Nigeria’s Normadic Education Programme: Contractors in Kano Misappropriate N290m

IN 2018, the National Commission for Nomadic Education, under the Ministry of Education budgeted over N500 million for the Construction of 20 numbers of one block of two-Classrooms with furniture, toilets, and offices in selected locations across the three senatorial districts in Kano State.

Four years down the line and after payment of over N290m to companies selected to undertake the project, the benefiting communities are yet to see any of the classrooms.

The classroom projects were awarded to 6 contractors including S.A.T Engineering Service LTDM. Sulum Nigerian LTD and Emacs Engineering Consultant. The rest are Pyramid Investment, MGK Global Service LTD and Haitel Nig LTD.

Cumulatively, the 6 companies were paid about N290m in the first tranche, for the construction of the classrooms. However, almost three years after collecting the various amounts, WikkiTimes can authoritatively report that the supposed benefitting communities are yet to see anything on the ground.

Communities to benefit from the classroom project include Bauni, Karshi and Kanwa in Karaye Local Government Area, Fulatan, Zagon Gulya and Jiyayia in Ajingi as well as Garo, and Ungwan Wusama, in Ajingi and Kabo local government areas.

READ: Explosions, Cracks, Asthma… What Triacta Construction Company Gives Birshi Fulani Community In Bauchi

Others are Falgore, Jangefe and Sabon Kwara in Doguwa Local Government Area as well as Tsaure, Mamargu and Sanakur in Bichi Local Government Area.

The rest are Dandago and Galandachi in Gwale Local Government Area, as well as Kafin Argur and Burji in Madobi LGA.

Data from the Commission’s website titled Nomadic Schools and Their Location revealed that the last set of schools built by the agency in Kano State was in 2016. These are the schools built in Kakinda in Rano, Komawa and Y/Dalla Fulani in Warawa, Tukwane, K/Yardan Fulani, Dalawa, Kan Iyaka, T/Kano, L/Gada in Takai, Dogari in Rogo and Digawa in Gabasawa as well as Chezawai in Bebeji local government areas.

Reality Check

A visit to these communities showed that not a single classroom block was constructed by these companies within the period under review.

For instance, across the three communities in Karaye LGA (Bauni, Karshi, and Kanwa), WikkiTimes could not trace any of the supposed projects, as the classroom blocks cited boldly carry the insignia of the State Government or the Universal Basic Education.

Sani Aliyi, ward head, Karshi ward, Karaye LGA
Sani Aliyi, ward head, Karshi ward, Karaye LGA

Sani Aliyu, the Ward Head of Karshi ward in Karaye LGA, told this medium that there has not been any such project in his community.

“I have been the District Head even before this administration assumed office. All we have had is the renovation of the old primary and secondary schools by the state government. We have not had any new structure by the commission you just mentioned.”

“We are nomads, and there has not been any nomadic school built here, except if it’s a shadowed building we can’t see. You may want to go and speak to the headmaster or principals of the schools, maybe they are aware of one, at their level.” Aliyu said.

Mal Umar Dan’Sarki who retired from Karaye Local Government as the educational coordinator in 2020 narrates the state of schools in the LGA.

“Karaye local government has over 30 primary schools and all of these schools I must say were constructed by the state government. The recently constructed ones were done by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) in 2019 but were not used until 2021 because of the lockdown of schools due to Covid in 2020,” Umar said.

For the Zango-Gulya community in Ajingi LGA, the villagers claimed that they were only hearing about the project for the first time.

Salisu Gazali, the Ward Development Committee Chairman, whose leadership supervised projects across Ajingi LGA, denied knowledge of the construction of any classroom block purportedly by the Nomadic Education Commission.

“There are only three nomadic schools in the whole of Ajingi, these schools have even been taken away and controlled by the state government, they are not new buildings, they are there for over 15 years now.”

“These nomadic schools are located around the Kano Jigawa border due to the inflow of the Fulani’s who usually migrate from Niger and settle around the border side,” Gazali added.

For Jangefe and Sabon-Kwara community in Doguwa LGA, nomadic residents who decry poor access to quality education and the increasing attacks by kidnappers into their communities from the Folgore forest, lament government neglect over the years.

WikkiTimes observed that over 1000 children in these communities are left to struggle with just a block of 2 classrooms in their shared primary school.

Hauwa Zubairu, in Jangefe community, laments how her children have to walk several kilometres to get to their school in Doguwa town, the LGA headquarters.

“We are typical farmers and Fulani who depend on the rearing of cattle. “We have always lived with the hope that the government will help us at least construct one block of the classroom here, to help our children stay close to us.”

“Salisu Dauda, the community head, revealed how they were contacted that there was going to be a new block of classrooms in their community. “I received a call sometime in 2019 from the local government, that some persons will be coming to secure land for the construction of a secondary school for us, it was good news for us then, I called other community stakeholders and notified them, we prepared the land, yet, and we never saw anyone,” Salisu said.

“I have tried to call the contact ever since then, and the number wasn’t reachable thereafter, so I gave up, and I wish I can still find the number,” Salisu added.

While in Bichi LGA, Sanakur community shares the same fate. Sanakur a border community with Katsina state, which is usually a hub of migrants from Niger and Katsina states also faces the same neglect from the nomadic commission despite being captured as beneficiaries.

Mohammed Abubakar, ward head, Sanakur community
Mohammed Abubakar, ward head, Sanakur community

Muhammad Abubakar, the ward head of Sanakur community denies any such project ever constructed in their community, explaining that the only school in their community is owned and managed by the state government through the local government education department.

“This primary school ‘Sanakur Primary School’ has been constructed for 20 years now, since then there has not been any primary school here in Sanakur, for the secondary school, our children walk kilometres away to attend secondary education,” Abubakar said.

READ: Bello Kaoje Constituency Fraud: FG Awards One Project In Bagudo/Suru 4 Times To Dubious, Inactive, Companies

In Kano Central, Suleiman Baba Ali, Dagachin Dandago in Gwale LGA revealed that their community has not seen or even heard of any such nomadic school project.

“Sometimes, when we hear how the government has helped us on the radio, we wonder if there is another Dandago community in Kano state, but unfortunately, there is none aside from this. In this community, there are no traces of any of the nomadic schools as you have asked; we only have one primary school a few kilometres from here where our children attend. Kindly go back and tell the government, we don’t have the school they claimed to have built for us,” BabaAli said.

In Kafin Argur community in Madobi LGA, Ismail Jibril, the ward head was surprised to hear how his community is said to have benefited from the multi-million-naira schools by the nomadic commission.

“Kwankwaso, built most of the schools here, I am not trying to campaign for anyone, in saying the truth, we must mention names. So, I don’t know at what time the Commission you mentioned built school blocks for us here. There is no nomadic school in this community, we just have an LGA primary school,” Jibril said.

