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Why You Should Think Twice Before Collaborating


In my twenty plus years of writing and creating art, I have rarely collaborated with other creatives. I enjoy being a stand alone, independent person. Experience has also taught me some harsh lessons in regard to collaberating.

There was one good time on Paltalk in the early 2000’s when I sang a hook for a producer in Las Vegas. We did that for fun, creating a parody song. I still have the copy of it and occasionally listen, enjoying the memory. That one was a casual and positive, collective collaboration.

The few other collaborations I’ve done have left me jaded. I hear this often from indie creatives. So why does collaborating with other creatives end up like this?

What I have experienced is a simple lack of ethics and a self-serving intent. They simply don’t give a shit. They don’t think their behavior will ever come back to haunt them.

When I say I’m going to do something for someone I do it. If I’m having struggles producing the exchange I promised, I communicate about it. I care about my character as a creative being.

In my experience, ethical creatives are difficult to find, especially when dealing with any Hollywood related type individual. My personal experience had been that many of them are narcissistic sharks who will love bomb a person with a fantastic promise; a lie to get what they want. If you plan to deal with Hollywood types, armor up and lawyer up.  Frankly, lawyer up period. 

Sometimes collaborating can be a great advantage for a creative who is starting out. It allows for networking and connection. I support guest blogging for writers. You get to control your content and you can share it as much as you want. I highly recommend this platorm for writers. I don’t consider this to be collaboration persay, as there is normally no exhange promise or writing as a collective. Guest blogging expands the reader platform for your writing.

However, in regard to exchange collaboration, the question remains. Is there going to be a balanced exchange of product and the sharing of creative work?

My previous, and certainly final, experience in being burned on exchange collaboration happened like this.

In 2015, I made a collaboration exchange agreement through email with a videographer. I wrote a poetic script for the videographer’s short video. In exchange, the videographer was going to make a video for one of my pre-recorded spoken word poetry pieces.

I emailed the videographer three of my recorded pieces. In a return email, they decide they liked my poem “Illusion”, a piece I had not publicized and would do so with the video was given to me to publicize. The videographer asked if they could put some music to to my poem. I agreed.

I waited. I watched the videographer making videos for other people, but my video had not arrived. I gave them time. I understand that paying projects come first. That’s how I work as well.

The following year, the videographer and family went through a transition, moved, had to re-settle, and so I gave space for them to balance out. Being patient and giving allowances, I waited, didn’t bother them, figuring when their dust settled, I’d receive what I was promised.

I observed as they did just that, becoming a part of a sensationalized situation. I still held space, feeling that advocacy work came first.

Yet, I saw the videographer was making videos and doing photo shoots for people. So, I decided to email and see had they forgotten about me? Possibly. It can happen when people go through life transitions. 

Ok. I stay in my critical thinking, hoping I’m not witnessing what my gut had really told me from the beginning; that people will use others for gain, then throw them away.

I messaged the videographer on Facebook messanger. I could see the person had just been active a mere fifteen minutes earlier.

Again… my message Ignored.

They’ve been active on Facebook messenger since I sent the message.

Still ignored.

So, I am resigned to take it for what if is and let it go. Now I know how these people are. True colors have shown themselves. They attach to people for as long as they might gain from them and then its seemingly over.

I do things in writing for a reason. I am a writer who likes to have proof of truth. I document. I keep emails and messages.

It was 2015 when I originally handed over the script for their video. In 2016, I have Facebook communications about the video I was supposed to receive. It is now 2017. I still have nothing.

This is about seeing the ethical system of other people. Instead of a simple response of “hey, oh gosh, so sorry this has taken so long thanks for being patient.“, I am ignored.

Guess what that triggers? Shunning. Being extracted from.  A myriad of emotional battery replaying. 

When I am treated this way, if someone asks me about them, they’ll get the truth of my negative experiemce. I don’t run in popularity contests. I don’t use people for personal gain then throw them away.

