Monday, January 1, 2018

My History, Story And Our Identities

I purposely set the date on this article to the past. It might be listed on this blog posting as being January 1, 2018 but in fact the date that I a posting this upon is July 3, 2018 at 1:41 PM.

It's a hot afternoon but nowhere nearly as hot and humid as it had been over the Canada Day Weekend that had just passed.

I've just finished making three posts to my Twitter account @favBrianJ, one being about the unfortunate resignation of the Chair Person of the Inquiry into Missing And Murdered Indigenous Women. The other two dealing with Childhood Cancer, both cases and the research necessary to find a treatment or cure.

This post is going to be about myself as a human being and about some of the issues which I deal with on a day to day basis. It is not intended as a poor me scenario where I speak about problems that result from targeted malicious treatment by others rather than naturally occurring or random events in one's life.

First of all I'd like to introduce myself. I'm Brian Joseph Johns. I was born to two parents, one being Rita Johns and the other being Bryant Johns. They were my biological parents and the source of my genome for whatever that is worth. I was born in 1967 though I'll keep the details of when and exactly where to myself. Suffice it to say that I was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and that I am a Scorpio and that I am 50 years old as of this writing. I have a younger brother as well whose life has turned out much differently than my own but I still love him all the same. We were born Roman Catholic though I've heard that I was never officially baptized. In 2007 I officially became a Buddhist and Taoist of my own choice and accord, though I did not shave my head as many Buddhists do.

Back to my early childhood. My biological Father according to rumour liked to have a good time all of the time by the way of substance abuse, and had surrounded himself with similar such persons once again according to rumour more so than fact. When I was around 3 years old, he departed from my Mother's life, leaving her to raise two young boys from around 1970 onwards.

Brian Joseph Johns in 1978
My Mother worked hard to support us and to keep a roof over our head, prioritizing her children over everything. We lived mostly in low income housing from our birth and during that time. She dated a couple of men eventually staying with the man whom I most consider to be my Father whose name is David. The man who raised both my brother and myself from the age of 7 or 8 years old. A year later and we were living in a modest home on Lisburn Crescent in Toronto. My parents were successful musicians from the era of lounge acts, whom also wrote and produced their own music. At one time they were the highest paid lounge act in Canada playing as a duo long before the advent of MIDI or home computers. My parents are also Juno Nominees from the 1980s. The picture on the right was taken of me by my friend and fellow author Robert Tozer and was taken of me in 1978 when I was 11 years old.

One of my other childhood friends is Scott Maple of prop and effects house Kropserkel. So the three of us were friends and grew up in the same area up until 1983, when my parents lost their home and their business. We moved into a small low income apartment in Flemington Park where the entirety of my parent's musical equipment (about $50K in 1983) was stolen from the apartment just two weeks before their home insurance policy kicked in. The theft appeared to be very organized and had occurred a week after I'd lost my apartment keys which would indicate that it was possibly targeted and that my keys were stolen for that purpose. I suppose as a result of the distrust that had caused amongst us I left home at 17, though still remained very much a part of my family.

I was fortunate enough to end up in a training program for computer programming, something that I'd taken interest in that combined with my interest in the newly emerging MIDI and electronic music phenomenon spearheaded by bands like Duran Duran, Gary Numan, Tears For Fears etc. I myself was a Goth at that time and had my ear pierced and had been dying my hair since I was 14. Not really a rebel per sé just very fashion conscious though likely a little bit ahead of my time. I was even knocked unconscious by a football player in Georges Vanier who'd been offended by my fashion statement, being that he had assumed that I was Gay, though that is not a justification for assault in any means.

The Act (left to right):
Peter, Chris, Me, Blaine and Tom.
Anyway, I attended a program where I learned to write code in a Pascal-like front end language with a database back end called (Informix?) SmartWare. Later I would study C and a bit of C++ and then move on to Object Pascal (Delphi). During my time working in computers, I even worked playing in a band as a keyboard player for rock band The Act, opening for Ronnie Hawkins and Lee Aaron amongst many other gigs in notable Toronto and Ontario venues near the end of the bar band era. All of this took place in the early 1990s, which was when my parents finally split up and our family divided.

