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Tim Marshall, Ed.D.
Out of my loue for Nicholas, Jerry, Cheryl, Cameron, Melissa, Bryan,
Marrisa, Joshua, and Andrew, this book has been written.
The author is deeply grateful for permission to quote extensiuely {rom copyrighted material published in the foUowing
Dr. Jared Diamond! C 1988 Discover Magazine. ''The Golden Age That Never Was." Reprinted by permi.sion.
All rights reaerved.
Nabil Megalli/" 1985 Deutsche Presse Agentur. "Battered Women." Reprinted by permi ion. All rights reserved.
Lori Heise! C 1989 "A World of Abuse." Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Nikki Lastreto! C 1989 ''The High Price of Marriage in India - Burning Bride .... Reprinted by permission. All
right. reserved.
Reprinted from the August 1992 issue of MONE Y by special permi.sion; copyright C 1992, Time Inc. All rights
Don HewittlExecutive Producer! C 199060 Minutes. CBS News. "St. Peter's Banker," produced by Jeanne
Solomon Langley. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission C 1992, Omni Publications International , Ltd. All rights reserved.
The excerpt on page 49 is reprinted courtesy of Sports Illustrated from the March 14, 1988 is.ue. Copyright "
1988. Time, Inc. ''The Forest Follies." by John Skow. All rights reserved.
NEWSWEEK, September 18. 1989 C Newsweek. Inc. All rights res.rved. Reprinted by permission.
Edited by Robert Vare, from Rol/if18 Stone. May 3. 1990. Straight Arrow Publishers. Inc. 1990. All rights
reserved. Reprinted by permission.
Copyright C 1988 by Richard Shenkman. Legends. Lies. and Cherished Myths of Ameri.canHistory. Reprinted by
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Reprinted by permission .. 1984.NOVA. "Acid Rain: New Bad New .... producer John Angier. WGBH.A11 rights
Reprinted by permission C 1983, Robin MorgaD and Gloria Steine'm. "The International Crime of Genital
Mutilation." from Outrageous Acts and Eueryday Rebellions. Reprinted by permission of Holt. Rinehart. aod
Winston. All rights reserved.
Excerpts on pages 51. 52,60,61,62,63,64, 68, and 69 are reprinted with the permission of Greenpeace and are
excerpted from: "Finite Fish. Infinite Greed." December 1993; "Children of Chemobyl" by Andre Carothers.
February 1991; "Radioactive Seas: Cold War Relic. Threaten World Waters." December 1993; "Crime in the
Suites" by Russell Mokhiber. October 1989. C Greenpeace. All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permis.ion C 1957 by Loren Eiseley. The immense Journey. Random House. All right. re.erved.
Copyright C 1990 by Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich. The Population Exp/osion. Reprinted by permis.ionof
Simon'" Schuster. Inc.
Copyright C 1992 by East-West Reaean:h.Inc. Seize the Moment. Reprinted by permi.sion of Simon & Schuster. Inc.
Copyright C 1987, by Mikhail Gorbachev. Perestroika. Reprinted by permi.sion of Harper Collins Publishers.
Copyright C February 12,1990 and November 20.1989. Reprinted by permission of U.S. News & World Report.
Copyright 0 1989 and 1992. Reprinted by permission of Worldwatch Institute. All rights reserved.
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HEALING C 1993 by Rodale Press. Inc. Permission granted by Rodale Press,Inc.; Emmaus. PA 18098. 800-
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Reprinted by permi.sion of Nalional Geographic Society. Copyright C September 1989, "Retracing the First
Crusade" by Tim Severin. Copyright C June 1986. "Bikini - A Way of Life Lost." by William S. Ellis.
Reprinted by permission of USA Today magazine. Copyright C 1993:
Time. ''The Nuclear Scandal- They Lied To Us," October 31.1988. ''The Ozone Vani.hes." February 17. 1992.
"Beyond the Year 2000." Fall 1992. "SeIfor Sale. The Skin Trade." June 21.1993. "Why? The Killing Field. of
Rwanda." May 16,1994. Copyright" Time. Inc. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
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Reprinted with the permi.sion of Simon & Schuster, Inc. from Beyond Power, by Marilyn French. Copyright C
1985 by Belles-Lettre Inc.
In God:' Name. by David A. Yallop. Bantam books, 1984. Copyright C 1984 by Jonathan Cape. Reprinted with
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Copyright C 1978 by G.P. Putnam's son . Final Entries 1945, The Diaries of Joseph Goebbels. Reprinted by
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Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, to
Man s Greatest Fear
Copyright e 1995 by Tim Marshall. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.
No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission except in the case of
brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
For information write to: ATHENA BOOKS, P.O. Box 2282. Gilroy, CA 95021-2282
FAX: 408-842-1019
ISBN: 0-9645750-0-0
The human animal is a complex form of life. The two
sexes are similar and yet biologically and psychologically
different. This book contains a theory based on generali-
zations about the sexes. The author believes the vast ma-
jority of the time these generalizations are accurate. Excep-
tions to these generalizations are obvious: mothers who do
not love their children, who abuse or even kill them; men
dedicated to saving the environment to protect the health of
future generations; women in business and politics obsessed
with greed, power, and the glorification of self; men repulsed
by the human carnage and suffering of war, and the list of
exceptions goes on. Moreover, it should be noted the ma-
jority of world-wide organizations committed to the mitiga-
tion of human suffering and the protection of the environment
have been created by and are directed by men. When examin-
ing the history of the human animal, however, the generali-
zations put forth in this book are valid. The vast majority of
the time woman is the creative, life-sustaining force on the
planet, whereas man is the self-serving, destructive force.
The overwhelming incidence of human suffering has been,
and continues to be, caused by man.
Although I am responsible for the contents of this book,
my wife Cindy and my editor Linda Richards deserve much of
the credit for how clearly it is written. A paragraph of
acknowledgment cannot express the gratitude and appreci-
ation I feel for all the hours they have spent in reviewing and
editing this manuscript over the past several years. Without
their expertise, dedication and tenacity, this book would be
incomplete. They are in large part responsible for bringing
this project to fruition. I would also like to thank Laura Graff,
Arlene Silva, Grant Richards, Marianne Yuste, and Ana
Garcia for reading the final draft and offering their valuable
suggestions and Eduardo Alazraqui for his research assistance.
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Articles pertaining to the international abuse of women
"Bird Woman" drawing analyzed
Greek Philosopher
(470? to 399 B.C.)
A woman, a dog, and a walnut tree,
the more you beat 'em,
the better they be.
Thomas Fuller (1608-1661)
English Clergyman
From the dawn of recorded history to the present, men
have dominated women. At fIrst they relied primarily on their
brute strength to achieve their position of superiority, but as
societies became increasingly sophisticated, men created
social customs, laws, and even religions to legitimize their
control over women. Now, through childhood indoctrination,
and sometimes through force, women frequently learn to su b-
mit to the will of men, often blindly following their dictates.
During the twentieth century men have advanced, tech-
nologically speaking, at an incredible pace, and yet their
treatment of women has remained, for the most part, pri-
mordial. Around the world, on a daily basis, women are
beaten, raped, and even murdered by men. In India, a new
bride can be burned alive if her husband is not pleased with
the dowry he receives from her parents.
In Brazil, a husband
may kill his wife in a jealous fit of rage if he suspects she is
sexually attracted to another man. The cultural mores allow
him to cleanse and redeem his honor with his wife's blood.
Even within the boundaries of the United States, arguably
the most highly developed nation on earth, a woman is beaten
every 18 seconds and four are murdered each day by men.
(ABC News, December 18, 1986).
The timeless phenomenon of prostitution, continually
growing in scale, graphically illustrates women's oppressed
status. For example, Time magazine reports (June 1993):
A 1991 conference of Southeast Asian women's
organizations estimated that 30 million women
had been sold worldwide [into prostitution]
since the mid-1970s ... Wassyla Tamzali,
director of UNESCO's women s -rights de-
partment [states}, 'You have an infernal race
between the client and the pimp to expand the
boundaries, to find the newest experience
possible. Selling a 14 year-old girl has become
so commonplace, it is banal. '
The article quotes a Hungarian pimp describing the type of
female he kidnapped for prostitution:
I took the kind of girl no one would miss. So
when they were resold, no one would look for
them. It is as if I sold a kilo of bread. They buy
them like that.
Women are not immune to the possibility of being forced
into prostitution even within the sanctity of their own homes.
In the northern Thailand village of Maeoonai, for example, 80
percent of the 246 families have sold at least one daughter for
$1,070 to $1,430.
Perhaps nowhere is a woman's inability to control her
own destiny more evident than in the arena of reproductive
rights. In many countries, women cannot make decisions
United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization
pertaining to their own bodies; they are denied contraceptive
choices as well as access to legal abortions. Ironically, even in
the United States of America, a nation built on the premise of
human rights and individual freedom, it may soon be illegal
for a woman to have an abortion.
Sometimes man's oppression of woman is obvious, some-
times it is subtle, but the notion of male sovereignty per-
meates the cultural customs developed and enforced by man.
It can be found, at least to some degree, in almost all aspects
of civilization, from the practices of man-made religions to
the management structures of many corporations. For in-
stance, the May 1995 issue of Forbes magazine lists the top
800 public corporations in America -only three are headed by
women. Furthermore, although women comprise 52 percent
of ,the population of the United States, only 49 of the 435
members in the House of Representatives (11 percent) are
women. The U.S. Senate has 100 senators of which eight
(eight percent) are female.
A review of history reveals a long, unbroken chain of male
domination. According to the American anthropologist
Margaret Mead (1901-1978), almost every society in the
history of the human animal has been controlled by the male
of the species. For instance, in China during the time of
Confucius (551-479 B.C.), women were thought to be inferior
to men. The religious beliefs of Buddhism stressed that
women were the personification of evil, and, therefore, had to
be controlled at all times.
They obeyed their fathers, hus-
bands, and if widowed, their sons. The husband was allowed
to sexually interact with a variety of women, however, his wife,
whose primary function was child production, was expected
to remain faithful to him. The wife obeyed her husband in all
matters; he was her master. His power was so absolute he
could even murder his wife and children or sell them as slaves
if he so desired. Sometimes female babies were drowned at
birth or sold to grow up as servants in the households of other
families. If a girl stayed at home, she usually had to endure
the custom of footbinding (bending back and breaking the
bones of the instep) so she could be considered marriageable
when she matured. In the third century, Fu Xuan wrote the
following poem:
How sad it is to be a woman!
Nothing on earth is held so cheap.
Boys stand leaning at the door
Like gods fallen out of heaven.
Their hearts brave the Four Oceans,
The wind and dust of a thousand miles.
No one is glad when a girl is born;
By her the family sets no store.
In ancient Rome, a man was the head of his household,
and as such, he decided whom his children would marry. He
could kill members of his family or sell them into J laven:.
Mter the birth of each baby, he decided whether the child
would live or die. In the words of the Roman statesman
Marcus Porcius Cato (234-149 B.C.):
The husband is the judge of his wife.
If she has committed a fault he punishes her;
if she has drunk wine, he condemns her;
if she has been guilty of adultery,
he kills her. 36
In the early Hawaiian culture, male priests constructed
and administered a taboo system. Inherent in this system was
the basic belief that a constant conflict existed between the
two world forces - the sacred male and the corrupt female.
The custom of footbinding started in the Tang Dynasty (618-906). This tortuous
ordeal took place when the child was between the ages of five and seven. It made her
more marriageable because a fashionable-sized foot was three inches long. Foot-
binding severely restricted the female's freedom of movement so that once married,
she would be relegated to literally shuffling behind her husband.
Women were considered earthy and impure, and their be-
havior was severely restricted. They were not allowed to eat
Hawaiian delicacies. Men did all the fighting, farming, and
cooking. Women were expected to care for the children,
construct floormats, and make clothing. Men and women
even ate and slept in different houses.
In pre-revolutionary Russia, man also viewed woman as
inferior and impure. As a child, a girl received little educa-
tion. Her marriage was prearranged by her father. During the
marriage ceremony, the bride's father would give the groom
"the durak," a whip indicating male dominance and authority.
For the rest of her life, this whip would hang over the bride's
head while she slept, symbolizing her husband's role as her
The Code of the Russian Empire stated a husband should
"love his wife" and directed a wife to:
... obey her husband as the head of the family,
to be loving and respectful, to be submissive in
every respect and show him compliance and
affection, he being the master of the house.
Pre-revolutionary Russian proverbs stated:
A dog is wiser than woman;
he won't bark at his master.
A wife isn't a jug - she won't
crack if you hit her a few.
Pope Sylvester II (945-1003 A.D.) advised any husband
receiving opposition from his wife to:
Beat her with a whip, according to the measure
of her guilt, but not in the presence of others,
rather alone. Do not strike her straight in the
face or on the ear, be careful how you strike her
with your fist in the region of the heart, and do
not use a rod of wood or iron . . . keep to a whip,
and choose carefully where to strike: a whip is
painful and effective, deterrent and salutary. 36
In The Taming of the Shrew, the English dramatist
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) reflected the thinking of
his time by writing, "Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy
keeper, thy head, thy sovereign."
Until the American Revolutionary War, women were
fined or jailed for speaking in public in many areas of the
colonies. Like children, they were expected to be seen but not
heard. Consequently, women were not even allowed to vote in
a presidential election until 1920.
When the American suffragist Susan B. Anthony (1820-
1906) became the principal of the girls' department at the
Canajoharie Academy in New York in 1848, one of the trustees
of the school proclaimed of Ms. Anthony, "This woman is the
smartest man that ever came to Canajoharie." Many men of
the community proposed marriage to her. As one of her
suitors explained, "A fine figure of a woman. She'll do a good
job milking those 60 cows of mine." Susan B. Anthony re-
fused all offers of marriage stating, "No, thank you, I don't
want to be any man's legalized servant."6
According to the legal code at that time, a married
woman became the property of her husband. A man could
beat his wife, yet a wife could never divorce her husband. The
husband had total control over the children. A wife was not
entitled to the money she earned at work, nor could a woman
sue for breach of contract. Even unmarried women were
required to assign their property to a male guardian.
Distressed at the lowly status imposed upon women,
Susan B. Anthony joined the feminist movement with
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Ernestine Rose. Following one
of her speeches, a journalist wrote:
What a magnificent address . . . But I would
rather see my wife or my daughter in her
coffin than hear her speaking before a public
Undaunted, Ms. Anthony petitioned the New York
Legislature for women's rights. The politicians were shocked.
Assemblyman Burnett exclaimed:
Are we, sir, to give the least countenance to
claims so preposterous, disgraceful and crimi-
nal as are embodied in this petition? ... Are we
to put the stamp of truth upon the libel here set
forth that men and women . .. are to be equal?
We know that God created man as the repre-
sentative of the race; that after His creation the
Creator took from his side the material for
woman s creation . .. and that they thus became
one flesh and one being, the man being the
head. And if the women persisted in demanding
their rights, there would be no way of preserving
men's honor except by locking their wives be-
hind bolts and bars.
For centuries, famous and highly intelligent male scholars
have revealed their hostility and disdain for woman through
their words. For example, the Greek poet Hesoid (eighth
century B.C.) called woman, " ... a necessary evil."4 Hun-
dreds of years later, his fellow countryman, the poet Palladius
(fourth century A.D.), wrote a married man's happy days were
only two:
The day he takes his wife to bed
and the day he lays her in her grave. 36
The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) believed
woman's role in childbirth was merely as a carrier of man's
seed. He wrote that woman was inferior to man because she
contained less "vital heat"; instead of producing semen, she
could only produce menstrual blood.
Martin Luther (1483-1546), the German religious re-
former, explained the differences between the sexes in the
following way:
Men have broad and large chests, and small
narrow hips, and are more understanding than
women, who have but small and narrow chests,
and broad hips, to the end they should remain
at home, sit still, keep house, and bear and
bring up children.
The Italian statesman and writer Niccolo Machiavelli
(1469-1527) warned:
/judge impetuosity to be better than caution; for
Fortune is a woman, and if you wish to master
her, you must strike and beat her.
The English statesman Lord Philip Chesterfield (1694-
1773) described women as:
Only children of a larger growth; they have an
entertaining tattle . . . A man of sense only trifles
with them, plays with them, humors and flatters
The French philosopher Jean Rousseau (1712-1778)
The whole education of women should be rela-
tive to men. To please them, to be useful to
them, to win their love and esteem, to bring them
up when young, to tend them when grown, to
advise and console them, to make life sweet and
pleasant to them; these are the uties of women
at all times, and what they ought to learn from
Artur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), a German philosopher,
wrote women were:
. . . childish, frivolous and shortsighted.
[They exist] solely for the propagation of the
He also surmised:
That woman is by nature meant to obey may be
seen by the fact that every woman who is placed
in the unnatural position of complete independ-
ence, immediately attaches herself to some
man, by whom she allows herself to be guided
and ruled. It is because she needs a lord and
master. If she is young, it will be a lover; if she is
old, a priest. 36
According to Charles Darwin (1809-1882), the English
scientist who developed the theory of evolution:
The chief distinction in the intellectual powers
of the two sexes is shown by man s attaining to a
higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, ...
whether requiring deep thought, reason, or
imagination, or merely the use of the senses or
hands ...
We may also infer, from the law of the deviation
from averages, so well illustrated by Mr. Galton,
in his work on Hereditary Genius, that if men
are capable of a decided pre-eminence over
women in many subjects, the average of mental
power in man must be above that of woman. 36
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), the American poet,
expressed similar sentiments when he said:
In the East, women religiously conceal that they
have faces; in the West, that they have legs. In
both cases they make it evident that they have
but little brains. 36
The American sociologist Thorstein Veblen (1857-1929)
Coddled wives or daughters are useless and
expensive, and . . . consequently valuable as
evidence of the pecuniary strength of her hus-
band or father. 4
Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), the dictator of Germany re-
sponsible for the slaughter of millions of people during World
War II, said of woman:
The man's world is large compared with
that of the woman. The man is committed to his
duty and only now and then do his thoughts
touch on the woman. The woman s world is
the man. Only now and then does she think
of other things. That is the great difference.
A woman can love much more deeply than a
man. Intellect is not a woman s affair. Com-
pared with educated, intellectual women, my
mother was most certainly an insignificant little
woman. She lived for her husband and her
children. She would have certainly been at a
disadvantage in the company of our educated
women - but she gave a great son to the German
Even the Bible, the most "sacred work" written by
Christian man, directs him to control woman. For example,
Deuteronomy 24: 1 commands:
When a man hath taken a wife, and married
her, and it has come to pass that she finds no
favor in his eyes, because he hath found some
uncleanness in her; then let him write her a bill
of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and
send her out of his house.
Although many of the aforementioned opinions are anti-
quated' man to this day continues to exhibit hostility towards
woman as evidenced by his treatment of her. As the articles in
appendix A attest, women from Kuwait to Peru, from Nepal
to the United States, suffer daily at the hands of men. Even
more alarming is the fact this abusive behavior is often
entirely legitimate, sanctioned by the religious and legal
codes of many cultures. In her book, Beyond Power (1985),
Marilyn French describes two torturous customs; both are
not only condoned but advocated in many societies world-
Usually a little girl of six or seven is seized from
sleep in the middle of the night and hauled into
a room where a woman, using no anesthetic
and a crude knife, cuts out the childs clitoris,
while her mother and other family members
watch approvingly . .. Clitoridectomy makes
sexual pleasure and orgasm impossible for the
girl; the operation and the way it is performed
also engrave upon her mind her impotence and
isolation within the culture. It does her no good
to cry out: there before her, smiling, are the very
people she would have counted on to help her.
Even worse than clitoridectomy is infibulation.
All external genital organs are cut away: the
clitoris, the two major outer lips of the vagina
(labia majora), and the two minor inner lips
(labia minora). Then the wound is sewn up.
The only portion left intact is the outer opening
of the vagina, but even this is narrowed during
suturing, by a few extra stitches. On the mar-
riage night, the vagina opening is slit open with
a sharp scalpel or razor. If the woman is
divorced, her vagina is again sewn up.
The operation is both dangerous and agoniz-
ing, done as it is without anesthetics. It also
makes childbirth agonizing, for the normal
function of the labia is to assist that process. It
is practiced in Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti, the
Sudan, Kenya, Egypt, Nigeria, Mali, and the
Arabian peninsula. It produces 'a chastity belt
of flesh.' Both operations are performed to
guarantee a woman s virginity at marriage and
her fidelity within it - for she has no pleasure in
sex and therefore presumably is not tempted to
search for it with other men. But, like foot-
binding, it carries another message: impotence,
pain, and victimization . ... Clitoridectomy is
practiced today on thirty million women in
twenty-six countries. 19
In an article entitled "The International Crime of Genital
Mutilation," authors Gloria Steinem and Robin Morgan
maintain 75 million children and young women have suffered
some form of genital mutilation during religious or cultural
ceremonies. They write:
... international health authorities (WHO) find
the most extensive evidence of such customs on
the African continent and the Arabian penin-
sula ... Nor are these rites limited to one re-
ligion; they are practiced by some Islamic
peoples, some Coptic Christians, members of
various indigenous tribal religions, some
Catholics and Protestants, and some Fellasha,
an ancient Jewish sect living in the Ethiopian
The reasons for man's brutality against woman lie in his
subconscious mind. Man's writing can be a projection of his
subconscious mind and, as such, provides a "window" ex-
posing his deepest drives, needs, and fears. The following
statements transcend time. They reveal man's underlying
conflict with woman and its impact upon his perception and
subsequent treatment of her.
According to the Bible (Genesis 3:16), man's male god
said to Eve:
I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy con-
ception: in sorrow thou shalt bring forth chil-
dren; and thy desire shall be to thy husband,
and he shall rule over thee.
The Biblical God not only directs man to dominate
woman, He also expresses great hostiiity for her, to the ex-
treme of cursing her with pain during childbirth. Unless one
can perceive of a hostile God, the hostility expressed in the
Bible towards woman comes directly from man. Since man
wrote the Bible, its contents are a projection of his thoughts
and feelings.
Tertullian (160-230 A.D.), a Carthaginian Italian theo-
logian, explained man's rationale for his anger towards woman
in his work De Cultu Feminarum:
The judgment of God upon your sex endures
even today; and with it inevitably endures your
position of criminal at the bar of justice . .. Do
you know that each of you women is an Eve?
