Friday, May 13, 2005
Email Luke Essays Profiles ArchivesSearch LF.netLuke Ford Profile Dennis Prager May 12 Wild Horse Preservation
ChaimAmalek: Who is at tonight's friday night live?
LukeFord: 1000 of them
LukeFord: Write to Mickey Kaus, he's big
ChaimAmalek: How many of them are ho[l]y?
ChaimAmalek: I don't know who Micky Kaus is
LukeFord: He will get us ----
ChaimAmalek: You have Penny. Woman enough for five men.
LukeFord: please write mickey, for my sake as Chaim Amalek. Give him career advice similar to what you gave me about returning to UCLA. He needs a stern fathering.
LukeFord: he's a grad of harvard and harvard law
ChaimAmalek:: So what has chaim amalek to do with this?
LukeFord: I am sure he admires your body of work and wants your assistance
ChaimAmalek: No seriously. Tell him to go out and practice law, as it is in his Jewish veins.
ChaimAmalek: I feel you are trying to trick me to get back at me for the Penny situation.
ChaimAmalek: But what could I do....she was visiting New York, and I was in need of intellectual stimulation.
LukeFord: I met a French lawyer (degrees from Sorbonne and Berkeley) at Emmanuelle's last night. She had ---- as big as Penny's and they were real.
LukeFord: Her hair was down to her ---. Gorgeous
ChaimAmalek: ---- you. ChaimAmalek: All this pulchritude is wasted on you.
LukeFord: She runs this: www.wildhorsepreservation.org
ChaimAmalek: Why do you go to any of these when you never bother pursuing them?
ChaimAmalek: how old?
LukeFord: my age
ChaimAmalek: so not really a breeder, unless you nail her right now.
ChaimAmalek: has she any children?
ChaimAmalek: Another woman's life, wasted in doing hellishly boring crap.
LukeFord: Zero kids. Doesn't believe in marriage. She believes in horses. Animal rights activist.
ChaimAmalek: Meanwhile, Arabs, Mestizos and other third worlders breed prodigiously in the heart of the western world.
LukeFord: I fear that I'm going to be living off of women my whole life
ChaimAmalek: Bigger fear: you won't get to do even that.
ChaimAmalek: Insufficient drive, advancing years = poverty
ChaimAmalek: I see you being smothered by Penny as Cathy chastises you for your poor work habits.
ChaimAmalek: "The Chastisement of Luke Ford"
Robert Avrech: 'The New York Times Does Not Object To Rape'
The story, dateline Malawi, a hellhole in central Africa, details the vile practice, widespread in several African nations, of Widow Cleansing. This evil custom compels the male relatives of a recently widowed woman into forcing her to have sex with them in order to exorcise her dead husband's spirit.
Vicki Polin On Sexual Boundaries
Vicki emails her Yahoo group:
The Awareness Center is even mentioned. The National Association of Jewish Chaplains have published their newest Journal, which is dedicated to addressing sexual violence in the clergy. Everyone should try to obtain a copy. Sexual Boundaries. The Journal of the National Association of Jewish Chaplains Volume 7, Number 2 Winter 2005/5765
Hershy Vs. Vicki
Vicki Polin writes 5/13/05:
The following affidavit I believe to be written by Rabbi Hershy Worch.
When I first moved to Baltimore I was looking for a rabbi. I had met Rabbi Porter, yet within a few weeks of our first meeting, his learning center burnt down (due to an arson fire). Needless to say he was dealing with a major crisis and wasn't available.
A friend of mine was aware of some of the confusion I had about Judaism. I had shared some details of my life, as she did about her own abuse history. She suggested I call a rabbi friend of hers who lived in Chicago. My friend told me she had known him for sometime, that he was an orthodox rabbi, and found him to be very knowledgeable and ethical.
I made the mistake of trusting her judgment and made the call to Rabbi Hershy Worch. He assured me that the conversation I had with him was confidential and that he was more then willing to help me understand the spiritual connection to what happened to me as a child. So I started to disclose some of the issues I had with him.
I was just reading the following statement that is on your web page and am 99.9% positive that the anonymous writer is Rabbi Hershy Worch. If I am correct he violated the expressed confidentiality of a rabbi and someone coming to him for counsel. I also feel the need to point out that his statement is filled with a lot of inaccurate information. Two examples include the his statement saying I was asking him for an exorcism. Another is that my parents were NEVER members of the EZRA-HABONIM. I really don't' remember much of the conversation I had with him, but reading the statement below I can tell you it's him.
The friend who originally referred me to Worch made some pretty bizarre suggestions to me after my initial contact with him. It was because of those statements and suggestions that I started backing away from her as a friend.
When the first Worch survivor contacted The Awareness Center I knew immediately who she was talking about. I immediately referred her to a rape crisis center in Chicago.
From Yori Yanover's USAJewish.com page:
Name to be provided to the appropriate legal authority.
November 19th, 2004
About two years ago Ms. Vicki Polin called me on the telephone from Baltimore asking me to perform a ritual of exorcism on her. When I asked why she felt she needed an exorcism, she told me that she was a survivor of a Jewish devil-worshipping cult and felt herself invaded by its baleful influence.
She had heard from a friend that I am a student of kabbalah, so, after her request was refused by rabbis in Baltimore she was turning to me for help with an exorcism.
She told me that her parents were members of the EZRA-HABONIM synagogue on Dempster St. in Skokie, Illinois [Vicki says this is not true]. The essence of her story was that there are currently many rabbis involved in this cult who brought their satanic rituals with them to the USA from Europe. That she was born into one of the Jewish families owing allegiance to the cult. She claimed to have been used as part of an organized child sexual abuse ring organized by the rabbi of her synagogue, and that the sexual abuse took place on Sifrei Torah Scrolls laid out on the floor of the synagogue. That the abuse began in early childhood and continued over a period of many years, through her teen years and into adulthood, and that she was only one of the many young children, boys and girls used in this manner. I did not ask for specifics of the rituals but she mentioned cannibalism, defecation and the sacrilege of sacred objects.
I told her that if she feels herself Tameh, unclean she ought to go to the mikveh - ritual baths.
