People who know me—and even people who don’t—have commented on how I have become softer, more relaxed and open over the past few years. I have credited this change to my wife, my work in the thrift store, and my association with Dave Oshana. But there’s something else I have not talked about, an event I think may have played an equally important part in opening me up to life as all of these other factors. I haven’t talked or written about it because it felt too serious, too sensitive, and too profound to turn into fodder for my output.
It is now two years exactly since it occurred and I feel ready to share it.
November 8, 2016, was a day that in retrospect changed many people’s lives. People are still lost in lamentations over it. I recall the following morning, when my wife told me Trump had won. I was taking a dump at the time. I said, “Wow.” I was, I admit, slightly disappointed by the news, not because I hadn’t wanted Trump to win (I had no skin in that game), but mostly because I, like millions of others, had failed to foresee it.
On the day of the election I didn’t lose much thought over it, however; I had smaller fish to fry. Specifically, I had a thrift store overflowing with donated goods and it was time to clear the crappiest stuff out and take it to another, larger thrift store in Chilliwack. We had even bought a used truck specifically for this purpose. Every couple of weeks I made the run. But besides that, it was a day like any other. I had no inkling of what was to come, no forebodings or intimations.
Actually, that’s not entirely true. I was concerned about driving the truck during this period, for the following reason: since I had been delving into the history of organized ritual abuse and trauma-based mind control, I was speaking to experienced professionals like Wendy Hoffman and Alison Miller and becoming increasingly suspicious there was something of the sort in my own past. I was concerned that, if I got too close to uncovering the truth, I might trigger my own “programming” and self-sabotage in some way, possibly terminally. The most likely set-up for a sudden irrational act of self-destruction, I reasoned, was while driving my truck. One wrong move while doing 100 k down the freeway, even a micro move, and it could all be over.
Two days before that day, I had posted at my blog about pedophilia and Satanism in Washington, DC, including evidence suggestive of Peter Levenda’s proximity to a key player in the intrigue (John Podesta). That morning, I watched a video with some very disturbing content confirming my investigations into “Pizzagate.” The video caused a strong emotional reaction in me, a bout of weeping that felt cathartic.
Perhaps related to this, I felt unusually good as I drove out of Hope that morning. I put on a Bob Dylan live tape (there were only a handful of tapes to choose from), feeling clear and bright and in tune with existence. My destination was a large thrift store called Bibles for Missions, located just off Yale Road, which is the main road that runs through downtown Chilliwack and which the highway from Hope turns into. It was an easy trip, and allowed for getting in and out without any fuss.
Although there was no reason to anticipate any problems, I was aware that just getting behind the wheel meant taking my life into my hands. In the past, I have been a reckless driver—I’ve had over half a dozen serious accidents—but I had become increasingly alert to danger on the road, constantly checking every possible angle from which an unexpected element might appear or an accident might happen.
I reached the intersection between Yale Road and Nowell Street, where Bibles for Missions is located. I waited to turn left at the traffic lights, which were green. There were cars behind me, cars coming the other way, and a car waiting in front of me to turn right (his left) the other way down Nowell Street. The lights were about to change and there was a lot of information to process: cars behind me, car ahead about to cross in front of me, cars in the other lane coming towards me and across the intersection between me and my destination.
I was aware of the car turning right in front of me, down Nowell Street. I was aware of the gap in the stream of cars coming towards me, and gauged that there was enough space for me to turn left. As I turned and accelerated, I saw an old man in his scooter moving from my right, straight in front of me, less than three feet away. He must have come off the sidewalk and onto the pedestrian crossing a split instant before I made the decision to turn, and somehow (I still don’t know how), I failed to see him.
The old man turned his head towards me and opened his mouth, as if saying something. Our eyes met. I didn’t hear him cry out, but I am fairly sure we both did. I think we both cried out “No!” Then I hit him with a sickeningly loud crash.
