Law enforcement corruption and missing, murdered Indigenous women

This is the second in a multi-part series that will chronicle my journey into the world of sex-trafficking and murder in Indian Country and beyond. The first can be read here. If you’ve already read it, scroll until the font change. 

Headlines, hashtags, and public service announcements don’t provide a way to explore the nuances, relationships and historical responsibilities involved in the discussion and eradication of the trafficking of vulnerable Native American children and women for sexual exploitation. I hope this series does that and more. 

I became consciously involved with the subject in September 2017 when I was called by Ancestors to find a young Navajo woman who had been disappeared from the reservation and was believed by a Navajo cop to be in the Phoenix Metro area. I didn’t know it at the time but finding a body dump on the same reservation in 2014 and my presence at Standing Rock in 2016 laid the groundwork for me to walk into a multinational sex-trafficking operation with connections that span 45 countries. Telling how this story unfolds requires discussion of history and the repercussion arisen out of it, trauma experienced and held by peoples and the natural world, realities of misogyny, sexuality, institutionalized racism, the reemergence of what I call ‘the medicine way’ and where all those things converge in our current era. There will be no naming and shaming here but there will be solutions offered.

 

So, one cop said to another, “Someone is telling Ingrid too much.”

I was left alive last winter because folks were trying to figure out who was telling me what. How was it that I knew what I knew when I wasn’t supposed to know anything? Two sets of folks, law enforcement and not-law enforcement, who may or may not have known their watching was a mutual effort. The kicker of it all, is that for all the Facebook-cloning, electronic surveillance and geo-locating, physically threatening, and the flying-clone at the bedroom window, it appears that no one has considered that my information comes from exactly the place and in the manner I say it does.

Perhaps, though, two people do. I landed in Phoenix on September 14, 2017. By the morning of September 18, I was at the local FBI office with what I thought was actionable information (and I the time I knew nothing of what I do now). After being interviewed for nearly two hours, I went on my way. My way was south, following the pull of the eagle from two days prior.

On the sixteenth, I drove into a village that visions had been insisting I get to. It’s a relatively small place and I drove each street looking, listening, asking wide open for clarity. Birds had nothing to say. The few cottonwoods were quiet in the light desert breeze and the sand kept it’s secrets so I decided to leave.  Driving back, thinking of lunch, a set of eagle talons grabbed my left arm and pulled back hard. “Come back!!” Unmistakably asking for me to return.

For those few readers who do not understand my relationship with things of the invisible world, I feel the need to clarify that the eagle wasn’t visible. However, it’s identity, strength, power and plea were undeniably solid. If you ever have the opportunity to have a large raptor park itself on your arm, you’ll learn exactly how I knew. When I have confounding experiences with the spirit world in an indigenous context, particularly when specifically localized, it’s a proper and often necessary to elicit the help of a local expert. So I did.

I left the Phoenix-FBI office and went to find a local person of the medicine way. And, everyone I talked to sent me to one man; “he knows everybody”, “you’ll love him”, “he’s been around forever and works with everyone”, “he’s amazing”, “he’s so nice”, “you should hear him tell the Old stories”, “He’ll know exactly who to connect you with. Here’s his number”. So I called.

And with the help of two other Elders, including a lovely woman who said, “This is definitely beyond my level, he’s the one for you to talk to”, I was introduced to the man whose community loves and reveres him. And I told him the story. The whole story…why I was in the desert to begin with and my experience with his community’s Ancestors, their visions directing me to the same, and my experience with the eagle. As I sat across the table from he and his assistant, asking for help connecting me with an appropriate person and an education on local protocol for such things he looked me straight in the face and said, “I don’t know anyone like that.”  I didn’t need his assistant’s head whip to tell him me he lied. I also didn’t need anyone to tell me why he lied or that I’d walked into a perfectly laid set up just as I was supposed to and that what I thought I knew, what I’d reported to the FBI hours earlier, was merely the tip of a desert iceberg.

And I tried to report that. And before I gave up entirely on attempting to report anything, I had a conversation with another FBI agent, three weeks after I’d initiated contact via a non-profit and governmental consortium. After he said, “We won’t do anything without a victim” and I wondered if I might well become one soon just to help the agency out, I sent the obligatory email and forgot about another fucking FBI agent.

I forgot about that FBI agent until I learned I was under electronic surveillance by the FBI and those definitely not the FBI.  It’s an odd experience to be confronted with a) your own ignorance of things that might get you killed, and b) a solid thing, a stalwart symbol of safety and justice in your mind that suddenly isn’t safe or a representative of equitableness at all. It’s even more odd to understand prior neat dividing lines of good guys and bad guys are no longer useful tools.

