I Lived The Philosophy of Ayn Rand

Paul Ryan’s Biggest Influence: 10 Things You Should know about the Influence of Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand

I read this article today and it made me think of a time in my own life when it was controlled by this philosophy. People aren’t born thinking like this. They are made. It sneaks up on you like anorexia sneaks up on a teenager who thinks they are fat. No matter how dangerously thin they become they still think they are fat.

Paul Ryan has had an overwhelming need to eliminate people he viewed as weak – the everyday, ordinary people of America do not deserve to even be thought of. They are takers who take away deserved riches of the upper class – the makers. Now that the damage is done he will back out, watch the collapse of society and think he has won. Won what? He doesn’t have to worry about a social safety net, or lack of health care. He doesn’t have to worry about the lack of a decent wage or savings when he retires. If he did, he might think differently. Can we stop it? It’s like pulling out an infected tooth, but the decay is already into the bone and spreading.

No one outside Ryan’s inner circle understands the decaying vision Ryan has had for this country since his idealistic youth. Average American conservatives can’t think beyond what Fox News tells them to think. I’ve talked to many people about their beliefs. They can not accept their reality is not what propaganda tells them it is. Is this all conservatives. Of course not, but it is true for many.

Ryan will step away now – but he’ll be back. He’s young. He also has three children in their teens. They have been schooled in this philosophy since birth. Will they carry on their father’s thinking in their own lives? Probably, because children believe what they are taught and it becomes their truth. It is why religion flourishes, even though common sense tells you there is no entity in the universe who loves you and cares about your happiness. That thought is as ridiculous as the tooth fairy. But people need to believe it because they are afraid of what happens after they die. They need to believe they’ll their loved ones and be happy in a mansion in the sky. 

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I have first hand experience of what it is like to live with someone who was completely engulfed in the philosophy of Ayn Rand. When I was younger and singing in piano bars, I met a man named Larry Wayne Grantham who started showing up at the clubs I was singing in. He made it known how much he “respected” me. He was an architect who studied under Bruce Goff – an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright. He wanted people respect his architecture as art. He wanted books to written about his creativity and needed it to be so before he was forty. He was good what he did, but thought had the right be special before he earned it. It didn’t happen. To lower himself to be ordinary was not in keeping with the philosophy of Ayn Rand. I had never heard of her before this.

He had me read her books – more than twice – and relentlessly lectured me on her philosophy – especially the very long rant by John Galt in Atlas Shrugged. He drilled it into me many times all night long, not letting me sleep until he thought I understand. No amount of begging stopped him. He continually reduced me to tears. He also told me I showed my children too much affection. I was to be cold to ordinary un-enlightened people. I should never allow them to presume they could touch me. He was trying to make me into his Dagney Taggert.

One night, at an audition with a good friend I squatted down by his chair to not block anyone’s vision, and put my hand on his leg. He lectured me until dawn so I would understand how much other people were not to physically touch me or to touch them. I was to understand my individuality put me above other people. This mind warp went on for almost three years.

Mental abuse can be more damaging than physical abuse because no one can see the damage, but the scars are thick. While putting me on a pedestal he controlled me while making me feel as though I didn’t deserve him, so I had to work harder to become his ideal woman. He destroyed me. The very things that made me attractive to him were now never good enough.

Sex – was not a show of love. It was a show of respect. Everything was about respect.  If I respected him I’d show it every day, without fail,  through sex. If I didn’t, he wouldn’t talk to me. He would punish me. He kept a tally on the wall in back of the bed, separated by who initiated it. If it wasn’t 50% – and every day – I didn’t respect him and got another long lecture until I agreed I understood. He made me hate sex with him.

He continually threatened to put me and my two children out of the house unless I learned and applied what I learned. I no longer had a car. I was dependent. He constantly lectured me about “the individual”. If you read Rand’s books you’ll realize how important that concept is. I should never be part of “the masses”. I began to believe I was wrong and he was right and I tried to please him. I thought I had nowhere to go. 

After almost three years, I got a call from a band I had auditioned with in LA the previous year asking me if I would tour with them. I had a way out. I had been disappointed when I didn’t get chosen at the audition. I got the courage to leave him. I ran. Because it was for music and not just leaving him couldn’t stop me. He’d be a hypocrite. I was pursuing my individuality. In reality I was running. I got on a plane with my children and left. He had also recently told me he wanted me to have another baby and I’d have to sign a contract. He said a child needed a mother for the first 5 years. After that if I wanted to leave him he was to get custody.  I knew he would pressure me. Relentlessly. I didn’t want more children.

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I have told this story before but I have never written it down. I read it now and I’m horrified by it. How could I have let this happen? But I look at the United States now and I look at everything Paul Ryan has said and done, and what his future plans are I compare it to this man I lived with. It scares me. I look at all of the people who are controlled by the ideals of the leaders of this American government who treats the people exactly the way I was treated and how my mind was altered. How could theirs not be?

