Trauma and Relationship : Hannah Arendt . Martin Heidegger

We are so accustomed to the old opposition of reason and and passion, of mind and life, that the idea of passionate thinking, in which passionate thinking and being alive become one, can be a bit startling. (Hannah Arendt: “Martin Heidegger is Eighty Years Old”, 1969)

He who thinks great thoughts often makes great errors”. ( Martin Heidegger)

Love has reasons which reason cannot understand”. (Blaise Pascal,Philosopher, 1623-1662)

Relatively recent revelations concerning a passionate and clandestine love affair between two of the most prominent intellectual giants of the 20th century, political theorist Hannah Arendt and German philosopher Martin Heidegger; is likely to challenge an image of Heidegger as an austere and abstract thinker and of Arendt as a consummately independent, self-assured personality. Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) was a seminal thinker within the fields of existential phenomenology and philosophical hermeneutics, best known for his ground breakingBeing in Time (1927). This masterwork,deeply rooted in both Eastern mysticism and German Romantic tradition, is widely considered to be one of the most influential philosophical works of the 20th century. (Elzbieta Ettinger Hannah Arendt. Martin Heidegger, 1995).

Johanna “Hannah” Arendt (1906-1975), a secular Jew born in East Prussia, into an economically comfortable and thoroughly assimilated leftist family, was one the 20th century’s greatest and most original political theorists. While she has been also characterized as a philosopher, she made clear her distrust of the pure thinking of philosophy as being isolated from moral and political judgment. Among her many writings was her first major workThe Origins of Totalitarianism (1951) followed byThe Human Condition: Men in Dark Times, and the highly contentious, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (1963), recently featured in the German filmHannah Arendt (2012), directed by Margarethe von Trotta.

Both Heidegger and Arendt were highly controversial figures in relation to their personal and professional lives, as well as their vastly different responses to events during and after the multiple horrors of the Third Reich. Heidegger was an avid,unrepentant Nazi and Arendt an anti-fascist refugee and life-long supporter of Jewish causes; and still they maintained an unlikely bond which lasted for more than 40 years, during some of the darkest moments of 20th century history. Hostile critics of both scholars have sought to dismiss, trivialize, condemn,and even presumeto diagnose their relationship as a result of childhood trauma, psycho-pathology, (victim/perpetrator bond); a study in denial, morally reprehensible, adulterous, perverse (sado-masochistic Jewish submission to manipulative Aryan master) and all in all, a sadsordid affair. (Judith Shulevitz, NY Times, January 10,1995). Many of these dubious judgments have since been held out as evidence that none of their intellectual achievements are worthy of further study.

This is not so surprising given our human proclivity to attempt to exclude, pathologize, and even persecute, all that does not fit comfortably within our often narrowly-defined, politically generatedconsensus reality. In contrast, I would offer a possibility that even the word “relationship” might prove inadequate to describe the depth of this admittedly, mysterious bond, which is in itself worthy of study for those of us interested in social trauma, relatedness and our all too Human Condition.

We begin in 1924, when at the age of 18, Hannah Arendt, a strikingly beautiful German of Jewish origin, appeared as a devoted student in the intensely charismatic Professor Martin Heidegger’s philosophy class at Marburg University; at a time when he was a rising superstar in prestigious academic circles. Heidegger initiated their affair and they quickly became lovers. Secrecy was imperative, given that Heidegger was the married father of two sons. His wife Elfride, a zealous Nazi and outspoken anti-Semite, had recently had an affair of her own; resulting in the birth of a second son Hermann, which Heidegger, to his credit, took as his own. This passionate liaison between teacher and student continued for four years, during which Hannah made herself available to him anytime and anywhere that he so designated. (Daniel Maier-Katkin, Stranger From Abroad2010).

Those with a modern day feminist perspective have been highly critical of Arendt’s “slavish” devotion to her mentor. Yet, her apparent obedience and passivity cannot be judged by modern day standards and was quite consistent within the norms of behavior for students at German universities who related to their professors as masters. The professor literally stood upon a pedestal, classroom atmospheres were solemn, etiquette obligatory; and rules for conduct, dress, manners and appearances strictly observed. Small wonder that Arendt experienced a degree of culture shock 30 years later, when she arrived as a visiting professor at the U.C. Berkeley campus.Being among the unkempt and easy going students,with their give and take of classroom discussions, felt completely alien to her. (Ettinger, 1995).

Heidegger’s affair with Hannah was a serious risk to his professional reputation and image of respectability; and in time, with the fear of discovery and public scandal, he began to distance himself. A distraught Arendt left Marburg for Heidelberg in order to complete her dissertation, later published as Augustine and Love, with Karl Jaspers. While Hannah had left Marburg, she did not leave Heidegger; and contact and letters continued.He wrote to her in 1933sarcastically denying her suspicions and widespread rumors of his anti-Semitism.

Nevertheless, the facts are such that when Heidegger was appointed as Rector of the University of Freiburg, he joined the Nazi party, and lectured while wearing a brown shirt, thus lending his considerable academic prestige to Hitler’s cause. Soon thereafter, he zealously purged this venerable institution of Jewish faculty and students .Moreover, records reveal that he closely collaborated with Gestapo agents during their investigations of his colleagues suspected of communist sympathies. Many of his former friends and colleagues were rendered almost speechless by this treachery, including his elderly Jewish mentor Edmund Husserl, who had regarded Martin almost as a son. (Elizabeth Young-Bruehl, Hannah Arendt: For Love Of The World,1982).

Hannah Arendt barely escaped the Holocaust.After a brief arrest and imprisonment by the Gestapo, followed by a period of internment in France, she immigrated to America and finally broke off contact with Heidegger. Enraged and confused by his having embraced the Nazi cause, she blamed his ambitious careerism and Elfride’s negative influence. In time she even called Heidegger “a potential murderer” and then decided to take back those words. Now married to Marxist scholar Heinrich Bluecher, a German refugee like herself; both brought their nightmares into exile and these nightmares brought them close.

Bleucher understood love as “a galvanizing physical and spiritual force that also required that partners leave open spaces for each other to develop, act and create”, “and so will I”, he wrote in 1937; and as such agreed to be faithful “in his own fashion”. (Maier-Katkin, 2010).

In spite of her growing success as an international, influential public intellectual, Arendt suffered from her long estrangement from Heidegger and with Bluecher’s encouragement decided to initiate contact. During a post-war visit to Freiburg ,she sent an unsigned note on hotel stationary summoning him and he came immediately for their meeting. In her words, “it was as though we spoke to one another …for the first time in our lives”. Martin was still Martin, his actions were despicable and still she recognized his humanity and admired his genius. Deeply moved by the profound honesty inherent within their reconciliation, upon returning home Heidegger, notorious for lying about just about everything, finally confessed to his wife that Hannah Arendt had been “the passion of his life” and the inspiration for his work. Elfride responded with a jealous rage forbidding further contact….to no avail.

Eventually Frau Heidegger swallowed her pride and allowed the relationship; as she realized that it was essential for her husband’s well-being. Heidegger was suffering from ill health and a nervous breakdown, and something like a depression in 1946, with both of their sons interned in Soviet prisoner of war camps under very harsh conditions. Elfride also hoped that Hannah‘s prestige could deliver him from the disgrace brought about by de-Nazification programs, whereBrown Shirts were now out, and Heidegger was forbidden to teach. (Maier-Katkin, 2010).

At risk and with some damage to her reputation, Hannah did lobby for Heidegger’s academic rehabilitation and was widely questioned and criticized for having “forgiven” Heidegger. In reality this delicate process between them was not one of forgiveness, since Heidegger never apologized for any of his actions nor ever recanted his allegiance to the Nazi party. Moreover, Arendt felt that forgiveness produces an imbalance within a relationship, whereby the forgiver claims the moral high ground and thus a separation remains.

For Heidegger and Arendt, their reconciliation came about through a mutual willingness to understand. While one can never truly know what really transpires within an intimate relationship, it does seem that these two high-powered public intellectuals, who lived out their allegiances and consequences on opposing sides of the political spectrum, still managed to remain connected through an intensely private passion of the heart. For Arendt,love is inherently not only anti-political, but apolitical, and by its very nature unworldly. Empathy, passion and sympathy are not of this world but reside within the realm of the heart. (T.G. Pavel, (1998) “The Heidegger Affair”,MLN 103 (4):887-901). From this perspective, their unlikely bond serves as a clear testimony to the essential nature and power of love.

Together with her defense of Heidegger and her criticisms leveled against Zionism as a dangerous ethnocentric movement, the apparent collaboration of the European Jewish councils (Judenrat) before and during the war, as well as some aspects of Israel’s theatrical conduct of the Eichmann trial, Arendt was again vilified by outspoken members of the international Jewish community as a “self-hating, anti-Semitic Jew. In addition, her relationship with Heidegger was held forth as clear evidence of that “fact”. In short, she was deemed guilty of a serious lack of Ahabath Israel, (love of the Jewish people). Arendt who always self-identified as a member of her tribe, repliedwith another statement about love. “I have never in my life ‘loved’ any people or collective…or anything of that sort. I indeed love only my friends and the only kind of love I know and believe in is the love of persons”. (Daniel Maier-Katkin and Nathan Stolzfus, theamericanscholar .org, June 10, 2103).

As Hannah and Martin continued on with their special relationship, the aging philosopher expressed his wish that since he loved both Hannah and Elfride that his two women should also love each other. This was, of course, not possible, since each of these fierce women was intensely territorial in regards to him and each was determined to prevail as the one and only most important woman in his life. Moreover, the roles of wife and mistress are necessarily quite different. Eventually, these bitter and determined rivals arrived at an uneasy and also necessary truce. Heidegger and Arendt continued to correspond and she visited with the Heideggers during her yearly journeys to Europe. His last letter written to her in July 1975 was warm and caring and expressed his joy in seeing her soon; and she came to see him in mid-August.

Hannah Arendt died of a heart attack in New York in December 1975 and during the following spring Martin Heidegger died of unknown causes.

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We have not overcome. We are not post-racial , there is no place that Black folks are safe… History has shown that white supremacist violence is grossly systemic”. ( Lawrence Broca, June 19, 2015)

Freedom, equality and the pursuit of happiness, that’s what Church is all about…Sometimes, you may have to die, like Denmark Vesey, in order to do that”. (Clementa Pinckney)

Way down South in the Land of Cotton,
Old times there are not forgotten…
Look away, look away, look away, Dixieland”. (Lyrics from Confederate Anthem)

Social traumas and other overwhelming life events tend to happen on the anniversary and sometimes even the exact location of previous and unresolved traumatic events. A recent example of this phenomenon appeared with the June 17th, 2015 mass shooting of African Americans . On this occasion a 21 year old white male entered a Bible study and prayer group at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina and shot to death 9 members of that congregation including their beloved senior pastor, State Senator and Reverend Clementa Pinckney. Both the date and location of this American tragedy indicate yet another iteration in an ongoing racist and political fractal that dates far back into our history of slavery, Civil War and Reconstruction Era , segregation , Jim Crow discrimination laws ,as well as the often violent Civil Rights struggle during our turbulent nineteen sixties.

