Episode 6: Evolution Opinion and Perspectives

Well, that was a lot.  Perhaps the most emotional episode so far for me at least if you can believe it. I was left feeling very conflicted after episode 5 and now after episode 6 I feel emotionally drained, but also somehow seen.  This is by far my favorite episode, as far as Im concerned (minus the death of Nathan Freeman of course. We weren’t friends but I feel for him and his family with this a lot) this is the good part of my story anyway.

I’ll start by sharing a quote Jeff Berwick said in the beginning of the episode that I really liked, because of the truth embedded within it. “We started out wanting to fight the government but we ended up fighting ourselves.” Ain’t that the fucking truth for basically everyone involved. 

This episode gave the most insight into what my life on that mountain and in that relationship was actually like. It also gave a beautiful glimpse into the first year or so after the murder.  Both of these things made me feel seen. One quote from me that stood out was first me quoting John/Shane “You gotta know what you’re willing to die for” which I followed up with “He had it all wrong, you need to figure out what’s worth living for.” And in many ways that encapsulates life as I tried to rebuilt mine into something better and happier for me. 

Seeing and remembering the process of getting my dreadlocks brushed out was nostalgic.  That took daily work for literally 6 weeks of my life as I worked to remove those dreadlocks one by one.  They were filled with sand, dirt, my old dogs hair and more. It was a lot. And I’m glad I did it. Also seeing how Nana, Cabra and Doug’s wife Sol (although they didn’t show her gorgeous face sadly) helping me with it was symbolic to the people who love me most helping me shed some of the dirtier parts of my past.  It’s now been a few years dreadlock free and I am happy to have my hair back.  

Moving on to my Dad coming to Acapulco.  That right there was the highlight of my whole 2020 year, which was admittedly intense as the world shut down and I honestly struggled a lot financially before starting to work for Anarchapulco in December 2020.  He got to see Mexico through my eyes and meet all the people who were keeping me going at that time.  He showed up not understanding how I made my life work and left with complete understanding and much of his fear removed for my personal safety.  He got to meet Cabra, which if Im being honest is the only boyfriend of mine that I’ve met that he’s ever admitted to liking. Not shown was when we dropped him at the airport and he hugged Cabra and said “Thank you for loving my daughter.” 

It was amazing to show my Dad my favorite things about the city, to have him see me give what was my first Anarchapulco speech ever. Im sure many ancaps following the show will be upset with me for tarnishing the idealistic dream of living in anarchy but what I said holds true.  This life is not for most people. I’m tired of pretending it is.  There is in fact great cost to trying to live truly free in an unfree world. 

On Mexico.  Despite the imperfections of Mexico, I will say that I am happier here than anywhere else, especially now. I want to point out that in my life I have known 4 people close to me to be murdered.  3 of those people were in Ohio, including my little brother in spring 2021, which is still “unsolved” legally speaking even though several of my family members know why and how he was killed.  They’ve gone to the police, who have basically ignored their claims despite the fact that the man who killed my little brother is nothing short of a psychopath, with many victims in his path. 

I want to be clear that safety, in itself, is an illusion.  I didn’t come here for safety.  I came here to be able to live a better life, and in the end a better life is what I got.  I have a strong relationship, a happy home full of things I’ve worked for.  I spend my days working, doing circus arts, making art in painting crochet and more and spending my time with my loved ones, which these days are mainly Cabra, my pets and family when they do come to visit. I am no longer cut off from those I care about.  In fact the current biggest issue in my life is those lingering legal issues. 

I’m working on a plan to remove those legal issues, but even when I do the plan is to leave Mexico quietly for a passport, and to return legally with a visa, to start the process of temporary and eventually permanent residency, maybe even citizenship.  I’m not interested in living in limbo anymore, so if there are any lawyers reading this, Mexican or from the US, hook me up guys. 

The video above shares Jeff Berwicks take on what really happened with Nathan Freeman and the conference as well as his thoughts on the rest of the show. I think the assessment is fair and lines up with what is the reality of the situation, which I have pieced together from several people that were directly involved with the conference at the time.

