Sunday, February 18, 2018

Memoirs Of Vampirist Romania, The Gulag Of Easter Europe: Come and Self-publish your book to Amazon's Kindle Store

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 Escaping Vampirism
In Transylvania to the World


By Dr Olga M. Lazin


In 1963 when I was born in Transylvania, the “golden age” of socialism
was in full “progress”.
A mythical space, Transylvania is the place
that gave me my roots and brains. In 1963, the Northern part of Romania.
Magdalena has given birth to me in one of the most pristine, oxygenated part of
town, the beautiful Satu-Mare.
Two years later she gave birth to my
brother, Alex in Sighetu Marmatie. The city of Satu Mare was undergoing catastrophic
transformations, as it was forcefully modernized by Ceausescu’s decrees, and
people from the villages were forced to work in huge, socialistic factories.
Along the Somes river, the tiny village of Vetis, where my ancestors on my
father’s side were born, is now a heavily populated colorful and diverse, it
really grew into a lovely place. On my mother’s side, Bixad, in the Oas
region of Romania is still a beautiful traditional village, with houses spread
far apart, not all jammed together. My mother was “osanca”, as they would
ethnically distinguish her in the old days. There are many ethnicities in my
new town we moved to named Sighet. Or Sighetu-Marmatiei. We had Hungarians, Jews,
Gipsy, Romanians, and Ruthenians, not to mention Germans, and Tatars.
I was born to a family of
middle-class folks Eugene and Magdalena. I was the first child, and right after
me came my brother, Alexandru in 1965. I remember being happy having a brother.
At age three, my mother Magdalena was transferred by her employer (The Logging
Company in Viseul de Sus, Maramures County) to Sighet, in Maramures County.
Thus, my parents and I moved to the Transylvanian town of Sighet, in a pristine
region behind the mountain of Gutinul.
Transylvania was an ancient forest, where vampires and
wolverines were lurking at the cover of the dark
and cold
winter nights.
I never feared the unknown, as I was already
accustomed to “strigoi,” and vampire stories ever since I was a baby! All
these weird mythological entities were part of my
ecosystem, so to say.
I grew up fearless with my brother, Alex, whom I
felt I had to
constantly protect from other belligerent boys in
the
 neighborhood
of Zahana, as it was called the cluster of
houses built by in the sixties and seventies, in
Hungarian style; the Jewish headquarters of Zahana.
The Lazin family lived right in the Jewish square, on the same block
with Ellie Wiesel’s family, the author of “The Night”. The Jewish family that
had been deported in the 40s by the Sigheteni themselves during the fascist
period,
1940-1944.
Sighet was surrounded by
beautiful green mountains, and three rivers: Mara, Tisa and Iza.
    On the one hand, I was friends with the
children of intellectuals, as well as also lovely Romanian, Hungarian, Jewish, and
Gipsy children to whom I taught the Romanian language as early as fourth grade,
in my neighborhood.
On the other hand, my family had
a difficult life because my parents were always working until late hours at
night. My younger brother Alex and I read the local newspapers while waiting
for mother, Magdalena,
to turn off our lights even as
she continued into the wee hours her accounting work at home. She was
compounding the lengths and width of the wooden logs that were being exported
to Russia year by year.
     During the day, Magdalena let us play all
day long to our heart’s content. So unique, and we felt so free exploring
nature in Sighet. When I entered primary school, I learned
that Sighet was officially named Sighetu Marmației (on
Romania’s northwest border facing Ukraine’s southwestern border with Romania
and Hungary). Marmatiei has been added to mark the overly-emphasized Latinity

Transylvania had been Romanian territory before it was taken away by
the Trianon Treaty. It then went to the
Kingdom of Hungary (Transylvania) as part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire before World War I. The disputed territory of Transylvania became part
of
Romania again finally in 1918.
In 1940 Northern Transylvania reverted to Hungary as a result of the Second Vienna Award, but Romanian queen Maria rightfully reclaimed
it after the end of World War II.[i]
All of Romania was seized for its oil by Nazi Germany (1940-1944),
“liberated” by the “Soviet Union” (1944-1947), and “re-liberated” to become the
Popular republic of Romania (under USSR remote control) as the Cold War
was beginning to freeze the Iron Curtain into to place.

The first “president,” Gheorghiu-Dej (1965) ruled as puppet of Moscow,
but when he died, his Sec Gen of the Communist Party of Romania, Nicolae
Ceausescu, was elected as the second “president” (1965-1989), shifting his
savage dictatorship into a harsher “nationalistic Gulag” than known in the
USSR.  At the end of 1994 the Russian
military organized “presidential” elections of “people’s committees” in the
region.[ii]
The end of the war occupied some
formerly Romanian northeastern territories occupied by the 
Soviet
Union
, with Red
Army
 units stationed on Romanian soil. In
1947 Romania forcibly became a 
People's Republic (1947–1965).




My parents in 1963: Eugen & Magda: she was pregnant with me here.

For two decades I neither understood the dimensions of tragic situation
of Transylvania (located in northeast Romania on the Ukrainian border), nor did
I understand that I would have to escape the Gulag of Romania by the skin of my
teeth.



I had to risk my life to leave my country. Generals and sports
Olympians were defecting.
Nadia Comaneci has left in 1988, one year before Ceausescu was toppled.
Opposition to the regime was building up painstakingly slow, and
communist idiots
wanted Ceausescu replaced. The Russian KGB school at work, soviet
agents like Iliescu were ready to take his place. Now these were the vampires
coming out like vermins to manipulate the population into believing they were
“change”.
The Front of national salvation was building up to substitute the
dictator’s fascist clique.
For peoples of the world Transylvania seems to be a far-away place,
where most people know the werewolves and vampires have been rumored to roam
& lurk in nature. In the imagination of people everywhere, whose beliefs
are soaked in mystical folklore, even today it is hardly possible to have a
rational conversation on any subject matter. Most occupying forces never understood
either the culture of the Romanian people or the distinct culture of
Transylvania. The immense diversity of the ethnicities and cultures.
Naturally I am a bi-national citizen. My Ruthenian roots are strong,
and I rejoice every time I am remembering the pretty pristine landscapes of
Sighet and Satu Mare where I was born.
Summoning my unconsciousness to write this autobiographical piece, I
need to re-accustom myself to thinking of the distinct cultures of the region.
Once in general school I excelled in Romanian and American Languages.
I had to choose between English and Russian, and I opted for English in
the 5th grade.
The population consisted of Romanians, Hungarians (particularly Székelys), Ukrainians, and Germans. Even the Securitate, the eminence grey of Transylvania, had to learn
several languages in order to surveil people on the phones, etc. These people
were educated by the Soviets in Russian surveillance techniques and bloody
procedures.
All these languages are still being spoken
on the Territory of Maramures County, including Rroma, or the Gypsy language,
Hungarian, Ukrainian, and Ruthenian.
 I
always liked and loved the Romanian language, so I decided to become a
Professor of Romanian Language and Literature.
As I have previously mentioned, n
1973, at age 10 as a fifth grader, I had to make a fateful decision about my
choice of foreign-language study: Russian or English. The pressure was on
us to take up Russian, this
proving that we were all students loyal to the Dictator Nicole Ceausescu’s
“Socialist” Government (read Romanian Communist Government allied with Moscow),
but consciously I detested the whole Romanian system and its alliance with the
Russians.
I never liked the Russian
language; even today it rings hollow to me, reminds me of the barking of a
toothless dog.
Although I wanted to learn
English in my early years, I did not then know how fateful that choice would be
until 1991, when at almost 27 years of age, I met Jim Wilkie who had been
advised by his brother Richard to include my town of Sighet in his journey to
assess the how Eastern Europe was faring after the fall of the “Berlin Wall,”
short for the long wall that kept the people of Communist countries locked and
unable to escape.
In the meantime, growing up in
Sighet with a population of only 30,000 people, we were proud to recognize Ely Wiesel
(born 1928) as our most prominent citizen long before he won the 1986 Nobel
Peace Prize. He helped us get past the terrible history of Sighet Communist
Prison where “enemies of the state” were confined until “death due to natural
cause.” The Jewish population has been decimated in Sighet in the fifties.
In my early years I had a hard
time understanding how the green and flowered valley of Sighet (elevation 1,000
feet, on the Tisa River at the foot of our forested Carpathian Mountains) could
be so beautiful, yet we lived under the terribly cruel eye of the Securitate to
protect  the wretched Dictator Nicolae “Ceausescu,”[iii] is
the modern spelling of the Dictator’s name; and he ruled from 1965 to his
execution in 1989 as the harshest leader of all the countries behind Russia’s
Wall against Western Europe.
Oddly enough, in the Transylvania of the late 1960s, 1970s,
and 1980s, supposedly I was living the
“Golden Age of Romanian Socialism,” but even to myself as a young student; I
could see that the promised “full progress”
was clearly a lie. Most
adults agreed but feared to speak so bluntly. Repetitive folk songs were
praising the father and the mother of the nation, and on TV, we could only
watch the first couple running around in China, Russia, and other socialist
countries to make alliances, and keep up appearances for 40 years! In Northern
Transylvania we had only one TV Channel, and that was the norm. The Hungarian
channel was completely blocked out by the government, so that no real news
reaches our ears.
In the meantime, without rarely granted permission,
we were forbidden to meet and visit with foreigners, especially those who spoke
English and who wanted to hear from us about Sighet and its nearby wooden
hamlets of the
Maramures
Province, where I have my first memories.
The region is ethnically diverse, with a stimulating climate ranging
from very hot summers and very cold winters. Geographically, we lived in the
valleys and Mountains of Gutinul through which the rivers of Iza and Tisa flow.
Geographically, the beautiful forested Tisa River is the natural border with
Southern Ukraine.
As folklore has it in the West,
vampires are native to Transylvania. We had vampires, werewolves, and
wolverines, but all the mythological characters were actually members of the
Communist Party, which everyone had to join--except for me because with my
knowledge, I was considered a security risk!
Fortunately, when in 1982 I entered the University
Babes Boljay,
in Cluj-Napoca, to earn my M.A. in 1990, for my Philology
classes, and I decided to conduct my field research project into the rural life
of the North of Romania, recording the folklore (especially myths) invented and
passed down by rural folks (including small merchants, farmers, fisherman,
loggers) had had used that lore to help them survive for centuries.
Further, much of my research conducted among the outlying farmers, delved
deeply into Transylvania Folklore, which prepared me well to understand
Communist Party Lore.
Thus, for the second time, my fateful choice of a field research
project, the Elitelore project had further prepared me, unknowingly, for my
future with Jim Wilkie. 
We were constantly studying the elites, and were interviewing them on
everything
they were doing. Revolutionaries, Professors, civic society leaders
were the best subjects of our research.
Once I had been admitted to the
Babes Bolyai University, which was called “the heart and brain of
Transylvania,” I also further expanded and deepened deep studies in American
language and literature. Also, I studied Romanian language and literature in
the Department of Philology. The Bolyai University Is considered the best
University in Transylvania.
Upon beginning my mentoring for
other students, I was happy to find a sense of freedom. Reading and writing
comprehension were my forté during my four years at Cluj.  I had always dreamt of being a professor and
a writer and seemed to be off to a great start.
But I soon realized that our
professors opened the day by reading the mounds of new Decrees just signed by
Ceausescu.  Thus, I began laughing, and
other students join me in mocking the wooden language of Central Planning’s
attempt to befuddle us with words from a wooden language, totally bent toward
twisting our brains into confused submission. Professors and Securitate
officers were acting as sweaty bureaucrats trying to teach us how to sharpen
our mental images. Not one professor asked us, “What do each of you really
think of all this Ceausescu propaganda of decrees harming the educational
process?”               
Professors had their favorite
students and made sure they pointed this out in class, stifling any competition
as they show openly their favoritism or nepotism.
When I reached the age of 22
in1985, I started to be argumentative, criticizing professors, especially the
history professor who only knew only the History of the Romanian Communist
Party.
The Russians, via the KGB, had
been directing Romanian politicians since 1945, and pressured Romanian students
to dig useless trenches as well forced women-students to shot Russian weapons,
and learn to disassemble and assemble the AK47.
Meanwhile in my University Cluj
the atmosphere was dreadful in classes. Restrictions were plentiful and absurd.
Speech was not free; one couldn’t discuss issues freely in class, or make any
real analysis or debate. One had to regurgitate what the professors were
telling us. Modern economics led by and read whatever was there in the old
books stacked in the communist library. Until I escaped Romania in 1992, I learned
that the so-called economics classes we took taught nothing about money,
credit, and such terms as GDP. The Marxian economics involved only
fuzzy nonsensical slogans such as
“We Romanians have to fight-off the ‘running dogs of capitalism,” without the
word “capitalism” ever being defined except in unrealistic theory laced with
epithets.
 Even as an English major, I was not permitted
to speak with foreigners in English --answering one question was a crime,
according to the tendentious Security Decrees. Abortion was a crime punishable
for up to 20 years in prison. Doctors performing it ended up in jail, and so
did the pregnant women. Punishments were ridiculous—the Anti-Abortion Law
lasted for 40 years, until 1990.
Furthermore, if my uncle from
Canada visited us, we were all under surveillance, the entire family. Even
today, in 2017 one has to report to the police to declare if any visitor of
family comes from the USA (or Canada, for some bizarre security reason). Well,
after 25 years, not much has changed in poor Romania.
  
