Chapter 37: SFIC Convention Message
31 Oct to 1 Nov 1964
A brief preface by yours truly, Bob R., is in order here. Circumstances preclude my personal appearance, but your reader has graciously consented to deliver this lecture to you in my absence.
The speaker is the venerable Master Kalen-Li (note to speaker: Kay-len Lee), who was very happy to provide it for you upon my request. I am deeply indebted to him for taking so much of his precious time to honor us with these well-chosen words, and equally indebted to you for listening and learning. The words from our brothers on other planets are so often ignored by us that to find a group of people willing to pay them the attention they deserve is indeed difficult. The Master Kalen-Li has devoted his life to our world, and it is this type of support that makes our efforts seem destined to succeed, even when the odds are so heavily against us. I turn it over now to Kalen-Li.
"I greet you in peace, my Terran friends. Tonight I wish to discuss with you a few timely topics concerning your world, point out a few problems, and offer a few solutions and proposals.
"One of the greatest single impressions we get from visiting your world is that you are apathetic in the worst way. Explanations are in order. Your strongest shots of apathy are about atomic warfare. This is frightening to us. Your people seem as little worried about nuclear annihilation as about the moon falling from the sky. By the statements of your own scientists and military men, there is the equivalent in atomic power of ten tons of dynamite for every human on this Earth that you inhabit. Worse, yet, this stockpile of horror grows higher every day, and the chances of war increase in proportion.
"There are weapons in development that, individually, can lay waste to areas the size of Texas. Already there are bombs that could turn your beautiful city of San Francisco to fine ashes in one blast. Imagine your hometown erased in a tremendous ball of fire as hot as the sun. Imagine the lives of you and your loved ones snuffed out like candles in a tornado.
"And for WHAT, may I ask? For WHAT will you and billions of others die? For a ridiculous, infantile difference of opinion between world leaders that could have been settled peacefully by reasonable, adult discussion. A quick research of history will show that men will war, literally, at the drop of a hat. Man of Earth seems to be quick-tempered and slow-witted.
"Why do I point this out to you? Obviously, you are all aware of it. My point is this: very few of your people frankly give a damn what is going on. You have literally turned your lives over to a few who think of people as digits on a fatality scale, and whose only care is that more digits are erased on the enemy side than on the 'good-guys' side. You care more about who wins the World Series than about whether you will be alive tomorrow.
"I am not saying that you should go about mulling on world conditions every waking moment. However, you ought to show at least SOME active interest in the world you live in, in your nation, and in your brothers of every land. Whether it suits you or not, you are your brother's keeper.
"So many of you say, 'Let the government worry about it. I have enough problems of my own." This may come as a startling revelation to those of you who have your brains in mothballs, but your governments really don't worry one whit. As I noted, their main interest is that they kill more of the enemy than vice versa. Perhaps you do not like to admit it, but your militaries are the controlling forces behind your governments the world over. In the United States, it is a refined, undercover, and clandestine sort of control, but it is evident to those who bother to think about it.
"Why, for example, is the lion's share of your national budget every year devoted to military and so-called defense needs? Why did the Congress allocate sixty-nine billion dollars this year to military 'needs'? What can you imagine would be your lot if this sixty-nine billion dollars were devoted to education, housing, medical research, social security, or something equally constructive? You would have a paradise in a few years. However, how much do these vital social services receive in government funds? One or two billion dollars, maybe, if they don't happen to offend any political interests in the interim. People all over your country are suffering from diseases and hunger that could be wiped out in a few years if the government would stop pouring its lifeblood into the obsolete notion that a nation's strength is determined by its ability to destroy.
"So what do we prove by this imbalance of allocation of money? Only that it was unopposed. Very few congressmen opposed it. Only a handful of citizens opposed it. The others? Why, they just said, if that's what the military needs, let them have what they want. Why argue?
"Why indeed argue? Who are you to question the judgment of the United States government? I'll tell you who you are. You are a United States citizen. You are the ones that put those people in Washington into their positions by your vote. You are the ones who are paying their bills with your taxes. You are the ones who are affected by their decisions. You are the people who ought to bust in their doors if they don't live up to your standards.
"All it takes is a few five-cent stamps, a few sheets of paper, and a few envelopes to let the men in the Capitol know what you think. You don't need to spend a fortune traveling there to talk to them. They actually prefer letters, because they can be dealt with when they have spare time, instead of by appointment. Let your friendly neighborhood post office do your traveling for you.
