Sunday, April 6, 2014

The end of the Family? Anne Hamilton Byrne is going to die soon

Anne Hamilton-Byrne is close now to a fate she fears more than most, and rightly so, for in her universe she knows she will pay the piper for what she did in his name.
The years of sucking the life out of others (as well as their money) to sustain herself are well over. Vampires dissolve once deprived of their primary food source and - in her case - dementia and isolation took away from delusion it's capacity for action several years ago now, and in turn she too crumbled into a shell.
In her heyday - before the dissolvement of the  majority of her cult after the public removal of us children in 1987 and the ensuing  consequences of that - she had a huge source of power, money, prestige and influence in those she controlled so absolutely, and along with it an equally huge contempt for those that she abused and devoured.
They may be shocked - some of the last disciples that still hang round hoping for reward in terms of enlightenment or fulfillment of some kind from her and refusing to see what a swathe of suffering lies in her wake even when it has happened to themselves and their families - at how often she openly expressed her contempt for them, particularly the ones that gave her most of themselves, their children and their money. For they wanted something back off her in exchange for their loyalty - the love she promised so often, spiritual advancement, recognition as good disciples, fulfillment of some hole in their heart that only became greater as she wielded her power over them- never realising that taking and only taking was her nature and she was incapable of empathy or compassion and the perception of need in others and how to promise to fulfill it was one of her main strengths as a guru figure. What they don't realise was that was all a sham and what she was actually looking for was something very few ever could give her, particularly if they were needy themselves. What they saw as her love was at most instead a distant objectified seduction in pursuit of her own needs and when they were totally devoured they were tossed away as useless to her - the women more callously than the men as I shall explain later. 
But always also in her - and this became evident to me from her behavior in the years after she started losing those that refused to continue in the role of victim believer or simply died off or ran away when they could- was a longing for the love that was missing from her life and had been since she was born. Sycophantic admirers never filled that void within. Any of the women around her certainly didn't.  Some of the men (Bill being the most obvious example but there were a number more all of whom are either dead or out of the cult) came close for her but in her heart she knew that it was because of her power and influence and not the romantic conception tied into her delusional representations of her father's life.
The closest she ever came to in receiving truly unconditional love was with us children, and in that I too have understood how the production of us was another attempt to get the love and life she longed for as a child again - an attempt that almost foundered completely due to her cruelty and almost complete incapability of being able to emphasise with others unless they were objects within her world. What we represented and how that played out later in my relationship with her I will turn to later...
Talking of cult members and why some few remain and why largely those that have any vitality left are men leads onto another interesting observation of Anne's world in the days before her dementia. It is interesting that it is said (according to recent media reports) that the power struggle with what is to be made of her future legacy is between two men, both of whom have been relatively sheltered from the more profound effects of her abuse and one of whom is has a nasty selfish personality as well as connections with money and power (the only people who won out anything from Anne had to match her in sociopathy, but mostly they have left  in bad blood with her (Cynthia Chan/Rand comes to mind -thank goodness she didn't stay but fought to get her money back as Michael with all his faults is not as cold as her. And then there is Natasha - pyschotic and also sociopathic, who also left in bad faith but you can bet we will hear from her after Anne dies as she circles with the other vultures to pick over what can be found of Anne's remaining money. But to me it matters not what they do after she dies, as long as there is never any more abuse perpetuated in her name. I understand a need in the true believers (those that remain that have been used by her, not those who have ulterior motives to remain in order to get their hands on the money)  to preserve her memory as they have passed the point of ever challenging the fantasy guru figure in their minds and to do so would destroy the very little of self  that they have left. 
 Men in the cult were always in general much better treated than the women in her world (after all she needed them from Raynor Johnson (for the influx of his followers and friends which included the drs lawyers and other professionals that became her cult) on down to Michael Helmer-Stepehson (for his connections to a wealthy prominent political party to enact her wishes and extend her influence into the wider world))  and many fell for her seduction. It did not stop her treating them badly if they ever disagreed with her or started to resent the constant demands for money, but that is another story for largely ex cult members now..
