On Us and Them

I received an email with the note “Very thought provoking. Well worth the read.” and an article titled Humanity Has Been Lied To From the Beginning. It was worth my reading and it provoked me to write.

If you have a few minutes, I invite you to set aside your moral and typographical standards long enough to read it from beginning to end. Take note of your reactions as you read. I hope your impressions are as self-instructive as mine, which follow.

Briefly on the Author

I never attended church as a child so I was not brought up believing in any certain religion. But 20 years ago when I was 18 I became pregnant and went to church on mothers day with my mom at her request. It was then that I decided to explore religion a little and continued going regularly.

The article is a rant by an anonymous person (handle: Never Surrender) purporting to be a high school dropout who turned religious before becoming a single mother. How are these demographics meant to impress me? By forming this persona you might stoke my sympathy but it’s a gamble. You also might stoke pity, shame, or despise.

Natural use of CAPS LOCK and chat-room lingo (lol) decorate the writing. A good writer can assume such an affect on command but nothing in the article’s substance suggests we are reading the work of one who writes with hidden intention. I take it at face value.

The Premise

I am not any religion, I am not any political affiliation, I am not a citizen of any place. I belong to NO group with an agenda, I have dropped out of all of those things as to be a part of any of them you have to be limited by only those beliefs that are part of that group, you are tied down to a set of beliefs and then one group fights another group with opposite beliefs, it is childish and petty and frankly below me.

The author believes that we are enslaved by false ideas that have been implanted in us, but that she has overcome ignorance and can help us if we will follow her lead. All we must do is escape the influence of our most deeply held beliefs and decry all efforts at further indoctrination. Such sweeping proclamations fail without invoking specific grievances and she does get specific, from Babel to Jesus and from Illuminati to 9/11.

The article touches issues on which I have been sensitive since I was a boy, all of them facets of the grand unifying theory of conspiracy: that we are being manipulated via our education, religion, culture, sports, language, politics, taxes. Basically, every civilizing aspect of life has been subverted. The victims are “us” and the perpetrators are “them”. Thus the author creates rapport with the audience.

The Problem

What if being DIVIDED and FIGHTING for the right to keep our “beliefs” IS THE CORE OF THE PROBLEM?

L. Ron Hubbard, who I think got some things right, defined a problem as two forces acting in opposite directions, or intention plus counter-intention. This is a convenient and useful definition because identifying the forces is a sure step toward resolving any problem. As long as the forces remain unknown the problem cannot be solved.

Never Surrender understands that being divided by our thoughts is what makes us fight. She says that dividing humanity is evil and assigns the evil to a group called “them”. The pronoun is supposed to refer to an entity previously mentioned but she fails to define this group and thus implies that we already know who it is. Dictionaries include this definition for the word: “Used to refer to people in general as seen in a position of authority.”

Undoubtedly the author has problems with authority. Everyone does. It is the nature of authority to participate in problems. If you have an intention opposite to the intention of authority, you have a problem with authority. Even people who hold authority are subject to it. Even a supreme dictator is subject to the final authority of natural laws.

The Forces

The ONLY person that is served by all this division is EVIL and the BAD GOD!

This is as close as we get to learning from Never Surrender the identity of our common enemy. From here on, she urges us to set aside our differences and unite against evil. When we succeed, our foes will retire to another universe and there will be no more division or war, only unity and peace. That sounds groovy but it’s completely wrong.

You cannot talk of unity without implying the existence of a non-member. You cannot talk of “good people” without implying the existence of “evil people”. To accomplish the ultimate goal of ending division and conflict you would have to make us truly indivisible. No group has achieved it. The only indivisible unit of humankind is the individual.

An individual is indivisible because no part can survive without connection to the whole. To be indivisible we would have to treat each other as indispensable. In a society based on that morality, abiding self-interest would be a fatal flaw. Try to imagine the authority in that world.

The Irony

Just think of all the pain and all of the suffering worldwide that could be eliminated…stopped if everyone were to realize that we have ALL been lied to by evil evil beings that sought to control and enslave us and lord power over us.

Never Surrender could be the most ironic author I have read. She dreams of unity but her only skill is division. She would define good and evil and divide people accordingly. She would separate the good teachings from the bad. She would let there be a separate universe to be inhabited by the vanquished evil. Her chosen name commemorates division by proposing conflict everlasting, for peace is nothing but a universal surrender of arms.

Divergence deserves all the credit for making us what we are and so it is ingrained in us even more than our physical forms. We diverged from the ways and forms of our predecessors and we must allow our progeny to diverge from ours. Self-interest has been the force driving every person who survived long enough to learn to take an interest in others.

The Solution

We need to stop fighting each other and go out and hunt and kill all versions of the lie and we will again be a united people, a strong people, strong enough to be a threat to the evil that currently controls this world.

Lies are ideas. Ideas exist on paper; you can expurgate books for future publication but you cannot destroy every old copy. Ideas exist in minds; you can teach your children but you cannot reform every old mind. It would be even more wrong to dictate how all children must be taught.

An evil force is one that harms me against my will. As an infant I included nurses with needles in that category. I learned that pain is not always harm and so nurses ceased to be evil. Perhaps when I am senile my judgment will revert. The lesson is that we aren’t always able to know what’s best.

I agree with the premise that conflict is typically fomented by unseen hands far from the bloodshed. That is the basic form of organization: the mind never swings the axe. We might be better off too smart to be tricked into fighting for causes we aren’t allowed to understand. We might not.

2 thoughts on “On Us and Them

  1. I also take objection of ‘them’; the idea that there is an evil god seems on par with the idea of any other god (and being atheist, I see no need for that explanation at all), and the idea of a huge conspiracy of, well, basically The Man trying to keep us down is bizarre and unnecessary. Hanlon’s Razor: Cock-up before conspiracy.

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