the true stories
We all have terrible things happen to us as we pass through our short lives. Many of mine were experienced when I was very young and were at the hands of my father. During these trials, especially for children, it is impossible to see any logic or cosmic sense in what is taking place. We cannot imagine why it is happening to us and what we could have done to deserve it. This conundrum leads many down the well-worn but man-made path of a karmic explanation of things by the time they are young adults and begin sifting through such material. I looked there and found out the following.
It is known that outsiders came to India and invaded the Dravidian peoples there. These people spent some time watching and taking notes of the indigenous population before carefully crafting what has come down to us as the Hindu Religion. The purpose? Control. Tailor-made for this particular population's temperament while serving the needs of the new overlords. The caste system and a belief in karmic debt being key parts of the control mechanism. A man who believes from birth that he is less than another man will not cause any trouble. A man who believes from birth that he will be re-incarnated will not try to save his own life. A man who believes from birth the concept of karmic debt will not bat an eyelash when someone dear to him is killed for no reason for he believes they had it coming. No matter how low a person is, there is someone lower they can mistreat and this is the sadomasochistic dynamic that was well known before the Pyramids were built.
There have always been a certain percentage of humans who prey on their own species and there always will be. Before law and order (when common sense ruled) most of these met a quick violent end and a kind of balance was maintained. Thus it may be successfully argued that with time, patience and know-how, victims can be raised like so many sheep. Indeed it is a rare human that will attack a healthy member of the same species. Far better to choose a sick, weak, elderly or young victim.
The techniques recorded by Pavlov were very well known in certain circles before that sadistic fake “scientist” was put up to trying to dignify something reprehensible by publishing his “findings.” No, people are not dogs but normal healthy mammals do share many traits across the species boundaries. The people who busy themselves at this sort of study are anything but altruistic. We also know from the work of Lobaczewski that the people we call psychopaths can detect people out of a crowd who have previously been victims of violent crimes.
There is a physical level and a spiritual level in understanding these topics. In my estimation and way of explaining things with the hindsight afforded me, I have to conclude that people who prey on other people, especially on children have become something other than human. They are mere vehicles of something ancient and elemental that preexists their dark deeds. Like a slumlord who rents to anyone with money in hand, they have given over occupancy of their hearts, minds and bodies to principalities which may be understood by some as concentrated, magnified destructive energies. These energies act like powerful drugs on the person possessed of them. Instant gratification that always falls short of satisfaction and leads to a stronger need for instant gratification. A type of Mobius strip. This arrangement appears to benefit the person who has laid their humanity aside for a time. Many of the worst characters maintain a youthful unblemished seemingly healthy physical husk. Like The Picture of Dorian Grey, as soon as they fall short of a fix, the unutterable ugliness inside will manifest.
Before I began elementary school and before I began kindergarten I was trained by my father to take a physical beating without crying out. Other than the sound of the leather on my flesh, the only other sounds made during these sessions were his labored breathing and a strange kind of snorting that I would recognize again years later in a different place. I was told to undress and wait in my room before each session and to contemplate the “reason” for my “punishment”. I would be asked to indict and to incriminate myself for a non-existent crime before the beating would commence. I was learning shame, guilt and fear all in one step. During the hours awaiting the familiar footsteps, I learned to be very creative at fabricating misdemeanors to furnish up. Each time I would then be told that the process was going to hurt him much more than me. I was sometimes brought hot chocolate chip cookies afterward by my sister. I had a plaster picture of a cow jumping over the moon over a dish running away with a spoon and another with two hands praying. In my child way, I prayed.
I was being trained to be a victim but I knew it not at the time. It was working though. I remember going for a walk once in the back of our lot when we lived for a time in the country and two older boys ran up, grabbed my arms and legs and tossed me into a canal. I was already mentally making excuses for them as I climbed out of the mud.
I was walking out by White Bayou one morning in Houston and came upon the charred remains of a cat that had been tied with newspaper string to five stakes and burned alive inside a pentagram of chalk. Now I was about five years old and I was disgusted at the sight and horrified by the idea of the suffering endured by the poor critter. I was nauseated at the thought that one of my species had done this to an innocent creature. I asked around for who had done it. I was told by other children who it was. It was a boy about ten years old in our neighborhood. I asked where his house was because I wanted to see what a person looked like who could be that evil. When I got to his yard, there hanging from a tree were frogs, lizards, snakes and other small creatures all impaled with corn-cob holders. I didn't see the boy that day but I did later. He looked pudgy and soft. His complexion was pale and he talked real loud. You could feel something cold around him like you had stepped into a shadow.