I want to touch briefly on the passing of Nathan Freeman.  I don’t have good memories with the Freemans, this much is true. But I feel for the kids especially in this situation.  I know what its like to have a parent give up and turn to substances. I know what its like to wish they had just quit as they promised.  Seeing Meta say “I wish he’d fucking quit, why didn’t he quit like he said he would” hit home.  I’ve been there with the loss of my own Mom who had her own substance abuse issues.  

And finally, I want to talk about Anarchapulco.  Anarchapulco has become even more near and dear to my heart in these last 2 years specifically.  It almost didn’t happen in 2021, when the reigns were passed over to my best friend and sister from another mister, Catherine Bonandin. Jeff literally told her in December 2020 to get started and she managed to completely redesign and rebuild that event with the help of myself and Macey Tomlin. 

We worked the three of us plus a few others in what we have lovingly called the dream team to rebuild the event in a way in which its never existed before. The goal was to get back to basics but we ended up building something more beautiful than I think any of us expected.  Macey has since left the team to focus on her work with plant medicine, which in a way feels very right.  Cat and I along with the much bigger team we’ve built together continue to work tirelessly to help the event evolve into something we are all really proud of.  

Anarchapulco has not only survived but managed to get once again to a point of thriving and perhaps maybe beyond, as it lacks the dramatic flair it used to have every year.  Now the majority of people that go are highly inspired and excited by what they find there.  This coming year is perhaps the one I am most excited for because we will incorporate the ideas of Anarchaforko and build something new with them for the second week of Anarchapulco, called Agoraforko.  For those wondering, Anarchaforko (and its name) died with that original event.

Anyway, I do intend to blog about the planning of Agoraforko here too.  So stay tuned for that. 

14 Responses

  1. You said during your Episode 3 entry:
    [ https://highlyfunctionalgrowth.com/episode-3-currency-opinions-and-perspectives/ ]

    “Some have even asked me to bring up the good times, to contrast the bad. To an extent, the people pleasing part of me is somewhat inspired to do so but I must say that this blog is for me to work through my feelings and memories of what happened and how they made me feel. If you are someone reading these posts, hurt by what I am saying I ask you consider refraining from reading. This is my space to process things and currently I am swallowed and absorbed by reliving some of the worst memories of my life to date. I cannot make everyone happy and I cannot muster feelings that I am not currently having. I have to be true to myself and my experience. I ask that anyone reading this respect that. ”

    and yes I posted earlier on the Episode 5 (because this entry was not yet published) blog that I did want to see more of a balanced perspective in the show. (Not necessarily on your blog, because of course this is your experience) but my criticism of the show is NOT criticism of you or this blog.

    You should know that while we do not share the same background of family life, and too-close-for-comfort with the law, experience; we might share something really meaningful (maybe. I suppose it depends on how you really feel about John/Shane which seems to be much more critical as the episodes and this blog unfold.)

    To explain, I will share something very intimate about myself: My late wife Mary, passed away suddenly in 2015. When Two people become one flesh, then tearing apart suddenly is jarring in the extreme.

    In my life there is Nothing else to compare it to- If our lives are graphs of ups and downs- then all other experience in my life was flat-lined as this shot up and up off the chart! I was faced with 3 poles: 1) dealing with my own loss of her, feeling as if part of myself has died 2) managing the funeral making it something worthy of her and her family, and all the end of life things that happen ( Looking at her lifeless and naked over the hospital bed as they want me to declare when to stop pumping her with epi shots because she arrived lifeless to the hospital, and I had to watch her take the last mechanical breath, calling her Dad as I tell him while in the hospital, that she is dead ) , death certificate(s), insurance, gathering things, storage, moving , really I am glossing over so much) 3) Having to move on, deciding to live and pick up the pieces and move on- she would want me to, there was still so much life to live, as long as my unvaxxed stopwatch has the years on it we generally expect it to have.

    Mary was the best. She loves me. She must be in heaven, and deserves to be, and the best part of who I am is what she has imparted to me, and leftover from her death. There is no other way to say it. I see life now, not from birth to now and beyond, but from my death backward, looking toward it with fresh eyes that life is fleeting, and we must cherish every moment. How I would have traded everything for even one more day with her.