I’m not as pissed off at the lack of being given what I was promised, as I am at the blatant disrespect of being ignored. I’m no longer promoting those who are unethical people. I don’t care who they are. If you got mentioned by me in a radio interview, or your work shared to my thousands of followers and then fucked me over, you will never be promoted by me again.

There are no second chances when someone openly disrespects me. I don’t play nice. I don’t kiss the ass of academia, which is slowly phasing and dying out. I don’t worry whether someone is going to like or even endorse my work. Why?

Because running on this mindset is a recipe for being used, being bullshitted and it’s frankly, inconsequential. Most readers don’t give a shit if your novel has a forward written by someone with PhD after their name. unless you are writing an academic book.

Readers read content. I usually skip forwards as a reader, to get to the meat of a book. Most readers I know do the same. Blurbs don’t impress me either.  You can have a blurb from a president on your publication. If your book doesn’t interest me, that blurb is not going to make me buy it.

Additionally, it doesn’t necessarily sell your book. Marketing knowledge and the money to invest in advertising will sell your book/product.

So all of the spazzing and pining and usery I have experienced in my decades of being a public creative, from my experience, means nothing except being the teacher of lessons.

What matters to your audience is how well you write and create and more than ANYTHING, personally connecting with your target market.

In summary, my advise and perspective is to focus your time and energy on YOUR own work. Don’t give it away. Definitely don’t give it away on a promise, even in writing. Unless you have the resources and desire to sue, should you not receive what you were promised, more often than not, you will find yourself empty handed.

I also don’t want you to pattern your networking based on my experiences. Just take them into consideration and move forward better armed to build your boundaries.

And without QUESTION, follow your INTUITION. If your tummy feels off about it, say no and don’t look back. Don’t live in the mindset you “need” people to be successful. You only need authenticity and consumers for your product.

As you rise, people will tell you how much they can do for you, that their collaberation will make your work better, that their written forward will boost your sells and more. I disagree. I know authors with forwards by academia who are making nothing on their books because they have no marketing skills. 

Good marketing is what matters. Investing in yourself matters. Your own voice will sell your product. So, think twice before collaberating. And remember, the imagined professional reference you think might endorse your product could also lose you consumers if that professional is not respected. 

 Don’t be afraid to stand alone.

Underneath

Underneath the energy
Called skin, I
Am weighted, a
Reinvented spawn of
Seeds processed through
Universal time.

You said you
Didn’t know how
such things happen.

You lied.
I felt it inside.

I sat confirmed,
In the least, smiling.
They were duped, used,
Arrogantly believed it
Was special gifts
They received.

Oh, you fools.
We gave you nothing.

Instead, we insured a
Planetary pureness, after
You had purged the Mother,
Wringing her like a sponge,
And so the consequences will
Burn you to ashes.

Stone.

This is not your home.

Displaced energy you
Disrupt the synergy of
Life with your anger and
Separated strife, while
You beg for balance,
Yet choose to comply.

Time has bent backwards
As the hybrids rise,
Bringing in tides of
DNA advancement.

You see,
The Cabal never
Stood a chance.

We just observe them
Believe so, and in
The crevices of the skin
We live waiting
To activate the gleam
That will finally
Melt the screens
So the sleepers can see.

©VennieKocsis.com

What Happens When We Dissociate?

How does Dissociation work? Is it okay to Dissociate? What happens during Dissociation? So many questions are posed toward the phenomena of trauma Dissociation.

The scientific process of Dissociation is a brilliant function of a human being’s DNA ability. There are many aspects which could be deeply examined in regards to the phenomena of Dissociation.

  1. Where does the DNA brain and body energy go when it leaves?
  2. Is the ability to Dissociate related to how much torture/pain a human can endure?
  3. Can Dissociation be controlled by the carrier?
  4. What happens during the Dissociative process?
  5. Why do some abuse victim’s Dissociate and not others?

