‘I have sinned. I have offended him. I’m getting what I deserve. I am all alone. I will quietly wallow in this hell and suck it up, ‘cuz that’s what tough people do’. Ethical skepticism says ‘bullshit’ to such thinking. Integrity, in the end, is more important than appearances – and all the sins in the world do not mount to a hill of beans in comparison.
Years ago as a young professional, I joined a Christian church based upon probably a weak but socially common set of criteria. First, my church of choice was a denomination with which I was familiar. Second, it had already finished a beautiful new chapel years earlier (I had long since learned that God’s love demanded evidence in the form of very expensive red-brick empires), and third, the Church complex was relatively nearby to my new living arrangements. After a while of being in the membership, I was approached and asked if I would like to become a ‘Deacon’. Even though I had heard the term before, I had no idea what the office actually entailed, so I politely asked. “You have to follow the scriptures and sign the Deacon Contract”, was the official response from the church elders.
Quietly inside, I bristled at not being communicated the basic elements of a contract before being asked to agree to one. Namely, first, each party in a contract must bring and surrender something of value, while second, all the terms of the contract need to be made clearly manifest and of single accord among all parties who will be bound or subject to that contract. There must be an a priori ‘meeting of the minds’ – and not exploitation of an under-informed party. Under this context, I was the only true ‘party’ in the contract (this aloneness is key as we will see later in this article). Nonetheless, I read and considered the hard copy document which I was to sign, and also which contained verbiage along the following lines:
Deacon hereby agrees that he will not consume alcohol, nor tobacco products, nor patronize institutions which derive more than 25% of their revenue from the sale of such products. Deacon agrees to contribute 10% or more of his gross income to his home Church, and further then may elect to contribute more than the 10% to outside or other tithing interests. Deacon hereby agrees that the Bible is the sole, inerrant, and final declaration of God to mankind, and to not regularly consume any material or information source which does not serve to reinforce such principle.~ Clause from the ‘Deacon Contract’
Having grown up in a small southern town in the US, I was well accustomed to what constituted fake appearances of spirituality. Most of us quietly joked about those who wore suits on Sunday, yet would lurk low inside the aisles in quick surgical strikes at the liquor store on Friday evenings, or only go to restaurants and parties far out of town. Appearances were everything in small towns, each participant wallowing in their own quiet gilt-edged hell. Such posturing, as much as anything, was what eventually compelled me to seek answers at a deeper and more circumspect level. I reject fake spirituality every bit as much as I reject fake skepticism and science.
Accordingly, I approached one of the existing Deacons to ask if he had signed ‘the contract’ upon confirmation to office. He replied in the affirmative. I then asked, “What if I don’t agree with the contract? I enjoy hanging out at a regular sports bar on Fridays with my friends and coworkers. I smoke cigars on the lake during the weekend. At this level of ‘cheerful giving’ I will basically have to shut down every life activity but eating, sleeping, and driving to and from work. I am mortgaged to the hilt and the church is fully paid for. Finally, I am certainly not reading only the Bible and Christian books on airline flights. That is ridiculous.”
“Just sign it and then go do what you want or need to. That’s what everyone else does. Keep it low key. No one’s gonna say a word.” He tilted his head, smiled and shrugged. In the end, I suspected that I could indeed pull off such a charade, but refused to do so. Thus, I handed the contract back to the Elders a week later, politely declining the office of Deacon. Apparently, either life had been much much simpler in second century Anatolia, or the concept of integrity was not taught at all. Integrity in the end, is more important than morality or goodness.
It was not that consumption of alcohol or reading of ‘licentious and apostate’ material was anathema to spirituality, but rather my commentary-in-action pertained to the deception and blame game such a practicing victim undertakes upon themself. This was not a concern over ‘being a hypocrite’, mind you – rather it was a line of standard I would not cross. I would not play the role of the quiet self-immolating sinner, nor lie to myself, nor misrepresent myself to others – choosing to never be mired into such a state of psychosis. My purpose here is not to sound sanctimonious, rather indeed its antithesis. Never allow yourself to be enslaved by the sin-standards others placed onto your shoulders. Their objective is never your morality, well being, nor ultimate ‘goodness’. Their objective is power.
Integrity, in the end, is more important than appearances – and all the sins in the world do not mount to a hill of beans in comparison.
Don’t complain, don’t explain, don’t blame. Instead, stand accountable and bring the pain.
I had learned this little trick of entrapment inside intelligence circles years before. The hook of the offense-burdened loner ‘criminal’. Cause someone to commit, or believe they have committed a crime, a crime which is then held over that person’s head for life – one from which they can never escape, save for the good graces of their ‘sponsor’. Thereafter, wallowing in a despair, blame, and guilt which is concealed from all, keep them perpetually, afraid, burdened and alone – and you will have enslaved them for life. They tried this trick on me as well. Whereupon I refused – citing both ethical objection to the crime they wanted me to commit and knowledge of the scam itself. They either were going to have me under a foundation of mutual respect, or not have me at all. I witnessed this being used on hapless mid-level department heads as well as SES and senior GS levels, over and over.
Never accede to the distressed pleas of the God Proxy. Rob them of their problem, or you will become subject to their solution.
