As Requested - The Previously unposted except of "For Fear of Little Men" - Why I Kept The Goldeneagle All These Years - An Inside Look at Life Behind the Padlocked Doors of The Atwater Family Compound and the Story of How The Infamous Saco Ward of Maine got it's Start and Created a Religious Monster
The following in part of my book For Fear of Little Men, (if you want to read all of it, a free copy of this 640+ page book can be obtained from here: http://www.lulu.com/product/download/for-fear-of-little-men/10271774 )
Q: So, this incident was what caused every thing else that followed afterwards, is that correct?
EelKat: Yes. That one little tiny five minute segment of one day, in one summer of my life when I was 4 years old, is what snowballed to cause everything else. I mean, I was barely more than a baby, but they base everything on that one event. I’ve got 2 uncles who, if I try to talk, they put their hand up and say “Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Oh no! No! Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. No! You’re crazy, I don’t want to hear it. I remember the White Monkey. No. No. No. No. No. You’re the crazy girl that ran from the temple. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Your evil spirit will get me. I‘m not going to listen to you. Lalalalalalalalalalalalala….see I can‘t hear you. I‘m not listening. Lalalalalalalalalalalalala…. This is me. Lalalalalalalalalalalalala…. Not listening. See? Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.” I look at him standing there with his fingers in his ears and think: “And he’s calling ME crazy? I mean - I’m a kid, he’s 60. What, you‘re telling THAT‘S normal? If he‘s normal I want no part of normal!” But it was like that my whole childhood. And my teen years. And my young adult years. And now in my middle age years. As a result, you well very rarely if ever, hear me saying the word “No” vocally. I have a deep dislike of the word, after hearing it repeated 3 dozen times every single time I open my mouth.
But it was every body. My mom, my uncles, my cousins, they all treated me like that. My dad and my 2 grandmothers and my Aunt B. were the only ones who didn’t treat my like I belonged in a straight jacket. They were constantly telling me I needed to be in a straight jacket, ever since I was 4, ever since “The White Monkey”. My mom wouldn’t let me talk to anyone after the whole “White Monkey” thing. She had this invisible 2 foot barrier around her and I had to stay in it or else. If I stepped just 2 feet 1 inch away from her, she flew down on me shrieking at the top of her lungs “You little bitch! Trying to run away are you?” than she’d slap me across the face and I’d fall down on my bum. By the time I was 6 years old, I didn’t dare get more than 4 inches off her heels, I knew she’d whollop me if I did.
I wasn’t allowed to talk to anyone either. If I tried to speak, my mom would grab my arm, shove me behind her, and than explain “She’s crazy, don’t listen to her, we don’t. She has an evil spirit you know. Remember the White Monkey?” It didn’t matter what it was I was going to say or who it was I was going to say it too, it was always “Don’t talk to her. She’s crazy. Remember the White Monkey.” The adults in my life made sure that I would never ever forget the White Monkey, they brought it up every day in every conversation. Normally, I probably would have forgotten the whole thing with in a week. I mean, I was four years old for crying out loud! I don’t remember hardly anything that happened to me when I was four. I remember the White Monkey and I remember the temple trip. Why? Because every day I was shushed up, told not to speak, and whomever I was trying to speak to was told “She’s crazy. Don’t talk to her. Remember the White Monkey.” or “That’s the girl that ran away from the temple. Stay away from her. She’s nuts!” Both incidents happened when I was 4 years old, and they are the only two things I can remember from that year, because no one ever allowed me to forget them.
I got used to the name calling early. My high priest/Sunday school teacher used to think it was weird that when he’d call my name in class, I acted like I was deaf and not respond at all. One day he asked me about it. I was 12, I could not understand why he’d be using my name at all. He tried to explain that that was what people did, but I did not understand him, because no one had ever used my name before. After he met my mom, and her the way she talked about me (she never talked to me, always about me), he realized why I had been so confused by his using my name. After that he made sure to use my name every day. He come over to the house to talk to me and said my name several times. I guess he realized that, I didn’t really even know what my name was, because it was not a word I’d ever heard before.
One day a man at church gave her hell because of it. She was sitting in the chair at a church meeting crying her eyes out. (She always sits in church or court or doctor’s office’s crying her eyes out - it’s called “Crocodile’s Tears” or “crying for sympathy - she’s good at it too - had years of practice, most people fall for it.) And this guy came over and asked her what was wrong, and she said:
“I can’t have any children, the doctors don’t know what’s wrong. All my life I wanted a baby.”
He looked at her funny and said:
“But I thought that was your daughter” pointing to me. I was about 12 years old at the time, and was sitting with less than 4 inches between myself and my mother..
Suddenly she stopped crying, She went into a rage and started growling with disgust.
“Her? She’s a bitch. That’s the child of Satan. That filthy evil low life bitch. She’s a female. She’s competition. I don’t want no competition. Little bitch from hell. I wanted a boy, not some damn female.”
The man flew into a rage, you could hear him screaming all through the church. Every one stopped and stared:
“How dare you say things like that about her. And right in front of her too! You should be grateful God blessed you with that beautiful little girl. What kind of a mother are you? No wonder God won’t give you a son. If I was Him, I wouldn’t give you one either. You don’t even deserve the child you do have, why should he give you more?”
On another occasion when I was 21 years old, she dragged me out of services and made me sit in the mother’s lounge by myself. She was screaming all the way down the hall as she dragged me saying: “You bitch! You filthy dirty bitch! You son of a whore bitch you! I don’t need your competition! You damn competitive filthy bitch! Why don’t you die and go back to Hell were you belong. Filthy bitch. Competition bitch!”
Later a woman asked my mom what was going on. She told her: “I was talking to Mike, but he was lusting after that bitch the whole time instead of listening to me. I don’t need her competition.”
“But aren’t you married?” the woman asked.
“That bastard! I can’t wait to get rid of him. He lusts after that filthy bitch all the time too. He lusts after every bitch. He lusts after you, and you encourage it. I’ve seen the way you parade around in front him. Satan’s the father of both of them. That filthy bitch son of a bastard whore, she’s nothing but competition. All my men are always lusting after her.”
“But doesn’t she have that **** guy?”
“Yeah. He was supposed to be mine too. Damn bastard, went lusting after her. He was supposed to marry me, not her. He ought to be excommunicated. Damn bitch, he’s 30 years older than her. Filthy competition bitch. Why don’t she just die. Bitch.”
Some one once whispered to me from the pew behind us: “I’m so sorry for you, you’re mom is like the Evil Queen and treats you like Snow White.” I never thought of it that way before, but I guess she did have a point there.
One of our neighbors, nicknamed my mom “The Jealousy Bitch”, than my mom started calling her “The Hysterectomy Bitch”, they used to go out in the driveway and scream those names out at each other back and forth. An all out feud broke out between them, and the police had to come in a separate them. The court ordered a restraining order for each of them on the other, and after that they took too opening the window to yell at each other from the windows without going near each other. A few weeks later their house burnt to the ground. They blamed my mom, but never had any proof. Their daughter was the girl who saw the uhm “UFO thingy” with me. They moved when I was 9, and I was pulled out of school when I was 8, and things got really freaky after that.
The Goldeneagle, my 1964 Dodge, stopped running when I was 9, but before that, when I was 9 and younger, she used to make me sit in the car. Someone would try talking to me, usually a Sunday School teacher, and she’d freak out if I dared look up at them. I was always supposed to look at my feet, and she yelled and threatened me, if I looked up. I guess that’s why I don’t look at people when I talk now. I know that seems to upset people, and I try to look at them when I talk, but it’s like I’m “gun shy” over it, because for years I was punished for looking at people while talking. I guess in the back of my mind, it’s like, I keep hearing her telling me it’s sinful and I get all jumpy and nervous about it and stare down at my feet or my hands instead of looking at you when I talk. But than, she’d drag me out of the church and make me sit out in the car. She’d give me “the silent treatment” which I sort of liked in a way, because it was really the only time she ever shut up. I mean, her mouth was always going steady. If she was awake her mouth was flapping, and it was always bitter and filled with anger and hate. I can’t remember her ever saying a kind or loving thought about any one. She’s just so full of hate. Every other word out of her mouth was bitch, slut, whore, whoremonger, bastard whoremonger, filth bitch, lust, or some other variation of all of the above. I don’t remember her ever addressing me by my name. I was always “the filthy bitch”, “that child of Satan”, “that evil demon possessed witch”, “little piece of trash”, “the competition bitch”, or “that slut assed whore”. So, locking me in the car and than sitting there glaring in at me, not saying a word, was sort of relief for me, because I could finally get some piece and quiet for a few minutes. I mean, just for a few minutes to pass without having to hear the word “bitch” twenty times was a blessing!
