Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Identified as a trouble maker by the authorities since childhood, and resolved to live up to the description, Charles Carreon soon discovered that mischief is most effectively fomented through speech. Having mastered the art of flinging verbal pipe-bombs and molotov cocktails at an early age, he refined his skills by writing legal briefs and journalistic exposes, while developing a poetic style that meandered from the lyrical to the political. Journey with him into the dark caves of the human experience, illuminated by the torch of an outraged sense of injustice.

Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:23 am

SMIDS: Social Media-Induced Delusional Syndrome, by Charles Carreon



A new mental disease for the Internet age is proposed for inclusion in the Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders: Social Media-Induced Self-Hate (“SMISH”). This proposal stems from the writer’s inquiry into a closely-related disorder, dubbed SMIDS for Social Media-Induced Delusional Disorder, and explores the likelihood that both SMISH and SMIDS may simultaneously afflict one individual, with one disorder or the other gaining the upper hand due primarily to the nature of the sufferer’s interactions with Social Media.

The primary subjective characteristics of SMISH are a sense of insecurity and compulsive reinforcement-seeking behavior through Social Media. Secondary characteristics are a fear of judgment by Social Media Peers (“SMPeers”) and compulsive propitiatory behavior intended to head off judgment and establish trust-links that will protect the SMISH-sufferer from becoming an Object of Hatred among their SMPeers. A tertiary characteristic is total involvement with the Social Media world and a corollary loss of interest in relationships with Real World Peers aside from interactions within the Social Media world. At that point, SMISH has ensnared the sufferer in a cycle of addictive behavior from which they will likely exit only after a period of serious self-assessment, or an intervention by concerned friends and relations.

The objective indications of SMISH usually manifest sequentially and in conjunction with the emergence of the subjective characteristics outlined above. Victims generally progress from incipient SMISH, characterized by an inclination to overvalue SMPeers and devalue Non-Social Media relationships, to acute SMISH, characterized by increasingly compulsive abuse of Social Media, to the third level of true addictive behavior, characterized by frenzied posting and craven toadying to SMPeer authority-figures. The disease often takes hold in an acute form over the course of a few evenings, and progress to a chronic condition over a period of weeks.

SMISH does not require any particular type of host subject to become established, and the notion that only certain types are predisposed should be rejected at the outset. Narcissistic personalities might seem less inclined to SMISH than insecure types; however, the desire to gain mass approval of SMPeers appears to reveal hidden faults in even robust personalities, that, like gullies that turn to ravines overnight in a torrential flood, become deep fissures, exposing the raw heart of a painfully-suffering ego.

SMISH can produce consequences that seem merely pathetic, as when one sees a young girl posting compliments in praise of aggressive male personalities in hopes of receiving a word of approval. For youthful sufferers of this stripe, moderate treatment modalities, including redirection of the individual toward non-Social Media relationships and relationship counseling, may be entirely adequate. However, SMISH can evolve in two other identified directions: a suicidal state, or SMIDS.

Suicide due to SMISH is an established phenomenon for which a brief online search will provide sufficient anecdotes to eliminate doubt as to whether SMISH can be fatal. What is essential is that caregivers realize that once suicidal ideation has taken hold of a SMISH-sufferer, the condition cannot be dismissed as merely an Internet neurosis. Treatment for SMISH-induced suicidal ideation must be as radical as the condition, with the understanding that the stakes are life and death. The sufferer’s use of Social Media must be terminated immediately, all communication with or about SMPeers must cease, and an intensive program of self-approval must be put in place. Physical exercise, outdoor recreation, and non-reflective outward-oriented activities should supplant the previous introverted, obsessive attachment to Social Media. Such an aggressive course of therapy may well produce dramatic results in a short period of time if the disease is caught before it progresses too far.

The evolution of SMISH into SMIDS is far more insidious, however, because SMIDS-sufferers outwardly direct their pain towards the Objects of Hatred who are their chosen online prey. Like road-rage on the streets and highways, SMIDS creates hazards for other individuals of which society must be mindful. Since a separate discussion of SMIDS has already been published, we will not repeat that analysis here, and rather discuss briefly why SMISH has the potential to co-exist with or turn into SMIDS.

Simply put, SMISH is at bottom fueled by the fear of judgment by SMPeers. Among the community of SMPeers, dominant, aggressive personalities skilled in ad hominem argument and the use of pointed invective rule the roost. SMISH-sufferers are often passive personalities who lack verbal combat skills. Although initially attracted to Social Media because many of their Real World Peers are interacting online, as they learn to deploy propitiatory tactics such as shilling and toadying for their more aggressive SMPeers, they are seduced by the online environment and become addicted to its self-abasing rituals. Nevertheless, over time, they find themselves both immersed in self-hate at having sold their integrity for an impermanent sense of personal safety, and walking on eggshells, experiencing profound anxiety about the possibility of becoming an object of online derision, or most fearfully, an actual Object of Hatred (“ObHat”).

Many SMISH-sufferers adapt to their passive role online, and master the craven postures of appeasement seen on so many blogs and bulletin boards, where covens of SMISH-sufferers gather around dominant SMPeers in fulsome displays of unwholesome adulation. Many SMISH-sufferers alternate between SMISH and SMIDS on an occasional basis, joining occasionally with Social Media Mobs to hurl Cybercurses at various ObHats, thereby demonstrating their loyalty to dominant SMPeers, and ensuring themselves against becoming an ObHat themselves. Although not being entirely committed to the aggressive conduct, they nevertheless engage in it convincingly, much like an ordinary citizen who finds herself caught in a momentary mob hysteria, then later thinks better of it. Finally, some SMISH-sufferers “ripen” into the pure aggressive neurosis of SMIDS, as they discover that the only way to feel “safe” in a toxic Social Media environment is with a verbal rock in their hand, ready to give as good as they get. They have contacted their inner brownshirt, and civil society has gained a new enemy. For further discussion of SMIDS, see the related article.

Copyright 2012, Charles Carreon.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:30 am



It is now of course difficult to remember the Internet before Google, but actually, it existed. And it’s worth remembering what it looked like, not just for the sake of nostalgia, but rather, so we can adequately reflect on how the Internet is evolving as a Google-centric organism.

Actually, it’s worth remembering what computers were like before we hooked them up to the Internet. Our work computers were like little forges, in which we hammered out our productions, mostly documents, and printers were vital to their utility. So our work computers were essentially fancy typewriters that made revisions and formatting an easier process. We’d print out our documents and turn off the computer, and that was that. You wouldn’t spend hours fooling around with your machine unless you were truly a nerd, or a scientist, or a software engineer, because for most of us, computers didn’t really do anything interesting.

Then the Internet came along, and there was someplace to go. A screen became a point of departure. Totally different from a fancy typewriter. You used to hear writers talk a lot about “writer’s block.” I don’t hear too much about that anymore. It might have been a symptom of the typewriter itself, with that damned blank page sitting there waiting to be filled. Nowadays writers fear they’re about to be swamped in the flood of just plain old chatter that engulfs us. And printers aren’t all that vital, since most reading happens right off the screen.