The sentence of God on this sex of yours lives in
this age; the guilt must necessarily live too. You
are the gate of Hell, you are the temptress of the
forbidden tree; you are the first deserter of the
divine law. 7
In other words, Christian man believed his loss of eternal
happiness in the Garden of Eden was due to the poor judg-
ment of Eve. Therefore, he "reasoned" the only way to pre-
vent further catastrophes from befalling him in the future was
to continually control woman. As Saint Ambrose, an Italian
theologian (340-397 A.D.), instructed:
Adam was deceived by Eve, not Eve by Adam
... it is right that he whom that woman induced
to sin should assume the role of guide lest he fall
again through feminine instability.
The New Testament, I Corinthians 11:7-9, further ex-
plains man's responsibility to lead woman:
For a man indeed ought not to cover his head,
forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God:
but the woman is the glory of the man.
For the man is not of the woman; but the woman
of the man.
Neither was the man created for the woman;
but the woman for the man.
Consequently, the Apostle Paul demanded:
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own hus-
bands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the
head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the
church: and he is the saviour of the body. There-
fore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let
the wives be subject to their own husbands in
everything. (Ephesians, 6)
Following church doctrine, Pope Clement I (30 to 100
A.D.) described the ideal wife as one who:
. .. loves her husband from the heart, embraces,
soothes, and pleases him, acts the slave and is
obedient to him in all things except when she
would be disobedient to God. 36
During the Middle Ages, the vast majority of church
leaders viewed women as unstable, weak, and dimwitted
because of Eve's disastrous advice to Adam in the Garden of
Eden. However, the church leaders reasoned it was not
Christian to resent a creature considered to be biologically
Consequently, church doctrine dictated that man
must take care of woman. Saint Augustine (353-430 A.D.), an
Italian theologian, instructed:
They who care for the rest rule ...
and they who are cared for, obey.36
While claiming he rules woman for her own good, man's
domination of her is actually motivated by an intense fear of
her. Throughout history, man has frequently described
woman as potentially dangerous. For example, an ancient
Welsh poem warns:
For woman is so sly, expert in devilry,
that even if you surprise her at her
villainies she U make you doubt your eyes.
The folk tales from many cultures have repeatedly con-
tained the theme of woman being dangerous to man. Accord-
ing to a Siberian tale, for instance, a hunter perceives a
beautiful woman emerging from a wooded area on the other
side of a river. Waving to him, she sings a beckoning song. The
hunter quickly disrobes, dives into the river and begins
swimming towards the enchanting woman. Suddenly, she
transforms herself into an owl and flies away while mockingly
laughing at him. When the hunter attempts to swim back to
shore, he drowns.
Likewise, in Slavonic mythology, the Rusalka are evil
spirits of drowned girls who bewitch and subsequently drown
any man who ventures near their watery home and place of
death. In Teutonic myth, female spirits called the Lorelei
dwell in bodies of water and, with their beautiful appear-
ance and singing, lure men to their demise. Similarly, Greek
mythology contains the tale of the Sirens, sea nymphs who,
with their singing, lure sailors to steer their ships onto
Collectively, through his literature, man repeatedly at-
tributes to woman the power to lead him into suffering and/or
to his death. But what could the sex of superior brute strength
possibly have to fear from the physically weaker sex? The
answer becomes evident after examining man's primary area
of vulnerability. In addition to possessing the power and
aggression with which to physically dominate woman, man
simultaneously possesses one biological need which places
him at her mercy - his sex drive. Specifically, man fears
woman's innate power to sexually attract, manipulate, and
hurt him. That fear underlies the hostility expressed in the
following letter written by Martin Luther to Stephen Roth on
April 12, 1528:
. .. her {Roth s wife] disobedience to you dis-
pleases me greatly . .. for by your soft-hearted-
Contemporary examples of men who destroyed their careers via sexual relation-
ships with women include the late congressman Wayne Hays (1976), former gover-
nor Gary Hart (1987), and evangelists Jim Bakker (1987) and Jimmy Swaggert (1988).
ness you have turned into tyranny that Christian
service which you owe her, and you have hither-
to so encouraged her that it would seem to be
your own fault that she now ventures to defy you
in everything. You should have remembered
that you ought to obey God rather than your
wife, and so you should not have allowed her to
despise and trample underfoot that authority of
the husband which is the glory of God, which St.
Paul teaches . . . By your own fault you are now
opening a window in this weaker vessel through
which Satan can enter at will and laugh at you,
irritate you, and vex you in every way. 46
In this letter Martin Luther is expressing his fear Satan
will manipulate Stephen Roth by using woman, the so-called
"weaker vessel." This attitude is consistent with early
Christian doctrine which labelled woman "the Devil's gate-
way."4 In this instance, man's fear of the Devil is actually his
fear of woman's power to sexually attract and control him.
Man's sexual need and corresponding fear of woman was
described by the French novelist Honor'e de Balzac (1799-
Women are demons that make us enter hell
through the door of paradise. 10
The painting on page 27 by sixteenth century German
artist Hans Baldung Grien depicts the triangular relationship
between Adam, Eve, and the serpent in the Garden of Eden,
and graphically illustrates man's fear of woman's power to
destroy him. As Adam clutches Eve' s wrist, the serpent she
holds in her hand is biting Adam's outstretched arm. The
poison from the serpent's venomous bite is causing Adam's
body to decay. Often interpreted to represent the Devil, the
serpent in this biblical scene actually symbolizes woman's
power to sexually attract man. By grasping Eve's arm, Adam
has yielded to the temptation for sexual intercourse she stirs
within him. Adam's lust for Eve is leading to his moral and
physical deterioration as well as his spiritual damnation.
, In comparison to woman, man in general has a stronger
and less discriminating sex drive. The international epidemic
of prostitution, for example, thrives due almost entirely to the
strength of the male sex drive. When examining the sexes
from an evolutionary perspective, man's more intense sex
drive, combined with his superior brute strength, has served a
crucial purpose - to ensure the procreation of our species. It
guarantees the impregnation of woman with or without her
consent. If, on the other hand, woman had received the
stronger and less discriminating sex drive, man literally could
have fought her off whenever he did not feel in the mood for
sexual relations. *
The magnitude of the male sex drive even necessitated
the creation of a biblical commandment reflecting only man's
sexual tendencies: ''Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's
Wife." Centuries later, Honor'e de Balzac noted the strength
of man's physical attraction to woman when he wrote:
Men are like that, they can resist sound
argument and yield to a glance. 10
And, the English author Sir Henry Saville {1549-1622} ex-
pressed a similar sentiment when he said:
Women have more strength in their looks than
we have in our laws, and more power in their
tears than we have by our arguments.
Moreover, from an evolutionary point of view, with the physical and emotional
strain of bearing and caring for their offspring, it would have been counterproductive
to the survival of our species for women to possess the more intense sex drive.
Women would have been more interested in sexual intercourse, for example, than
breast-feeding their hungry babies.
Man's constant awareness of woman's power to sexually
attract him, to the extent of even causing biological changes in
his body, may form the basis for the Greek mythological tale
of Medusa. Medusa was a hideous female monster possess-
ing serpents for hair, gold wings which enabled her to fly, and
glaring eyes which turned any man to stone who dared t0look
at her. When man speaks of Medusa's power to turn man to
stone, possibly he is acknowledging woman's power to turn
part of his body to "stone." He may be referring to the male
biological reaction of an erection when he sees a woman whom
he finds sexually exciting. Such a male reaction to just the
sight of a woman is an obvious indicator of her power over
Beyond her ability to sexually attract him, man is
well-aware of woman's power to subdue him through the
act of sexual intercourse. Following the tension release of
orgasm, man enters a physiological state of relaxation which
various cultures have interpreted as a loss of strength and/
or aggressiveness. The American Indian warrior, for in-
stance, did not participate in sexual relations with his squaw
too often because he believed such activity "stole his
strength," thus making him less powerful in hunting or in
More recently, some professional football coaches, in-
cluding the late Paul Brown and Otto Graham, requested
their players refrain from sexual relations with women the
night before a football game. They believed sexual inter-
course with a woman prior to the contest would make the
football players less aggressive during the violent battle of
the game.
Moreover, Medusa's "hair" of serpents may be interpreted as phallic symbols of
men whom she lias killed and castrated during previous sexual encounters .
Coach Otto Graham had a "Tuesday Rule" for his football players, meaning his
players were to refrain from sexual relations after each Tuesday so as to save their
strength for game day. 55
A similar belief is contained in an ancient Chinese
philosophy which states that two opposing forces exist in the
universe - Yin and Yang. Yang represents the light, active,
and penetrating male force, whereas Yin symbolizes the dark,
passive, and absorbing female force. The ancient Chinese
believed women possess the power to drain men of their
positive life force, presumably through the act of sexual
At a subconscious level, man fears woman may harm him
while he's in the relaxed state following orgasm ~ s for ex-
ample, Delilah did to Samson. The Bible contains the story of
Samson, the epitome of masculinity, who was deceived and
destroyed by Delilah. The source of Samson's great physical
strength was his long, dark hair. Following sexual relations
that left him weak and thus vulnerable, Delilah sheared
Samson's hair. Delilah exploited Samson's sex drive; she
physically drained his strength and, in doing so, was ulti-
mately responsible for his death. Symbolically, she cut off
much more than his hair.
Similarly, the Greeks wrote of Empusa, a deadly female
spirit who enjoyed sexually seducing men. After sexual rela-
tions, when the men were physically weakened and vulner-
able, she would eat them alive.
Woman, in fact, has used her ability to sexually attract
and subdue man through intercourse to achieve a degree of
control over him. Centuries ago, woman learned the futility of
trying to reason with the physically stronger and more aggres-
Man, at times, has believed sexual intercourse with woman could drain more from
him than brute strength. For example, Gregory Hemingway writes of his father, the
American author Ernest Hemingway, " ... Papa's often stated belief was that too
much intercourse was counterproductive to good literature. To put it simplistically,
he felt he had to save some of his creative juices for his writing."l 2
A contemporary example of this occurred in 1993 when a woman (Lorena
Bobbitt) cut off her husband's penis following the act of sexual intercourse. Ms.
Bobbitt justified her assault by stating that her husband had raped her while in a
drunken state.
sive male who has continually behaved according to the belief
"might makes right." In order to survive and fulfill her
own needs, as well as those of her offspring, she had to
develop more subtle ways of subduing the violent male.
Long ago, woman discovered she could control, manipulate
and, if need be, exploit man via his sex drive. Such innate
female power serves to counteract man's brute strength.
As the Irish dramatist George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
No fascinating woman ever wants to emanci-
pate her sex. Her object is to gather power into
the hands of man, because she knows that she
can govern him.36
When Martin Luther wrote to Stephen Roth:
You are now opening a window in this weaker
vessel through which Satan can enter at will
and laugh at you, irritate you, and vex you in
every way,
he was voicing his fear of woman's power over man's behavior
and simultaneously giving us a clue as to how woman can
manipulate man. The "weaker vessel" is actually not woman,
but man. The "window" through which woman enters man's
mind is his aforementioned sex drive in combination with his
ego. Together, his sex drive and ego are the most vulnerable
parts of man.
Man's ego can be defined as his sense of identity, of
which his feelings of self-worth are paramount. Though man
may try to validate his sense of self-worth by undertaking a
myriad of endeavors, one of the major ways he can obtain a
sense of significance is by gaining the admiration of woman.
The British author Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) described
woman's ability to bolster man's ego when she wrote in A
Room of One's Own:
Women have served all these centuries as
looking-glasses possessing the magic and deli-
cious power of reflecting the figure of man at
twice its natural size.
Man's ego, with its inherent craving for female accept-
ance and adoration, makes him vulnerable to be manipu-
lated by woman. The father of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
understood the frailty of the male ego. "Black Jack" Bouvier
offered young Jackie ten pieces of advice to use throughout
her life when interacting with men in order to gain greater
influence over them. One of which was, "Pay attention to
everything a man says and fasten your eyes on him like you
were staring into the sun. " 42
Sometimes a woman's admiration for a man is sincere and
other times it is feigned. As long as man believes the admira-
tion to be genuine, he will be inclined to please his female
admirer. For instance, in 1994, a 26 year-old model married
an 89 year-old man. It may just be a coincidence
that this particular man was worth over $400 million. This
weakness in man's ego is revealed in the words of Francois La
Rochefoucauld (1613-1680), a French philosopher, "Man's
own vanity is a swindler that never lacks a dupe."l o
The manipulation of man's ego and sex drive is a pri-
mary component of political sex scandals. In 1976, for
example, a scandal was exposed involving one of the most
politically powerful men in the U.S. Congress, Wayne Hays,
and his secretary-mistress, Elizabeth Ray. The congress-
man's secretary-mistress released her story to the news-
papers after her lover had married another woman. When we
analyze this relationship, we see a young, beautiful woman
pretending to be sexually attracted to an old, overweight,
balding, and self-centered man. Her trade-off in the rela-
tionship was simple; she fed his ego and satisfied his sex drive
in return for celebrity status, a luxurious life style, and career
Woman's power to sexually attract and manipulate
man also proved to be one of the most potent weapons of
World War I. Possibly the greatest espionage agent in the
history of warfare was a Dutch dancer named Mata Hari
(1876-1917) who became a spy for Germany. Because of her
success as aspy, her name has become synonymous with the
beautiful "femme fatale" who utilizes her sexual attrac-
tiveness to obtain military secrets from men. On October
15, 1917, Mata Hari (which means Eye of the Dawn) was
executed at Vincennes, France. Her espionage activities
were responsible for the deaths of an estimated 50,000
A Russian version of this type of espionage occurred in
1987 when female Russian spies sexually seduced several
male marine guards in order to gain access to the files inside
the American Embassy in Moscow.
Yet, as much as man fears woman's power to control him
through his ego and sex drive, he simultaneously is drawn to
her because she fulfills many of his emotional needs which
Honor'e de Balzac alluded to when he wrote, "Woman is the
altar of love."lo
Man's attraction to woman results from more than a
basic need for sexual gratification. By establishing an in-
timate relationship with woman, man can fulfill not only his
need for physical contact but also his need for emotional
nourishment. Emotionally, man seems to need woman much
more than she needs him. Not coincidentally, married men
live an average of six years and seven months longer than their
unmarried counterparts,l3 Furthermore, it is common for a
man to die a few months after the death of his wife if they have
lived together for many years. Once he loses his wife, fre-
quently his primary source of emotional nourishment, his life
often loses meaning, and he gives up the will to live. *
Many women also suffer greatly when their husbands die, but the fact remains that
women continue to live an average of 7.7 years longer than men.
Moreover, man needs to feel needed by woman. He
needs to believe he is essential to her existence. Subcon-
sciously though, he has always feared, should woman escape
from the confines of the kitchen, nursery or bedroom and
become self-sufficient, she would demonstrate to him he is no
longer needed to ensure her survival in the environment. If
woman was to gain total independence, man would suffer a
significant loss of purpose. Man's need to feel needed by
woman provides yet another reason for his domination of her
which, taken to the extreme, is evidenced by the tragic fact he
will even murder his wife (or girlfriend) rather than allow her
to leave him. Conversely, a woman rarely murders her hus-
band or boyfriend even when he leaves her.
Many men seem to possess a love/hate and need/fear
relationship with women. The picture on page 28 is a
reproduction of a drawing made by a nineteen year-old
male whom I tested in a halfway house for boys. This pic-
ture reveals the artist's inner-most feelings, fantasies, and
needs. It also graphically illustrates the deep and consuming
conflict many men experience in their relationships with
By drawing a bird's head with a long, sharp beak atop a
voluptuous woman's body, the artist is expressing an emo-
tional paradox. He views women as attractive and potentially
loving, but simultaneously he finds them dangerous and thus
revolting. These conflicting feelings probably began develop-
ing during his first relationship with a woman -his mother. For
an in-depth clinical interpretation of this drawing, see ap-
pendix B.
Because of the conflict that exists within man as a result
of his fear of, and need for, woman, it is significant that
the mysterious, frightening phenomenon of death is por-
trayed as a woman in the mythological tales of many cultures.
For example, death appeared to the Slavs as a woman dressed
in white. In North America, the goddess or messenger of
death for the Huron Indians was a woman called the She
During a battle, the Vikings believed a brave warrior
would see a blinding flash of light at the moment of his death.
Surrounded by that light, a beautiful female messenger of
death called a Valkyrie would ride her horse to the warrior
and carry him off to Odin's castle in the heavens. Similarly in
Ireland, Morrign Morrigan, the "Queen of Ghosts," was a war
goddess. To soldiers about to be murdered in combat, she
would appear in a grotesque masquerade.
The Scandinavians believed the kingdom of the dead
was guarded by a woman, the Goddess Hel. The movie,All
That Jazz (1979),is a contemporary example of man depicting
death as a beautiful, pure, and tranquil woman dressed in white.
Man's tendency to symbolize death in the female form
may be a ramification of his relationship with the most
powerful woman in his life - his mother. The Norwegian artist
Edward Munch even described the smile of the Madonna in
one of his paintings as, " ... like the smile of death. "4 Death,
the termination of life, is the end of human struggle and
suffering. Subconsciously, man's perception of death in the
female form may stem from the peace. he first experienced in
the security of his mother's arms following the traumatic
event of birth. Later in life, the connection between the
tranquility of death and woman may be further reinforced in
man each time he experiences serenity in the arms of woman
following the orgasm that accompanies sexual intercourse.
By portraying death as female, regardless of the under-
lying reasons, man is again expressing his paradoxical feel-
ings toward woman. He is, simultaneously, both attracted
* The myths mentioned earlier in this chapter, of beautiful women luring men to
drown in a body of water, may symbolize man's subconscious wish to return to the
peace of his mother's womb.
** Part of woman's power over man is his subconscious desire to please her, as he
tried to please his mother in childhood.
to woman and fearful of her. The French philosopher Marie
Stendhal (1783-1842) described this conflict when he wrote:
A man who trembles is not bored. The pleasures
of love are always in proportion to our fear. 10
Stendhal's words explain why man attempts to domi-
nate, as opposed to destroy, the source of his fear. When man
fears something in his environment he destroys it, unless his
need for the creature is greater than his fear of it. Man's fear
of woman is only surpassed by his need for her.
The American actress Glenn Close offered her insightful
assessment of the sexes in 1989:
Men have always been at the mercy of women
and they still are. We are emotionally and
spiritually stronger than men . . . Men, I think,
are more vulnerable . .. I have never wanted to
be a man. I feel sorry for them. Sometimes I
think they'll never know how to deal with
women. 14
Due to his dependence on woman to fulfill his sexual and
emotional needs, man instinctively realizes her innate power
is pervasive, as proclaimed in the Parliament of England by
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784):
Sir, nature has given woman so much power
that the law cannot afford to give her more.
Man has consistently tried to suppress woman's power
by creating cultural customs, religious doctrine, and societal
laws which subjugate her. Usually man cloaks the rationale
for his dominance in shrouds of paternalistic excuses based
upon his claim of woman's biological inferiority and her
alleged inability to exercise wise judgement. These excuses
are a smoke screen obscuring man's true reason for his
domination; on a subconscious level man fears, should woman
ever break free from her yoke of cultural and religious sub-
jugation, she will use her unbridled power to rule over him.
Instinctively, man understands the warning of the Roman
statesman Marcus Porcius Cato (234 to 149 B.C.), who over
2,000 years ago wrote:
Suffer women once to arrive at an equality with
you, and they will from that moment become
your superiors. 29
The greatest joy a man can have is victory:
to conquer ones enemys armies,
to pursue them,
to deprive them of their possessions,
to reduce their families to tears,
to ride on their horses, and
to make love to their wives and daughters. 48
Genghis Khan (1162-1227)
Leader of the Mongols
When examining the history of man, do we see a savage
evolving, becoming more intellectual and socially coopera-
tive, or do we find man becoming a more knowledgeable and
sophisticated savage possessing immense destructive capa-
bilities? Because man's purpose in the evolutionary process
has been to conquer and control the environment, he is
naturally violent. In the past, man's aggressive nature was
required for subduing the hostile environment to make it
safer for his mate and offspring. His tendency to dominate
everything in his environment increased the odds of survival
for his species of animal. Contemporary man has fulfilled his
Man is physiologically designed and hormonally programed to fulfIll his purpose.
evolutionary purpose, but his obsession with destruction has
become counterproductive to the survival of human life on
this planet. Ironically, man is now threatening to destroy the
very life he was designed to protect.
Man's obsession with destruction, coupled with his
intelligence, has allowed him to harness enough nuclear
power to destroy all human life on earth in 28 minutes.
Obviously, man has thus far refrained from obliterating all
humanity with his nuclear weaponry. Yet, everyday, he none-
theless destroys increasing portions of his environment, lead-
ing humankind to the same eventual end, just at a somewhat
slower pace. He creates toxic waste, carcinogens, acid rain,
and "greenhouse gases"; he contaminates the earth's water
and air; he destroys the jungle forests, the ozone layer, and
many species of animal life, and murders his fellow man (as
well as innocent women and children) in his never-ending
Taking his thirst for conquest into space, man landed
on the moon in 1969. Before leaving, he placed a sign on
the moon which reads, "We come in peace" hoping another
intelligent life form will eventually discover and under-
stand his message. However, one questions if man is capa-
ble of living in peace with beings from other planets when
he can't even harmoniously coexist with members of his own
species. Judging from his behavior over thousands of years,
man's nature is not to live in harmony with others, espe-
cially people with different physical characteristics or
religious and cultural beliefs. Whites, Blacks, Indians,
Hispanics, Asians, Christians, Protestants, Muslims, and
Jews are but a few of the many groups of men who have, for
centuries, failed to live in peace with one another. Since the
day, centuries ago, when Cain slew his brother Abel, man has
established himself as a creature who consistently kills his
fellow man. The American writer Mark Twain (1835-1910)
captured the darker side of man when he wrote in Letters from
the Earth:
The higher animals engage in individual fights ,
but never in organized masses. Man is the only
animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities,
war. He is the only one that gathers his brethren
about him and goes forth in cold blood and with
calm pulse to exterminate his kind.
