I think I was one of those “gifted” kids. And by “gifted,” I mean difficult and having little patience for authority and absolutely no knowledge of normal social interaction. I taught myself to read at a young age and put up a tantrum in 3rd grade about wanting to name the Cinderella character in my story Cyndi, because it was supposed to be a modern parody. Mrs. Oshinski said I spelled it wrong; I disagreed. Out of principle. Then I was sent back to the slow-readers group to get lessons from Sister Charlita, because I was told I was dyslexic. Today, I read a lot of scripts with prostitutes and strippers in them, and usually at least one character is named Cyndi, and in a sole loner script, either writer’s block or an obsessive love allowed for two strippers to be named Cyndi. I retroactively agree with Mrs. Oshinski.
Outside of my acumen for words, I also had a crippling sense of empathy and–this is important–I had lengthy conversations on the basement stairs with my dead great-grandmother, Julia, whom I’d never met. (I named a bunny after her and insisted on feeding her Cinnamon Toast Crunch, because I was very sure we would have the same favorite cereal. I could just feel it, ya know?) You might say I was just a weirdo who had an active imagination to make up for the friends I didn’t have. Or you could say that I had clairvoyant abilities. Or you could be like the grandparents who raised me and say, “Oh, you’re like a little Elizabeth Taylor.” You should probably be like my grandparents, and let me tell you why.
I had zero friends in school. And with zero friends, I had a great deal of time available to read Christopher Pike novels and obsess over spelling grades. I remember the proud feeling I got in 8th grade every time I looked at the chart on the back wall with little stars marking out every 100% on the weekly spelling tests. Mine was completely filled, though I also had several red stars denoting my earned extra credit. I would stare at the chart for a few minutes, then wander back to my desk, lift up the top, and shake out some dandruff from my head onto the books inside. Yes, I did this. No, I hadn’t seen The Breakfast Club, yet. I was just a complete social retard. But my grandmother, who has always dyed her hair red and styled herself after a young and slutty Lucille Ball, would watch me humming to myself and spinning around naked in the front yard and would say, “Oh, you’re like a little Elizabeth Taylor.” Sometimes, the only thing that got me through my adolescent depressions was my grandmother’s simple declaration that maybe I might have been a little bit “special.” But never, never ever ever, did my family try to enroll me in a class of “special” kids who would gather together in a “special” way to learn the way “special” people did. And thank fucking god.
I’ve been blessed with a horde of New Age folks in my 30 years. (See how I used “blessed” there and how its spiritual/religious nature clearly fits the context, but would not fit the context if I had used it in a secular sentence? Yeah, so don’t do that.) Very often, they have resided along the West Coast, specifically within my offices or workplaces. In 2005, I was working in Hollywood, sitting in the spare, bright offices of a publishing company, talking about squinting one’s eyes to see our coworkers’ auras. Our work was often very dull at this company, and to liven up our lunch hours, we dangled pendulums over our palms, read our horoscopes aloud, attempted Reiki, and talked about the nutritional and spiritual value of leeks. Auras was the lesson I couldn’t quite master. No matter how much I squinted my eyes and let my mind go blank, I just could not see a shadowy color surrounding my coworkers. Sorry! Here are two things I learned at this time: I would have two children, one boy and one girl, and Indigo Kids are the saviors of the world, and my coworker totally had one.
The definition of an Indigo Child is a child who claims to possess specific unusual or supernatural traits, whom we are told will band together telepathically with other Indigo Children to bring about the birth of a new world order and destroy evil. We should, however, change this definition to the child of a parent who claims their offspring has...Now, my coworker didn’t say all of this. She just said that her son had an Indigo aura, and he was by all accounts a weird and cool kid, but a lot of that was just his being the product of a lady who was happy and weird and a joy to be around. The above definition of the Indigo Child is a little different, because it requires the full belief that your child is going to save the world, and the reason she spins around naked in the yard is all a part of a divine spiritual plan, and you are going to make sure she makes it to that grand plan. But I’m pretty sure my coworker didn’t fully buy into this. So what happened to those kids whose parents did?
Apparently, this. Bruce Fenton of the UK was identified as an Indigo and took up with the likes of a guy named Jim Twyman. Now, Jim got his teachings from a syneasthesia-afflicted woman named Nancy Tappe, who wrote the seminal book on the Indigo Children, Understanding Your Life Thru (Through) Color.
This spawned a multi-billion-dollar movement in New Age phenomena that inspired parents internationally to hold up their mentally disabled and disturbed children and proclaim, “My kid’s gonna save your ass someday!” And Bruce Fenton is one of those kids! According to the abridged history he states in his “about” video, Bruce left the cult in his 20s, after becoming disillusioned with Twyman, which is when he went directly into world financial planning and real estate development, because that is the natural order of things. Then, after a business trip to Thailand, Bruce came back to the UK, inexplicably yearning to practice his intuitive beliefs and teach others about the coming 2012 evolution. Hey, maybe we shouldn’t let people visit Thailand anymore. We should definitely not let Elizabeth Gilbert visit Thailand.
So Bruce semi-left his banking persona behind and started his website, 2012rising.com, which seeks to inform the public about the true nature of intuitives and the coming Rainbow Warriors sent to rebirth the Earth. Bruce sees himself as a kind of Doula, and that’s an important job, considering that the Earth has very minimal medical coverage. I kid! What’s most interesting about Bruce is that while he spends a great deal of time denouncing Indigo Children and even connecting them to a C.I.A. plot engineered by the United Nations to create a super-human race that will divide and conquer the people of Earth, Bruce, at the core of his being, believes that he is one of the special few selected to usher in the time of the Rainbow Warriors. At his job in banking and real estate, do you think Bruce was ever treated like one of the special few? Do you think anyone ever tolerated his temper or arrogant attitude?