I’d had hints of things sort of odd with my computer but I chalked it up to it’s age and an unfortunate incident with a car tire a year prior at Standing Rock. I didn’t understand that my computer and phone had been hacked until I was met in the dark by someone making a point that I had been seen and that I ought to be scared, ought to be scared off. The message was hard to miss when an SUV driver turned off his headlights as he approached slowly, then stopped to take flash photographs of me at 11:00 at night. A few minutes before that sphincter-tightening experience, while trying to find my car in a very, very large parking lot, I noticed that my Google maps was showing me forty-five miles away in a place I wasn’t and had not been.  That GPS had either imbibed the drink I was craving or my phone was trying to tell me something. The fat photographer in the Suburban? He told me very clearly what the GPS message was. We’re following you. We’ve been following you. We know exactly where you’ve been, where you are down to the very path you’re walking in the dark. Alone.

I tried to review everywhere I’d stayed, where I’d moved, with whom I spoken, and always came back to September 18, 2017, and the two separate conversations I had–one with the presumed good guys and one with an otherwise-revered not-so-good guy.

Nearly one year later, I was again reminded those who I’d spent years working with, trusting, and loving as brothers and lovers and partners, toe that blue line of ‘protect and serve’ while serving those who commit the most heinous acts upon children and women, all while in uniform. Someone who was responsible for my safety and that of victims chose to make traffickers safe instead.

State troopers, county deputies, tribal police; blue, brown and green uniforms and those with a pantyhose or tie. Safety, security, justice, trust us, my ass.

I’ve watched cops chat it up with pimps, I’ve cut contact with someone I love and respect because I was afraid his tribal colleagues would create a convenient line of duty death, I know an entire department that will need to be taken over by the federal government when it comes out how many officers and command are involved in harboring of hostages, as well as producing and selling child pornography. I’ve been ignored except when I was being surveilled (odd, no?), and the one who facilitated the price on my head? None other than the federal agent to whom I considered sarcastically offering myself as a victim to get someone to listen to me. My thought at the time was maybe the death or disappearance of a middle-aged white woman will inspire someone to care about the death and disappearance of some brown skin girls. Little did I know. 

This winter, I’m alive despite the fact the good guys and not-so-good guys have decided it doesn’t matter how I’m getting my information and someone within one of those blurry-lined camps thinks the reward for my head would make a nice chunk of change. Someone is telling Ingrid too much.

Even now, nearly a year and a half since this unfolding began, it’s not clear who is who, who fits into what camp, and how often they hurriedly blur across the lines. What is clear is that there is enough money moving into the hands of law enforcement officials and respected elders across the country that the trafficking of children and adults will not be enforced away.  

 

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It Really is All About You

Until it’s not

More on Empath myth busting

Always we want to learn from outside,
from absorbing other people’s knowledge.
It’s safer that way.
The trouble is that it’s always other people’s knowledge.
We already have everything we need to know,
in the darkness inside ourselves.
The longing is what turns us inside out until
we find the sun and the moon and stars inside~
—Peter Kingsley from his book The Dark Places of Wisdom

It’s much the same way with learning how to be a healthy empath. The discomfort you’ve been feeling–generally speaking–isn’t other people’s emotions. It’s your own response to an external energy that may or may not be emotional. That singular awareness–the ability to identify what it is and to take responsibility for that which is yours–bring a level of freedom and peace you’ve not known in a loooooong time.

Until you reach the point of being able to connect to, identify and express  your own emotions, it is difficult to connect with those of others. It first must be about you; you as subject, you as explorer, you as feeler and feeling, before you can fully engage in accurately judging ‘other people’s’ anything.

The Occupied Woman

Legions live within

the boundaries

of her skin.

 

Joined not at the hip but

breath in breath

they are,

they walk,

they weave.

The Old Ones occupy

her heart

in one blood

the echo chamber of Ancients.

 

Spiders occupy her hair,

their lighted threads

weaving to and fro,

stars to sons.

 

Light occupies her eyes,

Fire is the kindling of her soul,

Roots run through veins

Drumming the lungs of others.

 

Of hoofed feet,

winged arms

poured magic from

pawed hands and

horned tendrils of silk.

The pulsing, poolings of stillness

and

songs of the ancients echoing.

Again.

A thousand souls

A multitude of expressions of one flame

Inhabit this mosaic,

This occupied woman.

I Am Not an Activist

cannonball

An activator for many things, perhaps. But, never in my mind or heart have I identified as an activist even while creating change in systems unaccustomed to the same.

