Anneke Lucas, Recovering From Unimaginable Evil |441|


Anneke Lucas was 6 years old when her mother gave her to a satanic pedophile ring seeking extended consciousness powers.

photo by: Skeptiko

Hi everybody, I have an interview coming up in just a minute with Anneke Lucas, who I’m still rattled by the story and have been ever since I recorded the interview. Sold into sex slavery at six years old by her mother, horrific accounts that you can hear on YouTube. I just don’t feel a need to kind of drill her and make her replay all that, especially when we had so many a more interesting things to talk about. But you know, she’s a sex slave, six years, old, she was taken to a mansion at 10 years old and put into a dungeon room and a dirty mattress and just raped by the highest level people in government.

If you think there’s anything unreal about her story, dig into it. It’s all just real. It’s just crazy. Of course, these aren’t really the questions that I’m interested in. As you know, my pursuit has been this question of this extended consciousness realm and how that might be influencing what’s going on.

So here are some clips from this delightful chat. She really is an amazing person. Here are some clips.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:01:09] How do you feel when people just deny it?

Anneke Lucas: [00:01:13] The collective denial is what is creating the evil at the moment. Things have definitely improved. Those people who are lashing out at me are just not looking so good anymore. They’re just not looking like the scientists versus me, the crazy one, it doesn’t look that way at all. I look like the sound solid person and they seem a little bit crazy. 

I still have feelings about it, I have feelings about what is happening in Belgium, which is where I’m from. When people found out that there was a network of politicians there, that were involved in these extremely dark practices, we went from the whole country being in uproar, to eight years later, one man convicted basically, and the whole country completely silent about it after bodies of children were found. 

He said when he was caught that he was a small cog in a giant wheel and that he had friends in high places who would protect him. Everything in that case that had anything to do with the existence of this network, having any more prominent people involved, was cut off from the case. 


Alex Tsakiris: [00:02:32] There’s another kind of evil associated with that.

Anneke Lucas: [00:02:35] Yes, absolutely. There are degrees to which people are too scared for their own skin, you know, for their job or for their life and that’s fair, that’s totally fair, understandable.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:02:46] It’s fair, but let’s go back to the first part of your conversation, for the deeper kind of growth.

Anneke Lucas: [00:02:51] For the soul it would be best that you do whatever it takes. I’m more concerned with people who have little to lose, but whose opinion is just biased because of the brainwashing that comes from those same people in power who are committing these acts.


Alex Tsakiris: [00:03:12] That’s a very secular view of things, which is okay as far as it goes, but what about Russ Dizdar, he dabbled in the occult and now he’s spent the last 30 years working with victims of satanic ritual abuse. So a lot of people don’t like that satanic ritual abuse thing.

Anneke Lucas: [00:03:28] Yes, I’m a survivor of satanic ritual abuse. That’s what happens in the halls of power. They’re Satanists. So yes, that’s what happens. And I also work with people who like me, have survived this.  

[00:03:44] Stay with us for Skeptiko


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Alex Tsakiris: [00:03:57] Welcome to Skeptiko, where we explore controversial science and spirituality with leading researchers, thinkers, and their critics. I’m your host, Alex Tsakiris, and if you’ve been following along for the last few episodes of

Skeptikskeptiko-Join-the-Discussion-3o you know that my journey into a deeper scientific understanding of consciousness and spirituality has led me to the question of evil, the nature of evil, what we’re supposed to do about evil, both personally and collectively. So I want to put that out there because I want you to know where I’m coming from.

The show today is going to be dark in a lot of ways, heavy, and


it’s not the direction that I want to go, it’s just the direction where this thing has taken me.

I know when preparing for this interview, I was swamped with all sorts of emotions and I don’t even have any direct connection with the experiences of today’s guest, Anneke Lucas. But then again, you know, maybe that’s the real beauty of what Anneke is doing with her work at Liberation Prison Yoga, and more broadly as an advocate for children that are subjected to the unimaginable horrors of sex crimes, sex trafficking, ritual sex abuse, and all that other stuff that we want to pretend doesn’t really exist and isn’t real.

So, Anneke, thank you so much for joining me. Welcome to Skeptiko. Let’s talk about yoga.

Anneke Lucas: [00:05:46] Yes. Thank you for having me on. I guess anyone’s journey inward or journey into the nature of reality would lead to the question of evil and I see evil very much in the way that it is described in the yoga scriptures, that is to say I see evil as ignorance, ignorance of the self.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:06:13] You know, I totally get that, and I’ve had those kinds of conversations before.  I mentioned just in the few seconds we chatted before the interview that I haven’t really talked about yoga on the show, and that’s true for the most part. I have 400 shows and most of them are on science and parapsychology and near-death experience and extended consciousness and things like that, that people can kind of approach the question of consciousness from more of a, like I said, kind of more of a guy kind of scientifically.

But the other thing I deal with is, people who want to deny  there is this extended consciousness out there, like yogis except that as a given, I mean , it’s part and parcel of what the yoga tradition is. If you read Autobiography of a Yogi, I mean, anyone who’s ever read that book, within the first 30 pages, there are shape-shifting animals, teleportation, telepathy, all this stuff is just kind of a given.