Take a look at this movie:
Go ahead, click on the picture and start watching Indigo the Movie. The first thing you might notice is how much the children in this film are total assholes, and the adults just sit there and take it. You may also notice that the children can cure cancer by touching it and hang out in a telepathic chat room called “The Grid.” Now, with any belief, comes the fringe element. So these people we would probably call the fringe, right? But how about you watch the trailer for this film:
Yeah, click on that picture, too, because you’re about to see some mind-blowing New Age propaganda, starring Jim Hanks. That’s right, Tom Hanks’ brother is an actor, too, and he stars in this film as a guy who fathers the ultimate Indigo Child and has to choose between handing his kid over to good or to evil. Also, it looks like part of this is actually shot directly outside of the building in which I currently work. What’s compelling about all of this is that, yet again, it’s the parents who are making the choices for their supposedly super-intelligent children, or in this case, fetuses. Feti? Jesi, I don’t know anymore. Now, in most instances of identifying an Indigo Child, parents have found information on a website that gives them a test. Here’s the test (note that the Internet attached those little purple hearts, not me):
Are you always searching for your greater purpose in life but feel like the world isn’t set up for your kind?
Do you sometimes feel wise beyond your years?
Do you have trouble conforming to the ways of society?
Do you feel out of place in today’s world?
Do you perceive the world very differently than most people around you?
Do you have strong intuition about certain things that most others do not?
Do you often feel misunderstood when you try to talk to people about what’s real?
Are you a truth seeker?
Do you feel like you were born to accomplish a special mission in life?
Do you feel isolated and alone in your beliefs?
Misunderstood by family?
Do you feel anti-social unless you are with people of like mind?
Are you emotionally sensitive?
Did you have a difficult childhood?
Do you often feel disempowered by too much authority?
By all accounts, if I had taken this test as a youth, I would have been an Indigo Child. In fact, probably the majority of my current friends would be Indigo Children. Instead, I’m just a hopelessly guilty ex-Catholic who still prays on the bathroom floor when suffering from the stomach flu. So what separates me from the others? Probably our parents. That’s the easy answer. But part of me also feels like it might have to do with my class as well.
We had no money, and that meant no technology. We never even went to the library, because when I was 3, we had taken out a Dr. Seuss book and failed to return it, racking up $50 in library fines that my mother couldn’t afford to pay. We had few outlets except for the game show reruns we watched with our grandparents everyday after school. We had no tools to reflect, only the tools to “do.” And when the Internet age approached, we had almost no access to that, either. Do you remember your time before the internet? Did you know your zodiac sign and the attributes associated with it before the Internet? When I was 16, I borrowed my sister’s ID to get a tattoo illegally. The tattoo artist tested me by asking what my zodiac sign was (my sister is a Scorpio), but I had no idea. I didn’t really even know what mine was. They let me get the tattoo, anyway, and charged me twice what I should have paid. It is a very shameful tattoo of a Chinese character that could have been better researched if I had had access to the Internet. Fuck. The circularity…
So what about all of these difficult kids whose parents had the money and culture to find information on the Internet and in the libraries? My bet is that at least some of them got caught up in the Indigo Children movement, which then proliferated the astonishing amount of information that now seeps through the (web)pages of the Internet. What started as one book in desperate need of proofreading sparked a movement that has, in small doses, got all up in the Hanks family, and now is an accepted piece of our paranormal pop psychology. What took Christianity thousands of years to do with a paper manual, Indigo Children have done in a decade with the Internet. This idea of our accelerated worldview in the hands of the Internet age is nothing new, but maybe how it applies to faith is a newish idea. 2012 is coming. Did you know that? Of course you did. You have the Internet. How many people knew about the 2012 prophecy before the Internet? How many people have learned about it in the last decade?
A friend of mine gave me a ride home from Santa Monica this weekend. We passed a PETA billboard featuring the half-destroyed face of a kitten in a laboratory. She only saw the cat and said it was cute, but I had to explain to her after we passed it that the kitten was supposed to look cute at first, but when you looked closer, you could see the various tubes protruding from its skull. It reminded her of a friend she had who just moved to Mexico after spending several years working in a research facility at Stanford. He was drunk one night and told her this story about songbirds. He only ever told these stories when he was drunk. The research lab collected cages and cages of beautiful songbirds. To each songbird’s head, they harnessed an electric probe that was inserted just past the fragile skull. For several hours a day, they played the same tune to the birds and waited. The birds would slowly pick up notes and imitate portions of the tune, but the rate at which they would learn increased exponentially, and eventually, they would sing the exact notes in order and tempo, and when this happened, the probe shocked them, and they died. At the very moment of successful cognitive conditioning, when the scientists had manipulated their brains into the perfect firing of synapses, and when the songbirds maybe felt for a moment that they had finally cracked this puzzle and had fulfilled their destiny, they died.
When I watch the video of Bruce alone in his apartment with a Bluetooth on his ear, muttering into a camera for 15 minutes straight, hoping the world will stumble on his website and know his truth, I wonder what well-laid plans his parents had for him, what grand destination he was supposed to reach. And I remember to forget my own destination, because the happiest moments of my life have always been found in my grandmother’s vague declarations that maybe someday I might do something that Elizabeth Taylor once did–an odd vote of confidence colliding with the hope that I’ll just do something sometime. Mission accomplished!