So what the Internet did was to drastically increase the amount of time we spend absorbing information. If you can imagine being a shepherd, sitting on a hill all day watching your sheep, not communicating with anyone about anything, and then compare that with how we live our days – well, there’s no comparison. Your average person, forced to be that shepherd, might very well spend all their time looking for a cliff to jump off of. Information has become psychological food that we feel we need in order to be ourselves. And the Internet is an info-teat that few of us can tear ourselves away from for any serious length of time.

Question: To what extent did Google make the Internet into a huge info-teat? I would argue to a great extent, because Google institutionalized the idea that the fruits of the Internet should be free, and trained us to use to suck on it shamelessly all day and all night. We have more than halfway evolved into Homo Informaticus, the inhabitants of a Google-centric Internet, into which Facebook is not going to make an appreciable dent.

A Google-centric Internet is, above all, searchable. The original Internet was not. Shocking, eh? You think I’m pulling your leg. No, really, it wasn’t! Even though it was tiny by comparison with its current enormity, it was huge, overwhelming, unmanageable, hard to navigate. And guess what? Domain names were really important. Yes, domain names were crucial, because without them, how would you ever find your way back to some page that you’d visited? Unless you’d bookmarked the link, you were screwed.

Pre-Google-centrism, we searched to find information, not sites. Today, you find sites by plugging a chunk of text you remember into Google, and wham, you’re back at that site. And you don’t really worry too much about this website or that one, because no site has a corner on good content. Which leads us to the next characteristic of the Google-centric Internet – the erosion of brand-name power in the media field.

Once the New York Times stood at the head of the field in the newspaper world, and a column on the op-ed page made you a leader of society. Today a place on the editorial page makes you who? David Brooks? Paul Krugman? Maureen Dowd? Whoop-de-do.

This might lead you to think that the media playing field has been leveled. Be not deceived. In a Google-centric universe, nothing is level. Every surface slopes towards the hole at the center. It’s shaped like a rectangle. You type words into it, and the next thing you see is a list of links, with the sponsored ones at the top. The order in which those links appear reveals the true pecking order of our society. Those whose links appear at the top can find their pockets filled with lucre, and thus Google selects the worthy from among us.

In the ages of monarchy, supplicants came from all over the realm to plead their causes at court, and one had to find a skilled courtier to gain the King’s ear. In a Google-centric universe, we have SEO specialists. Fortunes rise and fall with search engine rankings. De-listing, downgrading, banning -- these are the causes of wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Google has taken upon itself the burden of separating the informational grain from the husks, and it grinds that grain into the gruel that flows from the info-teat. If you are looking for something, and Google has not found it, you are not likely to find it either. And if Google found it unworthy of being classed as legitimate information, it’s going to be on the thirteenth page of results or maybe nowhere.

So in the end, you see, Google is the editor of a vast script that the rest of us are writing. Text has become more important than ever before in the life of commerce and culture. And it is being produced in greater abundance than at any time in history. The production of text is now the great competitive enterprise, and the rewards are ever more capriciously dispensed. While Google purportedly labors to stay ahead of the scammers who would flood your search-results with irrelevant responses and vapid content, there is no one but Google to judge the quality of its efforts. Indeed, we have no way of knowing what we’re missing. The cries of those whose worthy offerings are spurned by the all-knowing search-algorithms cannot, by definition, be heard.

Ironically, in our fact-driven age, we inhabit a universe built on faith. Faith in the omniscience of the all-knowing Google. Once the Roman Catholic Church had a monopoly on truth, and the Pope was seriously believed to be infallible. It is perhaps a sign of the times that Benedict gave up the job. The mantle of infallibility has clearly passed to Google.
Copyright 2013, Charles Carreon.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:31 am



A Modest Proposal For A Private Right of Action Under the Federal Trade Commission Act

The Problem: Too Many Crooks, Hardly Any Cops

The Net is overwhelmed with fraud. Authorities are frustrated. Identity theft is commonplace. Banks absorb fraud losses as a cost of doing business. Bank robbers are fools -- the only smart way to steal is over the Internet. I have a solution: Give the trial lawyers an incentive to sue Net-fraudsters, and let’s see how quickly the problem is reduced from its current epidemic level. How do you unleash the trial lawyers? You create a “private right of action” under the Federal Trade Commission Act, giving lawyers for defrauded consumers the same rights as a U.S. Attorney working in the Consumer Fraud Division of the Department of Justice.

Not A Political Issue

This is not a political issue, although Internet fraudsters who already have hired lobbyists will be quick to turn it into one. Both social conservatives and consumer protection advocates who understand my proposal will find it appealing. If you like small government, or take a DIY approach to computer security, this should appeal to you. If you think government should provide protection to citizens, then you surely must agree that if government lawyers don’t have the resources to protect all of us from fraud, we should at least be given the right to help ourselves. And while they’re at it, Congress could explicitly give the FTC all the authority it needs to sue, immobilize and extract stolen wealth from Internet fraudsters.

Lawyers for fraudsters, of whom there are many due to the profitability of Internet fraud, will say that creating a federal right of action against Internet fraud is unnecessary, because there are consumer protection laws in virtually every state that provide a private right of action. However, this is misleading, because those state laws do not provide access to the federal courts, and your average Internet fraudster is usually pilfering your data and financial accounts from the safety of some state other than the one where you live. The federal subpoena power is nationwide, and the evidence of fraud is spread all over fifty states, so we really need federal jurisdiction to do the job presented by a national epidemic.

The FTC: Slow On the Draw and Seriously Outgunned

The FTC itself has only come into its consumer protection enforcement power slowly, by a series of legislative changes and judicial interpretations that established the FTC’s power to sue for orders seeking restitution for consumer injuries. It was not until the 1960’s that the Commission began using its rulemaking authority under Section 6(g) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 46(g), to define specific acts and practices that injure consumers, acts for which the FTC’s lawyers could seek damages awards in federal courts. In truth, the FTC consumer protection program has always been years behind and underfunded, given the scale of Internet fraudsters’ attacks on American pocketbooks. While the FTC certainly has an active consumer enforcement docket, it is a teacupful of remedy against an ocean of Internet fraud.

California Leads The Way

So what would a federal private right of action for consumers provide? Congress can look at the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), that provides strong consumer remedies in California. It should also take aim at the specific practices that are being used by Internet fraudsters to perpetrate their schemes for picking our pockets: the use of malware, spyware, and browser-hijacking software that turns your computer into a cash register for net-thieves. The time has come for law on the wild west of the Internet, and there is a serious shortage of badge-wearing federal lawyers. We need to deputize the trial bar to clean up the Internet and make it safe, for honest, law-abiding Net-folk.

© 2013, Charles Carreon
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:34 am




The DIRA kicked off by Sean Parker’s wedding was like wood shavings soaked in diesel — easy to ignite and sure to burn hot: “Napster/FB billionaire destroys pristine redwoods to indulge Tolkien fantasy wedding wish of gold-digger wife.” Tweet that to a few thousand people, get a dozen retweets and a couple of faves. It’s a sign of truly bad times that people will stoop to this kind of activity not even for money, but just for clicks. Parker is right that he got served up as “link-bait,” although very few people other than Sean Parker and the rest of the digerati success-stories make any substantial coin from all of this traffic flying around dishing dirt. Which adds to the perfection of Parker and his wife as perfect rapeutation targets. He can’t complain — he created this monster!

