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Wednesday, May 22, 2002

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System failures

The problem with pedophile priests is not just a catholic problem, it's a systemic problem. The protestants have the same problem, only they prefer to screw the female parishioners. I wouldn't be surprised that all religions have the same problem. We see it in the cults where the leaders think they have the right to screw anyone they want but we know about this because our culture doesn't try to cover up for cults like they do for "organized" religions.

Only this isn't just a problem in religious systems but from all authoritarian systems or systems that say they have "The Truth". And it's not just about sex. It's about covering up crimes because the criminals are "us" and this mentality is found in all systems to some degree, though the religious are masters at it, but also in law enforcement, military, corporations even. You see it in revolutionary groups, both right and left, and It's an attempt to control how a group is thought of or reflected. The members tell themselves that it's justified to cover up a little so they'll look good since they are such an important group. It's about control. It's shown by the FBI being unable to find moles in it's organization because they have trouble understanding that "one of them" could be a traitor. It's shown by the military covering up sexual harassment and rape because they want to protect the group's image, plus they figure that women should feel honored to be groped and raped by important officers. It's also reflected in the hate that some people feel toward whistleblowers.

As far as I'm concerned, the people that cover up for the criminals are just as guilty as the criminals themselves whether it's rape or taking bribes or sucking up to important people, at the expense of less important people. It's also justified by the playground lie that we shouldn't tattle, so the bullies run the playgrounds while the kids who play fair get bullied.

The victims keep quiet because they have so much invested in the group that it's hard for them to see any other choice. For instance, one man that was molested as a boy said they were always told by the nuns in school that the children were suppose to do whatever the priests told them. When you're just a child it's hard to get past the indoctrination you are given to be obedient and do what you're told.

As long as we just teach children to be obedient and do as they're told we'll have this problem and it's easier to raise children this way instead of teaching them to think. Instead of explaining why we want them to do something. We may still insist but at least they should have the right to speak up about the issue and discuss it with us. But that cuts into our television time or recreation time or work time. We can't do that, because that would require effort. Too often we just want children who behave themselves and keep quiet and are obedient and then we wonder why they let themselves be hurt. We wonder later why they kill themselves or others.

I finished reading "Don't Leave Me" by Clare Curzon. This is a police procedural featuring Detective Superintendent Yeadings. It a very well done story about a child that is missing. Eight years earlier her mother disappeared, thought to have run off with a boyfriend. The ending is chilling. Truly a book about control. This is one book that I'll think about for a while.

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Rachel Aschmann 2002.
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