Roadmap to the Renaissance of the Campfire


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^Me with Rick Santorum in 2012  LOL. 

I seem to be having some sort of Renaissance in my life, hence my urge to write another blog post after two years of heading in other directions.  Who would have thought that I would have such a thing at the age of 48?  How did this happen?  I can reconstruct a road map, but will it help anyone else?  Or help me in the future if I get depressed again?  The answers are unknown, but it is worth a try.

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April 4, 2019:  I was too depressed to call back my best friend from childhood.  We have literally been friends since birth, since our brothers went to preschool together; and then our mothers were friends and got pregnant with us at the same time.  This was the time when I had decided I had to just keep taking my sons to Mass every Sunday by myself and see all the happy families with fathers there and just bear my cross of being virtually alone.  I decided I would just think of myself as a spiritual widow, and I bought myself a black mantilla to wear to Church.

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I hadn’t had a deep conversation with my husband about my true thoughts and feelings since December 14, 2012 (Sandy Hook Drill). He stopped going to church with us.  He is still a good husband, father, and provider.  I just got so depressed because we seem to have almost nothing in common.  We got married during my ten wasted years as a Neo-Con, and he still is one.  He rescued my from the cult, in a way, even though I met him after I left there.  He rescued me from the mindset of the cult, at least, but then I swung to another extreme.  I was a damsel in distress, and he does keep me safe.  Now that I am no longer the damsel in distress archetype, everything has to be renegotiated.  Still, recently I have gotten the message that I need to become something of a fangirl for my own husband and also clean this big, messy house full of children. 


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He once read a David Ray Griffin book by my request, as a last ditch attempt by me to get on the same page.  He just said that if it really was like that, then we were [insert profanity here]. He’s suspicious of the motives of people who lift the curtain.  It’s kind of ridiculous in my mind.  Logic dictates that either we are being deceived on a grand scale, or someone is elaborately framing all events to make anyone who looks for the truth think that we are being lied to on a grand scale, when in reality everything is exactly like they portray it on the Today Show.  Occam’s Razor suggests that they wouldn’t need to go to the effort of that extra layer of deception.  Nevertheless, I know that I must do my very best at the post at which I am currently positioned.  

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One day around this time I bought some Heritage Flakes, which I used to eat during my days of all-out hippiedom.  My husband liked them, and ate almost the whole bag.  He told me he liked them, and I said “Wow!  I am shocked! I can add that to the list of things we have in common.” He said, “It’s a short list.  I don’t think there is anything else on it.”This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is notre-dame.jpg

April 15, 2019:  The fire happens at Notre Dame.  A lady from our Catholic Home School group sent out an email about it.  So I turned on the news, which I rarely do anymore.  The first thing I thought was that the anti-humans were asserting their dominance once again, trying to burn down one of the most beautiful creations that humans had ever made.  I checked around the old so-called alternative sites that I had previously semi-abandoned, but no one was really telling the truth.  The view above is similar to the view of Notre Dame I saw with my parents in 1990.  I remember we only saw it from across the river, because we had to catch a train.  We were taking the EuroRail through Europe, but we mostly went to villages and out of the way places.  

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Here are my primroses in Michigan on April 27, 2019.  Around this time it was unseasonably cold, and there was very little sun.  I couldn’t plant things or fix up the yard the way I usually would in spring.  I started to have a lot of dreams about people in my life who had died: My brother, my dad, my aunt, my friends Amy and Ned who killed themselves, my daughter’s teacher, Tony’s cult member John Thurstin, and others.  It was freaking me out a bit, because every night another one would be there and seemed as clear and real as day.  Was I going to die? Why was the other realm so busy communicating with me? I did think that my life seemed to have not much meaning other than being there for my children.  


April 28, 2019:  The primroses and the gnome made it through the snowstorm.  I was to emerge from the storm shortly afterward.