How Contractors Cashed out

A breakdown of the amount expended on the contract according to records from Open Treasury showed that S.A.T Engineering Service LTD received 52,870,275.02 in 2018, M. Sulum Nigerian LTD 40,070,275.02, Emacs Engineering Consultant received 69,421,428.57, Pyramid Investment was paid 40,047,619.04, while MGK Global Service LTD received 60,021,428.57, and Haitel Nig LTD 25,380,952.38 all as the first tranche of payment.

Two companies, same directors, fake locations

Records from NG-Checks and the Corporate Affairs Commission CAC show that M. Sulum Nigeria LTD and Haitel Nig LTD, belong to Alhaji Surajo Marshal, as both companies have the same directors.

The directors of M. Sulum Nigeria LTD and Haitel Nig LTD include; Alhaji Surajo Marshal, Ibrahim Surajo Marshal, Sani Surajo Marshal, Sadiq Surajo Marshal, Yusuf Surajo Marshal, Khairat Surajo Marshal, Fatima Surajo Marshal, Zainab Surajo Marshal, and Surajo Surajo Marshal, all as directors of the two companies.

According to their registration details on the CAC, M. Sulum Nigeria LTD, Haitel Nig LTD, and S.A.T Engineering Service LTD operates from the same location, Hotoro in Kano state meters away from each other.

While M. Sulum Nigeria Ltd claims it operates from No: 9 Eastern By-Pass Road Hotoro Kano, Haitel Nig LTD is located at No, 214 Mohammadu Vice Adamu road Hotoro GRA.

In the same vein, S.A.T Engineering Service LTD also operates from No. 30 Sabara Avenue Hotoro GRA Kano.

WikkiTimes’ visit to the addresses the companies claim revealed that the entire locations are residential, even long before the companies were established.

No contact information of these companies, was available online; as there was no website, emails, phone numbers or social media address of any of the companies. The reporter could not have any means of contacting them; this is even more compounded since the addresses they claim to operate from, remain fictitious.

For Haitel Nig Limited, the firm was registered as a Hotel and Hospitality Company-a clear evidence that the company is unqualified to be awarded the contract.

WikkiTimes could not find any area of specialization for M. Sulum Nigeria LTD as its profile on the CAC portal does not specify any business type.

READ: How Contractors Pocketed Over N78 Million Meant For Road Projects In Bauchi

These two companies, M. Sulum Nigeria LTD and Haitel Nig LTD, received a total of N60,451,227.04 million from the commission as the first tranches of payment on the same date.

When this medium visited the location of the 4th company MGK Global Service LTD, which claimed to be operating from Suit 3 ground floor 12/133 as provided to the CAC, it was discovered that the address is occupied by Standard Constriction Limited.

According to Saidu Jakada, a staff of Standard Construction Limited, “MGK is just the initials of Muhammad Garba Kauga, who used to be my colleague and staff of Standard Construction Limited, he left the company and established his own MGK Global Service LTD, I don’t know anything about him or where he stays.” Jakada said.

Commission withholds information

Hajiya Binta Saeed, Zonal Director North West region which covers, Kano, Jigawa and Katsina declined to respond to questions.

“We have been restricted from talking to journalists. I am afraid I can’t respond to any of your questions. I will advise you to visit the Kano state director of Nomadic commission under the State Universal Basic Education Board, he might provide some relevant information to you,” Saeed said.

Knowing this school project is a federal government project, one will wonder why a zonal director declined to speak, and instead, referred the reporter to a state director.

Musa Wada, the state director of Kano state Nomadic Education Commission under the Kano State Universal Basic Education, claimed that the projects have been completed, but refused to provide further information.

“The project has been executed Musa told the reporter, but if you want more details as regards the project, kindly go to the headquarters of the nomadic commission that executed the project, they will provide more details for you,” Wada said.

What is the Trinity?

The key to the Trinity discussion is understanding and admitting that it is a mystery. Once we rightly arrive at the conclusion that the Trinity is ultimately incomprehensible to the finite human mind, we can then find a biblically balanced position. All of the errors and heresies regarding the Trinity are due to individuals trying to explain the unexplainable and fathom the unfathomable. A finite human being trying to understand an infinite God is like an amoeba trying to understand quantum physics.

The doctrine of the Trinity can be summarized in four points: (1) The Father is God (John 6:27; Romans 1:7; 1 Peter 1:2), (2) Jesus Christ is God (John 1:1,14, 8:58; Romans 9:5; Colossians 2:9), (3) The Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 3:16), (4) There is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Corinthians 8:4; Galatians 3:20; 1 Timothy 2:5). The mystery of the Trinity is that God is somehow three Persons (Father, Son, and Spirit), and yet there is only one God. Those two concepts seem mutually exclusive to our finite human minds. But, remember, we are speaking of an infinite God.

Common errors regarding the Trinity are: tri-theism (the belief in three gods), modalism (the three “Persons” of God are actually modes in which He has chosen to reveal Himself), monarchianism (God existed in Jesus and exists in the Holy Spirit, but Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not, in fact, God), and patripassianism (God the Father became the Son and became the Spirit). Each of these attempted explanations is in error because they contradict God’s Word. The truth about the Trinity is that the Father is fully God, Jesus is fully God, the Holy Spirit is fully God, and there is only one God.

The Persons of the Trinity are distinguished one from another in various passages. “LORD” is distinguished from “Lord” (Genesis 19:24; Hosea 1:4). The LORD has a Son (Psalm 2:7, 12; Proverbs 30:2-4). The Spirit is distinguished from the “LORD” (Numbers 27:18) and from “God” (Psalm 51:10-12). God the Son is distinguished from God the Father (Psalm 45:6-7; Hebrews 1:8-9). Jesus speaks to the Father about sending a Helper, the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17). Scripture speaks of subordination between the members of the Trinity (Luke 22:42, John 5:36; 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7, 13-14; 1 John 4:14). These aspects can only be true with separate Persons within the Godhead. How can one mode of God be subordinate to another mode? How can the Father submit to Himself or the Son pray to Himself? How can the Holy Spirit send Himself?

Again, it all goes back to the fact that the Trinity is a mystery. The sooner we admit that, the sooner we can focus on our relationship with our Triune God. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God—but there is only one God. That is the biblical truth. While it is fascinating to study, the doctrine of the Trinity should not consume our attention or become more important than our actual relationship with our Creator, Savior, and Comforter.

Celebrating Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah At 70: His Day of Glory

All countries in West Africa and some other parts of Africa have people of both Christian and Muslim worshippers and they are living in harmony together but the dichotomy and crisis which religion creates among believers of both faiths is unacceptable.

Nigeria’s former President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan stated this in a message at the 70th birthday and fund raise for the development of the Kukah Centre at Abuja. He emphasized the importance of harmonious relationship and sustenance of the oneness of Nigeria which he said can only be actualized through democratic governance.

He said part of the divisive tendencies among Nigerian Muslims and Christians is that Christians in the North of the country cannot access land to build churches by Muslim land owners and the government. In the same way, there are parts of the south that when a Muslim die, they are unable to access land to bury the dead.

