Monday, January 10, 2005

Psych Profile - Noisecontrol Publishing

Christopher J. Bradley

To begin to discuss the triggers involved in my anger and stress levels related to Halloween, Horror, and issues of the occult, it must be stressed that the information that I translate be kept confidential at least at the start.
This goes back to the very foundation of my telecommunications experiences as a child at ages 12 – 15 and cuts right to the core of my personality building. When I was about 11 years old I attended Boys Club after School at Portage/Niagara in order to learn self defense and how to socialize better with Youths of my own age. One of the first classes I chose to take in addition to Martial Arts was a computer Science class.
The instructors name was Ike and he was a very intelligent and friendly black man who brought a lot of good things to the table. He taught me about Binary numbers, addition and subtraction and the basics of programming in a language called “BASIC.” A couple weeks later an Apple IIc computer was donated to the Boys Club and we learned both practical programming and game playing on the system.
As I progressed in Boy Scouts at about the same time, I saw in the Boys Life Magazine a computer called the Commodore 64 which promised everything that the apple could do, but also included the possibility of much more advanced color capabilities, (16 Color graphics) and was much more economical because it could be hooked to a television rather than a monitor.
At the same time I was running a paper route around the neighborhood and had saved about 100 dollars. My grandmother who was interested in seeing me progress along these lines bought me the computer and the disk drive when I was on a trip to visit my Grandfather at Canandagua. (He had Bi-Polar and was in the Veterans hospital there.)
When we got home I could not sleep, I was encouraged to open the computer and get started right now. At first, without a lot of software, I couldn’t do much with it except play the Epyx Olympic game package that they had bought me as a starter, and it was very complex and difficult to play with the Atari 2600 Joystick (another compatibility great) that worked with it moderately well.
I made some friends in grade school, one of them being William DiCamillo who had an excellent library of existing software and my Uncle who sent me some hacking utilities, explained to me how to copy the software. Around that time, the notion of “software piracy” was not publicly declared or seen as a significant threat to the structure of social notions so it became pretty common place among myself and a few people who I knew that had games for the C64, my uncle included.
Many of the people my father worked with were engineers, and also had software. We got some early flight simulator packages for the C64 from them. Since my fathers career is something of a factor, I will lay out what I can remember of it here.
I was born in a Naval Hospital on April 6, 1973 in Charleston SC, while my father was stationed there and he and my mother lived in the housing on the base. He had recently returned from cancelled call orders to go to Vietnam or I might not exist.
They were married April 15, 1972, in Key West Florida just before his orders came in and he had been stationed in Norfolk at points as well.
When they moved from Charleston to Philadelphia when I was about 2 years old, he was still in the Navy and my mother had the convenience of the Trolley’s for Transportation for Grocery shopping etc. They decided to move home when I was about 3 to my Mother’s Mother’s house (the grandfather in the hospital for Bipolar) to help out and to receive help and moral support as my father was often away at sea or on training excercises and eventually he moved back home and became a Navy Recruiter here in Niagara Falls on Pine Avenue.
Very soon after the Blizzard of 77, we moved into a house on Crescent Drive in Niagara Falls, only a few blocks away from my grandparents. To this day, my Aunt (my mother’s sister) owns real estate on that block. We had 2 good Christmas Seasons in that house and I remember listening to the Red Baron’s Snoopy Christmas song on headphones on the then new stereo system, and receiving an electronic loader toy for Christmas where a toy truck carried plastic pebbles around a track and delivered them to a grinding factory.
My aunt was always very concerned with my abilities and Talents as she had a masters in education and was teaching at St. Teresa’s catholic school at the time. She insisted that I get piano lessons so from the age of three until about the age of 12 I had piano lessons with Glenn Tilyou, a world class concert and jazz pianist. He resides currently on Lockport Road near his studio near the air base. He taught us vocalizations and assisted us in putting together holiday and patriotic performances for the bicentennial, where I performed in 1976 at Beirs retail store in Downtown Niagara Falls to sing Yankee Doodle Dandee while dressed like Uncle Sam.