Around that time of my life, while on my way to a store at night I was attacked and beaten nearly to death and then left for dead. I woke up several times, once on the sidewalk in a pool of my blood. later in the ambulance on my way to the hospital and then in the hospital after having been stitched up. Rumour had it that I'd actually lost activity in my heart as a result of blood loss and had to be resuscitated, all while I was unconscious. My Mother later wrote a letter to the Toronto Star called: Thank You For Not Killing My Son. The letter became so popular that it influenced the decision to allow Victim Impact Statements in court proceedings in Canada and the United States. It was even included in a University sociology book where I was compared to Jesus and Buddha for forgiving my attackers. The actual text of the letter is below:

Thank You For Not Killing My Son

I hope you will print my letter of gratitude to the strangers who have affected our lives.

Sometime between 1:30p.m., Dec 9 and 1a.m.,Dec 9, a young man was viciously attack - beaten unconscious for no apparent reason other than walking by you on a public sidewalk.

He was left lying in a pool of blood from an open head wound in the Victoria Pk - Terraview area. He was found around 1a.m. and taken to Scarborough General Hospital where ironically his mother spent 48 hours in labour before giving him birth, 23 years earlier.

His mother is angry of course, but thankful for the following reasons.

First of all - his eye socket was shattered and hemorrhaging but his eyesight will not be affected. Thank-you.

His ear canal was internally lacerated from a tremendous blow to the side of his head. The cut could not be stitched and the bleeding was difficult to stop, but his eardrum seems to be undamaged. Thank you.

He required numerous stitches to his temple, forehead and face, but your boots didn't knock one tooth out. His head was swollen almost twice its size - but Mom knew that his brain was intact - for he held her hand as he lay on a gurney, by the nurse station, I.V. in his arm - his head covered and crusted with dried blood - waiting for xray results and the surgeon to stitch him up.

So thank you for this eyesight, his hearing and his hands which you could have easily crushed.

His hands - human hands - the most intricately beautiful and complex instruments of incredible mechanism - the result of billions of years of evolution - and you people used yours to beat another human being. Five guys and two girls to beat one person. Who do I thank? Did you know he was a talented young musician with a budding career - and that playing his keyboards and piano mean more to him than words can say.

And when his friends were talking about revenge I heard him say "I don't want someone else's mother to go through what mine has". That's who you were kicking in the head. So, I thank you for not causing the most horrible and devastating thing that can happen to any parent - that is - the untimely tragic loss of a child at any age.

You could have kicked him to death but you only left him to die, a person found him and called for help. I am his mother, and I have been given a second chance thanks to you.

I hope that someday you'll have children and love them as much as I love mine - but I wouldn't wish on your child what you did to mine.

Rita Schindler

Being compared to Jesus and Buddha likely caused a lot of unstable or zealous and jealous people to form a underground social coalition to undo that comparison and is likely one of the main reasons for the stalking and harassment that I experience, their motive being that if they can abuse me to the point of contradicting that kind of nature, that I must not be that same person. Also they might be a cult like presence that hunts self serving types. If you fail their sociology tests measuring for such behavior, then you're stalked by them. They're kind of the hidden scumbags of society in line with the Nazis who hunted the Jewish people.

Still I am grateful to my Mother for writing that letter because of the impact that it had upon court proceedings involving violent crimes, though somehow it has progressed little more as a result of the love/hate/blood culture that seems to predominate the nature of both our society and rhetoric, polarizing us all. Suffice it to say that I get mad just like everyone else though I'm not a violent person by my nature. I won't put up with abuse.

So years after that situation and I struggled to get onto my feet again, working a variety of other jobs in the mean time involving everything from doing several studio gigs for keyboard parts, coding and early web work, a bit of schooling and moving furniture during the summers. I worked for Videolink Inc from the late 1990s into the new millennium after which I worked for an (infamous) animated production called Ferretina in the west end of Toronto. I did pretty good career wise in that situation but it became a struggle of a different kind.

