Sunday, December 4, 2016

How Long Does the Santa Claus Live?

Santa Claus or Joulupukki as I know him in my own Finnish language has been a continuing presence in my life since my birth during the 1950s in Lapland, Finland. I am a Christmas child myself who was born in a city that resides both the Santa Claus’ Main Post Office at Napapiiri at the Arctic Circle and the long tradition of tourist industry around Santa/Julupukki, including the official University courses in Elf Profession. Just check here to believe it. I am not telling you fibs.

Once in a while, or quite often actually, researchers do tell you that Santa is a lie, check in here and if you still have doubts here it is in Finnish. Every now and then we are also reminded that adults think too much. I mean in no respect to demean the two articles presented here but I am convinced that whatever we believe does construct our reality, including the metaphysical reality of Santa. Check my previous 2010 posting here about what is the history of the Santa tradition I believe in.
This year, like every year, it has come to pass that people are considering Santa and their Christmas traditions, including its political correctness and the commercialisation surrounding the modern practice of giving enormous amounts of presents to everyone. It boosts the economy, say the economists and many, if not all the shops rely on their Christmas sales to cover much of their yearly expenses. This makes it understandable that we keep on staring the Christmas markets earlier and earlier in the year. And who wouldn’t like to boost the economy? Or maybe not.

I live in Australia and find that the Christmas for me starts with the decorations at the shopping center, because otherwise, it is summer. The season comes as a great contradiction to my birth home of Rovaniemi, where the winter snow falls plentiful and it is freezing cold. In Australia, in the heat and the sun, it is quite hard for me to think about Christmas in the way I used to as a child. Now my traditions much come from having fun with the grandchildren and imagining with them how Santa would ride the skis from Lapland to deliver the presents Downunder.

My grandchildren know very well, where the line of the fairy-tale and the reality lies. They think that it is ‘cool’ that they, for example, know exactly where the North Pole is: that it is at Rovaniemi, Finland. And why do they know is because they have been there themselves. My six-year old granddaughter insists on this. “Mummu, I have actually been there twice.” There is no buts about it. She does not think about it philosophically, or in any metaphorical way. For her North Pole is where the Santa lives and because she knows the Santa, Rovaniemi for her is the North Pole. It is possible for children to think about Santa philosophically as well. At the age of five, my elder son asked me how long I thought Santa would live and when I answered: “As long as you believe in him”, he immediately said: “Oh, just like God!” That was also clear at one go and the end of the discussion.

Oh no, my granddaughter thinks about it all as a great potential for performance. She needs the right costume, and the right music and the right atmosphere and we are on. This will be the best Christmas ever performed. I bet it will include the music from the movie Trolls as for her it is the best dancing soundtrack possible to imagine.
The other way, I get my Christmas spirit rising is through technology and internet. I plan on talking to my family situated around the world, especially the other granddaughter in London. We are planning on maybe decorating our Christmas trees together, at the same time, through connecting on Skype. At least we will build Lego Christmas decorations together in our weekly get-togethers. We will show and tell about all the little decorations I have collected and placed in our tree. They come with different memories of my family for generations. Before this tree decorating used to be on the 13th of December, because the Saint Lucia’s Day was my mother’s day. The family tradition carried to us from Sweden through the WWII when my mother was a refugee as a child there. We remember, I can tell it all to my grandchildren in my mother tongue, in Finnish.
This year, though, like last year, my grandchildren are in a hurry, and so am I. So, we might decorate the tree during the first week of December, already. The artificial trees that last and last make this longer season possible. The positive part is that we can even choose the colour of the tree as we fancy. This year it will be black. And from there on, sitting quietly, watching the lights on that tree reminds me of the Christmases past, present and the future. Baking cookies and the Karelian Pies with kids makes my Christmas real.
Our Christmas or Yule/Joulu traditions as I say it in Finnish might change and adjust into new technology, new environments and blend with new traditions. Still, for us the message of Santa remains the same: compassion, kindness, light, fun and caring. To me, it is no lie, it is a reality worth sharing with my family and friends and passing on to children and grandchildren.
If the spirit of Santa grows into a figure of a jolly old man or a strong grandma like woman, it might not be so bad to imagine that it is the spirit of the ages, all the good parts from Odin to St Nicolaus and many other unimaginable realities blended together into a consideration of others and their plight. It is not always about us. Mostly it is about the truth. So, how long does the Santa live? I still say that wherever or whenever you are, it depends on your own capability to imagine.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Considering the Truth about Female Desire

Just a few days ago I was watching a Canadian program on the Australian SBS channel called The Truth about Female Desire. Interesting to watch to say the least. It stated that women have been freed from their previous chains of prudence in expressing their sexuality. According to the program, especially women of over 50-years of age are now expressing their sexuality in a very different way from before. This change was possible with the invention of the pill, the program further claims. Now we are free to digitally hook up through apps and Internet sites with whoever we want, whenever we want without having to consider pregnancy as a result of our behaviour. I am considering if there is a downside to this freedom from the point of view of my research to pornography and violence against women during the last 30 years,

I have just finished writing a book about romance scams and how to recover from them with dignity and without victimisation. In my book, I consider the modern digital lifestyle that allows us to hook up with everybody with ease and without needing to leave the comfort of our own home. Interestingly, I have had two types of experiences with online dating myself. The most surprising to me were the Internet dating sites that allow people to meet with people around the world and start a romance with them without ever even seeing them alive, not even on Skype.This resulted in me becoming a victim of a romance scam of which my book is about. The second type of experience has been the kind this program is talking about where you hook up with people near you that are available to chat and meet you, if you so desire. Zoosk, for example is big on hooking you up with real people of the opposite sex quickly and with varying results. Still I am left skeptical about the statement about the freedom of sexual expression. See, I was there thirty years ago as well. Now, I am considering the boundaries of where the so called freedom of sexual expression has led us. I am left wondering about what is the definition of freedom when talking about sexual desire.

The women interviewed in this particular program are very convincing. One of them is now free to express her masochistic side better than before. This is due to the world wide sensation of the book Fifty Shades of Grey. This particular book has now been given the dubious credit of freeing the female sexual expression and desire from its dormant captivity. Interestingly, I have read the Kama Sutra and seen the pictures as well, and I have had that book since the early 1980's myself. I just cannot believe that we have been so innocent before either.

