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Messages - Johnny G

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The Seed Discussion Forum / Conversion: the "Three Day Miracle"
« on: December 30, 2005, 04:41:00 PM »
I think I lived at cranbrook sometime in the 78-83 range (I think that is where we had been using a bar as a book shelf - rolled it down the steps when we were moving out) - I think Dave B and Jeff N lived there as well.  

I think the 78-83 (my years there) era had less physical violence and more mental violence - it was obvious that everyone else had it going on and for you to question it showed how fucked up you were, and everyone ws there to support that.  

The raps about the best staying, it was a priveledge, it was harder, etc. reinforced the notion that leaving was "bad" and because we love you we will show you the error of your ways.  

The fact that many of us did not have cars was a limiting factor as well.

I remember when Wayne A got a car, I thought he was going to get started over.

I think the fact that no one ever came around and told anyone they were going and where and why made it seem all the worse - they just becaame an unperson.  

A few people seemed to come and go but I always felt that suggesting that I wanted to do something else would result in my stuff on the curb and loss of residence.

In retrospect it was really pretty easy to hang around - once I got assigned house duty during the aforementioned football games (I got my alone time at Arts house - no guilt involved).  Cliff picked out what was for dinner, I played chess with Seth many nights, I could play games (interact with the oppossite sex) at work (no other seed kids in my building).  

I got to where I lived in fear of being started over  -  I would lose my job and would be under surveillience again.

I will quit rambling now


The Seed Discussion Forum / Teenage Wasteland
« on: December 22, 2005, 11:25:00 PM »
I saw a thing about getting to heaven the other night.  They interviewed various scholars and religous leaders about heaven and how to get there.

I was struck by the fact that the evangelical and the suicide bomber were the only ones who thought they had the "only way" and that everyone else was going to hell.

Just an observation.

The Seed Discussion Forum / how do we make it betterfor our kids
« on: December 22, 2005, 11:14:00 PM »
the more I am reminded of myself before the Seed the more I want to do better for my kids, (7 and 9).  I wasn't thrilled with myself so I was pretty open to anything that would give me a second chance.  

I want the young'uns to do it right on the first chance.  

I would like to avoid the detour to some seed spin-off for my kids.

We homeschool the kids so they can learn the important book stuff without the "socialization" that we all loved so much.  

At 15 I said I would let my kids do everything I was doing, now, like any parent - I am sure my daughter can start dating anytime after she turns 30.  

SHe's 9 now and I can see the teen stuff coming and I don't want to ignore her killing herself but I also don't want to freak out over nothing, or let her and her brother go thru the same shit I did.

My wife managed to avoid it all, so there is hope - just want input from those who have been there, what were the mistakes and what should have been done?

The record of the earlier days just reared up and made me ineligible to adopt a baby from China so we need to do it right with the two we already have - no second chance.

Happy birthday to me!
JOhnny G

The Seed Discussion Forum / Group Think
« on: December 22, 2005, 10:50:00 PM »
I made conscious choices to be the way I was, but then got caught up in it, and felt pretty trapped.  

I had the raging monster thing going on, and Crazy Johnny was a bit too close to home for me.  THe Seed was a "time out" and a "do over" for some stuff, so as I said before, I came out better than I went in.  I was forced to confront a few demons and work those things out.  

I don't believe Art and Co started with the intent to form a cult, but I think it took on those aspects due to the lack of an alternative view.  It does't make it any less real, but for some of us that aspect is more significant than for others.  I went thru this a lot in my own mind in the days after I left, from anger to confusion, to self doubt and back again.  I have come to accept my own feelings and my experience as a given, some positive and some negative - I survived and I'm normal now (I think).

We all measure our own experience on the same yardstick - positive vs negative.  I myself was terrified of fucking up and being started over right up until the day I left.  

After I wrecked my car I was right back to feeling pretty much trapped there (what happened to Barry B (right next to the impact I think), and the brothers from Newbern?).  In theory I could leave at any time.

