Chaosophy 93 by Iona Miller

An Imaginal Perspective on the Nature of Reality,
Consciousness, Experience, and Perception;
Iona Miller, 1993
ABSTRACT: Our notions about ourselves and the nature of the world (worldview) around us are filtered through our prejudices about “the way things work”. We never apprehend reality directly–only our world-simulation which is congealed from the convergence of our sensory input channels and the information-creating processes of chaotic neural activity. The brain filters and creates reality.
Brains are chaotic systems which create internal perceptual patterns that substitute directly for sensory stimuli. These stimuli are evoked potentials or evoked fields–standing waves in the brain. Imagination has the ability to induce real-time changes in the psychophysical being.
Imagination embodies the power of transformation. It may be accessed through obvious imagery, such as dreams, vision, and other sensory analogs, or viewed directly in symptoms, behavior patterns, emotional patterns, mental concepts, and spiritual beliefs.
The imaginal process is our primary experience and it permeates and conditions all facets of human life. During experiential psychotherapy, the sensory-motor cortex system is influenced through imagination. Psyche affects substance at the most fundamental level, through chaotic neural activity.
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An Experiential Approach and Application to Dreamwork,
Creativity, and Healing;
Graywolf Fred Swinney and Iona Miller, 1991
ABSTRACT: Experiential therapy sessions and mysticism demonstrate that as we journey deeper and deeper into the psyche we eventually encounter a state characterized either as “chaotic” or void of images. In a therapeutic context, chaos is experienced as a consciousness state–the ground state. This state is related to healing, dreams, and creativity. Shamanic approaches to healing involve co-consciousness states which lead to restructuring both physical and emotional-mental senses of self.
Dreams, creativity, and healing arise from this undifferentiated “chaotic consciousness.” Dreamhealing uses images as portals for consciousness journeys to facilitate transformations ranging from mood alteration to profound physiological changes. Imagery (virtual experience) affects the immune system, activating psychosomatic forces, such as the placebo effect. Chaos-oriented consciousness journeys suggest these states reflect complex phase space, fractal patterns, strange attractors, “the butterfly effect,” sensitivity, complex feedback loops, intermittency, and other general dynamical aspects suggested by chaos theory. More than an experiential process, this is a philosophy of treatment–“Chaosophy.”
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Re-Creational Ego Death in Psychedelic Consciousness;
Iona Miller, 1992
ABSTRACT: There is a generic process in nature and consciousness which dissolves and regenerates all forms. The essence of this transformative, morphological process is chaotic–purposeful yet inherently unpredictable holistic repatterning. The Great Work of the art of alchemy is the creation of the Philosopher’s Stone, a symbol of wholeness and integration. The liquid form of the Stone, called the Universal Solvent, dissolves all old forms like a rushing stream, and is the self-organizing matrix for the rebirth of new forms. It is thus a metaphor or model for the dynamic process of transformation, ego death and re-creation.
The alchemical operation SOLUTIO, called “the root of alchemy,” corresponds with the element water. It implies a flowing state of consciousness, “liquification” of consciousness, a return to the womb for rebirth, a baptism or healing immersion in the vast ocean of deep consciousness. It facilitates feedback via creative regression: de-structuring, or destratification by immersion in the flow of psychic imagery through identification with more and more primal forms or patterns–a psychedelic, expanded state. Chaos Theory provides a metaphorical language for describing the flowing dynamics of the chaotic process of psychological transformation.
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Jung’s Notion of the Complex as “Strange Attractor”
Iona Miller, 1991
That people should succumb to these eternal images is entirely normal, in fact it is what these images are for. They are meant to ATTRACT, to convince, to fascinate, and to overpower. They are created out of the primal stuff of revelation.
If the charge of one (or more) of the “nodal points” becomes so powerful that it “magnetically” (acting as a nuclear cell”) ATTRACTS everything to itself and so confronts the ego with an alien entity…that has become autonomous
–then we have a complex.
