The Library lets me check out three books a week. My problem is that i need about 20 a week the way i read. I average three in just under 24 hrs these days. Getting Slow in my old age. I found this author years ago who has several series, Action, Drama, Western, horror. All hero based. Pretty cheesy. But only one or two pages worth a book. I’m on Book Ten of a 25 book series. Well i should say done with 8, 9, 10. Get them on Wed, done by 1:00 p.m. Thur.
The mental health guy gives me super tough mazes and sudoku puzzles. So now i won’t be bored at two in the morning.
-Brent Brents 8-5-17
Tag Archives: book
My name is Marc Rich and I am a professor at California State University, Long Beach. I am also a rape prevention educator. While visiting the Boulder Book Store I picked up a copy of Diary of a Predator: A Memoir. I just wanted to sincerely thank you for writing this poignant, powerful book (hard to read, hard to put down) and for your ongoing work to fight predatory behavior with civilians and in the military. Your book remains one of the most challenging pieces I’ve ever read–and one of the most important. I actually use a quote from Diary during our rape prevention program to help students understand the distinction between power arousal (predatory) and sexual arousal:
“Sex has little to do with it. It’s the control, the domination, the fear, the hurt, the power” (Brent Brents, cited in Diary of a Predator. Brents was sentenced to over 1,000 years for rape and torture).
So, despite his criminal record, Brent’s honesty and your willingness to speak with him is helping us prevent sexual assault.
Marc D. Rich, Ph.D.
Professor; Executive Director, interACT
Note from Amy: The following message is testament that the book Diary of a Predator: A Memoir has a profound effect on survivors:
I am moved by your work. No, not by your work as a writer – but the amount of inner work you’ve done to expand your compassion to include the suffering human beings within all the victims of rape, perpetrator included.
I once was a victim of rape. I’m no longer a victim because I was able to find compassion for my perpetrator. I believe it literally dissolved the toxic cells within my body to allow a new space, or perhaps, a renewed space to exist.
It’s interesting to me that so much is put upon the entity “forgiveness”. It always felt somehow abstract, like a word created by man, but allusive to behold in my body. Compassion though has true relevance, true power.
I could go on and on. I’ll just stop here by saying, thank you for your work that you put into this world: this truly panoramic embracing of humanity. I feel bigger and brighter and wider by the experience. You are giving all of us this opportunity.
Note from Amy: This message was sent to me via Facebook where it languished in my “other” folder for quite some time. Still, it was gratifying to find, so I thought I’d share. Better late than never:
hi amy – i just saw your interview with paula zahn regarding brent brents. it really upset me that everyone was attacking you for doing what a journalist does. i thought of truman capote writing ‘in cold blood’ and wondered – what’s the difference? there really isn’t any. or the profilers, or the psychiatrists who study the same people for the same reasons. dangerous people are the ones we need to understand the most. i guess most people prefer to stick their heads in the sand and pretend these types of things don’t happen – and you were vilified for shining the flashlight on it. not that it matters what i think – but fuck them. i think you’re cool as hell – and your book will be discussed long after we’re gone – just like ‘in cold blood.’ – kyle
Note from Amy: The following comment was sent to this Diary of a Predator website after the writer finished the book Diary of a Predator: A Memoir, last month:
Comment: It’s really annoying to see that some people aren’t getting the point of all this research. But then I think, not everyone can understand each other in the real world anyways. For example; when artists feel things, no matter how extreme, they know & have an “outlet.” They express emotion through personal passion in creativity. People who don’t possess such talents either don’t understand or choose not to understand.
I’m not saying that Brents is an artist, but I am saying that with every action in crime that he took, I can see him looking at his own reflection. I’m sad for what happens to everyone in their own personal experience with any type of abuse. And before anyone passes judgement on me, let me just say I’m still to this day sad & angry & hurt & pissed off because I know what abuse tastes like. I say taste because it hits closer to home. If I say feel, it seems too sentimental & sad, but if I say taste, people generally get the idea; once you put something in your mouth you know within SECONDS of whether you like it or not. You never go undecided. There’s no maybes once something hits your tongue. It’s either good, bad, happy or mad.