All the above is what she told me during our single phone conversation. I have not spoken or corresponded with her since then.
Yori Yanover writes me 5/13:
None of that is meaningful. There's only one issue she should be made to answer:
EITHER she lied on the Oprah show and therefore is a dangerous anti-Semite who jeopardized the well being of the Chicago Kehila.
OR she told the truth, in which case she is a ritual murderer who should turn herself in at the nearest police station.
She cannot make it a he-said she-said with a presumed Hershy Worch.
You're helping her soft-soap the issue.
Why Do Tendler Supporters Have It In For Rabbi Blau?
I called rabbi Moshe Tendler for comment on this story and left a message on his RIETS answer machine Friday.
YU's Rabbi Yosef Blau had nothing to do with the investigation of rabbi Mordecai Tendler (MT) and MT's ejection from the RCA (Rabbinical Council of America). So why have supporters of MT attacked rabbi Blau on Blaufacts.com and elsewhere?
It has to do with rabbi Blau's wife. She wrote a letter in 2004 to Shifra, the wife of Rabbi Dr. Moshe Tendler (daughter of Reb Moshe Feinstein and mother of MT) saying that the women accusing Mordecai have found each other. Their case will build steam. It will hit the newspapers. You can avert the whole thing. Let Mordecai apologize to the women he hurt and make restitution. Get him help or it will be all over the newspapers.
The day after rabbi Moshe Tendler received this letter, he showed up in rabbi Blau's office and told rabbi Blau he was going to get him.
As Susan Cheever said, "Revenge is like eating poison and hoping the other person will die." Instead of getting his son psychological help, it appears that rabbi Moshe Tendler is going after rabbi Yosef Blau.
Blaufacts.com is not a Berman/Telushkin thing to do. It is a Tendler thing to do.
From a post to Jewish Whistleblower:
As a people what can we do to help Moshe Tendler face the facts regarding both of his sons. There are allegations that his son Aron has molested teenage girls, and then there are the allegations agains Mordecai. Those who are in denial regarding Mordecai's behavior have not answered any one of these important questions:
1. Why is it that over 10 women would conspire against this allegedly pious rabbi?
2. What do they have to gain from making allegations of sexual misconduct?
3. How many women do you know have no issue with the man they are involved with having relations with other women at the same time?
4. How many women in orthodox circles will have relations with a married man? Especially if they are also friendly with the woman's husband?
The pure volume of women who have come forward should be enough to make anyone open up their eyes and pay attention. Focusing on anything else is just a distraction.
It's much easier for Moshe Tendler and the rest of Mordecai Tendler's relatives to attempt to distract from the real issues.
Moshe, if you read this please start reading books about sex offenders. Look at the symptomology of those with antisocial personality disorders. If you really want to do something to help your chldren, help them get the psychological help they need.
What Is Vicki Polin's Relation To Rabbi Milton Polin?
I am never good at figuring out the meaning of cousin, second-cousin, uncle, father-in-law etc because I had such limited contact with my relatives when I was a child. My parents converted to Seventh Day-Adventism as teenagers and this isolated them from their families. Hence I never knew my relatives until adulthood. Thus, terms such as uncle, cousin, aunty, nephew, have little meaning to me because I didn't experience those relationships.
As for Vicki and Rabbi Polin, it was a very distant relationship (cousins?) and they only met a couple of times.
Vickis says her parents were never members of EZRA-HABONIM synagogue on Dempster St. in Skokie, Illinois.
Dennis Prager Autographs Copies Of The Bible
On his radio show May 13, Dennis talked about all the different things people ask him to sign, including entrance tickets, newspapers, and books that other people wrote, including the Bible. He said he always feels funny about autographing a Bible as he believes the author of that book is G-d.
Maybe some of these Prager-autographed Bibles are available on EBay? How much would you pay for a Prager-autographed Bible?
Dennis castigated Newsweek for publishing a report a rumor that a U.S. interrogator in Guantonomo Bay flushed a copy of the Koran down the toilet (Newsweek was unable to substantiate the rumor). Does one have to report everything? "What about the consequences of reporting such a thing? Newsweek should never have published it. It's not useful. Newsweek is responsible for the dead and destroyed buildings" in the rioting stimulated by this report.
"If Muslims want to riot, they should riot at the Muslims doing evil in the name of Islam. I believe every good Muslim would agree with what I said. Who really desecrates their text? The outsider or the insider."
Muslims have done comparable things to Christian texts and there was no Christian rioting. Arabs took over Jewish holy places (prior to 1967) and turned tombstones into urinals and there were no Jewish riots that killed people and destroyed buildings.
How would one go about flushing a Koran down the toilet? Isn't it a large book? You'd have to do it page-by-page.
From the Times of London May 14:
Newsweek sparks global riots with one paragraph on Koran
Claim that the Holy book was defiled by US guards at Guantanamo Bay has incensed Muslims Demonstrators show the depth of anti-American feeling in Islamabad after the Newsweek report
(REUTERS) AT LEAST nine people were killed yesterday as a wave of anti-American demonstrations swept the Islamic world from the Gaza Strip to the Java Sea, sparked by a single paragraph in a magazine alleging that US military interrogators had desecrated the Koran.
As Washington scrambled to calm the outrage, Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, promised an inquiry and punishment for any proven offenders. But at Friday prayers in the Muslim world many preachers demanded vengeance and afterwards thousands took to the streets, burning American flags.
Although the original report in Newsweek was small, it was re-broadcast by television networks such as al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya and in Pakistan it was quoted by Imran Khan, the cricketer-turned-politician, at a press conference. He said it would strengthen the impression that America’s War on Terror was against Muslims.
From the AP, May 15: "KABUL, Afghanistan -- Muslims in Afghanistan gave Washington three days to offer a response to a Newsweek story that claimed the Islamic holy book was desecrated at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, but the magazine apologized Sunday for the report, which prompted deadly riots across Afghanistan last week."
Prager mentions he weighs 255-pounds.
Driving down Sunset Blvd Thursday night, my friend and I passed through "Little Armenia." I pointed out that it's a lot littler since the Turks murdered a million Armenians in the early 20th Century.