Happy holidays Merry Christmas and such

Johnny G

The Seed Discussion Forum / Group Think
« on: December 21, 2005, 04:34:00 PM »
I always thought the only people having fun were on Arts team, the rest of us were just there to get beat.

Tried playing hard once or twice and found out that the loser team was just supposed to go thru the motions.  Then I got banished to the house to work on something, or just watch TV, hang out, whatever - it was alone time, somewhat free to at least think my own thoughts and relax.  I am also athletically challenged especially when it involves round or spheroid objects that you should throw, hit or catch.  WHat exposure I had to the games there definitely sucked, so it WAS a privledge to have something else to do.

The Seed Discussion Forum / Group Think
« on: December 21, 2005, 01:50:00 PM »
THere was a period where the Seed was trying to retain people, as the newcomer rate was pretty slow - and everyone was from some distance away.

In my case the only people I knew outside the program didn't have a lot to offer (I was working at JT Reese, stay cool roofing, construction).  So the easiest thing to do was to stick around - also the rhetoric encouraged that.  I think if I had stayed in Cleveland I would have gone home after I graduated.  My mother came to hate Art Barker about a weekafter I moved to Ft. Lauderdale so I think I would have pretty much disappeared.

I think the Seed gave me the opportunity to get out of the mess I had gotten myself in - one can second guess the prison dead or crazy bit but I gotta say I came out better than I went in.  

As far as being around as long as I was, as mentioned above, the program encouraged that.  I also had set a goal of not fucking up for 5 years and leaving under my own power(5 years seemed to be a milestone - and the folks I initally viewed as more together had been around that long).
I accomplished that and left very shortly thereafter - I did feel like I left in the nick of time; A Staff member had mentioned spending more time in the group after a conversation I had with a female seed kid got reported up the ladder.

I was fortunate to be around for the period after the open meetings and before the football games at the beach.  That was a good (but short lived) time when there was a definite break in the routine and control - went mud boggin' in Jeffs truck (cracked the windshield with my head) and got stuck up to the axles.  Twisted a few wrenches, did some fishing, had fun.

I also think it eased the transition quite a bit that I worked away from other seedlings, so I could be myself at work (someone noticed that I was happiest on Monday morning and almost bummed out on Friday afternoon)

Once the football games started I was lucky to be able to "watch the house" most of the time.

I worked my leaving in with a visit home so I could work things out in a more timely manner, came back a week early, got my stuff one afternoon and moved to Coconut Grove.  I wasn't really interested in what the Seed thought of my decision.

It took me a couple years to get adjusted to the freedom and the social aspect of life, I felt like Rip van Winkle.

The Seed Discussion Forum / Group Think
« on: December 20, 2005, 04:50:00 PM »
I think we all saw people with "balls" and how that worked out (didn't they have their hands up too?)

The Seed Discussion Forum / Group Think
« on: December 20, 2005, 03:06:00 PM »
These are the ingredients for the police state - lack public dissent against the "leadership" everyone (except a few "true believers) has doubts or knows the prevailing view to be bullshit however...

Anyone who questions the status quo is immediately shouted down or worse. Everyone is pulled in to participate in the punishment of the unfortunate dissenter, thereby showing their loyalty.  This prevents any cohesion among the opposition and reinforces the aloneness of the dissenter, and strength of the group.  

The easy path is to not stick out, mouth the party line when spoken to, put the radio by the door so the secret police can hear you listening to the furhers speech.

As said earlier, this is what keeps the group going, the signs and steps are immaterial;  Fear and peer pressure are the main ingredients.  You are either with us or against us, seeling or a druggie...

I think what makes stepcraft survivors different is that we have participated in the Asch experiment writ large, and know what we (and others)are capable of in that situation.  

After a while on the program, the ideals of loyalty, honesty, integrity, and character start to seem pretty hollow as you realize what you are and are not capable of while sitting in the group watching someone you thought was your friend get humiliated in front of the world - and you look like you want join in (you have your hand up, don't you?)  

