My meteoric rise and fall – off the rainbow’s edge

What would you call an encounter with an evil you did not know existed? There was a very successful Science Fiction movie called Close Encounters of The Third Kind, whose title is derived from ufologist J. Allen Hynek’s classification of close encounters with aliens. My close encounter of the “fourth kind” was what I define as an encounter with humans who play by very different moral rules than most of us.

I will tell my story, and then try to play the skeptic to my own story, but first, another fable from the world of fiction:

flowersForAlgernon There is a story called Flowers For Algernon.  It is about a retarded man, Charlie, who is given a drug that increases his intelligence until he is a genius.  But the drug effects are temporary and eventually Charlie ends up with an even lower IQ than before.  His last wish is that someone put flowers on Algernon’s grave.  Algernon is the laboratory rat who the drug was first tested on.

My life was a story that was in some respects like that.  I spent my first twenty-one years with a mediocre appearance (my IQ however, was fairly high) and then for a few short years, I became handsome.  The story of what happened next is quite sad, and more far-fetched than “Flowers For Algernon”.  It’s the kind of story I cannot prove, but sometimes the most educational stories are the ones you can’t prove.

Some background is essential:

My early life had been very stressful.  This was mostly because I could not control my urges.  Hunger was one example – even when I was older, and on my own, I could not take money outdoors, because I would use it on food.  When I had money, if I passed a bakery, the smells would draw me in, I would buy the muffins and cakes, and pay for them, and then eat them standing right inside the store, because I did not have the self-control to wait. I realized I had to avoid this kind of situation, so when I did have to take money to shop for something I really needed, I would make my purchase, and then put the change in an envelope addressed to myself, and drop the envelope in a mailbox.

I tried various tricks to cope with my urges to eat, such as eating watermelons, which are mostly water anyway.  I remember an awestruck black woman saying to another – “He ate a whole watermelon – I saw him!” In general, you don’t look good when you feel bad, and you feel bad when you engage in serious overeating on a daily basis and then try to run ten miles to undo the effects of all the food you just ate.  I described my life to an eating-disorder psychiatrist, who had asked me “How do you know you have bulimia?”.  After I told him the story, he said – “Yes, that is bulimia.”

Worse than all this was my out-of-control sex urge during my High School period, and the humiliation and stress it caused me.  But I won’t go into that.  It was horrible. So anyway, all this somehow stopped after I got out of college.  It was as if my willpower came online suddenly.  As soon as it came “online”, I stopped all the urges cold.

As a reaction to my past, I adopted a puritanical lifestyle.  Like the Mormons I would not drink alcohol.  I did not drink coffee either.  I did not take drugs.  I walked and bicycled a fair amount.  I kept my diet to two meals a day – with no snacks.  I got lots of sleep.  My stress level evaporated.  And I looked better.  Much, much better.

People reacted to my new self.  People liked the idea of an ordinary person who somehow became incandescently good-looking.  Good looks have a lot to do with health, and perhaps also with strength, and an upbeat personality.  I remember later one man telling another that I had been the most handsome man he had seen – except for some young men in California.  I remember the sympathetic reaction of another very handsome man, who also felt that his life had also suddenly become different – and he also felt he had become treated differently.  It was a bit too much for him.

But then something wicked came my way.
I should explain at this point that I’m leaving a lot out of this story, including behavior of mine that would make the story more plausible. For instance, I had done damage to some people, and also some people may not have liked my “holier than thou” attitude. But to continue: I had attracted unwanted attention by a criminal element. The following may sound like a “conspiracy theory”. But remember, low-level “criminal conspiracies” happen all the time. Whenever two people plot to rob a bank, or a Mafia plans to take over a longshoreman’s union – that is a conspiracy. Moreover, many false conspiracy theories involve people and events that the theorist never came close to. In my case, it is all based on immediate experience. So what do I claim happened?

I claim I was poisoned.

For a year, I did not realize what was happening. I started feeling truly sick.  And I felt the oddest symptoms.   They were not like the symptoms of a disease.  It was more like my sex-drive was going up, and up, and up.  I did not like this at all.  I was a born-again puritan, and I did not want ever again to be at the mercy of urges.  But I was getting urges that surpassed anything I had ever had.

My health got worse, and in tandem, my looks faded.  I was a sleepless wreck, and tried to medicate myself, which was a bad idea.  Not that any doctor had any advice. By the end of the year, the looks had faded completely.  I was back to square one.  Like Charlie, after the drug wore off.

Then I tried something new.  I remembered how good I had felt on my bike trips in past years, so  in the evening, I would bike out-of-town, grab something to eat at the supermarket on the way to the green town of Woodbridge, and strange as it seemed to me, as time I went on, I felt better.  and  I revived a little.

I had no food in the house any more, but one day I bought a bottle of spring water, drank some of it, and put it in my fridge.  I read a newspaper, and went to sleep. That night, someone waltzed into my apartment.  He headed for the refrigerator.  He put a mega-dose of something bad into the remaining water in the bottle.  I did not see this person.

The next day, I got up, ready to go to work, but first I headed for the fridge to drink the water.  I drank it, and all of a sudden all the symptoms that I had just escaped hit me like a hammer.  The sex urge was one of them.  I felt like punching the walls.  I felt truly terrible.

I somehow made it to work, and outside the door of the building there was a small crowd.  Some looked sex-crazed, and some looked fairly normal.  What they had in common was that they looked at me with recognition and anticipation.  And from their expressions, I could see that they knew what had happened.  I staggered to my office, but I could not work.  The drug had grabbed my brain receptors and would not let go.

I won’t go into the rest of the story, except to say that I would run into people who would tell friends about me, and the friends would look at me, and wonder out loud: why on earth would this guy impress anyone – with looks or anything else?

I walked sadly into Penn Station in New York, one day, and the Fleetwood Mac tune “Seven Wonders” went through my head:

If I live to see the seven wonders
I’ll make a path to the rainbow’s end
I’ll never live to match the beauty again

I conclude that someone, somewhere, has done brain research that would have better been left undone, and has given it to people who are up to no good.  For all I know, there may an entire laboratory in some totalitarian country churning out drugs that affect the brain.

Now lets play the skeptic. The skeptic would say that the poor man who wrote this blog obviously had mental issues, but just because he had some urges over the years, doesn’t mean some mysterious group went out to drug him with a drug that nobody ever heard of.

In fact, when he drank that water, it was just a coincidence that he felt a huge set of symptoms.