THE
INFLUENCE OF RECENT ROMANIAN HISTORY
In the meantime, the History of Transylvania
weighed heavily on population of Romania, with constant change in the emerging
political map always have left “citizens” always lost about who was really in
charge.
Thus, Transylvania was
originally part of the Dacia Kingdom between 82 BC until the Roman conquest in
106 AD. The capital of Dacia was destroyed by the Romans, so that a new as
capital would serve the Roman Province of Dacia, which lasted until 350 ADS, by
which time the Romans felt so hated that it behooved them withdraw back to
Rome.
     
During the late 9th century, western Transylvania was conquered by the
Hungarian Army to later become part of the Kingdom of Hungary and in 1570 to
devolve into the Principality of Transylvania. During most of the 16th and 17th
centuries, the Principality became an Ottoman Empire vassal state, confusingly
also governed by the Habsburg Empire.
After 1711 Transylvania was consolidated
solely into the Hapsburg Empire and Transylvanian princes were replaced with
Habsburg imperial governors.
After 1867, Transylvania ceased to have separate
status and was incorporated into the Kingdom of Hungary as part of the
Austro-Hungarian Empire.[iv]
After World War I, Transylvania
reverted in 1918 to be part of Romania. 
In 1940 Northern Transylvania again became governed by Hungary and then
Germany, but Romanian queen Maria successfully reclaimed it after the end of
World War II.
The year 1940 was important for Romania because if
was seized for its oil by Nazi Germany (1940-1944), “liberated” by the “Soviet
Union” (1944-1947), and finally “re-liberated” to
become the Popular republic of Romania (under USSR
remote control), as the Cold War was beginning to freeze the Iron Curtain into
place.
At the end of World War II while the USSR and its
Red Army were the occupying powers in
 all Romania,
in 1947 Romania forcibly and ironically became a “People’s Republic”
(1947–1989), after the rise of the Iron Curtain.
The first “president,” Gheorghiu-Dej (1947) ruled
as puppet of Moscow, but when he died, his Secretary General of the Communist
Party of Romania, Nicolae Ceausescu, was elected as the second “president”
(1965-1989), shifting his savage dictatorship into a harsher Romanian “Gulag”
than known in the USSR.   Thousands of
Romanians had vanished overnight.
For two decades, I neither understood the
dimensions of tragic history of Transylvania, nor did I yet realize that I
would have to escape the Gulag of Romania, even if by the “skin of my teeth.”
For peoples of the world Transylvania seems to be a
faraway place, where most people know the werewolves and vampires have been
“seen” to in the imagination of Transylvanians, whose
beliefs were soaked in mystical folklore. Even today
it is hardly possible to have a rational conversation with most the
Transylvanian folk on any subject without recourse to try to understand where
their distorted imagination has befuddled them.
         The
population has consisted of Romanians, Hungarians, Germans, and some
Ukrainians. These languages are still being spoken in Romania’s Maramures
province, but because I always liked and loved Romanian language, I decided to
become a Professor of Romanian Language
and Literature. I also precociously fell in love
with my English Professor, Spaczai.
MY BACKDROP TO THE FALL OF
CEAUSESCU
I later told Jim how I had been admitted in 1982 to
the Babes-Bolyai University, in Cluj-Napoca at the heart of Transylvania, I
focused especially on Linguistics. Unfortunately, there I found that the
professors, who were under the control of sweaty-stinking Securitate officers,
had to read dozens of new Decrees issued every day as they sought to control
every one of our daily actions—all in the name of protecting the Ceausescu government—which
was selling the country’s food supplies to Russia in order to pay down Roman’s
official debt with exports. Those Securitate officers ate well and ominously
watched us virtually starve. They said, be calm, like your parents in the face
of their starvation.  Secu
officers were the vampires and
the wolverines that I was talking about in my first paragraph. They are
surveillance officers, and this is what they do: inform on innocent people,
place all types of microphones under people
s tables and beds, and that have
fun as perverted this may sound in almost every home in Sighet, Maramures
County. They report on you, and this earns them a living.
 Thus, I
furiously called out in my classes that our very existence was being
compromised by Ceausescu's abandonment of the population, which was ordered to,
as Lenin famously said, “work, work, and work.”
To protect myself as best I could, I turned to
humor, seeking to ridicule Ceausescu’s “national paradise.”  But when I encouraged my classmates to laugh
at the propaganda embedded in the wooden language of the national bureaucracy,
I soon fell under the heavy scrutiny of university authorities, who were
furious that I trying to expose the fact that all classes had been organized to
befuddle the student body into confused submission. Indeed, each professor had
favorite students to help drown out legitimate questions and stifle any
competing analysis—the university lived under nepotism, favoritism, the threat
of rape (virtual and real) by the Securitate officers, and open bribery by the
professors--choose your garden variety.
              
My 1986 Attempt To Flee The Jail Named Romania
By 1986, at age 23, I had decided to flee
Romania—an illegal act because Ceausescu did not
want anyone (especially women of child-bearing age)
to escape his plan to building his “ideal socialist industries” on farms and
ranches as well as in the cities. In June, I made my way to
the border of Yugoslavia and paid a smuggler to
evade the Romanian security forces that were preventing the “nations workers”
from escaping. The smuggler, who took me across the border, turned out to be
working for Romanian Border Police. Thus, soon after crossing into
Yugoslavia, he turned his wagon around and I was
again in Romania again when I realized what had happened too late. I had been
“sold” to Ceausescu’s minions for a wagonload of salt and 20 Liters of
gasoline. Iosif Broztito, the President of socialist Yugoslavia had this type
of deal with Nicolae Ceausescu in the1980s.
Thousands were returned for this kind of draconian
exchange.
That failed escape from Romania led me to a
10-month prison sentence in Timisoara Prison, wherein the block cells were maintained so cold (supposedly to eliminate bacteria
and viruses) that it made all of us inmates sick with the cold and the flu.
Bed blankets in the were less warming than
one Kleenex tissue. Moreover, there were no pillows, and the concrete slab
where inmates slept was a “back-breaker.” The lights were on 24 hours a day,
blinding all of us, and there was constant observation. Every hour one was
awakened to be counted for, and sneaking up on people, under the guise of
watching out for suicides. But everyone could be clearly seen by the guards,
and there was no need to sleep-deprive inmates. There was also someone in the
higher echelon ripping off the food budget to siphon money to themselves while
serving inmates only baby carrots and spicy beans.
Almost every family in Romanian civil
society had at least one member who had been imprisoned for trying to open the
political system by denouncing the Ceausescu dictatorship. These inmates were
openly called “Political Prisoners,” and I was one of them.
Political Prisoners were not permitted to work
outside the prison walls in the fields because our crime had been the political
decision to repudiate Ceausescu’s “vampiristic system.”  
                                    

“CHANGE IN THE AIR”
Once free in 1987, I could finally
return to my University to finally complete my M.A. in 1990 at Babes-Bolyai in
Cluj Napoca.  
 Further in 1987, at the age of 24, I met the
Family patriarch Nicolae Pipas,[v] who
directed for the Communist government the walled Regional Art Museum in a quiet
part of Sighet. When he realized that I was a Professor of the English and Romania
Languages, and one of the few university’s highly educated persons in the
region, I began to serve as interpreter/guide to visiting foreign Ambassadors
permitted to travel in Romania. They wanted to see the Museum with its
magnificent collection of paintings, sculptures, and rare historical pottery
and coins. Thus,
I soon found myself interpreting
and translating for visiting English-Speaking Ambassadors from many countries
who wished to know Transylvania, especially my village Sighet and its Merry Cemetery
famous worldwide for it tombstones in the form of wood sculpture of the
butcher, the baker, candlestick maker, and all professions.
Although my first languages were Romanian and
Hungarian, I could also translate into French and Italian. Indeed, at that time
I was teaching Latin in the Rural School System of my Maramures Province.
Ceausescu and his clique has starved us to death,
and all food was rationalized.
A piece of bread for each individual, an d1 liter
of oil per month, as well as salami was distributed to the people lined up for
days in front of the empty-shelved stores. And the time for distributing food
was also set arbitrarily by the communist Party.
 By 1989,
Ceausescu realized that his end was near, and he sought to gain support by
pardoning his political prisoners (such as myself) who had tried to escape the
horrendous conditions in the country. Hence, university students and some labor
unions joined forces and quite quickly after the fall of the Berlin Wall forced
Ceausescu and his draconian wife Elena to flee. They were caught and executed
on Christmas Day, 1989, by the military that at the last moment joined the
Revolution.
‘As my friends and I (along with most of the
population) cheered the fall of the failed, rotten Romanian “dictatorship of
the proletariat,” my dear mother acted differently. She was so confused by the
propaganda of the only “leader” she knew much about that she wept for
Ceausescu, not fully realizing that he was the one who had wrongly had be
arrested and put me in prison. 