"The lawmakers will never know what your opinions are if you don't tell them. Unlike us, you are not telepaths, and you can't see into the minds of others. You must communicate by physical means. Do So!
"Returning to my topic—apathy—let us examine a more personal type. Recently there has been a rash of disgusting incidents that show either incredible indifference or incredible stupidity. For example, a young girl in New York was assaulted THREE TIMES by a man who finally killed her by stabbing her. In a dark alley? In a park? No. On a residential street, with neighbors watching from their windows. Not one of them called the police or went to her aid.
"Recently a man was killed defending his wife from an assailant in that same city. He did so in front of a crowd of people, who STEPPED ASIDE to let the killer through. In Albany, New York, a boy drowned in a river while a number of people stood on the banks watching. His young companion, seeking aid from them, was told by some callous woman to "go tell your mother". Also in Albany, a boy threatening to jump from a building was URGED TO DO IT by a shouting crowd, from which could be heard such kind and humanitarian thoughts as, 'I wish he'd jump. I don't want to miss my bus,' and, 'I hope he jumps off this side. I'd hate to miss it.'
"What in the name of the Infinite One has happened to bring about this sorry state of affairs? Surely, people are not naturally so callously cold and indifferent as that. Can it be credited to sheer despair? Is it a product of abject resignation to the times of crisis in which you live?
"Is it the defeatist philosophy, 'What the hell good does it do to be good?'
"Whatever the cause, it is high time that something was done to bring about a long-awaited end to this sad state of affairs. The question is, 'How?' The answer is long and involved, but I shall point out the major considerations.
"First, each of you must follow the Universal Laws in your own life. I must give here what we of Korendor consider to be the Two Great Laws of the Universe. They are:
"1: Hold reverence for all life, for it is of the One Life.
"We on Korendor live by these two simple and yet profound philosophies. We find them to be all that is necessary to live the good life, in peace and brotherhood. Adopt these principles and you cannot fail to be kind and good.
"Second, radiate your inner peace. This is all there is to it. People can tell when a person is truly joyous, for he can no more contain joy within himself than a lantern can contain its light. They will ask how you do it. Tell them plainly and simply about your way of life. They will listen, and it is hoped that they will follow suit in their own lives.
"Toward more tangible ends, there are several points:
"1. Do not condone violence or hatred. Express your displeasure when people speak respectfully of war, killing, and the like. They will take the hint.
"2. Put yourself in touch with the major entertainment media, expressing to them your wish to see them show violence and war for what it really is—animalistic savagery. Urge them to produce programs that are dedicated to extolling peace and friendship for all. Protest by letter whenever violence is presented, even as a documentary program, such as recent rehashing of the World Wars of which you have no reason to be proud.
"3. Express dislike of toys and comic books directed toward your children that are designed to instill in them the warrior instinct, or to glorify war and killing, or to teach them the bloody ways of violence and inhumanity. This is a wide field of endeavor.
"I have heard the asinine statement, 'All kids like violence and blood. Let them have their fun.' Do these people seriously believe the nonsense they're expounding? Do they really suppose that violence and warfare are natural instincts in children? Absurd! It is bred into them almost from the day they are born. It is an effect of their environment. All around them is violation of Universal Law. Their parents constantly quarrel. Their entertainment is saturated with such idiocy as, 'Kids, be the first on your block to get the new X-7 Super-Weapon. It launches grenades, it fires like a machine gun, and it even turns into a real bazooka with the special adapter that comes with it.' The newspapers and radio-TV news programs are crammed with such terrifying stories as 'Ten killed in new bombing spree in south,' 'Vietnamese War Spreads,' 'Cobalt bomb developed.' Can you imagine the rest of the copy on that last headline?
"It was announced today by the White House news service that the United States is in possession of a tactical Cobalt Bomb capable of killing the entire population of Russia or China in one blast. Military officials hail this as the most significant step to date in the advancement of our nuclear arsenal. General Pete Smedley said, ' It represents a final and permanent lead in our military superiority over the other nations. With this type of power, we can demand and get anything we ask for from other nations' This might seem to be a bit far-fetched now, my friends, but your scientists working for the military are working on such a weapon 24 hours a day. How long until...?
"Obviously, your children are being spoon-fed violence from the time they are old enough to contemplate it. They emulate the adults in most cases. Why give them this ugly example to follow? It is bad enough that you adults act like this. Is it necessary to mold your children in the same image, to carry on the savagery for one more generation?
