The Endgame – A Memoir

Test Firing

Just because you hide something 
doesn’t mean that it no longer has consequences.

In those years, the recruiter continued to use me as a prop to recruit, do cons, blackmail, extort, etc.

For the blackmailing part, she framed adults with resources (political, police, large industry, etc., much like Joseph, the sheriff we had moved in next door to with the sole intention of blackmailing him). She would frame each one by drugging them, positioning them inappropriately, and including me in the photos when I was young. When I was older, it got more creative, explosive, and more serious than that. 

For grassroots organizations, parents’ organizations, and individuals, she would use me as a prop so she could claim she was there for legitimate community or family reasons instead of what she was actually there for, which was primarily to derail their progress, take them over, or coercively recruit from them.

And then there were the times she would pile me in with everyone else she was running. For about two or three years, she had developed a seemingly quirky habit of simultaneously wearing approximately six stopwatches, hanging around her neck, all in different colors. It seemed like an odd fashion statement. It had nothing to do with fashion. She would wear them while standing on the New Haven Green, and she had one for each person she was running through that center of town. 

The stopwatches were dual-purpose. The alarm function in them would alert her when each person was expected to arrive, or would be coming out of a building for a work break (she was targeting someone from the town hall, and someone from the government offices above the post office, in addition to a few people taking buses). The stopwatches also allowed her to time and record how long it took until the drugs would take effect once she hit someone with them. There were a lot of numbers recorded. I would know. Frequently, I would collect them from all the devices and write them down in a ledger for her.

She kept a bag with more than forty bus schedules in it. She had one for every route. Again, seemingly a little quirky. However, there were some schedules that she had two of. For those, the second copy contained a processed version of scopolamine and who knows what else. It was one of the chemist’s specials. It was a white powder, barely visible on the bus schedules, but powdery and uncomfortable on my already dry and sensitive hands, which it clung to. It would be lined up in the crevice at the bottom of the folded paper until you popped the schedule open to read it. And that’s how she got people. I don’t know the mechanism entirely, if it absorbed through the fingers or if the dust was inhaled as it flew into the schedule-reader’s face, but it was effective. 

She wasn’t pleasant and most of her victims were tired of her, even if they could not entirely remember or articulate why. So, when they wanted to end a conversation, she would say, “Okay. But can you read this bus schedule for me so I can leave and catch a bus? I forgot my glasses.” And they would invariably read it for her in the hopes of her going away after that. I know. I fell for it at least fifty times, myself. The one that was specifically for me was her extra copy of the D bus line schedule. I could never remember that I had already previously fallen for the ruse until I felt that powder on my hands and it was already too late. 

In what felt like less than 120 seconds, I would find myself following her down the street, amenably, with my reasonable anger, distrust, and refusal entirely melted away. I’d remember the walks, and then the drug-induced amnesia wall would come down when we stopped walking. 

Often, she wouldn’t even go with a person after drugging them. She would just tell them where to go, hand them a bus ticket, and point them in the right direction. Many times it worked effectively. Other times, the intoxicated and thus suggestable people had trouble. Personally, I once forgot I was supposed to be heading to a paid research appointment for her, one only a few blocks from downtown, because I stopped to talk to friends and stared into the display at the Group W Bench, a shop with an inordinate amount of pinwheels in the window. Every word she told me disappeared from my mind as I watched those pinwheels spin. 

And those lists of numbers I would write for her, collecting the data from the stopwatches? Once a month, those would be put in a large envelope with the stopwatches and sent to what she called a lab. Then she would go out, buy six more stopwatches, and start the process over again.

That was one of the more terrifying realizations I had at that age. That even her most insane and coercive behaviors might actually be fully supported and funded. It made it difficult to know who to reach out to, especially within her organization, so I didn’t except for a few moments of complete and generally regretted weakness.

