Michael Mendizza

Writer, Filmmaker

Of Course the Predators Ate Him


Parenting, Preventing Violence

Fight-Flight is a fear-startle reflex emerging deep in the sensory motor brain, the so called ancient ‘reptilian’ brain. The pursuit of egotistic gratification turned predator, sexual or otherwise, is not fight-flight, rather, patterns of violence embedded early in the formation of the ego or social-emotional self-image, what we generally refer to as ego.

Aggressive, abusive and sexually violent predators are not born, they are created, and very early. This was my conclusion after three years of independent research when Pat, a colleague training for the 1984 Olympics, was stalked for weeks by a complete stranger and nearly raped and murdered. Siting with Pat days later I could not shake the question; why would a man do such a thing? What is it about the formation of the male ego or social-emotional feeling of ‘self’ that would create such a predator, and not just one, millions and millions?

A few facts and figures from the United Nations

  • An estimated 91% of rapes go unreported.
  • It is estimated that 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives. However, some national studies show that up to 70 percent of women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime [1].
  • Around 120 million girls worldwide (slightly more than 1 in 10) have experienced forced intercourse or other forced sexual acts at some point in their lives. By far the most common perpetrators of sexual violence against girls are current or former husbands, partners or boyfriends [7].
  • At least 200 million women and girls alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in the 30 countries with representative data on prevalence. In most of these countries, the majority of girls were cut before age 5. [8].
  • Adult women account for 51 percent of all human trafficking victims detected globally. Nearly three out of every four trafficked women and girls are for the purpose of sexual exploitation [9].
  • One in 10 women in the European Union report having experienced cyber-harassment since the age of 15 (including having received unwanted, offensive sexually explicit emails or SMS messages, or offensive, inappropriate advances on social networking sites). The risk is highest among young women between 18 and 29 years of age [10].
  • An estimated 246 million girls and boys experience school-related violence every year and one in four girls say that they never feel comfortable using school latrines [11].
  • Twenty-three percent of female undergraduate university students reported having experienced sexual assault or sexual misconduct in a survey across 27 universities in the United States in 2015 [12].
  • Eighty-two percent of women parliamentarians who participated in a study conducted by the Inter-parliamentary Union in 39 countries across 5 regions reported having experienced some form of psychological violence while serving their terms. Psychological violence was defined as remarks, gestures and images of a sexist or humiliating sexual nature made against them or threats and/or mobbing to which they might have been subjected. They cited social media as the main channel through which such psychological violence is perpetrated; nearly half of those surveyed (44 percent) reported having received death, rape, assault or abduction threats towards them or their families [13].

For every assault there is a male predator. Predators aren’t born, they are created. Mothers and fathers, doctors and priests create predators conforming to the cultures that shape and define them. The teacher J. Krishnamurti noted; the inner is the outer.

Without bringing about order inwardly, psychologically, you cannot possibly have order outwardly. And the crisis is there. We think the crisis is national, economic, social and so on. The crisis is not out there! The crisis is really inward and we’re unwilling to face that.

What is the root of the inner crisis that expresses outwardly as society, as a culture of predators? Joseph Chilton Pearce invested more than half a century probing this question, as did James W. Prescott, PhD. In 1977 Joe published Magical Child. Chapter 6 is titled; Time Bomb: In the Delivery Room.

All the anxiety-ridden fallacies of our day seem to congregate in the hospital delivery room, where they bring about a disaster that remains largely undetected because it works like a time bomb.  None of the parties to the crime ever has to pay, for the explosion takes place in slow fusion over the years and creates such widespread and diverse havoc that few bother to tract it back to see who lit the fuse.

Then, in 2010, returning to this theme, Pearce devotes the first third of his last book Strange Loops and Gestures of Creation, to ‘this root,’ (re-published in 2012 as The Heart-Mind Matrix: How the Heart Can Teach the Mind New Ways to Think).

Chapter One – The Fall of Man

“A humankind abandoned in its earliest formative stage,
becomes its own greatest threat to its survival.”
Maria Montessori, M.D

In his second work, The Descent of Man, representing the later and more mature half of Darwin’s life, he shows how humankind arose through the “higher agencies” of love and altruism. Selectivity and survival, being foundational, are retained, but in service of this higher and more complex life form.

The issue of this higher evolutionary cycle found in The Descent of Man lies with nurturing, which instinct gives rise to, fosters and allows love and altruism… Nurturing proves to be not only the way by which this human species arose out of its animal ancestry; it proves to be the only way by which we evolved creatures can then be fully developed, from conception to maturity. Nurturing is the staff and stuff of human life, the one indispensable necessity, yet now having become so rare. 

