“By the way, Barbara, you are very welcome for all the financial and other support I rendered to you over the years.
In closing, I truly regret my acts of kindness and charity given to Barbara Hartwell, who I feel is a terribly ungrateful soul.”
In closing, I truly regret my acts of kindness and charity given to Barbara Hartwell, who I feel is a terribly ungrateful soul.”
– Howard Nema, from a public notice defaming Barbara Hartwell, on Howard Nema dot com
Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive.
– Sir Walter Scott
The angel of the Lord camps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
Please read PART ONE before continuing. Especially in this report, PART TWO is a continuation of the story and not meant to stand alone.
DESTITUTE & HOMELESS 2013
It was the late summer of 2013. I fully realized the severity of my plight, once I understood that I would be forced to leave my home in Maine, that I could not afford to renew the lease on my house, and that no help was on the way.
I had a two-storey house (plus a cellar) full of furniture, appliances, electronic equipment, contents of linen closets, a huge library, etc. etc., all the possessions I had managed to keep hold of, after I lost my previous home only three years before. When a person gets to be my age (a senior citizen), even under the best of circumstances, moving all the things you've collected over your lifetime becomes a daunting task. As for my circumstances, they were anything but fortunate.
So, I immediately sold everything I could, all my remaining antiques, my silver and gold jewelry (only a few pieces were left), as many of my books (the entire lot numbering in the thousands) as I could. For these items, I got only pennies on the dollar value, as I said goodbye to so many things that were precious to me.
(Although I had been living in poverty, up to this time I had at least been able to keep most of my possessions. I had rarely got anything new, but what I had was solid, built to last, as things were, before the world went mad with 'planned obsolescence' and cheap substitutes for quality workmanship.)
What little money I got from selling my possessions, I had to use for the most basic living expenses, since by that time I had nothing to live on. What I couldn't sell (books, furniture, crystal glassware, china, etc.) I gave to charity, or donated any items that could be used to my church.
Some of my most cherished possessions, those of sentimental value, which I couldn't bear the thought of leaving behind, I gave to the Priest at my church, including a statue of an angel, some garden ornaments and a special collection of beach stones I had found on the shore nearby. And because he loved the artwork I had made from seashells, stones, driftwood and sea glass, I gave him a number of my pieces. At least I knew that some of what was precious to me would be appreciated, secure in a 'good home'.
I also had a large number of house plants, some of which had grown to the size of trees, which lined the large windows of my living room, glassed-in front porch and kitchen. These I gave to the Priest as well; fortunately, like me, he has a green thumb. The plants had survived several previous moves, going back more than a quarter century –another painful loss, even though I knew they would be well-cared for.
Had I been able to afford to put my things in storage, I would have done, but there was no money, and no way to move them. But as it was, I had no place to go, no options available to me. I thought I would be fortunate, even if I lost everything, were I able to survive.
By the autumn of 2013, I felt desperation closing in. Though I had known for some time that this was coming, considering my lack of resources and inability to get the assistance I needed, there had been little I could do to prepare.
I had to give up working on my website, radio programs, and anything else which did not relate to my immediate survival. I didn't even have Internet access, which by that time had become a luxury.
Of primary importance, I must find someplace to go. This was an emergency, so I wasn't thinking of a longterm solution, but only of finding sanctuary, a safe place I could stay temporarily, until I was able to find some way to relocate. (Finding another home, at that time, seemed like shooting for the moon.)
My lease was to run out on November 30, 2013, by which time I had to find some way to pack up all my things and remove them from the house.
As mentioned (see PART ONE) I had no family or close friends nearby, nobody I could ask for help. My only friends in the area were members of my church, and were mostly elderly and/or disabled (like me), and wouldn't be able to assist me with physical labor.
Which meant I had to do all the packing myself. Since I am disabled (a result of the previously mentioned 'arranged' car crashes), I was unable to do any heavy lifting, and I could not even get access to most of the boxes stored in the cellar, which had been placed on shelves in a storage cabinet when I first moved to the house. In the cellar, the only boxes I could get access to were on the floor, so I sorted through them as best I could, removing the most important items (the ones I could lift). Some were boxes of documents, which I had to carry up the cellar steps in small stacks, to be sorted upstairs. I burned all but the most important in the fireplace, and packed the rest in the empty boxes.
(Anyone in my line of work will know that documents and evidence files accumulate over a period many years, as veritable mountains of paperwork. But I only trust hard copy; being a technophobe, I wasn't about to trust any computer to store my files. The government had already destroyed so many computers, I'd lost count.)
But that was another problem. I didn't have boxes in which to pack my books, clothing or other items. I had burned most of the boxes I had after unpacking my things when I first moved into the house, not expecting that I would have need of them so soon. Since I had no money to get the boxes I needed, my only choice was to make trips to the local market, where I could get them free of charge. As for other packing supplies, I had none; I had to make do with the newspapers and flyers I could get free, and some old bubble wrap I had saved from the last move.
Still, there wasn't nearly enough of anything. There are only so many hours in a day, there was only so much gas in the car (which had to be rationed), and only so much stamina and energy at my disposal, having to do all of it myself. It was an exhausting and seemingly unending task, and as it turned out, one I was incapable of completing. (For which I paid a heavy price, in additional losses.)
Meanwhile, the phone calls I had made in attempts to get help were not returned. Nobody I'd asked would help me. I had about six weeks before I would be forced to vacate the house, no prospects, and not a single offer of even temporary sanctuary.
And, most important of all was my beloved companion, Kyra, an elderly cat whose welfare needed to be considered as a number one priority. Where I go, she goes.
OUT OF THE FRYING PAN INTO THE FIRE
Finally, an offer was made to provide sanctuary, one which surprised me, and even though it was the only one I received, I was reluctant to accept it. This may seem strange, considering my dire predicament, but I didn't have a good feeling about it. However, since I knew of no other options, short of ending up homeless in the street, I didn't see that I had much choice but to accept it.
(Even after I accepted the offer, I continued trying to find somewhere else to go, but my efforts failed.)
The person who made the offer was Howard Nema, someone who at the time I considered a friend – not one of my closest friends ( I'd only known him for about a year, since 2012, mostly through my appearances on his TV show, 'TRUTH TALK NEWS'. (As I later learned, a flaming misnomer!) But I had no reason to believe that the consequences to me of accepting his offer would be so disastrous.
Before I begin my account of the events which transpired, I find it important to state two things: First, upon my word of honor, this is a truthful, accurate, factual account, describing the circumstances, and my interactions with several individuals, including Howard Nema, his wife and their friends.
Secondly, the reason I find it necessary to publish this account is to set the record straight, in defense of the truth and of my good name, which has since been grossly misrepresented, exploited in a shameless fashion, and defamed by the person whose “charity” (his word) I accepted, at a time when I was in a life-threatening situation.
Most of all, this is a matter of principle. I will not allow my good name, my many years of hard work, or my character to be publicly misrepresented and denigrated, without those responsible for these offenses being held accountable – it's as simple as that.
As will become clear as you read on, Howard Nema is the one who turned all of this into a public issue, not I. He is the one who misrepresented my name, my website and my work. He is the one who refused to remove false statements about Barbara Hartwell from his websites. And he is the one who subsequently publicly made false accusations, which, on principle, I will not allow to stand.
