“The Ghost of You Lingers”
I should probably step back just a little and explain a bit about the trip to Toronto. Though I said in the previous chapter that I wanted to speak to a friend of Peter’s about Janus, during the majority of the trip, I was not conscious of that at all. I hope that illustrates in some manner just how tangled trying to explain experiences that most of us have never had (or are still unaware that we have had) is. I don’t think I would understand it reading what I’m writing and about to write below.
After the December 22, 2009 preliminary examination made it clear that there was going to be a trial (barring any success on the part of Peter’s attorney to get it dropped), I started looking at flights to Michigan.
Then the so-called underwear bomber situation occurred on Christmas Day, so I changed my plan to driving. I remembered later that Google maps had shown a route through Canada. This meant that I would have to pass through two borders (upstate New York and the one at Sarnia-Port Huron). The latter worried me a bit having created a website (“Free the Squid” dot org) and done so much letter writing. Might I be singled out and harassed for that?
So, I took my mouse and pulled that purple driving route line down below the Canadian border. It added several hours to the trip, but recall, this was December 25 or 26 of 2009 or so. The trial didn’t happen until March 2010.
So it was with all the distracting issues (who’s Janus, and, oh, yeah, I’m being psychologically harassed and/or used by some government entity) when the time came to leave in March, I just grabbed the GPS and didn’t bother checking the map. Stuck in my head was the latter route, avoiding Canada altogether.
When I made the trip upstate, it did start dawning on me that I sure was going far north in order to ultimately go west. About the time that happened, though, I was already so far north that the signs (some of them likely stating things like “CANADA 125 MILES”) were covered with snow or that black sooty stuff used to make roads safer after snow and ice. I could not read them.
So it was that late on the Saturday in March 2010 before the trial was to begin that I made a turn in my rented reddish-orange Eclipse (with Connecticut, the “Constitution State”, tags) and saw a brightly lit gigantic sign stating simply: “CANADA.”
“Ohshit, ohshit, ohshit…”
Fortunately, I thought, there seems to be plenty of room to turn around here before the Canadian crossing area. No problem, I thought.
Then I saw a second brightly lit sign in front of me going the other direction: “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.”
I had not turned around before the border, I had turned around on the border.
I explained to the upstate New York US border guards where I was going and that I was meeting a couple of writers. I did not elaborate on the details as to why, the court case involving co-workers of the people I was now explaining this to.
They wanted to search the car. In order to do so, I’d have to come with them.
They told me first thing as I walked to keep my hands out of my pockets. Then, as good law enforcement will do, started peppering me with questions. Mostly, it was to get me to repeat my answers to see if they changed at all.
As they did this, I completely forgot the order to keep hands in eyesight and reflexively put them in my pockets because it was cold. A second, considerably more ominous sounding warning came and I pulled them back out and apologized.
One repeated question was, “Who are you meeting again?”
“A couple of writers,” I replied.
“Oh! I thought you said ‘two riders’…like horses, motorcycles.”
If that guy was messing with me (the Dylan/Hendrix song “All Along the Watchtower” had been a favorite after the Watchmen movie was released made even more bizarre later by moving to the area where the inspiration for Dylan’s lyrics had come from), he gave no indication whatsoever.
I was subject to search (the car and just emptying my pockets) and taken to a small holding room. On the wall was a sign explaining the relevant laws. I had time to read it. Because Peter was being charged under Michigan law it did not entirely apply, but there was a difference involving intent. One had to intentionally resist an officer according to the Federal law, as I recall.
They let me go. Asked me if I had any pharmaceuticals (apart from over the counter stuff, I didn’t). They also were very helpful in explaining that the alternate route would have required many, many additional driving hours. I might as well go through Canada.
That was when I realized that maybe unconsciously I had wanted to go that way in order to find out that answer before the trial began. Had my unconscious “tricked” it’s younger, dumber sibling into doing what it wanted without letting it know? I’d have to say so. What I don’t know is just how much stemmed from me and how much stemmed from voice-to-skull subliminal suggestions.
As I went to get back in the car, there was a music CD sitting on the back of the driver’s side seat. It said, “Drive home to NYC” on it, something like that (the CD later disappeared).
The CD contained several songs by Spoon and one by an entirely unrelated group, T-Spoon. I had never heard Spoon before and wound up loving it. The additional track was “I Wanna Have Sex on the Beach.”
Someone of course used that to further brainwash me. Check this lyric out from “You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb”:
“I watched you start that drive alone.”
And “I Summon You”:
“800 miles is a drive.”
