It’s come to my attention that there are those married couples who engage in self-serving “pillow talk” in
which they GLORIFY themselves at the expense of others. There’s ONE PARTICULAR COUPLE that I have in mind, but I know they are NOT THE ONLY ONES. At some point in time a man meets a woman and they have a courtship and eventually marry. Understandably, over time, in some cases, they need to CREATE a relationship that seems respectable to each other. Perhaps they have had some awkward, embarrassing moments with each other. Maybe theyre lives together have not been all that great. And so the INEVITABLE question becomes—can we KEEP THIS TOGETHER or should we call it QUITS. And in some cases they decide to try to keep it together AT ALL COSTS and at some point in time the relationship enters into the REALM OF FICTION, whereby actual, literal, truth is set aside for a FAIRY TALE. And in some cases the FAIRY TALE or FICTION comes at the EXPENSE of others. Upstairs in the bedroom the couple begin to FICTIONALIZE themselves into the realm of heroes, and they engage in small talk about their family, siblings, parents, even their children & “friends”; sometimes at the expense of these family members & friends. I call it PILLOW TALK. Others may call it GOSSIP.
“A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.”
I remember a student at a school where I taught back in ’94 wearing a t-shirt that read “THE OLDER I GET, THE BETTER I WAS” –obviously taking a shot at teachers or older people in general. And in some cases it goes FAR BEYOND mere self-glorifying small talk at the expense of others. In some cases it becomes DOWNRIGHT EVIL and despicable to the point of being DESTRUCTIVE to others. “They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossip” , Romans 1:29 When such becomes the case, the community must STAND UP and “call a spade a spade” so to speak. I am speaking of a situation in my own family—about my mentally ill sister “SISSY” and her MENTALLY ILL husband “ENGLEBERT SLANDERSON” I wish I could leave this as a PARABLE but I must become specific. My original message about the MENTALLY ILL SLANDERSON family was transmitted a few weeks ago (for those of you who are interested in my ACADEMY AWARDS MESSAGE—and whether GOD
cares about the OSCARS please let me know by writing “OSCARS” in the subject line). The MENTALLY ILL SLANDERSONS as I said a few weeks ago live in ST. JOSEPH, MI and apart from trying to HELP THEM THROUGH A CRISIS in MAY OF 2005 had not seen them prior to that since around 1989; and have not seen them since May of 2005, after returning straight to California when I finished helping ENGELBERT through his DUI crisis. But I HAVE HEARD FROM THEM—or more specifically from ENGELBERT—but not directly— rather—in the form of “ANONYMOUS” mail, beginning in January of 2008 . At first I didn’t know who it was coming from—I just saw the postmark was KALAMAZOO; but then on a few pieces of mail with the same postmark ENGELBERT did identify himself. Now I continue to get the “anonymous’ mail –sometimes with ENGELBERT’s name on it, other times “anonymous” again. You have to remember that my MENTALLY ILL BROTHER-IN-LAW, ENGELBERT admitted to me in MAY OF 2005 that he was a “CLASSIC ALCOHOLIC” as I was driving him around west Michigan for thirty days while his driver’s license was suspended. Yet, LATER, when I reported a concern to the police about my MENTALLY ILL BROTHER-IN-LAW – when he became AGGRESSIVE towards me via e-mail —they told me that he has NO DRUNK DRIVING
convictions on his record. That came as a BIG SURPRISE to me. I asked the police officer who called me about my complaint if they regularly expunged these convictions and he responded FLATLY, “NO.” I wondered what was going on ? ! My main concern when my MENTALLY ILL SISTER & BROTHER-INLAW asked me to drive all the way from California to Michigan in the month of May, 2005—was to HELP them through their crisis. And I completed my MISSION, but didn’t expect my MENTALLY ILL BROTHER-IN-LAW to subsequently go on the attack against me. It was at this point—when he began ATTACKING me that I felt COMPELLED to first contact the police—to make sure that he had not started drinking again and/or was becoming violent towards his family—or a potential threat to me or my family here in California. (He also, allegedly, is a “deer hunter” although I have never seen any pictures of him with a deer. He may be the kind of “deer hunter” that goes “up north” for a week and drinks beer with buddies—calling it a “deer hunting trip”. I myself prefer SHOOTING LIONS IN AFRICA with MY CAMERA rather than drinking beer in West Michigan on a “deer hunting trip.” In fact when I talked to the police officer in St. Joseph, MI the officer said that ENGELBERT was on a “deer hunting” trip and so he (the officer) would not be able to talk to ENGELBERT until the next week (after which he called me back and said that ENGELBERT