 For women -especially good looking women- she had an abiding hatred which would manifest itself in acts of jealousy and repression that were breathtakingly cruel if she felt any slight from them at all. Only those that debased themselves fully were tolerated and then she had such power that she could change the fate of their family and children even to the extent of demanding they swap them for someone she chose or deprive them of those they loved forever. For a woman to be in the Family cult contained far less pay off psychologically in terms of reward in the form of her attention, and never have I heard or seen any evidence that she had any real feelings for any of them at all. They were drones to her at the best. Their relationship with her was fraught and fragile and always involved hard work and suffering at her hands. And yet some few of them still remain loyal disciples which I find confronting but can understand as they would lose everything on which their life was predicated for so many years which on top of everything else most of them have sacrificed would be devastating. Nearly all of them are estranged from family except a couple that have satisfactory relationships left because their partners and some of their children remain loyal to the promise that Anne represented.
Men represented something different and more necessary to Anne in terms of her search for idealised love as well and that can be explained a little by her childhood.
Whilst her mother was a psychotic (with religious delusions and interest in the occult which obviously was her manifestation of the same type of psychosis that her daughter suffers) that ended her days in an asylum (the contrast with Anne being that unlike her mother she managed the extraordinary achievement of moulding a new world around her so successfully for so long instead of having to try to survive in the outside world where she would have been medicated and prevented from harming others), and her father - from what little we know - was a drunkard railway worker who neglected his children to the extent that she at least was sent to orphanages at times she retained a deep need for a male figure that would personify the hopes and delusions she had for and about her father. Although the stories we were told and that she began to believe over the years as her delusional universe manifested and fed of itself in the world she managed to create around her were that her mother was of royal blood and descended from the line of David (thus validating her claim to be the second female coming of the Lord), mostly it was her father that she glorified the most and her many stories of his supposed wealth manliness and exploits (he was supposed to have castles in Germany, to have ridden with Lawrence of Arabia, to be a daredevil fighter pilot amongst many other wonderful and exotic things) made him a caricature of all that some woman in the 1950s might see as the perfect masculine stereotype. And love from someone like that (or at least to have the illusion that that was attainable) was something she needed. There was not much she truly craved for that another human could provide (remember in her world people were puppets to be milked and she had as much money adoration and attention as she could get off them) but the possibility of this love becoming real was why she treated men better than women.
Some would suggest that she loved Bill, and certainly her mental decline started after he died as she realised her interdependence with her delusion of what he represented to her: true romantic love (which however they both knew was largely artifice to maintain the lifestyle and her position of powerful all loving guru to which they had become accustomed). Dementia must have seemed to him (at least in some unconscious level) a way out of facing up to a rather grim reality. (It is weird but I also saw a bizarrely rapid dementia and death in an Aunty who was a true believer and sacrificed everything for Anne and finally when she realised after us kids were gone the extent of what she had colluded with in terms of the suffering to herself and others and came clean to herself and others about the tragedy in which she had participated within a matter of months she was so demented that she was of no use to anyone as a witness and died pitifully a short time later). Bill never had the guts for that and so died awfully in the manner in which he had lived for the few years after the good times disappeared thanks to Anne's paranoia. After originally making a devils pact to exchange his wealth and family for becoming her goodlooking handbag and sharing in her prestige and spoils of power as long as he played his role (as a former naval pilot and successful businessman you can see how she would have been attracted to him and also why she put her first husband on a pedestal after he died young) and ignored his masculinity, he lived as a parasitic victim. And yet there was a mutual dependence in her longing for the manifestations of his love based on again on a delusional universe that thanks to others had crumbled. She wanted the love that he represented but no matter how much he liked her looks or lifestyle he could never give her what she truly craved as he had ruled himself out by not living up to the hyper masculinity she craved as a love object by succumbing to become her puppet. He never quite lost a resentment towards her for stripping him of his balls, but in the old days his only outlet was to project that onto resentment at us children in the form of occasional psychologically violent assaults on us children as I describe in my book. That and escaping into his own interests when he could which of course became physically impossible as his impotence became obvious (he failed to be the hero that got us kids back and could be the smiling puppet beside her in glamorous fantasy land as that too largely disappeared as her capacity to flaunt the money diminished (due to pragmatic as well as delusional conclusions (she had to maintain her image of the suffering Christ attacked by evil traitors) and they became trapped in the wreckage left of the delusional paradise she had originally conjured so completely with the assistance of those around her that ascribed to its demands out of neediness. His only escape was into dementia and (before it robbed him of even this) the conversations with and company of those that shared what he was interested in such as music astronomy cars etc which some of the his male friends within the organisation provided and was also lost as they too died off or left the cult.