Parker could do no right in his situation. He paid a million in fines for environmental violations he did not commit, and tossed another $1.5 Million at environmental causes, but none of it could buy him out of the kill-zone set up by the social media DIRA squad that put him in the crosshairs.

The only thing Parker could have done was ignore everyone and turn his mind to other matters, like Charles Carreon. Take that iPad and that expensive phone, and throw them into the recycling (tossing them off the Big Sur cliffs would obviously be a very evil thing to do and initiate a DIRA such as might crash the Net itself). He’s rich. He could ignore them. Lots of people told him to do that.

But no! Sean didn’t earn billions so he could hide away like any other person who’s been pelted with shame. He wants to have fun, wants his wife to have fun, wants to use the Internet like everyone else without seeing his name being drawn and quartered, becoming the butt of derisive jokes by people who don’t make as much in a year as he makes in ten minutes. He doesn’t want the pity from the politically correct, or the sympathy from his diminishing stock of friends.

Sean didn’t want to have to explain himself. But he did it anyway, out of a desperate desire to shout at the whirlwind. But the whirlwind heareth him not.

Sean thinks he got DIRA’d due to the petty avarice of bloggers-for-profit who want to ride the traffic-whale of his hateable celebrity (already set up to be knocked down by the unflattering depiction of him in “The Social Network”). Now seriously, how much do bloggers make? Not much, but like most hopeful online click-mongers, they will do anything to pump up their pathetic hope of someday having actual earnings beyond beer money. But no one needed to be paid to make it worthwhile to burn Sean Parker. The story of him and his elf-bride indulging in geeky, sybaritic pomp was an irresistible meme to those anonymous millions who thump the tubs in the echo chambers of social media.

But at least now we’ve seen what happens when a TechCrunch insider is hit by a DIRA. No one can protect them from it, but once it happens, they get all the digital ink they need to talk back to their rapeutationists. I mean, this is Sean Parker, who created Napster, that turned hundreds of thousands of copyrighted songs into everybody’s free music store through the magic of file-sharing. Who plowed those winnings into Facebook, from which he graduated as a cool billionaire. Who gave those pizza-and-soda-smeared zombies the landscape across which they now gaily rampage like bacchantes drunk on digital wine. They burned him! They destroyed his $4.5 Million fantasy wedding experience and made him cry out loud for mercy, because whatever you call it, that’s what his June 2013 posting on TechCrunch was. It was the cry of pain of a wounded human animal who has been gouged by the cruel speech of hundreds of thousands of people that he would much prefer liked him.

The DIRA zombies who lusted for Parker’s brains were fed a pro-environmental schtick that painted Parker as a plunderer of redwoods and destroyer of trout streams whose lavish fantasy-themed wedding in Big Sur was a symbol of everything wrong with cyberbillionaires. This easily-communicated meme slathered in hate-speech, passed through the information network like E.Coli in a batch of hamburger. The zombies who ate it don’t know they’re sick, though, so they’ll keep consuming the same shit, and calling it delicious.

It may be that the handheld mobile device is the most dangerous vector for transmission of the DIRA zombie virus. The physical evidence is overwhelming. Every day we see young people whose vulnerable brains have been entirely taken over, walking through the mall with that rigid step, slow and directionless, as they receive directions from their handheld, positioned exactly fourteen inches away from their eyes, their fingers stroking the glassy surface with a hypnotized stare. Their breath is shallow, as if their thoughts were being edited by an outer force, which they are. They don’t emerge from their trances no matter how long I watch them.

While talking back to zombies is futile, in Sean Parker’s case, because TechCrunch, a key DIRA-node, gave him a podium, he was able to solicit some sympathy and reasoned responses from people who realized that pissing off a billionaire might not be the best thing for their future careers. That sort of thought can snap even a zombie out of its trance. And I bet reading the occasional sympathetic comment improved Parker’s mood. But the zombie-to-human ratio is still skewed against Parker, and the echo chamber of hatred drones on, with brutal efficiency.

In response to Parker’s apologia pro se, the shit-slinging shifted tone, as exemplified by the title of an article at “Sean Parker: Still an Asshole 10,000 Words Later.” This article, by Sean Biddle, fails to fulfill the promise of the headline. Biddle’s article doesn’t convict Parker as an asshole, unless stating your position in terms favorable to yourself makes you an asshole, because Biddle merely argues that Parker has spun the facts in his favor. All the invective is in the title. Why did Biddle inject the word “asshole” into his a headline, the use of which, in the wrong bar, could get your teeth knocked out in a Texas minute? Because putting “asshole” in your title punches it right up there in the Google rankings, silly! Or to use the language of the day, “It’s click-bait, dumbass!” Biddle wouldn’t have his job pushing digital ink if he didn’t know how to do that.

Parker’s proof that a billion and membership in the digerati won’t save you from a DIRA that has all the required elements for igniting that neuronal bonfire in the brains thousands of social network zombies, who will start spewing digital spitwads when the implanted suggestion is triggered. Frankenstein destroyed by his monster.

Copyright 2013, Charles Carreon.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:36 am




One of the primary points that Howard Bloom made in his book, “Global Brain” is that among humans, social rejection sends us the same message as certain chemical signals given by the ancient colony-bacteria from which we evolved: “You are useless. Now please die.” From mere isolation to toxic social media exchanges, from parental rejection to sexual failure, all of these blows to positive self-valuation — we take them to heart.

Bloom says that sinking into depression in response to criticism is step one on the road to self-annihilation, signaling our immune system that the treasure of life it’s been guarding is worthless, and there is no point in manning the battlements. Soon, our cells will cease to defend themselves against outside aggressors, and neglect the internal rebuilding that is necessary to maintain our health and assure our longevity. We buy the propaganda, and we go down. Bloom cites a 1988 study of 1,814 children showing that 9-14 year-olds feared being shamed before peers more than almost any other situation. Bloom cites a Harvard expert for the conclusion “that humiliation was one of the most common causes of childhood and teen suicide.”

As wave after wave of hate-speech is unleashed against the target of a DIRA, they must take Bloom seriously, or the consequences will be grave. It is not healthy to absorb the impact of all that ill-will, or even the smallest fraction of it.  As the fog of nastiness swirls about them, infiltrating every corner of their lives, they should realize that duct tape and sheets of plastic will not be enough for this situation. Gloves, respirators, and full body suits are going to be required. It is, indeed, bad crazy. Merely breathing the exhalations of zombies can be lethal. Take no chances. First off, don’t Google yourself, or any other topic that’s going to expose you to the mountain of ugly speech associated with your name, unless you have to for purposes of litigation. If you’re doing it for litigation, keep professional distance while you’re handling the material, and scrub yourself psychologically with exercise and meditation afterwards.

Like Vincent Price in “The Last Man on Earth,” who survived night after night of zombie onslaughts, the author of this post owes his survival to precautionary measures, taken in broad daylight against the forces of darkness that, in my case, prowl not the external night, but rather, the dark spaces of the Internet.
Copyright 2013, Charles Carreon.

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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:52 am


2001, A Space Odyssey was a sixties event. It screened in my hometown at the widescreen cinema on Scottsdale Boulevard. I remember it showed with a fantastic documentary about real space travel that I enjoyed a great deal more than the feature. That tells you something. It’s not a movie for kids, even smart kids who are interested in outer space.