I have to for points of elaboration skip forward again into the Commodore 64 era and discuss some of the things that I learned about at that time. As I continued to read Boys Life Magazine in Cub scouts and begin to put my practical algebra into use in seventh grade, I saw the opportunity to learn more about Basic Programming and get involved in learning how a Modem works. About the same time, 1984 a movie came out with Matthew Broderick in it called War Games. The film was so advanced technologically that it was very intriguing to me. It was his first major motion picture and dealt with the threat of Global Thermonuclear war which had been a big topic in the Media that year and the two or three preceeding years due to the hyper extension of the Cold War. Which at the time, I saw as current events and not something in particular that extended all the way back to Kennedy’s era with the Cuban Missile Crisis, which I did not hear about much until College, and have since informed myself on by watching the Motion Picture Thirteen Days starring Kevin Costner.
In essence the theme was that the United States Government was using advanced Artificial Intelligence Technologies to co-ordinate and control the mapping of ICBM launches against Russia in the event of a Nuclear War. A High School Student, who was good in telecommunications and generally good in science, when he could make it to class on time (Broderick) had learned how to hack his own grades at the school using a computer. (Imagine the fantasies of a seventh grader struggling with Social Studies, Spelling, and Algebra?). The student finds a location on the internet (which is not fully depicted) through research on Microfiche in the library where Game Theory is being studied, Chess, Backgammon, and War Games (hence the title), were being studied. He logs into the server and finds government travel computers which he uses to schedule flights all over the world as a joke to show his girlfriend (Ally Sheedy). They decide to take a trip to Paris and map out things for their trip. He then, within moments of that wants to show her a game and asks the computer to bring up the game by telling the computer which leaves him a list and a question mark, “Let’s play Global Thermonuclear War.” The computer responds and begins requesting Target Co-Ordinates. The decide to decimate Las Vegas and the simulation begins. What he does not know, that by playing the Russian side of the game, he has triggered a simulation within the Artificial Intelligence server called “W.O.P.P.E.R.” whose acronym I cannot recall, but it must have been a heck of an advertising boon for Burger King.
The game ensues, and the computer begins plotting its side of the game, and the computer he has begins spitting out pages and pages of opposing launch co-ordinates and trajectories which he attempts to dispose of when he realizes that this could be a serious military game he has stumbled on to and that he must now begin to watch his step. The FBI begins following him and arrests him in the parking lot of a convenience store. They make the mistake of leaving him in an office while they try to assess the situation and he escapes using a micro-cassette recorder to record the ring-tones of the door alarm system and a paperclip to ground to the door handle. He sneaks by and follows a tour in the facility, a Nuclear fall out Shelter in Denver and spends time acquiring as much knowledge as he can about exactly what happens. He makes a break for it and goes to the library and looks up a man named Faulkner who was involved in the AI Research (Faulkner being not only the name of a famous writer in the South but also a physicist in reality). At present, Faulkner, as he discovers him is studying the Aerodynamics of the Pterodactyl, on his own private island somewhere on the West Coast. After much hesitation and thoughts on Morality and Extinction, he overcomes his reservations and joins them, and they arrive back in Denver, just as the nuclear fallout shelter is being sealed (ok, so there has to be some suspension of disbelief).
With Faulkner at their side, they are able to convince the Army that the computer is playing a game and planning a real attack on a fictional enemy (the Original Russian Target of Las Vegas and others), they hold off on making a first strike until the first bombs hit Nevada. They get confirmation from a team of F-14’s that have scrambled that there are no real hits, and the Army believes that they have a legitimate possibly solvable problem. They discuss the matter for a moment and Matthew Broderick who has played the AI at TIC TAC TOE before comes to the reasoning that it might be convinced that Mutually Assured Destruction might be considered a Stale Mate situation where there is no discrete winner. He tasks the computer to play high speed games of Tic Tac Toe against itself and it in fact does realize this as the Silos are opening. The computer then begins plotting out Mapped Scenarios of the US versus Russia in a Global Theater and listing Casualties and total annihilation statistics and ultimately brings itself to the conclusion that it should not strike Russia. The Silos for the ICBMs (Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles) close, and the DEFCON (defense condition) reduces from 1 (the highest) to Three, as the Army and the Russian Government are electronically and verbally appraised of the situation.