The former President said in his time in government he sat at the head of negotiation with striking university teachers to resolve a four-month long dispute. He did that because it was immoral and out of place for students to stay out of school.

He praised Most Reverend Matthew Hassan Kukah, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto for speaking truth to power all the time, without minding whose ox is gored. The Bishop he said has been a moral beacon and conscience of the nation all through his life as a priest.

The Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong who also spoke at the event said Reverend Kukah cannot be cajoled into doing what he knows to be wrong. He has been constant in truth telling to every set of people in governance in Nigeria.

The Apostolic Nuncio in Nigeria, Archbishop Antonio Guido Fillipazi said one thing is central about Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah and it is that Kukah is a Catholic Priest. He said what people perceive of Bishop Kukah, the great thing is that he is a priest. He always looked forward to Bishop Kukah’s message each time Christmas comes around.

The Chairman of the event and Governor of Sokoto State, Right Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal defined Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah as an enigma, who believes in a united and just Nigeria and speaks out on ills of the society unabashedly.

The Timing of Christ’s Coming

An inquisitive student of mine came to ask me a string of questions one day after class.

He led with this: Why did Jesus come to earth when he did? Isn’t it convenient that Jesus came 2,000 years ago when there was no technology to record him? Wouldn’t it have been much easier for us (and other generations) to believe in him if he came when someone could take a picture or a video of him that could be uploaded to social media and the internet?

His questions came directly after our discussion on God being omniscient (all-knowing). This sharp student wondered God’s reasoning for sending his Son when he knew that other time periods would be more conducive to bringing about belief. 

St. Paul states that “when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption (Galatians 4:4-5). The Christian understanding of Jesus’ coming revolves around this “fullness” of time which St. Paul references. The Incarnation completes something; Christ’s birth, life, mission, teachings, miracles, suffering, death and resurrection bring God’s rescue mission to completion. They fulfill countless promises and foreshadowings from the Hebrew Scriptures. 

Without the Old Testament, Jesus’ coming and mission does not add up. He is merely the son of a carpenter who gained renown as a rabbi and was convicted and executed as guilty of a capital offense. He was simply a famous death row inmate whose following continued after his death.

But the history and writings of the Hebrew people show us something different, that the coming of Jesus is what the people of Israel needed and were waiting for all along. God chooses Israel to be his own for the sake of incorporating all nations and peoples into his love (Genesis 22:17).

Everything starts “in the beginning” (Genesis 1:1). The first three chapters of Genesis set the stage. God creates humanity as the pinnacle of his creation, but they choose themselves over him. Directly after their sin of selfishness, greed and lack of trust, God walks in the garden in pursuit of Adam and Eve while they take cover to hide in the shame of their sin (Genesis 3:8). Their decision has eternal consequences, but before God can even finish explaining the results of their disobedience he says to the serpent: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers. They will strike at your head, while you strike at their heel” (Genesis 3:15). 

This promise of God’s renewal is the first foreshadowing of the coming of Jesus. Theologians have coined the term protoevanglium to describe this verse. Here, we have the “first gospel or good news.” We receive the message that God will set things right. Jesus will be the offspring of the woman (The Blessed Mother) who will be struck by evil’s strongest weapon, but will come about victorious. The weakness of the crucifixion is the achilles heel of faith for so many while Jesus’ resurrection is the proof that he crushes the powers of evil definitively. This verse is the foundation for all conversations on the coming of a Messiah (anointed one) who will save the people from their sins.

The rest of the Bible recounts how God draws near to Israel, forgives them mercifully, and highlights how the Israelites consistently reject, deny, and ignore God. Some of the major figures from the Old Testament history provide the details for Jesus’ birth, life and mission. Moses is sent to save Israel from slavery and death in Egypt (Exodus 3:10) as Christ is sent into the world to rescue us. David is chosen to be king and later promised that his kingdom and reign will have no end (2 Samuel 7:12-14) while we know that Joseph is of the house of David (Luke 2:4). Isaiah the prophet foretold that “a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and he will be called Emmanuel” (Isaiah 7:14) while we know that Mary conceived her son when she had no relations with a man (Luke 1:34).

The prophet Micah foretold that Bethlehem will be blessed because: “From you (the city) shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel; Whose origin is from of old, from ancient times” (Micah 5:1). “Origin of old” refers to the one having no beginning or end, and this is where Jesus will be born because of the census taken at the time of his birth (Luke 2:1-4). The prophet Isaiah tells the people that God is coming to them in power and glory. That the time of the God’s reign will be established by the one who gives sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf as well as the ability for the lame to walk and the mute to sing (Isaiah 35:4-6a). 

Christ performs miracles in all these categories included in the oracle of Isaiah (John 9:1-12; Mark 7:31-37; Luke 5:17-26). Perhaps, the most important and striking example foretelling Jesus’ death and final victory is the Suffering Servant Song (Isaiah 52:13-53). The servant of the Lord was one who had a face like us who would be beaten, mocked, scourged, and killed for our sake. “He was pierced for our sins, crushed for our iniquity. He bore the punishment that makes us whole, by his wounds we were healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Despite the pain inflicted on him, he was found to be blameless and would see the light which death cannot quench. Jesus’ brutal suffering, mockery, death, and resurrection are undoubtedly being called to mind.

These passages, and countless others, spanning across the entirety of the Old Testament portray the logic of Christ’s work and entrance into time. They show the fact that he was born, the manner in which he lived, and the way in which he died and rose from the dead are not the result of random circumstances, but part of a plan that God was preparing the world to encounter in a particular time and place.

While these passages give insight into how Jesus’ identity is in line with Sacred Scripture, they do not necessarily answer my student’s question. God could have simply waited longer in order to send Christ, so that it would be easier for us to believe in him after witnessing the hard evidence of photography or video surveillance, but he chooses not to do it that way.

The answer may be a paradox. The truth is that Jesus makes his age the fullness of time because that is when he comes. Things are not squared away until his Incarnation, life, and salvific work is accomplished. The question from my student is a great one, and a novel one in many ways. However, it is partially flawed. Faith is not meant to be an easy exercise of viewing evidence but a dramatic, dynamic and transformative encounter with Christ as a real living person who we can meet today. 

Jesus makes his age the fullness of time because that is when he comes.

Jesus comes in a certain time and place because this is the age that God deemed was most perfect to inject his lifeblood into. Christianity has an abundance of evidence which makes it reasonable to believe that Jesus is God. Could all of the above Scripture references to Jesus, which literally span thousands of years, simply be a coincidence? 

Galilee two thousand years ago was the place and time for God’s historical arrival in a fashion unlike ever before. The timing does count, but the person and what the person accomplished matters more because his arrival was no accident.

Jesus Christ places the finishing touches on God’s love letter to the world – nothing will impede his search for and victory over your heart.