As I became a teenager, I would also be utilized as a tantalizing young body that got doors open when no one else could. Once inside, I would complete my instructed task, or in some cases, unlock a back door to grant the recruiter and others access so they could complete it themselves. I was always her door opener. The difference was that the methodology changed as I got older. By the time I was a teenager, I was too old to still claim “my mom’s inside” to get past security. 

To illustrate one of the newer methods, in the early 1990s in New York City, there were two Muslim roommates whom the U.S. government needed to have framed and intimidated into working for them. Another girl and I were sent in as escorts, with a backpack of explosives and instructions to get inside the apartment and place the backpack in a bedroom. Once we met the men, it didn’t take long for them to “convince” us that we wanted to visit their apartment. The situation was set up to fall into our hands. 

When the apartment door closed and we were inside, I was consumed by panic. The drugs they had given me before the assignment were lighting up all the wrong parts of my brain, and my decisions were anything but rational. I was to the point that I was considering scaling the outside of the building to escape. 

The other girl convinced me that the stairs were a better option, and as that bedroom lit on fire, we ran. We were promised that a vehicle would be waiting for us directly outside the building. It wasn’t. With smoke billowing from the building behind us, we walked at least six blocks through the city, our nerves even more frayed by the scream of fire trucks passing us by. In those moments, I was certain that I was going to prison. Then George drove up, we piled into his car, and we all sped back to New Haven. 

The situation was horrendous; I did not feel protected, and the amount of non-consented-to drugging I endured was beyond unreasonable, but it didn’t seem like it would be eternal. I presumed that, eventually, I would become an adult and could simply leave without being bound by my captor and the bullshit misfiled document showing that she had a “legal” claim to me until I was eighteen.

That would be changed by another explosion in New York. Approximately a month before the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, I was asked to skip school and come to New York City with my kidnapper. George ended up being the one driving, yet again. He dropped us off near the building, and I walked into the underground parking area with the recruiter. 

She held a clipboard with official documentation and used it to easily get past the scrutiny of the security guard and into an area of the parking garage officially cordoned off “for construction.” There, hidden away from the public in that area with the demolition crew I had met on prior occasions in New York and Connecticut with their fake green card wives, I listened as they told my exploiter about their struggles. 

They had been trying to place explosives up along the spine of the building next to the elevators. Their problem was that they couldn’t get up high enough along the shaft. The design of the building meant they were physically blocked from getting the materials into the higher levels. The recruiter informed them that they still needed to stay on schedule in order to fulfill their side of the contract and for her to release payment. They reached an unhappy agreement. 

I began to lean against a vehicle as I listened to them discuss what would become the trial run for the 9-11 explosions, while looking the relatively short distance to the elevator in the corner. I pondered their issue and the area they had been working in. Suddenly, all eyes were on me as they told me with panic in their voices that I should not lean against the vehicle. There were explosives inside. Later, where we had been standing could be seen in the post-explosion photos near the center of the wreckage. In that case, I can reasonably confirm that no one in that group had been lying to me – at least not on that topic. 

By involving me in events leading up to 9-11 that implicated the government, even though all I had done was stand there looking bored, that bitch had just classified my life. There became no “legal” recourse and no way to truly escape my situation. I would forever be a hostage because of one of the most embarrassing and obvious coverups of our time. Honestly, it’s insulting. 

It also meant that more funding would become available to clean up after me, something that would become both an advantage for movement and activities, as well as an albatross around my neck when it came to attaining reliably unobstructed communication and in seeking actual freedom from my predicament.

Once in a while when I saw the opportunity to, I still kept trying to find help in locating my mother and where I had been stolen from. It wasn’t easy. Our civilization only gives lip service to protecting children, and that’s especially true in the U.S., where so many go missing every day. But now and then I’d send up little red flags, and in a few cases, a glaringly obvious flare. When I turned sixteen, it was one of the latter. A friend and I went to the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles to get my state photo identification card. I was nervous because I knew my birth certificate was fraudulent but up until that moment I hadn’t been the one signing the documents that rode on it. Now, I was old enough to sign and still naive enough to think I’d end up in jail if I used a falsified document, especially if I used it in a government office and for something as official as an ID card.  

