I finished reading Them: Adventures With Extremists last night. I was about a hundred pages from the end when I went to bed, but I had to finish it. I was too unsettled not to. I have all these unpleasant thoughts running through my head that I want to get down so I can hopefully get some comments on them before I really sit down to write them out, especially if you’ve read the book, or watched The Secret Rulers of the World.
I was truly disturbed by the people profiled in the book. Here are the unformed thoughts rolling around in my noggin:
- It feels like everyone’s story is true to a degree. The problem is that each on of the “extremists” projects their own personal prejudices. There’s a group of mostly white, conservative Christian radicals, and the Islamic Fundamentalists who think the world is run by the Jews. The Irish Protestant Extremists think it’s the Catholics. The people actually in the group these folks think is the New World Order really don’t give the extremists a second thought. What if they’re all right? What does that mean for me, sitting here somewhere between the different camps?
- The extremists are called extremists because they left the mainstream of their (mostly) religions because they became entranced by a cause, or because they felt the World was against them. It feels like they’ve decided that this New World Order is the reason their lives suck and have vowed to fight it. It feels like class warfare to me, with one side (the Bilderbergs of the world) so removed from the battle they don’t even smell the blood.
- Can these extremists be brought back into the mainstream? Is there some way to extinguish the hate without extinguishing them? Should we try? Do we try because we can’t handle people who don’t fit into a nice little box?
- The Ruby Ridge / Waco chapter was probably the most discomforting part of the book. Both events were so badly handled by the government. But, was it part of this vast conspiracy, or was it just sheer incompetance?
I don’t honestly know what I think about everything in the book. It’s too much to take in and try to think about in one sitting. What do you think?