Not every moment was like a slap in the face. Some had to be looked back on to fully comprehend.

While bringing me along to Washington D.C. to gain easy access to the offices of legislators (there are documents with their signatures on her behalf later in this writing), to areas within Yale that even graduate students and most faculty were not allowed in, and with the smell of her expensive thick wool clothing always filling my nostrils when she was near - the recruiter would tell me that we were impoverished.

This is the woman who had a large office space in Torrington, Connecticut containing a professional printing press, aisles and aisles of heavy and neatly organized equipment on closely stacked professional shelving, and everything of quality - including her full mahogany desk with a thick marble slab top. That office alone contained more value than some smaller museums. And another office she was affiliated with? Back when I was still small, her address was once listed as 150 Windsor Street, Hartford, a bank processing center. I had been to it with her. She shared an office there on the upper level over the processing floor. She brought me when she was collecting several gold bricks from the large vault in the bottom level. She needed them for a project. I remember how nervous she appeared when carrying them out in an ordinary-looking canvas bag as we exited the back of the building. I don’t know if the project the gold was for was personal or business (I assume the latter), but the method of carrying the gold bricks seemed clandestine and unconventional - in other words, it suited her perfectly.

She even had a nice newer-model car that she would keep parked around the corner from where she raised me so that she could claim to be without a vehicle, unless she actually needed to use it. Despite the quality of the vehicle, the area around my feet was always littered with empty Coke cans and Snickers bar wrappers when I entered it. Prior to that, back before New Haven. But I digress.

Actual impoverished people tried to explain to me that the recruiter was not poor. They highlighted their own lives and the quality of their food and furnishings. I understood there was a difference, but I didn’t listen quite as closely as I should have. The recruiter had already created a wedge between us and them by telling me they simply were not educated enough to understand what it was like to be from Yale, and that their lifestyles were due to a lack of intellect rather than a lack of money. I was young and she was the authority on things in life, having taken the role of mother, so I believed her that their choices were simply bad shopping habits.

It wasn’t until I was on my own as an adult that it fully struck me - poverty does not mean full access to Yale, full access to politicians, and enough equipment and gourmet food to keep yourself going for a lifetime. Poverty means the discount food on the lower shelves at the grocery store. It means furniture that will fall apart. It means not even being able to borrow that piece of equipment, never mind owning fifty pieces just like it. Poverty is actually a struggle to get the most out of limited resources. It’s not a costume to wear like she had.

Back in our day-to-day lives, the recruiter was still bringing me along to Yale recruitment movie nights, but they had now moved to evenings in a university building beyond Woolsey Hall and down Prospect Street. They would divide the groups up among various lecture rooms, From what I saw and experienced, either the drugs varied by room, or the hypnotics simply had a very different effect depending on the room setting and what type of movie was being watched. The students who attended were all Yale students, as far as I knew, and I believe most were there to gain extra credit for their classes by volunteering to be part of seemingly innocent social and psychological experiments that were promoted as only requiring the watching of a few movies.

The first time I went, I was led to a tiny basement room to watch a version of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. There were two slightly sketchy students who smelled like the engineering department. One of them was passing out little pill cups full of something. Whatever it was, I consumed it. Thanks to the mind-altering chemicals in it, for many years after, I would have every single part of that movie burnt into my brain, especially the Oompa Loompa song. While somewhat irritating, it wasn’t a terrifying or overly concerning experience, at least not by my measure.

Much like the original recruitment movie nights, the nights in the new location were weekly. On another week, I was assigned to a room that was upstairs with a group watching Single White Female. Pro tip: whether you’re safe at home or surrounded by sketchy recruiters at Yale, don’t watch Single White Female while tripping. About maybe forty minutes into the movie, I looked to my right and saw what I thought was a woman being trapped and pulled through a massive tube on the wall. I decided it was time to take a bathroom break. In other words, on the outside, I was calmly getting up and leaving to find the ladies' room. On the inside, I was screaming and thinking I was the next one to go into the tube.

