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Reinhard and I had also applied for a restraining order against Jared.  By this time, we knew that our chances of a fair hearing were pretty close to nil.  Because of our fears that Sheila would use the hearing against Jared as a platform for getting me committed to a mental institution, I decided to not even attend.  If Reinhard could get a restraining order against Jared, and if I stayed close to Reinhard, that should be good enough.

Jared's hearing came up on October 15, two weeks after the one John had brought against Reinhard and Jeremy.  As luck would have it, we got Jacob Adajian again.

Jesse and Jeremy were there to support Reinhard, while Jayme and I stayed away.

Jesse called me early that morning to let me know that Tim Harrell, the producer for Fox Undercover, had come to the hearing, and was seated alongside Sheila and Jared in the courtroom.  John was not there.

Fox had camera crews posted outside when the guys arrived, pouncing on the trio for a surprise interview as they prepared to enter the building.  They asked Jesse how life had been since their last report on the group three years before.  That was when they sympathised with Jared for having been charged over the attempt to kill Reinhard.  Jesse said that life had been tough.  Jeremy cited their distortion of what I had said to Lamar in their first report as his reason for refusing to talk.

Sheila carried a large bag of items with her at the hearing, which Jesse assumed were gifts.  Fox interviewed Sheila after the hearing, where she confirmed Jesse’s assumption.  She said that she had filled the bag with gifts, to present to me as my ‘birthday present’.  My birthday was more than a month away, and in the three years that I had been away, she had never given me a card, much less a gift.  Her gifts were just another show for the cameras.

Reinhard’s request for a restraining order against Jared was denied immediately, without Jared even needing to give a defense.  The judge, Jacob Adajian, seemed more biased than ever; he did not allow Reinhard to play the video of the attack, saying he did not want to know about something which had happened three years before.

The result was disappointing, but not much of a surprise.

If I could stay away from any place where my family might try to grab me, I could be out of the country in a couple of weeks, and back in Kenya shortly after that.

In the meantime, I organized a few interviews with old friends of mine for a documentary we were producing as a community, dealing with the whole concept of justice and mercy in criminal proceedings, called Beyond Justice

Interviews with seven friends went very well, and it was good to renew acquaintances with each of them.  But one interview that never eventuated was to have been with my former best friend, Titus Potter, who had become very close to Sheila since my departure.

I received a bone-chilling Facebook message from Titus in response to my invitation for an interview:

"You're not the same person that was my best friend in high school.  He died in 2006. I can only pray that one day we will meet again in the afterlife and that things will be the same as they were in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006.   R.I.P. JOSEPH JOHNSON 2006"

Titus' sentiments were obviously picked up from Sheila, although Sheila was more inclined to go beyond just writing an epitaph on a tombstone.  As Jacob Adajian had been saying to her, she could either lock me up in a mental asylum, or she could treat me as though I were dead.  There was no room in her world (or Jacob Adajian's world) for actually listening to what I had to say.  This book is my attempt to get him, her, Fox Undercover, Titus, and a lot of former friends and relatives to hear me out, to listen to the whole story, and to ask them once again whether they really feel comfortable lending their support to the crazy stories that my family have invented in their campaign to wreak revenge on myself and my friends.

The closest things they have to the truth are that quite a few of us have donated kidneys to people dying from end-stage renal failure, and that we held a mock trial in which some of our members allowed themselves to be whipped as a way to arouse public interest in what was happening, and as a way of communicating our anger about the crime but our love for the perpetrators.  But along with all of that, my family have falsely accused the Jesus Christians of kidnapping me, falsely accused them of chanting that they are killers for Christ, falsely accusing them of trying to levitate, of masturbating in public in a courtroom, and of masturbating over pictures of my mother.  They have falsely accused me of being bi-polar, my mother has illegally posed as an officer of the Internal Revenue Service in order to get information on me, and she hired private investigators in Kenya, who came to the village where I had been staying, pretending to be representatives of the U.S. Embassy, who had come to take me away.

I should probably share that I made one final attempt to meet up with Jared and Sheila just before leaving the States, only to be rejected, and turned away yet again.

I had invited Sheila (and Jared) to meet up with me and a friend for dinner at the restaurant of their choice in Temple City, an upper-class area near Pasadena, on the north side of Los Angeles, where I hoped it would be more difficult for them to bring thugs with them.  Sheila wrote back saying she was afraid to come, claiming that Temple City was a ‘hostile’ environment for her personally.  She went on to say that she would only meet up with me at a courthouse, or at a police station.  We put two and two together, and realized that the only reason she would have to meet up with me at either of those places would be to follow Jacob Adajian's advice, and try to take a conservatorship over me.  I declined the offer promptly, and set my face towards the airport, to return to my new home: Kenya.

My life’s journey has changed me in ways I never expected, and opened me up to a whole new world.  Along the way, I have lost the once positive relationship I feel I had with my family, which is now no relationship at all.  It saddens me to think that it has come to that, but there is no denying reality.

Because this is essentially a story of my life, it doesn’t really end until I am dead and gone.  However, I can reflect along the way – that’s what I have been doing in this book.  My efforts to be obedient to the teachings of Jesus have led me through a painful adolescence to a point where I now see my family as a serious threat to my safety and that of my friends… at the same time that I continue to love them.  At the end of the day, that’s really all I can do.

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