April 30:  I see a person’s post on Project Avalon about a podcast with Freeman TV and James True. I write to my friend (image above) about it, while we are going back and forth about publishing or not publishing a certain YouTube video. I read this quote:  

It is time to unlock your magic and liberate your psychology. There is a technology to our thoughts. The Jungian archetypes are sigils of magic and you are a creator responsible for this power. Your mind can be baptized in a single question. You can return the assemblage point of your awareness back to your center. All you have to do is ask the question, “Is that true.” We remain as defenseless as a baby when we give them blind trust. It’s time to wake up now. –James True

I listen to this podcast and am intellectually blown away for the first time in years. I ordered the book, Blueprints For Mind Control, and read it cover to cover. We had been trying to figure out whether the CIA was still actively involved in the cult I was in during the 1990s, but this book helped me to realize that it doesn’t actually matter; because the mind control is everywhere. I start to read some posts at James True’s blog, like this one:  “Our Lady of Fire and Isis” I discover that there is at least one other human being living on this Earth who refuses to put up with nonsense. Still, I can’t get too invested in any one person’s wisdom. I’ve been down that road before. Nevertheless, James True, I thank you for giving me courage to tell the truth in several areas of my life and to stop being afraid of my own story.

May 1:  I tell my friend to go ahead and publish the YouTube video about my life in the cult 20 years ago. I barely remember what I said. It’s probably embarrassing. I had found out that another ex-member from the cult had taken action to expose the child sexual abuse that she witnessed and was a victim of in the cult. I figured it was the least I could do to tell my little story, which had previously seemed so big. I started to have survivors guilt, because I realized that as devastated as I had been by the cult, I had gotten off easy compared to some people. Cult leader Tony had another ex-member arrested recently for child rape. So I do some more work on my blog to help expose the truth about the mind control cult.

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May 5: On the way home from church, an elderly lady turns left directly in front of an oncoming car going over fifty-five miles per hour. I am right behind her waiting to turn left and exactly in the path she would have taken had the car hit her. In other words, her car would have been pushed into mine at the speed of 55 mph. Everything slowed down. I was thinking “She’s not really going to turn now, is she?” Miraculously, within inches, the car swerves and misses her. I see people all around me freaking out in their cars and discussing with each other the near death experience we all just had. After that I drive home thinking “I really do want to live.” Later I take my kids to Menards to get supplies for their electricity science project and we pick up a planter for my mom for Mothers Day (image above).

May 8: I go to see a Cher concert at Van Andel Arena with aforementioned friend from infancy and my adult daughter. We have a real hooting and hollering fun time. Cher performs the song “I Got You Babe” by having a huge screen onstage where you can see Sonny singing his parts. Then Cher sings her parts to the big screen Sonny. I am impressed that whatever differences she had with him that resulted in their divorce, that now later in life she can give the audience what it wants and find the beauty and nostalgia from their time together as Sonny and Cher.

My ex-husband stating in court that he is giving up his daughter to protect his cult leader from Dateline NBC

May 11: These folks from Pittsburgh drove to Kalamazoo to interview me for an article and podcast they are doing about the cult. I record an interview with them for two hours. It’s intense. It’s part of the process. I am leaving behind parts of my life that caused discord. I’m going through some kind of pre-purgatory. I was traumatized by some stuff that happened surrounding the Grateful Dead when I was in college, and I got through all that in December. Now the cult is quickly retreating in my rearview mirror. I guess talking about it helped. I used to almost never talk about it. People led me to believe that it would help others if I talk about it. Maybe that’s true. It certainly helped me.

Now: I am working on this project having to do with developing new curriculum for youth that will actually prepare them for this world the way it is, not the way people want to pretend that it is. The book Blueprints For Mind Control helped inspire me to do this and to revamp my own children’s homeschool next year. I feel less alone, because I have a renewed sense of purpose. I still don’t have anyone in my life who I feel like I can really talk to about the world, except for maybe my kids, but I try not to get too intense with them. Still, I am excited about life again. I am playing music on the guitar and piano again and singing.