Man is not repulsed by war. On the contrary, he is drawn
to it like a moth to a flame. He will frequently boast of his
victories, as did General Westermann to the National Con-
vention on December 23, 1793 at the height of the French
There is no longer a Vendee . ..
I have crushed the children
under the hoofs of my horses
and massacred the women . . .
I have no prisoner to
reproach myself with.
I have exterminated all!15
Many scholars have written about man's obsession with
war. As early as 850 years before the birth of Christ, the
Greek poet Homer wrote, "Men grow tired of sleep, love,
singing and dancing sooner than of war. " 44
The eighteenth century German philosopher Immanuel
Kant (1724-1804) explained:
With men, the state of nature is not a state of
peace, but of war; if not of open war, then at
least ever ready to break out. 7
James A. Froude (1818-1894), an English historian, said:
Man is the only animal to whom the torture and
death of his fellow creatures is amusing in it-
self 16
The twentieth century American anthropologist Robert
Ardrey has said of man, "Human war has been the most
successful of all our cultural traditions."16
George Bernard Shaw believed:
In the arts of life man invents nothing; but in the
arts of death he outdoes Nature herself, and
produces by chemistry and machinery all the
slaughter of plague, pestilence, and famine. 36
The Greek historian Thucydides (471 ?-400? B.C.) once
wrote, "Peace is an armistice in a war that is continuously
going on."16 Obviously, man has not conquered his addiction
to war in the twenty-four centuries since Thucydides made
his observation. A United States Marine General, Smedley
Butler (1881-1940), when asked about man's capacity to stop
killing one another answered:
There is no use talking about abolishing war;
that's damn foolishness. Take the guns away
from men and they will fight just the same.
It is a supreme irony that many of man's most savage
actions have been perpetrated in the name of his religion.
Instead of loving his neighbor, man has frequently killed or
enslaved him. For example, the Crusades were a series of
invasions by Christians against the Jews and Muslims in the
Middle East. The Christians rationalized their murderous
behavior by invoking their religious beliefs.
The first Crusade was started in 1096 by Pope Urban II
in answer to the request of Emperor Alexius Comnenus,
Byzantine emperor of Constantinople, for assistance against
the Muslim Turks. Duke Godfrey of Bouillon was its leader.
Armies were raised in France, Italy, and Germany. In the
battle for the city of Nicaea, the Christian Crusaders cata-
pulted the heads of slain soldiers over the city walls to terrify
the inhabitants as well as to emotionally torture the families
of the dead. The residents of Nicaea, the site of Christianity's
first ecumenical council in 325 A.D., finally surrendered.
On June 7, 1099, a five week siege of Jerusalem began. Ac-
cording to National Geographic magazine (September 1989):
'No one has ever seen or heard of such a slaughter
of pagans, 'recalled one knight grimly. 'Almost
the whole city was full of their dead bodies. ' The
temple where the Muslims made their last-ditch
stand, he said, was 'streaming with their blood. '
... The siege ended when Godfrey [the Chris-
tian leader} and his knights overran the ram-
parts from a tower and stormed the city. The
Muslim defenders, their wives and children
were massacred with such ferocity that the vic-
tors 'waded in blood up to their ankles. '
In Europe during The Thirty Years' War (1618-1648)
and The Hundred Years' War (1337-1453), Catholics and
Protestants tortured and killed one another, confident that
their god approved of the slaughter.
During The Inquisition (fifteenth and sixteenth cen-
turies), the leaders of the Catholic Church ordered the tor-
ture and murder of thousands of Jews, Muslims, and other
non-Christian people in self-righteous adherence to their
religious beliefs.
During the fifteenth century, male priests indoctrinated
the masses of the Aztec society to believe the sun god (a male)
would keep burning only if the people would daily offer him, in
sacrifice, the blood and lives of prisoners taken in continuous
wars. Members of the Aztec society, including children, were
also sacrificed.* The victims were led up the steps of giant
Similarly, in the Mayan society, human sacrifice was a daily ritual. For example,at
Chichen Itza on the Yucatan Peninsula, babies and children were drowned in a
natural well 42 meters deep to please the rain god Chaco
pyramids and forced to lie back down on a stone altar. Next, a
male priest would cut out the beating heart of the victim with
a wide-blade flint knife. The corpse was then thrown down
the steep steps of the pyramid to another level where other
priests would dismember the body so it could be distributed
for the act of cannibalism. University of California historian
Woodrow Borah estimates the Aztecs sacrificed 250,000
people each year to nourish the male sun god. In other words,
at each one of the thousands of temples in Mexico, an average
of two thousand people were murdered each year. Andres de
Tapia, a soldier under the command of Hernando Cortes, the
Spanish conqueror of Mexico, was ordered to count the skulls
on a giant rack at the temple-pyramid of Huitzilipochtli; he
tallied 136,000.
, 40
Hundreds of years ago, the French mathematician and
philosopher Blaise Pascal {1623-1662} noted the moralistic
hypocrisy of man when he wrote:
Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully
as when they do it from religious conviction, 36
Man's propensity to wage war and cause great human
suffering and carnage in the name of his particular god has not
changed. Currently, Protestants and Catholics are killing
each other in Northern Ireland. Simultaneously, Jews,
Christians, and Muslims are at war in the Middle East, as are
the Muslims of Azerbaijan and the Christians of Annenia, the
Hindus and Muslims in India, and the Christians and Muslims
in the Philippines.
In the Middle East, minefields, anti-tank ditches, and
fighter jets have replaced primitive weaponry, but the hate
and desire to murder transcend time. A recent newspaper
picture shows a soldier walking through the rubble of a build-
ing in Le banon carrying a rocket launcher on his right shoulder.
Such an image is quite typical of "modern" man. What makes
this picture significant is that the man is missing his left arm
from an earlier battle. It graphically illustrates man's in-
ability to learn from his mistakes, hence history continually
repeats itself. The German philosopher Georg Wilhelm
Hegel (1770-1831) understood man's inability to change his
basic nature when he wrote, "What history teaches us is that
men never learn from it."ls
History books testify to man's thirst for human carnage
on a large scale. For example, World War I claimed the lives
of over 20 million people. More than 50 million lives were lost
in the horror of World War II. Moreover, man can be just as
savage to his own countrymen. For example, during the
Taiping Rebellion in China (1850-1860), 20 million people
were murdered.
During the American Civil War (1861-
1865), over 500,000 people were killed. More recently, in
Rwanda, Mrica, Time magazine (May 16, 1994) reported:
There are no devils left in Hell, , the missionary
said. They are all in Rwanda. ' Actually they
brought Hell with them; you have only to watch
the rivers for proof. Normally in this season,
when the rains come to these lush valleys, the
rivers swell with a rich red soil. They are more
swollen than ever this year. First come the
corpses of men and older boys, slain trying to
protect their sisters and mothers. Then come
the women and girls, flushed out from their
hiding places and cut down. Last are the babies,
who may bear no wounds; they are tossed alive
into the water, to drown on their way down-
stream. The bodies, or pieces of them, glide by
for half an hour or so, the time it takes to wipe
out a community, carry the victims to the banks
and dump them in. Then the water runs clear
for awhile, until men and older boys drift into
view again, then women, then babies, reuniting
in the shallows as the river becomes the grave.
Aid workers have guessed that anywhere from
100,000 to 500,000 Rwandans have died since
the civil war between the Hutu and the Tutsi
[tribes} reignited a month ago.
Despite such monumental carnage, man's primordial
nature seems to render him unable to conquer his propensity
for murder. As Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965), the prime
minister of England during World War II, observed, "War is
the natural occupation of man."36
Contemporary man is now, or has recently been, at war in
Rwanda, Yemen, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kuwait, Somalia,
Lebanon, EI Salvador, the Philippines, Panama, Armenia,
Azerbaijan, Israel, Northern Ireland, Cambodia, the Sudan,
Mozambique, Nicaragua, South Africa, Iran, Iraq, Ethiopia,
Mghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, Liberia, Angola, India, Sri
Lanka, the Falkland Islands, Vietnam, Korea, etc. Based on
his behavior, man seems to agree with the American General
George Patton (1885-1945) who once remarked:
Compared to war, all other forms of human
endeavor shrink to insignificance. 36
When man views a society as different from his and
weaker, his temptation is to conquer it. If, however, he
refrains from killing the inhabitants it's often because he
desires to enslave them instead. In fact, man seems at times
to enjoy enslaving people even more than killing them. He
derives satisfaction not only from the subjugation of others,
but from exploiting their labor to build and maintain his
Besides war, contemporary man also tries to conquer other societies with economic
power or religious conversion .
The Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, American Indians, Japanese, Spanish, and
European white men in America all used slaves to build and sustain their societies.
Christopher Columbus, for example, is often praised as a
courageous explorer, but an aspect of his legacy is missing from
traditional history books. According to Richard Shenkman in his
book Legends, Lies and Cherished Myths of American History:
Unbeknown to much of the public, he [Columbus]
was directly responsible for the deaths of thou-
sands of Arawak Indians on Haiti. One his-
torian [Howard Zinni even believes Columbus
should be thought of not as a hero but as a
His first encounter with the Arawaks could not
have gone better. He himself wrote that the
natives on the island, 'are so naive and so free
with their possessions that no one who has not
witnessed them would believe it. When you ask
for something they have, they never say no. To
the contrary, they offer to share with anyone. '
... They would make fine servants . . . with fifty
men we could subjugate them all and make
them do whatever we want. '
Columbus, however, did not reciprocate the
Indians' kindness. Under pressure to bring
back riches to Spain, he required Indians over
fourteen years old to make regular contribu-
tions of gold. Indians who did not comply,
according to historian Howard Zinn, 'had their
hands cut off and bled to death. '
Those Indians who weren't killed were often
enslaved and shipped to Spain. On one trip,
500 Arawak men, women, and children were
loaded onto ships bound for the Old World;
during the voyage 200 died. Far from feeling
guilty about the practice of slavery, Columbus
boasted about it.
'Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity,' he
wrote, 'go on sending all the slaves that can be
sold. '
Within two years of Columbus's arrival, says
Zinn, half of the 250,000 Indians on Haiti had
died 'through murder, mutilation or suicide.'
Under Columbus s Spanish successors the mis-
treatment continued. In 1515 there were just
50, 000 Indians left. In 1550 only 500 remain-
ed. By 1650 there were none. 38
Likewise, Father Junipero Serra, who led an expedition
to California in 1769 to claim the land for Spain and convert
the California Indians to Catholicism, is rarely portrayed
accurately in history texts. Prior to his death in 1784, Father
Serra supervised the construction of 12 missions located
from San Diego to San Francisco. In 1993, Pope John Paul II
made Father Serra a saint because of his dedication to, and
accomplishments for, his god and the Catholic Church. In
extolling the virtues of Father Serra, the Pope failed to
mention how Serra forced the California Indians to build the
Catholic missions and accept the Catholic religion. Accord-
ing to the book Indians of California, published by the U.S.
Bureau of Indian Mfairs (1966):
The effect of Spanish law was subjugation of
the Indians to de facto slavery. Roundups of
native Indians took place periodically to ac-
quire new workers. Adequate rations for an
Indian man, woman, or child laborer, whose
workday was from morning prayers until dark,
were considered to be a pint of maize a day . .. In
their hopelessness and suffering, Indian mothers
were known to have smothered their babies at
birth rather than condemn them to live such an
existence. More insidious was the mass psycho-
logical depression that overtook the Mission
Indians. They lost, as a race, the will to
The Comte de La Perouse, a French nobleman who
visited Monterey in 1782, wrote that the Indian under the
control of the mission system was, " ... too much a child, too
much a slave, too little a man." The way the Spaniards
enslaved the Indians with torture and brutality, and hunted
down those who tried to escape, reminded the nobleman of
the slave plantations he had seen on his visit to Santo
Similar plantations existed in the United States, en-
tirely dependent on the sweat of slavery for subsistence.
As a consequence, American white men would frequently
sail to Mrica where they would forcibly take the inhabit-
ants from their homes and families. After chaining them
together, they would ship them to America and, through
torture, make them slaves. This barbarism was perpetrated
because the African people were black, a difference which
the white men reasoned made them inferior and therefore
supposedly provided a justification for their sadistic
Like many other historical icons, George Washington,
the first president of the United States, has been highly
idealized. Not commonly acknowledged, however, is the fact
that when Washington purchased his Virginia home, Mt.
Vernon, he acquired 20 slaves; but, by the time of his death,
he owned 314.
In the more than two centuries since his
death, Mt. Vernon has been painstakingly preserved, a shrine
signifying the importance of his existence.
Like generations of visitors to Mt. Vernon before me, I have
wandered in awe through the same halls George Washington
once passed, stood in silent wonderment in the exact rooms
Washington once occupied, touched the very desk upon which
he wrote letters to Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin,
Marquis de Lafayette, and others, and sat transfixed on his
porch, my eyes gazing upon the identical beautiful view of the
Potomac River Washington's eyes once beheld.
Yet, I was deeply saddened to learn he owned slaves and
even more dismayed to see their meager living conditions.
While a huge monument graces Washington's burial site and
a museum and gift shop are filled with items commemorat-
ing his life, except for a small plaque, no recognition has
been accorded his slaves. Their burial site, a tree-covered
hill, bears not a single marker to even acknowledge their
Contrary to its reputation as a land of freedom and
democracy, the United States was built on a foundation of
exploitation. Besides the African Americans, the indigenous
Indians also suffered the tragic consequences of man's fre-
quent inability to tolerate people who differ from him. When
the European immigrants first arrived in what is now the
United States, the Indian inhabitants helped them survive.
They trusted the white strangers who eventually decimated
their race and their culture. More than 300 treaties were
made and broken. Chief Sitting Bull (1834?-1890) of the
Dakota Sioux bitterly complained:
What treaty that the white man ever made
with us have they kept? Not one.
Thomas Jefferson wrote much of The Declaration of Independence which, in part,
states, " ... all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with
certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of
Happiness." And yet, Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. In fact, in the Constitution,
slaves are referred to as "other persons." Furthermore, the Constitution clearly
denied Congress the authority to abolish slavery in the states.
Man has not changed. In 1991, Brazilian men systematically killed people called
Urueu-Wau-Wau in the Amazon Jungle because they were considered primitive,
inferior, and a hindrance to their money-making projects.
The American Indians must have resented the conquer-
ing white man terribly. He demonstrated only contempt for
the Indian culture and "mother earth." For example, the
Indian would huddle close to a small fire, whereas the white
man would build a huge, roaring fire and sit far away from it.
The American Indian was a savage in some aspects, but he
respected his environment and had a profound appreciation
for his fragile relationship with it. Other races of men rarely
The following is an excerpt from an article entitled, "The
Golden Age That Never Was," written by anthropologist
Jared Diamond (Discover magazine, December 1988):
Environmentalists sickened by the damage that
industrial societies are wreaking on the world
often look to the past as a golden age. When
Europeans began to settle America, the air and
rivers were pure, the landscape green, the Great
Plains teeming with bison. Today we breathe
smog, worry about toxic chemicals in our drink-
ing water, pave over the landscape, and rarely
see any large wild animal. Worse is surely to
come. By the time my infant sons reach retire-
ment age, half the world's species will be ex-
tinct, the air radioactive, the seas polluted with
oil. Undoubtedly, one simple reason for our
worsening mess is that modem technology has
far more power to cause havoc than did the
stone axes of the past. . .
The nostalgia for a lost golden age extends
beyond the environmental view; it's part of a
larger, historical tendency to see the past as
He would dominate his women, raid and kill members of other tribes, take slaves,
cut noses off of female "adulteresses," torture men to death to obtain their spirits, etc.
golden in many other respects. A famous ex-
ponent of this outlook was the eighteenth-
century philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau,
whose 'Discourse on the Origin of Inequality'
traced our degeneration from a shining past to
the human misery that Rousseau saw around
him. When eighteenth-century European ex-
plorers encountered preindustrial peoples like
Polynesians and American Indians, those
peoples became idealized in European salons
as 'noble savages' living in a continued golden
age, untouched by such curses of civilization as
religious intolerance, political tyranny, and
social inequality.
Even now the days of classical Greece and
Rome are widely considered to be the golden age
of Western civilization. Ironically, the Greeks
and Romans also saw themselves as degenerates
from a golden past. Half-conscious, I could still
recite those lines by Ovid that I memorized in
tenth-grade Latin . .. 'First came the golden
age, when men were honest and righteous of
their own free will . . . 'Ovid went on to contrast
those virtues with the rampant treachery and
warfare of his own times. I have no doubt that
any humans still alive in the radioactive soup of
the twenty-second century will write equally
nostalgically about our era.
Given this widespread belief in a golden age,
some recent discoveries by archaeologists and
paleontologists have come as a shock. It's now
clear that preindustrial societies have been ex-
terminating species, destroying habitats, and
undermining their own existence for thousands
of years.
Because of the destructive nature of man, a "Golden
Age" has never existed. Jared Diamond concludes:
Man has never lived in harmony with nature.
Our ancestors were no less rapacious than we
are - just less powerful. *
Man's reach is extending beyond earth, ever farther into
the cosmos with each passing year. He eagerly studies the
signals sent back from his multimillion dollar satellites and
wonders if another planet could sustain life. Man would be
ecstatic to find even a few microscopic fonns oflife in the dust
of another planet. Yet on earth, without hesitation or regret,
and always in the name of "progress," he systematically
destroys one plant and animal species after another.
Man does not have the capacity to appreciate the many
unique life forms which exist on our own unique planet. He
has single-handedly succeeded in destroying hundreds of
species of animals such as the Moa (a ten-foot tall bird -
extinct 1000 years ago), the Aurochs (a wild ancestor of cattle
which stood six feet tall at the shoulders and was hunted to
extinction during the Middle Ages), the Dodo Bird (extinct by
1668), Stellar's sea cow (thirty feet long - extinct by 1768), the
Quagga (half Zebra and half horse - disappeared by 1883),
the Passenger Pigeon (gone by 1914), and the list goes on and
on. Man nearly succeeded in driving the buffalo to extinction
in the late nineteenth century. Instead of hunting them for
food and clothing he killed them for fun, sometimes shooting
thousands of buffalo from moving trains. The carcasses were
left to rot in the sun.
An August 1989 documentary on public television
(KQED, San Francisco) reported over ten million elephants
roamed the African planes in the 1930's. At the time of the
Because of his powerful inventions, man can now do more environmental damage
in a matter of moments than our ancestors could have done in a lifetime.
show's broadcast, only about 750,000 remained. During the
mid-1980's over 80,000 elephants were slaughtered a year,
primarily for their ivory tusks.
The black rhinoceros, like the elephant, is also being
hunted to the brink of extinction. In 1970, it numbered
65,000. By 1989, however, only about 3,000 were still alive.
They are not killed for food, but solely for their horns which
are used as a part of "magical" potions sold in the Orient.
Sometimes the horns are ground up and used as an aphro-
disiac by men. The horns are also made into knife handles
which are sold in North Yemen and provide their male owners
with social status.
Many other animals are also killed solely for their body
parts which are subsequently sold as novelty items. For
example, men hunt and kill gorillas, taking only their hands
and heads. The severed body parts are made into ashtrays,
ottomans, baskets, and other curios. The World Wildlife Fund
estimates only 400 mountain gorillas are alive today. The cou-
rageous anthropologist Dian Fossey was murdered by poach-
ers because, in attempting to study and protect the gorilla,
she became an obstacle to their profit-making endeavors.
Similarly, on August 20, 1989, the conservationist George
Adamson was murdered in Kenya, Africa by a group of animal
poachers. Prior to his death, he had been trying to stop the
killing of endangered animals. He and his late wife Joy wrote
the book Born Free which describes their work with the lions
in Kenya. Efforts similar to theirs have been in vain; the Bali
Tiger was hunted to extinction in the 1940's, the Caspian
Tiger suffered the same fate in the 1970's, and the Javan
Tiger was lost forever during the 1980's.
Besides endangering our wildlife, man is destroying our
forests at an alarming rate. For example, in Brazil, several
* The fact that male elephants must be over the age of thirty before they can mate
increases the danger of eventual extinction since fewer and fewer males are living
long enough to mate with females.
dams were constructed in order to generate electric power.
The dams, in turn, caused the flooding of thousands of acres
of jungle forest. The flood waters destroyed thousands of
animals, trees and plants. According to Time magazine
(September 1989):
Fabio Feldmann, the leading environmentalist
in the Brazilian Congress, alleges that much of
the momentum behind the dam projects and
other large public works derives from an ex-
tremely lucrative relationship between the major
contractors and politicians. A dam may not
have to make all that much sense if it generates
sufficient commissao (commissions) for the
right people.
Chico Mendes was a leader of the native "rubber tappers"
of Brazil. They harvest sap from rubber trees which is then
processed into a variety of rubber products. In December
1988, he was murdered because he was a conservationist and
an outspoken critic of the wealthy cattle owner's destruction
of the Amazon rainforest in which he lived.
The cattle barons of Central and South America clear
the land of forest so their animals can graze on the poor-
quality grass grown in place of the jungle. After a few years of
grazing, the grass fails to regenerate and more forest must be
cleared in a continuous effort to feed the cattle. Many of the
cattle are sold to the U.S. and wind up as hamburgers in fast
food restaurants. The rainforests are also being destroyed by
farmers struggling to support their growing families. These
men diligently slash and burn the forest in a futile effort to
farm the infertile soil. When their crops invariably fail, they
move on to another parcel and begin their destruction anew.
In Peru, manufacturers of illegal drugs are cutting down
and burning thousands of acres of the jungle forest to grow
coca that will be processed into cocaine. The wealthy and
well-armed drug producers also use powerful chemicals
(herbicides) to kill the plant life of the jungle. Rain then
washes some of these chemical poisons into the Amazon
River and both fish and land downstream are consequently
contaminated. Moreover, people eating fish from the
river or drinking the water are ingesting these toxic chemicals.
On April 14, 1989, a Nature documentary on public
television (KQED, San Francisco) reported one half of the
world's tropical rainforests have been destroyed since World
War II. One hundred acres of tropical rainforests are being
cut, bulldozed, and burned per minute. At this rate of de-
struction, all remaining rainforests will disappear in forty
years. Man's destruction of the rainforest affects not only the
trees but the great variety of life forms which have prospered
within these jungle habitats for thousands of years. Brazil's
jungles, for instance, have one third of the species of plant and
animal life found in the world's eco-system. A Rainforest
Action Network newsletter (1994) reports, "A four-square mile
area of rainforest teems with a colorful variety [of life]: 750
types of trees, 1,500 different flowers, 125 mammal species,
and 400 kinds of birds." In the near future, our children may
only be able to see these plants and animals in books.