When I was about eight, my father took me one day to the Mississippi River levee. We were then living in Baton Rouge. He parked on the one lane dirt top with the river on my side and the sharecropper shacks on the other side down the slope. He told me very clearly not to leave the car for any reason. He walked away. After awhile, I heard some voices. Then a clod of dried clay hit the window. A group of black children of various ages from teens down to my own age appeared. They surrounded the car and demanded I get out. More from fear of retribution of disobeying my father than from fear of the kids, I locked the doors and sat like a stone lion. They pelted the car and slapped the windows and door panels while giving me the verbal “dozens.” I learned to hold my mud.
“You so ugly, yo momma hafta feed you wit a sling-shot.”
“You so ugly, they hafta tie a poke-chop roun' yo neck, jus ta get the dawg ta play wit ya.”
It seemed a long time before I heard the crunching footsteps of my father's alligator shoes. The same heel-taps I had learned to associate with a beating from age three or so now were the sound made by my rescuer. As if on cue, the kids ran away as he approached. I wonder how much he paid them for this exercise in cognitive dissonance. Another Pavlovian technique. I didn't know it but I was learning to be loyal to my tormentor.
From five to twelve, there were frequent events staged by my father involving animals. We always had big dogs of one kind or another and my father would catch a stray cat for example and throw it in the living room to fight for its life against two Chow-Chows. He would snort and giggle while us children screamed at the blood spectacle. After a dog got a ripped nose or a cat got a fang hole in its leg he would relent and stop the proceedings. Once he set a giant Texas snapping turtle loose in the living room. We kids had to stay on chairs to avoid getting a finger or toe snapped off by the annoyed animal.
As I grew, the punishments and humiliations varied but the important groundwork had been laid. I was as loyal to my tormentor as a wolf. Yet I wondered constantly, Why me? I invented back stories for my father and attempted to justify his treatment of me by imagining unknown villains who must have treated him worse. There possibly was some truth in this but as I matured spiritually, I came to know that although we might not choose what happens to us, we do choose everything that we do. We bear responsibility for our own actions, not those of others.
When I was in Grade nine and in my last year in Texas, we lived in two Houston neighborhoods known as Spring Branch and Oak Forest, both near The Heights where I was born. In Spring Branch my family lived in a large apartment complex which had three hundred units, three pools, three launderettes and an on-site cocktail bar. I worked in a Mexican Restaurant.
When we left the apartment complex we moved a short distance away to Oak Forest, where we lived in a rented house. I changed jobs to become a bag-boy at a local grocery store. We had not been long in that house before the incident that follows. It was 1971-2.
I was walking to work one hot sunny day when a big car pulled alongside on the boulevard and the window rolled down. A man in his thirties smiled and made a comment about the heat of the day and asked if I would like an air-conditioned ride. I said yes and got in the front seat. I remember thinking that it was about time someone did something nice for someone.
The man asked where I was going and said no more after I answered. I was fourteen and had a head full of my own problems and dreams so I didn't mind the silence. When we got to the turn for my workplace, the man did several things at once. He retracted all the door locks, changed lanes, gunned the motor and started the labored breathing and inhuman snorting I recognized from so long ago. A few seconds later we were on the Loop. A few moments later we were far from any streets I even recognized.
More than twenty boys my age had disappeared from my area of Houston over the past several years. No bodies had been discovered and the head count was rising all the time. I instantly knew deep within that I was potentially living the last hours of my life. There was no time to scold myself for being so self-absorbed as to take the ride and to ignore the daily headlines. A calmness came over me that I could not account for. I found myself mouthing carefully crafted words with no hesitation and using a very particular exact tone, inflection, punctuation and gestures. It was me but I couldn't have choreographed it if given a week to prepare. I knew in my deepest recesses that I was not alone without help. The ex-human beside me was already dead and I was having a parley with something Other. In those conversations, there are very strict rules and the Adversary gains only such advantage as you give up.
I mentioned as a matter of fact that we had missed our turn. He let out an ugly laugh and began to masturbate violently. I said that I would be fired if I was late and that I would get my ass kicked if my father found out I had gotten fired. I spoke as if I hadn't noticed any aberrant behavior at all. The only hint of concern in my voice was reserved for my being late or being fired.
The wretched creature asked if I liked parties. It's voice was mechanical sounding as if something was only borrowing the former human's vocal chords to make ugly hissing and grunting sounds. As indeed, I believe was the case. I answered in the affirmative and added that if I lost my job I wouldn't be going to any party. The more I kept a calm voice, the less power I detected in the snorts, sneers and other drivel coming out of the soulless husk driving the vehicle.
I was asked if I liked wine. I was asked if I liked marijuana. I answered affirmatively, with some enthusiasm, a hint of surprise and a faint gilding of gratitude in my voice, bespeaking my supposed surprise that an adult would be willing to furnish a mere boy with those exotic things. In fact, I had had the job of cleaning the seeds and stems out of my father's supply of that herb. It was nothing alien nor exciting to me and though I didn't drink, I had been taught by my Grandfather to make wine. I had five gallons of red in the garage at the house. I had given bottles to my co-workers and to a fellow who was delivering advertisements to my building. It was that delivery dude who taught me to play Blues harmonica one summer day.
