K. Nahigian: I can only repeat Kevinʼs comment below: Wow. The title of the original essay is “The Roots of the Monsters They Become,” and is worth reading in full, if you donʼt mind a glimpse into hell.
Wow. From: coldfury.com/reason/?p=206
“If you had any remaining doubts about the veracity of Millerʼs analysis, consider the following excerpt from Jerry Falwellʼs book, Strength for the Journey: An Autobiography:
There were times that Dadʼs pranks bordered on cruelty. One of his oil-company workers, a one-legged man he nicknamed “Crip” Smith, complained about everything. Dad and Cripʼs co-workers got tired of the old manʼs bellyaching and decided to take revenge. One morning Crip called in sick and Dad volunteered to send by lunch to his grateful but suspicious employee. Dad and his chums caught Cripʼs old black tomcat, killed it, skinned it, and cooked it in the kitchen of one of Dadʼs little restaurants. They called it squirrel meat and delivered it to Crip on a linen-covered tray. When Crip returned to work the next morning, Dad and his co-conspirators asked him how he liked his meal. They knew he would complain even about a free home-cooked lunch, and when Crip called it “the toughest squirrel meat” he had ever eaten, they were glad to tell him why.
Consider once again that first sentence: “There were times that Dadʼs pranks bordered on cruelty.” Bordered on cruelty. That is the strongest condemnation that Falwell can offer-Falwell, supposedly a “man of God,” devoted to spreading a gospel of love, compassion and kindness-with regard to an act of indescribably horrifying cruelty. Try to make real to yourself the psychology of a man who would kill a manʼs pet, cook it, and then serve it to him for lunch-and no doubt get a good laugh out of it. And he did all this because he was tired of the other manʼs complaints. To call it monstrous does not begin to capture the deeply evil nature of such a psychology. Furthermore, Falwell still feels compelled to refer to it as a “prank”-thus minimizing its authentic, almost ungraspable horror.
But in this passage from Falwellʼs autobiography, provided you appreciate the underlying psychological dynamics (which you can also see in virtually everyone you know, although hopefully not with regard to this extreme an example), you see the first denial, the denial that makes all the others possible and necessary-the denial of the monstrous cruelty and inhumanity of our parents (when that is true, as it is in this case), so that we will not have to question their goodness or the “kindness” of their intentions, or the fact that whatever they might have done to us as children, they were doing it “for our own good.” And all of this is done to avoid the further necessity of questioning authority, and to maintain the mechanism of obedience.
Later on, if you continue the denial and the lies, you will exhibit the psychology of a Mel Gibson, or a James Dobson-or a Jerry Falwell.
And last but hardly least, you will have helped to make possible the horrors of our world, and you will have murdered your own soul.”