It Blooms in the Dark
Robert H. Outman, Prisoner P-79939
Unlike nocturnal plants, that sometimes bring forth delicate and beautiful flowers, this blossom is neither beautiful nor delicate. Like molds and fungi, which can also live in dark places, this blossom finds refuge in the dark recesses of the human mind. It is the icon of darkness: evil. Philosophers, psychologists, and theologians can argue among themselves, not coming to a definitive answer other than that evil takes root in the human mind.
An insatiable appetite for punishment (evil in itself) has allowed prison systems to become multi-billion dollar shrines to evil, where good men are made bad and bad men are made worse. California is so dedicated to punishment that its prisons hold the third largest line item on the state budget.
Dr. Philip Zimbardo's book, The LUCIFER EFFECT: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil, addresses the dynamics of evil in the prison system and within society, among the so called "good people."
Zimbardo explains that evil is much too clever and insidious to be confined within prison walls. By means of a simple psychological mechanism known as Moral Disengagement, "good people" can justify any sort of destructive and egregious behavior. Moral Disengagement is the act of establishing the mental perspective that what you are doing is for the good of society or in the performance of a duty: "I was only doing my job," "I was only following orders," "This is God's will," "He deserved it," "It's in the interest of justice," "He blasphemes," "God is on my side," "By authority of the court," and any other mind-set that gives license to evil acts by "good people."
Moral Disengagement makes it all easy to justify: "Justice must be served," "It was God's will," "He asked for it." Moral Disengagement allows the son to hate his father, the guard to beat the prisoner, the policeman to administer "street justice," witches to be burned, and innocent men to be sent to prison. It facilitates a will to power and control.
The Inquisition allowed "good God fearing men" to do God's business of killing and torture. Almost everyone can remember the video of a pack of police officers beating Rodney King. During the Vietnam War, villages of innocent people were decimated. WWII produced "good Germans" killing millions of Jews. In Rwanda "good Hutus" roamed the streets, slaughtering Tutsi neighbors and, in the U.S., "good people" advocate torture as a means to an end.
"Good people" know that evil must be kept in the darkness, which explains why the executioner wears a mask, members of the Ku Klux Klan wear sheets, and brutal policemen or guards wear sunglasses and remove name tags. The process of concealing one's identity is called Depersonalization.
To further the dark influence of Moral Disengagement, "good people" will employ Dehumanization of the subjects of their hatred. This is accomplished by identifying an individual as a lesser creature such as a "cockroach," a "jackass," or some such pejorative that describes the target as less than human. After all, everyone knows cockroaches have to be exterminated and dumb animals have to be subjugated.
The trinity of Moral Disengagement, Depersonalization, and Dehumanization allows evil to take root behind a facade of goodness and virtue, but we each have the ability to separate ourselves from the herd. We do not have to follow the herd mentality or submit to the dark blossom's seductive lure. Evil needs the soil of weak character to survive. Good people can strive to develop strength of character. Identifying evil must start within. Too many "good people" are too busy identifying evil in others, while it is in full bloom in their own darkness. How often do you employ Moral Disengagement? How often do you refer to other human beings as non-human? How often do you practice Depersonalization, by hiding your identity? Where are you in the human herd?
|Letters to the Editor|
Greetings. I have been a little depressed lately as the 3-Strikes Reform Act did not get enough signatures to get on the ballot! So, all I have left is the writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. (which I mailed on [date omitted].) I included an extra first page & SASE, and have NOT received the file-stamped first page w/docket # ....
... There are many guys here who have spent the $200+ to get a "tablet" w/games, books, songs, etc on it. We are still awaiting "permission" to purchase & use laptops for our legal work, however it won't be too long as the courts are "experimenting" with e-filing of prisoner 42 USC § 1983 complaints here in the Eastern District Fed Court. Now, the librarian on A-Yard scans your paper doc & then sends the file to the clerk....
... Well, friend, this Level-II new prison is still having a few problems & no grass on the yard! (HOT!!!) Hope all is well with you & yours. Take care Be well & enjoy.
Your September newsletter came today and I found it more inspiring than usual. Perhaps it was the letters from inmates. My uncle was the chief engineer at a prison while I was in college and I learned a lot about prisons and politics from him and his experiences that he shared with me.
A century ago the prison officials realized that all who were released immediately joined a gang and caused a lot of trouble. They decided that parolees should have a better option, like being well qualified to get a job. They installed some furniture shops to make desks and such for the schools thinking this would save the taxpayers money. They also had an auto body shop where inmates could repair and customize cars.
My uncle had an inmate crew to maintain the refrigeration and other devices in the prison. One of his crew was paroled and a couple of weeks later my uncle received a letter from the parolee that included his paycheck stub. My uncle showed the stub to some of the inmates thinking they would be favorably impressed. Most were, but one knot head said, "What the hell, I could steal that much in five minutes." Well, you can't win 'em all. Still, the success rate was great.
