating can remain distant from the oppressed by treating them as unfortunates and by presenting for their emulation models from among the oppressors. The oppressed must be their own example in the struggle for their redemption. 54
It could not be otherwise. If the humanization of the oppressed signifies subversion, so also does their freedom; hence the necessity for constant control. And the more the oppressors control the op pressed, the more they change them into apparently inanimate “things.” This tendency of the oppressor consciousness to “in-ani mate” everything and everyone it encounters, in its eagerness to possess, unquestionably corresponds with a tendency to sadism.
The pleasure in complete domination over another person (or other animate creature) is the very essence of the sadistic drive. Another way of formulating the same thought is to say that the aim of sadism is to transform a man into a thing, something animate into something inanimate, since by complete and abso lute control the living loses one essential quality of life— freedom. (P.59)
The peasant begins to get courage to overcome his dependence when he realizes that he is dependent. Until then, he goes along with the boss and says “What can I do? I’m only a peasant.” (P. 14)
Critical pedagogy is not only a theory and a philosophy of education but also praxis-oriented social movement first described by Paulo Freire and after him developed by many others such as Henry Giroux as an “educational movement, guided by passion and principle, to help students develop consciousness of freedom, recognize authoritarian tendencies, and connect knowledge to power and the ability to take constructive action.”
As long as their ambiguity persists, the oppressed are reluctant to resist, and totally lack confidence in themselves. They have a diffuse, magical belief in the invulnerability and power of the oppressor. (p. 21) The magical force of the landowners power holds particular sway in the rural areas. A sociologist friend of mine tells of a group of armed peasants in a Latin American country who recently took over a latifundium. For tactical reasons, they planned to hold the landowner as a hostage. But not one peasant had the courage to guard him; his very presence was terrifying. It is also possible that the act of opposing the boss provoked guilt feelings. In truth, the boss was “inside” them.
It is only when the oppressed find the oppressor out and become involved in the organized struggle for their liberation that they begin to believe in themselves. This discovery cannot be purely intellectual but must involve action; nor can it be limited to mere activism, but must include serious reflection: only then will it be a praxis.
(Paulo Freire defines praxis in Pedagogy of the Oppressed as “reflection and action upon the world in order to transform it.” Through praxis, oppressed people can acquire a critical awareness of their own condition, and, with their allies, struggle for liberation.)
Think of this in terms of polygamy. The women, children, and less-favored males are the oppressed.
The polygamous culture is a necrophilous culture. It revolves around the concepts and doctrines from those who are now dead, and continues to
Because banking education begins with a false understanding of men and women as objects, it cannot promote the development of what Fromm calls “biophily,” but instead produces its opposite: “necrophily.”
While life is characterized by growth in a structured, functional manner, the necrophilous person loves all that does not grow, all that is mechanical. The necrophilous person is driven by the desire to transform the organic into the inorganic, to approach life mechanically, as if all living persons were things. . . . Memory, rather than experience; having, rather than being, is what counts. The necrophilous person can relate to an object—a flower or a person—only if he possesses it; hence a threat to his possession is a threat to himself; if he loses possession he loses contact with the world. . . . He loves control, and in the act of controlling he kills life. (P. 4)
Oppression—overwhelming control—is necrophilic; it is nourished by love of death, not life. The banking concept of education, which serves the interests of oppression, is also necrophilic. Based on a mechanistic, static, naturalistic, spatialized view of conscious ness, it transforms students into receiving objects. It attempts to control thinking and action, leads women and men to adjust to the world, and inhibits their creative power.
Gathering essays from an array of professional journals, this volume introduces readers to the questions and concerns that shaped Martín-Baró’s thinking over several decades: the psychological dimensions of political repression, the impact of violence and trauma on child development and mental health, the use of psychology for political ends, religion as a tool of ideology, and defining the “real” and the “normal” under conditions of state-sponsored violence and oppression, among others. Though grounded in the harsh realities of civil conflict in Central America, these essays have broad relevance in a world where political and social turmoil determines the conditions of daily life for so many. In them we encounter Martín-Baró’s humane, impassioned voice, reaffirming the essential connections among mental health, human rights, and the struggle against injustice. His analysis of contemporary social problems, and of the failure of the social sciences to address those problems, permits us to understand not only the substance of his contribution to social thought but also his lifelong commitment to the campesinos of El Salvador.
The central concepts of liberation psychology include: concientización; realismo-crítico; de-ideologization; a social orientation; the preferential option for the oppressed majorities, and methodological eclecticism.