Peter H. Raven, the director of the Missouri Botanical
Garden, warns (Time magazine, January 1991):
It appears likely that no fewer than 1.2 million
species, at least a quarter of the biological diver-
sity existing in the mid-1980 s, will vanish dur-
ing this quarter-century or soon thereafter, and
that a much higher proportion of the total will
follow by the second half of the next century, as
the remaining forest refuges are decimated.
Ironically, the plant life man destroys within the rain-
forests holds the possibility for prolonging human life. A
Rainforest Action Network newsletter (1994) states:
. . . two of the most famous drugs which
come out of the tropical rainforests are the
alkaloidal drugs, vincristine and vinblastine,
derived from a plant called the rosy peri-
winkle. Thanks to the alkaloids yielded by this
plant, a child suffering from leukemia now has
a 80% chance of survival instead of a 20%
Tragically, whole species of jungle life are being eradicated
by man before medical science even has an opportunity to
investigate their life-saving potential.
Unfortunately, an equivalent to man's destruction of the
South American jungles can be found in the United States.
Life magazine (May 1992) reports 68 golf courses presently
cover the Hawaiian Islands. Yet, more jungle forest and
wildlife are currently being destroyed in order to build another
93 golf courses!
While millions of acres of tropical jungle are being
eradicated all around the globe, similar actions are occurring
within the national forests of the continental United States.
Embroiled in the midst of this destruction is the very agency
originally designed to protect the timberlands, the National
Forest Service.
On March 14, 1988, Sports Illustrated printed an article
written by John Skow entitled, "The Forest Service Follies."
Mr. Skow contends, " ... the Forest Service ... has long since
stopped faithfully serving the forests, or even the timber
industry. It seems committed to nothing except its own
steady growth."
The Forest Service has lucrative contracts with paper-
pulp companies, so in areas such as the Tongess National
Forest in Alaska, giant trees, many of which reached maturity
before the U.S. Constitution was signed, are being cut down.
Mr. Skow writes:
Powerful environmental reasons exist for not
cutting them. An untouched, old-growth forest
is not merely a stand of trees with an animal
population, but an enormously complex and
delicate organism, consisting of trees, other
plants, animals, water, sunlight, atmosphere
and flows of thermal and chemical energy.
Mr. Skow states the U.S. Forest Service is an inefficient
bureaucracy that is terribly wasteful of the natural resources
of the national forests. The agency earns $3 billion a year and
spends $4 billion. These huge operating losses result, in part,
from a runaway road-building program and timber mis-
management. As an example, in the Tongess National Forest
in Alaska, the agency sanctions the cutting of 400 year-old
spruce trees each containing 1,000 to 2,000 board feet of
lumber. The Forest Service then sells the trees for approxi-
mately $2.00 EACH!
Compton J. Tucker of NASA's Goddard Space Center
said in World Watch magazine (December 1992):
When you compare the [deforestation] in the
Pacific Northwest to the Amazon of Brazil, the
Northwest is much worse. The pictures show
this amazing graphic situation - the severe frag-
mentation of the forest . ..
According to The Washington Spectator newsletter
(October 15, 1992):
Since 1972, the planet has lost nearly 200
million hectares (77 million square miles) of
trees. Deserts have expanded by 120 million
hectares, more land than is planted in crops in
China and Nigeria combined. The world's
farmers lost about 480 million tons of topsoil,
roughly equal to the amount of farmlands of
India and France combined. The destruction of
forests is a tragic story of greed and lack of
concern for the future.
Worldwatch'sState of the World (1992) reports:
Over the last 10,000 years, the Earth's
mantle of forests and woodlands has shrunk by
a third as trees were cleared to make way for
crops, pastures and cities, and to sell lumber.
Some 17 million hectares of tropical forests are
being lost per year. Demand for forests' main
commodity - wood - is at an all-time high and
Almost all of Europe s original forests are gone.
In the U.S., barring Alaska, less than 5 percent
of the primary forest remains . .. More than 3.4
billion cubic meters of wood are taken from the
world's forests and woodlands yearly.
When looking at the pictures of devastation caused by
man in the once lush forests in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest,
or the Amazon, one is reminded of the egotistical boast of the
Roman general Gaius Julius Caesar (100-44 B.C.) who said,
"I came, I saw, I conquered."17
Man's appetite for destruction is just as voracious in the
earth's oceans. Japan, for example, a highly advanced in-
dustrial nation, continues to hunt and kill hundreds of whales
each year even though all whale products can be synthetically
produced. In 1965, approximately 11,000 blue whales swam
in the oceans of the earth. By 1989, their numbers were
reduced to about 200. The Japanese also hunt and kill rare
sea turtles because they believe they contain magical in-
gredients for healing potions and aphrodisiacs.
World Watch magazine (August 1989) reports:
... huge trawlers are catching up, reducing, and
moving on from one fish species to another. In
the northemPacific, more than 700 Japanese,
South Korean and Taiwanese fishing boats
equipped with 20 to 40 mile-long drift nets
sweep an area of sea the size of Ohio each night.
In these nets, hundreds of dolphins and other
sealife are recklessly killed and then thrown
overboard as garbage.
Scientists blame driftnetters for last year's
(1988) crash in the Alaska pink salmon fishery,
in which only 12 million fish of an expected 40
million were taken by Alaskans.
If man does not take precautions as he harvests the life in
the ocean, he will be doomed to repeat the mistakes made in
the 1930's by the sardine industry at Cannery Row in
Monterey, California. Greed prompted man to overfish the
sardines in Monterey Bay. Subsequently, the economy of
Cannery Row collapsed in the late 1940's.
Greenpeace magazine (December 1993) warns in an
article entitled, "Finite Fish, Infinite Greed":
It's not just about saving the whales any more.
Virtually every commercial species of fish is in
deep trouble, declared 'depleted, ' 'fullyexploit-
ed, ' or 'overexploited' by the United Nations'
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAD).
The primary reason for this global crisis is
crystal clear: more fish nets scooping up fewer
and fewer fish. FAD figures indicate that the
world's marine catch has increased more than
four times in the past 40 years - from 20 million
tons in 1950 to 86 million tons in 1989. Though
unprecedented, it may yet get worse as the
world population continues to grow.
Overfishing is not the only danger to our seas. Daily, man
recklessly pollutes the oceans with dangerous chemicals such
as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), DDT, mercury, and
cadmium. According to World Watch magazine (August 1989):
These chemicals come from a variety of sources -
industries, airborne pollutants, shipping acci-
dents, pesticide runoff, mine tailings, and waste
incineration. Once toxics enter the marine en-
vironment, it's very hard to get them out, since
they seep into the sediments, enter the food
chain, or simply flow with the currents. More
than 2.1 million tons of liquid chemical waste is
poured into the North Sea alone each year, and
the ship-board incineration of more than
100,000 tons of hazardous wastes adds an
unspecified amount of toxic ash.
These chemicals move through the food chain
and can also end up in humans. Between 1953
and 1968, some 649 residents of Minamata,
Japan, were killed after they consumed seafood
contaminated by industrial mercury. [Many
pregnant women who ate the contaminated
seafood gave birth to brain damaged and
physically deformed babies}. Seafood from
Minamata Bay still cannot be eaten. In the
United States, lobsters containing up to 20
times the allowable limit of PCBs have been
caught off the Massachusetts coast. Fish with
tumors from unknown causes also are being
caught with greater frequency along the eastern
seaboard of the United States, as are fish in
Florida with high levels of mercury.
Marine habitats which nurture life in the oceans are also
disappearing because of exposure to chemical pollutants.
Coral reefs, sea grasses, and mangroves, which serve as feed-
ing grounds for many types of marine life, are being affected.
World Watch magazine (August 1989) reports:
Coral reefs are home to an estimated one
million species . . . and are considered the
tropical rainforests of the oceans. They also
happen to be the ecosystems most sensitive to
changes in temperature and light. Healthy
coral reefs are becoming hard to find. Rivers
choked with sediment from deforested lands
or eroded agricultural fields cloud coastal
waters and kill reefs by blocking sunlight.
Along Costa Rica s Caribbean coast, sediments
from local rivers have killed 75 percent of the
reefs. Local fishers in Indonesia, Kenya, and
elsewhere add to the damage by using dynamite
to kill and collect fish that hide in the coral
reefs. Also, reefs throughout the world are
mined for construction material or ornamental
By 1981, 70 percent of the reefs in the Philippines
(7,000 islands) had been damaged, many
beyond recovery, by the cumulcitive effect of
poisoning from cyanide, mine tailings, pesti-
cides and erosion. Particularly damaging is the
use of cyanide in collecting tropical fish for the
commercial aquarium business.
The director general of the United Nations Food and
Agriculture Organization (FAO), Edouard Saouma, warned
in April 1989, "overfishing and pollution threaten the future
productivity of the seas." In October 1993, World Watch
magazine released the following ominous fact:
Commercial fishers spend about $124 billion to
catch $70 billion worth of marine fish world-
wide. Government subsidies are thought to
make up much of the difference between expen-
ditures and income. Too many dollars chasing
too few fish contributes to the overexploitation
of the oceans.
One of the worst instances of environmental pollution
occurred on March 24, 1989, when the oil tanker Exxon
Valdez ran aground and spilled 10,836,000 gallons of crude
oil into the ocean at Prince William Sound in Alaska. Accord-
ing to Newsweek magazine, it eventually contaminated 1,090
miles ofthe Alaskan shoreline while killing 33,126 birds, 138
eagles and 980 otters. Years before this environmental
tragedy, Alyeska (a service company of Exxon) stated in a
1971 press release reported in Newsweek (September 18,
What would happen if there was (sic) a large oil
spill? First of all, the spill would be contained
and localized. Secondly, any ecological damage
would be rectified.
Newsweek continues:
Despite that glib assurance, Alyeska . . .
never really believed it could 'contain and
localize' a spill the size of the Exxon Valdez.
The company admitted as much, not in a
press release but buried in the two-volume
cleanup plan it was required to file with the
The Exxon Valdez could have steamed through the
floating chunks of ice in Prince William Sound as opposed to
trying to move around them and running aground on a reef.
According to Newsweek magazine (September 18, 1989):
James Woodle, a former Coast Guard com-
mander at Valdez, participated in some studies
of ice for Alyeska before the accident. They
came to the conclusion, , he recalled, , that in the
event of heavy ice, tankers could slow down to
five knots (from a typical cruising speed of 12)
and steam through the ice without incident. '
The only reason that isn't done, he told News-
week, is that it adds about four hours to the trip.
Carrying a cargo worth $20 million, he says,
you never want to slow down. Never.'
Exxon executive Don Cornett claimed, in World Watch
magazine, the spill was, " ... just another cost of doing
Newsweek reported, "Chuck O'Donnell, Alyeska's rank-
ing executive in Valdez, was called at home within half an hour
of the grounding. He dispatched a subordinate to the ter-
minal and then rolled over and went back to sleep." Tragical-
ly, for three days, the oil spill floated near the ship while
Alyeska and Exxon wondered what to do. If they had res-
ponded to the spill quickly, much of the shoreline and the
wildlife of Alaska could have been saved.
Not limited solely to the planet, man's power to disrupt
the delicate balance of nature reaches into the atmosphere
which envelopes the earth. When toxic emissions are dis-
persed into the atmosphere, some follow natural chemical
reactions and form acid rain. For example, coal-fired power
plants produce sulphur oxides and nitrogen oxides, while
automobiles emit hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides, all of
which contribute to the production of acid rain. According to
a NOVA documentary (aired December 11, 1984,onKQED):
Up in the sunlight and moisture of the atmos-
phere, this chemical cocktail goes through more
than 150 reactions over the course of a day or
two. The result - three main pollutants: ozone,
a corrosive gas, and two important acids: nitric
and sulphuric. By the time these reactions are
complete, the pollutants may have traveled
hundreds of miles {before they fall to the earth
in raindrops},
The Environmental Defense Fund reported (New York
Times, December 26,1984) that sulfur dioxide gas emitted by
copper smelters in southern Arizona can cause acid rain to
fall on the lakes and forests ofIdaho, a thousand miles away.
The toxic chemicals in acid rain slowly kill trees, vegetation,
and even the animal life in lakes, leading to the collapse of the
delicate aquatic ecosystems. Severe damage to forests and
lake fish has been recorded in many areas around the world
including the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Russia.
Man's technological progress is also responsible for
unnaturally warming the atmosphere surrounding the earth.
His development of, and dependency on, the gas-powered
automobile is one factor which has contributed to the greater
accumulation of carbon dioxide (C0
) in the atmosphere.
Carbon dioxide acts as a blanket which traps the heat from
solar radiation close to the earth's surface. Increased amounts
of CO
have led to escalating global temperatures, the so-
called "greenhouse effect," which threatens the delicate
homeostatic balance of the earth's ecosystem. According to
Ed Dobb in The Sciences (March 1989):
Earth system scientists have predicted that, as
a direct consequence of increased carbon di-
oxide levels and the resultant greenhouse effect,
storms will become more numerous in the coming
decades, and they will be far more severe, with
winds in excess of two hundred miles per hour
(high atmospheric temperatures will accelerate
evaporation, which will speed up atmospheric
convection currents}. Droughts will become
common in the middle latitudes; rivers in the
American Southwest, for example, may shrink
by as much as forty to seventy-five percent, all
but obliterating agriculture. And polar ice will
begin melting, causing sea levels to rise by as
much as two hundred feet and submerging such
highly populated coastal areas as Hong Kong,
New York, and Rio de Janeiro. The specter
raised by such changes, at least in the minds of
some scientists, is that man constitutes a threat
to the global processes that, until now, have
maintained the conditions necessary for life.
The greatest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the
world is being financed by the World Bank. A Friends of the
Earth newsletter (August 1, 1994) states:
For three decades, the World Bank has been
financing a massive series of coal power plants
and open pit mines in central India at Singrauli.
. . . Currently, five coal power plants are in
operation at Singrauli, and the Bank intends to
finance 6 more power plants along with 12
massive open pit mines.
While carbon dioxide is accumulating, another element
in the atmosphere, the ozone layer, is dissipating. Michael
Lemonick of Time magazine (February 1992) reports:
The evidence is overwhelming that the earth s
stratospheric ozone layer - our shield against
the sun s hazardous ultraviolet rays - is being
eaten away by man-made chemicals [chloro-
fluorocarbons] far faster than any scientist had
predicted. No longer is the threat just to our
future; the threat is here and now.
... The National Aeronautics and Space Ad-
ministration, along with scientists from several
institutions, announced startling findings from
atmospheric studies done by a modified spy-
plane and an orbiting satellite.
. . . Previous studies had already shown that
ozone levels have declined 4% to 8% over the
northern hemisphere in the past decade. But
the latest data imply that the ozone layer over
some regions, including the northernmost parts
of the U.S., Canada, Europe and Russia, could
be temporarily depleted in the late winter and
early spring by as much as 40% . . . Says
Michael Kurylo, NASA's manager of upper-
atmosphere research: 'Everybody should be
alarmed about this. It's far worse than we
thought. '
The vital gas being destroyed is a form of oxygen
in which the molecules have three atoms in-
stead of the normal two. That simple structure
enables ozone to absorb ultraviolet radiation -a
process that is crucial to human health. UV
rays can make the lens of the eye cloud up with
cataracts . . . The radiation can cause muta-
tions in DNA, leading to skin cancers, including
the often deadly melanoma.
Depletion of the ozone layer can also have disastrous
effects upon the world's food supply. Lemonick continues:
High doses of UV radiation can reduce the yield
of basic crops such as soybeans. UV-B. ..
penetrates scores of meters below the surface of
the oceans. There the radiation can kill phyto-
plankton (one-celled plants) and krill (tiny
shrimplike animals), which are at the very
bottom of the ocean food chain. Since these
organisms, found in greatest concentrations in
Antarctic waters, nourish larger fish, the ulti-
mate consumers - humans - may face a mari-
time food shortage.
Besides releasing carbon dioxide and chlorofluorocar-
bons, man on occasion discharges an even more potent
pollutant into the air - radioactive particles. This has been
publicly acknowledged to have occurred at least twice at
the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant near Denver,
Colorado. Operated by Rockwell International, the Rocky
Flats facility was built secretly in 1952 to manufacture
plutonium triggers, the "heart" of the hydrogen bomb. It
operated in a clandestine manner until a plutonium fire in
1957 sent a heavy black cloud floating over Denver. A full
week later, air monitors on the plant's smokestacks measured
the release of 16,000 times the permissible level of plutonium
into the air. Another plutonium fire erupted in 1969 and
burned enough plutonium to build 77 atomic bombs. No one
seems to know how much plutonium dust escaped during that
According to the 1987 public television documentary
Dark Circle, under normal conditions, air filters in the smoke-
stacks of the plant capture 99.97 percent of the radioactive
plutonium dust. The .03 percent that escapes can not be seen
by the naked eye but remains radioactive and lethal for 250,000
years. When inhaled into the body, these radioactive dust
particles can cause cancer and genetic abnormalities, effects
which can take 20 years to appear.
Lloyd Mixon, a farmer who raises animals a distance of
six miles from the plant, reported chickens, geese, and pigs
stillborn and severely deformed. Investigators from Rocky
Flats told Mr. Mixon his feed was poor and thus causing the
deformities. Prior to the construction of the plant, animals
deformed at birth were a relatively rare occurrence on
Mixon's farm.
In 1974, the county health director, Dr. Carl Johnson,
analyzed soil samples near the plant, a routine procedure
required prior to giving approval for new housing develop-
ments. His findings revealed 285 times as much plutonium in
the soil than was reported by the United States Department
of Energy (which had used a different test). Housing develop-
ments were approved, constructed, and sold over the objec-
tions of Dr. Johnson.
At the time Dark Circle was produced, potential new
home buyers in the Rocky Flats area received an advisory
notice from the U.S. Department of Energy stating, "Plu-
tonium contamination of the soil exists in varying levels but
below limits developed by the Environmental Protection
Agency - this particular area can be used without restriction."
Christine Haag, a little girl who grew up three miles from
the plant, developed a tumor in her left leg. Even though her
leg was amputated, in 1979 at the age of twelve, she died of
cancer. Her father sent her ashes to a lab in Richmond,
California for analysis. The lab results "detected a large
amount of plutonium in the ashes, a type of plutonium rou-
tinely released from Rocky Flats."
The documentary reported the incidence of brain cancer
in the local population is 20 times higher than normal. The
overall cancer rate for people living around the plant is 16
percent higher than other counties in Colorado. The workers
at the Rocky Flats plant suffer a cancer rate five times higher
than the state average.
A spokesperson for the plant, Dr. Marilyn Werkema, told
a concerned group of people who live near the plant, "Rocky
Flats is a safe healthful place, and ... the environment around
it likewise is safe and a healthful place to live."
Following a June 6, 1989 raid on the Rocky Flats plant by
federal agents, Greenpeace magazine (October 1989) report-
ed FBI agent Jon S. Lipsky filed a 116-page affidavit which:
. . . accused Rockwell International and the
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) of 'know-
ingly and falsely' stating that the plutonium-
processing plant complied with this country's
environmental laws. In doing so, the contractor
and its government client concealed 'serious
contamination' at the site. Lipsky charged that
Rockwell and DOE secretly dumped hazardous
waste into public drinking water and surrepti-
tiously operated an incinerator they said had
been shut down.
Prior to its closing in 1989, Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons
Plant manufactured three plutonium "triggers" a day, 15 a
week, 720 a year. Production continued despite the fact the
United States was quickly accumulating a stockpile of over
26,000 hydrogen bombs. Each of these bombs is hundreds of
times more powerful and destructive than the two atomic
bombs dropped on Japan at the end of World War II.
Ed Magnuson wrote in Time magazine (October 1988)
about the dangers of other nuclear power plants including the
facility located in Fernald, Ohio:
[Charles] Zinser recalled how beginning in
1984 he had rented a vegetable garden near the
plant. He often took his two young sons along as
he worked. Two years later, both were found to
have cancer. Samuel, then eight, had leukemia,
and Louis, two, had part of a leg amputated.
Zinser contends that tests of his garden soil
show it was contaminated with enriched uranium
235. And the doctor who tested his son's ampu-
tated leg told him it contained ten times more
uranium than would be expected to accumulate
naturally over a lifetime. The doctor said Louis
could have eaten dirt and not got that much, ,
says Zinser. 'He said the only way he could
have got that much would have been to breathe
The article further reports:
At the sprawling Hanford plutonium-process-
ing complex in Washington State, managers
once deliberately released 5,050 curies of radio-
active iodine into the air. The reason: To see if
they could reduce the amount of time uranium
must be cooled before being processed into plu-
tonium, presumably to increase production.
The federal Centers for Disease Control in
Atlanta plan to study how individuals living
near Hanford have been affected physically. In
a preliminary estimate, CDC researchers sug-
gested that 20,000 children in eastern Wash-
ington may have been exposed to unhealthy
levels of radioactive iodine by drinking milk
from cows grazing in contaminated grasslands.
On April 26, 1986, the nuclear power plant at Chernobyl
in the Ukraine blew up and spewed forth over 50 million
curies of radioactive material into the atmosphere. Five years
later, the Times newspaper of London reported:
... hospitals in the Ukraine, Byelorussia and
adjacent provinces are filled with victims. Whole
wards are lined with gaunt, dying children.