In 1989, Romanian students were fed up with the
dictatorship, and started a rebellion in Bucharest, at the University Square. Simultaneously,
people in Timisoara also started the revolution via civil disobedience. For a
week and so there were bloody fights in Bucharest and Timisoara, young
People trying to get rid of Ceausescu’s regime. So
finally, Iliescu another communist monster (schooled in Moscow) took over and
under the pretext of filling the vacuum of power he self-appointed himself
president.
He stole the revolution with his acolytes, and over
1000 people were dead in the streets.
With Ceausescu gone, in 1990 I was able to secure a
passport to ready myself to leave Romania by gaining visas for Germany and
France. The question remained, how to get there by land without a visa to
Austria—my region had no air connection to the outside world.
There was only one airport in the country, in
Bucharest.
I decided to leave with Professor James m Wilkie
and Jim Platler in September 17, 1990.
Jim has filled out all the paperwork to hire me,
and I gratefully accepted to work for
PROFMEX, a global network of Professors studying
Mexico and the World.
Thus, we set out on that September 18th
to visit one of the most socially and economically interesting and beautiful
parts of Romania by going up thought the green forested Carpathian Mountains
via the beautiful Prislop Pass, stopping to visit small farming families in
their folkloric clothing of which they were justifiably proud to wear on a
daily basis.  Farther east in Romania, on the scenic roads, we visited the
monasteries of Moldova, the town of Cimpulung Moldovenesc, Suceava, and then
the Monasteries in Sucevita and Agapia. The gorgeous forested mountain road
eventually led to Lacul Rosu and the lake country. Then we took the long scenic
mountain road to Cluj Napoca to visit my prestigious University.
As I briefed Jim about Romania, he was briefing me
about factors in comparing national economies. For example, he told me about
how he had reunited in Prague on September 15th with Richard Beesen,
his former
UCLA student and friend, to hear
about his role in London as Manager of Deutsche
Bank’s New Accounts in Russia and Eastern Europe. Richard had become famous for
inviting Banking Officials and national Treasury Ministries to deposit their
financial reserves on deposit in his bank in London. But because his clients
did not understand anything about “interest payments” on deposited funds, they
did not ask for nor did they gain any interest payments. Also, because most
Western Banks were not sure that these new “capitalists” could be “fully
trusted” for correct management of their deposits, his Deutsche Bank collected large fees (and paid no interest to keep
the Eastern Europe “bank reserves safe.” This was all very eye opening for me.
Jim and I had realized early on that we had a close
affinity as we analyzed the situation of Romania, and he said, “Call me Jim.”
(In contrast I called Professor James Platler “JP.”) As we traveled to observe
the situation of the people in different parts of the country, Jim and I formed
a deep bond of observing and analyzing; thus, both of us realized this brief
interlude had to continue for the long term in order to achieve our goals.
NEXT STOPS, BUDAPEST, SALZBURG,
MUNICH,
 BORDEAUX (FOR ME), AND LOS ANGELES (FOR JIM)
  As a
Romanian, I had the right to enter Hungary, and we did so bypassing the miles
of vehicles waiting to cross the border for the long drive to Budapest. There
Prof. James Platler finally relaxed after the long drives and often poor hotels
and hotels—he said that he finally found unbroken civilization again.
    Once we
arrived in Budapest, Professor James Platler, who had told Jim privately that
from the outset of our trip that he thought that I was a “Spy” (planted on us
by the Romanian Securitate to monitor our many “foreign” inquiries during our
travel through Romania’s north country), announced that his concern about me
had vanished as we realized the extent of my knowledge and research abilities.   In his mind, I had to be a Spy because I had
obtained access to special private dining rooms and quarter in some fine
hotels, as well as invitations for wonderful lunches at some Monasteries, where
miraculously I made immediate friends with each Mother Superior. But by the
time we reached Budapest, he realized that at my University I had learned the
Elite skills needed to survive safely and comfortably in Eastern Europe. 
        My
problem was to enter Austria, where I had no visa. But Jim passed his
UCLA business
card through to the Consul General of Austria in Budapest, and quickly we found
ourselves whisked from the back of the long line to the front and right into a
meeting with the Consul General himself. He was pleased to hear about the
research of our
UCLA Team, but said that I did have a visa. Jim then
told them that I only needed a three-day transit visa to reach Germany, the
visa for which he could see in my passport.
With entry to Austria solved, we were on the road
to the Hotel Kobentzl and Graz, which overlook Salzburg, all the way analyzing
the comparative economic and social situations of Austria, Hungary, and
Romania.
We spent most of our time down
the mountain from Kobentzl to the valley, before returning to our sweeping
Hotel view of Salzburg City. Meanwhile I was deepening my questions about
capital is leveraged to undertake big private projects. As we took photos over
from on high looking down on the many bridges of Salzburg and Jim was
explaining how the developed world operated by using finances, credit, and
interest to help economies grow.
Finally, we left Salzburg to
enter Germany and Munich, where our quick look into Oktoberfest found us among
nasty drunken louts each of whom seemingly had hand four hands: one to
chug-a-lug beer; one to smoke foul smelling cigarettes; one to quaff
horrible-bleeding-raw sausages; and one to punch someone in the face. From what
we saw, Oktoberfest was a place for nasty males seeking to “get smashed on
beer” and then smash another male to break his nose. Thus, we fled for our
lives as the brutes began to threaten anyone who looked at them.
         Even
though the “English-Speaking USA” had
been supposedly always threatening to invade Romania, I continued to study
English language and literature. That I chose to study English even though the
act alone brought suspicion on me because all society was taught to believe
since 1945 that we were fighting off the Great USA.[vi]
America was officially seen as a threat to Romania and its allies under
Russia’s COMECON,[vii]
all of which I became only fully aware as I grew older and had to buy the
English Course textbooks on the risky, expensive Black Market, in Timisoara, a 4
hours’ drive from Cluj-Napoca.
In the meantime, without rarely
granted permission, we were forbidden to meet and visit with foreigners,
especially those who spoke English and who wanted to hear from us about Sighet
and its nearby wooden hamlets of the
Maramures Province, where I have my first memories.
The region is ethnically diverse, with a stimulating climate ranging
from very hot summers and very cold winters. Geographically, we lived in the
valleys and Mountains of Gutinul through which the rivers of Iza and Tisa flow.
Geographically, the beautiful forested Tisa
River is the natural border with Southern Ukraine. Mara is another
river I explored in my youth with my brother, Alex.
My mother Magdalena decided, when I was 3,
to move from Satu-Mare to the Sighet, Maramures county. For me this change was
welcome, and I grew up in the Maramures region, where I have I have my first
memories. The region was much nicer, ethnically more diverse, better climate,
and more geographic diversity, with the Mountains of Gutinul and the rivers of
Iza and Tisa, as Tisa was the natural border with the Ukraine.

As folklore has it in the West,
vampires are native to Transylvania. We had vampires, werewolves, and
wolverines, but all the mythological characters were actually members of the
Communist Party and infamous security officers, which everyone had to
join--except for me because with my knowledge, I was considered a security
risk! I actually refused to join the bloody red party, and so did one of my
girl colleagues, Michaela Pascu-Arvedson, who lives in Malmo, Sweden now.
Non-alignment meant we were the black sheep of the class.
Fortunately, when in 1982 I
entered the University Babes Boljay,
in Cluj-Napoca, to earn my M.A. in 1990, for my Philology classes,
I decided to conduct my field research project into the rural life of the North
of Romania, recording the folklore (especially myths) invented and passed down
by rural folks (including small merchants, farmers, fisherman, loggers) had had
used that lore to help them survive for centuries.
Further, much of my research conducted
among the outlying farmers, delved deeply into Transylvania Folklore, which
prepared me well to understand Communist Party Lore, and unjustified secret
security surveillance.    
Once I had been admitted to the
Babes Boljay University, which was called “the heart and brain of
Transylvania,” I also further expanded and deepened deep studies in American
language and literature. Also, I had studied Romanian language and literature
in the Department of Philology. The Bolyai University is still considered to
this day the best University in Transylvania.
Upon beginning my mentoring for
other students, I was happy to find a sense of freedom. Reading and writing
comprehension were my forté during my four years at Cluj.  I had always dreamt of being a professor and
a writer and seemed to be off to a great start.
But I soon realized that our
professors opened the day by reading the mounds of new Decrees just signed by
Ceausescu.  Thus, I began laughing, and
other students join me in mocking the wooden language of Central Planning’s
attempt to befuddle us with words from a wooden language, totally bent toward
twisting our brains into confused submission. Professors and Securitate
officers were acting as sweaty bureaucrats trying to teach us how to sharpen
our mental images. Not one professor asked us, “What do each of you really
think of all this Ceausescu propaganda of decrees harming the educational
process?”               
Professors had their favorite
students and made sure they pointed this out in class, stifling any competition
as they show openly their favoritism or nepotism.
When I reached the age of 22
in1985, I started to be argumentative, criticizing professors, especially the
history professor who only knew only the History of the Romanian Communist
Party.
The Russians, via the KGB, had
been directing Romanian politicians since 1945, and pressured Romanian students
to dig useless trenches as well forced women-students to shot Russian weapons,
and learn to disassemble and assemble the AK47.
Meanwhile in my University Cluj
the atmosphere was dreadful in classes. Restrictions were plentiful and absurd.
Speech was not free; one couldn’t discuss issues freely in class, or make any
real analysis or debate. One had to regurgitate what the professors were
telling us. Modern economics led by and read whatever was there in the old books
stacked in the communist library. Until I escaped Romania in 1992, I learned
that the so-called economics classes we took taught nothing about money,
credit, and such terms as GDP. The Marxian economics involved only
fuzzy nonsensical slogans such as
“We Romanians have to fight-off the ‘running dogs of capitalism,” without the
word “capitalism” ever being defined except in unrealistic theory laced with
epithets.
 Even as an English major, I not permitted to
speak with foreigners in English --answering one question was a crime,
according to the tendentious Security Decrees. Abortion was a crime punishable
for up to 20 years in prison. Doctors performing it ended up in jail, and so
did the pregnant women. Punishments were ridiculous—the Anti-Abortion Law lasted
for 40 years, until 1990.
Furthermore, if my uncle from
Canada visited us, we were all under surveillance, the entire family. Even
today, in 2017 one has to report to the police to declare if any visitor of
family comes from the USA (or Canada, for some bizarre security reason). Well,
after 25 years, not much has changed in poor Romania.
 As I
said previously, my childhood was marked by fights as I had to protect my
little brother Alexandru. In high school, I was known as the student-poet, the
class poet, and I won some pretty prizes for my poems in General School,
coordinated closely with Ileana Zubascu Cristescu; my Romanian Language
Professor. I am still in touch with her to this day.
My mother has been my best mentor and role
model, a Taurus lady with a big heart and soul, honest and loving forever. Here
she is in Sinaia, 2000, one year before she died of a massive heart attack in
September 2001.


I had another flashback coming to me. The
academia was infested with egregious communists.
I was admitted to the University in Cluj in
1982, in the heart of Transylvania, namely the American Language and Literature
and Romanian Language And Literature Department of Philology. The professors,
started reading the mounds of new Decrees every day, which made me laugh, and
staff of the university was suspicious of me not believing their “expose” in
the classrooms. Professors were
trying to befuddle us with words from a
wooden language, totally bent toward twisting our brains into confused
submission. During my college years, Professors, and Securitate officers were
acting as sweaty bureaucrats, uneducated idiots trying to tell us what to
think. Not one professor asked us, “What do you really think, all of you?” Each
professor had their favorite students and made sure they pointed it out in
class, stifling any competition, and showed openly their favoritism or
nepotism.
When I reached 22 years, I started being
argumentative, and started criticizing professors, esp. the history professor.
I was getting so sick at academics yelling at us, and being forced to do the
military service as a woman in the academia. After all, Americans were coming
to take away our socialist country.
We couldn’t t buy books in English, and I was an English major.
We couldn’t talk to foreigners, and the atmosphere was dreadful in
classes. Speech was not free; one couldn’t argue in class, or make any real
analysis or debate. You had to regurgitate what they were telling you, and read
whatever was there in the old books stacked in the communist library. I was an
English major, but could not get the books in English necessary for the Exams.
They did not exist. Talking to foreigners in English or answering one question
was a crime, according to a stupid decree. Abortion was a crime for 20 years.
Doctors performing it ended up in jail, and so did the pregnant women. 5 years
jail for an abortion. If my uncle from Canada visited us, we were all under
surveillance, the entire family. Even today, in 2014 one has to go and declare
if you have family visiting from the USA or CANADA for some bizarre security
reasons. Well even after 26 years, not much has changed in poor Romania. The
Securitate is still doing surveillances of Romania’s “enemies” and even ramped
up surveillance now using NATO funds to control people in key positions of
government, be it local, municipal, or at federal level.

Now, writing this, it all came back to my
mind’s eye: I was a professor of Romanian and English in Sighetu Marmatiei,
Maramures County, at School #2 for 6 years. Teaching English and American
languages and grammar was my favorite thing, and my goal was to move to the
West. So I settled in Tisa with my then-husband, Valerian Pipas.
It was very exacting commuting all the time
from Tisa where I lived in our private Museum (Pipas Museum of Art) to Sighet
by bus. I also taught Latin and English to people just to make ends meet.
Salaries were dismal for intellectuals. So, finally I had it, and decided to
leave in 1986. We were caught on the border and sent back in 1984. Ceausescu,
the “father” of the nation pardoned all border violations in 1983, as prisons
were full with civil society activists.
The jail was so cold in Timisoara to keep the bacteria and viruses that
it made everybody sick internally with the cold and the flue. Most of civil
society was imprisoned, for trying to open the system, and denounce the
Ceausescu dictatorship. The blanket was as warm as a kleenex tissue. Moreover,
there were no pillows, and the concrete slab where inmates slept was a
back-breaker. The lights were on 24 hours a day, blinding all of us, and there
was constant observation. Every hour one was awakened to be counted. All under
the guise of watching out for suicides. But everyone could be clearly seen by
the guards, and there was no need to sleep-deprive inmates, as they were doing.
There was also someone in the higher echelon ripping off the food bill. They
served only baby carrots, and spicy beans. Prisoners were forced to labor in
the fields and sorting out what was left of pigs to be
Exported, to pay off Romania’s debt to the IMF. Yes, that was
Ceausescu’s dream. Famishing the
Nation, sacrificing entire generations of people, just to pay off the
debt. I remember studying without lights, only a candle for exams, and not
having eggs or meat for years. In 1984 my father sold his house for a pig.
Peasants had to give up parts of their products to the state. Taxes were paid
in food.
The most difficult years of my life: 1984 to 89.