The intrinsic connectedness of the person’s experience and the sociopolitical structure is a fundamental tenant of liberation psychology and is referred to as concientización, a term introduced by the Brazilian educator Paolo Freire, roughly translatable as the raising of politico-social consciousness. In this process people become more conscious of themselves and their lives as structured by the social reality of oppression, understood structurally, and they thereby become social actors. They change as they begin to act on their social circumstances. Understanding this interconnectedness is of particular importance to understanding the experiences and psychology of oppressed peoples, the power structure to which they are subjugated, and the ways in which this subjugation manifests in their behavior and psychopathology.
Martín-Baró contended that theories should not define the problems to be explored, but that the problems generate their own theories. This idea is termed realismo-crítico. This is contrasted to the traditional approach of addressing problems based on preconceived theorization, idealismo-metodológico (methodological idealism). In realismo-crítico, theorization plays a supportive, but not fundamental, role. Martín-Baró’s idea of realism-crítico should not be equated with the work of Roy Bhaskar on critical realism. Although the two ideas are conceptually similar in some ways, they have distinct meanings (hence the use of the term here in Spanish, rather than attempting a direct translation).
Oppression is the systematic and pervasive mistreatment of individuals on the basis of their membership in various groups, which are disadvantaged by the institutionalized imbalances in social power in a particular society. Oppression includes both institutionalized or “normalized” mistreatment as well as instances of violence. It includes the invalidation, denial, or the non-recognition of the complete humanness (the goodness, uniqueness, smartness, powerfulness, etc.) of those who are members of the mistreated group.
Each group targeted by oppression inevitably “internalizes” the mistreatment and the misinformation about itself. The target group thus “mis-believes” about itself the same misinformation which pervades the social system. This “mis-believing” expresses itself in behavior and interactions between individual members of the target group which repeat the content of their oppression. Internalized oppression is always an involuntary reaction to the experience of oppression on the part of the target group.) To blame the target group in any way for having internalized the consequences of their oppression is itself an act of oppression.
The oppressors must also be willing to rethink their way of life and to examine their own role in the oppression if true liberation is to occur; “those who authentically commit themselves to the people must re-examine themselves constantly” (Freire, 1970, p. 60).Read More »
Here are some photos of my work with females. I love feminine, fantasy & dramatic photography, as you will see.Read More »
Here are some photos we took of my friend Kristyn Decker, an escapee from the life of polygamy, but more importantly, a sweet, strong, and wonderful person.Read More »
Here are some photos we did of the stunningly gorgeous, sweet and sassy Kollene Snow.Read More »
Here is a modeling portfolio I put together for Willy Steed. (Actually, there are a few fun photos in here as well.)Read More »
Lola, my pop star daughter, was recently featured in yet another cool, hip magazine.Read More »
Here is a book cover I was honored to design for Kristyn Decker. We took the photos as well.Read More »
Brochure for Louisa Voisine Millinery for her to take with her to her pre-Emmy event.Read More »
There was an article posted today in the SLTrib called – ‘Sister Wives’ episode draws fiery reaction, name calling .Read More »
A few months ago, I participated in a public debate on polygamy at UNLV with Kristyn Decker, Kollene Snow and Willy Steed. On the other side was the Brown family of TLC’s “Sister Wives” fame.Read More »
Radiant Inc is an über-cool fashion magazine that just did a fashion editorial of Tolga’s work and included a feature about him as a photographer.Read More »
Here’s the new lyric video for “Bad Tattoo.” Pretty cool, check it out!Read More »
After two long years living the life of a missionary, my sweet baby son finally came home. It seemed like an eternity to me.Read More »
Our friend and (now) model Willy Steed, a former FLDS young man who escaped a life of polygamy and abuse, was featured on ABC’s 20/20 – and they credited us with helping him transform!Read More »
So Lola was featured on CBS – OMG! Insider, right after Entertainment Tonight! The host described Lola as “the woman behind Britney’s Spears’ new hit!”Read More »
What a happy piece of family news to report! My sister Pam married her best friend, Joe Afton,Read More »
Lola Blanc was featured in a really cool issue of Afterglow Magazine alongside other Hollywood IT girls like Janel Parrish, Audrey Kitching, Kerli, etc.Read More »
Britney Spears ‘ new single is off to a smurfin’ great start. “Ooh La La,”Read More »
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“With a sultriness very much like a young Rose McGowan, her cool voguish looks ensure this Greek Hottie is set for plenty of attention.” — Gorno
Read More »
“Los Angeles is full of people that look interesting as a profession, but sometimes the look is about all you get.”