Signs of Demonic Possession Or Obsession

As unmistakable signs of obsession or possession by evil spirits, the Church has always regarded:

  1. The power of knowing the unexpressed thoughts of others.
  2. The understanding of unknown languages.
  3. The power of speaking unknown or foreign languages.
  4. The knowledge of future events.
  5. The knowledge of things passing in distant places.
  6. The exhibition of abnormal physical strength.
  7. The suspension of the body in the air during a considerable time (in imitation of a similar phenomenon observed
    in the lives of the saints.)
  8. Hatred of saintly persons, of the ordained, of sacraments and sacramentals, even of near relatives; persistent impulse to suicide. A safe sign (according to Poullain) is persistent opposition to the exorcist, so different from submission to the hypnotist.

Strive Always to Grow in Humility

August 31, 2022 Fr. Nnamdi Moneme, OMV

Sir 3:17-18, 20, 28-29; Heb 12:18-19; 22-24; Lk 14:1,7-14

“All we need is pride! All we need is pride!”

This jingle playing on radio recently caught my attention. I listened more closely to understand why we needed to be more proud. To my relief, it was a commercial for a detergent powder called Pride.

There are many things that we need more of in this world. But we certainly do not need more pride in our lives and our world. The capital sin of pride is the mother of all sins. With pride in our hearts, every sin is possible for us and no sin is impossible. We see the effects of pride all around us – theft, lying, infidelity, abuse, wars, violence, malice, etc. We definitely do not need more pride!

The wise man Sirach tells us that we need more humility, “Humble yourself the more, the greater you are, and you will find favor with God” (Sir 3:18). The greater that God raises us in this life, the more that we must humble ourselves if we are going to experience the favor that God wants to bestow on us.

Are we aware of the exalted dignity that is ours as God’s beloved children by the power of the blood of Jesus? Unlike the blood of Abel that called out for justice and revenge on his murderous brother Cain, the blood of Jesus, our mediator, “speaks more eloquently than the blood of Abel,” (Heb 12:24) and pleads for forgiveness for our sins and our unconditional acceptance as God’s beloved children.

Thus, we have this greatness of being children of God, a gift from God by the blood of His Son. Because God has so exalted us, we have a greater obligation to humble ourselves the more. We can never be too humble. In our humility, we acknowledge our nothingness and that all that we are and all that we have come from God and He sustains them in us.

When Jesus says, “When you are invited to a wedding banquet, go and take the lowest place,”(Lk 14:10) He is not merely telling us about protocols of good behavior at public events. The wedding banquet is an image of the heavenly kingdom. The main point in His teaching that we must approach the kingdom of God with ever-deeper humility. Without this humility, we cannot enter the kingdom of God, “Unless you repent and become like little children you cannot enter the kingdom of God” (Mt 18:3).

There are so many ways in which a lack of humility prevents us from experiencing the amazing benefits of God’s kingdom in our midst. Here are a few of them.

Without humility, we will find ourselves fighting and competing with others for honors and superiority. We will be busy seeking for privileged seats that we will completely forget the gift of being invited to the banquet in the first place. We just cannot be at peace with others because of our unbridled pride.

Without humility, we will not be contented with what we have as God’s children. We will always compare ourselves with others and forget our own giftedness. We will lose our peace of mind because we are always searching for more and for better things without appreciating what we have already.  

Without humility, we cannot pray as we should and so we do not receive the graces that comes to those who pray with a humble heart. We thus renounce dependence on God with grave consequences, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (1Pet 5:5) What hope do we have if God should resist us because of our pride?

Without humility, we cannot live a good Christian life because we just cannot obey His commandments. In our pride, we love ourselves more than we love God. Thus, we will break His commandments and even justify it because loving obedience is lacking, “If you love me, keep my commandments.”(Jn 14:15) St. Ignatius of Loyola tells us that the devil does everything to bring us to pride because from that pride, “he can lead us to all sins.”

Without humility, we cannot accept, love and serve all persons because we will look down on many as not being worthy of our love and service. We will pick and choose those we associate with and thus we will lose the reward that Jesus promises to those who relate with all persons with humility, “Blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”(Lk 14:14)

Without humility, we cannot beg God for forgiveness for our sins, forgive ourselves, and forgive others. It takes a truly humble soul to approach God in the sacrament of confession and confess its sins to Jesus through the mediation of a human priest. Obstinately proud persons just cannot forgive others and they will thus forfeit all divine forgiveness, “If you do not forgive men their transgressions, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”(Mt 6:15)

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we seem to have forgotten the danger and malice of pride today. We are playing with pride in so many ways. We sheepishly speak of Gay pride, pride parades, pride events, etc. We indulge in proud thoughts and conversations about our possessions, achievements, relationships, etc. Strictly speaking, we have no reason to be proud of anything in itself apart from God because all that is true, good, and beautiful is from God and He alone deserves all the praise and glory for everything as He says, “I am the Lord, that is my name; my glory I will give to no other.”(Is 42:8)

As God’s children, raised to the dignity of sharing in His own life, we must humble ourselves the more, even as we see pride all around us. Let us begin today to avoid pride in all its forms in our personal lives and in social relationships. We have no business in places or settings where pride is being extolled and celebrated for any reason whatsoever.  

We should also begin to cultivate humble hearts. We can begin by begging God for the grace of a truly humble heart. He loves to give us this gifts if we beg with sincerity and persistent, “A humbled contrite heart, O God, you will not spurn” (Ps 51:17).

We grow in humility by offering sincere thanks to God for all that the good that we have and experience in our lives, “What do you have that you have not received? If then you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift?”(1Cor 4:7) A truly grateful heart will humble itself before God and others.

We also grow in humility as we accept the gift of God’s love for us in Jesus Christ. Nothing humbles us more than knowing that God loves us even in our sins and He will die for us a million times and more just to prove His unfailing love for us. The love of God truly humbles us and teaches us humility, “Learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart” (Mt 11:29).

We also mature in humility when we acknowledge and confess all our sins, especially the sin of pride. Let us not pretend but humbly accept our limitations, humiliations, weaknesses, and sins and let them all remind us of our nothingness. Divine grace floods our souls and raises us up when we live in the truth.

We grow in humility in our relations when we treat others as equals. The blood of Christ has made us children of God and also has given us equal dignity before God. We mock the blood of Christ when we try to lord it over others or manipulate them out of pride.

Lastly, let us cultivate a true devotion to Mary, the Mother of God. God raised Mary to the highest dignity a creature could ever be raised by making her the Mother of God. Mary chose to humble herself more with the title of handmaid, “Behold, the handmaiden of the Lord.”(Lk 1:38) Loving Mary as our Mother allows us to share in her profound humility and to check our pride.

Jesus Christ humbled Himself to become one like us by being born of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He continues to humble Himself in coming to us in the Eucharist under the forms of bread and wine to nourish us and wash us clean with His blood. He thus shows us that an ever-deeper and continuous humility is the path to true life as children of God. He always invites us to grow in this humility.

