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Faith Blog Index



August 11, 2006 8:34am

I went to meet Kriel yesterday. From his reaction Tuesday night I never expected him to call me back - ended up walking around Tampa for a day taking pictures. His flight back to London got cancelled when the airports shut down, so he offered to give me a tour of his hometown. It was the perfect excuse to talk to him about these symbols. Normally I wouldn’t talk to anyone about what’s happening inside my head, but I sense that Kriel will understand, I hope anyway! My visions are intensifying and are really starting to wear me out. I’ve barely slept in days. It’s as if they have been seared into the back of my eyelids. When I wake up, I have this feeling that someone is in my room watching me in the dark. Is this symptomatic of something? What am I doing wrong? I don’t know what to do anymore. Am I going crazy?

Have you ever even heard of Gibsonton? It’s a little town near Tampa where DVJ Kriel actually grew up (I found out the ‘v’ is for video). He took me there with him today.

‘Gibtown’, as the locals call it, is where circus and carnival workers and performers live in the winter when the shows aren’t touring.

It’s basically a strange little town on the highway where you can see rusty carnival equipment and old cotton candy and corn dog stands just sitting in people’s driveways like old antiquated vehicles. There’s random circus memorabilia strewn all around the town. I got some really good pictures. For a photographer, this place is a goldmine. I’ll try to post them as soon as I can. The locals were really nice for the most part, although they are definitely sick of being photographed and the place really has definitely seen better days.

("Huston the Illusionist" video - see transcription below)

The place has a bizarre vibe. The houses, cars, painted murals: everything is just a little bit decrepit, rusty and forgotten. Charles grew up there as a kid and talking to him about his childhood made me think a lot about my own life. He was telling me how he never had a real home when he was young because he was always travelling with the show. He and his dad were always on the road, on the move and he had to start working when he was really young because everyone had to contribute to the community environment of the show camp.

("DVJ Charles Kriel" video - see transcription below)

Charles said he feels that he grew up faster than regular kids. I can relate to that. Living with Gary and Joy I felt like I was walking on glass all the time. Even when I was really little I could sense that they thought I was creepy or weird or something. For the most part I tried to hide my symbols and my thoughts from them. Isn’t that sort of awful for a child to be made to feel ashamed like that without knowing why? Other children are mean, but adults can’t show that, especially to five year olds. When I escaped from Bethlehem, I was on the run constantly. We’d just hop on trains or hitch moving around a lot. There was no constant. I realize that this is just another things that sets me apart from other kids my age. I acknowledge that about myself and I’ve accepted it.

You guys in Seattle were a really big help to me. Your support has meant a lot and you’re all so crazy. I don’t look half as loony when I’m hanging out with you guys, right Oz! I’ll see you all again soon, I know it!

So back in Gibtown, Charles took me to this great local bar, The Showtown USA which is all covered in these amazing murals of carnival and circus life.

Charles introduced me to his friend, Madam Steph who’s a fortune teller. Apparently she really helped guide Charles to run away from the circus after he pretty much died at a party near Tampa one night (wild story –another time). I hope she can help me too.

("Kriel introduces Madam Steph" video - see transcription below)

I was kind of nervous to meet her. I think that’s because she’s a fortune teller and I’ve always had this dark ominous feeling about the future and who really wants a disaster confirmed by a professional? On the other hand because Charles’ experience with her was so positive I had this expectation that she would help me solve my problems. Maybe it’s stupid, but I had this feeling that I would get some answer or clue that would help me figure out who I am and where I’m from.

Madam Steph did a tarot card reading on me, and one of the first things she mentioned is that there is no such thing as coincidences. I agree with her on that. She said that this journey that I’m on is important not just for me but for the world. It sounds strange but when I met her, and from some of the things she knew about me I realize that she actually could be looking through a window I can’t see through. I just wish she’s spelled it out more clearly, I guess it never happens like that though, my visions aren’t exactly explainable either. She left me with a strange story, weird people and a journey that seems big and impossible for me alone.

("Madam Steph reads my cards" video - see transcription below)

I feel extremely frustrated. This is not quite what I expected. What does she mean? I do tattoos that no one has even seen, how could that be important to the world? Maybe it’s the sort of routine she does on people in Gibtown to cheer them up. It’s all a little overwhelming to me right now, I need some time to think about it.

("Madam Steph’s reading points to places & people" video - see transcription below)

It definitely frustrates me that all she seemed to provide me with were more questions. But there was one thing that I can’t help but notice and it’s a big deal to me. When she was reading the tarot cards, my brain, mind, head whatever felt like it had never felt before. Instead of being consumed with thoughts of pain the symbols were like small beams of light, creating a feeling that rushed all through me, it was nice. It was the first time in my entire life that these symbols seemed almost harmless. I am inclined, for that reason more than any other to listen to Madam Steph and take her reading very seriously. She mentioned a ton of weird information about people and places. Does anyone have any idea what any of these things mean? Oh yeah, I didn’t have any nightmares last night either. I slept so well.