In 1984, I attended a seminar on pornography in Danmark. There I met a woman who was a hooker, by her own definition and a masochist by her own definition, as well. I always thought that it was somewhat bizarre that her best masochistic fantasy was to have her man force her to ride a bicycle to the shop without having underwear. Well, Fifty Shades of Grey certainly topped that one for me. However, I have totally missed the sexual freedom part of the equation. I still do not see that the freedom of sexual expression has emancipated anything worth considering as free. Rather, it has been digitally reprogrammed to make the women play to the male model even more than before. Where is the freedom in that? What I really would like to see is the freedom to build compassionate relationships between people with no underlying double morality. Unfortunately it has not played out like that at all. 

Instead, even the Playboy magazine will now stop featuring the nude centerfolds as an expression of good business decision. According to the editor, we have bypassed the need as the Internet is now providing all that is required for those who want to look at porn or express their sexual freedom. Instead we now can be free to have more casual sex hook-ups than ever before. And that is considered freedom. Where is the truth about female desire? 

I'd rather go dancing with my love and express my sexual desire in passionate acts of love and love making than count how many hook-ups I can have in a week. I'd rather look at it from the point of view of making the world a bit more compassionate through less conflict and more hugs. I'd rather people express their desire in any form they choose instead of being boxed in a model that is restraining to their soul even though it might fleetingly feel freeing to their body. 

And that is the truth of that!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Love is an Online Battlefield

Picture is taken by Aila Peteri at the 'Sydney Sister's Event, Feb. 2016

For a few months now, I have been traveling around the South East Queensland visiting libraries and giving talks titled: Love in an Online Battlefield. Meeting so many people who have been interested in my book Love on the Line, How to Recover from Romance Scams Gracefully and without Victimisation has truly been an inspiring and an exciting experience. Sharing the story of  my recovery as a victim and a survivor of a romance scam has opened my eyes to a much wider understanding of how our new digital world works in relation to adapting itself to the old and already well established social and cultural though patterns that have already been built into the structures of our society.

The included picture depicts perfectly my surprise and my feelings of devastation after relising that I had been targeted by a fraudster, who not only had used identity theft in obtaining pictures for his already false profile and made up storylines but who also expected me to part from my money in order for him to come and see me face-to-face. Turned out that I was a victim of false promises by a false profile with a false picture to boot. As an after thought, it is quite horrifying to think about how vulnerable and foolish I did feel myself after finally realising that what I had thought to be a wonderful and trusting experience had tuned out to be fake and a huge mistake.

Luckily, I had my elder son to lean on when he told me to concentrate on my positive feelings instead of the negative and hateful ones. That suggestion became my Muse helping me to write my book about the experience. Since my book was published in January 2016, I have learned that my experience and my recovery has been quite a miracle, statistically speaking, as there are so few people who actually recover and this being indifferent to the amount of money they lose as a survivor. It is only the general perception of scamming that equates the money lost to the scammers with the worth of the experienced grief as more valuable that just losing a lover. The victims and survivors themselves, at least those who have since shared their stories with me feel that it is the loss of the relationship that is more important and longer lasting than the loss of the money, however much that may be.
The report card from SCARS (The Society of Citizens against Romance Scams) gives its grim statistic that is only 'the tip of the ice-berg' about the state of the romance fraud in the word today. Some of my QLD Police Fraud Prevention and Support Group's discussions have revealed that up to estimated $7-13 billion has been lost to fraud, including the financial and romance fraud only in 2015 alone. It is huge numbers. And not only that but I have found that my speculations about the connection of scamming with the messages imbedded in the idea of pornography that gave impetus to me starting to write my book have now become even more direct. I have found through the stories that have been shared that there is a true connection with violence and scamming.
This picture says it all. In my experience romance scams are not only violence against women but are thoroughly based on the violent behavior patterns inbuilt in our society in many levels, starting from violence against women and continuing permeating every possible sociocultural paradigm that can be found through the ideas that are implicit in pornography and prostitution as an example. But why not come and listen to my talk, if you happen to be  near Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia or Logan, in the Brisbane area. This week is my SUPER LIBRARY WEEK, seven libraries in four days between Wednesday the 5th  and Saturday the 8th of October, 2016. Go to my Website to learn more.

Next week, starting from Tuesday the 11th of October, at five libraries at Sunshine Coast, you can follow my thirty-five year journey as a researcher and feminist and hear how my career has shaped my desire to make a difference titled: Modern Sexual Exploitation. You find all the information from my Website as well.
But most of all I recommend you to read my book. Ask for it at your library or at your bookstore. Or just order it online through my publisher Xlibris. Mostly, see you at the library talks at the library near you. You can also find out more by visiting my Media page.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Love on the Line TV Conversations with Patricia Meister in 2 Parts

Welcome to a new and interesting Love on the Line TV Conversation.
This time I have the pleasure to introduce to you Patricia Meister, from Bundaberg, Australia who is a great example of a person who had a positive outlook in a dare situation. Namely, she is a victim of fraud, of a Romance Scam to be exact. Though her experience, she has suffered a substantial loss of money but that is not the most important part in this conversation. She has lost a lover, someone, who she thought was nearing what could be a soulmate, forever. It feels like death, losing someone you trusted to a scam. It is a huge betrayal.

Luckily, Patricia has taken a positive approach to her own recovery and is doing everything to get on top of her disappointment. She has done everything possible to educate herself and others: joined support groups, both face-to-face like the QLD Police Fraud Prevention Group and also many Online groups which can be found on Facebook, especially through the

I was privileged to drive up to Bundaberg and have this conversation with her. She told me the story of her complex scamming experience. Afterwards, we discussed romancing, recovery strategies and possible happy endings.

You can find this Love on the Line TV Conversation in two parts from  my YouTube Channel:

And if you want to also read it. Here is the transcript of our conversation. Both part 1 & 2

Please enjoy and remember to subscribe to my YouTube channel, so that you do not miss our other conversations. You can also follow me on my blog to make sure you receive every story. Also check my Website for news, like the Love on the Line South East QLD Book Tour continuing on Tuesday September the 13th at Logan Hyberdome Library at 10 am.

Here is the script:


E: Welcome to Love on the Line TV Conversations. This is a special conversations from up state QLD in Bundaberg. In this winter sun shine, which is a little bit on our face, actually. And, I am here talking with Patricia Meister.

I am very honored to have you talking with me and thank you and welcome Patricia.

P: Thank you. I am honored to have you speak to me as well.