We definitely do not need more pride but more humility. A soul growing in humility will experience the power of Eucharistic grace. But this same grace is useless to a soul that persists in any of the many forms of pride.

So, by the grace of God, let us never stop living, acting, and growing in humility before God, others and self, and God will surely reward us in this life in the life to come.

The Importance of Recognizing Satan’s Existence

August 30, 2022 by John Boyle

This essay is a sequel to my article, “Disbelief in the Existence of Personified Evil” in the August 2020 issue of this same publication. In that article, I explained Satan’s identity, his motives, his ways, the times in which he attacks, and finally what we can do as members of Christ’s Church to protect ourselves from his influence. I made the point that knowledge of the Enemy encourages people to appreciate the value of their own souls and serves as an important tool for bringing people back to the practice of their faith. Now I will provide three stories that illustrate how this knowledge can be of practical assistance.

Ruth’s Story

My first story involves a woman named Ruth. I met Ruth in a place of prayer. We would run into each other frequently while going to pray. Finally one day we had a conversation which turned to spiritual sharing. She opened up her family life to me, and as I listened, I discerned she had a prayer life but was seeing only half the story. Ruth loved Jesus but was completely unaware of the Enemy and his ways. She was unhappy, though she was prayerful and attended Mass. She did not know the cause of her unhappiness. Ruth wondered if Jesus knew that she loved Him. Being a sensitive soul, she suffered from scruples and had many doubts concerning how Jesus saw her. She often wondered if she was living a hypocritical life, spiritually.

It became apparent to me that she was hearing many voices in her head. In our first conversation I mentioned to her “the three voices”—God’s voice, our voice, and the Enemy’s voice—and explained what I meant. The next time we met, two days later, she told me that what I explained to her completely changed her life spiritually. Ruth was a lifelong Catholic, in her forties, and always spiritually minded. She was good-natured, trying to be a good person. No one ever mentioned the Enemy or spiritual combat to her in relation to the spiritual life. As a result she was hearing and listening to voices that were telling her that no matter what she did, she was displeasing to God.

When we would talk, Ruth would show certain patterns of thought in regard to God. She doubted God’s love for her. She wondered if she was sincere in her spiritual life. She wondered why she was not better, given her prayer life and good efforts. Ruth doubted many things. This doubting led her to believe that maybe she was not living a life that was pleasing to God. But she did love Jesus. She had bad thoughts in her head telling her, “Give up, you’re a hypocrite, Jesus does not love you, stop praying, God does not care.”

This all changed when I told Ruth this was not the voice of God that she was hearing but rather the voice of the Enemy. She believed in the existence of the Enemy, but was completely unaware of the Enemy’s presence in her life and his desire to influence her. Ruth had no idea the Enemy was feeding her these thoughts. She had no idea that the Enemy knew her life, her weaknesses, and her spiritual activities, or that he was always trying to target her in ways that would discourage her from leading a life pleasing to God. The knowledge of this truth alone, concerning the Enemy and his ways, completely changed Ruth’s perspective on her spiritual life and took a heavy burden off her heart. Now she was beginning to believe that Jesus truly did love her, irrespective of her many thoughts and doubts.

Ruth understood that the Enemy was a deceiver by nature and would continue to insinuate these lies into her spiritual life unless she took notice and made some efforts to learn how to discern the difference between God’s voice and the Enemy’s voice. Over time I explained certain principles of discernment to Ruth to help her in this area. She is not a reader of books by nature, so we would meet and pray and then talk about ways to discern the Enemy’s misleading voice. Over time she grew in her ability to discern God’s peaceful voice from the Enemy’s condemning voice. Learning discernment skills also increased Ruth’s ability to understand God’s great love for her. She believed in God’s promises and no longer doubted whether Jesus knew that she loved Him. Ruth was set free from many bad thoughts that for so long made her spiritual life an unhappy journey despite her daily efforts and good intentions. Her prayer life is now deeper and she is also much closer to the Blessed Mother.

Ruth also understands now why Christ’s Church is necessary as a means for protecting her from the Enemy and aiding her growth in the spiritual life. She also better understands the nature of grace and why frequent use of the Sacraments is an important source of many of God’s blessings and graces. Knowledge of the Enemy has helped Ruth become more aware of the need to stay close to Christ’s Church. The Enemy loves a wandering soul. In short, Ruth has a better understanding of the nature of spiritual combat in her spiritual life. She has confidence that Jesus loves her and her intimacy with Jesus continues to grow, whether in trials or joys. She is now free to give more of herself to God and others, knowing that she is always pleasing to God, regardless of her inner feelings or thoughts. Ruth knows that she is deeply loved by God, and that His love is forever.


Discernment is critical to spiritual combat with the Enemy. Revealing the Enemy’s true existence in our spiritual lives is the first step. But having assisted the soul in regards to awareness of Satan’s continual watchful presence, we now must help the person understand how the Enemy works in our personal lives. Without discernment we will be unable to tell the difference between God’s voice, Satan’s voice and our voice. We cannot follow God if we do not know His will for us in our lives. This is where Christ’s Church comes in. The teachings of the Church, the Bible, Catholic books, and spiritual direction can help the soul know God’s will for us on some level. A prayer life is certainly necessary. Discernment skills, like any skill are not gained overnight. This is actually a lifetime project but every path starts with a beginning. Awareness of the Enemy uncovers the need for discernment.

With discernment comes the need to know Jesus’ gentle and peaceful voice. Thus the soul comes to know the importance of Christ and the role of the Church. If we wish to give the wandering sheep a sound reason why they need to return to the True Church, this is it. Without the Church’s assistance, the Enemy has a clear advantage over the wandering soul. I have been told by Jesuit priests that the Enemy loves it when souls try to go it alone in regards to their spiritual lives. No direction is bad direction. Or, if you are not getting your direction from the Church, then where is your direction coming from? When I bring up the issue of discernment in the spiritual life I usually get the same response as I initially received when I first brought up the existence of the Enemy. These things are new so these truths generally catch souls off guard. However, once the soul begins to see how the various puzzle pieces fit together in regards to spiritual combat, it all makes more sense.

Samantha’s Story

My second story involves a woman named Samantha. I first met Samantha when I went into a diner with a friend to have breakfast. She was a waitress at the diner and she came over to take my order. I had been there before but we had never met. As she was taking my order I felt prompted to ask her where she was from and other casual questions. It was not long before I felt this was someone who was searching, spiritually. By the time I departed with my friend, Samantha had given me her cell number and asked if I could meet and talk with her on her day off. I agreed that I would get back to her, and soon after, we met and talked.