I spent probably 70% of my childhood sitting in that car. The only times I got let out of my room, was to get in the car and drive to church, get in the car and drive to her hundreds of doctor appointments, or “get in the car you bitch and think about what you did”. I did a lot of getting in the car and thinking. And talking. To the car. There wasn’t any one else to talk to. After she’d lock me in the car (which was pointless, cause I could unlock it from the inside), she’d turn around and start yelling at my dad. Sometimes I wonder if she didn’t put me in the car, just so that she COULD yell at him, without having to keep an eye on me. I liked being in the car when she started yelling at him, because it was safe in there. Safe from the bricks, which she always seemed to have. I never realized it than, but thinking back now, I wonder, why we always had bricks in the house? They were just laying around on the floor and on the table, and when she got mad she’d grab them and start throwing them. I never thought it strange as a kid, because they was just always there, but looking back now, I don’t it’s normal to have bricks laying around the house like that is it? I mean, I’ve never heard of any one else doing that? I have no idea why the bricks were there.
Sometimes, when the fighting got really bad, I’d go hide in the car. When the fighting started outside, she’d grab an axe off the woodpile and chase my dad with it. I’d run for the car, take the keys with me, and lock myself inside. I always had the keys to that car. My dad gave them to me when I was like 5 or 6 years old. That’s how it became my car in the first place. If any one wanted to drive that car, they had to get the keys from me. I was about 8, when my mom started calling the car “demon possessed” and tried to sell it. My dad put a stop to it saying “That’s her car, you can’t sell it unless she says you can.” After that my dad made it very clear to every one, that the Dodge was mine, and no one was to touch it. I didn’t own much, and birthdays and Christmas were not a big deal because I was a female and thus did not deserve parties and presents and stuff. I had one sort of a party when I was 6 and another when I was 8, both involved 3 cousins coming over to help me blow up balloons, than eat cake, than leave. But the rest of my years it was “that bitch don’t deserve a birthday.” So, the car, was pretty much the only thing I was ever allowed to own.
Over the years it became my safe haven, my only means of escape from the mad house I lived in. It’s the only place I’ve ever felt safe. Ever. Even still today 40 years later - inside that car, is the ONLY place, I feel safe. I got really bad off, as a teenager. I became very suicidal, well, I still am actually, just not quite as bad as I was back than. Tajid’s murder, really, pushed me to my limits, I mean, it’s not every day you walk into your garden and find your best friend laying there chopped up. You know. I did not deal with it well. And the court trail, just week after week and month after month and for what? My best friend was still dead, and than Lisa B. was dead too. I remember, she was standing over him and I came around the corner, and she was right there, just two inches from my face, we were eye to eye, I looked at her, and than I saw Tajid on the ground, and I knew what happened, and she knew, I knew what happened. I turned and ran like hell, screaming all the way back to the house, and she ran right after me, right on my heels the whole way. My dad heard me screaming and came out of the house, just as I ran running in past him, and he grabbed Lisa, and I don’t know how the police got there but next thing I knew there were police all over the whole yard, and Lisa B. was dragged away and I had all these people all around me asking every question under the sun, and than some one handed me a paper and said they’d let me know when the court date was. And Tajid was just laying there. He was still alive and he was just laying there, and Anistatia was still alive too, but her legs were both cut off and her intestines were pull out and her breakfast was falling out of her stomach and the others were dead, John had been drowned in the brook, his neck was broken, by the end of the day Tajid and Ann were dead, I was the only one left alive. I was just so, sick…I couldn’t get them out of my head. I couldn’t eat for the longest while, not after what happen to Ann, seeing her food just pouring out of her stomach like that. I just. I went numb. That’s when I stopped talking. I just shut down. I couldn’t deal with it. After the court stuff was over, I retreated to the car, to my Dodge, my Goldeneagle. I stayed there, in the car, for days, and days, and days. I didn’t move. I couldn’t. There have been so many time, that if I had not had that Dodge, I really don’t think I’d be alive now. Just having that car, having a place that I felt safe and protected in, made me feel, comforted and less like wanting to kill myself. I wouldn’t be alive today, if I had not had that car to turn to, because I didn’t have any one or anything else to turn to. It’s the only place, I’ve ever felt safe.
In 2003, when I was 28, when I lost my high priest, I took Buddy, my dog, and we walked for miles. We walked to the beach. Than walked the length of the beach. We turned around, and walked back the length of the beach, which is 7 miles each way We got to Pine Point, and we walked down the train tracks. Than we walked back home, and sat in the Dodge for days. And than every day after that, rain, snow or shine, until Buddy, got to old last year, we walked that same roght, than came home and sat in the Dodge. I didn’t know what else to do. I’d never been without out him before, my high priest that is. And than suddenly I was completely alone. Just me and Buddy, and my car.
Q: And this is why Etiole stays around the car, than correct?
EelKat: Yes. He lives in the swamp. He was not originally ever near the car, I don’t think. It was because I was always in the car, and than when the car stopped running we parked it just 50 feet from the swamp, so it’s like a matter of seconds to get from the car to the swamp. You can walk it in way under a minute. Over the years he’d slowly creep closer to it. I don’t know why he’s not scared of me. He’s very skittish, very nervous, scared right out of his skin half the time. Any one else gets near, he dashes off. But he started staying around me, and I was spending all of my time outside of the house, inside of the car, so he just sort of started staying in the car with me. I’d talk to the car and I’d talk to him, and he never said anything for years and years, almost like he couldn’t actually speak English, which he sort of can’t too good, it’s a bad broken English, with a thick French accent. He’s very French. There is no mistaking that he is French. And that’s one of the problems my relatives had too. I don’t know what it is, but almost every single member of the Atwater Clan, acts like French people are the evilest creatures to walk the planet. It’s bizarre and I’ve never understood it, but they, really, really, really HATE French people. If they get mad at you they’ll say: “Stop being a damn stupid ass Frenchmen.” But anyways, when I started saying Etiole was French, that really sealed their belief he was a demon, because they kind of just think any one who is French is evil to begin with, and they already thought he was evil, so him + French = super way beyond evilest of evils. At least in their minds, anyways. Someone said once that they thought Etiole was the ghost of an early French settler, seeing how this was French territory right up until the late 1800’s. He didn’t start talking though, until I was like 15 or 16 years old, it was after Tajid died. He’d just come over and sit there and stare at me, almost like he was wondering if I could see him or not, like he wasn’t sure, like he thought I could see him, but didn‘t know why I could see him, because no one else ever does, he just always had this puzzled look on his face. When I was upset and crying he’d sit right beside me and hug me. Still never said a word. He didn’t start speaking to me, until after Tajid’s death, after those days, and days, and days, of just sitting and counting the perforations in the headliner. Even when he does talk, it ain’t much and not full sentences. But yeah, I was always sitting in the car, so that’s why he’d come over and sit in the car.
Q: Now this place you grew up in, it was what exactly? A mini-cult compound of some sort, correct? It was where they kept you locked up in a small room for 27 years, because of what you had said you saw that day when you was 4 years old. What was this place like?
EelKat: The Royal Highland Atwater Family Clan Compound. I guess, it’s time for a history lesson.
An Inside Look at Life Behind the Padlocked Doors of The Atwater Family Compound
The Story of How The Infamous Saco Ward of Maine got it's Start and Created a Religious Monster
It was started by the Canadian grandson of a Scottish immigrant. David Henry Atwater, grandson of Captain John Drake Nova Scotia’s infamous one legged pirate who used wild Maine blueberries to dye the sails on his ship blue, and who was the 12th great-nephew of Admiral Sir Francis Drake the Dragon. (This is important - I’ll get to that in a minute). So, I got pirates in my family from both my mom’s side and my dad’s side (Thomas Rodgers founder of Old Orchard Beach, comes in from my dad’s side). David H. Atwater’s mom, was the daughter of Captain John Drake and she hated females with a vengeance. I guess being crazy sort of runs in Atwater side of my family (my mom’s side), because there’s a lot of it. Anyways, my great-grand mother was a loony, and she hated females, than ended up having all girls and hated all of them and treated them like they were slaves. Finally her last baby was a boy, David Henry Atwater. He was named after King David in the Bible. She told him he was a Prince. The woman was delusional, and Bible crazy, and raised a monster. She raised him to believe that all females were worthless (odd, I guess she forgot she was a female herself), he was given all sorts of things, while his sisters were left with nothing, he was praised while they were beaten, and all the while she was telling him he was a prince, and special, and a “chosen one”, and would be a great leader, and a king when he grew up.