Rabbi Yosef Blau Interview
I call rabbi Yosef Blau at Yeshiva University at 7:45am PST, Friday, May 13, 2005.
Rabbi Blau: "I just walked out of giving a class."
Luke: "The essential question that is being posted anonymously is that rabbi Blau was blackmailed into leaving The Awareness Center because there was damaging information about his son's divorce that he wanted to hide?"
Rabbi Blau: "That's nonsense. I've heard different versions of it.
"Number one. Anything that has has to do with my son's divorce is public record. There's nothing there. It was very unpleasant business. Life has unpleasant business."
Luke: "Were you blackmailed in any way to leave The Awareness Center?"
Rabbi Blau laughs. "I would not describe it as such.
"The other version of the story is that I was blackballed into joining it because of my son's story. Which way do they want it? That was in JWB2.
"Being on The Awareness Center is a complex thing because it is not an Orthodox organization. It takes on some difficult situations. It does some extraordinarily good work, and I'm not talking about what's written on the net [theawarenesscenter.org]. I'm talking about how it has really helped survivors of abuse. That certainly has affected me as well. My wife has always wanted me to get out [of The Awareness Center]. I'm taking on a new area of responsibility starting Sunday. They're going to try to stop that too, I assume. I just don't have the koach (strength) to do it anymore.
"This is part of the desperate campaign to divert attention... I don't think there's any question about who's orchestrating this campaign. It's a desperation campaign. If they claim that people are being blackmailed, it doesn't say too much good about them.
"If you would ask Vicki Polin, she understands what is going on.
"That people are bringing this [his son's divorce] up on blogs is a sign of desperation. It's unpleasant."
Luke: "Is it true that you were going to leave anyway within a week?"
Rabbi Blau: "Yes, I had promised my wife that I would leave anyway when I became president of the RZA (Religious Zionists of America), which was this Sunday [May 15]."
Luke: "Have you lost a lot of friends over your being in The Awareness Center?"
Rabbi Blau: "I don't think so. You'd have to define who are friends. Eversince I got involved with dealing with these kind of situations, the people whose accusations I feel are totally inappropriate have always had supporters. Their supporters have not been major fans of mine. This was before I even heard of The Awareness Center. I only heard about it a couple of years ago. That's a price one has to pay for this kind of thing. In the net of things, I don't think I've lost more friends than I've gained."
Luke: "How long have you known about Vicki's appearance on the Oprah Show in 1989?"
Rabbi Blau: "She told me right at the beginning."
Luke: "And did that cause you trepidation about aligning with such a person who made such claims?"
Rabbi Blau: "My sense of what it means to be a survivor of abuse, and what one goes through, and the process of healing, is such that I don't judge such people who did something like that."
Luke: "I don't think people understand that Vicki can be competent in her job and still be completely wrong in what she said on Oprah?"
Rabbi Blau: "Ok."
Luke: "What do you think?"
Rabbi Blau: "I made my statement.
"She comes from a non-observant [secular] background. Her knowledge of Judaism is only what she gained in the past couple of years. At that time , was stuff she had only gotten from strange sources. That she had a distorted view then has nothing to do with what she's doing now."
In January 2005, Vicki Polin showed rabbi Blau the tape of her Oprah appearance. "It was clear that someone at some point was going to try to use it against her. I told her to speak to a reporter directly and have him view the tape. She did that [with Phil Jacobs, the editor of the Baltimore Jewish Times] but he never wrote the article.
"This [stuff such as Blaufacts.com] is all coming from people with an agenda to protect people who've appeared there [theawarenesscenter.org]. They're swinging wildly. They've done it to you as well. You know it."
Luke: "Would you agree that people with no agenda who read a transcript of that tape would think that Vicki was nuts?"
Rabbi Blau: "Very possibly, if they didn't know the whole picture. That's why I told her to speak to a reporter."
Aside from one sentence I didn't publish from today's talk, this interview represents the sum total of my communication with rabbi Blau since the month of our interview about Mordecai Gafni. Our previous communication before today was a brief email October 19, 2004.
I email Vicki for the date rabbi Blau joined The Awareness Center. She replies: "I don't remember the exact date, but it was when I first moved to Baltimore. I remember this because I had asked Rabbi Porter who rabbi blau was, and if he thought he was ethical and I should invite him to be on the board. Rabbi Porter said yes, and laughed because I didn't know who he was. I get that a lot from people."
Later, Vicki wrote me that rabbi Blau joined TAC board in February 2002. Vicki says she moved to Baltimore in October, 2001. She met rabbi Porter in December 2001 and rabbi Blau in early 2002.
Questions For Editors Of Major Jewish Weeklies Who Knew For Months That Vicki Was 'Rachel' On Oprah
The reason I didn't publish this information was that I found out from Vicki January 16, 2005 in a not-for-publication conversation and I could never persuade her to let me write that story. I honored my word that that conversation January 16 was not for publication. Hence my hands were bound until I received the transcript from Yori Yanover May 10.
I had never had a transcript of the show before then. Subsequent to my January 16 conversation with Vicki, I read about the controversial May 1, 1989 show on numerous websites. I have never seen that particular Oprah show.
I email Phil Jacobs, Editor of the Baltimore Jewish Times:
Early this year, you saw the tape of Vicki Polin's controversial May 1, 1989 appearance on the Oprah Show as "Rachel." Why did you not write about that? What was not newsworthy about that?
According to a source who's spoken to Phil Jacobs about this, Phil says he has been inundated with stories and the other responsiblitiesof being the editor of a paper. He just hasn't had time to do the research involved in doing this story. He knows that Vicki wouldn't talk to another reporter at his paper. He put Vicki on his list of articles to write, and hasn't gotten to it yet.
Maybe Phil should pay me to do the research and write this story for his august publication?
I email Gary Rosenblatt at The Jewish Week:
How long have you known that Vicki Polin was the "Rachel" in the infamous May 1, 1989 Oprah show? Why haven't you written about it?
YudelLine Weighs In
First caveat: I'm not a psychiatrist. Second caveat: I've never met this woman.
