stones and sticks and words: writing on ritual abuse and grassroots politics

i created my blog stones and sticks and words in june of 2013, and started publishing writing in september of the same year. it is now december of 2014 and my blog has gotten almost 3,000 page views, and about 1,200 people have visited the site – hopefully people have been reading and enjoying my writing.

the fact that people are visiting my blog and reading my writing is profoundly meaningful to me, and brings me joy. being a writer was one of my childhood dreams, after veterinarian. like many abused children, i escaped into books, and i spent a great deal of time reading, mostly fantasy and science fiction. at 16 a talented and devoted english teacher had us read aldous huxley’s brave new world and i discovered that not every work of fiction and literature was always dull and boring. i then proceeded to read as many works of fiction and literature as i could given my busy schedule of drinking, trying to get laid and, when necessary, working.

one of my reasons for writing this blog post is to encourage people to follow to my blog (go to and click on the “follow” option, to “like” my stones and sticks and words facebook page: and to follow me on twitter @MattCiceroSSW. this is not out of any incipient megalomania, but out of a desire to get my writing and thinking out into the world.

i also started writing at 16, and i continued to write on and off for the next 10 years, mostly poetry, but also some short stories and attempts at novels. i stopped at 26, partly in response to pressures from the cult. i was offered the chance to read all the non-fiction i wanted if i would stop writing poetry. this may sound insane, but that’s only because it is. but then, that’s what satanic ritual abuse cults are – nonsensical, ridiculous and crazy-making in addition to being pathetic, banal, powerful and organized.

since i already had accomplished my personal goal and written a book of poetry, and a since i couldn’t see any real future to writing poetry, it seemed like an acceptable compromise to sacrifice writing poetry for some (temporary) sanction in reading non-fiction – meaning that the cult would not engage in violence against me for reading non-fiction, at least for a period of time, after which point if i continued to read non-fiction i would be punished. i wanted to gain a better understanding how the world actually worked, and i thought that reading non-fiction would help. in retrospect, i think that the one of the cult’s intentions in coercing me to give up writing poetry was in order to push me further in the direction of giving up on my dreams: getting people to give up on their passions is important in psychologically breaking them. fortunately for me, i also had dreams of making the world a better place, and these were nourished by the activism that i was beginning to do at this time.

originally, i started this blog in order to begin talking public about ritual abuse and being a ritual abuse survivor. this was partly because I enjoy writing, as well as out of a strong desire to speak out publicly and raise awareness about ritual abuse, to have others recognize that i have suffered enormously, and experienced brutal violence and oppression, and in the belief that going public about my abuse was the safest course of action in case my abusers took some type of action against me.

since then i have written about many different subjects, especially the police, prisons and the criminal injustice system. i realize now that this comes partly out of a desire to avoid thinking and writing about the disturbing and triggering subject matter of satanic ritual abuse.
however, it is more than this. i also want(ed) to avoid being stuck with only one subject to write about, and to avoid being and feeling forced to only talk about an oppression i experience(d). like other writers and persons from oppressed groups, i reject the idea that my primary role as a writer and a person is to be an educator for people who want to learn about ritual abuse and how to support ritual abuse survivors, although i am, at times, more than happy to do this important work. as others have said, my experience of oppression, and, even more so, my resistance to being oppressed and the strength that overcoming oppression requires means, for me, that i can sometimes provide useful insights on many other subjects and events. and so I have been quite happily doing so.

additionally, as a grassroots organizer whose experience and analysis comes largely from my participation in social movements, as opposed to academic study, or participation in the ngo-industrial complex (without dismissing the important contributions made by academics and ngos) i want(ed) to participate in speaking publicly about the work that I, and others, are doing, and to contribute to a culture of intellectual inquiry and collective analysis and theory production. finally, as an anarchist I was struck by something I read from cindy milstein ( lamenting how little anarchists write about, analyze and theorize all the the grassroots organizing that we do – and we do a great deal of it.

i have many plans for my writing, and for my blog, and i’d ask again that, if you like my writing, if you want to support me, if you support disseminating the voice of a ritual abuse survivor, a poor and disabled person, a grassroots organizer, and anarchist, follow my blog, “like” the fb page, follow me on twitter @MattCiceroSSW.

blog: and click on the “follow” option,
facebook: and click “like”
twitter: @MattCiceroSSW.


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