So many people who follow and approve of our government today think it is allright to destroy the fabric of society. Otherwise, they wouldn’t support this administration who is controlled by people like Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, the Koch brothers, Betsy DeVoss who is destroying education. Ben Carson who is destroying HUD, the destruction of the EPA and the FCC, by controlling what we are allowed to learn from the web by controlling which sites we can go to, which is controlled by how much we pay.  There are many more. A vast segment of society would be dumbed down because knowledge would be controlled. How could the population who identifies Republican support that? Or maybe they don’t know because it isn’t clearly talked about on Fox News. Trump is in an ignorant, narcissistic class of his own.

Trying to impeaching Pa supreme court judges who don’t give rulings that favor The Republican takeover of elections by gerrymandering means are not  democracy, yet main steam news tells the masses are. Fair elections aren’t desirable. They could lose control before the destruction is complete. They haven’t yet started new wars for profit they want, and they approved of the destruction of Puerto Rico. The instilling of distrust of the FBI.  Get rid of Mueller before the truth is proven. They don’t want the truth. Conservatives don’t want to believe they were wrong.

Our mentally ill president wanted “nukes on the table” with Mexico and is destroying relationships with every country on the planet that doesn’t agree with him like a school yard bully, while the planet itself it’s being raped and destroyed. This inept, unknowlegable, sarcastic, immature abuser is destroying what is left of our country, yet there are people who support him. Why? Why? Why would people support that?? Forget figuring out why these “conservatives” want America to become like this. You wouldn’t be given a cohesive answer without them saying everything was either Obama’s or Hillary Clinton’s fault. The truth didn’t matter. Irrational? That’s obvious. There was and still is no accepting of responsibility.

This is the same way this mind control happened to me, but I got away. This man I was with – I got away from him – not unscathed. He was angry. He had spent three years molding me into how I was to think. How I was to conduct myself, and now I was gone. He lost. The hate mail was so bad I quit opening it. He had photocopied the letters. He later put them all in a notebook, designed artwork on the cover, wrote an opening page explaining the letters as if his writing them had value and should kept and studied, and sent them to me again. I never read them. They are packed in a box somewhere. Why did I keep them? Validation, I suppose. Proof that I got away? Perhaps.

This is the same way Fox News “reports” propaganda as true news. The real truth isn’t necessary. There was a court case a while back. I can’t remember all the details except that the truth lost. It was determined the news was not required to be truthful. If people believed a lie was true and they swallowed it as truth, it became true for them. Even when it affected their lives in a negative way, it was okay. It was up to them to prove it false to themselves if they wanted to. It didn’t matter if they still couldn’t understand they were being lied to. Many of those lies are finally coming out, but I doubt Fox News cares. They got their lies across. The damage was done. Those people who believe the lies defend Fox News as being the only news that tells the truth. That is how mind control works. It is how cults work. People who believe and actually live the philosophy of Ayn Rand have the minds of cult followers.

20 years later, that man in my life died of cancer. While he was sick he contacted me and finally apologized for what he did. He had come to his senses and realized how damaging the philosophy of Ayn Rand was. He had believed he was special. He thought could cure himself by thinking he was more powerful than his cancer. He was, after all, a more advanced human being. It took years to get his programming out of my head. Even when I wasn’t consciously thinking about it, it still crept in.

There had been certain clothes I was allowed to wear. Clothing that wasn’t frivolous. Prints were out of the question. Stripes were okay depending on the color. Anything with a flower on it was never allowed. No household items were seen that he determined were meaningless. No decorations or wall hangings were allowed unless they were of a noted individual or artist. They had to mean something or they were kitsch – fake.

When I would write, I was corrected if I wrote, “I feel . . .” I was to write, “I think . . .” I was to stop being emotional, show emotions or write emotionally. As an emotional person I found it hard to be the person he said I should want to be. He was remaking me into his version of an individual – except I was already the individual I had matured into being. I was already good enough. Hindsight is perfect. How I wish I could have seen clearly what was happening, when it was happening.

He was a devout atheist. I was agnostic. I left religion in the dust at 18 because I found it to be hypocritical. Church was a social activity with people who didn’t sincerely apply the teachings to their lives. It was a great way to not accept responsibility for your life by saying everything was the Lord’s will. I celebrated the secular part of holidays. Christmas trees and the Easter bunny. He wouldn’t allow any decorations for anything except birthdays. Later, when he was sick and dying, he found The Lord and started making drawings with scripture in it. To me that made him the ultimate hypocrite. He was concerned now with what came next. I assume he was trying to play it safe. 

Even today – after 35 years – I find when I shop for clothing I still resist buying anything that has flowers on it. I have to tell myself I can wear anything I want to wear. I am who I am and I like myself. No, I love myself. I love who I have become and I’m not done growing. I don’t need anyone else to validate that. A mental abuser gets into your head and grows roots. They are hard to dig out.

I ask myself how I allowed it to happen, but you don’t see it while it is happening. The control is gradual. He made me think I needed him to teach me how to be an “individual.” I forgot I already was one.

Those people who worship Ayn Rand and her philosophy end up as damaged goods.