I'm fortunate that I've never really had any substance abuse issues in my life and that certainly is not denial. I've used cannabis many times during the course of my life though I stopped using it entirely nearly 8 years ago, around the same time that I quit smoking cigarettes, which I'd been smoking around two packs a week since I was 17. So there were some big life changes. After leaving Ferretina the stalking and harassment became so bad that I literally lost everything. I could not hold employment nor run my own business as I'd started at that time doing point of sale systems for clients. As a result I eventually ended up homeless and remained as such for 8 years from 2004 until 2012. Since 2012 I've been fortunate enough to acquire housing through the TCHC and Toronto Social Services, though within the housing is where I find that much of this harassment and identity theft activity seems to have source and foundation. During that time I learned a great deal for which I am grateful, however it brought to my attention some things about society with which I hold contention.

The first being our notion of identity.

The notion of identity is very important especially in the age of telecommunications and the internet. We could be said to actually have five different identities, each of which can be stolen from you by some very malicious people.

First Identity: Life History

The first identity is the identity implied by our own life history. That is the one of private and public record. The traditional identity associated with your bank accounts, your Government data, your health records, your driver's license, your criminal record and identification. If you think about it, there really is little that binds you to that history and what is there to stop someone with access to such data to apply that history to someone else's life and to give you the life history of someone else even without your knowing? What if a bunch of people of the same ideology suddenly decided that you were no longer you? Suppose they all agreed to see that idea through? What if your history and identity was more valuable in the hands of someone else than it was in your hands and that ideology worked together to transfer that history to someone else replacing what they took from you with a completely different history? So this life and identification history is everything that you need to interact with society. Like being able to get identification, a bank account, a credit card, a rental lease etc. Without it or some of the components of it, you cannot benefit from all the advancements that have been made for civilization.

Second Identity: Casual Identity

The second identity that we have is the one that our family and friends are likely familiar with. That's the identity that will most likely speak freely on a variety of subjects and the one who isn't afraid to share some aspects of personal life with others they know. That identity also might joke about things they might not in public. It is subject to less self censorship than any of the other identities. This is the identity through which your close relatives and friends will identify. If you are not consistent with it from the last time that they saw you, they might not believe that it is you, or that you've changed in some way according to life experience and the pressures therefrom.

Third Identity: Public In Person Identity

The third identity is our public identity. This is the one that we share with people in the public whom we do not have close relations. This identity has much self censorship and is generally less intimate with regard to dealing with others. Some people may be more or less sincere but there is still a level of filtering what we say and what we feel free to say. This identity is how the public knows us in terms of the community and walking about in public and by what we express publically.

Fourth Identity: Online Identity

The fourth identity is our online identity. This is the identity that we use to represent our online presence rather than an alias. This is the identity where you might use your real name so that people who know your name are able to find you. Also if you have content associated with your name online, others will be able to find you easier. This identity also purveys via self censorship through twitter posts, youtube videos, blog posts, facebook posts etc. These are all public statements that are geared towards people with whom you have little familiarity. This identity is very fragile because it cannot be associated with your real life person. How is there to guarantee that the person using the computer to post to social media is actually the account owner and the identity associated with the person? If you're using your computer alone in an office or at home, who is there that can verify or say that it was you that posted whatever you posted? This concept is a big obstacle for content creators like myself, as there are people who will claim credit for what I post, my stories or anything creative I do that ends up online. This is a very fragile identity and has similar caveats to our life history and identification data identity. What is there to stop a group of people of the same ideology from ganging up on you in your community and taking your online identity from you and applying it to someone else? There are people in fact who do this and use the symbolism of colours in order to achieve that goal. So members of this ideology believe that the identity associated with your creations leaves you and goes to someone else depending upon the colours that you wear, or whether you're consistent with being the person who created that content. This is a big caveat for writers and artists like myself as well.

Fifth Identity: Rumour And Gossip Identity

The fifth identity is the identity associated with us by rumours, gossip and the grapevine so to speak. This identity has the least accuracy and tends to be the most distorted. It is a social identity that is maintained by the locality of where you live and often by people who don't know you very well. For many such people they might know the truth about their friends' identities and the socially untolerated things about them and seek to attach the details of thoses rumours to someone else while taking the good things about their victim's associated rumour identity.