    I did not know I had that many tears to cry and I certainly cried out to God, WHY? In my own mind, I walked down a lit tunnel, opening the door at the end of the hallway, opened it outward with my hand on the doorknob, leaning my body outward, my feet still on the edge, and looked out to the stars, the abyss, the void. If I was going to live, I would need all my strength against the pull and my own weight, to push myself back into the hallway, close the door and turn around, walking back into the light of life in this world.

    When people have real personal trauma from the “covid” lock-downs and mistreatment, I see this plandemic as a dog-and-pony show, a 3-card monty, a parlor trick, to convince people the common cold is lethal in the extreme, and this does NOT compare at all to the loss I have been through. I saw through it from the start, and cannot believe anyone still insists covid in nature is real when it is not. Everyone who believes someone they love has died of covid in nature before the shots was lied to in their most traumatic time- to cement the lie into them. You only get it from taking the shots- the bioweapons. People have been lied to:
    [ https://flote.app/post/30f140d0-763b-4b36-b80d-5466852cf039 ]

    So maybe your sense of the one you loved was like that, or maybe not, we all have our own experiences.

    We also share something else in common, despite our losses, we were able to move on in life and find new love. There is no need to compare. My personal choice was it would be unfair to Love my wife Tam any less than I love Mary because she Married me, she picked me up from the dust of the ground where I laid, dusted me off, and set me right to move on with my life. She did not have to, and maybe she should have waited till I had myself all together again, but now so many years later, I am glad she did what she did.

    Something else we have in common is Flote, where I have made my social media home and made more in real life friends, at FloteFest and even a FloteMeet and people have been to our house. The virtual stuff is so much less important- the real is better.

    I am glad you were able to help Jeff Berwick and make something of value for the future of liberty events, like Anarchapulco. No doubt other events will spawn from this around the world as people struggle for Freedom in a world where people who should get Justice are still running around with power.

    There are so many more people to hear from and learn from in their own Anarchapulco experience for a more complete picture. I hope no one judges Anarchapulco from only what was in this series- but that it gives them a sense of “what did they leave out?”

    Follow me on Flote @markrwatson @Studio8424 and I am happy to help with Flotecasting.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story, and I’m deeply sorry for your loss. It can be tough to deal with the loss of identity that comes with the end of long term partnerships like that (even when in my case the partnership was mostly bad). I am sorry you had to go through that but happy you too have found love again and started anew.

      I feel lucky to be where I am now with Anarchapulco. its been a wild ride over the years but am happy to be on the otherside, working and smiling my way through life.

      1. Thanks, I appreciate it!

        If I may make a bold suggestion- there must be contacts to reach out to from around the time of the show and after, who have had wonderful or at least better experiences- speakers, sponsors, attendees- I think a follow up podcast (dare I suggest #Flotecast) of various different experiences would help continue the exposure to the event “on the regular” so that people would be not just on top of the next conference details, but the “life after” or “in between” events. That gives me other ideas as well. It could be that the series may be having a more critical impact on the event, and the people on the tv series- but featuring a follow up of sorts would help people round out their understanding of what Anarchapulco meant to them.

        1. I know Im certainly planning to do interviews in the coming weeks about the things not shown in the show both good and bad. Anarchapulco itself intends to use the traffic coming to the website to show the positives.

  2. You’ve gone through a profound journey. It’s painful to awaken to abuse, whether it’s from the state or a partner, and your response has been to grow, which is really beautiful.

    I have a question though. You and Catherine and the team have been running Anarchapulco since late 2020–I’m curious as to why Jeff Berwick is still a featured speaker every year?

    It definitely doesn’t seem like he was supportive of you and Henza when you needed it. His main concern was that the murder might affect attendance at the conference, aka his bottom line. He screwed over the Freemans, whatever you think of them, and he was involved in fucking a bunch of fellow anarchists over with the passport scam. What does he bring to the community, why have him as a speaker?

    1. To be clear, Jeff owns Anarchapulco. We produce the event but he is the one that decides whether or not it happens each year and in 2020 he almost didnt let it come back for 2021 because of covid. We did the event, and he ended 2021 by saying “OK You guys can do whatever you want with it.” and we’ve been at it ever sense.

