Is sodomy a health booster, a pleasure, a creative sensual practice – or a horrible sin that led to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah? Two 5000 years old male skeletons and some Old Testament, Genesis reading did not make me any wiser. Sodomy. Sodom and Gomorrah. Sin?
As a side note, the common signification of the word sodomy also depends on language. In German, sodomy is often used to describe sex with animals. Which is technically incorrect as this would be ‘Zoophilie’. This article does not focus on the German language use of sodomy.
Ok. Fine. So apparently most gays, lesbians and bisexuals are by definition – as defined by their technique of sexual intercourse – sodomists. Those 5000 year old male skeletons discovered at the exact same location Sodom and Gomorrah were once – what an impressive discovery, also regarding the position of the 2 skeletons, a strange combination of sensuality and death – only (seem to) further prove the point.
Those ‘lovers’ where found in the Southern Jordan River Valley. And where exactly? In the ancient ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Sodomy (/ˈsɒdəmi/) or buggery (British English) is generally anal or oral sex between people or sexual activity between a person and a non-human animal (bestiality), but it may also mean any non-procreative sexual activity. Originally, the term sodomy, which is derived from the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Book of Genesis, was commonly restricted to anal sex.Sodomy laws in many countries criminalized the behavior. In the Western world, many of these laws have been overturned or are not routinely enforced. Sodomy, another definition, by Wikipedia
Above made my sodomy ‘research’ more complex. Anal and oral intercourse. Or sex with a non-human animal. Bestiality. Would sex with an AI capable roboter be sodomy? And what about non-procreative sexual activity.? Apparently, as some define sodomy, all sensual activity which is not strictly for procreation would be sodomy.
Another interesting aspect of sodomy is its origin, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Is sodomy ‘wicked’?
Sodom and Gomorrah, notoriously sinful cities in the biblical book of Genesis, destroyed by “sulfur and fire” because of their wickedness (Genesis 19:24). Sodom and Gomorrah along with the cities of Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar (Bela) constituted the five “cities of the plain,” and they are referenced throughout both the Old and New Testaments and the Qurʾān.
I choose the King James version of Genesis to highlight some Bible content related to Sodom and Gomorrah.
But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly 13.10 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous 18.20 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes. And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes: Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it. And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for forty’s sake. And he said unto him, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there.And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty’s sake. And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake. 18.24-33
Genesis , King James Version
Those 10 ‘righteous‘ humans could not be found and God’s displeasure with what was happening in Sodom and Gomorrah led to him sending 2 angels to destroy the city. Which leads to the conclusion that what happened in those 2 cities was very sinful and Gods reaction to such is a harsh one.
But wait. What exactly happened there? In fact, the Old Testament and more specifically Genesis does not tell us. Those two cities were destroyed – but there is no indication as to why. The definition of the word sonomy earlier in this article suggests that the reason would have been sinful sexual practices. Specifically one: Anal intercourse.
A publishing friend of mine said: ‘Anal intercourse is unnatural.’
The prostate, a.k.a. the “male G-spot,” is supposedly the source of mind-blowing orgasms. You just have to be brave enough to go looking for it.
Oh. Such a serious sin that made God kill the population of 2 whole cities is actually capable of delivering ‘mind-blowing orgasms‘?
Based on above information, one must assume that anal intercourse, or its (apparently) synonym, sodomy, is the reason for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as the Old New Testament and the Qurʾān tell us – and that it is a technique that is capable of producing mind blowing orgasms.
It may be able to help treat erectile dysfunction.
It can help improve urine flow.
It can alleviate painful ejaculation.
It may be able to help treat prostatitis.
It may be able to help alleviate symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
Stringently religious communities in general forbid any sensuality involved in sexuality. Or in other words, the experience of pleasure during love making is seen as a sin. For example, there are groups in fundamentalist jewish communities that use a blanket with a hole while having intercourse, thus ensuring that those two bodies to not touch and no pleasure is experienced.
Based on above, could it be that the amount of pleasure involved makes anal intercourse bad? That pleasure makes sodomy a sin?
Homosexual behavior in the animal kingdom is rife. One of the best-known examples is among bottlenose dolphins, with both males and females having encounters with members of the same sex. The exact reasons for the behavior are not well understood, but social bonding is thought to be a factor. Researchers in Australia are looking to solve the mystery. They recently observed big groups of dolphins engaging in what appeared to be homosexual behavior. A team from the Mandurah Dolphin Research Project in Western Australia noticed the males started spending quality time together after their mating season was over. “These dolphins, all but three of them juveniles, organized themselves in four subgroups in which they were observed engaging in socio-sexual behavior that included mounting and genital contact between individuals,” Krista Nicholson, of Murdoch University, told the Mandurah Mail.
As it seems both do dolphins have homoerotic experiences – and fun. So if sodomy, or anal intercourse, is enjoyed by dolphins, how can it be unnatural?
If one takes this articles information into account, one starts to wonder what sodomy really is. And further, what the origin of the word sodomy, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as recounted in the Old Testament, in Genesis, implies.
Here we have a word widely used but essentially of unknown content. Does sodomy relate to having fun during sex? And having fun makes sex such a horrible sin it made God destroy two cities? Or does sodomy relate to anal penetration, an apparently healthy practice both between man and woman, men and men or woman and woman which seems to provide amazing orgasms?
The Bible does not indicate what sodomy means. This holy book does not explain why God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, just that the people in those two cities were not righteous.
The not righteous
Thus anal intercourse makes people not righteous?
Not righteous because it gives pleasure and is thus a horrible sin? Not righteous because it is unnatural – but practised by more ‘pure’ representants of nature that we humans seem to be, one of the smartest animals, dolphins?
Whatever Sodomy means and whatever Genesis means when it talks about the horrible sins of Sodom and Gomorrah’s inhabitants – many of us are (happy) sodomites. Even in conservative cultures.
