The Nazi Conscience: Introduction

We do ourselves a disservice in the way we talk about atrocities. When I was in school, genocide and totalitarianism were taught as things that happened “long ago” or “far away” (or both). Dictators, we piously pretended, could never rise to power here in America: our robust systems of checks and balances, plus red-blooded freedom-loving citizens, would never allow it. Genocide was presented as something done by very different people than us. Of course Americans would never ever do that! (Never mind what happened to indigenous Americans, that was all war and disease and totally different because reasons.)

Atrocities committed by white people were considered aberrations. Something extraordinary must have caused them to happen. My teachers were very uncomfortable trying to explain the Holocaust. They had to turn the Germans into people strangely hypnotized by an exceptionally evil man. The whole thing was a regrettable freak occurrence. Ordinary Germans weren’t really involved – it was those monsters in the SS. They didn’t actually know the extent of what was happening until after the war, when the camps were liberated. Ordinary people could never do such things, would never condone such things.

Only, they could. And did.

We are not well served by the way history is taught in America. The national myths pounded into our brains are adept at covering up our bloody hands. We did bad things in the past, but it was a different time. We did bad things in the past, but they weren’t that bad. We did bad things in the past, but we fixed them and everything’s fine now. We did bad things in the past, but that was just a few bad apples. We did bad things in the past, but those other people did things that were so much worse, and so we are good and noble. Let us talk about how good and noble and just we are, and how because we are good and noble and just, we fixed the bad things, and liberated the oppressed, and are the best in the world. By no means let us talk about the bad things we are still doing. We are good people, and good people don’t commit atrocities.

Only, they do. We are. And these myths we’ve told ourselves prevent us from seeing that.

We believe that nothing like the rise of Hitler and the horrors of the Holocaust could happen here in America. And because we believe that, we refuse to see the parallels between us and the Germans in the early 20th century. Because we refuse to tell ourselves the truth, we have left systems in place that arose from oppression, and rely on oppression, and those systems have now been utilized by a fascist con man and his white supremacist friends and followers to seize power. Because we refused to be honest with ourselves, admit we are just as fallible and racist and prone to do terrible things as those infamous others, we let the conditions here breed the kinds of beliefs necessary to make people think a bigoted blowhard is just the man this country needs to make it great again.

And now we’re in a situation where survivors and historians of Nazi Germany are experiencing a horrible deja vu.

We like to believe, perhaps need to believe, that only monsters can commit atrocities, and because we don’t see a monster when we look in the mirror, we’re fine.

The Germans who allowed – often helped – the Nazis seize power didn’t see monsters in the mirror, either. Continue reading “The Nazi Conscience: Introduction”

The Nazi Conscience: Introduction
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(Repost) “My Baby and I Were Dying” – Escape Chapter 20: “Warren’s Rise to Power”

In our last installment, we saw Merril being a horrible, abusive ass. But we’ve not yet seen the depths to which he’ll descend. This chapter will make you rage so hard.

Content Note: Life-threatening pregnancy complications, medical neglect, spousal abuse, child abuse and neglect, spiritual abuse.

Carolyn is pregnant with her fifth child. She experiences what seems to be menstrual bleeding, which Shirley, the nurse practitioner at the clinic, says isn’t that abnormal. The baby’s heartbeat is fine, so they don’t start truly worrying until Carolyn wakes up in a pool of blood two nights later. Most people would have gone straight to the hospital, but this is the FLDS, where pregnant women are taught to suck it up and deal with whatever God hands out. Carolyn takes a shower, the bleeding stops, and she basically shrugs it off, figuring she’s miscarried. She doesn’t even take the following day off work. The only reason she goes back to the clinic a week later is because she’s still experiencing her horrible morning sickness. Continue reading “(Repost) “My Baby and I Were Dying” – Escape Chapter 20: “Warren’s Rise to Power””

(Repost) “My Baby and I Were Dying” – Escape Chapter 20: “Warren’s Rise to Power”

Books for the Resistance – Taking Suggestions!

Absent a miracle, Cheeto Hitler and Il Douche will be taking over the country in January. We’re going to have to work our utter asses off to hang on to any of the advances we’ve made. And considering how Republicans in general feel about democracy these days, coupled with a con man and a Christian Dominionist, we’re going to have to fight to the finish if anything resembling our country is to survive.

In order to be effective, we need to know what we’re dealing with, and how to counter it. So please suggest any and all books you’d recommend for people needing to learn about fighting the good fight. Subjects can include, but are not limited to, the following subjects:

  • Civil Rights and Resistance movements
  • Organizing
  • Fascist, totalitarian, and other despotic forms of government
  • Famous dictators such as Hitler, Mussolini, and others whose behavior mirrors Chitler and Il Douche.