And as far as being handsome, well, the world is also full of formerly handsome people who aged and lost the looks of their youth. They don’t make an obsession about what they lost. So why is this blog-poster whining about it? My answer to the skeptic would be, I would not be whining about it if it was a matter of plain old age, but if some group of people did attack me, it is my duty to not only whine, but to alert the public.

A skeptic might also say that changing a lifestyle doesn’t make people better looking.  Good looks are based on facial features, and not on whether you eat constantly. To which I would say, try the experiment – don’t take any food except water between – say – 9 am and 5 pm. Do this for a week. See what happens.

People tend to under-rate subjective experience. I was once told “If you were drugged, there would be no way you could know it for sure. You might just be feeling something generated in your own brain.” That argument reminds me of the reply by Samuel Johnson (1709-1784):

After we came out of the church, we stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley’s ingenious sophistry to prove the nonexistence of matter, and that every thing in the universe is merely ideal. I observed, that though we are satisfied his doctrine is not true, it is impossible to refute it. I never shall forget the alacrity with which Johnson answered, striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone, till he rebounded from it — “I refute it thus.”

Of course the simple intensity of an experience doesn’t prove the experience, but I think the amount of supporting and corroborating events around the experience, and before and after the experience, do bolster it. Knowing a plausible cause also makes a big difference in whether people believe something or not. In other words, if you go around saying you were drugged by a mysterious Mafia, you can’t expect to be believed unless there are (for example) headlines that you dropped a cigarette by accident in a restaurant frequented by Mafia members, and burned it down, killing 3 Mafia wives in the process.
Otherwise, you have a real problem in persuasion.

I’m saying several very radical things in this post. If any one of them are true, the implications are extreme. If you assign a probability of 30% to them, (for example) that doesn’t make them only 30% as extreme, it just means that there is a one out of three chance that very bad things are going on in the criminal world – things for which there are no defense, especially if they are not addressed as if they are one hundred percent true.

Sources: Flowers for Algernon is a science fiction short story and subsequent novel written by Daniel Keyes. The short story, written in 1958 and first published in the April 1959 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story in 1960. The novel was published in 1966 and was joint winner of that year’s Nebula Award for Best Novel.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a 1977 American science fiction film written and directed by Steven Spielberg The film received numerous awards. (Personally, I don’t know if there are alien life forms in the universe, but I can attest that there are humans who think so differently than the rest of us that they might as well have landed from a UFO).

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Lessons from an undercover Cop

Mike Russell went undercover into the Mafia. He is a very brave man. There are certain lessons from his book “Undercover Cop” that I’ll share here. He says that:

Most Mob movies speak of respect and honor, when in reality it was all about who made the most money [for the bosses]. Many infractions by a good earner were overlooked, while a marginal worker could get whacked [murdered] for getting caught in traffic and being late for a meeting.

If you are riding in a car with Mafiosi, and they want to murder you, they will first put you at your ease, and then deliver a lightning knife thrust to your heart. Most of the bleeding is internal, so you don’t make a mess of their nice car. If the car isn’t so nice, they may just shoot you in the head.

Mike also says that “Your average wiseguy is poorly educated, couldn’t string two cohesive sentences together, and is fat and crude.” On the other hand, a Mafia captain would be expected to be well-dressed, well-spoken, in good shape, and educated.” Some of the Mafia leaders own legitimate businesses, and could make a good living without being in the Mafia. Perhaps they like the excitement of “extortion, murder, labor racketeering, gambling, hijacking, bid rigging, and political corruption and bribery”. One Mafiosi owned a horse farm in Rhinebeck (I’ve seen some when I’ve cycled up there), others owned semi-rural properties that were useful for burying dead people.

Mike joined the Mafia in the 80’s, in New Jersey, when the police department in Newark, New Jersey was “a cesspool of dirty cops”. This meant that if the wrong cop heard that Mike was undercover, he would notify the Mafia. Mike worked for the State Police, which was less corrupt, though a few bad cops were caught there too. And there were plenty of corrupt politicians in New Jersey, and during his undercover work, Mike was shocked at finding out about one of them, who often showed his “family values” and paraded his nice family, or said what a great place America is to the clueless public. It was interesting that President Nixon directly pardoned a Mafia big shot, and President Clinton pardoned Mark Rich (in 1983 Rich and partner Pincus Green were indicted on 65 criminal counts, including income tax evasion, wire fraud, racketeering, and trading with Iran at a time when Iranian revolutionaries were still holding American citizens hostage. (Though Mark Rich actually helped the Israeli Mossad learn about what was going on in Iran, so there is layer within layer here. But I digress).
Christmas is a good time for wiseguys since ordinary citizens can be corrupt too, and when they can get remarkably cheap goods from a vendor, they don’t ask too many questions.

You hear a lot about evil capitalists from leftists, to whom I usually don’t pay much heed, but Mike had to clear some of the toxic waste where “an elaborate network of wiseguys, corporate investors, and numerous corrupt politicians planned to build substandard housing on contaminated land.” As opposed to the greedy capitalists, the noble workers may not be better, since their unions are sometimes controlled by the Mob, or they have made a devils bargain with the Mob.

One time a Mafia member named “Petey Fish” hijacked a truck full of goods. It turned out to belong to another Mafia family. After hurried meetings between the two families, everything was smoothed out, and life went on. Until one day Petey turned up dead. This shows that a peaceful silence after you cause a problem does not mean you are out of the woods and home free.
If you disrespect someone, as “Fat Tiny” did to “Joe Zarra” by needling him during a Mob sit-down to resolve an issue, you could, as “Fat Tiny” did, end up in the trunk of a car. Though nobody knew for sure that Joe did it. Usually the Mafia waits until the “heat dies down” before they get the revenge for the slight that they never forget.

Mike’s lone undercover operation was so successful, that as it was going on, the attorney general of New Jersey asked the hundred member Organized Crime and Racketeering task force to “render assistance”. Mike did not like this at all. He says that “Too many agencies, too many politicians, and too many headline seekers were now involved in this case.” It was a “train wreck in the making”, and indeed, by making premature arrests, the task force nearly got Mike killed. The Mafia people started suspecting him, and he had to persuade them he was not informing on them.

The evidence that Mike got included video evidence, so the Mobsters pleaded guilty. I’m surprised they were only put away for five years, and when they got out, several went right back to organized crime. Its seems that even when their activities are exposed, they don’t have all that much to worry about. When one of them, named Andrew Gerardo, got out, he moved to Florida, not that far from where Mike lived, and eventually he put out a word on the street that he would pay to have Mike killed. As Mike says: “South Florida has no shortage of guys who would murder you for a few hundred dollars.” And Gerardo would have paid much, more.