E: It is so interesting how we met, isn’t it?

P: It is, indeed

E: and we met through the QLD Police Recovery Group

P: Yes, that’s where we met.

E: And it is, in my opinion, quite interesting, how sometimes when you have been scammed like this. I mean like have. We’ve been survivors of scamming. You actually make new very, very interesting friends. Don’t you?

P: It’s opened a whole new door for me, in terms of meeting new people. So, in that way, it’s been a really positive thing. There is a positive thing.

E: Yes, and there are thing that are happening. It’s online. You had bought my book before. And I was really, really intrigued when you told me this is how you met that group. And there was another person there as well who said oh, they had listened to Love on the Line TV Conversations and that’s how they found the group. So, we might as well say that this group meets every second Sunday of the month at the Qld Police Headquarters. So, if you happen to be listening to us or looking at us. Then, here are two people you find who have actually found this group through meeting and reading books.

P: Yeah

E: Well. Tell me about your story. It is quite complex and we actually counted about ten scams. So, I’ll give it to you. Tell me.

P: My story is complex. I did actually, by accident, come across my scammer online. He groomed me for probably a good four weeks before he really started to ask me for any money. In that time, he romanced me. He gave me music. He gave me poetry. He spent a lot of time priming me, if you like. And so, the first request for money was actually not a huge amount. He had supposedly entered Malaysia with a large amount of money and had his goods confiscated by emigration.

E: I see

P: Then after series of events trying to get the goods back. The first request was for living expenses because his credit card supposedly didn’t work in Malaysia. So, the first request for money was round about $600. And, even though it felt wrong to me, I went ahead and I did that transfer. And that was the first transfer I made to Malaysia. It was probably the beginning of a series of events that lead me on an incredible fantasy journey that ended up relieving me off a large sum of money, in the end.

The second request came to get the goods out of emigration and then after that money was sent, which was quite sizable sum. The next amount of money was then because the goods then went to the head man of emigration. So, there was another large amount of money required, there. Then at that time the money was supposed to be deposited back to me. However, it never happened because the bank was funny about the amount of money. So, the next step was that we would send it by diplomatic courier. So, the diplomatic courier then delivered this supposed consignment of money. It was very professional and I, I couldn’t pick that it was fake. It had its own tracking menu. It had tracking sheets that I could access. However, then the money went to the courier company which then supposedly, the money then went to the Kuala Lumbar Airport where it was held up because, we then required an exit clearance fee.

E: Oh right. And a large one.

P: That was a large one. That was around about $25000. So, after that amount of money was paid, I was then told that to make it completely safe to come back here, we would then require a Diplomatic Red Stamp. So that was another amount of money, of course.

And, all the while now, I was starting to be very concerned about this consignment in that he had sent me an application form from Malaysian internal affairs that he had filled out with the address listed as the address of my business. And by that time I was so far in that it was very hard to get out because in my mind I had a consignment of money siting at Kuala Lumbar Airport that was listing me as a recipient. However, there was no consignment as we found out in the end.

But, it then sort of led into a Red Stamp situation where that was more money. So, then, finally, the money was acquired to get this Red Stamp and the consignment supposedly was on its way to Australia. And then I had a tracking sheet telling me that the consignment was in New Zealand and then there was another tacking sheet to tell me it was now at the Melbourne Airport.

At the same time, I got a SMS message from supposed diplomat with an Australian phone number, telling me that the consignment had now been held up at the Melbourne Airport and required an entry clearance fee of another $25000. So, at this stage, I guess, I was still believing that this was a reality, though I was starting to think: ‘OMG, so many stories. How can there be so many dramas?’ And you know, money was getting harder to get, by this stage.

E: And what was the thing that tipped it over?

P: The tipping it over in terms of me realising that I’d been scammed?

E: Yes

P: Well. I got the entry clearance money together. That week my scammer was supposed to be coming back here. We were also supposed to be doing Skype that week. And he was supposed to be picking up the entry clearance money from the bank that morning, to deliver it to the courier company and book his flights. End of story.

E: Yeah?

P: Well, of course that never happened. And I got a phone call at work, on that Monday afternoon and I had a rather, shall we say, unpleasant…  He was an Asian man. And, he then said to me that my scammer had been involved in a very serious car accident with his lawyer.

E: Oh

P: Of course, the lawyer was the main player in this scam all the time. The lawyer was the one that he dealt with emigration. The lawyer was the one, whose bank account I was supposed to be paying into. At the end it did appear that the lawyer was a Malaysian woman who worked with telecommunications. And, that was what I found, when I Googled that name which was a very unusual name.

Anyway, he was supposed to be in a critical condition. And all the while I was then getting emails from a so called Wellness Clinic. And being that I have a background in Medical Science, I started to sort of think to myself that if you are in a critical car accident, you are going to be in intensive care in a major hospital in Kuala Lumbar and I would not be getting an email from a wellness medical clinic with an Outlook email address. So, my son actually alerted me. He said: ‘Mom, there is no Wellness Medical Clinic in Kuala Lumbar.’ And he directed me to an embassy sight: US Embassy in Malaysia. And so, I went there and had a look and OMG, there was my story.

E: Ooh

P: You know. Almost. It was business man working overseas. He was a widowe. Scammers have incredibly bad luck.

E: I just wanted to ask you what really tipped you over. We counted now about nine different kinds of scams, which were one after the other, which your scammer, you know, tried on you and actually was quite successful. So, what was the tenth one that actually tipped it over?

P: It was the car accident. It was just one too many stories and I had read about people getting scammed because of accidents occurring and because of medical reasons. So, that really rang a bell for me. I wasn’t so savvy about the courier company and consignment and the confiscation of goods by emigration. I really was unaware of those kinds of scams but I had heard about the medical. And I used to keep thinking to myself, ‘well I haven’t had medical issue yet. So, when that happened, it just rang a huge bell with me. At that moment when I got that phone call from the Wellness Clinic, so called, I thought: ‘well, he is going to be in the major hospital, anyway. I would have a doctor phoning me.’

E: yeah

P: I wouldn’t have some incognito person giving me a ring. And, at that moment, I just kind of. I think, my heart just dropped to my shoes and I just though ‘OMG, I’ve been scammed’.

E: Yeah and by the time you counted the money, you had nearly lost a six figure sum, already.

P: Yes

E: So, it is quite a wakeup call. Is it?

