by baldilocks

Any discussion of the following subject reminds me that, in order to have even a chance of being in the ballpark of a correct conclusion, it’s necessary to be able to analyze information properly, rather than simply to gather it.  The will and ability to do this has become essential—not just to “win” an argument, but for personal and national survival.

After I posted Discover the Networks’The Muslim Brotherhood’s Strategic Goal for North America” on my Facebook page, one of my friends pointed out that Christianity has a violent history as well. My response:

In order for an individual to examine the tenets of any faith, that person must look at the foundational work establishing that faith. Before the Bible was made available to the everyday Christian, the Church leadership–meaning the Roman Catholic Church clergy–dispensed doctrine and interpreted in whatever manner they saw fit.

After Johannes Gutenberg’s invention, the Bible was mass-produced, making it available to all who could read it–and, most importantly, translated from Latin in other European languages.  It is no accident that Christianity was radically transformed and Reformed after that.

A similar reform—or reversion– is happening to Islam with respect to its doctrines and, subsequently, its adherents.

One of the Founders of these two religions commanded his followers to love God with all one’s heart, soul, strength and mind and to love one’s neighbor as self; the other commanded his followers to convert non-believers at the point of the sword or make them pay the unbelievers’ tax.

As each set of followers have become more and more familiar with the foundational doctrines of their respective religious beliefs, each has begun to behave more in accordance with those doctrines: one set has become less totalitarian almost to the point of zero and the other, more aggressive and violent.

The Bible and the Koran are objective documents with historical contexts readily available in this information age.  It is up to the individual to make himself/herself familiar enough with both–if desired–in order to come to a cogent conclusions about each.

Naturally, my friend mentioned the genocides committed in the name of Jesus. Of course, the crimes of the prior millennium’s Church are well-known and acknowledged:

Christian missionaries of Europe fell into error and sin back when they were bent on converting the natives of all lands–not by the act of  leading others to Christ, but by making Christianity about something other than Christ, His Sacrifice, Resurrection and the purpose of the foregoing.  The European missionaries bound up Christ in themselves and their own ethnicity.

Christians have used Christ to justify all kinds of sin—much easier to do when it was illegal for non-clergy to read the Bible. However, these crimes do not take anything away from the quality of the Gospel; they only speak to the quality the imperfect human beings proclaiming it.  Again, were such missionaries following the Bible or ignoring the inconvenient parts when they trampled non-Christian cultures? And was the Islamic group Boko Haram following the Koran or ignoring it when the group abducted hundreds of non-Muslim girls from a Nigerian school?

A little thinking-through of things won’t hurt. On the contrary, it might say our lives.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published ibaldilocks2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

by baldilocks

Ten years ago, after Monica Lewinsky responded publicly to former President William Clinton’s characterization of their affair, I wrote her an open letter. Excerpt:

1)      Go to graduate school. Become a nurse, or a scientist, or an architect. Do NOT become a lawyer, a journalist or a politician. Do NOT go into show business, unless you’re going to be a producer or part of the crew.

2)      Immerse yourself in your Jewish heritage/religion. Or some other religion.

3)      Get involved in some little-publicized charity work.

4)      Stay out of the public eye as much as possible. Change your name, if you see fit. But whatever happens, refuse to give any interviews on anything regarding former President Clinton and the scandal created by the two of you.

Why should you do these things? By immersing yourself in, taking care of, building or studying something for you, you can carve out a new reputation for yourself, instead of being constantly saddled with the old one. Accomplish something. Make a difference, a positive one.

I don’t know whether she knows that this letter exists, but it seems that she took much of my advice. Turning down multi-million dollar offers–presumably, to tell her story–she moved to London and earned a Master’s degree in psychology at the London School of Economics. And, she kept silent about her part in the indiscretion—until now.Lewinsky

Unfortunately and predictably, many employers were unable to see past her infamous past. But Lewinsky takes responsibility for her choices and seems much more mindful of the consequences of her actions in her mature years—as all thinking persons become.. Additionally, she is conscious of the fact that she may further suffer for her new openness about the topic.

I’ve decided, finally, to stick my head above the parapet so that I can take back my narrative and give a purpose to my past. (What this will cost me, I will soon find out.)

