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
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as assault, book, Brent, Brent Brents, Brents, diary, Diary of a predator, diary of a predator: a memoir, interACT, Marc Rich, memoir, predator, predatory, rape, rape prevention, rape prevention program, sex, sexual assault
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.
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as book, compassion, diary, Diary of a predator, diary of a predator: a memoir, forgiveness, memoir, perpetrator, predator, rape, survivor, survivors, victim
Note from Amy: As I continue to plow through my sadly-neglected “other” folder on Facebook, I continue to find terrific messages, like this one:
I was watching a documentary of an interview you gave with Paula Zahn on “the predator”.
I found it extremely interesting and admire the way you handled the case.
Putting bandages on sores isnt the solution. Finding out what causes the sores is the solution.
Anyway I just thought Id let you know I feel youre doing a great job and dont let anyone tell you otherwise.
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.
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as abuse, abused, book, Brents, crime, diary, Diary of a predator, diary of a predator: a memoir, memoir, molested, predator
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.
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as abuse, Aileen Wuornos, Brent, Brent Brents, Brents, child abuse, diary, Diary of a predator, Investigation Discovery, Paula Zahn, predator, sexual abuse
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: The following comments were sent to this Diary of a Predator website on May 30 by a viewer who watched the Paula Zahn episode on Investigation Discovery detailing the case of convicted serial rapist Brent Brents. It’s always heartening to me when people understand the importance of “why.” It’s the reason I continue this work.
Here are the comments:
Hello Amy, I applaud your efforts to understand what creates sexual abusers. As someone who has known several victims of sexual abuse I feel that it is very important to understand the psychological causes of the compulsion to violently sexually dominate others. I hope that I can one day contribute as much to society as you have…
I first saw your story on Paula Zahn and I was impressed with your commitment to presenting both sides of the story, no matter how repugnant Brent Brents actions were.
Filed under The story
Tagged as abuse, Brent Brents, Brents, diary, diary of predator, Investigation Discovery, Paula Zahn, predator, rapist, serial rapist, sexual abuse, sexual abusers
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.
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.
Filed under The story
Tagged as abuse, book, Brent Brents, Brents, Christian, diary, Diary of a predator, evil, predator, rape, raped, victim, violent abuse
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.
Filed under Brents' writings
Tagged as book, Brent Brents, Brents, child abuse, child sexual abuse, diary, Diary of a predator, diary of a predator: a memoir, memoir, predator, rape, sexual abuse