At age 12, he got scarlet fever and went blind. He was removed from school and taught my his mother, who began telling him, his blindness was a “curse”, saying that he had sinned a great sin and must daily beg God’s forgiveness. She told him that he must find a way to speak to God Himself and beg for mercy in order to regain his eyesight. (This is important too, you’ll see in a minute).
As a teenager, he got involved with the Kennedy family, who ran a casino on The Pier here in Old Orchard Beach, during the 1920s. I don’t know what exactly it was they needed a blind boy for, he was never quite clear on that point, but in any case, he got involved with the Kennedy’s moonshine-bootlegging-rumrunner operations, and got heavily involved in the gang wars and crime lords of the area, which in Old Orchard, were nearly as bad as they were in Chicago at that same time, it’s just that Old Orchard was only a tiny town so there were not as many gangsters here as in the big cities. George Ricker (my dad’s grandfather) and E. Cummings (a black man, which made Old Orchard a highly unusual town back than) along with a few others, were the government of Old Orchard Beach, and they were constantly trying to clean the place up and get the gangs out, which eventually they did, and that’s when the big band hall where Louie Armstrong used to play got built on top of the Casino that the Kennedy family used to run. (Armstrong lived on Portland Avenue about 5 houses down from the house I grew up in - Old Orchard Beach was his part-time summer home for several years.) In any case, they finally drove the gangsters out, and that included David Henry Atwater, who from there, moved to Harmon, Maine where he bought an apple orchard - hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of acres of apples. If you go up there today - the farm is still there, all the original buildings, trees and everything. My grandfather only had the farm a very short while, less than a year I believe he said, he sold it a few weeks before harvest, because in his own words: “Satan sent a weather demon to bring hail only to my farm and no where else and he made sure to shoot a giant hail stone into the center of every single apple on every single tree” - unquote.
From there he went to Portland, where he meet my Kickapoo Indian grandmother Eva Viola Dyer. They married and he “discovered God”. According to him, an angel came to the house and told him to join the Mormon Church (a church that at that time was banned by state law, from coming into Maine). The Atwater family has had a long history with the Mormon Church (they are the same Atwaters of the Atwater and Mormon Trails who helped Brigham Young’s Mormons on their trek West in the 1800‘s), but my grandfather was the first Atwater to actually join the Church itself. Stories vary depending on who’s telling it, but as near as I can determine, my grandfather, 2 missionaries from Utah, and four others, ended up on York Hill in Saco Maine, where they unofficial founded what they called “The Saco Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints”. It was there that they poured holy blessing oil into the Saco River, to “drive out the demon and end the 300 year Saco River Curse”. It should be noted at this point the Mormon Church was still banned from entering Maine, and the Salt Lake Church itself, never actually approved nor authorized the “original” Saco Ward. And that is where the problem came in. Because the Salt Lake Church refused to officially recognize the Saco Ward as an actual branch of their Church, my grandfather David Henery Atwater, went into a raging fury, and declared that the Prophet was not chosen by God, but had been put in Salt Lake by Satan to deceive the members and lead them astray. Grandpa said that an “angel of the Lord” had appeared there and bless the new Saco Ward, and it was an actual Ward wither Salt Lake said it was or not. (And for the record, the Saco Ward was never officially recognized as an ACTUAL LDS/Mormon Ward by Salt Lake City Headquarters, until 1997 nearly 60 years later, prior to that date, none of it‘s members were considered to be actual official members of the Mormon Church and were considered to be a branch of the Reorganized LDS Church, even though the members themselves denied any affiliation to the RLDS Church.)
Angry at the Church for not recognizing his Saco Ward as an official branch of the Church, he declared himself the “TRUE and RIGHTFUL Prophet of the Mormon Church” and moved to Canton Maine, which is clear up almost to Canada. (Saco is just off the boarder of Massachusetts in the South of Maine)
So what we have here, is a very angry, bitter blind man, who hated females, quoted Bible verses constantly steady 24 hours a day none stop, had been a gangster in some sort of Mafia/Mob type gang in the 1920’s, was talking to angels sent by God, had lost several hundreds of acres of apples to a hail storm, was now at odds with the Mormon Church, had started calling himself the True LDS Prophet, and was now heading into the heart of one of the largest, deepest, and wildest woods in Maine - The Haysville Woods itself, second in size only to the Allagash Forest, just a few more miles north of it. Even today in the 21st century, no one drives the Haysville Woods -sane people take the long roads around it, only loggers take the roads through it- the guard-rail-less single lane roads are dirt, and circle up the sides of mountains, rising straight up at one side and dropping straight down on the other. There is absolutely nothing up there, but giant pine trees for hundreds and hundreds of miles, cover vast thousands of acres. It’s logging territory and no one but loggers go up there, and what few house there are up there are 5 or 6 miles off the main road with 20 or 30 miles between each of them. That’s what it was like in 1991 the last time I was up there, so you can imagine how much more isolated it was in the 1930s and 1940’s. And so began, the Atwater Camp of Canton, or the first Royal Highland Atwater Family Clan Compound, as grandpa himself called it.
He set out the restoring the “Old Church” the one “Joseph Smith was SUPPOSED to start” (according to Grandpa), complete with goat and rabbit sacrifices, which resulted in his setting up a goat farm up there in the center of no where - goats he raised only to kill as described in Leviticus of the Old Testament. Somewhere at this point the started calling himself “Israel Reborn” and commanded his wife to give him 12 sons so that he could resurrect the Lost Twelve Tribes of Israel (because he said the Mormon Church was doing it all wrong). He beat her when ever a girl was born (which happened 4 times), and punished for not giving birth to sons, by locking her in a closest and leaving her there with no food or water, for days at a time, and telling her to count backwards, the alphabet from Z to A, without making a mistake, in order to be released from her prison. He forced his wife and children (and later grand children and great grand children) to call him “Patriarch” instead of father or dad. The oldest girl April Dawn, received the worst of his torture, and spent nearly her entire childhood and teen years locked in a 2 foot x 4 foot closet. They had one neighbor (about a mile away) who visited and suspected they had a daughter but was never able to find proof of April Dawn’s existence, due to the fact that she was beaten if she dared make a sound, and was locked in the closet whenever company arrived. For many years she was the only daughter.
After the first twelve babies were born, 8 boys and 4 girls, he commanded his wife to stop getting pregnant (like she had the power to turn herself off or something). She had three more pregnancies, and he beat her into an abortion/miscarriage each time.
After a big feud with some locals, the Atwaters left Canton, and from than on in, moved (was chased out of town) about every 6 months. They skipped around a lot, all over Maine, before ending up back in Old Orchard Beach, this time on Atlantic Avenue in the cedar shake house across the street from Reverend Pier’s Faith Chapel Church. This house, was where David had his weird series of “revelations”. It is also one of Old Orchard Beach’s two infamous haunted houses - the other is the house I grew up in on Portland Avenue. The Atlantic Avenue house is where the “woman in blue” (a ghost) visited him many times. It is the house that had a poltergeist that daily smashed vases, dishes, and a giant rose quartz stone, and on several occasions grabbed the than 3 years old Mervin and hurdled him across the room. This was not the only house the Atwater’s lived in that suffered poltergeist activity, but it was where the activity was the worst. The Canton house, the Portland Ave house (where I lived), one of the Saco houses, and two of the Biddeford houses, also suffered a series of poltergeist activities. Because the activity went from house to house with them, grandpa suspected and loudly announced to all who would listen, that his wife was possessed by an evil spirit. He took up hypnotism, and began his early attempts at exorcism and casting out demons. Because the poltergeist activity stopped following them, when my mother left home, and then went on heavily in the house I grew up in, it was than later suspected that my mother also had an evil spirit living in her. After I was born, he began saying it than passed on to me.
Members of Reverend Pier’s Church across the street, grew very concerned about the long absences of the daughters, and many people were afraid of grandpa and his fiery temper, as he would walk up and down the sidewalk, calling himself a Prophet and telling people they were followers of Satan and needed to “repent or die”. Reverend Pier called a social worker, to check in on the often missing daughters. One girl was found locked in a closet. Police went to the Old Orchard Beach school in attempt to take the children out of school and put them in Catholic orphanage in Scarborough. What happened after that is not clear, and stories vary wildly. What is known, is that the following night Grandpa had his most monumental revelation to date:
According to Grandpa: An angel came that night, and said he would give him back his eye sight and than take him to see anything he wanted to see anywhere in the world. Grandpa said “I want to see Hell”. The angel said “I can not do this, it is not in my power.” and than left. This event repeated itself for three days. Finally the angel said: "I will show you Hell, but I can not go with you." The angel left and Grandpa found himself standing inside what looked like a giant volcano filled with many round tar pits. In each pit lived green demons with no skin and no feet, who tried to walk forwards, but for each step they took, they were dragged two steps backwards. In front of each demon stood a woman (for this was the part of Hell were women went to). They were adulteresses and whores and prostitutes. In the pit before him, he saw his mother, begging him to pull her out. In another pit he saw his sister, and in another his other sister. Than he turned and saw his wife and daughters in the pit behind him. He felt loathing and hate for his wife and saw her now “as she really was” an “evil demon from hell” who had “given birth to vile evil spirits”.