This film was the resolution of a lot of people’s nightmares during the cold war and had a positive effect on me over all. It led me to believe that even in the worst cases, and worst of things in terms of the FBI, CIA, NSA and other enforcement agencies, they generally do their jobs and are there to continue the survivability of American Citizens. My fears were allayed for a time, and I took a lot of interest in my first modem that I had because it enabled me to learn a lot about what a computer can do and the varying environments in which items that are computer related can be commanded or controlled by them.
When I started with the Modem, I bought a copy of Computer Shopper Magazine and through a friend who had sold me a Yamaha DX21 music keyboard and bought a Macintosh, learned that there were local “home brew” “bulletin board systems” or BBS’s where people posted messages back and forth to each other and played video games.
I have to go back 1 year to describe something else I was involved with at the time. In 6th grade, a friend of mine and I purchased some books called Dungeons and Dragons Role playing game books from the toy store using money that we earned shoveling snow at relatives houses. We earned roughly 12 dollars a piece and had the option of buying both the basic and expert sets.
Both had Knights, Warriors, Thieves, Elves, and Dragons, and Witches, and Sorcerers, and Mages, and things of those sorts. Things that generally because of movies like CS Lewis’s “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe” and “The Lord of the Rings Cartoon” which had been on cable, didn’t phase us much. We enjoyed reading about fantasy. Some of the first books I read as a child independently were by Madeline L’Engle a fantasy author who talked about Unicorns and Rainbows and that sort of thing.
We had the idea that there was no harm in doing this, and nothing really phased me about playing Fantasy Role Playing games with my friends at all. In essence, I guess then, it was our equivalent of today’s Harry Potter culture for the youth of Tomorrow. The problem that arose didn’t get into things until much later and certain social circumstances had arisen.
So, I discovered, rather quickly through one Bulletin Board in particular in Lockport New York, that I could play games on an apple computer system called the Proving Grounds. There were two aspects to the system that existed. The first and overwhelming one was the fact that as you logged on you were thrust into the fantasy game where you attempted to acquire weapons and skills to defeat the other players in the Proving Grounds top 100 list. To get to the top you could fight monsters to acquire strength, spells, or weapons, and also sell goods that you acquire along the way in exchange for gold pieces, which I guess taught me some things about working in a very fictional, but tight, economy. There was a lot to be learned about statistics as each of your strengths and weaknesses was mapped numerically for progressions in Strength, Health, Charisma, Charm, Etc.
The second aspect of the Proving Grounds was the Bulletin Board system, which it took me months to uncover because of the Arcane interface of the Apple Computer. I had witnessed the Guard BBS’s bulletin board system and even posted a few very small messages to learn how to use it, but the messages that began appearing on the proving grounds seemed more intriguing. People would issue taunts and jests related to the game and nothing really came of it.
Through the Guard, and the Proving Grounds bulletin board systems, I determined that I would like to use my computer in a similar capacity and learn to operate it as a bulletin board system with messages, e-mail, and video games. I connected with another apple computer on Grand island run by a guy named Brian who called himself Merlin the Magician. He was about the most conservative BBS operator out there and gave me a lot of good pointers on what types of technologies to look for. He was only about 15 but very tech-saavy as he probably had parents in business who put him into computer clubs as well.
I’m not certain where the idea came from that you could pirate software using computers as bulletin board systems, but it came about around the same time as I bought my first piece of BBS software, which included in the code the ability to Upload and Download files. After reading some magazines regarding the technology, I realized that the better the storage capacity my computer had, the more information I could hold to share with my friends. Who were developing as I advertised my Bulletin Board through word of mouth on the other home brew systems. As a kid I never understood the true concept of print advertising as the other Guard and Proving Grounds systems had advertised in the magazines etc. So the people that I picked up with my system, that logged in were generally kids connecting to those systems. In order to maintain the content of my system and “keep it clean” so to speak, I joined a users group that represented the greater Niagara County Area (which had recently been established around The Guard BBS) called the Guard and paid regular 2 dollar dues. (An offering to the computer gods you might have called it). I went once a month to meetings and kept in touch with other homebrew users and BBS operators and learned of new technologies.