I was molested several times by several people throughout my life. And it was a range between family friends, friends & family. I was also abused by family members. Isn’t that crazy. Luckily I was born a “natural” (or whatever society considers me as a “natural”) artist so I knew & still know how to get my horrifyingly gross & ugly entities out in a more appropriate manner (or at least what society considers to be appropriate).
Anyways, my point is that it is amazing to see people’s comments & see how they don’t understand this kind of research, but it amazes me even more to see that the people who have had similar experiences as Brents & who, like me, actually “get it,” aren’t going crazy in their own skin (sometimes) or at least expressing or saying that they do go crazy. I understand the level of severity fluctuates upon each individuals own experience with abuse, but I’m just asking. I’ve gone through my own definition of hell & therapists too, but I think I turned out ok. If I was any less expressive in my artwork history, I think I probably would have gone a little off the charts. Maybe at least once. But I’ve kept my composure. I’m just wondering how you guys keep yours.
Note from Amy: The following comments were sent to this Diary of a Predator website and were apparently from a relative of Brent Brents who watched his story on Investigation Discovery:
Brent is my cousin. I have never met him. His father is my Mother’s brother. My sister was 7 when our Mother’s brother RAPED her in Arizona. What he did to my sister was BRUTAL and she never forgot. I met Brents father in Oklahoma at a reunion I also met Brents sister. (He) begged my Mothers forgiveness with his Christian act… My Mother and sister have passed recently and this book gave them closure and exposed my Uncle for the EVIL he was.
It is true the VIOLENT ABUSE that my cousin was subjected to. My heart goes out to ALL THE VICTIMS..INCLUDING MY COUSIN BRENT BRENTS AND TO MY SISTER WHO PASSED NOV 1ST 2013.
Note from Amy: I debated posting the following excerpt of a recent letter from Brent Brents because I had such a strong negative reaction to it. Later, I re-read it and decided there is merit in posting what he had to say because it’s an example of his motivations and mindset. More on that in a moment.
As always, visitors to this website should realize that its content can be triggering. It’s not my intention to cause anyone pain; rather, I’m trying to do a small part to raise awareness about the issues of child abuse, child sexual abuse and rape that are found in the case of Brent Brents so that we can figure out how to prevent these crimes.
Now, about what he wrote: In the following excerpt, Brents is referring to a young boy he molested. The child was the son of a single mother who Brents dated brieflly, and the story is told in the book, Diary of a Predator: A Memoir, which details the devastating impact the case had on the child, his mother and the rest of their family.
So much of child sexual abuse is the tragic repetition of patterns, and this situation was a reflection of that. Abused himself as a child, Brent Brents was repeating a pattern of sexual abuse on this boy. The difference is that the boy told his mother and she reported it, so the abuse did not continue for a long period of time.
As always, the content is presented here exactly as Brents wrote it:
I have been thinking about my inability to be Non-sexual with Ian. I might Not make sense but i really thought i was giving him Something he was missing. I was good to him for the most part. But it was me who had the Need Not Ian. Hell to be honest the Kid had his shit together more than any of us.
I know i manipulated him and twisted shit in my own Mind to convince myself he wanted the sexual attention. The Sad thing is that he snuck over to my place one day to apologize for getting me into trouble. Crying Sobbing that it was his fault. I begged him to forgive me and Reassured him that i was wrong and it wasn’t his fault.
Never did i imagine things like this would be the things that Work to better me mentaly. Its taken all these years to work thru the denials. None of it feels good in the moment of realization. There is nothing for me to celabrate. No milestone markers. But i hope that somehow men who are prone to sexual violence and predatory behaviors can learn early on. Instead of spending years in tortured minds and torturing innocent people.
