To Encircle The Sun


“In order to escape accountability for his crimes, the perpetrator does everything in his power to promote forgetting. If secrecy fails, the perpetrator attacks the credibility of his victim. If he cannot silence them absolutely, he tries to make sure no one listens.”

Judith Lewis Herman


Unlike the sun, the soul can’t be encircled by external darkness, but evil tries anyway. You probably don’t know this about me, but I’m not a fan of bullies and abusers. I think most normal people feel that way. We have a gut reaction and it sometimes overrides logic. That’s why people with a need to abuse or hurt others, or any such undesirable character traits have to be skilled at hiding their true intentions from public scrutiny. Sometimes they’re just losers that feel the world owes them some pain, or immature people who just want to see the world burn. At other times, they are a part of some gang, group, or organisation and use their slither of power to cause misery to others. The more power they have, the more misery they will cause. Individually they are always nothing. These people act without remorse, they enjoy it, or need the power, because at some point they have been made to feel powerless and harbor a deep sense of emptiness, because they are hollow men.

Sometimes they manipulate innocent people to attack on their behalf. The term often used for these unwitting abusers are Flying Monkeys. These people are manipulated to believe that there is some justification for attacking the victim. This is motivated by the abuser’s predilection for lies, which he uses skillfully to convince the Flying Monkey that the victim isn’t a victim, but an abuser, thus transferring their wrong doings onto the victim again. The victim is attacked by people, seemingly for no reason. It’s hard for the victim to speak out, or to begin the insurmountable task of convincing people what they are going through. Sometimes their stories are so extreme that they dare not share them.

Abusers need to network with other abusers and are careful to avoid recrimination. Imagine spending a lifetime playing the piano, a bum note would be a rarity. It is often difficult for the victim to find the smoking gun. It was Mark Twain that said, a lie can travel half way around the world before the truth has got it’s boots on. A victim’s first, natural response when being attacked is confusion. If the abuser/s are/is covert, it often takes time not only to come to terms with what’s happening but to piece together why its happening and who the perpetrators are. The motives of a narcissist are often so deeply suppressed within that individual that it’s usually impossible for any normal functioning adult to come to grips with. Sometimes the only mistake a victim has made is being in the wrong place at the wrong time or showing empathic tendencies, perhaps even having a talent that someone else covets.

Once a victim finally finds the courage to talk about their experiences, they have already calculated the risks many times. Often because the perpetrators have already made threats and also warned them that they would face repercussions for telling the truth. The least of which is being ladled as ‘mad’ ‘mistaken’ or ‘paranoid’, but can also be threats of death.

The public, perhaps rightly, view anything outside of the norm with a healthy dose of skepticism and if a victim speaks out it’s often not heard without fingerprints and photographic evidence. On the other hand, if an abuser slanders their victim, they manage to do it by triggering the listener’s emotional response, such is the nature of manipulation, it relies on lies. As humans we are able to make flash assessments, it’s what makes us so successful as a species. It saves time by automating the evaluation of a given stimulus, such as fight or flight, or confirmation bias. If someone comes along and warns us of impending danger, in the form of that person over there, most people will note the danger, while automatically viewing the person that warned them as ‘saving their life’. This tactic is employed by the abuser to isolate the victim. The more people they can isolate the victim from the easier it is to bring them down. Isolation is the primary objective because people are weaker alone than they are in a group. Individuals often stand alone. It’s classic divide and rule. But what do they want to do once the individual is isolated?

The unscrupulous, know exactly what to say, when to say it and what people will find most plausible. You’ve all seen the video where a homeless guy asks for money an then puts on a suit and asks again for some bus fair because they lost their wallet with much better results. We are much more likely to believe someone in uniform or someone with a well-crafted public persona, perhaps someone who works within the media for example. Let’s face it, a lone wolf looks guilty by default. Looks and books.