Howard Nema, in a public notice (February 24, 2015) stated:
“I truly regret my acts of kindness and charity given to Barbara Hartwell, who I feel is a terribly ungrateful soul.”
This notice was posted on his website, Howard Nema dot com, apparently as a response to my reports in which I first respectfully requested (and later demanded) that he REMOVE MY NAME & website from fraudulent notices on his site, which entirely misrepresented me and my work, in a “false light” and made claims of affiliations and “partnership” with several persons and websites (including his own) which were absolutely untrue, and which were damaging to my good name and professional reputation.
My first request (December 15, 2014), which he had knowledge of, was simply disregarded for more than two months. Then, after my request became a demand, in other public notices on my site, he arrogantly stated the following:
“I will not spend hours deleting TRUSTED PARTNERS IN TRUTH from more than 200 posts on this website going back to Feb 2014 at the request of Barbara Hartwell, unless she would like to pay me for my time.”
This issue will be revisited later in this report with descriptions of Howard Nema's brazen exploitation of my name on his TV show, 'TRUTH TALK NEWS'. He dropped my name repeatedly and gratuitously, where it did not belong, and discussed me with guests on his program, evidently in attempts to gain more publicity/credibility for himself, by trying to ride on the coattails of a legitimate, bona fide CIA whistleblower. But as far as I am concerned, his credibility has been shot to hell.
For now, suffice it to say that this attitude of total disregard for the clearly stated wishes of others, as well as disrespect for their personal boundaries, will surface repeatedly as you read on.
I believe that any reasonable, ethical person who reads this report will end up wondering how Howard Nema's ideas of “support”, “charity” and “acts of kindness” could possibly be defined by the treatment I received.
I have made every effort to stick to the facts and the actual issues, rather than making my personal feelings the main focus of this narrative, to the extent that it is possible. I think the readers may easily imagine my feelings. Enough said.
And for the record, I will strictly adhere not only to the facts, but will limit myself to those issues which directly concerned me, leaving out that which is irrelevant, peripheral, or otherwise unnecessary to report. As a matter of principle, I do respect the privacy and personal boundaries of others, even when they don't respect mine.
It is important to state that I had clearly explained the details of my situation, (some of which are given above, also see PART ONE) to Howard Nema. I left nothing out that could possibly come as a last-minute surprise, or problem for him, nor did I minimize or misrepresent the nature of my circumstances in any way. As it turned out, he either wasn't listening, or just decided that it didn't matter (at least not to him).
I will begin with the offer that was made, the specifics of the offer, and the assurances I was given. As will become clear, none of these assurances came even close to the end results; what was offered was a complete misrepresentation, not only of the circumstances and the facts, but as I later learned, of his intentions. It was, for lack of a better term, a “bait and switch” of gargantuan proportions. And the consequences to me were exactly those which I had done all in my power to prevent from happening.
I was assured that I would “not end up homeless” in the street, but that I would have a safe place to stay (his house) until I could find a way to relocate. He actually stated this as a “promise.” And also later added, “I keep my promises.”
(Read on, and discover how the “promises” of Howard Nema were kept.)
I was told that he would rent a moving van to move my possessions to his house, which would include certain items I absolutely needed to keep, which I enumerated. (These included several small pieces of furniture, a mattress/box spring, boxes of books, boxes of documents, as well as boxes of personal items, clothing, etc.)
I was told that he would hire a service, or use the truck he rented, for “junk removal”, of those things which I had been unable to sell, donate or otherwise remove from the property. (I had explained that this was important; I wasn't about to leave my landlords with a mess to clean up; and that I would lose my security deposit were that to happen, as they would then need to hire someone at their own expense.)
I was told that he would take down the boxes stored on shelves in the cellar, so that I could get access to my possessions, sort through them and take the most important things. (As I had explained, this was especially important, as there were valuable items stored there which I needed.)
I was told that he had discussed the situation with his wife, and that there was no problem in that regard. I was assured that, “we have the room”, that I would be welcome, and that it was “okay” with his wife.
But in all these assurances, nothing could have been further from the truth.
NOT TOLD THE TRUTH: A RECIPE FOR DISASTER
As for what I was NOT TOLD (none of it good), there was more of that than I could have imagined. But I didn't find out any of this vital information until it was too late. I was prevented from making an informed decision to accept his offer, because (there is no other way to say it), I was lied to.
I was NOT TOLD that the “room” they had for me was in a cold, pitch-dark, cavernous basement, with no sunlight whatsoever. The few small windows which were aboveground were covered in foil and duct tape, supposedly to keep out the cold. As for heat, there was none, not from any source I could see (or feel). Filthy concrete floors, grimy walls, reeking of mold and mildew, to which I am severely allergic. (Black mold, especially, is well-known to be a health hazard.) Plumbing leaks coming from pipes inside the walls and leaks through the windows, which ruined some of my possessions with water damage. By any reasonable standards (and certainly by housing code standards), this place was not fit for human (or animal) habitation.
I was NOT TOLD that I would be expected to participate in a “cover up”, that my presence there would have to be kept a deep, dark secret, lest his wife's parents “find out” that they had someone (read: “someone like you”) staying there. (More on this later.)
I was NOT TOLD that I would be expected to socialize with his inlaws, as well as lie to them, and with his friends, who were a low-class, ill-mannered, disrespectful lot, one of whom had been convicted of drunk-driving --and who, unbeknownst to me, had been selected as his assistant to move my possessions, and to drive my car. (I cannot drive on highways, in urban areas, or at night, due to disability.)
At the time of the move, I was left in the dark about this very important fact, and not told that, during a five-hour drive from Maine, passing through several states, had we been stopped by the police, this friend of HN's would have been arrested, and that I would have been implicated, even incriminated, since I was the owner of the vehicle, which he was driving illegally --without my knowledge. Had I known of this, I would never have consented to such a thing!
(I may have been desperate, but I'm not crazy. I am law-abiding, down to the last letter. I can't risk being otherwise, as that would only give my adversaries an excuse to charge me with some offense they could use against me, to cause even more trouble in my life.)
I was NOT TOLD that there was a clause in HN's lease, stating that “visitors” were not allowed to stay on the property exceeding certain short time limits. Which meant that I had been deceived about the entire nature of the situation.
I was NOT TOLD that there would be no Internet access for me, which was absolutely essential, especially considering my situation. I had no intention of doing any work on my own website, but I needed to make contacts and find information to try to make plans for my future survival.
(When I had previously asked about this, I was told there would be “no problem”. As it turned out, he only hooked up the access for my computer after I had been there for two weeks, though I had requested it be done right away. He was apparently too busy working on his own projects.)
I was NOT TOLD that within two weeks of my arrival, that an edict would be issued from his wife, that I must leave, and given only the next two weeks to find somewhere else to go.
I was NOT TOLD that he would expect me to allow myself to be “farmed out”, to go and stay in the houses of complete strangers, whom I had no reason to trust, and every reason NOT to trust.
I was NOT TOLD that his wife would be making phone calls –behind my back, without my knowledge or consent-- in attempts to make arrangements for me to receive “charity” --from God only knows who. Or that she would be gossiping about me, spreading false information, again, to God only knows who.
