I have always been fascinated by human nature and the complexities and boldness of the human mind to conjure up a belief in something that doesn’t adhere to science, logic or mainstream thinking. Let’s talk about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy. How many people actually believe in these myths and amazing stories and how do we deal with the hordes of small children out there who still believe in these preposterous fairy tale traditions; who have in fact been told by their parents that they exist? What!!!?? Tell a kid there’s no Santa Claus, are you out of your mind!!!??? Relax, I would never suggest such a thing. Let’s move on to something more universally accepted; the belief in God. Okay, so that’s off limits for discussion too? I get it.
To my point, in this day and age, are we now forced in the uncomfortable position of destroying someone else’s beliefs and if yes, how do we do it?
When Alice went down the rabbit hole, she followed her curiosities over a white rabbit with pink eyes who held a pocket watch. In her haste to pursue an oddity, she not only entered the rabbit hole but once inside she began to fall and she soon realized that she couldn’t stop herself from the plunge into an unknown world. In my version of this tale, Alice soon comes to rest near a Pandora’s Box. Now, Alice is faced with another choice; does she dare to take a peek inside the container? Does she risk on maybe releasing an evil, unthinkable destructive darkness that resides within? If we were there, would we try to stop her?
39 people, belonging to the Heaven’s Gate Cult died in March of 1997 of a mass suicide, believing for several decades that they were going to ascend to an extraterrestrial spacecraft and their time came when they believed that the space ship was following in the wake of the Hale-Bopp comet. Their leader, Marshall Applewhite, led the group to their beliefs and to their deaths.
918 people, belonging to a religious cult, The Peoples Temple, died in November of 1978 after following James Jones, a preacher and self-professed faith healer. They all died in a jungle commune at Jonestown, Guyana from suicide, after ingesting cyanide-poisoned Flavor Aid.
957 people died in those two events because they all believed in a leader, who convinced them to believe in something that had no basis in logic or reality. They all opened up their own Pandora’s box and ultimately, they paid the price. Maybe they were so deep in the rabbit hole that they saw no way out and they couldn’t physiologically believe in anything else. Too many years and too many ingrained deep-rooted beliefs stole reason from those poor souls. Maybe Applewhite and Jones built on the psychological principles that Charlie Manson used to control his infamous group of violent criminals, The Manson Family. They did their killing in 1969 under Manson’s leadership, believing that he was a manifestation of Jesus Christ and that his prophecies were reliable concerning an imminent apocalyptic race war.
I propose that we have recently opened a Pandora’s Box in this country and regardless of which side we reside on, we have to ask ourselves if we base our beliefs on reality, or have we gone too far down the rabbit hole to climb out?