Child Kidnappers Of Terror
Daily, millions of American children are being kidnapped by Terrorists.  They live in fear and wait to escape.  They build walls to protect themselves from the kidnapper's pain, and retreat into shells to avoid the kidnapper's wrath.   Who are these kidnappers?   Complacent parents who don't have the time to love a child's insides, who are too busy to know his or her fears, intimidations and complacencies.   This story asks the reader:  "How can I be a more Vigilant parent/person?"  How can I break down the walls of my own Fear, Intimidation and Complacency, and reach out to others so I might know myself and them better?"


September 17, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 370
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

       GROUND ZERO, New York City, September 17--I did a double take this morning.   I thought of all the children who are being, or who have been, kidnapped.   I thought of the Terror they must endure.
       Terror-- the combination of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency--is all about helplessness, powerlessness.   It can be imposed by one's self mentally, by feeling "less than," or "victimized by circumstances," or, it can be injected physically by some outside force such as the Terrorist attack of September 11, or, through the act of kidnapping.

Kim Jong Il

     In Japan, the North Koreans have been kidnapping Japanese citizens over the years, using them to train North Korean spies to infiltrate Japan and assume either the identity of the kidnap victim, or to learn the culture and nuances from the prisoner.
      In a rare act of disclosure, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il confirmed today that North Korean spies kidnapped Japanese citizens decades ago and that at least four were still alive.
      One victim was Megumi Yokota who disappeared at age 13.  According to North Korean officials she was reported as dead, but a child she bore was alive and living in Pyongyang..
      The North Korean disclosure and apologies for the kidnappings are viewed as a "peace offering" of sorts, to bring Japan and North Korea closer together.   Some analysis's suggest North Korea is moving away from the cloak of communism and toward normalization, and that the kidnapping admission is a first step in that direction.

        But kidnapping the innocent is not just limited to cloak-and-dagger motives.   In another story this morning by Gretchen Peters of the Christian Science Monitor, she reports on how kidnapping has become a "quick cash" business in Mexico.
      Gangs of organized kidnappers take victims in unlicensed cabs to an ATM and force them to withdraw money.

Possible Taxi-grab targets in Mexico

      Authorities call this, "express kidnapping."    The Mexican government reports about 10 of these a day officially, but estimates of non-reported kidnaps range up to five times that amount.
     But the "big money" in Mexican kidnapping targets rests with wealthy families.   An estimated four kidnappings a day are carried out in the country where few victims contact the government or law enforcement officials, fearful they might become part of the kidnapping ring, or, "botch" the recovery.    When Hector Velazquez, a federal congressman,  was kidnapped his family didn't notify the press or authorities.   Mr. Velazquez was held for over a month before an undisclosed amount of money was paid for his release.
       Walter Farrer, chief of security in Mexico for Pinkerton and Burns International, a security firm, says the average asking price for a wealthy kidnap victim is $280,000 and the finally payment usually negotiated is $19,000.
       To combat Kidnap Terrorism, Volkswagen introduced an armored version of its Passat sedan to the Mexican market. 


 The vehicle is bullet- and flame-proof.   Kidnapping is so common Volkswagen airs commercials of the car on television, showing a mock attempted abduction and how the Passat's "fortress on wheels"  thwarts it.
       Mexico is the second highest nation in abductions.  Columbia is first.
       Terrorism is all about kidnapping.   It kidnaps our "security," and holds hostage our "power," and enslaves our "freedom.".  
       I thought of the 13-year-old in Japan, kidnapped by North Koreans to learn her language, culture, and to threaten her into surrendering her "identity" over to those who wished ill upon her country, her community, her family.
       It made me think about how we, here in America, can "kidnap" a child's security, his or her sense of "power," through neglect, complacency and disrespect for the child's need to know he or she is loved.
       In many homes, we hold children prisoners.  Their chains and shackles are invisible.

       They must "do as we say or else," and, depending on how this edict is delivered, it can strike as much fear in a child as a stranger might who abducted a child off the street and held him or her for ransom.

        A simple example of "home kidnap Terrorism"  is a child who doesn't want to go home, for home means Terror.   Going home means the child will face conflict in the household, either shouting between parents, or emptiness--a lack of communion between parent and child.  When a child shudders as his or her hand reaches for the doorknob to enter his "home-prison," little differences exist between being kidnapped by a stranger and being kidnapped in one's own home.
       Abusive parents aren't always the ones who strike their children and leave physical marks.   Abuse can come in much more subtle ways.  A child's soul can be bruised, marring a child's fragile feelings if the child feels neglected, unloved, uncared for because his or her parents are "too busy" to spend time, or too involved in themselves to learn the secrets of their child's soul.
      Rich or poor, such Fear knows no boundaries.

       The same feeling of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency that a stranger might evoke in a kidnap scenario can course through a child's veins with equal intensity as he or she sits quietly in his or her own home, afraid to speak, afraid to tell his or her parents about the emptiness within, about the the hunger to "be loved," and to feel "love."
       I was one of those "kidnapped children of Terror".  I slept deep under my covers at night, curled up at the bottom of my bed to hide from the angry Voices of my parents fighting outside in the living room--trying to not hear the viciousness of their arguments or to feel, as most children in like situations, that in some bizarre way I was responsible for creating their problems.  

