Sam Redman's Musings

Random thoughts on a variety of subjects

Pseudonymous Savagery

by Sam Redman

I have never seen the vitriolic anger in any other vehicle, as that which is sometimes shown to people on the web… and the more I have studied it… I fail to see the real source of it, other than to look at it from a stance that many people have given themselves over to evil. 

I am reflecting on some of my experiences in viewing (and sometimes participating in) discussions regarding people in the news. I have seen it over many years on the web (and in the CompuServe and AOL days prior to the web), but I have some recent examples. Perhaps the most egregious have been the online forums and blogs regarding the suspects in the case of missing American teenager in the Caribbean, and later about the participants in a recent online diet boondoggle and most recently concerning a cultish self proclaimed religious messiah, now appealing a prison sentence for what he called “naked healing sessions” with two underaged girls. Sure, every one of these people may indeed be scalawags and quite deserving of reproach and even justifiable prison terms (but, only after non-prejudicial court proceedings). But, unless you have seen some of the online discussions, by people hiding behind the anonymity of their pseudonym “screen names,” you could never imagine the intensity of the attacks against these people, most often done without really having any understanding of the circumstances surrounding the situations (or misdeeds) for which they are being castigated. They talk about the object of their anger, like that person is a mass murderer, a child rapist or maybe an evil, despotic ruler. They project onto themselves personal offense (as though they are the victims of the crime) in terms like you would expect from holocaust survivors. Everything about these campaigns (which approach vendetta intensity) is unhealthy mentally. Personal projections of their own life’s frustrations seem to find their way into any object of their disgust. If someone has suffered disappointments or failure or have been cheated, the best approach is to simply move on. Put those bad things behind you and launch out with a positive view of life. Truly forgiveness and not holding grudges is the key to happiness, not having a spiteful, vengeful spirit seeking punishment for anyone who might have offended you.

I have never seen such a collection of predatory beasts circling their prey for the kill. What could they have accomplished for good had this energy been love instead of hate? Cure for cancer? World peace? Companionship for the elderly? Help for the homeless? Getting people off drugs? Kindness can be a powerful force. What better ways to direct emotions and efforts.

What a bunch of truly misguided people. If you direct your energies to defending those being attacked… if you work to provide balance and help those who are being injured by gossip and malicious statements… you will feel good about yourself. Once you join the chorus of those who malign, that anger is self-destructive. 

I am convinced that you generate positive or negative energy.. love and kindness… positive. 

The teachings of the Christian (and Jewish) faith as well as other religions are really clear on the subject: 

Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD. 

Proverbs 24:17 Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: 

Proverbs 24:29 Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work. 

Luke 6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. 

Romans 12:14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 

Proverbs 25:21-22 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee. 

Ezekiel 25:15-17 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because the Philistines have dealt by revenge, and have taken vengeance with a despiteful heart, to destroy it for the old hatred, I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them. 

Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 

Matthew 5:38-41 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

I think those are some divine truths.

Some people come by their goodness naturally and others surrender to the will of God… which merely might be defined as coming to an understanding that the way of the universe is “Love.” Some seem born to it and others are brought into the fold by following holy teachings and yet others seem to find their way to a state of grace by the experiences of life’s struggles. Some recognize the wisdom in writings and exhortations from those who are enlightened and others accept “the way,” through fear of the consequences which might result (or have already occurred) from a life which causes harm to others. But, many other people also assume that mantle, because, by trial and error in the course of their lives, they feel the harmony which comes from giving in to that amazing force and peace, which giving (some call it charity), graciousness, kindness and forgiveness can bring. It is a “peace, which passes all understanding.” I think that is what understanding the nature of God is about… and it can transform lives, even without the recipient being aware of the source

More from Romans:

19. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, 

“I will take revenge; 

I will pay them back,”

says the LORD. 

20. Instead,

“If your enemies are hungry, feed them. 

If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. 

In doing this, you will heap 

burning coals of shame on their heads.”* 

21. Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.


One comment on “Pseudonymous Savagery

  1. Prudentia
    April 25, 2009

    Well, hello, Sam. Interesting take on things, considering some of your own writings. But glad to see that you are still alive and kicking.

    You might be interested to know that the “Kimkins diet boondoggle” is still progressing nicely, now that Ms. Diaz’ attempt at seeking protection via the bankruptcy court, support by a fraudulent filing, has been resolved. I find it interesting that you still want to characterize the actions against her as being malicious and unfair to her. As we discussed some time ago (where does it go?!?), time and the courts will assure you that Heidi Diaz is simply not being picked on. If, of course, you really are concerned with the truth of the matter and all. If not, none of that will really matter, I suppose.

    Anyway, nice to see you again. Prudentia.

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This entry was posted on April 24, 2009 by and tagged .