In my memoir, CULT CHILD, I go into great detail about my Dissociative memories. These are real experiences which are extremely clear and prevalent in my memory. They have never changed. They have only been verified.

My Dissociation process as a child did not disappear, but instead, evolved as I became an adult. When I begin to feel my energy separate from my body, a myriad of physical signals happen first.

Sounds disappear. My body feels as though it is floating. My heart rate speeds up. I begin to see my current reality in third person perspective, as an outsider looking in. This happens in a matter of seconds. Then in a blink, I am elsewhere in my mind. I, personally, tend to travel to a dimension outside of my current realm.

Because I dissociated so much as a tortured child, it seemed like a natural and smooth transition to evolve the methods I used to transition, into my own meditative states. If my environment is right, I am able to push through the physically uncomfortable Dissociation transition to access differing sectors of my brain. Now, it is a willful and purposeful action.

The most pertitant element has been grounding to insure I am not left with aftermath; that I can come back to my present reality and be able to function at my own current level. Therefore, before using this technique I usually hold an object in my hand.

For me, there are now two types of “Dissociation”. One, emerged out of a childhood fear, fight/flight instinct, which I used as I was universally assisted through surviving cult inflicted torture.

The other would emerge as a flipping of those ritual tools, utilizing the survival abilities of my childhood abuse as newly assistive methods through which I now freely access the other dimension.

So, from my experiences, there is no set answer to the “What happens when you dissociate?” question. There are too many mitigating factors.

  • a human’s level of pain tolerance
  • a human’s mental strength
  • an abuse victim’s environment
  • an abuse victim’s DNA
  • the type of abuse enacted

For instance, my Dissociations found me continuously returning to the seventh realm, as I know it, while another abuse victim I am friends with jumps to a planet within this galaxy. Yet another abuse survivor I know remains on the ceiling, watching the full extent of their abuse. One element I observe in regards to the extent of an ability to control Disaociation seems to also include a human’s personal evolvement. The more evolved human deals with less fear, thereby being able to travel easier.

To answer how one dissociates would be to speak with every abuse victim who has used Dissociation to cope. While our experiences and circumstances are all differing, what we do have in common are the physical signs, as described above.

Possibly, when we master the skill of traveling, not in fearful Dissociation, but in an ability to focus, using Dissociative abilities to access the levels of our own existence, we have come to explore our memories from a place of empowerment.

This takes work. It has taken me years to evolve my methods. I am still evolving them as I am determined to access more of my mind’s caves. It takes being healthy so the body doesn’t fall ill. One must be able to be in a soothing environment to do this work. Because it is emotionally laborious, most Dissociation carriers avoid the exhaustive journey.

Yet, I say that if one chooses to face the layers of their own dissected childhood, that through the exhaustion, tears and haunting images, learning to stay grounded and traveling into Dissociation has been one of my strongest developments.

Vennie Kocsis is a 2016 Amazon best-selling author of CULT CHILD, a memoir detailing her abusive childhood in Sam Fife’s Move of God cult. She is currently writing the sequel, RISE OF SILA.

“Dead, Insane or In Jail: A CEDU Memoir” by Zack Bonnie

 “Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past.” Lily Tomlin

Let Me Be

art by Jonathan Weiner, San Francisco, CA 2015

Accented with unique and relevant art by Jonathan Weiner of San Francisco, CA,”Dead Insane or In Jail: A CEDU Memoir“, by Zack Bonnie, reveals with precision the mind bending abuse enacted inside of the youth reform industry. “The Cult That Spawned the Tough-Love Teen Industry”, by Mother Jones, explains the birth of this industry and provides the following graph.  CEDU had roots in Synanon and began in 1967.

how_a_cult_spawned_the_tough_love_teen_industry_630x738

It was indeed an industry of profit as parents were indoctrinated with the belief that any slightly “off” behavior by their teenager was a sign of serious problems, resulting in parents not only giving away their children with the belief they were helping them, but additionally being swindled out of millions of dollars.

