Note from Amy: I received the following message via Facebook:
Hello – Your Diary of a Predator (I found it shortly after printing, at the Boulder Book Store on Pearl St.) is so powerful. Maybe it helped me end an abusive marriage, although at that time I was hearing a lot of wake up calls. The parallels you show between your life and B. Brents are sobering. Inspiring too, that we are all still human. Or at least I think we are… Re-reading now, it is just as powerful.
May 19 8:05 p.m.
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: 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: I recently received an email from a visitor to this Diary of a Predator website who saw the Brent Brents story done by Paula Zahn’s Investigation Discovery show. I’m including an excerpt of the letter here, and it can be found in its entirety on the Reader Feedback page of this website.
Amy – Welcome to the ugly, vicious underbelly of conservatism… I saw the episode with Paula Zahn and fervently SUPPORT you . I’m a (retired/disabled) attorney and SURVIVOR of LT sexual abuse. IMO, we have no alternative. We must make an effort to discover how predators become predators. There is a lot of phony sympathy toward victims of child abuse. I say phony since there is a complete disconnect when they become adults who had horrible childhoods. (Consider Aileen Wuornos). How does the attempt to understand the evolution of a predator become the effort to excuse what they do? The same dysfunctional, black and white thinking was at work when people were excoriated for asking about the “why” of 9/11.
Note from Amy: The following message was recently sent to this Diary of a Predator website (coincidentally, it’s nearly Father’s Day):
I saw the story of you and your association with Brent Brents. I realize the controversial nature of your friendship with him, but I applaud your decision to befriend him.
As a father of daughters I know I would have no problem killing a man like him with my bare hands if he touched my daughters or wife.
As a man who was deeply hurt by my father, nothing close to what he experienced, I realize that what he needs most is some one to care about him. Some one who tells him he matters to them. God bless you for your kindness.
I was very lucky to be loved by the most wonderful woman who ever walked the face of the earth…my mother. Without her….there’s no doubt in my mind I’d be inside with Brent.
Keep up the good work…and tell Brent there is “some guy” in Colorado who bets he’s an ok guy absent the hell he suffered as a child.
Note from Amy: This comment was sent by a viewer at the end of May to this Diary of a Predator website regarding Brent Brents:
I so agree with u he isn’t a monster,he has done monsterest things. I believe the real monster is his parents and the justice system that has failed him since he was just a baby boy.