Blues Review
Art is a Hammer
THAT INDIANA INFERIORITY COMPLEX
GEORGE FISH’S
“HUMANIST OF THE MONTH” MATERIAL
FROM THE FORMER
HUMANIST FELLOWSHIP GROUP
OF CENTRAL INDIANA’S
WEB SITE

When the locally based and locally founded Humanist Fellowship Group of Central Indiana (HFGCI) became the
central Indiana affiliate of the national Secular Humanist organization, the Center For Inquiry (CFI), it discontinued
its own Web site, which had expressed so well and so articulately the particular political, social, and intellectual
approach HFGCI had honed and developed through experience by immersion in that fetid swamp of rampant
ignorance and vindictive intolerance that is so notably Hoosier.  So notably, so unfortunately, Hoosier in origin, in
the political and social agendas proposed, and in that arrant dismissal of knowledge, creativity and intelligence so
widely prevalent.
But HFGCI, as fortunately Hoosier in origin, could use its particular approach honed and sharpened as it was
precisely because it was of, in, and the way it was, precisely again because of Indiana, and could thus be a positive
force in Central Indiana for enlightenment, a rallying cry of defiance against the ubiquitous obscurantism here as
well, and a barricade put in definite Indiana political and cultural space that stood in the way of the mindless armies
of self-righteousness.  It was notably Hoosier and notably political in positive senses, it knew, it acted upon, an
understanding of power and of humans as they actually were in effecting both the ability of reason and science to
prevail, and in ensuring the inability of reason and science to even be heard for indefinite periods of time and
history.  HFCGI knew Bertrand Russell, but also the Rev. Greg Dixon, doyen of Indiana’s Religious Right; and both
in ways positively Hoosier that could be communicated to fellow Hooisers as they were on the street, as well as they
were in the Ivory Tower.      
A very noteworthy explication of this was the “Humanist of the Month” feature of HFGCI’s Web site, where one of
Indiana’s humanists was cited for his/her contributions as a humanist.   A very clear, very positive, very affirmatively
political statement that, right here in this Hoosier heartland all too singular in its rampant yahooism, perverse
religiosity, willful ignorance, and contempt of the life of the mind, one could find humanists of distinction and
achievement right next door, living as folks and neighbors right in one’s community, and yet, as intellectually alien
from the Hoosier “conventional wisdom” as though they were Martians!  
Food for thought – “effete corps of intellectual snobs characterizing themselves as intellectuals” (words of the late
Honorary Hoosier and jailbird, Spiro Agnew) living right next door, as Hoosier as Gene Keady and Bobby Knight, but
also as Hoosier as Eugene Debs and blues-legend-in-his-own-time Yank Rachell!
This above given generally became something very affirmatively personal for me when I was given the honor of
being named “Humanist of the Month” for July, 2005, bestowed in recognition of the intellectual excellence and
polemical strength I’d manifested through my published writings in support of atheism and critique of religion
generally, and Catholicism in particular.  This recognition of my contributions in writing and overcoming of
oppression that came about precisely through my Marxism and atheism gave me a sense of validation, achievement
and fulfillment despite all I’d never previously experienced in Hoosierdom.         
But HFGCI, by incorporating and absorbing itself in its totality into the CFI, with its rather high-and-dry, abstractly
intellectual secular humanism of generic national orientation and Web site of the same character, essentially
ceased being an organization of any local purpose except as a recruiting arm for CFI.  But CFI, unfortunately,
predominantly led and dominated as it is by university professors far removed from the realities of the street, cannot
be that organization of reasonably effective resistance that HFGCI had been.  The abandonment of its specific Web
site, and with it the elimination of the “Humanist of the Month” feature is telling of this, both as symbol, and as
reality.  It denotes, ironically, something quite “otherworldly”:  a retreat into the highbrow academic cloister that
means abandoning the mean Hoosier streets to the backward, ignorant and bigoted that CFI will so eloquently rail
against behind the enclave walls!  The enclave walls that simultaneously shield, seclude and imprison.
I will gladly concede that national CFI provides much quality stimulants for thought that should be far more read and
distributed than they are now.  I’m familiar with, and appreciative of, its two magazines, Free Inquiry and the
Skeptical Inquirer, and once published an article in the Skeptical Inquirer.  But comporting oneself as an
organizational vanguard of intellectual abstruseness that draws its appeal and its membership overwhelmingly from
those who are both highly educated and economically well off, which is, unfortunately, the sociological reality of what
the CFI everywhere is; brandishing copies of Free Inquiry and Skeptical Inquirer almost as talismans of the intellect
while standing before the Vandals and the Visgoths at the gate; addressing them in the most authoritatively school
principal voice possible, and demanding immediately of them, “Halt!” will not stop the City of Intellect from being
overrun and its valuable intellectual properties from being sacked.         
Precisely because the CFI Community of Indiana now lacks those specifically Hoosier characteristics embedded
within a greater cosmopolitanism that could couple broader vision with awareness of one’s actual surroundings, it
will now, I fear, be unable to offer, to organize, that vital praxis, political and cultural as well as intellectual, that
comprehends, but also reaches out, to all those ordinary people, to those ordinary people all around us yet all too
much unseen, who are increasingly driven to the wall by a troubled economy and a world both disturbed and
disturbing.
Ordinary people just as human as us, but our intellectual and cultural snobbery can blind us to that common
humanity.  Ordinary people just as human as us, but the far more adverse circumstances of life among those
socially and economically “ordinary,” perched as they are more on the lower rungs of the socio-economic ladder
while professed secular humanists are perched more on the upper rungs, makes them all too vulnerable, all too
available as recruits, all-too-much the ready cannon fodder for the armies of malevolent purpose behind those
superficially erudite, cleverly manipulative, and all-too-appealing leaderships of Organized Yahooism, both political
and religious.                  This all-too-typical denial of economic class realities and their consequences I’ve
expressed above is another one of those intellectual and cultural barriers we secular humanists face in
communicating ourselves outside the realms of those both privileged and educated, and in understanding those
realms of social existence not commonly inhabited by those privileged and educated.  Needless to say, this is
another one of those political and social entities that can be used to work against the profession of reason and
freedom of inquiry, and be used as well to brand those who profess reason and freedom of inquiry as the snobbish
enemies of those who are not privileged and educated.
Armies, mindless cannon fodder, and leaderships far too much a ubiquitous presence within today’s political,
cultural and intellectual realms, whether those realms be specifically of Indiana, of the U.S., or of the world as a
whole.  Armies we can comprehend intellectually, as well we must, but which are not defeated and disarmed in the
seminar room or over polite discussion in coffeehouses and on campuses.
My sense of confirmation in what I write above was brought home when I attended the most recent CFI Community
of Indiana meeting, where the film, Heart of the Beholder, was shown.  This chilling movie, based on a true story,
relates of the destruction of a video rental firm in St. Louis, Missouri at the hands of organized religious bigots, who
called themselves “Citizens for Decency,” and demanded that the business either bow to their demands for removal
of videos it deemed offensive or face the consequences its mindless, wrathful groupthink would make happen.  As I
watched I thought, a thought the film’s felicitous denouement only confirmed, “Here in Indianapolis the bigots would
win without even having to break out in a mild sweat.  Our ‘freethinkers,’ ‘progressives’ and ‘civil libertarians’ would
all talk bravely and at length, but none of it would ever come to a head or lead to an effective praxis.  It would all be
‘sound and fury, signifying nothing.’”  
Deny the need to take the pursuit of science, reason and freedom of inquiry politically into the streets, and one
simply abandons the streets, consigns the streets, those streets teeming with ordinary people, to the yahoos, the
irrational fanatics, the bigots, and the haters of those who disturb by asking questions.  The lack of any real
resistance will inevitably result in an intellectual vacuum the yahoos will inexorably move to fill.  But a real resistance,
were it there, could also fill that vacuum.   
That’s why I consider being named “Humanist of the Month” to be of more than just personal significance.  The
recognition that came my way because of my designation as “Humanist of the Month” came as a result of my
published writings in affirmation of atheism and criticism of religion generally, and Catholicism in particular, and were
but one demonstration of my triumph over oppression, inchoateness and incoherence through Marxism and
atheism.  I believe the display of triumph I express in my Statement commissioned for the “Humanist of the Month”
honor was a triumph for the many who have to face the institutionalized obscurantism and irrationalism that abounds
everywhere, is far too frequently cruel and vindictive, and far too frequently gets away with its cruelty and
vindictiveness.
I am far from alone in asserting this.  Friends and comrades have exhorted me to keep the “Humanist of the Month”
contributions to the former HFGCI Web site alive and accessible, and their exhortations dovetail with my felt
obligation and responsibility.  This, for me, is a positive deed, a personal affirmation that becomes an affirmation of,
and for, everyone.  And, most certainly, it is an affirmation of the ability of the human spirit to prevail over the
cruelties and bigotries from the religious establishments across the board.  For, although I certainly had to suffer
and endure the cruelties and bigotries of those Catholic abusers of power and authority during my childhood and
youth, I’ve just as certainly had to suffer and endure in present time the cruelties, bigotries, and denigrations arising
from the smug, smarmy dismissal of me by the clique of “peace church progressives” who dominate the Indianapolis
left.
But my Web Host here at the Frog Majik site insists that I’m creative and intelligent enough to have my own html.  So
now this html will display all the writings that arose from the “Humanist of the Month” honor:  my own personal
Statement of 11 pages that was specifically commissioned by the HFGCI; the excellent two page Summary Reba
Wooden of the HFGCI composed from my Statement to be the opening page of my “Humanist of the Month” Web
display; and a brief personal e-mail Reba Wooden sent me that expresses certain thoughts she came to have on
my life and my realities today as she came to know them through my Statement.  I’ve provided commentary of my
own as I’ve felt the need to include, just as I have here—GF.