was apologetic and would not send any more aggressive profanity-laced email messages to me). At the same time I had already FILED A COMPLAINT with the MICHIGAN ATTORNEY GRIEVANCE COMMISSION in Detroit, MI –and this was being processed. It was the final response from the ATTORNEY GRIEVANCE COMMISSION that ALERTED me to the fact that my mentally ill brother-in-law had already UNDERCUT me several years prior WHEN I was in contact with a few people in TRAVERSE CITY, MI concerning a matter . I could HARDLY BELIEVE IT. My MENTALLY ILL BROTHER-IN-LAW had requested me to come to HELP him and then after ALL I DID FOR HIM turned around and STABBED ME IN THE BACK ! It was OUTRAGEOUS. I began to wonder WHY DID I HELP HIM and sister SISSY at all ?! There was ONE PRIMARY REASON more than helping ENGELBERT & SISSY that I went to Michigan in May of 2005. I was FILMING “PSALMS ACROSS AMERICA” and welcome the opportunity or excuse to get out of CALIFORNIA and keep finding new locations to film myself reading a PSALM. This was an ongoing project. 150 PSALMS read in 150 different, unique locations took some time to complete.
And so I traveled with LOLA my GOLDEN RETRIEVER across the country in May of 2005 FILMING several new segments of “PSALMS ACROSS AMERICA” including several Psalms on th shores of LAKE MICHIGAN in St. Joseph. That alone makes me FEEL BETTER—because it GLORIFIED GOD. Saving ENGELBERT was actually secondary; and the more I think about it—the more I wonder if letting him SIT for thirty days may have been the BEST THING for him. I recently realized that my mentally ill brotherin-law, Engelbert, is basing all of his JUSTIFICATION for life on believing he is “PERFECT” and trying to convince others likewise—as if he’s never made a mistake. This means, OBVIOUSLY, that he needs to COVER UP his mistakes. That’s a PROBLEM as you can imagine. I remember sitting around their dining room table in May of 2005 , with their two daughters, Maver & Sparkin, and Engelbert the father saying that he didn’t want people to know about his DUI because there were some in “his profession” that would USE IT AGAINST HIM. His ‘profession”, ironically, is “practicing law.” And of course the practice of law by some is the most PERVERSE and corrupt practice of all. It’s probably why I LEFT LAW SCHOOL behind back in November of 1990—after a few months at Wayne State Law School in Detroit, MI.
Of course I wasn’t planning on going around telling the world about ENGELBERT’s problem, but that doesn’t mean I was going to cover it up either, if asked. Alcoholism is an illness For a discussion of whether alcoholism is “mental illness” or a “disease” read the following excerpt :
“Alcoholis There has been a great deal of discussion of whether alcoholism should count as a disease, by physicians, philosophers, legal theorists and policy makers. Many factors enter into the discussion, but one way of understanding the literature is that it centers on the issue of whether alcoholics are responsible for their continued drinking. It is plausible that alcoholism is a disease if and only if alcoholics are in some significant way (in need of clarification) not responsible for their drinking. What is less clear is which is logically prior, the disease status of alcoholism or the responsibility of alcoholics for their drinking. Often one finds claims in popular discourse to the effect that alcoholics are not responsible for their drinking because the drinking is a symptom of a disease, or because it is the disease that causes them to drink. If this is the case, there must be independent evidence that alcoholism is a disease: various sorts of evidence have been suggested, including the withdrawal symptoms that alcoholics experience when they abstain from drinking, physical changes that occur in the brain as a result of excessive long-term drinking, and epidemiological studies that show that there is a genetic component to alcoholism. It takes little thought to see, however, that these sorts of evidence can't by themselves prove that alcoholism is a disease. How one proves that a condition is a disease depends partly on what criteria of disease we can agree upon, but even without giving a definition of disease, one can see that the claim that the empirical evidence entails that alcoholism is a disease is highly contestable. The existence of withdrawal symptoms does show that it is difficult to stop drinking,