The sad thing is how many of us felt the same, but were afraid to express it.

We are conditioned thru a year of pre school, a year of kindergarden, 12 years of school, the church (most any church wil do) to listen to the authority (the teacher, staff member, boss) to do as we are told, the authority has the answer - not you.  this creates good little citezens and workers.  

And you thought school was here to teach you to read.

It sounds so simple but how many are really willing to exercise free will when it might hurt?

The Seed Discussion Forum / Aging Seedlings on drug policy
« on: December 17, 2005, 07:07:00 PM »
I think it is a question of who has to pick up the pieces, if the father- or mother- land has to fix it, then there is a justification for regulation.  Unfortunately, we pullout all of the stops to keep you alive in spite of your poor chioces, because we are a "compassionate" society.  

I have no problem with freedom to engage in unhealthy or unwise activities so long as responsability accompanies that freedom.  

Unfortunately we are a society which like have a bogeyman and we have been shown that the "drug problem" looks like some black junkie in a ghetto, who is also the guy who will kill you for a quarter.  So when the politician says "tough on crime" we think of Willie Horton on meth.  The real message is we are going to keep "them" away from good folks like you.  Anyone foolish enough to advocate a rollback of the "war on (insert bogeyman here)" must not be concerned with the public good.  

When the electorate only gets the sound bites and network shoutfests are considered a discussion of the issues this is what we get.

The Seed Discussion Forum / Physical Contact
« on: December 17, 2005, 01:38:00 AM »
I recall all of the taboos, then the talent show!!  As mentioned in another thread,  "Holy Shit now what do I think?"  

Although I must have been sufficiently out of the gutter to be allowed to be able to be around the girls apartments while working on their cars, unsupervised.  Which was a mixed blessing, back to the gutter!

The whole "condom in the back of Arts car" event just seemed to twist the knife.  

The football games were disturbing to me on several levels - that could probably be a thread to itself, but I managed to draw the "watch the house" duty in my later days, which probably was best for all concerned.

I spent some time talking to a seed girl at work and that got back to me via the staff in a not pleasant way, reinforcing the taboo.  I left before the repercussions of that could fully manifest;

On the outside, I was pretty clueless how to deal with the whole dating thing, sex etc.  made a few bad choices, I wasn't in high school any more. I got involved with a rape survivor, who had a lot of fear and other issues - underneath it all a sweetheart, which gave me another set of issues to deal with  (guilt for being male).

Then I made the whole thing worse by running off to college at 25.  I got over the gutter/guilt connection pretty soon therafter - I also worked with a rape survivor group at college.

I met my wife at a beer and sandwich place in school

When I was invited to a reunion/dinner/talent show/open meeting event years later (I forget the whole title of the thing) it seemed that half the group was married - (I had my soon to be wife with me - an outsider, I still don't know how that happened).  That was pretty surreal!

I left before the rash of marriages, I guess one had happend before that, but it seemed a lone data point.

it seems I am rambling so I will quit and post this.


The Seed Discussion Forum / Maggies Friend thread
« on: December 14, 2005, 12:20:00 AM »
I was just trying to figure out a few things about my past and decided to google "the Seed" and found this forum, now I'm hooked!  This sure brings back some memories/emotions from a confusing time.  I hope this is OK for this thread, I think I made some good friends there but, due to the nature of my departure, I never felt I could get in contact with anyone (I'll save that for another thread).

I was in from '78 to '83; I started about the Same time Walter did, at the Cleveland Seed, closed that and moved to Ft. Lauderdale - I alos remember Bob of the Plantation Gardens Apartment.  I also wonder about Ken, Cliff, the Cleveland guys we left behind, and the ones who came down.

After reading several posts it is apparent that the things we thought made us different are actually what make us the same.

It is great to see you are around Wally Gator!

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