Suffice it to say that most of what I had been told up front was very simply, untrue. In fact, I found myself tangled in a web of deception, one that, considering my extremely vulnerable position, could actually have cost me my life.
The old story of being treated like a mushroom: kept in the dark, and fed bullshit.
Between the time that Howard Nema made his offer of sanctuary to me and the time of the move, I had several telephone conversations with him, making the arrangements.
A date was decided upon, and it was in these conversations that HN made his various assurances to me.
In one such conversation, I had tried to explain to him that I didn't have enough boxes in which to pack my things, so that he could be warned ahead of time that there would be loose items. His response was anything but reassuring. He raised his voice, and stated, “I'm NOT going to bail you out! I'M doing more for you than anyone else, I can only do so much!”, etc. etc.
(I told him that I hadn't expected, nor asked him, to “bail me out”, that I appreciated what he was doing; but that I only needed him to know precisely what the situation was. And it should also be noted that had I never asked HN for anything. Everything he assured me he would do, was volunteered by him. And I was counting on him to follow through. Very bad mistake, as I later realized.)
During these conversations, he would repeat his assurances that everything would be “fine”, that things would work out, and kept saying, You need to “stay positive”, keep a “positive mental attitude”, etc. As if this would have magically changed the circumstances? (To me, there's nothing more annoying than a silly “pep talk”, which discounts the reality of a situation, especially one so dire as the one I was facing.)
Then, within a fews days of the date of the move, the first bombshell dropped. When I mentioned something about the “junk removal” he had promised, I was told that, “I won't be doing that.” When I tried to explain that I had no other way to remove my possessions from the house, he casually remarked, Oh, don't worry about that, you can just tell the landlords to hold back a couple hundred bucks from your security deposit and they can hire someone or do it themselves.
In fact, there were many heavy items, on the two floors of the house, as well as in the cellar, which I had previously clearly explained. There was no way that “a couple hundred bucks” could possibly compensate my landlords for that. But there was nothing I could do. I didn't make an issue of it, but was forced to accept his decision, even though he had reneged on his promise. And having neither the time nor money to try to make other arrangements, I was stuck with it.
(As it turned out, my landlords were left with a huge mess to clean up. I felt terrible about this, but it was out of my hands. And although they were kind and understanding, they did need to keep most of my security deposit to cover the costs of removing what I was forced to leave behind. But still, God bless them, they told me they were sorry to see me leave, and said they would be glad to give me a good reference, should I need one for another rental.)
The date decided upon for the move was November 22, 2013. And it was a terrible day, on which my grave concerns over a number of issues materialized with grim solidity.
HN arrived at my house that morning, accompanied by his friend, Dave (the drunk-driving convict mentioned earlier, for whom I will use only a first name.)
As I had previously clearly explained, I had packed everything I could, over a period of roughly six weeks. I had done the best I possibly could, under the circumstances. But there were still many loose items, which had been entirely beyond my control.
From the minute they entered my house, they began lifting items and carrying them to the van HN had rented. They were moving so fast, in such a mad, hectic rush, it seemed that they were in a race to finish the job.
(As I later discovered, some of my possessions were damaged, such as my printer, which had not been placed in a box, or even wrapped, just shoved into the van. I was told, Don't worry about it, it will be fine. It wasn't.)
And when I went outside and saw the vehicle, I had a sinking feeling. It was only a small cargo van, rather than a regular moving van, as I had previously tried to explain would accommodate all the things I was planning to take.
By the time they had loaded only a portion of the stuff on the first and second floors into the van, it was almost full. So I asked HN if he would please help me now to get the boxes down from the shelves in the cellar, so I could at least take the most important items.
Now, the second bombshell dropped. I was told that there would not be room for anything else in the van, so all of that stuff would just have to be left behind –and besides, he said, there really wouldn't be enough time to do that. This comment was made with a casual shrug, as if it were of no importance.
I was stunned. Now, I wouldn't even be able to look through my things, as he had assured me. And since there was no way I could lift the boxes down myself, I did not even have the opportunity to make choices, to prioritize which things were most important, even were I forced to sacrifice some things in favor of others.
Just to make it clear some of what I was forced to leave behind, the losses I sustained as a result of the last-minute, arbitrary decision made by Howard Nema:
All of my video and audiotapes of the radio and TV programs I had hosted and produced, going back to the 1980s. My tapes of my public lectures and TV interviews and other videos I had produced. “Undercover” footage of investigations, and tapes of threats made against me, which served as evidence.
All my camera equipment, both 35 mm and digital. External hard drives for my computer, as well as software. 8mm film reels from the 1950s, which my parents had taken of me as a child (and which I had looked forward to showing my grandsons.)
A box of crystal angels, a gift to my mother many years ago, and which were returned to me when she passed (1993). Some handmade Christmas stockings my son had from his childhood, which I was saving for my grandsons. (And other similar items, which meant a great deal to me.)
Also stored on the shelves which I could not get access to were the urns of ashes of my cats, each of whom I'd had cremated separately. I had planned to bury them in the garden on my property in Maine, but was prevented from doing so when I was forced to sell the house. The sympathy cards were there as well, from the vets and others who loved the cats.
Some people (not true animal lovers) may think that cremating a cat is frivolous, or even stupid, not to mention costly. (True, I had spent many thousands of $ on my beloved animals, for the best of everything I could provide, including veterinary care, while they were alive, and in loving memory, for their cremation.)
But they were my precious children, I loved them with all my heart (still do, always will). They were not mere “pets”, but cherished members of my family, so I spared no expense, in life and in death: Winchester, Apollo, Aphrodite, Rockie, Grasshopper, Thaddeus, Shulamith, Shulamite, Euphrates, Hercules.
But even though I am not so foolish as to believe that their remains are what matter most (I do believe that animals have souls), it is heartbreaking to know that the last resting place for their ashes is now a trash heap – where, I will never know.
But at that moment, in the stress and rush of moving, I didn't have time to think about any of that. I could only focus on the immediate task. It was only later that the magnitude of these losses hit me like a sledge hammer. I am still feeling the shock waves.
When finally the cargo van was packed so full that nothing else could possibly fit, as well as my car, driven (without my knowledge of the grave risk to me) by HN's friend Dave, I was on the way to a destination which, contrary to what I had been led to believe, would solve no problems for me, but only create far worse problems. I was on my way --out of the frying pan, into the fire.
ON THE ROAD
Once we had left the house, I had to stop at the pharmacy to pick up some medicine. I went into the supermarket alone, while HN and Dave waited outside, in the van and in my car, respectively.
I was then told of an event which happened while I was in the market: A dark vehicle had cruised slowly around the parking lot, passing both my car and the van several times. The license plate read: PSY OPS.
Did this surprise me? Not at all. It would have been foolish of me to think that I could possibly expect to make a move (especially one such as this) without government spooks on my tail. They were just letting me know: WE ARE HERE. WE ARE ON THE CASE. And, it was their way of reminding me: You think you'll be safe now? You think you'll escape from our surveillance and harassment? Think again. We have only just begun to hatch our plot for the troubles you will encounter.