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An Introduction to Nonunitarian Philosophy;
Iona Miller, 1993
ABSTRACT: In nonunitarian, discontinuous transformations, a system opens itself to novelty and potentiality by dissolving into a state of nonlocal communion with the whole and reforms unconditioned by the past. Nonunitary transformation is based in the dissolution of all forms and structures, and creative emergence of unconditioned creativity–metamorphosis. In this organic model of multiple universes and states of consciousness, everything is involved in a pattern of continuous rebirth, and everything is the manifestation of the underlying creative potential, transcending physical and spiritual boundaries.
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A Multistate Paradigm;
Iona Miller, 1993
ABSTRACT: In the Creative Consciousness Process (CCP), participants frequently encounter typical archetypal imagery at the threshold of chaotic consciousness. One of these reiterating images is that of grayness, black/whiteness, amorphousness. There are analogous reports from mystics and physicists about a fundamental cloudiness to the perception of ultimate realities. Relevant associations include parallel universes, the scientific notion of “observer effect”, and the mystical notion of “the witness” or observer self.
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Virtual Realities Beyond the Dialogical Self;
Iona Miller, 1993
ABSTRACT: The basis of the human psyche seems to be a collective of selves–a multimind in a multiverse. Independent and autonomous, they relate with one another mostly unknown to the outer awareness. The extreme form of splintering seen in Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) simply reflects an extreme form of multiplicity with conflicting perspectives. The “multistate paradigm” of human nature extends toward a psychology and spirituality that is polytheistic, even pantheistic.
Dialogue is a form of imagery which creates and sustains a worldview through the means of imaginal conversations. Within the fabric of multiple centers or vortices within the psyche, an on-going dialogue emerges which ranges from selftalk (ego to ego), through “group” discussion (ego with subpersonalities), to spiritual dialogue (ego with transpersonal entities). Beyond the dialogical realm lies the unspeakable experience (untranslatable) of the Void or Clear Light, the realm of archetypal light and sound as pure consciousness.
The “Word” helps us create and define reality. Conversation as well as observation defines our reality. Dialogue of the self with its various conscious and unconscious forms creates a series of “virtual realities” which form the basis of self-simulation and world-simulation. These forms are limitless in number, far beyond the classic archetypes such as persona, anima/animus, etc, suggesting the notion of “radical pluralism.”
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Primal Imagery in the Creative Consciousness Process;
Iona Miller, 1993
ABSTRACT: Consciousness appears as the urge toward manifestation or embodiment and an equal but opposite urge toward formlessness. This interplay creates the imaginal flux of representational and nonrepresentational perception. These clashing currents in the stream of consciousness create “standing waves” of informational content which may be unfolded from their implicate to explicate state through direct participation in that stream.
The premise of the consciousness journey is that this “dream wave” may be followed backward/forward toward more primal representations into the nonrepresentational mode of perception. Certain typical, recurrent patterns occur at the further limits of these journeys. Particular phenomena are reiterated at the threshold of chaos–the threshold of dissolution–including amorphous clouds, black holes in psychic space, spirals and vortices, as well as dead and fertile voids.
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THE UNBORN DREAM: Thriving on Chaos
Iona Miller, 1993
ABSTRACT: If the implicate order is analogous to the frequency domain, as Bohm-Pribram have shown, the image/object domain unfolds from this invisible reality. That which is enfolded within the undivided whole is the “Bornless One,” the unborn dream of our infinite possibilities. Unity-in-diversity is the direct experiential/existential goal of the Creative Consciousness Process in its experimental form.
Complex dynamics is implicated in the energetic translation of the “waves of unborn nothingness” which constitute the unborn dream, the relentless flow of consciousness in search of embodiment and formlessness. Consciousness journeys are the “reading” or explication of the formless domain of Spirit. Following Nature to whatever abysses she leads, they reveal a way of thriving on chaos.