If the abuser uses slander and character assassination as the weapon of choice, they have most probably damaged the victim’s reputation long before the victim even realises what’s going on, let alone, finally attempts to speak out against an injustice. By then most people have made their mind up based on misinformation. This makes it more difficult for a normal, unprepared member of the public to defend themselves against such an attack.

Most people don’t think like abusers. Such weird and dark motivations are so far outside a healthy, empathic person’s emotional landscape, that it doesn’t seem real somehow. It’s often easier to believe that A did B than it is to believe that groups of people organise to systematically discredit members of the public for no easy to define reason. Sometimes it’s easier to believe a slanderous web of lies presented by a plausible, cool rational someone with money, status and driving a sensible Volvo. Such is the Abuser / Victim dynamic.

If an abuser is determined and prepared to lie with impunity, as most B-cluster types are, because risk and lies come much more naturally to them.  If they are vindictive enough to sabotage an innocent person’s life by spreading slander about that person to an audience that never questions the information given to them. If the people listening never actually confronts the victim, or questions the validity of the information they have been given, it’s surprisingly easy to disintegrate a person’s connections to others quite quickly. Often the damage is done long before a victim has learned that an attack has even taken place.

Eventually, the victim starts to recognise patterns because such character assassination tactics lack originality.  Once that happens, investigation is inevitable. People are manipulated into believing falsehood more often than we would like to – yes I said it twice in one sentence – believe. Politics is predicated on such falsehood in my view. These tactics of propaganda are as old as man and unscrupulous people still use them because they work on us for the most part. They usually tap into an emotive response, a threat that strikes at the primitive brain, shutting down higher thinking and clouding our judgement. No one likes to think they have been manipulated to act with unkindness, but lets face it, this is probably how the Jews were slaughtered wholesale, it was by design, it was using language and lies, and not least, it took the suspension of disbelief of millions of people to collude. If an abuser lacks a conscience and is prepared to take advantage of others, such an arsenal are tools of an abuser’s trade.

I don’t consider myself a victim and I refuse to live in fear. I’ll continue to be my clumsy, loving everything self, even if such a nature is open to predation. It hurts but I’m learning that sometimes you just have to stand and fight to the end. I believe that love is one of the finest things in life so I fight for that. Hate is often motivated by love, because there are some that want to possess love to control and can’t which drives them into rages of destruction, none of it can touch the soul.  We must risk all to keep our hearts open, even death. All men must face battle and this is mine. These are the things I’ve learned. This is my truth.

My next blog will shed even more light on my experiences and the abusers I face. I’ll talk about the attempts on my life and the unbelievable lengths hollow men will go to blow out a candle. I will talk about how power is usually converted by those that can’t recognise themselves. Darkness hates those who keep a spark of faith, love, creativity and of rebellion in their hearts, no matter how they are framed or slandered. Like camouflage, some men’s gold is hidden by the weak who want it.

I’m writing this not because I want to hang my dirty laundry out in public for your entertainment, but for others who feel lost and alone, who face the darkness every day without becoming it. It’s to remind them to feel precious enough to fight back with love. So stand in your truth if you can, no matter how much they tell you not to. We will never be defined by those who wish to  encircle us because alone they mean nothing to this life and they know it deep in those shallow waters of theirs. One love.

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.

Friedrich Nietzsche

© Jason James 2018

The Trees & Temples Of Thailand

trees and temps thumb
It took years to grow this tree.
And now a new spring waltzes
In, as if nothing ever happened.


Choking beneath her roots
a tight bound bell rings,
pricking the silver linings
of sunbeams.


Butterflies make vinyl
under droplets that fall
from broken branches.
Men quench their faith


When rain lands on sacred

Thanks for reading. Please check out the accompanying INSTAGRAM VIDEO Shot in vertical for the new IGTV platform on Instagram. If you enjoyed the poetry, I’m sure you’ll like the video too. You can also find it on YouTube. Thanks for watching.  Enjoy the rest of your day and each other.

