Note for new readers: If you aren’t familiar with my cult experience, don’t know what a DAYDian is, or just need to catch up, this link will take you to all the related articles.
I received a very thoughtful comment from a “former casual DAYDian,” which really deserves its own post. Mostly because when I tried to reply in a comment, it turned into a giant wall of text. Plus, this person’s questions are reasonable and I think should be properly addressed. So, as I did in Pants On Fire, I am going to blockquote the comment and reply as I go. And of course, put in some snarky pictures so we don’t get us a teal deer.
You have talked about how Jeanine’s campaign against you and Jordan only made it harder to leave and prolonged your time with him. Being under attack both made you feel like you had nowhere to go and also made you circle the wagons, as it were. When you set Jeanine on Thanfiction and the Daydians, did you consider that it might have the same effect?
Yes, Jeanine/Turimel’s persecution did make us circle the wagons – and that’s an excellent description of it. Those of us who still believed him redoubled our commitment. It was much easier to turn a blind eye to things she said that were true (or to let Jordan/Andy explain them away) because there were things that we also knew to be provably false. And it was far, far too scary to stop believing him at that time. Particularly with a tide of rage against all of us.
But the thing is, there really isn’t anything anyone can say to break Jordan/Andy’s hold over people who believe him that intensely. There’s the old joke, how many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb? One, but the lightbulb has to be willing to change. Jordan/Andy chooses and grooms his followers carefully, based on their vulnerability. His followers aren’t stupid, evil, or bad. They’re people who were vulnerable to hearing just the right words. They are probably actually good people who think they are being loyal and kind. And they are; their motivations are almost certainly true.
I hope people can understand that, when I tipped Jeanine off to Jordan/Andy and the DAYDverse, I was at a very different place in my recovery than I am now. Although I was privately making amends and was fully ready to acknowledge my own guilt and lies, I was not ready to face the levels of rage and public scrutiny I knew I would be held up to. I wasn’t as strong then as I am now. I was still very, very angry at him, and still afraid of him too. I admit that. It wasn’t my most graceful or compassionate action, sending an anonymous link to Jeanine, and I admit that too. I didn’t know how extensive his story/followers had become, either; I just knew it was him, telling the same stories (albeit with different names) and probably hurting people.
And yes, I did want a little revenge. My husband was very supportive; he knows the entire humiliating, weird backstory. In fact, when I started dating Chip, I was still getting letters and packages from Jordan/Andy, even though I’d left him a full year before. It was from my husband’s phone that I made the final phone call, telling Jordan/Andy to leave me alone because I was never coming back, not to be “friends,” not for anything. Chip lovingly called me the Fist of Karma when I sent the note to Jeanine. Maybe it wasn’t the best move for all his followers, but it was the best I could do at the time. That’s all anyone can do.
As for the “his son, the sparrow,” stuff? Well…once Jeanine started digging and the “wank” started exploding, I started seeing how he’d woven me into his “tragic past.” And it made me so angry. Especially this crap about me taking a child he’d raised away from him, “without so much as a goodbye.” While it is true that he didn’t have a chance to say goodbye to Boo Boo, the sparrow in question, it wasn’t an actual child I took with me. And on top of that, he more than once threatened to “get rid of” that bird, usually as punishment. I was the one that loved the bird like a “child.” Mom fondly called him “my transitional object,” and it is beyond question that little sparrow kept me from taking my own life when I hit bottom. To see Jordan/Andy lying and exploiting me (and the memory of Boo, who had passed on by then) just made me furious, which is when I left the comment that led to all the Sparrow!Wank.
The community as a whole is smaller, but it seems like the inner core is only tighter and now listening all the closer to him while turning a deaf ear to anything having to do with “the wank.” Do you think what you’re doing now might just continue that process, and if not, how are you hoping to prevent that?