As opposed to the last time Lewinsky spoke out, her timing is right. I hope she expounds on the professional and personal costs that she has paid for a singular reason: other young women need to read these things. To stand voluntarily as a warning to others is an admirable thing to do. And, as was so the last time she spoke out, I wish Ms. Lewinsky all the best.

(Thanks to Legal Insurrection)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in baldilocks2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

by baldilocks

Remember when conspiracy theories and theorists were ridiculed? Those were the good old days. More and more, however, Ibaldilocks find myself considering the possibilities of things I had previously thought to be ridiculous. Watching a concerted effort to take down a nation will do that.

In addition, I also find myself reading the opinions of persons who have been saying for decades, that there are groups long in existence, which have had the USA, as it was founded, in their sites. The idea seemed so secretive and shadowy before.

But, here is a man who points out that everything that’s happening to us has happened out in the open. We just didn’t want to see it. (Be advised: the commentator is a 9/11 conspiracy theorist.)

This ever-growing network has been constructed right out in the open with a long lead-up after World War Two, and then an exponential ramp-up following the attacks of 9/11/01 and the paranoia entailed by it. It is surely a remarkable thing that there have been no terror acts on the grand scale in America since 9/11. The 2013 Boston marathon “pressure cooker” bombs that killed 3 people and maimed over 250 others was a way smaller op than 9/11 and relatively amateurish, and the Deep State did not prevent the Chechen Tsarnaev brothers from pulling it off despite the fact that the elder brother, Tamerlan, had been on an FBI watch list for two years prior to the bombing. The Fort Hood massacre of 2009 (13 fatalities [sic—14, including the unborn child of one soldier]) was perpetrated by, of all things, an army psychiatrist Major Nidal Malik Hasan. You’d think the army would have been onto this fellow… he being right under its nose… but what better illustration of basic institutional failure?

This national blindness is more than just a gigantic educational deficit. The blindness is spiritual and it is the reason I often post about things Christian. Many of us—including our earthly leaders–are unable to see what’s coming because of that blindness, one caused by things not flesh and blood.

I pray that God decides to open more eyes. Discernment is your friend.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

 

 

by baldilocks

Two recent “public outrage” issues in this year’s news have demonstrated that many people—even baldilocksconservatives—have the notion that no one may abridge “free speech.”

The only law related to free speech is in the U.S. Constitution, specifically, Article I of the Bill of Rights. Stated therein:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech. Therefore, if you are not or I am not Congress, we are unable make any law abridging free speech. If a private corporation or a private association is not Congress, it is unable to make any law abridging freedom. Therefore, the 1st Amendment does not address what any parties which are not Congress may or may not do with respect to freedom of speech. Again, none of the parties mentioned in the cases above are Congress, nor are they any other branch of government.  Each case involved something called a contract between private parties.

A contract is a written promise. Contracts can have all kinds of terms, some of which may involve what parties say in public. Other terms can stipulate how a party can react when the other contracting party violates any of the terms. Things like termination and fines are examples of such penalties, and you can bet that both A&E and the NBA listed these things on the contracts they offered to the Robertsons and to Sterling.

Observers are free to give their opinions on what they think and how they feel about these public controversies and their outcomes, but, in the end, it comes down to what was promised contractually and whether any of those promises were broken. If Duck Dynasty fans or A&E fans or NBA fans or even Donald Sterling fans don’t like how these private parties have resolved their contract problems, fans are free to no longer be fans. But, not being Congress, neither A&E nor the NBA have violated Phil Robertson’s or Donald Sterling’s 1st Amendment rights, respectively.

Each entity is free to act according to the terms of their respective contracts. And, you and I are free not to give them our money if we don’t like what they do.

At least for now…

(More on the Donald Sterling topic here.)

AFTERTHOUGHT: A&E fired Phil Robertson for his comments, then re-instated him; the NBA banned Donald Sterling for life. Both A&E and the NBA reacted to the sentiments of their respect core consumers. Business is business.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

by baldilocks

Yes, I can occasionally be caught live in the kitchen. Look quick.

When growing up, my dinner task was making the salad. My mom bought the goods and I prepared them to her exacting specifications. As a result, I am very, shall we say, anal about salads.

A clean vegetable is a happy eater. Wash as far down as possible, wash as far up as possible, then, wash ‘possible.’ That maxim goes for many things.