ESCAPING THE
ROMANIAN GULAG
My poor mother Magdalena, was so confused by
the propaganda, that she started crying after the death of the nation’s father,
Ceausescu. Nicolae together with Elena were shot execution style by his
opponent, socialist, KGB educated Ion Iliescu, who stole the revolution from
the young people of the University Square in Bucharest. Our revolution. Adding insult
to injury, Iliescu appropriated our hurt and sorrow, hijacked power with the media,
and ruined the country all over again.

My endurance had limits. Fed up with all the restrictions, and full of
frustrations, I hit the border with Yugoslavia.
I have been unfairly jailed as I tried to leave the country in 1986.
I was ready to give up my life, just to escape people in an impossible
country, with impossible leadership.
It has become unlivable for many people. In 1989, Ceausescu finally
pardoned everybody who tried to escape the horrendous conditions in the country.
The first act of freedom I have performed it was to secure a passport
for myself. And got married to Valerian Pipas, a famous violinist from
Virismort, Tisa in Maramures county. Otherwise the consulate would not have
given me the visas. Conditions were the following: one had to be married, and
own a house. Truly I enjoyed being married to a musician; he played the violin
and I danced tango and Csardas in weekends.
I have been teaching English in Sighet, Tisa, and Giulesti, as well as
Camara for another 10 years. Conditions were absolutely horrendous in schools;
no heating in schools, no teaching material, and constant harassment from
colleagues of being informed on if one spoke the truth about the regime, or
criticized the leadership.
After I finally left Romania, when an execution squad shot Ceausescu in
December 26, 1989 for Christmas.  Nice
gift to the Romanian people.
When the regime changed in 1990, I was free to get a passport, and
Organized Conferences and Seminars at the University of Babes-Bolyai, in the
heart of Transylvania. I was mostly writing on destatification and
privatization of   Romanian companies.
51% of MARA, the textiles company I researched was finally sold to the Germans.
The opening up of Romani has finally begun.
It was on a rainy September 17th day, in Sighet. Shortly
after, I have met American professors from UCLA, who were doing a study on the
effects of the Cold War in post-socialist countries. My observations were very
valuable to Dr Wilkie who then asked me to guide the academic group through
Eastern Europe. They were traveling in a German Opel (a U.S. made car). I took
them to the Museum of my friend, D-ra Mihaly de Apsa, in my hometown, Sighet.
She was the last descendant of a fine lineage of Romanian
revolutionaries fighting for the unification of Romania in 1918; Mihaly de
Apsa. James was enchanted to have met her, alive in her pretty museum of
“Pasoptisti.”
Together, we went to the Merry Cemetery, and it was dusk by the time Dr
James Wilkie from the University of Los Angeles, California, arrived in Sighet
at the Marmatia Hotel. His book was about cycles of statism in Socialist
countries. He has written over 30 books on economic development.
I’ll start by depicting the blessed places I went through in 1991, on
one of the most beautiful part of Romania, through Pasul Prislop.  We went Around Romania, visited the
monasteries of Moldova, C-lung Moldovenesc, Suceava, Sucevita to visit the
Agapia and other fabulous, now UN recognized, stupendous monasteries.
Then we went to Lacul Rosu. We took the scenic road to Cluj Napoca,
where I was trying to get the plane in order to fly out to Paris, in France. I
had all the visas. But there was no flight. No airport and I was not going to
go through Bucharest, but via Hungary.
Nobody took credit cards, so Jim had to take out a lot of cash, so that
we can travel safely.

Seeing how The Professor cared, I fell in love with Jim Wilkie.
I was deeply in love with James Wilkie, whom has hired me as a guide.
He said: “call me Jim”.  We
finally left for Budapest after the airport visit in Cluj Napoca.
We got through Budapest, finally, and then got out towards Austria and
Germany.
Our colleague, Dr James Platler was worried that I was a spy, as we
received special private rooms, and great Hotel deals, plus good lunches at the
Monastery, where I was a good friend with Mother Superior of Agapia Monastery.
I was just happy to be a guide in many countries.
As folklore has it in the West, vampires are
native to Transylvania. We had vampires, werewolves, and wolverines, but all
the mythological characters were actually members of the Communist Party, which
everyone had to join--except for me because with my knowledge, I was considered
a security risk!
Fortunately, when in 1982 I entered the University Babes Boljay, in Cluj-Napoca, to earn my M.A. in 1990, for my sociology classes,
I decided to conduct my field research project into the rural life of the North
of Romania, recording the folklore (especially myths) invented and passed down
by rural folks (including small merchants, farmers, fisherman, loggers) had had
used that lore to help them survive for centuries.
Further,
much of my research conducted among the outlying farmers, delved deeply into
Transylvania Folklore, which prepared me well to understand Communist Party
Lore.
Thus, for the second time, my fateful choice of a field research
project had further prepared me, unknowingly, for my future with Jim Wilkie. 
Once I had been admitted to the Babes Boljay
University, which was called “the heart and brain of Transylvania,” I also
further expanded and deepened deep studies in American language and literature.
Also, I studied Romanian language and literature in the Department of
Philology. The Bolyai University Is considered the best University in
Transylvania.
Upon beginning my mentoring for other
students, I was happy to find a sense of freedom. Reading and writing
comprehension were my forté during my four years at Cluj.  I had always dreamt of being a professor and
a writer and seemed to be off to a great start.
But I soon realized that our professors
opened the day by reading the mounds of new Decrees just signed by
Ceausescu.  Thus, I began laughing, and
other students join me in mocking the wooden language of Central Planning’s
attempt to befuddle us with words from a wooden language, totally bent toward twisting
our brains into confused submission. Professors and Securitate officers were
acting as sweaty bureaucrats trying to teach us how to sharpen our mental
images. Not one professor asked us,

“What do each of you really think of all
this Ceausescu propaganda of decrees harming the educational process?”           
Professors had their favorite students and
made sure they pointed this out in class, stifling any competition as they show
openly their favoritism or nepotism.
When I reached the age of 22 in1985, I started
to be argumentative, criticizing professors, especially the history professor
who only knew only the History of the Romanian Communist Party.
The Russians, via the KGB, had been
directing Romanian politicians since 1945, and pressured Romanian students to
dig useless trenches as well forced women-students to shot Russian weapons, and
learn to disassemble and assemble the AK47.
Meanwhile in my University Cluj the atmosphere was dreadful in classes.
Restrictions were plentiful and absurd. Speech was not free; one couldn’t
discuss issues freely in class, or make any real analysis or debate. One had to
regurgitate what the professors were telling us. Modern economics led by and
read whatever was there in the old books stacked in the communist library. Until
I escaped Romania in 1992, I learned that the so-called economics classes we
took taught nothing about money, credit, and such terms as GDP. The Marxian
economics involved only fuzzy
nonsensical slogans such as “We Romanians have to fight-off the ‘running dogs
of capitalism,” without the word “capitalism” ever being defined except in
unrealistic theory laced with epithets.
 Even as an English major, I not
permitted to speak with foreigners in English --answering one’s question was a
crime, according to the tendentious Security Decrees. Abortion was a crime
punishable for up to 5 years in prison. Doctors caught performing it ended up
in jail, and so did the pregnant women. Over 10.000 women died trying to
perform abortions on themselves, or botched it, not knowing how to escape
having children that they had no means to raise in a country rife with complete
hunger.

Even today, Romania has the highest rate of orphans in the whole world.
Over one million kids.

Punishments were ridiculous—the Anti-Abortion Law lasted for 40 years,
until 1990.
Furthermore, if my uncle from Canada visited us, we were all under
surveillance, the entire family. Even today, in 2017 one has to report to the
police to declare if any visitor of family comes from the USA (or Canada, for
some bizarre security reason). Well, after 25 years, not much has changed in
poor Romania.

With Ceausescu finally gone, after 40 years of
dictatorship, in 1990 I was able to secure a passport in order to ready myself
to leave Romania by gaining visas for Germany and France. I had a lovely family
in Bordeaux, namely Saint-Denise-de-Pile, who invited me over to Bordeaux, the
Godrie family, so I pursued this wonderful opportunity, and decided to visit
them in Saint-Denis-De-Pile. I spoke impeccable French. I corresponded for
years with Muguette Godrie, my beloved friend who sponsored my stay in France.
Meanwhile, the question remained, how to get there
by land without a visa to Austria— as my isolated region of Transylvania had no
air connection to the outside world til late in 1990.
I succeeded to finally extract myself from that
virtual prison, and
we had to do it by car. Pumped up and having all
the visas in my
passport, I took off with Jim on September 16, 1990
in an Opel,
which remains my favorite car to this day. They
ended
manufacturing the Opel in 1990. I took my life in my
own hands;
how liberating this thought was, and I conjure this
moment every day in my mind in order to preserve my independence and autonomy.

  


THE INFLUENCE OF RECENT ROMANIAN HISTORY
In the meantime, the History of Transylvania weighed heavily on
population of Romania, with constant change in the emerging political map
always have left “citizens” always lost about who was really in charge.
Thus, Transylvania was originally part
of the Dacia Kingdom between 82 BC until the Roman conquest in 106 AD. The
capital of Dacia was destroyed by the Romans, so that a new as capital would serve
the Roman Province of Dacia, which lasted until 350 AD, by which time the
Romans felt so hated that it behooved them to withdraw back to Rome.     
During
the late 9th century, western Transylvania was conquered by the Hungarian Army
to later become part of the Kingdom of Hungary and in 1570 to devolve into the
Principality of Transylvania. During most of the 16th and 17th centuries, the
Principality became an Ottoman Empire vassal state, confusingly also governed
by the Habsburg Empire.
After 1711 Transylvania was consolidated solely into the
Hapsburg Empire and Transylvanian princes were replaced with Habsburg imperial
governors.
After
1867, Transylvania ceased to have separate status and was incorporated into the
Kingdom of Hungary as part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.[viii]
After World War I, Transylvania reverted in 1918 to be part of
Romania.  In 1940 Northern Transylvania
again became governed by Hungary and then Germany, but Romanian queen Maria
successfully reclaimed it after the end of World War II.
The year 1940 was important for Romania because if was seized for its
oil by Nazi Germany (1940-1944), “liberated” by the “Soviet Union” (1944-1947),
and finally “re-liberated” to become the Popular republic of Romania (under
USSR remote control), as the Cold War was beginning to freeze the Iron Curtain
into place.
At the end of World
War II while the USSR and its Red Army were the occupying powers in all
Romania, in 1947 Romania forcibly and ironically became a “People’s Republic”
(1947–1989), after the rise of the Iron Curtain.
The first “president,” Gheorghiu-Dej (1947) ruled as puppet of Moscow,
but when he died, his Secretary General of the Communist Party of Romania,
Nicolae Ceausescu, was elected as the second “president” (1965-1989), shifting
his savage dictatorship into a harsher Romanian “Gulag” than known in the USSR.
 
For two decades I neither understood the dimensions of tragic history
of Transylvania, nor did I yet realize that I would have to escape the Gulag of
Romania, even if by the “skin of my teeth.”
For peoples of the world Transylvania seems to be a far-away place,
where most people know the werewolves and vampires have been “seen” to in the
imagination of Transylvanians, whose beliefs was soaked in mystical folklore.
Even today it is hardly possible to have a rational conversation with most the
Transylvanian folk on any subject without recourse to try to understand where
their distorted imagination has befuddled them.
         The population has consisted of Romanians, Hungarians, Germans,
and some Ukrainians. These languages are still being spoken in Romania’s
Maramures province, but because I always liked and loved the Romanian language,
I decided to become a Professor of Romanian Language and Literature, as well as
American Language and Civilization.
MY BACKDROP TO THE FALL OF CEAUSESCU
I later told Jim how
I had been admitted in 1982 to the Babes-Bolyai University, in Cluj-Napoca at
the heart of Transylvania, I focused especially on Linguistics. Unfortunately,
there I found that the professors, who were under the control of
sweaty-stinking Securitate officers, had to read dozens of new Decrees issued
every day as they sought to control every one of our daily actions—all in the
name of protecting the Ceausescu government—which was selling the country’s
food supplies to Russia in order to pay down Roman’s official debt with
exports. Those Securitate officers ate well and ominously watched us virtually
starve. They said, be calm, like your parents in the face of their starvation.
 Thus, I furiously called out in my classes
that our very existence was being compromised by Ceausescu's abandonment of the
population, which was ordered to, as Lenin famously said, “work, work, and
work.”
To protect myself as
best I could, I turned to humor, seeking to ridicule Ceausescu’s “national
paradise.”  But when I encouraged my
classmates to laugh at the propaganda embedded in the wooden language of the
national bureaucracy, I soon fell under the heavy scrutiny of university
authorities, who were furious that I trying to expose the fact that all classes
had been organized to befuddle the student body into confused submission.
Indeed, each professor had favorite students to help drown out legitimate
questions and stifle any competing analysis—the university lived under
nepotism, favoritism, the threat of rape (virtual and real) by the Securitate
officers, and open bribery by the professors--choose your garden variety.
              

