Why is the media trying to discredit Heal For Life?
What’s the first thing you ask someone who you want to accuse of being an alcoholic? You ask them if they’re an alcoholic, so when they say no, you can say that denial is the first symptom. But what if they’re NOT an alcoholic? It doesn’t matter, because no matter what they say, you’ve already discredited them.
So if you want to attack an institution, why not find people who will claim there’s talk of conspiracy theories and satanic abuse, so that when you ask people why they’re being discredited, if they then say that they think it’s part of a smear campaign, you can then attack them as being paranoid. You can discredit someone even further, while they try to defend themselves. Their only option is NOT to defend themselves. Then people will also claim if they’re not defending themselves, it must be true. It’s quite brilliant manipulation really.
Last night, the 7:30 Report did a piece about Heal For Life. While admitting that they have an excellent track record of healing visitors, (which is 90%) they then went on to show a bunch of past volunteers and facilitators who were unhappy about their experiences while working at Heal For Life. Several newspapers have also grabbed on to the story this morning.
I attended a healing week at Heal For Life. It was an amazing experience. I learnt more about myself in one week at Heal For Life, and came home happier, and more at peace with myself than any other experience I’ve had on my long road to healing. While I was there, there was no discussion of satanic abuse. It was never suggested to me that I was a victim of satanic abuse. I never heard anyone else discuss it either. The first day I was there, we signed a statement saying we would not engage in self harm, and could be sent home if we did. There was a strict rule about no alcohol or drugs on the premises. There was also a strict rule about no touching, (although you could ask someone if they wanted to share a hug, and they could say no) and definitely no sex at the facility, even if it was consensual. We were told if anyone was found being intimate, they would be sent home. If one of the carers was having “consensual sex” with the attendees, as stated in the report, I can fully understand him being terminated. People are vulnerable, and open. It’s not the time to be having sex, while you’re dealing with sex abuse.
No matter where you go, if you find any place of employment, volunteer organization, even a church, you’re going to be able to find people who are disgruntled and who will talk bad about it. I’ve had several jobs that if you asked me, I could state reasons the place sucked. It doesn’t mean it’s true, but that’s my opinion. While volunteering with the Boy Scouts, we went on a trip to Mexico. It was right as the shit was hitting the fan down there. I’m surprised we were allowed to go. I didn’t think a lot of the things we did on the trip were safe. It was a caving trip, and we were inside a mammoth cave far from medical help. We had a bunch of youth with us. If anything had gone wrong, people could have died. But here’s the thing about being a volunteer. If you don’t like it, you can stop doing it. Which is what I did. After that trip, I stopped volunteering with the scouts. I hated the caving trips, it meant it wasn’t fun anymore because that’s all we did, so I just stopped doing it. I’ve also had jobs I hated, so I left.
If volunteers at Heal For Life felt burnt out, they could have stopped. They could have said, “Hey, I need a break for a while.” It’s OK to take a time out. In fact, one of the biggest lessons I learnt at Heal For Life was that it’s OK to say NO. It’s OK to make yourself number one. I have no doubt that being a carer or facilitator at Heal For Life is stressful. We were told not to go into detail of our own abuse with other attendees, because of transference. I can understand this because after I publicly told my story, I had hundreds of people email me, call me, or tell me their stories in person. Most days I was glad people felt like they could share with me, but other days it can be highly depressing. Some of the things I heard at Heal For Life were very sad, and I’m sure that hearing those things frequently can be very disheartening. But I also heard from the carers that they switched out frequently, to avoid being burnt out.
At the end of the week, we were given information on people who attended several healing weeks who went on to become carers. I wouldn’t say they were “recruiting” people. We knew that all carers were past attendees, and that there was an opportunity to become a carer if we desired it. Part of what makes Heal For Life unique is that it is staffed by past attendees. People who understand what you’re going through. Too many people have been to see a counselor or psychiatrist and had no success because they feel like the shrink is just sitting there doodling and not even listening. They just look up occasionally, say “and how does that make you feel?” and then tell you they’ll see you again next week. When you go to Heal For Life, you’re surrounded by people who understand what you’re going through. Nobody would dare pat you on the back and say “There, There, it’s all better now. Get over it and move along with your life.” But if a carer feels like it’s too much for them, it’s up to them to take a time out, and say that they can’t deal with it, and have somebody else step in. If you don’t think you’re trained enough to help others, then don’t.
I question the motives of the report on Heal For Life. If they can admit they have a great success rate with attendees, why are they doing a report on the staff, and the management. It looks very much like a smear campaign against Liz Mullinar. She can’t come out and defend herself at this stage, because if she does, the media will claim she’s paranoid. They’ve got some unhappy formers staff to say she’s paranoid, and if she now says people are trying to discredit her, it’s like fulfilling the prophecy. The whole report came off as people pointing a finger at Liz.
We’re in the middle of a Royal Commission. There’s a lot of unhappy people in high places that are looking to discredit anyone and everyone who might say something against them. There’s also the fact that Liz Mullinar was actually the casting director on Hey Dad..! She’s widely known in the entertainment industry, and there are many more actors like me who have experienced abuse in the industry. Several actors have been through the program at Heal For Life. If anyone was ready to speak out the way I have, I wouldn’t put it past some of the perpetrators to try to discredit Liz, in an attempt to discredit the victims. There has always been rumours of groups of people in the industry, who were cult like, or involved in satanic rituals*. If any of those victims were getting ready to speak out, their defense would be that Liz planted those ideas in their heads. That she helped make it up. Their cases would be thrown out, because they’ve already discredited Liz. For the record, I don’t know if any of the rumours are true, I just know they exist.
We’ve already seen how many cases have been swept under the rug in Australia. How many cases have been ignored. How many cases had nothing done till somebody went public. (Not just me). We’re also seeing lots of high profile people, including judges and magistrates, who are themselves being arrested for sexual assault against children. Victims are starting to talk. These people who thought that they were protected are starting to feel the heat. They’re worried their little worlds are going to crumble. I have no doubt that the people in power, who are very high up in society, who have been getting away with it for years, would stoop to levels of discrediting someone who is helping victims, if they thought it meant they could save their own asses.
So I just have to wonder why the ABC chose to go hunting to find past carers of Heal For Life. Why did they do the story? Whose idea was it? How much coercing was involved in getting these people on air? Did the carers approach the ABC, or did the ABC go looking for the story? Does Media Watch ever investigate stories on the ABC, or just from the commercial networks? What’s the point of this investigation? Are there genuine concerns about Heal For Life, or is this just a witch hunt against Liz personally?
Liz may not be able to ask these question herself, because they’ve already set the grounds for her to be paranoid about organizations trying to discredit her, but I can. Liz wasn’t at my healing week, and I haven’t seen her in person since about 1995. I had just returned from Honduras, and was at an audition, and she asked me straight up if I had ever been touched on set. I was terrified of answering her honestly, so I just told her my mum said if I couldn’t say anything nice, not to say anything at all. I didn’t know that she knew the truth, and had helped in finding replacements on the show because of it. I always wish I had been strong enough back then to tell her the truth. Things may have turned out much differently for all of us.
Alas, the past is the past, and all I can do is focus on the upcoming trial. I know that Liz will be there for me if I need her to be. I just hope that Heal For Life will also be there if I need it.*I’m not linking to it, because of defamation idiots in Australia, but Google “the paedophile and satanic network in Australia” I have no idea if this is true or not, but there are rumours and innuendos out there that it does exist, and it involves some very interesting people.