There are lots of ways to wear masks. Masks are often used to disguise a person’s true identity, like a bank robber wearing a ski mask to avoid arrest. In our culture, a mask usually only has one purpose: to fool others into believing the false persona that has been created, rather than the true persona behind the mask. Masks are for cowards and manipulators. Narcissists are very good at creating masks. They can appear to be charming, while having no care or concern for anybody but themselves. Right-wing politicians hide behind a mask of patriotism, all the while carrying out policies that hurt the economy, the American people, and the country. Religious zealots wear the mask of Christianity, as they preach hate and intolerance.
Seeing the truth beneath a mask is easy. Actions speak. Watch a person’s actions, that will tell you a lot. How compassionate are they? This week there have been some disturbing cases of masks being ripped away to reveal a dark truth underneath. Ricky Gervais, the writer and actor and animal rights activist posted some very graphic photos of a Trophy Hunter, Rebecca Francis, lying on the ground grinning next to a giraffe she had shot dead. The photos went viral, reaching over 2 million people in a few days. The backlash against this animal killer was incredible. I’m sure she never expected to be exposed when she posted these photos. Her “spin” on that photo was that she was merely providing a service to the African community, where the people were going to eat the giraffe meat. And he was past his breeding years anyway. Unfortunately for her, photos one posts on the Internet live forever. Her photos of herself straddling a dead Grizzly, a dead African Lion, a dead Moose, all while grinning madly were popping up everywhere. ( Note to Rebecca Francis: grinning like a loon as you straddle a bloody carcass is macabre. It pretty much rips your fucking mask right off, revealing the truth of who you are to the rest of us. Your spin-doctor bullshit stops working immediately.) Obviously, you just enjoy killing things, based on that huge grin you’re sporting in all of your photos. Why not just say that? Be honest. Killing something makes you happy. It must make you feel powerful. Speaking of powerful women, enter Kinessa Johnson.
Kinessa Johnson is a U.S. Army Veteran who served in Afghanistan. She is an animal lover who joined VETPAW, an organization in Africa that trains Rangers protecting endangered species from poachers.( Veterans Empowered To Protect African Wildlife). I had no idea that over 1,000 Rangers are killed by poachers every year. That’s more than 3 a day. VETPAW recruites former military people to train the Rangers to protect themselves, and patrols with them. ( You can like and follow VETPAW and Kinessa Johnson on FB and Twitter. On Instagram, Kinessa Johnson is beautyintragedy.) Standing up for the defenseless, protecting the innocent, enlisting in the military and serving with honor, that’s the path of a warrior. No fanfare, no hunger for constant attention, nothing to prove. Just a desire to make a difference. You couldn’t find two more opposite women if you tried. Both carry a gun. One enjoys slaughtering life, one fights to protect it. One wears a mask, one wears tattoos and fatigues.
Being honest and living an authentic life is beyond some people. It doesn’t serve their agenda of manipulation. I used to collect masks from around the world, because early on in my life I realized that a lot of people wear them. Over the decades of my life as a healer, one of the most empowering things I can do for others is to help them see the truth of who they are, and the truth of who an offender is. Peeling away the mask a sexual predator wears, or a batterer, or a narcissist, to see the reality that lies beneath, offers people a path to healing and wholeness. My prayer for the world is that we have the courage to see beneath the masks people wear to the truth beneath. If we can do that, we can move forward as a species, and save the world. It takes courage. It takes commitment. I believe in humanity. I believe there are more Kinessa Johnsons out there than that other kind of person. I believe kindness and honor always prevails. I wish to publicly thank Kinessa Johnson for her service to this country and her service to animals. Also, thank you to Ricky Gervais for using his celebrity to be a voice for the voiceless, and his generosity in donating money and time to protect animals. Blessings, Judith