Once in the quiet hallway, I calmed my nerves and took a very slow walk to the furthest restroom I knew of. I had to pass another movie-night room to do so. It was towards the end of the building and to my left. From the hall, I could see the students. They were in the dark, and on the screen was the violent carnage-filled Vietnam War movie we had been using in several other types of psychological experiments during that time and in that location. Although, I might note, that after so many years, I don’t think those were experiments anymore. We were getting the intended results. The experimental stage was long over. It was psychological manipulation via deceitful means after the also-deceitful lure of “it’s just a harmless movie night.”

What I saw when I looked in was concerning, more real and concerning than my temporary hallucination about a tube. The majority of the people in that room were visibly panicking from being exposed to the movie in the dark while on what must have been copious amounts of hallucinogens. And the staff and security? They were blocking the door, not letting anyone leave, and making sure the lights stayed off and the movie continued. They were actually physically fighting off several of the students.

I never learned the purpose of drugging and traumatizing a room full of our future leaders of industry and nations, but I can say I don’t think it was a good one.

One of the staff caught me staring, so I made a little small talk, pretending like whatever was going on was ordinary. And then, I finally walked down the hall and into the ladies' room.

While we’re on the topic of drugs, I remember one harvest season when the recruiter sent me down by a river, on someone else’s abandoned private property, to harvest an entire field of Jimson Weed (Datura stramonium) she had planted. The landowner had become suspicious of her and was keeping an eye on the place, so she couldn’t do it on her own. I’ll admit I went to the library and looked up what the plant was, and considered using it to get high. But I was too afraid to let loose my grasp on reality, so I didn’t even try one seed. I simply brought the harvest home to her and handed it over.

It, or something like it, would eventually end up in my system anyway when she decided I was more malleable when drugged without my knowledge. A year or two after that harvest, she found a better supply of drugs via an infamous Yale chemist. The high school and college students in the area knew him for his LSD. Actually, probably most of New England knew him for that. People like the recruiter knew him for his unique and powerful scopolamine and Rohypnol derivatives. Her access to him led to my waking up exhausted nearly every morning for several years.

For the longest time, I thought I had terrible health and that’s why I was so tired upon waking after a night of boring dreams, mostly of walking around town with her. Then little things started painting a larger picture. In the morning, at the city bus stop near Yale on my way to school, people would approach me who were absolutely convinced they remembered me from the night before. However, I had been sleeping in my bed all that night, or I reasonably assumed I was, since I put my head on the pillow at 9 PM and then woke up to the 5:45 AM alarm in that same bed. According to these strangers, we’d had long conversations throughout the night, and they would understandably act offended when I genuinely could not remember them after such intense evenings together and told them they had the wrong person.

They were enough to make me wonder, but it wasn’t until a friend was reminiscing with me about a time he and I were hanging out and having fun with “my mother” (a time that I could not recall and would not have allowed when sober because I went out of my way to protect my friends from her by never introducing them) that it finally hit me. She had been drugging me while I slept, waking me up in that condition, and dragging me all over town with her until dawn.

I later confirmed it by leaving evidence for myself for the mornings. Any time I felt like I was drugged and she was there telling me I was dreaming (her usual spiel when I was high and we were out of earshot of others), I would tear a nail, scrape my arm on concrete, rip a seam in my clothing, fill my shoes full of sand, or anything else that logical excuses would not be able to explain. Jumping into pools with all my clothing on was a favorite. Shoes never really dry after that. The only thing that never worked was filling my pockets. Those, she always made sure I emptied, and she kept the contents.

I wasn’t the only target in those years. I was just always close by and, therefore, got the brunt of it. I never could understand why I wasn’t simply allowed to come along while sober. I think for her it was a control thing, and she always wanted a ridiculous amount of control.

She also controlled my education to an absurd degree, when it was convenient enough to actually send me to school. I did the math once, and I missed approximately half of the years of formal education between the first and twelfth grade (senior year). I was a quick study, but there are some subjects I’ve struggled with because it’s difficult to just pick up where you left off on things like mathematics when the class had gone over two years of the foundational blocks of the current lesson while you were gone. I will never be a genius when it comes to calculus.