The scene of this crime was the Emanuel A.M.E. Church ,affectionately known as “Mother Emanuel”, a historic landmark of African American freedom which has stood in its present location since 1872. This oldest Black church still standing, south of Baltimore, was founded in 1816 by a Black pastor named Morris Brown . This church also served as a spiritual refuge for Denmark Vesey, a former slave , who joined the congregation in 1817 . This charismatic leader , literate as well as fluent in English,Creole and French , often preached a messianic crusade for freedom there and later became a symbol of the abolitionist movement. Vesey was reportedly born in the Caribbean, on St. Thomas in 1757 and was brought to the Palmetto State at age 14 by a slave trader ship’s captain . Aboard the ship Vesey was given the name Telemaque which was gradually corrupted into Telemark and finally Denmark. In 1799 he bought his freedom after winning the state’s lottery but was unable to purchase freedom for his wives and numerous children. (Thomas Wentworth Higginson, “ The Story of Denmark Vesey,, June, 2015)

In 1822 Vesey planned a slave rebellion originally scheduled for July 14th, Bastille Day, and then moved the date back to midnight June 16th in an operation designed to free the slaves , who together with some 9,000 armed Blacks, would then fight their way to the docks and escape to Haiti. June 17th, therefore ,would have been the day that the fighting would have broken out, all Whites killed, and the entire city of Charleston torched . This revolt failed when a troubled slave informed his master of the rumors of insurrection. Vesey was arrested , tortured , given a secret trial and hung along with five co-conspirators. By early August the total executed had grown to 35 and many others were imprisoned or shipped off to slave traders. While Whites still refer to Vesey as a terrorist , for Blacks he was a freedom fighter. Soon after the trials, Mother Emanuel was razed to the ground by White Supremacists and then re-built at a later time, with the help of one of Vesey’s sons. (Yoni Applebaum,, June 18,2015 and David Robertson, Denmark Vesey

Since those early times, Black churches , born out of protest, have continued to remain symbols of African American community and culture. Viewed with suspicion by many Whites, because they built schools, taught literacy and helped families raise their children these houses of worship have been forbidden, dismantled terrorized and burned. Nevertheless, and to this day, Black churches have carried on as centers of social and political life and opposition to their existence has carried on, as well, with nearly endemic campaigns of overt and covert intimidation. In the South, White privilidge has traditionally been maintained through any number of violent means.

Given that identified gunman Dylan Roof was a high school drop out ,one might be tempted to reason that he had little interest or knowledge of history and therefore his specifically choosing the iconic Emanuel A.M.E. Church on the historic date of June 17th for his racist rampage was co-incidental. However, photos on his Facebook page , often together with the Confederate flag, reveal an avid interest in slavery, Civil War and White Supremacist doctrine. Roof later stated that he chose Charleston “ because it is the most historic city in my state and at one time had the highest ratio of Blacks to Whites in the country”. He also visited some of the South’s most notorious slave plantations, Confederate landmarks and cemeteries along with day trips to Sullivan’s Island port which was the point of entry for nearly 40% of Northern America’s slaves. ( Wills Robinson,, June, 20th, 2015)

As Dylan Roof opened fire in the Bible study group, he clearly verbalized his fears that “Blacks are taking over the country”. While he may have acted alone , he was clearly not alone in his sentiments. As our demographic shift toward a majority of people of color, there exists a growing fear that these and other minorities, including homosexuals, transgender citizens, immigrants, the massively incarcerated, dyslexics , physically and intellectually disabled and differently-abled are erupting into a wave of rebellion that has been seething under under the surface for a very long time. Their growing sense of newly discovered support for outlier entitlement has become a recent and growing process that is belatedly transforming our political landscape. Whereas many within these disadvantaged and minority communities are experiencing hope , and some degree of empowerment, there are also others from more entitled and entrenched populations who have reacted with resentment ,fear based anger and hate crimes. (Alicia Garza,, June 19, 2015)

In our current reality ,we also have the widely promoted views of perhaps well meaning analysts ,who choose to ignore or minimize any larger context or historical and societal factors contributing to this shooting event and attribute Dylan Roof’s actions solely to a mental illness crisis induced by psychotropic medication which have admittedly played a major role in so many other mass shootings. By now you have perhaps noticed that White shooters are often described as “mentally ill”, whereas the media often characterizes shooters of color as “terrorists” and “thugs”. ( Amanda Butler,, June 19, 2015)

This tragic Charleston event was also perceived by many observers as political, not only in regard to race relations but also within a context of ongoing and divisive debates around issues of both free speech and gun control. National Rifle Association Board Member Charles L. Cotton wasted no time in blaming Clementa Pinckney for his own death ,as well as that of his parishioners, because as a State Senator he did not support legislation that would have allowed concealed weapons in places of worship. (Texas ). Never mind the glaring reality that there is no evidence whatsoever that civilians with guns either limits or prevents mass shootings. ( Daniel Marans,, June 19, 2015)

While we are on the subject of anniversary fractals ,the month of June is important in African American history. This year of 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the June 19th, 1865 when news of emancipation and Civil War’s end finally reached America’s last group of slaves, in Galveston Texas. In Black communities, Juneteenth (combination of June +19th ) is recognized as a holiday in over 40 states. ( Chase Madar,, June 19, 2015).

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Cousin Jack

Artist  Kurt Jackson

Artist Kurt Jackson

This land is barren and broken,
Scarred like the face of the Moon,
Our tongue is no longer spoken
And the towns all around face ruin…
If I tunnel way down to Australia,
Oh, will I ever escape…
I’ll leave the country behind, I’m not coming back,
Oh, follow me down, Cousin Jack.

(Cornish folk song lyrics by Steve Knightley)

Hirethek: (n.) Cornish for a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was, the grief for the lost places of your past.

While recently being honored with an invitation to serve on the faculty of the Third Australian Constellation Intensive, in February 2016 in Sydney, Australia, (, I also unexpectedly uncovered a long-standing generational family-fractal involving home and homesickness. While I am looking forward to my first trip Down Under, an admittedly long swim, and connecting with familiar and new international colleagues, this invitation also prompted me to look deeper into a rather obscure episode in our Cornish family history. Family stories, while sometimes colorful, are admittedly unreliable and can unfold along something like a game of Chinese Whispers which re-iterate upon each re-telling.

In short, it seems that my Grandfather, William John Thomas (b. 1873) and his brother Marshman (b. 1878), either left or were deported to Australia, for reasons unknown. Some cousins say that they went in search of employment after the mines closed and other cousins maintain that there was some scandal concerning poaching. Most agree that he worked for a time as a sheep herder until word came that his hometown sweetheart, Ellie, now in America, was pregnant and the brothers booked passage for the USA. My grandparents married and my great uncle continued on to California. Given the morality of the times, all of this was kept quite secret and secrecy is a Cornish value for reasons set forth in my previous “Treasure Map” blog.

My Grandparents bought a small farm in rural New Jersey surrounded by a landscape similar to southern England, and I spent my early childhood years there.

By all accounts my Grandmother was always homesick and when my mother, the youngest of five, was a small child, she took her with her back to St. Just, and she grew up there. My Grandmother eventually returned to the farm in New Jersey, and had passed away by the time I arrived. Grandfather took her ashes back to St. Just. However, I do remember being taken to meet her four surviving, Cornish sisters who had never married and always lived together.

As a child, I experienced them as shy and ancient old ladies, smelling of lavender, (who were in reality probably somewhere in their fifties), known to smoke unfiltered cigarettes, despite family disapproval. All of these great-aunts had served together as nurses in a British field hospital in France during World War I. (The horror and the stench must have been awful). Our brief little visit took place during the 1940’s and no one was thinking much about war trauma then, except maybe for a few soldiers. Like my Grandmother, my great-aunts were often homesick, crossed the Atlantic many times, and finally resolved to return home to Cornwall. Mother was also beset by a longing for Cornwall, and barely managed one more adult and prolonged visit. Her consolation she said, was arrangements to be buried there in the town’s Wesleyan cemetery, yet, in the end, her husband who was not Cornish, could not agree to such a distant resting place.

While these stories do not seem all that remarkable, given my systemic perspective on family systems and trans-generational trauma, I decided to review this and other aspects of our clan’s history within the larger context of what is now known as the Cornish Diaspora. It was within this tribal history, that I felt that there might finally be answers to why so many of our clan have always been uneasy living too far from any scent of the sea; and also a possible source for a mysterious, all pervasive, ill -defined and familiar longing, that was integral to nearly all of my childhood memories. Somehow it was collectively understood that our family “home” was in in Cornwall, in and around the small mining town of St. Just, located along the southwest coast of England.

And so, in looking into the history of this Cornish Diaspora, I hoped to find some understanding of this collective pull to return “home”, that was so strong in my maternal Grandmother, her sisters, my Mother and to a lesser extent, myself. In general, those who work with trauma, understand that a compelling need to return and repeat an experience, often has something to do with an interrupted movement or incomplete response; often involving a shock and/or tragedy and possibly a cover-up. More recently, a study of epigenetics has revealed that biological, (epigenetic) markers, can and do retain ancestral memories. With this in mind, I arrived at the salient question: “Who longed to return home to Cornwall and was prevented from doing so?”

Emigration was one of the main factors that shaped Cornwall as it is known today. In each decade from 1861– 1901, the County of Cornwall lost at least 20% of its male population following a decline of the mining industry. In total, the county lost over a quarter of a million people between 1841 and 1901. My Great-Great Grandfather Benjamin Thomas, was among those who left St. Just in search of work in the South African diamond mines; reluctantly leaving behind a wife and eight children. We have his letters from that time when he wrote home weekly, from the time of his departure from Lisbon in February 1888, until his death in July of that same year. He loved the sea and wrote about his long voyage, the beauty of Madeira and spotting of whales. However, he didn’t go ashore for lack of funds; sailing past the Canaries, across the Equator and on into port in Johannesburg.

While the family letters to him are lost, his letters are filled with responses to their news and his clear affection for his family;[ adjusting to sleeping alone while missing his wife’s “warm back”, along with special notes of encouragement and fatherly advice for each of his eight children. Throughout his correspondence it is painfully evident how difficult the economically necessary separation was from both his wife and children, for him and for them, and how deeply he longed to return, along with much needed funds.

One of our family ghost stories maintains that my Great-Great Grandmother, Emma, knew that her husband was dead long before an official letter arrived with the tragic news from the mining company. Down in South Africa, the local news carried reports of a fatal accident on July 10, 1888 in the De Beer’s diamond mine in Kimberley; due to management flaunting safety regulations, which resulted in the death of over 200 workers. (University of Cape Town Judge Papers, B 47, Commission of Inquiry into De Beer’s Mining Disaster, August 4, 1888). As a newly shocked and grieving widow, Emma never believed that fire story. Sometime afterward, she related. and only to close family, that late one evening, days before that awful letter, she had clearly “seen” her husband trying to warm and dry himself beside their coal stove. Dripping wet, he briefly appeared, to tell her that he was so sorry and that he had drowned in a flooded mine shaft …and so she already knew.

Cornish people who migrated to various parts of the world were often known as “Cousin Jacks”, especially in the mining communities. During the 18th and 19th centuries the Cornish led the world in mining technology and Cornish expertise in hard rock mining was highly valued. This term apparently evolved from a story that these immigrants were often asking for a job for their “Cousin Jack” back home; “Jack”, being the most popular name for Cornish boys, christened John. Their diaspora can found throughout the USA, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Latin America and Australia; where they brought along their wrestling competitions, saffron buns, meat pasties, brass bands, carols, love of nature, and Wesleyan Methodist chapels.

Since I am soon headed to Australia, I did a bit of research which turned up the fact that Moonta, in South Australia, hosts the largest Kernewek Lowender (Cornish Happiness) Cornish festival in the world; which attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year. Recent ethnographic studies reveal that something like 4.3 percent of Australians identify as Cornish, which makes them the fourth largest Anglo-Celtic group in Australia; after the English, Irish and Scots…never mind that the Anglo Saxon English are not necessarily Celts and we find no mention of the Welsh. In any event, I am looking forward to this entirely new adventure.