Crime does pay. Some of these wiseguys made millions. However, if you are a regular citizen who wants a favor from the Mob, you are a fool. For instance, one man asked the Mafia to protect him against his own corrupt employees, as well as misbehaving customers, and the Mafia did, but the Mafia plan was to “bust the joint out”. In this scenario, they become silent partners, and then they order more supplies than the business requires, all on credit, and then sell those supplies on the black market. When the business’s credit is all shot to hell, they burn the joint down for the insurance money. If the owner gives his new partners problems, he ends up dead.

From my own experiences, I would warn police that going undercover like Mike did may be a much riskier proposition now. Technology has evolved, so that crime organizations can (in theory) place bugs in the home of new people they hire, and find out if they are informers or not. Not only that, but from my experience, there is at least one crime organization that has access to drugs that put you in a daze, or make you talk incessantly. While you are in a daze, they could (in theory) plant a bug in one of your possessions. Or copy your house-keys.
The talk drug can be useful too, for instance in interrogating a person whose loyalty is in doubt.

Mike had to worry about informers in the police who might betray him. Thirty years later, now that so many large organized crime outfits operate in the U.S., my guess is that they probably try to get their people into the FBI, or police. If I were them, I would think that would be worth the effort.

America is not the place it was even fifty years ago. To take one example, the U.S. army won’t hire 71% of youths who apply, because many have felony convictions, or lack a high school diploma, or are obese. In addition to this, about a third of white children do not have a father married to their mother, and with Latinos the number is fifty percent, and with blacks its seventy-five percent. With the exception of the obese, these others may drag the country down a whirlpool of desperation. The more desperation, the more crime. The more children who were not brought up in a stable loving home with two parents, the more criminals.
People like Mike Russell can only do so much.

Undercover Cop – Mike Russell (2013)
If you want more info, he has a website:

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The Bicyclists guide to freedom – and its limits

Climbers killed here by Taliban

Climbers killed here by Taliban

Being a cyclist, its interesting to note how places to cycle around the globe get harder to find.
I once read a book about an Irish woman cyclist who cycled many years ago to Afghanistan, and was treated well there.
Nowadays, you read stories such as the one about the mountain climbers who visited a beautiful region of Pakistan and get killed by Jihadists, so chances are you would reroute your planned bike trip around many Muslim countries.

But even in the US, bicycling can be a problem. Take the city of Philadelphia.  If you lock your bicycle at the University of Pennsylvania while students are on vacation, you may find your bike missing all parts that are not locked down.

Philadelphia is not the safest city any more, and one time my brother was riding his bike to work from his house in West Philadelphia and someone threw a stick into the wheel. He says

I had read a lot about attacks on students in West Philadelphia and so was very angry about it since I assumed the gang that was attacking me was one that attacked others so I charged at them with my bike. They backed off and then I thought to myself “What the hell am I doing” and cycled to the supermarket. They ran away when I entered the supermarket.

A black mob attacked a D.C. commuter on a bicycle, sending him to the hospital with broken bones in his face – according to a local blogger who says:

As I was biking home on the Metropolitan Branch Trail today I came across a biker on the trail near R St NE who was severely beaten.

Apparently he was beaten by a fairly large group of African-American teenagers that I passed on the trail near the bridge near Florida Avenue.

Apparently they beat this biker, a Caucasian male who looked to be in his 50s, for no reason. …This incident occurred in broad daylight and the biker did nothing wrong.

…Notably, this was not a robbery; the group of teenagers apparently just attacked and beat this man on the trail without any obvious motive other than to beat him.”

We have an immigration policy that brings in people who claim to be refugees, and that leads to incidents such as:

A group of young, Somali men posted a video of themselves attacking pedestrians and bicyclists in St. Paul.

The suspects openly identify themselves in the video, and then attack unknowing victims. None of the victims have reported any of the attacks. St. Paul police is urging victims to step forward, if they recognize themselves in the video…

It’s not just black youths in the cities though: my brother tried commuting from the city by train to a suburb, where he wanted to continue by bicycle. So he got himself a cheap bicycle, and locked it at the train station.
The bike kept getting vandalized by suburban youths.
So finally my brother looked up a synagogue in the phone book, and he found a house which served as a synagogue and private residence and the owners were kind enough to let him lock the bike to a pole in their yard while he took the train into NYC.

What about the “holy land”:

Near Elon Moreh

Near Elon Moreh

I have Israeli relatives on the West Bank of the Jordan in a small town. They don’t dare to hike out of town, or bike out of town, but they do sometimes go by armored vehicle to a bigger town to use the swimming pool. Its been a sacrifice for them to live there, and other residents have died on the road, but they believe they should live there.
Their inability to even take a walk reflects a lack of freedom, imposed by ideological, religious, and angry men. My relatives are religious too, but their religion is Judaism, and they don’t pick fights.  Ironically, when three Jewish youths were kidnapped in this area, some European newspapers blamed these youths for what happened since supposedly being Jewish on occupied Muslim land is an excuse for losing your freedom.

Death of Isaac

Death of Isaac

On August 2, 1996 a group of over one hundred Cypriot and European motorcyclists set off from Berlin’s Brandenbourg Gate on a long and peaceful ride through many countries of Europe, heading to Cyprus. Their stated aim was to draw the world’s attention to the Turkish occupation of part of the territory of Cyprus, the artificial division of the island since 1974, and the “violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of the people of Cyprus, and in particular of their right to move freely throughout their country.”
As the motorcyclists moved through Europe on their way to Cyprus, they were joined by hundreds of European motorcyclists.
However, it became clear that there could be a violent reaction, so the last stage of the rally was cancelled. But a few of the motorcyclists decided to peacefully demonstrate at the barrier between Greek Cyprus and Turkish Cyprus regardless, and “counter demonstrators” attacked them with the result that Anastassios Isaac, a 24-year-old Greek Cypriot, was caught in barbed wire and clubbed and beaten to death by the these people, and forty others were injured.

The “freedom of the road” has its limits.

I used to be a long-distance cyclist, but I antagonized a Mafia. They knew that I knew how they operated, and so they felt they had to keep tabs on me. After a series of warnings, which I did not heed, they attacked.
As a result, I now stay within a 40 mile radius of my suburban home.

So what is the lesson of all this?