Substance abuse and monetary capitulation, are the familiar consorts of this breed of ubiquitous loner. You can suck them dry as you please, leaving them a zombie shell of their former person. The ethical skeptic is a quiet and contemplative student of such manifest handiwork.
mónos mou – (Greek – μόνος μου, or ‘by myself’) – aka, ‘The Riddle of Sin’. An unconscious psychological interleaving of isolation, vulnerability, and dependency, or the exploitation of such a condition, wherein a person mistakenly regards an issue of fault or blame and its associated impossible resolution to be solely a burden of one’s self. A version of unconscious belief or instruction that one is all alone, and getting the just desserts they have earned or have been told they deserve. Very often the victim here will suffer in silence and practices of self abuse – blaming themself for issues which are not their fault in the first place, are mythical, or which are exaggerated in context and degree. This condition is then exploited by an oppressive abuser. In contrast to what many believe, this mindset is not one of strength, but one of enslavement. The eight steps of this form of psychosis expression include:
1. The ‘I have sinned’ ontological surrender.
2. The ‘I made him mad’ enabling.
3. The ‘I am getting what I deserve’ victim self-blame.
4. The ‘I am all alone in this’ solipsism.
5. The Weight – An oppressor who implicitly or explicitly contends ‘This sin will never touch you as long as you do what I ask. But you had better watch out, because you can fall from this ‘grace’. Once fallen away, you can never come back a second time’.1
6. The Silence – Secretly, one knows they are not truly faithful (cutting corners on the ‘Contract’ but hiding this), or never knows truly if they are failing or complying. Merely raising the question serves to place one in the spotlight of suspicion. Let there be no suspicion.
7. The ‘I am tough, I will suck-it-up’ self-deception. Strong people do not talk about themselves.
8. The Self-Destruction – The loosh of suffering derived from this process, is bountiful and intoxicating.
As an ethical skeptic observes and comprehends, ‘Exploit stakes seldom go uncaptured’.
These are the eight points of the spiritual lie. The Weight and The Silence are a bundle which is placed upon the shoulders of the target. The victim may not even perceive this. This eight step demonic process is precisely why we are flush with red-brick empires of guilt, haunted by the walking dead, the mónos mou. It is a practice of peak evil and the murder of the soul. Everyone, and I mean everyone, ‘falls away’ per step 5. But they will not tell you this. Indeed, the nasty little secret is, quietly everyone believes that they are the only one who is failing miserably and suffering. This is the trick, and what I call ‘The Riddle of Sin’.
If you want to be respected by others, the great thing is to respect yourself. Only by that, only by self-respect will you compel others to respect you.~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Insulted and Humiliated
The cruxial lie of The Riddle of Sin is this: You are Alone. There is a process of repentance to this type of pathological thinking. The key is this, a set of principles I learned a long time ago:
- You are not alone.
Take this to heart, as this is your first weapon. You are not the first person who has been victimized by the burden you face. This trick has existed long before you were ever around and has been played many times before. It is not your fault. There are others who have undergone this, and they can help.
- Spot and engage with others who seem to be carrying the same burden.
The whole psychosis of mónos mou depends upon your thinking that you are the only one who has ever faced this. Get into a forum, user group, or meeting in which you can discuss your challenge. Ask for help. You are not alone, and this is true in every context you might imagine.
- You are stronger than you think – your oppressor does what they do because they are afraid of you.
If your oppressor was not afraid of you, they would not have to resort to trickery. Seething anger, vitriol, accusation, and trickery (all a kind of ‘head spinning and vomiting’) are the tradecraft of those who have already lost – and who also know they have lost.
- Your oppressor does not actually hold power over you. Their bluster is a one-trick-pony act.
The trick has gone on for ages and never in reality improved a thing – producing only destruction and suffering. The longer a trick of this nature sustains, the less and less potency it actually has. It is only Lindy. Its exploiter depends upon the scam precisely because they are a one-trick-pony in the first place. Otherwise they would not need it.
- Identify what is and what is not under your control.
Make sure that your ‘sins’ are really harms, and not simply violations of social conventions or pressure to conform. You will find weak men burdened by all sorts of ridiculous rules. Take an inventory if you must, but you are not responsible for people’s misinterpretation, force majeure, nor the actions of others. This is a hard and fast spiritual law.
- Take action on what is under your control. Don’t complain, don’t explain, don’t blame.
Then stand up and be accountable for your own personal harm and injury to others. Do it without fear and excuse. Don’t worry about the accoutrements, appearances, and who is to blame. End it there. This too has no power over you. This is what people mean by ‘no regrets’ – and not the tacit claim that they have never done anything wrong.
- Never let anyone step between you and your spiritual strength.
Never accept virtue, sin, or unquestionable doctrine arguments which result in imbalances of power between you and an influencing party. You must realize that these are not mere accidents and this blame is being set upon you for a reason.
- Bring the pain.
Organize plan and undertake opposing activism and subject that which is oppressive. Let them feel and see the impact from you and others allied with you. Hold oppression accountable. Bring the pain. Stand in the gap for those harmed. If you spot fake spirituality, science, or skepticism harming others – oppose it; refuse to participate – no matter its bluster and awesome insistence.
- Be just, but be tenacious.
You deserve a quality life. You deserve yourself, whole and intact (this is the definition of ‘integrity’ after all). Just as lists of fallacies can be used as battering rams to enforce lies, so can lists of your ‘faults’. Never accede to the distressed pleas of the God Proxy. Rob them of their problem, or you will become subject to their solution.
- Identify the lie of mónos mou so that others may understand it as well.
Let others know as well, that they are not alone.
In the same way, the dogs of fake skepticism will attempt to assign you a criminal and unacceptable loner status. You are anti-science, you are racist, you are a Nazi. They will try and separate you from the herd for the kill. They know this trick well, as it was taught to them by their sponsor. A one-trick-pony from the beginning.
The Ethical Skeptic, “The Riddle of Sin”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 1 Mar 2022; Web, https://theethicalskeptic.com/?p=63295