Johnny Gosch
From the Editor

Recommended Viewing

Streaming now on Netflix is Who Took Johnny, a documentary about the Johnny Gosch case. Johnny Gosch was abducted while delivering newspapers in the wee hours of a Sunday morning in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1982. Through the tireless efforts of his heartbroken and persistent mother, the case gained national attention, yet remains officially unresolved to this day. Produced by Rumur studios,  with contributions from Franklin Scandal author, Nick Bryant, the film explores several leads in the case—leads that law enforcement refused to pursue—suggesting the complicity of local and national justice institutions in elite child trafficking rings.

From Rumur studios:

If you’ve ever gotten separated from your child for just a few moments and remember the depth of panic that sets in, then you can begin to understand what Noreen Gosch has felt over the last 30 years since her son Johnny disappeared delivering newspapers in West Des Moines, Iowa on the morning of September 5, 1982.

More than any other missing child case, Johnny’s story has spawned countless theories and has instilled intrigue in the millions who remember the kid on the side of a milk carton.   WHO TOOK JOHNNY is an examination into the infamous thirty-year-old cold case behind the disappearance of Iowa paperboy Johnny Gosch, the first missing child to appear on a milk carton. The film focuses on the heartbreaking story of Johnny’s mother, Noreen Gosch, and her relentless quest to find the truth about what happened that tragic September morning in Des Moines when Johnny never returned from his paper route. Along the way there have been mysterious sightings, strange clues, bizarre revelations, and a confrontation with a person who claims to have helped abduct Johnny.

WHO TOOK JOHNNY captures the endless intrigue and conspiracy theories surrounding the eye-witness accounts, compelling evidence and emotional discoveries which span three decades of the most spellbinding missing person’s case in U.S. history.

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Art

Polyvore

Examples of Polyvore sets by Gaylin Laughlin. Used with permission.

At first glance, Polyvore seems like an unlikely place to harbor a community of trauma survivors using art to heal. Continue reading

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Features

Qualities and Knowledge Useful for Survivors and Therapists Working with Dissociative Identity

Brian, a therapist who has worked with survivors of severe trauma for more than 30 years, lays out the finer points of what’s important for both therapists and survivors in navigating a path to healing. -Eds.

Personhood

Tolerance for Ambiguity

Integrating a trauma narrative, especially if it is the result of sophisticated mind control procedures, is a complex and lengthy process where subjective states (hypnosis, drugs) and manipulated states (electric shock, psychic-driving, sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation) are mixed with objective states (veridical memory of ritual/sexual abuse or any other experiences meant to terrorize.) Continue reading

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Interviews

Getting to Gratitude

When survival and surviving are core challenges it is all too easy, and often all too instinctive, to overlook the good in life. Gratitude is a way of affirming the good—life over death, creation over destruction, connection over isolation, and triumph over loss. Gratitude takes trust—trust in the untrustworthy idea of authentic help, support, and love. And gratitude requires healing—because rage and its relatives are always scrambling for center-stage. Gratitude trumps rage. It requires us to grow up, get a bit of distance, and honor the fact that we actually need one another when need itself can feel like the ultimate four-letter word.

In this spirit of creative conundrum, Borne is committed to expressing gratitude to those working to eliminate torture and abuse in our world. We honor the work of Linda MacDonald and Jeanne Sarson in Naming the Unspeakable: Non-State Torture. In this post we express gratitude to long-time activist and educator Jean Riseman.

We invite you to send us your appreciation for those who cast a light into the shadows of this world and make a difference.
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Features

Naming the Unspeakable: Non-State Torture

Linda MacDonald, Jeanne Sarson

Linda MacDonald, Jeanne Sarson

“It’s like racism or sexism, you have to pull these things out. It’s like a tooth that’s festering, until you say it’s infected, until you name it, it goes on hurting.” Jeanne Sarson

Linda MacDonald and Jeanne Sarson are two nurses from Truro, Nova Scotia. In their spare time, they offer counseling services to women. It was in this context that they met with and became dedicated to victims of hidden and organized extreme violence. Their professional advocacy for these marginalized women expanded into political activism, and after two decades, their successes on the global stage are yet unmatched. Indeed, they inhabit a sphere and path entirely of their own making. It all began over twenty years ago with a late night phone call.
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Interviews

Michael Salter on Organized Abuse

Dr. Michael SalterDr. Michael Salter is an Australian criminologist. He is the author of several articles published in journals such as the British Journal of Criminology, Violence Against Women, and Child Abuse Review. In 2012, he published his first book, Organized Sexual Abuse, a culmination of years of research and working directly with survivors.  He is currently a lecturer in criminology at the University of Western Sydney.

I met Michael several years ago—virtually, and using a pseudonym. We were both active members of an online community that gathered in celebratory relief and debate around the highly original political and social commentary of Canadian author Jeff Wells. From first encounter, Michael was an extremely knowledgeable, caring, and outspoken advocate of survivors of organized abuse like myself. My gratitude to him has grown over the intervening years, as he’s helped transform the study of organized abuse from utter marginalization into a respected field of inquiry.
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Nick Bryant
Interviews

Interview with Nick Bryant

In 2009, when Nick Bryant’s book, The Franklin Scandal: A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse and Betrayal came out, I immediately ordered a copy. When it arrived, more than 600 pages of it, I dove in with excited anticipation which all too quickly became a slow slog. Its complexity, its journalistic imperative, and its fastidious attention to detail—all the things that name it authentic and critically important—stopped me in my tracks. My survivor mind couldn’t cope with its objectivity, its compelling and sequential truth. My cognitive allegiance was to the survivors and the inchoate and inarticulate truth of their struggle. Bryant was writing about the legal logistics of horrendous crimes against children and the resulting cover-up. In the Franklin Scandal he details the real-time unfolding of the attempts, heroic and dogged on the parts of those who tried to bring justice to light, as well as on the parts of those doing everything possible to thwart justice and destroy survivors. It is a legal playbook that illuminates shocking miscarriages of justice and callous and conniving cover-up. But I couldn’t read it. I couldn’t track it. Continue reading

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Features

Disinformation and DID: the Politics of Memory

This article was originally published on DIDiva.com and other sites, but we thought it important enough to republish here in our first issue. -Eds.

This essay is not meant to be comprehensive. Instead it is the attempt to connect some dots that are rarely considered or discussed—hopefully providing a new way to view the politics of memory and of DID in particular. It is designed to generate discussion and suggest areas of further study. There is an old saying: “Don’t bite my finger—look where I am pointing.”
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