Same old, same old....going on for decades, the story of my life. Satan's henchmen, always just around every corner, ready to spring into action at every window of opportunity.
(I could just imagine the reports being relayed from within the PSY OPS vehicle: Spycatcher to Terminator: The target is ON THE MOVE...)
I didn't think much of it, I had far greater concerns on my mind. But it seemed to be a real shocker for HN and his friend, Dave. Which, as I understood, was exactly the point. (Note that the perps waited until I was in the market to come out of of the shadows. They knew I would not be intimidated by their little cloak-and-dagger performance, and that I would probably have confronted them, told them, Get the hell out of here, you bastards. But it would provide the observers with something to think about, maybe generate some paranoia, some suspicion in connection with me. Mission accomplished.
THE “HOLIDAY SEASON”: A MONTH OF HELLISH STRESS & TRAUMA
We arrived at HN's house around midnight, November 23. They unloaded the cargo van, and my possessions were brought down into the basement. As mentioned, I had been given no clue about the type of environment where I would have to stay. Maybe I'm naive, but I had believed I would be staying in a spare room—not a dark, cold, dirty basement. Again, as happened so many times during this ordeal, I was hit with a bombshell I hadn't expected, and which was beyond my control to remedy.
That first night was an ordeal in and of itself. It was so cold I had to wear layers of clothing, even with my own heavy quilts and sleeping bag. The pentrating reek of damp and mold was everywhere. (Just try to imagine suffering from severe osteo-arthritis and fibromyalgia –bad enough even in a comfortable environment, but now the pain exacerbated, the chill down to the bone, by these dreadful conditions.)
There was an alarm system, kept in the room, from which a creepy electronic voice emanated periodically (alarm set, system activated...and so on...) and which had a tall clear plastic cone of flashing light (extremely disturbing to anyone with a hyper-sensitive nervous system), which could not be shut off (at least not by me). The noise from the plumbing and heating systems (a furnace which heated the house upstairs) was constant, but would flare up at times to a sudden loud and jarring rumbling. And when I woke in the morning, from what little sleep I could get, there was no way to even estimate the time. No sunlight coming in, only the pervasive, cloying darkness that surrounded me.
My cat, Kyra, found it just as distressing. She had come from a home where she was comfortable and had plenty of sunlight. Like many cats, she is a sunbather, who seeks out the warmest spots on a cozy throw rug to sleep and groom herself. Now, there were only the darkness and cold, a dirty concrete floor, and strange, disturbing noises, day and night. I could see that she was traumatized, but there was little I could do to help.
Needless to say, I couldn't sleep, even as exhausted as I was. During the entire time I was there, I suffered from extreme sleep deprivation. My health (delicate at the best of times) was declining, and I had a premonition that my troubles were only beginning.
I won't belabor these points any further; I think I've said enough. But during the entire time I was there, I never complained about the conditions, nor ever mentioned the level of discomfort; there would have been no point. Instead, I tried to make the best of a bad situation, while also keeping my mind focused on what I could possibly do to remove myself from it, as soon as possible. And day after day, I prayed for deliverance.
THANKSGIVING DAY: THE COVER UP BEGINS
Thanksgiving was only a few days away. On the day after the move, another bombshell dropped.
Now, HN told me that his wife's parents would be coming for Thanksgiving dinner. But, he said, there might be a problem. The problem was that they had not told her parents that they had a guest staying at their house. And because the inlaws would be asking a lot of questions, we would have to come up with an explanation about my presence there.
What explanation? I asked why that would be any of their concern. Why not just tell them the truth? I was a guest in their house, and what did that have to do with his wife's parents? The situation soon became clear to me. HN and his wife wanted it kept a deep, dark secret, and now I was expected to become a part of the coverup.
HN's wife then came into the room and joined the conversation; she explained the detailed “cover story” she had fabricated to tell her parents about the reason I was there for Thanksgiving dinner. I will not say what the story was, only that it was a lie. (As I soon learned, lies and deception were the Coin of the Realm, as far as HN and his wife were concerned.)
When I said to her, 'But that's not true', she became agitated, huffy, and exclaimed, Well, I had to tell them SOMETHING! She looked at me as if to say I must be incredibly dense not to understand this. (I understood it all too well, I just didn't want any part of it.)
Again, there was nothing I could do. The cover story had already been told, without my knowledge or consent. But as I made clear, I was not about to become embroiled in some domestic drama in which I was expected to tell false stories, just so HN could deceive his inlaws to “keep the peace”.
And I wondered, why would two middle-aged adults be so worried about what the inlaws/parents think? Why tie themselves into knots with ridiculous deceptions? It wasn't as if they were harboring a criminal, but only a friend (at least I thought so at the time) in need of temporary sanctuary. What could possibly be such a problem with that?
Long story short, the inlaws arrived for dinner. There was never any problem, and they seemed to me like nice people. I'm not a “social” person, and I tend to be quiet around people I don't know. Nothing was ever mentioned about “why” I was there, nor were any questions asked. After a few hours, I was very tired (a result of the relentless stress and sleep deprivation) and so I excused myself, saying I was going to retire for the night.
As I later learned, according to them, I had committed a terrible offense: I had been expected to stay up until all hours of the night, in keeping with the “cover story” fabricated by HN's wife. (I didn't remember all the details, simply because I don't like lies, and refuse to be a willing participant, which I had already made very clear.) Apparently, the fact that I was spending as much as one night in that house was too dangerous, too incendiary to be revealed. Heaven forbid!
BOMBS AWAY! THE “DEADLINE” IS SET
I will now move forward to the next bombshell. I had been at HN's house for less than two weeks, when the wife informed me that the landlord must be told that they had a guest, and then, she said, they would “find out” if it would be possible for me to stay.
Again, I was stunned. So I asked the very reasonable question: Why didn't anyone tell me this in advance? Oh well, she said vaguely, we didn't know, we weren't sure....
When I spoke to HN about this, he seemed to casually shrug it off (as he did many times on different issues which related to me), and said something along the lines of, We'll have to check into it, but I'm sure we can work something out.
Then, on the following day, the wife informed me that she had spoken to the landlord, who had become “very upset” that they had a guest staying at their house. I was told that the “time limit” was 30 days, of which half of that had already passed. This piece of information was conveyed to me from the top of the stairs, where she stood yelling down into the basement. When I came upstairs to talk to her, she whined, “We can't jeopardize our lease, I'm sure you can understand...”
Well, I certainly did understand, but not in the way she tried to spin it. What I understood was that I had been brought to this place under false pretenses, and that now, I was in a far worse situation than the one I'd come from. Out of the frying pan, into the fire...
Now, I was placed in the very unfortunate position of having to find somewhere else to go, with only two weeks notice. I had very little money (and no expectations). I had an elderly cat to take care of. I was in a town where I didn't know anyone (except HN and his wife), and where I would not be able to drive, a semi-urban area where I didn't know the roads. All my remaining possessions were now in the basement of HN's house, and I would have no way to move them, no place to move them.
I couldn't begin to imagine what it was that they expected me to do. Nor did I have any idea what it was that I could possibly do, to get out of this horrible situation.