Paradise Lost

Somewhere along the way, however, nurturing was compromised. It was diluted and adulterated to the point of being side-tracked, insignificant to the point that it finally lost out to survival concerns, to varying extent and in different climes and times. Today, nurturing, as needed by our species and the earth, has all but disappeared. Pockets of nurturing remained, even into mid-twentieth century, in a few remote and isolated human groups. The societies they depicted offer us critically needed models to study and examples to emulate, if we are to recoup our loss of this major evolutionary tool, as nurturing proves to be.

Nurturing – a major evolutionary tool? Montessori, Montagu, Pearce, Odent, Prescott, Mate, the entire field of Pre and Perinatal Psychology and so many others all point to early, very early. I shared in Playful Wisdom, What I Learned from Carly Our First Two Years, that the goose is pretty well cooked by age two. Symbolic language is just beginning at eighteen months. Are the seeds that sprout as predators, rapist, mean, aggressive narcissism, social and domestic violence, egotistical exploitation, High Risk Children All Grown Up… sewn before language dominates the psychic landscape? What does nurturing mean during these explosive months of brain and behavior development? What is it, as Joe describes, that has all but disappeared? Do we even recognize what has been lost? And is this loss somehow related to the question; why are so many predators male?

Joe nails it and did so for fifty years. Higher evolutionary development; empathy, altruism and compassion, lies with nurturing the early sensory and emotional brain centers, not the imaginative, symbolic, verbal intellect. Sensory and emotional nurturing has been displaced and therefore negated by cultural counterfeits, bottle-formula feeding, being one of a thousand clear examples. We discover what empathy feels like being with people who express empathy for our experiences and needs, very early. How can I do that strapped in a stroller with blinders, a bottle stuck in my mouth, and mom texting on her phone, or worse, when the screen is handed to me, as a counterfeit for human touch, shared body contact and embodied, affectionate, full spectrum sensory play? A brain system denied the experiences that open and develop the latent capacities that brain system implies, fails to fully open and develop those capacities. Then, like a speeding bullet, the next evolutionary structure, with its different capacities, open on this weak or impaired foundation, thus, a disaster that remains largely undetected because it works like a time bomb. As Krishnamurti said; We think the crisis is national, economic, social and so on. The crisis is not out there! The crisis is really inward and we’re unwilling to face that.

Speaking to a group of midwives Joe focuses on; why males?

An interesting fact about males… With the exception of the first eight days, which no one can tell us about; with all the other natural abortion periods, we know that eighty-percent of all of the aborted embryos, then fetuses, and then infants—eighty-percent will be male. At birth, eighty-percent of all dysfunctional children will be males; eighty percent of your autistic children, eighty percent of your blind, deaf, crippled, etc., will be males. More males are born than females—by a surprising number, a surprising percentage. Far more females will achieve maturity than males.

What’s going on? Ashley Montagu, who was one of the great biologists wrote a book called The Natural Superiority of Women. He wasn’t catering to the applause of women. He was simply pointing out that women represent a certain biological stability, which is not found in the males. In pre-literate societies, before civilization–as we call it—hits them and they lose their civility and begin to act like we act . . . In pre-literate societies, women always—and there is no exception to this—always nurse, breastfeed their males an average of one year longer than their females. Why?

They know and recognize that the male creature is far, far more vulnerable and fragile than the female. The male at birth is more fragile; the male adolescent is more fragile; the male child is far more fragile, and everyone massively overprotects their little girls, and they try to toughen up those guys and get them ready!  And it should be exactly the opposite.

There are two interesting medical studies that just came out in the last ten years: One is called Zen in the Brain . . . [James H.] Austin, a medical doctor. MIT published that—very prestigious press, a huge, big, thick book. And in there, he asked one question all of a sudden at the bottom of a paragraph. He says, “Will we survive as a species?” Will we survive? It then answered his own question; “Only if we can start and produce males capable of nurturing their young.”

The other is Allan Schore, whose twelve years of work I refer to constantly because it’s one of the great studies of recent times, in which he talks about the first eighteen months of life and how it determines everything that happens thereafter—the time in utero and the first eighteen months after birth—and, he has this little thing about, will we survive? He said only if we can start and produce males who can truly pair-bond with the females and nurture the offspring. That’s the only chance we have for survival.