So I think there’s a confusion when we talk about evil and it’s reduced down to a confusion or, in the Buddhist sense, just kind of a misunderstanding. I mean, that’s kind of like step three. Step one is, it does exist, and I guess I want to kind of circle back to that. I mean, there is evil, right?

Anneke Lucas: [00:07:49] Well, let’s just say that in our realm, we all have it. We all are ignorant of ourselves or we wouldn’t even have to be here. So it’s all a matter of degrees, right? Everything is relative in our realm. In this realm of duality everything’s relative. It exists and you cannot use yoga or spirituality to bypass the reality of what happens here on earth. And I experienced what I think of as some of the darkest experiences, having to do with those, who have the most power in the world, who are literally ruling the world, and what is actually going on in those strata of society.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:08:47] I think when you’re talking about that, you’re almost jumping ahead to a fantastic part of the story.

Anneke Lucas: [00:08:57] Do you want to hear? What do you want to hear? Do you want me to tell your audience what happened to me?

Alex Tsakiris: [00:09:03] Not right yet, because it feels so yucky that you have to go and bear witness to it in that way. So let me continue with this, we’re just having a chat here. When you frame it in that way, I feel like you’re jumping to the healing part of the story, which is a magnificent part of your story, is your healing journey, and the deeper understanding that you’ve come to regarding the transformation that you went through and the horrors that you endured, and how you overcame those and were victorious over those.

Anneke Lucas: [00:09:44] And the answers that this yielded, this 30 year journey inward, the answers that this yielded as to how to move forward and to change the power paradigm to move out of this very dark place that we’re in right now. My two cents are in there too.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:10:04] And that’s good. Keep throwing in your two cents, because I can talk a lot and that doesn’t always work so well.

But I want to anchor this with one of the first shows that I did, that kind of solidified this for me. I interviewed a 20 year FBI guy, his last job was undercover with the Man/Boy Love Association Front. Fake organization, fake political organization, for an organized ring of pedophiles.

So he was indignant, because he had entered into this realm that he didn’t really even know existed totally, and the horrors that he saw as an undercover guy, where he had to kind of rub shoulders with these people from the outside, he was stunned, and on the show, you could see his anger and his frustration. And that’s something that you know that a lot of people can identify with. But there’s also this element that I’ve encountered on this show of complete denial.

Anneke Lucas: [00:11:04] I’ve encountered that too.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:11:08] So I’m just trying to paint the whole thing here. I love the recovery and the victory, but how do you feel when you have to… and that’s why I guess I didn’t want you to jump in and talk about your story right from the beginning, because how do you feel when people just deny it or don’t believe you or don’t believe other people, because they don’t believe that this could really be happening at the level that you’re talking about? You get that, right?

Anneke Lucas: [00:11:38] Absolutely, and I think the collective denial is what is creating the evil at the moment. I didn’t even speak out publicly about my past until I felt ready emotionally to withstand the personal, the inevitable personal attacks, the disbelief that… Let’s just say that when we’re speaking of ignorance, that there’s just a lot, there’s a lot out there. Not as much as I expected, or maybe the time when I started speaking out, things have definitely improved. Those people who are lashing out at me are just not looking so good anymore. They’re just not looking like the scientists versus me, the crazy one, it doesn’t look that way at all. I look like the sound solid person and they seem a little bit crazy. 

I still have feelings about it. I have feelings about what is happening in Belgium, which is where I’m from. When people found out that there was a network of politicians there, that were involved in these extremely dark practices, through the Dutroux case in ’96, we went from the whole country being in uproar and the international press writing about the Belgium pedophile network of VIPs, to eight years later, one man convicted basically, and the whole country completely silent about it after bodies of children were found.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:13:24] Yeah, let’s just just review that case for people who don’t know. Here’s a case for people who are in the denial mode. There are photographs right? There are photographs of cages.

Anneke Lucas: [00:13:40] Marc Dutroux built dungeons to keep the children in, but he said when he was caught that he was a small cog in a giant wheel and that he had friends in high places who would protect him. Then, everything in that case that had anything to do with the existence of this network, having any more prominent people involved, was cut off from the case and many people died, mysteriously, who had any evidence or were ready to testify.

So, there’s material out there but it’s been suppressed, and people who believed there was more to the story were labelled believers in Belgium and treated as stupid and it was the intellectuals, or anyone who wants to think of themselves as smart, that labelled the other survivor who spoke up at the time, as a crazy women, a mythomaniac and so forth and sided with the official story. The smart people ended up siding with the official story and ridiculing anyone who thought there might be more to it.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:15:10] So, I’m stumbling here with how to even approach this, because there are a million different questions. One, how did that affect you at the time, when that story broke? That’s not really the question I want to ask, that’s like a fake question.

What I want to ask is, you know when we talk about the nature of evil, we understand that sometimes we go along with things that we shouldn’t go along with, and that’s what you’re referring to. You could rationalize for the protection of my family. Well, for the protection of my family, I couldn’t expose that person. For the protection of myself, for the protection of my wife, I couldn’t… There’s another kind of evil associated with that too, and I know you’ve thought deeply about that.