Read More »
“Bold and lively, showcasing Lola’s saucy personality, ‘Bad Tattoo’ literally bulldozers it’s way through the pop mainstream and wins over attention with it’s über juicy beats and audaciously bright appeal.” ~ EQ Music Blog
There’s a new pop songstress in town: Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Lola Blanc is ready to make waves with her new single “Bad Tattoo,” which Idolator is excited to premiere.Read More »
It’s not everyday we get a new pop starlet ready to make an impact in a big way. Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Lola Blanc is preparing to do just that with the release of her new single “Bad Tattoo,” which premiered yesterday on Idolator. Produced by Jon Levine (Selena Gomez, Cher Lloyd, Nelly Furtado), “Bad Tattoo” is a edgy pop record packed with a pulsating dance beat, an earworm of a chorus, and Lola’s bold and feisty vocal.Read More »
This year I started an awareness and empowerment campaign called “Voices for Dignity,” and yes! we are making a difference!!Read More »
Lola was featured in an 80s-icon themed photo editorial in the new issue of Giuseppina Magazine. She channeled Siouxsie Sioux, Madonna, Angelyne, Annie Lennox, Nina Hagen, and a futuristic version of Cyndi Lauper.Read More »
LAS VEGAS, April 22, 2013, Christine Marie Katas, Founder of Technorazzi Magazine, Voices for Dignity, iMedia Candy and co-founder of Contagious Apps was named VIP of the Year by Worldwide Who’s Who for Excellence in Online Media. This special distinction honors individuals who have shown exceptional commitment to achieving personal and professional success, particularly in the digital world.Read More »
Before Britney Spears releases her in-the-works eighth studio album, the pop superstar will return with “Ooh La La,” a new song featured on the soundtrack to the “The Smurfs 2.”Read More »
We put together a fashion show and photography events with Land Rover Las Vegas. It was in the news.Read More »
Las Vegas Sun | 04-12-13 Land Rover Las Vegas will be hosting “Models For Mutts” which is a fashion runway show with several of Las Vegas’ top clothing designers to raise awareness for the Animal Foundation.Read More »
My son Tim was accepted into two of the schools he applied for to receive his Masters in International Comparative Education. After spending 3 years living and teaching in Venezuela, he was ready for the change.Read More »
It is absolutely false and outrageous to have portrayed that I ever gave up my children.
Shame on all the producers, distributors and parties involved who produced and edited this “documentary” to appear this way so as to increase the shock value. I am devastated and disappointed by Discovery Networks , eOne Entertainment and Raw TV for misrepresenting the truth in such an utterly disgusting way. Every one of these parties knew that this is false.
Since when do you describe a divorced single mother as someone who “gave up her children” when the children went to visit the father with whom she shared custody? No single mother who shares custody with her ex-husband is accused of having “given up her children” when they visit their father. The fact is that my ecclesiastical leader pressured me to give them up for adoption. I could not do that, and I did not do that.
The following transcripts of the interview and other documents were created by Raw TV and sent to me by Raw TV before the show aired, proving that Raw TV, which is now being purchased by Discovery, were acutely aware that I did not obey the prophet and give up my children.
From the producer’s transcripts of my actual recorded interviews:
“He told me I needed to give my children up for adoption [crying] to, as my next text. [crying] and I like fainted. And I couldn’t believe what he was saying, and I said it’s not right, it’s not possible. [crying] and he told me, that this was my requirement and that I’ve not yet earned eternal motherhood, and I would never earned eternal motherhood, unless I obeyed this [crying] thing
“And I walked through the valley, the canyon just screaming and crying, so confused. . . I couldn’t do it. He told me to do it and I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t pass this test, and I said, I don’t understand, I’ve passed every test you’ve given me, [crying] why this?
”So when he would call, I would have the children be quiet [crying] but I couldn’t do it. And I purposely disobeyed and hid it, and just hoped the prophet would not know.
“I was worried that he would find out I had not obeyed and that there would be some eternal consequences for me. Excuse me. [crying]
“And when he asked me to live among the poor and needy, and told me I needed to make this permanent, I pretended I made it permanent. I pretended that I had given them up for adoption, when in reality they were simply separated from me. There was no custody battle between me and my ex-husband ever, we always both wanted was best for our children.