It means we have to completely, radically change our attitudes toward the male child and realize that he is far more vulnerable, far more fragile, far more subject to damage than the female. That’s turning the tables on all of our social mythologies and fairytales…

James W. Prescott, PhD., predicted with astonishing accuracy the peaceful or violent nature of primitive cultures based on nurturing. Pearce devotes volumes, in several works, to the development, or lack thereof, of prefrontal brain centers, home of Darwin’s higher capacities of altruism, empathy and compassion. The transcendent-transformative nature of our multi-center brain is based on the more evolved brain centers, drawing the older, less evolved centers, up and into the service of the higher. If the more evolved, the prefrontal regions being the prime example, are not nurtured, and therefore do not open and express, the imaginative-verbal-intellectual centers, along with the perception of self, is drawn down into the service of the most primitive, fight-flight, predator reflexes. Here you have a perfect devolutionary storm. The most primitive using the most advanced to meet and exploit its predator needs. How could it be otherwise? We used to believe that every brain had an innate capacity to experience love and altruism. Epigenetics changed all that. Each brain is unique. A sensory deprived brain, one denied true nurturing, feeds the imaginative centers with completely different messages, resulting in very successful, high risk predators, especially males who are biologically enraged by the nurturing denied. One of the core principles of sensory deprivation is that the deprived sensory system becomes hyper sensitive to the stimulation denied. Following Joe’s reasoning, this is modern culture as we know it.

How does this maladaptive male brain act in the world? Again referring to Krishnamurti, the inner is the outer. Between 35 and 70 percent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives. That is a lot of predators. In 2015 President Jimmy Carter gave a TED talk (abridged) that describes what happens when we hide time bombs in the nursery.

Knowing the world as I do, I can tell you without any equivocation that the number one abuse of human rights on Earth that is, strangely, not addressed quite often, is the abuse of women and girls.

There are a couple of reasons for this…  First of all, there is the misinterpretation of religious scriptures, Holy Scriptures; in the Bible, the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Quran, and so forth. These have been misinterpreted by men, who are now in the ascended positions in the synagogues and in the churches and in the mosques. They interpret these rules to make sure that women are ordinarily relegated to a secondary position with men—compared to men, in the eyes of God. This is a very serious problem that is ordinarily not addressed.

A number of years ago, in the year 2000, I had been a Baptist—Southern Baptist for 70 years. I still teach Sunday School; I’ll be teaching this Sunday, as well. But, the Southern Baptist Convention, in the year 2000, decided that women should play a secondary position, a subservient positon to men. So, they issued an edict, in effect, that prevents women from being priests, pastors, deacons in the church, or chaplains in the military. And if a woman teaches in a classroom, in a Southern Baptist Seminary, they cannot teach if a boy is in the room, because you can find verses in the Bible—over 30,000 verses in the Bible that say that a woman shouldn’t teach a man, and so forth.

The basic thing is that the scriptures are misinterpreted to keep men in an ascended position. That is an all-pervasive problem because the men can exert that power. If an abusive husband or an employer, for instance, wants to cheat women, they can say, “Well, if women are not equal in the eyes of God, why should I treat them as equal to myself? Why should I pay them equal pay for doing the same kind of work?”

The other very serious blight that causes this problem is the excessive resort to violence. That is increasing tremendously around the world. In the United States of America, for instance, we have had an enormous increase in the abuse of poor people; mostly black people and minorities, by putting them in prison. When I was in office as governor of Georgia, 1 out of every 1,000 Americans were in prison. Nowadays, 7.3 people per 1,000 are in prison; that’s a seven-fold increase. Since I left the White House, there has been an 800 percent increase in the number of women who are black, who are in prison. We also have the only country on Earth that has the death penalty that is a developed country. We rank right alongside the countries that are most abusive in all elements of human rights, particularly the death penalty.

We’re in California now, and I figured up the other day that California spent four billion dollars in convicting thirteen people for the death penalty. If you add that up, that’s 307 million dollars it costs California to send a person to be executed. Nebraska, this week, just passed a law abolishing the death penalty because it costs so much. So, the resort to violence and abuse of poor people and helpless people is another cause of the increase in abuse of women.

Let me just go down a very few of the abuses of women that concern me most:

One is the genital mutilation. Genital mutilation is horrible and not known by American women. But, in some countries, many countries, when a child is born that’s a girl, very soon in her life, her genitals are completely cut away by so-called “cutter,” who has a razor blade and, in a non-sterilized way, they remove the exterior parts of a woman’s genitalia. Then, sometimes in more extreme cases, but not very rare cases, they sew the orifice up so that a girl can just urinate or menstruate. Then later, when she gets married, the same cutter goes in and opens her orifice up, so she can have sex. This is not a rare thing, although it’s against the law in most countries. In Egypt, for instance, ninety-one percent of all the females that live in Egypt today have been sexually mutilated in that way. In some countries it’s more than ninety-eight percent of the women are cut that way before they reach maturity. This is a horrible affliction on all women that live in those countries.