Anneke Lucas: [00:16:10] Yes, absolutely. There are degrees to which people are too scared simply, but then there is in the public opinion, I think, which is a larger component. I mean, there are people who know and who don’t say anything because they’re too scared for their own skin, for their job or for their life, and that’s fair. That’s totally fair, understandable. 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:16:33] It’s understandable, it’s fair but let’s go back to the first part of your conversation, for the deeper kind of growth, for our soul. Can our soul fully grow if we…?

Anneke Lucas: [00:16:49] No, for the soul it would be best that you do whatever it takes, within reason of course. You don’t just throw your life away for nothing, but within reason to do what is right is important and then you can die free, I think. Then you have not committed evil. But what is the right thing? It requires a lot of courage right now to speak up about these things and, of course, it’s cost a lot of lives.

So I am more concerned with people who have little to lose than whose opinion is just biased because of the brainwashing that comes from those same people in power who are committing these acts. And I find that the more someone is brainwashed, that’s to say the more that you accept the values of our materialistic society, of our capitalist society, the more accept the values of the external, the more it actually seems to imply that trauma, personal trauma remains covered.

So healing from trauma, for each person individually, I don’t think you can live in this vertical power paradigm without having some trauma at this time. So it is for each person to look within and to heal as an active revolution and of course healing requires courage. Just as on a personal level, you have your idea of what your childhood was like, and you have a relationship with your parents, and then you start going within, and therapy, and you realize that what you thought your childhood was is so far from what it actually was, and you change.

It’s the same with the world, you change and as you change, and as your consciousness expands by the neural integration of all of the different parts that were emotionally stunted during these moments of trauma or unmet emotional needs, all these parts need to find this reflection of their innate innocence, their innate purity, going back to the beginning. And through these reflections, we integrate the self and we literally create within our own body-mind system a more egalitarian structure that makes us then less dependent on the outer values. 

Alex Tsakiris: [00:19:52] There’s a lot that you covered there. I will play some clips into this show when I air it. You have a very powerful testimony as to what exactly happened to you and it’s something that has gotten some traction. There was a half a million views of it, which I think is fantastic in one way, and that people are able to sit there and watch your horrific testimony of what happened to you, and they’re able to sit through it and 500,000 people are willing to do that.

Awesome TED Talk you gave, very popular, very revealing and very open on your part. I can play those in, and I think that’s almost a better way than to have you sit and recount what happened to you.

So I want to switch back to what you just said though, in terms of the vertical power paradigm. I think there’s so much that you’re throwing out and it’s wonderful in a way that it kind of requires us to kind of connect the dots of the mind-body problem and the neural integration and the transformation that we go through. And I understand it from a yoga perspective, kind of differently than maybe other people are taking that.

But I wanted to go back and pick up on a very basic thing you said, in this power structure that is responsible for perpetrating, these sex crimes against children is also there to influence the message that gets reflected back.

So the reason this stuff doesn’t get through to the media, the reason that if you look up the reality of these crimes on Google, the first 20 pages you’ll get is about hoaxes. It is part of the system. I mean, it is baked into the system to make us do that. I’ve had interviews with academics who deny the existence of even a consciousness that could contemplate this kind of stuff.

Anneke Lucas: [00:21:53] Absolutely and especially in academia, unfortunately, because the education, the halls of education really are a perfect brainwashing tool. So, I was abused by world leaders at the time, in the late 60s, early 70s, I was a child sex slave, and one of those abusers was someone who influenced politicians. So, in a way, above the politicians and was sort of behind the scenes, not completely, but influencing, you know, had presidents in their pocket, let’s put it that way. An American, also had major newspapers in their pocket, controlling the narrative that goes out, that is the narrative of the media, that is the narrative of Hollywood, and there is so much brainwashing that is spinning a story that makes those in power look like they deserve their positions, when in fact everyone knows that that’s not accurate.

Everyone knows that we vote for someone, one of two people, and then whoever becomes president, we know that they’re not going to do what we want them to do. We know that. We know that politicians are corrupt, but we don’t want to contemplate what that actually means, this corruption, and the fact that these people are lifting themselves above us and that we are participating by giving away our power, by looking up to certain people. But even if we’re looking down on them, we’re giving them all of this attention, we’re not taking matters in our own hands, we’re not making sure that our politicians are doing what we need them to do. We are not truly fighting for the peace that we all want.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:23:59] Well, Anneke, I mean, part of the tough part there is to truly accept the reality that you’re exposing, makes us pretty helpless, to put that back in a political framework. It is, I mean, it’s inconceivable.

Anneke Lucas: [00:24:18] Especially for men.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:24:18] Well, I think for anyone, it’s inconceivable to me to think that politically I could change the kind of system that has a mass, the kind of power that you’re exposing. That’s just the reality. I mean, I’m just pragmatic. I’ve been successful, I know how to be successful, I know how to accomplish great things materially, and from that perspective, I say, no, you can’t win that game.

I like the way you shifted it before it. The only understanding that I can come to it, is some kind of a spiritual understanding that I need to overcome. And I forget how you put it, but you put it quite brilliantly and beautifully, that the personal battle of trauma, of overcoming, of understanding my deeper spirituality, is really the only way to win the larger battle. How did you say it?