Freedom is usually thought of as the ‘absence of constraint’. Of course a cyclist can’t cycle anywhere – he can’t cycle over the ocean, or past the North Pole, and wouldn’t want to cycle in mosquito infested swamps, etc. The man-made obstacles are interesting though – because it tells you that something is wrong with a culture in areas where people cannot cycle.

I looked up some quotes on bicycling and freedom, and found this, from Susan B. Anthony, who championed woman’s suffrage in the mid 1800’s:

Susan B Anthony

Susan B Anthony

Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel…the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.


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A political dissident tells about his stay in a Soviet Insane Asylum – incredible.

In Stalin’s time, Russian political prisoners actually wanted to be sent to a mental hospital instead of the camps, because once you recanted and agreed with the diagnosis, you might be released. But after Stalin, the next leader of the USSR, Khrushchev, wanted to build Communism without the horrors of Stalin.  In Communism, criminality was supposed to disappear, and everyone was supposed to agree with the ideology. So he said that those who expressed dis-satisfaction with Communism must be mentally ill. This wasn’t just a remark, it was a directive, and special psychiatric hospitals began to spring up like mushrooms.

Vladimir Bukovsky was one of the dissatisfied, and a panel of doctors asked him:
1. Why was he in conflict with society and its accepted norms?
2. Why did his beliefs seem more important than his liberty, his studies or his mother’s peace of mind? For instance, he had been warned not to go to Mayakovsky Square, but he kept going there.

Bukovsky could have said that “society was at fault” for his conflict with it, but then that would be saying that everyone else was wrong, and he was right. That would make him sound like a madman. If he mentioned persecution by the KGB, then he would get “persecution complex” put in his dossier. He says that one dissident quoted Lenin who had also been in conflict with society, but that tactic would “only get you a note in your case history ‘Suffering from delusions of grandeur, compares self with Lenin.'”

Bukovsky was put in the “Special Mental Hospital” in Leningrad. The orderlies were criminal convicts. He says they were like savage dogs. There were real madmen in the hospital too, one of whom kept calling out loud for a free Ukrainian state. The guards would beat him, and Bukovsky sometimes tried to intervene and got punched so hard he was sent flying under the bed. The prisoner would be listed as violent, (though it was the guards who had been violent) so he would be injected with “aminazine”.

Vladimir Bukovsky

Vladimir Bukovsky

Bukovsky says that the true masters in the mental hospital were the junior service personnel: the orderlies, the nurses, and the guards. If you did not come to terms with them, they would torture or even kill you.

Bukovsky was then moved to a cell with two murderers. He says that the hospital was so poorly constructed that you would hear shouting from all sides, including the cries of people being beaten.
“In a cell opposite ours, a young fellow would keep yelling intermittently: “Soviet spacemen will be the first to land on the moon!”. This fellow’s cell mates would tease him, so he would yell louder and louder, until the orderlies would burst in and beat him. The nurses then duly noted that he was violent, and he got pumped full of aminazine.

In the mental hospital, there was total lack of any rights, and compulsory treatment. There was also no one to complain to, for every complaint got added as one more proof of your insanity.

To get a discharge, you had to acknowledge your sickness and condemn your previous behavior.
One prisoner, a geophysicist and winner of a Stalin Prize, refused. As a result his health had been undermined by the beatings and injections.

The three remedies for “violence” were:
1. “aminazine” which made the patient fall into a  stupor
2. sulfazine – which inflicted excruciating pain on the patient and induced a high fever for two days
3. the “roll-up” – a prisoner would be wrapped in a wet sheet, and when the sheet dried, it shrank, inflicting terrible pain. Usually this would cause the prisoner to lose consciousness, so the nurses would loosen the roll-up slightly, so he could breathe and come-round, and then tighten it again. This would be repeated several times.

A few of the doctors called the hospital “our little Auschwitz.” Bukovsky said that “it went without saying that the patient was not human, that he couldn’t and shouldn’t have any desires or human feelings” and the staff were inured to cruelty.
The prisoners were under a hanging sword that could fall at any time. Bukovsky says the staff injected on such a mass scale that after awhile the needle would no longer go into your buttocks.

Bukovsky was lucky. He did not get a single pill or injection during his stay. He got transferred to a section run by an old man, Kalinin, who did not believe in the Moscow school of psychiatry. Schizophrenics, in his view, must either be psychopaths, alcoholics, or malarials. So he asked Bukovsky if he had ever been bitten by mosquitoes, and if he had ever drunk alcohol, and Bukovsky, despite having been in Siberia where there are clouds of mosquitoes, of course said he had never seen a mosquito.

Another humorous (or horrible) story was that of the person who tried to get into the American embassy. To do this, he had made himself up as a negro. But the embassy told him he needed permission from the Soviet authorities, so he had to leave.
“At this point, it started to rain, and he started to turn streaky under the noses of some policemen. Soviet judicial psychiatry justly concluded that only a madman would voluntarily wish to change from being white to being black, and then apply to go to America, where, as is well-known, they lynch even their own blacks. Now these racial whims of his were being eradicated by injections.”

Some patients had tried to flee the USSR using imaginative methods such as rubber dinghies, in Aqualungs underwater, in homemade helicopters, and gliders. Obviously they were demented, for who would want to be free at a time, when, “after all the mistakes, the contours of true communism were at last beginning to grow visible?”
Even when prisoners were considered for release, traps were set for them. Staff began to insult them and try to make them lose their tempers. There were instances when a man was actually led out to the gatehouse for what looked like his final release. He would say good-bye to all his friends, pick up his bags, and walk off to freedom. Only, on the way out, the nurses would still be trying to provoke him, and it was known for a man to be turned back at the very gate if he rose to the provocation.

That is Bukovsky’s story. When I read it I wonder about the way Russians treated other Russians – could our own country produce ideological lockstep types who practice this kind of crazy sadism?

And there are some interesting points about using mental illness as a club to beat your political opponents. If you believe, for instance, that Islam preaches violence, then you are an “Islamophobe” (phobia is a mental illness term). If you disapprove of homosexual behavior, you are a “homophobe”. Recently a deserter named Bowe Bergdahl was repatriated to the US by the Taliban, as part of a prisoner swap. Brandon Friedman, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development suggested that perhaps Bergdahl was attempting to flee from a platoon full of “psychopaths.”
I saw a video of some members of that platoon talking about him on Fox news, they struck me at anything but psychopaths, but judge for yourself, see:
Not a hero?
Anyway, this use of mental illness terminology against political opponents, or against people who say things you do not like is an immoral tactic to use. Though I’m sure it backfired on Brandon Friedman.

