© Copyright 2005 Kurt Snyder

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Making Assumptions

I wondered how I should think about all these events that were happening to me. Joe had told me not to make assumptions. Bob had mentioned making assumptions. Woody had also mentioned something about assumptions. Maybe that was a clue to navigate through all these experiences. Don't make assumptions. I tried to think for several days without making assumptions. I found that it is impossible. You are always making assumptions about one thing or another. You make subtle assumptions based on past experience and internal perceptions about reality. Usually these assumptions are subliminal. For example, you might think, 'I am going to the store later to buy groceries." This thought assumes many things that you do not become fully aware of--that your car will be working, that the store will be open, that you will have money, that something else will not prevent you from going to the store. I decided that if I could not abstain from making assumptions, that I should try to understand the types of assumptions I habitually make, or at least try to be more aware of these assumptions.

I knew I didn't know everything about the situation I was in. There seemed to be so many unknown variables. Rather than make assumptions arbitrarily, I thought I should talk to someone who might know more than me. I arranged to meet with Woody one day. I had a whole series of questions for him. I expected that Woody would tell me the truth if he was able to. However, if he was in the CIA, I thought he might have to lie about some things. I went over to his house, and we sat down in his living room. We had a long conversation, similar to the one that follows below.

I told him, "Woody, I have a lot of questions for you. If you can not answer them truthfully, then I would prefer that you not answer them at all."

"Ok."

"Are you responsible for me getting my job at Iridium?"

"No."

"Do you know Matt, a friend of mine from Iridium?"

"No."

"I think you know I called Rudy to come help me a few weeks ago when I thought I was in trouble. Did you come back for a few days that week because of me?"

"No."

"You and Judy came home early this year from your place in Colorado. Did you come back early because of me?"

"No."

"Do you know anything about my job at Iridium that I don't know?"

"No."

"Are you involved in anything concerning me that I don't know about?"

"No."

I had many other questions for Woody that day which I don't remember. I really drilled him thoroughly for twenty or thirty minutes. (Woody recalls, five years later, that during this conversation I told him that I didn't trust him anymore.)

A few days after my conversation with Woody, I was thinking, "THEY have put me under a lot of stress." I was certain there was a connection between THEM and Iridium. I thought Bob was probably working for THEM. I decided I should be compensated for all the stress I was under. I came up with a dollar figure that I thought was appropriate, and I incorporated this additional amount into the final bill I sent to Iridium. I was certain they would pay it. They did.

Shortly after receiving their payment, I was looking in my basement for an empty cardboard box. I found a cardboard box, but it was not empty. Inside was a large disk drive. I did not remember ever buying this particular disk drive. It was not the type of disk drive that would fit my computer system. It was the type that might be found in a large disk library. I wondered if I could have taken it by mistake from Iridium. I often took home empty boxes to save for later use. I would never steal anything. I thought, "My God! That's what all this is about! They think I've stolen some kind of important information. Maybe there's some kind of secret information on this disk drive! Maybe they caught me on camera taking this from the facility! Maybe they think I'm a spy!" I called Bob and left a message on his voicemail about the disk drive. He called me back and left me a message saying that there was no way I had anything at home from Iridium. I was relieved.

One day I went into downtown Annapolis to get some ice cream. Across the road, I saw Bruce, the retired CIA analyst whom I had met at the bar in Virginia. I wondered if he was still working for the CIA. Maybe he was assigned to my case. Maybe seeing him wasn't a coincidence.

The next day, I decided to try to determine how many people were still following me. At this time, my dad became reluctant to let me go anywhere by myself. I wanted to go out driving around. He said he would take me wherever I wanted to go. We left home and got on the freeway towards Washington. He asked me, "Where are we going?" It didn't really matter where we went, because I was mostly interested in seeing if anyone was following me. I said, "Follow that car" as I pointed to the car ahead of us. We followed this car for about 25 miles. Then, I said, "Take this exit". We turned onto another highway. We continued driving another ten or fifteen miles. By this time, I had forgotten my original intention to observe whether people were following me or not. I wondered why my dad was willing to drive somewhere without knowing where we were going. We drove another 25 miles or so and stopped at a McDonald's near the house where I grew up in Baltimore. I wondered whether the other customer's at the McDonald's were working for THEM. This included a kid I saw who was about twelve years old. Afterwards, we drove another 20 miles back to our home in Arnold. I still couldn't understand why my Dad was willing to drive such a long circuitous route.

In the fall of 1999, I started to experience fewer symptoms of psychosis. I did not feel like I was being followed, but I did not abandon all the ideas I had about surveillance, the FBI, or the CIA. The fact was, I stayed home most of the time. I finally decided that my sister-in-law was not connected with THEM. I also decided that her friend was not connected with THEM either. I did not recognize these earlier assumptions as faulty thinking, I only thought I had made a simple error in judgement.

I started to work more diligently on Woody's mutual fund application. By December, I had a full working version ready for him to use. This achievement is evidence that some of my symptoms had dissipated.

At some point, Rudy had called and left me a message saying that our project could wait until the springtime. I thought this meant that the evaluation process for CIA recruitment would be extended to the springtime. I waited patiently. For five months, nothing unusual happened.

© Copyright 2005 Kurt Snyder

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