After living a very violent past, a past full of hatred, dehumanization, and demonization, my life is very different today and in fact, stands diametrically opposite of the person I once was. Where I am today as a man, is very much so a place foreign to the old life I once lived and the old person I was. I often say I killed him, that Fred who looked like me, but was not as I am, I killed him and am reborn in the ashes of that man as someone new. My life honestly began in 2013 when I left that life behind, at 34 years of age, that is when I killed the old me, that’s when everything I once knew and held dear, I gave up… I removed that anchor around my waist so that I could genuinely move forward and live in love.
Today, I am someone I am proud to be, my kids are proud of, my wife is proud of and my mother and family are proud of and my many diverse friends are proud of. So what am I today, what do I believe today, who am I today that is so different from who I was?
Well, for one I don’t hate anyone, I don’t dehumanize anyone or think anyone is lesser or better than anyone else. My friends are of every race, gender, transgendered, nationality, sexuality, religion, and such. I love humanity as a whole and work day in and day out to see unity amongst all people; I strive to help everyone find the humanity in everyone else. I try to make all people feel welcomed, accepted, and loved within my circle and outside of it. I actively work to let others know my story, to help others learn from the pitfalls and mistakes I’d made and I actively write on the inner mindset and workings of extremist ideologies.
To this end, I have been working withBeyond Barriers and have since become the Associate Director and an Interventionist to help spread the message of change, reconciliation, deradicalization, unity, and hope. Beyond Barriers isn’t just something I “believe,” in, it is, in fact, something I know is and will continue to make amazing changes in the world and I am profoundly proud and privileged to be a part of it.
I am also currently in the process as of 2021, of converting to Reform Judaism, a religion I find flawlessly encompasses me, my family, and the mission of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) through its social justice works. This has been a journey for me, especially since my past ran anathema to me finding Judaism and falling deeply in love with the peoplehood, culture, G-d of and religion thereof. Religiously, for 32 years I was an occultist, I ran an organization of 10k members, I gave lectures in front of millions online and wrote three books, and now all of that is in the past too. I have a great synagogue (Rodeph Shalom) I’m infinitely proud of, full of amazing, kind congregants, and incredibly wise Rabbis.
I’ve been writing a lot, both fiction and nonfiction, working on my next novel, while writing about what I’ve learned as an extremist to help others. Now I am writing here about my experiences converting to and learning about Judaism, so I am an avid reader and writer in my daily life.