And while we are on the subject of Cousin Jack, of the several versions of this Celtic ballad available now on You Tube, one can find Steve Knightley’s heartfelt rendition offered at the Cambridge Folk Festival, as well as a performance filmed in Port Isaac Cornwall; setting for the delightful BBC series, Doc Martin, about contemporary village life in fictional Portwenn. Listening once again to “Cousin Jack” with something like my intuitive “third ear”, I now wonder if my puzzling homesick meme is something more than personal, to me and my own family clan, or more likely something intrinsic within the wider Cornish collective. This elusive, often unspoken feeling of homesickness, may even dwell within world-wide emigrant systems in general. A wider question then becomes: to what extent has voluntary or forced emigration shaped our family systems; and influenced our understanding of choice within the tribal loyalties down through the generations and on into our individual lives?

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Spirit of Place : Tlatelolco

The spirit of place is a strange thing. Our mechanical age tries to override it. But it does not succeed. In the end, the strange, sinister spirit of place…will smash our mechanical oneness to smithereens – and all that we think . The real thing will go off with a pop, and we shall be left staring.” ( D.H. Lawrence)

The city is not just a geographical or spatial place. It is an essential process of our lives and our history. The city is us and where we come from. To take back the space of the city is to recover for all of us a territory that transcribes our lives. (CuauhtemocCardenas, First elected Mayor of Mexico City)

In the Old World’s classical religions the concept of genius loci referred to a presiding deity or “spirit of place” and now in the New World and in contemporary cultures, the term refers more to a location’s distinct place-ness that is its past, current and future essence, rather than a necessarily protective entity. In keeping with Rupert Sheldrake’s research into morphogenetic fields, and his notion that places also have “fields of memory” that often have to do with unresolved trauma, it seems that Mexico City’s Tlateloco provides an interesting case in point.

Also known as Xaltelolco, which translates from Nahuatl, known informally as Aztec, as “ little hill of the land”, Tlateloco is located in an area of the Cuauhtemoc borough of Mexico City and centered upon the Plaza des Tres Culturas . The three cultures that are represented in this plaza are from the Pre-Colombian Aztecs, who called themselves Mexicas, the Spanish catholic conquering colonizers, and a modern office and Nuevo Leon housing complex of contemporary “ Mestizo” culture of the independent nation.

This district of Mexico City which arose as a Pre-Colombian city state , was eventually taken over by the ascendant Aztecs who commandeered this territory as part of their empire during the 13th century. The site subsequently became a setting for tribal warfare, and a partially excavated temple site has revealed practices of ritual torture, human sacrifice as well as a market in slave trade. During the Spanish conquest , a war between the Conquistadores and the Aztecs in 1531resulted in the slaughter of some 40,000 Aztec men, women and children, thought to have taken place in one single day. The deaths from this battle, which was in truth a massacre, left a deep scar within the collective psyche of the newly established colony. Centuries later a plaque was set up on the site that reads: “ The battle was not a triumph, nor was it a defeat. It was the painful birth of the Mestizo nation that is the Mexico of today”.

After the Spanish conquest, the Aztec temple dedicated to their War God Huitzilipochthli was demolished and the plaza re-named Santiago de Tlatelolco after the militant Spanish patron Saint James whose mythic crushing of the Moors was widely credited with the subsequent victory of the Latin American conquest. Building stones and other ruins from the War God’s temple were used in the construction of the Franciscan Church of Santiago de Tlateloloco commissioned by Hernan Cortes in 1524, which stands there to this day, together with the remains of a Franciscan convent. (

Tlatelolco‘s age- old and violent fractal of conquest, destruction, repression, and bloodshed has continued on through several more iterations in modern times with no end in sight. In 1968 the government was preparing to host the Olympic Games, as an opportunity to elevate the stature of a prosperous and stable Mexico in the eyes of the global community. In opposition, a coalition of leftist high school and college students sought to use this same opportunity to bring attention to their country’s social ills , especially the violent overreach of police and military against the citizenry. The students were also demanding immediate release of classmates jailed in previous protests. In response, the Mexican government prepared an Olympic Battalion; a paramilitary squad to insure that protesters would not be able to interrupt the games.

The confrontations began on October 2nd, 1968 as protesters gathered at the Plaza de las Tres Culturas for an afternoon rally, 10 days before the opening ceremonies. At the same time, that activists gathered, snipers from the battalion assumed strategic posts up on the Neuvo Leon housing complex, which gave them a clear view of the citizens below. During these peaceful protests, Mexican army and police infiltrated the crowd and blocked off all of the exits from the square. Although no one is certain where the first shot came from , likely from an agent provocateur , at 6:10 PM the Plaza became a living hell and yet another massacre occurred. Other security forces joined in and fleeing protesters were easy targets with as many 300 to 2,000 killed, exact numbers remain unknown, and many others wounded, arrested and “disappeared”. This Night of Tlatelolco has left a lasting memory in Mexican politics and especially among this country’s student population.

Two decades later, on September 9, 1985, these and other painful memories concerning this site re-surfaced with the 8.1 magnitude earthquake that caused major damage in Mexico City. The Tlatelolco Complex was hit particularly hard as two of the Neuvo Leon housing units collapsed, killing all of its residents inside. This tragedy was made even more painful by the revelation that this collapse was exacerbated by a lethal combination of illegal cost cutting during construction and lack of proper maintenance. The final toll was somewhere between 200 and 300 fatalities . Due to earthquake damage, eight other buildings in the complex had to be demolished and four more had their upper floors removed. A persistent aura of danger remains as poor maintenance continues and this high crime area is under virtual curfew by night fall. (Drew Reed,, May 2015)

The latest iteration in the Tlatelolco fractal occurred in September 26th disappearance of 43 leftist student teachers from the Raul Isidro Burgos Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa in Tixla who were part of bus convoy headed for Mexico City to demonstrate on the anniversary of the October 2, 1968 Night of Tlataloco at the Plaza des Tres Culturas. These students were last seen in the custody of police ,government security and army personnel in Iguala. As of now, the official government story is that the local drug cartels were responsible for the kidnapping and cremation of the students in a garbage dump in the town of Cocula, near to the abduction site. Locals scoff at this explanation given the fact that there was heavy rainfall all night on the date when this cremation supposedly took place. Funerary and other forensic experts maintain that a cremation of that many bodies would have required a degree of heat only possible in an indoor facility. Massive nation wide protests have ensued with the incident remaining unresolved and thus likely to give rise to yet another cycle of violence.

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Field of Memory

Show me a fantasy novel about Chernobyl – there isn’t one. Because reality is more fantastic. (Svetlana Alexievich, Voices From Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster)

The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything except our thinking. Thus we are drifting toward catastrophe beyond conception. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive”. (Albert Einstein)

The nuclear industry is waging a war against humanity”. (John Gofman, M.D. Ph.D. former Manhattan Project scientist and Associate Director, Lawrence Nuclear Laboratory, U.C. Berkeley 1963-1969)

Social traumatologists, media, politicians and terrorists know that individual, family and social traumas tend to occur on the anniversary of previous and unresolved traumas. Over the years and in several of my books, I have explored biological researcher Rupert Sheldrake‘s idea that places also have “fields of memory” that can play a role in traumatic repetitions. One of those places is located in war-torn northern Ukraine; at the site of their damaged reactor Unit Four at the Chernobyl nuclear power station. As the world now knows, despite initial efforts of a cover-up, (while this area was still part of the former USSR); on April 25,1986, something went terribly wrong. For some reason now lost to history, the site’s nuclear engineers decided to turn off the safety systems in their uncontained reactor in order to “see what would happen”. As a result, there was, in fact, a lot to see, which we will continue to see and feel, far into our foreseeable future and possibly even far beyond that. (St. Just, Trauma: Time, Space and Fractals, 2012)

A steam explosion, graphite fire and nuclear meltdown-event, expelled a volcanic release of highly radioactive particles into our planetary atmosphere carrying levels of radiation 300 times greater than our fire-bombing of Hiroshima. As a result, those of us here and visiting in our entire Northern Hemisphere have been experiencing an ongoing international human and environmental catastrophe. During the immediate aftermath of this nuclear folly, more than 400,000 citizens in the nearby town of Pripyat were uprooted from their homes. Given only three hours notice, these evacuees were unaware that they would never be able to return to what became a 30 km (18.6 mile) exclusion zone.

Over the course of the following summer, an unusually intense round of forest fires served to further the spread of highly radioactive isotopes.

At the time, much of this catastrophe was new and unexpected since there had never before been a radiological disaster of this magnitude. Unfortunately, this nightmare scale has been necessarily updated. While Chernobyl ranked seventh at the top of an existing scale for nuclear accidents, a new category was needed since the disaster at Japan’s seaside, Fukushima Daiichi complex with four damaged reactors, (three in meltdown); spewing ongoing leaks into the air, ocean and underground water supplies. As a result, Fukushima now seriously out-ranks Chernobyl with an intensity rating of eight. (, August 13, 2012) Let us hope, pray and rise up in protest, so that there will never be the necessity to update this scale to anything like a nine or even a ten.

The site chosen for Ukraine’s first nuclear power plant has a long, dark history of fiery death and destruction. The plant was named for the nearby town of Chernobyl which dates from the 12th century onward , which was in turn, named for another kind of plant. In Ukrainian, the herb called chornobyl with the botanical term Artemesia vulgaris has been confused with its close cousin Artemesia absinthium, a bitter herb with medicinal properties use to flavor absinthe and vermouth, also known as wormwood. Mary Mycio, addresses this confusion in her “In Wormwood Forest” (September 9, 2005), since both herbs are common to the Chernobyl region. Shortly after the 1986 disaster a religious meme appeared warning that the name Chernobyl translates to wormwood thus fulfilling biblical prophesies in the Book of Revelation; as this herb is a frequent biblical symbol for bitterness, calamity and sorrow. In reality, the Russianized Chernobyl from the Ukrainian chornobyl, translates as “mugwort” and not it’s botanical cousin wormwood. In Medieval Europe mugwort was used as a protective charm.

Prior to the 20th century, the Chernobyl region was inhabited by Ukrainian and Polish peasants and a relatively large number of Jews. The Jewish population suffered greatly from fiery pogroms where whole villages were burned to cinders and inhabitants raped, beaten, kidnapped and slaughtered. These pogroms were especially severe in 1905 and again from 1919-1920. The region also suffered from mass killings during Stalin’s ruthless collectivization campaign and the horrendous famine that followed. The local Polish community was forcibly deported to Kazakhstan in 1936 during Stalin’s Frontier Clearance.

The Chernobyl region was also the site of some of the most heinous Nazi atrocities in 1941 and was occupied by the German army until 1943; during which time the entire Jewish population was systematically murdered. (Norman Davies, Europe: A History, 1996).

In the years since the April 1986 nuclear disaster, the highly contaminated surrounding forests have been subjected to a series of fires, due to climate change and drought in 1992, 2002, 2008 and now in 2015. Extensive woodland death, due to radiation, has created an excess of tinder with dry leaves; and trees that desiccate but do not decay; thus giving rise to further nuclear devastation via radioactive wildfires. These dying, mostly pine, plantations surrounding the exclusion zone, cannot be decontaminated and are considered to be too dangerous and expensive to clear. (Kevin Kamps, Russian Insider, May 6, 2015). When ignited, they spread deadly radioisotopes through smoking foliage, pine- needles and cones, as well as air born pollens which continue to cycle through the planetary ecosystem.

