Saving the World from the "Truth"
Warren Adler E-Sheet 60
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admission by Nobel Prize Laureate
Gunter Grass that he was a member of the
Waffen SS in the last days of Hitler, offers a
classic example of how young people can be
brainwashed and, through this process, be
motivated to believe in horrendous ideologies
and perform destructive and suicidal acts. He
says he was drafted, a dubious claim since it
was probably his choice to serve specifically
in this group.
For the record, the
Waffen SS was the most murderous, venal
and evil organization of the Nazi war machine,
its members willing to die for the idea that
the Germans were the master race, superior
beings and all other humans were inferior and
degenerate, especially the Jews who were
systematically destroyed in gas ovens by
government fiat with barely a bleat of protest
from the so-called civilized world.
The case of Grass, who wrote
The Tin Drum, stimulated some
speculation on my part of what might have
happened to this much-celebrated paragon of
morality, lauded for the humanistic ideals
championed in his work, if Hitler had won.
Would he have led the charge to dismantle the
ideology of the Waffen SS or amplify and
glorify it in his work, cheerleading the
elimination of what the organization believed
was inferior peoples?
If you offer a lie repetitively people
would soon believe it as the truth.
The comparison with the Waffen SS and its
evil intent with today’s
Islamic Fascists is not only appropriate
but necessary if we are to understand what we
are faced with on the world stage and,
perhaps, give us a clue as to how we can react
to it. In both ideologies, their adherents
were and are willing to die in suicidal
missions to promote their cause.
Islamic Fascists consider their religion
paramount or so they allege and all those who
oppose its views are dubbed infidels and
therefore not worthy to live on this planet.
They are especially against Jews who they
often refer to as the progeny of pigs and
monkeys and apparently adhere to the twisted
logic of Hitler’s head of propaganda
Joseph Goebbels who taught the philosophy
of the big lie, meaning that if you offered a
lie repetitively people would soon believe it
as the truth.
President of Iran insists that the
Holocaust never occurred, a view he amplifies
repetitively all over the world. Such a belief
is now widespread in the Moslem world. Indeed,
recent surveys among Moslems indicate that by
a large percentage they truly believe that the
World Trade Center buildings were brought down
by the collusion of Israel and America.
One cannot fathom these phenomena without
understanding the nature of cults and how
people are brainwashed to become adherents.
This view is, perhaps, skewered, by my
personal experience of cults and my subsequent
studies in this realm. A close relative was
once “captured” by a cult and had to be
inveigled out of it and deprogrammed. People
who have had such experiences will understand
this dilemma, but those who have not will
probably remain confused and disbelieving.
Indeed, my novel
was an attempt to explain through
character and story the process of
brainwashing and the difficulty to both
diagnose and reverse the condition. Critics
excoriated it. Few understood the cult
phenomenon and the book inspired fear and
disbelief...except for those who had
experienced its fury through direct knowledge
of a brainwashed friend or relative.
Our enemy today, like the Waffen SS, is
an extremist death cult who have co-opted and
arguably revised the teachings of Islam and
created a large brainwashed population of
mostly young people who will do anything,
however noxious and inhuman, to gain the goals
of their cult leaders. And what is that goal?
Never mind their reasons, never mind
their logic. These are irrelevant. Their
minions have been brainwashed to be the human
weapons of their cause. They have been taught
to prefer what they believe are the glories
and rewards of the afterlife rather than the
struggles and uncertainties of life. Their
thought processes have been altered by
repetition. They have been programmed from the
moment they could understand language and they
are conditioned to act on the command of their
leaders. They have no will of their own and
the rules and devotional religious rituals
make reinforcement ubiquitous.
In the absence of complete surrender there
is no compromise with the brainwashed.
They have “snapped” in the jargon of
Jim Siegelman and Flo Conway, who wrote the
quintessential book on brainwashing,
Snapping. Whether you believe it or
not, they have little control over their
thoughts and deeds. They are human robots,
programmed to do the bidding of their mentors
who are attempting to annihilate us.
To gain the control devoutly sought
by their leaders, they have been brainwashed
to believe that unless we convert and accept
their domination they must destroy us, the
western world and all its values and
institutions. We in the west are the
opposition to their schemes of domination.