but there is a great logical distance between having a habit that is hard to give up and having a disease. The fact that brain abnormalities occur in excessive drinkers is suggestive of a physical disorder, but abnormalities in themselves do not constitute diseases or disorders. The fact that heavy drinking causes changes in people's brains is not in itself surprising. Further evidence about what the effect of the brain abnormality has on the person would be needed, and its correlation with heavy drinking is not enough. Finally, the fact that a habit such as heavy drinking has a genetic component again does not prove that it is a disease. Laziness and cowardice could also turn out to have genetic components, but that would not make them diseases. The problem for the disease status of alcoholism is that a habitual drinker can be described with such strongly evaluative terms as weak, self-deceiving, selfish, self-destructive, shortsighted, uncaring about other people, and even pathetic. Some would claim that such psychological characteristics provide the best explanation of an alcoholic's problem drinking, and if this is right, then the alcoholismas-disease explanation is at best secondary, and at worst, utterly wrong-headed. While it is hard to find a description of self-destructive heavy drinking that makes it simply a matter of personal decision, an expression of one's values, or a rational choice, it does seems that problem drinking can often be a self-perpetuating way of life. It is difficult or impossible to locate a specific single cause of the drinking, and it also seems that the drinker has a role in perpetuating her problem. It is not simply something that happens to her. Nevertheless, the testimonials and behavior of alcoholics also provide grounds for thinking that they have extreme difficulty in giving up drink, and often no simple exertion of willpower or resolution to give up will solve the problem. Often heavy drinkers try to stop or cut back but fail to do so, even when they know full well that terrible consequences will result from their continuing to drink, and when drinking does not provide pleasure or lasting benefit. This sort of argument suggests that it is in fact the issue of personal responsibility that is logically prior, and the question of whether alcoholism is a disease depends on it. Thus, the argument would go,
alcoholism is a disease because alcoholics cannot control their drinking. Now, it is very plausible that self-control is a matter of degree; people have more or less control over their behavior. Some people are better at resisting temptation than others. It is rare for a person to have complete control over her actions, and it is almost unimaginable for a person to have no control whatsoever over her actions. It would seem to follow that there must be some degree to which alcoholism is a disease, or to put it another way, the disease status of alcoholism is not all-or-nothing. However, at least for the purposes of public policy in present circumstances, there is no room for a concept of a condition that is a part or semi-disease. It tends to be that policy must come down on one side or the other on the question whether alcoholism is a disease, but that given the nature of alcoholism, the issue is not simply settled by the scientific and psychological facts. It follows that other considerations can come into play, such as considerations about the social and economic effects of labeling alcoholism a disease. These considerations may tip the scales one way or the other. This may provide a justification of current practice where alcoholism counts as a disease for some purposes but not others. For example, under US law, alcoholism is not a disability covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, and so is not a condition employers must make allowances for. But treatment of alcoholism by federal health care organizations (such as the Veterans Administration) is mandated by law. Philosophers have started to discuss the irrationality of alcoholics, how to explain their symptomatic behavior, and to what extent they are responsible for their behavior. Notable examples are Gary Watson (1999), Alfred Mele (1996), and Jon Elster (1999a). There is an astonishing amount of empirical research and psychological models aiming to explain alcoholism, and philosophers will probably find, as they have found with much work on emotion and social psychology, that the literature contains questionable assumptions about fundamental psychological concepts. Central to the philosophical discussion is the examination of the possibility of irresistible desires and the way that cravings can reduce an addict's self-control. Indeed,