Getting To My Point

Consider that for some ideologies that these concepts of identity are much like a game of musical chairs. That is someone else might take one of these identities from you and wear it as their own depending upon how it might benefit them, or depending upon how much their care for you, they might wear it as their own to help relieve you of a bad reputation or identity. I depends upon the point of view, the social burden of whatever those rumours pertains to and how much the group of people decide to make it a burden for other people.

In other words, if there was a rumour floating around about someone being very violent or dangerous, they might not have any burden whatsoever because it would be risky to make that person's burden heavy for them. Likely I'd say that many of the violent outbreaks and attacks have been escalated by these means, with an individual falling victim to constant harassment who then just blows up and reacts, commiting a mass murder.

On the other hand, the same ideology could choose to make the burdens of someone who picks their nose much heavier than someone with a violent history or quick temper. So the social price of picking your nose actually becomes higher than being violent. Whose to say that there's not a bias in this sort of ideology and more importantly, who selected these people to subject such social punishments to everyone else? I don't remember voting for anything of that nature in an election. Certainly wasn't on the ballot and that's likely because its not a part of our civil society and due process. Instead this seems more and more to be a form of radicalization.

I'm not saying that I'm a victim of radicalization and this isn't just about me. Its far bigger than that. I like my identity and despite my faults, I like being me. There's nobody that I'd rather be. I think that this ideology harasses people so that they'll deny or drop their faults, so that the ideology can then assume that if you won't take the blame for your faults then how can you take the credit for your accomplishments? In other words by denying your faults you somehow are not yourself. The thing is that such an ideology can make any fault so burdensome that nobody could carry its weight and therefore nobody could rightfully hang onto their own identity according to that same logic. If they want something about your identity bad enough, they'll just harass you about a fault until you deny it or drop it.

I believe that this process is what is leading to radicalized attacks and has been for the last two decades. I believe that there's a connection there. Ultimately I am fighting to keep and wear my own identity but it just so happens that from what I've observed, I'd say that there is something more important here that needs to be looked into, especially with regard the abuse that some people socially are subject or the efforts conducted by such an ideology to steal one of these aforementioned identities that I've indicated in the paragraphs above in order to wear as their own, though ultimately having nothing to do with the history or effort behind those identities.

Often when I leave my building, my online identity is removed from me and I'm given someone else's identity from inside of the building that I live. This is quite an organized effort that is undertaken by an ideology that needs to be formally investigated by the Police and other authorities. For this reason I rarely go outside into the community and have little chance of obtaining employment. Others often take the credit for what I accomplish as well while my neighbours directly harass me nearly constantly. As I said, this ideology denies me my own identity, perhaps devouring it much like the tale of the Duat from the Egyptian Book Of The Dead, in which people who do not make it out of the underworld are literally devoured and erased from history. Despite the fact that I am not a member of any such religion and do not practice anything to do with Egyptian related religions. If and when people do this sort of thing to myself or others, I don't keep the secrets of how they operate and freely divulge them to the public. There are even some of the members of this ideology who believe they're mind controlling me in writing what I have to say here on this website. Its like they take all of the good of a person and leave all of their bad.

Beware of this ideology because when you speak out against such activities, they'll often define you as being on the blue team, which to them means that everything that you say means the opposite. So its their way of taking away your protest against their theft and abuse. As I've often mentioned, it is similar to the no means yes rape defense. So basically they're trying to reverse the context of everything you express about the nature of their abuse to mean the opposite which in essence is a violation of the Human Rights Act and the Charter Of Rights And Freedoms. I'm sure that the authorities would agree if they knew how this was playing out.

Anyway, I've given a few details about myself here and a bit of my history too hoping to help this issue along in some progressive means. Maybe by knowing a little bit more about me, I'll be just a bit closer to my readers. Maybe by explaining the nature of such experiences authorities might be able to hone in on and predict such outbursts that result in mass murder or killings.

I honestly don't believe that hate means love or that love means hate. I don't believe that there is any wrong mixed culture relationship. As well I don't believe that there is anything wrong with same sex relationships or marriage. I don't say the opposite of what I mean. As I've said I'm a Buddhist and a Taoist.

Brian Joseph Johns
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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