Monday, January 18, 2010

Watching the film 'Taken' brings up the time I got kidnapped in Paris and they almost sold me to the Arabs. But I escaped thanks to a genuine miracle

I watched "Taken" and got sick for a week, then dug up this story from City of Angels 1:

It was 1966 and in California if someone had long hair and jeans you automatically identified them as a fellow traveler in the counter culture, a fellow hippie, a stranger who was not a stranger. I was 17 and thought things would be the same in Paris, France, so I may even have been the one who struck up a conversation with the two guys in the Left Bank bookstore. I did ask them if they knew where to get some LSD, as I had promised my sister I'd bring some acid back for her to try, when I left her apartment in Geneva, Switzerland.

The two guys said they knew where to get lalalalala, don’t remember the name of it, a drug they said was not LSD but like LSD, so I said, great let’s go.

Went off with them willingly and enthusiastically. Like the two girls in "Taken."

They explained to me as best my high school French understood that their house was out in the suburbs of Paris. I thought it was funny that Paris even had suburbs. We went to my hotel to get my stuff, then rode the train out to their house, this big empty house in a town a long way out on the train line.

1966 "suburban" Paris, a small quiet town, all the houses had huge fences, private.

We walked about a block from the train to this two-story brick and stone house surrounded by a 10 foot fence, and a yard with trees. You entered through a gate.

I was a 17 year old girl hooked up and ready to party.

No virgin, a 17 year old Southern California natural blond tanned girl with an early anorexic body and Polish curves -- probably some kind of fantasy come true for these French guys, but I was really unaware of being sexy at that time. I was just natural in a sundress and sandals and little else sitting in this kitchen outside Paris drinking wine and eating something home cooked with these two French guys and then taking this drug thinking we would just party like the hippies in L.A.

"Hey, this drug isn't at all like LSD," is one of the last things I said before I just fell asleep. I woke up locked in a bedroom upstairs, groggy, and then for days they would come in and have sex with me, usually while I just laid there. Whether I wanted to or not, and they kept feeding me the drug.

Somewhere in the middle of the first night it segued from consensual sex to forced... I hate to have to admit that.

How this story ties in with the pedophile priest stories here at City of Angels is the lack of boundaries I had, at seventeen, going off with two strange guys in Paris France in the first place, my body already this thing that just gave in to sex, wherever or whatever.

Also, the way I escaped from these two guys is a direct tie to the experience, as it was a miracle.

A genuine miracle.


A few days in, strangely, my door wasn’t locked and I heard men talking downstairs, so I crept to the top of, then tiptoed down a few steps to listen. In the living room the two guys who were drugging me were in an animated conversation with two men who looked and sounded Arabic. I crept down lower and peaked at them.

It was hard to understand the Parisian French but I understood enough to know they were describing me, how it felt to touch my skin, the Skin! They kept repeating it, “le peau le teint.”

And they talked about money.

I shivered there on the stairs realizing, “They’re selling me to the Arabs.”

And I freaked.

Got to get outta here.

I listened longer, understood a little more, enough to know the deal was done and I was going to end up someplace like a harem in Arabia in a few hours. (This was 1966.)

Then all the guys left, without even checking on me, which was weird. Looking back now, maybe they’d been up in the bedroom earlier while I was drugged and knocked out, and didn't realize they hadn’t locked the door when they left, and then they didn't want to make the Arab guys wait ...

So the French guys left without checking on me and I knew I had no more than a few minutes to get out of that house.

I had this big white suitcase with all the clothes a 17-year-old girl carries with them. I lugged that Samsonite down the stairs. In every room on the ground floor the windows were nailed shut. I ran to the kitchen and checked and all the doors of course the doors were all all locked, they had me locked in.

The windows nailed shut, all the doors locked except one, the door that led to the basement.

So I dragged the huge white suitcase (this was pre-plastic, it was HEAVY) behind me down the narrow basement staircase in that old French country now suburban house.

In the basement there were laundry tubs, huge vat-like sinks, and above one tub was one small window at ground level.

These laundry basins were huge, like they could hold sheets or curtains to wash by hand a century ago. I saw I could climb up the ceramic and then crawl through that one window. That tiny window. I climbed up and barely pulled myself through, then went to pull out the suitcase and get us to freedom.