Dead, Insane or In Jail: A CEDU Memoir” opens with Bonnie taking a ski trip with his father. Subsequent events find a fourteen-year-old Bonnie checked into a youth reform facility in Idaho. He is tricked, and left there against his will. Thus begins the enactment of Bonnie’s mental shattering. Overnight, he joins the ranks of the large number of throwaway youth in the eighties, who eventually were labeled “Generation X“.

With every phone call monitored and Bonnie’s parents receiving false reports of his progress, he becomes trapped in an intricately woven scheme of abuse.  He has no means of escape.  He is unable to relay his alarming conditions to anyone.  Forced through bizarre, psychological techniques to become emotionally naked, Bonnie is often left confused about what is real in his mind.  The children are left unsure of what a right answer to staff questions should be.  They are love bombed, then verbally abused, with severely psychotic mind control rituals. The CEDU facilitators often use the children’s personal family dynamics to manipulate them.

“To not share would be to betray them and the confidences that they shared.  I said the most innermost things that made my voice tremble to admit, bringing an ancient anger and self-hatred to the surface.  It wasn’t just the situation; it was where it was taking me, inside myself.

I’m useless.”

Who used to say that to you?” Keith’s soft voice back at me.

My father.”

Your father called you useless?”

Yeah.

Had he really? Yes, he had.

Say it again. ‘My father said I’m useless.’ Good. It hurt you? Yeah. You can say that again, that’s riiiigth.”

Tess and Keith repeated what we said a lot. Just about every time a kid in my group said something, Jasper, Tess, or Keith was there to repeat it. This is how we always seemed to get roped into going deeper within ourselves.

Rituals involve teenagers verbally confronting themselves and each other.  Every detail of their life is invited to be shared as their overseeing handlers note them to use against the children later.  Rounded into groups, they are put through almost daily, mind bending sessions of unimaginable attacks as staff strategically controls the children into turning on one another.

FullSizeRender

art by Jonathan Weiner, San Francisco, CA 2015

Zack describes session after session, as every part of the children’s emotions are controlled and manipulated.

Bianca, what do you remember about your mom? She used to have a name for you, too, didn’t she?”

I guess so.” Bianca Taylor picked up her cue from Tess.

Yeah. What was her favorite nickname for that beautiful little tyke? Can you remember for me?

She used to call me Rainbow...” Bianca started crying. I wanted to start crying from watching Bianca, who I’d never really even talked to. Seeing raw sadness like that felt like a punch to the solar plexus.

Toughen up.

The berating of kids is a carefully crafted tool.  Broken down into nothing, with their self-image lost and lacking any emotional worth, the children become easier for the staff to manipulate.  Using every piece of their fragile lives, the staff takes as many opportunities as possible to verbally abuse the children.

I can’t hear you, Bianca. A spoiled little bitch? Spoiled little bitch. LITTLE BITCH! Why did he call you that? That’s right, let me hear you.”

Go for it, Wally…GET IT OUT, PEOPLE. That’s RIGHT!”

A SLUT! Who said that to little Daphne? You really let that little girl down, didn’t you?

Yeah? When? After the abortion? Say that again, Narissa – you’ve got to stop being that girl with the reputation? Look at her!

Here’s some tissues, Bianca. Let it go.”

Catch terms such as “bans“, when children are forbidden to speak to one another, and “bad rapping“, children saying bad things about each other, are among a plethora of rituals used to manipulate the minds of vulnerable teenagers.  Meanwhile, the children are allowed to smoke cigarettes and other self-harming behaviors, geared to feed into their anxiety, which grows, the longer they are forced to remain inside of the program.

Bonnie’s writing style allows his reader to easily flow between what he is forced to witness happening to other children and the silent thoughts he is disallowed to ever let leave his lips lest there be intense punishment.  The children are trained to adhere to a system filled with mistrust and expected betrayal of one another.  They are strip searched upon admittance to the program.  They are heavily worked.  They are humiliated in front of one another.