Instagram: brokendriftwood8968

© Jason James 2018

It’s Easy to Forget

“Love will draw an elephant through a key-hole.”
Samuel Richardson

There, in the cage was a beautiful, small, albino hedgehog hanging upside down. I tilted my head, it reminded me of a ghostly, wingless bat, with prickles, it opened and curled without making a sound. It was a haunting situation that made little sense. I wouldn’t have discovered it, if not for the fact that someone had sat in my favorite seat. The cage was hidden in an obscure corner of the ultra-cool café I’d been visiting for a few days to work. On closer inspection the hedgehog’s leg was trapped between the overhead bars. It must have been like that all night. I opened the cage doors and rescued it, but the thought upset me for the rest of the day.

I grew up listening to The Cure, to songs like, ‘Boys Don’t Cry’, even if I could, I’d struggle now. That doesn’t change the way I feel when confronted with suffering. Nature has the answers to many of our questions, we often forget that. I’m in the process of writing – it’s been a month now – a blog about my time in Borneo, it taught me a lot about myself in relation to nature. I’ve always felt a reverence for life, which comes hand in hand with death. I eat meat. I don’t have the discipline to prepare vegetarian food on the road. One day, I hope that I will stop making excuses. What is perhaps more challenging for me to deal with, is when our animals – by that, I mean livestock, pets etc. – suffer under our custodianship. It saddens me when people, for a multitude of reasons, usually economic, are faced with having to keep animals in unpleasant situations. In the west we, as consumers, have  colluded with big business and bought a ticket to a piece of theatre that hides the realities of suffering, like a dodgy magician, we know all the tricks, the slips of hand, but we buy into it anyway.  No culture is exempt.

Last week, I was riding a motorbike through the Pai countryside, in Northern Thailand, with nothing but the warm wind and trees for company. Suddenly, I was confronted with a village full of elephants on the roadside. I had never seen an Elephant in real life until that moment. It was something I had avoided in Thailand, partly because of a lack of knowledge about their treatment in captivity. Initially, the elephants totally wow’d me. Then I noticed the chains, the gentle swing from side to side. One of them, she had an old wound, which left a hole the size of a fist in the side of her trunk and you could see right through it.

There were however, a couple of elephants that didn’t have chains around their feet. Against my better judgement, I approached their handler, the pair of elephants were kept in an enclosure beside each other, separated by a beam of wood. The handler was a very gentle, Indian guy who seemed genuinely to care about the elephants. I used a childish logic to convince myself, that out of all of the elephants, those two were treated more humanely – an interesting word considering that humans are responsible for some pretty significant atrocities. So, I paid the small amount for the opportunity to feed and interact with them. It was an incredible experience. Despite their gentleness and patience with me, I sensed pent-up frustration in them. Even without chains, I could tell they were impatient to be together, to be moving and exploring, I know that feeling. Their intelligence was almost shocking to me. I noticed one of them banging his head repeatedly on a beam that separated him from the other elephant, but pretended not to. I was just enthusiastic for the chance to meet them and I didn’t want to wrestle in the dusts of reason.

But once the buzz had worn off and I had time to reflect, I felt uncomfortable. We all do it, lose our minds when we see an exotic animal like a TV celebrity. We lose sight of the big picture for a quick selfie. We choose, in that moment to forget, but an elephant never forgets that chain around it’s foot or the lack of movement in its holdings. I don’t have the answers. All I know is that you can’t just put your hand in the cage and help them out like a hedgehog in a bind. It would take a mountainous hand to clear the cloud which looms over these impressive beings. The experience motivated me to learn more, to find out who was attempting the seemingly insurmountable. Where were those working towards the rehabilitation and enrichment of these incredible elephants in Thailand. Some of their stories are quite tragic. Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary is just such a place. What these people do is little short of miraculous. Check them out and throw them some peanuts!

This is Sontaya she was rescued from a hard life in the tourist industry by BLESS. She passed over around October 2016 at the sanctuary. This is her story

© Jason James 2018