Anneke Lucas: [00:25:21] Yes. Sort of like that. I just want to address briefly the word helplessness, because I understand that when I speak, it is harder, generally, I’ve noticed, for men who are more brainwashed than women to shoot into action and do something right away to create the change, you know, to go and save the children. It’s so upsetting to find out that this is the reality and that someone you may have voted for may be a pedophile. That it was someone you liked, and that you were fooled and that you were wrong. It’s hard to admit that, it’s hard to assume that anyone’s who’s made it to the top is so compromised, that there’s no way that they’re not involved in something very dark.

So, to accept it, it’s very difficult and men have a harder time with it, I’ve found, generally than women because of the privilege. The more privilege you have, the easier it is to avoid looking at dark realities and it’s part of the system. The privilege works as a cushion and it’s also at the expense of those who have less privilege. So those with the least privilege are sort of carrying all of the pain that those at the very top of this power paradigm are not feeling at all.

So I have to address psychopathy a little bit, because it’s difficult for most of us to understand what psychopathy is, it’s difficult to accept that people that look really good and have a good spiel would actually be raping children, it’s so dark. Most of us can’t imagine getting anywhere near a child like that, we can’t imagine it.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:27:21] Well, they can’t imagine, in your case, a parent who begins sexually molesting their child at the youngest of age, and then sells them into sex slavery at six years old. That’s inconceivable. People really can’t wrap their head around that.

Anneke Lucas: [00:27:37] Right, exactly. That sickness, that degree of sickness. But my mother, I would say is easier to accept because she’s just a sick person that was never found out. But she’s a regular person. You could find her image in one of those sensational stories, let’s say, that we see every day in the news, but when it’s someone who is a trusted figure at the top of the power paradigm, that is much harder because we have some kind of relationship with this person, because we’ve seen them on TV or we’ve listened to their speeches and we’ve maybe been moved by their words. And to accept that someone like that is also engaging in… My mother only had power over me, so in that she was at her worst, but those people have power over the entire world.

So if we want to wonder why there is no peace on earth yet, when everybody really wants it, just look at the power structure. And again, it’s hard for us to imagine that someone can actually be that way. You can’t imagine that a mother would do that, you can’t imagine that someone you might have voted for would do that, because we don’t really understand. See, we are all about reason, we are all about reason and we like to take things from the physical world and use evidence and so forth. We are actually moving in a different era right now where feeling, we generally, as people, we do not understand feeling at all.

I’ve spent 30 years going through my past to reconnect all of the reactions and feelings and physical reactions that had to be suppressed from the incident, suppressed because they couldn’t be expressed during the incidents, the traumatic incident, because I had to survive in reuniting the suppressed feelings and reactions with their original cause or psychological cause.

Consciousness expands and it is a work of increasing feeling that is one with consciousness. Feeling, increasing your knowledge of feeling, it is a science that is not rooted in the physical, and so it’s easy in our world to dismiss it, because of this horrendous imbalance that we have with for, you know, preponderant focus on reason as more valid than feeling. But in fact they work together.

A psychopath, especially a very successful one, is someone whose reason works very well, but in fact they’re completely insane, and so this reason and all this intelligence is used to hide the insanity. The insanity comes from trauma, from very early trauma, from not getting a reflection of the self.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:31:12] Sure, maybe. I’m sure that that’s part of it. I just sometimes wonder that talking about psychopaths, which is, you know, a popular thing to talk about, if that doesn’t deflect away from the larger part of the consciousness question.

So let me tell you a little bit about my journey, in this show, not my personal journey. So I’m interested in big picture questions, who are we, why are we here? So I’m interested in why science insists that we are merely biological robots in a meaningless universe, and that this consciousness is an illusion. There is no good or bad because there is no consciousness really. It’s just we’re biological robots.

Anneke Lucas: [00:31:56] Yeah, that make sense!

Alex Tsakiris: [00:31:58] That’s absurd. It’s absurd. No one has thought that throughout time, 90% of the people on the planet, but that consistently is the message, the paradigm that science operates in, and if people don’t accept that, they just have to go look at science and that’s what science says. That’s what neuroscience says, that’s what psychiatry says, that’s what it’s built on. And you’ll find exceptions, people who are on the fringes of that, but that’s mostly…

So then my next part of my journey was to say, “Okay, there is a reality to consciousness that’s pretty easy to establish scientifically. Is there a reality to extended consciousness?” We hear about spirits, demons, angels, God, all of this good stuff. Is there any reality to that?

We really have to look no further than the near-death experience science, 200 peer review papers of people who have survived bodily death and have entered some extended realm. And we know that they really have survived bodily death and that consciousness, as we normally understood it, required a brain and these people no longer have that brain function as we understand it, and yet they’re able to access it.

Again, for yogis like you and I, it’s like, “Of course, remember, I read Autobiography of a Yogi and I’ve been on the mat for 30 years and I’ve seen the whole thing.” I know it, but if I have to prove it, that’s where I’d go to point to prove it.

So the part that kind of concerns me a little bit, when we start talking about psychopaths, is it’s a way that potentially, that we shut ourselves off from the extended consciousness realm.