There’s more, but those alone were bizarre to my brain-addled consciousness. Once you are a target of these kinds of black ops, you usually assume you are being watched anyway. The idea of Janus watching didn’t seem entirely farfetched to me at the time.
I nearly backed the car into a bright yellow pole on the way out of the outside holding area where they had moved the car after the search. The guards shouted and I avoided it narrowly.
The crossing into Canada was uneventful. I spent the night at a cheap hotel at the corner of Roncesvalles and West Queen I think.
It wasn’t until I got into Port Huron and stopped at Wendy’s on Hancock near the bridge that I listened to the mix CD. Combined with whatever substances were flowing through me, I was mesmerized .
I found a strange motel near the court house. I started exploring the Port Huron and met some extraordinary people. I even jogged and sprinted along the water.
The next few days were strange. There was significant noise in the motel (as there had been in my apartment in Brooklyn) despite the place being mostly unoccupied. By Thursday of the next week there would be health inspectors talking about closing it down.
I jogged a bit and fought off the feelings of dread, anger, frustration, and fear. I told myself that “Adrienne Deux” was out there somewhere. Had to just be a matter of time before we had a beer and a laugh and things returned to normal.
I had learned long ago while working for that company, PSI, that Bain wound up purchasing, that what New Yorkers consider formal and what many other places consider formal differed. I wore a suit to the trial the first day and was very over-dressed. My concern over being thought of as disrespectful to the court in any way had made me err on the side of overdoing it.
The start was jury selection mostly, some things that were discussed between the attorneys that sometimes included the judge. After a break I went into the hallway and sat down.
“What is your interest in this trial?”
Those were the first words Peter Watts spoke to me. It’s telling, I suppose that I answered by saying, “I’m Chris in NY”, giving my screen name on his blog in the comments section. That is hardly an answer to the query. I clearly did not know at the time anyway, merely that all of the strangeness had to be connected due to the timing of it all.
“Well, where the f— did you think I was going, passing through Toronto?”
We had a little laugh about that when he expressed surprise at my presence there.
We then proceeded to the part where Watts tried to make sure I wasn’t going to suggest aloud or in mixed company that there was anything other than a simple, common, police abuse case going on. The subtext, “Please hold back the crazy you’ve been spouting via email and the blog, at least until the trial is over.”
For some reason I can’t explain, I knew that despite the other stuff. Or maybe I can explain it. It wasn’t real mental illness, it’s just PSYOPs and methods designed to make it look that way. The goal in any case was to see Peter Watts avoid jail.
That was something I never got around to blogging and haven’t mentioned before that perhaps I should. My thinking once I decided that I was going to be active in attempting to help Peter, was comparing it to the following.
Imagine you live in a major city. You invite a relative or friend over. They ask you, “Is the neighborhood safe?” You reply, “Of course.” They come to visit you and they get mugged. You look and feel like an ass for having told them things were fine.
It was to an extent a matter of pride. Bush and Cheney were gone, we had made history with electing the first African American US President. I was sure that what happened had something to do with the policies of the former administration. Here was also a chance to create a referendum on some of those policies and to perhaps put an end to the terminal state or paranoia that seemed to pervade everything.
That was December 2009. How things have changed.
“This is what happens when you have Cory Doctorow as a friend,” he added.
They wound up later getting a lot of mileage out of that one. Bent and twisted that tiny comment to mean oh-so-much-more that it was ever intended to. Try to imagine having someone else interpret everything you hear and see for you and they desperately want you to take the most cynical and paranoid interpretation you can and in fact have poisoned or pinged your brain in order to make those suggestions easier. A multi-prong approach. Effective, but only to a point.
Doctorow’s own anger sometimes comes through in certain articles. He is a staunch supporter of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The EFF opposes things like spying on people’s emails and has sued the CIA. At the time, I was still very naive about just how bad things really were, and to me, Doctorow was at the time perhaps a bit like Julian Assange is to some. Angry and defiant.
I can’t really judge anyone for being those anymore. Of course I also believed the common story on 9/11 even though I knew there was plenty of criminality that had gone on. I mistook a planned false-flag situation for pure opportunistic greed. It was so much worse than I knew then.
Jury selection was interesting regarding one thing in particular. A man who wound up being selected was incorrectly on the no-fly list. The system had screwed him over repeatedly because of a name that I gather is similar to someone in the IRA or similar. And yet…
Well, that concluded jury selection. The trial was about to begin.
1 Item 12 from the 1955 MKULTRA draft memo:
12. Substances which alter personality structure in such a way that the tendency of the recipient to become dependent upon another person is enhanced.