Another point, in World War II, there were at least two cases of witnesses of Nazi crimes against Jews being treated as if they were mentally ill by the Jews they tried to warn. For instance, in Elie Wiesel’s book All Rivers run to the Sea he talks of one survivor, Moshe who tried:

He came back and he told a hair-raising story. Those expelled had been slaughtered and buried naked in ditches…He talked on and on about the brutality of the killers, the agony of dying children, and the death of old people, but no one believed him. The Germans are human beings, people said, even if the Nazis aren’t. The more convincing Moshe the beadle tried to be, the less seriously he was taken. He has suffered too much, people said, so much that he doesn’t know what he’s saying. Then he would lose his temper. “Listen to me!” he would shout. “I’m telling the truth, I swear it!…If I’m lying, how come I’m alone? Where is my wife and our children? What about the others, your former neighbors? Where are they? I’m telling you, they killed them. If you don’t believe me, you’re crazy.” Poor guy, everyone said, Raving mad.

What a cruel thing to do to Moshe, to treat him this way!

There was the case of Brandan Raub, in the US, who believes in what I would call “conspiracy theories”, but also has some valid criticisms of our out-of-control (in my view) government, and who was visited by the FBI and put in a mental hospital, where he was diagnosed with “oppositional defiant disorder”. As far as I know, he did not directly call for violence, (though he did write something to the effect that he alone might have to do something about threats to the our freedom) and indeed, he wanted to re-enlist in the Marine Corps, which defends our country. Perhaps a mental hospital might be seen as a humane temporary way to handle a person who you want to observe and prevent from violence, but if so, there has got to be a better way, if its all based on political statements in a Facebook page.

The same reader who send me info on Raub, also sent this, and I’ll end the post with it:

The Qur’an and Hadith do not envision the possibility that anyone might reject Islam in good faith. It is taken for granted that anyone who rejects Islam must be evil, insane or both.
A Nigerian man has been sent to a mental institute in Kano state after he declared that he did not believe in God, according to a humanist charity.

Mr. Bala

Mr. Bala

Mubarak Bala, 29, is said to have been forcibly medicated by his Muslim relatives, despite being given a clean bill of health by a doctor.

…when Mr Bala told relatives he did not believe in God, they asked a doctor if he was mentally ill.

Despite being told that he was not unwell, Mr Bala’s family then went to a second doctor, who declared that his atheism was a side-effect of suffering a personality change, the group says.

Mr Bala, a chemical engineering graduate, was forcibly committed to a mental institution, but was able to contact activists using a smuggled phone….

To Build a Castle – My Life as a Dissenter: by Vladimir Bukovsky (1979)
Atheist declared mentally ill in Nigeria, BBC, June 24, 2014 (thanks to Hiro):

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The moral logic of the deranged and the wicked

Do we all share the same moral logic?  This is related to the idea of what provokes you to act in anger, and why.

Take a recent mass shooter:

Elliot Rodger was jealous of men who had girlfriends.

Columnist Ann Coulter, who read his entire manifesto, concludes that:

The “cruelty” of women apparently consisted of the failure of any “tall, hot blondes” to approach Rodger and ask for sex. He would walk around for hours “in the desperate hope that I might possibly cross paths with some pretty girl who would be attracted to me.” …
Although Rodger repeatedly denounces the world and everyone in it for “cruelty and injustice,” he was the bully more often than the bullied, especially as time went on, and his rage increased.

This cruelty was a provocation that led Elliot to shooting people, stabbing people, and hitting people with a car. Some died, including Asian-Americans and at least one Blonde.

Now admittedly, Elliot was crazy, but my brother tells me he has met other disgruntled men – men who are angry that they can’t find women to love them.
I find this embarrassing.

Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter

In the next story again there is a question of what is a provocation:

I remember reading of two men, one Caucasian, and one Vietnamese.  They captured a good-looking white woman and led her in chains in a remote part of the Western mountains of the U.S.  Then they abused her, and filmed the abuse, and finally killed her.  At one point she asked them “Why are you doing this?”.  One of the men answered: “Because we hate you!”
When hearing that reply, I would think it would be reasonable to ask “why” again. Their behavior seems inexplicable, but Dr. Stanton Samenow says that the inexplicable becomes more explicable the more you know about the criminal.

I remember reading of a white family with their little girl in their car that took a wrong turn in California. They entered gang territory.  They were all shot dead.
Again, what was the provocation?  Was it entering forbidden territory?  Was it the crime of being the wrong ethnicity?  What was the provocation?

Anwar Sadat of Egypt was hailed as a great peacemaker with Israel.  He did make a peace deal where he gained the entire Sinai peninsula, in exchange for what he himself said was just a “piece of paper.”  But Sadat had also promised that he would “crush Israel’s arrogance and return them to the humiliation and wretchedness established in the Koran.”  We could ask “why.”  The Jews, he explained, “are a nation of liars and traitors, contrivers of plots, a people born for deeds of treachery.”
In other words, this man wanted another people to be in a perpetual state of humiliation and wretchedness.  The provocation – well – Jews, you know – those treacherous creatures deserve what they have coming to them.

Talk-show host Laura Schlessinger says this:

I talk to people every day who have performed the most egregious acts of hurt and betrayal, yet deny that their behaviors weren’t righteous. They try to give examples of what was done to them (usually innocuous) and convince me that their actions were necessary or justified.

Likewise, Stanton Samenow, who has interviewed many criminals, points out that they think differently. The way these criminals look at themselves for instance, can be totally different from the way we would look at them. He says that criminals consider themselves decent people with the right to do whatever suits their purpose. They view the world as their oyster and view people as pawns or checkers.  Moreover, they are capable of great cognitive dissonance about their own nefarious activities.

So that seems to bolster my point.

Psychologist Jonathan Haidt believes that moral intuitions (including moral emotions) come first and directly cause moral judgments. It’s as if we “feel” rather than “reason”, when it comes to our attitudes to what is right or wrong, or on how we should behave.  Dr. Samenow seems to think that thoughts come first, and my own belief is that some thoughts are subconscious – and lead to feelings, and feelings also lead to thoughts.

We could put Haidt’s idea of moral feelings together with the finding of Yu Gao that children that showed no sign of fear conditioning at age three inevitably grew up to become criminals. I’m not sure what the latter finding means – does it mean you have to be afraid of punishment to be moral? Or perhaps is it just a lack of inhibitions that others have that produces criminals?

