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  1. #51
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    That would be a really interesting experiment to do. I wonder about the responses. It is difficult to get past a sense of context because knowing a little more does leave me with a woozy bad feeling looking at her face. Initially I saw a range of possibilities, but context makes me target towards the negative end of the possible spectrum.
    Exactly. I also get a little weirded out watching her in the interview -- it's like she feels totally comfortable and speaks with candor / sits however she wants without any sense of appropriateness for the situation (or any anxiety about it). Typically kids just absorb certain behaviors or a sense of expectations, even if they respond to them positively or negatively (some will conform, some will rebel).... but she just seems indifferent to them if she's aware of them at all. Still, I already know the back story, and I don't want to read into her behavior with what I already know.

    The abuse itself seems horrific. I can understand what difficulties arise later in life, after going through sexual abuse (where she continues to rub and touch her genitals to the point of bleeding -- it's a focal point of emotional pain and prior stimulation both good and bad).

    Also,when you are sensory deprived for a long time, even when you crave stimulation, you can't really handle it and can find yourself reacting compulsively when you are overstimulated by what other people just consider "normal". My situation growing up was nothing like what these kids had to deal with at such a young age, but I can see that I had some issues in terms of lack of interaction in my family -- huge sense of detachment from relationships, and just this crazy level of SILENCE that hung like a pall over the house, so that for many years later in life I just couldn't handle much actual social interaction, I would get very irritable and want to avoid people even if the interaction was good. (I think that still lingers for me today, I still feel a gap between me and other people, and a lack of investment in actually spending time with people, it drains me.) These kinds of experiences especially when the brain is rapidly developing can wreak much havoc.

    I'm reminded of feral kids and how missing that small crucial window of development can rob them of what we understand as "their humanity" for years to come, if not their entire lives. And these kids are experience traumatic circumstances and/or common relational stimulation in formative times as well.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  2. #52
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    One thing that confuses me is that they call her the adopted daughter of Nancy Thomas, but her mother in the documentary is called Julie and on the advice of the therapist sends her away to the other home to get her away from her brother and also for rehabilitation. I can't figure out the familial relationships. Did the first adoptive family give her up and Nancy Thomas adopted her again? Admittedly I haven't looked into it very far.

    I must admit that the stuff about her eyes makes me nervous. It's true that children and adults who are neurologically atypical can have a different affect and that can include the eyes. But I'd be very, very careful about using this as an identification method to decide which people are evil. I do teach my children to trust their guts when it comes to their own personal safety and eyes do play a part in that, I'm sure, but I have one child with autism and people have made comments about his eyes. I hate to think of him going through life having people think he's a sociopath or that there's something wrong or evil about him.

  3. #53
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Fake smiles are defined by using the mouth only and not creases around the eyes. For the size of smile on her mouth, there is very little creasing in the eyes.

    I also found this interesting...
    Quote Originally Posted by wikianswers
    Bizarre brain waves from some parts of the brain and none from some other parts; epileptic seizures (usually grand mal); speech impediments caused by a chaotic way of storing information in the brain; low blood-pressure (hypo tension); bradycardia (low heart rate); pseudoneurolepsy (falling asleep suddenly); a type of night-blindness caused by constriction of the pupils; sleep apnea; sleepwalking (somnambulism); other sleep disturbances; migraine or cluster-headaches with visual 'auras'; varying degrees of incontinence; lethargy OR wild excitement; unexpected sexual arousal; loss of sense of taste or smell; trouble with depth perception; inability to recognize facial expressions; inability to concentrate on more than one thing at a time; occasional inability to concentrate on anything at all; certain types of muscle spasticity or non responsive reflexes associated with a peripheral neuropathy if present.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    ...I must admit that the stuff about her eyes makes me nervous. It's true that children and adults who are neurologically atypical can have a different affect and that can include the eyes. But I'd be very, very careful about using this as an identification method to decide which people are evil. I do teach my children to trust their guts when it comes to their own personal safety and eyes do play a part in that, I'm sure, but I have one child with autism and people have made comments about his eyes. I hate to think of him going through life having people think he's a sociopath or that there's something wrong or evil about him.
    That is an important note of caution. I think given the face alone, the off-ness about her smile could be connected to a lot of different reasons, even just being extremely private as a person.

    Regarding the eyes - my sister has unnaturally large pupils and this caused a number of people to think she was responding to them emotionally when she wasn't. People tend to respond instinctively to details in non-verbal cues, but it tends to give general information and only becomes specific when the context is better known.
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  4. #54
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    One thing that confuses me is that they call her the adopted daughter of Nancy Thomas, but her mother in the documentary is called Julie and on the advice of the therapist sends her away to the other home to get her away from her brother and also for rehabilitation. I can't figure out the familial relationships. Did the first adoptive family give her up and Nancy Thomas adopted her again? Admittedly I haven't looked into it very far.
    Ivy, Tim and Julie Tennent were the original adoptive parents for Beth. During the course of treatment, Beth was eventually under the care of Nancy Thomas. I'm having trouble Googling a detailed bio, but I'm assuming they gave her up and Nancy adopted her. Nancy apparently was used to dealing with kids like Beth, so I'm assuming they formed a bond and the things that scared the Tennents were things that Nancy was better equipped (for various reasons) to deal with. I think the following is a quote by Nancy:

    I have children that have killed numerous times. Cold blooded, family members, neighbour children, killed them. And they can do it. It makes my blood run cold just thinking of it. Nine years old. People don't think a nine year old is capable of cold-blooded murder but they are. That attachment break does severe damage to the heart, the ability to care and the ability to love. They don't care and they don't love, they're capable of anything.
    Anyway, it sounds like Nancy is at least psychologically geared to handle a situation like Beth's. It must have been completely overwhelming for a southern pastor and wife without any kids of their own to suddenly be dealing with children with severe behavioral issues of this magnitude.