Anyone who uses iceberg lettuce or put the leaf spine in a salad should be shot. (or maybe, er, reeducated.) Use red-leaf, romaine or butter leaf lettuce or some combination thereof. Spinach is also yummy.

IM000148.JPG

Buy the right mushrooms. Get the ones that are closed at the junction between the body and the stem. If you buy the white ones, don’t buy them if they have dark spots. Cut the stems off but not so far down as to where you can see the inside of the body.

Use red onions and/or scallions, because they look prettier and taste better than yellow or white onions. Cut most of the flower of the scallions off because they are bland. The root is the good part.

Bell peppers are mandatory and when I’m the only one eating the salad or am sure of my audience, I will add chopped Serrano chili pepper in my salad. (You folks who are not from the southwest part of the US or are not of Mexican descent might not know what a Serrano is. It’s a little, tiny green pepper that is hot. I like hot, but if you like HOT, try a Habanero pepper. Make sure to wear gloves while you’re chopping those.)

Two of the ingredients that my mom didn’t require, but I usually use now are: carrots and cucumbers. Yes, peeling them is a pain—and please peel the cuck—but, boy, do they give great texture and taste to the salad. Split the cuck down the middle, by the way.

Sometimes I will top the salad with canned crab. There are two places here in LA from which I’ve bought the crab: Food for Less and Trader Joe’s. The FFL version is cheaper and the TJ’s version is prettier, but they both taste about the same. Sometimes I’ll rinse off canned beans or corn and add those. I don’t put anything heavier than that in a salad. Chicken, beef and pork are for the main course.

Croutons and bacon bits are masks for a salad prepared by a lazy salad-maker. If your ingredients are good, fresh and varied, you don’t need these, unless you like them.

No yellow, orange or white dressings should be used. Hey, if you want to hide the taste of your salad, just tear up some iceberg, chop up a big, fat tomato and pour Thousand Island all over it. Blech. I like a non-obnoxious Caesar or just some olive oil mixed with balsamic vinegar.

If you must put some seasoning on your salad, a bit of Mrs. Dash will do the trick; oh, and black pepper.

What did I forget? Tomatoes, of course, are required; cherry types cut in half. Full-sized tomatoes will make the salad go bad faster (too much liquid).

If you think salads are boring, you’re missing out on one of the great pleasures of eating. Time, attention and varied ingredients are all that are required. Don’t forget to make it beautiful as well. Eating is almost as much about the eye as it is about the tongue. So sue me for being a look-ist.

Burp.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

baldilocks

 

 

 

 

by baldilocks

The Left has been building America up for overt communism/socialism/marxism/progressivism—henceforth called leftism–for a long, long time. Most educational systems have long ceased to educate their charges properly.They baldilockshave ceased to define objectively the concepts of leftism, small-l liberalism, capitalism, basic economics and, of course, history. Specifically, educational systems stopped calling leftist concepts and ideologies by name. This made it easier to present these principles as good and necessary–present them as rights.

The accepted and assumed “truth” that leftist principles are rights is virus-like. It has become so pervasive that, when those who are properly educated, formally or otherwise, try to explain how and why such principles aren’t rights guaranteed by the US Constitution and how the implementation of these “rights” has bankrupted this nation and how it has radically altered life in this country for the worse, explainers get labeled adversely: racist, Nazi, Uncle Tom, fascist, Aunt Jemima, sexist, tool of the Patriarchy, or some combination thereof, depending on the coating and plumbing of the Cassandra in question. And, these labels stick for the same reason–because the definition and history behind those terms isn’t taught either. So, for example, instead of a Nazi being defined as someone who oppresses a set of persons, a Nazi is defined as someone who stops another from oppressing a set of persons.

And, in the wake of the sowing of those seeds, the human emotions of covetousness have further softened the ground for Leftism. The idea of profit beyond a certain limit being morally wrong stems from nothing but envy. Therefore, if the regular Jane knows nothing about government or economics or history except for the distorted topical versions dispensed by the average public educational system, the average university system and/or the seven o’clock news, she can be convinced, for example, that nationalizing the oil industry will bring down her gasoline bill. She can be convinced that corporations are the enemy of the worker. She can be convinced that their money is her money—stolen out of her pocket. She can be convinced that all profits of other individuals and corporations belong to her and those like her. She can be convinced that the great, almighty government can save her and everyone from the dastardly, mustache-twirling corporations. And, ultimately, she can be convinced that the icon of Hope and Change—the very flowering of the Leftist transformation plan for America–can and will make all of her dreams come true.