When I was a kid, this movie seemed stupid, irritating, and implausible. I didn't think that grownups would let their machines kill them. When HAL started singing “Daisy,” I wanted another root beer badly, but it just went on and on, slower and slower as the astronaut turned off his circuits and the stupid retarded machine started whining. Then the ending was torturous. The astronaut gets really old and eats all by himself. That was about as exciting as watching the grass grow. It was slightly exciting when he broke his wine glass, but nothing came of it. All the adults were so solemn watching this guy get old in a room with too much light where there were no other people, so boring, and he just gets older and older. It was like an ad for why not to retire. It’ll kill you. At any rate, finally he does die, and the movie can end. Actually, that’s funny to run through, because now, I think it’s a pretty good movie.

But what I like better is the soundtrack from 2001, A Space Odyssey. Apparently, Kubrick chose the music to give himself some structure for shooting, but had budgeted for a composer to do a unique soundtrack. Ultimately, he stuck with his classical sources. A lesson to us all – we often end where we begin. My experience with the 2001 soundtrack came with a copy recorded on 8-track owned by my friend William Woods Chandler III, who gets the prize for most drugs in one small suitcase, including hundreds of hits of blotter, grams of brown sugar, and some cocaine so bad I don’t think you could have been busted for possessing it. He was a bad boy, determined to be bad, but actually very sweet natured and just looking for mothering. At any rate, if you don’t know about 8-tracks, they had a unique characteristic which was they would endlessly repeat if you didn’t pull them out. Sometimes they would also get warped by the Arizona sun in someone’s boiling auto interior, and then playback would be distorted. But if people were very twisted on psychedelics, they couldn’t tell, which could lead to funny scenes where straight people show up to find tripping friends totally grooving on a Jimi Hendrix tape so distorted that it was unrecognizable. The psychedelics made many strange things equal that way. Eight tracks were perfect, too, because if the music was appropriate enough that no one unplugged it, you could settle into it for the long haul.

This happened to me one night when we decided to light up the windowpanes and complete some written work we hadn’t gotten done earlier in the semester, and Kubrick’s soundtrack became our soundtrack. For three or four hours, the 8 track played and played and played. The Blue Danube, again and again. The strange atonal modern choir pieces, interspersed with gasps, breath expulsion, and eddies of queries and rumors spreading in a foreign birdlike tongue. The haunting, icily beautiful “Lux Eterna” may be the sound of the stars driving Van Gogh mad. Driving us all mad, if we let them.

Everytime I heard The Blue Danube strike up again, I saw Kubrick’s freely-rotating space-station, frictionless in the vacuum, with nothing to slow it down, the music self-regenerating and strong. This is tautological energy at its best. It kept me going the whole night, and I got the paper done.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:53 am

50 WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR LAMA, by Charles Carreon

(Loosely, to the tune of Paul Simon's "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover")

They’ve been enslaved so long, says Ambu wistfully,
The answer’s easy – but they won’t think logically.
They’re scared to ask for help as they struggle to be free, but
There’s at least 50 ways to leave your Lama.

She continued, with a serious attitude,
Unconcerned that she might be misunderstood,
Her thoughts oppose authorities, who say she’s rude,
But she knows 50 ways to leave your Lama.

Try these:
Just ease up on the sauce,
Ain’t ya’ heard of a condom,
Get a grip on yourself,
Just do it naturally!

I just don’t think like Naropa,
I’d rather count my own money,
Not if we can’t tell nobody,
You’ll feel Mongolian-free!

You’re not as big as your Daddy,
Jetsunma is a joke,
Ya’ got the wrong Karmapa,
We ain’t in Lhasa, ya see?

Well how can she expect a heart to bear this lonely pain?
To break the bonds that keep you spiritually safe?
Well she appreciates that, and help is on the way,
In the form of
Fifty ways to leave your Lama.

You love to meditate, but it makes you so uptight,
Behind the serious looks you use to block the light,
And when she kisses you, you’ll realize she’s right
And recognize you need one of these
Fifty ways to leave your Lama.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:55 am

A CHILD'S NIGHTMARE, by Charles Carreon

H. A. Guerber, The Myths of Greece and Rome wrote:Hercules, son of Jupiter and Alcmene, found Prometheus, killed the vulture, broke the adamantine chains, and liberated the long-suffering god.

I liked the Prometheus story from childhood. A real anti-hero he was, braving the wrath of the gods to provide us with the means to cook our food, light our homes, warm our bodies, fire our cars, power our appliances, run our factories, wire up our networks, burn our enemies, and cremate the planet. Maybe Jupiter knew what he was doing. He may have known that, however much you refined animals, getting Eros to breathe life into them, and Pallas Athena to endow them with souls, they would still be incapable of wisdom. Fire, thus, should remain off limits to them.

Our current planetary crisis, in which politicians smoke up the last of the atmosphere with their cigars, turning the whole planet into one big smoke-filled room, and spray radioactive isotopes around like confetti, while species expire faster than the national debt explodes, is of course based on fire. But that's a lot like that statistic that concludes bread causes crime, because over ninety percent of all crimes are committed within twenty four hours after the consumption of bread. It's not the fire, it's the assholes burning down the world who are the problem.

When I was a child I had recurring nightmares when I was three, four, five years old that would wake every person in the house. Outrageous screaming, kicking, yelling, freakout nightmares every goddamn night. Drove everybody crazy. I was famous for it, and such a cheerful child when awake. Miserable, too, because they were always the same, in black and white. Two men, one tall like a beanpole, the other short and squat like a black pot, had a weapon that looked like a mortar tube that would spout a fountain of flame that they would use to catch the whole world on fire. The dream always ended with the entire world on fire, 360 degrees all around the horizon nothing but flames. Real scary.

Of course I could read at four, and the headlines screamed war war war, communists, red trials, etcetera everyday. Commies, Japs, Krauts, the Hun, all that war jargon was still thick in the air. My uncles were all heavy drinkers, because they had been "GIs" in the war, and they liked to take the weight off their heads. Everybody drank a lot in those days, and smoked like chimneys. More fire.

I was sure glad when I stopped having that recurring nightmare. It was embarrassing as well as painful. But I minded the pain more than the embarrassment. It was absolutely terrifying, everything on fire.


My best memory about fire came about one morning when I was four years old. The night before, I had bundled up with my Nanita Trini Noli's family, riding in the pickup truck driven by her son Pete, a big Apache with hair black as coal, a smile and time to be friends with a four year-old kid. During the night we drove the windy desert road up to Wickenburg from Phoenix, and then into the hills around Wikkiup. In the morning, as the dawn light brightened the cab of the pickup, we were jouncing along a dirt road, and as I woke, I smelled the most beautiful campfire smoke I have ever smelled. Must have been mesquite or juniper. It was like the finest incense. Shortly after that, I learned that the smell was from the woodstove of the bunkhouse kitchen. We ate breakfast with like twenty cowboys who were shovelin' down huge portions of food that the cook was dishin' up with a generosity I'd never seen before. Then I got a taste of warm, fresh cow milk. So many new experiences on that trip. Tara put up a picture of me in the chile patch that was taken by Pete's sister Patsy, who was really cute, a beautician who married a German pilot. Always a class act that Pat. Pete also made good in a solid way. Became a plumber, and bought his own ranch, married his gorgeous mexican high school sweetheart Maryanne (who Patsy didn't really like at first), and stayed married. I saw Patsy at my Dad's funeral a couple of years ago, with her husband -- she has so much dignity.