Now, I just interviewed a guy a couple of days ago, Russ Dizdar, and I really enjoyed talking to him and he’s all about satanic ritual abuse. He’s a Christian, he’s an evangelical. I am not a Christian and I don’t really understand the evangelical vibe, but yet he’s at least, in some respects, I admire that he’s at least engaging with, although in a very narrowly defined way, in understanding of how this extended realm might be working with the realm that is the physical realm. Because we know if we want to go find despicable, evil people who do horrible things, we can find them in any town.

Anneke Lucas: [00:34:13] Hold on a moment, because I speak about psychopaths because the psychopaths that I dealt with were ruling the worlds and are influencing the entire world, and they were emotionally infantile. So they were extremely smart people, emotionally infantile who are influencing the entire world. So of course, science will be giving so much more importance and of course, those scientists who hold those narrow views will get more screen time.

But it’s important that we understand psychopathy because those are the people that are influencing us all day long and we are blind, blinded by the reason, so that we see someone who seems perfectly reasonable but is emotionally infantile, and because we have not done the emotional work on ourselves, we have not done the trauma work on ourselves, we are not able to see that.

This is what I wanted to say, this journey of mine into my own psyche through healing from that childhood trauma, it’s a spiritual journey. There is no way that you can return to a moment… Trauma is fear of death. Fear of losing the physical body, and to heal you need to emotionally return to that moment with some faith that this time you’ll survive, or you can never return.

So anybody who is one of those psychopathic power addicts, has never had courage, has never had the courage to return to any of their personal trauma, however small it may seem, they will keep running away from it. And that worldview from someone who is traumatized and basically only has the physical world to give themselves some kind of sense of self, the more you’re attached to external things to define yourself, the more psychopathic you are.

If you look at a psychopath, they are the ones who just get rid of the people below them and just climb, climb, climb without any sense of humanity for the people that they step over or they kill on their way up and brown-nosing the people above them and putting down the people below them.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:37:17] That’s a very secular view of things, which is okay as far as it goes. But what about Russ? What about Russ Dizdar? He dabbled in the occult and now he’s spent the last 30 years working with victims of satanic ritual abuse. So a lot of people don’t like that satanic ritual abuse thing. I think it’s undeniable that there are these extended realms that are influencing this realm. And I don’t want to go there and pack it into a very narrow biblical definition of it, because I don’t think that fits, that doesn’t fit with everything I know. But I don’t want to deny it and talk about this in terms of secular psychopathy, people not getting their needs met.

Anneke Lucas: [00:38:01] It is the way in which each one of us can make a difference. Yes, I’m a survivor of satanic ritual abuse. That’s what happens in the halls of power. They’re Satanists. So yes, that’s what happens. And I also work with people who, like me, have survived this. That’s most of my work now, is working with survivors, and many of them are survivors of satanic…

Alex Tsakiris: [00:38:27] But how do we unpack the satanic part of that? I don’t think that’s your focus, it’s not my focus either, but we have to deal with some reality there in a way that people can also wrap their heads around that and not just from the secular psychology standpoint.

Anneke Lucas: [00:38:48] I see it that way because it fits the trauma pattern. It fits someone who has no sense of self, who wants power to substitute their self-esteem. Maybe it sounds a little too simplistic. But I was up close and personal with those people, so I see what they do. I was trained, mind control training to release these powers, and I probably could still use them, but the same powers are released if we do the work of integration, of mind-body integration, and that’s done through trauma work. It’s the natural drug, let’s say, it is spiritual work, but the courage is the key. If someone remains afraid, too afraid, if you remain too afraid, you’ll remain attached to the physical world and you’ll remain attached to getting your value from outer things, and we all do that to some degree.

So it’s for each person to get out, in our own personal way, to go within and to simply face our own trauma. We don’t have to think about Satanism, other than perhaps accept that people are engaging in that. But I don’t think we’re meant so much…

Lots of people have experiences, I had a near-death experience when I was in the network, when I was a child. I went to the other side. I needed it. I needed a miracle, and it was offered, you know, the universe is completely reciprocal. And I use the word God, I dare to use the word God, but God is everything.

So I don’t want to put too much focus on the satanic because it’s just part of everything. Most important is, I don’t want to give that energy any power.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:41:08] I think what you’re saying is tremendously deep and powerful. I don’t know if people get it or not, but I get it on so many different levels. One, I get it on a yogic level. There are so many awesome yoga teachers and I’ve experienced so many awesome yoga teachers, and I love that you’re out there on the mat in prison, and I want to talk about that and I want to talk about how you show up and how you show up for those incarcerated and how you help them heal, because I think I understand that. Like I said, I’ve spent 30 years on the yoga mat.

Anneke Lucas: [00:41:39] Me too.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:41:41] I get it, I just get it on a level that I’d love to talk about, the mind-body connection and stuff like that. So I’m not always just in my head like this.

But I’ll tell you the other way that I get it. Just this last year I spoke with a wonderful woman named Claire Broad, and she’s a medium in the UK. We were talking about all of experiences, and her mediumistic experiences and helping people and all of that, and I brought up the question with evil because it’s been kind of a hot button question with me. And she goes, akin to, I think in a way you’re saying she goes, “Look, for 20 years I’ve encountered this very, very infrequently, and the reason is because I always look to the light, I always look above.”