Yet, even trapped inside such a sordid system of complicated tier goals, systematic punishments, humiliation and anger, Bonnie’s resilience becomes his counter weight as he journals.

“Guess what I went through my truth prophet August 9 & 10 and I found out that I basically I was a dick at home. I have been mulling it over in my mind and I know the point of raps and prophets.  Just to make you cry a lot so naturally being the way I am I didn’t cry. – Author journal entry, 11 August 1988 (one month at RMA)”

Through this writing, Bonnie brilliantly flows between descriptive enactment of the program and his attempt to retain a critical thinking mind.  Bonnie takes his reader’s hand and pulls them directly into the center of his deeply intense experiences.

Bonnie navigates the CEDU system until he can no longer withstand the thin line between the reality in his mind and the constant psychological belittlement he daily endures.  One day Bonnie decides to go on the run.  Will he make it out?

Dead, Insane or In Jail: A CEDU Memoir” reveals the sadistic truth of the youth reform’s use of mental and physical abuse to control children.  Never has a book had an impact on my own teenage memories since I was a young person reading “Run, Baby, Run” by Nicky Cruz. The detail through which Bonnie brings his story to life is exceptionally mapped out.

Dead, Insane or In Jail: A CEDU Memoir” is guaranteed to make you intensely feel. You will be outraged. You will ask why and how a human being can do such things to children. You will laugh, and you will cry. You will cheer for the incredible strength and courage Zack journeys into as he brings his teenage memories to life on the pages of this exceptional book.

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Zack Bonnie

Zack Bonnie is in the process of re-launching his website, complete with an audio-book of  DEAD, INSANE OR IN JAIL: A CEDU MEMOIR, which is available in paperback and e-book. Additionally, he is beginning the publishing submission process for the sequel, entitled: DIJ: OVERWRITTEN.   All of Zack’s work can be explored at his WEBSITE.

To subscribe and stay informed as Zack continues developing his literature, please sign up for his NEWSLETTER.  You may also follow Zack on Facebook and Twitter.

Personal Note: Sometimes a book is so well written, it sinks into the skin of a trauma survivor like me, who found incredible familiarity in the words I read.  This author touched my heart deeply when I met him. The ache in his eyes was familiar. The strength was admirable. The energy was filled with the passion for advocacy. So, dear Zack, please forgive my delay in this long overdue review of your book. I truly wanted to give you the honor you so rightly deserve. Love, Vennie Kocsis  

Soul Genocide

She mimicked normal,
Smiling, wine glass
Lifted pinkie; copied class,
And she remembered back,
Carefree before this jump.

Into ash and stone
Leaping downwards,
This place would never
Feel like home.

Oh, did not she
Understand her strength,
When the wind
Lifts her wings?
To get through the storms
She would forget
Her own dimension
Without hesitation.

Windblown cheeks.
Born weak and
Barely breathing.
Timelines bending,
She had jumped back
To help them
Walk forward.

How the sun will
Burn her feet
And her eyes
Red from crying,
She will die and return,
Float in and out;
Take blows so she could
One day
Reveal
What they hope to hide.

Soul genocide.

Old, decrepit shills
Behind fading veils
Holding onto strands
In their decrepit hands,
They hope to
Keep the rope noosed,
But they are dying
And she is smiling.

Generation of horror
Deserves no honor.

Beliefs created excuses
For perverted abuses.

As the clouds drift
She gazes the sky.
Change comes soon
As moon cycles
Command the tides.
She breathes quiet.

Into the dark matter die.
Take leave of Gaia.

She will vanish one day;
Become dust and ash,
Leaving behind a past
Scrawled on pages,
Telling stories of
Generations who
Perpetrated

Violence
Racism
Sexism
Abuse
Misuse
Judgment
Confinement

The truth they hope
Will continue hiding,

But trees speak loudly
Through vibrational air
And wind carries whispers
When truth is near.