So I guess I won’t be coming home for a while longer. The journey doesn’t end here after all. I’m excited, cautious.



Faith: So, who's place is this?

Kriel: Roy Huston. And Roy was... Roy's pretty big in Gibsonton. There's just some people here I want to hook up with while I'm in town

--we cut to approaching a house with a man waiting to greet Kriel--

Huston: Hey!

K: Hey, how's it going?

H: Fine, fine.

(they greet and shake hands)

K: This is Faith.

F: I'm Faith [Hello] Nice to meet you.

--cut to inside Huston's house--

--Huston shows off the items in his house as Faith and Kriel take in the impressive collection of memorabilia--

H: I worked for the two biggest spook show producers in history. There was a guy named Jack Baker out of Toledo. He's-- he went by the name Dr. Silkini, and that was his show, Asylum of Horrors.

--cut to another corner with various apparatus--

H: This looks lik, it looks like some steps here, but you'd use it in combination with something... in other words basically you make someone appear or disappear, you know, whatever.

F: Right, no big deal.

H: (chuckles)

--cut to Charles and Huston looking up to the top of a wall--

K: Notice these up here (points), and I haven't seen one of these for years. Can you explain what these are?

--camera show us a number of lined up cards at the top of a wall, showing arrows pointing up--

H: Oh, '24 hour cards'. Oh that's right, the general public doesn't know what those are!

K: No, they have no idea.

H: Isn't that funny? And you know what's funnier about that? You know what we call people who aren't in the show, we call them 'towners'. Anyway, well towners can't see these things. It took me a lifetime to figure this out, and I see them every day when I drive down the road. And if a towner is with me in the car or something, I'll say "see that? Look, there's a 24 hour card" and they'll say "where? what?". And they can't see them! They cannot see them. They're invisible.

F: So what are they?

H: It tells you how to get to the next town.

F: Ohhh.

H: When you play towns every day you don't have time to... I don't even own a roadmap. You don't have time to look at a map, you follow the arrows.

K: So somebody travels ahead of time--

H: Yep, that's why they're called '24 hour cards', because there's a man on the show called the 24 hour man, ok? And it's his job to go 24 hours ahead of the show. And the first thing he does is put up the arrows to tell you how to get there.

  • OOG Note: Jack Baker (Dr.Silkini)'s Asylum of Horrors links - (1)
  • OOG Note: "24 hour cards"/"24 hour man" links - (1) (2)
Kriel: ...this is the giant's camp, it was owned by the Tomanies for years. And the Tomanies were-- there was Al, who was a giant; there was Jeannie, who was a half-woman--

Faith: Wait, wait. A real giant?

K: Yeah, a real giant. Actually one of the most famous giants there ever was on the circus. And, a half woman. Nothing from, I dunno somewhere about here down (indicates waist area). I'm not sure exactly where. But Al was gone, when I used to come here. My dad and I used to come here every morning, and we'd have breakfast. They make the best biscuits and gravy on the planet, no question about it. But Jeannie at that time used to come-- (fans his face) oh it's hot isn't it?

F: Yeah, yeah it's hot.

K: Jeannie used to come around in the mornings and say hello to everybody while they were eating breakfast. I've got so many memories built around this place, it's incredible. It's all starting to come back now.


K: ...where I grew up, when I wasn't out on the road.

F: So what did you do in the circus?

K: Uh, well, I was a clown and an acrobot when I was wee, and then when I got a bit older, my whole family- they left the circus, and we became carneys. Uh, carnival people, that's people who own rides and have joints, games, things like that.

F: So you never really had like one home growing up.

K: No... well, you do have a home, but it's not a home you can ever go back to. I mean, you're on the road you've got this bunch of trailers and rides and tents that change relationship to each other every week and it's like a town because it's a community. But then on the other hand it's not like a town because it's like, movable architecture, in a way. This becomes the only place that's static, is when you're in Gibsonton. And whether static is good for carneys or not, I'm not sure.


F: So were there lots of other kids your own age travelling with you, was it like a big party all the time?

K: No, no, it's really not. In fact, I was the only kid on the show most of the time. So, your friends end up being adults. And you probably grow up faster because of that. And then we get to Gibtown, and suddenly there were other kids and you'd go hyper child for a little while, then you're back out on the road and you're just making a living, you know? It's like everybody on the road's got to work - all of us. So I would run-- I'd run joints, where I was a kiddy ride foreman when I was 10 years old. Kiddy rides are like the motorcycle rides, and the boats and things like that. And you just make money, you're just being an adult.