Within a few months I had a whole list of friends from as close as Lew-Port and Grand Island to as far away as Buffalo, and Tonawanda that came to visit me and we began playing Role Playing Games from out of the books that I had purchased in Sixth Grade. Until the Summer of Eighth grade we didn’t have many problems. The BBS was advanced from black and white to color as we each pitched in coding modifications and went through several iterations of naming. Originally I called it the FlipSide, which later became Sensenet under the influence of a book that I read as a result of an article appearing in Keyboard Magazine about William Gibson’s influence on the Vancouver music scene through a form of Science Fiction writing called Cyberpunk.
I purchased an 800k Hard drive and we were uploading and downloading so many commodore games with each other that my computer became like a virtual library, and things were slow technically, but it gave us a sort of shared consciousness. My friends and I developed as a pretty tight knit circle during 7th and eighth grade and they replaced the fact that all of my acquaintances in school were girls. I was 1 boy in a class of all seventh grade girls. I don’t know if I have to describe the pressures associated with that to you as psychiatrists. I am sure you understand. My formative game necessities as a boy had to be acted out outside of school. One of the girls in the class did take a liking to me though. Her name was robin. She had long dark hair and beautiful Blue eyes. She was the older of two sisters, and several years younger than her older brother Robert.
Robin and I attended UMYF events that year for Christmas and Halloween at Church even though she was Catholic and I was Methodist. UMYF stands for United Methodist Youth Fellowship. We went Horseback Riding in November and I dressed as Indiana Jones for a Haloween Party. These were some of the better memories of dealing with the girls in my class at the time.
Some of the names of my friends in the Role playing circle around that time were Ryan, Martin, Tony, Jason, John, and Andy. I think that about rounds out the core group that made things interesting. There was an addition after this was established of a Richard who I was introduced to through Robins’ older brother Robert. Richard also had a Commodore 64 and had some cool cartridge games that we figured out how to copy into disk memory and put on the Bulletin Board System. He became an interesting friend, but the first that I met who had a dark side. His father had committed Suicide with a Shotgun when he was in about 5th Grade while they were living in a trailer park struggling against their own economic and family problems. Richard had tons of money and lived in the new development in Town of Niagara where their house was built for them. Richard was a fan of Steven King books and had hoped to become a writer like him, and also read Clive Barker and a couple of other Darker authors. He used to read a magazine called Fangoria that I could see some surface level appreciation for, because of its delving in detail into the special effects behind science fiction monsters.
This dealt directly into my interest with SCI-FI, as I had watched Terminator, which came out in 1984 as one of the first big home video hits, and hadn’t done particularly well at the Box Office because at the time not many children saw R-Rated Movies. It was deemed socially irresponsible by most people to take Children to theaters to see them. Terminator had me gripped because of the notion of Cybernetics, which I delved into when reading Neuromancer (Gibson’s first book.) There was something entirely intriguing to me about the merging of Man and Machine (def.) but I could not put a particular finger on it. While it would not be wise to spend too much time on it, I think it necessary for a brief synopsis of the film, to describe why it could be so fascinating.
I had just recently seen War Games and the notion of Artificial Intelligence was fresh in my mind as it applied to stationary computers. The next logical step, as portrayed in terminator then, is what would happen, if Military applications were used to design a machine that could MOVE, ACT, and Think, and be smarter, more reactive, and in many senses strategically more intelligent than a human being? What was really intriguing is not that humans invented Terminators, but that the AI’s themselves that caused the Destruction of the Earth on “Judgement Day” (1997 along the timeline of the film). Were intelligent enough to design human clones and give them autonomous thinking capacities to hunt down and destroy the remaining humans. And then, there was the issue of sending them back through time, which dates back to Jules Verne’s Time Machine (if I am correct in the authorship). So, not only did the Artifically Intelligent computers of the future (at some point beyond 1997) develop the Cyborg (or Cybernetic Organism) they also devcloped reverse time travel. Their target was the “One man who could unite humanity in the effort to stop the machines.” And here’s the kicker of the whole thing. They didn’t go after the man himself, they went after his mother in 1985, a year before he was born. Along the same timeline with the Cyborg traveled John Connor (the leader’s) father, who has one romantic scene with the mother, which I have to say was no less fascinating to a 7th grade boy than any of the rest of it.
