The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

EVIL

This post is meant only for a mature audience as the content is extremely disturbing.

IN 1729, Jonathan Swift anonymously published his satiric piece, “A Modest Proposal.”  Intended to discredit the generally prevailing disdainful attitude among the upper class in England toward the plight of the children of the Irish poor, Swift suggested that the way to relieve the population burden in Ireland would be to raise poor Irish children for several years and then sell them to the English upper classes for food.  This was satire.

The FBI on Saturday unveiled the results of an intensive two year investigation into a ring of international pedophiles who captured more than 400,000 images of young children and infants that the participants in the “club” had taken and shared among themselves.  Seventy-two men have been indicted and fifty-two have been arrested, some of them already having been tried and sentenced.  The sentences ranged between 12 years and 315 for the most egregious of these men.  This is reality.

Some of the children were as young as two months old, but many of the victims of this exploitation were only two to four years old.  The number of images would have been sufficient to produce 16,000 CD’s.

As disturbing as the number of children who were victimized is the fact that there were, in addition to sharing these pictures, many of which clearly show the children involved being inflicted intentionally with pain, the conversations that these men held among themselves.  There were conversations which suggested that some of them thought that cannibalism of these children would provide them with an even greater “high”.

One photo apparently showed a two year old boy sitting in a roasting pan and the email commentary said, “Now doesn’t that look delicious.  A nice slice of buttock or thigh would just hit the spot.”  There is no evidence that this went beyond the stage of talk into actuality – but it really doesn’t matter.  There is only one word that comes to mind when describing this sort of behavior and depravity.  That word is EVIL.

The eminent psychiatrist and University professor, Thomas Szasz has this to say about “mental illness” which some might argue in defense of the child pornography perpetrators.

“No further evidence is needed to show that ‘mental illness’ is not the name of a biological condition whose nature awaits to be elucidated, but is the name of a concept whose purpose is to obscure the obvious.”

Dr. Szasz also has this to say about our views on incarceration.

“The stated objective of our prison system is to re-habilitate those who are incarcerated.  But the truth is that most of those prisoners have never been habilitated to society in the first place.”

I can think of no two statements which ring truer than these when it comes to the members of this child porn ring.  And that leads me to an obvious question.  Are the sentences meted out to those who have been convicted so far just and fair?

It costs us approximately $25,000 a year to maintain one prisoner in our prison system.  Incidentally, that is three times the amount that a family with eight children would receive in terms of assistance in the State of Nevada.  Apparently, we are more generous in providing assistance to those who have broken the law than we are to those who have merely had the misfortune of being born into poverty.

What about the thousands of victims of this abuse.  Where is their recompense in all this?  If what one of the convicted men from Massachusetts, a married man with three children, said with respect to his own experience that as a boy he had been abused and this was the reason for his becoming an abuser, has this group not potentially loosed thousands of future child abusers on the world?

I have always struggled with society’s right to impose the death penalty on others, no matter how repugnant their behavior is.  I still struggle with that today.  Although I don’t advocate it, I do believe the individual has the right to take his or her own life if they see no alternate solution to their problems.

So my suggestion for an appropriate punishment for these men is this.  Keep them in solitary confinement in a darkened atmosphere deprived of all the sensory experiences which obviously feed them.  With each meal, provide a lethal tablet of some quick acting poison which they might either swallow or leave on their tray.  Let them decide whether they choose to live out their term under these conditions or take the quick way out.

Should they choose to exit this world, take the balance of the money that society has saved on the remainder of their incarceration and establish a fund for the children whom they abused.  I have no doubt that some of those children are going to need all the help they can get.

I would like to believe that there is good in everyone.  A quick review of the world’s reality suggests that is an optimistic but not realistic idea.  I can find no excuse to justify the perfidy that these men have exhibited.  After reading this story I  believe there are some people who have never been “habilitated” into society.  They are just EVIL.

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Comments on: "EVIL" (4)

  1. I know the prevailing thought among do gooders is that people can change. They are both right and wrong. Some people can change and some are so damaged they will continue to prove a threat to life and decency no matter how they are reengineered through our so called corrective systems. I’m 100% with you in your conclusions.

  2. This piece is beyond disturbing in its truth.

    “It costs us approximately $25,000 a year to maintain one prisoner in our prison system.”

    How much of this goes into the pockets of those invested in our for-profit prison system? (Hello, Arizona!) Are these for-profit prison recipients of funds invested in any kind of prisoner rehabilitation unless there is profit in that, too? I think not.

    “If what one of the convicted men from Massachusetts, a married man with three children, said with respect to his own experience that as a boy he had been abused and this was the reason for his becoming an abuser, has this group not potentially loosed thousands of future child abusers on the world?”

    This is a VITAL point: there is no legal manual for child-rearing. Neither are there consequences for family abuse successfully kept off the legal radar. The kids of these situations, which are far more numerous than we like to believe, are more likely than not the future predators of our innocents – being that abuse repeats itself generationally like a ferris wheel.

    Thank you for this post. It’s an issue I’ve often pondered, having volunteered with such child victims. And this I can tell you: there is no such ‘coverage’ for these kids as there is for their perpetrators.

  3. I don’t like writing pieces like this. I wish there were no need for it. But there is. And, as with virtually all those who are victimized in society by others, there is little that we afford in the way of assistance. That, perhaps, more than anything else, speaks to our lack of compassion as a people.

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