Violence, Power, And Lies

It is a contradiction that power depends on lies. Real power, true service to the social order, open ladders of progress, is truth-telling and satisfying but does not feel strong to some–strength in American culture implies abuse. Recklessness. Inflicted pain. Lies.

So among the powerful, we often see little inner satisfaction in service. Comfort is no longer found in a job well-done, in benefits to others. In their inner mind, power demands they must reign, strike fear, punish, deny–even harm. This happens when power is an end, no longer a means. When power seduces its user. When it deludes the world with lies.

Women, collectively/individually, become the objects and focus of that power. The violence and sexual assaults against women aren’t about pleasure or weakness, but are the corrupted exercise of power in a private realm, protected by an elaborate culture of deceit, threats, embarrassment, fear, pain, and public humiliation that shields that power–now an evil force.

The irrelevant, enabling general both affirms and misses the point: the man he describes as marked “honor” is the most dangerous to women! The headlines point to the revelation of this hidden fact.  The more powerful, the more brutal. The more out of control.

Truth dismantles the powerful who sought not satisfaction or absolution, but absolute power, an illusion of their weakness. Their defense of power is to fight the truth.

Oversimplifying, some men find satisfaction in good works and service; their inner heart is filled with empathy and sharing. Others hide their craving and addiction to power–they see service as diminishing them–by rape and violence–power become evil. Their denial makes it harder for them to know truth or get help. A lie is their strength.

Rob Porter Is Donald Trump’s Kind of Guy 



One thought on “Violence, Power, And Lies

  1. Mr. Rhett:
    I have followed your comments in the NYT for some time. I am a member of a Social Justice Organization in Charleston, the Charleston Area Justice Ministry, or CAJM. I believe you might find joining CAJM to be worthwhile.

    The Charleston Area Justice Ministry (CAJM) is a growing network of faith-based congregations that are culturally, economically, geographically and religiously diverse—coming together to make the Charleston area a more just place to live. Member congregations (currently 27) work together to empower marginalized people in our communities. We accomplish this by doing research, educating the public, and publically addressing the root causes of, and solutions to, poverty and injustice in our communities. Most churches do mercy ministry, which aids individual victims of injustice. CAJM’s justice ministry approach is to transform the system by holding local officials accountable for resolving these inequities and injustices.

    This year’s issue is Affordable housing.

    Annually a large Nehemiah* Action Assembly is held with hundreds of community members there. CAJM leaders meet with officials before the Action Assembly, and they are given detailed information about the problem and the solution, and informed about what they are going to be asked to commit to at the Action Assembly, so there are no surprises. Attendance has been from 1500 to 2100 each year. Large numbers are essential to persuade public officials to implement the solution that CAJM has identified. However, some uncomfortable tension may occur as officials are asked to do something they may not want to do. The process has been successful over CAJM’s 5 years of existence.

    *Nehemiah is a Biblical figure who stood up to authority for his people.

    I will be pleased to provide you with more information about CAJM. Contact me via email at

    Michael Griffith


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