The lesson is that prison for punishment or vengeance harms our society. Give convicts an opportunity to earn a better life and we will all benefit.
If you put all of the inmate letters into a book I would suggest that every politician should read it. They need to see the results of their decisions.
... Thanks for Sept Frontiersman & for publishing my letter.
Do you have children? I never knew that, that I recall. You said on p 3 (Sept Front.) you are a father. Surprise!
Kudos for your article that mentions "children" repeatedly but never says "kids." Kids are goats a term often used for "Satan." So I always cringe that the masses are conventionally indoctrinated to always use the term "kids" for our beloved, precious children.
Am curious: YHWH forbid, but if you were to pass away, (& some day probably will hopefully not for a few more decades at least), do you have someone to handle & make accessible all your massive amount of writings? I can't imagine the great loss to mankind, to progeny, if your vast writings became inaccessible, locked into a system that no one had the ability to enter & keep making them available at large. Do you have that covered?
I don't presently know of anybody who will serve as my successor.
Sam Aurelius Milam III
Education is offered. Brainwashing is imposed.
Erotic and indecent are synonyms only in sick minds.
Anything that takes control of a car away from the driver is a bad thing, no matter how worthy the alleged justification.
A White Man's Notes
Sam Aurelius Milam III
I recently watched about the first 60 seconds of the 2005 remake of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I didn't watch any more than that because that's about how long it took for me to discover that the movie had been "adjusted" according to political correctness. That is, the part of Ford Prefect was being played by a black actor, Mos Def. In the 1981 production, the part was played by David Dixon, a white actor. Ford Prefect was originally written as a white character. Seeing things adjusted according to political correctness always annoys me. I refused to watch the movie.
That wasn't the first time that I'd encountered such a thing. In Miss Cast, on page 3 of the February 2015 issue, I complained about productions of Cinderella and Annie in which black actresses played the parts of female characters who were traditionally white. I refused to watch either program.
Just so that nobody thinks that I'm focused exclusively on race, I'll mention the TV series Elementary. I object to Lucy Liu playing the part of Dr. Watson. My objection isn't because Lucy Liu is of Chinese ancestry, although Watson was, after all, an Englishman. I object to Lucy Liu playing the part because Dr. Watson wasn't a woman. Dr. Watson was a man. I refuse to watch the series.
If there was a reason to turn Ford Prefect into a black man, if there was a reason to turn Annie into a little black girl, if there was a reason to turn Cinderella into a black woman, if there was a reason to turn Dr. Watson into a woman, then maybe the casting decisions would be acceptable. The truth is that there aren't any such reasons. The stories worked acceptably well as they were previously written. They accurately reflected the cultural circumstances in which they took place. The changes weren't made for any kind of improvement. They were made as concessions to the demands of the political correctness enforcers. Those troublemakers lurk around every corner, watching for opportunities to force their views of mandatory diversity onto everybody. They aggressively confront anybody who dares to disagree with them. Everybody's heard their lame challenge: "You gotta problem with that?"
Do I have a problem with that? Suppose that somebody did a remake of The Color Purple and used Arnold Schwarzenegger in the role of Celie Johnson. Does that seem stupid? It does. That's because it is. Then why isn't it just as stupid to use Lucy Liu as Dr. Watson? The reason is that political correctness works in only one direction. Casting Lucy Liu as Dr. Watson appeases the political correctness enforcers. Using Arnold Schwarzenegger as Celie Johnson would have every political correctness enforcer from here to the antipodes up in arms. It's acceptable to have a Chinese (excuse me!) an Asian-American female in the role of an Englishman but not acceptable have a white male in the role of a black female. Whether it involves race, gender, or anything else is irrelevant. Whatever the issue, political correctness is hypocritical and coercively imposed.
Yeah, I "gotta problem" with that.
The Fable of the Dog Who Could Answer Questions
As Retold by Sam Aurelius Milam III
A man and his dog walked into a bar.
The bartender said, "Hey! We don't allow dogs in here!"
"But," objected the man, "This is a talking dog!"
"Don't care," replied the bartender, "get him out!"
"But he can answer any question!" said the man.
"Out!" said the bartender, pointing toward the door."
The man looked at his dog and asked, "What's the opposite of smooth?"
"Rough!" said the dog.
"Idiot," muttered the bartender.
The man asked his dog, "What's on the top of a house?"
"Roof!" said the dog.
"Out!" yelled the bartender.
"Who's the best ball player who ever lived?" asked the man.
"Ruth!" replied the dog.
The bartender picked up a baseball bat and started around the end of the bar. The man and his dog ran out the door.
Later, on the sidewalk, the man looked at the dog and said, "That was a stupid answer!"
The dog replied, "What did you expect me to say, Ty Cobb?"
My thanks to the following: SantaClara Bob; Lady Jan the Voluptuous; Betty; Eric, of Ione, California; and Bob, of Murphys, California.
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Sam Aurelius Milam III, editor