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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In the News

New Book: Confessions of a DC Madam

Most people understand that our political system has been hijacked by monied and corporate interests, what they don’t yet understand however is the extensive level of control exercised by the national security state through much less obvious means. Confessions of a DC Madam: The Politics of Sex, Lies, and Blackmail outlines how the appetites of high ranking officials render them vulnerable to blackmail, and how strong-arming operations are covered-up by complicit media and justice system personnel.

Referenced in Nick Bryant’s 2009 book The Franklin Scandal as the DC source of information about Lawrence King’s child trafficking network, Henry Vinson is the madam who crossed paths with CIA blackmail operative Craig Spence. Bryant collaborated in writing Vinson’s account of his life and his travails with the government after his business turned him into the man who knew too much. Notable clients of Vinson’s gay escort service include: CIA Director William Casey,  CIA agent Donald Gregg, Congressman Barney Frank, Congressman Larry Craig, Bush Labor Department official Paul Balach, CDC Dr. Vernon Houk, and various other government officials and media personalities. Greta Van Susteren was Vinson’s defense attorney, and either did a poor job or intentionally threw his case.

If you want a glimpse into the dirty tricks sector of the machine, read the book, or discover and listen to interviews with Henry and Nick.

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In the News

Karen Wetmore: Investigating CIA Experiments in Vermont

Karen Wetmore’s memoir, Surviving Evil: CIA Mind Control Experiments in Vermont, is a moving account of her childhood and confinement as a teenage psychiatric patient in Vermont hospitals. Like many survivors of extreme trauma, she still struggles to make sense of her experiences, but unlike most, she’s done years of investigative work, tracking down every available medical document related to her case. The records revealed she’d been treated by doctors listed as contractors of the CIA’s behavioral experimentation program MKUltra. After her book was published in 2014, she continued to ply the CIA with multiple FOIA requests. Their most recent non-response responses to her were telling enough, they claim the records she’d requested are still classified.

She says, “The Vermont press and the national press remain silent on the information I documented in my book, despite having been informed. A foreign journalist told me that he couldn’t understand why American journalists were not, as he put it, “All over this story.” Again I ask the question: What did CIA do in Vermont institutions that requires such measures to ensure secrecy fifty years later?  Beginning in September 2013, I decided to try to find out.

Read the rest of her important revelations on Fire Dog Lake, or order her book.

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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.
Continue reading

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In the News

Over but the Shouting

Thirty years ago, when I was enrolled in a Women’s Studies course, we devised a little experiment/study. We (all women) sat on a low wall adjacent to a busy sidewalk on campus and cat-called men as they walked by. Further down the block, one of our classmates stopped the victims and asked them to fill out a questionnaire about the experience. The results were inconclusive, not surprisingly, given that it was such an anomalous event. Most of them expressed shock or surprise more than anything else. Street harassment has long been a topic of study and outrage for feminists, but if my memory is at all to be trusted, it’s never gained this level of attention.

The video below went viral this past week. It generated a great deal of commentary, from NPR, to blogs, tweets, and points in between. I read some valid criticisms of the piece itself, but I also saw a lot of confusion, predictably over what, exactly, constitutes harassment. Continue reading

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Features

Who We Are: Janet Thomas

For this first issue, as a means to further introduce you to Borne, we thought to offer you selections of our own work. -Eds.

Janet Thomas is an author, editor, playwright, and teacher. Over the last few years, she’s traveled to India to teach the art of memoir writing. Below is an excerpt of her 2011 Nautilus Award winning book.


Day Breaks Over DharamsalaDay Breaks Over Dharamsala, A Memoir of Life Lost and Found

Chapter 10

For more than twenty years I have wrestled with, and been wrestled by, the truth. When I collapsed in the middle of my kitchen between Christmas and New Year’s, 1984, I had no idea that I was falling off the edge of my world. I had no idea that the inner framework of my life was imploding, and that the rest of my life would become a psychological reconstruction zone. The moment was visceral and paralyzing. I could no longer make my self up. But it would be years before I could even begin to describe what happened to me. And the way in to my truth was through lies. Continue reading

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Art

Who We Are: Lynn Schirmer

For this first issue, as a means to further introduce you to Borne, we thought to offer you selections of our own work. -Eds.

The works included here are typical, drawing is my primary medium, but I also paint and make sculpture. Continue reading

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From the Editor

What to Expect

Challenging Subject Matter

The “landscape of systemic personal, cultural, societal, and global oppression” may sadly appear without horizon, but we will most often narrow our focus to familiar ground. This ground covers, but is not limited to, crimes of the state in Western nations and their intersections with private organized and corporate criminal networks, non-state torture, trafficking, and human experimentation, and how these hidden realities affect the general condition of our world, and our day to day lives. You’ll hear directly from survivors and from researchers and advocates who’ve spent years recovering, exploring, and investigating, and who are  considered experts in their still marginalized fields.

Quality Writing

We will deliver it, as close as we are able, in form and substance. I gratefully rely on my co-editor Janet who offers no small mastery of form. My particular concern is with substance, specifically accuracy. When a subject is shrouded in mystery, or secrecy by design, it is far too easy to grasp hard at speculation, and in some cases, get lost in webs of fantasy. There is so much disinformation surrounding the subjects of our interest, it’s imperative to present information that can be verified, and to be clear when that is not possible, and what it means. For those of us who’ve been lost in the darkness at times, when all else fails, tests of simple logic may offer a way out, as well as a comfort with ambivalence.

Great Art

There is perhaps no better evidence of the light of freedom in the human spirit than creative expression. Our symbolic languages have the power to validate, affirm, and uplift. They can transmit, in alternate form, emotions, thoughts, and deeds that are otherwise unspeakable. I look forward to introducing you to works by courageous, but little known artists, poets, writers, and others who should, in a cultural landscape governed by different values, be well known.

I hope you enjoy Borne, though perhaps enjoyment may come only in tangent to discovery and empowerment, which are of greater lasting impact.

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