(As an aside, it has also been found that people who have more fearful disposition also tend to be more politically conservative. This does not mean that every conservative has a high fear disposition. “It’s not that conservative people are more fearful, it’s that fearful people are more conservative,” says researcher Rose McDermott. So one could ask – are criminals (who even as children feel less fear) less likely to be politically conservative? Would a fearful politician be less likely to accumulate debt than a fearless one? Would conservatives behave differently at casinos? (see sources)).

Once I was in Italy and I stopped in an office run by a tall young woman to exchange currency. As I walked away, I thought that perhaps she had made a mistake, and given me too much money. But I was in a hurry to catch a train to a prettier part of Italy, and I didn’t think much about it. I got to the train station, and then realized the train would not leave for a few hours. So the thought at the back of my mind about the currency came back, and I looked at it, and sure enough, she had given me a fortune. I ran back to her office, and asked her if she had given me too much. She checked her book, and suddenly said “You SAVED me”. I returned the money.

Train thru Italy

Train thru Italy

The story shows how I suppressed a nagging voice of conscience, or inhibitions, or something in my hurry to get to a nice part of Italy and not miss a train.

Now consider a criminal who has a very strong desire to make money, or to hurt an enemy, or to control events. How powerful a role will moral inhibitions and feelings play in his decisions? What if he is morally constituted to not feel fear – and inhibitions are related to that in some way?

I myself got into a situation where I was told I would be “annihilated” – that I “would end up in a hospital” – and that I “must be kept down!” It was a provocation to these people that I could be happy, healthy, and free. It may have had something to do with my having made racist and anti-gay remarks, among other things, and I do regret some of my earlier attitudes, but still – one aspect of evil is what a bad guys considers a provocation and how he reacts to that provocation.

Sandra Korn is a leftist lesbian Jewish student at Harvard.  She got attention from the conservative world when she wrote in the Harvard Crimson piece that academic freedom should be limited when it conflicts with the political prejudices of the “university community”:

If our university community opposes racism, sexism, and heterosexism, why should we put up with research that counters our goals simply in the name of “academic freedom”?

She said she would prefer one of the few conservatives at Harvard, Harvey Mansfield, to no longer be on the faculty.
So what did Prof. Mansfield do, to deserve this budding totalitarian’s would-be dismissal?  He was guilty of having the wrong beliefs.

The founders of the U.S. felt that the government should interfere minimally with the rights of the population.  But government is just one institution that can interfere with your rights.  We live in a sea with many friendly dolphins but too many sharks.  If you bleed into the ocean, you will attract the sharks.  The sharks have a strange sense of “justice” which if applied to you, will interfere with what you consider your rights.

William Butler Yeats wrote a poem, “The Second Coming”, of which I will quote one verse:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity




Sources – fear in conservatives vs liberals – Thinking errors in criminals – compiled by Dr. Stanton Samenow – Adrian Raine and the Biological Sources of Evil

The “amygdala” is a brain structure that plays a major part of our emotional makeup, and is involved in aversive conditioning. and so it is interesting that psychopaths have smaller amygdalas. It was found that conservatives have larger amygdalas than leftists, but I would hesitate to conclude that makes conservatives nicer people (even though I am one). There is a somewhat disputed finding that gays have smaller amygdalas, but we do know for sure that straight men and gay women had more nerve connections in the right side of the amygdala, while straight women and gay men had more neural connections in the left amygdala.

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Newtown – a terrible evil that erupted in a truly nice town – Mathew Lysiak’s book on what happened and why.



When 20 children and some of their teachers were shot dead in a school in Newtown, Connecticut, the general consensus of the people I talked to was that the shooter was “crazy”.  And if you read the book “Newtown” by Matthew Lysiak, you certainly see he had issues.  But as Matthew shows, things were not so simple.
For example, most people don’t know that the killer, Adam Lanza, studied the killer Anders Breivik, who himself shot 69 people, mostly teenagers, at a “Worker’s Youth League” camp in Norway. Both Anders and Adam used some of the same video games to develop their shooting techniques.
People also don’t know that Adam first drove his car to the local high-school, and then left, probably due to the fact that he saw police-cars there, and then went to the elementary school.  I don’t think Adam was afraid of being shot (after all, after killing as many kids as he could, he shot himself).  I think he was afraid of being shot BEFORE he succeeded in his mission.
And what was his mission?
In the case of Anders Breivik, the mission was to get publicity for his manifesto, and he could do that by killing a portion of the next generation of leftists who would rule Norway.  He saw Islam and Cultural Marxism as “the enemy”, and wanted to deport Europe’s Muslims back to their original countries.
Adam Lanza did not have a manifesto.  He was not political.  He may have been unhappy though – as an autistic with a sensory perception disorder, he chose to seclude himself in a room where the windows were all covered with duct-taped garbage bags (he did not like light), and he had almost no more contact with other human beings, except his mother, who he eventually rebuffed as well.  He played violent video games, posted to online gun boards on such issues as how to convert a gun to full automatic, and lived a strange self-imposed existence. Perhaps he felt he had been badly treated.  If so, he was wrong.  His schools, and his very protective mother, had done all they could for him.

As a child, Adam couldn’t always recognize pain or hot and cold temperatures like most children, but he could easily be overwhelmed by the fabrics of his own cloths as they brushed against his skin.  He sought seclusion, and preferred the dark.  Ironically, he adopted a vegan lifestyle by age thirteen because he did not want to be the cause of animals suffering.
One classmate remembered him as “always angry”, but others just saw him as odd and aloof.
He did get great grades.
Also ironically, the time he spent at Sandy Hook Elementary School (the school that would later be the scene of his massacre) were the best of his life (according to his family).
In middle school, unlike elementary school, he had to move from classroom to classroom, and classmates could see the terror on his face as he tried to navigate a hallway.  He would cling to the wall as he moved.
Then a teacher discovered pictures Adam had drawn of people in various states of death.  At home, Adam’s mother, Nancy, found more pictures.
This should have been a warning.
Nancy did find a way to bond with her son – she would take him to a shooting range after his sophomore year of high school.  She herself was a gun enthusiast, and had several guns at home.
Adam also became a fixture in the online gaming community.  Online, he appeared quite normal, since he did not have to encounter people face-to-face.
He developed a vast knowledge of firearms.
Then he started spending hours poring over entries about mass killers on Wikipedia, obsessively correcting small details about the killer’s lives.