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Chaos Theory and Fuzzy Philosophy;
Iona Miller, 1993
ABSTRACT: The notion of paradox comes from a consciousness conditioned to think in terms of opposites, dualistic paradox. Self-referential paradox feeds back and annihilates itself. Such bivalence (binary logic: this or that; true or false; black or white) can be superceded by multivalent consciousness which perceives in terms of degrees. Multivalence more accurately reflects the complex dynamics of consciousness. As in the case of fractal generation, solutions are not found in terms of this or that, but in terms of degrees of fractional transformation, relationships. Fuzzy philosophy is based on acceptance of degrees of truth, the “grayness” of most propositions (truth values), the fractional solutions of fuzzy logic. Human consciousness is a self-referential system which embodies this principle of a connection between logic and chaos, in holistic (“whole brain”) awareness.
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Explication, Ego Death, and Emptiness;
Iona Miller, 1993
ABSTRACT: David Bohm suggests psychological “atom-smashing” as a way of radically destructuring the ego, opening it to wider experience of the undivided whole. The holographic paradigm is one of reciprocal enfolding and unfolding of patterns of information (explication). The stream of images in CCP functions analogously to the unfolding of the stream of consciousness and the enfolding and de-structuring of the ego (ego death). Consciousness and matter share the same essence; their difference is one of degree of subtlety or density. “Emptiness” is an integral aspect of mind/matter. Chaos theory links all these elements as aspects of the archetypal healing process, which is facilitated by CCP.
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Information Theory and the Vortex of Internal Structuring Process
Iona Miller, 1993
ABSTRACT: Because of its very nature a chaotic system cannot be decomposed. If consciousness is pure information it is not limited to physical form; its patterning may emerge from chaotic dynamics operating at the quantum level, where the “no-thing” of pure information becomes a structured “some-thing,” through intentionality coupled with chaotic determinism (self-organized emergent order). The so-called “software of consciousness” is unlike the matter and energy of classical understanding, but exerts a measureable effect on the physical world, apparently through quantum chaos.
Fractal therapy allows us to penetrate deeply into the psyche–into the vortex of the internal structuring process–through progressively de-structuring patterns of organization. The undecomposable level of chaotic consciousness is experienced as the pure, unconditioned imprint of the whole, resulting in a new primal self image and sense of relationship to the greater whole which emerges through nonunitary transformation.
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Richard Alan Miller, Burt Webb, Darden Dickson, 1973-1993
ABSTRACT: The organization of any biological system is established by a complex electrodynamic field which is, in part, determined by its atomic physiochemical components and which, in part, determines the behavior and orientation of these components. The holographic model of reality emerging from this principle may provide a scientific explanation of psychoenergetic phenomena.
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An Application of the Holographic Concept of Reality;
Richard Alan Miller and Burt Webb, 1973-1993
[Presented at the Omniversal Symposium, California State College at Sonoma, Saturday, September 29, 1973. Reprinted in the journal Psychedelic Monographs and Essays, Vol. 6, 1993. 137-156. Boynton Beach, FL.]
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The Holistic Patterning Process of Chaos and Antichaos
Iona Miller, 1993

ABSTRACT: Self-organization is an emergent property of systems and organisms, including human beings. Chaotic dynamics governs the emergence of this new order from apparent randomness. The deep coherence of the overall process implies hidden or missing information for holistic patterning within the apparent “noise” or randomness of chaotic processes.
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Graywolf, 1990
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Graywolf, 1989
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Iona Miller, 1992
…we are not concerned here with a philosophical, much less a religious, concept of the soul, but with the psychological recognition of the existence of a semiconscious psychic complex, having partial autonomy of function, [anima].
The soul loses its psychological vision in the abstract literalisms of the spirit as well as in the concrete literalisms of the body.
Psychic and somatic symptoms express the soul’s painful wounds and obstructions. The rational mind is incapable of deciding what is bet for the soul. The mind can discover what is needed only by listening to and reflecting upon the subtle movement of the soul as it expresses itself in bodily sensations, feelings, emotions, images, ideas, and dreams.