Shortly thereafter, the next bombshell was dropped. I was told by HN that his friend, Dave, would be looking around to find someplace for me to go. Like where? I asked. I was told that Dave “knew some people” who might be willing to take me in. I explained to HN that I was not about to be dumped off at some stranger's house, that was out of the question. And who were these “people”? Why would they be willing to have someone they didn't know (along with a cat) as a guest in their home? And why was Dave expected to take on this task? He too was a stranger, and I had every reason not to trust him.
(I was already wary of this character, Dave, once I learned that he had been driving my car illegally, due to his drunk driving conviction, without my prior knowledge. What kind of “people” did he have in mind, with whom he and HN thought I would be willing to stay? I soon found out...read on, and be amazed.)
And speaking of being amazed, it amazed me that HN could really have expected that I would consent to be “farmed out” to total strangers, to place myself at their mercy, especially considering the fact that I was under persecution. There could not have been a more unsafe possibility, short of being homeless, in the street.
But by this time, after all I had endured, I saw the writing on the wall. Howard Nema had acted throughout this whole ordeal with great irresponsibility, with inexcusable deception, and with casual disregard, of my wishes, my personal boundaries, and even my fundamental rights. The strangest part was that he apparently believed he would be “helping” me (his “kindness” and “charity”), when in fact he had only made my situation far more desperate, as well as downright dangerous.
I told HN that all I could do now was make an effort to contact people I knew, to see if there was any chance I could get help, before the “deadline”. And I asked him (again), could he please hook up my computer now, because without Internet access, I could do nothing. He finally did, the next day –this, after two weeks, time I could have spent in these efforts, even before it became another dire emergency.
From this point on, I was only focussed on one thing: survival for me and Kyra. If I didn't find a safe place to go, I would soon be in the street, homeless, with my cat. The winter was closing in. There had already been massive snowfall, and the temperature was freezing or below, unusual for that time of year.
And since I had already pretty much exhausted my search, previous to accepting HN's offer, all I could do was ask again for help from anyone I thought might care in the slightest, now that my situation had become not only dire, but life-threatening.
I tried and tried, but with no success. I contacted anyone I could think of, even people I'd had no contact with for a long time. I tried to contact a Christian pastor who had a church in the same state, who had helped me in the past. But oddly enough, all the information about his church had been suddenly and inexplicably removed from the Internet. (It later mysteriously reappeared.) My e-mails to various persons went unanswered, as well as my phone calls. I only had a prepaid trac-phone, with limited minutes, which had to be rationed.
I was so desperate that I put up notices on my website, urgent appeals for help, a plea for donations. Even during the time I was soliciting donations from the general public, I had rarely issued such an appeal. But it resulted in nothing.
(With HN's permission, I had arranged to have my mail forwarded from my PO Box in Maine to his street address where I was staying. Which meant that the mail would be delayed, if it even reached me. More on this later.)
Meanwhile, HN's wife was apparently near-hysterical about the situation. She kept asking me, What are you going to do? Where do you think you can go? You know, you have to be OUT by December 21! The landlord will be coming at noon, and you have to be OUT!!
I finally told her, calmly and quietly: Look, I fully understood that there is a deadline the first time you told me. You don't need to keep repeating it. I can guarantee that I will leave by noon on December 21, whether I have anywhere else to go, or not. So please, I don't want to hear anything more about it.
(By my code of honor, I would never, ever stay in a place where I am not wanted, especially if I have been told I must leave. I have never in my life broken that code, and I wasn't about to start now, no matter how desperate and life-threatening the situation had become.)
SURROUND SOUND: THE CACOPHONY OF BUSYBODIES
But of course, I did keep hearing about it, ad infinitum...
I kept hearing that efforts were being made to find a place for me to go. Dave was still trying, they said, and something should come through any day now...
(And again, what did any of this have to do with Dave? Why did they assign this task to him?)
I was told by Dave that I could “bunk with him” in his father's basement, where he lived, which, upon hearing this outrageous suggestion, I got chills of horror.
(I firmly declined, needless to say. But I was thinking: When the devil sets up a concession stand to rent iceskates in Hell.)
The wife told me about a friend of hers who lived across the street, in a house owned by a relative, which had two apartments, one of which was vacant. I explained that I could not rent an apartment, since I had no money to pay rent, utilities or anything else.
She then said to me, in a tone filled with suspicion and disapproval, “Well, what do you do with your money, anyway?” (What money? My numbered Swiss bank account? My secret antique chest filled with gold doubloons, pieces of eight?)
When I didn't answer, she whined, “I don't mean to pry...” But of course, she did mean to pry. I was asked numerous other intrusive personal questions, the whole time I was there. None of which I answered, as it was none of her business.
(And, obviously, had I had the money to pay rent –assuming any landlord would rent to me-- I would have already found a place, back in my beloved Maine, or elsewhere. There would have been no reason for me ever to come to the area where HN and his wife lived –that would be among the last places on earth I'd have chosen, for more reasons than I could enumerate. But as just one example, “gun control”: this state was hell-bent on making it illegal for law-abiding citizens to “keep and bear arms”, in direct violation of that God-given right, protected under the U.S. Constitution.)
Oh, but before I forget, after I told the wife that I had no money to rent a place, she said, “Well, what do you want to do then, just live with friends and not have to pay anything? Is that what you want to do for the rest of your life?
This was getting to be insufferable. The rest of my life??? What the hell was this woman thinking? Or was she thinking at all? I had never said any such thing to anyone, nor had ever lived in such a way, nor had any intention of doing such a thing. But it was clear she didn't begin to fathom even the most basic reality of my situation. I wasn't about to waste words, it would have been an exercise in futility. So I only said, No. Right now, in this emergency situation, I only need sanctuary. Evidently, she didn't know the meaning of the word.
Only a few days from the “deadline” (High Noon on December 21), HN received a phone call from Dave. I was told that a friend of theirs, who lived in the same town, might be willing to offer me a place to stay.
So I told them that I would have to speak to this person directly, and meet him in person, to find out exactly what the situation was, before I could even consider it. I had only been told that his name was Steve, that he lived with his ex-wife (?), somewhere on the other side of town.
HN gave me a phone number to call Steve. When I did, I was shocked at being greeted with a string of curse words and foul language. WHO? WHO the f--- are you? I tried to explain that HN had given me his number, and what it was in reference to. It was obvious that this guy was blind drunk, and I mean three sheets to the wind. I was further horrified when I was subjected to a string of insults (I won't repeat them here). I was unable to carry on a conversation with him, and finally gave up, thanked him for his time, said goodbye and disconnected the line.
I told HN about the “conversation”, but he only shrugged and said something like, Well, Steve has some problems... Some problems? I would say that was a vast understatement, without ever having met the man.
When HN later called Steve himself, I was told that Steve did not remember even having talked to me (not surprising in the least), but that he had “sobered up”. Don't worry, said HN, Steve's a good guy, he's my “brother”, and I trust him.
(So, now he actually expected me to trust this guy? This was getting weirder and more horribly unsettling by the minute. I wasn't used to being around the kind of people whom Howard Nema counted among his friends, and trusted “brothers”.)
Next, I was told that Steve had been invited to have dinner at their house the next evening, so that I could meet him. The only thing I can say about what happened next is, you can't make this stuff up (nor would want to).