And so it is that the Cassandras, eloquent though they may be, will go unheeded for the most part.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

by baldilocks

Originally posted here on May 12, 2010; slightly updated and re-edited. This story is never out of season.

 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

(Acts 2:17-18; KJV)

Some time ago, I had a dream.

Before I explain what type of dream it was, I should mention that my dreams are very vivid—almost like being awake; like short visits to worlds yet unexplored.  Sometimes, I can remember them immediately upon waking, but they will usually be forgotten if I fail to write them down.  (As an aside, I think that the ability to remember one’s dreams goes hand-in-hand with having a well-developed imagination—something essential to being a novelist.)

My subconscious will even, on occasion, incorporate sounds from the waking world and build a dream around it if the sound isn’t loud and/or piercing enough to disrupt my sleep.  Such was the case several years ago when former Israeli Defense Minister Dan Gillerman’s melodious, accented baritone memorably penetrated my dreams as it wafted from my television.  In that dream, the voice seemed to be emanating from the throat of the man whom I loved at the time; he seemed to pontificate about a war with Gaza.

However, for the dream mentioned at the beginning, there was never any need to write the details, and, whenever I reconsider it, it always looms large and has capital letters: The Dream.

At first, The Dream was a nightmare—one of the few nightmares in my fifty-plus years.  (Interestingly enough, I only began having nightmares in the last few years—since I began walking closer to God.) I couldn’t see anything at first; I could only feel—and the feeling in question was pure terror.  I’ve never come close to being that afraid when awake and I hope that I never do.

There was something–a living thing—in the room with me.  What was it?  Evil itself is the only way to describe this entity.

I lay on a floor, curled up in a ball like a potato bug and unable to move.  My eyes—my dream-eyes—were slammed shut for fear of seeing the thing.  It seemed to menace my back, crackling the skin of it.  In the manner which dreams unfold, I could “see” chunks of flesh fall from my back; then  it would reintegrate and the process would start again.

I wanted to uncurl and turn to face the being, but fear stopped me.  I could feel my chest heaving; it seemed as though the mere sight of the Thing of Evil would stop my heart forever.

Then I cried out to God and He answered, reminding me that He had not given me the spirit of fear; that this particular emotion had a different source.  This reassurance seemed to slow my breath and un-paralyze my body.  I stood up and opened my eyes, but I still wasn’t quite able to face the Creature.

Sword_of_spirit

“Stretch out your arms,” God said.  I did so and opened my right hand.  In it was a sword or a handgun (they seemed interchangeable) and, as is so in myth and in fantasy, my weapon had a given name.

Its name was “the Word of God.”

So, with weapon in hand, I “screwed my courage to the sticking-place” and turned to face my enemy, steeling myself to view its ugly face.

It was gone.

*****

Weeks later, I was sitting in church and very much awake.

My pastor–learned in the languages of the Bible, Hebrew, Aramaic and Koine Greek—was expounding on the two Greek terms for “word of God.”  One is a term with which most English-speakers are familiar—logos.  The other, however, is one I had heard before but had no idea what it meant until my pastor began to expound upon it: rhema[i]

The difference?  People far more theologically learned than I are still discussing it, but the difference seems to be in scope.  A rhema is more of a short aphorism, rather than a long sermon or the Word in its entirety, and it is intended to counter the Adversary quickly when he’s trying to induce doubt and/or fear.  For example, Jesus Christ used a quick succession of rhema on Satan when the latter tried to induce doubt about God the Father.

In short, when you hear preachers talk about “a word from God,” most of the time they are talking about a rhema.

“What does this have to do with your dream,” I hear you ask.  My mouth literally dropped open when my pastor mentioned the other definition of rhema….

The Sword of the Spirit[ii].

Whenever I feel anxious about anything, I think of this dream

Happy Resurrection Day and may the enemy Passover your dwelling.


[i] James Strong, The Strongest Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2001),1641

[ii] Strong’s, 1626

baldilocksJuliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

 

 

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by baldilocks

(Re-edited.)

Last week’s Mozilla-Brendan Eich saga has spawned many conversations. I have been involved in more than one of these, and they have produced a good amount of frustration in me. This frustration is borne of the fact that many people in this allegedly Judeo-Christian nation are functionally illiterate as to what they don’t believe, and as to what they do.