Samantha was about 24 years old when we met in 2007. She had a young child who was in the custody of her parents. Samantha was not able to care for her child due to her immaturity and her dependence on a very powerful street drug, heroin. She was spending almost all her income on this drug. She had been struggling with heroin since she was a teenager. She also lived with a man who was drinking frequently. When I met Samantha she was at a low point in her life. She was abused at a young age and from that time, she felt she was unloved and was responsible for all the bad things in her life. She had no sense of having any value as a person. She was on a downward spiral due to her sense of worthlessness. She felt alone, depressed, and was living without any purpose or hope.

As I was listening to her speak about her past and present life, it became clear to me that Samantha was listening to and fighting against many voices in her head telling her many things. These voices said, “You are worthless, you are unlovable, it’s all your fault, you are responsible for all the bad things in your life,” and so on. The voices were constant and filled with accusations. This was where I found Samantha. I began to speak to her about the Dark One, his voice, and the loving Jesus and His voice.

Samantha and I would meet on her days off and I would begin to tell her about the three voices; God’s voice, our voice and the Enemy’s voice and the difference between the three. Awareness that one of the voices she was fighting against was the Enemy, the father of lies, helped Samantha realize she had believed many things about herself that were untrue, and had been for many years. Samantha’s guilt was the cause of her negative feelings about herself. She did not believe God would forgive her for her past life. She did not believe God loved her or wanted to help her. Samantha thought she was beyond God’s acceptance and love. She had never before experienced unconditional love and felt she was not worthy of being loved.

But when I helped Samantha realize the voices she was listening to were from the Enemy and not God, gradually she began to see the truth; that God is love and created her out of His love for her, loved her deeply, and had a purpose for her. The Enemy, who lies and deceives, influenced her to walk away from God and follow his dark and evil ways. Samantha knew that she had made some bad choices in her life but now was beginning to feel a sense of hope that God did love her. She could love herself and with God’s help, turn a new page in her life and start on a journey filled with faith, love and hope in God.

Samantha wanted to have a personal relationship with Jesus. She began praying and reading, and soon after, entered a clinic to help herself get off street drugs and start a new life. Samantha was happy and filled with hope at this time and knew now that the bad voice she had been listening to her whole life was that of the Enemy. No one ever told her this. She was also learning discernment skills which would help her make better decisions in her life, personally and spiritually. Samantha was on a good path. She was getting off drugs, felt better about herself, and was growing spiritually in her relationship with Jesus.

After Samantha entered a drug rehab program, she went to live with some girls in a drug rehab house under adult supervision. I lost contact with Samantha for about nine months. One night Samantha called to tell me she had a relapse. A man came into her life and as he was doing drugs, Samantha soon fell again to the same vice. We met and talked, but I could see that Samantha had fallen back into her weakness. I know this about the Enemy. He does not give up so easily. After a year or so I found out that Samantha had died of an accidental drug overdose.

Samantha’s story is a story of sadness and hope. Surely it is sad that Samantha could not break the deadly attraction that she had to street drugs. To do so would have required a long rehabilitation process and lots of care and love from loving and knowledgeable people. Samantha did not get that care, but she did realize that God loved her. She came to know Jesus and the great story of why He came to give us the gift of eternal life. Perhaps Jesus in His loving way called Samantha home to spare her further suffering. After many years of doing drugs and drinking since the age of twelve, Samantha was far older than her years. She died at the age of twenty-six. Samantha accepted Jesus into her heart. Jesus takes Samantha into His Heart, seeks out the lost, and when He finds them, places them on His shoulders and takes them home.


The one thing necessary is prayer. The Enemy knows the truth of prayer better than saints and mystics. He will do anything and everything to stop a soul from praying, for he knows full well what will happen if the soul develops a deep prayer life. The soul cannot travel the way of deep prayer and sin at the same time for long. Either he or she will give up prayer and go backward or will persevere in prayer and eventually give up sinful habits. The Enemy knows this fact very well, that is why he tries with all his effort and devices to discourage the soul from prayer in the beginning. It is the beginning that matters. Satan knows what we don’t. Mary knows too. That is why in every Marian apparition Mary says “Pray, pray, pray.” It is the one thing Mary always requests of us.

The battle we are in is a spiritual one. Prayer is a spiritual weapon. We will not defeat the Enemy by human action. Saint Padre Pio stated that the rosary is the greatest weapon against the Enemy. That’s just one. But unless the Church rediscovers the power of prayer and teaches the same to the faithful, no matter what else we do, all will be in vain. The spiritual battle cannot be won without prayer. Discernment is impossible without prayer and turning away from sin and turning toward a life of virtue is impossible without prayer.

Through these two stories we can see how knowledge of the Enemy led Ruth and Samantha to a deeper appreciation of their souls and was an important key to bringing them back to the practice of their faith. It is also important to note the role both discernment and prayer played in their spiritual lives. Knowledge of the Enemy can also lead someone from ordinary practice of the faith to genuine discipleship.

Joe’s Story

Joe is someone I met and spent much time with over a span of about two years. Joe was Catholic. He attended Mass more than once a week, read spiritual books and went to confession. On this account, Joe was under the impression that his spiritual life was going well, but as he admitted, he was still living according to his willful desires. After some time Joe’s life became more difficult. He was visited by adversity in multiple ways. I remember Joe saying to me once, when we were leaving Mass together, “I did not sign up for this.” Joe thought that if he went to Mass and did some good things for God, in return, all would go his way. He did not believe God desired us to be saints; he thought being a “churchgoer” was all God wanted. So when life began to get difficult, Joe thought God was not living up to His end of the bargain. Joe would say to me, “I’ve been duped.” Joe was confused by the turn of events in his life and became despondent in his spiritual life.

I started to talk to Joe about God’s desire for our purification and sanctification as well as about the Enemy of souls. It seemed like Joe was hearing this for the first time. He had been Catholic all his life but knew nothing about purification of souls or Satan. This knowledge changed Joe’s way of looking at his spiritual life. I spoke to Joe about spiritual combat. Satan is real and targets our weaknesses to influence our thoughts and behavior. God permits the Enemy to tempt us in order to help us grow spiritually. Through cooperation with grace we grow in holiness and intimacy with Christ. Joe initially thought intimacy with Jesus was meant only for canonized saints and that the Enemy targets only very holy people. At the same time, however, Joe would admit he was still doing some things that he knew were displeasing to God. He continued to have bad thoughts that appealed to his desires and still seemed to be fighting these inner thoughts; the patterns were basically always the same. Joe never even thought the Enemy was targeting him. I told Joe about the motives of the Enemy. Satan wants our soul for eternity.

Joe began to take this to heart. He knew now that he must take his spiritual life much more seriously, and he did. Joe now saw the Enemy for who he truly was and realized that only Jesus could help him overcome the Enemy, and with him, his worldly and sinful desires. Knowledge of the Enemy began to make sense to Joe, and with this new perception, he took measures to resist the Enemy and move closer to Christ. As a result, Joe started to pray more for God’s help. Together, we prayed the rosary and Divine Mercy chaplet. Joe started reading the Bible more carefully and learned more in regards to God’s desires for each of his children. This all brought Joe closer to Christ’s Church and helped him see the true value of grace as a way to ward off the Enemy. Before, Joe’s view of the sacraments was superficial, but now, he saw the true meaning behind teachings of the Church. His perception of the Church began to change. It is not just a building but a divine institution established by Christ to sanctify our souls and lead us to eternal life.