From that point the story changed every time he told it. Usually it changed to include the names of which ever female was in hearing distance of him, and sometimes included his granddaughters, once he told it, saying that I was there too, saying I was the evilest one of all the vile female that had been cast into hell.
The end is always the same however: he returned to his house, and meet with the angel again. The angel than told him to go to Salt Lake City, Utah, and do God’s work. By “God’s Work” Grandpa meant - move in next door to whomever was the current LDS Prophet and daily write him letters telling what new revelation God had given him to give to the Prophet.
By the end of the week, he packed up the family and him, his first wife, and their twelve children, escaped from the police and social workers of Old Orchard Beach, Maine, leaving their house and everything they owned behind, to flee to Utah, in what some locals still remember today and describe as “the leaving of the gypsy caravan, lead by a VW Bus and a yellow Willies Jeep”.
About 2 years later, in the mid-1960’s my grandmother, one day grabbed her four youngest babies and fled the house. She never said what happened, only that he was “about to kill the two girls and I had to get them out of there fast”, with nothing but her four youngest children, ages 2 to 12, she WALKED all the way from Salt Lake City, Utah to Biddeford, Maine, once in a while hitching rides with bands of hippies. She remained in Biddeford for the rest of her life, and became known as “the crazy roller skater with the 3 wheel bike”. There was no mistaking her in her bright colored Hawaiian muu-muus, silk kimono, twin pig tails, and roller skates. The VERY SAME muu-muus and kimono that I wear today.
A short time later, grandpa married his second wife, whom was found strangled to death a few years after that. Officially it was listed as a suicide, but other reports came out later, saying she had died of a heart attack, diabetes, and other things. Some suspected murder. Today no one ever seems to know for sure what had happened to her, and the story has changed many times over the years.
Grandpa moved depending on where various LDS Church leaders lived. Each time he moved, at least one of his neighbors were found murdered shortly after. He was very vocal in saying that in each case they deserved it, because they were “dirty Mexicans anyways”. At the time of each death, he had one of his sons living with him, and rumors soon started up, that the son was a hit man or a member of a group in Utah whom call themselves “The Avenging Angels”. This rumor began circulating due to the fact that he spent more time in jail and prison than out of it. The rest of the family stay far away from him and tell wild tales about him. I only meet him once, but he was drunk out of his mind and running down a driveway throwing furniture at an on coming car - ours, and that was enough to scare me into never getting near him again.
From the 1960’s onward, the eleven of the twelve surviving children (the youngest boy had died before my grandmother’s terrified flight back to Maine; officially died of whooping cough, though both parents loudly accused the other of murder) grew up, got married, and went on to start promoting what they called “The Royal Atwater Clan”, complete with newsletters and instructions being printed up and mailed out to each of the “Twelve Tribes“. Compounds began to pop up all over the place: in Maine, Wyoming, Utah, Australia, and elsewhere. They started spreading out and what was weird - their children don’t leave home. They get married, and their spouses move in with them. Children, grandchildren, and in the biggest one, there are now even great grand children. Multi generations live in one small series of cabins, sheds, tents, trailers, rarely actual houses, there’s one living in this thing built out of some sort of old gas tanks or oil barrels - those type that sit out behind a house, and another that’s built a make shift house by connecting lots of trailers together in every direction, but no matter what they live in, always they are all clumped onto tiny plots of land. Each group was lead by “a Patriarch“, except one which was lead by the “Matriarch“ instead (this being the one I grew up in). And when you visit them, they great you and say “Welcome to the Atwater Family Compound”, and one will tell you, that he‘s single handedly trying to have enough children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren (15, 37, and 4 at last count) to increase the LDS/Mormon church population enough for the church to put a Temple in Maine. He than gives all his daughters, granddaughters and great grand daughters hell if they are not popping out at least one baby a year, any girl over 16 without a husband and a baby is condemned to Hell in his book, and he praises the one who had two sets of twins in 2 years, on top of the 3 she already had. It’s like he’s running a baby mill or something. Crazy is as crazy does, I say. He made his wife have 15, and gives the daughters and granddaughters and nieces and daughter-in-laws, and even non-relative females at his local church, hell if they can’t keep up with his poor worn out wife. It’s like a competition to see who can have the highest amount of kids before they drop. It’s sick. All he cares about are the numbers.
Not all of the even children built up “compounds” or set out to putting David H’s plan into action. The oldest daughter, and by far the child who received the worst of the torture, escaped with the help of a Bishop and his wife, who allowed her to hid out in their house until she was old enough to go on a mission. In an attempt to live a normal life she married, had children, and than lived in mortal terror when her father arrived unannounced and took over her life. After a series of hypnotherapy sessions with David H (who was now a professional hypnotist), her husband transformed into one of the most psychotic and brutal members of the Atwater Clan. His first job of order was to buy a shot gun and shoot all of her pets in the head, and than leave the dead cats and dogs hanging from the porch as ornaments. Today, 50 years and 8 husbands later, she still lives in mortal terror of her first husband who currently lives in a tent on her front porch and refuses to allow her out of her sight for a second. She stopped trying to escape him in the late 1990’s after the brutal murder of her teenaged son, which remains to this day, an unsolved mystery, and is officially listed as “an accidental shooting”.
Likewise the youngest daughter, escaped at the age of 15, changed her name, and never looked back. Today, she remains the only one of the original “Twelve” to have succeeded in living a normal life. She does however have to yearly deal with the infamous Palmyra Compound group, landing on her doorstep ever year or so, and staging their own mini-protest telling her that she is going to Hell for disowning the family. The Palmyra Patriarch goes down his list of every single sin she has ever committed, demanding she repent and be baptized or else. Of course, none of her children have ever been in prison or are listed on the national registry of sex offenders and pedophiles, a fact that can not be said of his children.
One of the more infamous groups, and by far the biggest and most successful at putting David H’s dream into action, is a wild lot, where incest is the norm and the sons routinely rape their sisters. One son, never having been taught to keep his rape habit a secret, did so at a church camp meeting and ended up doing 3 years in prison. The girls are forced to marry priests, much older than themselves, as soon as they are old enough to have their periods, just to keep them from giving birth to their own siblings. Their father, a proud promoter of this bizarre practice, says the LDS Church doctrine says it is okay because “it’s only fornication” and therefore not a sin! They were run out of Wyoming at gunpoint, by a mob of angry townspeople, all of their dogs and cats got shot to death in the chase. This was the 1980’s. They hid out in the woods behind our house for a few weeks, before moving on, to Bangor, and trying to find a way to get their son out of prison. During their time in our yard, I was shocked and appalled, that these, the most outspoken and bold preaching of the entire Clan, had no morals what so ever, and their NUDE teenaged and young adult children spent much of their time in our yard perusing sexual activities with one another. From the wild acts I saw going on right on our front lawn, it seemed the girls had not choice in the matter and the boys had free reign to do whatever the hell they pleased to their sisters. I can’t help but wonder if they have ever inspired Stephen King in his books. Go to Stephen King’s house, than head to the woods and drive for 20 minutes, and voila - there they are. The wildest, most insane pack of raving lunatics I have ever encountered. With neighbors like that, it’s no wonder King’s books are wonky.
One of the older Palmyra girls got divorced last year, much of the rest of the family disowned her. She told me: “It was 18 years old hell, I’m so glad I got out of it, FINALLY, I can live my life, but my children are going to need years of counseling.” I can’t help but wonder - I thought that exact same thing once. But there’s no getting out of it. The Twelve original Clansmen are relentless and they have friends every where. You can’t get away from them. I know. I’ve tried. I’m still trying. They just don’t give up. They won’t let you go. They won’t leave you alone. They won’t let you have a minute’s peace. They will not let you live your life. If they can not control you, they will do every thing in their power to make you wish you were dead. It’s the way they are. It’s the way their father taught them to be.