I thank my stars for the simple influence of Nanita and her family, who gave me a home that my parents, with their tremendous intellectual and political awareness, couldn't quite provide. Somehow my family was capable of talking about the most high-flown topics in a house that was literally, at times, falling down around us. Surrounded by stacks of books and papers, having to clear a place on the dinner table to eat, or a place on the couch for a visitor, or even yourself, to sit.

Nanita wasn't like that. Her house was neat. There was always good food in the kitchen. There were usually other kids around to play with, although my Dad thought these children weren't that smart. And Nanita did awesome things, like wash laundry with her breasts exposed (and they were quite large), and pound deer jerky with a hatchet on the wooden kitchen floor. (It breaks up the fibers so it's more tender.) Nanita died in her mid-sixties after a long period of being bedridden after she fell out of a fig tree. She had been picking figs to make jam. She made the most incredible fig jam.

When she was dying, I had just returned from Europe. Everybody said she was asking for me over and over. I had been, they all said, her last child. I made it to her bedside several times. She knew I was there. It was really great. I wish that I had that opportunity to say goodbye to my own mom, who died suddenly, or my dad, who died by himself in a nursing home after two years of quietude. But I was lucky to be there with Nanita.

The whole business of dying, and of wanting company when you’re doing it, is important. People say you always die alone, but everyone seems to like some company. Oh, sure there are those lamas who die propped up among pillows while saying "HIC!" and sit there for a week before they fall over, thereby displaying a miraculous feat. And they wouldn't care if they were alone or at the Jefferson Memorial. They're ready to die alone or in a crowd. But for the rest of us, c'mon, gimme some company. Fucking stick around for me to go -- I won't keep you long.

The dying are jealous of the living, because they can't trade places. The living have nothing to gloat about, though.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:59 am



Are you a traditional Buddhist? Does it just chap your hide when you hear someone accusing traditional Eastern Buddhism of an authoritarian agenda? A little slow on the trigger with snappy comebacks? This short essay will change all that forever. Never again be left undefended when unexpectedly assailed by a sharp-witted anti-authoritarian. You too can stand tall, knowing that you are packing a Doctrinal Defender argument, neatly classed for swift deployment. These tried and true zingers will set your opponent on his or her ear, contemplating the incontrovertible core of your argument. Classed into nine basic categories, this flaming fistful of reactionary wisdom will be your dogmatic sidearm.

"It's Bigger Than All That"

This general purpose put down is best delivered with a long look down the snoot. As the words drop, exude pity for this miserable insect who has no idea how blooming wonderful this whole damn spiritual circus is. Hard to beat, this will work equally well as a brutal rebuff to a newbie or a deft snub against seasoned adversaries. At a loss for words when caught consorting with authoritarian henchmen? Just drop into this self protective crouch -- and as you come out of it, demonstrate genuine surprise that your adversary just doesn't understand how blooming wonderful this whole damn spiritual circus is. The following list of related doctrinal arguments can be deployed against hard cases. Just say them naturally, with that tone of pomposity that befits your station as an elder student, even if you're still trying to get your mala to get that worn look.

• This is the ignorant thinking of the five skandhas.
• Maybe you're not ready for the "radical" path of enlightenment.
• All of our experiences are equally illusory.
• We voluntarily choose to lose our freedom in order to gain a higher freedom.
• You are mixing political ways of organizing society with the process of transmitting fundamental understandings of truth, which is a totally different matter.
• Abusive authority is part of the tradition: Naropa/Tilopa. Zen practitioners getting hit with a stick, or slapped with a shoe over the head.
• If we have faith in the Buddha, all our experiences will be purified.
• The teacher is not here to facilitate a consensus.
• Freedom is impotent to address important spiritual issues.
• Humiliating yourself is part of getting rid of your ego.
• We have to suspend our judgment when it comes to having faith in the doctrine.
• We can't apply rational criteria to the choice of a guru.
• Empowerment is necessary to confer the divine state and give permission to practice.
• Temper tantrums and whims of the guru are manifestations of divine play.
• Vain gossip causes harm to others.
• Bliss will only prevail when you develop peace and love.
• Buddhism is about an invisible reality, not a materialistic reality.
• Let's "move beyond" the simple black-white issues presented here to something more positive.
• Enslavement to Buddhist authority, or any other authority, is the least of my concerns because for the most part I am a total slave of my mind. Just when I think I have made progress, and liberation is close at hand, I discover I have built a bigger and more beautiful jail.

"It Works, That's Why"

This category is overused because Americans are so practical. We just want to get the job done, okay, get enlightened, get home in time for supper. It's a button-down, business-like category that will make you look like a schoolmarm if you use it too often. So be careful, at the risk of becoming terminally uncool.

• Don't give scope for ill feelings and worthless talk.
• Many important persons are Buddhists.
• Rebels always lose. Fighting authority is a naive fantasy. The authorities rule because they are right.
• Erratic or abusive practices are sometimes used by Eastern masters to stop the rational mind and allow enlightenment to enter.
• The guru-disciple relationship is essential.
• Some people benefit from being regimented. It is skilful means.
• Control is necessary; otherwise we won't grow.
• People need "more rules," not less.
• Humiliating yourself is part of getting rid of your ego.
• It is beneficial to apply various forms of friendly persuasion, peer pressure, righteous indignation, and shunning, for the benefit of your dharma brethren.
• Use various analogies: the student is a sick patient; the guru the doctor. The student is clay; the guru is the potter.
• Worship isn't for the guru's sake but for the student's.
• Devotional practices rely upon community standards and a sense of self that we need to develop in the United States.
• If we regulate ourselves with standards of ethical conduct, we can derive the greatest benefit from the religious group while minimizing the risk of exploitation.
• We need to develop a genuine understanding of the dharma to address and alleviate our fears.
• The scriptures and the teachers are the prime sources of religious authority.
• It is a waste of time to carry tales about others.
• Buddhist organizations sponsor a lot of charity activities.
• It does some people a lot of good.


This is a very popular category, probably because you don't have to be very smart to deploy these zingers. Takes you right back to grade school.

• Anti-authoritarian ideas are advanced by negative-minded individuals.
• If you doubt the traditional system, it's because you are of poor character and lack life experience.
• Only those who observe silence are good people. Silence fosters purity. We should observe silence at all times.
• Just get over it!
• You're mean!
• That's the way the system works! Complaining about it is just a waste of time.
• Don't sow discord.
• You're going to vajra hell with that kind of attitude.
• You just don't understand how it all works.
• Don't harbor any undesirable thoughts.
• Vain gossip causes harm to others.
• Your information is false propaganda, gossip and misleading information.
• Your arguments have no foundation. They are hearsay.
• It's traditional.
• Your information isn't impartial, because it is subject to your own biases.
• Psychologists say that anything that creates or sustains enmity with anyone for any reason carries the seeds of its own destruction and is stalked by what Jung calls "The Shadow" which MUST turn itself upon those who invoke its energy. It also throws those who act out in this way entirely into delusion, a delusion made worse when a group rallies around LA CAUSA.. That's the rules as the psychologists explain them, over and over again.