With this knowledge, Joe came to understand why trials and adversity, as well as joys and blessings, were part of our spiritual journey. Knowledge of Satan’s existence and his motives helped Joe see more clearly the path which Jesus wishes us to take within His Church. Spiritual combat made sense. This led Joe to want to be more than just someone who attended Mass. He wanted to be ready to meet Jesus when He came for him. Joe’s love for Jesus increased as did his love for the Catholic Church.

For a long time, Joe lived with a partial knowledge of spiritual realities. As Joe was given the full picture, and the pieces came together, the reasons for the Church’s existence and her mission made more sense. With knowledge comes appreciation which leads to love. Truth and love are really inseparable. As Joe gained a clearer knowledge of the Truth, he was ultimately led to Christ’s Church with new appreciation and gratitude. Joe grew in peace and joy, even as he persevered in his spiritual life. When I first met Joe he was a “churchgoer.” Slowly, Joe became a true disciple of Jesus, focused on following Him and His holy will.


How does Jesus wish us to bring back the lost sheep and lead “churchgoers” to genuine discipleship? We need to pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Divine means are necessary to overcome the Enemy’s power and influence. The Enemy has already taken hold of the lost sheep. How are we to proceed? My experience has shown that we need to start the way the Lord Jesus did when He instructed his Apostles. We need to teach the Gospel, full and in its entirety. We need to tell souls the truth. It is not really prudent to leave out half the story. We only need to see the sheep leaving in greater and greater numbers to know that the present way is not working. They are leaving due to a misunderstanding. The Enemy loves it when we leave him out of the picture. He wishes to remain hidden. He wishes his silent influence to remain just that, silent. We must reveal him. It’s time! His time of working under cover of darkness must come to an end! If we do as Jesus requests us, then Jesus will reward our humility and boldness.

When and how to reveal the Enemy of souls is a challenging question. Do we leave him out of the picture so as not to scare or make souls uncomfortable? Did Jesus mention the Enemy of souls? Did He reveal the reality of Hell? How about the Blessed Mother revealing Hell to the three children of Fatima? What does spiritual combat mean when it comes to our salvation? By our ignoring Satan, will he go away?

The Enemy of souls does not wish us to reveal him. That is a fact. We help him, then, by not revealing his existence. We must reveal both Christ and Satan. The Gospel must be taught in its entirety. The Truth is clear. It is up to each of us to share it.

Abortion: The Sacred Idol of Our Throwaway Society

COMMENTARY: The Catholic pro-life cause is extremist, but not in the way abortion advocates assume.

Pope St. John Paul II greets a child Sept. 16, 1998.
Pope St. John Paul II greets a child Sept. 16, 1998. (photo: Vatican Media / National Catholic Register)

Father Thomas Petri Commentaries August 29, 2022

Abortion advocates and pro-abortion politicians have long been real extremists on the issue. Any discussion of limiting abortion in legislation has been vociferously condemned as an attempt to curb the so-called “right to abortion.” Unrestricted and unlimited access to abortion has become a sacred idol to many people in the throwaway culture of death we live in. 

We know it and abortion advocates know it.

This was on full display some months ago when Catherine Glenn Foster, from Americans United for Life, testified during a session of the House Committee on the Judiciary. The committee revealed their agenda with the session’s title: “Revoking Your Rights: The Ongoing Crisis in Abortion Care Access.” Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland confronted Foster on “calling for a nationwide ban on abortion with no exception for rape or incest.” Foster replied, “If we added rape and incest exceptions, would you vote for it?” Raskin had no answer but to reclaim his time, pretend his question wasn’t answered, and that Foster’s question wasn’t asked. 

After the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade, abortion advocates and politicians are claiming that the pro-life cause is extremist. They make false accusations that pregnancy is inherently dangerous and that the Dobbs decision will lead to more women’s deaths, even though there is no reliable or consistent collection of data on maternal mortality in the United States to prove such claims. However, multiple studies in other countries, with better data and reporting, have shown a fourfold increased risk of premature death from abortion than from childbirth. They accuse pro-lifers of endangering women who have ectopic pregnancies, even though no OB-GYN doctor would use induced abortion to treat such a dangerous condition. 

To be clear, the Catholic pro-life cause is extremist, but not in the way abortion advocates assume. In fact, abortion is a binary for us; a black and white issue. There is no gray. The unborn are living children: human persons made in the image of God with an intrinsic dignity and an inalienable right to live. In a world gone mad, where self-expression is the only “truth” many people recognize and acceptance the only virtue, it is inevitable that anyone who makes a claim for an objective reality—that the unborn are alive and have a right to life—will be labeled an extremist. 

In the spirit of this sort of extremism, Pope Francis has gone on record that abortion is an “absolute evil.” In his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae(the Gospel of Life), St. John Paul II noted that the right to life is the fundamental right on which every society and every other right is based. The unborn are voiceless, the sainted Pope noted, “even to the point of lacking that minimal form of defense consisting in the poignant power of a newborn baby’s cries and tears.” When their lives are trampled and discarded, the rights and dignity of all persons are less easily defended—this is particularly the case for the vulnerable and marginalized. 

While we recognize that some evil will exist in the world until the Lord Jesus Christ puts all evil down definitively, this doesn’t abrogate our responsibility to fight against evil and mitigate its power to the extent we are able to do so by talent and with grace. The Lord once told his disciples, “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). Yes, be wise as serpents—never fighting evil with evil, and moving through the narrow chinks of evil’s armor to limit its power and, dare I say, to bring about good.

This brings us back to politicians and the politics of abortion legislation. Even though pro-lifers might be described as “extremists,” St. John Paul recognized that pro-life politicians would be confronted with difficult choices in order to mitigate evil. This requires them to be wise as serpents. 

He noted in Evangelium Vitae:

“A particular problem of conscience can arise in cases where a legislative vote would be decisive for the passage of a more restrictive law, aimed at limiting the number of authorized abortions, in place of a more permissive law already passed or ready to be voted on” (73). 

He knew, as do we, that such cases are not infrequent. He concluded:

“When it is not possible to overturn or completely abrogate a pro-abortion law, an elected official, whose absolute personal opposition to procured abortion was well known, could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality.” 

Of course, it’s up to politicians to determine the merit of any piece of legislation or initiative, and the optics of their own support for certain agendas. However, pro-life politicians aren’t meant to be and shouldn’t be extremists on the other side of extremist pro-abortion politicians. All things being equal, legislation that limits abortion, even if it still allows for abortion, can be supported, provided that the politician’s opposition to abortion is fully known. This is not to encourage the evil of abortion. On the contrary, St. John Paul noted that rather than representing cooperation with an evil law, such support can be “a legitimate and proper attempt to limit its evil aspects.”

