"True Believers," by their very process, discard any effort at critical thinking. Whatever they "believe" cannot, and is not, challenged. The world, unfortunately, has many "true believers" who create misery for their fellow humans.
I have just finished reading Kati Marton?s book, True Believer: Stalin?s Last American Spy, which is the true account of an American who became a spy for the USSR and got away with deceiving our government at the highest levels of power. Noel Field was the least likely person to follow such a path; he was a Quaker, a humanitarian, a gentle-looking WASP from a distinguished family, and he seemed so innocent that he fooled even Allan Dulles, our first CIA director.
This well-educated upper class fellow was recruited during the 1930s when many people feared that there were only two choices in America: Communism or Fascism. They did not foresee that an American president, Roosevelt, would provide another option that saved our democracy.
Many well-meaning people in American and British universities became Communists. A number of these young people put their lives on the line to enter the Spanish Civil War in which an elected leftist democracy was attacked by Fascists. The Fascists received military help from the Nazis who were eager to try out air bombing civilians. The government side received the support of Communist Russia. The Fascists won, but many foreign fighters who got an up-close and personal look at their Russian colleagues became disillusioned. Arthur Koestler wrote Darkness at Noon and George Orwell wrote the satirical Animal Farm (in which some pigs were better than other pigs). His 1984 is applicable to today.
Noel Field never listened to that message. He not only continued his long career as a traitor to his country but even when imprisoned and tortured by his beloved Stalinists to get names of his colleagues (many of whom were executed), he never lost faith in Stalin. He was an intelligent man who, unfortunately, did not know how to think. But that is what being a "true believer" is.
Religious fanaticism is usually the source of the most wretched "true belief." In 1971, Sherry Johnson, then 11, was forced to marry one of her several rapists, members of her mother?s Pentecostal church. She had had this man?s baby at 10, and because her church did not believe in sex out of marriage, her stupid mother, a true believer, forced her to be married.
The world?s worst "true believers" today are literalist believers in Islam. In April in Chechnya, a Muslim province of Russia (homeland of the Boston Marathon terrorist-murderers), rounded up 100 homosexual men, jailed, tortured, and then dumped their barely alive bodies on family doorsteps where their families murdered them. This kind of killing, along with murdering girls and women who get out of line, is called "Honor Killing."
Vladimir Putin, who exerts direct control over Chechnya, denies that there is any such thing as a pogrom on Gays. There are no homosexuals in Chechnya, he says.
When former Iranian president Ahmadinejad visited Columbia University a few years ago to badmouth America, one student asked him why Iran persecutes homosexuals. "We don?t have any!" he said. "That is a western disease." The audience erupted in laughter and catcalls. Homosexuality is wide-spread in the Muslim world where access to girls is limited. The partner in the female role is the only one considered "gay."
A cleric in a Virginia mosque recommended cutting the genitals of girls to "control their sexuality." This true believer was not fired. Islamist true believers are obsessed by female sexuality or any sort of autonomy. It is what they hate most about western civilization.
In Muslim Afghanistan, warlords and men with money keep stables of beautiful young boys who are taught to entertain, dress in girl?s clothing, and provide sex. This society appears to tolerate women only for childbearing. If they could figure out how to have babies without them, they would. They prefer boys. Yet homosexuality is illegal because it is "un-Islamic." These folks are very selective "true believers." They believe what is convenient.
Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman is a historian, lecturer, and author. You may contact her at Lfarhat102@aol.com or www.globalthink.net.