This latest iteration in Chernobyl’s long fiery fractal of destruction erupted with yet another wildfire that broke out in April, 2015, exactly on the 29th anniversary of the initial fire and explosion. Arson is suspected, in view of the date and the fact that this conflagration broke out on both sides of the nearby River Vuhz. While information was hard to come by, for political and other logistical reasons, satellite images revealed that tree-top flames and strong winds combined to enable a rapid spread of wildfire over some 10,000 hectares of contaminated areas around and within the exclusion zone. As the fire spread toward the power plant’s crippled installations, flames reportedly came within 3 miles of buried nuclear waste. (, April 29, 2015).

Ukrainian police, National Guard and firefighting units were all on high alert while government officials insisted that everything was under control. Such a statement is hardly credible, given video footage of their brave front line firefighters manually batting down radioactive flames, with sparse equipment and for many without any protective gear whatsoever. Nevertheless, it was announced that these exclusion zone fires were out in early May, without mention of the still smoldering, airborne, potentially death-dealing smoke. As the Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risks, Dr. Christopher Busby explains:

“The potential danger in this fire comes from radioactive contaminants that burning plant materials have absorbed through a process of bio-accumulation. At least some deadly contaminates would have been incorporated into the woods. In other words, they land on the ground in 1986 and they get absorbed into the trees, plants and then all of the biosphere. And when they burn, the toxins just become re-suspended. It’s like Chernobyl all over again. All of that material that fell on the ground will now be burned up into the air and available for people, and all living things, to breathe and absorb. (, April 2015).

“The exact trajectory of this latest fire-generated radioactive plume, will depend upon which way the winds blow; and these can be expected to circle our planet every 40 days or so. Residents downwind from the immediate fallout, are advised to remain indoors and avoid contact with subsequent rainfall.”

The unfortunate truth remains, that Chernobyl‘s latest wildfire crisis is a natural part of what is now a centuries-long disaster-cycle which will continue to repeat over and again.

The crippled Unit Four reactor continues to leak lethal toxins, and the hastily-built sarcophagus currently in place is seriously cracked and rapidly deteriorating. Efforts to replace this faltering containment structure have stalled due to lack of funding and Ukraine’s political unrest and instability. If and when this massive new structure is completed and in place, it too will have to be replaced, because these radionuclides will remain dangerous, in some cases, for tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of years. As long as we have these long-lived hot particles, they will simply cycle through our planetary ecosystem and be taken up by plants and other living things and then released through fires for further and ongoing deadly recycle.

So now, Ukrainian officials, dutifully reading from the by now, all too familiar and spurious, international, nuclear industry playbook-script, assure all concerned that this fire is out; problem solved, radiation levels are not increased in the affected area and there has been and will be no danger to human health. (Please go back to sleep). If you are reading this blog, chances are that you have heard these self-serving bromides parroted by the minions of this much too powerful, death-dealing, nuclear industry. To add to the insult of our collective intelligence, there is a nuclear-industry funded YouTube documentary, gone viral, purporting that the radioactive Chernobyl exclusion zone has become a kind of idyllic wildlife renewal refuge. As long as a trusting public is willing to swallow this toxic swill, these death dealing, time-bomb, perpetual death machines, will continue to infest and threaten our planet.

It is well beyond time for us to face the fact that nuclear power, in any form, is not and never was “safe”, clean, nor inexpensive. Such Neo-Orwellian statements have been categorically proven to be utterly false and diabolically manipulative. Moreover, it is my conviction that no technology that has been weaponized can ever, truly be either life-positive or “safe”. Instead of holding clandestine symposiums about how to safely” dispose of our deadly nuclear waste, how about people being invited to explore the self-destructive mind-set that found it somehow necessary to create these death-dealing, radioactive horrors?

Probably it is not news that our current, life threatening predicament has to do with a misguided, anti-life, mindset that created these nuclear threats to all life upon our planet and that any far reaching solutions are absolutely not to be found anywhere within the realm of any military, industrial , energy magnates.

Perhaps it is too much to hope for in these increasingly dark and difficult times, and still I have a persistent vision that there exists, now or somewhere in our near future, something like an alchemical technology that has the ability to transform these deadly nuclear particles into a more life-positive form. And, I also feel, that this will not be possible until we can find a way to choose and authentically embrace a more peaceful and inclusive frame of consciousness toward ourselves, each other and all living things. Meanwhile, to whatever degree possible, it is probably best to stay out of the rain.

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Orthorexia: Really?

'Summer' - A tribute to Arcimboldo by Philip Edmondson

‘Summer’ – A tribute to Arcimboldo by Philip Edmondson

The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinions, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum”. (Noam Chomsky, The Common Good, 1998)

The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or slowest form of poison”. (Ann Wigmore)

Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”. (Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma)

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society” (Jiddu Krishnamurti)

Among the rising tide of Orwellian dis-info we now find the message that eating right is now wrong and probably even pathological. (health = sick). Step away from that locally grown, organic produce, now, or else! OK, so what is really going on here ? Orthorexia nervosa is being proposed as the latest addition to a growing lexicon of dodgy diagnoses listed in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM 5) a so called “Bible” recommended to mental health professionals. By way of disclosure, as a retired health and mental health professional, you may want to know that I have found this eminently weighty volume to be exactly the right size and weight to serve as an improvised door stop. While it has been considered by many to represent a valuable classification and diagnostic tool, the DSM series has come under increasing, well deserved, criticism. Just recently, we find that the DSM’s politically saturated task force have admitted to collaborative relationships among government, academia and industry elements vital to the development of pharmacological treatment for mental disorders. (David J. Kupfer M.D., DSM-V Task Force Member Disclosure Report, May 2, 2011).

If approved, Orthorexia would take its place amongst a lexicon of dubious diagnostic categories such as: Disruptive Mood Disorder (temper tantrums), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (Two Year Olds, Adolescence, Social Activism, Political Dissidents, Alternative Media, most cats), Major Depressive Disorder (normal grief, Basset Hounds), Adult Attention Deficit Disorder (boredom), Minor Neurocognitive Disorder (Senior Moments), General Anxiety Disorder (Everyday Worries); to cite just a few eligible for medication and other allopathic treatments. Fortunes will soon be made, with the advent of state-mandated compulsory vaccinations for these hypothetical, and other real or projected conditions; if this dystopic trend is allowed to continue.

Orthorexia nervosa (health food eating disorder) is named for the Greek “ortho” meaning straight, proper or correct” by American doctor Steven Bratman, who claims that he developed an unhealthy obsession with eating “proper food” during his time at a rural commune and was “seduced by righteous eating”. This complaint sounded sufficiently serious to a group of Italian researchers who then developed an ORTO-15 questionnaire with a cut off score of 40+ signifying Orthorexia for sure. (pathological eating behavior) .

Given that I both love cats and enjoy just a touch of self-diagnosed, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, I have refused to take this test. Still, I find these research results interesting with their female-male ratio of two to one.

Most of these Orthorexia studies have been conducted within population sub-groups considered to be at risk, such as health care professionals. Turkish doctors, we learn, scored just above 40 and Turkish street performers a bit higher at 56.4 percent. Opera singers scored some 81.1 percent and Spanish yoga teachers; most at risk with their 86 per cent. Some reassurance, depending upon your point of view, might be found in the fact that Austrian dieticians, using the Bratman test, yet another questionnaire, only 12.8 percent could be classified as Orthorexic. (Rebecca Reynolds, UK Daily Mail, April 10, 2015). I also find it interesting that these researchers excluded pregnant women and Olympian athletes from their studies since these sub-groups seem to be at serious risk given their likely concerns with healthy eating.

In contrast to this Orwellian nonsense, Dr. Joseph Mercola has taken an admirable, oppositional (defiant) , stance against Monsanto’s genetically modified Franken food, and power and control obsession with making anything natural into something synthetic and patented, hence becoming something akin to our Homeland Security of Food. Never mind the fact that Roundup, Monsanto’s number one herbicide has been recently outed as a likely cause of cancer. (Jon Rapport, Activist Post, April 15, 2015):

“…the United States Department of Agriculture (and non-GM seeds that they cannot control are potential security threats. USDA has even begun putting in writing, directives on how they can keep organic farming ‘contained’. “Mercola: (September 17, 2012).

Undaunted, Mercola and others continue to warn about the consequences of consuming dangerous amounts of sugar. In the eyes of our corporate controllers this dangerous situation is now becoming acute with an increasing number of courageous awake and aware farmers, at considerable personal and financial risk, currently banding together to embrace non-GMO products. Even worse, several major mainstream grocery outlets such as Safe-Way, mindful of customer demands, who vote with their checkbooks, have added an impressive array of organic and non-GMO products. Whole Foods and other health oriented chains, catering to potential orthorexics are also doing very well.

I resonate with Zen Gardner and am a regular follower of his ongoing web site blogs laden with sane advice for those of us in search of any kind of relative balance in the face of increasing oppression. Zen advises, in his “Junk Food Habit”, ( February 18, 2015) that junk foods are OK, once in a while, given the reality that our cravings are induced by highly addictive additives as elements in a not so slow genocide for profit and control. Here one might consider a possible reality that these fast foods mostly appeal to our poor, overly- stressed and their children. Zen postulates that this toxic spew of tasty ingredients have the potential to cause near-permanent changes within our brain’s reward circuitry, that might also trigger obesity…and who knows what else.

The World Health Organization estimates that at least 2.8 millionpeople die every year from diseases linked to obesity, heart disease, diabetes or stroke. In plain language, their findings indicate that Franken-food habits are killing 40% more people than war, famine, dictatorships, murders and politicians put together do. These facts alone, offer an entirely new dimension into the study of social-collective trauma and genocidal de-population agendas. (Zen, February 19, 2015).

And still, as Michael Pollan describes, thanks to a succession of awful farm bills, vicious tactics and flaccid USDA rules, many American farmers are currently paid to grow massive quantities of (inedible) GMO corn. There is some good news in reports that a record number of these farmers are now switching to non-GMO crops in 2015.While this may sound encouraging, the controllers have stepped up a nationwide campaign against those defiant foodies who prefer to grow their own fruits and vegetables; by outlawing their modest home garden plots as “violations of community standards”.

As dark as this may seem there may be a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Mac Donald’s sales are steadily decreasing and they have left Iceland due to lack of revenue. Should you find yourself in Reykjavik, you may want to visit the last Big Mac with cheese and chips now located in the country’s National Food Museum, nicely displayed, with no preservatives needed, under glass.

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Treasure Map

Map Massaterra by Philip Edmondson

Map Massaterra by Philip Edmondson

There was a single blue line of crayon drawn across every wall in the house. ‘What does it mean’, I asked. ‘A pirate needs the sight of the sea’, he said.” (Brian Andreas, Story People)

When I was about five, I think, I desperately wanted to be a pirate and have the hat and all’”. (Keira Knightly)

The songs of our ancestors are also the songs of our children”. (Philip Carr-Gomm, Arch Druid of Sussex)

Over the years of presenting systemically oriented ,family constellation work, participants often ask how this work could be of value when they have either no or very little information about their family system. In response I often offer a linear option of contacting organizations that exist in order to document and explore genealogical information and many of their skilled librarians can be very helpful, even with minimal information. Another, non-linear option, well known to shamans and indigenous medicine people, lies in a willingness to contact the Greater Informational Field, which is also interactive. The challenge then is, with an appropriate level of humility, to set an intention, formulate respectful questions, and remain open-minded and receptive and then wait.

In my experience, this timeless Field has many ways of communicating important and timely information, including dreams, coincidences, synchronicity, a freak accident, or perhaps a mysterious and persistent symptom. Information from this non-linear and timeless source often arrives in non-linear sequences. There are also times when we may have some information, but something of which are unaware, may need to make itself known; and The Field can find ways to communicate this information, as well.

