Thursday, April 5, 2007

The Untouchables of Truth

Often people who stand for truth and justice are outcasts. They don’t fit into popular culture. They are the ones that pass out Jesus tracts, who serve up meals to the hungry, who protest against rulers and power brokers that make their fortunes on the backs of the needy. Even among them there are usually some who don’t quite fit in but don’t care anyway and inject themselves into a protest or other group with off-script grievances, because they have something inside that won’t let them keep still. It rumbles within and moves them out on the streets to stir people up. Truth is like a volcano, building up pressure until it explodes. First it begins to simmer deep within, then pressure and momentum builds, eventually giving way to an explosion.

9/11 Truthers, anti-new-world-order folks and Jesus people are outcasts. While most want to fit into the world system and don’t mind being cogs in a wheel as long as they can derive benefit from their cog-hood, there are others who don’t mind their own quirkiness because it gives meaning to their lives in what has become an insane, dysfunctional and often brutal world. Some will hold the front lines for religious groups that trend toward cultism and serve as pawns to fill the pockets of their conspicuously consuming leaders. A friend of mine, for example, complained to me about the Jehovah’s Witnesses the other day, how she disliked their manipulative tactics and I understood the revulsion she felt when even thinking about them. They are indeed a strange bunch, saying we’re all the minions of a devil system but don’t they have a right to say what they think? Surely they do. It’s still a free country. Religious fanatics tend to gain ground because there is usually an element of truth to what they are saying. It is therefore important that even fanatics retain their rights to free speech as long as they aren’t infringing upon other’s rights or crossing over into violence.

Movements develop because of dissatisfaction with what is and a longing for what isn’t and it has always been that way. These days we are confronted with new incarnations of injustice and inhumanity and the battle lines are slowly being drawn yet again. The brutality of Hitler, Stalin and the pre-Attaturk murderers of the Armenian holocausts have been more or less seared into our consciousness. Still clear in their minds, their fears aroused, revolutionaries and reformers seek to uncover and confront what is plainly evil out of moral conviction and to prevent what is perhaps unpreventable. Now to most of us, we live in a well-ordered, highly principled society, and see ourselves in a good light, doing great things in the pursuit of happiness but there also appears along side of the desire for material prosperity a gnawing perception that won’t cease in its desire to express itself. When the W.T.C. towers fell, everyone everywhere was reeling in shock at the immense horror of seeing three huge buildings collapse into their foundations but it wasn’t long before people grew weary of watching the repetitive coverage of it on the TV news. A few of them however, began to feel a sense that they weren’t being told the whole story as it was covered by big media since much of the account didn’t quite ring true for them. There was a palpable anti-climactic feel to the story as the months passed and wreckage was cleared from the sites and certain individuals, including some of the 9/11 families began speaking out about the holes in the official story, questioning the plausibility of the events as they were said to have happened. They began writing books, doing talk-radio shows, writing blogs and creating conspiracy websites and though six years have passed since September 11, 2001, it seems harder than ever for the powers that be to knock them down through intimidation. The ‘wacko fringe’ outwardly might look rather weak and shabby when compared to the appearance of those with power and money but I doubt whether society could find balance between oppression and justice without them since in many respects they are the ones in sackcloth standing before their rulers, prophesying against them, demanding that the peoples’ voice be heard. They’re the ones who don’t really care about going along to get along and don’t at all mind stirring up the soup.

After 2 years of college, I took a break, got a job and eventually moved in with one of the more colorful people in the town where I went to school. He called himself, Brother John, an old Russian man of limited means and a long beard who sold hand carved tasseled canes with ‘peace’ signs emblazoned on top. He would show up at anti-Vietnam war demonstrations in town and though his English was not the best, he was able to get his point across when talking and was genuinely fond of the kids and the kids felt likewise. John used to call them the “Children of God” in reference to the parable in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and although he wasn’t held in high regard by most people in his general age category (he did a few stretches at the Connecticut Valley Mental Hospital due to paranoid schizophrenia) he did manage however to gain quite a sizable following among the young people that used to hang around downtown. He also used to write many hundred page letters in Russian to Brezhnev and Nixon about how they were followers of the Devil and that the young people who were protesting the war were actually the ones on God’s side who would bring an era of peace to the earth and although he never received replies from his addressees, it never deterred him from writing long into the night. Once in awhile he would go on drinking binges which preceded his hospitalizations but when I think back on those days I realize that he had, even with his disability, somehow imprinted us kids with some glimmer of spiritual truth and although the vessel that brought the gift had a tarnished, rough, shepherd-like appearance, it was one that gave the town enough of a spiritual spark to help bring about an end to the War.
Today there is a new and growing anti-war, anti-globalist tide of discontent similar to what occurred in the late 60’s and it’s slowly gaining in strength and poise. Although the message is still ridiculed and marginalized in the major media and its speakers still ranked as untouchables, they are nevertheless having a perceptible and effective ‘push back’ effect against those who seek unlimited power. This new breed of radicals loves to get in the face of those ranking high in the system, pointing out their lies and hypocrisy and alerting people to what could actually happen as a result of reduced civil liberties and increased political repression that could lead to a possible American (and World) dictatorship. It is no longer a left wing or right wing fight either since many are starting to understand that the bipolar paradigm they’ve been spoon-fed is just a manufactured illusion to keep them off track. This movement is actually quite conservative in its desire to see the nation return to the constitutional principles of individual rights, limited government, with just enough liberalism mixed in to allow for a just society and stands a much greater chance of gaining a voice than did the communist-leaning big-government radicals of the former era.
Whatever one believes, there is a very deep despair and skepticism in the direction our politicians and corporations are taking us. Something deep within is waking folks up and putting those in the system on notice that they won’t have their bestial way with them the next time around. People are starting to examine media spin and are beginning to realize that they are being propagandized to look the other way and not question authority and that they are likely being herded into the slaughterhouse of a Third World War. This new awareness is leading many out of the delusional dream world and is starting to bring the elites to their knees, and with that said, there’s a very good chance, I think, that truth in all its manifestations will not only survive but will continue to thrive regardless of its external appearance.

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