And then I related that back to one of my favorite yoga teachers, Mickey Singer, The Untethered Soul. He’s just a yogi really, you can put all of these, Oprah Winfrey, new-age stuff, but he’s a fricking yogi and that’s what he was from the beginning and he says the secret of the ascent is to always look up. And I love that line, I think there’s a beauty and a truth to that. That we don’t have to dwell in the satanic, we don’t have to dwell in the occult, people who want to access power through… You can access power through all of these different ways. So these people are accessing it through this extended realm. Who cares? Which is kind of what you’re saying, because we see people who are doing the same thing, whether they’re trying to get ahead in this way or that way, it’s all kind of the same.

So, I hear what you’re saying, and I appreciate. I just want to put, kind of an exclamation point on what you’re saying, is that to emphasize it too much, to stare into the abyss and to focus on the satanic evil forces that are in play, kind of misses the point. Because again, like another great yogi teacher out there, Eckhart Tolle says is that it’s normal-insane. What we call normal, our day-to-day life, is rather insane when we really step back and look at it.

Anneke Lucas: [00:43:37] Completely insane. Normal everyday life is completely insane. So I went into prisons to offer what I received, because of my privilege, I had this opportunity to focus on healing. So I went into the prisons and found people who had been through similar degrees of violence, histories as myself and I just wanted to offer what I didn’t receive. Because as a child, no one came to give me hope, even though I was rescued, I didn’t have somebody come and say, “You’re going to be okay.” And when I was practicing yoga, I didn’t meet the teacher that was able to teach me, so that I could feel. I always had to overcome, whether it was the commanding language or whether it was the actual kind of feeling, creepy feelings, unsafe feelings from the vibration of the teachers. There was so much to overcome in the way that yoga is generally practiced, in order to have it work for me as a tool, because I knew, the first time I stepped on the mat, “Oh, this is it. This is what I need.”

At the same time I started practicing meditation with SRF, with Self-Realization Fellowship, Yogananda’s organization, and I looked at the meditation practice as the real yoga, and I looked at the yoga practice on the mat as the physical component of the real yoga, and I guess I still do. It’s important to be healthy, it’s important for energy levels, it’s so important for physical therapy, it’s beautiful. But the way that it’s taught is just awful.

So I would come into the prisons and we don’t use any commands at all. Nothing. First of all, everybody can participate or not, and we keep repeating that, “This is a time for you. This is not my time here. I’m not on a soap box here. This is time for each one of you to not get yelled at, to not get commanded,” because that commanding language is the language of abuse. I was a sex slave, I know.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:46:39] There are a couple of things about yoga, oh man, we could talk for such a long time. One, I am very grateful that I started my yoga practice so many years ago because it’s changed so much over the years. I live out here in Southern California, and I just kind of chuckle sometimes when I go into yoga classes and the teachers are trying to grab power and grab control and do all of these other things.

Anneke Lucas: [00:47:05] And that’s how you’re trained to teach.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:47:07] It’s unfortunate, because my yoga teachers, even my first yoga teacher was a very strong male guy who was very into the physical, but there was, at the same time, just this kind of deeper understanding of the paradox that we’re immediately in, the mind-body paradox that is, in that we’re trying to use the physical in this crude way, but we’re really accessing something else from the beginning.

And I had so many wonderful female yoga teachers who are all about the metaphor, because it’s all metaphoric. I saw a little bit in the videos that you do of your practice, it’s all about connecting this physical with the metaphorical, kind of reality that is the spiritual, and as a way of connecting that, I think is wonderful. I think there’s so much potential with the mat, but I think there are so many subtleties that you just did a beautiful job of outlining how it can be not fully realized.

So I don’t know. I just want to emphasize that. And I guess at some point it has to lead into the potential for abuse there again, because we have this power structure that we’re setting up, and I don’t want to equate it with the kind of abuse that you’ve endured, because we cannot.

Anneke Lucas: [00:48:27] I work with Me Too victims in the yoga world, particularly also. That’s another thing that I do. It happened to me, first of all, and I say that to a degree, that we try to teach yoga and fit it into the current power paradigm, the hierarchy to sell it. I’m sorry, it doesn’t really work.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:48:52] Well, maybe it never did work. My first teacher was a disciple of BKS Iyengar and Iyengar came over to Dallas, he was still alive, and I did a class with him. He was no shining light. And Pattabhi Jois is the other teacher out here where I live. 

Anneke Lucas: [00:49:10] He was the one that abused me.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:49:12] He was the one what?

Anneke Lucas: [00:49:14] Who abused me.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:49:15] So, you know, and these are the two primary vehicles.

Anneke Lucas: [00:49:23] He was a dirty old man, Pattabhi Jois who is a serial sex offender, by the way. A serial sex offender. I was the first person to write an article about what had happened, and I really had no idea, and now it’s turning out thousands of women, thousands of women were assaulted. So yeah, no shining light.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:49:52] What do we do with this tradition? There is no tradition. We are inventing the tradition, right? Everyone who shows up on that mat, everyone who is there for the person who starts crying the first time they do triangle and their tears are rolling down their face that they don’t understand. That is the practice, not the Sage on the stage idiots that are asked to perform the same kind of cycle of power displacement kind of thing. 

