Friday 13 October 2023

Am I a GATE Child?

This article involves me recalling some very painful memories from my youth. To give you some background, I was born in a town in Wales and moved to Oxford when I was eight years old. My father had a new job in Oxford so we all moved. He is from a Bristol-Welsh family and worked as an engineer until he retired about ten years ago. My mother was a Dutchwoman who met my dad in the '60's while he was at university in Birmingham and she was working as an au pair. When my brother and I were old enough to attend school my mum went to work as a cinema usherette. By then she was in her early thirties and one day she decided to get an education. She did evening classes in psychology and eventually got a degree; this allowed her to train as a relationship counsellor and she worked as one for about ten years after that until she had to retire early because of ill health. The training course was in Rugby, Warwickshire and involved several periods of residential tuition lasting a few weeks. One day when she came home from one of these stays she had this old Scottish lady with her called Isabel. It was pretty clear before long that the two of them had become good friends. It's possibly more accurate to say that Isabel adopted my mum. My dad once told me himself that "Isabel is her mother." In this way she became what you might call my step-grandmother. She was a huge part of our lives, essentially a new member of the family. I endured this for the next eight years; in fact until I left home aged twenty. I'm not going to describe in detail what this period of my life was like for two reasons; firstly, I can't remember all of it, but secondly because it is still too upsetting to put it into words. Basically, my mother's behaviour and personality changed considerably while Isabel was around. Isabel was there in our house almost every day even though she had her own home; just like "Centaur", see: Isabel would turn up in the morning and demand to be served with coffee. She did this politely unless I was the one present; then she would bark rudely at me as if I were a servant. When she was present my mum used to speak to me in a similar tone. The two of them also used to talk about me in a very critical way as if I were not there, although they did this intentionally knowing I could hear them. For me, a twelve-year-old boy, I didn't understand what was happening other than it filled me with a huge amount of sadness. Years later I realized that this was because Isabel was turning my mother against me. Talking to Isabel in any capacity was uncomfortable and confusing. She seemed to have an almost magical way of bamboozling me, tying me up in mental knots. She only ever did this to me, not my brother or my dad. Even the rest of the family admitted she had a weird fixation with me. It was not until many years after I left home that I found out who Isabel actually was. Her full name was Isabel Menzies-Lyth and she is one of the most infamous names in the history of psychological warfare. Here is a page about her: Here is an interview: Isabel was also the inspiration for my own character Millicent, see:
The revelation of Isabel's identity led to more questions, such as: why us? Or more precisely, why me? My family are not important people. Our background is best described as what in the UK is known as "skilled working class". My mother was one of several dozen students on the counselling course, so why did Isabel latch onto her? What was somebody of Isabel's prominence in the field of psychology even doing getting involved with lowly relationship counsellors' training? I had to ask whether she had inserted herself into our family on a mission. Was all this done to try and break me down? To bring me back to normality. I have always had open-minded ideas my whole life. Even though I have only been in full conspiratorial awareness since the mid-90's when I was already grown up, before then as a child I had some distinct basic interests. My childhood memories are sketchy, but I did consume many junior readers' books on esoteric mysteries, such as Usborne's "World of the Unknown" collection, see: and: and: Things like this could have raised red flags; or maybe it was something else about me; something I've not even thought of yet. I score very high on the empathy scale, see: In today's society, this is informally regarded as an "empathic disorder". I remember being sent to see educational psychologists several times from about the age of eight. When I was about eleven I underwent something called "Education for Living" in which I was taken out of my normal class about three times a week and coached by a psychologist.
I don't know all the answers and maybe never will. My mother died in 2006 and Isabel followed her in 2008. However, I have recently come across some archived pages that had been doing the rounds a few years ago on, a few other sites and eventually 4Chan. They suggest there are covert programmes for identifying certain personality traits in children, those that might make them troublesome adults in years to come. They were allegedly run by the Tavistock Institute and called "GATE"; this is apparently an acronym for something not explained. Once identified, a child could be given the right "treatment" to prevent them developing along their natural progression lines and instead divert them into a more conventional mindset. Was I one of those children? There is a questionnaire in one of the articles that might give me a clue. I've filled it in. My answers are in italics.
Physical Characteristics
Blue eyes: No.
Forehead scar(s): No.
Occipital bun (aka "math bump"): Yes.
Psychological Characteristics
High IQ: Don't know exactly, but I believe I am above average intelligence.
Interest in ("out there") phenomena: You could say that!
INTJ: This is a Myers-Briggs personality inventory designation. No, I am ENFJ.
Intuitive: Yes.
Meme magic: Don't know what that means.
Memory loss: Yes.
Migraines: No.
Moral intensity/strong sense of justice: Yes, very much.
Premonitions/prophetic dreams: Sometimes.
Life History
Birth complications (e.g. premature, not breathing): Yes, my mum had rubella and the doctors thought I might be stillborn.
Firstborn son: Yes.
Early speech therapy: Yes.
Near death experiences, especially drowning: No.
Leniency from authority figures: No. The opposite in fact!
Late teens/early twenties heavy drug use: No.
J*** art student girlfriend(s): No, and I have never considered J*** as relevant, see:
Tendency toward being followed, abducted, tracked, or gangstalked: Maybe, certainly with Isabel and Centaur.
Administered special juice, especially banana flavoured: Yes, strangely enough; in the form of medicine for sore throats and earache.
So my responses are a bit borderline. I'm not sure what else I can find out. How can I learn more? I could ask my dad, but he tends to clam up when I raise subjects to do with our family's past; but you never know because he is at least willing to be a bit more open with me about certain subjects, see: One thing's for sure. There are questions that need answering. Something is not right with my family and there is no everyday explanation for some of the things that have happened to me during my life. Today, I have a very different personality to all the rest of my family. None of them share my interests.
See here for more background:

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