Steve arrived, in a miasma of alcohol fumes, and staggered into the living room. He was unsteady on his feet, and slurring his words to the point where his speech was incomprehensible. I was just sitting there, as he was introduced to me, not knowing what I could possibly say. After a couple of minutes, I went outside. I badly needed some fresh air. Steve soon followed me to where I was standing, and I thought maybe I could try to have a conversation with him, though it seemed unlikely that this would be possible.
Then, suddenly, he fell down hard, to the side, nearly knocking me over (fortunately, I have very fast reflexes), and was lying on his back on the concrete. He didn't move, and when I tried to speak to him, to ask if he was okay, he didn't answer me. He was evidently unconscious.
I ran back into the house to get HN and his wife, telling them that Steve was passed out cold in the driveway. They followed me out, and tried to speak to Steve, but he didn't answer. So they grabbed him by the arms, trying to lift him up, and finally succeeded in getting him to his feet. They walked him back into the house, and planted him on a couch.
They tried to reason with him, saying that they would drive him home, as he was in no condition to drive himself. But he insisted that he would be staying for dinner, and that no, he didn't need a ride home.
This went on for a few minutes, HN and his wife arguing back and forth with Steve. Then, all of a sudden, Steve shot up off his seat, running out the door, sprinting across the yard, jumping into his truck. He took off with tires squealing, rubber burning, like a bat out of hell.
I then told HN, He's in no condition to drive. He could kill himself, or someone else. And I asked, Aren't you going to go after him? HN's answer was that he didn't know where Steve lived. (???) And besides, he said, he'd been in this condition before; he was “sure” that Steve would be fine.
(Clearly, drunk driving was not considered a problem, in the mind of Howard Nema. No matter who might get hurt or even killed, no matter who might sustain irreparable damages.)
As for HN's wife, she was extremely distressed. I said to them, If you're not going to go after him, then at least I think we had better pray for him to make it home safely. (This suggestion got only vacant looks, as if it never would have occurred to them, but I did pray for him, silently, as I was very seriously concerned about what might happen.)
But after this terribly unsettling event, I made it very clear that there was no way I was even going to consider going to stay at this guy's house. The wife, still very upset (Oh my God! Oh my God!), said to me, Well, I don't blame you! No, no, that would NOT be good! I don't blame you!
But the next day, she changed her mind. I was now informed that Steve had called to apologize, that he wanted to offer me a place to stay. I couldn't believe this. Both HN and his wife had witnessed this extremely disturbing behavior, and yet they actually thought I would even consider placing myself in that kind of danger? I had never even had a chance to speak with this friend of theirs, and could only imagine the type of circumstances, or the unstable (to put it mildly) behavior to which I would be subjected. No way. No way in bloody freaking hell.
But, she said, he has a nice big house, they have the room... (Where had I heard this before?) I said, I don't care if he has a palatial mansion with liveried servants, the answer is NO.
As the “deadline” for me to be “OUT” was drawing nigh, I received another offer of sanctuary. Not from any of HN's friends, but from some good friends of mine. But as much as I appreciated it, it was an offer I could not accept, the first reason being that it would involve a commercial flight outside the continental U.S. I don't fly, haven't since the TSA was set up, and began their reign of tyranny, harassment and outrageous body searches of passengers. But the main reason was that my cat, Kyra, would have to remain in “quarantine”, for six months, and could not come with me. There is no way I would ever let something so terrible happen to her (alone and terrified, in a cage, among strangers, wondering how I could have abandoned her), so it was out of the question. Where I go, she goes, end of story.
But now, unbelievably, I was criticized for not accepting one of these offers. HN said to me, “Well, you do what you've got to do.” This was a phrase I'd heard repeated numerous times. Clearly, HN's standards of “doing what you've got to do” came from the vast reaches of another universe, far from the one I lived in. So I only told him that his ideas of what he thought I had “got to do” were beyond the pale and not to be imposed on me. And that I was NOT going to do anything which further threatened my well-being and safety or Kyra's.
But believe it or not, it got worse....
Soon after this, I was approached by Howard Nema with this smug little speech: “You know what your problem is? Negative thinking. You're just like my wife!”
I was stunned speechless. Now, I was being compared to a woman who could not have been more different, in her “thoughts”, her beliefs, her fundamental nature, character, or her view of the world.
And my “problem” was deemed by Howard Nema to be “negative thinking.” Not dire poverty. Not persecution. Not the inability to get the help I needed. Not having been lied to and misled. Not that, as a result of all this, I was facing homelessness in the street.....no, no, no..... had I simply been willing to take his prolific and oft-repeated unsolicited advice about “positive thinking”, everything would have been fine and dandy, I'd be sitting on top of the world, my life would be a bed of roses?
So, I simply said, with as much patience as I could muster (though, as any reasonable person would understand, it was wearing thin): Listen to me. I am a devout Christian, have been for many years, as you well know. I don't need to hear about any New Age doctrines of devils. I know all there is to know about them, I've done more than forty years of research, and I've seen the disastrous results when people believed in them. I don't believe I am the “god of my own universe”, nor that I “create my own reality”. I believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I'll stick with the Lord God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth. And I don't appreciate that you are trying to impose your beliefs on me. You're entitled to believe what you want, but please, respect my right to do the same.
But this clearly stated position was evidently too difficult for him to understand. He raised his voice and said: But positive thinking WORKS! It WORKS for SUCCESS!
(Fine, then use it for your own “success”, just leave me out of it.)
I wasn't about to listen to any more of this utter nonsense, nor had any intention of arguing about it, especially considering the fact that I had only two days left to find someplace to go, before I would be homeless in the street. So I walked away and went back down to the basement, to continue my efforts to find help.
The next day, HN's wife told me that Dave would be coming over, to search for a pair of glasses he thought he had left at the house. (And I needed to know this, why?)
When I came upstairs, Dave was sitting at the dining table with the wife. I said hello to him, and he immediately asked me what I was going to do. I told him I didn't know, that I had not found anywhere to go. He asked, What about Steve? He said you can go there. I clearly explained that, after what I had witnessed, that would not be happening.
But he apologized!, exclaimed Dave. Where else do you have to go?
(It was clear why Dave – just like HN and his wife-- would not consider the outrageous behavior of Steve to be any kind of problem, as long as he “apologized”. Drive drunk? No problem. Drive another person's car illegally (without her prior knowledge), placing that person at grave risk? No problem. You can just apologize, and it's all good, everything will be grand.
He then started in about the other offer I had received, which apparently, he had heard about from HN and his wife. I said that was not an option either, not bothering to give any explanation.
Dave said, Well, that was a great offer! I'D go there if I was invited!
(He had not been invited, nor did he even know my friends, who had invited me. He didn't know anything, except perhaps what he had been told by third parties. And more to the point, it was none of his damn business.)
I couldn't believe the brazen audacity of this guy! What a jerk! He then raised his voice at me, yelling and criticizing me (I don't remember most of his insulting comments, I tuned him out), and I told him, quietly, “You are being very disrespectful. This is my problem, not yours. Where I go is none of your concern.”
To which I got this response: NO, YOU are being disrespectful to all of US! (Presumably meaning HN, his wife, Steve and himself.) And he launched into a tirade of invective against me, and about “all they had done” for me, about how much they had “helped” me.