SUMMARY OF
GEORGE FISH’S “HUMANIST OF THE MONTH STATEMENT”
PREPARED FOR THEHUMANIST FELLOWSHIP GROUP
OF CENTRAL INDIANA’S WEB SITE
BY REBA WOODEN, HFGCI LEADER AND WEB HOST

Reba Wooden did an excellent job in summarizing my 11- page Statement into two pages of synopsis for the
“Humanist of the Month” Web locale.  A job so excellently done, a summarizing so deftly executed, I specifically
made it a point to contact her and express my congratulations.  As an active freelance writer, I know all too well how
daunting the proper editing down of a noteworthy, yet too lengthy, manuscript can be, and that a truly proper
editorial reduction is far more than a matter of simply reducing the physical length.  The merely mechanical
reduction in length that fits the manuscript within the space requirements in a merely mechanical way invariably
ends up fatally reducing the author’s coherence of argument and continuity of thought as well, and makes
publication an embarrassment to the author rather than an asset.  
The good editor edits with a scalpel, not a meat cleaver, and Reba Wooden edited my manuscript with all the
conscientiousness and skill of a master surgeon.  Her editing was a joy to behold, and a rueful reminder of all the
times in Indianapolis I’d been forced to suffer the destruction of my published works through editorial butchery.
My only cavil with Reba Wooden’s Summary is the bias of “feminist sexism” she exhibits by including and
synopsizing what I’d written on the abusive behavior of my father only, but omitting from her Summary entirely any
acknowledgement of what I’d written in my Statement on the abusive behavior of my mother as well.  Toxic Parents
usually do come in pairs, and the mere biological fact of gender, of being of “Frail Womanhood” itself, places no
barrier in the way of engaging in actions that are abusive, cruel, treacherous, and negligent; nor does it grant any
sort of immunity or exoneration based on the mere biological accident of gender to those who possess the “proper”
gender when they engage in such actions —GF.        

George was born in December 1946, the first child and only boy, into a Roman Catholic family that eventually had
six children. His mother was raised Catholic in a middle-class family and his father, who was from a working class
family, converted to Catholicism to marry his mother.  He was very proud that his white-collar, managerial
occupation made him middle-class and not working class.

His father’s politics were right wing, racist, sexist, and intolerant almost to the point of fascism. He wanted George to
be the child he had been unable to be, an athlete and Boy Scout, but he ended up with “an extremely intelligent,
skinny intellectual instead, me, the son he could not tolerate but had to live with as my father.”  He took his anger
and frustration out on George in “constant vituperative attacks, and nastily attempted to force me, the skinny
intellectual too smart for my own good, into the accepted and acceptable mold of Midwestern small-town,
Eisenhower-era, Roman Catholic, silent conformist and Boy Scout.”

The parental abuse was abetted by the abuse that came from the Catholic system whose schools he attended from
first grade until his graduation from high school.  This was the pre-Vatican II Catholic Church.  George describes
this as:


“A brief list of some of these abuses: physical bullying by my classmates, bullying overlooked or ignored by all
authorities I encountered, from my parents to teachers and principals at school; rejection by the girls in my classes
of me, starting with the onset of puberty, as physically repulsive, a rejection carried on all throughout high school;
retaliation by teachers for all too frequently manifesting more knowledge and more intelligence than they did, and,
moreover, for manifesting the wrong kind of intelligence--not the goody two-shoes kind of ‘I know the answer,
teacher!’ variety, but that dangerously insidious type, especially treacherous when expressed in Catholic schools, of
always asking the question, ’Why?’        

Then, finally, when I became the first National Merit Finalist in my high school’s history, getting the triple whammy of
having it ignored by my family; causing an even more intense hatred of me by my classmates because this
achievement by me, a newcomer in the school, completely upset the long-established applecart of smartness
ranking that had been in place since first grade; and finally, having this achievement recognized only, and only in a
repulsive manner, by the alcoholic misfit priest who was my high school’s principal, whose recognition consisted of
an unctuous fawning forced on me regularly, the better for him to bask in my reflected glory.  All of these abuses
requiring me to submerge them, and keep them submerged, through self-censorship and deliberate silence,
because the authorities of both family and school didn’t want to know about them, and if they were to find out about
them against their wishes, this undesired knowledge would lead to a further retaliation against me as an inveterate
troublemaker who always made everyone uncomfortable.”  

During his freshman year at Michigan State University in 1965, overwhelmed by his new freedom, he became lost
and disoriented, suffered constantly recurring bouts of deep, immobilizing depression, and sought help from
“Helping, Scientific Psychiatry.”
George says of his many years of involvement with the mental health system, “But though some of the pseudo-
antidotes provided did actually turn out to be the real thing, the main result of all my voluntary submission and good-
faith attempts to cooperate with Helpful, Scientific Psychiatry was only to put my life on hold for nearly forty years.”
However, at the same time George was also opening his eyes to the world that he sensed lay outside and
encountered Marxism and atheism which engendered awarenesses within him.  Despite his many continuing
problems with dysfunctional behavior, especially alcohol abuse, he was able to actively participate in the New Left,
socialist and anti-Vietnam War movements at Michigan State.  He developed as a leader and activist and is
mentioned in the book Campus Wars by Kenneth Heineman.