Sound like science fiction? Did you
believe in the premise of
The Manchurian Candidate?
Entertainment piffle? Think again. In The
Manchurian Candidate the assassination
weapon was a rifle. What is it now?
What we are confronting today is a cult
that has the financing, the will, the army and
the ability to acquire weapons that can, quite
literally, destroy our cities, our
institutions and our people. Worse, they will
not hesitate to use these weapons. From our
ashes, they predict, as Hitler did in
Mein Kampf, that they will build their
vision of a new world order, which they will
bend to their will.
One can disagree vehemently with the
methods employed by the current American
administration to meet this threat, one can
rail against the war in Iraq, one can carp and
criticize and invoke every argument about our
civil rights being threatened, our privacy
compromised, and cite
casualties incurred in a war to create a
democracy out of an unruly mob. To some of us
such measures seem Draconian, unnecessary,
fulfilling some evil agenda.
One can disparage our leaders for this or
that perceived catastrophe as if any other set
of leaders can provide slide rule efficiency
to fight the kind of war that has never been
fought before in the history of the world.
Our present leadership, whatever their
blunders along the learning curve of how
to fight this war, is, in my opinion, the
canary in the mineshaft. Whoever assumes the
leadership mantle of our country, of whatever
party, hawking whatever agenda, will be
afflicted with the same dilemma and be faced
with the same set of circumstances. Offering a
tweak here and there, they will undoubtedly
follow a similar blueprint of action and they
For our present leaders and those who
come after them, the real shock is and will be
the discovery that however their belief in the
value of diplomacy, in the case of the
brainwashed and their cohorts, there can be no
I am old enough to remember the attempt at
diplomacy on the eve of
Pearl Harbor. Two Japanese diplomats had
just arrived in the United States allegedly to
solve all outstanding issues between the
American government and the Japanese. They
were actually in America negotiating
diplomatically at the very moment that the
Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.
Obviously the Japanese government at the
time had used diplomacy as a ruse to lull the
Americans into the expectation of a solution
while planning their attack. It is certainly
a reminder to us that if the intent of an
obsessed and determined enemy is to perpetrate
evil, then diplomacy becomes more of a shield
than an opportunity.
In the absence of complete surrender there
is no compromise with the brainwashed. They
are programmed to achieve a single goal and it
will be impossible to deprogram such vast
hordes. They are all potential suicide
bombers. Run chills down your spine? It
At this moment in time, some of us take
refuge in blaming the messenger. They invoke
high moral purpose with a drumbeat of dire
warnings about our freedoms and values being
squelched by misguided officials. Such
rhetoric is well meaning and partially true.
Patrick Henry stirred the hearts of our
founding fathers with his battle cry of “Give
me liberty or give me death.” Unfortunately it
took a lot of deaths to give us the liberty we
enjoy today and it might take a lot more to
preserve that liberty.
Liberty gives us the luxury of allowing
good people to rage against each other and
fill the air with protests. But any
responsible leadership will eventually draw
the same conclusions and probably, after a
brief fling with alternatives, act no
differently than our present leaders.
Hopefully the lessons learned will, at the
very least, improve the competence of their
The best case scenario lies in the belly
of the beast, the mostly silent majority in
Moslem lands who must throw off the shackles
of their corrupt leaders and establish a rule
of law and sanity that might over the long
haul prevent the programming of robotic
killers and help build countries that
celebrate life, not death. Present
possibilities of that happening do not fill
one with optimism.
It is quite doubtful that Gunter
Grass would have taken the high road of his
moral expedition if Hitler had won. If so, he
would have been summarily squelched. Or he
might have used his talents to become the
darling of the fascist regimes of a Nazi
But when one remembers the price paid in
blood and treasure to give Gunter Grass his
chance to climb the ladder of fame and
fortune, imagine the price that might be paid
in the future to give some young ambitious
literary aspirant his chance. It cost more
than 80 million lives and trillions of dollars
in damage to destroy the Nazis and that was
before the atomic bomb. Of course, the price
would have been a pittance if we had the
wisdom and courage to act sooner.
What will the cost be to defeat Islamic
The search for an answer is too terrible
to contemplate. Like Grass’s character just
hit the tin drum and scream.
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