    We've seen cases like this in the news before, most notably the ones involving Russian children where there is a likelihood of being the product of alcoholic mothers and having suffered severe sensory and love deprivation in orphanages. Children have died (the mother went to jail; the jury believed she "snapped" and beat him to death out of frustration), and children have been sent back home. I think one of the final incidents led to Russia breaking ties with the US in terms of adopting children from that country.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  5. #55
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Ivy, Tim and Julie Tennent were the original adoptive parents for Beth. During the course of treatment, Beth was eventually under the care of Nancy Thomas. I'm having trouble Googling a detailed bio, but I'm assuming they gave her up and Nancy adopted her.
    Thanks! That makes sense. I had originally assumed that the placement was temporary but I guess at some point they gave her up permanently. Sad, but I can't say what I would have done in that situation.

  6. #56
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Here's a pic of my boy, who has autism. He's very unusual but there's not an evil or dishonest bone in his body. When I posted this pic on Facebook I got a note in my inbox about his "scary" eyes.

    dman.jpg

  7. #57
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    The discussion here is reminding me of that study which found that after making false claims of insanity, a person's every action was interpreted as some sign of one mental illness or another.

    It seems that the knowledge of her background and how she acted as a child will make reasonable analysis very difficult.
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  8. #58
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Okay, this is weird.

    I finally got a wiki page on Tim Tennent, who is supposedly president of Ashbury College. Born in the South. Methodist pastor. The age is right (he's born in 1959, so he would have been around 30 -- which the guy in the video looks like), and his wife is Julie.

    He also has two children listed -- Jonathan and Bethany. But Jonathan is 28 and Bethany is only 25, according to the info there. I have trouble believing it is NOT them, as there are too many coincidences. Jonathan's age is right for the contents of the video, I think. SO what is the deal with this "Bethany"? Is that another child they adopted... and who was named Beth? What?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Tennent

    Then again, I found a picture of the guy, and it doesn't look anything like the guy in the video. Double-take...?? How many Tennents are there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Thanks! That makes sense. I had originally assumed that the placement was temporary but I guess at some point they gave her up permanently. Sad, but I can't say what I would have done in that situation.
    I can't even speculate. I mean, I can sit here and brainstorm various reasons, some good, some bad, that might have been involved. It could have even been a pragmatic decision -- Beth basically was living with Nancy and formed an attachment to her, so it might have just been considered the best thing for her to persist in that relationship, and maybe Beth was even old enough that she was asked what she wanted, and she chose Nancy. I don't know.

    I suppose I can sleuth some more... lol.

    But yes, many reasons. Especially when parents have to consider the safety of ALL of their children, I can't begin to guess what I would do unless I was in the situation myself, with the same specifics.

    EDIT: More information:

    The connection in all of this mess with Beth Thomas is that she was a victim of severe RAD due to a sexually abusive father. Her first adoptive parents, Tim and Julie, were so concerned about Beth’s destructive behaviour that they locked her in her room at night. Ultimately they gave up custody of Beth. Watkins didn’t use re-birthing with Beth. Instead, Beth lived under tight rules in her house, needing permission for everything from using the washroom to getting a glass of water. Although it seemed extreme, within a year Beth’s behaviour was radically different. She attended church with the Watkins, sang in the choir, attended school and was no longer considered dangerous. She was even permitted to share a room with Watkin’s daughter. Certainly in Beth’s case, Watkins’ therapeutic approach brought about positive changes. read advocates for children in therapy
    http://jl10ll.wordpress.com/2010/10/...ldren-of-rage/

    So it looks like I made some wrong assumptions above. I'm having trouble finding a detailed bio anyway. I know Beth has written books about the experience, maybe there are more details there.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  9. #59
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Pics of that Tim Tennent don't look like the guy in the documentary to me. It seems like a pretty amazing coincidence but not outside the realm of possibility for the two guys to have wives and children with the same name and close to the same ages.


  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    I just read the rest of the thread and find it interesting the different impressions. I think there is something off about her mentally. I teach music to students with special needs and this includes people with a variety of neuro-atypical issues from paranoid schizophrenia, autism, and various brain injuries. The only "normal" context I see faces like hers are in competitive environments where people hide a lot of themselves. There is something missing in her face. Once, I see the video I may feel the same as you do. I think you make an interesting observation about her equating Poe with serial killers as though she doesn't have an internalized sense of ethics.

    So just out of interest, I asked HilbertSpace what he thought of her expression. I haven't told him any context yet. He first said she looked like a ghost, and I asked why. It was because he read some African ghost stories in which the ghost mouths became larger and larger. Then he said her smile seemed fake. I think other people should ask what people think of her face without sharing any context whatsoever.
    This is very interesting. Thank you for sharing.

    I have worked in lines of work and lived in such a manner where I have had to judge people quickly by pattern behaviors etc. as well as doing reading/study/classes on human psychology, and I have often had an uncanny ability to spot sociopaths or people who meant to do me or someone else harm.

    While there is of course a big part of me who feels very sad and sick that some person molested a little baby, there is also a part of me who is ultimately concerned about the consequences of this person walking around "blending in" to society.

    I don't think it's lighting, or because she has blue eyes (a lot of people have blue eyes) its the cold, dead, flatness in them, that I have seen before ...mostly on men, interestingly enough, though. Like the redneck boy down the street who tortures people's house pets or the guy from my high school who became a serial rapist.

    I've met one person who said you should probably judge a stranger (on the Internet for example) by taking multiple photographs of that person and covering their face except for the eyes.

    This probably sounds horrible, but another thought I had was "that kid could have played Damian's sister in a feminist remake of the Omen."

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