Thursday, 2 June 2011

Tragedy In California

TW for kidnapping, rape, pedophilia, forced pregnancy

You'd probably think this has something to do with Arnold Schwarzenegger or the fact that Los Angeles is the porn capital of the universe. And you'd be right, in a way. Because those are definitely reasons I don't want to go to California, but what I was referring to specifically was this.

So, we've got a couple here, husband and wife. The husband, Phillip Garrido, sixty years old is a convicted sex offender, which usually translates to pedophile. He was convicted of a kidnapping and rape in 1976, and for whatever reason was let out on parole, to back to a life and his wife, who apparently forgave him. Garridos' own blog entries paint him as a lunatic. Possibly due to his abuse of LSD, Garrido believed he could "manipulate sound waves with his mind" and that “the Creator has given me the ability to speak in the tongue of angels in order to provide a wake-up call that will in time include the salvation of the entire world”.

Okay, sure, fuck-o. But, these wacky claims aren't the problem. The problem is that Garrido was (is) still a rapist and a pedophile, and that this time, it goes so much deeper than any crime he committed before. Using his wife, Nancy, as the kidnapper he had her abduct then eleven year old Jaycee Dugard from a bus stop on her way to school in South Lake Tahoe. She was taken to Antioch, 270 miles away, where the couple lived in what may be Garrido's mothers' house, where she was kept and raped repeatedly for eighteen years. She bore two children to Phillip Garrido, both delivered by Nancy in the privacy of the house, while being forced to live in tents in the backyard. As the children grew, Garrido enlisted them in helping to pass out pamphlets, spreading the word of his drug induced "talks with God". He told people they were his neices.

A Berkley security guard didn't buy it. She phoned Garrido's parole officer and asked that the situation be looked into.When Garrido reported to a parole meeting he took his wife as well as Jaycee, under the alias "Allissa" and their children. During the meeting "Alissa's" true identity was revealed and Garrido and his wife were taken into custody.

Jaycee was reunited with her parents. Phillip and Nancy were put on trial for everything they'd done to Jaycee, including videotaping the rapes, and eventually plead guilty. He faces 431 years to life and she 36 years to life. Both have waived their right to appeal. Jaycee has reported feeling guilty about developing a sort of Stockholm syndrome and bonding with Phillip Garrido. She will need extensive counseling and since the state of California paid her a twenty-million dollar settlement acknowledging the mistakes that were made by previous parole officers that were supposed to be monitoring Garrido, at least that may be covered.

But the wounds that this woman has suffered may never truly heal. And the time she's lost can never be returned. Her childhood, as well as the childhoods of her children are lost forever. All because of another deranged product of the porn/rape culture. The role of pornography is never mentioned in any of this, although remarks were made that pornography was found at the Garridos' home and at the site of the 1976 rape. While Phillips' drug abuse may have been a factor in this case, I highly doubt that it is the sole factor, in fact, it's probably a minor one. The major factor is, of course, our society that shows women and girls are there for the taking. Phillip Garrido took. The only surprise I see is the guilty plea. But, even so, Garrido paints himself a tragic, misunderstood figure, saying "In the end, this is going to be a powerful, heartwarming story":

My life has been straightened out. [...] Wait till you hear the story of what took place at this house. You're going to be absolutely impressed. It’s a disgusting thing that took place with me at the beginning, but I turned my life completely around.

This is what the rape culture gets you. There's no doubt in my mind that Garrido is insane. But, he's also a product of this, our culture. Until the message that men can do as they please to women and children is eradicated,  tragedies like this will continue. Victims will get younger. Rapes will be more brutal. Kidnapped victims may never be returned to their families. This makes me sick and the world needs to stop ignoring what the problem really is. Phillip Garrido is an absolute monster-beast and deserves no sympathy. He was let off once, and look what he did. I sincerely hope the same mistake is not made twice.

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