When my friend from infancy and I read the book Wild (later made into a movie), we both thought, “Gosh, people are interested in this stuff? We have had way more interesting adventures than this lady.” We don’t usually share them, because they identify us as “other”. We took way more risks in our youth than most people, but now we have both tried to blend in more. What is the point of that? What is the point of having gone through all this joy and pain, if no one ever gets to know about it? These people who have never left their comfort zone are apparently fascinated by stories of humans doing human-like things. So maybe I will share more, just for fun, and stop hiding.

Right now, I am going to cook dinner for the kids on the grill and then make them a campfire. We will sing some songs around it. We might cook some s’mores. I will be fully present from them, because they landed with this far-out mom for some reason; so they might as well enjoy it.

UPDATE: We got the fire going, despite the dampness!

Later on, we really got it going! Some people were setting off fireworks on the lake, so we went down there to see them better. The fireworks were done, but the sky was glorious with stars. My 7-year-old son said it was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen in his life.



Forty Days for Truth, Day 40: Time to Plant More Peas


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Forty days ago, I started posting on my blog again after having deleted the whole thing years ago.  This was my Lenten sacrifice, because my inclination at this point in time is not to make public statements.  A few people read the blog, and if they got anything out of it that is good.  What I got out of it was a better picture of my own life and search for truth, so that is good too.  I’m just writing this post from the heart to wrap up the forty days.

I was always a weirdo, probably due to high IQ.  I was in the gifted class in elementary school, but I was even an outcast among those folks. However, it wasn’t until my brother was murdered when I was twelve years old in 1983 that I began to realize the extent to which the world at large was insane.  This led to me being even more on the outskirts of society and linking up with other weird kids in high school.  Also my observation that establishment Justice was a joke in my brother’s murder case made me more easily influenced by the leftist propaganda of my teachers, my friend who was raised by hippies, and later my professors at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.


It was in Ann Arbor that I firmly rejected mainstream society.  I worked for Greenpeace for about two weeks, until I saw that they had sold out as well.  A few trips to the wealthy neighborhoods of Grosse Pointe to try to sell fake environmental concern to outrageously wealthy people was enough for me.  It was  the lady with the huge mansion and giant boat in her yard who honestly told me that she was up to her eyeballs in debt because of their fancy house and fancy yacht and couldn’t afford to give any money to Greenpeace, that finally got me to quit.  She said she honestly would want to donate, but she had too many loan payments to be able to do so.  I believed her.

I started to spend a lot of my time walking out of Ann Arbor to various parks to try to get to a place where I couldn’t hear the noise of the city.  I had never lived in a city before.  The only place where I could get away from the noise was sitting by the banks of the rushing Huron River, where the sound of the water drowned out the sound of the city.  I knew that when I turned 21 I was getting a modest settlement from the insurance company of the people who sold beer to the underage attendees of the teenage drinking party that resulted in my brother’s murder.  So I decided I would buy land with the money and move toward self-sufficiency, leaving society completely behind.  For this reason, I moved to Missoula, Montana in 1990, stopping at a Rainbow Gathering in northern Minnesota on the way.


In Missoula, I got involved with the local Earth First! Group.  At the time, the Earth First! Newspaper was headquartered in Missoula, so there was a lot of activity in the area.  I also attended classes at the University of Montana.  When the first Gulf War started in January 1991, I was involved in many anti-war protests.  A government agent tried to entice me to join him to stage a sit-in to shut down the local bank, but I declined.  I joined the Alliance for the Wild Rockies.  I rode my bike to their annual meeting.  I was dismayed to see the parking lot full of SUV’s.  They were protesting drilling in the Badger Two Medicine area of the National Forest.  I stood up at the meeting and suggested they could start by not driving SUVs.  Dead silence.  I didn’t fit in with that group either.