In speaking of these things another thing to understand about our generation is that we grew up not only with the Computer, but we grew up with something, seemingly innocuous, that many people fall to the shadow of under the computer. And that is the common VCR. The VCR led to video rentals and libraries of movies never previously available to the mass market in ways that were no less obnoxious than the internet is today with Adult Movies and Data Piracy and the entire ball of Ethics that ultimately led to many of the psycho traumas that are now being felt with the construction of the digitally contextualized age. The VCR is the toaster of the Data Era. Eventually there will be the Toaster oven, (the Digital Video Disc) and on down the Road, The Microwave, which as a paid library subscription service is just as innocuously being called “Video on Demand” by providers like Huges/GE’s Direct TV and Adelphia Corporation. In essence any video globally will be available to anyone with a remote control and a credit card, or should we say Credit account. This means even the photos out of the “privacy booths” in Tokyo where ladies of the night charge service fees to transact on Cell Phones. And what I am talking about here is not Science Fiction. It is becoming Science Fact. “Video on Demand” requires a set top box, but requires no formal College or even High School education to operate, and will be the next level of complete destructive congestion into even higher grade trauma films like Saving Private Ryan, The Thin Red Line, and A Night in Paris (cited Paris Hilton’s escapades captured in full digital format.)
To get back to my discussions of my own history within the framework of the advancing technology pyramid scheme and globalistic monopolistic competition among its developers economies. I sat as an 8th grader and watched BLADE RUNNER based on a novel called “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” by Phillip K. Dick, starring Harrison Ford. Harrison Ford was an interesting model character who eventually came to terms with the fact that genetically altered Androids being used as slave labor that he was originally supposed to hunt down and kill had thoughts and feelings as well. This movie set the stage for Back to the Future with its flying Cars and The Fifth Element for Flying Cars in a Three Dimensional Framework of High Speed Motion as also Witnessed in the Scene in Star Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones on the Fictional Planet of Courousant. Blade Runner’s ETHICAL Point, however stands as a damning consequence of our failure to understand the issues that surrount our science. We must be responsible for our creations, and if we give them life, we must be prepared to contend with them as if they have the same inalienable rights we hold for ourselves as we manifested them in our construction of our current society, be it National or Global. As in the United States Constitution or the UN Charter.
We watched many movies on the VCR at home and I watched many when I was off school with Mono in tenth grade. I had a tutor who came to the house and taught me social studies and brought by assignments. But back in 9th Grade at Niagara Falls High School is when the Proverbial Spit hit the Fan. Late that summer, 8th grade, I was invited to role play with some individuals at an acquaintances house from the Guard Board. The guy who ran the board was not tech savvy. He was a skilled writer though so I trusted him for what he was worth. His name was Jason W. I got to the house and the the game was voted Rune Quest rather than Dungeons and Dragons. It looked about the same, so I agreed, and played a game with some players from Niagara Falls High School that I had known since grade school but I hadn’t seen since because of my transition from Public to Private Elementary Schools.
This had been in large course due to the political climate associated with NY integration and the fact that I was not good in Gym class and had been assaulted by many black children. Somehow I’d done them wrong was the general consensus and I could not figure things out to get past Third Grade. I spent Third to 5th Grades at Sacred Heart Villa at which point, economics and conflicts with a Druggie (we called them Druggies then) led me to switch to St. Teresa’s. There will be more on that later but for now and the sake of simplicity, this will have to suffice.
Back to the Rune Quest game. Around the table sat Adrian, a good friend from second grade who I’d played Atari with many times from overnights at his house. Craig, who was a ministers son from a church I’d previously attended with my father, Mark, a college student with Autism, and Jason W. Jason W. was the “Dungeon Master” or “Game Master” and was talented with the way he dealt with describing situations. He could make the simplest escapade of breaking open a cellar door or arguing with a werewolf in the daytime seem entertaining. Being that I had my own group of friends outside of this, I felt welcome in his circle and didn’t have much problems playing with them a few nights a month. What I learned was that Craig and Adrian were good friends and were a year ahead of me and knew Jason from the Public School system and that they did not have computers at the time. Mark however did and his sole connection with Jason was over several other more private bulletin board systems that were unadvertised at the time. They later became advertised.