I have had several head-on collisions in my life while driving. What happens, is the immediate awareness arrives out of nowhere that something irrevocable is about to happen, is happening, has happened, all within less than a second. Consciousness goes crashing, literally, from future event, to present unfolding, to past deed. Done. No going back, ever.
There is the sense that this is really happening, combined with the sense that this can’t be happening. Two perspectives fighting for dominance, yet it is no contest at all. Reality has spoken and what it says can’t be taken back.
Moments before I had been feeling happy, at peace, in the flow of existence. Maybe I didn’t live a charmed life, but I at least lived a good life; nothing truly terrible would happen to me, not without at least some warning, surely, some foresight, some complicity on my part, some sort of deserving?
There was no intent, no malice, no obvious irresponsibility or recklessness to my actions immediately before the event. Still, it had happened. The old man had gone down, the scooter sucked under the front of the truck with a hideous crunch of unmistakable and irrevocable finality. And though I braked in the moment I saw him, it was barely enough to reduce the impact.
I lept out of the truck. Apparently I threw off my cap and glasses, because I saw them on the ground later. I fell on my knees in front of the old man. His head had hit the asphalt and a dark pool of blood was spreading outward in a misshapen circle beneath him. I began to take him in my arms, as if to lift him up. Still, there was the desperate hope that, somehow, I could undo what had happened and make it right.
A woman on the sidewalk called out to me not to move him. This was something I had seen and heard in movies. I had been here before; the elements were familiar. There was another bystander, a young man with a bald head, who had looked at me with an appalled expression as I got out of the truck. He must have seen the whole thing, and he looked at me with angry condemnation.
I don’t know what I did then but suddenly, mysteriously, I was surrounded by security officers in black uniforms. I had no idea how these men and women appeared so quickly, as if by magic. It turned out there was a security services building a couple of blocks away, Griffin Investigation & Security, 9300 Nowell St. One of them must have seen the accident and called to his workmates and out they came. And even though it was strange to the point of surreal how instantly they appeared, I didn’t question it until later. It matched the circumstances so perfectly that it was as if my distress had summoned them. I was in a state of emergency.
The security people began to attend to the old man. I could see he was stuck, the scooter partially trapped under the truck, the old man still inside the scooter. I stood close by and could hear them discussing his pulse and his breathing. His breathing was slowing down, one of them said. It seemed like the old man was going to die right there in the road in front of me. Somebody called an ambulance, and moments later another group of professionals arrived, I don’t know from where. These ones were wearing bright yellow-green safety vests and I never found out who they were or who called them.
I was standing as close as I dared to the scene, trying to see if the old man was conscious or not. One of the security staff, a short, pudgy, stocky woman with brown hair, came over to me and asked if I was all right. “Not really,” I said. I was shaking and breathing heavily, obviously in shock. The woman told me to sit down on the curb. I wanted to pick up my glasses and hat, but she was insistent. She said they didn’t want me passing out and falling down, and then guided me over to the curb. I sat down, shaking and panting.
Although I’d had many head-on collisions while driving, there was only one previous experience comparable to this one, when, through my oversight, my mother’s dog was hit by a car in front of my eyes. On that occasion, I’d had to act right away and I was kept busy for some time doing whatever needed to be done to save the dog. On this occasion, all I had to do was sit on the curb and go over what had happened in my mind.
The hideous regret—the feeling of “Why had this happened?”—didn’t last for more than a few moments after the event. There wasn’t much room for regret, because there didn’t seem to be any way I could have avoided it. I simply hadn’t seen the old man until he was right in front of me. How it had happened was a mystery, but that it had was unavoidable. So what exactly had happened, what did it mean? I started praying to the ancestors, to help the old man, to not let him die. I said the Lord’s prayer. I wrestled with the gargantuan awareness of having done such damage to somebody I didn’t even know, for reasons that were utterly incomprehensible to me.