When Jesus Christ died and rose again, His work was finished, as He proclaimed. However, both believer and non-believer alike seem to think that the work of the individual Christian is finished when he/she accepts Jesus. (This is not to say that a Christian must do many things to be saved; he/she needs only to do one thing. My Catholic friends differ about this, but that is a separate topic.)

We Christians do sin–mostly in spiritual pride, but also in other areas, and that is to be expected. However, all too many of us think that Christians have arrived at some point of imaginary perfection. As a result, conversations about individual sins—like homosexuality—spur accusations from both Christian and non-Christian alike.

“What about your divorce?”

“Have you ever fornicated?”

“Have you ever lied?”

“Have you ever killed someone or thought about it?”

“What about the Westboro Baptist Church?

“What about Steven Anderson in Arizona?”

“If you’ve sinned, then who are you to call homosexuality a sin or oppose same-sex marriage?”

And on and on. This sort of thing speaks to an idea that Christians are members of some sort of club which no one can join unless they become “sinless.” It also betrays the fact that few really read the source material, including alleged pastors.

Here on earth, Christianity is a journey–a walk in faith–to the Destination; it is not the Destination itself. We pick the Destination–Heaven–when we accept Jesus the Christ as our Lord and our Savior. (Many Christians ignore that first part.)

Paul called the purpose of that walk a “perfecting of the saints.” “Perfecting” is, perhaps, an unfortunate translation of the Greek word used. In my opinion, he means that saints (all Christians) are to be shaped and molded in the manner that a potter shapes and molds clay toward an end vessel, one that is of the potter’s desire. And, as we choose to be saved, we also choose the journey—the shaping and the molding.

During each individual’s journey, the Potter shows that person his/her sins; some of which that person may not have previously thought of as wrong. Then, through reading the Word, prayer, fasting, giving—through obedience and trust of the Potter—that person can be purged of his/her sin(s). But, again, this is a journey.

The Potter will spin you, shape you, mold you and cut off things He can’t use. And, often, these actions will not feel so good at first. But, your mission as the clay—should you choose to accept it—is to remain on the wheel.

(Side Note: in one of the conversions, I asked this question as a thought experiment: why hasn’t God destroyed San Francisco? The assumption was that if God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for the celebration of homosexuality, then He should deal thusly with any other municipality for the same reason. Answer: since the finished work of Jesus the Christ, we live in the Dispensation—the Age—of Grace.)

One of the participants in the conversation suggested that if homosexuals did not struggle with the thoughts of homosexual acts, that he/she should not be labeled a homosexual. Conversely, this person said, that if a person still struggled with these thoughts, he/she wasn’t really saved.  I disagree, because, I used to struggle with wishing harm on those who have wronged me, but this wasn’t always so. I had to ask God to be free of those types of thoughts. And, I had to walk to that destination, that freedom (which, of course, does not mean that there aren’t other struggles with other sins in my life). And here’s another reason.

Therefore, I submit that, when discussing the sins of homosexual thoughts and acts, we Christians should cease labeling the individual who is trying to walk in the faith of Jesus the Christ, but who struggles to be free of these things–as ‘homosexuals.’

We should, instead, label them as all Christians are labeled: as sinners saved by Grace. And we should, of course, pray for them and ask them to pray for us. And we all should remember that His mercy endures forever.

(Thanks to Mike C.)

baldilocks

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

 

by baldilocks

Self-education has its benefits; it’s generated by true desire for knowledge, unclouded by the bureaucracy of formal education and uses straight-forward language as its vehicle. Formal education has some good points as well: that degree looks good on your wall. (Calm down, all you PhDs, JDs, MDs, etc.; just yanking your chain. You know that it’s envy. Really.)

As it happens, I found out about one of the best products of self-education, Eric Hoffer, from one of the best that formal education has to offer, Thomas Sowell.

Hoffer

While reading The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements , I was struck by several of Hoffer’s observations. The narrative lays out all the ingredients necessary for the success of Mass Movements: the people, the pre-conditions, the attitudes and the actions/reactions. He makes no moral judgments on the phenomenon, but merely lists the pre-cursors for the main event —like listing the ingredients for a main course. Would that I could do better than Hoffer in explaining the mass movement phenomenon, but I can’t. So here are a few of the statements that had meaning for me.