Anneke Lucas: [00:50:29] But again, I can point to trauma. The perpetrators in the yoga world who need the power, they need the power to substitute their self-esteem with status. So, I know what it’s like to go through life without self-esteem, it’s very, very, very, very difficult and it’s very uncomfortable. I only started to begin to heal self-esteem in 2013, that was many years after I started therapy. I was 49. Like beginning of self-esteem, 49 years old. Without self-esteem life is very uncomfortable and I didn’t have self-esteem, so I was extremely uncomfortable.

The only power that I did get addicted to was the power, the female power of attracting men, looking good, whatever. That’s what I was addicted to. That was the thing. If I didn’t have that, I would’ve just crumbled and dissolve or something. Other than that, there were always these choices that I could make. Do I choose the power and get to belong to the cool club, and get to pretend or do I choose truth?

So I was much too afraid of power because of my experiences, so I would choose truth and then I would suffer, and I would be laughed at or whatever, but not comfortable at all. It’s very hard. And when I got laughed at, I didn’t necessarily think that I made a mistake or something, but I would go to therapy, go to what is underneath that discomfort or whatever occurred, whatever emerged. My reactions, my emotions can be traced back to their psychological origin, and once they’re connected, you know, courage is like a muscle too.

I keep bringing it to courage because it’s the key to bringing us out of this physical realm that is all about reason and where there’s no room for anything else. The courage to face the fear of death, literally, emotionally, but you’re sitting in a therapist’s office or you’re by yourself or there’s someone there that you begin to trust or they’re someone that you just look up to and you just expect that they’re going to be like a perpetrator, but instead they’re kind to you. So it’s confusing and you start testing them, because now, that part that was never seen or heard or understood is just coming to life and you just compulsively are annoying this person and you expect they’re going to reject you, and then you’re going to feel that you’re not lovable again. And instead they affirm something positive about you, and suddenly it hits you, not only that you are okay on a deeper level, but that you were always okay and that what was done to you was actually the other person’s stuff and you’ve been carrying it around for them. You’ve been trying to carry it around for them.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:53:53] Yeah. I mean there’s like about a million things that you just touched on there that we could talk about.

Anneke Lucas: [00:54:00] But I’m talking about courage.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:54:02] Let me poke at that a little bit, because that’s what I like to do, I like to poke people.

Anneke Lucas: [00:54:05] Alright, good, I like to be challenged.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:54:09] So number one, you’re going to have to understand that you’ve given an entirely different definition to the meaning of the word privilege, right? So I love the way that you say you go into prison because your privileged, because most people would not associate your experience, your life experiences with one of…

Anneke Lucas: [00:54:32] I’m alive in the United States.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:54:33] Bullshit. Don’t buy into that and see the greater reality that we are privileged and we’re all underprivileged. Just like the whole feminine, you know, you’re in this suit that you’re occupying and you’re playing the role of the costume fits, and I know the script, so I’ll play the part and you’re playing your part, I’m playing my part. The woman, male all of that kind of stuff gets mixed up too.

And then also I think you also give a new new definition to the meaning of the word rescue that you were rescued. Rescued? You were on the brink of being the in the final stage, which is murder, which so many of the people in this situation, children, both men and women face the final act as an act of murder, and you were on the verge of that and you were rescued from that? Okay, I get it. We’ll use that term.

Anneke Lucas: [00:55:25] Actually, I was, in the sense that one of the perpetrators did negotiate to get me out. That moment of what would be called weakness in the context of the network, he did pay with his life for that. No kindness goes unpunished in that world.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:55:46] There we go. The other thing, I think the courage thing, I think is interesting, and I totally get where you’re coming from. I’ll tell you, I rarely ever share this kind of stuff, but I do an ice bath almost every day, and I learned it from Wim Hof, who’s a yogi, you know, all of this breathing and world records. He’s just a fricking yogi, just listen to his account.

So, I think it relates in a way. His story is, his wife has committed suicide, he has three kids, he’s completely stunned, traumatized, doesn’t know what to do. He’s walking along the street and he sees a lake frozen over, and he goes, “I’m jumping in. I don’t want to kill myself, but I’m jumping in.” And in that moment of that freezing cold water, he gets a moment of clarity where that yakking voice that’s telling us we’re not worthy or we’re super worthy, or whatever, we’re privileged, or we’re a social justice warrior, whatever the fuck it’s telling us at the time. That mind stops for him for a minute and he’s able to observe and he says, “I don’t know what it is, but that’s therapy for me and that’s where I’m going.”

And I think that yoga can be that kind of therapy for people too. I try and bring that to the yoga mat of getting to that place. That, I relate more to the muscle part than the courage part, because to me, getting to that reality, that I am merely an observer of this experience, is the reality and I don’t think you disagree with that at all.

But let’s play around, since you brought up the term, the discipline of yoga, versus the courage of of yoga. Well, I’m not putting down one word over another, but what about the discipline? You have to be disciplined, and that helps in this regard, but go ahead, please.