Fortunately, after the death of “The Patriarch”, David Henry Atwater, my grandfather, most of the compounds just sort of fizzled and died out. I think there is only one, maybe two, left today. It seems, that without his constant lording over them and telling them how to live, they sort of “fell astray” of his “great big dream” and didn’t continue onward in his ever stranger path of bitterness, hatred, dominating male ego, slave females, and unwanted babies left and right. My high priest whom has meet with many of the Clansmen, included David H, himself, described them as “A band of gypsies, crossed with the Mafia and a hive of angry bees”. Seeing the change in many of the Clansmen, after David H’s death, he also commented, that it seemed the family had been hypnotized into doing the things they had done, and with David H’s death the spell was broken, for several of them soon after the funeral, suddenly started acting “normal” people, for the first time. The death of the Patriarch, ultimately brought about an end of The Twelve Tribes of David Henry Atwater, and today only a few of it’s most devoted members, continue on trying to live David H’s bizarre dream.
The original compound is still in the family. It get sifted back and forth between various members of the original twelve, depending on who happens to have enough money to pay the taxes on it at the time. It’s a monstrous piece of land many hundreds of acres, all dense forest, and include a giant swamp and Canton Pond. It has no road access. You have to drive a tiny dirt path for nine miles, than park your car and hike the rest of the way, for about 2 miles.
One of the strangest traditions of the Atwater Clan is the yearly pilgrimage to Canton. That being the case, I myself have been to Canton many times, but not, because they wanted me there, but rather, because I had something they needed to get there with: my giant old Dodge.
There are well over 200 people in the Atwater family and to take everybody anywhere requires an entire gypsy caravan, with as many people as possible, bringing along as many of the biggest cars they could get their hands on, and well, my 19 foot long Dodge, topped even the biggest car anyone else could come up with. Even a big car rarely reaches 14 feet, most are big at only 12 feet. The average car is just 9 feet. My Dodge at 19 feet, is bigger than an 18 foot Limo. And it’s wide. If you pack in right, you can sit 8 people across the back and 4 across the front, more if people sit on other people laps, which in a family this size, happens often, in some cases, triple decker happens. Dangerous, illegal, and they don’t give a damn.
They are like Salmon returning to their spawning grounds and nothing can get in the way of them and Canton once they’ve set their mind to making the trip up there. It’s a 6 hour drive from my house. They’d all land in my yard (usually unannounced) at 3AM, declare they was going to Canton, and they was going to go in my car or else. By selectively packing people in, the trip was usually made in four cars, though there should have been 10 or 12 cars to legally take the trip. The trip to Canton when I was 9 years old, was one of the last things my car did, and I think it was what killed it. The car was dangerously overloaded with people, and after only 3 miles into the woods, we hit a tree root and sunk to the ground, as the giant leaf springs snapped and gave way to the extra weight in the back seat, bringing the body panels down hard on the axel, and setting the gas tank right on the ground. People unloaded, and they very bitchingly walked the rest of the nine miles into the woods. If you look up under the car today, 30 years later, you can see the extent of the damage that was done that day - the springs are laid out flat, the rear axel is twisted, and the rocker panels are cracked. Did they care? No! Did they pay for the damage they did to my car? Of course not! They are Atwaters, since when did an Atwater take responsibility for ANYTHING they did. Not once. Not ever. Not to nobody. And if you ask them, they proudly boast as much. Why? They will gladly answer that with “Because I’m an Atwater. I don’t have to. I’m better you. You’re nothing but trash. I don‘t own you a thing.” That’s why my car died. And that why it never got fixed, because I was a prisoner of a clan of inconsiderate pompous jerks.
Well, after the Goldeneagle died, of course they no longer asked me to go on the trip to Canton, because they never wanted me there to begin with, they just needed my car. So that was the last time I would to Canton, until 1991, when the All High and Mighty Lord Patriarch David H, himself made the trip from Utah to Canton Maine - and for him, nothing but the “newest and most expensive car” would do, because he was by this point calling himself “The Right Hand of God”, after he had pushed Jesus Christ out of that spot of course. At 90 years old, his delusions had grown dramatically and he was now way beyond being “The True LDS Prophet”, he had squashed Jesus right out of second place behind God and was dangerously close to actually claiming he was God. And in spite of his advanced age, at 6 foot 4 he still towered over every one and now had the addition of a cane to whack you with if you disobeyed him, so every one was still terrified of him. Three stomps of the cane, and all the Utah Atwaters stood board stiff at attention, three more stomps of the cane, and they marched like soldiers. Talk about brainwashing, I had never seen anything like it before or since. When the younger Maine Atwaters questioned this, he started laughing like the Joker out of Batman, than waving his cane dramatically in front of these zombie like drones, said “My slaves! I hypnotized them. They’ll follow me to Hell hook, line, and sinker.” Every one went all “oooooo” and “aaaahhh” and marveled “He has the power of God to command armies” or “we a blessed to have such a powerful prophet in our family”…. I said: “You’re sick.” right to his face.
It was like a bomb had dropped. Dead silence. Not a peep. Every one went white as a ghost and no one dared breathe, I don‘t think any one had ever defied him before. Grandpa’s face went from red to purple and back again, and suddenly the cane went flying in a flurry over his head and through the air as every Bible scripture with the word Hell or Satan in it came pouring from his mouth, quickly followed by Book of Mormon scriptures about sinners in lakes of fire, and than every Doctrine and Covenant Scripture that condemned a person to Outer Darkness. I spouted right back at him, and this, stunned every one, for it seemed, that though Grandpa was a walking Bible, no one else among them, had any real knowledge of scripture. It was one of the things that made Grandpa “The Prophet” and yet, here I was a 14 year old kid, matching his scriptures turn for turn. In my many years of isolation, I did a lot of reading and nine times out of ten I was reading the Bible. I knew it very well, possibly better that he did. It baffled and confused them, no one was supposed to know scripture as well as he did - not one single person in the entire world - they said so, many times, they just could not understand how I was keeping up with him, and Grandpa had the solution:
“Satan is among us!” he declared. Waving the cane in my direction, he babbled on about how only Satan would know the scriptures so well, to be able to challenge God’s Prophet (him). Than came a rant about the anti-Christ, 666, the beast, demons, (all of which he said I was) and finally the declaration:
“You’ve been possessed by your grandmother’s evil spirit! OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH the dark days are ahead! OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOh, Lord hear our prayers! OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOh Lord! Cast this evil out from among us! OOOOOOh….”
He did the OOOOOhs good, you had to admit, got the right pitch and every thing, to really carry it off and penetrate to your very soul. Well, he had been doing this for 90 years now. While I had meet him on a few quick passing occasions before, this was just my first confrontation with the Almighty Prophet face to face, and well, I had to admit, I wasn’t all that impressed. The fact that he made a few mistakes in his scripture quoting, and I corrected them, did not help matters any either. “The Prophet does NOT MAKE mistakes!” he roared. “I guess you aren’t a prophet than, are you?“ And we hadn’t even gotten in the car yet. This was going to be one hell of a trip.
Well, I had heard the stories about Grandpa and his hatred of all things female, and his delight at locking up females in small dark places, and I was about to get a look at that first hand too. The most expensive (and therefore the best, according to him) car in the family that year, was my mom’s brand new, two week old, fresh off the showroom, less than a 1,000 miles on it, Honda Civic. A small car, but, when all the other cars that had been brought along were gypsy jalopies 20 to 30 years old, it was the brand new car, that had to cart Grandpa’s royal red ass to Canton that year. Every one piled into the cars, I was shoved into the trunk, and quickly buried under several food and drink coolers, and than a dog was thrown in on top of that. And for the next six hours I was not allowed to move as I was driven against my will to Canton in the trunk. This day did not do nice things to my spell casting witchcraft reputation, that’s for sure, because once out of the trunk, my raging fury was to scream every single “curse you to hell” type scripture I could thing of, than grab the dog, and storm off into the unknown forests of Canton alone. I did something than, that deeply confirmed Grandpa’s fears and quickly terrified every member of the Atwater Clan into firmly believing without a doubt I was a witch, and not only was a witch, but I was an evil Voodoo witch at that, though I did not know this at the time.