P: It was a wakeup call. It was like. Actually, for the day. I couldn’t even finish my day at work. I was just OMG, you know.

E: Hmm. You also said you confronted your scammer?

P: Yeah, I did.

After the accident. You know the scam didn’t end there, because then they did try and hit me up for medical expenses. And by that time, wow, I was just out of money. So, then whilst he was supposedly in hospital, I then got hit up by the courier company for another $25000 for the entry fee which I refused to pay. They had then threatened they were going to hand the consignment into the Australian authorities.

And, I end up getting legal advice on that actually. My lawyer told me that I’d been scammed and there was no consignment, so ‘don’t pay any more money’.

E: Yeah, it’s quite interesting how long time. it went on for a quite a long time, six months you say?

P: Yeah, six to eight months


E: Now, what I am very interested of course is the romancing. You said before that you liked my book because it was positive and I remember that because my son told me that, you know, ‘block him out, do all that, but remember the romancing’ and it was such a wonderful high. And I’ve heard you talking about it, too. And I think that we have there the common link that how on earth, you know, it is possible for a scammer to just crab your brain so much. So, what were your feelings about that?

P: I think that he groomed me very well. He found out as much as he could about me. I was at the time of my life where I was probably missing something in my life. And I was working very long hours. So, I didn’t really get out and about and socialise a lot. And, I’d never really gone online for anything like that and so. It sort of happened by accident in my life, really. It had its positives and negatives and I think that the thing I will say is that he was very polished. He was very educated man. He was incredible good with his grooming and his romancing. And he, I guess they tell you what you want to hear.

E: It hit every nerve?

P: It did and as you have said it in your book that it releases endorphins in your brain and they are basically the feel good hormones. And I think, for couple of months, until the money issue became a big issue for me. For the first few months of the scam, it became almost like an addiction.

E: Yes

P: His words of love. The beautiful music he would send, the poetry he would send. He really awakened a side of my personality that I had thought had died.

E: Yeah, I think that there is quite a lot of women who feel the same. This is what I would also say, that it woke up me into this world and I suddenly realised how strong this kind of thing is when you are getting your hormones and you are getting this high. And it is very much like a romance books. When you now read what he said, do you think that it is very much like from a romance book you read before?

P: Oh yes. When I do read back over it, I sometimes think: ‘OMG. How on earth did you ever get to the point that you did with this, because?’ But then when I read back over it and I think, well, he just made me feel like I was the most precious thing, ever.

E: Yes, I read some of the text messages what you got and I must say that, you know, they are very nice and very polished. And I would, even as, like an outsider, when I would read, I would like: ‘oooh, aah’. ‘That’s what he said to you’. That is true. I also had some of the very similar, like you know: ‘I never find anyone like you. You are the best and I love you so much’. And this was like you know, again and again and again in the text messages. And you had lots of emails. Oh no, no, they were not emails, they were on Facebook

P: I had and incredible amount of time put out for me. I wasn’t and easy snare, to be honest. I questioned everything. All the time. And he would come back with this incredible romancing and of course. When the money was there, the romancing would just become more and more intense.

E: Of course

P: There would be more music sent and more poetry sent and more dialog. And sometimes he would then want to be online with me, you know, not just once a day but twice a day.

E: Yes, to make sure that everything went well. Did you have some mess ups with sending things, like I did?

P: Initially, the bank security phoned me and more or less asked me how I had met this man, because it was out of character with my banking history, to be sending money overseas. And, they actually did say to me that they were problems with sending money to Malaysia and that they actually thought that I was being scammed. And I chose to ignore their warnings.

And the interesting thing was that right through the middle of it all, where the amounts were much higher that I was sending. They didn’t really question those. But they questioned the very first transfer and the last one. And they phoned me twice over the last one and said: ‘are you definitely sure you want to send this money and I said: ‘yes’. And, you know, even at that time, I was kind of starting to feel that things weren’t right.   

E: Yes, I understand completely. But then he has tried to come back again. A few times and more romancing.

P: The downpour of romance, and songs and the poetry was intensified on the second round. And, it was, I guess, because I haven’t taken a bait this time.

I hadn’t heard of him. He just fell off the side of the cliff, if you like and I was just left dangling there without the ledge to stand on. The phone number I’d been using in Malaysia was no longer working. The contact through Facebook stopped and virtually I did send him an email, at that stage, telling him that I knew he scammed me. And, I knew it didn’t bunch because it didn’t come back. So, I pretty much just sort of thought: ‘Well, I made a mistake. I financially almost kind of ruined myself’. Though I did keep my head to a degree with that and I didn’t let him take everything from me.

E: Yes.

P: But, he took enough to put me in dire straits for a short period of time. And I was lucky because I did have support systems around me that sort of helped me to get through that time, because it was a pretty devastating time for me. And, all of a sudden, it was like a withdrawal from all, because he just disappeared.

E: Yes, and then he comes back and asked for more.

P: The first real contact that I had back with him was about four weeks later. And I had a message sent to me: ‘Hello honey. It’s not what you think.’

So, then he followed through with that story. He always built a story out of a story. And he was so good at doing that. The next story was that he had been contacted by the FBI that I was quite correct in assuming that the courier company was fake and crooked. That the FBI had confiscated the consignment.

E: This was, like, also in the end, there was an identity theft with the FBI. That’s right? They wanted to have your IDs and even your passport?

P: Yes

E: How about recovery, then? What kind of recovery strategy you have now? Because, now, you are now at the stage where you know it is a scam but you are still a little bit into it. He is trying to get back to you and trying to involve your brain and your emotions into it. So, what know of recovery strategy are you thinking to do now?

P: Well, I have had to learn that I have to completely block everything, to do with him. So that I will then not have any contact whatsoever. Or he cannot contact me. And once I’ve actually achieved that goal, then, I will be able to move forwards a lot better, I Think, in my life. I’ve been very lucky with my recovery because I do have a business and my work that I really enjoy doing. And I do get to talk to people all the time, every day. So, I do have social contact there. And, I also have a number of different projects that I’d like to pursue.

E: I know that for me, writing my book distanced myself from the scammer and I had something else to think about and then, in that way I sort of lost the contact. And even the will to in any way be interested in him. And you have lots of lovely things happening.

P: Yes, and I think that the will to be interested does go at the time when you discover that you’ve been scammed, because it is such a huge betrayal of the trust. But on the other hand, as we talked about before, it is a type of addiction that you have. And so, you really need to fill that void.