Anneke Lucas: [00:57:44] I think of yoga, obviously, as the whole package to lead you to enlightenment. That is to say, to expand our consciousness to the point where we do not need to come back here, to school, to learn our lessons, to learn that we are not this physical body, to fully overcome fear of death, to fully overcome our fears, to unite with the greater, truer, subtler part of our being. That’s the purpose of yoga, is to find God. Sometimes God is a charged word, but it’s to find enlightenment, let’s say. So that’s the purpose of yoga.

So I fit everything that goes into that. I think primarily meditation, I’ve found that to be a more broad scope practice, let’s say. It’s helped me on a deeper level, it’s helped me make sense of my story, it’s helped me see my story and my issues in a much larger context that I needed, otherwise, I would have never been able to get out sanely. And the physical practice, I obviously don’t want to downplay it, but it’s really, mostly for me, the best physical exercise there is, because of the breathing.

Alex Tsakiris: [00:59:32] Let’s stop and pause for a minute on that, and I want you to speak to, you have a deep understanding of this stuff Anneke, and everything you’re sharing is so meaningful on so many different levels. I hope I can put this interview together in a way that makes sense to people. What is your deeper understanding of that mind-body spirit connection as it physically takes place on a yoga mat? Because I think a lot of people, as you’re alluding to, they go, they do a studio yoga class or they encounter yoga and they get it, but they don’t get it on that deeper level.

Anneke Lucas: [01:00:13] Well, again, yoga is so broad that I think it works on every level. So initially for me, it helped me be inside, have my consciousness be actually in my body. I had no body consciousness because of the abuse. So I was completely dissociated from my body. It brought me back into my body, brought my focus, my consciousness back in my body.

Alex Tsakiris: [01:00:39] You already mentioned a little bit about your work with incarcerated people, people who are in prison, and bringing yoga and the unique challenges and opportunities associated with that. What do you think is typically going on that is most misunderstood, about someone who sits down on a yoga mat, maybe for the first time, and experiences something, but doesn’t understand what the larger context is? So tell us about that and how that fits in with this nonprofit business that you have, Liberation Prison yoga.

Anneke Lucas: [01:01:14] I think what I find the most beautiful part of the work is, not only to help people to relax, to help people just through the language, helping people understand that this is a time to just be, that they don’t have to do anything, they don’t have to be anyone, that this is a time to just be, and that it can be whatever. There is complete freedom in that to experience a little bit of a sense of freedom, this relief of all of the pressures, not only from prison life, but all pressures.

Each one of our classes, yes, there can be a physical aspect to it, depending, but the focus is for me to help people feel completely comfortable on the mat and safe. So knowing that there’s nothing that I say that they have to do, and that I’m going to guide a meditation, and this is always speaking to the self as the pure light within the consciousness, the pure consciousness beyond the body, beyond circumstances, beyond, the physical world, which informs us. And it’s just to provide some kind of an opportunity to go in and to tap into that source and to feel the nurturing and the sense of safety that comes from that.

Alex Tsakiris: [01:03:03] There’s a wonderful grounding part of it, isn’t it? Because it is so physical. Anneke, thank you so, so much. This has been just a wonderful chat for me. I’ve really enjoyed it.

For people who want to learn more about your work and follow what you’re doing and maybe help your cause Liberation Prison Yoga, but also want to find out more about your help and advocacy and helping children who are enduring these kinds of horrible crimes, where should they go to learn more?

Anneke Lucas: [01:03:33] My website is

Alex Tsakiris: [01:03:36] Great, we’ll definitely have a link to that in the show, and again, thank you so much.

Anneke Lucas: [01:03:42] Nice to meet you.

Alex Tsakiris: [01:03:43] Nice to meet you, you’re such a wonderful embodiment of that yoga spirit. I really appreciate it.

Thanks again to Anneke Lucas for joining me today on Skeptiko. The one question I’d tee up from this interview, and it’s the question I keep drilling at, and I’m not really, I think, totally connecting with people on this, but I’m going to keep pounding on it is, does evil exist in the extended consciousness realm?

So we can listen to Russ Dizdar, awesome guy, and he’s saying, “Hey, these guys are Satanists and they’re practicing it,” which has these crazy parallels with like Dr. Hugh Urban, Ohio State University.  But even when you hear Anneke, as beautiful as she is in speaking about this, she’s still talking about it from this kind of secular psychological angle, which is a huge part of it, no doubt. But doesn’t it make a difference, that they are actively trying to connect with beings, entities, spirits in the extended consciousness realm, and asking those spirits, those entities to help them in these horrible evil deeds they are committing in this world? Doesn’t that matter? It sure as heck seems to matter to me.

Love to hear your thoughts on it. As usual, a place to do it is the Skeptiko Forum where you can connect with other people who like to talk about this stuff. Be sure to visit the Skeptiko website. You can download all of these shows for free, listen to them, no ads or anything like that. Just see if you think they’re as important as I think they are and pass them along to whoever you think needs to hear about this stuff.

Thanks so much for joining me. It’s so terrific having you along for the ride, and I can’t tell you how much I enjoy it when I hear people who say, “I listened to the show and it got me thinking,” or “It made me mad,” or whatever. I just love the fact that this magical thing happens where I talk into this microphone alone in my little room here, and I somehow connect with you. I think that’s magic.

Until next time, take care. Bye for now.

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