Proceed With Caution

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There are so many things that happen to us in our lives that send us down different paths. We can’t tell at the time how these things are going to affect our life or how it will to lead to more changes. I think everyone has said at some point, when talking about their life, “If I had known then what I know now, would I have decided to do things differently?” or, “What if I had chosen not to do (this thing), where would I be now? What would I be doing different?”

I think this quite often, because there has been a lot of change in my life that was set in motion by very distinct things. Would my life have found a different way to get to the same place? Would I like where I am if I had done or not done certain things?

I don’t know why today I started thinking about one certain thing, but it was a whopper of a life changer. Some changes are little bends and some are sharp turns to the left. Here goes:  I was pregnant with my now 36 year old daughter. I had a  successful circuit of piano bars where I sang and played piano in Houston. I’m sure I played every piano bar in the city as well as all over the state. I made a fairly decent income. Physically I was in great physical condition, taking jazz dance classes until I started to dilate, gained 18 pounds and lost 18 pounds before I left the hospital. I had a husband I kicked of the house when I was 7 months along because of his drug usage and failure to keep a job. I had a nice condo near the Galleria, if you know Houston, which at least 36 years ago was a nice part of town.

Here is the life changer. I met a man, an architect, who had a contract to design an inside remodel of the Gee House, a Bruce Goff design. Bruce Goff, earlier in life apprenticed under Frank Lloyd Wright. His homes are works of art. This man came into a piano bar where I was singing, and then started following me around to other gigs. He took a lot of pictures of me while singing. This is one.

photo
Sonni Quick 1980 Hyatt Regency Houston, Texas

He showered me with a lot of attention.  He put me on a pedestal. I allowed him to convince me to move with him to Oklahoma City. I didn’t think I’d have any problem getting gigs. But I didn’t check. Once I got there I found out the city was dry. No open bars that sold alcohol and no piano bars. I was derailed. I was making no money, a baby and a three year old and a man who because very mentally abuse. Everything that attracted him to me he tried to change or destroy. It took 2 years and much anguish to run. He destroyed self confidence. He’d keep me awake all night lecturing me. His God was Ayn Rand. He thought I was his Dagny Taggart. I was told I showed my children too much affection. To him, sex was a way to show respect – everyday, whether you wanted to or not. He kept score on the wall behind the bed  separated into who initiated it. It had to be 50/50 and he let me know if I was falling behind. The thought of sex made me ill, but if I didn’t do it he made my life hell. I suffered through it. He made me hate sex – for a long time. By now we were now living in LA. because of another architectural job. I now had no car. I couldn’t work, because without a car and 2 young children how do I get around?  Yet he demanded I make money or he’d put my belongings on the street.  He also told me he wanted me to have another baby but I’d have to sign a contract promising we’d stay together for five years, because he felt a child needed his mother that long and then he would get full custody of the child. I had to get out of there. Through this time I continued to write music. I worked with musicians but made little money. He got angrier with me for failing to live up to his ideal woman.

I got a call from a band I had auditioned with earlier – Robin Crow. Was I still interested and could I go on the road with them? He had just finished a second album, Finish Line, and lost his keyboard player. I had a way out. I ran away so fast. Hate mail followed me to Colorado, home base for the band. And just in case I missed any letters, years later he made copies of everything, bound them together and sent them to me. I still have them somewhere but I never read them. Even more years later he wrote to me and apologized profusely for what he had done to me. He was dying from throat cancer so I guess he was making amends. He had high goals as an architect and he was very good, but he died in his 40’s without making the name for himself he thought he should.

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I know where my life went on from there and led me here  but . . .

What if he had not come into the club where I was singing?  And this . . . What if my husband, father of both my children, when I kicked him out, had not gone to the bank and cleaned out the savings account set up to pay the hospital forso I was forced to continue to play gigs until 10 days before she was born to put the money back which put me in the position of meeting him in the first place. What if. . .what if . . .what if. And what if the other sharp turns I made had gone in a different direction.

Where would I be now? What would have changed? What would not have changed? Would I change where I am now if I could? Would I want rings to be different? Did these crisis teach me things I needed to know? I think so. Would the same type of things happen anyway because the karma was there? Seriously, do we really look at the decisions we are about to make and think about the consequences, or do we just follow the path of least resistance?

I think I followed along the path that “felt” right and the path the promised the most diversity. I realized long ago that I thrive on change. Living in one town my whole life or working the same boring job for decades even if I hated it because it paid well, scared me.  The thought of waking up and realizing my life was a dream and I was really a dental assistant living in planned community scared the crap out of me. (I’m not slamming dental assistants, if you are one. It just would have not worked for me) The boredom of it all held no interest for me. FOR ME – not you. I tried a real job once but that kind of predictability isn’t for me. At my age of 62, I see people who lived the kind of life that would have shriveled me up like a raison, and now that the boring job is gone, they don’t know what to do. Risk taking and doing what you want to do isn’t something you learn over night.  When there is nothing to take the place of “the job”and they don’t know how to take risks and go be something else they might feel too old to start again.

I have had dozens of these sharp turns to the left.  If I hadn’t taken one, another one would have materialized. But my life affected my children and that has affected their children so we should always proceed with caution.

So what do you think changed your life?

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