Ben Midland (pseudonym), born as Jacobus Franciskus M. van Weelde, The Hague, The Netherlands at September 8 1954 is a Dutch writer of poetry, short stories and conspiracy based fact-fiction novels.
Ben Midland was born to Jeanne Bleijs, a telephone operator, and Louis van Weelde, an asbestos worker. The grandfather of his mother's side was Jacobus Wilhelmus Bleijs (October 12 1892 - April 1 1979) a painter and decorator, member of the Bleijs family, a well known line of artistic persons, architects and painters of which some were member of the "Haagse School". The origin of this family was the province of North Holland. Ben was named after his grandfather.
When Ben was just months old, his mother divorced from his biological father. She remarried Ben's stepfather Petrus Adrianus Johannes van Gils, an official of the Dutch Dept. of Defense who never adopted him. Midland never met his birth father who died in the late 80's as of cancer, caused by the inhalation of asbestos.
Immediately after his mother's remarriage Midland left the house and was placed at a number of strictly Catholic homes in the cities of Wassenaar (St. Franciscus van Padua), Scheveningen (De Vluchtheuvel) Rotterdam (Heemraadsingel) and finally Santpoort-Noord (St. Rafael) where he attended elementary school.
After Midland reached the age of 16 he was released and returned to The Hague to attend technical school where he was pushed to become a baker. This situation didn't last long. Midland got his diploma's and finished school to go to college, a personal wish but he was never allowed to. Ben started to follow junior and senior high school which he attended privately, followed by a Colloquim Doctum what gave him the possibility to follow college and jumpstarted Ben to the University of Leiden. There he took up Japanese studies in a very successful way.
In July 1985, on one of his journey's going back and forth to Japan Midland met Lourdes Nudo Juson, a very attractive Filipina from Makati, Metro Manila in the Philippines. On October 16 they got married in the Church of Don Bosco, Makati M.Manila.
On December 14 1994 Ben's wife Lourdes became the only victim of a accident in Makati M. Manila, leaving her in coma for the long period of 3 months. After her recovery and with the help of a attorney who worked for the Dutch Embassy (Lourdes employer) Ben 'kidnapped' his wife from the hospital after facing charges against him, refusing to pay for her extremely high hospital bills. After three years of trial the Court of Appeal in Manila convicted the driver, a reckless truck driver from the shanties to pay 100.000.00 pesos fine to Ben and his family, a amount the man never could bring up.
One year after her wake-up and final recovery of less than 70% Lourdes got pregnant of a child: Sebastian Petrus Johannes van Weelde, born June 5, 1997. The pregnancy was not without risks, made possible through artificial insemination.
Receiving threats to his address in January 1998 from the hospital, Midland was advised by the Dutch Embassy to leave the country immediately facing charges for not being able to pay the bills. Together with his 7-month's old son and his heavily physically and mentally damaged wife he fled within 2 weeks from the Philippines.
In December 2007, his wife died of a cardiac arrest.
In 2010 Ben Midland remarried again, to a Dutch woman Angelique Loef. After dating Angelique, Midland and his son moved in with her and her two kids after a long period wherein she was threatened and beaten up by her violent husband. After their marriage Midland accepted her two kids, Jeffrey and Dave as his own kids.
Raised, away from his elderly home very early Midland developed to become independent rapidly what soon definitely appeared to be the run for a life outside the Netherlands. This became reality after he finished elementary, junior, high school and college. Prior to his decision to start a life outside the Netherlands, he took up Japanese studies, a pre-bachelor study Japanology in Leiden, The Netherlands. On his 20th he gave up his apartment in the city of Zoetermeer in the Netherlands for a four-year stay in Japan, studying Japanese and working as a assistant teacher English.
In subsequent years he set up a consultancy (JTC, Japan Trade Consultancy) to assist Dutch entrepreneurs, approaching the Japanese market. During that period, Ben traveled back and forth to Kyoto, Japan for business and study purposes.
BEN MIDLAND ACCORDING TO BEN MIDLAND
As a person, Ben Midland prefers to call himself a fine example of “Dutch white trash”. Born in a big family, but without a father figure never knowing his biological father and instead of growing up near or raised by his mother he was forced to meet his personal boundaries. As a result of being 'left behind' Midland never accepted his 'omen' or the road paved for him nor didn't compromise ever with what life has to offer to him. It was not enough.
Midland refused to accept these limitations set up to him and swore to himself to become successful in whatever he picked up. No matter what, study, sports, a working career, he needs to win, continuously proving to his environment but more specific to himself that he is capable doing whatever he picks up.
After his fled from the Philippines, Midland studied computer science, took up Unix courses and started a career as a Unix system engineer, working for a number of government organizations and private companies.
In 2005 Midland started writing his first novel, “The Sacred Mirror” (Dutch: De Spiegel van Ise) after a burn-out that forced him to take a step back. Working, driving, taking care for his family (numerous members of Midland’s family are handicapped) and study became too much all together. Since his study of Japanese, Midland’s attention was caught by the mystique of Japan, it’s culture, folklore and more specific Japanese mythology.
On August 18 2012 Ben Midland’s first novel "De Spiegel van Ise" was released, followed by the translated version "The Sacred Mirror", the English translation, the first of a series fact-fiction books to come, all Japan related.
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