And while I can see the interest in the "blood libel" angle, I think the forests are being missed for the trees. Vicki, from what I've seen, fits the classic profile of the 1980s Satanic Ritual Abuse craze.
1. She claims (all these insane and highly improbable things--satanic mass, blood libel, ritualized rape, etc.). This despite the fact that the courts have thrown out almost every single one of the 1980s Satanic Ritual Abuse cases, and it is largely interpreted now to have been the work of mass hysteria, terrible therapists and, in a surprising number of cases, initial complaints filed by people with serious mental health issues (Judy Johnson in the McMartin Preschool case; Mary Anne Barbour in another, etc.)
2. She claims that she has or had multi-personality disorder. This too has fallen on hard times, much like SRA claims. But don't miss the link between these two. MPD (now referred to by the few psychiatrists who still believe in it as DID) often appeared in ritual abuse victims. The link is in what psychiatric reformers who have put this beast almost to rest have claimed: that MPD is most often the result of bad therapists implanting the notion that a patient has "more than one person in there"--including even the case of Sybil of Hollywood fame. The same was true of SRA.
I'd consider it possible that Vicki, given her reference to her years of therapy, had both of these sketchy diagnoses brought out in therapy: her "repressed memories" of the baby-eating came in concert with her "discovery" of multiple personalities.
3. On the subject of the Awareness Center itself, I was shocked to see that among their "types of crimes" they include the subject of Satanic Ritual Abuse.
Note that this is included with Rape, Child Pornography, etc. Whether this makes a mockery of real violent crimes or not, it's inexcusable that this organization has (or had) well-respected board members that signed off on this. What were they thinking?
Read that page. You'll notice that just about all of the information comes from something called "Believe the Children," the diehard remnants of SRA proponents in the 1980s. When they list convictions for SRA, note that nearly *every single one of them* have had their convictions overturned.
People have been hurt badly by this stuff. It sounds like Vicki's parents (whose names I object to having circulated) have been terribly maligned by this woman's fantasies. They didn't serve a decade or more in jail, like Alvin and Deborah McCuan (see the webpage above), but then they also haven't had their now-adult child *recant every word* to get their conviction overturned (which you won't find on the webpage above).
I have no idea about the truth of her accusations of others (or accusations by others that she's printed), but this alone makes her dangerous. If her therapists brought out this erroneous information, as other therapists did in SRA and MPD cases, she, as a therapist herself and a true believer, is likely to bring it out of other "victims" herself.
That webpage above has been on her site for years. How could this have escaped the attention of the board members and others working with her? That more than anything is what's troubling me.
A Note From Yori Yanover
I’ve been on the phone this morning with several rabbis who were very grateful for my contribution -- and yours -- to “exposing” The Awareness Center. The truth is that I did very little digging myself, and mostly served out material that’s been coming my way. I felt it was the necessary thing to do.
However, I said to each one of them that I wasn’t all that interested in pursuing this further. Vicki Polin is not my personal enemy, other than the fact that she’s damaged irresponsibly the reputations of at least two people I care about. I doubt that she has the ability to help rehabilitate their names. She's not a well woman.
But I don’t feel that Vicki Polin should be “hunted down,” because she’s already been discredited beyond repair.
From this point on, it’s up to her whether she seeks treatment. No one in their right mind is going to call her for a newspaper quote, or invite her to sit on a dais anywhere. I mean, can you imagine anyone at The Jewish Week calling her for a comment? They'd be laughed out by their own editors., for crying out loud.
For all it’s worth, I got a call today from a major Lubavitcher (we’re talking inner circle), who said that he enjoyed your style of treating our emails, and, in fact, hoped all journalists would be this open with their stuff.
How Do You Know When You're On A Date?
Rachel Kramer Bussel writes:
"Clues that you're out on a date that you didn't know was a date are: way too much interest, extra chivalry, a dreamy gaze or two, flirty double entendres, and picking up the check."
My friend Nate tells me about a guy who kept going out with his female co-worker. To him, these were simple, platonic outings, but by the sixth one, she was pissed. They had it out, getting into a public fight, which somehow morphed into a hot hookup session, and now they're married!
If someone asks you to something and that person pays, unless it clearly otherwise, that is a date. If I email a girl and ask her to dinner or a movie or a party, and she accepts, then that is a date (unless one of us makes it clear that this is a just-friends get together).
Over the past couple of years, I've gone out with this one woman my age about a dozen times. We've never held hands or kissed. It is clearly platonic.
I used to regularly go to lectures hosted by the University of Judaism with an ex-girlfriend who was in another relationships. That was clearly platonic.
If there isn't hand-holding or kissing after a few dates, then that is going to be platonic (unless you're both religiously holding back).
Vicki Polin's Story
Vicki Polin's family rejects Vicki's allegations that she was abused, sexually or otherwise. They say she has no credibility with them. Some members of her family have no contact with her and others have only limited contact.
I have no independent verification of Vicki's story but I will be talking to people who knew her as a child, teenager, and young woman.
The Story of A (Sexual Violence) Victim's Advocate
By Vicki Polin
It has always been very difficult for me to talk about my life. Not because I have anything to hide, but because it has always been very complicated.
From a very early age I always knew there was something different about me. I never knew exactly what it was until some where between 1979-1980. It was at that time I was diagnosed as having a Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) -- which is now called a Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).
I was between the ages of nineteen and twenty, when I finally learned about the coping mechanism that I developed. Since then I had gone through extensive psychotherapy, and have not dissociated in years.
MPD is caused by severe repeated traumatic events in early childhood. The trauma's usually occur within the first three years of life. The majority of individuals who carry this diagnosis were sexually abused, often in their own home.
For a long time my memories of my childhood were extremely fragmented. As a child I would have periods of time that I would blank out -- having periods of amnesia. I used to have different parts of myself that would go by different names, have different friends, and basically take on different responsibilities and lifestyles. Often the various parts would not communicate with each other, leaving me with periods of amnesia. It was sort of like time sharing my body with different people, yet in reality they were all different aspects of my personality.
My story is very similar to other survivors who have developed MPD as a coping mechanism to deal with the insanity going on in their lives as children. Like other survivors, I come from a family where the use of extreme corporal punishment was the norm.