As time went on, I went to and participated in several years of discussions and courses on and related to history, law, and negotiations, primarily via Dwight Hall. The recruiter was generally there to usher me in. She had plans for my career already. She wanted me to be the domestic and international negotiator at the table, one more position to exploit. Having control over one side in a negotiation is good. Owning the people on both sides is better. But having the mediator in the middle too? That’s perfection from a manipulator’s perspective. At that point, you have the whole table.

No one ever questioned the recruiter about my presence, either because they couldn’t do anything about it or because they were accustomed to the behavior by that juncture. She had done something very similar before with her biological sons on campus in the 1960s and 1970s.

You’ve been infiltrated.

You welcomed it in

when it promised an easy path

to short-term solutions

at the cost of everything.

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class photo
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Image: Yale Campus, Group Photo. Recruiter: First Female in the Top Left Portion of the Group. Children: Bottom Left. (77)

Image Source: Unknown Photographer

Thanks to her, I’ve spent more time in lectures, discussions, and the stacks at Yale than most post-grad students have. When I reached out for help years before about being kidnapped from my mom and was given a heartless response of “But you’ll have good schools here,” that soulless answer wasn’t entirely wrong. I have an education from one of the best schools in the country (and, no, it’s still not an adequate replacement for my mother, my home, my safety, my childhood, my freedom, my language, my culture, or my country). Later, I would attain a postgraduate degree to authenticate it, after being railroaded back into the same field I’d been forced to attend classes on at Yale. I would obtain it from a spin-off department of Berkeley professors who decided to relocate to a university someone without a trust fund might actually be able to afford. Unlike the recruiter, I don’t have to obscure my credentials. I have them. I may not particularly want them, but I have them.

Back in New Haven and the surrounding area, I also went along to and was abandoned for hours and days at endless classes, discussions, and conferences on countless topics, ranging from nuclear energy to the history of native tribes.

I also spent one summer at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, taking genetics. It was a residential science program for young scholars and had been covered by a scholarship. In order to be allowed to attend, I had to promise the recruiter that I would not take any genetics courses. So, they were the first thing I signed up for. It was a nice reprieve from New Haven and I had an enjoyable time. They even had us spend a weekend at a military camp I had attended when I was much younger. I was always the last over the wall of the obstacle course when I was small. But against a group of science students? I was the second one over that wall. It was a nice feeling.

The only problem that arose during my entire time at Wesleyan was in a genetics course early on. They asked us to compare our visible dominant and non-dominant traits with a parent’s, using photographs. The professor was certain I had not paid attention or done the work correctly because, as he said, “There is no way you could be related to that person.” The recruiter’s crimes had a way of seeping in and ruining things for me even when she was far away.

In another part of New England, she and I once attended an excellent lecture by Michio Kaku that coincidentally did not match up with what he would later state in public media, at the behest of the Japanese government, after the Fukushima incident. It’s possible that his theories simply evolved through the decades. It’s also more probable that when on television as a spokesman for the nuclear industry, he was saying whatever the government and corporate script told him to say. In the lecture hall, with only a hundred or so sets of eyes on him, that nuclear physicist told us that it’s not short-term high-level radiation exposure that is the most concerning for damage on a cellular level (although, obviously, it’s still not safe). It’s sustained low levels of radiation that do the most damage, such as those that persist in the environment at industry-determined “safe levels” long after an accident.

I even ended up in an extracurricular course on social engineering taught by people who were both highly educated and possibly cult-level insane. They combined guided meditation, visualization with psychedelics, and visual training to enhance their instructing of us on topics pertaining to mechanisms used in social engineering. We learned how to guide populations through intended funnels, find squeeze points, and utilize those as needed until the people moved through the funnels as we intended, self-sorted into the right areas where they were needed, and agreed to take on extra costs and responsibilities at their own expense. We did this by using a combination of societal pressure, fear, need, the threat of law, and financial incentives and disincentives. Visually, it was a lot like an elaborate hamster maze made of tunnels. One of the first real projects they allowed us to work on was the early planning for the public acceptance of what would eventually be named Obamacare.