In my wandering rage, I got myself lost and came out at the edge of the vast acres upon acres, wide swamp. I sat there with the dog, a small white terrier, and counted frogs. Out in the water, I noticed a huge leather back turtle basking in the sun. I was looking at the turtle, when a long loud blast than a crash, went out over the woods, it was nothing I had ever heard before. It happened again and again, and than it occurred to me, I had walked right into moose territory at mating season and up ahead of me were two bull moose battling it out and bellowing between the blows. I took the dog and ran back towards the camp, turned myself around, and ran into a poachers den, where lay stacks of headless moose. Bones every where. There must have been twenty dead moose. Now me, I’m weird. I know, but it occurred to me that if I told any one what I had seen and heard, they would start quoting “White Monkeyisms” at me, say I was “crazy”, and not believe me, seeing how once again, I had seen something with no witnesses, so, I put down the dog, took off my coat, and filled it with as many bones as I could carry, and than walked back to the car, and filled the trunk. I made three or four trips, until I filled the trunk with so many bones that there was no way they could throw me back in there again, they were going to have to let me ride in the car, on the trip back home. And they did, they made me sit next to Grandpa, and we railed scriptures at each other all the way home steady, none stop, for 6 hours. In their crazy superstitions, no one dared touch the bones. But also in their crazy superstitions, only an evil and very powerful Voodoo priestess witch would have touched the bones to begin with. Grandpa called me a Black Mamba, and by the end of the day he had the entire Clan totally, completely, and thoroughly convinced that I was a witch of the evilest repute, had a demon living in me, and was practicing very powerful Voodoo magic, thus was his explanation as to why I “needed“ all those bones. It never once occurred to a single one of them, to think that I just didn’t want to ride back home in the trunk.
Well, that was the “Clan“, that kept my captive in this house for 27 years. As for the house I grew up in, there really is no way to describe my room. Whenever I tell people at church about it they say “You’re lying” or “Your exaggerating” or “No house has a room like that in it.” They never believe me. On Sundays, I would ask the Bishops to help me, I would tell them what my room was like, and they’d laugh and say “Good one.” No one would ever listen. No one would believe me. The room I was kept locked up in, had no floor. It had no ceiling. Rats came up through the ground at night. Snow or rain came down through the ceiling. I have found that it’s easier to show you the room I spent 27 years of my life in, rather that describe it, because pictures speak louder than words, so here it is, the room I was kept in for 27 years, and as you can see, there was no exaggeration:
There was no floor, just a few tiles laid on dirt, which washed out, by an ever expanding natural sink hole. There was no ceiling, and not much roof, the rain washed in and flooded the room, even in a slight shower. There was no form of heating system what so ever. It was more of a woodshed attacked to the back of the house, than and actual room with in the house. (My brother’s room was nearly identical, except that the sink hole under his floor had already given way, living a deep and dangerous well-like pit in his room. My other two brothers did not have a room at all, and were forced to sleep in our mother’s bed with her, one on either side of her, until they were 15 years old. They were 12 before she would let them shower alone, and only than after they made a huge protest about how they did not like taking a shower in the tiny 2 foot square stall with her at the same time she was taking one, and than told her she needed to grow up, put some clothes on and stop parading around naked in front of them like a slut - that came from a 12 year old boy to his 40+ year old mother!)
I lived in this room for 27 years of my life. Now you can see why I said my tarp “tent” was drier and warmer there where I had lived before, so adapting to being homeless was pretty easy for me, because even that was still a step up from what I was living in before than!
That room is also why today I have and use, no bed. I had no bed in that place. I had a mattress that the rats lived inside of, therefore I did not use it. I slept on the floor, in a torn up, cast off sleeping bag. I have difficulty talking today, because in all that time, no one ever talked to me. I have bizarre eating habits today, and often go days with out food, nibbling on things here and there, because that is how I ate in this room. No one ever talked to me, and I ate whatever food scraps and leftovers I could find, after every one else was done eating. I was never allowed to eat with the others, nor was I allowed to use a chair or the table and eat instead on the floor. When in a fit of rage, which often happened, the Matriarch would take a dish and smash it, just to prevent me from eating off of it. Her temper was fierce.
When I was 12 years old, I meet the first and only person to ever make any attempt to help me, a man who, addmitingtly was not mentally stable himself, but did try to help out in his own strange way, as best as he knew how, he is the man who would later become known as my beloved high priest. I was 16, when he saw my room for the first time and was shocked and appalled by the living conditions, and my mother’s extreme neglect and outright animosity towards me. On one of his very first visits, he witnessed her grab a plate of food out of my hand and throw it at the wall shattering the plate. She told him the dish could not be used again anyways, because my “vile germs” had come into contact with it. He returned the next day with a set of dishes for me to use so I did not have to contaminate my mother’s.
In a few weeks time, he discovered that my “food” consisted of me scrapping off the burned edges of saucepans, at 1 AM after every one was asleep, because I was not allowed to get food otherwise. (He had a weird work schedule and showed up at the house at the oddest of times). The next day he stormed in, told my mother he was taking me to the store, and bought me a set of sauce pans to cook with, and than made a habit of buying food every month, and putting it up on a high shelf hidden in the ceiling of my room, so that I could sneak out into the kitchen after my mother had gone to sleep, and cook and actual meal, rather than try to survive on scraps. He brought me a roll up foam mattress on another visit, and a pillow and blankets on another, so that I could at least have something soft to sleep on, and something to keep me warm. If it had not been for this man, I would never have known about “normal” meals, “normal” shopping.
He would continue to daily visit me in this manner until March of 2003. Other problems were soon discovered however, when he realized that as fast as he was bringing things over to help change my living conditions, these very things were also vanishing just as quickly, due to the fact my mother was throwing them in the woodstove saying “You don’t deserve this, you filthy bitch.” He arrived one day, to see the fire in a roaring blaze during an August heat wave, and upon looking inside found many of my drawings, art, and manuscripts reduced to ash. He returned the next day with the infamous safe that would eventually house the only surviving copy of my 1993 anniversary edition of Friends Are Forever: The Twighlight Manor Series Volume #1. My books, though more than 30 volumes were written and published, fast became obscure and desperately hard to find, due to the fact that she would gather up things from in my room every Sunday whilst I was in church with my high priest, and by the time services were over, all the books had been burned. Only the one that had been locked in the safe, is known to still exist today. Even the original manuscripts and the original paintings of the books’ illustrations were burned, making the republication of these obscure books, nearly impossible.
This man would also become, the only person, whom, to date, in nearly 40 years, I have been able to carry on a full conversation with, without the horrible stutter than makes understanding my spoken words nearly impossible. Around strangers, I either talk at hyper speeds so fast that no one can make out a single word, or I talk with a stutter that trips up my words to the point that you can’t tell what the words are. But with this one man, I am able to talk, slow and normal, with no stutter and no problems at all. Logic would seem to say that if I could talk normal to one person, I should be able to talk normal to anyone, but for some reason this logic does not hold true, and most times my verbal words are a jumbled unintelligible mess no matter how hard I try to speak normally.
It was my high priest who taught me about such things as using toothpaste, brushing my teeth, wearing deodorant, and that I should take weekly showers and baths instead of washing my hands and face in the sink once every month or so. Before he told me about them I did not know you was supposed to do any of those things. More recently he’s tried to teach me about shaving. He says women are supposed to shave under their arms and their legs. I’ve figured out how to shave under my arms, but not how to shave my legs. I’ve cut myself terrible several times and gave up, because I don’t know what I am doing wrong, and I don’t know any women, and my high priest is the only man I know (not including Etiole, of course), so I don’t have any one I can ask, to show me how to use a razor or how to shave my legs without cutting myself.
My high priest was often infuriated by the fact, that though my parents had the money to repair the roof and floor of my room, they considered such a project “unnecessary” and “an extravagance”, though this did not stop the Matriarch from buying a new pair of $100 shoes ever few weeks, nor buying an $800 TV for her own room, or an equally expensive karaoke machine, quickly followed by two more karaoke machines, 3 guitars each over $400, or spending $200 for Avon orders twice per month, or her weekly shopping sprees at JCPenny’s for new clothes because “I can’t wear the same thing to Church more than once” and lets not forget get her brand new, two week old, right off the showroom, less than 1,000 miles on it Honda Civic mentioned earlier, or the fact that it was only one of more than 20 cars she had owned in those 27 years I was in that room. My mom’s overbearing spending habit’s proved to be my dad’s downfall, however, when, she got out credit cards, attached them to his bank account and than in a matter of weeks, racked up nearly $20,000 in debts. When my father was laid off from his job, during my teen years, things went from bad to worse, as my mother, using what she called “Kenneth Copeland’s power of positive thinking” to spend even more money than ever before, running my father into bankruptcy. “Kenneth Copeland’s power of positive thinking” method, involved, thinking about something you wanted, than buying it, even though you do not have the money for it, and than by praising God loud enough, He’ll pay the bill for you, so you don’t have to. Ludicrous and something I thought my mother had made up, until I read some of Kenneth Copeland’s books, a listened to his tapes. Yep. He DID tell people to do exactly that! People actually BELIEVE that God is going to come floating down and pay your bills for you? I don’t know, but I think the day God does something like that the whole world would know because it’d make front page news, just if God ever showed his face at all!