                                Knowing My
Real value And Having A Spine
By 1986, at age 23,
I had decided to flee Romania—an illegal act because Ceausescu did not want
anyone (especially women of child-bearing age) to escape his plan to building
his “ideal socialist industries” on farms and ranches as well as in the cities.
In June I made my way to the border of Yugoslavia and paid a smuggler to evade
the Romanian security forces that were preventing the “nations
workers” from
escaping. The smuggler, who took me across the border, turned out to be working
for Romanian Border Police. Thus, soon after crossing into Yugoslavia, he
turned his wagon around and I was again in Romania again when I realized what
had happened too late. I had been “sold” to Ceausescu’s minions for a wagonload
of salt and 20 Liters of gasoline. Thousands were returned for this kind of
draconian exchange.
That failed escape
from Romania led me to a 10-month prison sentence in Timisoara Prison, wherein
the block cells were maintained so cold (supposedly
to eliminate bacteria and viruses) that it made all of us inmates sick with the
cold and the flu.
Bed
blankets in the were less warming than one Kleenex tissue. Moreover, there were
no pillows, and the concrete slab where inmates slept was a “back-breaker.” The
lights were on 24 hours a day, blinding all of us, and there was constant
observation. Every hour one was awakened to be counted for, and sneaking up on
people, under the guise of watching out for suicides. But everyone could be
clearly seen by the guards, and there was no need to sleep-deprive inmates. There
was also someone in the higher echelon ripping off the food budget to siphon
money to themselves while serving inmates only baby carrots and spicy beans.
Almost
every family in Romanian civil society had at least one member who had been
imprisoned for trying to open the political system by denouncing the Ceausescu
dictatorship. These inmates were openly called “Political Prisoners,” and I was
one of them.
Political
Prisoners
were not permitted to work outside the prison
walls in the fields because our crime had been the political decision to
repudiate Ceausescu’s “fantastic system.”  
   

    ROMANIAN PEOPLE ARE  FACING DISASTER AND FAMINE
                                     “CHANGE IN
THE AIR”
Once free in 1987, I could return to my University to finally complete
my M.A. in 1990, in Cluj Napoca.  
 Further in
1987, at the age of 24, I met Valerian Pipas, my future husband.
 His family,
the patriarch Nicolae Pipas,[ix]
was the owner of a museum, and directed for the Communist government the walled
Regional Art Museum in a quiet part of Sighet. When he realized that I was a
Professor of the English and Romania Languages, and one of the few university’s
highly educated persons in the region, I began to serve as interpreter/guide to
visiting foreign Ambassadors permitted to travel in Romania. They wanted to see
the Museum with its magnificent collection of paintings, sculptures, and rare
historical pottery and coins. Thus, I soon found myself interpreting and
translating for visiting English-Speaking Ambassadors from many countries who
wished to know Transylvania, especially my village Sighet and its Merry
Cemetery famous worldwide for it tombstones in the form of wood sculpture of
the butcher, the baker, candlestick maker, and all professions.
Although my first languages were Romanian and Hungarian, I could also
translate into French and Italian. Indeed at that time I was teaching Latin in
the Rural School System of my Maramures Province.
 By 1989, Ceausescu realized that his end was
near, and he sought to gain support by pardoning his political prisoners (such
as myself) who had tried to escape the horrendous conditions in the country.
Hence, university students and some labor unions joined forces and quite
quickly after the fall of the Berlin Wall forced Ceausescu and his draconian
wife Elena to flee. They were caught and executed on Christmas Day, 1989, by
the military that at the last moment joined the Revolution.

As my friends and I
(along with most of the population) cheered the fall of the failed, rotten
Romanian “dictatorship of the proletariat,” my dear mother acted differently.
She was so confused by the propaganda of the only “leader” she knew much about
that she wept for Ceausescu, not fully realizing that he was the one who had
wrongly had be arrested and put me in prison. 
With Ceausescu gone,
in 1990 I was able to secure a passport to ready myself to leave Romania by
gaining visas for Germany and France. The question remained, how to get there
by land without a visa to Austria—my region had no air connection to the
outside world.
MY FATEFUL 1991 MEETING IN SIGHET WITH JIM WILKIE
Almost age 27 in 1991, I was in the right place at the right time when
UCLA Professor Jim Wilkie arrived in Sighet, on September 17th with
Professor James Platler (his friend and driver). They came as part of their
trip to assess the impact of the 1989 Fall of Iron Curtain--which had
imprisoned all Romanians and made it a crime to try to escape from Romania. The
two Americans had already visited “East” Germany, Czechia,[x]
and Slovakia (soon to break their union, each becoming independent), and
Poland, where English speakers could provide guidance.
In Romania the UCLA Team found itself at a loss as few of the people
who they encountered could speak English and none of them could analyze or
articulate how the System of Government and society functioned before and after
1989.
         When we met, Jim
immediately contracted[xi]
with me to advise them as well as guide them through Eastern Europe. They were
pleased to hear my outline of Transylvanian and Romanian history (see above),
with which I explained how constant national boundary change meant that
Transylvanians and Romanians were never able to develop either honest civil
government or active civic society.
Thousands of families were arbitrarily moved, and removed into two
separate nations.
Little did I know that the concepts of “Civic” and “Civil” Society were
of utmost importance to Jim? As I would find out later, Jim and I had been
conducting compatible research for years and would lead me to my
Ph.D Dissertation and two books written with Jim. [xii]
All these works distinguish between the concepts of Civil Society (which
represents national and local governmental activity) and Civic Society (which
involves active private citizens (who organize non-governmental initiatives to
develop model projects beyond the ability of official bureaucrats to even
comprehend, including the influence needed to monitor and expose the failures
and successes of governmental activity).   
But before we left
in September 18, 1991, to visit Romania and Hungary, I had to find a
substitute for my new class teaching American English and History in Sighet—I
left a friend, Johnny Popescu, to become my permanent substitute. Only then
could our newly expanded Team set off under my guidance.
Thus, we set out on
that September 18th to visit one of the most socially and
economically interesting and beautiful parts of Romania by going up thought the
green forested Carpathian Mountains via the beautiful Prislop Pass, stopping to
visit small farming families in their folkloric clothing of which they were
justifiably proud to wear on a daily basis.  Farther east in Romania, on
the scenic roads, we visited the monasteries of Moldova, the town of Cimpulung
Moldovenesc, Suceava, and then the Monasteries in Sucevita and Agapia. The
gorgeous forested mountain road eventually led to Lacul Rosu and the lake
country. Then we took the long scenic mountain road to Cluj Napoca to
visit my prestigious University.
As I briefed Jim about
Romania, he was briefing me about factors in comparing national economies. For
example, he told me about how he had reunited in Prague on September 15th
with Richard Beesen, his former
UCLA student and friend,
to hear about his role in London as Manager of Deutsche Bank’s New Accounts in Russia and
Eastern Europe. Richard had become famous for inviting Banking Officials and
national Treasury Ministries to deposit their financial reserves on deposit in
his bank in London. But because his clients did not understand anything about
“interest payments” on deposited funds, they did not ask for nor did they gain
any interest payments. Also, because most Western Banks were not sure that
these new
“capitalists” could be “fully trusted” for correct management of their
deposits, his Deutsche
Bank
collected large fees (and paid no interest to keep the Eastern
Europe “bank reserves safe.” This was all very eye opening for me.
Jim and I had
realized early on that we had a close affinity as we analyzed the situation of Romania,
and he said, “Call me Jim.” (In contrast I called Professor James Platler  “JP.”) As we traveled to observe the
situation of the people in different parts of the country, Jim and I formed a
deep bond of observing and analyzing; thus both of us realized this brief
interlude had to continue for the long term in order to achieve our goals.
                           NEXT STOPS,
BUDAPEST, SALZBURG, MUNICH,
 BORDEAUX (FOR ME), AND LOS
ANGELES (FOR JIM)
  As
a Romanian, I had the right to enter Hungary, and we did so bypassing the miles
of vehicles waiting to cross the border for the long drive to Budapest. There
Prof. James Platler finally relaxed after the long drives and often poor hotels
and monasteries —he said that he finally found unbroken civilization again. I
was astounded to hear that. I made everything possible for them to have the
best lodging and food in Moldova and Maramures county. Obviously, my friends
had different standards than us, Romanians.
    Once we arrived in Budapest, Professor James
Platler, who had told Jim privately that from the outset of our trip that he
thought that I was a “Spy” (planted on us by the Romanian Securitate to monitor
our many “foreign” inquiries during our travel through Romania’s north
country), announced that his concern about me had vanished as we realized the
extent of my knowledge and research abilities.  
In his mind, I had to be a Spy because I had obtained access to special
private dining rooms and quarter in some fine hotels, as well as invitations
for wonderful lunches at some Monasteries, where miraculously I made immediate
friends with each Mother Superior. But by the time we reached Budapest, he
realized that at my University I had learned the Elite skills needed to survive
safely and comfortably in Eastern Europe. 
My problem was to
enter Austria, where I had no visa. But Jim passed his
UCLA business card through to the Consul General of Austria in Budapest,
and quickly we found ourselves whisked from the back of the long line to the
front and right into a meeting with the Consul General himself. He was pleased
to hear about the research of our
UCLA Team, but said that
I did have a visa. Jim then told them that I only needed a three-day transit
visa to reach Germany, the visa for which he could see in my passport.
With entry to
Austria solved, we were on the road to the Hotel Kobentzl and Graz, which
overlook Salzburg, all the way analyzing the comparative economic and social
situations of Austria, Hungary, and Romania.
We spent most of our time down the mountain from Kobentzl to the
valley, before returning to our sweeping Hotel view of Salzburg City. Meanwhile
I was deepening my questions about capital is leveraged to undertake big
private projects. As we took photos over from on high looking down on the many
bridges of Salzburg and Jim was explaining how the developed world operated by
using finances, credit, and interest to help economies grow.
Finally we left
Salzburg to enter Germany and Munich, where our quick look into Oktoberfest
found us among nasty drunken louts each of whom seemingly had hand four hands:
one to chug-a-lug beer; one to smoke foul smelling cigarettes; one to quaff
horrible-bleeding-raw sausages; and one to punch someone in the face. From what
we saw, Oktoberfest was a place for nasty males seeking to “get smashed on
beer” and then smash another male to break his nose. Thus, we fled for our
lives as the brutes began to threaten anyone who looked at them.

Then on September 30th,
I took the plane from Munich to Paris to take a bus to Bordeaux to meet the
French family, the daughter of which, in her visit in 1990 to the Museum in
Sighet, had invited me to obtain a French visa and move to stay with her on the
lovely family farm outside Bordeaux.
Jim (and JP) also
left the same day for Jim to arrive in time to go from the airplane to open and
begin teaching his Fall Quarter class at
UCLA. But he promised to call daily and return to join me again in ten
weeks.
In the meantime, I
made a trip to Paris to request political asylum in France, but a grey-faced
judge rejected my request, saying that the petitioner must file with the help
of a lawyer. 
To complicate
matters in Bordeaux, the French Security Agent there was investigating me, a
lone woman, as a possible spy sent by Romania to “monitor activities at the
Port of Bordeaux. When he told that, if I pleased him in unmentionable ways, he
would not deport me to Romania but arrange my legal status in France so that I
could live him.  I immediately told Jim
on his next telephone call.
      To resolve the above problem, Jim called
his Paris friend Gérard Chaliand, a former visiting professor at
UCLA, whose real job involved traveling the world for French Security to
report on his professorial travels that took him to all continents. Gérard
immediately called French Security to report on the illegal approach to me by
their Agent in Bordeaux. That same day the Agent came to apologize profusely to
me in the best manner that he could muster in his pitiful condition. He begged
me not to have him fired for his proposition to me. I could see him looking at
me in truly puzzled way that implicitly said: “Who are you? How did I make such
a grave mistake in deciding that you, a lone Romanian woman, could not have any
power to reach my bosses in Paris?” I took pity on him and told him that if he
minded manners and watched from affair to be sure that I was always safe, he
would not be fired.