Missoula was surrounded by beautiful national forests, but suffered from horrible air pollution in the winter.  Sulfur dioxide filled the air when inversions kept the warm air in the valley.  Stage 1 air alerts meant that it was recommended that everyone stay indoors.  I had come there to get back to nature not to be poisoned by heavy industry, so it was clear I couldn’t stay in the city.  I looked at buying some land around there.  I rode my bike all around the western side of the state.  Once I rode my bike by myself from Missoula to Glacier National Park.  I crossed the continental divide on my bicycle.  A train was chugging up the tracks at the same time I was crossing.  The engineer tooted his whistle and waved at me.  He understood the effort of climbing the Continental Divide by pedal power.  Going down the other side was really fun, down, down, down for many, many minutes.

I looked at land in Northern California as well, but got scared away by being bit by a rabid fox.  I went along with the rabies injections and returned to Missoula to finish the series, so that I didn’t have to camp in my tent anymore.

Somehow I got the idea of looking for land in the Ozark mountains instead.  I think it was because of the low property taxes.  I went there on a Greyhound with my bicycle and a couple of suitcases.  That adventure turned into a disaster and I went back to Michigan.

That was in 1992.  Bill Clinton had just been elected.  Because I was moving from Arkansas to Michigan, I didn’t get to vote at all.  But I remember listening to Clinton’s inaugural speech from my bedroom at my parents’ house in Michigan. I actually believed him.  I thought he was going to do great things.  Lies, all lies, of course.

I got married. I had a child.  We were still into planting our own food, etc., although my original goal of buying land got sidetracked.  I decided to finish my teaching degree instead.  Somewhere along the line there I must have gone back to thinking participating in regular society was worthwhile, but that didn’t last long.  I wrote in an earlier post about why my husband and I moved to an “intentional community” in Arizona and got horribly duped.  My first husband (the marriage was annulled, so I am not sure what to call him) is still in that cult, being led astray by a charlatan.

Back in Michigan in 2000, I was  a single mom.  I finally took the last few university classes, got my degree, and got a full time teaching job at the Muslim school.  Many lessons were learned there about how much most Muslim Americans hate America.

Then 9/11/01 happened, and I was totally duped.  I turned into a NeoCon.  What an idiot I was.


I finally got some sense back in 2011, which I wrote about in my post about 911 Truth.  Ten years of being a brain dead NeoCon zombie.  Shoot.  Well, at least I know where those people are coming from now.

I have pretty much come full circle.  If only I had spent all of that time prepping for self-sufficiency like I originally intended. I started to think that there was little point in just surviving if the whole society has gone out the window. Now I think there is some point to that, if you can make it through to the other side when people are actually willing to face the truth and rebuild something new.  So that is what I am doing now, I suppose.  I will buckle down and start from where I am.  I have learned many lessons in all of those side adventures, so hopefully they will be of some use.  I might post more blogs in the future if something really needs to be said.  For now, it’s time to plant some more rows of peas.


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Forty Days For Truth, Day 39: The Waco Massacre



Since our government is now telling us they are bombing Syria to save the children from an evil dictator, it seems like an appropriate time to go back and review one of the times in history when our own government killed children for no good reason. Bill Clinton is still alive. He can be prosecuted for war crimes. As the 40 Days for Truth come to a close, it’s clear that the promise of President Trump is an empty promise. He’s not going to bring about real change. His campaign promise of America First was a lie. He’s putting time, energy and millions of dollars into bombing another country for no good reason. Nothing has changed. Apparently he’s not going to arrest Hillary Clinton,  Bill Clinton, Barack Hussein Obama, George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld or any of the other war criminals currently roaming free in the USA. Janet Reno is dead, so she’s presumedly already in Hell. At least she saved some taxpayer money on that one.

The government premise for the catastrophe at Waco on April 19, 1993, was seizing “illegal weapons”. We have a Second Amendment to the Constitution, so to begin with that was nonsense. Then to kill 82 people, including 25 children, in pursuit of this illegal siege was further ridiculousness. I don’t care what you think about Koresh or his beliefs. The government did not need to kill those innocent people.