Something this terrible, that comes out of nowhere without warning, is almost impossible to process, because there doesn’t seem any context for it. I had written whole books about how trauma affects us, how it is something too large for our ordinary consciousness to contain and how it fragments us. Now here I was, experiencing it directly, in the present moment.
I replayed in my mind what had happened, gasping and groaning, twitching and cursing under my breath, swallowed up by horror and bewilderment. Then when it became too much to think about, my mind wandered, seconds went by during which I was not thinking about it at all, not experiencing it, just focusing on my body, breathing and talking to myself. Then suddenly I “remembered” again what had happened, and it hit me with all the force of an irrevocable evil that had turned my life upside down forever. It was as if I was processing the event, one chunk at a time.
From the moment before it happened, the experience was characterized by the absolute, overwhelming sense of reality. It was as if, prior to that moment, I had been asleep and then suddenly woke up and found myself staring at a terrifyingly unfamiliar reality. The terror underscored the reality, the reality heightened the terror. It seemed like it had to be a dream—it was too vast and too awful not to be. And yet it was not a dream. This was what trauma was like, I realized: so much bigger than my customary sense of reality, of what was possible, that it seemed unreal; and yet paradoxically, it was shockingly more real than what I had taken for reality until then.
Maybe this is what it’s like when men go to war. It changes them. They start to know what reality’s made of. When you see somebody’s head crack open and blood pouring out, and know that it is because of something you’ve done, it changes you in a way that is tangible, permanent.
Predictably enough, by now a crowd of bystanders had gathered to watch. A fire engine arrived and several firemen climbed out and took over tending to the old man. A tall security man—one of the first group—came over and asked me where the old man had been when I hit him: was he on the sidewalk or the road?
“On the road,” I said.
“It was his fault then,” he said. “They aren’t supposed to be on the road with those things.”
For a moment I experienced a rush of relief, as if I had just been given a reprieve, a way out of the nightmare. But then I realized it was illusory. “He was on the crosswalk,” I said.
“Oh,” the security man said.
Probably he was trying to comfort me by putting the blame on the victim, and I was desperate to believe him. I was grasping madly for some way out the nightmare, and if it was demonstrably not my fault, that changed the situation drastically. Even the fact the old man resembled a homeless person, a bum, floated before my panicked eyes like a straw for a drowning man, as if that might somehow make it less terrible, less tragic. The thought did the opposite of comfort me, but only added guilty feelings to my remorse. When you are drowning, thrashing only makes it worse.
The security guard asked to see my license. I only had a British one, which I showed him and explained why. He seemed to understand. The ambulance was taking a really long time to arrive. People kept asking where it was and I heard murmurings about the traffic. When it finally arrived, the medical staff piled out and took over from the firemen. They didn’t move the old man at first either, but cut his shirt open and felt around his chest. I could see the old man moving slightly. I asked someone if he was conscious and they said he was. Apparently he had even said something. I began to feel hopeful.
A fireman came over and checked my license then took my name. I must have been giving off signals of severe distress, because almost everyone was very kind and friendly towards me. I felt supported by the scene. There was at least one exception: a woman who showed up and said she was the old man’s nurse. I was close enough to hear and overheard her say that the old man was a very careful person and that he would never have done anything irresponsible to cause this. It was not what I wanted to hear. I tried to catch her eye, but she didn’t look at me. She seemed to be avoiding making contact.
After the old man was carried inside the ambulance and it drove off, the woman said, “When they don’t flash their lights like that, it’s a bad sign.” In retrospect, since the man obviously wasn’t dead, the comment made little sense. Now the old man was in good hands, I was just waiting for the police to show up. Someone said they were delayed because of a string of emergencies in town. Apparently my catastrophe had occurred inside a clusterfuck of catastrophes, part of a tiny local nexus spiraling around inside a much larger collective nexus, that of the dreaded election day.