One afternoon that summer I decided to invite everyone over for a party at my house and the group got together Andy, Ryan, Martin, Jason, Richard, John, and Jason W. In comparison with the size of his party, Jason W. was probably impressed, and looking back now, I can only think more than a little bit Jealous. We voted, based on my recommendation and his talent as a Game Master to allow Jason W. to be the game master. This was my first and most serious mistake in learning the true nature of what was about to happen to my position of leadership within that group of friends. I allowed things to play out, and we had a lot of fun the first few times that I invited Jason. Everyone survived, the monsters weren’t too hard to beat, the spells weren’t serious, the people involved didn’t change.
We even had a few overnight slumber parties that summer at my house where we played a video game called Defenders of the Crown. We stayed up for hours trying to learn how to Joust, besiege the enemy’s castle, and save England from the invading French. And rescue the maiden, which had in it its own rewards of sorts, or at least we thought. The graphic turned out to be a grainy cartoon silhouette when we did succeed. Pizza and Pepsi were Staples.
After Methodist Bicycle Camp that summer (one week away), I rode my bike after being called by my friend Ryan, to his house in Lewiston. The group that I had assembled so many times in the past, had assembled without me. With the addition of Jason W., Mark (the Autistic college student), and Jason’s ex-girlfriend Valerie, who was hanging all over Ryan. We drank sodas and were introduced to two new Role Playing Games. One was called Paranoia, which was a Sci-Fi game where you have six lives and are summarily executed on a routine basis by an Orwellian style computer, the other was called Arcanum, which on the surface looked about as innocent as Rune Quest, until you got to the pages toward the back regarding Demons, Minions, and Sacrifices.
I went along with the game, and the Demons were not brought up during the play, they were simply glossed over as “too difficult to manage” in a large group setting. I thought this odd, but we played several rounds of Arcanum in the ensuing weeks, and the turning point happened in my own dining room. I was turned into a werewolf in the game, carved up by my own team mates, and thrown in the river, re-incarnated as a spirit, and then spiritually annihilated by the Cleric character. Jason W. just kept saying it was all part of the game and that I should take it like a good sport and play along and laugh, because he was being “hyperbolic” or taking it to the extreme to make it funny. It was not funny, because this turning point symbolized the loss of all loyalty and trust I had amongst my friends. The only one who had any reservations about it was my friend John from Starpoint HS, who said that it was wrong and he wouldn’t play the game with them any further.
My mother, after I informed her in private of the situation broke up the party, and I assumed that a couple of them might still be friends at some point. This point was ill taken in my point and couldn’t have been farther from the truth. One night I had two friends, Martin and Tony over at my house, and Tony brought not only the Arcanum book but also several other books that he had taken out of the library at the appointment of Jason W. who worked in the Magazine and Microfiche section in the Niagara Falls Public Library (c. 1988). The books dealt with real Demons, casting spells, Sacrifices, Witchcraft, and the Occult. Tony went to go to the bathroom and left the books unoccupied on the floor of our living room. I was playing video games and did not notice them. She sent him home with the books and said that he could not come back ever. Martin remained for the night, as disturbed as I was, but did not say much. In the meantime, Ryan was thrown out of his house for having sex with Valerie and moved in with her in Lockport. He later dropped out of school all together and rumor had it that they used to smoke Marijuana in the apartment.
Tony called me a couple weeks later with a story about how he was going to get super human strength like a super hero, he was my age, about 14. He said all he had to do was draw a circle in the woods near his house in a special way, light a campfire and sacrifice a large Turtle. At this point I was disturbed to the core and let myself get too involved in the situation. I called Jason W. and told him that he had caused Tony to have a nervous break, and that he had to get the books back from him. I later found about his involvement in giving him the books in the first place. My parents called Tony’s parents and to this day I do not know all of the consequences he faced from his parents. But it had me in tears that he had been so corrupted by this Seventeen year old and his Wiccan ex-girlfriend. About this time was the first time I heard that term used by my Mother, who is a highly conservative (along with my father) church goer, who brought me up through the ranks as an Acolyte at First United Methodist.