I said nothing during the time he was ranting on. When someone is that insufferably rude, overstepping his bounds, so far out of line, I don't allow myself to be provoked into an argument. I simply said, very quietly: I won't be listening to any more of this. This conversation is terminated. And I walked away, back down to the basement, to continue my efforts to get some real help.
HN's wife and Dave had obviously cooked up a scheme for a tag team assault, while HN was not at home. A short while later, I heard the two of them discussing me. Their voices were so loud, it didn't escape my notice that this was meant for my ears.:
Well, if that apartment across the street had been available, that would have been PERFECT! (As it turned out, the apartment was not for rent. No mention was made of the FACT that I'd told her I had NO MONEY to pay rent.) And, I don't see why she wouldn't be happy with the offer she received from So-and-So, I mean, really, what else does she expect she's going to do?.....She won't even listen to anything we say to try to help her........yada, yada, yada........
I really wondered, how much worse could this possibly get? Now I was besieged by loud, aggressive busybodies, who clearly believed, not only that their unsolicited opinions mattered to me (they didn't), but that it was their place to impose these opinions on me. What in the bloody hell was wrong with these people? Now I was the Target of criticism and insults, simply because I had the good sense and instincts for self-preservation to refuse to allow myself and my cat to be further damaged, or subjected to conditions that were unsafe, certainly even life-threatening. (Not to mention that their manners were absolutely atrocious.)
The Committee to decide the fate of Barbara Hartwell had convened. The meeting had been called to order, with a “quorum” of two. (Behind my back, of course.) And the theme of their confabulation was broadcast loud and clear: Beggars can't be choosers, you know. You do what you've “got to do.”
That was the last I saw of Dave (thank the Lord for small blessings), but unfortunately, not the last I heard of him, first from the wife, and then later from Howard Nema, Himself, the Lord of the Manor.
Later that same day, the wife began hassling me, repeating the mantra, You have to be OUT by Saturday at NOON! The landlord is coming and you need to get all your things together! I told her (once again) that I was well aware of the deadline, and that I would be leaving, no matter what, that she needn't worry about that. (How many times did I need to repeat this?)
But that wasn't good enough for her. No, nowhere near good enough. Now, she was following me around, interrogating me about what I was going to do, blathering on and on and on....
She said to me, in a huffy tone, DAVE told me that you didn't even have your things packed on the day they came to move you! Your house was a mess! And he told me that when HE went downstairs to look for his glasses (the cover story, evidently, for Dave's visit that day), NOTHING had been done! I think you have “issues”, that's what I think! You haven't even got your things together downstairs, and you have to be OUT by NOON on Saturday! The LANDLORD is coming at NOON!
(The landlord had apparently been assigned the role of The Big Bad Wolf, the dastardly villain of this drama. The landlord was the problem, and no, they were not responsible for HIS insistence that the guest must leave. Not considering the fact of the clearly stated clause in their lease, of which I was not informed beforehand....)
Now, as further insult, she wanted to subject me to unsolicted amateur psychoanalysis? (which no person I had ever met was less qualified to give –my own expert opinion, as a trained psychoanalyst and a former profiler for the U.S. government).
She raised her voice and screeched at me: “You can't keep running away like you have for the past 20 years!”
(What? Where had this preposterous notion come from?)
It became clear that she had formed some completely false notions about me, most likely based on faulty assumptions, wild speculation, what she had heard from her husband (?), or what she had imagined, in her profound ignorance, to be true. Again, she had no idea what she was talking about. I had never, at any time, told her (or anyone else) that I had been “running away”, nor cited a time period of 20 years for this supposed action. And in point of fact, from 1997 to 2013 I had always had a home, including the one I owned.
“You have to take responsibility! You can't keep living like this! You have ISSUES!”
(And it was this woman's self-appointed duty to decide what these “issues” were?, and how I “should” be living? What I “should” be doing? Really? As far as I could see, it was she who had some extremely serious “issues”. For starters, her utter lack of respect for the personal boundaries of others; the need to learn how to mind her own business, and stop meddling in everyone else's.)
I felt like I was being pursued by the relentless assaults of a Harpy from Greek mythology. (Either that, or possibly that I had somehow been transported to the set of the Jerry Springer Show.)
Once again, I was not about to argue with a person who was haranguing me with foolishness and insults. So I said to her, Please, stop this and leave me alone. You don't know what you're talking about. And I don't appreciate your efforts to psychoanalyze me. I told her (once again) that I would be leaving by noon on Saturday, so please, just leave me in peace to do what I could.
Moving along to the next day, Friday, December 20. One day left before the “deadline”. (In case anyone has forgotten, THE LANDLORD WAS COMING AT NOON! Batten down the hatches! All hands on deck! THE LANDLORD IS COMING!!!)
I still had not found anywhere to go, and had no idea what else I could do, except try to borrow enough money so I could at least go to a motel for a few nights, pending further efforts to find sanctuary. I had tried to call HN on his cell phone, as I needed to speak to him. I couldn't reach him, so I left a message asking him to call me back.
He didn't return my call, but apparently had called his wife instead. The (fish) wife said to me, Well, why do you need to speak to HIM? He's busy, so he asked ME to handle this. “This” apparently being the continued pressure on me to make damn-certain-sure I would leave no later than noon on the next day. And I wasn't about to allow anyone to “handle” my business. (What the hell?)
I said to her that I needed to ask HN if I could borrow some money, only enough to at least go to a motel for a few nights, while I continued my efforts to get help, as otherwise I would be in the street.
Her answer was as follows: Oh, no! We don't have money for anything like THAT!
There was a pregnant pause, then she whined, “You wouldn't want to go to a homeless shelter?”
As God is my witness, I am not making this up. She actually said this to me.
A homeless shelter. This was the last straw. In case the thought hadn't occurred to her, they don't allow cats at a homelss shelter. That would have been the final nail in the coffin. The government's plot to make me homeless, defenseless, vulnerable, and accessible to even worse crimes against my person would finally be in place. The Final Solution for the dangerous Enemy of the State, Barbara Hartwell.
(The closest I had ever been to a homeless shelter in my entire life was helping to raise money for them at my church, and donating what I could in the collection plate.)
I gave no answer to this utterly outrageous question. How dare she suggest such a thing.
I called a friend to whom I'd confided my plight and asked, could she please wire me some money, since I had nowhere to go and needed to get a motel room for a few nights. Fortunately (God bless her), she agreed to help me, and sent the money. (My friend had been making efforts to help me by seeing if she knew someone I could stay with, in the same state of HN's residence (I would have trusted her judgment, unlike that of HN, his wife and Dave), but with no success. She herself lived thousands of miles away.
That evening, when Howard Nema returned home, I told him that I would have to go to a motel on the following day (Saturday, December 21), since there were no other options, and explained that a friend had wired me some money, which would only cover a few nights.
I also told him of the extremely disrespectful treatment I had received from his friend, Dave, and of how his wife had been laying pressure on me and hassling me with her false notions. This was the first (and only) time I had said as much as a word to him about either of them. (And never once, in the whole time I was there, had I raised my voice at anyone, no matter how outrageous their conduct. This held true to the moment I walked out the door.)