E: That’s right. And you do have background in this.

P: You need to fill that with something different in your life. And for me, it’s opened up a whole lot of new direction for me that I could follow. And that’s been a really positive thing for me as well. So, I have managed to put together a tribute in the art gallery here for my mother’s talents as a dress designer in the 1940s and that’s something that I have wanted to do since she in 1999. So, that did occupy a lot of my time

E: Yes, and lots of possibilities there, too. I’ve seen the designs and they are fabulous.

P: There’s a lots of opportunities there to market these things in very productive fashion. And then, of course, I would really like to write a book on the experience but it is going to take some time. And I need to be a little bit distanced from it to really I think write it in a way that really is going to be appropriate.

E: Yes, you can join in our conversation in Happy Ending on how to rewrite your story which we are going to start here and have even eCourses and stuff like that, which are like according to what I had. What was my strategy in my book. You are very welcome to be part of that.

P: Yeah. I do find that it’s a bit raw now still. To go back and read over the dialog and think: ‘OMG and think: how did you ever? What were you thinking?’

E: What were you thinking? What did you have in mind? How did you imagined your happy ending would be?

P: My happy ending was. I guess. I’d had found this most wonderful man, who was going to be my soulmate forever and that we walk off into the sunset together.

E: Yeah, like today.

P: Which, of course, is not reality based. Real life is not full of romancing and fantasy journeys, is it?

E: No, it’s not a romance book. I think that romance books are a real exaggeration but they do get your brain and they get your endorphins going. So, at least some of that should be. We should be able to have right in our lives, I recon. Yeah, so, hopefully, we’ll find the new somebody who would be.

P: Yeah.  Hopefully, you never know what’s round the corner. And, I guess, maybe there is, sort of, you know, someone out there, that I’ve yet to find.

E: Well, thank you very much for coming and thank you very much for talking to me.

P: Yeah. Thank You.

E: (to the audience) You’ve been watching the Love on the Line TV Conversations special edition with Elina Juusola and Patricia Meister. And this is in Bundaberg. Please subscribe so that you won’t miss any other of our conversation. And have a wonderful week. Thank you so much for listening and watching.

Both: Thank You J

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Love on the Line TV Conversations with Sharon Armstrong in three parts

I have promised you a Love on the Line TV Conversations special interview with Sharon Armstrong. And if you have not read my previous blog about her. Click HERE and then you can also read the previous blog about the Tainted Love Symposium that recently was held in Brisbane.

Now that you are up to date with the latest on the Australian romance fraud scene, here is the treat.
The Love on the Line TV Conversations with Sharon Armstrong in three parts:

Part 1 Sharon Armstrong story (as recorded at the Tainted Love Symposium
Part 2 conversation about Sharon's recovery in her unique situation as a prisoner in Argentina
and of course that was not all we talked about.

I was truly delighted to have this conversation with Sharon Armstrong. It is in three parts due to the YouTube posting time limits for individual accounts, but in this way you will get it all.
Her campaign Standup2scams if on Facebook and on Twitter.

And if you feel that watching it is too much because of my beautiful Finnish accent and Sharon's New Zealand one is sometimes hard to follow, here is the whole conversation for you in words. I am sure it will be an eye opener for you, just as it was for me:

Part 1
Hello everyone and welcome to the Love on the Line TV Conversations.
On the 31st of May, there was a special symposium in Brisbane, called the Tainted Love Symposium. My last posting was the report from that symposium. If you have missed it, you can go back and find it and look at it. However, after the symposium, I am delighted to say that I was able to record a special conversation with Sharon Armstrong, who was one of the keynote speakers, who so generously shared her story.
Now we have here three parts to this conversation. The first part is her story as I recorded it from her own lips from the symposium. The second part is our conversation about recovery and how she got through two and half year imprisonment in Argentina after being scammed, through a romance scam to becoming a drug mule. The third part is our conversation about shame and humiliation, about forgiveness, gratitude and the importance of family in the recovery process. And a little bit about the future and maybe a happy ending in the end. 
So without further a due, I present to you Sharon Armstrong:
I left a great career in New Zealand to be with my family on Brisbane and 2010. The next few months were about looking for work. I was consistently told that I was over qualified for various positions and over the next six months, I became more and more despondent.
At the end of October, a well-meaning cousin of mine signed me onto a dating site: I was not overly happy with this and found it overly creepy, actually, so I decided that I would unsubscribe from the site. My profile was to remain alive for a further three days. It was in this time that I received a message from a very handsome looking man, Frank Mark Linus. His first message to me had me hooked like I’d never been before.
We seemed to have so much in common although there were a lot of differences as well which made it all exciting. He only lived about only 45 minutes from where I was living at the time. He told me, he was a civil engineer. His fiancé had been killed in a car accident some years earlier and his mother had worked for the UN in Human Rights but had died eight years previously. He was an only child and had loved his mother dearly and had spent most of his childhood living in various countries around the world. He was alone and told me, he loved my strong commitment to my family and he could tell that I was an honest person with the same values as him. He would talk about how excited he was to be part of such a loving family.
We were meant to meet about a week after we first started talking. However, on the big day, he rang, most upset to say he had been called to Sydney for job interview. If successful, it would mean a contract in London. He later called me that he had landed the contract and if I supported his decision to go, he needed to leave immediately. Of course, I said go; he needed work. He made contact as soon as he arrived in London.
So, I am being groomed over a period of five months. The journey consisted many heights and probably just as many lows. His contract fell over by Christmas and the first request for money came.
While, I initially responded to him saying that I was concerned he had asked me for money and that maybe this was all too good to be true. He came back, saying: It’s not all about the money, honey. And don’t worry about sending it. He’d find another way to pay his workers. So, I ended up feeling guilty. Guilty that I hadn’t believed in him and sent off the first of many money transactions.
He then begins to warm me up to the idea of doing some contracting work with him which may involve having to travel. He tells me I would be his PA, really his fiancé, he says.
Throughout January, there was one issue after another that required him needing more money, from his previous workers threatening him due to money they were owed, through to him falling gravely ill and ending up in a hospital and remaining there for three weeks, ensuring an ever increasing list of problems arising. By this stage, he was consuming my life in every thought. We would text message and talk on the phone on a daily basis.
In February, 2011, I was offered a short term contract back in New Zealand. Timely really, because by this stage, I had already sent most of my savings to him by Western Union, a service I had never previously used. So, job meant that I could support him, while he secured another contract. By the end of March, he tells me, he has secured a very lucrative contract doing some civil engineering type work in London. Then he convinces me to travel to South America as his PA to pick up his contract and take it on to London for him to sign.
Meanwhile, the love of my life continues to charm me and tells me of the time when we will meet for the first time, how we will spend our time in London before returning with me to New Zealand and then to Australia to meet my family. And if all went well, returning to London with him, while he completed his contract. Why wouldn’t it go well? We’d known each other intimately. We’ve been speaking for five months and shared things that I had never shared with anyone.
So, I make arrangements, all exited and apprehensive at the same time about finally meeting him face to face and beginning our life together as he had promised. I organized some work commitment I had and finally tell my family. They weren’t happy about me going, but hi, at 53, no-one was really going to tell me what to do.
The organization sends me my airline tickets. I am flying to London, stopping over in Argentina to pick up his contract. Originally, only stopping over for a couple of days at most, suddenly, everything changes and they want me to fly to Switzerland to pick up more papers, then to travel by train to Madrid before finally arriving in London. By this stage, I was feeling very anxious, in a foreign country, waiting for the papers to be delivered and then to have the plans keep changing, my stress was skyrocketing. In comes my savior. He says to me: Don’t worry, honey! Dale, day was his … who was a secretary to the organization Frank was going to work for, can pick up the papers in Switzerland. You just bring the documents to London and I will fly to Spain, sign them and return in time for your birthday.
A week later, a night before my flight to London, I am given a suitcase, which I immediately checked. It was empty. Frank tells me, they had hidden the contract in the lining of the suitcase. I question both himself and his friend as to why the papers have been hidden. They come up with a variety of excuses including the fact that the contract is worth a lot of money. I am still feeling anxious about this when Frank tells me, if I am still concerned, lift up the lining and check out the contract. With this response, I think: You’re just being paranoid, Sharon, because you trust this man and he is telling you, how wonderful and fabulous our life together will be. Also upon my arrival in London, he was going to take the document on to Spain, sign them and return to me within 24 hours. So, I think that of there were anything sash in the bag, he wouldn’t be offering to take it on to Spain.
So, the next day, I turn up at the airport and make it through the customs. While waiting for the boarding announcement, my name is called and I am asked to identify my bag. Which I do. Eventually, this all leads to me being arrested at around 3 pm , on Wednesday the 13th of April, 2011 and spending the nest two and half years locked up in a prison in Argentina, a victim of a scam that involved romance, money and drugs.
Here you have Sharon’s story to the point when she was arrested in Argentina. Now further on, the second part is about recovery and how she got through this two and half years in imprisonment and the third part directly after that.  Thank you for watching part ONE of Love on the Line TV Conversations, a special conversation with Elina Juusola and Sharon Armstrong.

