The Taboo of Blame & Truth & Reconcilliation
Tuesday, 06-Jun-2000 07:38:19

Did anyone ever see that amazing and powerful series produced by Joseph Campbell on PBS re:the Truth & Reconcilliation councils in South Africa? It was a very moving series documenting the hearings that Nelson Mandella and others created in order to support the healing after the years of what people, both black & white suffered thru in Aparteid. Basically, they created a format where people came and just shared their stories of what happened to them. They believed that in the opportunity for people to share what their experiences were and to have that witnessed by others, and to have it all on the table--that this was the first necessary stage of healing. First the truth, then the reconcilliation will come. And it will come in it's own time for everyone. People at the hearings were not telling them to forgive, they were not being told not to blame--they simply were given a safe space to let their voices be heard.

Universally, the telling of one's story is the most widely used tool of healing used in all cultures. I really encourage the use of this board for all to have a voice and to share. It is for some the beginning stages of healing. I don't know if anyone of you have ever attended support groups for survivors of any trauma- but you don't hear anyone telling the survivors not to blame, and that they need to forgive. It is a trust in the healing process and the recovery process. You don't start with forgiveness, you don't start blameless. You just start by telling your story.

This is the beginning stages of taking personal responsibility: by owning your own experience and giving it voice, giving it validation. The reconcilliation and taking even deeper levels of personal responsibility will naturally come in it's own time, in it's own way. I think Elizabeth Kubler Ross's 5 stages are helpful to know: denial & isolation, anger, bargaining, depression & finally acceptance. As I read the many posts, I see everyone at different stages here and I feel that everyone's post all has it's appropriate place.

I personally left the work in the early 80's, and was sent this link a couple of weeks ago. I feel this is really a powerful thing. It is a deeply emotional experience for me to read the posts. I especially love hearing from the adult children who grew in our cult of choice. I am so happy to see them have a safe space to have a voice finally. And finally for all of us to have a voice.
It is a courageous act to speak out, and also it is a courageous act to deeply listen and hold the space in one's heart and to not deny that these things happened.

And finally to my sisters who are speaking here quite openly about their required sexual favors with John: thank you for having the courage to speak out and tell your stories. For many of us, we never did know what happened in those back rooms. I was under the impression all those years ago that people considered it a privilege to have sex with John. It is good to hear the truth in this.In all the years I only heard one person express to me how freaked out she was when John had her pull over to the side of the rode and give him a blow job.She tried to object, but was coercered.And this I only found out 10 years after the fact.That's the atmoshpere of silence that permeated the work.So sisters,let the truth rip..

And also, I remember how demasculate all the men were. Boy,they really didn't have a voice. It was like only John & Emile were allowed to speak out. And then the few men that came into favor with John went on such obnoxious ego trips.Money for nothing and chicks for free...
Boy, wait till we start hearing posts from the people who gave up their inheirtances to support John and the inner circle...
And I don't want to see any posts after reading this that "this wasn't apparteid..."
Give me a break!