Robert M. Stein, “BODY AND PSYCHE”
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Speculations on a New Modality
Iona Miller and Burt Webb, 1992
ABSTRACT: The advent of virtual reality technology opens up a whole new dimension for therapy. Psychotherapist and client may enter an electronic simulation which allows them both to occupy a shared imaginal space. The parameters of the system and environment can be programmed to display specific archetypal imagery which is known to influence the deep psyche. The ability to interact with the system provides a means of intervention and transformation.
The therapist, as electronic shaman, either guides or follows the client’s process. He chooses from a repertoire of archetypal encounters those images which fit most closely, thus amplifying the “cybernaut’s” imagery experience. Distinctions of inner vs. outer become experientially moot. Therapeutic interventions, impossible in consensus reality, become readily available without standard ethical considerations.
The shaman’s flight into the netherworld to retrieve a “lost” soul becomes a literal reality experienced as a co-conscious journey. The discernment and non directive attitude of the therapist insures that the client will not be traumatized. The perception of universal and personal metaphors is enhanced and amplified, rather than imposed. As in hypnosis, the client maintains the possibility of “escape” back into consensus reality, simply by closing their eyes.
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Synchronized Chaos and Co-Consciousness
by Iona Miller, 1993
ABSTRACT: In a Bohm/de Broglie theory, the guide wave (or pilot wave) governs or patterns the whole quantum experiment–the observer as well as the observed. This nonlocal guiding principle also acts as a morphogenetic field for the structuring of atoms and cells. An analogous structuring of free flowing energy appears in the stream of consciousness.
The on-going stream of imagery manifests the process of co-evolution which is not distinct from our psychophysical being. Imagery and the entity it shapes are not separate. They are different dimensions of the same energy. The guide wave is something of a cosmic memory which holistically conditions the present moment through complex feedback and feedforward phenomena. The guide wave maintains specific forms as new moments unfold.
Research shows that synchronized chaos may be engineered through perturbation and operational amplification, creating flexibility among many different behaviors. Isolated chaotic systems cannot synchronize, but parts can synchronize through supporting subsystems, like a phase-locked loop. Thus, chaotic signals are generated which drive stable periodic behavior. The presence of chaos appears to be an advantage in controlling dynamic behavior, leading to flexibility and stability. Just as small disturbances in chaotic systems radically alter their behavior (“butterfly effect”), tiny adjustments can stabilize behavior.
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The Interface of Consciousness and Information Quanta
by Iona Miller, 1993.
ABSTRACT: Information Theory has been employed to model dynamic processes ranging from the entire universe (Ed Fredkin, 1988) to human neurological functioning (Karl Pribram,1991). Pribram’s research on human perception has culminated in a theory of neurodynamics based on nonlocal cortical processing–holonomy. According to Pribram, “space-time and spectrum provide the dimensions within which information occurs.” The information theory of the universe models bits of information as fundamental, while neurodynamics conceives of quanta of information. Holonomy supercedes general systems theory and thermodynamics as models of brain/mind/consciousness.
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The Concepts of Form and Intentionality
in Information Theory,
by Iona Miller, 1993
ABSTRACT: Physics deals with the energetic aspect of the world. Information theory deals with the communicational aspect, the message from the external world (universe) to the individual and his reactions. Information is a quantity whose value depends on its usability, what it adds to a representation–its originality, unforeseeability. The general study of information theory can be applied to perception in the human receptor.
The emergence of imagery from white noise–the figure/ground distinction of Gestalt–is one implication relevant to process-oriented therapy and certain philosophical considerations about the nature of chaos and order in reality. Wave fronts exhibit a fractal nature, including sound waves. Meaningful sound, such as music and speech lies in between total white noise and the monotone of indefinitely held pure notes
We tend to take the constant imaginal flux of the stream of consciousness for granted, rarely focusing our conscious awareness in that direction. But we can experientially “decode” the universal “message” it contains for us in terms of potential holistic repatterning. No universal message is really “transmitted” because it is a nonlocal quantum phenomenon of consciousness. There is no channel or receiver, but the classical ego interprets it that way–as information.
