Pretending We Don’t Know No Longer Works

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been baffled by human nature. Thus, even as a child I wondered what makes us do the things we do, why our behaviors often contradict what comes out of our mouths and why we predictably react the same way over and over again. One very peculiar behavioral theme that appears universally across cultures is that although the masses always outnumber those in power, they rarely use that fact to their advantage. Think about it. Those in power need us more than we need them. Whether in religious institutions, political organizations or corporations, nothing will get accomplished without our cooperation. Our cooperation can almost always be counted upon. In one way or another, we usually support their churches, do their work and fight their wars. Atheists may have exposed the myths and lies behind all religions, but that doesn’t mean they are savvy or openminded when it comes to all the other cultural expectations based on fairy tales that cause us to conform without question, often to the death and destruction of our own children.

The recent exposure of a monumental coverup of the rape of thousands of children by hundreds of priests is a prime example where the masses could have done something long ago to protect their own children but didn’t. 

This recent event can no longer be considered a revelation. We’ve known about the high rate of sexual abuse of children in the catholic church for ages. Yet, they have continued to operate as though they are a respectable institution that should indeed be held in high esteem. Why? Because the masses want to attend their churches, pray to their statues, dip their fingers in their tap water and admire their ridiculous rituals. 

From personal experience, I can attest to the fact that the Catholic Church isn’t the only religious organization that harbors sexual offenders. 

In America, the land of the free and the home of about as many weird ass religions as you can think of, sexual abuse of children is common. Coverups are the norm. And, the truth is hidden from the public. After all, nobody is going to join a church if they divulged all the insider secrets first. 

“We are so happy to have you become part of God’s family, but first we must inform you that our minister slept with his own daughter over the course of about eleven years.” 

If you winced, I don’t blame you, but truth be told, this is not an uncommon occurrence. In the cult I grew up in that consisted of about a hundred men, women and children, there were three men who did just that. Only one ended up in prison no thanks to the brethren but because his wife reported him to the authorities after she left the church. 

Why do people allow these things to keep happening, for  years no less? 

Largely because the masses tend to sit on their hands rather than do something. Can you imagine the difference it might have made to those three children if the rest of the congregation had stood up to protect them, packed their bags and left the church — for good. But the masses don’t usually do that. 

They instead close their eyes to the things that should horrify them. 

And, those that do take a stand, do so at their own risk. Group behavior is such that often those who expose atrocities are often scapegoated. Their neighbors turn on them. Their families are ashamed of them. Sometimes, they’re even martyred. 

So, what are we left with in the end. 

We’re left with boys who will continue to die by the millions in the forever wars of greed and profit, children who will continue to be terrorized by religions that encourage the notion that males should have dominion over children and women, churches that coerce followers and governments that serve oligarchs. 

And the masses? 

Well, the masses will walk down the streets of most countries preferring to believe myths and fairy tales to the truth, even if it kills them. 

 I don’t hold out much hope for humankind at this point. 

After all, if the death and destruction of our own children isn’t enough to get the masses off their asses, then what will? But, let’s stop pretending that we don’t know what’s going on, shall we? Let’s just admit right up front that we want to believe the nonsense that gods will protect us and all the other ridiculous propaganda that is thrown at us on a daily basis. Let’s admit that truth frightens us too much as we forget our history lessons, if we ever learned them in the first place. Then, we can go on pretending that everything’s just like the fairy tales and live happily ever after. 

Teresa Roberts is a myth buster. Her recently published book - Have We Been Screwed? Trading Freedom for Fairy Tales - can be purchased on Amazon