the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero


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Brandt begins to challenge Preston: Man as Temptor

Cimmy, myself, and the kids are observing an unplugged week, so it’s time for a week+ of reruns. Also, I’ve been in horrid pain, so creating new posts is tough. Please enjoy (even if you’ve read this before).

Campbell calls this stage “Woman as Temptress”, but the world of Libria and the Tetragrammaton Council is distinctly patriarchal, and I choose to emphasize the temptation as a particularly warped masculine one.

Normally this stage is listed later in the Initiation process, well after the Road of Trials.  Brandt is introduced early, however, just before Preston meets Mary O’Brien (see John Preston Meets Mary O’Brien: Guide and Goddess).  He is immediately a hard juxtaposition to Errol Partridge: smooth, eager, and idealistic.  “I only hope to one day be as uncompromising as you,” he tells Preston in one scene.  “I’m like you, Cleric– intuitive,” he tells him in another, asserting that he can tell what a sense offender is thinking before he thinks it (reminiscent of an identical claim Preston makes to Vice-Counsel DuPont, who censures him for his late wife’s crime).

More particularly, Preston begins to assume the sentiments of his late partner Partridge, right down to the dialogue in some cases (Preston: “Why didn’t you leave that for the evidentiary team to log?” Partridge: “They miss things sometimes”, later, Brandt assumes Preston’s line, and Preston assumes Partridge’s).  Brandt is wise to these changes in Preston– observations that conflict with the reputation Preston has as Libria’s senior ranking Cleric.  He eventually confronts Preston with his suspicions:

Brandt’s challenge is the beginning of the Road of Trials. He reveals that the Council has accelerated prosecution of sense offenders, and this will prove harder for Preston as he seeks to discover the Resistance and the Underground.

NEXT POST IN THE SERIES: Questions for Mary: Meeting with the Goddess

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A 10-year blogging journey: Woman as Temptress

This is another one of the stages Campbell lists.  EDIT: I have just recently received some kind support from a blogging friend that remembers me telling this story before.  I remember some discussion on hers and other blogs that creepy stalkers can be male OR female!  Never fun when that happens.

My first Internet stalker was female.  I didn’t think of her as a creepy stalker at first– initially, I wanted to think of her as an online friend– but she was definitely predatory.

Homestar Runner

Homestar Runner was a very popular animated series site at the time, and the creators decided to promote it on a LiveJournal feed.  I seem to remember there was also a community for the site, or something like that, and that’s where she said she found me, when I asked.

No biggie, I thought at first.  But then came the first red flag.  Maybe you’ve noticed, dear readers, that most people read the latest posts on a blog, and it’s unusual for them to dig into the archive, unless older posts are promoted.  I was flattered at first that she was reading and commenting on older posts– but then, when I saw how far back she was combing, I was a little disturbed.

Maybe you remember that quizzes used to be a trend on blogs.  Out of misplaced curiosity, I’d posted one from an LJ friend… and this stalker answered.  Then I decided to visit the talker she was a part of.  I was curious– it reminded me of Grex (and their old protocols) and the community was also in the Midwest.

I’d never used a talker before, but I was familiar with the MUDs they were based on.  Think Second Life, but all text.  Once I got there, she’d whisk me away to a restricted room to cybersex me.  She wouldn’t take no for an answer and didn’t seem to care that I was married.  I found out she was engaged, too.  What the hell?

I made the unfortunate mistake of going along with it, and Cimmy was understandably upset when she found out about it.  I don’t mean to excuse myself, but this wasn’t the first time I allowed a crazy woman to grab attention from me, and in much that way, too.  (One of many reasons why I regret being part of the LARP and Camarilla scene.)

But Cimmy didn’t stay too mad for long and she definitely found ways to help me get even.  She cornered this woman and turned on the bright interrogation lamps, so to speak.  We also wanted to see how far she would push this to real-life, like with a telephone call.  sigh It turns out she was pretty cowardly.

The frosting on the cake came when she found out her fiancé was cheating on her– and then she ranted about it at her own space.  Oh, the hypocrisy.  This upset me a great deal, but I didn’t dare to comment too much, lest I be lambasted for my own part.

But now it’s out in the open.  Think of me what you will, I guess– this predatory behavior was more subtle, and I got emotionally hooked.  I am grateful that my wife helped me break out it.

Next post in the series: A 10-year blogging journey: New Life and the VOX years


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Brandt begins to challenge Preston: Man as Temptor

Campbell calls this stage “Woman as Temptress”, but the world of Libria and the Tetragrammaton Council is distinctly patriarchal, and I choose to emphasize the temptation as a particularly warped masculine one.

Normally this stage is listed later in the Initiation process, well after the Road of Trials.  Brandt is introduced early, however, just before Preston meets Mary O’Brien (see John Preston Meets Mary O’Brien: Guide and Goddess).  He is immediately a hard juxtaposition to Errol Partridge: smooth, eager, and idealistic.  “I only hope to one day be as uncompromising as you,” he tells Preston in one scene.  “I’m like you, Cleric– intuitive,” he tells him in another, asserting that he can tell what a sense offender is thinking before he thinks it (reminiscent of an identical claim Preston makes to Vice-Counsel DuPont, who censures him for his late wife’s crime).

More particularly, Preston begins to assume the sentiments of his late partner Partridge, right down to the dialogue in some cases (Preston: “Why didn’t you leave that for the evidentiary team to log?” Partridge: “They miss things sometimes”, later, Brandt assumes Preston’s line, and Preston assumes Partridge’s).  Brandt is wise to these changes in Preston– observations that conflict with the reputation Preston has as Libria’s senior ranking Cleric.  He eventually confronts Preston with his suspicions:

Brandt’s challenge is the beginning of the Road of Trials. He reveals that the Council has accelerated prosecution of sense offenders, and this will prove harder for Preston as he seeks to discover the Resistance and the Underground.

EDIT 26th July, 2013: I’ve made a minor change post-publication– Brandt’s line in full is “Cleric, I hope to one day be as uncompromising as you.”  For some reason I had the word “compromising” instead.  Many thanks to Mark Armstrong for catching this error.

NEXT POST IN THE SERIES: Questions for Mary: Meeting with the Goddess