After a major relapse of his mental illness in the 1970s which necessitated his move back with is parents, he earned
a degree in Economics from Indiana University-Bloomington and move to Indianapolis.  His continued dysfunction
and alcohol abuse caused him to lose his job but a brief love affair let to substantial growth in his self-worth.  Three
years ago he “began a job that I love”--scoring standardized state school systems’ achievement tests, usually in
math.  “This job requires my college degree, fully absorbs me intellectually, pays a living wage, and gives me many
friendships, much personal support, and creates a comfortable environment in which I’m completely at home.”

George has authored articles which have been published.  They include “Two Kinds of Atheism” and his book
review, “Tip of the Iceberg.” which deals with the abuse by priests in the Catholic Church.  He quotes the late Fr.
Paul O’Brein, Jesuit priest and teacher at Brebeuf High school in Indianapolis, commenting on the abuse that
George had suffered, “You’ll never get it, but you are owed an apology by the Church.”

George summarizes his life journey as:

“My growth into consciousness and understanding that has developed from my being as a humanist, a Marxist, and
an atheist is, above all, a growth from inchoateness and incoherence to awareness, a growth through which, in
coming to this awareness, I realized in open expression a real strength within me that I could also successfully
convey to others.  This awareness enabled me to banish that inchoateness and incoherence that still lurked within.”

“Certainly this is what clearly shows in my life story.  It was not the atheists, the freethinkers, the Marxists, or the
socialists and communists who tormented me.  No, it was the God-believers, the good Christians, the churchgoers
who went to Mass every Sunday; and the good and moral authorities of the Church.”

“And that is the affirmation within me responsible for banishing definitively that inchoateness and incoherence that
could, and did, plague me for decades, but which could never subdue my spirit.”

Note: George lost his job because of having to miss work to take care of business concerning his case management.

For some reason it was only my insistence that made Reba Wooden compose and include that last, parenthetical,
sentence in her Summary.  Time and time again I have found that people in Indianapolis of all political persuasions
become queasy whenever they hear of people’s hardships, as though the mere existence, of hardship, or even
merely acknowledging its existence, was some sort of outrageous blasphemy, some sort of deliberate affront given
to the hearer, and the occurrence of hardship a clear measure of the all-around inadeqacy of the one who sufferers
it besides.  Uneventful, non-traumatic, perfectly conventional contentedness is the only legitimate measure of the
Good Life, the only legitimate criteria of someone being a Good Person here in Indianapolis.  Adversity means
moral unworthiness, and comes about, can only come about, through personal inadequacy and inexcusable failure.  
How this can be true I cannot fathom.  It is but a datum from the social context of being Indianapolis, that’s all.  
Simply Indianapolis.  Uniquely and pejoratively Indianapolis, but so what? A strange datum used invidiously against
me time and again, used for no apparent reason other than hard times don’t happen here, can’t happen here, and
you’re a troubled troublemaker if you have them.
Another one of Indianapolis’s strange, pejorative datums that is taken as fact and supposedly, assumed to be,
engraved as such for all eternity.  Don’t question it, it’s just there, that’s all.  There, even if strange, even if
pejorative and hurtful.   
Just as it is strange and pejorative also that only here, only among those in Indianapolis who self-identify
themselves  as “progressives,” “freethinkers” and “of the left,” that it is I, a active liberation fighter of the left for the
past forty years precisely because my understandings of oppression and liberation that comes from my “being born
with a broken plastic spoon in my mouth;” of being who I am precisely because I did not grow up in a bucolic Ward,
June, Wally and Beaver Cleaver social environment, and thus  do not have any “rich kid privilege” I need to
overcome; that it is, above all, I, who is the one most commonly found to be personally offensive to other
“progressives,” “freethinkers,” and those “of the left.”   But contrary the the “conventional wisdom” of the established
“left” and “progressive” gurus here, I, George Fish, one of those very few persons on the left anymore who actually
does come from “the wrong side of the tracks” both economically and emotionally, really do have nothing I need
apologize for.  And yes, I’ll be stubbornly and defiantly Politically Incorrect in asserting this, even  in the face of
those in Indianapolis (Indianapolis-es of both place and mind) who pass themselves off as the true “progressives”
and “leftists,” and are most offended and angry at me personally because I don’t apologize for my “wrong”
upbringing!
Sheesh!  For forty years I’ve been actively and prominently involved in the left at the national level, and only in
Indianapolis have I been reproached for alleged political discrimination against “radicals,” “progressives” and
“leftists” who were born and raised rich, comfortable, and economically and emotionally secure!  Only the
Indianapolis “left” has ever retaliated against me for alleged “bigotry” against the “oppressed rich, comfortable and
secure!”  I’m “blaming the victims” of that “capitalist oppression that is caused by wealth, comfort and security,” I’m
guilty of unjustly reproaching the “oppressed rich, comfortable and secure” for things “they’re not responsible for,
that they couldn’t help, that were the inalterable consequences of the social environments into which they were born
[!]”  For they “couldn’t help it if they were born rich, comfortable, and with peace of mind.”  But I, on the other
hand...  I end this paragraph as I began it:  Sheesh!—GF.   




GEORGE FISH
“HUMANIST OF THE MONTH” STATEMENT
originally commissioned by the
HUMANIST FELLOWSHIP GROUP of CENTRAL INDIANA
for this honor given to me in July, 2005.
“Humanist of the Month” Statement
revised and updated, September 4, 2005

My growth into consciousness and understanding that has developed from my being as a humanist, a Marxist, and
an atheist is, above all, a growth from inchoateness and incoherence to awareness, a growth through which, in
coming to this awareness, I realized in open expression a real strength within me that I could also successfully
convey to others.  This awareness enabled me to banish that inchoateness and incoherence that still lurked within.

From the beginning, I knew something was terribly wrong.  Yet I remained unable to sense what it was, remained too
incoherent to express it to myself, and thus unable to express it to others in a way they could understand.  
Unfortunately, I had to pay a heavy price for decades because of my inability to understand and express what was
the result of suffering caused by my subjection to an ongoing series of very cruel oppressions, oppressions and
cruelties I could not escape or find refuge from.  Oppressions fully sanctioned by Church and Society.  And,
moreover, not only sanctioned by Church and Society, but upheld by them as Part of The Natural Order, and Done
For My Own Good.   Something, of course, coming as of no surprise to us humanists and atheists.   And, also of no
surprise, something that Marxism and atheism supposedly were not.  But it was by becoming a Marxist and an
atheist that I armed myself with the necessary weapons that, first, enabled me to overcome that inchoateness and
incoherency within me, and then, from that overcoming, empowered me in successful confrontation with several of
these oppressions that led to victory over them.

I was born in December, 1946, the first child and only boy, into a Roman Catholic family that eventually had six
children.  My mother was raised Catholic in a middle-class family that still stayed middle-class during the Great
Depression, my father converted to Catholicism to marry my mother.  My father said virtually nothing about his
childhood and adolescence, but I did glean over time that he’d grown up in poverty outside of Kansas City, Kansas,
then went to New York City as a young man in the late 1930s, where he lived with a cousin who aspired to be a
writer.  Since the cousin did not work, my father worked to support them both.  He became a manager trainee with a
national department-store chain, then a manager following World War II, served in the Army Air Force where he was
stationed in Scotland, and even though throughout the 1950s and 1960s he never earned the income a unionized,
skilled-trades factory worker earned, he was, nonetheless, very proud that his white-collar, managerial occupation
made him middle-class and not working class.