At first, HN just gave the usual shrug, saying, Well, that's just the way she was raised.
(As if that were any excuse? This abusive behavior was to be tolerated, just because she was “raised that way”? It was abundantly clear that he expected me to play the role assigned to me: as the beggar --who can't be a chooser-- I must bite the bullet, with good cheer.)
But when I tried to tell him the way I had been treated by his bosom buddy, Dave, that's when all hell broke loose.
He launched into an angry outburst, shouting at the top of his lungs: You're a CON ARTIST! You're just using me! You're a liar! That's what DAVE told me!
What the hell? Where was this coming from? From the unbalanced mind of the drunk-driving convict, a person who was a total stranger to me? And HN would be so totally lacking in perception and discernment as to actually believe any of this?
(And it may be irrelevant, but what the hell...let it rip! Had I been a con artist, looking to “use” someone, why would I be so incredibly stupid as to choose a 'mark' like Howard Nema? What did he have that could possibly be of interest to a con artist? Loads of money? No. Influential friends in high places? No, as far as I could see, his friends couldn't possibly have been from much lower places. Swanky accomodations in a high-toned neighborhood? Not on your life. What, then? What benefit could a con artist possibly glean from the likes of Howard Nema and his oh-so-refined and cultured friends, his trusted “brothers”?)
This insulting outburst was followed, without so much as a pause, by his next complaint against me:
The ONE THING my wife asked you to do! The ONE THING! You should have stayed upstairs while her parents were there on Thanksgiving! NO, you couldn't do just that ONE THING!
Next, I was informed (still shouting) that all the time I had been there, his wife had been “making phone calls” to charities, trying to make arrangements for me to “get help”.
This was all news to me. This behavior was way out of bounds! Had I known of this, I would have put a stop to it, post haste. But as per the ethos (keep 'em in the dark, feed 'em bullshit) of these individuals, nobody bothered to tell me.
And God only knows what she's been telling her parents!, he shouted.
(Clearly, there was a serious lack of communication in this household. And who knows how many lies, and how much deception, just between HN and his wife? It boggles the mind...)
He made it clear that all of this scheming had been going on, behind my back, the entire time I had been there. His wife had been nagging him every day, he was under pressure because of his inlaws, he had been doing all he could (along with his buddy, the illustrious Dave) to “help” me.
But the blame for all this was to be attached to me? Nobody had bothered to consult me, nor had the slightest consideration for me, as to how all this would affect me. I was blamed, simply for refusing to become part of the cover up, for refusing to lie to “pay my way”. I hadn't played the role assigned to me, and now there was hell to pay.
Next, he continued (still shouting) about how he had spent “THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS!!!” helping me, and if I didn't appreciate what he had done, if I was so “ungrateful”, “You can just walk out the f---ing door RIGHT NOW! Get in your f---ing car and leave! This is MY house!”
I was just standing there, in stunned silence, while he vented his rage against me. And since I wouldn't have been able to get a word in edgewise, anyway, I didn't bother to try.
When he finally stopped, I said to him, May I speak now? But no sooner had I started, than his wife pulled up in the driveway, so I thought better of it. The last thing I needed was another sucker punch and more uncontrolled hysteria directed at me.
He then shouted at me” “I'M SORRY! I'M SORRY!!” But there was no time for any further “discussion”. His wife soon walked through the door, and that was the end of the “conversation.”
Night had fallen. I was down in the basement, making calls to local motels, in preparation for the next day, having to be OUT before NOON. (The landlord is coming!!!) My nerves were shot to hell, I had a blinding headache, my hands were shaking, as I tried to prepare for the next step I had been forced to take.
I didn't sleep that night, but spent hours in a prayer vigil. I usually read the Psalms before going to sleep, and my Bible is always within reach. I read my most loved prayers, imploring God to help me and deliver me, to bring me to a safe, peaceful place, to give me the “peace which passes all understanding”.
I focused my thoughts on all the good things I could think of, all that had brought joy or peace into my life. Walking for miles on the beach, searching for seashells. Standing on the top of a cliff, where my favorite old lighthouse stood, above the crashing breakers on the rocky coast. Sitting in a dockside restaurant with friends, overlooking the yachts, the salt air filled with the cries of seagulls. The shining faces of my grandchildren, running on the beach, and making sandcastles, the sheer joy and freedom, not a care in the world.
(And for the record, I am one of the least of the “negative thinkers”, as anyone who truly knows me could attest. But my lack of “negativity” comes not from a contrived system of “positive thinking”, which excludes God, but from my love of God. From the knowledge that no matter how terrible my circumstances may be at any given time, that He is there, and that His angels are watching over me.
Over the course of my life, I had been delivered from far worse situations than this. I had been blessed with divine intervention on countless occasions. And I hadn't lost my faith, but despite the terrible circumstances, still expected that God would deliver me.
DELIVERANCE FROM THE DUNGEON
The next morning, I got up early, and finished my preparations to depart from the dungeon (which is how I had come to think of it.)
The wife went down to the basement, and expressed her amazement at “how much” I had “got done”! (Her unsolicited opinions about my “issues” notwithstanding.)
I had packed some clothes, and other immediate necessities. I had cleaned up the best I could, stacking my things in piles, and in the wicker baskets I brought and had used as containers for loose items.
Everything else I owned would have to be left in the basement, until I could find some way to move my possessions to another location.
I had packed my car with everything I could take to a motel, where I had made a reservation the previous evening. I was within only a few minutes of leaving, when the deliverance I had prayed for was unexpectedly granted, in the form of a blessed phone call.
And here, the story will end. At least, the story of a month-long ordeal in the “safe house” of Howard Nema and his wife, with the supporting cast of characters who helped to make my life far more difficult than it already had been. I can only say, Good riddance. (And, Thank You, Lord!)
As I walk out the door, shutting it firmly and finally behind me, I will say no more.
Not about where I went from there. Not about any other persons, whose privacy I respect and whose names will not be dragged into this story, to become a feeding frenzy for busybodies. Very simply, it is nobody's business.
I find it important to state that, up to this time, I have never told this story to a living soul. I haven't, simply because I knew it would be as distressing to those who care for me as it would be for me to burden them with my troubles.
But there is one last thing I find it necessary to say: If deliverance had not come when it did, Howard Nema would, no doubt, have allowed me to end up homeless, as a result of all the lies he told, the information he withheld, the misrepresentaions, the false pretenses, and his attitude of “blaming the victim”. That is a fact, one that, despite his penchant for dishonesty, he would be hard pressed to deny.
In the final segment of this report, I will cover the aftermath of my ordeal, the additional bombshells which were dropped, and will go into detail about Howard Nema's inexcusable behavior, in attempts to exploit my name, his promotion of fraudulent material in connection with my name, and his arrogant refusal to remove the offensive material, again at my expense.
By their fruits shall you know them.
Barbara Hartwell Percival
May 4, 2015
Barbara Hartwell Percival
Legal Defense & Research Trust
PO Box 22
Rhinebeck, NY 12572
Barbara Hartwell Vs. CIA
Legal Defense & Research Trust
PO Box 22
Rhinebeck, NY 12572
Barbara Hartwell Vs. CIA