Why do bad things happen to good people, and why do good people go
bad? Perhaps it's the work of the Beast of Terror.
29, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 624
Feeding The Beast Of Terror
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZER0, New York, New York--May 29,
2003-- I was scanning the papers this morning and was struck by a
story of the "soccer bandit." A blonde woman in her '40's
was arrested for walking into banks wearing a long blonde wig, handing
the teller a pillow case with a note saying she was a survivor of the
World Trade Center attack, and ordering the bank employee to fill the
pillow case with money. The note also said she had a gun.
hit a dozen banks in affluent neighborhoods before being caught.
She was stopped for not wearing a seat belt, and the officer who
ticketed her saw her picture on television, rushed to the police
station, found the ticket and handed it over to the FBI who later
tracked her down and arrested her.
The accused bank robber, 43-year-old Pamela
Kaichen, apparently was a volunteer after the World Trade Center
attack. She was also moody and distant according to her
mother. A horse trainer and expert rider, she helped
people buy horses. According to those who knew her, she
was in financial problems after a series of failed business attempts,
but was generally regarded as a "nice person."
Her mother stated, according to an article
in the New York Times today: "She tried to be strong, but I
don't think she was. She might also have imagined she lost
someone (in the Nine Eleven attack.) I know she didn't, but
maybe she thought she did."
People who know the accused bank robber
call her an enigma. They can't connect the dots between
her criminal and personal actions. The landlady who
rented her a room in her house said she "trusted her," and the alleged
bank robber brought her numerous gifts.
There is an an
answer to "Why bad things happen to good people"
There are a
number of books out with titles: "Why Do Bad Things Happen To
Good People," and perhaps one yet to be written that should be titled:
"Why Do Good People Do Bad Things?"
Perhaps there is a simple answer that stems
from the bowels of Ground Zero.
It was just a year ago that my wife and I
climbed down into the inner perimeter of the graveyard of the World
Trade Center. It was like walking in a grave, a giant one.
You knew your feet were walking on the remains of thousands of souls.
I was at the World Trade Center that sunny
day of September 11, 2001, and witnessed the horror of people leaping
from buildings, the ensuing crash of the structures, the madness of
people rushing to save themselves, and the horrific aftermath of quiet
death as the Beast of Terror rose up from the innards of the earth,
growling, hissing, casting out venoms of Fear, Intimidation and
Complacency that still thunder through the world.
On that day, a number of people snapped.
Some for the good. Others for
In my own case, September 11, 2001, was a
wake-up call. The events startled me into recognizing the
Beast of Terror was loose again, or, perhaps had never been corralled.
I had personally become Complacent after Vietnam and the nearly 100
combat operations that made me witness to uncountable number of death
and destruction. Perhaps in my own way, I wanted to think
that the Beast of Terror was not within arm's reach, that his fangs
and claws were dead and buried.
witnessed the horror of Nine Eleven
I watched the smoke rising and felt the pall of death filter through
the air, gagging those of us who thought we were dead following the
collapse of the buildings, I saw the Sentinels of Vigilance rise out
of the holocaust. They formed a great ring around Ground Zero,
locking arms, creating a Circle of Vigilance and vowing to keep their
eyes and ears focused on the presence of the Beast of Terror.
I made a vow also that day, to eviscerate
the Beast of Terror, to carve open his guts so that all could see his
ugliness, recognize his beastiality, and thwart his intrusion into as
many lives as possible including my own at both emotional and physical
the head of Shiv Sena in Bombay, feeds on violence to promote
In the New
Yorker, May 26 edition, under the section Letter From India, Larissa
MacFarquhar, spells out a horrible story about a man named Bal
Thackeray from India who is a fan of Adolph Hitler and uses hate to
create violence against Muslims in India. He accumulates power
through violence, using the Beast of Terror to thicken his control
over people who seek to be enflamed.
Like the blonde bank robber, Bal Thackeray
feeds on the underbelly of the Beast.
I thought about the relationships between
Terror and acts of violence.
Here in New York City, in the body of a
middle-aged woman, rages a Beast of Terror. It criminalizes her
mind. It forces her rob banks.
Thousands of miles away, in India, a man
rises to power behind violence. He promotes it as a tool to
bolster his own agenda in life.
All of this simply means to me that we
become what we think about and then are willing to act upon.
Our "soccer mom" bank robber fed herself
the idea she was a victim, and tried to use criminal or Terror Power
to achieve compensation. In India, Bal Thackeray uses violence
in others to stir up political power for himself--all at the expense
of others. He feeds on the food of hate, espoused by
Hitler's Mein Kamp.
I got an email from my sister the other day that
sums it all up, I believe. It is a parable about an Indian
giving advice. Here's how it goes.
An elderly Cherokee Native American was teaching his grandchildren
He said to them, "A fight is going on inside me, it is a terrible
fight and it is between two wolves.
One wolf is evil--- he is fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret,
greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, jealousy, resentment,
inferiority, lies, false pride, competition, superiority, and ego.
The other is good--- he is joy, peace, love, hope, sharing,
serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy,
generosity, truth, compassion and faith.
This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other
They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his
grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."
I think the bottom line of Terrorism
is that it thrives when you feed it. The soccer mom bandit
became a "victim" of life. She let the Beast of Terror grip her,
ravage her. She fed into the bile of his words.
thrives when you feed it
In India, Bal
Thackeray feeds on the principle of violence and hate to promote
What is the solution?
I believe it is Vigilance.
Where Fear exists, one must force Courage to take over.
Where Intimidation thrives, one must muscle up Conviction to break
free. And, where Complacency grows, Right Actions in behalf of
the Children's Children's Children must take command of one's actions.
I believe if the soccer mom had taken
the Pledge of Vigilance, she wouldn't have robbed anyone.
Instead, she fed herself the fuel of the Beast.
In India, the Beast may be feeding the
If you haven't taken the Pledge of
Vigilance, consider it the food of Good over Bad. If you
are Complacent about taking it, remember, the Beast of Terror will
feed you if you don't feed yourself.
28--James Brown On America: "Love It Or Leave
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