Yet, as I came to sense only in the late 1970s, the way in which he’d come through the Depression and exploitation
through the living arrangement with his cousin to only become lower middle-class killed something that might’ve
been very precious and valuable within him, but something, either through attrition or willful murder, he let die, but
yet whose cadaverous remains still left behind tantalizing traces of what might’ve been far more humane and
tolerant.

My father’s politics were right wing, racist, sexist, and intolerant almost to the point of fascism.  He wanted me, his
son, to be the child he had been unable to be, an athlete and Boy Scout, but he ended up with an extremely
intelligent, skinny intellectual instead, me, the son he could not tolerate but had to live with as my father.  So he took
this forced living with me out in constant vituperative attacks, and nastily attempted to force me, the skinny
intellectual too smart for my own good, into the accepted and acceptable mold of Midwestern small- town,
Eisenhower-era, Roman Catholic, silent conformist and Boy Scout.

My father’s insatiable rage cowed and frustrated me.  I often wished he’d release all this pent-up rage by just
beating the living shit out of me.  Then, when he’d finally spent all that anger he held for me that was bottled up
inside him, perhaps then he’d relent, and we could have a real father-son relationship!

My mother was always outwardly the compliant Roman Catholic housewife, but some kind of incoherent striving
seethed within her, causing her to take comfort in a traditional, conservative form of Catholicism that comforted her
in the sorrow that was her lot as the sinful Daughter of Eve.  Needless to say, this made her a silent partner in
support of my father’s abuse, but she was also an abuser in her own right, bursting into volcanic rages against me
from childhood through adulthood, rages which always began with her livid screech, “All women just hate that!”  
That livid screech then led to tirades against me as a male for either not putting the toilet seat down, or, as a result
of being male, urinating standing up, and thus dripping and splashing.  There were many, many other livid tirades
against me as well on other subjects.

Since my mother had come to possess a thin veneer of higher culture through formal study in art school that my
father lacked, and since I was also artistically inclined as a child, she leavened her intolerant rampaging with an
outwardly more tolerant show of appreciation for my intellectualism, desire for cultural expression, and burning
curiosity about the world that expressed itself in avid reading.  But, after I’d started college in the mid-1960s and
became actively involved in the New Left and the anti-Vietnam War movements, I learned the hard way just how thin
this veneer of seeming culture and outwardly tolerant, even somewhat openly appreciative, support for me really
was.

Knowledge, I later realized, that had always been within me inchoately and incoherently as a beleaguered child and
adolescent.  But its remaining underground gulled me into a misplaced trust in my mother throughout those years, a
trust betrayed that I was really very angry over even then.  But I had turned that still hidden, still inchoate and
incoherent, sense of betrayal into yet another inchoate and incoherent rage against myself for having trusted her in
the first place, a rage that took more than four decades to finally resolve.  But it was just another one of those
inchoate and incoherent rages I’d always been turning against myself since the age of eleven, rages that properly
should’ve been turned against my father and mother.  Rages on their part against me, no matter how vituperative
and abusing, which the Catholic Church justified theologically as the necessary discipline needed to overcome that
corruption from Original Sin festering within me, but also a theological casuistry that denied me any right to protest,
as any such protest would’ve been a willful violation of the Commandment, “Honor thy father and thy mother.”   
Rages I was inchoately and incoherently conscious of as a child and adolescent from the age of eleven on, but
rages finally allowed to surface only late in my adulthood.  As for my childhood before then I have little recollection,
my memories of childhood earlier than that being spotty, fragmented, and filled with many gaps.

This parental abuse was abetted by the abuse that came from the Catholic school system, whose schools I attended
from first grade until my graduation from high school.  The Midwestern small-town, Eisenhower-era Catholic schools
I attended were the bulwarks of indoctrination of a pre-Vatican II Catholic Church very much publicly and
unapologetically far right wing even to the point of an almost explicitly expressed fascism; authoritarian to the point
of clerical totalitarianism; vehemently anti-sexual; philosophically and theologically rooted either in a pre-Sixteenth
Century Medievalism, or else in that refurbished Medievalism promulgated by the Nineteenth Century Popes; and
not only intolerant of and vehemently opposed to any non-Christian religion, Christian denomination, or system of
philosophy and ethics that was not Catholic, but absolutist and uncompromising as well in its assertion that only
Catholicism represented the One True Church, and that it alone constituted the repository of all  final and ultimate
truth.  The only concession made by the Church was that it was possible for some sterling non-Catholics to enter
heaven.

Of course, there was the official hit list of ultimate error:  Marxism, communism, atheism, agnosticism, apostasy, and
secularism.  Just below this hit list in error status was belief in the desirability of separation of church and state.  To
the Catholic Church of that time, separation of church and state was a concession made by the Church for strictly
political reasons, not a norm, or an ideal to be upheld on principle.  In promulgating these tenets, and in demanding
strict and unquestioning fealty to all of them, as well as to all other official expressions of Catholic theology and
philosophical belief, without even strictly private caveats or disagreements allowed, the specific Midwestern Catholic
schools I attended and the specifically Midwestern Catholic parishes I was part of were as uniform in their
expression as any other Catholic school or parish, and all were part of a uniformity imposed worldwide by the
Vatican.

Further, the dogmatic smugness and complacency of the Eisenhower era carried over into the Catholicism I was
part of from 1961 to 1965, during the times of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson.  During my last two years in
Catholic schools, 1963-1965, the changes made by Vatican II were beginning to be felt, but made felt in that usual
authoritarian way I was now beginning to consider as just a Change in the Party Line.  Unquestioning belief in and
adherence to the new Catholicism were just as demanded from the laity and the lower-ranking clergy as
unquestioning belief in and adherence to the old Catholicism had been.

Catholics followed this new Party Line just as sheep-like as they had followed the old.  Liberal dissidents and
questioners aside, the overwhelming majority of Catholics do not have, and never have had, any problem with “Pay,
Pray and Obey.”  During my senior year, the young parish priest we had, who was enamored with the new
theologies and ways of thinking arising in liberal Church circles as a result of Vatican II, tried to teach some of them
in the required classes we attended on Catholic doctrine.  The reaction of the many was an indignant “He’s causing
me to lose my faith,” which was a surefire way to go to hell.

There was also the official fear and loathing of human sexuality, the only concession made being a reluctant
toleration of its expression in marriage as long as it did not contravene reproduction, as well as a reluctant toleration
of dating and mingling of the sexes as an unfortunate but necessary part of finding suitable mates to reproduce
Catholics.  This was, of course, the Age of Innocence in regard to Catholic priests and nuns.  It was automatically
assumed that priests and nuns were so spiritual and otherworldly that engaging in any kind of sexual behavior
would never even occur to them, and certainly not pedophilia.  This assumption of pure spirituality and
otherworldliness on the part of Catholic priests and nuns was even accepted by non-Catholics.  Teaching about sex
in those Catholics schools was a fascinating process of inculcating guilt and shame in engaging in it outside of
marriage that combined with an unintended but very manifest carnival-barker come-on about the tantalizingly
dangerous pleasures that made sex the ultimate Forbidden Fruit, the apogee of overpleasure that destroyed lives
and souls if all the proper p’s and q’s were not strictly adhered to.

This is the doctrinal and intellectual background of the Catholicism I grew up in, the Catholicism that became for me
much more than an intellectual bind.  The Catholicism I grew up in was also a vicious behavioral expression of
cruelty, abuse of power, psychological torture, deliberate hatred, cover-up, denial, and demand for self-censorship
so inescapable as to make my childhood more than just a living hell.  It also made my childhood and adolescence
pathological.  These abuses carried out under the aegis of Catholicism combined with the abuses carried out by my
parents to make my pre-adulthood life much more akin to that of people more commonly found on Death Row than
found as I am, college-educated, employed, and functioning in the outside world.  What made the difference is that
the deeply rooted rage within that develops from constant subjection to egregious oppression and injustice became
aggression taken out on others by those who ended up on Death Row.   For me, however, that deeply rooted rage
became aggression taken out on myself, became just another expression of that inchoate and incoherent self-hate
that made the adult me my own Death Row, that made me almost execute myself through my own dysfunctional
behavior and emotional turmoil.