          JIM RETURNS TO EUROPE
IN DECEMBER, 1991:
HIS PLAN FOR ADVISING EASTERN EUROPEAN CIVIC SOCIETY ABOUT HOW TO GAIN
GRANTS FROM U.S. FOUNDATIONS (NPPOs),[xiii]  WHICH
HOLD THE WORLD’S
LARGEST POOL OF NGO DEVELOPMENT FUNDS
Even though it was
December 11, 1991, when Jim returned, France was in the midst what
some in    America call an “Indian Fall,”
warm with colorful fall leaves still on the trees.  It was a beautifully bright

“fall day” when we
left Bordeaux the next day to spend some days visiting the Loire River with its
many castles and incredible views.
Even during our
photography of the Loire region, Jim began to outline his New Plan (now our
plan) to wit:  PROFMEX Plan to Help
Eastern European “Foundations”   
                 Therefore, some Romanian and
Mexican NGOs become legally eligible to gain grants from U.S. Tax Exempt
Foundations following our advice on how to do it, best practices we could teach
other leaders about: and so The U.S. Model for Philanthropy was born.

“The U.S.-Mexico Model for Philanthropy.”
Indeed, Jim told me
that recently when he had been in Mexico City, he received an invitation to
meet with Manuel Alonso Muñoz, Executive Director of Mexico’s National Lottery,[xiv]
who, when he heard about Jim’s U.S.-Mexico Model, invited him to meet at the
Lottery’s historically famous ornate building. After an extended briefing by
Jim, Manuel told him that he had already called his own good friend Ronald G.
Hellman, Professor of Sociology in the Graduate School at the City University
of New York, to ask him for an evaluation of Jim and his Mexico-U.S. Model for
Philanthropy. Ironically, it was only then when he realized that Ron was (and
is today) Jim’s PROFMEX Vice-President for Strategic Planning. With that news
and Jim’s stellar briefing, Lic. Alonso asked if the Lottery could make a
series of generous grants to PROFMEX in order to help fund the expansion of
Jim’s Model to Eastern Europe,[xv]
putting Mexico into an innovative new light.
Mexico And The
World, I got the idea! Evrika, so the brilliant idea to bring together experts
from all the world to Mexico, to have a debate was born. The Conference I was
always dreaming about was  beginning to
shape up, and soon things all lined up for us to organize a bi-lateral
Conference in Morelia, the State of Michoacán. The Governor was more than happy
to receive us in Michoacán. So we worked together with Manuel Alonso to get
people down there. The hardest part was to get the financing for it.
Manuel Alonso was
appreciative of the fact that Jim, while serving as Consultant to the U.S.
Council on Foundations, had become involved since 1990 with his Model for helping
Mexican Foundations (including, for example, charities, human rights
organizations, hospitals, universities, biospheres, etc.) to help them re-write
their constitution and by-laws to be compatible with the U.S. tax requirement
that they mirror U.S. Not-for-Private Profit Organizations (NPPOs).
The question of
“mirroring” involved Jim’s explanation that:
As NPPOs, U.S. Foundations are legally responsible for controlling
expenditure of funds granted to organizations that do not mirror the U.S.
foundations do not want to be involved in the day-to-day activities of its
grantees. Indeed, “ they want to transfer expenditure responsibility”
(including misuse or illegal use of grant funds) to the recipient foundation to
which they grant funds but can only do so if the grant recipient organization
is deemed to have an “equivalent” legal structure to that of the U.S. donor
foundation.
Here is the background, according to Jim: [xvi]
“In order to facilitate the U.S. philanthropic activity needed during the 1970s
and 1980s to help speed world development, the U.S. Secretary of Treasury and
the IRS formulated provisions that resulted in changing and/or interpreting the
Internal Revenue Code (IRC) to freely permit U.S. foundations to grant funds
abroad, if they meet the following special proviso:
U.S. NPPOs can themselves make a legal “determination” that the foreign
organization receiving the U.S. grant be “determined” to be “equivalent” to an
NPPO described in Section 501(c)(3)[xvii]
of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.” 
         Further, Jim pointed out that, “while this proviso has worked
well for big U.S. grant-making foundations that place costly offices and staff
around the world (such as Rockefeller and Ford Foundations), it has worked less
well for foundations that have had to send their lawyers to meet with their
legal counterparts in prospective ‘equivalent organizations, the legal cost of
making such a determination often reaching $25,000 [or, by 2016, much, much
more] for each new organization to receive funds from the U.S. NPPO. If that
determination is favorable, the U.S. NPPO can transfer funds to the equivalent
organization, just as it can to any other approved U.S. NPPO, and along with
the transfer of funds to the recipient organization goes the transfer of
responsibility over how the funds are spent.”

Transfer of ‘Expenditure Responsibility’ from the
U.S. Donor NPPO to the Foreign Recipient NPPO

The ability of U.S. NPPOs to avoid costly
expenditure responsibility, as Jim told, is one of the factors that have helped
make American grant-making foundations so important in the world. Thus, U.S.
NPPOs have been enabled to avoid becoming ensnarled in accounting processes and
audits, which are better done by the foreign organization that receives and
administers the U.S. NPPO grant of funds.
In this manner, said Jim, the U.S. NPPO is free to focus its energy on
evaluating the substance of its grant programs. The ability of grant-making
foundations to transfer Expenditure Responsibility to other NPPOs is the main
reason that they generally prefer (and require) that their funds be granted
only to approved organizations rather than to individuals or to non-approved
organizations.
The above views, Jim said, do not mean that U.S. NPPOs are unable to
grant funds to an organization that is not equivalent to a U.S. NPPO (or make
grants to individual scholars, artists, or writers either at home or abroad),
but to do so adds a complication to the grant-making process. Rather than
passing on the Expenditure Responsibility (as the U.S. NPPO does when it makes
grants to another NPPO or U.S. equivalent), the Expenditure Responsibility
remains with the donor NPPO when it makes a grant to an organization that is
not an NPPO (or its U.S. equivalent) or to an individual.
         In the unlikely case
where the donor NPPO retains Expenditure Responsibility, then, Jim told me in
my interview with him on September 17, 1991, the donor foundation has to
concern itself with costly financial oversight involved, which may problematic
whether of in or outside the USA.







ON TO PARIS AND THE WORLD TO MEET WITH 
NPPO LEADERS ABOUT                                                        
NEW FOUNDATIONS
          
Jim and I arrived in Paris on December 15, 1991, to meet with Jim’s
contacts at the American Embassy, who heard about our research and suggested
that Jim meet also with their counterparts at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.
They agreed to help begin to our new Plan to expand to Eastern Europe and
Russia Jim’s successful Model for Tax-Free Flow of Nonprofit Funds, the example
being what he negotiated (with the U.S. Council on Foundations and the U.S. and
Mexican Treasury Departments), as analyzed above.
 It is important for me to say here that George
Soros and his decentralized donations to his 41 semi-autonomous “national
foundations”[xviii]
(exemplified in Romania, Hungary, and Russia) have been built following the IRS
proviso and regulations discussed above. Also, Soros’ “National Foundations”
require that national Government charter the independent role as NGOs.
         In contrast, the flowering of thousands
of small independent “Foundations” in Eastern Europe since 1989 has grown from
groups looking for funds from the many U.S. Foundations that do not have the
Soros/New York link with its Foundations in many nations, all of which operate
in Soros’ closed loop. Few of these new Foundations have the Soros knowledge
and financial resources to set up the By-Laws and Legal Status needed for the
thousands of Foundations desiring to tap into funding by the U.S. Foundations.[xix]  However, since 2013, Soros’ has organized an
office to work with shared Global Funds (for food, migration, etc.) outside the
non-Soros frameworks to help poor areas and countries to stave off crises.
Recently, in 2013, George Soros has been discredited by the Hungarian PM, Orban
who has aggressively made anti-Soros advertisement on buses in Hungary,
claiming that the Hungarian American wanted Arabs, and Palestinians to “invade”
Hungary. The anti-Soros rhetoric has become increasingly nationalistic, and this
is what FIDESZ, the ruling party is preaching
Before we left Paris
on December 19, 1991, we met with Gérard Chaliand to personally thank him for
having made the Bordeaux Security agent reexamine his whole approach to his
life.
Further, with
Gérard, we worked out a plan to arrange for me to become a U.S. resident and
obtain U.S. citizenship nine years after my arrival in Los Angeles, October
1992. He recommended that my case by handled in In Los Angeles by one of
America’s most knowledgeable and effective Migration Attorneys—Cynthia Juárez
Lange, today Managing Partner, Northern California, for the Fragomen Del Rey,
Bernsen & Loewy LLP Legal Office located in San Francisco. Cynthia is
herself an academic and personable genius.
Meanwhile in my
travels with Jim in December 1991 and from March to June 1992 we met NPPO
leaders in the European Union to better understand how foundations work under
unique laws in each county rather than in any rational manner for the whole EU,
we went to Marseilles, Nice, Villfranche-sur-Mer, Cap-Ferrat, Monaco, La
Rochelle, Andorra, Sevilla, Madrid, Trujillo, El Escorial, Avila (a magnificent
fortress city), and Segovia.
On September 3.
1992, we arrived at the U.S. Consulate in Paris, where the U.S Consulate in
Mexico had arranged with Jim for my U.S. eligibility for residence to be
issued. Also, the Mexican Consulate General in Paris issued me my residence
papers to enter and leave Mexico freely, as arranged by Jim with the Mexican
Consular Head Office in Mexico City.
Before we left
Europe for the USA in October 1991, we returned to Sighet on September 7, 1992,
for meetings with Romanian Civic Activists. (Thus, I finally returned to Sighet
after having “escaped” with Jim to France in December 1991).
From March to June
1993, we met with NPPO leaders in Budapest, Sighet, and Varna (Bulgaria),
Bucharest, and St. Petersburg.
In Moscow (June
21-14, 1993), Jim appointed Professor Boris Koval (Director of the Latin American Institute of the Russian Academy of
Sciences)
, to be PROFMEX Representative in Russia.  Koval had invited us to Moscow and introduced
us to his own Security Chief to be our translator and guide. This Security
Chief was a fascinating person who had been former head of the KGB Office in
Iraq, 1979-1989.
Jim, who always wore
his Mexican guayabera shirt with or without a suit, was seen to be
“authentically Mexican” in our meetings and discussions about NPPOs.
Some of our
interviews focused on the successes of Soros Open Society Foundation--Russia
(1987-2002). Other meetings with civic society followed as we learn the details
about the problems of the Soros Foundations--Russia since 2003, when, under
reactionary Government pressure, he was phasing out of operation active
programs. According to the Soros Foundation—Russia:[xx]
     “When on November 30, 2015, Russia’s
Prosecutor General’s Office classified the Soros Open Society Foundation as an
“undesirable” organization, it closed the possibility of Russian individuals
and institutions from having anything to do with any Soros initiative or
programs… [Because it constituted] a threat to the foundations of Russia’s
Constitutional order and national security….
     “Prosecutors [then] launched a probe into
Soros Foundation
 activities….[xxi]
[and in July 2015], after Russian senators approved
the so-called
“patriotic stop-list” of 12 groups that required
immediate attention
over their supposed anti-Russian activities, [the
following U.S.
organizations] realized that they would soon be
banned in Russia:
[the U.S.] National Endowment for Democracy; the
International
Republican Institute; the National Democratic
Institute; the
MacArthur Foundation, and Freedom House. Now in
2017, all Eastern
European countries want Soros foundations closed
in their countries,
especially the Hungarian PM, Orban Viktor, who
went so far as to
describe him as a dangerous politician mixing in his
domestic
“dictatorial” affairs.
      The American hedge-funds mogul George
Soros issued from London   the following
Press Release on November 30, 2015: [xxii]
“Contrary to the Russian prosecutor’s allegations, the Open Society
Foundations have, for more than a quarter-century, helped to strengthen
the rule of law in Russia and protect the rights of all. In the past, Russian
officials and citizens have welcomed our efforts, and we regret the changes
that have led the government to reject our support to Russian civil society and
ignore the aspirations of the Russian people.
“Since 1987, Open
Society has provided support to countless individuals and civil society organizations,
including in the fields of science, education, and public health. Open
Society has helped finance a network of internet centers in 33 universities
around the country, helped Russian scholars to travel and study abroad,
developed curricula for early childhood education, and created a network of
contemporary art centers that are still in operation.
“This record speaks
for itself. We are honored to have worked alongside pioneering citizens,
educators, and civil society organizations that embody Russian creativity,
commitment, and hope.
“We are confident
that this move is a temporary aberration; the aspirations of the Russian people
for a better future cannot be suppressed and will ultimately succeed,” said
George Soros, founder and chairman of the Open Society Foundations.) Despite
all efforts made by Soros and his organizations, he has been banned from
Russia.
“Once with the reset
of the Cold War, in 2012, when Putin was reelected as Russia’s President,
Putin’s first movement was to ban all Soros organizations which were impeding
his expansion onto Crimea.”
         Catching up on Soros, he
most recent assertion is that civil society is being endangered by nostalgia
for communism. Read this fascinating article in “The Romanian Ghosts” of
Communism,
by Jacob Grandstaff

