Thought Reform?

Thought reform or mind control seems like something that only happens in a movie or a novel, but it is prevalent in our society today. One only has to look as far as the Catholic Church to find victims of spiritual abuse. While the stories of altar boys molested by priests have made headlines, countless victims are still suffering in silence. Whenever there is a power imbalance in a relationship, there is a danger that the person who holds more authority will abuse his or her power. It can occur on a large scale as with the Unification Church (the Moonies) or in smaller groups such as Heaven's Gate (39 members) or even in one-on-one relationships such as a priest and parishioner or a professor and a student. Victims of mind control are not crazy cult followers. They are people like me and you who have fallen into a trap set by a predatory leader. In my experience, the trap was built with trust and words and compassion which lured me into thinking that I was safe until it snapped down on me. Victims of mind control are robbed of time. Sometimes years or decades are lost while in the group or relationship. Victims of mind control lose family and friends. Most are told to end contact with outsiders. Many who are able to return to their families find the relationships fractured. Victims of mind control lose their identities. It's difficult to know who you are after being told by someone else how to feel, how to dress, how to act. It's one of the darkest and most frightening feelings in the world. There are very few facilities that treat these victims or therapists who are equipped to handle these cases. It makes for a long, lonely journey for these victims. Compassionate understanding and education by society is lacking. This novel is dedicated to raising awareness and giving a face to victims of mind control.

1. Every person should have the right to his or her own thoughts, ideology, and identity.

2. Thought reform does not simply exist in cults that are on the news. It can occur in one-on-one relationships and in small groups in your neighborhood

3. In any situation where there is an imbalance of power (priest/parishioner, therapist/client), there is potential for abuse.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Why Self-publish?

I've been asked several times why I decided to self-publish Lunch with a Sociopath on rather than go the traditional publishing route.  The answer is two-fold.
     First, I am a nobody.  Nobodies don't get published unless they have connections in the publishing field which I don't.  It's kind of hard to make those connections when you live in out of the way places instead of....let's say New York City where there exists a plethora of major publishing houses.  Many websites for publishers do not take unsolicited manuscripts so the chances that anyone will ever read an unpublished work by an unknown author are slim to none.  If I were a famous "nobody" like Paris Hilton who makes her fortune and fame by being a witless party girl, then maybe I'd have a chance...but I'm glad I'm not her or anything remotely like her.  I think that would be a bleak existence.
      Secondly,  have you noticed how much bad material comes out of a proper publishing house?  It doesn't matter if someone can write.  It matters if they have the afforementioned connections or fame.  If Joan Rivers can get a book published, God help us all, because she doesn't really have anything of worth to say in my opinion.  So good books get overlooked daily in the quest for money--either with already established authors or celebrities.  I struggled with the decision to self-publish.  I thought that if I didn't have a "real" publisher, then my book was worthless.  After checking in to some companies and submitting a few query letters, I decided that the process was just too lengthy for this particular book.  I just wanted to be done with this book and have it out of my mind as it has taken a huge emotional toll on me.  When one submits to a publisher, often that publisher does not allow multiple submissions or requires exclusive reading rights to your work.  What this means is that if you send in a manuscript, you can only send it to one publisher.  They may take up to six months to read your work during which time you cannot submit to any other publishing house.  Then after six months, you will receive a kindly rejection letter to go along with the sinking feeling that you've wasted six months of your life.  I didn't want to wait around for years and have my walls  papered with rejection slips....not on  this book anyway.  This one just needed to be out there.  It needed to be out of my hands for me but for others as well who might be going through the same type of trauma.....but, really, it was a selfish decision in the end borne of my impatience to just be able to move on.



  1. You aren't a 'nobody'. I commend you for eloquently telling your story so that others may see the lie of a sociopath being exposed. Having dealt with one in my life, I know the confusion and pain of both the experience and aftermath of 'realization'. Hats off to you for being brave enough to share! :)

  2. Thank you for your comment! I hope you are well on the way to healing from your ordeal though it can be an arduous journey. I wish you all the best!