F: So what's special about this place? Why did you want me to come here?

K: Well, things happened here. There are some things that happened to me here. Um, and there are some people you should meet. There's a woman you should meet down at showtown. A woman named Steph - she had a big impact on my life, really changed things for me.

F: Was she part of the circus too?

K: Yes, and no.. but she was part of Gibtown.

Madam Steph Intro
(camera pans over showing the Showtown restaurant and Kriel)

Faith: Wow... this is so cool.

Kriel: Did I tell you? Welcome to Showtown USA. [Awesome] This is where all the carneys and the circus people hang out. And, it's like, when I was a kid, I grew up here, it was my living room. Me and my dad, we were here every night. Maybe not the best thing, but you know it's the way I grew up, so, that's how it is. We're going to meet Madam Steph when we go inside, and that stuff is serious. [OK] She's a fortune teller, she's a mystic, and you might think she's a bit of a cook, but [No, I can't wait] but to be honest, you should meet her because I think she's going to take you on your next step. And I think it's really important. She's responsible for me going to London, and it changed my life completely.

F: Alright

K: Alright, come on, let's go inside then, alright?

F: This place is just unbelievable.

K: Might want to go easy with the camera though.

F: Oh, ok, cool.

--cut to inside the restaurant, follow Kriel as he finds Steph and they hug--

Steph: Oh, God you've grown up.

K: (jokingly) Yeah, well, that's what happens

S: You look like the old man.

K: I'd like to introduce you to Faith.

S: Hello, Faith.

F: Hi!

K: This is Steph (Steph and Faith greet and hug)

--cut to three sitting at a table chatting--

K: ...playing in town, and we met up, and I though it was important she come down here to meet you. And that we all see this place.. because this place is important, it has a lot to do with my background and some issues that I had which Faith needs to understand, because I think she has some stuff that you can help her with. (looks at Faith) And you have to understand that Steph helped me a lot when I was a child. Um, I liked to party more than I had sense, really, and went out there and just about didn't come back.

S: Yeah, I thought we'd lost you at one point. I knew you had to get out of here.

K: Yeah, well, if a thing doesn't take your life, it changes your life. Steph really helped change my life. But you understand, you've been there.

S: I've been there. You know, things happened to me. Same things you've been through in a sense, and it opened me up to a world of psychic phenomena, and past lives, and... and the more important things in life. The things that are not so tangible, but are very important. But, you know, that's my story, what are you doing here? What's your deal?

K: Here, I'll... gimme that, I'll.. (Kriel takes the video camera from Faith)

F: Ok. (to Steph) Well, basically, I'm... I just, I see these symbols.

S: Symbols.

F: Yeah, since I was a kid, I'm just..I've seen..

S: You've seen them here? (points to forehead)

F: Yeah, like, I just see them all the time, I don't really remember when they began, even. But I remember... since I can remember, I can see them. And I got this sort of message to follow my visions, and then I saw Charles. And in one of his videos he used one of these symbols. So, I just followed it. It's really all I could do.

S: Well you should remember that there are no coincidences. That everything will lead you to where you're going. You're always on a journey, and I think you're on a very special journey for some reason.

F: See, I thought this was the journey, like, my journey was to get to Charles, and then you...

S: Steps along the way. You know, I'd like to do a reading for you

F: (glances uncertainly at Kriel)

K: I think you should.

S: I know, I think so too. Do you want to? (Faith nods) You don't care?

F: No

(they all begin to get up)

Madam Steph first half
(Faith and Steph sit at a table in the restaurant with a stack of tarot cards)

Faith: Should I shuffle them?

Steph: No you don't have to, I keep them shuffled.

Faith: So just, like that... (handles the card stack)

Steph: Yeah that's good, that's good.

(Faith handles the deck and gives it to Steph, who flips over the first card)

Steph: Well, there you are. (she looks at the card #1 for a while) Symbols, you say.

(she pulls card #2 and almost lays it)

S: Oh, ok so we have a.. it's an authority figure, you know, that's in your life that you're sort of answering to. Something or someone, an institution or something that has a lot of sway; a lot of influence over you, I should say.

(Steph lays it and takes card #3)

S: Ok. This journey you're on, it can be dangerous. And I don't mean only in the physical way, in the spiritual way too. Watch your dreams. You're going to need some psychic ??. Even if you just meditate on light before you go to bed at night. You don't want to be going through...

(Steph takes card #4)

Faith: Should I be writing dreams down?