A brief list of some of these abuses:  physical bullying by my classmates, bullying overlooked or ignored by all
authorities I encountered, from my parents to teachers and principals at school; rejection by the girls in my classes
of me, starting with the onset of puberty, as physically repulsive, a rejection carried on all throughout high school;
retaliation by teachers for all too frequently manifesting more knowledge and more intelligence than they did, and,
moreover, for manifesting the wrong kind of intelligence – not the goody two-shoes kind of the “I know the answer,
teacher!” variety, but that dangerously insidious type, especially treacherous when expressed in Catholic schools,
of always asking the question, “Why?”  Then, finally, when I became the first National Merit Finalist in my high school’
s history, getting the triple whammy of having it ignored by my family; causing an even more intense hatred of me by
my classmates because this achievement by me, a newcomer in the school, completely upset the long-established
applecart of smartness ranking that had been in place since first grade; and finally, having this achievement
recognized only, and only in a repulsive manner, by the alcoholic misfit priest who was my high school’s principal,
whose recognition consisted of an unctuous fawning forced on me regularly, the better for him to bask in my
reflected glory.  All of these abuses requiring me to submerge them, and keep them submerged, through self-
censorship and deliberate silence, because the authorities of both family and school didn’t want to know about
them, and if they were to find out about them against their wishes, this undesired knowledge would lead to a further
retaliation against me as an inveterate troublemaker who always made everyone uncomfortable.       

Enduring all this, and more, made me become the Ultimate Victim Unmercifully Blaming the Victim He Had Become.  
But, it needs to be mentioned, this victimization and self-hate resulting from parental and Catholic school abuse was
seen as an appropriate punishment properly sanctioned by Church and Society, for this victimization and self-hate
was only the just reaping of what I had sown by some sort of unspecified inherent internal corruption that had driven
me to willfully oppose, no matter how inadvertent, or how incoherent in its expression, those unquestioned moral
pillars upholding individual and social decency, Good Parents and The Moral Authority of the Church.  There could
be but one antidote to all this inherent internal corruption, and that was Helping, Scientific Psychiatry.

It was to this pseudo-antidote I turned at the beginning of my freshman year at Michigan State University in
September, 1965, the fall after my graduation from high school, and the locus of my first taste of real freedom.   I
found this first taste of real freedom overwhelming to the point of vertigo.  I became lost and disoriented from all this
overwhelming freedom, a freedom so unexpected and so alien from what I had previously experienced that it
became something beyond my ken either to fathom or to find a way to cope with.  My disorientation and loss,
another new source of inchoateness and incoherence that was added to my already-existing inchoateness and
incoherence, began to express themselves in constantly recurring bouts of deep, immobilizing depression.  
Naturally, this dysfunctional depression, along with the other dysfunctional behaviors I manifested as well, drove me
to seek refuge in and assistance from Helping, Scientific Psychiatry, a seeking that was completely voluntary on my
part, but a seeking that, even though voluntary, became a nearly forty-year imprisonment as total and as severe as
if it had come from involuntary commitment.  Helping, Scientific Psychiatry led me unawares into Dante’s hell, but in
a manner that so distracted and deluded me that I failed to read or even notice the ominous warning sign posted at
the gate:  “Abandon all hope ye who enter here!”      

My inchoate, incoherent self-hate made me accept these nostrums, and I tried, voluntarily and in good faith,
swallowing the pseudo-antidotes palmed off on me by supposedly Helping, Scientific Psychiatry.  But though some
of the pseudo-antidotes provided did actually turn out to be the real thing, the main result of all my voluntary
submission and good-faith attempts to cooperate with Helpful, Scientific Psychiatry was only to put my life on hold
for nearly forty years.

Fortunately, at the same time I was swallowing all these nostrums I was also opening my eyes to the world I sensed
that lay outside these nostrums, one that did not need to be upheld and supported by those pillars of decency
Good Parents and Moral Authority of the Church, one that lay outside the constricted world sanctioned by Church
and Society.  

For, inchoate and incoherent as I was, as driven to dysfunction by self-hate as I was, as emotionally blinded as I had
become as a result of all the sand of abuse and cruelty thrown in my eyes, as confused and as disoriented as my
mind had become from all this abuse and cruelty, I still had not lost my innate curiosity about the world nor my
innate high intelligence, and, above all, I still had not lost that deeply-rooted personal integrity within that drove me,
from an early age on, to question the justifications for all this abuse and cruelty. To question, in spite of the
assertions maintained in toto by the leading and revered authorities, that all this abuse and cruelty was upheld by
those pillars of decency, Good Parents and Moral Authority of the Church; that all this abuse and cruelty was
sanctioned by Church and Society because it was just to do so; that all this upholding and this sanctioning was
because that’s The Way the World Really Works; and that it comes either from the Will of God, as the religious said,
or it was mandated by Human Nature, as the secular religious said.

But, simultaneous with my swallowing of all these toxic nostrums, simultaneous with all my good faith but ultimately
unwarranted submission to Helpful, Scientific Psychiatry, I was also encountering Marxism and atheism, was also
becoming aware of all the awarenesses they were engendering within me.

So, despite all the inchoateness and incoherence, despite all the self-hate, despite all the dysfunctional behavior,
despite all this, I grew in awareness precisely because Marxism and atheism spoke in continuous dialogue with the
other awarenesses within me, and continued that dialogue through all.  The inchoateness, the incoherence, the self-
hate, could not finally prevail over this dialogue of evident and workable truth that was becoming more and more an
integral part of me, that was always speaking to my true self.  Could not finally prevail, although it persisted in its
attempts for decades.

Precisely because of this ongoing dialogue with Marxism and atheism that began to break down those barriers of
inchoateness and incoherence within me, and thus enabled me to grow steadily in awareness despite many
continuing problems with dysfunctional behavior, especially alcohol abuse, I was able to actively participate in the
New Left, socialist and anti-Vietnam War movements at Michigan State.  And even though I still had many problems,
I was able to keep them in check well enough so that I actually rose to prominent leadership positions in those New
Left and antiwar movement.  I developed as a leader and activist of substantial note, note substantial enough to
achieve prominent mention in a well-regarded scholarly history of the anti-Vietnam War movements on non-elite
universities, Campus Wars.  Not only was I mentioned prominently in the book, I was also a major contributor to its
research through my recollections on the history of the movement at Michigan State in two lengthy phone interviews
with its author, Kenneth Heineman.  Further, I provided him with copies of my dossiers from the FBI and the
Michigan State Police Red Squad.