The “wank” was only part of why I stayed with him. The rest was my own dependency on him, the same dependency that his current followers (most likely) have. Jordan/Andy is very experienced at this point in steering followers to believe his side. This post, which I’ve linked to before, is a great example of him hand-picking and reworking the wank, often to his advantage. I mentioned the “silver threads of truth” in my conclusion to the Why I Don’t Believe In God series. There is very little that the inner circle could see that would matter at this point.
I am not on a crusade to save them (although I certainly hope that they will get out eventually, hopefully before any permanent damage is done to them). That isn’t why I’m writing either. I do hope that seeing things from an insider’s perspective will make the world a safer place for them to reenter. When I left Jordan/Amy, there was almost no one there to support me. I had my family, but I had cut off and alienated all of my friends and had nothing behind me but burned bridges, hurt and anger. His followers may have done the same by this point. I hope that by telling my story, people who otherwise would have condemned them and turned them away will instead be compassionate and open.
And of course, I am not without hope that my exposing the inner workings of Jordan/Andy’s secret world might give any of his followers a moment of clarity. All it takes is one crack in his story that’s deep enough to make them question. That isn’t why I’m writing – I’m writing because this is my life. This is what I lived through, and as I (and others) have said, I have every right to talk openly about my own experiences. My story has already helped others (who have contacted me or even commented, here and elsewhere), and I hope that it can continue to do so. Plus, it’s a damned fascinating story.
There have been a lot of very unsettling comments on Jeanine’s journal that give the impression that she and some of her inner circle won’t be satisfied until he is dead or at the very least imprisoned for life.
I won’t answer for anyone but myself, but I don’t think this is the case. For the first time since the explosion of Bit of Earth, Jeanine and I are actually communicating. We are in the very early stages, but I do not believe that’s her goal. I won’t go into my opinions on this today, because I am not completely sure what my opinions are right now. I think Jeanine deserves just as much of a chance as anyone else in this, and I am certainly willing to give it.
There is also talk that you have joined forces with her to try and make that happen. Is that true, or if not, what are your intentions or goals towards him? Is this closing the chapter of your life that he was in and moving on, or is this opening the chapter of your life where you hunt him ala Javert?
There is no “joined forces,” because this isn’t a war. We are talking now, and that is all. Making peace, moving forward. I will be answering as many of her questions as I can, and I do hope she will change her approach when she knows more. But I am not “joining a hunt.” It does make me sleep a little better to know where Jordan/Andy is and what he is up to, but I don’t need to pursue him. Frankly, this is a new world we’re living in; everything is a Google search away. I won’t keep silent to protect him, that’s for damn sure, but that’s not the same thing as pursuing him.
I don’t think every action he takes or every project he’s involved in is a scam. Not at all. Jordan/Andy actually often seeks to do good for people. The problem with it is that he does it mostly to expand his power base, and because he will say whatever he has to, to whomever he has to, to attempt to make it work. They aren’t trustworthy events, because he’s generally dishonest about both important and inconsequential things. But that doesn’t make the intention of the event or organization bad. I don’t know what his real motivations are. Perhaps his “charities” and events and such are honest attempts to do good. But ultimately, he uses them mercilessly to gain power over any participants that will listen, and uses any good intentions he (appeared to have) had to bolster his own claims.
They have also gone after anything he tries to associate with or anything his friends do; do you worry that this will eventually just pressure him to change identities again, or that you’ll harm innocent or mostly innocent people the way you were harmed for your connection to him?
I hope not. I don’t want to harm anyone with my actions anymore. I don’t even want to harm Jordan/Andy. I want him to stop harming innocent and mostly-innocent people. There’s a difference. I don’t think it’s my job to stop him. All I want is to share my own story and keep living the really great life I’ve built on the other side of him. I answered part of this above, in saying that I don’t think all his projects are scams. But in the end, I did stay with him. I did choose belief in him in the face of evidence. And so do they. If they are digging themselves deeper, that is their choice and his wrongdoing. I only can hope that they have something positive to come out for in the end.