However, there appear to be others–many of them– who feel differently and have paved the way for me to join the #noDAPL protest in Cannonball, North Dakota. I’m not sure even they, though, would use that term.

When Nicholas Black Elk appeared in my world last summer, he made it clear to others that I knew something that I didn’t know and, to me, made it clear that I needed to speak. About what, I vacillate between being absolutely sure of and never quite certain.  Even when he would interrupt someone’s visit to the ladies room, saying, ‘Ask her. She knows.’ Sometimes he and the others in my entourage gently say, “Speak, child. Speak.”  Other times, with a sense of urgency they shout “SPEAK!”  And, again, I often don’t know what it is about.  And, conversely, I often do and my retorts are laden with frustration and sarcasm; “What do you want me to say?!  Don’t kill people?!  Duh, folks.”

So when Black Elk let me know that I needed to go the Standing Rock reservation last summer–at the time the #noDAPL protest was in it’s merely-an-idea stage–I had no frame of reference, no context, breathing-human or other connection to understand why I was being asked to go.

The context was not revealed, either, when cohorts of Nicholas Black Elk joined my growing council of many as the months went on.  They include Chief Red Wing (Mdewakanton), Sitting Bull (Hunkpapa), Touch the Clouds (Minneconjou), Chief Red Feather ( Sans Arc), Chief Red Cloud (Oglala) and others who are not Sioux, not chiefs but men of great standing in their day. Some are carriers of the medicine way. Some warrior, some purposeful peacemakers but they are with me in scores.  And, somewhere in the mix, allied but not as visible (but certainly visceral!) are the Old Ladies.  Those women who rattled my cage to get me moving toward the Dakotas last summer and on July 28 this year–nearly 13 months to the day that Black Elk first introduced himself to my world.

Even when I got on the road, I had no idea where I was going. I had some awareness of the #noDAPL protest because I follow the Indigenous Environmental Network  but it seemed to me that being sent there was too simple, too easy or obvious–because often, even with maps and roadsigns given in vision, the people or places with which I’m to connect don’t always appear so clearly or quickly. And, again, because I don’t identify as an activist, it didn’t make sense.

I drove in the general direction, guided by the ancestors of a specific, breathing  Mandan associated with thisness, whose ancestors wove me into his world less than 24 hours before I was to leave.

Less than 14 hours before I was scheduled to leave, a phalanx of invisible riders astride painted horses arrived on the wind, letting me know that they–and others–were waiting for me, wherever I was going.

And at 4:00AM the next morning, we left Helena for Twin Buttes, ND, and unknown points beyond in what many call an act of ‘blind faith’.

Mr. Mandan (not his real name) and I spent two days working together and part of our discussions included celebrity and Three Affiliated Tribes’ involvement in the pipeline protest but, still, there was no clear ‘click’ for me as to why I was being sent south.

As I moved past the Red Warrior Camp heading south, my only comment to myself and my invisible entourage was ‘Well, there aren’t as many people as I thought there were.” I drove on. Still wondering.

I stopped in Fort Yates, ND, the seat of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, to see what there was to see, and if clarity would visit in the form of a person or road sign.

When that failed to bring the desired result, I made a beeline to the visitor’s center.  Every now and again, like then, reservation visitor’s centers are like one-stop shopping for spirit-related wanderings and one question can lead to all answers. I walked in and began vibrating with the space and the young woman who listened to my story said, “Oh!  You need to go to Sacred Stone Camp” and drew me a map to a place I called home for over two weeks and will continue to do so as the seasons roll on.

Why? I didn’t understand it when I got there and, even still, after being gone a week, my surety waxes and wanes while the connections expand and I’m pulled back and being permanently planted.

Without the guidance of my human helper at the Visitor’s Center, I would have not known even where to go. The timing of her direction was such that I rolled into camp and immediately learned that I really could cook for a small army when thrust into an empty kitchen and a reported 300 people to feed.

For days, I cooked and I cried and I cursed and rolled my eyes when Old Ones tapped in.  Brought 1000 miles to cook and do dishes? Funny what happens when you think things should appear a particular way, eh? And funny how we forget to unravel the definition of sacred so that we can see it in the shit-ton of detritus.

I was only one of many brought to the Cannonball River directed by otherworldly means.  I heard stories of recent dreams directing the way, visions from as far back as three decades ago coming into being beckoning for their seers, and more.