From a related faculty lecture series I had been dragged along to that was happening in those same years, here’s a paper exploring the concept of mechanisms in social engineering (law, in this case):

comment on causation, law reform, and guerrilla warfare
comment on causation, law reform, and guerrilla warfare

Image Source: Yale Law School Lillian Goldman Law Library (78)

“The lawyers may be teaching the scientists that the lawyers have invented the ‘perpetual motion machine,’ an elusive apparatus long sought by scientists. It turns out to be a social rather than a physical mechanism, and in legal circles it usually goes by the name ‘law reform.’... From any location in the legal system we can always imagine another point (by which I mean another configuration of the relevant legal rules) we would prefer. If we were to array these points incrementally on a graph, they would probably describe a circle. Whenever we actually find ourselves in a regulatory system, we tend to prefer taxes. Whenever we are using taxes, we suspect that subsidies might work better. Of course, when evaluating the use of subsidies, we are strongly attracted to criminal penalties. And to complete the circle, when we are considering the ineffectiveness of the criminal law, we long for the strengths of the tort system.

We can try to put the pieces of the machine together in novel ways that will produce better and better results, so that its motion traces an upward spiral rather than a mere circle. The panel has been given this sort of problem of systems design. How can we make motion yield progress? The question put to the panel - ’What do we wish from the system?’ - is so broad that the meanings of both ‘we’ and ‘the system’ are unclear. For present purposes, I will imagine that the ‘we’ in the question is some sort of, if you will forgive the term, a neutral placeholder. That is, we do not know who we are. We, the system's engineers, might turn out to have any position in the social system we design. The social ‘system,’ as I imagine it, should include but not be limited to law.”

Text Source: Yale Law School Lillian Goldman Law Library

Sitting on orderly mats on the floor of a large room with the lights off, we walked through the function of each of the mechanisms while visualizing the whole structure in front of us with the help of the drugs. Looking back at it, I bet something similar could be done much more ethically, and with less potential brain damage, by utilizing 3D modeling. That said, we probably knew about funnels long before they became a part of common business terminology, and the lessons are still permanently burned into my brain. The learning model may have been way too new age, but the results weren’t the worst.

After that course, I started getting invitations to think tank sessions. For the most part, they all started with the same basic rules. The military brass would break it down for us:

We needed to create and hone non-standard warfare strategies and tactics that came with plausible deniability. We were told that in a world in which countries had effective defenses and in which we did not want outright war due to the risk of nuclear war, we needed to create penetration strategies that could get through without triggering a country’s defense. As for attacks, each and every attack we planned needed to be attributable to something else. Industrial accidents reached the top of the list.

As time would go on, long after those sessions in which we worked together to make sure that each and every flaw was fixed before presenting our final products, I would peruse the news to see which, if any, of our ideas had been used. It turns out, probably quite a few were, and they were being tested in and/or used against the very country we were standing in. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and the resulting use of Corexit, always find their way to the top of that list of potential results. Of course, whether it was a result of one of our think tanks or not will always be something that can be questioned. It was designed to be.

Plausible deniability.


Image Source: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety via PubMed (79)

“In 2010, nearly 7 million liters of chemical dispersants, mainly Corexit 9500A, were released in the Gulf of Mexico to treat the Deepwater Horizon oil spill…

Our results indicate that Corexit 9500A is highly toxic to microzooplankton, particularly to small ciliates, and that the combination of dispersant with crude oil significantly increases the toxicity of crude oil to microzooplankton. The negative impact of crude oil and dispersant on microzooplankton may disrupt the transfer of energy from lower to higher trophic levels and change the structure and dynamics of marine planktonic communities.”

Text Source: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety via PubMed

Remember the story of the survival of the baby whale I told you about earlier? Its survival was unrealistic because the ocean would not contain anything for the whales to eat. In other words, these are the types of events that can lead to food chain collapse. Combine enough of them, and humanity will start having a very difficult time finding something to eat.

Subterfuge - For the most recent version, GO HERE