But in the early 1970s, a major relapse in my mental illness caused me to leave Michigan and move back to my
parents, first to Cincinnati, then to Fort Wayne.  That parental abuse continued as before, only now escalated
substantially by my parents’ most open expressions of disappointment in me, their obvious disappointment now
deeply colored with an open hostility due to my seemingly complete failure.  The time spent living with them was
tumultuous and troubled to such an extreme that it made me self-doubting as well as self-hating, and far too
paralyzed to try living on my own.  However, I was finally forced to, and although living in that penury that results
from dependence on the outpatient clinics of Helpful, Scientific Psychiatry, I did manage to remain together enough
so that, despite all the troubles encountered from too great a dependence on an angry, resentful family, and on a
Helpful, Scientific Psychiatry that was creating more dependence while representing itself as the helping agent that
was supposed to make me less dependent, I did manage to finally get my college degree, a Bachelor’s in
Economics from Indiana University-Bloomington, and eventually pull up stakes altogether and move definitively,
physically away from my family when I took a job as a statistician with the State of Indiana in Indianapolis.  But
continued dysfunction on my part, abetted by the greater ability to indulge in alcohol abuse due to a much higher
income than that I’d ever had before, caused me to lose that job.  However, I toughed it out in Indianapolis for a
good two decades because I knew that tucking in tail and returning to my family would be my ultimate defeat.

But that toughing it out did eventually pay important dividends, dividends that led to my becoming the person I am
today, stronger, and with a sense of self-assurance I had previously lacked, a strength and self-assurance that now
causes people to admire me as a survivor and a fighter.  This growth, uneven and tumultuous throughout, came
about as the result of a constant walk on the razor’s edge, where I had to maintain my balance and equilibrium no
matter what, for slipping and falling would consign me to the living death of defeat and failure that would persist until
I could luckily come to true death.  But my ability to maintain this precarious equilibrium over the course of two-and-
a-half decades meant passing several milestones in my life, milestones that contributed to my becoming more aware
and less inchoate and incoherent.  This came precisely as my coming to more awareness, awareness that
substantially overcame that inchoateness and incoherence still persisting, fueled more awareness, and this in turn
fueled even more, making these milestones possible.  

Among these milestones was a wonderful love affair that, while all too brief, led to substantial growth in sense of self-
worth.  I also became more able to use the preciously few tools provided by Helpful, Scientific Psychiatry, that fruit-
bearing ability creating a greater dependence on these psychiatric institutions for a long while, but eventually and
most positively leading to a significant empowerment that moved me away from Helpful, Scientific Psychiatry, an
empowerment which, the more I achieved it, the greater and more vigorous the attempts of Helpful, Scientific
Psychiatry to scotch that empowerment.

Thus it stands today, as I chafe more and more as a patient in the outpatient clinic I go to, but a chafing that leads
to greater resistance to this outpost of Helping, Scientific Psychiatry, resistance that prevents further scotching of
my empowerment. As I move to prevent that scotching while also ensuring that I do receive those few still-needed
services only Helpful, Scientific Psychiatry is able to provide.

I also became involved in left political activity in Indianapolis, as I had been in Michigan.  Only this time there was a
crucial difference.  Here the left movement lacked the openness and vitality of the movement in Michigan that had
made me a major contributor to it, and a major leader of it, despite all my troubles and dysfunctions.  The movement
in Indianapolis was its own constricted, cliquish world inhabited principally by members of the traditional peace
churches, a movement possessing an intolerant, doctrinaire Political Correctness as stifling, uncreative, stagnant,
rigid, and deathly fearful of anyone or anything different as any Marxist-Leninist sect.  This Political Correctness
expressed itself in a pacifism tied to the theologies of the traditional peace churches, particularly the Quaker
church. A pacifism so publicly worn on activists’ sleeves that it constituted a display of Professional Pacifism.  
However, it wasn’t really a pacifism with a c, but rather, a passive-ism with an i-v-e.  Further, in spite of all its public
religiosity, this movement was in reality quite bigoted, closed and cruel.   It was a movement that actively denied,
completely and without compromise, that love St. Paul called the greatest virtue to anyone who differed from the
True Believers in theological orientation or middle-class socio-economic background.  Needless to say, my open
Marxism and psychological troubles caused these professional Servants of God to turn on me cruelly, in deliberate
rejection.  Cruelty and rejection that could not have been greater had it been inflicted by open Servants of Satan.

However, four years ago, new, much more positive, and much more supportive, political openings developed for me
through association with a group of anarchist youth that organized around a left bookstore, Solidarity books.  
Despite a year’s interruption, this bookstore continues as Paper Matches.   Also providing positive political openings
for me was the local chapter of Democratic Socialists of America, as well as much greater involvement in the
national left.  An involvement that has become greatly accelerated, just as my awareness has become accelerated
noticeably both to myself and others, the result of my active writing for publication for the past twenty-five years now
bearing increasingly fruitful harvests.

The above was written in May-June, 2005, and alas! how things have changed.  The ongoing long-term illness I’ve
suffered now for nearly a year as a result of negligence and incompetence by my psychiatric outpatient clinic, joined
in nefarious alliance with that overwhelming smugness, complacency, and fear of the different that inheres
everywhere in Indianapolis, drove me in the most literal way physically from any involvement with any organization of
Indianapolis’s “progressive,” “left” and “freethinking” communities, save that of retaining and deepening friendships
with certain admirable individuals tied organizationally to Indianapolis’s left.  It also scotched any desire whatsoever
to be so involved. For the first time in forty years I am deliberately avoiding any political participation whatsoever,
save only through submitting articles for publication.  My only organizational involvement now is my continuing
relationship as a member-at-large with the nationwide socialist group, Solidarity, which I joined in 2001, and which
has over the years not only been fully open for me politically, but has actively encouraged me as a writer,
encouragement and support which has resulted in my becoming a very frequent contributor to Solidarity’s
publications.  Individual comrades in Solidarity have been wells of emotional support and encouragement as well,
and have always been there for me, even though all but one of them lives out of state.  They have been there for
me even when the overwhelming burden of ongoing personal troubles made me persona non grata among the
Hoosier Politically Correct.

I have found out the hard way that the Indianapolis of 2005 remains the same as the Indianapolis of 1953 so vividly
depicted in its stark ugliness by Indianapolis-expatriate author Dan Wakefield in his 1970 novel, Going All the Way.  
I have further found out the hard way how well Indianapolis’s Politically Correct communities of “progressives,”
“leftists,” and even “anarchists” and “anti-authoritarians,” who express and formally profess the only political ideas
anywhere this side of Bloomington that can truly be designated as humane, liberatory, and just, are, unfortunately,
all too analogous to these words sung by Robert Palmer in his rock hit from the 1980s:  “A pretty face don’t mean
no pretty mind.”  No indeed, and especially so in Indianapolis, where I find myself putting distance between myself
and those here who profess the same liberatory social and political values I do, but who can’t exercise these values
now to create, to maintain, positive personal relationships with me.  But so many of these same people who can’t
exercise positive regard for me now did so just a couple of years ago.  I regarded them then as friends, as they did
me.  Then.  Unfortunately, my falling on hard economic times beginning in October, 2003, hard times that got very
much worse in the fall of 2004 and continued as such until the present.  For only now am I able to extricate myself
successfully from the troubles and hardships that resulted.  But this combination of continuing economic hardship
and ongoing illness that has lasted to date for almost exactly one calendar year took a great psychological toll on
me as well, as well as great economic and psychological tolls on those around me.  Many of those who had
regarded me positively in good times now reassessed me quite negatively as a result of my bad times.  Most
especially was this so among those active in Indianapolis’s left.  Further, many of those who, like me, were college
graduates had a hard time comporting themselves as college graduates, especially in the wake of that greater
sense of vocation I now manifested as a college graduate, and thus a learned, achieving person with necessarily
high standards of what should be achieved, and what fails to meet the mark.

The permutation of all these hardships summed up results in my having become very much a battle-tested, battle-
hardened combat Marine of the Peoples Liberation Armed Forces.  I realize now more than I ever did before that,
despite my active support of counterculture, nonconformity and active defiance, I can never be a hippie.  I’m just too
disciplined, too driven, too demanding of results, both from myself and from those around me.  I’m very much the
embodiment of the Protestant Work Ethic given a Left Political, Social, Cultural and Intellectual Orientation.