While I have been researching my family history for decades now, hidden information has been revealed in several interesting ways…sometimes like a treasure hunt…one clue at a time. One summer when my daughter was about eight she received an invitation to a birthday party designed as a pirate’s treasure map. This pirate theme party was going to be only for girls and guests were requested to attend in costume. While I thought that this was an unusual theme for a little girl’s party, my daughter was enthusiastic and we set about putting together her costume…which soon developed into an unexpected obsession. She was quite suddenly very clear about exactly how this costume should come together, hat, boots, cummerbund sash; together with just the right authentic looking plastic sword, and we may have found some sort of rubber dagger, just in case. And this process went on and on until I realized that something else was happening…past life maybe or perhaps some unknown systemic entanglement.

After she was safely asleep, I telephoned my Cornish mother who had always told us about our virtuous, hardworking Cornish ancestors who had lived in and around the village of St. Just for centuries. These kindly, hardworking souls were miners and devotedly religious churchgoers and some were even clergy. Being that they were solid Methodists this also meant that there was no smoking, drinking, card playing or dancing either. And so I asked her once again about our Cornish relations, and again came the familiar stories about their virtues…and then prompted by this pirate party invite, I said something like… “Yes, but you didn’t tell us about the pirates”. Silence. And then “Oh well yes, and the smugglers; and our women were in on it, as well! People were poor, you understand, and those looted ships carried silk and lace, as well as tea, brandy and tobacco”.

Now our family was becoming much more interesting. I shared this information with my daughter, who had no idea about these colorful people in her past; she enjoyed her party and the treasure hunt, which had something to do with a hidden stash of chocolate and I didn’t give much more thought to this incident. In my mind, at that time, this information came through my only daughter, rather than one of my sons, due to the women’s involvement with the silks and lace, since some of these relations were milliners. The Field, however, had another surprise waiting for me in Germany.

Several years later, I was in Munich offering a seminar on second generation war trauma on the 50th anniversary of the Allied Invasion in Normandy. Interestingly, six of us present had fathers in the later Italian Battle of Anzio which was quite a synchronicity in itself. And yet, there was more, given that one of our participants was British and in knowing my last name, had brought along a Cornish newspaper describing the anniversary celebrations in St. Just. Afterward, as I took some time to read through this edition, I was startled by a lengthy article about lady pirates. Cornish lady pirates! My daughter was excited with this news and eager to tell her friends and I knew that I now had some serious research to do. As it turns out, female pirates have existed throughout history are not all that rare and there even exists a Pirate Queens Coloring Book.

Given that there is ample literature on this subject I was able to narrow my attention to lady pirates in Cornwall, specifically in the St. Just, Penwith District , to see what I could find out about them in the context of Cornish culture; and what that may have to do with any hidden dynamics within my family system. I have been to the Duchy of Cornwall, located near Land’s End; (the first, last and most westerly area in the U.K. mainland), and St. Just in particular, many times since my first visit at age 21. After college, I travelled there to visit my Great Aunt, Lucy Angwin, who was our last family member to reside in the ancient stone cottage on Victoria Row.

Ours was a gentle time of long, quiet walks on narrow paths, along nearby and familiar cliffs overlooking the sea; followed by a tea with freshly baked scones lathered with thick, yellowish Cornish cream, topped with freshly gathered wild blackberries, found along our way. Evenings were passed by a warm coal fire, while pouring over a number of very old family photographs. One foggy morning, we travelled by way of a rickety old rural bus toward Penzance, to a bookstore where she gifted me with several classic novels involving Cornish history, Daphne du Maurier novels and so forth….and then we enjoyed more tea and scones in a nearby café. Sadly, I was much too young to fully appreciate her generosity, especially now that I am more than a decade older than my “elderly” relation was then.

While my mother was born in the USA, she grew up along Victoria Row and went to school there in St. Just. Early on, I realized that my American Mother was “homesick” with longing for someplace else. Later on, I learned that this was even more the case with her mother, who crossed the Atlantic many times, and finally, at the end, my Grandfather took her ashes “home”. During my last visit “home” I had an opportunity to spend some time with Mother’s childhood friends, then in their late eighties and early nineties. “There are Cornish”, Mother used to say, “who will tell you that they have never been to England”. As strange as this may seem, the Cornish consider themselves no more English than the Irish, Welsh or Scots and they maintain an ongoing tribal antipathy toward Londoners and other outsiders, tax-collectors and the EU.

It could be that a deeply-rooted Cornish sense of non-English separateness, has some geographic basis in the fact that their rocky peninsula is surrounded on three sides by the sea, with the fourth boundaried by the River Tamar that divides this West Country duchy, (nearly sea to sea), from England.

Cornwall’s mostly agreeable climate is made possible by a proximity to the Gulf Stream which provides ample moisture, by way of frequent “mizzles” (mists+ drizzle), and mild temperatures that usually warm at least two months ahead of the rest of Britain. The Cornish language, closely related to Welsh, and ancient Breton dialects, is enjoying a revival and is reflected throughout the landscape, in place names and many words, similar to Welsh, with an abundance of barely pronounceable consonants and a scarcity of vowels.

The monochrome simplicity of the Cornish flag; white cross on a black field , looks to me, at least, like a smoothed out abstraction of that grinning “Jolly Roger” skull and cross bones flag flown aboard pirate vessels. This familiar image brings a sly smile of recognition now that I have come to understand the historical importance, and perhaps necessity for piracy and smuggling for the survival needs of an impoverished population of Celtic tribal folk. Cornwall remains the poorest county in Britain, still populated by those who have long felt themselves to be over-taxed and otherwise oppressed by the corrupt minions of the British Empire.

While the Cornish economy depended upon fishing, hard scrabble farming and mining, these resources were undependable for many reasons, including sudden sea and weather changes. When ore veins ran out, as they often did, local tin and copper mines abruptly closed, leaving workers with few other resources. Some immigrated, as did my grandfather, others starved or turned to “alternative economies”, which included poaching, smuggling, piracy and other survival-related disciplines. These often desperate situations have been recently dramatized in a marvelous remake of the Poldark mini series, based on the epic Cornish novels of Winston Graham.

The dire circumstances of the Cornish economy were such that, piracy and smuggling operations became integral to their insular culture to the degree that even clergy were involved. Contraband could be hidden in church crypts, bell towers, pulpits and tombs. ( Almost all coastal towns had some connection to smuggling, and still this was dangerous business, and penalties were harsh. Since these contraband operations were sometimes carried out quite openly, town folk took to a studied practice of “watching the wall”. Kipling wrote about this in his Smuggler’s Song:

Them that ask no questions, isn’t told a lie
Watch the wall, my darling, while the gentlemen go by”.

Therefore, if smugglers were arrested, villagers could truthfully testify that they had seen nothing, for hearing was not considered evidence. As result, there developed a culture within which “everyone knows and no one says”, and information is necessarily withheld from any and all outsiders.

Smugglers also contrived and promoted ghost-stories and other scary tall tales in order to keep any curious away from places important to their clandestine activities. This was not difficult given the territory’s otherworldly landscape and the long-standing traditions having to do with the mysterious and paranormal. This region abounds with moorlands of heather and gorse and is said to be riddled with dangerous peat bogs and “piskies”, small mischievous sprites, who are given to confuse the unwary wanderer, who soon becomes “lost”. Ugly troll-like spriggans are believed to inhabit old ruins, guarding buried treasure (or contraband) and also acting as fairy guards. While Browney’s are generally considered to be helpful household spirits; if not appeased they could turn spiteful and things begin to disappear. Miners believed in noisy “Knockers”, heard from the eerie depths of underground tunnels, that warn of impending danger, and these underground spirits also needed to be appeased, or else.

Cornwall’s ancient landscape also abounds with tall standing stones and circles, and holy wells sacred since pagan times. These small, rural springs are associated with the ability to grant wishes and heal. Visitors attach small strips of cloth or “clouthies” to branches of nearby trees to represent their plea. Coastal regions that travel-agents extoll as the Cornish Riviera, are as treacherous as they are beautiful, given the often ferocious winds, monstrous waves, changeable cross-currents and tides; as well as sharp cliffs and jagged rocks hidden by rolling sheets of sea fog. For the impoverished locals, this perilous configuration offered opportunity as well as danger. As my Mother explained, desperation was conducive to plunder and shipwrecks along the Cornish coast were not uncommon. Whatever washed up along these treacherous shores was considered to be common property.

According to British law, it was illegal to plunder any wrecked ship as long as there were any survivors aboard. This technicality has led to stories of unfortunate survivors having drowned just as rescue boats arrived from a nearby shore. We have even darker tales of “wreckers”, made famous in Daphne Du Maurier’s West Country gothic novel, Jamaica Inn. These clandestine gangs travelled by night and used false light-signals in order to deliberately lure ships onto hidden rocks and then help themselves to the spoils. Nowadays, these stories of professional wreckers are considered to be mostly fiction.

In view of this recently discovered information about a cultural interdependence of pirates, smugglers and complicit clergy and town folk; it seems that the career of Cornwall’s most notorious lady pirates involved all three of these elements. In times of war and other hardship, occupations previously held by men were taken over, by necessity, by women. These were also times when women had to dress as men in order to seek employment. However, these were apparently neither the situations nor motivation underlying the stories of Cornwall’s most notable, 16th century female pirates; both members of the Killigrew family.

Elizabeth Trewinnard, (1530–1570) also known as Lady Mary Killigrew, was an unconventional aristocrat, daughter of a Suffolk pirate, whose husband was a former pirate, made Vice Admiral by Elizabeth I and tasked with suppressing piracy. It seems that her ladyship enjoyed sailing adventures; and when her husband was away at sea, Lady Mary engaged in piracy, using her staff at Arwenack Manor, located in an area which is now Falmouth. Lady Mary Killigrew is rumored to have served as inspiration for the dominant character in the novel: The Grove of Eagles by Winston Graham, there described as a woman who “knew all she wanted and wanted all she knew”. She was reportedly arrested for piracy, receiving stolen goods, and sentenced to death until pardoned by the Queen who may have realized that this Killigrew family could well serve as her privateers in times of war. (Anne Wallace Sharp, Daring Pirate Women, 2002)

Lady Mary Killigrew’s story is often confused or at least conflated with that of Lady Elizabeth Killigrew (1570s-1582) whose piracy related operations were based at Pendennis Castle in Falmouth Harbor. Lady Elizabeth is also said to have been arrested and then pardoned for similar reasons as Lady Mary. Given the Cornish penchant for tall tales and secrecy, it is difficult to clearly sort out exactly who was involved and what actually went on. While I have no information as to any direct connection to those highly adventurous Killigrew’s, Cornwall was and is sparsely populated, and my ancestors were there in the region from the 12th century onward.

In modern times, Mother’s family still maintains a very keen sense of when they feel that it is maybe sometimes best to “ look to the wall”, and the tradition of “everyone knows what is not being said” continues. At a recent family gathering with four generations of Cornish cousins, for example, our dinner conversation was ostensibly about the quality of the local seafood. Being Cornish, we were of course communicating about something else entirely, in this instance, the fact that family members having babies “out of wedlock” is nothing new in our system and therefore should not be a topic of undue concern. In the absence of dissent, we were able to move along to dessert without incident.

This long tradition of secrecy and distrust of outsiders, apparently rooted in the Cornish pirate and smuggling culture, persisted well into my Mother’s generation. One of our family’s strictly enforced rules was that no one was ever to discuss anything relating to the family outside of the house, ever. Mother is the youngest of six and her parent’s families and their parent’s families were even larger. Our family events involved many relatives, several generations and a multitude of cousins, second cousins and cousins “once or twice removed”, and just maybe a few “wood pile relations”, as well. While their status was never really defined, it was somehow understood that these people belonged with us…”somehow”.