What in the name of God is going on in the USA? I thought I had found some sane Patriots in our local pro-Trump group. But I was wrong. I thought they stood for something beyond just blindly following a man who claimed to be for Liberty, a.k.a. Donald Trump. When that man starts abandoning his America First promise, Patriots should abandon him as well.  In our local group, only four people besides me are even questioning this bombing of Syria. So once again I’m virtually on my own. That’s fine. That’s how it’s been for decades.

Apparently most people have taken some kind a vaccination against truth. There are facts readily available to show that our government is completely corrupt and has been for decades. And yet few people seem to want to hold them accountable. In my smoke-filled room post, I pointed out how psychological studies show that only ten  percent of people will raise a fuss in a smoke-filled room if everyone else is ignoring the obvious. The smoke currently filling our world is invisible, more like carbon monoxide then smoke from a wood fire. So apparently ten percent is too high of a number for an analogy of the current world situation. Even though the effects are obvious, the poisoning is still denied. Even though even a tiny amount of investigation will easily find the source of the carbon monoxide, we are still going to pretend that we live in a free country and that the US Constitution is still in effect.  I’m just done. Let me know when people are interested in facing reality again. Meanwhile I suppose I have to let them continue in their dream. We don’t have a leader. We aren’t organized. We’re just a small sprinkling of people here and there who has somehow gotten out of The Matrix. I do know there are a few of you out there, so that does give me a tiny bit of comfort. God Help Us.

Documentary A Noble Lie exposes Oklahoma City bombing as government black-op

Here are some more details about Oklahoma City. I don’t want to hear any nonsense about the USA bombing Syria to “save the children”. Our government has enough children’s deaths on its own conscience to make amends for. Let’s get some answers about all of the noble lies in US history before we run around being the policeman of the world. Why hasn’t Bill Clinton been prosecuted for war crimes?

Forty Days For Truth, Day 38:  Farewell, President Trump. It Was Nice While It Lasted. 

Apparently, I was fooled again, despite repeatedly singing The Who song with the contrary sentiment.   I thought President Trump was serious about America First. Apparently he thinks we are still the policemen of the world and found it necessary to strike Syria last night with 59 missiles, worth one million dollars each. Looks like restoring the Constitutional Republic is unlikely to happen under President Trump. 

There are multiple dead children available for any politician to use as an excuse to bomb whatever they want. Apparently most American people will accept that excuse. Yet over 900,000 babies are murdered through abortion each year in the USA, with no recriminations.  I hope President Trump changes his priorities.  At least Judge Gorsuch was confirmed as Supreme Court Justice today. 

Forty Days For Truth, Day 37: Just Say No to War With Syria



Isaiah 2:4  And he shall judge the Gentiles, and rebuke many people: and they shall turn their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into sickles: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they be exercised any more to war.

The warmongers want us to go to war in Syria now.  How many people will keep supporting President Trump if he goes along with this? We don’t need to be the world’s policemen.  We need to fix our own problems.  Please tell me that President Trump is not buying into this nonsense.  The cycle of constant war needs to end.  The manufacturers of the instruments of war need to find a new occupation.  False flags are now understood as events that most definitely do occur.  For example, it has been publicly acknowledged that the Gulf of Tonkin was a false flag leading to the USA entrance into the Vietnam War.  Let’s not buy in to the narrative being pre-packaged for us.  I do not consent to this war.

“The Truth About Tonkin”:

“Ron Paul Says Syrian Chemical Attack Makes No Sense”:

Forty Days for Truth, Day 36: Gladys Kravitz, Conspiracy Theorist Extraordinaire



Gladys Kravitz: How do you suppose all three of them got tied up?
Shirley Clyde: Boys will be boys.
Gladys Kravitz: But if two are tied up, who ties up the third?