Over the years as I've been going along in my healing journey, I've tried to figure out where the abusive patterns started in my family. I've done my best to try to figure it all out, which I finally realized was an impossible task. People who know me have always told me I should write a book about my life, yet it's something I have never been sure I wanted to do. Due to the current political pressures, I've realized that my silence is hurting more then helping, so I'm sharing the following with you.
When I was sixteen, I attempted suicide for the first time. To this day, I don't know why I did it, but I did. The whole event still seems very surreal. It was April 27, 1976. I went shopping for prom dresses and tuxedos with my high school boyfriend, and two friends at a local shopping mall. We turned the corner and there was a Walgreens pharmacy. I told my boyfriend that I needed to go in to get something. I went in and bought over the counter sleeping pills.
The next day at school I overdosed. I was taken by ambulance to the local hospital. At first my mother refused to allow the doctors to care for me. A relative who was a doctor on staff at the hospital, came down and convinced my mother that she needed to sign the papers so the hospital staff could save my life.
I was put into ICU over night and the next day my mother signed me out of the hospital AMA (Against Medical Advice). I was grounded for a month, and driven directly back to school. My school was shocked that I was back so soon, and that I had not received any psychological help. If it wasn't for the intervention of my Grandmother, I would not have been allowed to go to my Junior Prom.
The school forced my parents to take me to counseling. I went to a few sessions and then started to refuse to go. I couldn't handle the interrogations I would get when I would return home.
You have to realize that prior to and also after my suicide attempt that I was an average student, who was active in several after-school activities. I had many friends. I had a regular boyfriend. To the outside world I looked like the typical American teenager. A few of my close friends knew there was a lot of stress for me at home, but that was about it.
During my senior year I was the only child still living at home. The abuse had intensified. One of the only respites I had was hang out in my high school guidance counselor's office. I knew this was a safe place for me. My guidance counselor knew something was wrong, but didn't know what it was. He referred me to the school psychologist, hoping I would disclose my family's secrets. I didn't, yet continued going back to my guidance counselors office.
As time went on, I told the guidance counselor a little bit about the violence going on in my home. He also had me tell the school psychologist. I showed them my arms which were swollen and the marks on them from being grabbed. At one point I was asked to show the markings on my body to the school nurse, who responded "your bruises won't photograph well enough, there's nothing anyone can do." I never told anyone about anything else. I would only say that "it was crazy at home again."
Growing up, when my father's temper would get out of control, me and my siblings would place our bodies between our parents. We felt it was better for us to get hit instead of my mother. During my senior year of high school, my father's behavior got so crazy that my mother said, if you don't want to live here, then move out.
My boyfriend came with his mother's station wagon, filled the car with all my belongings, and I went to stay with a girlfriend (with the permission of her mother). As I unloaded the car I thought, wow, finally I'm free.
The next day at school I was summoned to the school psychologist office who was made aware that I left my parents home. He warned me that I needed to go to the police department prior to my family calling me in as a runaway. I had to be "missing" for twenty-four hours before the police would take a report. If they did, I would be seen as a juvenile delinquent and sent to a detention center. My goal was to live in a safe place so that I could finish high school and go on to college. I didn't want to live out of my school district because my friends were so important to me.
When I got to the police department, the Juvenile Officer started making arrangements for me to stay at a Jewish group home. While he was doing this, my mother made the call to report me missing. He let her know I was there, and let her know my wishes were to go to the group home. I never knew what she said to him, yet the next thing that happened was he told me my mother was going to come to pick me up and take me home.
There was another time that the school psychologist tried to arrange for me to go to a respite group home for teens. I remember my boyfriend taking me there, and going through the intake. My parents refused to sign legal papers so I had no option but to return back home.
Towards the end of my senior year I was a nominee for prom queen. Most people in my school saw me as being a typical kid. No one would have guessed what was going on in my home.
November 11, 1983, I was sexually assaulted by someone I knew. I was 23 at the time. I ended up getting pregnant from the rape. The pregnancy was ectopic (in my fallopian tube). I had emergency surgery January 6, 1984. It ended the pregnancy and saved my life. About every other year since, I've had to have major abdominal surgery to remove uterine fibroid tumors. The first surgery was in 1986. That first tumor was a little smaller than a basketball. Due to the size of the tumor and it's location permanent damage to my muscles and tendons.
I went to court on the initial case of sexual assault back in 1983. The charges were later reduced to harassing phone calls. My offender kept calling me, leaving messages that he "loved me and wanted to marry me". He was always sitting in his car out side my apartment waiting for me. "He wanted to talk". This was November - December,1983. There was no legal definition for the term stalking at the time. He got a one year suspended sentence for harassing calls. I was raped in November and the court hearing was in December. I found out I was pregnant in January, 1984.
After this whole ordeal, I learned that because I had a psychiatric history anyone could get away with raping me. It was my word against anyone's. In this case my rapist carried the diagnosis of having Schizophrenia. I had the diagnosis of having MPD. I realized that I had to do something to protect myself. That is when I decided to go back to school and get my degrees. I needed to make myself as creditable as possible. I didn't want the fact that I was sexually abused as a child and entered into treatment to overcome my abuse that I was now an easy target for another rapist. I was twenty-five when I went back to college.
The first anniversary of the sexual assault after my rapists suspended sentence was up, my offender left a message on my answering machine stating that he was coming back. Fortunately I was out of town at the time. When I got the message I called the police immediately. There were new laws on the books and rape crisis centers were in place. I was referred by the states attorneys office to one, and my life began to come back together. My case was used to get the stalking laws on the books in Illinois. It was because of my rape counselor that I realized that what happened to me was happening to others. That I was not alone. She motivated me in ways that I could never thank her enough. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be doing the work that I am doing today.
So much happened during the time period between 1983-1986 that it would make anyone's head spin. I was dealing with being sexually assaulted (going to court, being stalked, the ectopic pregnancy, etc.). I was dealing with my childhood abuse issues, and I was also attempting to go back to school.