Growing up, I didn’t think to find it strange, that while we often had visitors, never was there anyone who was not a relative; and rarely an overnight guest. While my Mother and her husband socialized at church and civic events, all holidays and vacation times were spent only with our relations at their various guest cottages along the New Jersey Shore. As a teenager I was allowed to have friends over to our house, but never to stay overnight. While my step-father remained distant, Mother was always gracious and still visibly “uncomfortable” until my friends left. Absolutely no one was welcome to arrive without due notice and even relatives knew not to ever, ever, “just drop by”.

As a retired marriage and family therapist, I have since learned that insular, secretive families such as our ancient Celtic clan, that have “secrets” dating far back into historical times, are now viewed with suspicion. While I do not disagree, as to the import of family secrets, not all are necessarily destructive nor pathological, and many have served as a vital resource in overall survival strategies. Moreover, much of such apparently insular and seemingly secretive behaviors have ancestral roots, deserving of respect.

This Cornish insularity was balanced by my father’s family, who are French, and very social, ”artsy”, fond of travel, interesting company, and loving of intrigue and good gossip. While mother’s clan was patriarchal, Father’s was and is a matriarchal system and I feel that I have deeply benefited from the contrast. I was reminded of my Cornish genes recently as one of my translators explained why my English writing style is so difficult to translate in any kind of direct literal sense. “Your true meaning”, she offered, “is often implied, somewhere in between the lines”, and this is likely true. And yes, there is still this restlessness and longing for the Old World; the UK and Cornwall, especially.

And so, at this point, it seems that this ancestral treasure hunt for clues has revealed nothing all that dramatic as directly relates to either my daughter’s or my life, so far, and still we now have a deeper understanding of certain aspects of our complex heritage. If in fact, there is something else of importance that we really need to know, The Field will likely come up with another clue; and meanwhile, I will just have to wait.

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Grey Wolf

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such a time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, truth is the greatest enemy of the State”. (Joseph Goebbels, Reichs Minister of Propaganda, 1897-1945)

In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies”. (Winston Churchill, 1943)

If you win, you need not have to explain…If you lose, you should not be there to explain”. (Adolf Hitler, 1889-?)

History is a version of the past that people have decided to agree upon”. (Napoleon Bonaparte)

Who controls the past controls the future.Who controls thepresent controls the past”. (George Orwell, (1903-1950)

Until recently I had relegated those reports of Hitler in Argentina to the same category of tabloid sightings of Elvis. However, newly de-classified FBI documents reveal that our government knew that Adolf Hitler was alive and living in Argentina long after the end of World War II. (Lisa Pattrick,, February, 12, 2104). Moreover, neither Stalin, Churchill, Truman, Franco or General Eisenhower believed that “suicide in the bunker” story propagated by Medieval historian, Hugh Trevor-Roper (1914-2003). Consider, if you will, the disturbing fact that this young medievalist was assigned by British intelligence to write an account of the Fuhrer’s final days in the Berlin bunker, despite the fact that he had no academic background in Teutonic history or politics and could neither read nor speak German.

As a result, his account of the supposed double suicide of Hitler and Eva Braun was based upon the testimony of surviving “witnesses”, all loyal Nazis, who were willing to say whatever the naïve historian wanted to hear. (The Last Days of Hitler, 1947). In fact, there exists no forensic evidence whatsoever that Hitler and Eva died in the bunker, as was dramatized in the 2004 movie Downfall, starring Bruno Ganz as the creepily charismatic Fuhrer. Trevor-Roper’s MI6 sponsored, suicide story was an important propaganda basis for Allied efforts to rebuild a new Germany without any hopes that the Fuhrer could return…and to promote a belief that if Hitler was dead, then Nazism was also dead. The notoriously arrogant Trevor-Roper’s credibility was seriously and deservedly damaged in 1983 when he “authenticated” the Hitler Diaries; subsequently proven to be forgeries. (Richard J. Evans, Lying About Hitler, 2002).

Recent publication of Grey Wolf: The Escape of Adolf Hitler (2011), by Simon Dunstan and Gerard Williams now serves to shed some much needed light into the shadowy endgame-strategies toward the close of World War II. Their title is especially apt given that from early on Adolf Hitler used the nom de guerre, Grey Wolf. In Old High German the name Adolf translates into “noble wolf”. It was as Herr Wolf that he was introduced to 17 year old, high spirited, shallow minded, shop girl, Eva Braun; and to many intimate acquaintances he was addressed as Uncle Wolf. His younger sister Paula changed her surname to Wolf in an attempt to retain some degree of privacy. Hitler’s yacht was called the Sea Wolf, his plane Flying Wolf, his field headquarters in East Prussia were known as the Wolf’s Lair, in Ukraine it was Werewolf and in France, Wolf’s Gorge. His fearsome U-boats were known as wolf packs and grey wolves; and one of them code-named Gruppe Seewolf, reportedly delivered Hitler to Argentina, where he spent his declining years as the proverbial Grey Wolf. (p. xxxi).

While it is true that party loyalists died in and around the Fuhrerbunker’s multileveled, subterranean, bomb-shelter complex beneath the Reichs Chancellery in Berlin, Hitler and Eva Braun were likely not among them. According to multiple accounts, the two escaped, in agreement with plans set in motion by Hitler’s ever-present, “Brown Eminence”, Reichsleiter and Head of the Part Chancellery, Martin Bormann. It is not unusual for world leaders to employ body doubles; Stalin had numerous stand-ins and Churchill at least one. Hitler had six of these lookalikes. His favorite, Gustav Weber, had been standing in for the Fuhrer since July 20,1944, when the bomb attempt at Wolf’s Lair Field Headquarters left Hitler with recurrent after-effects from shock and injuries. More specifically, an increasingly suspicious Hitler was plagued by infected facial and painful nasal-cavity wounds, inflicted by wood splinters from an oak table that had shielded him from the full force of the blast.

While alive, Weber’s final impersonation of Hitler took place during a last, officially photographed and newsreel appearance, when Weber handed out medals to a row of Hitler Youth recipients on March 20th, 1945. Herr Weber could be distinguished from Hitler’s other doubles by a palsied tremor of his left hand, which led to speculation that the Fuhrer himself suffered from Parkinson’s disease. Weber’s final service to his master was carried out in a double suicide scenario orchestrated by Bormann. Eva Braun’s double was selected from a cadre of young actresses that propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels had maintained for his own amusement along with another canine double for Hitler’s beloved Alsatian Shepherd Blondi. This counterfeit Fuhrer and his bogus bride were taken into the private quarters to enact their final scenario. Weber was shot and the actress and dog poisoned with cyanide, on April 30, 1945, also the date of a German pagan holiday Walpurgis Night, made famous in the Bram Stoker novel Dracula.

Meanwhile, another plan was already in motion. Hitler, Eva, Blondi, Bormann, former Gestapo Chief Heinrich Mueller, and a small group of others allegedly slipped out of the bunker in order to board a waiting plane; reportedly flown by SS Captain and Luftwaffe pilot Peter Eric Baumgart. (“Luftwaffe pilot sent to jail for five years”, Warsaw, August 8, 1949, Canberra Times, August 9,1949). On May 2, 1945 German radio announced: “The Fuhrer is dead. Long live the Reich!” Shortly thereafter, Soviet troops entered the underground complex. A few days earlier, a special detachment of SMERSH (the NKVD counter-espionage element especially created by Stalin), had entered the enclave in order to discover the whereabouts of Hitler, dead or alive.

Absolutely no evidence of the deaths of Hitler or Eva Braun were ever found. Next to arrive were 12 women doctors from the Red Army medical corp. Their leader, who spoke fluent German, immediately demanded of the remaining occupants: “Where is Hitler and where are the “glad rags”? After a thorough search, these determined Russian women, on a dedicated mission, found neither Hitler’s body, nor a shred of Eva’s furs or party girl’s wardrobe. The following day, the Soviet official periodical Pravda, declared, “The announcement of Hitler’s death was a fascist trick”. (James P. O’Donnell, The Bunker, 1978)

Thereafter, details of the escape from Berlin and the flight-routes, differ. In Harry Cooper’s account, (Hitler in Argentina, 2014), Bormann drugged the unwilling suicidal couple in order to save them, and flew them to Oslo where Eva died of the drug overdose. With the reported source of this version being Bormann himself, I could imagine some strategic disinformation-agenda designed to discourage anyone from looking for Eva and their children, after she left the marriage in 1954. More about that speculation, later. Additional information on Cooper’s ongoing investigations can be found at:, along with alleged plans for the “relocation of the Reich”.

Given a likely motivation for disinformation, the flight-plan set forth in Grey Wolf seems to make more sense. According to this well documented version, escapees from the war zone were flown to a clandestine facility in Denmark; and then from there on to Spain. Aided by General Franco’s pro-fascist regime, they were then flown on to another secret base in the Spanish Canary Islands, located off the coast of West Africa. After a much needed rest, the group undertook a lengthy, dangerous, undersea journey, via a Grey Wolf U-boat, to the coast of Argentina and then, after another rest, were transported to their new home in Patagonia.

This choice of refuge and safe-haven seems logical, since Patagonia and San Carlos de Bariloche in particular, has been a de-facto German overseas-colony since the late nineteenth century. The spectacular lake and alpine landscape setting and Bavarian architecture are strongly reminiscent of southern Germany; and authentic beer and bratwurst are amply supplied by the local German-speaking town folk. During and after World War II, pro-fascist dictator Juan Peron, an ardent admirer of Mussolini, Hitler and Franco, had enthusiastically welcomed a strong Nazi presence in Argentina; and hosted the largest Nazi party outside of Germany. Peron even sent a “Blue Division” to assist Hitler during the German war on the Russian front. (Uki Goni, The Real Odessa:How Peron Brought The Nazi War Criminals to Argentina, 2002)

During my visit to Bariloche I learned that refugee Germans, “war criminals” or not, were regarded as something akin to celebrities. My local hosts were kind enough to provide a copy of Argentine journalist Abel Basti’s, Hitler Died in Argentina (1987). While Basti admitted that he fabricated some of his material in order to avoid trouble with the Argentine authorities, he nevertheless maintains that the salient facts are true. And so, my patient colleagues agreed to take me along his suggested tour of Nazi-related sights; including plastic-surgery clinics disguised as holiday chalets. Later in the day we undertook a hike up to a stone and cement-block watch tower/bunker, constructed upon a cliff overseeing a sheltered cove, where clandestine submarines could discharge their high-value passengers under the cover of darkness. For those unfamiliar with South American geography, this region is very close to the Chilean border. Therefore, if a hasty escape should become necessary, one can readily arrange transport by ship, or over any one of several routes across the Andean Cordillera.

For well over a decade, I have been offering systemically-oriented social trauma seminars and trainings in Latin America. My professional home, now in Mexico City, was formerly located in Argentina. During that time, much of my work was generously sponsored by my Spanish-language publisher Alma Lepik, in Buenos Aires. In Bariloche, Neuquén, Rosario and Buenos Aires, my trans-generational trauma seminars inevitably engaged many children, grandchildren and other descendants, relatives and loved ones, of refugees who arrived during and after the fall of the Third Reich; as well as a number of their surviving victims.

A perpetrator/victim dynamic, with all of its complexities, comprises an integral part of trans-generational trauma work, and this was especially evident while working with this aspect of modern Latin American history. In brief, to me at least, it seems quite evident that the descendants of perpetrators and victims suffer, both equally and also differently. While I am tempted to write more about this phenomenon, and the often mysterious bond between perpetrators and their victims; Bert Hellinger has already done so, and his timely and often provocative, observations have been expressed in articles, books and videos, translated into many languages.