A bald man (not the same man who had been standing there when the accident happened) came to the sidewalk where I was sitting and began talking to someone. This was a very bad intersection, he said; he had seen this happen a lot before. I looked over at him, hoping to catch his eye. He looked at me and I asked him to clarify: had he seen people get hit here before? He said he had. Another straw for the drowner. Maybe it wasn’t my fault; maybe it was a fucked-up junction and I was the victim of poor government planning?
The police finally arrived. I was relieved to see them, if only to have someone to talk to, to relieve the tension of not knowing. They parked with their lights flashing and sat in the car for some time. That felt ominous and gave me more time to process. An intervention had occurred, like my hard drive had been reset. Somehow, in some unknown way, I had needed this to happen. I figured the police would impound my truck and I would be arrested and questioned, then released a few hours later. I was pretty sure that, if the old man died, barring some extenuating circumstances, I would be charged with manslaughter. I might even go to jail! My whole life was up in the air.
The policeman was neither friendly nor unfriendly. He asked to see my license, and didn’t seem to care that it was British. He took down my data and then asked me to describe the accident. At first, my voice was trembling and broken, but it gradually became clearer and firmer, almost robotic. There was no reason to mix my grief with business, not unless I was angling for pity. The policeman told me to sit down on the curb again and then went and took a bunch of pictures of the accident. I found this slightly disturbing. Although he hadn’t treated me like a criminal, he was treating the accident like a crime scene. I felt my dread rising.
He came back then and asked if I could drive. I hesitated. I realized that he was done with me and that he expected me to just leave! After the accident, one of the thoughts I’d had was that I might never drive again. Now I realized I had to drive just to get home. I was slightly stunned the police were letting me go so easily, but I didn’t want to say anything about it. The policeman took my silence as uncertainty, and asked if there was someone I could call. I told him I only needed to get to Bible for Missions right now, half a block away. I could at least make it that far.
He nodded and said he needed me to back up the truck so they could extricate the scooter. As I reached the driver’s door of the truck, I saw the old man’s cap lying on the ground, a brown cap with a red poppy in it, Armistice Day. The sight of it cracked me open. I climbed into the truck, got behind the wheel, and started sobbing uncontrollably.
I was aware of the policeman in the road, waiting for me to stop crying and move the truck. I knew he would understand. I carried on crying as long as my body needed, releasing the grief in body shakes and sobs. Once I had started to settle down, the policeman asked if I was sure I could drive. I said I could and started the truck.
I didn’t want to shut down the feelings of grieving completely, just enough to function properly and do what needed to be done. I backed up the truck and the scooter popped out from underneath it and righted itself. It didn’t even look that damaged. The policeman smiled broadly at me and nodded his head.
I waved goodbye to him and drove very slowly down the street, towards Bibles for Missions. I turned into the parking area and parked. There was an Oriental man outside the back door. “Store crosed,” he said, as I climbed out of the truck. At that moment, an old woman opened the back door of the building and saw me and my truckload of crap.
“We’re closed,” she said.
I told her I hadn’t been able to get there on time, because the road had been blocked by an accident. I didn’t mention having caused it, because there was no reason to complicate things. She looked at the stuff in the truck, boxes and boxes of it, and said something about how they were all leaving now and didn’t like to leave stuff unsorted. I could tell she didn’t want to take it; I knew the feeling well enough.
She was still making excuses when a young guy came out the back door and saw us. He cheerfully offered to take the stuff, saying he would gladly sort it in the morning. The old woman agreed.
I felt a weird relief. As trivial as it was under the circumstances, it offered a strange kind of reassurance, like a tiny glimmer of light in the darkness. Life goes on, it seemed to say. As catastrophic as the day had been—as hideously, hopelessly irrevocable—still, it hadn’t derailed the purpose of my trip. Despite it all, I had accomplished my mission, even if at a terrible cost.
Maybe my life hadn’t come off the rails either?
After unloading the stuff, I got back in the truck and left. As slowly and painstakingly as I could, I drove back to Hope to tell my wife what had happened.