According to Greenpeace magazine (February 1991):
Ukrainian doctors now routinely refer to what
they call 'ChernobylAIDS, 'a radiation-caused
immune deficiency that is not understood, or
even accepted, by the medical community. Yet
a vast array of illnesses, including pneumonia,
tuberculosis, vision problems such as cataracts,
anemia and other blood disorders, headaches,
sleeplessness, nosebleeds and hair loss are all
on the rise ... Much of the damage that radi-
ation causes to living cells manifests itself long
after the exposure - from tumors and leukemia
that show up after three or four years, to geneti-
cally determined disorders that appear in the
next generation. 1t is not like anything we deal
with in terms of disasters, 'says Tom McDowell,
the director of Union Chemobyl USA . .. 1t's
not like an earthquake, it's not like a flood. It
keeps demanding lives and it doesn't stop in our
lifetime. '
A by-product of man's work in the nuclear industry is
radioactive waste. Worldwatch Institute (1992) reports:
Half a century after the world's nuclear indus-
tries began accumulating radioactive waste,
not a single country has found a safe, perma-
nent way to dispose of it. In 1990, accumulated
spent fuel from nuclear plants exceeded 80,000
tons, twice as much as in 1985. This radio-
active material, which will remain deadly for
tens of thousands of years, is accumulating in
temporary storage facilities in all of the 26
countries that have used nuclear power . .. Cost
estimates for handling the radioactive waste [in
the U.S.] have risen to $36 billion.
Unfortunately, although man discovers evermore com-
plex and sophisticated methods for manipulating radioactive
elements, he remains remarkably primitive and reckless in
his methods of disposing ofthe toxic waste he creates. One of
man's primary methods of disposal has been to seal his radio-
active waste in metal drums and dump them beneath the sea.
The San Francisco Chronicle (November 11, 1990) reported:
... within the Gulf of the Farallones National
Marine Sanctuary, scientists have confirmed
that corroded, collapsed drums of radioactive
waste, a by-product of decades of government
dumping, litter the ocean floor for at least 30
miles .
. . . the estimated 47,500 drums filled with
plutonium and other dangerous nuclear ma-
terial were disposed of under Atomic Energy
Commission contracts near the Farallon Islands
from 1946 to 1970.
According to Greenpeace magazine (December 1993):
Since [1954} ... almost 500 nuclear-powered
ships and submarines, carrying more than 740
reactors, have been built by the former Soviet
Union, Russia, the US., the UK., France,
China, Germany, and Japan . . . . For some
countries, the preferred method of retiring these
vessels is simply to dump them at sea. Nineteen
naval nuclear reactors have been deliberately
dumped at sea: one off the US. Atlantic coast
by the US. Navy; the rest in the Russian Arctic
and Pacific coasts by the Soviet navy. . .. Five
nuclear submarines have [accidentally} sunk -
two American and three Russian - carrying
seven nuclear reactors to the ocean floor, where
they remain in a volatile, eroding state.
Man's failure to develop safe methods for the disposal of
radioactive waste has not hampered his ability to accumulate
tons of lethal material each year. On May 22, 1994, the San
Francisco Chronicle reported:
The end of the Cold War has left U.S. and
Russian officials stuck with some 50 tons of
'excess' plutonium from dismantled nuclear
bombs. Experts are debating how to get rid of it:
Proposed schemes range from blowing it up
with bombs to burning it in nuclear reactors to
launching it into the sun. Meanwhile, com-
mercial nuclear reactors generate 60 to 70 tons
of plutonium each year that is highly radio-
active and, hence, less likely to be stolen {by
terrorist organizations].
Man is notorious for finding and using the quickest,
easiest, and cheapest way to rid himself of radioactive and
toxic waste. He demonstrates little concern for the environ-
ment because he thinks he won't live long enough to suffer the
consequences of his selfi$h behavior. Yet, an immediate
consequence of his toxic waste disposal has proven to be the
contamination of drinking water. CBS News reported (May
17,1986) in Woburn, Massachusetts, following the dumping
of toxic waste which subsequently contaminated the local
water supply, death from leukemia was three times higher
than the national average. Other health problems, including
irregular heartbeats, are also much higher than average in
U sing data released from the Environmental Protection
Agency, The Natural Resources Defense Council discovered
"one in five Americans drank unsafe or poorly treated water
last year." According to an article in the San Francisco
Chronicle (July 28, 1994):
The Natural Resources Defense Council said
that during 1992 and 1993, nearly 50 million
people consumed water with unlawfully high
levels of toxic chemicals, microbes and other
pollutants, or water that was inadequately
treated for those disease-causing agents.
Similarly, the television show West 57th St. (June 6,
1989) reported an estimated one quarter of Los Angeles
ground water is contaminated due to the illegal dumping of
toxic waste. Each day, the amount of toxic waste produced
could fill four superdome football stadiums. The cost oflegal
toxic waste disposal at the time of the broadcast was $150 per
barrel, whereas the cost for illegal disposal was $75.
Man tends to foist the waste he produces off onto others,
a fact graphically demonstrated in 1987 when a barge loaded
with 3,100 tons of industrial waste was shipped from Islip,
New York to the Mississippi River Delta in a vain search for a
landfill that would accept it. Mter being rejected by six states
and three countries during sixty days and six thousand miles
of floating, the garbage-laden barge returned to New York
City. In recent years, men have even proposed loading in-
dustrial waste (including toxins) into rockets and launching it
into space.
Likewise, many American corporations are moving their
operations to Mexico in order to freely discharge their highly
toxic waste (produced during the manufacturing of their
products) into the environment without governmental sanc-
tions or penalties. Mexico has laws to protect the environ-
ment, but as an incentive for American corporations to do
business in Mexico, those laws are not stringently enforced.
Although such reckless discharge of toxic waste trans-
lates into greater profits at the quarterly board meeting, the
physical and emotional damage to people in this generation,
and even the next, is enormous. According to the March 17,
In Mexico, these companies also reduce their production costs by paying their
workers a fraction of what they would earn in America (about $83 a week) and by not
providing any health benefits or worker's compensation insurance.
1994 television documentary Discovery Journal, towns on
both sides of the 2000 mile border are reporting significantly
higher rates oflupus, cancer, and birth defects. For example,
the incidence of babies born with spina bifida (having a
portion of their spinal column exposed) and anencephaly
(lacking a brain) have increased dramatically in Brownsville,
Texas. Dr. Carmen Rocco, a pediatrician in Brownsville, cites
studies completed in 1991 by the Citizen's Environmental
Laboratory from Boston, Massachusetts, which found the
irrigation canals around the factories immediately across the
border to be highly contaminated with chemicals which cause
cancer and birth defects.
In the documentary, a man was interviewed who was
dying of cancer. He lived in Nogales, Arizona, and believed
his cancer was caused by inhaling toxins released from
American companies operating less than a mile away in
Mexico. On his street of 18 houses, 14 cases of cancer had
been reported in the past 5 years. He also maintained that
Nogales is now infamous for having the highest rate of lupus
patients in the world. The public relations personnel of the
offending companies all claimed they dispose of their toxic
waste in environmentally safe ways.
Dr. Laurance Nickey, the Director of the Health and
Environment Department in El Paso, Texas, complained that
the Rio Grande River has become so polluted he wouldn't
even put his big toe in it. He also voiced his concern that
Mexico is being viewed as the optimal place for American
business to dump its toxic by-products. He gave the example
of a semi-truck his department stopped at the border from
Denver, Colorado. The truck was loaded with chemical car-
cinogens and bound for Mexico.
Man's reckless disposal of his toxic waste will detri-
mentally impact future generations in the same manner our
ancestors' shortsighted behavior negatively effects our lives
today. In Colorado, for instance, rivers are contaminated
with sulfuric acid because of the greed of men who lived over a
hundred years ago. Men stopped mining precious metals
such as gold and silver from the mountains of Colorado in the
1870's because none remained for them to take. Ever since
then, when winter rains have filled the mine shafts, water
mixes with the exposed non-precious metals and forms sul-
furic acid. The sulfuric acid then overflows the mine shafts
and drains into the fresh water streams, thus contaminating
the streams forever. The miners who dug those deep shafts
never bothered to fill them because they never stopped to
consider the problems they were creating for future generations.
Similarly, the residents of Los Angeles are choking on
the greed of men who lived over forty years ago. Greenpeace
magazine (October 1989) reports:
General Motors (GM), among others, has been
campaigning actively against public health for
decades. In 1949, the company was convicted
of conspiring to destroy the nation s mass transit
systems by buying up and then dismantling
electrical transit systems in urban areas around
the country.
The environmental consequences of this crime
are still felt today. Los Angeles, which in the
1930s boasted an efficient system of electrified
public transit that served 56 cities, saw the
system destroyed and replaced with diesel buses
and a freeway network for GMs cars. The city
now has one of the worst air pollution problems
in the country, and the Bush administration
has proposed exempting it from some provisions
of the Clean Air Act.
With enormous resources available to them,
companies like General Motors can ensure that
the laws protecting us from them remain weak.
During the last decade, for example, General
Motors has successfully opposed amendments
that would strengthen federal clean air and
federal fuel-efficiency standards. GM has spent
more than $1.8 billion lobbying Congress against
clean air amendments since 1981, the year the
Clean Air Act came due for reauthorization. In
addition, GM's political action committee made
more than $750,000 in campaign contributions,
much of it to legislators who sit on committees
with jurisdiction over clean air issues.
In 1952, the president of General Motors Corporation,
Charles Wilson (1890-1961), told a congressional committee,
"What is good for the country is good for General Motors, and
what's good for General Motors is good for the country."58
Obviously, that statement is not true.
Man believes he's in control of his destructive behavior
in his environment, but he's not. When environmentalists
complain about the clear cutting of national forests, the
million-gallon oil spill in Alaska, the dumping of toxic waste,
or when they question the need for more nuclear warheads
and reactors, corporate CEO's and government leaders re-
spond in the same way, "I know what I'm doing, I know what's
best for the economy, trust me." Generally, however, man is
doing only what's best for himself. He has little desire to
protect the environment for the next generation. Mr. Larry
Summers, the chief economist of the World Bank, argues in
World Watch magazine (December 1992):
The premise that our first priority should be to
do more for our descendants is, anyway, debat-
able . . . Should my American grandparents
have reduced their standard of living, when life
was considerably more nasty, brutish, and
short than now, to leave raw materials in the
ground for my benefit?
According to the Environmental Defense Fund, Mr.
Summer's World Bank is funding "massive rainforest clear-
ing and agricultural resettlement in Brazil and Indonesia ... "
Such action is seen as the answer to the overpopulation
problem of these countries. At the present rate of destruc-
tion, all the earth's rainforests will be gone by the year 2032.
Rarely in his history has man demonstrated an appreci-
ation for life. His self-serving behavior continually reveals a
primordial obsession with destruction and death as the
English psychologist Havelock E His (18 5 9-19 3 9) noted when
he wrote:
The sun, the moon and the stars would have
disappeared long ago, had they happened to be
within reach of predatory human hands.
Man, in his haste to accumulate money and the power it
brings, doesn't understand that the environment he is so
furiously destroying is the force which sustains his life. Peter
H. Raven of the Missouri Botanical Garden explained inan's
self-destructive relationship with his environment (Time
magazine, January 1991):
Like a careless mechanic, humanity is disman-
tling its life-support system, tossing components
every which way and paying little heed to how
the parts fit together. This isn't survival of the
fittest, it's suicide of the fittest.
The Norwegian scientist Thor Heyerdahl likewise la-
mented, "Man is demolishing nature ... We are killing things
that keep us alive."16
Over a century ago, an American Indian chief tried to
warn man about the dangers of his disregard for the environ-
ment. Today, as then, man neither respects nor heeds the
wisdom of Chief Seattle of the Suquamish Tribe (1786?-
1866) who, in 1855, wrote to President Franklin Pierce:
Every part of the earth is sacred to my people.
Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore,
every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and
humming insect is holy in the memory and ex-
perience of my people . . . The white man . .. is a
stranger who comes in the night and takes from
the land whatever he needs. The earth is not his
brother but his enemy . . . Continue to contami-
nate your bed, and you will one night suffocate
in your own waste./
Chief Seattle's insight into the destructive and short-
sighted nature of man may also be a chilling prophesy of our
man-made destiny.
The civilized man is a more experienced
and wiser savage.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
American poet
Several years ago I was riding in a car with an acquaint-
ance of mine whom I hadn't seen since high school. The years
hadn't changed him much. He was still very bright, am-
bitious, and aggressive. My acquaintance had reached his
goal of becoming a millionaire by the time he was thirty
almost solely due to shrewd real estate transactions. He
called himself a "land developer." As he drove down the back
roads in the countryside near our hometown, we discussed
the incredible population growth and the corresponding
building boom of tract homes and shopping centers that had
taken place since we graduated from high school. He then
explained his future development plans for the area, telling
me in detail how much money he would make from each of his
projects. While traveling through the small hills covered with
lush vegetation and green trees, I felt very sad envisioning the
destruction his dreams of "progress" and personal wealth
would cause.
As we passed a lake on our right, I saw a mallard duck
paddling into the water's reflection of the setting sun with a
hen swimming close behind. As I stared at the beauty of the
moment, my male acquaintance abruptly pulled the car off to
the side of the road. He was now looking at the ducks with
great interest too. Excitedly he said, "Watch this, you won't
believe it." He got out of the car and opened up the trunk. I
became impatient and yelled, "What are you doing?" He
replied in a preoccupied mumble, "Watch the second duck."
As I turned my head, I heard the loud cracking sound of
a rifle shot and saw the duck's head disappear in the dis-
tance. The rest of her body rolled over in the water. The
leading mallard kept on swimming, oblivious to what had
just happened. In great glee and with obvious pride, my ac-
quaintance returned to the driver's seat while exclaiming,
"Almost a hundred meters and a moving target, not too
shabby, huh?!" To this man, and others like him, life on earth
exists to be exploited and consumed for their own pleasure
and profit.
The reasons for man's destructive behavior can be traced
to his physical vulnerability and his innate subconscious
feelings ofinsignificance.* Because of his brain's capacity for
intellectual thought, man realizes he is physically weak and
vulnerable when compared to other forces in his environment
(e.g., wild animals, diseases, tornados, earthquakes, etc.).
Experience teaches him reality is unpredictable and can be
very dangerous to him. Much to his chagrin, man learns he is
mortal - he will eventually die.
His awareness of his mortality intensifies his drive for
survival. To decrease his feelings of physical vulnerability, as
well as increase the probability of his species' survival, man
has been instinctively driven to conquer and control his en-
vironment. He has used his intelligence to invent things to
help him gain this control such as bulldozers, chain saws,
weather satellites, pesticides, vaccines and antibiotics, a
variety of guns,jetfighter planes, submarines, atomic bombs,
A third physiological reason is man's high level of testosterone - the hormone of
aggression. Man has always been hormonally programed for violence; in ancient
times, this increased the odds of his survival.
etc.* Blaise Pascal explained the relationship between man's
physical vulnerability and his intellectual power when he wrote:
Man is but a reed,
the weakest thing in nature.
But he is a thinking reed. 16
Unknown and potentially dangerous situations in the
environment create a sense of vulnerability in man and
stimulate within him the physiological reaction of anxiety. *.
To rid himself of the biological discomfort caused by anxiety,
man instinctively struggles to change the unknown to the
known. If, for example, you hear an unfamiliar noise outside
your bedroom window late at night you wonder who or what is
causing it. You then look out the window in an attempt to
change the unknown to the known. Your need to identify the
cause of the noise, in order to determine its potential for
danger, is prompted by your drive for survival.
Curiosity, stimulated by the unknown, caused ancient
man to wonder, "What or who is on the other side of that
mountain?" The implication was "it" or "they" might be
dangerous to him. To eliminate his fear of the unknown, he
explored the other side of the mountain and frequently felt
compelled to kill or enslave whoever or whatever he en-
Curiosity results from man's physical vulnerability and
has continually fueled his scientific exploration. New dis-
coveries in medical science have been fostered by man's need
* Human intelligence can be defined as the ability to think, reason, solve problems,
and plan activities that will take place at a certain time in the future.
** Anxiety is a biologically inherited survival response that prepares man (without
any conscious thought) for fight or flight via stimulation of the sympathetic nervous
system. Some of the physiological changes which occur within the body when ex-
periencing anxiety are increased heartrate, increased blood pressure, increased rate
of breathing, dry mouth, body sweats , blood moving away from the digestive tract to
the large muscles of the extremities, and coagulants being released into the blood.
to understand and control any disease which can kill him.
When someone dies, man's apprehension over that death
motivates him to research its cause. Man has always been
driven to find out what kills people and control it, because he
fears he could be the next to die.
Man is terrified by the thought his existence will cease
with his death. This fear prompted man to invent super-
stitions and religions which provide him with the comforting
delusion his life will be everlasting. As the Greek philosopher
Plato (427?-34 7 B.C.) said, "He was a wise man who invented
On a broader level, superstitions and religions provide
man with the means to both explain the unknown and gain
control (he believes) over those forces frightening to him.
Ancient man, for instance, explained thunderstorms as a sign
of a god's wrath. He often decided to send his god something
he valued; consequently, he sacrificed female virgins as a way
of appeasing the god. When each storm eventually subsided,
man erroneously concluded he had discovered how to control
the forces of nature. This increased the feelings of security
within the tribe by decreasing everyone's anxiety (except for
the virgins of the tribe). Because they provide emotional
stability, brought about by the delusion of security, man has
clung to his superstitions and religions even though they have
no scientific basis.
Contemporary man is anxious to conquer and control
AIDS, cancer, tornados, earthquakes, crop-eating insects,
terrorists, and people of other religions and countries who
appear to be a threat. In other words, man still struggles to
understand and control or kill anything which can destroy
When man distrusts or fears other men, he invades and
conquers their society, always rationalizing his behavior in
one way or another. He will justify his aggression by explain-
ing his leadership or form of government is best for the people
or his religion is the only acceptable one, etc. The true reason
for his domination of others is his own insecurity; he feels he
must conquer them before they conquer him. *
Man's physical vulnerability and his corresponding drive
for survival also create within him the need for group affili-
ation and acceptance. The survival of human life has been
contingent upon people cooperating in groups. Ancient man,
even with his intelligence, could not survive alone - other
animals were just too dangerous. Living and hunting together
in well-organized groups allowed man to pool his intellectual
and muscular abilities, and thus dominate or kill any animal to
feed or to protect his group.
Man's efforts to overcome his physical vulnerability also
contribute to the fulfillment of his basic purpose in the overall
scheme of life. As mentioned previously, man's purpose has
always been to conquer and control the environment, to make
it safer for his mate and offspring. Man is physiologically
designed and hormonally programed for that purpose."
Consequently, man is the expendable sex. Should he be
maimed or even killed while struggling to make the environ-
ment safer, his species has only lost a few million sperm, an
inconsequential loss when compared to the life-creating and
sustaining power of woman. Man's expendable position in life
explains why 106 males are born for every 100 females.
Extra males are naturally required to replace the ones killed
or maimed while fulfilling their purpose.
The second reason for man's destructive behavior is the
innate subconscious feelings of insignificance which plague
him throughout his life. Because of his intelligence, man is
aware of his existence. As the French philosopher Rene'
Descartes (1596-1650) explained, "I think, therefore I am."30
Man also conquers other societies because he needs to feel more important and
powerful. Ruling a greater number of people and controlling a larger area of land
helps feed his delusions of grandeur and mitigates his feelings of insignificance .
Testosterone, the hormone of aggression, is literally in man's blood. Women also
have testosterone, but at a much lower level.
Because of man's awareness of self, he needs a purpose for
existing, which explains why the Greek philosopher Plato
(427? - 347 B.C.) described man as, "A being in search of
Everyday man needs reassurance that his existence is
meaningful. He frequently seeks this reassurance through his
career. Through interaction in a business environment, he
often achieves a sense of importance as well as the fulfill-
ment of various psychological needs. * Consequently, it is not
uncommon for a man to die shortly after he retires. Without
his job, which had previously provided him with a sense of
self-worth and purpose, he perceives his life as meaningless,
and he quickly perishes.
While I was working as a hospital psychologist, for in-
stance, a physician requested I evaluate the prognosis of a
retired man who was literally drinking himself to death. This
man's retirement prevented him from fulfilling his psycho-
logical needs through interaction in a business environment.
He was, at one time, responsible for the construction of
national highways. His daily routine was one of great respon-
sibility, challenge, and achievement. Continually, he was
approached by people asking his permission and advice prior
to carrying out their respective duties. He experienced the
intoxicating power of direct control over men and their giant
earthmoving machines. Now, following his retirement, the
highlight of his day was a walk around the block. Because he
no longer felt significant, he was getting drunk to escape the
pain of his meaningless life. During the interview I said to this
man, "You realize you're killing yourself with alcohol?" To
which he replied, "Well Doc, so what does it matter?"
Some successful businessmen refuse to take vacations
from work. They usually rationalize they can't afford one.
The implication is they or their company would suffer finan-
Such as the need for attention, social acceptance, achievement, structure, in-
t ellectual stimulation, challenge, and a purpose in life.
cially. The truth is, while away from their jobs, they would
suffer psychologically. They need the daily reaffirmation of
self-worth that ajob of great responsibility can provide. Even
when they become presidents of companies, they still can't
relax. They fear another ambitious executive, eager for ad-
vancement, will out-perform them and take their position.
They must daily prove to themselves, and to others, they are
indispensable to their organization. Likewise, young million-
aires who retire don't remain on the sidelines of business for
long. They need the daily thrill of the "battle" of business to
reaffirm their sense of power and self-worth.
A career can be such an important way for men to vali-
date their existence that some even take their own lives after
losing their jobs. Many men, for example, committed suicide
during the Great Depression. They killed themselves because
what they lost (e.g., jobs, money, social status, the ability to
purchase expensive things) represented their total sense of
self-worth. Conversely, women, even when miserable and
consumed with despair in the Great Depression (or in the
aftermath of a man-made war), have almost always struggled
to stay alive for the welfare of their children.
The supreme importance of the female in the reproduc-
tive process also fuels man's subconscious feelings of insig-
nificance. Woman carries, and ultimately gives birth to, the
next generation of life. William Shakespeare was a literary
genius, Thomas Edison and Benjamin Franklin were brilliant
inventors, Michelangelo was a master painter and sculptor,
Albert Einstein possessed possibly the greatest mind of the
twentieth century; but none of these highly gifted men could
create life, and none of their contributions to humanity are as
significant as the creation of life.
As a result of his feelings of insignificance, man suffers
from what could be called "uterus envy." Man does not want
life growing within his body, but subconsciously he is jealous
of the sense of purpose and self-worth woman derives from
giving birth to the next generation. Each month she is re-
minded of her power and her value in life; she is immortal
because of her offspring. Each day man struggles to prove his
significance to all, including himself. While continually
searching for meaning, he must find contentment through the
creation of electric toothbrushes, DDT, mechanical hearts,
shopping malls, nuclear weapons, computer chips, Agent
Orange, skyscrapers, spaceships, and other inanimate things.