The only Indianapolis communities I’m involved with now, and the only ones I have any desire to be involved with,
are Indianapolis’s blues community of musicians, fans, and supporters of my writing on blues; and my many close
friends and colleagues at my job scoring the school system achievement tests I mention below, where I’ve been
steadily employed since September, 2001.  

For that was when I began the job I love and have continued to work ever since I started it, that of scoring the
standardized state school systems’ achievement tests, usually in math.  This job requires my college degree, fully
absorbs me intellectually, pays a living wage, and gives me many friendships, much personal support, and creates a
comfortable environment in which I’m completely at home.

September, 2005, then, gives me understandings, both positive and negative, of where I’ve been and where I am
now.  September, 2001 was when so much opened up for me and made possible a personal and intellectual
liberation I’d given up on as beyond my reach.  September, 2001 was the halcyon time in which I met the young
anarchists, got my job of scoring the school achievement tests, and joined Solidarity.  September, 2005 now causes
me to look back on what was then and there in Septemer, 2001, and see, accept, examine, and analyze what
transpired; to see, to fully sense, what became transformed, and what became transmogrified.  However, despite a
certain sense of ruefulness and regret stemming mostly from what has happened, what I’ve gone through, in the
past year, I affirm now that what I embraced with enthusiasm in September, 2001 I do not regret, in September,
2005, having embraced, or the enthusiasm with which I did embrace.

Getting my job scoring the achievement tests caught my outpatient psychiatric clinic completely unawares, as it, and
the consequent significant recovery from my mental illness that developed from it, wasn’t supposed to happen, wasn’
t supposed to be even remotely possible to the degree so obviously manifest now. This clinic, where only a few
years ago I was denigrated by one of its “therapeutic” employees so that I could “meet the challenge of living on
seven dollars an hour,” has real trouble understanding that my present job now requires me to meet the challenge
of living on $11.50 an hour!  The clinic responds, as it always has since my unexpected recovery caught it off-
guard, by making my ability to continue the process of recovery as difficult as possible.   It does this by continually
denying me needed services on the grounds that such aren’t available, while it simultaneously dumps more tasks on
me, with complete lack of consideration for my personal and work schedules, under the rationale that I “must do
everything I can for myself.”     

As all this continues, I realize within me that same sense of revolutionary determination and refusal to surrender that
the young Leon Trotsky expressed in a manifesto directed against seemingly impregnable Czarism and other
oppressions:  “--No, replies the unhumbled optimist:  You-- you are only the present.”  In exactly that same spirit, I
defiantly retort:  “No…You-- you are only Indiana.”

The continuing dialogue of awareness within continues and advances in power and eloquence through its most
proper expression, my writing.  Writing, I felicitously discovered, that produced an innate resonance in others that
informs their awareness. This writing continues, is published more frequently and more extensively, and this writing
creates new vistas as well.  This writing has always been in touch with that dialogue of awareness within me coming
from Marxism and atheism.  This Marxist and atheist awareness is now a very natural part of me, precisely because
writing is now a more natural and integral part of me.

This integral part of me that writes expresses itself on many topics.  On the blues music I love, on mental health
issues, and on Marxism and atheism.  While the directly Marxist articles are more numerous, those articles
expressing atheism and criticism of religion are not paltry in number, and also constitute a quite distinguished roster.

Among them is the nationally published  “Two Kinds of Atheism,” a concise exposition of Marxist atheism much
praised as complete and definitive.  Then there’s my Marxist atheist encounter with the persona of Jesus as
expressed in the movie, Passion of the Christ, first published in Indianapolis, but later reprinted and published
nationally.  This encounter sees that persona, when stripped of the Son of God nonsense, as deeply human, and
also a persona that had to be persecuted by religious yahoo-ism just as much as that of Socrates, or, blasphemous
horrors! Galileo.

Our cowboy-shill-for-Big Oil President, George W. Bush, who loves to tell us “My favorite political philosopher is
Jesus Christ,” gave birth, due to his War against Iraq, to the following ironic theological dialogue I delivered in a
speech at an antiwar rally in Indianapolis, a speech also reprinted and published nationally.  This dialogue turned
out to be so stunning that even the most ardent God-believers had to laugh at the absurdity that captured an
undeniable reality lurking within religious belief:  “Sonofabitch!  If you don’t believe in my concept of a loving God, I’ll
kill you!”  “Oh yeah, motherfucker!  If you don’t believe in my concept of a loving God, I’ll kill you!”

My book-review exposé, “Tip of the Iceberg,” another piece originally published in Indianapolis that was also
reprinted and published nationally, exposed to a wider audience that deeper rottenness within Catholicism that lay
beneath the rottenness of priest-pedophilia. “Tip of the Iceberg” drew this indignant protest from a local liberal
Catholic, “It’s not peaceable.”  But this is only the so typical, and so casuistic, protest that comes from those safely
liberal Catholics wherever they are.  This disingenuously indignant reproach given here locally, but so typical for
Catholics found everywhere, that my exposé is “not peaceable,” is nothing more than the usual evasion-turning-into-
denial of squeamish Catholics, evasion-turned-denial of the ugly reality that the torment, anguish, and often
permanent damage resulting from the callous sexual predation of priest-pedophiles is “not peaceable” either.  

Needless to say, this is only a quite garden-variety variant of all those standard, knee-jerk evasions-turned-denials
on the lips of squeamish Catholics everywhere, liberal as well as conservative, when confronted with those ugly
realities so much a part of the history, the current practice, and lived life within, that is integral to Catholicism.

Especially worthy of note, in light of the above, is this remark quoted in my remembrance of the late Fr. Paul O’
Brien, Jesuit priest and teacher at Brebeuf High School in Indianapolis, who gave this most telling admission in
regard to what I suffered and endured at the hands of the Catholic Church:  “You’ll never get it, but you are owed
an apology by the Church.” (Emphasis added.)

All this demonstrating, through the particular case of Catholicism, the general negative dialectic inherent in all
systems of religious belief, all systems that require the triumph of uncritical Faith over questioning, inherently
skeptical Reason -- that of the unexamined seemingly-good masking the innate, palpable, and continuing evil within.

Certainly this is what clearly shows in my life story.  It was not the atheists, the freethinkers, the Marxists, or the
socialists and communists who tormented me.  No, it was the God-believers, the good Christians, the churchgoers
who went to Mass every Sunday; and the good and moral authorities of the Church.

In this regard lies another Indiana story of victimization by cruel stupidity sanctioned by Church and Society as
Being For Her Own Good of another troubled, vulnerable human being, that of Lisa Ratliff.  Ratliff, a 14-year-old
young woman convicted of arson in the burning of the house she lived in, which resulted in the deaths of her mother
and her grandmother, was tried as an adult and sentenced to the Indiana Women’s Prison.  But, at her trial, it was
revealed that young Lisa Ratliff had been the victim of vicious and continuing, but never reported, physical abuse at
the hands of her mother and grandmother, and was mentally ill because of it.  But her victimization by hitherto-
unknown physical abuse that had driven her to burn down her house in the first place, an abuse all too typically
sanctioned by Church and Society precisely because its lack of exposure makes it nonexistent, didn’t deter in the
least the legal authorities from fulsomely punishing her for what amounted to an attempt by her to somehow protect
herself from this hitherto-unexposed abuse.  Needless to say, this fulsome punishment by the legal authorities was
as thoroughly upheld by Church and Society as proper just as much as the officially-authorized-preventing-the-
uncovering of the original abuse had been, this officially authorized prevention that rendered the abuse as de facto
nonexistent.  Now, as the natural and inevitable result of all this further victimization of the original victim that’s
happened to Lisa Ratliff to date, all of it, of course, officially upheld and sanctioned by Church and Society as
thoroughgoing Justice, albeit a Justice that has continued, and continues, to deny Ratliff the proper treatment she
needs.  Should Lisa Ratliff ever come out of prison, she will come out just as troubled as the Lisa Ratliff who
committed the arson in the first place.  But, as should come as no surprise, the Indiana Attorney Generals, both
Democratic and Republican, have just as consistently over the years succeeded by various legal stratagems to
ensure that Lisa Ratliff not be given any kind of humane consideration or help at all.  Needless to say, this also is
fully upheld and sanctioned as Full Justice by Church and Society!