We took steps that year to put me in contact with a Pentacostalist youth group formed for inner city Youth in Niagara Falls with several girls one of them who had been through Dramatic cult experiences herself. Due to my coming forward with my concerns and praying about them in group, we decided to bring the matter forward and do the brunt of the work as an extension as a youth outreach through an article published in the Gazette. I had some real friends in that group who understood my depression as a child and they brought me to realize what a significant factor it can be when you begin to practically apply the Bible as I had in the past practically applied the computer.
After some discussion we determined that the two people most at fault for the entire situation were the 22 year old Valerie, who I have later in life encountered again as a proclaimed Wiccan, and Mark, who was involved with another Mark, who at the time proclaimed himself a Warlock. This is no joke, these people felt that they could fundamentally decimate Christians and Christian character and made it their chief aims. So in the article, a girl whose name I will leave you to research, and I were showcased and we discussed our problems with figures in the Occult who had tried to threaten, belittle, and traumatize us, and corrupt our lives as Christians. End of Summer 1988.
In 9th Grade, I attended Niagara Catholic High School, I had the strength of a whole new set of acquaintances from the Work Crew there and the homeroom. I couldn’t play football because the same summer that the article appeared I played football at my father’s company party and was defensively struck by a drunk co-worker, and my wrist was broken during the game. I would have very much liked to have played football, but I had other skill sets and knew I could get by without it. I tried out for cross country later that season when my arm was healed and met to this day one of my best friends. His name is Shennen.
Every summer he has at least one barbeque and every winter he has at least one Christmas party. He and his family live conservatively in Ransomville New York, USA and have many luxuries that I could only dream of having.
I met my first serious girlfriend in 9th grade and we played on the Bowl-O-Drome bowling league together along with my younger brother and sister, and we had many good Saturday mornings, which were followed by Sunday mornings in Church. And then later football, where the Buffalo Bills were a new Novelty because of their progress in the American League.
There was of course the groping and making out that all 9th graders experience in their first relationships and we found many little places around campus to hide after school. The basement of my house in Deveaux in the clothes pile will always hold fond memories for me.
For the sake of protecting her current relationship, I am not going to mention who she was, I will say only this, at the time, my mother had me poisoned against people who smoked and I foolishly broke up with her at the time because I caught her smoking at the Pine Avenue McDonalds with her friend, another older girl who was working on her in a similar fashion to the ones in Lockport who were harassing me. I told her either we have to break up or you have to stop seeing your friend. This wasn’t something she wanted to hear and it wasn’t something I wanted to say, but it ended up happening just after Christmas that year and I am sad to say began the beginning of another big letdown.
Martin seemed very mild mannered and ok, and had an IBM computer at home and was more interested in talking about it, and the capabilities of it than any of the Role playing stuff, so around the time the girl and I broke up, we started having lunch together at NC. We sat in the corner and did our Math homework early and talked about Hard Drives and Megabytes (which was a lot of Data for 1989) and e-mail, which hadn’t been used much by people even though it came as a standard feature on the BBS software. I even brought in pages of printed code sometimes that we would work on in the computer lab there, and modify using pens, later typing in the changes. We found ways to code color into the prompts and interfaces and menus,. At the end of that year, my Bulletin Board was styling, and officially named SenseNet and his was on its way up as a duplicate, but altered copy of mine. I had no problem with this.
What I did not discover until later that year was that Martin and Tony were in some classes together and had been taking everything I had worked on and copying it.
Tony now had a commodore 64 and his father was teaching Computer Science at Niagara Falls High School (Hmmm. I wonder where he got his book knowledge to teach basic? If I recall correctly from my early years in 11th and 12th grade when my father introduced me to Lotus, I ended up teaching him many of the features of Microsoft Excel that I practically upgraded to in my Phsyics Classes at GM and later in College). This accusation is a sweeping one and I could be wrong, but there were few people as advanced as we were at the time in terms of telecommunications knowledge that did not have Government Jobs or University Research Degrees. Tony’s last name was Contento.