Another very serious thing is Honor Killings: Where a family, with misinterpretation again, of the Holy Scriptures—there is nothing in the Quran that mandates this—will execute a girl in their family if she is raped, or if she marries a man her father does not approve, or sometimes even if she wears inappropriate clothing, and this is done by members of her own family. So, the family becomes murders when the girl brings so-called disgrace to the family. An analysis was done in Egypt not too long ago, by the United Nations, and it showed that seventy-five percent of these murders of the girl are perpetrated by the father, the uncle, or the son, or the brother. But, twenty-five percent of the murders are conducted by women.

Another problem that we have in the world that relates to women, particularly, is slavery or human trafficking, it’s called nowadays. There were about 12 and-a-half million people sold from Africa into slavery in the New World back in the Nineteenth Century and Eighteenth Century. There are 30 million people now living in slavery! The United States Department of State now has a mandate from the Congress to give a report every year, and the State Department reports that 800 thousand people are sold across international borders every year into slavery. Eighty percent of those sold are women—into sexual slavery. In the United States, right at this moment, 60 thousand people are living in bondage or slavery.

The basic problem is prostitution, because there is not a whore house in America that’s not known by the local officials; the local policemen or the chief of police or the mayor, and so forth. This leads to one of the worst problems and that is that women are bought increasingly and put into sexual slavery in all countries in the world.

Sweden has got a good approach to it. About fifteen or twenty years ago, Sweden decided to change the law and women are no longer prosecuted if they are in sexual slavery, but the brothel owners and the pimps and the male customers are prosecuted. And prostitution has gone down.

In the United States, we take just the opposite position. For every male arrested for illegal sex trade, twenty-five women are arrested in the United States of America. Canada, Ireland; I’ve already said Sweden, France and other countries are moving, now, toward the so-called Swedish model. That’s another thing that can be done.

We have two great institutions in this country that all of us admire; our military and our great university system. In the military, they are now analyzing how many sexual assaults take place. The last report I got, there were 26,000 sexual assaults that took place in the military—26,000. Only 3,000—not much more than ten percent—were actually prosecuted. The reason is that the commanding officer of any organization; a ship, like my submarine, or a battalion in the Army, or company in the Marines—the commanding officer has the right under law to decide whether to prosecute a rapist or not. And, of course, the last thing they want is for anybody to know that under their command sexual assaults are taking place; so, they do not do it. That law needs to be changed.

About one out of four girls who enter American universities will be sexually assaulted before she graduates. This is now getting a lot of publicity, partially because of my book, but other things . . . So, eighty-nine universities in America are now condemned by the Department of Education under Title IX, because the officials of the universities are not taking care of the women to protect them from sexual assault. The Department of Justice says more than half of the rapes on a college campus take place by serial rapists because outside the university system, if they rape somebody, they’ll be prosecuted, but when they get on a university campus, they can rape with impunity. They are not prosecuted. Those are the kind of things that go on in our society.

Another thing that’s very serious about the abuse of women and girls is the lack of equal pay for equal work, as you know. For full-time employment, a woman in the United States, now, gets twenty-three percent less than a man. When I became president, the difference was thirty-nine percent; so, we’ve made some progress, partially because I was president. But, in the last fifteen years there has been no progress made. So, it’s been just about twenty-three or twenty-four percent difference for the last fifteen years. These are the kind of things that go on. If you take the Fortune 500 companies, twenty-three of them have women CEOs, out of 500. And those CEOs, I need not tell you, make less on an average than the other CEOs. Well, that’s what goes on in our country.

Another thing that is a problem with the United States is that we are the most warlike nation on Earth. We have been to war with about twenty-five different countries since the Second World War. Sometimes we’ve had soldiers on the ground fighting. The other times we’ve had them flying overhead, dropping bombs on people. Other times, of course now we know we have drones that attack people, and so forth. We’ve been at war with twenty-five different countries, or more, in the last—since the Second World War. There were four years—I won’t say which ones—when we didn’t drop a bomb; we didn’t launch a missile; we didn’t fire a bullet.

The resort to violence and the misinterpretation of the Holy Scriptures are the basic causes of the abuse of women and girls. There is one more basic cause that I need not mention and that is that, in general, men don’t give a damn. That’s true. The average man that might say, “I’m against the abuse of women and girls,” quietly accepts the privileged positon that we occupy.