My high priest was even more infuriated, when HE bought the materials to fix the roof of my room, than my mom ordered my dad to use them to put a new roof over HER room instead! The next week, my high priest returned and fixed the roof of my room himself. Two days later, he took me to Church services, and that night we returned to find all his work undone, and my roof, now far worse off than it had been BEFORE he had fixed it!
One summer a huge hurricane hit. We get hurricanes every year, but only rarely does one hit hard enough to evacuate the town. Old Orchard Beach was being evacuated for this one, but we did not leave because “God was with us and would protect us”. My high priest, being very worried about us after the storm, came immediately to our house to find out how we were. He was deeply concerned about me, due to the fact it only took a light shower to flood my room, and he was seriously questioning if my room would even hold up to the wind. My mom’s answer to his worries and concerns were: “She’s fine, the hurricane didn’t do any damage.” Relieved he came into my room.
Upon entering my room, however, he was meet with the 20 foot top of a 150 foot pine tree, that had been hit by lightening and came done point first like a spear through my roof, through my sleeping bag, through my floor and deep into the dirt below. Had I been in my sleeping bag when it came down, it would have beheaded me. He was horrified, not only by the fact that it had happened, but also by the fact that my mother passing it off as not of any importance, seeing how it had happened to me and not her. Saying that, “She’s fine, the hurricane didn’t do any damage,” was my mother’s way of saying “Damn it missed her, better luck next time”, and what she ment when she said it was, that I was nothing but a worthless, insignificant, unimportant nothing, and since the damage was only to my room, therefore no harm had been done because, only I had been harmed. If my high priest had not removed the tree from my room, it would probably still be there today, because my mother would not have done it, and she would have beaten my father if he had removed it. And as you can see from these photos all these years later, the hole in both the roof and the floor, were never fixed.
The addition of the hole in the floor, now left my room open to visits from snakes, skunks, brown rats, river rats, muskrats, squirrels, raccoons, wild cats, and opossums, which became nightly problems. I would stay awake at night, crouched on the floor, in the corner by the door, holding a pitchfork, and fighting off the herds of rats that poured in each night. The pitchfork was to keep the rats from biting me.
When I told my high priest about the rats, he thought 1 or 2 rats, not 100 or 200 rats. He stayed one night and waited to see, and see he did - hundreds of rats. He was horrified, and returned the next day with cases of Decon which he poured down the hole and under the rotted floor boards. Eventually, due to many months of his persistence, he finally eradicated the rats and I was once again able to sleep at night, or was I? Since the invasion of the rats, I have not been able to sleep at night without every light in the house on. To this day I have a phobia of darkrooms and being bitten by rats.
There was no way to get out of this house. It had two doors, one on the front and one on the back, both, had padlocks, deadbolts, piano hook latches, and chain locks, in addition to the regular key locks.
There were only a few windows in the house, but all were nail shut so they could not be opened, and had deadbolts on them as well. Some had wire fencing nailed over them, others have boards nailed over them to create wooden “bars”, all had sunblocking curtains which where nailed down to prevent their being opened.
This window, looks out, at the spot where Tajid was killed. Had this window not had a black curtain nailed over it in August of 1991, Tajid might still be alive today, for this window is over the kitchen sick, and I had been standing at eye level with the window washing dishes, when I heard his horrendous screams.
And this padlock, is the one that ultimately cost Tajid his life, for though I ran to the door when I heard his screams - I had to get through this lock to get out side, and only the Clan Matriarch, my mother, had the keys, and when I asked her to unlock the door, she said “You’re just lying to run away.” As usually she was in bed, still not up, and it was well past none. I knew from Tajid’s scream, something was terribly wrong, but with the windows black out there was no way to see outside to see what was happening, and with the padlocks on the doors there was no way to get out of the house to find out what was happening. It took 20 minutes of pleading and begging before she would drag her ass out of bed, hunt out the secret hidden key, and than stand there lecturing me on all the reason why I was evil for asking the door to be unlock, before she would finally unlock to door. As you know, by the time I found Tajid and the others, it was too later, 3 of them were already dead, and the other two beyond saving. That day effected my life in mores ways than one - besides everything else, I developed a fear of padlocks, deadbolts, and overall locks in general. And so began the summer of 1991, my 14th year of life and the murder trail that turned my world upside down and drove me to deep depression and fits of suicide.
Thankfully, the Old Orchard Beach division which I grew up in, no longer exists. It ceased to exist in April of 2005. The Old Orchard Beach Police unknowingly shut it down, the night they carried off it’s Matriarch, and forced her to leave the town. She moved to Biddeford with her three boys and continues to run the cult operation on a much smaller scale, jumping through huge loophole in attempt to keep it hidden from the public. She is the same woman who is behind about 70% or more of the vandalism and violence that has been directed towards me in the last 10 years. The police were here on a domestic violence call - one of many - prior to 2005, the Old Orchard Beach Police were at our house 4 or 5 times a month, but because no one would press charges against her, the only times they actually did anything was the summer in 1994 when they arrested her for beating her husband in the head with first a brick and than a jelly jar, and than in April 2005, when they came because SHE called them.
It was the day I officially escaped from the Atwater Clan. (Though unofficially I had established my freedom in 2001, I had returned to help get my 3 brothers out.) She left the house, and left me alone in it, for the first time, which meant for the first time, I was inside the house WITHOUT the padlocks locked. I ran to my dad’s house which was just down the street and told him what had been going on, he came to the house, my dad, a retired Old Orchard Beach fire man who had seen countless deaths caused by people who could not unlock a dead bolted door fast enough, took one look inside and than took down the padlocks, deadbolts, chain lock, piano hook locks and all of the other assorted locks than ran up and down the whole length of the front door, changed the key locks, and gave me the keys. (My dad, btw, owned the house, my mom was renting it from him.) When she returned home that night, to find the padlocks removed and the key lock changed, she went into one of the worst rages I have ever seen, and began tearing the siding off the house and than started punching her way through the wall (the hole is still there today). She than started smashing the glass out of the windows, but forgot that she had boarded up the windows from the inside and could not get in due to the means she had gone to prevent me from getting out. She called the police, than tore the shutters off the house and proceeded to use them as a battering ram to try to break down the boards, she herself had nailed over the windows, while screaming at the top of her lungs “I‘m going to kill you, you demon possessed bitch child of Satan“ over and over again. That is what she was doing when the police arrived (the station being about 2 minutes from our house). Two officers leapt from their cars and with out saying a word ran to the house grabbed her and put her in a patrol car, while they called a med team to come in for a psych back up, and female officer to do an arrest.
I don’t know what happened after that, because they than went to my dad’s house and were over there for a long time. Next thing I knew one officer came in to take all of my mom’s belongings out of the house, while telling us that she had married some guy in Biddeford and was moving out. He assured us (me and me three brothers) several times that we would be safe now. (I don’t know his name, but this officer is one who had been here many times before, so he knew there had been a multi-year history of domestic violence calls; if anybody ever wrote out a report, it was usually him; if you go to the station and ask for “the young bald guy, name begins with L” they always know who you mean, and that’s him.) Apparently my mom had been married for a month or so, but no one knew about it, it was yet another of her many secrets she kept from every one. She’s good at that, to the pint that there are several members at church who behind her back call her “The Sneaky Snake”.
And that, I thought, was the end of it. I was wrong, of course, things got ten times worse after that, and without me under lock and key any more, she was more violent than ever. But, anyways. Does that answer your question?
Q. There has been quite a bit of talk about sending you to see a psychiatrist or a psychologist, along with accusations which say you refuse to go to one. Different people are saying different things. Which is true?
EelKat: Well, first off, it’s the psychiatrists and psychologists who are refusing to see me, not the other way around. I’d like to see a psychologist, I want to see a psychologist, but they won’t take me. A case like mine, it ain’t a three visits and you’re cured case, it’s a three visit’s a week for the next 30 years and you still got another 40 years of 3 meetings to go case. In other words, it’s all about the money. If I was a millionaire I’d have psychiatrists and psychologists lined up at my front door fighting each other off so they could get the exclusive on my case. But, I have no money, which means I get told “Yes, this is an interesting case, but my rate is $200 an hour…”
I did go the a psychologist once, in 2005, on court orders. He wanted to study me. He said I was an “bizarre anomaly”, but he said he lacked the funding to take my case. The State paid for one visit.