But the suitcase was too big.

Remember I was a 17 year old girl from L.A. and I wasn’t going to leave behind all my clothes. So I pulled and pulled and pulled and the suitcase was just plain larger than the window. This was a stone mortar brick building, nothing was going to give but I kept pulling and pulling trying to get the suitcase through.

Then there was a BLLLLLLNNNNNNGGGG sound.

It came with the wind through the trees. There are even angelic voices in the sound as I remember it today.

Whatever, there was a BLLLLNNNNGGG and the suitcase came through the window. The solid 1960s pre-plastic quality Samsonite bulging suitcase came through the century old too small tiny window, which was surrounded by brick and stone wall surrounded by more brick and stone wall.

I was able to pull the suitcase through and get out of there. The too big suitcase came through the too small window and I got away.

It was a miracle. Looking back on it, that's the only way to explain it.

Then I had to climb a tree and throw the suitcase over the fence then jump down myself. I scrambled in the direction I could hear the train, and got to the station, got out of the block before the two French guys came back with the Arabs.

I got away.

If I hadn't gotten away I probably would have ended up like the teenage girls in the movie "Taken," sold as merchandise to some oil magnate shiek.


The Miracle

Later in life I realized that while I was being "sexualized" by a Catholic priest at age five in 1953, God must have looked down and said, this girl is going to have a lot of trouble in life. So God or whoever that is dispatched a couple of extra angels down to watch over me. And that's how I got out of that house outside Paris where the two French guys were getting ready to sell me to the Arabs.

It's the main reason I say it’s a wonder I made it to age 19.


But watching "Taken" last week made me sick. Good movie, but it made me sick.

Or maybe it was the Carl's Junior burger from the day before.


There was a man at the train station that day outside Paris, when I escaped, and I also now think of that man as some kind of an angel in connection to the experience.

I must have looked pretty disheveled, drugged, scared, shaking, but trying to act cool. This older French man sat next to me and he asked if I needed help. He asked something like well how much can you pay for a hotel and started reaching in his pocket. I reached in my suitcase and pulled out this wad of American Express checks I had with me and he was amazed, stopped reaching for his wallet and said, "Well then in that case you should go to the Hilton Hotel, the new Hilton they just built downtown, the Paris Hilton, it's just for Americans, to make them feel at home," and I thought yeah good idea.

I wonder why the two French guys who kidnapped me didn't steal the American Express checks. Maybe they were going to have me sign them later... I don't know, but all my checks were still in the white suitcase.

I took the train to downtown Paris, checked into the brand new Paris Hilton, where everyone was going overboard to do everything American, just like they portrayed on Mad Men Season Two a few months back ...

It felt so good to feel the American-ness of the Paris Hilton Hotel that day. On my way to my room I stopped to get a magazine. All I could find, or all I saw in English, was an issue of Playboy.

I went to my room and luxuriated, and with room service a couple of nights, recovered from the “trauma” as we’d call it today. I was alone at age 17, achy in a hotel room from several days of involuntary sex, shaking as I detoxed, but not really even thinking about the Arab guys. I had developed and practiced PTSD techniques since age five, and was using them now to rush away from the experience and not look at it closely.

As always, going faster than the speed of life, in order to avoid looking at life.

Don't think I ever even thought about the way I almost got sold to the Arabs again until soon after my daughter was born, in 1989 or 1990. Then I started writing it and writing it over and over trying to form it into a literary work. Like this time, yet again.

It was twenty years later when I had a baby that I slowed down enough to realize what had happened to me in Paris in 1966.

I got a trip to Europe for my high school graduation present.

After escaping, I found nurturing and comfort there in the Paris Hilton Hotel in 1966, diving into the pages of Playboy Magazine.


Considering I'm just one of thousands of adult victims of pedophile priests, I wonder how many others, as teenagers and in early twenties, ended up in dangerous situations

Even ended up dead

Due to sexual compulsions they would never have had, if they hadn't been aroused as a growing child by a Catholic priest.

It's no leap of faith to say a lot of the victims of the pedophile epidemic in the Catholic Church did not make it into adulthood...

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