And, this is very similar to what I knew when I was a child, when “separate but equal” . . . Racial discrimination had existed legally for a hundred years, from 1865, at the end of the War Between the States, the Civil War, all the way up to the 1900s. 1960 is when Lyndon Johnson got the bills passed for equal rights. But, during that time there were many white people that didn’t think that racial discrimination was OK, but they stayed quiet because they enjoyed the privileges of better jobs, unique access to jury duty, better schools, and everything else. And that’s the same thing that exists today because the average man really doesn’t care, even though they say, “I’m against discrimination against girls and women,” they enjoy a privileged position. And it’s very difficult to get the majority of men who control the university system, the majority of men that control the military system, the majority of men that control the governments of the world, and the majority of men that control the great religions.

So, what is the basic thing that we need to do to today? I would say the best thing that we can do today is for the women in the powerful nations like this one, and where you come from—Europe, and so forth, who have influence and who have freedom to speak and act need to take the responsibility on yourselves to be more forceful in demanding an end to racial discrimination against girls and women all over the world. The average woman in Egypt doesn’t have much to say about her daughters getting genitally mutilated, and so forth. I don’t need to go into detail about that.

I hope every woman here will get your husbands to realize that these abuses on the college campuses, in the military, and so forth, and in the future job market, you need to protect your daughters and your granddaughters. I have twelve grandchildren, four children and ten great grandchildren. And I think often about them and about the plight that they will face in America—not only if they lived in Egypt or a foreign country–in having equal rights. And I hope that all of you will join me in being a champion for women and girls around the world, and protect their human rights!

President Jimmy Carter

(“We’ve been at war with twenty-five different countries, or more, since the Second World War. There were four years when we didn’t drop a bomb; we didn’t launch a missile; we didn’t fire a bullet…” Of course the predators ate him.)

We reap what we sew. Nurturing is nature’s tool for transcendent development, individually and culturally. Withholding, impairing and denying nurturing, especially for the most sensitive and vulnerable, the male child, is devolutionary. Nurturing is a verb, a quality of empathic presence in relationship. Nurturing is physical, a way of being, defined by empathy, care, profound respect, trust and affection. When children are ‘seen’ and ‘responded’ to in this context, indeed, they feel it and this feeling shapes their brain for a lifetime. Of course the opposite is true. Being compared, judged, praised, punished and rewarded is not nurturing. These are cultural-cognitive overlays, with their implicit moral-ethical behavior modifications.

Why a time bomb in the delivery room? Pregnancy and birth are transformational experiences for women, and men if they truly participate with profound wonder each and every day. Living and experiencing nature’s most creative process is transforming. Interfere with the process, insert cultural counterfeits and the expected transformation does not take place.

Every moment of this creation is one of embodied nurturing that abides deep in the physical-sensory and emotional regions of the brain. Here lives a primal knowing that lays hidden from the intellect with its predications and controls. It is here, in the body, that nurturing is expressed, is seen and felt by others, especially the most needy and vulnerable. Cultural-intellectual interfering with this most ancient of biological processes implicitly fails to nurture the mother at this life changing moment, and is therefore devolutionary. A mother not nurtured cannot fully nurture her children. Nature’s transcendent design is crippled at the very beginning, compromising everything that unfolds.

Full development happens only when each stage is nurtured, meaning that the adult-model meets the child as they are and the child knows they are completely safe. This is as true for mothers and fathers at birth and beyond as it is for the infant being born. This deep intuitive knowing allows the most evolved brain systems to glow and grow and this, in turn, the opening and development of embodied empathy, altruism and compassion, informs and shapes what the intellect abstracts. As James W. Prescott, PhD., describes, we then have two very different brains, the bonded-associative and the unbonded–disassociative brain, the empathic altruist and the selfish predator, and this split begins with mother.

Joe’s lifelong obsession with nurturing becomes clear when we remember that the intellect receives its input from the sensory and emotional centers of the brain. A failure of nurturing, again, being compared, judged, praised, punished and rewarded, or worse, physically harmed or neglected (sensory deprivation) of the mother-child, lawfully means the most evolved human capacities do not open, are not developed and therefore cannot inform the intellect with its transcendent context. A strange looping takes place. Nature expects full development at each stage. On that, the newer, more evolved capacity lifts up the entire structure. Failing this, a betrayal of nurturing expected, and what little of the higher that does open, becomes a slave to the lower, partially or malformed regions. Predators aren’t born, they are created. Nurturing is the difference that makes the difference.

A humankind abandoned in its earliest formative stage becomes its own greatest threat to survival, and the #MeToo Movement is a strange loop.

Michael Mendizza