My limited income (rarely more than $200 per month, and often much less) and my ineligibility to get medical insurance of any form has prevented me from going to one. So people, like my mom, who go around loudly saying I am refusing to get help, are lying to you, because I WANT help, I’ve tried to get help, I’m being DENIED help, because I’m poor and can’t afford to pay for help. I know I need to talk to some one. I know it would help me if there was one single solitary person on this planet who would sit down and actually have a decent conversation with me, without yelling at me, without screaming at me, with out calling me demon possessed, with out saying I’m a witch, with out telling me I’m a filthy bitch, without saying I’m evil and going to hell. I would love for there to be a person out there somewhere who would talk to me just once - for once in my entire life - to have some one actually talk with me in a nice kind, friendly, none condemning, non judgmental way - I would love that, I want that. No one has ever talked with me before. That’s the real reason I don’t talk - there is no one for me to talk WITH.
As for what they say about my not wanting to go to psychiatrists and psychologists, I can explain what it is they are referring to when they say those things about me. When I was a kid, I was constantly threatened with being sent to Pine Land Center. Oh, I knew what Pine Land Center was all right. I knew where it was and what it looked like, because we went there lots of times throughout my childhood.
My mom would load me into the car and we’d drive for hours with her screaming at the top of her lungs. We’d drive halfway across the state to New Glouster. We’d drive past the big horse farm and the place with the giant angus bulls and an ancient stone tower, and we drive past the weird weather station thing, and than we’d reach the miles of long white fences, and there it was: Pine Land Center. We’d drive around back and she’d leap out of the car and point up at the huge brick building with the prison bars on the windows, screaming: “Look at that! You see that! Those people live behind bars. They never go outside. You have a garden. Do you see any gardens around here? They’re all crazy. That’s what happens to crazy people. They get locked up in Pine Land Center and we forget about them because no one wants them. Once they get in there they never come out. No one ever comes back for them. Do you want to live here? Answer me you filthy bitch! You want to live in this place for the rest of your life and never see the light of day again? Well than you’d better wise up or that’s where I’m putting you! It’s where trash like you belongs. Every one in that place would be glad to be in your position. They don’t want to be in there. No one wants to be in there. You don’t wise up, that’s where you are going. We can go in and talk to Dr. Collins right now or you can get back in the car and go home.”
Some times I wondered, by the way she talked, if she had ever been in Pine Land Center herself at some point, because she talked about it like she knew the inside of the place pretty well. And I always wondered if we had some relative locked up in there, whom no one ever mentioned. There were rumors about my mom’s mother having a “crazy sister”. And a few years after Pine Land Center closed it’s doors, I meet for the first and only time, my Great Aunt Josephine, who told me I was the first visitor she had had in nearly 30 years, she said no one in the family visited her, ever since the accident. She explained someone had hit her in the head with a baseball bat and it messed up her brain (and her face, which was a twisted mess) and that she was alone in the hospital for years and had thought her family had forgotten about her. She died about 2 weeks later, so I never got to ask her for more information about who had beaten her with a base ball bat or what hospital she had been locked away in all those years and years. And after I meet her, I always wondered, if the hospital she kept talking about was Pine Land Center, and if that’s why my mom was so obsessed with that place.
And what inspired these trips? Well, on one occasion I wanted to watch the Smurfs on TV and next thing I knew we was driving for Pine Land Center. I was about 6 at the time. I used to watch Smurfs on my mom’s TV - I was allowed to watch one TV show per week and from age 6 to 8 all I wanted to watch was Smurfs. One day my mom watched it and realized there was wizards on it and she went screaming through the house about “those evil Satanic Dungeons and Dragons shows” and I was never allowed to watch Smurfs again. In her mind, I wanted to watch Smurfs, therefore I was evil and should be locked up in Pine Land Center. All the trips to Pine Land Center started off over something like this. Scooby Doo cartoons set off a couple of them - you know, all those evil ghosts.
But yeah, we drove up to Pine Land Center a good 4 hour drive four or five times a year for about ten years. It was her big threat to me, if I didn’t stop talking about Etiole and saying he was real. She got the shock of her life, the day we drove all the way up there to find the place closed down, boarded up, empty and abandoned, with a big “for sale” sign standing out front. It became one of the old abandoned mental hospitals after that. That didn’t stop the yearly trips up there though. We’d still go up there a couple of times a year and drive around the grounds, which are huge and spread on for like 2 or 3 thousand acres - the place is just monstrous in size.
A few years ago some working farm group bought it and now it’s open to the public, so, yep, I’ve actually been inside several times now as well, because, my mom, she still drives up there every year. Usually on “open farm day” in July, she goes, because that’s when thousands of people go, because they open up the gardens to the public than. It’s like a big local agricultural holiday here in Maine, and lots of people spend all year waiting to go to Pine Land Center now. The last time she dragged me up there was in 2004, I was 29 years old.
I was about 17 when Pine Land Center shut down, and after that she had to find another mental health hospital type place to threaten me with. She choose the Sweetser Home in Saco. We’d drive up the mile long driveway and there were the llamas and little bantam roosters running around the big old Victorian farm house. It didn’t look bad really. Pine Land Center was all cold and dead looking, but this place was warm and friendly, and it had roosters, my favorite animals, running all over the yard, and I could see from looking at the place from the drive way, the patients were right out there taking care of the animals themselves. Pine Land Center terrified me. I’ve always had a problem with my phobia of hospitals. Sweetser Home, looked nothing like a hospital, it looked like a farm. I like farms.
The Sweetser Home threat did not work out like she planned. I was supposed to be terrified of it, and want to go back home with her, but I was all ready to get out of the car and go hug the Red Pile Old English Game Rooster that was walking towards the building. I’d always wanted a Red Pile OEG but they are rare and hard to find. This was my first time seeing a real one instead of just seeing them in poultry books. (At the time, I was studying to be a judge of exotic breeds of poultry, so I was like a walking poultry encyclopedia, I could tell you the breed and history of any type chicken you showed me, and I could tell you every thing that would disqualify the bird from a show.) We only went to Sweetser Home 2 or 3 times, because the more she drove me there to threaten me with leaving me there, the more I anted her to leave me there, and it seemed, since the whole thing was nothing more than a threat and a bluff to scare me, that it became pointless to take me there if I actually wanted to stay there.
But yeah, that’s where the whole rumor about me refusing to get mental health help comes from - it comes from the fact that I was terrified of Pine Land Center, after having been dragged up there 30 or 40 times in the first ten years of my life, and has nothing what so ever to do with wither or not I actually wanted to talk to a psychiatrist or psychologist. What you got to understand here is, that I was scared of the building itself, not the doctors inside the building. That’s why she never dragged me to a local doctor’s office. I wasn’t scared of a doctor’s office, and would have gone right in. I wasn’t scared of the doctors and would gladly have talked to them. It was the building that I was scared of. Pine Land Center was a damn big building. Biggest building I’d ever seen, at least. And the building just completely terrified me. She’d start dragging me towards the building and I’d start creaming and crying and trying to run for the car. I looked up at those big windows with all the bars and it was like the building had a face, with eyes and teeth. I was terrified that the building would eat me. I completely totally believed that people were trapped inside that place, because the building had eaten them and there was no way out. Yu could not get me out of the car when we were near that building, I’d grab hold of the doors and not let go. The car was my safety net. Inside my Goldeneagle (the 1964 Dodge) I was safe. Outside of my car though, there was Pine Land Center towering down on me ready to eat me alive. You have never seen such terror as you would have seen had you been there those days while I was in the Pine Land Center being threatened with that place.
That’s why I freaked out as a teenager when Bishop Mo showed up in church one Sunday with doctors from Pine Land Center, saying there was here in church to take me away. I was in the Cape Elizabeth Church, a good 2 hour drive away from my Goldeneagle, I was trapped. I was terrified. I loved going to Church but after that day, Church was no longer “safe” and my phobia of going to church has grown steadily ever since. Thankfully the Pine Land Center doctors left the church that day, telling me there was nothing wrong with me that my finding a friend wouldn’t cure, they described me as “a very lonely child”, while they told Bishop Mo, HE needed to get psychiatric help. Well, he was standing there telling the Pine Land Center doctors that I had a demon living inside of me, after all.
What's your take on this? I'd love to hear what you have to say about this post. Leave a comment and share your views!
Want to read more? Check out my Squidoo Lenses:
Ekography: EelKats Lensography and be sure to find out about
My Lord Sesshomaru Costume!
Obsessed? I'm Not Obsessed... REALLY, I'm not!
When Next You See Me I'll Look Like This: