Listen to a reading of this article:
The news man tells me the CIA's "Queen of Torture" now runs a life and beauty coaching business which helps midlife women “look good, feel good, and do good.”
"HI, I'M FREDA, A CERTIFIED BEAUTY AND LIFE COACH READY TO HELP YOU OWN YOUR BEAUTY FROM THE INSIDE OUT AND FEEL INVINCIBLE IN MIDLIFE," her website reads in all caps.
And I can only sit here and wonder, twiddling my pockmarked heart in my hands, how one is meant to react to such information?
Does one fall to one's knees and weep hot tears for her victims, whose screams still haunt soulless fluorescent echoing corridors and whose hurts will never heal?
Does one fall to one's knees and weep hot tears for our children, whose inheritance is a culture made of wetiko virus and psyops and a world we are clearcutting to make billboards?
Does one fall to one's knees and weep hot tears for the Indigenous, whose lives we bulldozed and paved over with asphalt just to build a ghostmind civilization where something like this could happen?
Does one shout "Allahu Akbar!" and throw one's smartphone off the overpass?
Does one take off one's clothes and shriek like an ape in a last-ditch attempt at restoring the primal clarity?
At bringing things back to before they went wrong, back before CIA torture queens became life and beauty coaches?
Back before CIA torture queens were able to shout from the Reuters rooftops, "I raised my hand loud and proud and you know, I don't regret it at all"?
Back before Hollywood movies glorifying CIA torture and its queendom began warping our minds and turning our souls into oil?
Back before the sky was scraped by dark towers built on the foundation of an economy that's held together by lies and cruise missiles?
Back before brainwashed mouth muppets said things like "We can't be afraid of war with Russia just because Putin has nukes" or "Unregulated speech is bad and dangerous" or "If the CIA was propagandizing us we'd have heard about it in the news"?
Back before we found ourselves sitting here killing time waiting to find out whether humanity dies of climate collapse or nuclear armageddon and whether the inevitable Zelensky movie will star Ryan Reynolds or Channing Tatum?
Back before Silicon Valley Pentagon proxies funneled 21st-century Norman Rockwell paintings into each of our QR-coded skulls?
Back before our dreams had Downvote buttons and our nightmares had laugh tracks?
Before directionless lives and carefully scripted wars?
Before truth was a choked off whisper and bullshit had a Jumbotron?
Before hallucinogens were outlawed and hallucinations were mandatory?
I see you, Queen of Torture, and everything you've always been.
Do you think your Instagram ads and Botox siren songs fool me?
I see the eels behind your eyes and the skulls inside your smile; in your heart you are still torturing, and you love it.
Torture is your first love, your only love, your soulmate, your sex; torture is what you're made of, torture is what you are.
You are inseparably one with the machine which tortures the poor, which tortures our ecosystem, which tortures children under blockades and starvation sanctions, which tortures our dreamworlds and our sacred seeds of disobedience.
We will beat the machine. We will win.
That primal clarity lives within us still, and you can only sedate a giant for so long.
The primal giant will rise, will crush the machine and the CIA black sites, will crack open Gitmo and devour Hollywood, will defecate on the Pentagon and wipe its ass with Langley, and will howl at the moon and banish the narrative matrix to wherever deleted files go.
And we will be free. And we will be vast. And we will look at each other with unpolluted eyes for the very first time.
And we will go out into the world, the real world, the original world, walking with our original feet and looking with our original eyes.
Our seeds now great forests.
Tortured no more.
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There’s a door that leads into the darkness, to a place down in the basement of life where things that prefer the darkness live. Down there are people that are listening to and entangled with some sick ideas. They’re ideas that suggest establishing domination and control of all the life in the world. Those listening to them don’t want to be exposed because the light of our awareness means they have to answer to us for what it is they’re up to.
I think a road home, a road that leads to a beautiful life, leads us first into and then through that dark basement. We can disrupt the activity going on there by showing up with a bright clean light. We may need to pick the lock that would keep us out, but we can, and then in the company of a few trusted companions we walk fearlessly down into the dark. We’re not intending to battle what’s down there, we’re not going to crucify anyone, and we’re not interested in doing anything that entangles us with them or in any of their ugly ideas. We’re going to show up and say calmly and openly with the power of a storm, we do not consent. We won’t live in the world they’re cooking up down there and won’t be impeded by them from building a palace of love.
We don’t go down there intending to get entangled with them by going to war with them over the next horrible iteration of a social game board they dreamt up while under the influence of something unkind that whispers to them in that darkness.
And right there in that place we’re going to establish a light of awareness and keep it lit. We’re going to plant seeds right there in the good earth and start tending to a lovely new garden. We’re going to plant and grow beautiful networks of friendship and community and nurture each other. We’re going to be loving, supportive and kind to each other.
We’re building a palace of love and care right there, right where we are, not in their darkness, but in our own light. We’re building it together with our friends, and we refuse to live in fear of what goes on down there in the dark.
Waterboarding is just an enhanced skin moisturizing technique.