Prior to going back to school I was seeing a therapist who basically told me I had to do something with my time. I could go into a day treatment program, go back to school, or volunteer time some where. I didn't want to be in a treatment program. It was in the middle of the school year, so I could start right away. I opted to volunteer my time.
It was January, 1985. I had just learned about a self-help group for survivors of childhood sexual abuse that was offered at Ravenswood Hospital in Chicago, and so I went. I will never forget the first meeting I went to.
I really was afraid that because of my dissociative disorder the other members of the self-help group for survivors wouldn't want me. I was afraid they would see me as a lunatic. I remember everyone going around the room taking turns introducing themselves to each other. Suddenly it was my turn. I remember saying my name and that I was abused as a child. I then went on to describe my symptoms of dissociating, without saying I had MPD.
The group leader "Judy", smiled and asked "You have MPD?". I was terrified. I was sure she would ask me to leave. Instead she said, welcome. She continued by letting me know that had been others in the self-help group that also had it. Finally I felt like I was seen as something more then a mental patient. I was being seen as a person.
During that first meeting the leader handed out a pamphlet for an organization called VOICES in Action (Victims Of Incest Can Emerge Survivors). It was a new organization that formed a few months prior. Judy told us that she ran the office and was looking for volunteers. The next day I called and within a month I started volunteering my time.
I will never forget the first day I started at VOICES. My sense of self-worth and self-esteem was at an all time low. I had spent so much time in therapy, that I could only see myself as someone crazy.
I remember Judy handing me a stack of mail and said answer them. I was completely puzzled, and asked her how? I couldn't believe that she would trust my judgement enough to answer them. Judy smiled at me and said open them one at a time, read what is writen and find out what the survivors want. I followed her instructions (while thinking to myself that my judgment was poor, and that I had no business doing what she asked).
I open the first envelope. The letter was from a survivor residing out of state. I read the letter out loud. He was looking for a therapist. Judy handed me a folder that had resources in it and an atlas.
She told me to find a therapist close to where the survivor lived. She suggested that I try to send the survivor at least 3 resources, so they would have a choice. VOICES had a pamphlet called "How to find a Therapist." Judy told me to send it along with the resources. It was at that time I finally could see myself as possibly being something other then a psychiatric patient.
Volunteering my time at VOICES changed my life forever. It gave me the courage to go back to school, to change the way I saw myself, and to realize that there were other survivors out there just like me. It was during my time working there that I started to become the victims advocate that I am today.
There are many reasons why I go by my middle name. One had to do with the fact that I had a stalker, who had threatened to rape me again, and also kill me. I couldn't get away from him. That was one of the reasons I started using my middle name. The other reason was I had MPD. Some of the names of my personalities included Susan, Victoria and Vicki. My father never used the name "Vicki" in any form of abuse. It was a name that had no relationship with violence. For me it was a name of empowerment.
From my telephone conversation with Vicki which I promised not to publish until Vicki gave her approval and had the opportunity to edit her words.
Vicki: "I was on the Oprah show just about 16 years ago. All hell broke out in my life after the show. I had been working for an organization called VOICES in Action (Victims Of Incest Can Emerge Survivors) at the time, and was finishing up my bachelor's degree I had told my story tons of time because of the work I did. I had spoken at national conferences, been on TV before and also on radio talk shows.
"Oprah was fairly new at being a national talk show at the time, and I had no idea how public being on that show was going to be. I went on like I did other TV show's with the intention of educating people on the ramifications sexual abuse has on survivors and their communities.
"I was in a disguise, but there's a lot more to it. I was on the show with the therapist I was seeing at the time. I was extremely dissociative back then, and was not aware until afterwards of how unprofessional and inappropriate my therapist was. I realized this after the chief of police of a small town outside of Chicago contacted me. He's become a trusted friend over the years.
"After I was on the show the ADL came after my family. Oprah didn't even know my real name, so I was amazed that in less then 24 hours that they did. I was stopped on the streets by holocaust survivors on my way to school, telling me that "I was going to start another holocaust" by saying what I did.
"The ADL called my parents in to some sort of meeting. I learned of this months later. You have to understand that I have had really little to do with my family since I was in my late teens - early 20's."
The little I am sharing with you about my life, you can see how complicated it all has been. I was seen as a typical teenager to the outside world. A few people knew about the physical abuse, but nothing about anything else.
Once I was able to move away from home, it was safe enough for me to have an "emotional melt down" of sorts. I had no choice but to entered into therapy when that happened. I desperately needed help coming to terms with my childhood.
I'll admit that I've lost a great deal in my life, but with every loss I have also gained a great deal. I always try to see things that happen as "life learning lessons." I've always strive to find good in the most horrendous situations. It's not always that easy, but it's something I try to do.
I was once a victim of abuse. I am now far more then just a "survivor." I've done my best to take the bad and turn it into something positive, something that will help others.
As I'm sure you must be aware by now -- I have dedicated my life to helping others who have been sexually violated. They too deserve to have a voice and be heard.
I wanted to share the following photo with you. It's from a colleague's book I did back in 1985 or 86. It's basically how it feels for a survivor of childhood sexual abuse to be silenced. The title of the piece is called "Silencing the Victim." It was in the book "Shine The Light."
Is Vicki Polin a confessed murderer?
Larry Yudelson writes:
Folks, this discussion actually *is* about Vicki Polin, not any of the various rabbis. Whatever the truth may be about the sex life of your particular rabbi, the charges regarding Vicki Polin are serious in the extreme.
If, as alleged, she appeared on the Oprah show, she is either (1) seriously confused / disturbed / etc or (2) guilty of homicide and (morally at least) failure to help investigate a crime which has no statute of limitations. Were Jewish babies killed in Chicago by a cult which raped 'Rachel' on the Torah scroll?
Oprah, the Jews, and Blood Libel
From CultWatch Response Vol. 2, Issue 3:
By Vicki Copeland
In the course of investigating "occult related crime", I have often alleged that the "survivors" who appear on TV and radio shows and in the printed media are likely to arouse hysteria which results in harm to a number of people. Recently, several pieces of information have come across the CWR desk which have confirmed these fears.