I then began to question the Beast. I asked if he would really get me some wine and pot or if he was just bluffing. He became quiet and almost calm. He finished his business and put both hands on the wheel and took the bait. I was asked if I had any friends who liked to party. I answered in the affirmative and added with a note of frustration in my voice that it didn't matter anyway because I was going to be so late, I was going to get fired and then be grounded. I was asked how many friends I could get to come to a party. I said, “Two” and this set the hook. I was asked what time I got off work. I told him seven PM, which was two hours later than I actually did.
He suddenly pulled onto an exit ramp and parked at a Seven Eleven. He went inside without a word and I sat like a stone lion. I held my mud. He came out with a big Lime Slurpee and seemed different. Like an overgrown infant who was dreaming of his next feeding seconds after having his last. He started the car and drove me straight to the supermarket with a promise to be waiting at seven for me and my two friends. I acted relieved for not loosing my job and still having a chance to party. He pulled away smiling and waving. I said not to forget enough wine and enough pot for three guys.
Inside I apologized to my supervisor for being slightly late and then I told three of my co-workers who were several years older than myself what had just gone down. They gave me a switch-blade which I carried from that night until I left Houston. They had seen the car pull away and I was told that when they got a hold of the creep, he would need a new car when and if he was ever released from hospital.
I never saw the ghoul again in person and I never told anyone else about the encounter. Very shortly after that incident, my family moved to Canada for a second time. I hadn't been long in the North when a big news story broke from Houston, Texas. A man had been shot dead by a boy. When an investigation was conducted into the homicide, it turned out that the dead man was responsible for the torture, rape, mutilation and murder of 38 boys from age 14 – 18 mostly from The Heights neighborhood. The shooter had been one of two teenage accomplices who had taken active parts in many of the murders and helped to procure many of the victims. Sometimes even tricking their own schoolmates into going to the “Candy Man's” house.
The Candy Man had several properties and held several rented apartments as well. Plywood torture boards with steel cuffs were found in some of these apartments by the police later on in the investigation. The two youths who confessed their parts in this horrid partnership showed several of the burial sites used by their leader. One of these was on a peninsula called Bolivar, where I played and fished in the Gulf of Mexico every summer. The bodies exhumed were all tortured , mutilated and sexually violated. I got a real shock when I saw the first photo of the Candy Man. I recognized the face instantly.
A second shock came when an address was published of one of the last habitations of the Candy Man. I won't print it here but it was a unit within the apartment complex in Spring Branch where I had lived only months before my encounter. But for the grace of God, who turned the cruel training I had received from my father into just the right words, tones and non typical reactions to quell the blood-lust of a killer and entrain its greed against itself, I may easily have been number 39. There was a reason I was spared and I take no credit for my safe deliverance. I simply give my thanks to my Creator and acknowledge my responsibility to make everyday left to me count for as much good as I can.
I visited the Bolivar Peninsula in 2007 for the first time since these happenings and about a year later a massive hurricane blew it into the Gulf of Mexico. The picture above was sent to me by a friend in Texas after that hurricane. One house alone remained. My Grandfather's cabin is in the Gulf Stream.
I looked up the old news stories of this case the other day and saw that some young fellow from Houston had made a film of the whole evil thing. He went to the prison where the two helpers are still incarcerated and got their blessing and also some of their clothing that they wore while committing their unspeakable deeds. I learned that he had shot the film in one of the actual locations of many of the murders and that his actors had worn the real murderer's garments. I found a video clip of him talking and when he finished with “Hail Satan” I thought of the charred cat. People can choose anything they want from any age and many have chosen the fool's path.
Fear, anxiety, terror and other strongly negative emotions are the food of dark things, to put it simply. The previously human person causing these emotions is not the recipient of such evil nourishment. No, they are already dead husks and serve only as minions to harvest this foul crop for the sake of something non-corporeal they have established a relationship with. Their temporary rewards are like a stolen car that gets waxed and washed everyday for a week while the thief uses it to rob banks and then sends it off a cliff into a lake when it no longer suits him. A Cherokee and a person of the Book may use different words to describe this teaching but they are both saying the same truth which is as old as the hills. All that has changed is our technology.
Some people wonder why I smoke. Some people wonder why I don't like parties and alcohol. Some people wonder why I try to treat everyone I encounter like a brother, sister, father or mother if I detect that they are holding onto their humanity. Some people wonder why I strive to be honest in my dealings. Some people wonder how being gentle as lambs and wise as serpents applies to today's world. Like old Mrs. Goldberg on my postal route says, “ We might as well be good to each other, our life is a short couple of days but we are going to be dead for a long long time.”
Copyright © 2015 by Michael A. Hawes. All Rights Reserved.
Michael Hawes was born in Texas, raised in Louisiana and lives in British Columbia.