Sodomy is widespread, healthy, gives pleasure. But is also a word that originates from Sodom and Gomorrah. A symbol for sensual sins which inspired controverse art.
‘The anal part is not made for sex’ my friend told me. Possibly. But then, the mouth is not made for giving sexual pleasure too. So is a blowjob sodomy too?
Sodomy. Sodom and Gomorrah. Sin.
But not everybody likes sodomy. Some not because it gives pleasure, and having pleasure in sex is a bad thing – to them. Some, because they believe it is unnatural – even if dolphins enjoy it. Some because they see it as dirty, ugly, unclean.
Fact is that the holy book does not tell us why Sodom and Gomorrah have been destroyed. Give us no indication as to the sins the people living there committed. But whatever they where, they were so widespread it was not possible to find 10 citizens who refrained of them.
Could it have been Sodomy? And if yes, why? Sodomy is healthy, pleasurable (oh, thats why?) and widespread. Both enjoyed by humans and some animals.
Nonetheless, the word sodomy is associated with something bad. Based on the assumption that anal sex is something that was highly popular in Sodom and Gomorrah. Facts? Nope.
Thus sodomy is a ‘bad’ word for a sensual technique. Loved by many. Despised by (many) others. And some even see it as a sin. There is no proof for this idea. But then, who needs proof when it is so easy to collectively connect the art of anal sex with such as ‘but the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly’?
I am a bit surprised. Surprised that God, the creator, would destroy two whole cities because the people there where (no proof) gay, or (no proof) sodomizing – or whatever one can imagine as sensual practices when one has absolutely no facts.
But whatever the Bible or God intended to tell me with the story of Sodom and Gomorrah – I do enjoy what is known generally as sodomy.
This is not – essentially – another article about the virus named SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 and not about the pandemy – as the WHO proclaimed it to be – that it – apparently – created globally. This is an essay about fear. Fear as a weapon used with dramatic impact by entities that love to act from behind the curtain. And about the surrealistic, kafkaesk, morbid reality I’m experiencing. Definitely the most impressive shift of reality since I have been born in 1966.
During my childhood, the common, collective fear was the cold war. A fear that the next generation does not know or care about. But for me and the society around me, it was the fear number one. The next big, global installment of the fear principle was 9/11. Those airplanes that flew into the world trade center in New York. I remember them well – also because it was my birthday. To me those pictures being repeated that whole day on every television channel, printed on every single newspaper frontpage, repeated over and over like in an endless hypnotic loop where like candles on a morbid birthday cake. But what connected both those fears, looming over us like the proverbial Sword of Damocles which Dionysius II let hang over the once too happy court flatterers head, is an eerie feeling. That something is off. Something feels wrong. Terribly wrong.
The collective fear of the end of the world by nuclear destruction of two opposed systems, communism and capitalism, the second installment of that same collective fear, like one gear up on the global human fear scale, was 9/11 – the fear of terrorism. Fear number 1 led to a massive anti-communist witch hunt, powerful and unhindered secret service activity, a public happy with decreased freedom in order to protect survival. Fear number 2 made those collateral damages of the first one look small, infinitely small even. With those airplanes hitting the landmark of the land of the free values right in the core. Suddenly, freedom did not seem to matter anymore. Whenever the word terrorism fell, populations were eagerly accepting any kind of change of law. And whenever systems wanted to take more of the little remaining citizens rights away, they just needed to mention the magic word ‘Terrorism’. 9/11 was nearly 20 years ago and has changed reality profoundly. In retroperspective, neither the cold war fear nor the 9/11 fear made me fearful, but their repercussions on public opinion, the magic switch in reality which followed them.
Fear Number III
But now both of those fears and their astonishing global secondary effects which profoundly changed society seem so astonishing anymore. Fear Number III has arrived. And because I am not writing an article about SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 and do not want to focus on this magic virus, I will refrain from calling it such and remove some of its occult power by just kicknaming it ‘C’.
Throughout history, totalitarian regimes have maintained control by imposing a strategy based on fear. Those who oppose the established order are called a “danger” to the nation by those in power. Creating fear and keeping people in ignorance are two infallible ways to stay in power.
C is more than any science fiction movie I ever saw, more than any distonian book I ever read, more than any scare story I’ve ever read in 53 years of my humble life on this year. And it is not the virus, of which a comparatively humble number of 56 people globally died today. It is the fear, the mass panic, the truly horrendous secondary effects of C.
The name is due to the characteristic, wreath-like appearance of corona viruses (Latin “corona”: wreath, crown). The word Corona is of Latin origin and means crown or also wreath and is known by the holy Corona, a martyr from the 2nd century.
And those are not medical, not scientific. Those secondary effects are the endless flow of martial law implementations by systems around the globe. A truly extreme reaction unthought of in the past – and surpassing anything one could ever read or see in fiction by far.
Fear number III has the magic power of an occultist wet dreams coming true. If those Illuminatis exist, or whatever they are called, that entity behind the smoke screen, they must have been mildly happy with the magic effect instilled by cold war, with medium smile since 9/11 and wildly grinning now.
“There is always danger for those who are afraid.”
George Bernard Shaw, author
Whatever medial, mass psychology, subliminal effort it took to instill fear number 1 and 2, fear number III is the chartbreaker, is the megastar, is the ultimate occult weapon as it seems. Fear number III has reduced all the accumulated fantasy of any filmmaker, author, artist in creating a massively altered fictional reality to a faint fart. C seems to be the ultimate psychological weapon, the holy grail of global control, the final tool.
Switch of reality
On the 3th of this month I left Switzerland for Spain – and yesterday I travelled from Spain to Germany. In only 14 days I experienced several switches of reality which feel like travelling from planet to planet.