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The Fractal Nature of Emergent Consciousness
by Iona Miller, 1993
ABSTRACT: Transformations can be effected within the autonomous stream of imagery, through imagery processing via experiential therapy. The essence of this transformative process is revealed in the fractal nature of imagery and symbols–i.e. their ability to encode, enfold, or compress the informational content of the whole. Strange attractors condition and govern the transformative process through the complexity of information in dynamic flow. Emergent consciousness is not an epiphenomenon of the brain. Rather it is the transformational process of non-manifest, undifferentiated consciousness emerging into manifestation.
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A Synopsis of Amit Goswami’s
Theory of Physics and Psychic Phenomena,
by Iona Miller, 1993
SUMMARY: Amit Goswami, Ph.D. has proposed a theory of consciousness, rather than atoms, as the fundamental reality of the material world. Based in the philosophy of monistic idealism, he claims to obtain a consistent paradox-free interpretation of the new physics. He suggests a quantum mechanical, as well as classical nature for mind, which accounts for nonlocal psychic phenomena.
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The modern myths of our times are those scientific theories which foster our sense of mystery and awe when we gaze into the deep heart of Nature. The Anima Mundi–Soul of the World–the soul of matter, is alive and well. All we need do to connect with her is turn an imaginal eye on our relations with self, others, and world.
There is a therapeutic value in deliteralizing our theories about the way things work. We can view theory poetically, metaphorically to illuminate the natural process of creation and dissolution of pattern and form. Nature repeats herself at all levels of organization. Therefore insight on the fundamental nature of matter and the relationship of interacting systems reveals analogies with human existence and behavior. Whatever nature is, we are that.
As the ancient alchemists noticed, the transformation of matter is analogous to transformation in the psyche. This is not to say that consciousness cannot transcend its physical substratum. If we concur with David Bohm, positing consciousness as pure information, it not only transcends the human sphere but the entire domain of physical manifestation.
Chaos theory provides an interesting philosophical basis for exploring this relationship of psyche and matter–the interface of mind and matter. Perhaps one of its primary virtues is that it allows us to formulate a theory of consciousness and healing based on an organic model of transformation, rather than a mechanistic or cybernetic process, which form the basis of some other current theories.
Unfolding the analogies of the Creative Consciousness Process with Chaos Theory is not intended to bind the two together as a final picture of the way things are. CCP was not developed from nor structured around Chaos Theory. It is just the best state-of-the-art scientific metaphor we have to describe the transformative process in nature’s terms.
Most of the nuts and bolts “how to” of CCP is covered in DREAMHEALING: CHAOS AND THE CREATIVE CONSCIOUSNESS PROCESS. The science behind what Graywolf later called CRP (Consciousness Restructuring Process) is in HOLOGRAPHIC HEALING, by Graywolf Swinney. Since this journal is being developed essentially as a “house organ” for practitioners of CCP or CRP, or dreamhealing, it refers to this foundational work as the source of the basic theory and method of practice.
CHAOSOPHY ’93 explores the philosophical implications and assumptions underlying that practice. It is rooted in the notion that imaginal representation is the fundamental experiential reality of human existence, and that these representational systems can be radically deconstructed and creatively repatterned holistically.
Psyche is not separate from matter. Consciousness is not separate from matter. But this philosophy is neither dualist nor materialist–it is functionalist; it works. Yet it also adheres to the romantic traditions of shamanism, philosophy, the arts, and depth psychology.
Chaos is ubiquitous throughout nature, yet has largely been ingnored by science in the past due to the overwhelming complexity of detecting its underlying pattern and purpose. Much the same could be said for its appearance in human psychology and philosophy.