And so for Anne here she was left until dementia robbed her of her delusions and stripped her of her money and all her power in the  position of a child that never had really experienced or recognised what it was that could have saved her and so many others so much pain: the unconditional love of a good patent.  And even being the One true Master and Jesus herself with the appropriate amount of believing disciples to maintain and bring into being her delusional universe in the real world didn't fill it. Nor did collecting the children to fulfill her need to be nurturing and nurtured and take revenge upon her childhood and parenting by conjuring up a collection of little dolls to show the world and become her puppets, though that paradoxically presented the opportunity for perhaps the only true unconditional love she ever experienced in her life. I will get back to this point later as it explains a little about the relationship between her and I and her attitude and demeanor once she became impotent, and it is also why I can understand her motivation and weaknesses.
Once she became weaker than the weakest of her believers/victims (and believe me there were some who had sacrificed themselves to her for yrs and the toll was visible) she rapidly lost spiritual charisma and mind. Thus the last time I saw her at the nursing home I knew she was no longer a threat at any existential level to anyone but herself and that only fear was keeping her alive. Eventually I hope that her dementia will rob her of her last delusions and that she is able to die in peace, not trapped in the terrifying consequences of her own sick mind.
A couple of years before I'd seen her as herself however, tho i believe that a combination of dementia and ill health had actually improved her personality in that the previous paranoia and passion seemed to have mellowed. No longer was she a powerful leader of a powerful cult but rather a sad, appallingly lonely, malnourished (both physically and psychologically as I explain with the vampire analogy) and - it seemed somewhat regretful and very very scared of dying. Because she knew that she was not what she said she was and therefore the consequences of abusing the spiritual power she had collected would be paid out further than they had been already in terms of instant karma (the almost complete loss of her prestige money (she forgot where it was in the end as the need to maintain the illusion of persecution and poverty in order to keep those last few giving her what she always craved gave her a truly miserable life and more and more slipped away or died off after the death of Bill and the defection or death of some who knew part of the web she wove made it impossible to enjoy being the vampire guru and have much personal influence in this world). What was left in her paradigm was only that longing and the fear that it would never be filled.  However her thoughts and speech process were still in the same peculiar psychotic paradigm as ever thoughts m same paradigm as ever and to converse with her in that one (a dangerous one for me as it stirs up so much ptsd related symptoms) enabled a coherent conversations the meaning of which was understandable to us both. For, paradoxically, because I stood up to her despite everything and did not need or demand anything of her, I gained respect (eventually - for a long time i was in the postition of Judas as it suited her political needs within the Family but as she grew older and I got back into contact and gently challenged her from within her own paradigm, she confided to me much as she had begun to do so before we fell out. I can explain our close connection in terms of my initial spiritual commitment to her and then in terms of following integrity in my relationship with her, and taking the time to understand her world and thought universe and actually seeing her and treating her as what she was - a fellow human being who was unwell and suffering (see my previous blog on this subject). And so we talked on and off over the years and I saw how her illness had  punished her as well as those around her in the last 20 years and wished for her only relief of that fear and suffering, which i think dementia has already commenced and will eventually succeed.
And it was obvious she was scared to die because of the consequences she thought would occur and that she was suffering through the lack of followers and the apathy of those that remained. As always men were treated better and it is interesting that an apparent power struggle will be between men. The women who benefited from being around Anne are almost non existent (the two i mentioned above  as sociopathic the exception). She always hated other females and abused and stole more from them than the men. On thier part the shadowy husks of the remaining female cuklt members that floated around her as she rotted for years up at Crowther House trapped by her paranoia and delusions of poverty. I felt maybe they were unconsciously getting a sort of revenge by buying into her poverty fantasy and feeding her as they did us as kids ie poorly miserly and little wh i took to be a kind of instant karma brought on by the consequences of coming to believe in yr delusions and losing that capacity for ruthlessness and the discrimination between fantasy and reality wh had allowed her to build up the empire and maintain it for so long.