When I arrived in Alicante 2 weeks ago, all was fine. Sunshine, people sipping on coffees and beers in the bars, people smiling, full of life. In the following days suddenly government decisions from around the globe regarding C popped up – and Spain was, by the King’s decision, put on Alarm state (a nice word for martial law).
And from one day to the other street where completely empty, shops, bars, everything closes with C warnings on the door. An eerie, surreal, dystopian silence took hold of Spain. And police started patrolling, closing down children’s playgrounds, checking suspiciously every face on the street. Then even drones came, patrolling with their stringent virtual eyes and informing all the stay home.
And when I arrived at the Alicante airport, with much look at possibly the last public transport, there they were. All those eyes full of fear, those mask adorned people proudly wearing what will because the fashion add-on of the year. And with another streak of luck I made it to probably one of the last planes before airport shutdown. And landed in Düsseldorf, Germany, again – probably, as one of the last before both countries completely closed their borders. To be beamed into a completely different reality, where shops and hotels are still open, people wandering on the street, smiling – still, somewhat – all normal, easy, fine.
But what will happen tomorrow. Every minute new policy changes around the world are communicated. Friends of mine in Greece are stuck, other in Ireland, others in Switzerland. All in different situations, all getting told in an endless row of new regulations and rules again and again how to now behave.
“If they tell us to stop breathing tomorrow, many would”, I half jokingly told an acquaintance in my cheap hostel yesterday. And cheap it is, as the receptionist told me yesterday, because it’s nearly empty. ‘Corona special’ I thought, smiling. Smiling – but sad inside.
And no, I am am for the protection of the old, the frail. And no, I am not by all means an non empathic being. And no, I understand that C is not just a joke.
But where is this going? What will happen in a minute, in an hour, how will reality look tomorrow, in a week, in a month? How far can the system go?
Is C man produced, is C a biological weapon against freedom, against humans, against those useless eaters ‘they’ apparently so disrespect? Is C a virus or a new religion of infinite fear?
What is C – really?
Deep trance sheep vs conspiracy nuts
There seem to be two opposite types of humans living in all systems around this globe. Those that think that systems are basically good and truthful and that the reality represented by the mass media is valid – and those that don’t.
And because democraties, or whatever the majority of systems could be named that pretend to be such, are majority concepts, as long as one group is possibly a minority of 2% versus an overwhelming majority of the remaining 98% whatever this majority will decide to happen, or let happen, will.
Thus not only is this article in the end another useless article written by a basically useless member of a small minority of ‘thinkers’ – but the impact of it will be as the impact of all the others I have written during those last over 10 years, nearly nill.
This, apart from the extremely impressive impact C has made on our collective reality, on laws, on freedom, on perception, on our rights, is the sad truth which with I would like to end another substantial amount of hours spent behind a screen typing, thinking, researching, looking for the right words, wording and rewording, revising – and finally hitting the publish button.
I often think about the fact how useless my work is. That while the corporate journalists do want to, do ‘have’ to (due to their orders and dependencies) lie and can actually live from it, I am and will remain a poor and useless writer of what I see as truth for most probably the end of my days.
“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.”
But then I also have to think of the innumerable people that lost their comfort, their freedom and often their life for the same reasons since many centuries. And in the name of those – and in the name of my own conscience – I will continue to write those most probably completely useless words. Until my last breath and until my existence on this Earth comes to an end.
And if C is – as a friend publisher said to me yesterday in a late night conversation – not just another test drive but the final occult theater act before the curtain falls – then I will (and have to) humbly accept whatever destiny will soon hold for me, and all of us. As the saying goes:
This will not be an anti technology article. Simply because I am not an anti technology person. But I do believe that inventions are per definition like babies, it depends on the nurturing of a newborn, on the emphasys, the surroundings, the way the society reacts to the new.
And I believe that technology has reached a point where it is not just changing appearances, having effect on the way we travel, produce, transport, build or any of those other practical implementations.
But that technology has reached a point where, essentially through the way she influences or – sadly – one can say increasingly defines communication, has a profound effect on human evolution (whatever that signifies).
One symbol of this is the device we commonly call mobile phone. Or, surprisingly, smartphone. While maybe the item itself could, at least theoretically, be defined as smart, possibly based on specs and operating system complexity – is our application of this specific technology smart too?
Phone on the wall
Until I stopped being a teenager, a black phone with a dial, that, as I remember took some muscle power and patience to use, hanging on a wall in the hallway, that rang maybe once a week, a persistent bell that nearly woke up the dead, was my only technology based communication medium.
And its main purpose was having one minute conversations that went like “Hello”,”How are you”,”Lets meet”,”Good bye”. Which ended uncomfortable standing and consistently initiated a full blown meeting in reality.
While, what is reality? Facebook, Whatsapp and other so called social platforms – and exactly how social they are is open to discussion – have become possibly more ‘real’ nowadays than meetings in person once where. This kind of old fashioned person to person communication where one can see, touch, smell, observe, in summary, fully interact with another person is not the common option anymore.
I keep trying
I got a mobile phone. I admit. When I recently arrived in Switzerland – probably only to depart soon again – I got myself I cheap non-smart tiny thing for nearly nothing that could only do calls and SMS. What a revelation. Finally nobody sent me notifications, links (often for nothing and really to explain nothing at all). But then, alas, my bank told me that in order to use their services I needed to adapt (how often do we actually have to adapt to technology and how rare it is that technology adapts to us?) to their authorisation rule and have to devices, and two apps.
I tried to resist but then, in London trying to reactivate my UK phone, I was told that I needed 3G and that my tiny superthing was unable to adapt (even technology experiences obviliation). So off I went, sad and enslaved, to a new smartphone. Only now, there is no Whatsapp installed, no email retrieval activated. I keep the phone in a wanted ‘prehistorical’ state of on demand limitation.