Next point: work for elimination of capital punishment, the greatest abomination on your planet, worse even than war. Who ever gave any man or group of men the power to play God with anyone's life? Is murder a crime when done by the individual and a good when done by the state? We can see no distinction whatever in the wrongness of a man stabbing his neighbor as compared to 'legal' killing of the wrongdoer by such utterly atrocious means as the gas chamber, electrocution, or hanging. Both cases are direct slaps in the face to the One Life, and there is no fine line dividing one type of murder from another in the eyes of the Giver of Life.
"Fifth point: oppose inhumane treatment to animals, in your medical laboratories and your institutes such as universities. The conditions in some of these places, and the unspeakably monstrous things that go on in those places, are best left unsaid here, for you would not sleep for days if I told you. Suffice it to tell you that if these same experiments were performed on people, the world would rise in unison against these 'experimenters'. Because they use only poor, defenseless, uncomprehending animals for their sadistic revelries, people don't even lift a finger to improve conditions.
"Let me give you one instance. In a laboratory of a famous university, an 'experiment' was performed on a group of dogs. To quote from a pamphlet which Bob showed us, 'The surgical part of this experiment was simple. The dog was strapped down. He was given a very light administration of ether, apparently enough to make his struggles ineffective, but according to Gregerson and Root (the two 'doctors') not enough to blot out his sense of feel. To use their own words, 'Although we were able to produce fatal shock consistently in a high percentage of the animals, we never eliminated the element of 'feel'.
" 'Protective hair covering over the dogs' hind legs was removed with clippers. Then a rawhide mallet was brought into play. Each dog received from 700 to 1000 blows on each of his hind legs.' Perhaps it would be well to let the sadistic monsters—beg pardon, vivisectors—tell this part of it in their own words: 'The contusions (injuries) produced marked swelling and hemorrhage into the tissues. The swelling extended into the flank and groin. The first few hundred blows usually caused a greater degree of swelling than did the later blows.'
"To summarize the rest of the pamphlet, the ether given the dogs was stopped when the so-called experiment was finished. The dog was allowed to get up, if he could, on his crushed hind legs. Of thirty dogs used, 26 died, after periods from a little under an hour to the longest, 9 hours and 21 minutes.' Nine hours and 21 minutes of agony unbelievable in intensity.
"Quoting again: 'Numerous interesting observations were made. Dogs able to survive for less than 2 1/3 hours panted and gasped. An injured dog, when allowed to drink water, immediately vomited. When death was near, the animals frequently twitched.' These are the contributions to scientific knowledge made by the vivisectors Gregerson and Root. "This is not the end of it. The five dogs that managed to live were brought back to be beaten again. Of these five, three died immediately upon being placed on the table, apparently from sheer terror. The fate of the two that survived is unknown. Despite my centuries of life on the loving, peaceful world of Korendor, I found myself wishing an equally horrifying fate for those two barbarians. I am not sure which is the greater evil.
"I know that this sort of information must invoke visceral emotions in you, my friends. This, however, is the type of horror that is being carried on in the 'medical laboratories'. Except for the humane minority, this is the rule. There are records of cats being skinned alive; of animals soaked with gasoline and set afire; of animals starved to death while others in the same room were regularly fed.
"Some or you are probably of a mood now to quite gleefully kill these monstrous excuses for humanity that perform these vicious acts. This, however, will not serve any purpose. I asked Bob to send along a few folders from humane societies with this lecture. The addresses are on those flyers as to where to write if you feel that something should be done. They will give you all you need to know.
"I am afraid I have deviated and in doing so have used up my time here. I tend to became very involved with certain things, and inhumanity is one of them that brings me much distress. When Bob showed me those leaflets, I felt a strong inclination to weep, so deep were my sorrow and my feeling of helplessness to do something about. I have human feelings just as all of you do. I also have three household pets similar in many ways to your dogs, and the information cut me especially deep. It made me realize how often we take too much for granted, and how hardened we are to things that are not of the greatest importance to us all, Earthian and Korendian.
"In closing the lecture, let me say that there is much to be done on your world, and so very, very little time to do it. Delay is inexcusable. It therefore behooves you to be about the crusade posthaste. Time is of the essence. Good day, va i luce, and may you have the peace and love of the One Life."
© 2008 Robert P. Renaud -- all rights reserved