Hearing from a reader today just triggered me again. I seem to be very easily triggered these days, blubbering away over here, crying at the drop of a hat. Mostly out of feeling inspired. But on this occasion, not.
Vasanas (1) are a funny thing. They have no obvious logic to them. One thing resembles another and the vasana goes off. This time it was a vasana of deep grief.
But not my grief per se. More secondary traumatization, the kind that one accumulates by listening to other people’s stories, the kind that social workers, doctors, psychiatrists, judges, and in my case adjudicators accumulate over time.
How can I describe what it’s like to sit adjudicating refugee claims, listening to the tales that people tell? I’ve told you before about the Russian woman who was used as a sexual plaything by the Chechen mob. They would would come right into her parents’ home, take her away, drug her, tie her down and rape her for a week. Her crime? Looking like a stereotypical Russian woman: blonde, good-looking, etc.
I told you how I listened to this woman, who’d already been turned down by American authorities, tell her story. Her body was shaking uncontrollably, her voice was going up and down, up and down, but with a steely determination she would not stop speaking. It was surreal listening to her say the words with her vocal tone not cooperating. She was going to get the words out if it killed her. She did not want Canada to turn her down. She was not going to be sent back to Russia.
In Canada, gender itself was recognized as grounds for a finding of persecution. In few other countries at that time was this the case.
That case so affected me, so traumatized me, that I could not speak to anyone after it for three hours but hid behind the door of my office.
I’ve also told you about the Rwandan man who saw his father and brother after the massacre. Everything revolves around what he saw but it would too upsetting to repeat here. The man himself dissociated right in my hearing room. Having reached the part about his father and brother, he went completely blank and had to be led away, with a blanket around him, gone for all intents and purposes. He was not present for the reading of the decision, by common consent.
I haven’t told you about the woman from Bangladesh, a doctor, who suffered from Bells Palsy because she was a girl and girls did not merit medical treatment. So she was condemned to suffer from a curable disease and ended up being disfigured and unable to marry. She insisted on becoming a professional, a doctor, to help others in her position and only became so by standing up to her family and risking beatings or death.
But her family got her in the end. They made her work in an Arabian country, where she was forced to live within a confined setting. They confiscated every penny she made.
I knew this woman was a Convention refugee within fifteen minutes of hearing her summarize her story, but I let her speak for three hours more because I knew she needed to tell her story once and she needed somebody, somewhere, to hear her. And at that moment, that was my job – to hear her. No one moved to get a glass of water. Counsel and I looked at each other periodically but it was clear that both of us wanted her to have this opportunity to speak.
And hearing from this man today, just because of the country he was from (for no other reason), brought it all up again, the vasana of grief going off and I had to cry and cry to get to the bottom of it. (In fact I’m still crying, writing through my tears. If I want to clear this vasana, I’ll have to cry until it releases itself.)
The amount of misery there is in this world is something we seldom confront or consider. We hire people to hear about it on society’s behalf and to fashion society’s response to it. Police, immigration officers, aid workers, judges, lawyers, ministers, diplomats, even soldiers, providing none of them are corrupt, all serve to take these unpleasant tasks away from people generally and all of them risk secondary traumatization from what they see and hear.
And then we blame them when they have difficulty living with what they’ve heard.
If I were to list some of the evils that go on in our world, you’d assert your right not to hear about it. It’s a conversation that can only go on within the ranks of those society details to handle it. The rest of society doesn’t want to know. Why are you saying this? Why are you spoiling my day?
Guess what? Your day is already spoiled. As Werner Erhard used to say, I cannot be happy knowing that, in my world, so many people are being mistreated and suffer.
I’m going to tell you because you need to know. You can put this article down and refuse to read it. There’s nothing I can do about that. But, as a world, we can’t continue offloading these facts onto designated officials to shield ourselves from knowledge. The world needs to know.
Sexual slavery is rampant in the world. That includes white slavery, prostitution of the impoverished, human trafficking, enslavement of the unprotected and illegal immigrant, entrapment, and so on. In many countries of the world, the woman is no more than a commodity (chattel is the actual word more commonly used) and can be bought and sold, married off at a very young age, told whom to marry, denied education, attacked with acid if she does not cooperate, raped, and killed if the family’s honor is considered to be impugned or if her husband is refused a bigger dowry.
Most violence done in the world is done by men to women – sad but true. (2) Even in our societies, here in the West, women are paid less than men for jobs of the same value, denied promotion in many circumstances, confined to dead-end, subservient, and unchallenging jobs, etc.
In some countries, female children are aborted, exposed at birth, abandoned, or sold into slavery. When they grow up, they’re forced into a marriage not of their choosing or condemned to a life of domestic servitude and beaten if they resist.
We cannot keep confining this knowledge to “professionals” in the field. The public needs to know as well.
In many countries of the world, children labor for mere subsistence, workers are underpaid, confined to company quarters, fed substandard food. They may be unable to get up off their workbench and go to the bathroom more than a set number of times a shift. If they complain about anything to anyone, they can be fired or worse. Much worse.
If you’re a prisoner in China, you may face routine torture. You may find yourself minus a kidney, which may be sold to a rich western recipient and enrich the warden or other officials. Your skin may be harvested. Well, perhaps that’s enough of that. I could go on and on and on, circling the world and detailing persecution for any number of reasons, war crimes, crimes against humanity and other examples of man’s inhumanity to man that go on right now, behind the scenes in almost any country.
And I haven’t even touched on gangs, organized criminal organizations, the Illuminati’s own dark, dark practices, and so on.
It was one of the saddest moments of my life to realize that the premier document on persecution in the world, the United States Department of State Country Reports on Human Rights Practices (the DOS Report), was itself impacted and influenced by policy to hide the criminal acts of the United States Government, which we here know include false-flag attacks against its own citizens, illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the attempt to launch a new illegal war against Iran, the use of deadly depleted-uranium weapons which harm everybody but no one more than babies, the running of torture/rendition prisons, torture taxis, laboratories where human beings are experimented on in places like Area 51, on and on and on.
So I have a lot of grief inside of me and I’m no longer content to be a former official on whom society offloaded its need to know about these things. I’m blowing my own whistle and saying that we need to pay attention to the persecution in our world – and persecution mainly aimed by men at women and children (and of children mainly female children).
We really do need to wake up in this area as well, this terrible, difficult area where we walk around blind to the suffering around us, in our own cities, but certainly in countless other cities around the world. Persecution needs to end on Earth too, not just poverty and homelessness and disease. We need to become aware of all the people who are persecuted in the world and assume responsibility, as a planet, to see that persecution ends.
(1) The term “vasana” is used by Advaita Vedantists (or non-dualists) to describe the primary obstacle to enlightenment, namely waves in the mind.
A vasana is usually considered to be a behavior pattern formed in early-childhood, based on a traumatic incident, complete with decisions and reactions, which persists through time, sleeps, and is awakened by a triggering event. It exists as a disturbing wave in the mind, preventing the stillness of mind which is considered to be a prerequisite for enlightenment.
I’ve heard vasanas be called records, files, persistent memories, scripts, and many other terms. Under one name or another, they are known to most, if not all, psychologists and many if not most spiritual teachers.
(2) Ending the Global Persecution of Women (2007), at https://www.angelfire.com/space2/light11/women/index30.html