The story producer wrote her notes (in all caps, in document called Christine Marie Heart – Story Notes from Transcript) below.
“Christine received an email from one of the sisters, telling her that ***** had been sent to jail for violating a protective order against one of his ex-wives. He wanted her to visit him at the jail (CLARIFY) at 9am the next day.”
“Christine went to see *****. He told her he was simply incarcerated on false charges like Joseph Smith before him, and that it was all false. She believed him. He asked if she had given up her children for adoption like he’d asked. Christine lied and said she had. *THIS IS A MOMENT OF STRENGTH, WE ADMIRE HER FOR IT.” ( p. 10, 5th paragraph)
This “moment of strength” and refusal to give up my children, was intentionally eliminated, and through the use of cutting and pasting words and video out of context, the message was altered to say something completely different and defamatory. Furthermore, I was made to appear that obeyed the prophet’s demand to give up my children, and I did it without even questioning! What?!
After the children were picked up in a car driven by an apparent stranger, the character who played me did not even cry. In fact, video and audio of me speaking in other contexts were spliced together to make it appear I was nonchalant, if not happy, now that my children were gone. This is a despicable misrepresentation of the facts.
My letter to the General Manager of Raw TV, who produced the “documentary” on a story from my life.
On Thu, Jun 13, 2013 at 11:01 AM, Piers Vellacott <email@example.com> wrote:
Dear Christine Marie,
I am sorry that you are still distressed by some of the negative feedback to the program and your perceived misrepresentation by us. It’s very disheartening, when the team here worked so tirelessly to create a film that was a sensitive and honest account of the story you presented to us.
When we complete production on a television programme we deliver it on to the networks, and it totally beyond our control to start pulling programmes off the air.
You initial reaction was one of jubilation, and on the second viewing (without distraction) you told us you were ‘happy, happy, happy.’
We absolutely did not present you as a stupid woman in love, we presented a very complex story, as narrated beautifully by you – and with you giving us a retrospective view of a very difficult and tragic episode in your life. Your presentation was compelling and you gave a very honest and frank account of your thoughts and emotions at this time.
I think that through the passage of time one of your main concerns was the caption concerning your children. We handled that section with great sensitivity and made clear that the children remained in touch with you and were sent to their father.
We also made clear that after you realised the deception your first instinct was to reunite your family which you did within a short period of time.
“To be honest I have a memory block about where my littlest boy went. I can’t even remember. I have an erased part there. I don’t even know where he went. So I have no memory of it. I don’t, I have certain memories about this part.”
Now more time has passed and your concerns about the programme are not just limited to this section but to the entire programme.
As MD of Raw, we pride ourselves on our output and on the teams we put together to make our output. I am confident that we dealt with all the issues in your film professionally and with great sensitivity I absolutely stand by the integrity of the programme makers we hire to make sometime difficult but important programmes.
I hope with time you will recognise that we believe you to be the victim of terrible events – one that you survived with dignity and honour. I remember clearly the conversation you and I had prior to transmission of the film, I believe and still do, that you are an incredibly strong and brave woman. I acknowledge that your story has attracted negative comments, and I pity those who feel that using the veil of the internet is an inappropriate way of getting to you.
Network & production executives such as –
Henry Schleiff, President (Investigation Discovery)
Michael Kot, exec producer (Entertainment One)
Ron Simon, exec producer (Investigation Discovery)
Piers Vellacott, Dimitri Dogani- execs (Raw TV)
wanted to create a new series.
It was represented to me that it would be a show for Discovery Networks with the following description:
“The series seeks to tell these people’s stories of subjugation and ultimate survival. The hope is that the stories will be a testament to the power of the human spirit to overcome crushing psychological adversity.”
But after I participated and signed the release, they sent out an industry press release (unbeknownst to me at the time), that said –
(wt) DANGEROUS PERSUASIONS “tells extraordinary and terrifyingly true tales of everyday people who were manipulated into committing horrific crimes.”
Without my prior knowledge or approval, they decided to turn my story of surviving human trafficking, multiple rapes, beatings and trauma – into a story where I had committed crimes or “committed horrific acts.”
Furthermore, they coached a former boyfriend, now an actor who was NOT a witness, but an actor who was falsely represented as a witness, to say things to get across their desired points. Like what? Like Christine Marie was to blame.
“followed her heart, had no common sense, and wanted to believe so badly she was willing to hurt herself.”
Like she did it for love.
Like she wanted love so badly that she was willing to do those things to herself.