Welcome to Love on the Line TV conversations, and I am really, really stoked and suer
Welcome Sharon. I am really, really super excited to be here with Sharon Armstrong, from New Zearland, who has a very, very deep experience with romance scams.
Welcome, welcome Sharon. I am really, really happy to have you here
S: Thank you Elina
E: Yesterday we went, and we were part of a very exiting symposium in Brisbane. It was called the Tainted Love Symposium and you were one of the key speakers I just wanted to recall on how we met.
S: Well, I think it must have been in the middle of October last year when I was invited to speak at the QLD fraud and recovery support group. And, you were in attendance there and after that I had given a bit of my story and what had happened to me, we sort of chatted afterwards and you wrote a blog and we sort of stayed in touch in social media ever since.
E: That is right. We were also connected by the social media which is very interesting because we are talking about something that happened online and so. And many people say that you are on social media and you never really connect but we have
S: Absolutely
E: And this is what happens with romance scams: people connect online. And, so. We have a very different experience about romance scams but I was deeply taken by your story and because my story is so very, very brief and basically it just woke me up into this world. You story is such a huge story. It was 2012, right?
S:  It was 2011 when I was arrested
E: and then you came back after
S: I’ve been home now for just over two and half years and I was locked up for two and half years. So, it happened, April 2011
E: OK. Would you say that your recovery started already when you were in Argentina or did it really start after you came home? Which/what would you say?
S: Ah No. I believe my recovery started fairly early on after my arrest. I think, one of the unique things about my situation and recovery was that because I was removed from society and had no access to technology, therefore, you know, any form of media. It was almost like I had the opportunity to look in deep. I wasn’t dealing with the normal day to day things that many victims of these types of scams are left to deal with. Still having to get on with their lives, still having to get up and do the same things they did before this traumatic experience happened. Whereas for me, you know, I just had myself and my thoughts at that time.
E: Yes,
S: Yes, I have a close family and I was in touch with them, but essentially, I was only responsibly for myself. So, I believe that my first step towards recovery was realising that I needed to express how I was feeling to the scammer and the impact that that had had on my life. And I sat down one day and wrote this letter to him knowing that he would never receive it and that I was never going to post it but it was more a step in the healing that I needed to do. So, I did. I wrote about the impact to myself personally, to my family, the situation that I found myself in. And then after I’d written it I thought: do I destroy this? But no, I’ve held on to it. I still have it. Yeah, I believe that that was the beginning of me accepting. Even though I wrote it to him, it was to the him that I believed was real, at that stage. Of course I knew that he didn’t exist.
E: Yes, and did you then, after that keep a journal?
S: Yes, well I started my journal prior to that. Probably I started my journal a week after my arrest when I first got some pens and I just started recording and writing about the day to day things that was happening in prison. Times when I was probably feeling very upset, sad, very lonely. I would write a bit about that, but I tries to use it more as a way to keep myself stimulated and to start to create some focus around to where I wanted to go.
E: Yes, I understand that fully because I also did a lot of journaling, but of course I was able to talk to all these people and I was on social media and that is a big difference between us, like you know, your healing has to happen at the same time as you are actually confronted with the social media. And very often, what I have found, is that it sort of leads into a little bit of an addiction. That you sort of change from being addicted to this, what happened in your brain and being high with the scammer - into the chasing of scammers.
S: Yes, yes,
E: And how did you feel when you came back home?
S: You mean in terms of the scammer?
E: Yeah, and how your recovery then proceeded. After that point when you were home, when you were able to use all the resources you would have?