The same is true of statewide referendums. While an outright ban of abortion is preferable, given that even Planned Parenthood admits most abortions are for elective reasons and are not chosen because of rape or incest, a ban of abortion except in these limited instances would have the desired effect of drastically reducing the number of children who are murdered. Voters should consider the merit of supporting limited bans if a complete ban is not yet possible. We can not make the good the enemy of the perfect.

In the meantime, we will continue to pray and to work for the conversion of hearts and minds to the plight of voiceless unborn, hoping to save as many as we can, until the evil of abortion in our country comes to an end and children are welcomed and loved for who they are: persons made in the image of God and called to eternal union with him.

Ex-transgender Teen Recounts ‘Horrifying’ Experience of Transition, Surgery

Chloe Cole stands near her home in Northern California on Aug. 26, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Chloe Cole stands near her home in Northern California on Aug. 26, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Northern California

By Brad Jones August 30, 2022

Chloe Cole was 15 years old when she agreed to let a “gender-affirming” surgeon remove her healthy breasts—a life-altering decision she now deeply regrets.

Her “brutal” transition to male from female was anything but the romanticized “gender journey” that transgender activists and medical professionals had portrayed, she told The Epoch Times.

“It’s a little creepy to call it that,” she said.

Cole, who is now 18, feels more like she’s just awoken from “a nightmare,” and she’s disappointed with the medical and school system that fast-tracked her to gender transition surgery.

“I was convinced that it would make me happy, that it would make me whole as a person,” she said.

Although she feels “let down” by most of the adults in her life, she doesn’t blame her parents for following the advice of school staff and medical professionals, who “affirmed” her desire for social transitioning, puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgery.

Epoch Times Photo
Chloe Cole holds testosterone medication used for transgender patients, in Northern California on Aug. 26, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Most of the medical professionals did nothing to question or dissuade her or her parents, she said.

“They effectively guilted my parents into allowing them to do this. They gave them the whole, ‘Either, you’ll have a dead daughter or a live son,’ thing. They cited suicide rates,” she said. “There is just so much complacency on the part of educators—all the adults basically. I’m really upset over it. I feel a little bit angry. I wasn’t really allowed to just grow.”

Her parents, though skeptical, trusted the medical professionals and eventually consented to their daughter’s desire for medical interventions, including surgery, which was covered by their health insurance policy.

“It shouldn’t be put on adolescents to make these kinds of decisions at all,” she said.


Transgenderism, while widely celebrated in popular culture and on social media in recent times, is a much more divisive issue than people may think, Cole said.

Today, Cole is one of a growing number of young “detransitioners” who reject current trends in transgender ideology and oppose the “gender-affirming” model of care being pushed by progressive lawmakers at state and federal levels.

She recently testified against California Senate Bill 107, proposed legislation authored by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), that would shelter parents who consent to the use of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and gender transition surgery on their children from prosecution in other states that view such actions as child abuse.

Epoch Times Photo
Chloe Cole speaks at an Assembly committee hearing for Senate Bill 107 in Sacramento on June 28, 2022. (Screenshot via California State Senate)

“I think that is really dangerous for families across the U.S. It can tear families apart,” said Cole, who is expected to testify against the bill again this week.

Cole has been harassed on social media and received a couple of death threats from trans activists since she announced her detransition and took a stand against “gender-affirming” policies.

“Now that I’m completely disillusioned from all of it, it’s really shocking that we’ve even gotten to this point,” she said.

The Struggle

Diagnosed with ADHD at a young age, Cole now believes she’s “on the spectrum.”

“There is really a high comorbidity rate between gender dysphoria and autism,” she said.

Though “very feminine” as a young child, Cole was “a bit of a tomboy,” as she grew older.

“I just really hated dresses, skirts, and things of that sort,” she said.

Epoch Times Photo
Chloe Cole holds a childhood photo in Northern California on Aug. 26, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Children’s TV shows had left her with the message “girls are less significant,” because they often depict characters who are more girly or feminine as “stupid, airheaded, and like just get in the way of things,” she said. “And that kind of imprinted on me.”

However, her real fear of femininity and early disdain for womanhood began years ago on social media and LGBT websites, she said.

“I had started puberty fairly young, about 9 years old, and I started to struggle with growing into a woman,” she said.

She started her first social media account at 11 on Instagram, and with nearly unrestricted access to the internet, she was exposed to inappropriate content, including pornography and “sexting” in online communities.

On Instagram, she was first approached by boys who identified as gay and bisexual through the platform’s messaging feature, but eventually began spending more time on recommended websites for 12- to 19-year-old “trans” teens.

“There was one particular page that stood out to me. It was a bunch of adolescents who identified as FTM [female to male]. It seemed like they were very closely knit, a very supportive community, and that just kind of spoke to me because I’ve always struggled with making friendships and feeling excluded. I’ve never really fit in with other kids my age.”

Cole seldom interacted with the transgender community in real life, but she noticed from online discussions with trans teens that many of them had deep emotional scars and mental health issues.

“Pretty much every transgender person I’ve ever met, especially around my age either has really bad family issues, or they’ve been sexually abused or assaulted at a very young age, and it’s really concerning that nobody really talks about that association,” she said.

Epoch Times Photo
Chloe Cole stands near her home in Northern California on Aug. 26, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

At 11, Cole also didn’t understand she wasn’t supposed to look like the sexualized images of scantily clad women she saw online.

“I didn’t know that then,” she said. “I started to develop body image issues. I started thinking, ‘Why don’t I look like this? Am I not a woman?’ And a lot of the feminist content pushed by other girls was making womanhood out to be this terrible thing.”

The Transition

By the time she was 12, Cole told her parents she was transgender and they sought out professional medical help.

Cole went to a gender specialist, who referred her to an endocrinologist. When the endocrinologist refused to prescribe blockers or hormones, citing concerns about how they could affect Cole’s cognitive development, he became the first and last doctor to ever deny her gender-affirming care.

“It was very easy to just find another endocrinologist who would affirm me,” she said.

After two appointments, a second endocrinologist approved both puberty blockers and testosterone.

Cole was 13 when she began physically transitioning. The puberty blocker injections reduced the estrogen in her body, and about a month later, she started injecting herself with testosterone, a process medical professionals call hormone therapy.

“They put me on blockers first,” she said. “I would get hot flashes. They were pretty bad. They would happen kind of sporadically, and it would get to the point where it would feel really itchy. I couldn’t even wear pants or sweaters in the winter. It’s like an artificial menopause.”

Once on testosterone, Cole’s voice “dropped pretty low” and her breasts got smaller and lost their shape over time, she said.

Cole stayed on puberty blockers for about 18 months and testosterone for about three years.

The hot flashes ceased when she stopped taking the puberty blockers, she said.