The truth manifested itself in the appearance of IMAGE BBS out of Lewiston NY, as advertised within 1 week of my discovery of the theft of information, on virtually every BBS in the county, through the Guard. The next Guard meeting I attended, a printout of the Gazette article was brought and electronic communications from myself toward Martin and Tony in which I had expressed my anger in a NON-THREATENING way as to my irresponsibility in keeping with the rules of Software Piracy and several other matters. The meeting collapsed into a frenzy of arguments between myself and Jason W. who had attended 1 other Guard meeting that I had not been aware of due to educational limitations and the fact that he had had the car to drive to Lockport and I didn’t. Fortunately for me, he was dismissed as a nutcase, by the sheer logic of a few of the older members of the group who had seen people act irrationally in the past, nevertheless, the Guard was disbanded and the group of people that organized it would never be the same in that formal structure.
IMAGE BBS remained a thorn in my side. The users that began having their conversations there included a Football player who had been encouraged to buy a modem (the muscle), his older sister, who Jason W. began dating, and Ryan, Valerie (The Wiccan) , the two Marks, and everyone else that began to assemble. I know this because I logged in anonymously and changed my user information several times. I understood the software and they did not, with the exception of Martin. In the meantime, they began creating false accounts in my SenseNet BBS, and making public statements to each other about how Chris was a jackass for doing this or that or the other thing. I could keep the board running and I found it particularly interesting that my friend Glenn W. from the Guard who had been in the Army at the Niagara Air Force Base and another friend of his in ROTC named Rich who worked as a plumber in the city of Niagara Falls, could keep them stupefied by answering with some verbal abuse of their own, so I let it go on until about I’d have to say September of that year.
In September of that year, I received a message from an anonymous account on my own Bulletin Board system that said, “You will Die on October 31st, 1988.” I did not, nor will I ever report this to the police, FBI, or other authority because of my own responsibility in letting it happen. I will however tell you that I was invited on several occasions that year by Glen W. to his home to learn about evolving IBM PC technology and read up on how handguns work in his library of military books, and I have seen several up close in my time, but always felt protected rather than threatened by them.
There is something to being a military Brat that keeps you in the fold of good men and women in the armed forces in the United States. My father was in the Navy Reserves for 12 years and in that time, I am certain he had the occasion to meet with and speak to many of the servicemen in Niagara County over lunch at both the Air base and at the LaSalle Naval Park. This does not preclude Erie County Either, although, I expect that most of his associations with those in Erie County are much weaker than those in Niagara County. Heck, my brother Dan was a Volunteer Fireman for Active Hose one and worked as a clerk in the Fire Dept at the Air Base. I even worked there one morning with my Mother cleaning up after lunch to earn a few bucks. Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge.
I have to say that the two being separate issues, I have felt that most of my life in one way or another either I’ve been protected by God or the Government as long as I obey the laws but take them with the proper ethical perspective and an undying loyalty to Jesus as Lord. Looking back at things today with clearer eyes and a clearer mind and gradually working my way through the new Testament I am finding a deeper understanding of the calming effect of knowing that when I pass on, regardless of how it happens, I will be accounted for, and that in this world, no matter how deep the struggle becomes, there will always be a light to surface at the end of the tunnel, if in fact we are even in a tunnel and not on a multilayered gravitational plane consisting of stars and planets, effectively placed by a wholesome and loving God who created us not for war with one another, but for understanding and the development of his truth. Truth is more valuable than any single substance that you can own, and I find that the more that I tell of it, the more I am surrounded by it, and it can have a devastating impact on the unrighteous, or under initiated.
And so I will conclude with this. Like with the year 2000, I survived my own personal apocalypse at age 15 and the Year 2000 wasn’t that daunting for me. I look forward to the collection of those who will keep their spirits intact and not fall to the leveling matrix of codified evil that is being constructed as we speak by forces too despicable to put words to. People who read the bible and believe in God, know this one fact to be certain, its not about what you read, or what you can talk about, its how you live, and how you bring your spirit into force as a light, rather than as dark matter. Forget everything else. It all boils down to conscious choice. Some of the least knowledgeable people I know are the most pristine ethically.


Post a Comment

<< Home