Fans of the original TV series Bewitched from the 1960s remember Gladys Kravitz, the iconic neighbor of Samantha and Darrin, residents of the psychedelically named Morning Glory Circle. Gladys was one of the only mortals in the show who ever caught on to the scope of the supernatural powers of Samantha. Yet she was constantly ridiculed by her husband, the police, and others.  Her husband was always trying to get her to take more medication, because she was seeing people appear and disappear, people turn into animals, and other bizarre occurrences at the Stephens’ home next door.


As the omniscient television viewers, we knew that Gladys was correct in what she was reporting.  Her persecution was unjust, and she was by far the most observant person in the neighborhood, if not the entire town.  Samantha was outwardly kind to Gladys, even though it was really Samantha’s fault that Gladys was overmedicated and constantly ridiculed by her husband and the authorities.   Surely a fantastic spin-off opportunity was missed, with Gladys portrayed as the hero of the neighborhood, defending the world against the evils of witchcraft!

Gladys Kravitz
Today, Gladys Kravitz would be called a “conspiracy theorist” by those who seek to use this label to instantly discredit anyone who questions the official, often bland, narrative of current events.   In reality, the conspiracy that requires more convolutions, leaps in logic, or downright impossibilities are those perpetuated by the government as the “official story”.  For example, it is harder to maintain a lone-gunman-assassin-from-behind JFK story while simultaneously explaining why six credible witnesses saw a hole with a pattern indicating a bullet had entered the front of JFK’s windshield, than to come up with a theory that accounts for more than one shooter.  The theory that the government labels as “conspiracy” is often the one that more easily holds up to logical scrutiny.

However, the government also runs the school system.  Therefore, they know that a large portion of the public has never been properly trained in logic and analysis.  Also, most people care more about fitting in with the crowd than with knowing the truth.  That’s why ad hominem attacks like demonizing “conspiracy theorists” work.  Few are willing to become the Gladys Kravitz of their neighborhood by questioning the official narrative of the lovely, innocent, completely “normal” blond woman who lives next door.

Just shut up and take your medication, Gladys.

Gladys Quote

Forty Days for Truth, Day 35: Ruby Ridge


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When the Ruby Ridge siege happened in the summer of 1992, I had just moved away from the Northwest United States.  I had previously been living in Missoula, Montana, near the Idaho border.  I had been to Idaho several times, mainly to visit the National Forests and the Jerry Johnson Hot Springs.  I imagine that if I had still been living in Montana, I would have heard a lot more about the siege at Ruby Ridge while it was happening.  As it was, I was living in Arkansas and not very in touch with the news.  The family I was living with only turned on the antenna TV once a week when Star Trek: The Next Generation was airing new episodes.  I vaguely remember hearing about Ruby Ridge, but I didn’t know the details until Backwoods Home magazine published an editorial about Ruby Ridge later that year.  My aunt had given me a gift subscription to this new magazine, Backwoods Home.  It was one of the best gifts anyone ever gave me, because my aunt understood me better than most people.

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When I read the editorial, it explained how government agents had shot an unarmed woman holding a baby while standing in the doorway of her home.  They had also shot a ten-year-old boy in the back while he was running away.  All of this started from a sting operation carried out by a government agent selling Randy Weaver a sawed-off shotgun.  Randy wasn’t even particularly interested in buying a sawed-off shotgun, but he believed that the government agent was an ordinary guy who really needed the money from the sale.  Then Weaver refused to show up for his court dates for this ridiculous entrapment arrest.

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I assumed things would change in America after I read this editorial.  Americans wouldn’t stand for such outrageous abuse of power by the government, right?  No, actually, they stood for that and more. The government did its’ part to quell any possible outrage or organized resistance to the atrocities committed by the US government at Ruby Ridge and Waco by carrying out the false flag against militias in Oklahoma City.  This seemed to divert the general American public’s attention for a while.