      That being said, while Jeff wasn’t crusading for us, he was there for me more than most during those days. he responded to my messages, heard my side of the story. I’ve worked for Anarchapulco for years and last year he publicly donated 4.5k for me to get a lawyer during an auction we did during the event where we auctioned my painting. The reality is Jeff doesn’t so much care what happens to the event. He doesn’t make money on it. Its kind of a break even thing.

      I’ve looked a lot into the passport thing and most of what I found was heresay, not actual evidence. And as for the Freemans, that bit was heavily scewed. They screwed themselves over. Plain and simple.

      1. I would love to hear more about the Freemans screwing themselves over. Is it what it seems: that they thought they were so great? Is Lisa still in Acapulco? What are your thoughts on the “scam”?

        1. Lisa is in San Miguel de Allende now, she left Acapulco and somewhat blamed it on me on the way out. There’s actually way more detail than I could give in this youtube video Jeff released yesterday on it. I watched the whole thing and was very appreciative that Jeff put all this out there in the detail that he did. What he said in this video lines up with what many people actually involved with the event said at the same time: https://youtu.be/WT8_gDyRn2o I also intend to edit the post with this link because its well done.

          1. We have been featuring Jeff Berwick’s Review and a video with Patrick Smith and Larken Rose called “The Aftermath” on loop on our channel

            [ http://studio8424.com ]
            [ https://flote.app/user/Studio8424/live ]

            We expect to also feature other videos as well. I must say, that I really am looking for the positive experiences of Anarchapulco which certainly must outweigh the negatives as were the focus of the HBO show.

            What you might call. the “Inside Baseball” of the liberty movement might serve to be more of a “gossip” than a real solution for those considering liberty and anarchy solutions as compared to dying from the jab, which seems to be what the State is down to for nearly everyone, at this point.

      2. Ah he still owns it and you guys work for him that makes sense. I’m glad he was there for you.

        I find his views and shitstirring and using the community to line his own pockets really abhorrent but obviously lots of people love him and the things he says.

        Yeah I wondered about the Freemans, esp looking at her current persona on Instagram.

        I guess there are two ways (or probably more!!) to do a documentary, one is you let everyone tell their story and put it out there, although your edit inevitably shapes things, and the other is where you let people tell their story but you fact check them. It would be interesting to see an annotated Anarchapulco doc that had these kinda checks and balances and context although it would be a very different beast.

        Thank you again Lily for being so open, to the viewers and to changing your life in radical and positive ways.

        btw I work in publishing if you want to chat about doing a book or anything lmk. I am not necessarily advocating it because it might change things in your life you don’t want to change, but we could talk about the pros and cons if you want to do that with someone who has some knowledge on the scene. There are ways to self publish and get it distributed vs shopping things to bigger places, etc. Not here as a huckster, just can be a sounding board or give you info if you want. At some point ppl will prob approach you if they haven’t already. You have my email!

  3. This has been interesting reading, you’ve said you’ve done so mainly for yourself but there has been a great deal of interest and for the benefit of readers, too.

    I’ve never met you but I know you. As many people I’ve read here have said they identify with you from this documentary, I saw a lot of myself in John. I used to talk with a smile all the time and while I was involved with a radical movement, behind closed doors I completely failed to live up to those ideals with the person who mattered most to me. I was domineering, dismissive and critical, though when people came around it was all smiles. When the partner changed the pattern repeated and that was my first clue that it wasn’t their fault.

    I’d like to think I’m better now but I’m also aware now that my attraction to a radical movement had a lot to do with the lack of control I felt in my early life, and the same control issue poisoned every relationship I had.

    I wish you the best, and if you ever start blaming yourself for making bad decisions, I hope you remember you’ve touched a lot of lives, even if they’re people you’ve never met and you don’t know it.

    1. Thank you so much for this comment. It takes an intelligent person to really be able to look at themselves and admit their flaws as you’ve doen in this comment. I think growth is a daily process, that involves daily decisions to be better. Sometimes we will fail a day, but there’s always a next day. I hope for you things get better over time.

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