"This is Much Better Than Anything We Have in the West "

This category capitalizes on the inherent sense of inferiority that Americans feel when faced with saintly-seeming Easterners in colored robes. We didn't grow up with it, and we don't know how it works, so we'll believe anything. Your basic Texas oil scheme in the spiritual patch. If you've got the stomach for it, grab a piece and hang on, because this stuff will sell!

• A guru goes beyond the boundary of control which many Americans adhere to.
• We are ethnocentric and have a fear of weakening our cultural foundations.
• Working with a guru can be one of the most sublime experiences of one's life.
• Ignorance is on the rise with the progress of science.
• All the trials and tribulations faced in this world are due to the so-called developments in science and technology.
• Americans are not comfortable with spiritual explorations into unknown and irrational realms.
• Bliss will only prevail when you develop peace and love.
• Buddhism is beyond democracy.
• The dysfunction in our society creates the opportunity for Buddhist cult abuse.
• The exclusively rational, intellectual approach to life has made Westerners feel alienated.
• Western thought is a dangerous obstacle to spiritual knowledge. We must reject scientific inquiry to be rid of duality and domination.
• The anti-cult movements have presented a distorted view of Eastern spiritual religions which brings to the fore Americans' deepest fears and imaginings: mind control, total negation of reality, and allegiance to a human being rather than God.
• The Internet is poisoning the village environment, which is the epitome of peace and love. Don't spoil the village atmosphere by imitating the city culture.

"One Bad Apple"

Everybody remembers this song by Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five, "One bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch, girl." You may recall that our grandparents had a different take, believing that indeed one bad apple would ruin the entire lot, and I dare say they had more experience with barrels of apples than all five of the Jacksons. Be that as it may, the argument has numerous adherents, as the following quotes will show.

• My group is not like that.
• We have to look at these things on a case by case basis.
• Maybe you just came to it with a bad attitude.
• Those stories are so old.
• That was settled and probably was the result of some plaintiff lawyer's lying.
• Hell hath no fury ...
• While scandals do come from some Buddhist groups, many others provide a necessary, wonderful service.
• People make mistakes.
• Not everyone had your [bad] experience.
• Your experience is unique.

"Assumption of Risk"

This is a legal term for "you had it coming." As in, "you had it coming breaking your neck flying down that hill on that snowboard like that." As in, "well, when you dress like that, what did you expect, he may be a priest but he's only a man!" The assumption of risk theory makes your average church yard look more dangerous than a toxic dumpsite, since you went there with your faith in your hands, you idiot, just asking to be taken for a ride. The problem with the assumption of risk defense is its excessive candor, but aside from that drawback, is a very useful first strike strategy.

• You were offered the chance to investigate and inquire. You had a chance to stay or leave.
• The teacher provides the necessary philosophical and practical guidance, but the student is still responsible for his or her own practice and development.
• Let the buyer beware.
• We have to take personal responsibility for whatever happens to us.
• Garbage in, garbage out.
• If you had a real problem you'd take it to court.

"Gurus are Special People"

This category is very large, and seems to comprise quite a bit of the heavy timber in this structure. These are tautologies at their best, solid to the core, because of their unitized construction. You can rely on these phrases, because they depend upon nothing.

• The Buddhist leaders are representatives of the Buddha.
• The student must have faith in the guru no matter what action the guru takes.
• Any problem is our own fault, not the guru's.
• The greater the devotion, the more blessings one receives.
• The guru is a form of Buddha's presence, presenting the divine in a manner people can relate to.
• The guru-disciple relationship offers the possibility of tremendous spiritual growth, healing, and a powerful change in outlook.
• We can't apply rational criteria to the choice of a guru.
• Veneration is necessary, because a guru embodies divine power, and is capable of bestowing grace.
• A guru is the only person who can dispel darkness with his vast knowledge.
• The guru is a source of revelation, interpreting and influencing the tradition's development.
• True knowledge can only be obtained through a teacher.
• The guru is a spiritual guide leading the disciple to Absolute Reality, the nature of Being.
• The relationship between a guru and his students is heart to heart and is prompted by selfless love.
• Gurus are above the ethical laws that apply to everyone else.

"We'll Side With the Majority After All"

We wanted to call this "consensus redux," to encapsulate the notion that, however much a movement rejects consensus decision-making, when it lacks the power of the majority, once it can invoke the authority of widespread acceptance, it will immediately do so.

• If the system was bad, why has it survived all of these years? A lot of people couldn't be wrong.
• Well, at least we can get along with others.
• Nobody likes you.

"Jar Jar Speaks"

Sometimes things are put forward in a manner so beeble-bumbled that they have to be dedicated to the God of inarticulateness, which for us is Jar Jar Binks. Here you go.

• Authoritarianism/Anti-Authoritarianism is part of the "first tier thinking" which occurs before the revolutionary shift in consciousness where "being levels" emerge.

That pretty much wraps it up. If you're still here with us, thank you. We will try to think up some rebuttals to these rebuttals, but just right now we're feeling a powerful urge to regret our apostasy and engage in some full-scale repentance and ice-cream eating.

Advanced Teachings on Repelling the Rebels -- The Ear-Whispered Teachings of The Warriors of Traditionalist Dogma. These hand grenades of authoritarian Buddhism are entrusted to those with the courage to bandy doctrines boldly. Leave them stunned with these brain-stoppers.


Originally pointed out by Jesus of Nazareth, who responded to local criticisms by observing that "a prophet hath no honor in his own country," this wry observation has been hammered into a rule of universal application. As a result, spiritual adulation can be lavished upon any ham-brained, be-robed individual of Mongolian extraction with enough moxie to sit on a throne while acting (pick one or more: profound, benign, whimsical, attentive, subtly threatening, or humorously avaricious). While they eventually may lose stature when they lurch drunkenly at a pair of mammaries attached to some hapless devotee (Sogyal), or engage in too many tall tales and blatant solicitations for cash (Kusum Lingpa), still they will be treated as authorities, because of the corollary rule, which is:


This rule means that, until the Pope says to kick the guy out, the pervert priest can still say Mass and continue to defile the bodies and spirits of the young. Until actually ousted and defrocked, any authority can continue to exploit their position.

This rule is so powerful that we can even make gold out of clay -- witness the tulkufication of Catherine Burroughs and Steven Seagal, and the trail of self-stuck idiots that Kusum Lingpa has left in his train by haphazardly recognizing anyone who gives him the right ass-kissy vibe as the reincarnation of some heretofore unknown Tibetan saint. And despite all of Burroughs' Leona-Helmsley-style antics and the very absurdity of Seagal's posturing as a spiritual guide, until their "recognition" is withdrawn by Pednor Rinpoche, they will continue to collect accolades from the faithfools.

Examining the implications of these two rules, we see a third:


First, since they are western, they can't self-authorize,
So they need to be recognized by an authority,
But since they reject authorities, they will never obtain such a recognition,
Therefore, nothing they say will ever have any validity to the true faithfool,
Because faithfools only evaluate ideas based on the identity of the speaker, and never on their merits.