I may not be an activist and I may not be Native American (though I can assure the doubters that I’m not the wanna-be that so many of us are painted as) but I have been woven into the community of both by Ancestors, my relationships with the waters and beings attached to them, my relationships with archetypes and myth-inspirers, and my gifts connected to the healing of historic trauma for people and places. This I know. The hows of it unfolding I don’t yet. There will be a time for revelation of these truths in the same manner Nicholas Black Elk’s vision from 144 years is being revealed today.

The lack of clarity does not diminish the truth of the knowings that these Old Ones brought a daughter home purposefully.  They show each step of the way.  With respect, occasional reward and a richness of life like no other alive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Self Segregation and Subjugation of Other

For eons, we have sliced, diced and otherwise organized ourselves and the world in attempts to understand the same. We’ve adopted parlance, accepted philosophies, and constructed ways to structure our individual nature, each other and the systems around us.

Human, self, ego, soul. Super-human, super ego, over soul, higher or deeper self. Personality, intellect, intuition; weird, normal, spiritual or notso. Angel, evil; human and nature. Consciousness that separates that human-self, ego, soul from things and beings outside the boundaries of our skin. Others may have a consciousness but a complex schema of superiority of same keeps the Darwinian divisions intact. We want to ascend to something or someplace higher than we are now in the organizational chart of being someplace or someone else.

These mental construction projects and their language of separation of aspects of self and non-self–have helped maintain notions of subjugation from the rest of the universe, whether we choose to identify that as neighbor, demon or divine. We seek to explore spirit but deny ego or Godliness–keeping us below it or under his control or power; keep roles intellectualized, marginalized, sexualized, and, with some exceptions, diminish those connected to intuitive. As if we need divisions of each, marked like a measuring stick rather than a divining rod.  Holy enough, high enough, ready-or-not-nearer-to-God-enough.

I had a conversation with someone ages ago, who by his own identification, is quite the spiritual person. He remarked that when he wanted to get something from another person in a situation he felt certain would be denied, he spoke to the ‘Higher Self’ of the person he was with. The ‘higher’ self that was for the ‘greatest good’, of course. A slight of voice-mind manipulation of another.

We keep some aspects conveniently internal–intuition, soul, deepest and, others, external.  God is somewhere above, Earth is under our feet. A few weeks ago, Alan Haras shared a story about an interaction he had with one of his teachers, Shyamdas, where he asked about our separation of divine from body-mind & ego-self.  What he took from that lesson was that those divisions are,  “like saying, “Yes, it is all One, except me.  That must be extinguished.”  Or, except when it doesn’t seem right to me or help me make sense of the world around me.

In the conversation above, the person I was talking to had already in his mind subdivided the person he was talking to in a way to consciously manipulate toward a more desired potential outcome.  We do that subconsciously as well when we keep aspects of self and other divided. It’s part and parcel in current discussions of about changing political and socio-economic systems, civil liberties, race & class privilege, and other institutional systems change.

None of this is to say that organization as a way to  an understanding of self are not important because they are. It is in knowing ourownfineselves–fully, wholly–that we can enter into open relationship with those other godly things around us.  That relationship is a partnership that, in its finest expression, allows freedom to be for everyone. Freedom from judgment, control and manipulation comes when we recognize our own value, unique expression, ego and more that are all part of our true nature.

However, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to reach that state of freedom unless that organization and understanding of self bring you to the knowing that your soul is as much in your neighbor, lover, detractor, ancient rivers and aspen grove and that thing called God as you.. If one’s self-dissection does not bring it back to a state of union, then what appears is merely autopsy, not life-giving and love-bringing capacity to others. Knowing thyself is knowing another is not ‘other’.

Try cutting your ego some slack and allowing it to come home. Maybe trying seeing the soul without a leash and giving it room to play in the universal sandbox, and view self-dissection as universal kaleidoscope.

How Do You Know Where You Are Going?

“Go now, and wander

For the welfare of many, out of compassion

For the world.”

~Gautama Buddha

Sometimes I’m given street signs or maps during visions and know with precision where I’m going. Maybe not always how I’m going to get there, when, why or for whom but I know where.

My first directional vision sent me to Connecticut in the autumn of 2013. I had the vision, read the sign, plugged into Google and found where I was going. When I got there, I discovered the who and why.

Last September, when Chief Winnemucca gave me the map of the old Judith River Basin reservation (although I didn’t know which map it was at the moment), with the #22 handwritten in the lower right hand corner, I later put that information into Google, found the exact same map, and where the 22s on the x- and y-axis met, is where I went. And, again, learned the who and why when I got there.

Judith

In February, the map that appeared showed a particular bend in a river. I opened Google maps, found the bend in the Missouri River and knew that I was headed to the Crow Creek reservation. Which is where I was planning to go last week.

Until two weeks ago.