A mass movement attracts and holds a following not because it can satisfy the desire for self-advancement [like many practical organizations], but because it can satisfy the passion for self-renunciation.

Potential converts:

  • The newly poor: “This class has a vivid memory of affluence and dominion and is not likely to reconcile itself to straitened conditions and political impotence.”

  • The bored: “Where people live autonomous lives and are not badly off, yet are without abilities or opportunities for creative work or useful action, there is no telling to what desperate and fantastic shifts they might resort in order to give meaning and purpose to their lives.”

  • The inordinately selfish: “The more selfish a person, the more poignant his disappointments. It is the inordinately selfish, therefore, who are likely to be the most persuasive champions of selflessness.”

“Self-sacrifice [leading to] united action are the primary engines of a mass movement and must be inculcated into its proponents,” says Hoffer. Sounds like basic training, yes, fellow military persons? A distinction is drawn, however, between armies and mass movements: one promises “salvation;” the other is mainly used to “preserve or expand an established order.”

On self-sacrifice:

  • To ripen a person for self-sacrifice he must stripped of his individual identity and distinctness.

  • The fully assimilated individual does not see himself and others as human beings.

Some of Star Trek’s writers must have been reading Hoffer before creating the Borg.

  • People who live full, worthwhile lives are not usually ready to die for their own interests nor for their country nor for a holy cause.

Here, Hoffer is right, but incompletely so.  Such people are often ready to die rather than live in a world in which others are ready to take their full, worthwhile lives and turn those lives into those of enslavement.

On hatred, the great unifying agent:

  • Hatred is the most accessible and comprehensive of all unifying agents.

  • Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil.

  • Often, when we are wronged by one person, we turn our hatred on a wholly unrelated person or group.

Great and Lesser Satans everywhere, now you know what the jihad thing is about.

The book is fascinating. Read about leadership as a unifying agent in mass movements. It’s not what you might expect.

Uncluttered by high-sounding concepts using high-sounding words, the anatomy and function of mass movements are made plain. You know the types of people that Hoffer observed; at least you do if you’ve been paying attention.

baldilocksJuliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

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by baldilocks

Originally posted on November 9, 2003 at my old blogbaldilocks

You know them, as do I. They are the people who have become so used to lying to get what they want, that they actually believe their own lies and think you’re the one that’s crazy for not believing them also. I know a few people like this. I was even married to one.

There are some people who put the cart in front of the horse; the conclusion is made first, then the premises are twisted to fit that conclusion.

Self-serving ideas are formed—to justify what they want–and these ideas become “fact” to them. Then, when those who have the horse-cart thing in the correct order try to show them that their cart is missing a wheel, has a hole in the bottom, or is made of rotting wood, they shut their ears and say “la-la-la-la-la.”

Or maybe a situation occurs; maybe an argument in which both you and that person participated.

When the person recounts the story, however, the pertinent facts are missing. Or, even if the facts do appear in the recount, they are so twisted that you don’t even recognize that it’s the same event. They are twisted, of course, in that person’s favor and to make you look like the bad guy.

Though you were there too, you find yourself wondering if maybe it was you who forgot what really happened. But only for a moment. Then you realize who or, rather, what you are dealing with.

You point out the “forgotten” facts to the person. Even if they still have a sliver of honesty left in them to acknowledge that they got the telling of the facts wrong, they will still make everything your fault.

“I did this because I know that you would have done the same thing!” This is said without giving an example of when you did the same thing.

“I did this because you did this.” The “this” will turn out to be something totally innocuous or even something that the two of you had agreed upon at the time. You throw up your hands.

They want whatever it is they want, the truth be damned. Their wants override any notions of honor, fidelity and morality.

You know what these people are called. Sociopaths.

I will admit to exhibiting some sociopathic behavior in my younger days. But, at some point, I realized that I was hurting people. At some point, I grew up; perhaps after bearing the brunt of others’ sociopathy. And it is a matter of growing up. After all, what are little babies but cute little bundled-up squalling psychopaths?

Beware of these people, these babies that have grown taller, but have never grown up. Some will merely become a blip in your rear-view mirror—if you’re fortunate. It’s the ones that won’t go away, the ones that have the power to affect change for the worst on a grand scale that are the problem. You have to keep an eye, or perhaps something more lethal, on these.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

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