And I thought about the fact that people are on their oh so smart-phones everywhere. So my one just stays in the pocket, or off if I am not wanted, which I prefer. I am with all my 5 senses in reality. If I can’t change the world, I can at least show with my own little self that I prefer this reality to that… wait…
What is reality?
The reality behind a screen is also a chosen reality. As is the reality in those apparently very addictive games that has even got some humans dead by simply forgetting to eat and drink, or by heart infarct.
We call the reality behind a screen virtual reality. As easy and convenient this sounds in a strict – possibly somewhat philosophical sense, any reality is as virtual or real as we experience it. In Shamanic Lucid Dreaming dreams are seen as more real than what we call reality. Experienced with all 5 senses.
And the reality behind the screen can – and indeed became – for some humans possibly also ‘more’ real than the ‘real’ reality. Virtual reality, taken to the extreme, can become not only a replacement of the reality we are used to call real, but actually a more realistic representation of ‘real’, or maybe better a more important one.
Thus, in essence, it is not about the objective reality value of a specific reality one is living but about the subjective importance of that reality the invidium perceives. Thus, suddenly, human beings who physically die because of playing a game and also a teenagers who kill their parents because they take their smartphone away are horrible and alarming, but on a psychological level make sad – very sad – sense.
“a 16-year-old killed his father for taking away his mobile phone while he was playing an online multiplayer shooter game. In another incident, in Bengaluru last August, a 15-year-old girl murdered her father with the help of a male friend after he attempted to curtail the amount of time she spent online” Source: Deccan Herald
Those people completely immersed in their smartphone world, in the reality behind screens, which are not just some, but – at least in my subjective experience- daily more and possibly soon the majority, in buses, trains, shops, on the street, or even in Saunas, have effectively, I suppose, at least in some cases, defined the reality behind their screens more essential than the reality around them.
This is the information super highway that Clinton happily proclaimed, the secret service unfiltered space of virtual reality. The world behind those screens is made possible by the internet, the WWW, a network with roots in the Military. Made possibly since the initial comparative free times for the exact reason that it now reflects. Total control. But those thoughts are another story altogether. Another one I would like to talk about soon.
“Think of it, instant access to information will increase productivity, will help to educate our children. It will provide better medical care. It will create jobs. And I call on the Congress to pass legislation to establish that information super highway this year.” Source: Bill Clinton
Filtering it out
This ‘superior’ virtual world of digital exchange has its limitations, in my humble eyes. But for the many immersed in that reality, the advantages seem to outweigh them. Virtual friends top physical ones. Virtual encounters don’t intimidate, virtual friends don’t smell, don’t have viruses (at least not body based ones), virtual friends don’t object (or they get blocked without remorse). Virtual friends don’t force you to go out, walk, take time. Virtual friends are easily exchanged, virtual friends can be communicated with in extreme parallel, virtual friends don’t need food, don’t have to be asked if they would like a coffee, virtual friends don’t break the omnipotent barrier of the magic smart(-phone) screen.
But not only the endless bliss of the internet is part of this world. Communication itself, even by voice, seems to have changed fundamentally. While I, old school, keep private conversation private, more and more are telling me, not asking but decidedly looking the other way and proudly assuming, that their most intimate life has and needs to be shared publicly with me. Family arguments, hour long video calls with their mother, of course over the loudspeaker and with me playing bokeh background, the most extreme arguments and deeply sad tearful end-of-life discussions – all right here in the open public. Is this smart? I can’t judge for others, but I do observe. And me, I find it too sad to shed tears – indeed.
Melancholically I dream of those ‘good old times’ when this black dial phone on the wall was my only technology based medium of communication. Where people would meet, not chat, play in the woods, not in massive multiplayer. Have a coffee, not place likes and dislikes strategically in a new, shining, amazing, glittering, infinite, speed of light, ever changing, ultra immersive, omnipotent virtual world behind screens that even happen to kill or get one killed.
But then, if the virtual identity is all that remains of importance, then dying in the real world might not matter anymore?
Shift in reality
Whatever ones personal inclination, that for an increasing number of us the perception of reality shifts into the virtual seem to be a fact.
Not that I haven’t experienced exceptions to the rule. I met people, yes, also young people, who have taken a conscious decision to limit their online reality. Have switched from virtual reality back to physical one. Have met others who still don’t – and never plan to – own a smartphone. And others still, that through suffering and with psychological help, have been able to find a way back into this reality from a situation of massive addiction to the world behind the screen.
So the future is not set. It is actually never set. But what matters, what seem to me to be of extreme importance, is that we collectively stop to see technology as a benevolent miracle. Technology is, has and will influence our reality to a yet unknown extent in the future.
Technology is not just to be consumed without critical thinking, one needs to be awake to make technology something that helps humanity evolve and not make it into something that enslaves the human being.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, it has been documented exactly where which infected person was when. Officials are questioning patients, what routes they took and who they contacted. They’re checking surveillance cameras and matching credit card and cell phone records. The routes are then published to prevent further infection. The German Spiegel, about South-Korea and the Corona virus
This whole story reminds me of the Goethe’s ‘The sorcerer’s apprentice’. A poem that symbolises in a smart way what happens if one plays – out of commodity – with forces one cannot control.
I don’t really know if this is funny – but as I don’t smartphone in public I have time to observe. These are some of the strange impressions I got. Types of smartphone lovers.
The Smiler Description: He/she is always laughing, usually on video calls. Location: Bus, tram, train, hotel lobby – everywhere where he/she gets public recognition Communication level: 20% communication / 80% be somebody special, make sure the whole world knows
The Drama-Queen Description: Or King… Discussing very private stuff in public. Preferably for hours. Including shouting, crying, tears. Total drama. Location: Street and public transport. If he/she enters a bus or train, she will not even stop with those highly emotional discussions when exiting the transport. Non-stop. Second hand embarrassment par excellence. Communication level: 50% / 50%? I really don’t know. Neither I understand why the whole world has all this extremely private matter.