Woman doesn't struggle in life for her significance, she
creates it naturally. Havelock Ellis addressed man's restless
quest for significance when he said:
Nature accords the male but a secondary and
comparatively humble place in the home, the
breeding place of the race; he may compensate
himself if he will, by seeking adventure or re-
nown in the world outside. The mother is the
child s supreme parent. 7
In part, because of "uterus envy," man has an insatiable
psychological need for significance. While overcompensating
for his subconscious feelings of insignificance, man is driven
to create an illusion of importance which can be demonstrated
in a visual manner. He usually feels compelled to accumu-
late anything deemed socially valuable (e.g., money, land,
buildings, stocks, paintings, stamps, businesses, etc.). Man
needs to reaffirm the value of his existence by proving to
himself and to others that his days are worthwhile.
A man may demonstrate his own perceived value in life in
many tangible ways. For example, he can show off the material
goods he owns, such as the car he drives. Why does a man
choose a BMW, Mercedes, or Porsche? He certainly doesn't
choose one of these cars for greater fuel efficiency or in-
Overcompensating for feelings of insignificance is an example of the defense
mechanism Sigmund Freud termed "reaction formation," which will be explained in
Chapter 4.
creased reliability, but rather for social status. His car is a
tangible symbol of his financial worth which he views as
synonymous with his self-worth. Other ways for a man to
demonstrate his success or value in life is by the beauty of his
wife or girlfriend, the size and location of his house, the style
and cost of his clothes, the restaurants where he eats, and the
clubs to which he belongs. Man values possessions that bring
him attention and admiration from others, which, in turn,
serve to increase his feelings of self-worth and counteract his
subconscious feelings of insignificance.
In his quest for significance, the wealth a man accumu-
lates is never enough because he usually believes the more
money he obtains, the more valuable he is as a person. The
acquisition of money is of utmost importance because with it
he can gain greater status in society, as well as buy the power
to manipulate others. When the American oil tycoon J. Paul
Getty (1892-1976) said, "You can never have too much
money,"45 he was voicing a common belief.
Even though the stress inherent in a money-oriented
society can lead to ulcers, high blood pressure, heart attacks,
strokes, migraine headaches, alcoholism, and drug addiction,
man relishes the competition he encounters. Competition is
actually a euphemism for comparison. Competition is a
socially acceptable way to compare oneself to others on the
field of battle - be it sport, business, or even war. Competition
provides an opportunity for man to gain an emotional fix of
significance - providing he wins. If he continually fails, he
frequently gives up the struggle for significance and becomes
part ofthe male refuse of human life (e.g., a drifter, alcoholic,
drug addict, or suicide statistic).
Winning in any form of competition is a way for man to
demonstrate his superiority to others and most importantly
to himself. People instinctively value winners, not losers. We
are interested in, and reward, whoever is number one; we
place little value on being number two. For example, two
weeks after Charles Lindbergh flew solo across the Atlantic
Ocean and landed on May 21, 1927 at LeBourget, France,
another man duplicated the flight but landed in Berlin,
Germany (300 miles farther). Do you know the name of that
pilot? Most people don't. *
At sporting events, the audience frequently behaves as if
the athletic contest is a life and death struggle. People are
personally upset, even enraged, when their team loses, and
sometimes their frustration is released through acts of
violence. For example, 39 people were killed in riots following
a "game" of soccer in Brussels, England in 1985. Likewise,
after Columbia lost at the 1994 World Cup soccer tourna-
ment, their star player was murdered by a fan who blamed the
athlete for the loss. Many participants and fans would agree
with the words of the late football coach Red Sanders, "Win-
ning isn't everything, it's the only thing."35 ** In sports, who-
ever finishes second is a "loser." Such an attitude is con-
sistent with man's animalistic nature because, in true warfare,
whoever finishes second is dead. Competition in sports, to
demonstrate who is superior, evolved from man's instinct for
war. Civil War General George McClellan (1826-1885) noted
this connection by stating, "War is the greatest game at
which man plays."5o General George Patton echoed a similar
Battle is the most magnificent competition in
which a human being can indulge. It brings out
all that is best; it removes all that is base.
When contemplating man's propensity for violence and
war, as well as his innate desire to compete and conquer, the
origins of some sports are not surprising. Modern soccer, for
example, originated in England; the first "ball" was the head
His name was Clarence Chamberlain .
This statement was later echoed by, and erroneously attributed to, the Football
Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi.
of a slain Danish brigand. King Edward III tried (but failed) to
prohibit the game in 1365 because his soldiers would rather
kick heads around a field than practice archery. Similarly, the
game of polo originated in Tibet and was later modified by
victorious warriors who buried captured enemy soldiers in
the ground up to their necks and proceeded to crush their
skulls with a club while riding by on horseback.
Man also counteracts his subconscious feelings of in-
significance by performing acts of destruction (such as those
examined in the last chapter). The killing of his fellow man
and wild animals provides him with an emotional thrill. Years
ago, the American psychologist Willam James (1842-1910)
observed man's affinity for murder:
Man, biologically considered . . . is the most
formidable of all the beasts of prey, and, indeed,
the only one that preys systematically on its own
species. 16
Consistent with man's desire to kill, one of the most
powerful lobbies in Congress (The National Rifle Association)
is devoted solely to the ownership of guns. The purpose of
the gun is the same as the nuclear bomb or mustard gas - to
destroy life. The use of a gun creates iIi man the delusion of
Man has always relished using weapons to kill large
animals. He no longer must kill wild animals for food - but
he still kills them for his own pleasure. His desire to kill
Many women also belong to the NRA. They purchase and practice shooting guns
primarily to protect themselves from tile greatest threat to their lives - men .
An acquaintance of mine hunts doves for, as he explains, the challenge; they fly ina
very fast, darting manner making them difficult to shoot. After killing his limit of ten
he throws the dead birds away. Since the only edible part of the dove is the meat on
the rib-cage, which is hardly a mouthful, he believes cleaning the bird to eat is not
worth the effort.
is a consuming passion, which overpowers even his greed.
Elephants, for instance, are hunted for their valuable ivory
tusks. Why doesn't man wait for the elephant to grow old and
die of natural causes before harvesting its ivory? Obviously,
the older the animal, the larger the tusks would be at the time
of death. Simply stated, man gains no feelings of power and
significance waiting for the giant beast to drop dead of natural
causes. Instead, he feels at the zenith of his existence as he
hears the loud explosion of his powerful gun, feels the force of
the weapon as it recoils, and watches excitedly as the huge
animal bellows in agony, struggles to maintain its balance,
and then collapses in death. The ultimate "power trip" for
man is the destruction of something ALIVE with just the pull
of his trigger finger. He lives for the thrill of conquering and
destroying, rarely worrying that his behavior will lead animals
like the elephant to extinction.
Many men collect animal heads, horns, or skins as in-
dications of their power and bravery. Likewise, during the
Vietnam War, some soldiers cut off the ears of their slain
enemies as tokens of their own lethality. A few B-52 bomber
pilots even returned to the scene of their bombings and posed
for pictures, kneeling beside enemy corpses. Similarly,
during the Persian Gulf War in 1991, some American soldiers
climbed atop the Iranian tanks they had just destroyed in
order to savor their sense of victory and take photographs
documenting their moment of glory. Pride in murder and
destruction, as well as the dismemberment of bodies, are
examples of the barbaric depths to which man will sink in
order to experience the exhilaration of destruction.
Contemporary man also participates in many forms of
death-defying activities, not for survival, but simply to
psychologically reaffirm his significance. To demonstrate his
courage, he'll ride wild animals in a rodeo or tame them for a
circus act, climb mountains when it's very dangerous to do so
(and when he already knows what's on the other side), break a
brick with his hand or even his head, walk across a wire
secured between two skyscrapers, catch a .22 caliber
bullet, fired from a rifle, with his teeth, or jump over a car
traveling towards him at 60 miles per hour. The French
dramatist Pierre Corneille (1606-1684) understood what
man gains through performing death-defying feats. He wrote,
"To conquer without risk, is to triumph without glory."45
Conversely, most women, because of their innate feelings
of significance, rarely feel the need to perform tests of
Except for changes in fashion and advances in weapon
technology, man hasn't changed much since the time of the
Roman Empire. In those days, when a victorious Roman
conqueror returned to Rome, he and his army received a
grand welcome from the citizens of the city. As he paraded
through the streets of the city, the slaves, captured from the
lands he had conquered, shuffled in chains behind his horse-
drawn chariot. Custom dictated one slave stand behind him
and, while holding a laurel wreath crown over his head,
whisper into his ear, "All glory is fleeting," implying he should
enjoy the moment because it wouldn't last. Subconsciously,
man understands and fears the fleeting nature of glory. He
must constantly perform acts of bravado to experience a
tangible reaffirmation of his significance. He knows his life is
fragile and his death is inevitable. At a subconscious level,
man senses the validity of the timeless wisdom of Aristotle:
Time crumbles things; everything grows old
under the power of time and is forgotten through
the lapse of time. 45
The insignificance of man's life was expressed bestin the
words ofthe Roman poet and satirist Horace (65-8 B. C.), "We
are but dust and shadow. "36 Such awareness of his mortality
instills in man a restlessness which fuels his drive to make his
mark in the world. Often, unfortunately, the mark man feels
driven to make is detrimental to the environment. When a
man writes graffiti, he deliberately mars his surroundings and
is essentially saying, "I was here. My presence has impact on
the environment. My life has meaning. Don't forget me!"
Similarly, man instinctively attempts to mark or claim his
territory by physically changing it as noted in Desmond
Morris's book, The Naked Ape. After purchasing a house, for
example, man must paint it or cut down some shrubs or add a
fence or do something to make the statement, "This territory
is mine and my being here has made a change for the better."
Whenever a new male commander takes control of the
Air Force base on Oahu, Hawaii, one of his first orders is to
switch the numbering ofthe holes on the military golf course;
the front nine becomes the back nine and the old back nine
becomes the new front nine. The commander is demon-
strating his power and claiming his territory much like a dog
marks his domain by urinating on surrounding bushes.
As a business consultant, I often find an organizational
problem can be traced back to the hiring of a new male
manager. Seeking to make his presence known, the new
manager often had changed the internal operations of his
department. Even though his department had been function-
ing quite well, he sought to demonstrate his power and ration-
alized his ,changes by saying, "We can do much better." The
decrease in business efficiency caused by man's egotistical
attitude has led to the development of the following business
axiom: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
* Man often talks of leaving a legacy behind, like a son, a successful business, or a
sports record, which demonstrates his life had meaning, Because she is of a different
gender, it is difficultfor a daughter to be a man's clone, and so frequently he hopes for
a son to take his name and "follow in his footsteps ," The father will often pressure his
son to achieve all the goals the father desired but failed to accomplish during his
Unfortunately, because of man's desperate need to visibly
make an impact on his environment, a more accurate state-
ment might be, "If it ain't broke yet, it certainly will be soon."
The survival of the human species is endangered by man's
relentless need to make his mark in life, almost always to the
detriment of the environment.
Humanity is further threatened because man is usually
unable to confront the fears, resulting from his physical
vulnerability and feelings of insignificance, which fuel his
destructive behavior. These fears almost always stay shroud-
ed within his subconscious mind, protected by defense
mechanisms, "psychological shields" which prevent him
from seeing and experiencing his true essence. Because man
is unable to face and be at peace with his own vulnerability
and insignificance, he will be forever at war with his environ-
ment, his fellow man, and even himself.
The devil can cite scripture for his purpose. 16
William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
English Dramatist
Most men are not consciously aware of their feelings of
vulnerability and insignificance. Such an awareness would
cause them to suffer anxiety and depression. These feelings
would have hindered ancient man's ability to venture from his
cave and consequently would have proven counterproduc-
tive to man's original purpose - conquering and controlling
the dangerous environment to make it safer for his mate and
offspring. In order to concentrate on his immediate survival,
the mind of man utilizes defense mechanisms, "psychological
shields" which protect him from the potentially paralyzing
thoughts and feelings stimulated by his insecurities (e.g., his
fear of death, his fear of his insignificance, his fear of women,
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), an Austrian neurologist
and the founder of psychoanalysis, theorized the human mind
is divided into three levels: the conscious, pre-conscious, and
unconscious. The conscious level consists of thoughts we
have at a given moment in time. The pre-conscious level is
comprised of memories that are easily retrievable through
conscious effort (e.g., your date of birth, your father's first
name, your favorite color, etc.). The third and largest level of
the mind is the unconscious. We are not aware of the fears,
needs, emotional conflicts, and painful memories which exist
at this level. (In this text, the term "subconscious" will be
used synonymously with the term "unconscious.")
Freud wrote that all behavior has purpose, and that the
true reason for behavior usually lies in the unconscious.
When attempting to enter this level of the mind, the psycho-
logical barriers he termed defense mechanisms are frequently
encountered. Defense mechanisms originate within the un-
conscious mind and are activated without conscious aware-
ness or control. To understand man's actions, we must first
identify and then decode the defense mechanisms he inad-
vertently uses to mask the real motives for his domineering
and destructive behavior. Although Sigmund Freud wrote
about many defense mechanisms, the ones pertinent to this
book are:
1. Rationalization - when an individual attempts to apply
the rules of reason to an unreasonable conclusion in
order to hide the true motive for a particular behavior.
2. Projection -when an individual remains oblivious to his
or her own undesirable emotions, impulses, or behavior
by attributing them to other people.
3. Sublimation - the process by which unacceptable,
sometimes dangerous, unconscious impulses are chan-
neled into socially acceptable, even admirable, behavior.
4. Reaction Formation - when a person avoids his or her
unconscious, dangerous and/or frightening desires or
feelings by overtly expressing the exact opposite desire
or feeling.
5. Repression - the "forgetting" of painful and/or fright-
ening thoughts and/or experiences. These thoughts
and/or experiences are "drawn" into the unconscious
mind. Repression will be examined in Chapter 6.
6. Denial - when a person does not want to confront
dangerous, frightening, or painful aspects of reality, he
or she will not acknowledge their existence. Denial will
be examined in Chapter 6.
This chapter concentrates on the defense mechanisms
which allow man to dominate and abuse woman, murder his
fellow man, destroy the environment and other forms of life,
and escape his ever-present feelings of insignificance.
Chapter 6 examines and explains the two defense mechan-
isms most people use to ignore the catastrophic human and
environmental consequences of male leadership.
Defense mechanisms protect the problem-solving func-
tion of the mind from debilitating stress. In the process,
however, they often distort peoples' perceptions of them-
selves and their interpretation of reality. Defense mechan-
isms frequently allow people to fulfill their selfish needs and
impulses without accepting responsibility for their actions
and without feeling anxiety or guilt for their wrongdoings. As
a consultant to the California State Department of Parole, I
frequently encountered people who unwittingly utilized de-
fense mechanisms to justify their behavior. I once asked a
convicted murderer why he had killed his wife. He respond-
ed, "I killed her because I loved her." Another time, I asked a
man who repeatedly battered his wife to explain why he hit
her. He answered, "I only hit her when she asks for it." Both
responses demonstrate the convoluted logic of rationaliza-
tion. By using rationalization, these men were making their
violent behavior acceptable in their own minds. They were
simultaneously denying the emotions of hate, rage, and fear
that triggered their violent behavior.
Rationalization enables man to justify his domination of
woman. In the newspaper article on the next page, two men
utilized rationalization when explaining the murder of their
wives. These murderers, when caught, probably said, "I killed
my wife because she disobeyed God's law." In other words,
they killed their wives for God. In
truth, t heir wives were slain be-
cause they did not succumb to
their husbands' demands. These
men felt afraid because they per-
ceived their masculine authority
was being challenged when their
demands were ignored. They were
frightened by their wives' show of
independence and chose to kill
their wives rather than lose con-
trol over them.
Rationalization completely
permeates the cultural and reli-
gious structures man has created
in order to control woman. During
man's prehistoric existence, his
superior brute strength and his
hormonally stimulated aggression
made him the natural choice (of
the two sexes) to meet the more
physically demanding and dan-
gerous life and death struggles
occurring daily outside his cave
dwelling. Because of his role as
hunter and protector, man was
thrust into an environment
which he struggled to interpret
and understand (e.g. , lightening
storms, the rising and setting of
the sun and moon, the appear-
ance of stars at night, etc'.) He
Wives Who
Broke Moslem
Rules Reported
Two orthodox Moslem vil-
lagers shot and killed their
wives for their failure to uphold
one of the five basic principles
of Islam. fasting during the cur-
rent holy month of Ramadan. an
Istanbul newspaper said yester-
The Daily Milliyet reported
that Tahir Akcay fired his shot-
gun at his wife of 12 years after
she refused to observe the tra-
dition and was late in setting up
the table for breaking the fast
after sunset.
The paper said Akcay sur-
rendered to police in Mardin. in
a remote area of eastern Turkey
where Moslem traditions are
strictly foll owed.
The other incident took place
in Diyarbakir. near Mardin.
when Mehmet Veysi had a heat-
ed argument with his wife trying
to convince her to fast along
with him. the paper said.
When she refused. Veysi shot
her with a pistol. the report said.
He fled to the mountains. but
was found by police and arrest-
ed. the paper said.
subsequently structured cultures comprised of social mores,
customs, laws, taboos, and religions based on his own needs
and insecurities.
Meanwhile, because she had less brute strengt h and
aggression, woman received little respect from man and
therefore was rarely allowed to contribute to the construction
of cultures and religions. Woman quickly learned the danger
of disagreeing with the doctrines set forth by the larger, more
violent, and self-centered male. To continue living and caring
for her young, she complied with the dictates of the dominate
At the heart of much of the cultural and religious doc-
trine man has created lies the belief that woman is a bio-
logically inferior creature. Aristotle captured the essence of
this male perception when he said women are:
Female by virtue of a certain incapacity . ..
weaker and cooler by nature than . .. males and
we must regard the female character as a kind
of natural defectiveness.
St. Thomas Aquinas (1226-127 4), an Italian theologian,
called women:
. . . defective and accidental . . . a male gone
awry . . . the result of some weakness in the
father's generative power . .. or of some external
factor, like the south wind, which is damp.
Jules Michelet (1798-1874), a French historian, gave
further support to the belief of female inferiority when he
inaccurately described menstruation as:
... a cicatrization of an interior wound [which
means that] 15 or 20 days out of 28 woman is
not only an invalid, but a wounded one.
Moreover, the male leaders of the Catholic Church were
so convinced of the inferiority of woman they even ques-
tioned whether or not she possessed a soul. In 585 A.D., the
Catholic clergy at the Council of Macon debated and decided
by only one vote that woman does have a soul. Contem-
porary man continues to reveal his belief of female inferiority.
The Orthodox Jew, for example, still prays:
Blessed art Thou, oh Lord our God, King of the
Universe, that I was not born a slave.
Blessed art Thou, oh Lord our God, King of the
Universe, that I was not born a woman.
Man often tries to support his claim of superiority by
citing his bible. As mentioned in Chapter 1, Saint Ambrose,
Saint Paul, and Tertullian all echoed the sentiments of Saint
Augustine who preached that man must rule woman for her
own benefit because Eve succumbed to the lies of Satan in
the Garden of Eden.
By stating woman is biologically inferior and incap-
able of good judgment, man has been able to use the defense
mechanism of rationalization to legitimize his creation of
societies in which his power is pervasive. In Mexico, for
instance, the cultural philosophy of "machismo" views
man as the brave, strong, dominate sex. As a little boy, he
learns his responsibility is to work outside the home. Early
in life, he follows his father out into society to learn a trade
so he can support his family. As a man, he rarely helps his wife
with the children or the household chores because doing so
would be humiliating. Conversely, woman is viewed as weak,
submissive, and subservient. As a little girl, she prepares
to assume the role of motherhood - learning to cook, clean,
wash clothes, and care for her younger siblings. She is not
educated because this male-dominated society deems it un-
necessary. It is understood that she will marry a man who will
take care of her, as long as she takes care of him and his
children. Likewise, she is thought to be incapable of filling a
responsible position of employment outside the home. If she
does obtain a job, it is usually as a maid, clerk, secretary, or
baby sitter.
Woman often blindly accepts her subjugated status be-
cause once indoctrinated during childhood it is difficult, if not
Machismo means "male animal" in Spanish.
impossible, for her to see beyond the societal limitations man
has imposed upon her. I remember talking to one of my
former Mexican-American community college students who
had transferred to a state university and earned her Bachelor
of Arts degree. Upon seeing her again, I congratulated her on
her achievement and asked her which graduate school she
was planning to attend. Her reply caught me by surprise. She
said her husband had decided she should concentrate on
taking care of her family and not go on to graduate school. She
said to me, "We're different from you Anglos. We believe our
husbands always come first."
Man has frequently used his religious doctrine to ration-
alize his domination of woman, in essence stating, "I'm
following God's will." For example, the Lord supposedly
instructed woman in Genesis 3:16, " ... thy desire shall be to
thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." Unfortunately for
woman, Genesis 3:16 was written by man and is therefore his
interpretation of God's will. Likewise, until recently a woman's
marriage vows dictated that she "love, honor and obey" her
A close examination of today's major religions reveals
little has changed since the times of Moses, Jesus, Buddha,
and Mohammed. Male domination is obvious in the lack of
female participation in the power structures of the major
religions. For instance, the upper echelons of command
in the Catholic Church are all filled by men - the pope,
cardinals, bishops, priests, and brothers. At the very
bottom of the hierarchy reside the females called sisters
or nuns who possess little, if any, power. The male lead-
ers of this organization rationalize their domination of
these females in a variety of ways, such as: "We are follow-
ing the teachings of the Holy Scripture," or "Jesus and all
His disciples were men," or "Nuns have a special place in
the church as they are married to God," etc. In the power
structures of the Morman and Muslim religions, male domi-
nation of the female is so extreme women are not involved at
any level.
Similarly, Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902), the
woman who wrote speeches for Susan B. Anthony and
Ernestine Rose, once said of Judaism:
I found nothing grand in the history of the Jews
nor in the morals inculcated in the Pentateuch.
