It is an obvious truth that the National Security Act has been interpreted, not to guard the integrity of military secrets, but instead to protect criminal activity of the highest order.
Repeal of this Act and replacement with the established rules of military conduct concerning National Security that do not infringe upon the constitutional rights of America's citizenry or the rights of its allies would result in compliance with the Constitution.
SALESMAN, AD MAN, MIND MAN, PATRIOT MY PERSONAL EVOLUTION
"Every revolution, bloody or bloodless, has two phases. The first is the struggle for Freedom; the second the struggle for power. The phase of the struggle for Freedom is divine. He who has participated in it invariably feels, physically, that his best and most precious-inner self has come to the surface. We know that being faithful to the TRUTH stands higher than our own participation in governing the country — and that is why we must not have a suciety that would reject ethical norms in the name of political mirages." As I was saying to my grandmother, Mamaleen Johnson, "My life has turned into a nightmare and I'm wide awake," tears were streaming down my face, dripping off my chin onto her patent leather shoes. She affectionately patted my shoulder as she listened.
The words we exchanged, the room's wallpaper and furnishings, my beloved grandmother, Mamaleen. even the taste of my tears combined with a feeling of overwhelming grief-it is ail there etched into my memory.
This was the summer before I was to enter my second year of school in 1950. The first year remains a blur with cause.
Life for me and my family had changed dramatically over the previous year. So radical a change that it had taken almost a year for me to realize life was not becoming any easier to live. My stuttering was getting worse. The rare moments I could speak coherently were limited to short sentences devoid of the word «you», and then only to my mother and grandmother. Occasionally when angry I could speak clearly, or when alone in the woods while talking or singing to trees. Apparently my frustration with oral communication due to stuttering had been intensified by a trauma I experienced the previous year. Little did I know then that this trauma would positively and negatively influence my future and the lives of others I would know for the rest of my life.
On a hot and sticky Tennessee July day in 1949, my father helped boost first my mother, then me, into the saddle astride our four-year-old high-spirited "gift horse" Wojac. This was to be my first ride on the back of an animal. The excitement of the moment combined with stuttering rendered me, literally, speechless. As I recall and from photographs taken at the time, I was wearing a sweat-soaked, pale yellow cotton shirt, dark tan shorts, brown socks, and dirty tennis shoes. At six years old, I was very thin and did not take up the remaining saddle space behind my mother.
With the reins in my mother's hands, the horse responded to her polite command of "Come on, Wojac. Giddyup." He began slowly walking down our driveway to the narrow crushed limestone road beside our property. Upon reaching the gravel road, the horse turned or was guided left, momentarily disappointing me as I knew we were only going for a short ride. It was only about a quarter of a mile to the busy paved intersection that would be dangerous to cross. (Had my mother decided to go in the opposite direction, we could have ridden for a couple of miles before reaching any automobile traffic.)
As quickly as the horse made the turn from our driveway onto the country road, my mother nudged his flanks with her heels. With another command of "let's go," the horse responded with a mild jerk of motion and he began a fast trot down the middle of the road.
The horse's speed, in retrospect, was too fast for safe travel on gravel. Not knowing this then, I was not scared until I saw the crossroads looming closer, I can hear myself half shouting "BBBBBetter slow down. MMMight BBBBe a CCar CCComming." Before I could enunciate the last words, my mother began a slow sideways slide off the saddle. I could not see her face as she disappeared under the horse, and the reins disappeared with her. The horse bolted full speed ahead. In the blink of an eye, my realization of being alone in the saddle with no way to control the horse washed over me. Quickly, I tugged on his mane to no avail. It was in this instant I determined that the runaway horse was not going to stop for the crossroads. I jumped. As I recall, the fall was swift and my abrupt landing in the sharp rocks was not painful, though it seemed that my body would never stop rolling. Panicked and with the dust beginning to settle, I sat up, blinked the dust and sticky blood from my eyes, and looked about for my mother. She lay in a disorganized heap beside the road. I ran to hen
The first mental impression I experienced was that she was just wide-eyed dazed from her fall. Then I noticed her eyes weren't blinking and around her head was a thick puddle of blood. Not wanting to leave her in the road for fear she would be run over, and not strong enough to pick her up, I began screaming in the direction of our home in hopes that my father could hear me. Almost immediately he responded by sprinting to us", all the while shouting, "What happened? What happened?"
For the "life remaining in me" I could not answer for, as usual, I was speechless. As he knelt down to speak to my mother, he stopped mid sentence when he apparently saw her eyes in a fixed gaze and that the back of her skull was crushed inward. Instantly he picked her up. and as we were running back to the house, he commanded my eleven-year-old sister to call an ambulance. To this day I cannot recall how we got to the hospital.
The grisly scenes of this tragedy were not my nightmare. It did not play over and over again in my mind, for I had dissociated from it. I had voluntarily and autogenically created a memory barrier of this trauma. This is a normal human response. Had I been tortured after the trauma, I would not have been able to voluntarily recall either the accident or the torture. Hence the basis of this book.
The nightmare began during the subsequent recovery year when we realized my mother would never be herself again. She had lost over a quarter of her brain when the horse stepped into her skull. Permanently gone was her ability to smell, taste, and hear in one ear. These were the physical handicaps she developed. Her resultant emotional condition would become evident to me many years later. As a child, this new awareness of my mother's condition had minimal impact on me compared to the fear I lived with, moment to moment, due to my father's chronic alcoholism. Years later my sister would follow his lead into a losing battle with the bottle. I was safe, as alcohol made me stutter.
After being told so many times during my developmental years that my mother's condition was attributable to her brain damage, and that my stuttering was because my brain was not working correctly, it occurred to me at some point to learn about the brain. For years after the accident, I overheard adult conversations about my mother's brain. My curiosity peaked about the brain and the resultant invisible mind and had set the course for my life's interest.
Somewhere in this time period, I fantasized I would learn enough about the mind and brain to help my mother and myself.
As a child, my attention span was regarded as abnormal. I was considered very bright, yet my grades in school reflected something different. Although not properly diagnosed, I was most likely suffering from what is now termed Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). The handicaps of stuttering and ADD were to become my first personal improvement challenges once I was out in the world on my own.
This "on my own" objective came at an early age. I was barely sixteen-years-old when I left home to begin my pursuit of happiness. My first efforts resulted in total failure. However, I could not return to my parents' home because they were now divorced.
1991 Roman Catholic Weekly