S: Yeah. I think that because I was there two and half years. I think that by the time I left prison, I was in a good space. I could think about the scam and not feel like, you know, I wasn’t feeling anger, I wasn’t feeling grief for the loss of the relationship or anything like that by that stage. So, coming home was really more about making some decision around where to from here. It wasn’t easier, easy because there was still media interest and I chose under the guidance of a very wise media person to then just stay away from any media contact for 18 months. In hindsight, it was a very good thing to do. It gave me a change to just slip back into doing a bit of work. But I reached a point where, and I knew this when I was still locked up in prison, that I would do something with the new knowledge that I gained and my experience and what I had been thought and my learnings. So, it was really just how that would manifest more than anything.
E: Yes. Last year when we met first time and you were talking about #standup2scams and that was how we connected online and afterwards you started that one, but then now, you started the Mule
S: Yes, #standup2scams sort of came about: I was approached for about 15 months ago by a journalist from New Zealand who wanted to do a story of what had happened. So, when this documentary first came out, I thought. Well, now is a good time to try to set up a social media campaign. That is something I’ve never done before. So, I decided I check out how to do a page on Facebook, which I did. We came up with the name #standup2scams because I really wanted something, in term of the campaign that portray a strength, a position of strength rather than from a victim point of view. So, the #standup2scams was really about taking back the power and being able to stand up and talk about what had happened to me. So, I set up #standup2scams on Facebook and on Twitter. And, as you mentioned earlier, I found it incredible in terms of establishing relationships.
So, through that, I’ve got some other relationships now with other likeminded people across the world which has been very advantageous. But from there, actually at around the same time, I was contacted and speaking with an international human rights lawyer, who actually I knew twenty or so years ago from my day with in corrections. He is very involved in law aid international and slave scenes. He was the first person who put to me that he believed that I was also a victim of human trafficking. Which I found very interesting at the time because, for me, at that point, when I thought of human trafficking, I thought of women had been kidnapped and sent overseas and trafficked to wealthy businessmen for, you know, a variety of sordid things. So, or children being trafficked across borders. But when I actually looked at the definition and explanation of human trafficking, it is about the exploitation of people, generally across other jurisdictions
And so, we’ve been going and operating for some 11 months and currently not receiving any funding but we haven’t actually, actively sort it. But we offer free advice to people that may find themselves arrested overseas, particularly as unwitting drug mules, and unwitting money mules. We also provide services to those who might think they have been scammed, who are being scammed, who are in recovery, who just wish to talk to someone
E: Yes, and you know, it is very individual. We know that this problem is huge and is just getting bigger and bigger and bigger, like $339 million in 2015 was, this is only in Australia, went into internet fraud. So, that’s a huge… Even though romance scams was only $23 million and that had gone down a little bit but that doesn’t really say anything because it is just the tip of the ice-berg.
S: And what’s even more frightening for me is that area is that they are the once that we know about
E: Exactly,
S: There are so many, and I’ve had many people that have contacted me that have unfortunately been to the police but have got no further. There has been nothing they can do and this is New Zealand that I am talking about. Or, they just have nowhere to turn. And some of them haven’t even told their families. They are dealing with it themselves. And I find that very sad that we are not better structured in a way that we are dealing with this situation. I mean I was blown away yesterday. There are some very good things happening here in Australia. And I suspect that some of the initiations are probably leading in the world in terms of what has been done in this particular area.
E: I was very, very taken by that, by the symposium.
Part 3 of the discussion:
E: What I wanted to ask you next was in leading there was about the shame. When you came back from your imprisonment and the confronted the whole media and everything and the both shaming and the victim blaming which I find is a huge thing. Or is it self-censorship, do you think?
S: I think it is probably a combination of things. I think that firstly, that as a society, we’ve always tendered to victim blame anyway. I am talking about the incidents of domestic violence and incidences of rape, whereas as a society, you know, we have victim blamed. Well, why do we do it? I think, it’s easier. Because to blame a victim takes a level of responsibility away from society having to do something about the issue. So, it’s about we just tell the victim to fix themselves.
So I think that it is an attitudinal societal issue that needs further exploring. I do see, it’s starting to turn. I, you know, yesterday was empowering to me in the fact that, as you said, there’s these two high powered Government officials who had a level of genuine empathy. Who totally realised, that, you know, that victim blaming is not the solution. For me, in terms of my own shame and humiliation. I. That was amidst those few weeks and months after arrest and it was all to do, it just got to a point with me where I thought, you know: This isn’t healthy. It is not healthy to stay in this state. I now understand that actually we as victims, or when we were victims. You know, we did not do anything wrong. And then, you know, I began to realise: if we did nothing wrong, why are we feeling the shame?
E: Exactly,
S: You know, because the shame is not ours. Shame needs to lie with the scammers. With those that are corrupt.
E: Well, I’ve been researching pornography a long time and that’s what I realised when I sort of woke up, that the patterns are exactly the same.
S: The other interesting which is relative in all of these issues is that there is a market. So, while there is a market for pornography, while there is a market for drugs, while there is a market for money laundering, you know, the corrupt behaviour of scammers will continue. So, it’s no point our energy into trying to stop that, because it is not going to stop. 
E: Exactly
S: What we have to focus our time on is those that end up in being the unwitting victims, those that end up being caught up in the cycle in some way or another. So, there isn’t one solution. I think that the most empowering thing for a victim is to be able to tell their story and feel like they are being heard, without being judged. And again, as a society, it is hard for people not to judge, you know. Even if you don’t verbalise it. You have a thought. That is a judgement and it’s hard not to judge. Trust me, I have been trying to really hard. My experience in prison thought me I needed to. You know, the women that chose to be drug mules. I need not to judge them because I didn’t walk in their shoes. I hear people say, and they are well meaning. And I know they care. But they say something like, you know: ‘Look, I know it wasn’t your fault but do you regret some of the silly decision you made? And that’s because we have been conditioned into thinking that. For me, as I suggested yesterday. You know, there is a lot of work to do but I think that there is some people out in there with the right intention and I think that we just need to. If we can start to create those safe, respectful, nonjudgmental environments where victims are able to tell their stories, there way. And to just have people to continue to respect them and to have a relationship with them, I am sure, it will be far more empowering than a lot that is going on currently.
E: You said before that forgiveness, gratitude and family. Let’s talk about them a little bit in here.