 At that time the Sun and 60 minutes got exclusive access to interview her through me asking her to do one (yes it was as simple as that and no money was needed - she agreed when I asked) but unfortunately they missed the one chance they ever got to truly interview her and get some understanding of her world. Instead. the reporters I believe  were seduced by her  down an easier 'reunion' sideline leading to great pain for me as people I loved assumed I had somehow sold them out. In fact as you can see from my previous blog it was not a reunion but rather a goodbye and I thought she deserved a chance to speak her point of view rather than be spoken about. As you can see from previous blogs my reasons for seeing her over the years in the times when she had me not actively enmified are complex but one of them was because I had developed a way of talking with her in such a way that she understood that I was one of the very few that knew her and genuinely cared for her well being despite everything. That is why she used that publicity opportunity to brilliantly turn the agenda into one of reconciliation rather than answer any difficult questions. Because that was in her way the only way she could maintain her dignity publicly and yet announce that she understood there never was any fight between us. On my part it was always not personal but rather a necessity to stop the suffering I could see was the only bitter fruit her paradigm offered. The suffering for everyone and even for her, because i understood and could argue with her from within her paradigm. And also because I believe I was perhaps the only person because of my relationship with her that she respected in a way despite my convenient position as Judas when it had suited her in the past, because I had from childhood made the effort to engage her within her paradigm and challenge it and also she  knew genuinely cared and did not need anything off her, not her money, not her guru-ship, not her love (as i knew now that that was something she was unable to give except in the abstract and for her own gain (that re-union explained it (she used the genuine affection to promulgate an image still but there was something there none the less).
I hope that the Family will remember its history when and if it ever survives as an entity. I ask nothing of those that remain other than not to do anything more to hurt others. thousands have suffered too much already and for too long, including in the end her and let us work together to help heal those with wounds left from poor treatment as members or children of the Family. That means that we must always acknowledge the truth about her and the Family: that it was a failed experiment and built on the delusional world of an unwell woman.That also it gained huge power and influence in the community from 1960s onward and that that power and influence allowed Anne to get away with hurting so many. That it is an indictment not only on Anne and those in the Family that carried out her evil bidding but on the state of Victoria itself that she largely got away with it and that becuase of that so many have needlessly continued suffering longer than they should.
I believe that a public enquiry into the range and extent of activities of the cult is needed, as a lesson above all that we can learn in how to prevent such a group led by a psychotic guru ever again gaining such power and extent to do what she did. Among so many other things (the connections with hospitals and other places so that the cult could steal and produce children some of whom gained multiple identiites and passports (how was that allowed to occur and why weren't the children the cult stole ever fully accounted for) the education department, her connections with with overseas money and influence  eg the Rands and the people in Germany on Lake Como and with Sandoz and with powerful people here in Victoria up the the level of  Governor General of this country (her nurses looked after Lord Casey to the end), we need to look into the legacy of Newhaven, the psychiatric hospital that she ran and recruited and fed people LSD etc in. Chelmsford (its counterpart in NSW) gained its own Royal  commission, Newhaven was ignored. Similarly no matter how hard we pushed and despite the eventual investigation, she was never held to account for what happened and I believe that was because of who and what she knew. Her web of influence within Victorians society protected her to the end and I believe it is worth examining who and how that worked. No doubt there will be little political will for that, as has happened in the past, becuase no matter how much police dug up it all came to naught (in the end as the dpp made a 'mistake'. why should it make a mistake in that case?). Surely though so much time has gone by and it is less relevant now, maybe it could  stilll embarass some still in postions of power within this state if everything came out. But how much was that embarrassment worth in terms of ignoring the extent of suffering that she created for so many. I guess that is for others to decide as it always has been. Personally the idea of punishing her always repelled me, but I wanted to see her unable to act further to hurt other children and that indeed was achieved. But also what I want to see is the suffering end for those that were her victims and that, unfortunately, continues and will as long as those people remain ignored by the community that let them down so badly.
What can never be forgotten though is that, even though she has been a toothless tiger for so long and is understandable and pitiable, is that this community of Victoria colluded with her cult in letting her get away with what she did and did so for a very long time. /Surely all of us that suffered from her actions and those that have died because of the effects of them deserve something from that community in the form of assurance that how and what that group did is publicly known and we know for sure that it could never happen again.
Best regards
Dr Sarah Moore or on twitter drsarahmoore-dr 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sarah, this is Colin Perry, you probably remember me as a friend of your mothers (Chris) and husband of Debbie at the time. I am so glad to see you exposing the horrendous activities of the cult. Please contact me as there are many questions I would like to ask. My own experience was at a distance but still horrific. Now that the threat has diminished I would like to talk with you and clarify a few things for myself. I hope you re keeping well.