The Loudspeaker Description: Preferably on video-call with full level loudspeaker. Often talking to his mother for 3 hours. Loves video calls. Does not know that loudspeakers can be turned off. And definitely does not care. Location: Street, hotel lobby, restaurant, any public transport, hospital waiting room – anywhere. Communication level: 40% / 60%. Needs everybody to know that he is loud, that whoever he talks to is sacred (his mother, whoever), gets angry if anybody interrupts. The world is mine.
The Chatter Description: Frantically typing in hyper speed on the soft-keyboard. Often with 10 people at the same time. And sometimes with the sound on: “Bling”. Message. Typing. “Bling”. Message. Typing. Endless chat going to nowhere. Location: Anywhere Communication level: 30% / 70% ? As in multitasking: Extreme. As in quality: I don’t know. It just makes me sad.
The Gamer Description: Female more prevalent. But males too. Immersed. Location: Anywhere. Public transport preferred. While walking no problem. Communication level: Maybe through avatars? 10% / 90% would be a good assumption. 90% a virtual personality.
The Addict Description: He/she never is without phone. Always behind the screen. While walking, in the supermarket, on the street, under the bus. In the Sauna, while eating – when making love? The addict is 100% and 24 hours with his smartphone. His/her only friend? Location: Absolutely everywhere and in any situation. Communication level: As this type has no other communication with the world outside than through the screen, I assume t is communication. But in reality it is just a drug, like Cocaine or Heroin.
This reality behind the screen will keep evolving. ‘If one does not go back to the game, the character dies. That is why gamers need to go back’, I overheard in the bus yesterday. Understandable. And the same thing might happen to those whose identity and value depends on the amount of likes on some social network. And whose reality is defined by how fast they react to chat requests.
Thus we are looking as a society at a massive shift of realities. From my time of childhood with the uncomfortable black phone seldomly ringing from the wall – to a real virtual reality of endless connectedness – and often endless physical disconnectedness, from virtual worlds of PacMan to virtual worlds that may soon become even much more immersing than they are now.
Only that, unlike the sorcerer’s apprentice, there is no old man coming home to reestablish order, to speak some wise words, to get us free. We humans are alone. Alone on this Earth. Alone – often – in a world behind the screen. And alone with the indeed real danger of becoming lost slaves of technology.
There is no conclusion. This is probably one of the most inconclusive articles I’ve written. There are no wise words to counterbalance this sexyness of technology that makes it so profoundly potent and dangerous. And there is no ‘no technology’ option here. Technology is trains, technology is a washing machine and technology was my black brick of a a phone on the wall.
The only difference between the known technology of the past and the technology of the future is its potence. All kinds of technology have changed and will keep changing – in positive and negative ways – our reality.
And even if we would reach the conclusion that in essence technology did and does more bad than good, there is no way to turn back time. Virtual reality, artificial intelligence, big data, the internet of things, the information superhighway both as a global communication network and a playfield for the world’s control crazy governments is here to stay.
“Both are running, both are plodding And with still increased persistence Hall and work-shop they are flooding. Master, come to my assistance! – Wrong I was in calling Spirits, I avow, For I find them galling, Cannot rule them now.” The Sorcerers Apprentice, Goethe
We are collectively playing sorcerer’s apprentice with no old wise man coming home. But do we really want to exchange the world of true friendship, of face to face communication, of awake conscious experiences in the real world around us against a synthetic, germfree and sadly also quite commitment free world behind a screen? And do we really want to throw the last remaining bit of privacy carelessly away in exchange for some blunt commodity in the form of ‘smart’ technology? At the end, technology may get smarter and smarter, but we?
This inter.doc (inter.doc is a medium developed by notepad.agency consisting of 80% interview and 20% documentary) about 1 year, 1 month and 20 days in Europes worst prison – so they say – Poggioreale, the Hell of Naples, und the largest federal prison of Italy with around 3300 inmates instead of 1400 as legally allowed.
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About me: I have got – innocently – a sentence of 1 year 4 months and 20 days and was released 2 months earlier due to good conduct from Europes worst prison, Poggioreale, in the heart of Naples, South Italy. This inter.doc is not to prove my innocence. Actually I do not want to discuss my innocence. I just know the truth. This content is about my impressions and my survival in the hell of Naples. I am currently also making the manuscript of a book which both focuses on my prison experience and my past ready for publication. The book which will be published as ‘Memories of a (mad) man” in April 2020 as well as this inter.doc have been a difficult experience to me. Most people don’t want to know about prison, prisoners, injustice. Most people think inmate are just bad people. And making ones prison experience public is risky. But I wanted to allow others who did not have the ‘chance’ to make such an experiencemore aware of the reality of prisoners. And wake up an often sleeping public conscience to the suffering of ‘deleted numbers’ in a system that talks about human rights – but is often as ruthless as the people called criminals. And through the creation of those works I have been giving myself the blessings of much needed self therapy, by writing, filming, talking, drawing about an essentially traumatic experience. I won’t write my full name here because I don’t want Google to index me with prison related keywords. And I enjoy some privacy. In the BEHIND BARS inter.doc you’ll find those informations, hidden in moving images.
About notepad.agency: notepad.agency aka notepad publishing has been founded in 2006 in Geneva, Switzerland. We have published a substantial amount of interviews, documentaries and news during the years 2006-2020. notepad.agency has moved its headquarters to the United Kingdom in 2014 and opened an agency in Lausanne, Switzerland – and divided its activities into five new departments, each bringing together renowned experts in their respective fields and soon 15 years of notepad.agency inside know-how.
Copyright by notepad publishing (notepad.agency) 2020. All rights reserved.
SHARING IS CARING
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Yes, to my own surprise and after 52 years of looking at such places incredulously from the outside, I’ve spent 1 year, 2 months and 10 days in prison.