Instead of speaking about the culture of Mormon patriarchy and obedience – such as in the news today:
They made my primary motivation to be one of love.
The show description all through cyberspace uses my real name “Christine Marie” (great for SEO, especially for a professional) and it says that the self-proclaimed prophet – proceeded to convince her to give her children away, relinquish her possessions and sell her body.
That description meets show series’ description. Millions and millions of people can see these words associated with my name and my face right now. But as you know, allowing visitation with the children’s father (which divorced parents by law MUST do) is not the same as “giving your children away.” Even Jack said, “Why did they phrase it like that? That was ridiculous.”
I have yet to receive a retraction or an apology.
This is what I wished to write to these people:
You do know that selling your body is a crime, right? (Although it shouldn’t be.) But it is.
Are you aware that being the victim of multiple rapes and beatings does not make a woman a criminal?
Are you aware that a woman is neither a criminal nor a prostitute even if money somehow changed hands in a building where she was the only female prey among 84 men? Nope. Even if men paid a pimp for her, this is still not “being convinced” to “sell her body.
Are you aware that being forced, coerced, extorted, monitored, followed, threatened, spiritually blackmailed, slapped, raped, robbed, penetrated with objects, confined, held down, screamed at, sworn at, insulted, had her head smashed into the floor, shoved, kicked, (did I say raped?) and sexually exploited for the sadistic, voyeuristic and financial benefit of others – is not the same as having been “convinced” to “sell her body?”
Weird, right – that I would be confused and disappointed that my story would be altered to fit into series about people who were persuaded to commit horrific crimes?
I am really just another female commodity that corporate America felt entitled to use and exploit as they saw fit.
I did not deserve to be slut-shamed by corporate America.
In Santa Barbara, the same city where Emily Lindin started the Unslut Project to fight against slut-shaming,
the same city where Elliot Rodger taught the world why it is dangerous to allow entitlement and misogyny
is the same city where I am now pursuing a PhD in Media Psychology – as a direct result of my experience with Investigation Discovery, Raw TV, History Channel, eOne Entertainment. and now add to that – Crime Investigation UK.
No woman who her traumatic survival story, especially when it includes sexual trauma, should be portrayed in a way that leaves people to believe that “she was an idiot” who “hurt herself.”
I made these as a fun little way to help educate people about brainwashing, which is really just abusive psychological manipulation.
Brainwashing is just a nickname for a series of known psychological processes used to manipulate someone against their will. It’s unethical, traumatizing, and it literally changes what is happening in the brain – without the person realizing what is happening.Read More »
It wasn’t a “him.” It was THEM. Even after all these years since “The Great Deception,” I am still learning how my heart, soul, brain, finances and life were hijacked by an anti-Mormon psychopath.* In the beginning, my very first therapist suggested that I learn about “anti-social personality disorder” to help me be more safe in the future. Disclaiming that she was not diagnosing him, she showed me a list of the characteristics.Read More »
I am right now just off my knees from turning everything over to God tonight as I slay the biggest dragon of my life. So finally, I quite procrastinating, and I opened the Bible (which I haven’t read in ages because it triggers my PTSD) and just for fun I did one of those let-me-open-this-and-see-where-it lands in case something cool and relevant is on the page.
And I opened to Phillipians 1:27-30. Look how awesome and appropriate!!!!!!
27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel
28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God.
29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him
Sorry.Read More »
On January 17, 2013 at 3:00 in the afternoon, you might have caught a glimpse of a few celebrities on the courthouse steps in Salt Lake City, Utah. You might have even see me there too. I was the woman in red flanked by multiple husbands in matching frumpy white shirts, thanking God that I live in America, the land of the free.Read More »
Okay, Tolga took zillions of photos of our puppies who are quite the lively ones these days!! They decided to put all their toys on this colorful bed, then they chased each other around and tried to pester their mamma.Read More »
I recently went to Utah to take a stance against the decriminalization of polygamy. Did a couple press interviews, talked to reporters, and was mentioned in this City Weekly article.too. The exact blurb mentioning me is below:Read More »
A group of activists has organized a petition to oppose the decriminalization of polygamy.
Called “Stand Against Legalizing the Subjugation of Women Through Polygamy,” the petition is hosted by Change.org and as of Tuesday morning had been signed by 54 supporters.Read More »
Okay, here’s the latest buzz on Kandice, aka Lola. “Noctis Magazine is here tday to check in with the coolest up and coming pop star to hit our shores since Pink got the party started.”Read More »