I know of no other books that so fully teach the
subjection and degradation of women. 7
Statements from the Skandapurana, the sacred text of
Hinduism, describe the appropriate conduct for a married
. . a wife should take her meals after her
husband . .. sleep after he sleeps. If he assaults
her, she should not lose her temper. If she has to
offer a suggestion, she should say, 'Sir, this
looks advisable but do what you think is right. '
She should never sit in an elevated place and
never look angrily at her husband. She should
wash his feet, shampoo him, fan him. I
Moreover, the Hindu Code of Manu directs:
Day and night females must be kept in slavery
under the domination of their mates. 56
Nowhere, though, is male domination more evident than
in the religious dogma man has created which dictates
woman's primary purpose in life is bearing and caring for
children. For example, Pope John Paul II has said:
I want to remind YO':lng women that mother-
hood is the vocation of women. It was that way
in the past. It is that way now and it will always
be that way. It is women's eternal vocation. The
world has a hunger and thirst more than ever
for motherhood, which physically and spiritually
is the vocation of women as it was of Mary.
Someone should remind Pope John Paul II, however, that
Mary had only ONE child, not a half-dozen or more as is
common in many Catholic families.
Most organized religions prohibit the use of birth control
and abortion consequently encouraging large families. Church
leaders rationalize their abhorrence of birth control by stating
God wants more souls to eventually attain everlasting life in
heaven. Creating souls to appease God, however, is a man-
made excuse to keep woman confined in her house, caring for
her children. As a result, women continue to be controlled by
their husbands via church doctrine. Man is able to keep
woman available for his sexual enjoyment while simulta-
neously creating and indoctrinating another generation of
females whom he can manipulate accordingly.
A woman who does not wish to be home caring for five to
ten children must use some form of birth control in defiance
of her religion. Such rebellion, however, can be punishable by
verbal and/or physical abuse from her husband or even ex-
communication from her church (which she frequently is
taught means eternal damnation of her soul after death).
Man rationalizes these punitive consequences for women
attempting to govern their own bodies by, again, professing
that woman's primary purpose is child-bearing. His real
motive, however, is to extend his reign of dominance into
the next generation. This desire is often so pervasive it can
lead man to attach more value to the unborn than he does to
the life of woman, as evidenced in the words of Martin Luther:
If a woman grows weary and at last dies from
childbearing, it matters not. Let her only die
from bearing, she is there to do it.
Along with rationalization, the defense mechanism of
projection lies at the foundation of man's domination of
woman. Throughout history, man has projected his tendency
to cause chaos onto woman. Such mental manipulation of
Tertullian instructed, "Prevention of birth is a precipitation of murder."36
reality allows him to avoid facing his own destructive nature
while simultaneously gaining another excuse to control woman.
In other words, he claims he must dominate her or she will
cause great human suffering and possibly destroy the world.
The ancient Chinese philosophy of Yin and Yang, men-
tioned in Chapter 1, is an obvious example of the defense
mechanism of projection. Man maintains, in this dualistic
philosophy, that woman is the negative force in the universe,
whereas he is the positive force. Similarly, the Greek philoso-
pher Pythagoras (? - 497 B.C.) taught:
There is a good principle which has created
order, light and man; and a bad principle which
has created chaos, darkness and woman.
When studying the history of man's violent behavior, it
becomes clear Pythagoras was wrong. Man's obsession has
been war and the continual destruction of his environment,
whereas woman's preoccupation has been the creation, sus-
tenance, and protection of life.
Examples illustrating man's projection of his destructive
nature onto woman can be found in the mythological tales of
many cultures. These stories often warn of woman's predis-
position to cause chaos, destruction, and death, while man is
repeatedly portrayed as an innocent victim of woman's fail-
ings. The deadly powers of the Sirens, Rusalka, Morganes,
and Lorelei have already been described in the first chapter.
In summary, they were beautiful female creatures who lured
naive men to their watery graves.
Another example is Eris, the goddess of strife and dis-
cord in ancient Greece. By throwing an apple to a guest at the
wedding of Thetis and Peleus, she became indirectly respon-
sible for starting the Trojan War. Homer writes that once the
Trojan War began, she wanted to hear nothing but the groans
of dying men. Similarly, a goddess called Kishimo-jin exists
in Japanese mythology. Said to be the mother of demons, she
exhibited many destructive behaviors, probably the most
extreme being a penchant for eating children. In the end,
however, Buddha (a male) converted her from evil to good.
According to Hindu mythology, the most powerful goddess
is Devi or Mahadevi. She is terrifying and complex, existing in
many forms. In her most evil form, Devi becomes Kali, "the
black earth mother." Kali enjoys killing. She practices human
sacrifice and devil worship. She is depicted nude except for
earrings made of children, a snake necklace, a necklace of
human skulls (including her sons' heads), and a belt of hands.
Her skin is black and covered with blood. One of her four
arms holds the bloody head of a giant. Usually she is por-
trayed with blood dripping from her tongue and mouth. On
one occasion she would have destroyed the world had she not
been stopped by Shiva, a male god.
In the Greek myth of Pandora, a box held all evil so
mankind lived without pain; all men were content and at
peace with one another. The god Zeus gave this box of evil to
a beautiful woman named Pandora with strict instructions
never to open it. Eventually she succumbed to her curiosity
and opened the box, thereby releasing all the evils in life
which subsequently afflicted man. The Greeks blamed their
suffering on Pandora just as the Christians have continually
indicted Eve for their misery.
In their article "The International Crime of Genital
Mutilation," Gloria Steinem and Robin Morgan report:
Myths of the Mossi of Upper Volta, and the
Bogon and Bambaras of Mali, clearly express
the fear of an initially hermaphroditic human
nature and of women s sexuality; the clitoris is
considered a dangerous organ, fatal to a man if
brought into contact with his penis.
In 1982, the father of a family from Mali that
was residing in France was arrested for re-
moving his three-month old daughter's clitoris
with a pocketknife. 9
This is a tragic example of man using mythology to rationalize
his vicious torture of his own child.
Like rationalization, the defense mechanism of projec-
tion is interwoven into the fabric of religious doctrine.
Careful analysis of the Martin Luther letter cited in Chapter 1
reveals the frequent use of both these defense mechanisms.
Martin Luther rationalized that man must dominate woman,
not only because he "owes" her the "Christian service" of
domination, but also because he must "obey God rather than
[his] wife." As a good Christian, he "must not allow her to
despise and trample underfoot that authority of the husband
which is the glory of God, which Saint Paul teaches."
Martin Luther utilized projection when he wrote:
ce. you are now opening a window in this
weaker vessel through which Satan can enter at
will ... and vex you in every way. "
In the phrase "Satan can enter at will," Martin Luther is
projecting his sexual temptation to mate with woman onto
Satan. He is implying that his sexual attraction to woman is
wrong, but simultaneously denies his responsibility for the
control of his own sex drive. In the phrase, "and vex you in
every way," Luther is voicing his fear of woman's power to
sexually attract and manipulate him.
During the Middle Ages, men believed women were
sexually insatiable. A priest wasn't even considered safe in
confession with a woman.
At times, women exhibiting be-
havior interpreted as lustful were considered witches in
alliance with the Devil. This belief is yet another example of
projection. Here man is transferring his more intense sex
drive onto woman. According to male rationale, these dan-
gerous witches had to be savagely tortured and executed.
Instead of restraining his own sex drive, man chose to kill
woman, the object of his sexual attraction. Conveniently, the
Bible (which man wrote) enabled him to rationalize the mur-
der of such a woman by stating in Exodus 22:18, "Thou shall
not suffer a witch to live."
Mark Twain reflected on religion's power to legitimize,
through rationalization, man's propensity for murder when
he wrote:
During many ages there were witches. The
Bible said so. The Bible commanded that they
should not be allowed to live. Therefore the
Church, after doing its duty in but a lazy and
indolent way for 800 years, gathered up its
halters, thumbscrews, and firebrands, and set
about its holy work in earnest. She worked
hard at it night and day during nine centuries
and imprisoned, tortured, hanged, and burned
whole hordes and armies of witches, and wash-
ed the Christian world clean with their foul
Then it was discovered that there was no such
thing as witches, and never had been. One does
not know whether to laugh or to cry. Who
discovered that there was no such thing as a
witch - the priest, the parson? No, these never
discover anything. At Salem, the parson clung
pathetically to his witch text after the laity had
abandoned it in remorse and tears for the cruel-
ties it had persuaded them to do. The parson
wanted more blood, more shame, more brutali-
ties; it was the unconsecrated laity that stayed
his hand.
Like witches, prostitutes throughout history have been
viewed as subhuman which is why they've frequently been
labelled sluts, whores, harlots, hookers, etc. Even now, when
a prostitute is beaten or killed, little public outcry arises.
Ironically, while the woman who sells her body to a man for
his temporary sexual enjoyment is scorned, the man who has
sought out and paid for these sexual services is usually seen
as entirely normal. Man excuses his lust as a biological need,
but condemns the prostitute as being the evil temptress who
draws him into sin.
As mentioned in Chapter 1, Mata Hari was executed for
her espionage activities during World War I. Instead of
murdering the male generals who gave her military secrets,
those in power (men) judged it appropriate to kill only Mata
Hari. The generals probably realized they had been sexually
manipulated and felt humiliated. They probably also knew
they were responsible for the deaths of their men. As Adam
did to Eve, these men used Mata Hari as a scapegoat and thus
were able to rationalize their recommendation for her execu-
tion as a spy. The judges in the courtroom must have rational-
ized that the generals were helpless when under her seductive
spell. Likewise, several years ago, a male judge in the
Midwest dropped rape charges against three high school
boys because he judged the victim's attire to be seductive. In
defending his decision, this judge must have rationalized that
the victim provoked the attack.
The laws of societies have frequently contained sexual
inequities, written and sustained with the use of rationali-
zation. In Medieval England, for example, during King
Canute's reign in the eleventh century, men found guilty of
adultery were forced to pay a fine, but for the adulteress the
law decreed, "her lawful husband have all that she possess
and let her then forfeit both nose and ears." When a woman
was found guilty of adultery in the society of the Apache
Indian, her nose was cut off.59 Even though the man involved,
Male prostitutes, including young boys, also sell their bodies - primarily to men .
As evidence of her alluring nature it is noteworthy that, of the thirteen men in the
firing squad which killed Mata Hari, only four shot her.
with his superior brute strength, could have overpowered and
raped her, he was in no way considered responsible for the
sexual act. To escape any punishment for wrongdoing, he
would blame the woman for instigating the act of fornication,
thus using the defense mechanism of rationalization to ex-
plain his innocence and the woman's guilt.
The defense mechanisms of projection and rationaliza-
tion are evident in the customs of many cultures. Men in
ancient China, for example, rationalized the custom of foot-
binding (mentioned in Chapter 1) by stating it would make
the girl marriageable. The true purpose of this practice was to
control women - to prevent them from "running around" with
men other than their husbands once they sexually matured.
Man felt compelled to instigate this custom, not because
woman was untrustworthy, but rather because he projected
his own sexual desire onto her. He was sexually promiscuous
but did not want his wife to emulate his behavior.
Similarly, before the English knight embarked on a
religious crusade, he locked a metal "chastity belt" around
the genitals of his wife.
Here again, man projected his in-
tense sex drive onto woman and then rationalized his domi-
nation of her by implying she was promiscuous and therefore
untrustworthy. *
Man's sexual attraction to woman is so compelling, and
his fear of her power so intense, he frequently forces her to
conceal her body when he does not want to be sexually drawn
to her. For instance, prior to converting the inhabitants ofthe
Hawaiian Islands to Christianity, missionaries covered the
female bodies of the islanders with long gowns called muu-
muus. The missionaries were fearful of their sexual attraction
to the female natives and the temptation this attraction
created within them. Likewise, until recently, Catholic nuns
*The other reason for the chastity belt was the husband's fear that his wife would be
raped by another man while the husband was away for years at a time fighting in the
were dressed in long black robes with large white "bibs"
hiding the contour of their breasts; the only portion of their
bodies not shrouded in clothing were their faces.
In a similar vein, the Moslem faith demands women
dress in long robes often with only their eyes exposed. The
male religious leaders teach that female sexuality is so power-
ful it can threaten the stability of a society and therefore must
be hidden from men. Any resistance by woman to this male
decree is interpreted as defiance of Allah's (the Muslim name
for God) will and can be punishable by death.
Moreover, during the last few years of the regime of Mao
Tse-Tung (1949-1976), Chinese men and women dressed in
identical pants and coats and wore their hair cut short. All
sexually alluring curves of the female figure were minimized
or completely hidden. By trying to make the female appear
less provocative to the male, the government may have been
subtly promoting birth control measures.
Essentially, through his social customs and religious
dogma, man is implying he can't control his sex drive when
he's near a woman who reveals certain parts of her body. He
not only refuses to accept the responsibility for this failure,
but he proj ects that responsibility onto woman and forces her
to cover her body. When woman refuses to conceal her body,
man is capable of vicious assaults. In a southern republic of
what was previously the USSR, for example, women in 1990
had their faces slashed with knives by Muslim men who
objected to the women wearing make-up. These men were
enraged at the women's power to sexually attract them. They
were destroying that power by attacking its source, hideously
disfiguring the once alluring female faces. They rationalized
their cruelty by stating they were following the will of their
Some men are even sexually attracted to their own chil-
dren. Societies have constructed taboos prohibiting men
from initiating sexual relations with their daughters, step-
daughters or other children. While some men refuse to con-
trol their incestuous impulses, defense mechanisms fre-
quently prevent men from sexually assaulting their daughters.
For example, during a therapy session one of my fourteen
year-old clients tearfully complained of her father's violent
outbursts in which he threw her against the wall screaming,
"You look like a slut! You're not my daughter!" This girl was
developing physically and, for the first time, had tried on
some make-up. She was trying to establish her identity as a
young woman. Her father, however, was becoming uncom-
fortable with the sexual impulses her body and facial make-
up stimulated within him. He projected all responsibility for
his sexual impulses onto his daughter. His anger was fueled
by both fear and guilt, fear of losing control and sexually
molesting his daughter, and guilt for being attracted to her in
the first place.
Two other defense mechanisms man frequently uses are
sublimation and reaction formation. When using sublima-
tion, man channels unacceptable, even dangerous, subcon-
scious impulses (usually of a sexual and/or aggressive nature)
into socially acceptable, often admirable, behaviors. As a
result, sublimated impulses have provided the fuel to fire
many successful careers in numerous occupational arenas.
Some salesmen, lawyers, politicians, and business executives
inadvertently utilize sublimation to channel their subcon-
scious impulses of aggression into work behaviors which are
socially sanctioned. They can lie to and manipulate others
under the protective guise of being a productive and suc-
cessful man. Their sublimated aggressive impulses result in
work behaviors which are encouraged, even admired, and
often richly rewarded by society.
The defense mechanism of sublimation is also evident at
athletic events. Sports are a way of channeling violent and
potentially dangerous impulses in a socially acceptable
manner. For example, professional boxers, hockey, and
football players have jobs which allow them to express their
aggressive impulses in a game of structured violence - under
the guise of entertainment. Sports heroes would be arrested
and thrown in jail if they displayed their aggressive athletic
skills off the field.
Moreover, sporting events provide a means for audiences
to verbally release their aggressive tendencies, usually in a
harmless manner. This is especially apparent in professional
wrestling. Most spectators realize the matches are prede-
termined and are nothing more than choreographed dances -
a form of "battle ballet." Still, the fans vicariously participate
in the "mayhem" of the event by venting their emotions, and
when the show ends, no one has been deliberately injured.
The military, especially during war, serves as an avenue
for man to channel otherwise socially unacceptable behaviors
such as murder. Sublimation provoked the ensuing comment
of General George Patton, nicknamed "blood and guts" by his
soldiers. * He was a World War II hero and brilliant military
strategist who, while overlooking the carnage of a battle, has
been quoted as saying:
I love it. God help me, I do love it so.
I love it more than my life!57
Sublimation may even provide the impetus for those in
one of the most socially respected professions - surgeons. In
an attempt to prolong life, a surgeon will cut into a patient's
body. People attracted to this career perform surgery be-
cause the rewards exceed money, prestige, and the pride
experienced in saving someone's life. Sigmund Freud be-
lieved some surgeons emotionally enjoy the physical act of
cutting into bodies. Through the practice of surgery, socially
unacceptable subconscious impulses, such as aggression, are
released and channelled in a culturally admirable manner.
Moreover, sublimation may be the reason behind the
proliferation of unnecessary surgery performed on female
-His soldiers complained that Patton's victories in war were due to his guts and their
reproductive organs by a still predominantly male body of
health professionals. According to the Women s Encyclo-
pedia of Health and Emotional Healing (1993):
Each year, 650,000 American women have a
hysterectomy, a major surgical procedure that
removes the uterus and puts an end to a woman's
childbearing years. It's an operation so preva-
lent in the United States, in fact, the odds are
that one out of every three women will have the
operation by the time she reaches age 60, ac-
cording to the National Center for Health Sta-
tistics . .. Concerned doctors and other health
care practitioners say that up to 90 percent of
all hysterectomies may not be necessary [not
due to life-threatening conditions]. 54
Some surgery is obviously necessary and lifesaving.
Many hysterectomies, however, are due to man's subcon-
scious and destructive impulses towards woman. In such
instances, man is releasing his resentment for her ability to
create life by cutting out her reproductive organs. *
The defense mechanism of reaction formation is most
often used by man to overcome his feelings of insignificance.
Specifically, he acts in ways opposite to how he subconscious-
ly feels. A literal example of reaction formation can be seen in
what is called "small man syndrome." Some short men will
overcompensate for feelings of inadequacy, created by their
small physical stature, with a daily show of arrogance. Ironi-
cally, their inner feelings of inferiority can make them in-
tensely ambitious and lead them to great financial success
and corporate power.
Simultaneously, he may be unleashing his hostility for her power to sexually attract
and control him (as mentioned in Chapter 1) by attacking the essence of her sexual
As explained in Chapter 3, man's feelings of insignifi-
cance fuel his obsession to accumulate money, attain social
status, and gain control over other people and things of value
(e.g., businesses, property, animals, stocks, rare works of art,
etc.). However, when his feelings of inadequacy are intense,
no amount of money, power, or social status man attains is
ever enough. He continually tells himself, "I can do better. I
want more."
As mentioned earlier, a dangerous by-product of man's
reckless quest for significance is his destruction of the en-
vironment. Modern man is redesigning his environment. He
continually destroys other forms of life and replaces them
with what the British anthropologist Desmond Morris calls "a
concrete jungle." Man builds steel skyscrapers, miles of
paved road, sprawling subdivisions, acres of shopping centers,
and huge stone churches. He seems to prefer inanimate
objects to life. Ironically, man praises his God for the creation
of an immense variety of life and simultaneously works fever-
ishly to destroy it.
The defense mechanism of reaction formation is most
obvious and dangerous when being channelled through man's
religious dogma. It is significant to note, although woman
is the creator of life, all the gods and the prophets of the
major religions are male. Whether discussing Jesus Christ,
Mohammed, Buddha, Moses, Allah, God the Father, God the
Son or God the Holy Ghost, one is talking about male prophets
and male deities. Man's admiration of self is described in the
words of William Shakespeare, through his character Hamlet:
What a piece of work is man!
how noble in reason!
how infinite in faculty!
in form, in moving,
how express and admirable!
in action how like an Angel!
in apprehension how like a god!
It seems odd, however, to envision the ultimate creative
force of energy in the universe as having a sex and especially
as taking a man's form. If man must attribute a sex to God, it
seems more logical for that sex to be female, the legitimate
source of all human life (man's contribution, after all, is
minute - one sperm). Subconsciously, man resents woman's
innate power to create life; she is the personification of God
on earth. He is jealous of the feelings of significance woman
experiences by giving birth to the next generation of life.
When the British politician Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881)
asserted, "The only useless life is woman's,"36 he was guilty of
using the defense mechanism of projection and actually
describing the life of man.
To overcompensate for his feelings of inferiority, man
uses the defense mechanism of reaction formation when
stating God is human in form and of the male gender. When
man professes that this supernatural force has designed man
in His own image, he implies that each man, at least in appear-
ance, is a miniature god. Thus, man can rationalize anything
he does by stating or implying he knows and is following God's
will. An intelligent, destructive creature who views himself as
a miniature god is very dangerous to the survival of life on this
planet because he never stops to question the morality and
long-range consequences of his self-centered behavior.
In his daily quest for power and significance, man demon-
strates little understanding of the warning of Chief Seattle:
This we know, all things are connected
like the blood which unites one family.
All things are connected.
Whatever befalls the earth,
befalls the sons of the earth.
Man did not weave the web of life;
he is merely a strand in it.
Whatever he does to the web,
he does to himself 36
Man does not see himself as merely a strand in the we b of
life. Because of his demigod attitude, man sees himself as the
central force in the web of life. He lives with the delusion he
can exert his selfish will on nature without suffering cata-
strophic consequences. The former Congressman Morris K.
Udall succinctly explained the human repercussions of man's
assault on the environment:
The more we exploit nature, the more our
options are reduced, until we have only one: to
fight for survival. 16
Man lacks an appreciation and respect for the value
and beauty of other forms of life on this planet. He believes
other types of life are inferior to him and exist only to be used
or even destroyed by him. He has continually chosen to
ignore the warning of the Christian Bible, "Hurt not the
earth, neither the sea, nor the trees ... " (Revelation 7 :3). Man
thinks his species will survive to dominate all life on earth
for eternity. As an extension of the god he created, man
has consistently acted as if he believes the words of
Protagoras of Abdera, a Greek philosopher (fifth century
B.C.), who boasted:
Man is the measure of all things,
of things that are that they are,
and of things that are not,
that they are not.