But what I write above is only the telling of two of the stories of the millions of George Fishes and Lisa Ratliffs not
only in Indiana but elsewhere, the George Fishes and Lisa Ratliffs whose victimizations are always most properly
upheld and sanctioned as Just by Church and Society, and whose public exposures not only of these victimizations,
but also of their attempts to cope with and often successfully overcome these properly-sanctioned victimizations,
inevitably result in official opprobrium directed by Church and State at these very George Fishes and Lisa Ratliffs
able to make their stories heard!     

Marxism and atheism not only provided me with the necessary awareness to finally and definitively banish that
inchoateness and incoherence from within me, it also deepened my awareness that this is just another affirmation of
triumphant, ever-real Man over phantasm God, of truth over rationalization, of honest humanity over casuistically-
excused cruelty.

This affirmation draws cries of indignant and incredulous protest from the God-believers, who retort as self-evident
this objection:  “Are you saying, then, that we humans, in all our limitations and frailties, are all there is?”  They think
they’ve got me now, but I retort in natural self-confidence something far more evident:  “Yes!  And that’s precisely
why we’d better make the most of what we’ve got as humans!”

And that is the affirmation within me responsible for banishing definitively that inchoateness and incoherence that
could, and did, plague me for decades, but which could never subdue my spirit.



E-MAIL TO GEORGE FISH
FROM REBA WOODEN,
SENT JUNE 29, 2005
George, You certainly have had a tragic life with many abuses and bad things happening to you.  You are a very
angry person and I can certainly understand why.  You have good reason for your anger.  Take good care of
yourself.  Remember though that displaying that anger can "turn people off."  I know it is hard but it would be good
for you to work on trying to put forth a more positive face to people although I do understand that after all you have
been through that is a very difficult thing to do.  Keep in touch. Hope things start turning in a more positive direction
for you.
Poor Reba Wooden!  Having both the nerve and the stupid lack of consciousness possessed only by those truly
Politically Incorrect to actually see my life as “tragic,” as one with “many abuses and bad things happening,” and to
actually say she “understand[s]” why I am a “very angry person.”                                                     Poor, deluded
Reba Wooden!  She actually believes that I was not a liar when I wrote what I did in my Statement, she actually
senses within me both veracity and personal integrity!  Hasn’t she been to a meeting of the Indianapolis Peace &
Justice Center, or a Sunday service at the North Meadow Circle of Friends?  Hasn’t she been around the true
cognoscenti of the Politically Correct left in Indianapolis, doesn’t she know from the authoritative word given by
“peace church progressives,” that everything she wrote about me above is blatantly false?  No, I don’t have a
“tragic” life, never did.  I’m the way I am not because of “abuses and bad things happening,” but because I’m
“troublesome,” “strange,” “quirky,” “unacceptable,” “always talking about [my]self” even though I’ve obviously  
accomplished nothing, arrogantly “bragging about something obscure” because I played a major role in the anti-
Vietnam War movement outside of Indiana!  Etc., etc., etc., blah, blah, blah.                        Poor, deluded Reba
Wooden again!  Her addled atheism blinds her to my “real needs” not for affirmation and recognition, but for
“reconciliation” with God and Society.  Ah, Politically Incorrect atheistic idiots!  So obviously blind to the “pathology”
within me that fatally corrupted my persona, whatever it was, and thus led me, a one-time Good Catholic, to become
an atheistic apostate with no redeeming qualities.  That’s right – no redeeming qualities, even though my former
academic advisor, a Distinguished Professor of Economics Emeritus at Indiana University-Bloomington, considers
me a “hero” because of what he alleges (wrongly, of course) I’ve overcome.  What does he know, he, a Canadian
Jew also become an atheistic apostate?  He knows nothing, but others truly do.  Those others both of psychiatry
and “peaceable, progressive” Political Correctness, those I turn from in my delusion.          Those who really, truly,
do want to help me find the Path to Reconciliation with God and Society.  Just as their kindred souls of earlier times
had wished to help reconcile Socrates, Galileo, the witches and heretics burned at the stake, up to and including
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Niemoller, Leon Trotsky, Nikolai Bukharin, Peng Dehuai, and Liu Shaoqui, help reconcile
them to Reality, Church, Party, God, Society, and Leaders.  “George, why do this?” they so earnestly admonish;
“Why continue to delude and blind yourself, why live in such misery when there’s so much happiness waiting for you
in any shopping mall!”                                                        Ah, but my blindness, my delusion, will not allow me such
happiness.  Nor will it lead me away from my nasty awareness that one need not be a fanatical preacher of the
Religious Right to manifest obscurantist intolerance and to act cruelly and vindictively toward the “strange,” “quirky”
and “unacceptable,” all of it, of course, “done for their own good.”  No, Not at all!  One can be this malicious, act this
maliciously, as a “peace church progressive” also.  One can be this ugly way, and do these vile things just as well,
as eagerly, and as self-righteously, every bit as much as a Good Quaker as one can as a Born-Again Christian, or
as an Islamic Jihadist waging war against the Infidels.                                                                                          But I,
a communist of the small “c” variety, assert just as defiantly, as insouciantly, that one can also be this way, do these
things just as well, as a Communist of the capital “C” variety.  One can do, one can justify, one can reconcile all the
most vile, cruel and hypocritical things within oneself and sleep well at night – by simply flipping the Intelligent
Awareness Control switch within the brain to “Off” and letting one’s sense of propriety guide him/her to the shopping
mall, the trendy coffeehouse, the “in” bar, or wherever those norms of appropriate passivity and uncritical mindset
that are approved by the peer group of one’s choice prevail, and thus provide one with the numbing sensation of
contented flatulence.                                                        No!  Call it stupidity, refusal to be happy, whatever.  I am
just incapable of living content in Brave New World.  But to me, that discontent is only the affirmation of true
humanity.  Affirmation of the positive Marxisms of both Karl and Groucho; the communism of Lenin on the one hand,
and the communism of Lennon on the other; and the arrogant atheism that rejects the God of heaven, but just as
stubbornly refuses to find him in either Chairman Mao or George W. Bush.  That’s just me, the stubborn liberation
fighter of the left who insists that the magnificent anthem of the working class, the “Internationale,” means exactly
what it says when it asserts, “We want no condescending saviors.”   The stubborn liberation fighter of the left who
joins with the great German Marxist revolutionary socialist, Rosa Luxemburg, to affirm, “[T]he errors committed by a
truly revolutionary movement are infinitely more fruitful than the infallibility of the cleverest Central Committee.”  The
stubborn liberation fighter of the left who was, and still is, so proud to have been honored as “Humanist of the
Month” by the Humanist Fellowship Group of Central Indiana —GF.