But this fact – and also the fact that I am 100 percent innocent (you don’t need to believe me but I keep fighting with my lawyer through all available courts for my rehabilitation) and none of my constitutional rights were respected – does not shock me. At least not in retroperspective.
What shocks me, and keeps tormenting my mind even now when outside of bars since a good 4 months, is how easy, seamlessly and not found in any way worth of discussion by most citizens of so called civilized and supposingly democratic societies, my basic human rights – and those of the many others who still have to survive my not so distant past imprisonment – have been blatantly violated before, during and even after my stay in what is often considered Europe’s worst prison.
In over one hundred years, apparently, officially, nobody ever made it out of Poggioreale before his day of release. I cannot fully believe this, but it’s a fact that Poggioreale is quite save. The architect of this prison committed suicide – he hanged himself – after realising that the prison he built, in which suddenly his own son became an inmate, was so safe.
Two months before I was released an inmate made it out. Very old school like. This became official news. While I personally think such must have happened before, but officials kept it under the carpet.
In Poggioreale, nicknamed ‘The Hell of Naples”, I was not surprised to ‘meet’ violent inmates, real criminals as in murderers, organised crime members and other with serious mental issues, I was surprised to find that the Italian legal system, from police to judges, prosecutors and prison management, does not – in the least – care, respect or much less defend any kind of concept regarding human rights.
My primary feeling was that of a deleted number. That ‘deleted number’ feeling as made me produce an inter.doc, a combination of interview and documentary, with my own self – possibly the only one who cared – about my experience.
Julian Assange – another (mad) journalist?
But the shock still remains. And like a sustained grand piano sound, in keeps lingering in the air. Television, the only information medium allowed in this hell, showed one day how Julian Assange, whistleblower journalistic helper of Wikileaks, was brought out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and escorted into a waiting police car.
I have interviewed Julian and assisted to a press conference he gave in Geneva, Switzerland. That now seems – too – many years ago. In reality, the man I have interviewed is not the man I have seen on television that day. The man in Geneva was a strong, upgright, proud, fighting one.
The one I have seen for a few seconds in TV in an overcrowded cell in Poggioreale while eating cheap, often half-rotten ‘food’ one lunchtime was a broken, small, tired man. And worse, to me it seemed like he had already become a crazy man.
And I seem not the only one having remarked this change. Assange was heavily psychologically tortured, the UN special commissioner for human rights recently said.
Now some may be of the opinion that Julian Assange acted illegally, or is some kind of traitor. I don’t agree but respect other opinions as in free speech – and free thoughts. My real problem is that exactly this free speech and free thoughts which should even more apply to individuals concerned with journalistic work, seems to have been a valid motivation to break a man like him.
Accused by Sweden of rape (to be precise of not agreeing to use a condom which in the special laws of Sweden is considered a form of rape), and worried that those accusations where only a pretension for extradition to the US, he thought and found asylum on the Ecuadorian Emassy in London. Interesting to note that those rape accusations disappeared into strange air as soon as the asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy was removed by some new Ecuadorian politician and Julian was escorted to jail.
Now I do not want to pretend that my jail experience and his jail experience are similar. Or that the way I was psychologically tortured by the ‘system’ and his are the same.
Innocent or criminal – it makes no difference
But I am also a journalist, I was in prison for a reason I am fully convinced to be innocent, and my human rights, exactly as his, were disregarded, made even fun of – exactly as his.
I have been working – part time, or as much as my financial situation would allow – as a journalist for the last 15 years. My journalistic work was and most possibly will remain for the foreseeable future, non-commercial, unpaid and fully self financed. Not because I really find this the best way to do things, but because the special interest areas I like to report on tend to not align with editorial constraints.
And during this work, I’ve seen and felt my share of intimidation by both government and corporate ‘agencies’. And as I learned more and more about reality – not the blurred, children rated lies society’s propaganda mediums proclaim – I also understood that we all, while called citizens, are in reality just numbers.
Birth numbers, staff numbers, social security numbers, military staff numbers, hospital patient numbers, unemployment numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, passenger numbers, tomb numbers – or, in some instances – inmate numbers.
Numbers that can be removed, temporarily or permanently, at any time from the system. For no reason at all.
That, in my view, is the basic reason human rights as a concept exist – and have been signed in the scope of the United Nations definition of them by most ‘civilised’ nations. And having them and purporting to respect them as one reason society can relax, watch TV, eat in a nice restaurant, walk in the parks, sleep well. Because the individual, the one human being, the one number, is nicely held in the believe that there are some human rights, like the right no not be held captive for no reason, the right to legal defense, the right to medical assistance, the right to a minimum of space, the right not be tortured, neither in soul nor in body, do indeed exist.
This article is about reality. And reality is not about human rights. Reality, at least where I was held captive, in the largest federal prison of Italy, does not care for human rights – at all. One example of this fact is the existence of the ‘famous’ cell zero.
Cell zero, torture and murder. Who cares.
But where is the public outcry? And even if ‘Cell zero’ in Poggioreale is a proven fact, even if this sound, feels like a huge Human Rights scandal, even if those are new that should make the headlines, where is the massive media attention? I had trouble finding more than a handful of mentions on Google search. And those where mostly from human rights organisation.
This leads us to a second issue. The media. In Wikileaks case, the media was full of Julian Assange, for some time. And loads of journalists for corporate media were able to write about the importance of what he did, about the government crimes he helped bring to the light and about him and his main whistleblower, Chelsea Manning.
But then, as so often, a recurring pattern of mainstream media, the attention died, the coverage of Assange went smaller and smaller, until…
And exactly this is part of the problem. Not every citizen is careless, emotionless, indifferent. Human rights are indeed important and even essential to civilisation to some. And what the big names media often does, is overreact. Report until those emotions die down. Then bring the words to the grave. As soon as attention of the public dies, the media reporting seems to die too.