S: So, forgiveness became very important to me not to live prison bitter and twisted and wanting to string my scammer up and to, you know, crave a shotgun and you know, go after a group of scammers. I, you know, that’s just not a way of me being able to move forward. So, I had been thinking along, for a long time how was I going to do this. So, I watched a movie that has Nelson Mandela in it, called Invictus and it’s a very good movie and it’s got some very good messages in it. And one of the things that Mandela said to his staff when he was first elected as Prime Minister and they were refusing to work with their white collogues. He brought them all together and he talked to them and said, you know: ‘Forgiveness liberates the soul.’ And I thought: how true is that. And I thought that well, OMG if Mandela can forgive the country, then who am I to hold on to, you know to these negative feelings. I needed to forgive and. So, I did. And actually, once I had that almost epiphany, I realised that, you know, forgiving the other person isn’t about them, you know. Because it may have no impact on them. But it’s all about yourself. So, in order to forgive someone else, you know, it does liberate your soul. You are then in a position to be able to move forward.
In fact, I tweeted a tweeter a while ago about a story where they had actually caught some scammers. And while that was great and positive. I said it’s like stepping on an ant. Because that is what it’s like. You squash one, but there are millions to follow. And it’s very much the same as this. So, I do believe that a lot of the answer lies in the Internet, even though that was, you know, the vehicle in which is used, nowadays to scam many people. That doesn’t mean that I am against the Internet or that I am against technology. Not at all. No, I think that we can use that to our advantage, just as easily as the scammers use it to their advantage. I guess when said all that
Ah, that the other one, that we talked about was gratitude. And, you know. This probably occurred within days of my arrest that, I became grateful that I had never made my destination. What would have happened, I would have been met by someone that I would not have recognised. May have been the person I was talking to but it wasn’t the person I’d fallen in love with.
E: Yes,
S: You know, what would they have done with me? Because by that point, I guess, I would have known that it was a hoax
E: and already trafficking
S: That’s right, and I was already a drug trafficker. And, you know. That in itself would have been hard enough to deal with. I was grateful for that but I was also grateful, you know, for the fact that, you know, my family were not still searching for me some five years later and not finding me because I had my throat slit and was on a back street of an alley in London somewhere.
As time went by, I became grateful that I wasn’t locked up in a country with the death penalty for drug trafficking. I became grateful for the fact that there were internationals in the prison with me from a variety of countries around the world that spoke English. But, you know, at the end of it, I was most grateful for the support of family
E: Yes, that’s that I have found quite a lot now, afterwards, talking with different people, going into different libraries, meeting people that, actually, what makes the most difference is the family backing and is that you have your family behind you and they are not leaving you behind. I always want to say like in this movie: Lilo and Stitch where the Hawaiian say that it is a family and the family is the unit and you never.
S: Leave them behind
E: Yes. I found that myself. Do you agree?
S: Oh, totally. You know, I think in many ways this whole experience has probably been harder on them than it has been on me. My family had to deal with and still had to go to work and you know, create an income and figure out the way that they were going to pay a
E: After you came back and then what had your backing, I saw them there, yesterday. I have the same thing. So, I feel that that shame is somehow taken away because of that. And that makes all the difference there. I don’t care about anybody else. How about you?
S: Yeah. Totally. I mean, my family was my whole reason for surviving. You know, they are my reason now for standing up and talking about it, because I saw the impact on them.
E: They often say that your worst experiences turn out to be your best experiences. How has this whole thing changed you?
S: Well, I certainly have become far more knowledgeable about how the scammers operate. And all about those things.
E: How about inward? As a human being?
S: I guess, and I tried to write this the other day. On the lines that I realised that many of the experiences, and I am not saying this as articulately as I like to but… You know, the experiences that we have in life, we do have the opportunity to determine how these experiences impact on us. So, we can choose to take a negative or a positive experience, in our lives and we can determine the outcome. Now, by that I mean, I knew, I wanted some good to come out of this. And if that good is by sharing my story, by, you know, working on campaigns, working with Mule, helping others, standing up and speaking and advocating on behalf of other victims. I guess, I was just speaking to my daughter last night, I was saying, I’ve always. My work has always been something that can easily consume me.
E: Yes,
S; You know, not just this that I am doing now but even in my past. So, I guess in that respect, I haven’t changed. Just my focus has changed. And, you know, six years ago, I would never have thought that. I mean, I never would have thought what I went though, I went through. But this isn’t an issue that may never have crossed my path. So, I feel by the mare fact that it did, a some sort of indication that I need to, that I am on the right path. That I need to work in this area someway or another.
E: Yes, cause, you can never forget something that is so, so big. In my book, Love on the Line, I’ve written, like you know, two short stories because I wanted to recreate the ending to be the happy ending. Cause I do believe in happy endings, still and I believe in romance and in there I even compare what the scammers did, like, you know, how they got our, us into this romantic mode. Which was exactly similar to the romance books that many people love in that way.  So, in this way do you believe that you are going to contribute to getting your own happy ending and what does that look like?
S: Well, you know. I am not quite sure what that would look like. Right for the here or now, it is the ability to be able to pay my way in the world again. You know, I have struggled to find work.
E: Yes,
S: I am writing a book. I am writing a book, as you know. To share my experience and my learnings. Things I do to be grateful for, but also I’ve got some contributions from others who are going to write about their knowledge in this particular area. More so, not to substantiate what I am saying, but more to put a bit of, almost like evidence behind. Because, you know, there is research being done now. There are, as we know Dr Cassandra Cross and I am excited about her research coming out.
You know, the book isn’t necessarily for those that are sceptics. I would like to think that if they read it, because often sceptics don’t read it, but if they read it, they may get a bit of an insight, but more it’s for those, you know, sitting on the fence. And little bit not sure. Hopefully, it may give them some signs to recognise if it’s happening amongst their friends and family. I am not doing this for them. I am not doing this to change the minds of those that are judgmental and critical. You know, I am doing it for those that are sitting on the fence or for those that want to know more about the subject.
E: Exactly. Well this is the reason that I wrote my book too.
So, I did write a book about it. Now, since we are in this new era of the digital world, I will give you a digital version of my book as thanks. If you don’t mind.
S: Thanks you
E: That’s a digital version, so you can download that to any of your devices. Now that you in the world and not cut anywhere. And I really, really thank you for coming and talking with me and I am sure in the future we are going to do quite a lot of work together.
S: I am sure. Thank you, Elina
E: Thank you for watching and goodbye.