     Back in Mexico City for the 1994 PROFMEX
Event featuring Eastern Europeans interested in the U.S.-Mexico Model for
NPPOs, we convened, July 28-29, for our meeting on “Development of Mexico as seen from the World,” Co-sponsored by
UCLA and Mexico’s Consejo Nacional de
Ciencia y Tecnología.
     This Conference was held at Mexico City’s
María Isabel Sheraton, with 70 participants from Mexico and the United States,
and which I co-organized with Jim
             
The following invitees from Eastern Europe came from Hungary   
Zoltan Karpati,
Professor of Sociology
Romania  Mihai Coman, University Dean
 Roman Romulus, Consul General in Mexico
                           Alexandru Lazín,
PROFMEX-- England and Romania
                           Lia Stan, Investor
from Bristol, England.
       Highlights of the event came frequently
as we turned our gaze from Salón A with his all-window view from the top floor
to discuss the anti-government protest marches up and down Reforma Avenue past
the Angel Monument below.
       Further, our group enjoyed the invitation
of Mexico’s Attorney General, Jorge Madrazo Cuéllar to visit him at his
headquarters where we personally discussed and raised questions about the
street blockages of political protest in front of our María Isabel Sheraton
Hotel.  
       In December 1997, we continued to invite
world scholars especially interested in economic matters, as well as in the
U.S.-Mexico NPPO Model to participate with us at the:
          IX PROFMEX-ANUIES Conference
         Hosted by Governor Víctor Manuel
Tinoco Rubí
                        Morelia, Michoacán, México
   México
y el Mundo  Or Mexico and the World, in
December 8-13, 1997
    With hundreds of participants and Attendees
from all continents,
    Special Guests were invited from Russia:
Boris Koval, who recalled with excitement the visit of Jim and I to Moscow in
June 1993.
                From China:                       Sengen
Zhang
               
                                       Hongzhu
Huang
Korea:                  Kap-Young
Jeong
Japan:                   Soichi
Shinohara
                                        Osamu Nishimura
                             Yasuoki Takagi
Indonesia:    Lepi
T. Tarmidi
Argentina:   Eugenio O. Valenciano
Bolivia:       Antonio
J. Cisneros

                                                
---------
    Jim and I have been involved with many
academic activities, but those are beyond the scope of my analysis here of our
role in extending PROFMEX around the globe, especially to Europe and Russia.
My courses at UCLA
taken under Jim and Professors Carlos Alberto Torres, Richard Weiss, and
Ivan         T. Berend led me to my M.A.
in History and Latin American Studies (1996) at University of California, Los
Angeles.
                    And my Ph.D. in History
(2001) at UCLA, and Post-Doctoral Research in the Education and       Information Department for 8 years. I
completed this Fellowship in 2017.
  Here is title of my first book’s author:
http://www.DecentralizedGlobalization.com 
2017 March 10.
The second book, La globalización se
descentraliza:
Libre mercado, fundaciones,
sociedad cívica y gobierno civil en las regiones del mundo (2007)
Olga Magdalena Lazín. With a Prologue by James W. Wilkie.                    
      My third book, co-authored with James W.
Wilkie, contains images that reflect my travels with Jim:
La globalización se amplia (2011), or Globalization Amplifies, Olga Magdalena Lazín & James W., Preface de Rafael Rodríguez
Castañeda, was published by UCLA, in 2011 in Spanish.
  
These books,
including Decentralized Globalization show how U.S. Tax Exempt Organization
(TEO) law has evolved to become the most important in the world owing to its
flexibility. Where the laws of most countries require prior legal authorization
to launch in a new direction, the United States TEO law recognizes no such
limit.
     Thus, U.S. TEO law, unlike most other
countries, is never trying to make legal what is already underway and working
in the world. For the USA and now Mexico, both Treasury Ministries together
have signed the first collaborative agreement that stands as the blueprint for
global NPPOs.
     With Professor Jim Wilkie, I know that
much researching and writing awaits us in our projects around the world….
                 
Olga and Jim,
Guadalajara, Mexico, International Airport, December 7, 2016  @olgalazin

Later on, Richard Beeson, who headed up Deutsche bank, London office,
where he represented all EE countries, had convinced EE countries Central banks
to deposit their golden cash at Deutsche Bank, London office. He reunited with
JW in Prague, and Cracow, where the horrible polluted air blinded him.
In Budapest I obtained the Austrian visa, where I needed a transit
visa.
Then we travelled to Kobentzl, overlooking Salzburg, talking about the
global economy.

We even spent most of our time down Salzburg city, taking pictures, and
JW was teaching me economics, how the world of development worked: finances,
credit, interest. JP had more faith in me than ever.

We continued our journey to Munich, where we celebrated Oktoberfest
with the locals in Frankfurt.

 Next, I took the plane to Paris,
from Munich, to fly out to Bordeaux to meet the family, which invited me   to France. Jim had to go back to Los Angeles
to teach Fall Quarter, as always. He promised he would return for me soon.
After ten weeks in Bordeaux, Jim came to visit me.
We met in Paris, and I was refused asylum in France. The national
security Bureau headed by a Gris guy (security officer) was asking me weekly
why was I keeping in touch with “The American”, I quote.

 Finally, Jim returned for me. It
was a very wonderful fall, I Bordeaux, so we drove to see all the castles along
the Loire River.
The 1st trip was to and along the river of LOIRE; we left in
September, and came back in December. Then we went to Paris, and visited the
Versailles, Champs Elysee, the Montmartre, and Montparnasse. We had everything
to ourselves, and then we went to Marseille, listening to the Pastorales, and
day-dreaming through the beautiful green lands of France.

In Marseille we stayed at the Sofitel, JW was overlooking the Bay, into
the icy cold town. And we went to the COTE Azure. We stayed at Hotel Welcome.
Then rode over the serpentined Cornish roads, overlooking the Mediterranean,
Cap Ferrat, and Monaco. Then JW had to fly out to teach again, and I flew back
to Bordeaux, where I took numerous courses in European Union Regulations for
the environment, and sustainability.


In Cancún, at the tiny Iguana conservationist group

Life In Bordeaux France, 1991

Life with the nuns in Bordeaux, France, in the city of Red Wines, was
finally very healing and I was in excellent health. The mother superior took me
to Toulouse Lautrec’s castle, and we swam in the Atlantic ocean. I cooked for
myself and studied Elitelore and Folklore at Université De Michelle de
Montaigne, one block away from my Doctrine Chretiéne.
I was feeling very safe with the Nuns. Jim was calling me daily,
checking up on me and my health. Then I flew to meet Jim in NICE, in 1992.
It was now another beautiful stay at WELCOME hotel overlooking the
ocean, in a stupendous pictorial town called Beaulieu sur Mer. At the Welcome
Hotel, right across from the ocean scene, I saw the boats coming up and down to
the port.

Jim came back 10 weeks later. The second time we travelled to
Carcassonne, a fortified city, through Andorra (a gambling center, in the
Pyrenees’). The Principality of Andorra was rich and ostentatious with baroque
buildings.  And La Rochelle, a beautiful
Bay, nested in the mountains.
Then entered into Spain, toward Madrid, and stayed at Hotel Paris for a
week, in the center of Madrid.
 Here we enjoyed eating the
charales in the main plaza. Best snack I ever had in Spain, tiny delicious fish
would make us feel satiety in a few minutes. We found charales in Morelia later
in 1995.


We visited stupendous Toledo, the town of knives, which we left behind
in late September, and then headed to the town of Trujillo. In Trujillo we went
and took pictures while walking on the red roofs of houses, perfectly lined up
for me to walk. I took great that I was free and nobody minded my business. Jim
and I, we were only taking care of one another.
We went up to the Devil’s Throat (a town deep in a canyon, tucked into
the mountains where a monastery is nested) to continue up in the mountains, and
then went down to a walled town of Avila, to Trujillo, and continued to Madrid.
We stayed at Paris Hotel in the heart of the capital, and listened to the
powerful bells of the Catholic church in front of us. The sounds of the Church
bell were strong, and it reverberated in my vertebrae.

Then we headed toward El Escorial, the monastery, and then JW flew out
of Madrid. I took the plane to France, and in Bordeaux I joined the nuns again,
and continued my studies of Folklore at the University of Bordeaux, where I was
writing about the mythical Lilith.

To paint it in a picture of words, I am flashing out the pageant, of
that most extraordinary beautiful Catholic Church, as we went down from La
Rochelle, along the clean river, where we called to make reservations in a
pretty tiny hotel, ahead and we found a room with a high ceiling warm and cozy.

Out of many, Switzerland is my favorite European country; the majestic
mountains and the rivers impressed me.
Monte Rosa’s Peak and Matterhorn were absolutely fabulous, left us
breathless, and the chalet Michabell was looking down onto Italy. The view out
of the window was that of Matterhorn mountain in Zermatt, a pretty town.
We then went out to Monte Rosa, a majestic chain of snow-covered
Mountain of rare beauty.
I enjoyed the lovely scenery in Luzern, and Interlaken, with the
beautiful lake with little bridges leading up to the center, all dressed up in
geranium flowers. Multicolored geraniums flowers were hanging out from each
houses’ window. The beautiful trip is to go up on a chairlift (telefericul) to
wheel you up over the meadows, seeing cattle and, magnificent glorious view of
the Swiss Mountains, and the peaks. It is a very gentle and slow trip.


At the base of the Matterhorn, in July 1994 we stayed at the very top,
at the Gornergrat Hotel, in a very solitary beautiful hotel. What a trip that
was; and it gave me the perspective to figure out my future plans.



The beauty of nature and overdose of oxygen gave me clarity of mind.
I had in my mind’s eye, planned out all my life during this lovely
trip. I knew I exactly what I wanted. I envisioned myself making research and
taking my Doctoral degree at UCLA, in Los Angeles in History.

We were moving ahead with our travels and research. I decided I want to
go to America with Jim. In 1991 in summer I left France for the United States,
more specifically to Los Angeles that is to UCLA, where I wanted to get my
master’s degree in History.
In L.A. I witnessed the 1992 riots. I was reading feverishly on how
people have started burning buses and cabs in East Los Angeles, as well as
attacking and beating up white people in the streets. The smoke and foul air
was moving towards me in Marina del Rey.

We found a lovely hotel, Marina Del Rey, in Marina del Rey, where I
stayed for a week, and we looked for a place to live.
I have finally escaped from the bad world into the good world. We loved
each other so deeply.

I moved into Westwood and enrolled into the UCLA’s Master program in
summer 2004. I graduated soon after in 2005, but no family was present, as my
mother died of a heart attack, and could never travel by plane.
I understood that I never had good communication with anyone.




I was sensitive and creative; and only Jim could appreciate me. These
were my thoughts then when I was 40.

Before enrolling at UCLA, I had to visit my uncle Nicholas Lazin, who
has fled to Hungary in 1947, after the Wall was raised between the East and the
West in Europe, and settled down in Oshawa, Canada. He invited me many times to
visit, Oshawa, in Toronto, Canada. This trip I took in 1993, it was wintertime
in Canada, and it was a harsh experience staying there and getting accustomed
again to cold weather. Coming out of cold winters I spent in Transylvania, I
was filled with rheumatism and arthritis.
Cold weather just does not work with me, it was as simple as that. I
decided I never leave Los Angeles ever again. My precious warm, sunny Los
Angeles I have fallen in love with.