Also, as the person who unquestionably spent the most time the closest to him, would you be willing to answer some things that have been on my mind since I first found this saga?
Yes. I am always open to questions. From anyone.
Is he, in your opinion, mentally ill?
The short answer to this is yes, without question. The longer answer is a little more complex (as it tends to be). Maybe it’s being raised in a family full of nurses, and being very well acquainted with HIPPA. Maybe it’s that unused degree in psychology. But I do not feel right about sharing the actual diagnoses that he received (in my presence) from his psychiatrist. I attended a few sessions and remain in touch with his parents, but for me, that’s the line between my story and his legitimate right to some privacy. So no, I won’t be blogging about that part. Further, it is just my word against his on that, and I don’t like to blog about things I have no proof of.
Is he, in your opinion, FtM transgender?
Ugh, I always hate this question. I don’t like to be the arbiter of someone else’s sexual identity. I hate that this is the thing people focus on, and I hate that other Trans people have been hurt or questioned because of it. I will answer this as best I can with that disclaimer; I don’t and can’t know what is really going on in his mind. I met Jordan before he made any transition. He was well-known in multiple fandoms, posted pictures, and used his birth name, Amy Player. When the “channeling” began, he immediately (and well before any “wank”) switched to a male persona, and has consistently chosen a male identity to the public ever since. I used to defend this choice aggressively, which ultimately didn’t help, but that was my job. I was the mouthpiece and the defender. He identified himself as FTM Transgendered in his apology blog. Since then (and in all other places), he has claimed to be fully cis male. I always thought that was an overtly stupid choice, as there is ample evidence (both in legal documentation and in pictures) that he was not born that way. I do not think that trans people need to admit their birth gender, nor do I believe they “owe” it to anyone to talk about their personal plumbing. I only am speaking of this because his sexual identity is the very first place people strike. It gives him a huge wedge in keeping his world secret, because his closest followers will defend his male identity to the end, and are in the right to do so. They love him. They trust him. And they undoubtedly also believe that his plumbing is his business.
But do I think his male identity is part of the cult, or “the con?” NO. I think that he really, truly wishes to identify and be treated as male. That there was a minority of female characters that were channeled is irrelevant; he couldn’t carry off a fantasy on this level without including female characters. That his first male identity was the duplicate soul of Elijah Wood? That’s fucked up. But that doesn’t mean the male identification itself is bullshit. So I will continue to use the masculine pronoun, and I do hope others who have been involved do so as well, at least in public. His gender identity is a red herring, a non issue.
And finally, is he or was he, in your opinion, out to scam money from people?
No. I do not believe that financial gain is at all part of his goals. He’s not interested in material possessions; on more than one occasion during the years I was with him, he got rid of everything he owned. Literally, nothing but the clothes on his back. He has often denied money. Except when he needs it to accomplish a goal, such as the infamous airfare for Air New Zealand (for those of you unfamiliar with the whole thing, I’ll get there eventually but again, that’s another story).
I don’t think that Jordan honestly cares if he has a home or not, if he has income or is starving, if he has nice things or nothing at all. All he wants is attention, devotion, worship and control. He continually cuts all ties with the past. Which is why he fails to repay money he borrows, or that is used for failed events. Once he switches to the next personality/story, anything to do with his previous incarnations is over. He only looks back when forced, and only uses that information to further his current plans. That’s why I don’t fear him (much) anymore. I know that I am essentially dead to him, except for when he wants to use “Louise” (my middle name, FYI) or “Connor” (my ex-husband’s BFF’s son’s name, FYI) in his current story. Or when he uses “The Tinhats” on the internet to justify lies he’s told, or secrets he’s asked people to keep.
To use some Harry Potter imagery (I do love the books and movies, but I just don’t do fandom these days), the spell is broken and I am no longer his secret-keeper. And to anyone out there who has more questions, feel free to ask. I will answer, although it won’t always be within 24 hours. I have a lot more life to live away from the computer and my past, and that will always take precedence.