addiction can provide an important test case for any theory of the nature of action, since it is a prime example of irrationality, and it is important that theories about the nature of practical reasoning be able to give an adequate account of the nature of irrationality. There is some overlap between this topic and that of the responsibility of weak willed agents, although so far there has been little systematic discussion by philosophers of the relation between addiction and weak willed action. Bibliography
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Yet my mentally ill brother-in-law MUST CONTINUE to justify himself as being “perfect” and has probably self-deceived himself into thinking that it was just a “bad break” that he got arrested for drunk driving. And after completing the requirements (30 day driver’s license suspension plus ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS & 12-STEP meetings as well as periodic blood and/or urine tests for compliance) went back to SITUATION NORMAL for the Slanderson family. And I was simply USED AS A PAWN in the larger scheme of SISSY & ENGELBERT SLANDERSON. They not only have NOT A SINGLE OUNCE of care or concern for me, but, in fact, like a DYSFUNCTIONAL family have clearly engaged in GOSSIP and SELFSERVING, SELF-GLORIFYING PILLOWTALK
about me, and maybe with the entire family (maybe minus the youngest one, Sparkin, who was a joy to be around when I was there in May of 2005). You see, NOW Engelbert is ON THE ATTACK against me by INNUENDO and “anonymous mail” (as well as his letters to the Attorney Grievance Commission and also a few people in Traverse City, MI) apparently wanting raise doubts about my manliness; or my manhood. You have to also remember that ENGELBERT is at least five years older than me. He is older than my mentally ill sister, SISSY, who is four years older than me, BY HOW MUCH I am not exactly sure. But that age difference alone means we were born & raised in a slightly different social environment, not to mention the difference in schooling alone ( I went to mostly Christian schools whereas Engelbert went to public schools, including some time spent in Fremont, MI). My mentally ill brother-in-law, the alcoholic Engelbert, was raised in a time when it was more of a kool thing to be “LIKE THE MARLBORO MAN’, including the actual use of cigarettes. And I do recall both he and sister SISSY smoking and also selling cigarettes at their convenience store in Warren, MI. This put our family TO SHAME—especially selling cigarettes, but smoking them regularly was bad enough. And they lived a“slumming” life selling beer, wine, &
cigarettes along with the other normal things people buy at convenience stores (although maybe they didn’t sell pornography—maybe, then again, maybe they did —I don’t recall for sure). Engelbert was more of a REDNECK than the rest of our family, and SISSY became LIKE HIM over time. And so we LOST a sister but in addition over time I believe we LOST A SOUL ! I believe ENGELBERT “converted” SISSY to secularism. And as I continue receiving “anonymous” mail from Engelbert I am further convinced that ENGELBERT is a very sleazy, deceitful, deranged person. And so MY FRIENDS I ask for YOUR PRAYERS as this situation is not simply going away. Engelbert continues to send anonymous mail to me (to my old address ) and may have even left an “anonymous” voice mail message for me. It’s a matter of CONCERN for the BODY OF CHRIST ! I LAY MY BURDENS upon you.
Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ
I would describe my relationship with the MENTALLY ILL SLANDERSON FAMILY as a matter of SPIRITUAL WARFARE—THEM AGAINST ME— which has been going on for QUITE SOME TIME NOW—even before SISSY MET ENGELBERT. Before SISSY met ENGELBERT I remember her even at our childhood home on Griswold street in Grand Rapids, MI bringing a ouji board home on one occasion and trying to recruit her brothers and neighbors to sit around the board and see if something might happen (the ouji board is considered by some to be spiritually dangerous:
Critics warn that "evil demons" pretend to be cooperative ghosts in order to trick players into becoming spiritually possessed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ouija I remember my dad being concerned about this and banning the ouji board from our home. I remember anger of my sister SISSY towards my dad about this as well as anger at other times, including a time when she posted fifty or more profanity words on her bedroom door for all to see. And even amongst her family members sister SISSY often tried to FLAUNT her body in a sexual manner, like a “tease” –yet not what you would expect by family members.