Discovering new Places And Peoples

It was a good feeling escaping Ceausescu’s tyranny and discovering the
hidden side of the word. I realized how we lived in the dark and isolation from
the world, and that there was better climate in Mexico than in Romania; and one
does not be the prisoner of their own thoughts and limited spirit of the
others, living the same nightmare, as I did back in Romania.
I know the nuns in Bordeaux were free spirits and happy women, with a
great sense of humor especially the Mother Superior. We even visited Toulouse
Lautrec’s castle, and spent time on the beach where the Atlantic Ocean met the
Pacific Ocean. I had spent unforgettable moments of discovery, and
fraternization with the nuns.

Because I have entered the Mexican state, in order to see the pyramids
first, I tried to find a place to live also in Mexico, and I have selected a
place called El Bosque del Secreto, but it did not work out. The air is too
polluted in Teotihuacan, and around Mexico D.F. that I only visited the Pyramid
of the Sun, and the pyramid of the Moon, and hurried to find a nice place. When
I finally found the house surrounded by beautiful red bougambillas, I realized
it was too isolated from town, without a car, far from the market, in one word,
I felt it was not really feasible.

As all ironies were happening in a row, when I arrived to L.A., the
riots were in progress.
I was settling in marina del Rey. Then I left again to Toronto to see
my uncle Nicholas, and cousin Caroline Lazin. I started teaching History pretty
soon, when I returned to UCLA.
After 2 years in the Doctoral Program in History at
UCLA, I graduated in 2001, in January. After graduation I have published my
Doctoral thesis, and a second book on the bright and dark sides of
Globalization with Dr James W Wilkie, Professor at UCLA. Our books are widely
read around the world and are used to teach Courses at College and University
levels. We specialized in shedding light over the positive and negative aspects
of globalization in the European Union and NAFTA.

After 9/11 the whole world has changed. And this
will be the topic for another book. A book in which I will investigate what has
changed exactly in these 27 years in Los Angeles, and how change has impacted
us.
More reading here:

OR
After 9/11 the whole world has changed. And this will be the topic for
another book. A book in which I will investigate what has changed exactly in
these 27 years, and how. Why are we missing those things, customs and dialects of
the region of Transylvania, as a collective consciousness?
It is the collective memory I cherish most.
Here is a picture at UCLA, with my students in History, 2014.






March
15, 2014, A Crucial Year for My Career

After 2 years in the Doctoral Program in History at
UCLA, I graduated in 2001, in January. After graduation I have published my
Doctoral thesis, and a second book on the bright and dark sides of
Globalization with Dr James W Wilkie, Professor at UCLA. Our books are widely
read around the world and are used to teach Courses at College and University
levels. To get the books we have written together with James Wilkie, download
them from Amazon.
My books can be downloaded from Amazon, and printed
up by KINDLE if you want a paperback format. All books can be read on all
devices: tablet, IPhone, Kindle or cloud computer,









                  Doing Yoga, in
Cancun.
In the USA, I enjoy volunteering.  I have volunteered 200 hours with MADD, and
Meals on Wheels in 2015.
After volunteering at MADD, for 200 hours, I started working with
Edward Olmos
(film-director in Hollywood).
        
My 3rd book, Decentralized Globalization is actually my
Doctoral thesis at UCLA.

My book cover conceived in 1991. Caring for the environment.

Before we left Paris on December 19, 1991, we met with Gérard Chaliand
to personally thank him for having made the Bordeaux Security agent reexamine
his whole approach to his life. Further, with Gérard, we worked out a plan to
arrange for me to become a U.S. resident and obtain U.S. citizenship nine years
after my arrival in Los Angeles, October 1992. He recommended that my case by
handled in In Los Angeles by one of America’s most knowledgeable and effective
Migration Attorneys—Cynthia Juárez Lange, today Managing Partner, Northern
California, for the Fragomen Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy LLP Legal Office
located in San Francisco. Cynthia is a personable genius. In our travels in
December 1991 and from March to June 1992 we met NPPO leaders in the European
Union to better understand how foundations work under unique laws in each
county rather than in any rational manner for the whole EU, we went to
Marseilles, Nice, Villfranche-sur-Mer, Cap-Ferrat, Monaco, La Rochelle,
Andorra, Sevilla,

Madrid, Trujillo, El Escorial, Avila, Navarro, and Segovia. On
September 3. 1992, we arrived at the U.S. Consulate in Paris, where the U.S
Consulate in Mexico had arranged with Jim for my U.S. eligibility for residence
to be issued. Also, the Mexican Consulate General in Paris issued me my
residence papers to enter and leave Mexico freely, as arranged by Jim with the
Mexican Consular Office in Mexico City. his profits ($13 billon) for their
activities, his personal wealth in 2016 estimated to be $25 billion. See
https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/about/expenditures Also, for the details
of Soros $930.7 million dollars Open Society Foundations 2016 Budget, which can
be found by searching online for this title.

By September 7, 1992, we were in Romania for meetings with Civic
Activists in Sighet (where I finally returned after “escaped” with Jim in
December 1991). From March to June 1993, we met with NPPO leaders in Budapest,
Sighet, and Varna (Bulgaria), Bucharest, and St. Petersburg. In Moscow (June
21-14, 1993), Jim appointed Professor Boris Koval (Director of the Latin
American Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences), to be PROFMEX
Representative in Russia. Koval had invited us to Moscow and introduced us to
his own Security Chief to be our translator and guide. Thus, the freaking
Security Chief was a fascinating person who had been former head of the KGB
Office in Iran, 1979-1989. Jim, who always wore his Mexican guayabera shirt
with or without a suit, was seen to be “authentically Mexican”.
Starting in 2012, Putin has reset the Cold War with the United
States.  Now I am finally enjoying some
distancing from Eastern Europe and realize freedom was worth all the risks I
took, to establish myself and live in the United States, where I have found
safety.
Our Books and work has shown how U.S. Tax Exempt Organization (TEO) Law has
evolved to become the most important in the world owing
to its flexibility. Where the laws of most countries require prior
legal authorization to launch in a new direction, U.S. TEO law recognizes no
such limit. Thus, U.S. TEO law, unlike most other countries, is never trying to
make legal what is already underway in the world.

In developing a way to translate the U.S. legal framework in a standard
way for this era of Globalization, I hope that this work offers a basis for
others to advance their own analysis of the issues presented here.
The work is organized to examine the traditional U.S. Centralized Model
as developed for world philanthropy by the Rockefeller foundation early this century.
The most important variation is the Decentralized Model established under U.S.
Tax lax by the Hungarian-born George Soros, who has set up National Boards to
direct their own destiny in 31 countries.

Recently three new models have surfaced, and they are examined briefly in the
other book, in this series: Dr Olgas Dream Come True.
P.S.
Vampirism continues unabashed in Maramures County. Good Romanians are trying to
root out corruption every day.
To
my chagrin, the same scenario is going on here in the United States since 2018,
with Trumpism. How leaders can destroy a nation's dreams, and nationalism decimates diversity.
The odyssey continues.


























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































    
[i]
More on diversity of cultures in Transylvania:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Transylvania


              I finally
had the chance to leave the country when an execution squad shot Nicolae C. in
1989.
      Obtaining visas
to western countries was extremely hard in 1990, right after Ceausescu was
shot. I convinced my then-husband Valerian Pipas to come with me to  Bucharest and arrange for visas for France. I
also needed transit visas through Austria



                           
[iii]
Ceaușescu” is the non-modern spelling
of the name.


               [iv]
This Empire existed between 1867 and 1918.




As in the case of Oceania always being threatened by eternal
war alternating between Eurasia or East Asia,
Portrayed in George Orwell’s 1984.Cf. my article “Orwell’s 1984 and the Case Studies of Stalin and Ceausescu
in Elitelore Varieties
(Edited by
James Wilkie et al
.): http://elitelore.org/Capitulos/cap16_elitelore.pdf


            [vii]
COMECON (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance)
dates from the January 1949 communiqué agreed upon in
             Moscow by the USSR to lead the
CMEA.


[viii] This Empire existed between 1867 and
1918.

      
[ix]
Upon Ceausescu’s death, the Patriarch Pipas mysteriously became the Museum’s
“owner” and
then transferred title to
his son Valerian Pipas. The family died out in 2016 of alcoholism.


[x] “Czechia” is rarely used in English
because native English speakers too often do
not know intuitively know how to pronounce
 it. The name Czechia has
arisen as the short name for the Czech Republic, which emerged with the breakup
of “Czechoslovakia”     in 1992. 
 


[xi] Jim soon arranged for the contract
to be paid from his grant funds from U.S. foundations deposited for his
projects at
UCLA.


   
[xii]
See (A) my 2001
Decentralized Globalization: Free
Markets, U.S. Foundations, and the Rise of Civil and Civic Society from
Rockefeller’s Rise in Latin America
    Eastern Europe (Los Angeles: UCLA Classic Doctoral Thesis) at http://www.profmex.org/webjournal_listedbyvoldat.html 
   
(B) Olga Magdalena Lazín,
La
Globalización Se Descentraliza: Libre Mercado, Fundaciones, Sociedad Cívica y
Gobierno Civil en las Regiones del Mundo,
Prólogo
  
or James W. Wilkie
(Guadalajara y Los Ángeles: Universidad de
Guadalajara, UCLA Program on Mexico, PROFMEX/World, Casa Juan Pablos Centro
Cultural, 2007).  
   
James W. Wilkie y Olga Magdalena Lazín, La globalización Se Amplia:
Claroscuros de los Nexos Globales 
(Guadalajara, Los Ángeles, México:Guadalajara,
 
UCLA Program on Mexico, PROFMEX/World, Casa Juan Pablos Centro Cultural,
2011:        h
ttp://www.profmex.org/mexicoandtheworld/volume17/2spring2012/Laglobalizacionseamplia.pdf
                        



      [xiii]
Readers should be aware of a key acronym used when this paper reaches
    the 1990s: NPPO stands for Not-for-Private
Profit Organization
(usually
    a Foundation) which differs from the more
familiar (Non-Profit
   Organization (NPO). Outside the United States, the latter term tends to
   be wrongly understood to mean no profit be
accumulated and the NPO must
    show a zero balance at year end. The former
term (NPPO) is developed
   here to stress that profits may be
accumulated and invested to fund
   future activities, as long as expenditures
do not benefit private parties
    (except for salaries, travel, and other
justified expenses as provided in,



         [xiv]
Mexico’s National Lottery is a Government-run Public Charity and funder of new
research.

              [xv]
The Lottery grants to PROFMEX totaled $100,000 dollars.

      [xvi]
Jim Wilkie’s statement here is quoted from my formal Interview with him,
September 17, 1992, in Transylvania, based upon his experience as Consultant to
the U.S. Council on Foundations. See:
             Olga
Magdalena Lazín,
Decentralized Globalization:
Free Markets,
       U.S. Foundations and the Rise of Civil
and Civic Society From Rockefeller’s Latin America To Soros’ Eastern Europe
(Los         Angeles: UCLA, Classic PHD
thesis, 2001), pp. 122-125. This book was published in 2016 by PROFMEX, and it
can be read freely at
http://www.profmex.org/webjournal_listedbyvoldat.html

“Equivalent,” as Jim noted, means
that the foreign NPPO meets (A) the test of funding at least one of the
following goals” for types of projects supported
Health-Education-Welfare-Human
Rights-Science and Religion-Economy-Environment-Ecology-Publication-Literature-Charity
; and (B) meets the test that no part
of the foreign NPPOs expenditures benefit private persons-- except for payment
of reasonable expenses to cover salaries, services, and goods needed by the
NPPO to legitimately conduct the operations chartered in its Articles of
Incorporation and By-Laws.



          [xviii]Administered
by NGO Civic Activists in each country but reporting to Soros Foundation/New
York City to justify each yearly budget.


[xix] The Soros Open Society Foundations
in 44 countries benefit from the fact that Soros himself has lived up to his
commitment since1986 (to 2016 and ongoing) to donate half of his profits ($13
billon) for their activities, his personal wealth in 2016 estimated to be $25
billion. See
https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/about/expenditures


Ibid. Also, for the details of Soros
$930.7 million dollar
Open Society Foundations 2016
Budget,
which can be
found by        searching  online for this title.



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