Having gone through this analysis with respect to any speaker, a true faithfool can safely stop his ears once it is clear the speaker has no authority.

However, there is one last rule every good faithfool should keep in mind, to avoid dissing your own kind:


Aha, you were waiting for this one, weren't you? This is why it is worth having a "Free Tibet" bumper sticker, or otherwise announcing your alliance with the authorities. To gain the benefit of the rule, simply append to any damn thing you say, the following: "I speak not from my own knowledge, but simply in repetition of what the gurus have declared -- it's all in the teachings -- I have nothing to add that hasn't been said before."

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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:01 am

by Charles Carreon
January 26, 2006

"One of [Father Francis P. Rogers'] victims described waking up intoxicated in the priest's bed, opening his eyes to see Fr. Rogers, three other priests, and a seminarian surrounding him. Two of the priests ejaculated on him while Fr. Rogers masturbated himself. Then Fr. Rogers sucked on the victim's penis, pinched his nipples, kissed him, and rubbed his stubbly beard all over him. The former altar boy, whom Fr. Rogers began abusing when he was about 12 years old, remains haunted by memories of the abuse more than 35 years later.

-- Report of the Grand Jury Into Sexual Abuse of Minors by Clergy in the Philadelphia Archdiocese

Hey, What Wise Guy Sued The Pope?

It had to happen, sooner or later, that someone would try to sue the Pope, to try to ensnare the man at the top of the world’s wealthiest religious organization in the rogue-priest pedophilia scandal. The Church has harbored abusers of the flock since its earliest days. It is however a recent development to discuss priestly sex abuse, and proportionately few victims have actually filed suits for compensation. This is the first Pope who has ever had to think about how to dodge as much financial liability as possible from this long-delayed inferno of payback. For this is a passionate issue, one that has caused state after state to extend its statute of limitations to allow claims of clergy abuse to go forward despite the lapse of decades. Legislatures have been made to understand that priestly abuse does not surface quickly, and the special position a priest holds among parishioners makes an assault upon his dignity unthinkable.

There Were No Good Old Days

One might wonder, if one were skeptically inclined, what need anyone has for membership in a monstrously wealthy institution ruled by Italians, based in Rome, that claims, in spite of all appearances to the contrary, that its “Pope” is the current representative on planet earth of a very unworldly man. In the middle ages, the Church served as an alternate occupation for the wealthy who didn’t relish life as a soldier. There was good food, wine and reading material in the Church. Nunneries served as whorehouses, clerics did the accounting for the feudal system, platoons of hymn-chanting acolytes kept the sacred batteries charged with virtue, while peasants starved or fed, as was God’s will. When the Popes were based in southern France, they charged large sums to license drinking establishments, prostitution, and all manner of moral fault that could be profitably practiced by the merchant class. Today, the Church is a humorless corporate institution that protects its assets with legal stratagems, such as the one that the Pope used when he finally did get served with a summons and complaint alleging priestly abuse by one of his robed band of spiritual warriors.

A New Kind of Nation

The Pope got dismissed out of the lawsuit tout suite, because he is the Head of A Sovereign Nation – The Vatican. Okay, now I bet you thought it was cute the way the Romans let the Pope pretend to have his own government right in the middle of Rome. I always thought it was, even when I was a kid. It was like Disneyland, I thought, because a real country had like, an economy, and citizens, and principal exports, traditional cuisine, childrearing traditions, romantic cinema, and other things that the Vatican, a unisex institution, just will never have. As far as I could tell, the only thing the Church exports is incense smoke and papal encyclicals that tell woman not to impede their reproductive cycle, and that no, they still can’t perform the exalted ritual known as “the Mass.” The Vatican is indeed a very different type of nation. It doesn’t have, or need, preschools, grade schools, or high schools, but it’s very big on college degrees. It doesn’t have, or need, democracy, voting by its citizens, or a research and development budget to make sure the next generation will be economically competitive with the rest of the world’s population. Apparently, however, in the eyes of the American courts, when an American sues the Vatican, all that matters is the paper certificate. The Vatican has what it needs -- stocks, bonds, real estate, enormous buildings full of hard assets, and millions of believers all across the United States. Four of those believers sit on the United States Supreme Court, and when Judge Alito is elevated, there will be five.

The Jesuits are great lawyers, having had to survive and drive the Inquisition by their wits alone. Any good Jesuit would agree that where there are valid distinctions between groups, there must be differences in the rules that apply to them. A “nation” that doesn’t contribute to production by keeping the world in goods, or contributing to the job of keeping the species alive, doesn’t qualify as a nation. And if no one considers a place to be their “homeland,” as in “I was born there,” then wherefore is it anyone’s nation? The last Pope’s homeland was Poland, and the current Pope’s homeland is Germany. Neither of them spoke Italian as their native language, and the current Pope no doubt prefers bratwurst and beer to pasta and wine. The Church teaches that reproduction of the species is God’s will, but the Vatican produces no children, so as a nation, is it not violating God’s will? Others might say that when the leaders of a nation assists its citizens to injure people under the guise of giving them spiritual education, then it is a fraudulent and degenerate nation. That would seem to be the case with the Catholic Church.

The Philadelphia Grand Jury Findings

As we have learned through the sex abuse scandal, Church leaders across our nation aided and abetted serial sex criminals by maintaining their community status as venerated individuals and moving them to new parishes where their past conduct was unknown, where they could silently destroy the lives of another community of parishioners, then often enough, escape again with some money and a new place to go, when things once again got too hot. The Church was not just careless of letting abuse happen – it cloaked pedophile priests in secrecy, silenced accusations with a wall of denial, and fought legal claims tooth and nail. On September 15, 2005, a Philadelphia Grand Jury empaneled by District Attorney Lynne Abraham issued its report after three years spent studying a pattern of criminal conduct within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The report concluded that at least 63 priests – and likely a large number more -- sexually abused hundreds of minors over decades, aided by a coverup kept in place by the last two archbishops, Cardinals John Krol and Anthony J. Bevilacqua. Not mincing words, the report makes clear, “When we say abuse, we don’t just mean ‘inappropriate touching,’ we mean rape. Boys who were raped orally, boys who were raped anally, girls who were raped vaginally.” The report notes bitterly in its first pages that none of the abusers it had identified could be prosecuted, because “by choosing children as targets … abuser priests … were able to prevent or delay reports [and] statutes of limitations expired … As a result, these priests and officials will necessarily escape criminal prosecution.” Not only did the delay and secrecy erect successful legal defenses to criminal prosecution, it increased the number of victims and the severity of the abuse they suffered. The report stated, “Prompt action and a climate of compassion for the child victims could have significantly limited the damage done. But the Archdiocese chose a different path. Those choices went all the way to the top – to Cardinal Bevilacqua and Cardinal Krol personally.” “Even those victims whose physical abuse did not include actual rape – those who were subjected to foncling, to masturbation, to pornography – suffered psychological abuse that scarred their lives and sapped the faith in which they had been raised.” The Grand Jury concluded that although “the behavior of Archdiocese officials was perhaps not so lurid as that of the individual priest sex abusers … in its callous, calculating manner, the Archdiocese's 'handling' of the abuse scandal was at least as immoral as the abuse itself.”