I’ll be gathering your recommendations into a  special edition of the Super Gargantuan Book Guide for 2016. Gracias! Continue reading “Books for the Resistance – Taking Suggestions!”

Books for the Resistance – Taking Suggestions!

Oops, I’m Doing It Again!

Ah, yes, November. Month of harvest, fall, Thanksgiving, and that special hell known as NaNoWriMo.

And yeah, I know, I swore I never would, but I’m doing it again.

Look, it’s no big. I’m going to use it to finish Really Terrible Bible Stories vol. 4: Numbers. And I know some folks will complain because it’s supposed to be a novel and it’s supposed to be fiction, but hey – the Bible is fiction. And I’m of the opinion that NaNo is no use unless you can use it to further your writing goals. In my case, my goal is to get this damned book done, because I’d like to spend less than 66 years completing the Really Terrible Bible Stories series.

So I’ve done up the cover: Continue reading “Oops, I’m Doing It Again!”

Oops, I’m Doing It Again!

(Repost) “I Knew I Was Walking a Tightrope” – Escape Chapter 19: Resound of Music

Merril is rapidly gaining prestige in the FLDS community by delivering daughters for marriage to the prophet. Now that he’s traded three of them, he’s “one of the most exalted men in the community.” Let’s have a closer look at this exalted man, shall we?

Content Note: Emotional, verbal, and financial abuse.

Merril is an abusive shit, especially to his wives. Reading between the lines of what Carolyn says about him not being as predictable as her (also abusive) mother, we find he’s prone to blow up with very little or no warning. It’s taken Carolyn many years of monitoring his behavior closely to figure out when it’s time to get the hell away from him before he unloads. But she can’t just leave the room – she has to manufacture an excuse that won’t “make him suspicious.”  I assume from the context that means he’ll verbally assault her if he doesn’t find her reason for leaving his presence satisfactory. Continue reading “(Repost) “I Knew I Was Walking a Tightrope” – Escape Chapter 19: Resound of Music”

(Repost) “I Knew I Was Walking a Tightrope” – Escape Chapter 19: Resound of Music

Protected: (Tier 1) “Battered and Bruised” – Escape Chapter 28: Cathleen Comes Home

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Protected: (Tier 1) “Battered and Bruised” – Escape Chapter 28: Cathleen Comes Home

(Repost) “A Radical Departure” – Escape Chapter 19: Resound of Music

There are only a few situations in which having coffee with your friends is a revolutionary act. Being in the FLDS is one of them. And it’s something you may not even be able to contemplate until your sister is forced into marriage with another man.

Content note for forced marriage, spiritual abuse, and financial coercion.

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Carolyn’s sister Linda. She and her husband have fallen on hard times and, with no other options, moved back to Short Creek. The sisters’ father offers to help her financially, but only if she divorces her husband (who’s on the wrong side of the FLDS schism) and allows herself and her child to be assigned to another man. Pregnant and out of options, she agrees. Continue reading “(Repost) “A Radical Departure” – Escape Chapter 19: Resound of Music”

(Repost) “A Radical Departure” – Escape Chapter 19: Resound of Music

Protected: (Tier 1) “Operating Out of Their Orbit” – Escape Chapter 28: Cathleen Comes Home

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Protected: (Tier 1) “Operating Out of Their Orbit” – Escape Chapter 28: Cathleen Comes Home

(Repost) “Another Body Added to the Scrap Heap” – Escape Chapter 18: Tammy’s Failed Rebellion

Merril just keeps getting worse. We’re about to see how he punishes rebellion in a wife, and I have to warn you, although there’s no physical violence, his verbal and emotional abuse is utterly horrible. There’s also medical neglect of a newborn. If you don’t have an abundance of spoons right now, you may want to wait until you do. And get everything out of reach that you don’t want to break, because you may be throwing things and screaming before this is over.

Content note: emotional and verbal abuse, medical neglect, childbirth, birth complications, infant illness, adult sexual abuse and manipulation

After six years of trying, Tammy finally gets pregnant. She is rather subdued about it at first, but when the time comes to deliver, she wants it to be a huge event. She invites all of her current sister wives, and all of her ex-sister wives from her marriage to Uncle Roy. Not everyone can make it – Carolyn’s so sick with her fourth pregnancy that she misses the birth, but a dozen or more people show up.

Now, remember that the women in the FLDS don’t give birth in hospitals, but in the little community clinic with a midwife. And they’re not prepared for the big emergencies. Unfortunately, Tammy’s baby gets stuck in the birth canal. And the only way the clinic has to deal with such an emergency is to move Tammy into various positions to try to free him. Continue reading “(Repost) “Another Body Added to the Scrap Heap” – Escape Chapter 18: Tammy’s Failed Rebellion”

(Repost) “Another Body Added to the Scrap Heap” – Escape Chapter 18: Tammy’s Failed Rebellion