No escape. No pennants.
No hope for Redemption.
They are falling matter
Slowly evaporating,
A virus of sagging skin
Wicked insides and
Accusations of sin.

Be that your heart
Stops beating
To end the weeping
As you become nothing
To nevermore arrive
Alive in existence again.

Be that your breath
Is taken in night dreams
To end the screams
Left over from their
Deviant schemes.

Be that in their death
Release the slaves,
The mind overtaken
Now re-awakened.

She spins circles
In the dirt
A line for every soul
Their apathy has hurt
And she prepares
To hunt, eyes closed.

©VennieKocsis

Motherless On Mother’s Day

by Vennie Kocsis

I don’t quite understand these constant holidays, dedicated to moms and dads and bunnies and love. I see them as marketing scams, a way to boost economy almost every month, by throwing in a Holiday.

But hey, maybe I’m bitter.

On these days I am reminded of my absent mother. See, not only did she pass away in 2007, her mother’s soul was stolen when I was three.

Recruited by an ill-intended woman into a sinister cult, my mother was forced to be separated from her children, initially physically starved through food rationing. After years of brutal torture, all of our spirits were broken.

Emotionally, I never had a mother. In cult life, I was rarely allowed to express my feelings to anyone. This was considered to be self centered behavior, a feeding of the flesh and a sin in the eyes of God.!!If by some chance I caught my mother in a listening mood, my emotions were most often turned back around on me.

“Suck it up, buttercup.”

This was one of my mother’s favorite phrases.

These days feel so distant to me. Social media is filled with flowery and adoring words dedicated to mothers. They are loved and adorned with the flowers of sparkly attention.

I wonder if those mothers are supported every single day as they raise children, work and juggle schedules. I wonder if they have their own mothers to love them.

My mother is not here to love me. If she were here, she would most likely be in the midst of her Queendom, wearing her dark “Godmother” sunglasses which she’d taken to wearing for her glaucoma.

She would be the center wheel, the rest of the family mothers in her shadow, as she preened. There is a wince inside of my star heart, a little ache to return, back into the portal where my real home awaits.

I see the outstretched arms of my celestial Mother, her lips parted into a smile reflecting light from her pearly white teeth. She is waiting for me. She is proud that I succeeded in my mission.

“Welcome Home.” She says softly.


(Gif by Vennie Kocsis)



There is no banner or trumpets to celebrate my return. We are not a star family of false pretenses. She gives me the intimate connection which supersedes any material gift.

She holds me inside of her love, and as her arms wrap around my body, I sigh a heavy breath into her chest. I am home again.

To the mother in the starlight, who visits my dreams at night, soothing my cries, stroking my holographic hair, I am alight in your glory. We will see victory in this round.

Around My City She Sleeps

There are people who learn to trust the streets. I think of their lives, how they have made darkness their day and daylight their night so they can stay alive.

Where is the safe space when the alleys are teeming with the unloved at night, ravaged by the anger in their souls, screaming out their behavior and trying to numb the pain?

I understand why she sleeps in the day, quiet beneath an office building eave, on a porch never used. I watch the employers walk quietly past her, making sure not to wake her as they enter their offices.

This mixture of compassion and hopelessness fills my observation. She is sleeping soundly where she feels safe. Somehow, there is a silent understanding of this, and so she is left to rest.

I wonder of her story, who hurt her heart, body or both. I wonder when she gave up, how old she was and what would make life different for her.

Caught in a moment around my city, I see the humanness of humans. I feel the dance of empathy and indifference from those who walk past. If they let her sleep, they’ve done enough.

And I feel a woman with a ghost story, thankful for a tiny porch and the chance to sleep in quiet, beneath a mound of blankets, escaping reality for a few short hours.

Around my city, she sleeps, the wind weeps and minds escape into dreams.

©venniekocsis.com