S: That would be a good idea. That would be a really good idea. If nothing else it would help you later when your journey's over, you can go back and sort of make more sense of it, and see the steps along the way. (she goes back to the card) This has to do... (to Kriel) I'm glad you brought her.

K: I'm glad she's here too.

S: This... this isn't just your journey; this has something to do with the world.

F: The world..?

S: Is that kind of... intimidating?

F: (nervously) Yeah

S: Something to do with the world, this journey you're on. That's the basis of it.

F: How could my dream have to do with the world?

S: You're sort of an explorer. You know, like Christopher Columbus (showing the card), you're sort of an explorer, you're charting new land, new territory.

(she takes the card #5)

S: You've just had an experience -- don't let that scare you, this card -- you're looking into yourself, there's've had an experience of some sort and it's caused you to start really looking inside yourself and reading your inner workings. Things deep down inside that maybe you didn't pay too much attention to before.

(she takes another card #6)

S: Ok, you're entering a period, this'll be the next 24 hours. -- that one shouldn't be scary either -- You're entering a period of introspection. This card kind of represents when oxygen is cut off, blood gets cut off (makes choking motion), you see visions. But that doesn't have to be a physical thing. Um.

F: That makes sense to me.

S: Ok, okay good. (she pulls card #7 and chuckles) You're going somewhere in the next couple of weeks. (to herself, as she looks at card #8) let me see what this one is. (lays it face down with the previous one) yeah, yeah, um.

F: I'm here, this is where I went.

S: This is not where you are. You're moving on to someplace else. You're going someplace else. You're going... you're going to be...

F: How will I know where?

S: Follow your signs and your symbols.

Madam Steph second half
Steph: Bear with me [OK] this has something to do with.. you'll know him. Because, there's something to do with a monkey. A primate of some sort. Something to do with that.

Faith: My friend's a monkey?

S: No, no. But you'll know him, you'll recognize him, because there'll be something surrounding him, like him (Kriel) with your symbols. You know, you'll recognize something.

F: OK.

S: Just keep an eye open for that. [OK] A man that has something to do with a monkey, I can't tell you (Steph laughs) But you're going to be very close, and he may.. he may actually kind of fall for you.

F: Really.

S: Yeah, but I don't know if you're going to reciprocate, that's the key here, I can't tell you everything. Ok.

(Steph pulls card #9)

S: Ah, ok. More of your journey. This is the priestess. The high priestess, and she's.. she could be alive or dead. You know, the symbol for the goddess is the snake - the snake of wisdom, the serpent. And so um, this woman may have something to do with.. it's either an actual serpent, or it's symbolic as knowledge, an opening up. Now, she's a high priestess, so she may be guiding you from another place, she might not be on the planet, she might be guiding you-- like I said, watch out for your dreams and such, but there's something to do... I think this is in another country. This is a... You're going a lot of places. You're going to be going around the world, just like this (indicates the columbus card), you're going to be going around the world. Well, you're going to see a lot of fun places and meet good people. But you have to watch out.

(Steph takes card #10, then card #11, puts #11 back on the pile and lays #10)

S: A final destination. (thinking heavily)

F: What is that?

S: I'm seeing a large expanse, like a desert. Hot. A lot of sun, very hot. But there's something. Something... I'm seing a peak, a mountain. And it's kind of where you start, and it's going to be where you're going to wind up. This is your culmination. This is going to lead you on to becoming a pillar of strength. You might not feel that strong right now, but this journey is going to make you very strong. And it's important for you to keep that as your real destination - is that personal strength. Because, you are guiding... you're helping us all. I don't... I've never said that to anybody before. But you have to watch for this... This is important, I'm trying to see this, it's... it's a summit of some sort, it's very tall, steep, you have to climb it, it's a lofty place. Like where eagles fly, it's a lofty summit. You have to look for that. But you'll know, because you'll be in this hot desert, and you'll see it. See how it's standing up there all on its own? (indicates the card). That'll be the easy one to find, you just have to find where this place is. I can't tell you that. But, the signs you see along the way will lead you in the right direction. Just keep your eyes open, and your (points to forehead) this eye here open for the symbols. Follow your vision, follow your symbols. Do you have a symbol like this on you somewhere?

F: Yeah, of course.

S: Do you? I'm seeing...

F: I do

S: Like a tattoo?

F: Yeah! Do you want to see it?

S: Can I see it? Yeah, I'd love to see it.

(Faith pulls up her hair to show Steph the tattoo on the back of her neck)

F: They're my own design.

S: Aha. Ok, that tells me something about this. (Steph reveals card #11) Just... just remember that as you're attaining this lofty summit, wings aren't always visible.

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