And that is one of the problems with human rights. Human rights die too. They don’t die on paper, those UN conventions are still signed documents by the highest dignitaries of participating governments and similarly part of the basic legal constitution of many countries – including such like Italy – but they die in reality.
Human rights are, as the father from the catholic church told me – in his way – with what I felt a sarcastic smirk when he put a huge book titled ‘Prisoner Rights’ on a small table in a small office I met him in Poggioreale, just words: “Here are your rights”.
What he really meant was, take this book with you up to the cell and be the laughing stock of your fellow inmates or just shove it into your ass. It does neither matter to me or to anybody else in here what is written in there.
Law and order. Or populism and fascism.
When they arrested me – for a crime I did not commit, but this is another story, police didn’t give me a chance to read the accusations, they beat me up as a group of seven and they didn’t bring me a lawyer even after many requests. When they brought me to court and sentenced me I had no lawyer and no translator and was not in any way informed of my rights. But only when I arrived in my cell – slowly and over the first weeks and months of imprisonment – I realised what having no rights really meant.
Now the problem with human rights is not how well they worded, and the same goes for nice words in respective constitutions – but how much they are upheld. Or if. And the problem with media is not that it does not report often on ‘deleted numbers ‘ (and deleted numbers we both are, Julian and me, as are many, many others held captive all over the globe) but that the citizen, in majority, believe that the media would report if those basic rights are just on paper that does not blush. Our modern and civilised societies are used to delegation. Responsibility in the case of human rights is delegated to governments, judges and the media. The duty of the journalist is to report if they are abused, the duty of the judge to respect them, the duty of the government and of the executive forces to upheld them.
But this is not reality. In reality, once you are in prison those rights are gone. Theoretically you should not be tortured or killed or left without any medical assistance. But in practical terms, you are just an inmate number with – in the best case and based on your financial possibilities – with access to a private lawyer who actually cares about your case as the only means to defend your rights.
And this lawyer is part of the system. He has to feed his own family, keep his right to exercise, not upset the judge or the prosecutor too much – and he also gets used and kind of conditioned to the reality of the system. A good lawyer in Italy – and I met, among bad ones, quite a few – would say: “Yes, I know that the police is fascist” or “This prison is a horrible place” or “I don’t like this system, but I have to play by the rules”. But the citizen who has the chance to – still – live in comparative freedom and who possibly has a remaining believe in an existence of human rights, expects an outcry. An outcry that does not happen.
The reason is that we all, and this is even more acentuated for people whos work is to defend human rights, have to make a living. The lawyer needs to make a living, the (in Italy not so common) law abiding and not corrupt policeman has to keep his job and keep thus quiet and the journalist cannot write on what he thinks is important – but most comply with the newspaper view. Follow the money – as always.
Just numbers. Just useless eaters. Just…
Thus what shocked me, and keeps shocking me today – also in memory of the many innocents and small time criminals incarcerated for ludicrous amounts of drugs or for tiny things – is not the reality that human rights are essentially words of people, which I kind of knew before – but the realisation at how quickly those theoretical rights can be removed from you.
It remembers me a bit the feeling when I lost some work and thus my badge and seeing those people walk eagerly with their batches around. Oh, I realised, you are not one of them anymore. And more, who are you now? But worse. This time it was, you were once a citizen. You had some rights. You at least imagined so. And now?
In Poggioreale, which is possibly the oldest prison of Italy and defintely not considered a nice one, human rights became exactly what the official from church made apparent. Words. Just words. I saw inmate with massive heart problems, with tumors that deformed their body, with cancer that got no medical treatment at all. I had to eat food that made many sick and some dead. I had to experience inhuman treatment, psychical mainly but also psychical torture firsthand. I had to hear nearly daily the siren of the dead, a distinctive sound that filled the hallways when people died. I had to see suicides. Had to experience people going completely mad right in front of my eyes.
And I am not saying that all the staff in Poggioreale where bad people. “We know that most inmates are innocent and that the real criminals are outside enjoying their lifes” a couple of elderly prison guards with sad eyes told me while sitting in their office and after being offered a well appreciated cigarette. “You’re right” the lady from the government agency supposed to guarantee human rights in Italian prisons said when I told her that fascism had arrived in Italy. Only that she left and never came back. “Patience” many told me, “just have patience”.
Yes, I had patience and made it out alive. But I was lucky. My thoughts are with the many captive in prison, mental hospitals and other official and unofficial institutions around the world. And I do not have a problem with somebody having committed a crime going to prison. At all.
But I do have a problem with human rights not worth the paper they have been written on, with their signature not meriting the respect of the ink used. I have a problem with lies. And in that sense I do see parallels between Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and me. We both became deleted numbers. And this happened in the very middle of civilised societies. And nobody seems to care.
And we both are in essence just slaves of the system. Not citizens. And never were. The concept of citizen is a shame in itself. It is a well known fact that governments kill people. They have their bodies for that kind of work. And it is a reality that the status, the dignity, the freedom – and all rights, can be taken away from the unsuspecting citizen anytime.
For any reason.
Where even the lawyers suffer
What a shame that in the case of Poggioreale even lawyers had to go on the street to make abuse of human rights public. But again, how many news reports is one able to find of this? One?
And what does it change? In Italy, television is full of uniforms. Military tells you the weather – really – archived police cars are shown 70% of news footage time and a populist government is telling the citizen how hard the system fights for justice. Government, the media and politicians are working hand in hand to convince the Italian citizen both of the existence of heavy crime (need of security) and of the perfect state (justice, police, military) doing their best to eliminate it.