        Like any lost child, I felt I was locked in a dark scary room.  My kidnappers stood outside,  figuring out ways to make me feel less than, making me feel fearful, causing me to be intimidated.
       The definition of "kidnap" sums up the impact of a child living in parental fear. 
"The act of taking somebody away by force and holding him/her prisoner, usually for ransom."

      A child is forced to obey his or her parents.   If a child lives in Fear, Intimidation, or Complacency of his or her home environment, he or she is a virtual prisoner.   The ransom usually asked of a child is "obedience."   That translates into hiding within one's self, not "rocking the boat."  It is an expensive price.  It cost the child his or her soul.
      Emotional obedience may also mean that a child doesn't question the love of the parent(s), at least, not openly.  Many parents don't show love and affection because none was shown to them by their parents.   Hiding one's feelings becomes a legacy passed down from one generation to another.  It creates cold indifference versus warmth and consideration.  It sparks the Beast of Terror within a child.
       As a result of Emotional Walls, the Vigilant rift between child and parent widens.  It's like opening the gates to the Beast of Terror, allowing it to "have its way" with the child.  The idea of the child being a "prisoner" cleaves communications.  The heart and soul of a child's true feelings are kept under lock and key:  the parents hold the key.   The words "I love you," aren't spoken, and if they are, they are used in a salutary manner, similar to "Let's have lunch one day."     

       Anyone who has grown up in a household where no one shared their feelings knows what a kidnap victim must feel--alienated, alone, abandoned--Terrorized.
        Even though a child isn't put in handcuffs, or tied and blindfolded, the same feeling of powerless and restraint swells in the child.   Many children can't wait to "escape" home, for there is nothing there for them to want to keep except memories of emptiness, fear, intimidation and loveless complacency.


       Child Kidnapping Terrorism comes in all various degrees, from simple negligence to brutal physical abuse.   Most parents defend the fact they loved their children and "did everything for them," but when pinned down and asked:  "What are you child's greatest fears?   Your child's greatest intimidations?   Your child's greatest complacencies?," that same boasting parent might splutter and stutter, trying to reach an answer.
        Vigilance(Love) is about unlocking the Terrors in a child.   It is about the freedom a child feels to share his or her innermost Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies with a parent or guardian or loved one.   It isn't about just having a roof over one's head, or food on the table, or clothes to wear, or money in one's pocket.
       These are mere accessories of Life and Love.   True Love for a child is knowing the child's heartbeat is heard by his or her parents, that someone loves the inside of them perhaps more than the outside.

        Love is understanding the reason tears that fall from a child's eyes.  It is being the repository of the child's fears, the safe haven to which the child can sail when the storms of life threaten him or her.  It is being the child's closest friend, greatest confidant.

       That's why becoming a Parent of Vigilance, a Citizen of Vigilance, a Loved One of Vigilance, is so vital to the constitution of a child's well being.  And, so challenging.
       Emotional child abuse is the result of Complacency.   In our madding rush to try and juggle all the responsibilities of adulthood and parenthood, we forget to know our children's Fears, soothe their Intimidations, and assuage their Complacency.   We don't build bridges of communication with the child's inner secrets, instead we fortress the walls between us through neglect.
       We become Kidnappers of Terror.  
        While this may seem as a harsh indictment, it is.   When a child screams:  "You don't care about me!" we might as well be strangers holding the child as hostage. 
        Not all children Voice their feelings.   Many swallow them.  Many hold them inside and never speak or cry out.  They stuff their pain.
        The child tries to please us, to win our love by doing "what we want."   We never ask the child what she or he wants from us.  We make the horrible mistake of assuming what they want.
       Presumptuously, we try to shape the child into an image we have of the child, glossing over what image the child may have for himself or herself.   We force the child into being what we envision, and, in the process, strip the child of his or her identity, creating in the child a sense of dependency on others for self identification, for self-love.
        I often think about how easy it is for us to divert our thinking from the most important world issue--the security of children--to the most mundane--when are going to war with Iraq?   Will I get a promotion?  Do we have enough money?   Am I too fat?  Too skinny?  What will people think of me?  

         Our first thoughts aren't about teaching our children how to combat Fear with Courage, or neutralize Intimidation with Conviction, or how to take the Right Actions to overcome Complacency.   If those were our first thoughts, the world's issues would fall into proper perspective.   We would see everything in relation to the safety--Emotional and Physical--of our children.  

        That's not our habit.
        When pressed against the wall, we think of ourselves.    It's a natural reaction.   Self comes first on our primal hierarchy of needs.   Selflessness comes last.    That's why the Pledge of Vigilance is so vital.
        By taking it, posting it in an obvious place, and practicing its principles, we reinforcing our primary duty--to be more selfless than selfish with our children, or loved ones.  

        Love gets kidnapped by selfishness.  It always has.  It always will.
        But Kidnapped Love can be set free.
        The key that unlocks the door is Vigilance.
        Once we set Love free, we learn drive around in a Volkswagen Passat with armored steel and bullet-proof windows, warding off Terrorism's constant attacks on us to return to our selfish, self-centered ways..
        I think everyone should own a VW from Mexico.
        It will protect us from kidnapping our own children, and holding them prisoner.


Go To September 16--Walking In The Shadow Of Einstein

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