Nancy, who was now divorced, realized she had to get a life, and she started going on trips, sometimes for weeks at a time, leaving Adam to his video games and computer in his darkened room.
Adam had hated human touch, except for his mother’s.  But now, if she reached for him, he would recoil..
She was getting worried, and took a peek in his bedroom.  After a few minutes of searching, she found gruesome sketches of death and mutilation including a grassy field lined with the corpses of young children.  There was a picture of Adam, with his hands reaching up in triumph, but blood gushing out of a hole in his forehead.  The picture that disturbed Nancy the most was of a naked woman with her hands bound behind her back and a face contorted into a smile.  The woman was covered with plastic wrap.
At this point, we could wonder, why didn’t Nancy see her son as a threat to society and run to the police?
I didn’t see this in the book, but there was a family acquaintance who said that Nancy had petitioned a court for conservatorship of Adam, and even commitment to a psychiatric facility, and this made him very angry.
But remember, he was studying murderers before this, so this probably didn’t precipitate the action he took.
The fateful day came.  Adam walked up to his sleeping mother, pressed a gun to her head, and shot the gun several times.  Then he took the car.  Camera footage showed him in the parking lot of the high school but then he left the high school, went to the elementary school, shot the glass, stepped through it, and commenced his slaughter.

The police came.
Officer Penna saw children and their two teachers in one room, all wrapped together, clutching each other during their final moments.  Each had more than one gunshot wound.  The scene was too horrific to be from this earth, he thought.
Another officer, who recognized one of the children in a murder classroom, bent over, trying hard not to be sick and contaminate the crime scene.
“I can’t, My God,” he said..”Oh my God. Oh my God. Children.”
When the police reached Adam’s home, they found that he had destroyed the hard drives of his computers.  Darkeners covered the windows.  They found a massive spreadsheet, seven feet long and four feet wide, which listed the five hundred worst mass murderers in history.  Anders Breivik seems to have been the biggest influence on Adam of all of them.

Breivik too had been obsessed with other mass killers.

Adam’s operation at Sandy Hook had been years in the making.

Since this blog is on evil, I would be remiss to omit that after the massacre, pranksters phoned in death threats to churches full of mourners, and to police stations in Newtown.

Mathew Lysiak, who chronicled all this, then speculates on what could have been done.
He says that one father of a victim, Mark Barden, believes that Nancy Lanza bears some of the responsibility for the loss of his son Daniel.  This is because she should not have fed her son’s growing obsession with firearms by purchasing high-powered weaponry and taking Adam to gun ranges.  What is more, if she had followed the Connecticut law, which says that adults must keep firearms stored safely from anyone under twenty-one, the massacre would have been postponed.

Another reaction to what Adam Lanza did came from Liza Long, who is a mother of a son who at thirteen threatened to kill her with a knife.  Her son Michael himself says: “It’s kind of like a werewolf…you can’t control yourself when you’re like that, and no one else can.”  Liza wrote a piece that she titled “I am Adam Lanza’s Mother” which was widely read.  Still, she says, “I have it easy compared to some other parents I know whose kids are suffering from mental illness.  My son isn’t burning things or killing animals.”  She also says that “I may have written ‘I am Adam Lanza’s Mother,’ but I’m determined that I’m not going to be Nancy Lanza.”

I (the blogger), feel that perhaps the lesson of Adam Lanza is not that people didn’t try to help him, or that his mother didn’t try to be there for him.  In fact, he was on some medications.  I don’t think that he had paranoid beliefs – that is – for instance a belief that those children in the elementary school were secretly part of a conspiracy from outer space to kill him, and that he had to defend himself.  Perhaps he did feel the world was against him – but I find it hard to believe that he thought the children were.

I think psychiatric medications are overrated, in cases like his.  If you don’t know to begin with what causes a person to live in a room with darkened windows, away from other human beings as much as practically possible, and playing gruesome video games, then how you are going to chose a pill from the various pills out there (and we don’t know how they work either).

Marianne Kristansson, a professor of forensic psychiatry in Sweden, believes that Adam could not express his frustrations, due to his autism, but he had frustrations, and he wanted to communicate, in a very global level, that he had been badly treated and that he wanted revenge.  She says people like Adam cannot think about how other people might feel.

Emilie Parker - a victim of Adam (on the right)

Emilie Parker – a victim of Adam (on the right)

The police, who examined Adam’s journals, feel that he knew exactly what he was doing, and that killing the kids was fun for him.  “Shooting up the kids wasn’t a cry for help.  He didn’t break from reality.”
A criminal profiler for the FBI, Mary Ellen O’Toole says, “[Adam] knew it was wrong, and the thought of the violence thrilled him.”  She talks of killers like Adam: “It gives them a sense of omniscience and God-like power they can take life away.  He can make the world stop…He chose something as terrible and awful as possible to ensure he would get maximum publicity.”
So what do you do about these types of mass killings, which are getting more prevalent?
Lysiak asked Dr. Jeremy Richman, who lost his daughter Avielle at Sandy Hook, and he says “…with mental health we never get anywhere.  We need to understand the pathologies, the things in their brains that go wrong.  We need to understand it and prevent it.”

Avielle Richman

Avielle Richman

In memory of their daughter Avielle, the Richman family founded the Avielle Foundation to develop the concept of a “brain health checkup,” and identify behavioral and biochemical diagnostics for detection of people at risk of violent behaviors.  (Richman is a researcher at the pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim.)

To me, it seems that there are various types of evil, criminal evil, ideological evil, evil from misunderstandings, evil from our own flaws, but there is also pathological evil, and maybe this can be addressed.  Some major breakthroughs in understanding would be needed, but I think his approach, in the long run, would address the fundamentals better than gun control, or current medications that in the case of Adam, did not do any good whatsoever.

Newtown – by Mathew Lysiak – the book is on Amazon, but also see:
You can see the work of the Avielle Foundation at:

I say that I don’t think gun control would do much good. There is a website run by Professor John Lott, that makes that argument and is worth seeing, before we rush to pass legislation that disarms the general public. There was a massacre just yesterday, by a young man (Elliot Rodgers) who wanted revenge against all women, and who said he would be like ‘God’. In this case, one victim’s father, Richard Martinez, said: “Why did Chris die? Chris died because of craven irresponsible politicians and the NRA.  They talk about gun rights. What about Chris’s right to live? When will this insanity stop? When will enough people say ‘Stop this madness, we don’t have to live like this’? Too many have died. We should say to ourselves, not one more.”
I certainly understand Richard’s point of view. However, there is a study: Multiple Victim Public Shootings - by John Lott and William Landes which had an unusual finding – in States which allow citizens to carry concealed guns, there are less of these mass shootings. They mention that several mass shootings were interrupted by a citizen with a gun, and they compare states before and after they allowed ‘concealed carry’ and so forth. But the upshot in the Adam Lanza case is that if some employee of the school had had a gun, he might have reduced the number of deaths, and also the evidence that Prof Lott and Landes present seems to show that people who have plans to go down in flames like Adam, even though many are mentally ill, are actually discouraged by the idea that their plans could be upset by citizens with guns. (John Lott has a blog at, and at he has the following quote: by Eliott Rodgers “I figured this would be the perfect day to attack Isla Vista, but after watching Youtube videos of previous Deltopia parties, I saw that there were way too many cops walking around on such an event. It would be impossible to kill enough of my enemies before being dispatched by those damnable cops.”

