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Friday 16 November 2012

The New Inquisition

I was awake last night until 4 a.m. because I had been reading up on the world's greatest (i.e., infamous) dictators and tyrants.  I had one simple question in my mind that I wanted to answer:  What is worse than a Nazi?  Our human history is filled with horrific atrocities perpetrated by individuals and their sheep minion supporters in the name of some misguided righteous and holy quest.  I wondered, idly, as I searched the web, if perhaps we are sometimes too quick refer to the Public Health zealots as fascist Nazis, to make comparisons to the Holocaust, etc.  World War II and Germany's Third Reich is recent history, so it seems reasonable that we would draw on that recent memory to make our associations in present-day events. Despite the horror of that time, the millions of deaths, the unfathomable evilness of it all, and the obvious parallels between Public Health's present-day anti-smoker movement and Hitler's anti-smoker movement, could it be possible that there is something in history that was worse than the Nazis?

When I was young student, I did not care about history. I found it dull and uninspiring. I had better things to think about.  I, like many of my contemporaries, was focused on the future. My future. The past was the past, and back then I failed to see how what had come before had any relevance on what was happening now or would happen later. The folly of youth, perhaps. It is not until I was much older, in my early 30s, at a time when I was writing fiction and editing part-time for a magazine, that I began to find our human history utterly compelling. I suddenly realised that a majority of fictional works were based on events in our past -- the names and places changed, details modified, but the story had been ripped from history and reworked for a modern audience. Now, I understand the benefit of knowing our history, but even so I am playing catch-up and there is a great deal I have not learnt.

So the question -- "What is worse than a Nazi?" -- is what drove me to abandon a reasonable bedtime and seek out history's worst atrocities and those who caused them. But by 4 a.m. I had barely scratched the surface of evildoings, so I left a comment at Leg-Iron's and posed the question to him instead (which I will come to later in this post), and then I went to bed and dreamt of sunshine and bunnies.

bunnies in the sun -- what I dreamt of last night
What dreams may come...
But what inspired me to seek out the answer to my question was this article about Alabama's largest employer refusing to hire anyone who uses any tobacco product.  And it should come as little surprise that this particular employer is in the health-care (read as Public Health) business:
Starting July 1, 2013, all new hires at the University of Alabama Medical Center must be tobacco-free.
"As health-care providers, UAB Medicine and the entities that comprise it should be role models for good health behaviors, and lead by example in the quest for good health,” says UAB Health System CEO Will Ferniany, Ph.D.
Prospective new hires will be tested for nicotine use during the pre-employment drug screening. Anyone who tests positive for nicotine use will not be hired.
Whilst I read the article, I began to believe in the possibility that the Public Health movement-cum-religion is much worse than Nazis. These people in Alabama, they are evil. They are promoting a campaign of hate and tyranny that is far more insidious than Hitler's reign of terror.  The University of Alabama Medical Center and its related entities have chosen to not hire people who use any kind of tobacco products, to make an example of out of those who do not conform to their belief system.  That is just indefensibly amoral and cruel. People should be hired based on their skills and qualifications, their ability to do the work, not based on what legal substances they choose to use.  Any person who supports a policy of depriving a person of making a living based on whether they smoke or use other tobacco products is worse than a Nazi.  At least the Nazis, for all of their inexcusable sins, did not try to hide their true agenda of eradication and the perfect race.

So what is worse than a Nazi?  The answer is of course the Public Health movement. But to draw an apt comparison from history, I posed the question to Leg Iron in a comment on his blog.

He repliedThe Inquisition.
The Inquisition cared nothing for where their victims came from or what nationality they were. An accusation was all they needed, no proof required. You would be arrested and you had to prove your innocence but you were not informed who accused you nor what you were accused of. Acquittal was impossible because the Inquisition never arrested the innocent so you were held until you confessed to something. Anything. Nobody went unpunished, if you were lucky it was minor, if not you were burned.

That is the Righteous mindset. The Common Purpose mindset. Nazis is indeed too small a word, but they don’t teach about the Inquisition in schools any more.

It would be a bit of a give-away if they did.
Bloody hell, mate. I think you're on to something here, and thanks for that! I like it, so long as I can get past Mel Brooks's version of it.

So now I am beginning to believe we are in the midst of a New Inquisition, an unholy and evil movement that easily tucks the Nazi anti-smoker mindset under its wing.  Drinkers and eaters, these are targets. Anyone who supports Big Tobacco, Big Alcohol, Big Soda, or even the Big Meat industry is a target.

But it's not limited to just those few groups.  The New Inquisition casts a much wider net -- it is such a great evil that it is inaccurate to compare it only to the Nazis in Germany. The New Inquisition encompasses everything that has the merest potential to cause harm, and even the most minuscule risk must be erased from existence .  It has infiltrated our governments and educational institutions, and it is presently infiltrating both our public and private places of employment.  There is no escape -- it's worldwide and its tentacles slither out into the deepest, darkest corners of human existence. Any person who does not believe in Public Health is a heretic, and will be cast out of society to live out a slow, agonising torturous existence.

This is what we face. A New Inquisition.  And there are Grand Inquisitors the world over (even in Alabama) conspiring with the dark forces of evil to force you to convert to their religion. We must stop them before history repeats itself, before we add yet another great atrocity to our history books, before the damage to the fabric of our societies becomes too great to repair.

They must be stopped.