Yet chaos has always been recognized as a primal or fundamental condition from which all systems emerge and into which they dissolve. This statement holds as true for the ego as it does for the creation of any form of order.
Chaosophy, as a philosophy of treatment, is based in the notion of following the creative flow of meaning which emerges continually as the stream of consciousness–an upwelling river of imagery. When there are blocks to this free flow of energy–frozen states of consciousness obstructing the flow–they can be deconstructed, “liquified.”
As the ego encounters the powerful flow of autonomous imagery, consciousness can ride its waves back to their emergent source. Creative regression into more fundamental (less-structured) states of consciousness ranges from representational forms to nonrepresentational patterns, from the phenomenological to the nonphenomenological.
In this process the ego is deconstructed–temporarily dissolved–relieved of its fossilizations and rigidities, and prepared for holistic repatterning by “chaotic consciousness,” the holistic ground state.
This “RE-CREATIONAL EGO DEATH” paves the way for the new emergent order which repatterns the whole person, radically altering self image and relationship to the world at large. It is a direct experience of an enlarged sense of self and participation in the greater whole. It restructures the belief system and personal mythology. Creativity and healing are emergent properties of self-organizing systems.
Several other scientific theories are relevant to an amplification of the nature of this natural transformative process. CCP just facilitates and follows nature’s way. Other relevant concepts include relativity and quantum mechanics, theories of the holographic nature of mind and universe, parallel universes, virtual realities, nonunitarian transformations, general systems theory, and information theory.
Part I, CHAOS AND POSTMODERN PSYCHOTHERAPY, introduces a worldview which serves as a philosophical basis for experiential therapy with an organic deconstructionist orientation.
Part II, POLYPHASIC CONSCIOUSNESS, presents the case for a model of consciousness rooted in radical pluralism of infinite states or phases of consciousness.
Part III, THE HOLOGRAPHIC PARADIGM, provides further links from physics and cognitive sciences which embed CCP in holistic models of reality.
Part IV, CHAOS CULTURE, is meant to suggest applications of this philosophy in daily life.
Part V, INFORMATION THEORY carries us into even more arcane areas of applications in psychology and philosophy.
Though these articles build on one another, they are not necessarily to be studied in a linear manner. They build on one another in a reflective, recursive fashion. Therefore, they may require more than one reading, as the later material illuminates notions presented earlier in more cursory fashion. Like iterating fractals, these articles present multiple views of the same self-similar process over and over again from slightly different perspectives.
As poetic or metaphorical speculation they are meant to provoke and evoke deep thought and awareness in the reader, helping perhaps to clarify the reader’s own worldview. We hope they will shed some light on the nature of the archetypal healing process and creativity as they emerge in therapeutic interaction.
Hopefully, those of you who are practitioners or “armchair” philosophers may be moved to make your own contributions.
Chaos theory has been one of the most fertile venues of interdisciplinary study of the nature of consciousness and reality, and we welcome all comments for revue.
–Iona Miller, 1993
“…the idea of psychotherapy grounded in philosophy is different from the idea of psychotherapy grounded in healing, medicine, shamanism.”
James Hillman,
We’ve Had A Hundred Years of Psychotherapy


~ by ionamiller on October 12, 2009.

One Response to “Chaosophy 93 by Iona Miller”

  1. Does Anyone Trust Psychotherapists?

    I don’t trust psychotherapists anymore. Many of them are in College Fraternities (Secret Societies). There is nothing that you can tell these people that will be kept confidential. These Secret Societies are being put into every position of power. They have created an invisible society within our society. If a potential employer (who is in a Secret Society) or a government agent wants to know your deepest darkest secrets, this “psychotherapist” will tell them everything about you (without a warrant). They are loyal to their Fraternity, above everything else, and it is ultra secretive. This is the big secret that the “mainstream” American public doesn’t know.

    People often wonder why Secret Societies are soooo secretive. Its because if you don’t know about it, you can’t complain that your rights were violated. They will say, “it never happened!” My blog:

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