Soon after World War II came to a close, thousands of fascist refugees, collaborators, and their families, found their way to South America via a “monastery route”; on their way to Vatican-organized and protected “ratlines”, overseen by Bishop Alois Hudol, Monsignor Krunoslav Draganovi, (who later worked for the CIA), and hundreds of other Catholic clergy. (Peter Levenda, Ratline: Soviet Spies, Nazi Priests and the Disappearance of Adolf Hitler, 2012). False passports and new identities were issued along with permission to board passenger and freighter ships headed south. Soon these “ratlines”, as they were named by allied intelligence, extended across and throughout the southern continent. In time, notorious war criminals such as (CIA agent), Klaus Barbie, “Butcher of Lyon”, and Walter Rauff, inventor of portable gas chambers, felt safe enough to openly serve as “security-advisors” to Latin American dictators, determined to crush dissent. An abundance of well-researched documentation of these Nazi contributions to fascism throughout South America, is available in the above mentioned Argentine journalist, Uki Goni’s The Real Odessa .

Nazi refugees found a welcome home in Chile, where they established a heavily armed German-speaking colony, which soon became a state within a state, which was rumored to have ties to the CIA as well. This Nazi enclave located high in the Andes, south of Santiago de Chile, in the Maule region, also served as a safe house for war criminals on the run. After our Nixon/Kissinger regime supported a CIA-engineered, September 11, 1973 coup, ousting democratically elected, leftist President Salvador Allende, and installing General Augusto Pinochet; the Colonia Dignidad (Villa Baviera) became a torture and interrogation center for the extreme right wing regime. Here it is important to be clear that not only German and Chilean fascists were involved in torture. The torture chamber at Colonia Dignidad was designed by American CIA operative and professional assassin Michael Townley, now living under our Federal Witness Protection Program. (John Dignes, The Condor Years: How Pinochet And His Allies Brought Terrorism To Three Continents, 2005)

Under Pinochet, Operation Condor’s “war on terror”, against leftists and other suspected “dissidents” was officially launched in 1975. It eventually spread throughout many other South American countries, installing fascist military dictatorships, together with spies, informers, kidnappings, secret police torturing, incarcerating and the “disappearing” of at least 60,000 people of all ages. This period, now known as the “Dirty Wars”, atrocities continued to be carried out until 1985. Dirty War fascists were actively aided and supported by our US foreign policy, up to and through the Ronald Reagan years; based on a paranoid fear of a communist-takeover down there, “right in our own back yard”. (Saul Landau, “Terrorism Then and Now, Counterpunch, August 20-21, 2005)

Under Bormann’s masterful direction, and with powerful Vatican support, the Nazi network had successfully metastasized, taken deep root in South America, and was wielding a powerful fascist influence throughout the continent. As a result, the quasi-mystical personality-cult surrounding the Fuhrer was no longer so important. Hitler himself had apparently settled into a quieter life and enjoyed time recovering from his various ailments at the Hotel Eden Spa in La Falda, owned by Nazi sympathizers Walter and Ida Eichhorn. Service personnel from the now-abandoned resort recall visits of very special guests about which they were told to say nothing whatsoever, ever.

Housekeeper Catelina Gomero recalls these mysterious guests as being polite and reclusive during their visits. Another worker, Hernan Ancin observed a polite, rather gaunt, Hitler and his “well fed” wife during 5 visits between 1953 and 1954. He specifically remembered Eva as someone world weary, who appeared to have suffered a great deal. Apparently, she had grown increasingly heavy and unable to shed any weight after the birth of her last child. Both hotel workers, already elderly at the time of their interviews, received death threats and declined further access. (Jorge Camarasa, “la Falda tiene tambien su secreto nazi” , La Nacion, Buenos Aires, July 27,1980)

There is not much in the way of reliable information regarding Hitler’s children. According to the wife of his former Secretary of State, Otto Meissner , a son Helmut, was born to Magda Goebbels in 1935, the result of a passionate affair with her Fuhrer while both were vacationing at the Baltic sea in 1934. Magda poisoned this nine year old boy together with her five daughters shortly before committing suicide with her husband just outside of the Fuhrerbunker. Hitler also reportedly had a daughter Gisela, with athlete Othilie (Gold Tilly) Fleischer, “a true representative of the Aryan race”, Nazi Olympian and gold medal winner from the 1936 Berlin games. It seems that he only saw the child once.Gisela Heuser, Adolf Hitler, Mon Pere, 1966). Her mother denies the story.

There are also reports that Eva Braun’s first child, Ursula, “Uschi” was born in San Remo, Italy on December 31,1938, and this birth was confirmed by her father. This child was later raised at Berchtesgaden as a child of Eva’s friend Gitta Schneider, and was extensively photographed there along with affectionate family album pictures of Hitler and Eva with the small blond girl (“Americans Find Treasure Chest of Eva Braun”, St. Petersburg Times, November 16, 1945). After the war, Ursula was said to be the daughter of Eva’s sister, Gretel Braun and her husband Hermann Fegelein, yet their only child. Eva, was born after the war ended. When six year old Uschi arrived in Argentina in 1945, her mother was again pregnant with a second daughter, although this was her third pregnancy. Eva Braun’s mother Franziska Braun, when interviewed by the Allies, said that there was a second stillborn-child in1943. (North American Newspaper Alliance, February 18, 1946).

While Hitler and his guardians felt fairly secure during the time when Peron was in power, when that was no longer the case, Hitler and his family were reportedly moved to a more remote and therefore more secure location. Eva apparently found it difficult to adapt to such a dull and rural existence. There were no more parties, and her often morose husband, 23 years her senior, without a cadre of inner circle admirers, was probably not the best of company. Eventually, in 1954, Eva Braun, Hitler, and their two daughters are said to have fled to Neuquen province where they were continuously looked after by party loyalists.

As the aging Fuhrer’s health-issues increased in his final years, together with the last in a succession of Blondi’s; his personal physician, Dr. Otto Lehmann (may not be his real name) and long-time valet Heinrich Bethe, kept him as comfortable as possible; despite the torments of dementia, delusions, hallucinations and nightmares involving the vengeful ghosts of his murdered millions. According to this version of history, Adolf Hitler died on February 13, 1962. In the interest of secrecy, his remaining caretakers then became a liability to the Organization. Bethe knew this and managed an escape to Chile He changed his name to Juan Paulovsky and lived out his days in the small coastal town of Caleta Olivia. Dr. Lehmann was not so lucky and disappeared shortly afterward, probably murdered. (Grey Wolf)

So now, what to believe? Certainly not the MI6 agent for hire, Trevor-Roper. An important question here might be “Just exactly who benefits from that bunker suicide story or those rumors of Hitler as an asexual, impotent, pervert?” What we do know at this point, is that Monastery Routes and Vatican-operated ratlines were absolutely real; Peron was a dedicated fascist, and many Nazi war criminals have been extradited from South America. The USA/CIA supported “Dirty Wars” were real, all those “disappeared” really were tortured and killed, and Colonia Dignidad was real as well. Now, many critics of the Hitler in Argentina accounts have maintained that Martin Bormann could not have possibly escaped from Berlin and orchestrated and secured a vast Nazi network in South America. Never mind that there are too many accounts of his Brown Eminence in Latin America to be readily dismissed.

Recent, so-called forensic evidence has surfaced, claiming that Martin Bormann’s skull has been retrieved from a dig in Berlin in 1972, and its DNA analyzed in 1998 perfectly matches with an elderly relative, who remains unnamed. Never mind that this site had been previously excavated with no bones found, whatsoever. From my perspective, even more interesting is the fact that this Bormann skull contained traces of a sticky red clay not found anywhere near the section of Berlin where it was supposedly found. In fact, this type of volcanic red clay is ubiquitous in Paraguay, especially common to the village of Ita. This does suggest that Bormann died elsewhere and then his skull was deliberately planted in order to be “found”.

Esteemed forensic surgeon W.H Thomas also examined this skull, and determined that some of the dental-work clearly indicated that it had been carried out long after 1945. (W.H. Thomas,, August, 11 1996). A supposition such as this, then opens a way to the salient question: exactly why, and exactly who, would be sufficiently motivated to go to such lengths for such an elaborate deception, unless there was a great deal of very sensitive information to conceal. One could speculate that Bormann’s survival could prove embarrassing to the Allies who sentenced him to death, in abstentia, during their Nuremberg trials; to the Israelis who failed or were unwilling to capture him; or to the CIA who would prefer that any contact with him and his infernal machinations never happened. For an in-depth exploration of Bormann, both the man and the myth, see the late Paul Manning’s courageous, Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile, (1981), while bearing in mind that soon after its publication, his publisher’s legs were broken and Manning’s son murdered. The author died shortly thereafter.

From my perspective, it seems that many of these accounts of high-level Nazi deaths and disappearances need to be viewed with considerable caution. Historians and journalists know that it is the very nature of governments to lie, especially in matters they deem sensitive for “national security”. How many of those supposedly “disappeared” or “suicide” dead-Nazi’s actually turned up among the thousands who arrived here in the USA along with Werner von Braun under “Operation Paperclip”? This was, of course, deemed necessary for our “national security” during our post-war space and nuclear weapons-race with the Soviets, immediately following World War II. Scientists, War-criminals or not, arrived in the US via our own version of the ratline covert-operations. During this era of trading principles for power, we might consider, for example, the case of Hans Kammler, who supposedly “disappeared” right after the war.

Kammler was an undesirable ally by any reasonable standard, given that he oversaw the construction of underground slave-labor facilities, concentration camps, and engineered others means of mass extermination. More important, it seems, is that Kammler also had intimate knowledge and expertise from the Nazi V2 rocket project as well as involvement in a secret aerospace weapon known as Die Glocke (The Bell). In his book, The Hunt for Zero Point: Inside the Classified World of Antigravity Technology (2001), Nick Cook raised the possibility that Kammler came over to America with his Paperclip colleagues. In Reich of the Black Sun (2005), Joseph P. Farrell tends to agree that this is a real possibility. Aerospace engineer Clark McClelland, who worked at NASA from 1958-1992, in his Stargate Chronicles, specifically stated that Kammler was there at NASA along with a prototype for The Bell. More information about Paperclip Nazis is available in Annie Jacobsen’s, Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence That Brought Nazi Scientists To America, (2015) and Eric Lichtblau’s, The Nazis Next Door: How America Became a Safe Haven for Hitler’s Men, (2014), which details how the CIA, FBI and the military put Hitler’s minions to work as spies, and intelligence assets while white washing their criminal pasts.

So now, here in 2015, we can rest assured that the man, Adolf Hitler, born in 1889, really and truly is finally, absolutely dead; and Bormann, as well. The time, dates and circumstances of their demise may never be established to the satisfaction of all concerned. While those dashing Hugo Boss designed uniforms for the SS and Wehrmacht are now seen only in the movies, Nazism is alive and well and thriving under many and various rubrics. On subject of the controversies surrounding the post war survival of The Fuhrer, Peter Levenda offers the following: Look around. Neo-Nazism is on the rise. There is a hard swing to the right in many countries around the world, some of it provoked by fears of a terrorist threat. The instability of the global economies and the widening gap between rich and poor is a familiar precedent for the appearance of populist dictators. Civil liberties are being eroded in the name of national security. Military and political leaders are warming their hands on today’s version of the Reichstag fire. In Latin America, and Asia, Hitler is more popular than ever.