In May of 1989, a woman calling herself "Rachel" and claiming to be a survivor of ritualistic child abuse appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show. What made Rachel different was that she claimed to be a member of a Jewish family. Among the accusations made by Rachel was ritual child sacrifice.
Jews were unimpressed with Ms. Winfrey's show. Winfrey and her producers met with Jewish leaders and admitted that the remarks could be construed as "grievous misconceptions" and apologized.
End of story? Not hardly. "Rachel" was sponsored by a group calling itself Victims of Incest Can Emerge Survivors (VOICES in Action). In an undated VOICES newsletter, "Rachel" responded to the incident by saying "Recently I had enough courage to share some of my story ... I revealed that I am a Jewish survivor of a multi-generational family who practiced human sacrifice and cannibalism.
"The response from the Anti-Defamation League was to call several meetings with Oprah. They said that she was anti-semitic and I was a crazy person.No one is going to get away with calling me crazy anymore ..."
Unfortunately, someone else agreed with Rachel. In the June, 1989, issue of "America's Promise Newsletter", the story is picked up and enhanced. This publication is printed by one of the anti-Semitic groups in America, and uses Rachel's story as a springboard for a 3-page article justifying all of the blood libel stories concerning the Jews and human sacrifice that have been circulated through the centuries. I wonder how long it will be before someone gets REALLY hurt as a result of these wild accusations?
For further information on this issue, the reader is referred to the following: "Oprah, the Jews, and Ritual Murder", by Bob Hallstron, "America's Promise Newsletter, June 1989. "Jews protest sacrifice tale on Oprah show", Chicago Tribune, May 7, 1989. Section 1, page 26. "The Courage to Show Up and Tell the Truth" and "Rachel Speaks Out", VOICES in Action, Inc. THE NEWSLETTER, undated.
CNBC Cancels Dennis Miller
Teverett writes on VelvetRope.com:
Guy drives down from Santa Barbara on Tuesday and Thursday, tapes two shows each afternoon (thus making one of them out of touch with the day's breaking news). Evidently doesn't read the jokes in advance -- I wouldn't either, most of them were of the "Gee, Michael Moore is fat" variety -- then complains when the audience doesn't laugh at them.
Seems unfamiliar with many of the guests, whom he insists on calling by a diminutive -- Moore would be "Mikey," former president Clinton would be "Billy" -- and gets into a huff when the token livberal disagrees with him.
As somebody said early on, "I knew the show was in trouble when they started including cooking segments."
Good riddance. Even not counting the politics, it was a lazy, sloppy show. Lucky for Miller, nobody was watching.
Vicki Polin's 1989 Appearance On Oprah As 'Rachel'
Yori Yanover sent me this. To the best of my knowledge, this transcript is substantially accurate. It is of an excerpt from the May 1, 1989 Oprah Show. There may be some mistakes and there may be some things taken out of context. I do not know. I have not seen the tape but I've known for months that the "Rachel" in this is Vicki Polin.
This has been widely posted in the comments sections of blogs over the past five months, though a Google search does not turn up any of these stories.
Awareness Center critics such as rabbis Joseph Telushkin, Saul Berman, J. Hershy Worch, Shefa Gold, psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Marmer, therapist Naomi Mark, and journalist Yori Yanover have known this (that Vicki Polin was Rachel on Oprah 5/1/89) for at least six months.
Over the past 16-years, Vicki has told almost everybody she knew well (including The Awareness Center board, which included rabbi Yosef Blau) about her appearance on Oprah.
On November 15, 2004, rabbi Hershy Worch's friend and publisher, rabbi Ayala Graftsein wrote me: "IF YOU ARE REALLY READY TO DO AN EXPOSE ON VICKI I CAN PROVIDE YOU WITH MORE INFO. I have a gift for you. Send me your street address, I will UPS it."
I replied 11/15/04 to rabbi Graftsein: "I'm happy to get scoop on anybody, including Vicki Polin." I included my address. No information about Vicki ever arrived.
On January 16, 2004, something from my conversation with Vicki led to a series of Google searches that turned up the May 6, 1989 article about the appearance of a "Rachel" on the Oprah show making heinous charges about ritual sexual abuse within the purported victim's Jewish community.
That was the first time I heard about Vicki's 1989 appearance on Oprah. Vicki had spoken to me at the time under the strict understanding that what we spoke about was not for publication until she consented.
I fired off an immediate email (1/16/05) to Jewish Whistleblower under the subject heading "Vicki on Oprah."
She was on May 1, 1989... and allegedly said some wild things about abuse in the Jewish community. Vicki thinks it is impossible to find this tape because of some Oprah commitment to ADL... I find it hard to believe that it is not easy to obtain.
I was wrong. It was impossible for me to obtain the tape.
I've given Vicki Polin the opportunity to respond to the following transcript. She will comment when or if she chooses to.
I can't authenticate the things Vicki says about her life. I contacted an in-law of hers who says the family gives no credibility to her claims of childhood abuse.
I'm getting inquiries about how I could've sat on this Vicki-Oprah story for the past five months. The answer is I didn't have the goods beyond knowing that Vicki was Oprah's infamous 'Rachel' (and that information was given to me on the condition that it was not for publication). Not until 5/10/05 did I get a transcript of what Vicki said on Oprah 5/1/89.
I've talked to Vicki many times about her appearance on Oprah but she would never speak for publication.
Vicki showed the tape of her appearance on Oprah to Phil Jacobs, Editor of the Baltimore Jewish Times, in early 2005. He did not deem it worthy of a story.
Rabbis Joseph Telushkin and Saul Berman's campaign against The Awareness Center (TAC) over the past nine months has included an outreach to Gary Rosenblatt, Editor of The Jewish Week, to write an expose about Vicki, the Oprah incident, and TAC. Gary declined.
OPRAH: As a child, my next guest was used also in worshipping the devil, participated in human sacrifice rituals and cannibalism. She says her family has been involved in rituals for generations. She is currently in extensive therapy, suffers from multiple personality disorder, meaning she's blocked out many of the terrifying and painful memories of her childhood. Meet "Rachel," who is also in disguise to protect her identity. You come from generations of ritualistic abuse?