I was living in 1992 with a family that was somewhat like Randy Weaver’s family, although they weren’t as well-equipped with firearms.  They were into raising their own food and living off the land.  I am glad I had this experience.  At the time, I wanted to live that way myself.  It started out as more of out of a concern for the environment.  I followed environmental activism to its logical conclusion of making as little impact personally on the earth.  Eventually I realized that this was a pointless endeavor for many reasons, the primary one being that one can make zero impact by being dead so one’s life should be dedicated to more than simply making no impact.  Now I am willing to live the self-sufficient lifestyle and have made preparations to do so in the case of societal collapse.  But I am certainly not going to do so out of some environmental concern, when so-called prominent environmentalists live extravagant lifestyles in multi-million dollar mansions.  It became clear to me that most of the environmental leaders were charlatans.

jess walter

Jess Walter’s book Ruby Ridge: The Truth and Tragedy of the Randy Weaver Family was a decent explanation of what happened at Ruby Ridge.  It presented Randy Weaver in a more realistic light, neither as totally a hero nor as a villain or kook.  The government not only created the Ruby Ridge situation through entrapment, it clearly over-reacted and outright murdered and child and his mother.  There was no reason for this situation to escalate to the point that it did.  Walter’s book does explain to some extent the government viewpoint that led to this ridiculous stance of thinking they had to win at all costs against this American family.

Forty Days for Truth, Day 34: The Donner Party & Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571


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“Never take no cutoffs and hurry along as fast as you can”

–Virginia Reed, young surviving member of the Donner Party, regarding her experience

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When most people think of the Donner Party, they think of the eating of human flesh to which some member resorted out of desperation.  That is part of the story, but the whole story is fascinating from beginning to end.  I have read several books about the Donner Party.  Ordeal by Hunger  gives an excellent overview: Desperate Passage is a newer book and branches out in to other areas, such as a chapter detailing various times in history when humans have had to resort to eating dead companions to survive. The two books together are excellent, since they highlight different parts of the journey.

Before they ever got to the mountains that stranded them in 1846 over the winter with the first snowfall, many adventures occurred which make the story of the Donner Party fascinating just as a tale of the pioneer journey regardless of its ending.  The group was one of the last parties to leave Missouri, so they were already behind many of the other wagon trains.  However, their true downfall occurred when they were duped by a charlatan, Lansford Hastings.  Hastings wanted to make a name for himself by developing a shortcut west over the Wasatch Mountains.  Because this path was new, the Donner Party found that they had to cut a path through the wild.  Also, they were unprepared to travel a very dry stretch and ended up having to abandon much of their livestock and supplies, contributing to the later disaster.  The “shortcut” ended up adding precious time to their journey, instead of making it faster.  They only missed getting over the Sierra Nevada mountains before the first early snowfall by one day.

When the Uruguayan rugby team was stranded from a plane crash in the Andes in 1972, they also resorted eventually to eating human flesh.  They were Catholic and were very concerned that this would be a sin.  When they went to confess the sin after some of them were rescued, they were told by a priest that it would have been a sin if they had refused to keep themselves alive by this method since it was the only method available. It was not a sin to eat the dead flesh when there was nothing else to eat.  They only ate fellow passengers who had died naturally.  The rugby players also prayed the Rosary together every night, as did many of their mothers back in Uruguay.  Their mothers credit the Rosary with their sons’ miraculous survival and rescue.  The story of the role of the Rosary in the Andes rugby survivors is explained in Piers Paul Read’s book Alive, as well as portrayed in the movie by the same name.

Both of these stories are essentially about the human spirit and our ability to survive in even the worst situations.  In both cases, stories are told about the will to survive and how giving up was a factor in the demise of some of the members of both parties.  To me this is the more interesting part of both the story of the Donner Party and the Andes Crash Survivors.



Forty Days for Truth, Day 33: How To Pray the Rosary




I’ve recently been studying the Miracle at Fatima again.  It reminded me of the power of the rosary.  I used to pray the rosary with the nuns on EWTN, but I have gotten out of the habit since we stopped having satellite TV.  Because I am a convert, it’s harder for me to do it on my own.  I know I can do it!  It’s time to make it a daily part of our homeschool again.