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Anthrax balloons over California – and dying American soldiers subjected to sadistic experiments – it all happened

There is no end to the debate of whether the US should have dropped the Atomic Bomb on Japan – but one reason President Truman was so anxious to do it was because the Japanese had already sent a hundred balloons, each stuffed with anthrax, over the Pacific and into California and Oregon.   The attack failed, because at the high altitude of the balloons, the anthrax froze, but Truman knew that countries in the throes of defeat do desperate things and worse might come.

The American public was not told about the Japanese Biological Warfare program, because the few people in the US government who knew about it were afraid it would cause panic.
The day that Japan surrendered though, the front page of the New York Times, had this headline: “Enemy Tortured Dying Americans with Sadist Medical ‘Experiments’.”

It wasn’t just American prisoners who died that way, it was also (probably mainly) Chinese prisoners.  The man who founded and led this program was Shiro Ishii, and its not surprising that the first question MacArthur (the victorious American general) asked when he landed at Atsugi was: “Where’s Ishii?”

Ishii’s largest operation was Unit 731, located in Pingfan China.  It was an enormous complex consisting of seventy buildings.  Inside the high walls were laboratories for breeding millions of insects and vats capable of breeding eight tons of germs a month.  After it was built, to make sure no one learned about it, all the construction workers were lined up and shot.

Prisoners were dissected alive – that way they wouldn’t have putrefaction bacteria distorting results.  Anesthesia was not used, to get better test results on germ impact and on how long it took the patient to die.

There were other aspects to Ishii’s program.

In 1942, a group of Japanese tried to poison the Los Angeles water supply (using typhoid and other germs).

The Japanese tried balloons again, this time carrying incendiary devices, and of the 9,300 they sent, 200 landed in Alaska, Hawaii, Vancouver, the Aleutian islands – and in the heartland – in Michigan.  One of the balloons knocked out the power at the Hanford nuclear site in Washington state.

By the end of the war, the Japanese had a submarine (the I-400) that was a huge monster that could launch planes and contained enough fuel to take it to both coasts of the US and back to Japan.  One plan was to have it deliver germ bombs, but fortunately for the US, the idea was stopped by the chief of the Japanese general staff, Yoshijiro Umezu.  He said “Germ warfare against the United States would escalate to war against all humanity…Japan will earn the derision of the world.”

But germ warfare was used against other peoples that the Japanese attacked.

When the war was obviously lost, Ishi ordered all the buildings of Unit 731 blown up and razed to the ground.  By the time the Russians got there, even though the prisoners’ bodies had been burned and then pulverized, skeletons from earlier days remained buried deep under the debris.  Also, thousands of plague-infested horses, moneys, dogs, rats, and even camels had been released into the countryside – the Japanese had been in too much of a hurry to dispose of them first.



What conclusions, if any, can we draw from the story of Ishii?

First of all, Americans in enemy hands are not necessarily treated according to the Geneva convention.  Truly horrible fates awaited them.

Secondly, sociopaths rise in certain kinds of regimes – to positions where they can inflict a great deal of evil.

Thirdly – Ishii was not punished – he got a plea bargain, turning over his records in exchange for getting away scot free. This was because the Americans assumed his knowledge was valuable and they wanted to know how to defend against BW from future enemies, such as the Soviets.  Contrast that with the American treatment of General Umezu, who as I mentioned earlier vetoed a germ attack against the east and west coasts of the United States.  Umezu was sentenced to life in prison. Life isn’t fair. Ishii had become so potentially dangerous, by exploring the forbidden knowledge of BW, that even when caught, justice could not be served.

(Ironically, Ishii’s research turned out to be sloppy and mostly useless.  American scientists said that his blood and tissue samples had been tested many hours after the experiments, thus making them worthless, and no new science revelations had emerged. He was not only a sadistic monster, he was incompetent).

Fourthly, we should pay attention to recommendations of “asymmetric warfare” techniques by current day Chinese militarists.  (An example of asymmetric warfare is when a cheap missile takes down an expensive fighter jet or aircraft carrier, or  a laser takes out an expensive satellite)

Finally, we are vulnerable to our enemies coming up with ideas that we haven’t prepared for.  To take one type of “asymmetric warfare” that was used on us recently, a group of individuals with sniper rifles disabled 17 giant transformers in Silicon Valley in April 2013 — an attack labeled as “the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred.”
“One former federal regulator called it a terrorist act that, if it were widely replicated across the country, could take down the U.S. electric grid and black out much of the country.”
And if the country doesn’t have electricity we would be in a disaster that just compounds itself.  For instance, the water pumps will not work so we will get very, very thirsty.  And our food will spoil for lack of refrigeration so we will get very, very hungry.  And if our nuclear plants don’t have the electricity to cool their fuel rods, we might see radioactive waste dispersal into the air, to add to the fun.
In some ways we are more vulnerable than we were in World War II.  In the depression era, many Americans had relatives who had farms – and at worst, they could go back to the farm.

One last thing to notice: the shooting of the construction workers who built Unit 731.  Unit 731 had to be a secret.  Even after the war was lost, it had to be a secret.  It is no longer a secret – but have we learned from it?  I would bet most people never heard of it.

Supreme Commander – MacArthur’s Triumph in Japan – by Seymour Morris Jr. (2014) – on General Douglas MacArthur.  (MacArthur defeated Japan, and then led the occupation).
“Enemy tortured Dying Americans with Sadist Medical Experiments” – New York Times, Sept 2, 1945. This article was based on what happened at Shinagawa, not Pingfan, and relied on two American doctors who were held prisoner – one of whom, Dr. Keschner, had to prepare concoctions that the Japanese then injected into other Americans. The other, a Dr. Gottlieb, believed that sadism played a part in these experiments.  That may seem obvious, but I throw it in anyway. You can get the article on the New York Times archive, which is on the internet.

General MacArthur

General MacArthur


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