And in May of 2005 I was DISTURBED when my mentally ill brother-in-law DESCRIBED his feelings about meeting SISSY –he said, among other things, that he thought she was “HOT” obviously referring to her anatomy, as one might crudely refer to a “chick” seen on TV or in a magazine or whatever. You see, DESPITE some of my misgivings about SISSY’s childhood behavior there is ALWAYS CARE & CONCERN about her as a family member. And of course we all PARTICIPATED at the WEDDING OF ENGELBERT & SISSY at the HOPE COLLEGE CHAPEL in Holland, MI .We WANTED THE BEST for them. But as time went by it also BECAME CLEAR that there was MORE THAN MET THE EYE about ENGELBERT (let alone SISSY). We knew VERY LITTLE about him when they married. I do recall SISSY telling me that he had lived with a woman OUT OF WEDLOCK for a while. I recall some mention of him living in the state of Wyoming, maybe Oregon too —but when I looked for former addresses under his name on PEOPLE SEARCH I found no listings. I remember them telling me about an ALLEGED TIME when he was trying to get accepted into WESTPOINT MILITARY ACADEMY that ENGELBERT became so upset about something that he STRUCK one of the recruiters or interviewers and was “FOREVER
BANNED” from being accepted to WEST POINT. It sounded FISHY, very strange. And I wondered if this was FICTITIOUS. I remember ENGELBERT telling me that he GETS A DEER “every year” but I saw NO PICTURES of him with any deer around the house in ST. JOSEPH, MI. Was this FICTION, TOO ? Then there was SISSY’s strange comment while I was there in May of 2005 helping the MENTALLY ILL SLANDERSON family through a crisis while also filming PSALMS ACROSS AMERICA . Sissy said to me that there had been a MEMO circulated around “her school” (where she teaches special education) about a “man in a black overcoat with a video camera.” It sounded OUTLANDISH and very FICTITIOUS. She didn’t show me any alleged memo, and obviously she was referring to somebody LIKE ME ! I had my black overcoat with me in May of 2005 and my video camera, and explored NILES, MI for the purpose of my video Psalms Across America, as well as another one I made based on that trip, entitled “LIFE AT THE SLANDERSONS” . Yet SISSY apparently wanted my presence in NILES MI to seem alarming. It was very disturbing to me. So disturbing that I subsequently WROTE to the principal of the school where she teaches and explained to him who I am and what I do and represent. And I’ve sent
him some of my videos as well as a copy of my transcript from FULLER SEMINARY. That’s EVIL at work—when they try to defame me. Slander & gossip is OF THE DEVIL. In fact the word ‘DIABLO” comes from the GREEK “dia ballo” – meaning to “THROW ACROSS” and is often used BIBLICALLY to refer to spreading rumors and lies about people. And if you ever meet my mentally ill brother-in-law, ENGELBERT, he will try to convince you that I am not manly. He will raise his eyebrows and use innuendo or suggestion to make you dubious about my character. BUT DON’T LISTEN—it’s OF THE DEVIL. And I have to RESPOND to it, accordingly, with strength and conviction; because I AM IN CHRIST ! If I ever encounter ENGELBERT AGAIN he will try to BROWBEAT ME as he is also doing in his not-soanonymous letters. He and SISSY will attack my manhood and try to make me feel bad about myself; but I know that I am GOOD, because I was made in GOD’s image. And let me tell you my friends that I have also been dealing with PHYSICAL PAIN, and have been seeing various doctors & specialists for pain in my back, arm, & leg, left over from an incident in February of 2000 in Pasadena, CA.
I also have seen a few UROLOGISTS in the past year, and one of them told me I should “masturbate” but I communicated to her that I REFUSED TO DO SO because of my FAITH ! and I STAND BY THAT CONVICTION. I am convinced that any “sexual release” should come via sexual intercourse between myself and a committed woman. I will WAIT for such a person to join me as a faithful companion. This will be the ULTIMATE ACT of HOLY COMMUNION— sexual intercourse with a committed female partner IN CHRIST ! But yet my mentally ill brother-in-law and sister SISSY might want you to think otherwise. They may try to sell you a STORY that there is something “wrong” with me or others who RELY UPON THE HOLY SPIRIT for guidance. I TELL YOU , my friends, DON’T LISTEN TO THEM. They will sell you a piece of land that doesn’t exist. And so, FRIENDS IN CHRIST, I will leave it at that for now. Pray for me, but also pray for the SLANDERSONS that they may COME AROUND to truly knowing the LORD, and get beyond the selfdeceipt and scheming that they have relied upon all their lives and continue to do so at the EXPENSE of others. HEAR MY PRAYER.