When the wind wants me to move, she moves me. When the Old Ones want me to move, they move me, too. This time, they worked in concert.

Two weeks ago, when the wind came down the mountains and Black Elk & Sitting Bull put me into her as she rolled through me. I thought they were scattering the seeds of me into the Dakotas where I was heading anyway.

That changed–the plan and the thinking–when others came a while later.

And they came. Riding the same wind on the wings of a red-tailed hawk. Their greeting was one of ancient power and to my only question they responded, “We are the Sun People.” As they rolled through my heart, “We see you. Come home.”

I don’t understand my connection to these Old Ones, the Yavapai of ago. I have learned, though, that when the heart of me is seen by Them, I follow where they lead. Again, without knowing the how of it all, the whys or for whom, I go.

When I attempt to create a plan, how these things unfold reminds me that a plan is often moot. I was fully set on spending time in the Dakotas until I received a note from someone in old Yavapai territory. And so, lame car and all, we knew that the Dakotas would have to wait.

And here we are. Knowing the who and the why while still a little sketchy on the how of it all. Because there are still two thousand miles and ten days between here and home.

If you are inclined to help with the hows of it all, I appreciate help via PayPal. My PayPal address is ingrdo@yahoo.com.

Blessed Dark and Holy

“When I run after what I think I want, 
my days are a furnace of stress and anxiety;
if I sit in my own place of patience,
what I need flows to me, and without pain. 
From this I understand that 
what I want also wants me,
is looking for me and attracting me.
There is a great secret here
for anyone who can grasp it… Rumi

Oh, my love, how you’ve spiritualed; sought out, pleaded for, meditated on that direct, unmediated, experience of spirit, the invisible divine and holy Beloved.

You’ve looked up, downward like a dog, and sat around; except, of course, inside because what could be there.

You’ve chased ceremony, traveled countries and continents; seeking through another place in space or culture for that might connect you to other, to another.

You’ve followed the rules, stayed within the lines and the laws of the universe to experience that thing of truth.

Surely the wings of angels or eagles will visit like a gentle wind, a reminder of all that you want to be true. You’ve preached about it and prayed for it to come true; true communion.

And, then.

And then that motherfucker, that disruptor of your fine whites & rules & laws & prayerful poses, has the audacity to show up, to appear in all its dirty glory.

It’s not convenient, it’s out of order, looks darkscary in contrast to the environment you’ve sanitized against those things. It’s power is nothing that you could have imagined holiness to be. It looks like that thing from under your childhood bed because you’re frightened. Of not just it, but of it’s reflection of you. You can’t yet see Grace in the fire as well as the dust and detritus.

And you’re pissed. Because it has come home to you, it has heard your call, your cry. It has crossed eons to answer you, to bring itself home to your heart but it’s not pretty, doesn’t fit your belief system or desire for soft and gentle.  That angel doesn’t sing a gentle hymn or Om. It roars with the need for release from those things that have bound it, tied it up away from you. It sounds off- key because you’re off-kilter. It doesn’t fit. It smells. Not like perfume but of ancient, stale, pent up energy that has run to you, trusting in your faith & desire, waiting to dance with you.

You wanted the ecstasy. Not the responsibility. A pretty partner, not the visceral, raw Nature of spirit. Because love is gentle, sweet, but this…

This. This ferocity, breathing, heaving pulsation of power that brings you the gift of peace & partnership isn’t what you thought you asked for. It doesn’t do bleached white, but it’s white-hot, it’s of the salt of the earth, exalted through and older than time. It will move you to bleed from your heart and sacrifice all that is not bound in love.

This doesn’t ask for peity and requires no protection from and the only prayer it requires is, “Hello. Welcome home.”

It’s untamed beauty, and messy, volcanic appearance in your life and power is merely a reflection of your own. Like attracts like, especially when you’ve spent a lifetime asking for it.

Like the dirt under your fingernails, this is evidence your gift has come to ground, bringing the heavenly holy of into humanity.

Be not afraid.

You are entwined with the beloved at all times. The expression and reflection that frightens you is only the universe opening to all its glory to you–beyond understanding, beyond imaginings and the marketings of lightness and loveliness.

If you can see the beauty in the dark night sky, then you can see it in  the very gift of god that brings your prayers to life.

Love, introduce yourself to your new partner, your new reflection. Bow to each other and know grace has brought you together.

Be not afraid. For we are as much mud as we are stardust. And I am with you. You will learn to ride the wind, rain blessings on those around you, dive into the depths of your own hearted nature with the Mother.

Be now. Unafraid. Open.

http://www.ingridoliphant.com