What the Allies feared would happen, did happen. As the story of Hitler’s suicide is shown to be unsupportable by the evidence, the resurgence of belief in this monomaniacal madman and his fanatical ideology of race, purity, and power is guaranteed. Like Barbarossa he sleeps in a cave, perhaps in a salt mine in Salzburg, or more comfortably in a guest house in Bolzano, in that “monastery in Tibet” or a tropical isle in Southeast Asia – waiting for the hurt, the hateful and willingly ignorant to call his name in their hour of need. (Ratlines)

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At Paradigm’s Edge

At Paradigm's Edge“We find ourselves at the edge of an outworn paradigm in which Earth is the purpose of the Universe and homo sapiens is both the pinnacle of evolution and purpose of the Earth. In reality, the evolutionary niche we currently occupy is perilous indeed”.
(Kevin Ashton, Smithsonian, 2014)

“The future has a way of coming in from the edges, of being created not in the central plaza but on the blurry fringes of our peripheral vision”.
(Charles Bowden, The Laboratory of Our Future)

This current work represents the third volume in a series of “blooks” (Blogs+books) which are essentially a compendium of monthly online blogs published here on “Trauma and The Human Condition: Notes From the International Field”, offered through the auspices of the Western Institute for Social Research in Berkeley, California; which have evolved into books. While most entries included in this present collection, concerning some aspect of social and global trauma, have been posted on a monthly basis throughout 2014; several have been expanded and updated as new information has become available.

By definition, social trauma work emphasizes the impact of overwhelming life events, beyond individual and family, on into the larger fields of local, national and global communities. Here we enter the realm of the often unseen, unacknowledged trans-generational power of the “Greater Forces” that shape individual-experience, families, and other social systems.

These Greater Forces have many names and countless variations which often overlap; including war, racism, slavery, genocide, immigration, emigration, famine, religion, class warfare, political unrest, poverty, epidemic, radiation, natural disasters and climate change that impacts our entire biosphere. In addition, we might also consider the roles of the lust for wealth and power, silver, gold, silk, spices, as well as oil, gas and uranium , in shaping human history. In essence, social trauma studies, field-work and education, as I see it; follow a basic rule of ecology which holds that, in one way or another, everything is connected to everything else from to individual to collective experience.

Perhaps you remember that many serious scholars of the Mayan calendar long-count calculations, suggested that the pivotal year of 2012 would initiate an era of rapid social change; as well as our collective understanding of the fractal nature of reality, our Universe, and time itself. While this forecast was also accompanied by, in my view, an unwarranted plethora of rainbow spiked rhetoric; this past year of 2014 has revealed a number of significant paradigm-shifts. Those of us admittedly stubborn souls, still willing to pay attention, could not fail to notice that many familiar, even iconic, wise, respectable, apparently-benevolent, masks of the rich and powerful, are now slipping, sliding, and falling off; and are well on their way to becoming irrevocably and very publically, shattered.

Aided by an increasing populist access to the global internet, corporate-controlled mainstream propaganda channels have suffered a serious loss of credibility amongst increasing numbers of the awake and aware. As a result, the challenge of speaking truth to power has been commandeered by many so-called alternative information outlets. Conversely, coverage of material previously relegated to some far-flung, outer-fringe realm of “conspiracy” and outright “woo-woo”, is now appearing within some of the more conventional and scientifically respectable venues.

As I set forth in Trauma: Time, Space and Fractals (2012), ancient and indigenous Time Keepers as well as modern day physicists, agree that our Universe and time itself, is composed of an infinite series of expanding and contracting cycles-within-cycles which contain universal fractal patterns which repeat themselves in non-linear, self-similar ways, as described in the axiom “as above, so below”. While this fractal concept of reality may seem way too abstract for many of us who both experience and work with trauma, it is a fact that overwhelming life events can and do affect the way that both our individual and collective consciousness experiences time; which may seem to speed up, slow down, flashback, and even stop altogether.

Another perceptual challenge lies within the reality that our everyday concept of linear time remains not only subjective, temporally relative due to planetary time zones, but culturally relative, as well. This concept has been vigorously resisted by firmly entrenched academic, international, overlords committed to an agreed upon historical timeline of human origins, evolution and development. Unfortunately, for this world-wide, fossilized, though well endowed, cabal of old-school academics, (committed to outdated paradigms and evolutionary time lines), the latest discoveries at the Indonesian megalithic site at Gudang Padang have delivered nothing less than a timely shock; grounded in sound archeological, anthropological and geological science.

In these increasingly turbulent and uncertain times, even the past is changing as we find ourselves rapidly moving into a future so seemingly different from our own immediate circumstance. In this year’s collection, beginning with the archeological mysteries of Gudang Padang, likely to rewrite human history, I chose to explore a nexus of history, art, literature, science and current-events, including those that continue to puzzle. “Black August” and “Greystone Park” were among those that made me uncomfortable, and wish to turn away, minimize or deny. I was also drawn to seemingly small stories, such as “Sleepwalker” and “Laki Penan”, which reflect much larger issues; as well as huge topics such as “Global Weirding”, Fukushima and the Global Population Agenda which open the way to other, equally important subsets. Although these blogs appear in a sequence which follows the calendar year, some topics may of more interest than others and need not be read in any particular order.

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“While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands”. (Michel Rolp Trouillot)

“Mourning has validity at both the individual and collective level, in the intra-psychic and the interactive. It involves pain, work and discovery”. (P.C. Racamier, La genie des origins).

In a recent issue of The New Yorker journalist Elizabeth Kolbert explores the phenomenon of the Stolpersteine, a public art project and work of German conceptual artist and sculptor, Gunter Demnig, since her own great-grandmother was “disappeared” during the Nazi Holocaust. Born in 1947 in Berlin, Demnig now resides in Cologne. In stark contrast to most memorials designed to command attention, his understated Stolpersteine, (stumbling blocks) reside quite literally underfoot. Each piece consists of a block of concrete onto which a brass plaque has been carefully affixed. These blocks, which are 10×10 cm, approximately the size of a Rubik’s Cube, or a child’s hand, are embedded into a walkway, or lowered in amongst cobblestones; in a manner which results in the surface of the plaque lying nearly flush with the pavement. Each plaque is stamped by hand, as a gesture, according to Demnig, deliberately expressed in opposition to mechanized, bureaucratic mass murder, executed within the extensive slave labor and extermination camps operating with impunity during the entire Third Reich (1933-1945). (“A Stone for My Great-Grandmother”,, February 16, 2015)

Stolperststeine are carefully hand-crafted in order to commemorate all Jews, Roma, Sinti, dissidents, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Freemasons, blacks, military deserters, resistance fighters and communists, who were deported and exterminated. These small metal plaques also commemorate the mentally and physically disabled victims of euthanasia, as well as: those who survived incarceration and sterilization-clinics, and those who were forced to immigrate or committed suicide as a result of Nazi persecution. Each stone has one name, date of birth, date taken away and date and manner of death (if known) and is placed into the ground outside of this individual’s last known address or workplace. The time and date of each installation is announced in local news outlets for the benefit of those who would like to attend. At this point, Demnig says that the increasing numbers of such victims are much too great and now his project needs to be understood as largely symbolic; and yet, he continues.

Whenever possible, this artist lays the stones himself, in the presence of those who commissioned each piece; as he travels around in a minivan with an assistant and their essential tools. In silence, Demnig kneels down, with one knee covered with a protective leather pad, clears out a designated space, inserts the stones, adjusts them into place, and finally adds wet cement. He then steps back to survey his work, brushes off plaques and cleans them with a cloth. Demnig remembers one installation where people from four countries gathered to attend, without previous knowledge of one another, and soon discovered that they were all related. Anyone can sponsor a plaque’s manufacture and installation for family, friends, neighbors or co-workers by contacting

In 1995, Demnig began implanting his Stolpersteine, (a term which roughly translates as something close to “ Stumbling Stones”). His first cubic pieces were placed on public land, at the request of survivors, in Cologne, without permission. Then a second group was installed in Berlin, also without permission. Both cities eventually legalized these emotionally-laden, heavy, “stones”.

As the number of those who had actually witnessed the Holocaust diminished, interest in the Stolpersteine actually grew; in almost reverse proportion. In Berlin, residents gathered in order to discover the identities of those who had been deported right out from their own neighborhoods. Information came from rumors, schools, relatives, and various organizations such as Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. As the project grew, students in various cities and countries volunteered to raise funds and help.

As this endeavor eventually spread to other German cities, it also took root in other countries, including Holland, Belgium, Italy, France, Luxembourg, Austria, Russia, Hungary, Croatia, Norway, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Slovenia, Slovakia and Poland. At present there are more than six thousand Stolpersteine in Berlin together with more than 50,000 others embedded in public grounds throughout Europe. The Stolpersteine project has now been identified as the “largest decentralized, grass roots memorial in the world”.

Demnig’s choice of the “stumbling stones” as an artistic vehicle for his memorial project is particularly apt, given an old folk story in pre-Holocaust Germany, that it was a custom for non-Jews to say, whenever they stumbled over a stone, “there must be a Jew buried here”. (Jude als Schimpfwort Archiv, Raid-rus, 28 March, 2007). These “stumbling blocks”, as metaphor made manifest, and the slight uneasiness that they create along pedestrian walkways, serve to unbalance routine steps and interrupt the smooth progress of many would-be, upright and upstanding citizens. Some of these small scale, brass stumbling blocks may even cause some pain. Nevertheless, their humble, earth-bound, solid, cuboid presence carries an existential invitation.

Stolpersteine, now buried in many a common ground, lie there and wait, as a timeless expression of hope. Their very presence, in those places where they have been accepted, suggests that at least some of our awake and aware and otherwise willing, kind souls, might pause for a moment, to bend a knee toward the ground, in order to read what is written on each plaque, about the crimes involving both victims and perpetrators. Upon each installation, the Stolpersteine shine bright with metallic luster and in time, this brass will tarnish. Those living nearby are often asked to keep them polished as a gesture of renewal and to stave off indifference and oblivion. (Ruth Breuer, ARAS Connections, Issue 3, 2012)

Not everyone has been or is currently receptive to installations of Stolpersteine and this memorial project has been met with a number of past and ongoing stumbling blocks along their way. In Munich, for example, the city’s Jewish community rejected these plaques as undignified, on the grounds that they did not represent an appropriate venue for remembering the Shoah. More specifically, many felt that they would simply offer another opportunity for German jack-boots and other “good Germans” to symbolically demean and trample over their Jewish victims. In response, Demnig rejected their suggestion that these brass plaques should be placed on walls since he feels that people tend to ignore plaques on buildings, whereas they consistently look down to the ground. (http://,May/June, 2013).

In addition and not unexpectedly, Neo-Nazis and their sympathizers have vandalized Stolpersteine, in many countries, by painting them over, as well as removing them entirely in order for these memorial stones to be ritually and otherwise, destroyed.

Disturbing as this may be for some, the truth is that an ancient, deeply rooted, sadistically cruel and ongoing-mindset, that briefly manifested as Nazism, has also survived the Holocaust. More or even equally important, is that an independent conceptual artist, who cares, rather any politician with a self-serving agenda, has found a culturally specific way to offer a grass-roots, cross culturally adaptable option for honoring the “disappeared”.

Here we have a heartfelt humanistic challenge, not limited in time or space to Germany, or Nazi victims and perpetrators, since the tragedy of the disappeared is a long standing, ongoing, world-wide phenomenon. Demnig’s Stolpersteine project makes clear that in the genuine interest of healing, the humanities and related arts may have even more to offer than politics, and those closely related, seductive illusions of some kind of official justice.

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