Organized Crime or Random Perverts?

One thing is clear from observing the movements of the Catholic Bishops – they listen to Rome. There are occasionally some disagreements, but Catholics are expected to march in line or get out of the Church. So since it is in fact the case that the truth was hidden in Philadelphia, and in Boston, and in Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, Phoenix, and every other big city with a Catholic pedophile lawsuit in progress, perhaps those orders came from the top. Perhaps Cardinals Krol and Bevilacqua in Philadelphia “were just following orders.” Perhaps Cardinal Law, who was virtually run out of Boston by a lynch mob outraged that he had hidden pedophiles in the archdiocese for decades, was also just following orders. Right after he lit out of Boston, he landed in Rome, where the previous Pope gave him a cushy position as a Church diplomat.

So did the prior Pope tell his Archbishops to stall this thing? Our current Pope could answer this question. Formerly Cardinal Ratzinger, the new Pope knows at least as much as he could learn from reading every report of priestly sexual impropriety for the last several years. That was his job under the former Pope, and the word is, he didn’t advise anyone to start writing settlement checks. At this time, not many Catholic lawyers are proposing settlement. The Vatican has been around two-thousand years, and it’s not about to lay down its arms over a little hanky-panky in the sacristy. Consider how the faithful, with sheeplike docility, are still dropping money in the pot, wondering if it will be used to pay lawyers to silence the claims of people who got a nasty dose of bad religion, and deserve compensation. More than anything, the scandal needs a thorough airing, and the chips need to start falling.

Grooming Victims In Sunday School

The usual belief is that, since religions do more good on balance than harm, we can tolerate a little pedophilia in the ranks of the virtuous. That seems to be the rule that explains why we tolerate hypocritical exploiters who wear robes. They talk about the meek inheriting the earth, as if that seems likely to happen; they promise peace in the afterlife, which is like selling insurance no one can ever collect; they preach patience during life, and acquiescence to authority. But all of these nice characteristics won’t keep your average pedophile out of jail. Experience shows that pedophiles do develop a pleasant exterior that is attractive to children. They listen to children, and respond to what they say. They groom their victims for victimhood by building a relationship of trust. Priests have much of this work done for them by parents and Sunday school.

From Hitler Youth To St. Peter’s – The Journey of A Lifetime

Ordinary perverts don’t enjoy priestly immunity for a simple reason – they haven’t earned it. To get people to overlook your faults, you must give them something in return. It’s not easy to go to seminary, study all that theology, and pay all that tuition. The current Pope, for example, actually had to pretend to be a member of the Hitler Youth to keep his scholarship for theological seminary. He explained that last year when he was being made into the first German Pope in centuries, and some people worried about the Germans getting too excited about it. Because Cardinal Ratzinger had been in Hitler Youth, he wanted people to understand that he got out of the organization officially as soon as he could, and thereafter just pretended to be a Nazi. This evoked some dubious looks among people who remember how upset the Nazis would get when they found out that one of their number wasn’t really a good German at heart. Pretending to be a Nazi could be very dangerous. So perhaps the new Pope was a specially brave man, pretending to be a Nazi so he could become a priest and someday, Pope.

That Crazy Thing Called Faith

Socially, the Church is in a very strong position because it controls minds through tradition and something its adherents call faith. It is strange that they call it faith, because that is what Islamics say informs their belief in a different Deity, and the same is true for the Jews, and the Hindus, etcetera. They all cite faith as the ground of their belief, but it results in belief in different things. But when people work jointly to generate a concrete result, they do not speak of faith. Prayers for rain are abandoned in favor of drilling a well or digging a ditch. Hoping for manna to fall is replaced by hunting for squirrels and pulling up roots. But if a concrete result does not have to be produced, people are comfortable relying on faith to produce it. So most expectations based on faith are scheduled for fulfillment in the afterlife. Donations to the Church, however, have to be made now. It was ever thus.

Serving God by Serving Mammon

Financially, the Church is in good shape. Too good a shape up in Portland, it turns out, to stay in bankruptcy. When the Archdiocese of Portland sprung a stinky leak in its scandal-soaked legal Attends, its lawyers dragged it into bankruptcy court, claiming it needed protection from its creditors. Nobody had ever noticed priests bouncing checks at the liquor store, or short a dollar in a local strip bar, so it took many people by surprise. Well, it turns out they’re still flush, and all the dancing around like one of Disney’s hippos in Fantasia, trying to hide its full-hipped bottom line, was just a ruse. The Archdiocese is stuffed with real estate and other eminently saleable assets, but Archbishop John Vlazny will be damned before he lets a penny of it go to sex abuse plaintiffs until he has exhausted every possible legal maneuver and paid his Catholic lawyer friends every dollar in fees he can squeeze out of the collection basket. So in an effort to wedge its ungracious bulk into the the framework of “insolvency,” the Archdiocese left all of its juicy real estate off the schedule of assets in bankruptcy. How did the Church lawyers explain this brazen stratagem? Because “under Church law,” that property was owned by various official and unofficial Church sub-entities, and couldn’t be touched to satisfy the debts of the Archdiocese. Fortunately, the bankruptcy judge checked to see that there was an American eagle on the wall and not a man bleeding on a cross, and instead of genuflecting, told the Church lawyers to file a schedule with all the property on it.

Time To Reconsider Whether The Vatican Is Really Our Friend

As always, the Church lawyers will quickly deploy another roadbloack to slow the advance of claims. Like the Philadelphia Grand Jury said, describing the delaying tactics of the archdiocese – “the biggest crime of all is this: it worked.” Yes, it works. Justice delayed is justice denied, and no one yet has exceeded the Vatican’s skill in outlasting its foes. But these days, the smell of false piety is insufficient to mask the stench of corruption, and the reek should motivate us to get to the bottom of the rot. We should begin by dismantling the mistaken description of the Vatican as a sovereign nation and the Pope as a Head of State. The Pope should no more be considered a head of state than Sun Myung Moon, who crowned himself in the Sam Rayburn building, or Bubba Free John, who owns an island in Fiji.

The Church’s reputation for sanctity is remade in every generation out of the pure new cloth spun from the hearts of fresh believers. The Church will never cease cultivating this illusion in the minds of those predisposed by birth or sentiment to believe that Jesus founded One True Church. But for those of us who live in secular, political reality, and have been reading history, not catechism, a new viewpoint is overdue. The Church is not a country, and if a clutch of Archbishops hide criminal acts committed by priests in our country, because the Pope directed them to do so, then the Pope can and should be sued. The current Pope may have had actual knowledge of the scope and severity of the clergy abuse scandal in this country, and ordered the continued strategy of concealment. The bankruptcy judge in Portland had the right idea – the law of our nation, not “Church law” should apply in our courts. The Texas judge who dismissed the lawsuit against the Pope erred by subordinating our laws to the pretensions of a religious sect that claims national autonomy despite its lack of a truly national character. With literally billions of dollars in claims from abused victims gathering on the horizon, and the assets of the Vatican itself at stake, the issue of Papal immunity from civil liability will eventually come before a Supreme Court with five Catholic justices. When that case comes before the Court, a lot will depend on Alito.
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