So, my friend suggested that I ask the police officer who was standing outside doing guard duty. He was a police officer, not a security guard. My being young, I thought that meant he was actually aware of laws and how they worked. We approached him and I explained that I was using a fake birth certificate, that I was illegally adopted, and that I was there to get my state ID. I asked him if I would get in trouble with the law if I used the forged document to get an ID. He gave me an answer that I would later come to understand is standard among law enforcement. He said, “That’s the name we know you as, so that’s the one you should go by until you find your parents.”

He didn’t open a case to help me find my parents. He didn’t insist that we go down to the police station. He simply waved us into the Department of Motor Vehicles building and pointed to where the line started. Within two hours (those lines are long), I had a photo ID. I’ve been following his bad advice ever since. I’ve opened bank accounts in that false name, with that false nationality. I’ve attended university. I’ve taken out student loans and grants. I’ve gotten jobs. I’ve paid taxes. I’ve signed contracts. I’ve used it to apply for residency, permits, and citizenship in other countries since then. I’ve attained clearance levels with a false identity. I’ve broken so many laws with my very existence because those who enforce the laws are the ones who tell us to break them, thus entrapping us and making us criminals by default. I have very little love for that system and the people who support it. They’ve made me and countless others criminals before we even turned eighteen, all because they’re too lazy and greedy for more population, to the point that they refuse to do their jobs and help kidnapped children to find our parents.  

Other times, actually every time that I signed my false name in that country, I would send up tiny red flags hoping someone would notice. I would stop and pause and say, “What’s my name?” out loud before thinking for a moment and then filling it in on whatever form or sign-in sheet was in front of me. I did that in front of countless officials, police officers, government workers, teachers, camp counselors, doctors, clerks, secretaries, and receptionists. No one ever thought it was concerning enough to start an investigation, even though I was praying one of them would. 

And the one time in those years I genuinely spoke about my situation, instead of advocating for others or gently attempting to trigger an investigation into my kidnapping status? I was seventeen and in Northern California, where I had fled to get a temporary reprieve. Unfortunately, I also managed to severely injure a tendon in my foot, meaning I could barely walk and couldn’t work. So, I went to a youth shelter there to sit and heal for a few weeks while I had no money coming in. One of the requirements to be admitted to the shelter was a psychological evaluation. Because they were limited in funding, the evaluations were done in an office at the nearest state-funded mental institution. If nothing else, we can assume the psychologists there had already seen and heard everything, and could reasonably handle assessing teenagers. 

I sat down in a chair across the desk from a female psychologist. She told me I could open up to her and speak about anything. I assumed she was a professional and knew what she was asking. I also assumed there were patient-doctor confidentiality rules and I was safe to speak as long as I didn’t claim to be suicidal or a threat to others. So, for the first time in my life, I risked speaking the full truth. Ten minutes into my talking, that psychologist got up from behind her desk, walked over to the couch, curled up into a ball on it, and became catatonic. Two male orderlies had to carry her out. Later on, when I inquired about how she was doing, I was told she was taking an extended several-month-long break from work to recover.

That moment taught me that if I spoke about myself, it would harm others. I learned that sharing my thoughts, my pain, my experiences, my life – if I opened up and was myself, if I sought healing or help for myself – that it would cause people to shriek and crumble as if they themselves had been harmed. So, I went back to not speaking about anything. 

I spent the next three weeks sitting in that shelter, talking about cooking, music, and things of no relevance at all to my own survival or the survival of those around me. I had learned that frivolity is all this world can predictably psychologically manage without breaking, so I kept my pain out of view while I coddled and entertained them.

Next: Internal Sabotage and Entrapment