Excuse me? In Italy? Reality is that I met multiple small time drug dealers incarcerated for many years. OK, this is up to society how much they want to criminalise people which where found with minimal amounts of a soft drug. But in Italy, where the cargo ships with tons of hard drugs pass the coast each night, where every construction site, many companies and even hospitals are infiltrated by organised crime and work hand in hand with officials, how does imprisonment for nearly 4 years for a man found with 2.5 grams of Haschisch sound?
In Poggioreale, there was no medicine. The only thing they had was pain pills. Whenever asked, the answer was: No money. The problem is that a huge amount of money goes into Poggioreale each year. And the question is, where does it disappear? What society does, according to my observation in an exponentially increasing way, is conveniently look away. Not only the guards, the management, the judges, the prosecutors, even most lawyers, conveniently look away from the myriad of human rights abuses committed against Poggioreale’s, and as I understand against most of the over 72000 prisoners in Italy – but also the media and – trusting the media or finding trusting them convenient – the citizen.
Human rights in Italy? Just a dream
Apparently, the EU human rights court in Strasbourg and even the EU parlament, after many complaints, was unable to look away anymore. Both complained multiple times that the Italian prison system was inadequate.
In essence, the existence of torture and human rights abuse in general is known to the UN, to the EU court and to the EU parlament. Since many years.
And now? This is the problem. Now – nothing. Nothing will change. Assange is a traitor I heard from some. That he deserves whatever happens to him. While I can live with the traitor opinion, because in the end we all have different viewpoints and should all be allowed to have them, what do some mean by ‘and he deserved it’?
Do accused merit to be sentenced without lawyer, translator, being beaten up, forced to sign unread documents? Do inmates in prison merit to die because of inexistent medical assistance, rotten and contaminated food or by guards that lose their temper?
Does Julian Assange merit to being broken down completely, going sick and mad, being forgotten just for offering a platform on which government crimes were published?
In our modern societies, delegation is common. Responsibility for the poor is delegated to state welfare. For human rights abuses to the media. The ‘normal citizen’, afraid to lose his job, afraid of crime, afraid of complexity, afraid of so many things, but in essence just afraid and thus pretending to not be interested, delegates responsibility to the media. And if, as in Italy, the media (apart from few exceptions and of those quite a few closed down now with populist, right wing governments) does not report on violations of human rights anymore, what then?
Well, in Julian Assange’s case, in my view a combination of 2 US ‘slave’ states all too eager to comply, England and Sweden and a media that lost interest sadly and interestingly very quickly, left a once strong fighter an old, both mentally and physically handicapped man. His rights don’t matter – in the least. They don’t matter to the media and by extrapolation they don’t matter to the citizen, who seems to have delegated all his conscience to media and government.
He got what he deserved. And me? And you?
Thus ‘he got what he deserved’ seems a dangerous statement. Has not every fascist, dystopian system used similar concepts? Does somebody who, purposely or really, commits a crime deserve anything? Do we collectively base human rights on… what?
But I am not writing this to complain about the concept of human rights. I am not disliking any constitution or law. I am writing this to express my sadness at the fact that those things are not values.
But remain words – that don’t blush – on paper, written with ink wasted, if they are not upheld. A society that collectively looks away, at Assange, at me, at the ones tortured in cell zero, at the ones still walking around with cancers and tumors each day in the courtyard of Poggioreale – is not a civilised society.
A civilised society respects human rights. A civilised press reports on human rights abuses. A civilised police upholds them. A civilised judge remembers them. And a civilised prison does not destroy the last bit of them.
Thus in my view society, systems, citizens are in no urgent need to create more good looking laws, sign more conventions, condemn with more rhetorical alarm. But to respect. To upheld. To take action.
Not just protect the upstanding citizen – or pretend to. But make sure that we are not just reduced to numbers, and get used to it – but remain humans. And get treated as such.
Also in a situation of weakness. The once strong man Julian Assange looked very weak and frail to me on TV. “He deserved it”?. Why?
Did Poggioreale’s inmates deserve to die of bad food, of absence of medical treatment or, worse even, in cell zero?
And did I deserve to be incarcerated with no lawyer, no translator, no documents – after being robbed 3 times in the previous days. Did I deserve no visits, no phone calls, no contact to friends and family?
Of the many inmates that die each year in Italys prison system only few are reported correctly. The number system is still at works. Stasticically most inmates die in the ambulance. It is an open secret in prison that reports can falsified to make statistics look nice.
Because, after all, we are all not citizens, we are numbers. Or not?
Last year, in Italy, there were nearly 1200 suicide attempts and over 100 suicides in prisons. Others died of bad food, of inadequate medicine, by guards or by other inmates.
I made it out alive. My innocence is not proven and maybe never will. One of the few friends left – of the ones that did not judge me or cheat me while behind bars – said to me: “You have to go to the Human Rights court. This is an injustice. You need to fight for your right”.
Indeed, I have to. I would have to. I should. But it’s not easy. Most people may believe that I deserved it. It does not matter to them if I am innocent or a criminal. They just delegate. If the judge says so. If police says so. If the government says so.
And fighting for one’s right is both expensive and risky. In Poggioreale, the ones that made appeal while in prison often got to stay even longer. The state does not like to be criticized.
It is not as simple. Getting your right means having a voice. That Julian Assange is currently suffering in a UK prison, probably soon to be extradited to the US and condemned to a life sentence, is not a question of moral innocence. He just played with forces that are angry now – and stronger than him.
That is why we would need a strong media. Journalists that are not afraid. And strong lawyers. A strong and truly civilised system.
What we get instead is pretention.
Politicians pretend that human rights are upheld. Police pretends to defend the law. Judges pretend to be impartial. And prison pretends that a cell zero is ok.
We get pretentions. Faked signatures on worthless paper. Not only does that – hopefully – not represent humanities civilisation level but its a shame. Its a shame to talk and not take action. Its worse than to not pretend anything.
“He deserves it”. Sure, Julian deserves it. I deserve it. And, who knows, maybe tomorrow, you’ll deserve it…