"RACHEL", Was Used In Satan Worship Rituals: Yes, my family has an extensive family tree, and they keep track of who's been involved and who hasn't been involved, and it’s gone back to like 1700.
OPRAH: And so you were ritually abused.
"RACHEL": Right. I was born into a family that believes in this.
OPRAH: Does everyone else think it's a nice Jewish family? From the outside, you appear to be a nice Jewish girl?
OPRAH: And you all are worshipping the devil inside the home?
"RACHEL": Right. There's other Jewish families across the country. It's not just my own family.
OPRAH: Really? And so who knows about it? Lots of people now.
"RACHEL": Well, I talked to a police detective in the Chicago area, and several of my friends know, and I've spoke publicly before, and…
OPRAH: So when you were brought up in this kind of evilness, did you just think it was normal?
"RACHEL': I blocked out a lot of the memories I had because of my multiple personality disorder, but, yes. I mean, it's like if you grow up with something, you think it’s normal. I always thought something…
OPRAH: So what kinds of things? You don't have to give us the gory details, but what kinds of things went on in the family?
"RACHEL": Well, there would be rituals in which babies would be sacrificed, and you would have to, you know…
OPRAH: Whose babies?
"RACHEL": There were people who bred babies in our family. No one would know about it. A lot of people were overweight, so you couldn't tell if they were pregnant or not, or they would supposedly go away for awhile and then come back…
"RACHEL": The other thing I want to point outnot all Jewish people sacrifice babies. I mean, it's not a very typical thing.
OPRAH: I think we kind of know that.
"RACHEL": I just want to point that out.
OPRAH: This is the first time I heard of any Jewish people sacrificing babies, but anyway--so you witnessed the sacrifice.
"RACHEL": Right. When I was very young, I was forced to participate in that-- in which I had to sacrifice an infant.
OPRAH: And the purpose of sacrifice is to what? Is to bring you what? What are you sacrificing for?
"RACHEL": For power...
OPRAH: Power. And so were you ever used? Were you ever used yourself?
"RACHEL": I was molested. I was raped several times.
OPRAH: What's your mother doing in all of this? What's her role in all of this?
"RACHEL": What is-- I'm not exactly- -what her role is-- I haven't, you know, recovered all of my memories, but her family was extremely involved. You know, she brought me to it. Both of my parents brought me to it.
OPRAH: And where is she now?
"RACHEL": She lives in the Chicago metropolitan area. She's on the human relations commission of the town that she lives in, and she's an upstanding citizen. Nobody would suspect her. Nobody would suspect anybody involved in it. There's police officers involved in it. There's, you know, doctors, lawyers, Indiana chiefs involved in it.
OPRAH: Are you kidding?
"RACHEL": I mean, it's not the person, you know, who looks scummy that's involved in it. It's someone who looks normal.…
OPRAH: Were you raised with a sense of right and wrong, “Rachel?”
“RACHEL: Yes. I mean, it’s like we, I had both. I mean, to the outside world, everything we did was proper and right, and then there were the nights that things changed, that things just got turned around. What was wrong was right, and what was right was wrong. That’s what helps to create some of theto develop MPD.
OPRAH: Multiple personality disorder.
“RACHEL”: Right, right.
OPRAH: I know a lot of people are shaking their heads here, and I'm sure that when you go back home, I mean, everyone's going to try to make you look like you're crazy.
"RACHEL": Oh, definitely.
"RACHEL": They do that all the time.
OPRAH: It's very difficult to believe, so how is it that you come to believe these people, Tina?
Ms. GROSSMAN: Well, I've treated over 40 survivors of ritual abuse. Adult patients with multiple personality disorder, and from many states in this country as well as Canada. What we've seen and heard and gone through in the abreactions which is the remembered experiences of that- we are hearing the identical same things from these adults. Okay. These are not children that are three years old, and you can, as an adult, perhaps rationalize that this is fantasy material. These adults are saying things. They have never met each other before. They are describing identical rituals, just the same as, since I'm Jewish, you could go to New York or California and describe a seder in one state or another and, as a Jew, you would recognize it. This is the belief system in evil and the power that evil gives you, and so it has these certain rituals, so they are very similar with all of the survivors.
OPRAH: See, but I am very surprised because the Jewish faith is the Jewish faith. and worshipping the devil is not a part of the Jewish faith. I mean, Jewish people do not worship the devil.
Ms. GROSSMAN: But before there was Christ and before there was a system of one God, there was Paganism- and it still exists in the world, and in many cultures, you still find the belief that there is strength and power in the actual consumption of human flesh or animals' flesh.
OPRAH: Now in your family. did you all call it worshipping the devil, "Rachel?”
OPRAH: Or did you…
"RACHEL": I don't know.
OPRAH: It was just evil. these things you did.
"RACHEL": It was-- right.
"RACHEL": Well, I said it was evil, and they said it was good. There's a book that I had just come across called [Lilith's Cave: Jewish Tales of the Supernatural by Howard Schwartz, New York, Oxford University Press, 1988] which is a book of Jewish mysticism and supernatural, and there's a lot in that book that relates to what I endured when I was a child.
OPRAH: I want to stop right here, though. because you know how people build prejudices. I want to make it very clear this is one Jewish person, so don't go around now saying to people, you know, "Those Jewish people, they're worshipping--'. This is just one person. Okay.
"RACHEL": Most Jewish people do not do what my family did.
OPRAH: Okay. Thank you very much.
"RACHEL": I mean, I don't know very many other Jewish people who would do what I did.
OPRAH: But you know how people hear one thing, and then go off and they say, "I heard on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' today that…”
If you Google ""ritual abuse" Oprah," you will see how controversial Vicki's 1989 appearance was, and how many anti-semitic websites used it as fodder to perpetuate the story that Jews sacrifice children.
Jane writes: I had never seen "Rosemary's Baby" until about a year ago. Midway through I became disturbed by the fact that all the neighbors, and the doctor the neighbors got for Rosemary -- were Jewish. I'm surprised it's hailed as some kind of classic without this disturbing fact being mentioned. Maybe Vicki saw this movie at a young age and it traumatized her?