Note from Amy:
A book club in Iowa recently read Diary of a Predator: A Memoir, and then reached out to me through this Diary of a Predator website to see if I would answer questions by phone during their book discussion. I did, and found them to be a very thoughtful and engaged group of women. Shortly afterward, one of them sent me this message:
Thank you, Amy, for the phone conversation with our book club. Thank you for writing Brent’s story. It was hard to read, but everyone should read it and try to understand what child abuse is doing to our society. You wrote so well that we all can gain knowledge and have hope that it will make a difference. Thank you.
Note from Amy:
If you’ve spent much time on this Diary of a Predator website, you’ll know I am a big fan of James Gilligan‘s work, especially his book Violence: Reflections on a National Epidemic, where he presents case studies from his 25 years of working in prisons in an attempt to understand the causes and motivation of violent behavior.
We share that same goal, which is the entire reason I wrote the book Diary of a Predator: A Memoir, and why I have this website. If we don’t understand the complex causes of violence, how can we prevent it? We need to focus on prevention at its source–the perpetrator–instead of simply telling young women they need to walk in pairs after dark.
Now Gilligan has released a new edition of his latest book, Why Some Politicians are More Dangerous Than Others, and if you truly care about the prevention of violence in the U.S., it’s worth reading with an open mind.
From the Back Cover:
Politicians and the political process, even in ostensibly democratic countries, can be deadly. James Gilligan has discovered a devastating truth that has been “hiding in plain sight” for the past century – namely, that when America’s conservative party, the Republicans, have gained the presidency, the country has repeatedly suffered from epidemics of violent death. Rates of both suicide and homicide have sky-rocketed. The reasons are all too obvious: rates of every form of social and economic distress, inequality and loss – unemployment, recessions, poverty, bankruptcy, homelessness also ballooned to epidemic proportions. When that has happened, those in the population who were most vulnerable have “snapped”, with tragic consequences for everyone.
These epidemics of lethal violence have then remained at epidemic levels until the more liberal party, the Democrats, regained the White House and dramatically reduced the amount of deadly violence by diminishing the magnitude of the economic distress that had been causing it.
This pattern has been documented since 1900, when the US government first began compiling vital statistics on a yearly basis, and yet it has not been noticed by anyone until now except with regard to suicide in the UK and Australia, where a similar pattern has been described.
This book is a path-breaking account of a phenomenon that has implications for every country that presumes to call itself democratic, civilized and humane, and for all those citizens, voters and political thinkers who would like to help their country move in that direction.
Note from Amy: This very kind comment was sent to this Diary of a Predator website from a woman who read my book, Diary of a Predator: A Memoir, which is about my covering the case of serial rapist Brent Brents, and how that changed me.
It was a tough book to write, and I’m sure parts of it are very tough to read. So when someone takes the time to tell me they appreciate the book and that they understand what I was trying to accomplish, it fills me with both hope and gratitude that somehow, we’ll all make a difference.
Thank you, Tracy.
Here’s what she wrote:
Amy, I just finished your book. You are a brilliant writer and a very brave woman. Your story hit on the complex issue of abused becoming perpetrator. How can we not feel pity for Brents? Monster, yes. Damaged child, yes. His life would have been very different had he not endured horrific abuse as a child.
In 1983, I did an internship for the Wyoming Board of Charities and Reform. I researched the history of the Wyoming Children’s Home and the need to transition it into a Residential Treatment Facility for Emotionally Disturbed Children. I wrote a report to present to the WY Legislature in which I strongly recommended the transition. I researched the physical and sexual abuse that Brents, and other children, experienced while in the Home, and reading this portion of your book broke my heart. The cover photo on your book jacket looks very much like a boy I worked with from the Laramie Crisis Center in 1982. I remember this boy above all others because I took him to my home and introduced him to my husband and 2-year-old son. He had dinner with us, played games, and did not want to go back to the Center. I was severely reprimanded for doing this!
Thank you for writing your story, Amy.