Man's demigod attitude has also permitted him to
cause great human suffering in the name of his god. Man-
made religion allows him to self-righteously rationalize the
carnage of war. Man uses his religious beliefs to imply
his god approves of murder, as long as it's done in his
god's name. In fact, during the Crusades, Saint Bernard
of Clairvaux (1090-1153), a French monastic theologian,
They [Christian soldiers} are to wage the war of
Christ their master without fearing that they sin
in killing their enemies or of being lost if they are
themselves killed, since when they give or re-
ceive the death-blow, they are guilty of no crime,
but all is to their glory. If they kill, it is to the
profit of Christ; if they die, it is to their own. 7
As mentioned in Chapter 2, countless examples of
murder for religious reasons litter the history of man (e.g., the
Crusades, the Inquisition, and the current killing in Northern
Ireland, the Middle East, India, Armenia, Azerbaijan, the
Philippines, and Bosnia-Herzocovina, etc.). When the
American author Gordon Johnstone (1876-1926) wrote "On
Fields of Flanders," he revealed man's perception of his
violent god who, supposedly, condones the slaughter of
I have seen a sight under Heaven
That only God understands,
In the battle s glare
I have seen Christ there
With the Sword of God in His hand. 36
Moreover, man frequently boasts with confidence that
God is on his side during a conflict and will ultimately guide
him to victory. Prior to the Persian Gulf War in 1991, for
example, both President Bush and Saddam Hussein of Iraq
stated God was on their side, which they each maintained was
"the side of righteousness."
In 1945, U.S. President Harry Truman (1884-1972) said
prior to ordering the murder of over 100,000 men, women,
and children living in Hiroshima and Nagasaki:
We thank God that the atom bomb came to us
and not our enemies. We pray that He guides us
to use it in His way and for His purposes. 19
Similarly, following a battle in which he is victorious,
man will frequently give thanks to his god believing his god
approves of the bloodshed. For example, in one day of
fighting during the Civil War battle of Antietam (1862) , over
8,000 men were slaughtered. While sitting on his horse,
overlooking the human carnage and eating a peach, General
Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson said, "God has been very kind
to us this day."50 Although one of the Ten Commandments
brought to man by Moses directs: "Thou ShaltNot Kill," man
behaves as though this commandment does not apply to
Man's "miniature god" complex, combined with his in-
telligence and growing arsenal of weapons, has brought him to
the brink of his own extinction. Ironically, no matter how
ominous the destructive force of his inventions, man con-
tinues to stubbornly cling to the belief that he is in control of
every destructive device he creates; he therefore believes
these devices can't possibly destroy him.
In an article from National Geographic (June 1986),
several male VIP's are pictured watching the 1951 detona-
tion of a nuclear bomb only 12.5 miles from ground zero. The
caption below the picture states, "Naivete was the order of
the day." These men were more than naive. They behaved in
a very foolish and dangerous manner. They felt invulnerable
because of their false sense of omnipotence. Far from being
terrified of nuclear explosions and the horrific destruction
they cause, man is drawn to them with a childlike fascination.
After witnessing the first atomic blast in 1945, American
scientist Donald Horning said:
Aside from being tremendous, it was one of the
most aesthetically beautiful things I have ever
seen. ?
Not possessing the power to create life, man rejoices in
his power to destroy it. In the 1987 documentary Dark Circle,
one of the scientists described his experience of watching a
nuclear blast as an:
Absolutely incredible rush . . . incredible fire-
ball . . . absolutely immense, covering the whole
blooming sky. I know I've described, almost
with enthusiasm, the excitement of seeing a
nuclear bomb go off and that's as a scientist or
just as a male human being that likes to see an
explosion - that gets a kick out of dynamite ...
Man doesn't realize his fascination with destruction will
eventually cause him to incinerate himself in nuclear fire or
drown himself in radioactive waste.
Blinded by his narcissism, which is actually the defense
mechanism of reaction formation, man has learned nothing
from the nuclear horrors of Chernobyl, Hiroshima, and
Nagasaki. Ominously, as of June 21, 1993, eleven countries in
the world possessed nuclear weapons and another six were
working to obtain them, according to Time magazine. A
Soviet expert on nuclear weapons states in Omni magazine
(March 1992):
In 1946 the U.S. had only three atom bombs.
There was no mention of a hydrogen bomb.
Now the five of us [U.S., the former Soviet
Union, China, Great Britain, and France] may
be reaching 100,000 warheads. The whole
history is one of proliferation.
Man fails to understand true security will not exist in the
world until he overcomes his thirst for power and destruction.
Such self-control is unlikely, however, since most of his de-
structive behavior is fueled by his subconscious feelings of
insignificance, shielded from his conscious mind by defense
mechanisms. As man's innate insecurity leads him to pro-
duce burgeoning stockpiles of armaments, he lives with the
false belief that his increasingly destructive, highly technical
weaponry will render him invincible. In the process, man
seems oblivious to the warning of the American historian
Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918):
I firmly believe that before many centuries
more, science will be the master of man. The
engines he will have invented will be beyond his
strength to control. Someday science shall have
the existence of mankind in its power, and the
human race commits suicide by blowing up the
The mind of man is vastly like a hive;
His thoughts are busy ever-all alive;
But here the simile will go no further;
For bees are making honey, one and all;
Man s thoughts are busy in producing gall;
Committing, as it were, self-murder. II
John Wolcott (J 738-1819)
English satirist
With few exceptions, civilizations throughout history
have been governed by men. Because of his brute strength
and corresponding attitude of "might makes right," man has
culturally shaped and dominated societies for centuries,
thereby leading one generation after another into the future.
A review of human history reveals the consequences of male
leadership, a myriad of problems continually plaguing our
species (e.g., war, environmental destruction, starvation, and
An examination of some recent male leaders reveals a
pattern of self-serving and shortsighted decision making
consistent with man's constant quest for social status, money,
and power. Consider for example the Pope, John Paul II,
spiritual leader of millions of people belonging to the Catholic
Church. Catholics believe the Pope is the vicar of God on
earth. The Pope maintains he loves his followers and is
concerned for their happiness and well-being. He is sup-
posed to be the model of humility, charity, generosity, and
compassion. Theoretically, the Pope models himself after
Jesus Christ, but the life he leads is drastically different from
that of Jesus. After all, Jesus didn't live in a palace like the
Vatican (with 10,000 rooms and halls and 997 stairways),
wear beautiful and expensive robes, eat like a king, or horde
art treasures.
In reality, Pope John Paul II is a mere man elevated to a
position of extreme power operating in a closed system of
thought - the Catholic Church. He is not a humanitarian
leader because he lacks the courage to implement the changes
necessary within his organization to truly help his followers.
He will not attempt to mitigate the suffering of those faithful
to the Catholic religion because that entails changing church
doctrine, which in turn means risking his position of power
and status in the church hierarchy. Consequently, he chas-
tises anyone, especially nuns or priests, who cry out for
change within the Catholic Church. He threatens critics of
traditional church policy with excommunication unless they
quietly follow his dictatorial rule.
As an example, John Paul II refuses to permit Catholics
to use birth control despite the human suffering such a stance
produces. Many Catholic women, faithfully adhering to
church doctrine, are creating very large families, only to
watch their children suffer in poverty and frequently die of
malnutrition. Meanwhile, the Pope callously directs them to
produce more offspring. The February 12,1990 issue of U.S.
News and World Report stated that on his trip to Burkina,
Africa, the Pope:
... spoke out against contraception, pointedly
contradicting the policies of those African govern-
ments that view unbridled population growth
as a major cause of poverty.
Tragically, in predominantly Catholic, third-world countries,
progress in the areas of food production, housing, and health
care often quickly collapses under the tremendous burden of
John Paul II blindly supports the outdated laws of the
Catholic Church not only because he fears losing his position
of power, but also because change, in general, is frightening to
man. Altering the status quo, especially when doing so
would result in increased freedom, independence, and power
for women, requires great courage. The previous pope,
John Paul I, did possess the courage to challenge the existing
doctrine of the Catholic Church, however, this may have
ultimately cost him his life.
Pope John Paul I, a brave and compassionate leader, saw
his people suffering under an archaic religious dogma in
urgent need of a major philosophical overhaul. David A.
Yallop, author of the book, In God's Name, states:
Albino Luciani [Pope John Paul If had a dream.
He dreamed of a Roman Catholic Church that
would truly respond to the needs of its people on
vital issues such as artificial birth control. He
dreamed of a Church that would dispense with
the wealth, power, and prestige it had acquired
through Vatican Incorporated; of a Church
that would get out of the marketplace, where the
message of Christ had become tainted; of a
During the Inquisition, the Church threatened to execute the Italian astronomer
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) for heresy because his scientific research revealed that
the earth was not the center of the solar system. Such statements contradicted the
teachings of the Church. It was not until 1993 that the Catholic Church, through a
proclamation from the Pope, bowed to scientific fact and accepted that the calcu-
lations of Galileo were accurate .
As explained in Chapter 1, man fears the power of woman. Permitting women to
use birth control gives her more freedom which could ultimately result in her ob-
taining greater political power in society.
Church that would once again rely on what has
always been its greatest asset, its source of true
power, its greatest claim to a unique prestige:
the Gospel. 53
Pope John Paul I had watched his brother, his sister-in-
law, and their ten children struggle for survival. He openly
voiced his desire and commitment to change the outdated
church laws which were subjugating women and leading to
the creation of thousands of unwanted babies each day. He
approved of birth control and was planning to incorporate it
into church doctrine.
Pope John Paul I also ordered an investigation into the
financial operations ofthe Vatican Bank. On June 10,1990,
the television show 60 Minutes presented a segment entitled,
"Saint Peter's Banker." According to commentator Ed
The Vatican Bank was founded to handle the
extensive investments of the Catholic Church,
but the bank has been under pressure to in-
crease profits because the Vatican has been
running a deficit of about $20 million a year.
Bradley interviewed a Jesuit priest who said:
I don't think I can escape the conclusion that
certain employees of the Vatican - lay and/or
clerical - are involved in that which caused the
embezzlement of funds and, ultimately, . . . the
death of Robert Calvi {president of Italy's larg-
est bank}.
The priest, Dr. Malachi Martin, continued:
The fact is that within the space of 15 years, the
Vatican, through its financial arm, the bank,
has been associated with a long list of those
things which are utterly repugnant ... many
people assassinated, people being thrown out of
windows or jumping out of windows, embezzle-
ments, and . .. many small investors . .. reduced
to misery in their middle age, because of the
machinations of people sitting in deep chairs,
moving vast bulks of money, sometimes in the
name of Christ. 20
After learning of this corruption, Pope John Paul I
had planned to transfer certain high ranking bank officers
out of the country. Shortly after voicing these plans, as
well as his intended changes in the Church's stance on birth
control, he mysteriously died. The bottle of medicine for
low blood pressure which he kept at his bedside disappear-
ed so its contents never underwent analysis for poison.
Yet, over 200 poisons are colorless and odorless, and death
from many of these poisons resembles a heart attack. Curi-
ously, no autopsy was performed on his body, and he was
embalmed several hours earlier than the 24-hour mini-
mum delay required by Italian law. In his book In
God's Name, David A. Yallop maintains Pope John Paul I
was assassinated because of the changes he was determined
to make in the Church and the Vatican Bank. John Paul I
would no doubt have agreed with the sentiments of
Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964), the former prime minister
of India:
I want nothing to do with any religion con-
cerned with keeping the masses satisfied to live
in hunger, filth and ignorance. I want nothing to
do with any order, religious or otherwise, which
does not teach people that they are capable of
becoming happier and more civilized, on this
earth . . .7
While Pope John Paul I displayed a courageous willing-
ness to propose controversial, though desperately needed,
changes within his organization, most male leaders tend to
tell their constituents only what they want to hear in an effort
to remain popular and consequently secure their careers.
Former President Ronald Reagan was a master at this form of
public manipulation. He trivialized the dangers of over-
population, global warming, nuclear waste, deforestation, air
and water pollution, animal extinction, the depletion of the
ozone layer, and acid rain. Throughout the eight years of his
presidency, he and his secretaries of the interior repeatedly
ignored the many warnings of alarmed environmentalists and
even the pleas from the international community. Dr. Edward
Rubin wrote in USA Today (September 1993):
In the early 1980's, international calls from
Canada and northern Europe for reductions in
the sulfur dioxide emissions believed respon-
sible for acid rain largely fell on deaf ears. The
U.S. economy was pinched by a recession
which especially had hurt the industrial Mid-
west. Instead of immediate action, the Reagan
Administration favored a program of research
to understand the effects of acid rain and ways
of controlling it. For a full decade, the National
Acid Precipitation Assessment Program labor-
ed at this task.
However, the 10-year, $500,000,000 program
to guide U.S. policy on acid rain control proved
largely irrelevant when the time came for action
on the new Clean Air Act Amendments in 1990.
Rolling Stone magazine (May 3,1990) noted of Reagan:
The man who once said that trees cause air
pollution made the appointments and set the
tone for the anti-environment decade of the
Eighties. The damage he did was incalculable -
from naming the infamous James Watt as sec-
retary of the interior; to eviscerating the powers
of his own EPA to enforce environmental laws;
to handing public lands over to private profi-
teers; to failing to address new and important
problems like acid rain, ozone depletion, global
warming and ground-water pollution.
When Reagan claimed that trees cause air pollution, he
revealed his ignorance and contempt for nature.* He be-
lieved that the country's resources exist to be exploited and
consumed through money-making endeavors. He ration-
alized that his shortsighted and destructive directives were
designed to "stimulate the economy." Mike Clark of Friends
of the Earth lamented, "The worst thing about Reagan was
his attitude. He didn't give a damn about what kind of future
we were creating for our children."28
Reagan also poured millions of tax dollars into the
military-industrial complex demonstrating little concern for
the skyrocketing national debt. He acted as though the
government could simply print more money should the need
arise. The federal debt of the United States is more than $3
trillion according to The Kiplinger Washington Letter (April 9,
1993). In 1980, before Reagan took office, it was about $700
billion. The former chairman of the Chrysler Corporation,
Lee Iacocca, voiced his concern for the next generation in
1986 during his address to the graduating class at Duke
University (Time magazine, July 1986):
Reagan said that "oxides of nitrogen" are one factor contributing to air pollution
and that more than 90 percent of such oxides come from trees and plants. As he
explained, "This is what causes the haze that gave the big Smokey Mountains their
name is oxides of nitrogen from decaying vegetation." In making that statement,
Reagan was confusing harmful nitrogen oxides (which contribute to smog and acid
rain) with nitrous oxide, the benign chemical that decaying trees and plants produce.
. . Something else you'd better do better than
we have: learn how to balance the books. We're
leaving you with a $2 trillion national debt.
Along with your own problems and your own
bills, you're going to get the privilege of handling
some of mine. I'll tell you one thing: don't try to
pay it off in cash. It would take the U. S. Mint 5 7
years, two months and two weeks just to print it.
We've been using your credit card, and you
didn't even know it.
In Newsweek magazine (January 9, 1989), conservative
George F. Will said of Reagan:
The cheerfulness that has defined Reagan sera
of good feelings has been a narcotic, numbing
the nation s senses about hazards just over the
Mr. Will continued:
As Pat Moynihan has said, something funda-
mental happened in American governance
when a conservative Republican administration
produced deficits of $200 billion - and nothing
happened. Nothing, that is, dramatic and im-
mediately visible. Much happened in the way of
silent rot as we mortgaged much of our future
vitality. But for the political class, the event was
a splendid liberation: all the rules were repeal-
ed. It was a particularly perverse event coming
from conservatives: there were no longer re-
straints, practical or moral, on government
Former Speaker of the House Thomas P. (Tip) O'Neill
said of Reagan (Newsweek, January 9, 1989):
His increasing the deficit is going to be a disaster.
Within 10 years, West Germany will be the
richest nation in the world and Japan will be
the strongest economic power. We're losing the
economic leadership in the 20th century because
of Reganomics.
Reagan also stressed that the government should not act
as "Big Brother" and regulate private industry. Instead, he
believed that corporations should be free to invest the public's
money as they so desire. This governmental laissez-faire
approach allows corporations to operate in ways which can
prove disastrous to the American public. For instance, un-
restrained by governmental regulation and supervision,
Savings and Loan executives succumbed to their greed and
ultimately caused the bankruptcy of their institutions. The
cost to the American taxpayer for the savings-and-Ioan
scandal is estimated to be about $200 billion as of October
1994, according to Common Cause.*
The Rev. Jesse Jackson, president of the National
Rainbow Coalition, offered the following assessment of
Reagan (Newsweek, January 9, 1989):
The gap between the haves and havenots has
widened. We have witnessed the most eco-
nomic polarization in our history. Eight years
later, one third of all black people are in
poverty. And it is much the same for Hispan-
ics. We've lost more family farms than at any
other time. There has been a record number of
foreclosures by banks. Our glitter is brighter,
but our foundation is weak. Reagan has left
Common Cause, founded in 1970, is a nonprofit, non-partisan citizen's lobby that
works to improve the way federal and state governments operate.
a trail of sleaze, corruption and contemptible
acts against the American people and the
Former President Bush continued Reagan's political
practice of mindfully telling the public what they wanted to
hear. Yet, his actions at times contradicted his words. For
example, when asked directly if he would raise taxes he
replied, "Read my lips. No new taxes!" In 1991, however,
he signed legislation to increase tax revenue. Moreover,
during his 1988 campaign, Bush favorably presented himself
as the "environmental president"; his legislative decision
making demonstrated otherwise.
The Sierra Club, for example, maintains Bush sabotaged
the 1990 Clean Air Act. He believed forcing corporations to
screen the toxins from their manufacturing emissions was an
expensive and therefore unfair hardship. Simply stated, the
public's health was not as important as industries' profit.
Bush placed former Vice-President Dan Quayle in charge of
the Council on Competitiveness. Nancy Shute, in The Amicus
Journal (Summer 1991), writes:
The vice president is now on a quiet crusade to
rein in federal regulation, an effort critics say is
undercutting the Clean Air Act, the keystone of
President George Bush s environmental agenda,
as well as a range of other environmental
Following congressional hearings held by the Subcom-
mittee on Health and the Environment, Representative
Henry A. Waxman said (The Amicus Journal Summer 1991):
In the 1984 presidential campaign, Democratic candidate Walter Mondale killed
his chances for election when he merely suggested the possibility of new taxes to
balance the budget.
While Mr. Bush cultivates the image of the
environmental President, his vice-president is
part of a shadow government that works behind
the scenes to help polluting industries under-
mine the law by weakening EPA s regulatory
David Hawkins, a former Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) assistant administrator, said of the Council
(The Amicus Journal Summer 1991):
They are not reviewing the regulations to assure
that the EPA is protecting the environment.
They are reviewing the regulations to assure
that EPA is not causing discomfort to industry.
The Amicus Journal continued on to report:
... This spring, the Council re-wrote air-pollu-
tion permit standards, the first major regula-
tion implementing the 1990 Clean Air Act.
Congressional aides and environmentalists
who had worked with EPA in drafting the rule
were stunned to find that the 'minor permit
amendments' had been changed to allow 34,000-
odd pollution sources to increase the amount of
pollution they generate as much as they choose,
merely by notifying their state that they plan to
do so . ... The council s version of the regulation,
{representative] Waxman said, fails to do what
Congress intended and, in many instances, di-
rectly contradicts the law it is supposed to im-
plement. {He maintains that] The legislative
process has no meaning if the Bush adminis-
tration can ignore the law and give polluters
carte blanche to do what they please. '
Bush consistently supported the profit objectives of
large corporations at the expense of the environment. At an
international environmental conference in the Netherlands in
November 1989, the U.S.joined Japan and the Soviet Union to
block a timetable for reducing carbon-dioxide emissions. Ac-
cording to the U.S. News & WorldReport (November 20, 1989):
. . it represented a major defeat for William
Reilly of the Environmental Protection Agency
[who supported this agreement} and a victory
for Energy Secretary James Watkins . .. Last
spring, Reilly, a highly regarded environmen-
talist, promised that the U.S. this year would
host a multi-national workshop to lay the
groundwork for an international treaty on
global warming. . . . Reilly was preparing to
follow through by announcing a time and place
for the workshop at last week s meeting in the
Netherlands. But when he informed the White
House of his plan, Reilly was ordered to cool it.
The reason . . . [was that} Watkins convinced
White House Chief of Staff John Sununu that
Reilly s plan would burden U.S. industries with
enormous costs.
Bush also refused to join the majority of nations at the
1990 Rio De Janeiro Environmental Conference in signing
environmental protection agreements. The Amicus Journal
(Fall 1992) reports:
In June, President George Bush refused to
sign the Earth Summit Convention on Biologi-
cal Diversity, which requires signatories to
develop national strategies 'for the conser-
vation and sustainable use of biological di-
versity. ' The president said, in rejecting the
treaty: We cannot permit the extreme in the
environmental movement to shut down the
United States. '
As the environmental president, George Bush "deliver-
ed much talk and little action, leaving a trail of broken
promises," says Rolling Stone magazine (May 3, 1990). The
magazine further charges:
". . . he has backpedaled on a number of key
issues, including his own campaign pledge to
take steps against global warming . . . After
promising to preserve every inch of remaining
American wetlands, his actual policy gives
developers large discretion over their use and
effectively writes off an additional 500,000
acres now under federal control.
A powerful obstacle to change in the United States'
energy policy was former President Bush's loyalty to the oil
industry which provided him with major financial support.
Bush's allegiance to the oil industry kept him from pushing
Congress to pass legislation encouraging Americans to shift
from gasoline-fueled cars to automobiles powered by alter-
native means (e.g., propane, alcohol, electricity, etc.). Rather
than alienate the oil industry, the Bush administration con-
sistently fought efforts to invest more money into researching
and developing alternative fuels. This governmental resis-
tance to investigating other possible energy sources com-
pounds a similar reluctance on the part of the oil industry,
which naturally will discourage the search for alternative
fuels until all oil resources have been depleted.*
The old saying, "Necessity is the mother of invention"
describes man's basic system of problem-solving. He waits
until an environmental problem directly impacts his life style,
and only then does he take action to save himself.
* It is estimated that the United States will have depleted its oil supply by the year
2020; the world is expected to run dry by 2040.
4 1
Many of the United States' senators (92 percent male)
and congressional representatives (89 percent male) also
realize that alienating large corporations can result in a major
loss of campaign contributions. Members of the Senate and
House of Representatives are continually solicited (lobbied)
by political action committees (p ACs) representing the oil
and automobile corporations, the nuclear power industry,
mining and timber companies, defense contractors, etc.
Many members of Congress end up selling their votes to the
highest corporate bidder, their pay-offs technically classified
as "campaign donations." An executive of one of the "Big
Three" automakers, which altogether made $3.3 million in
PAC contributions to legislators from 1983-1990, simply
explains, "Obviously we support people who support US."2l
These legal payoffs result in politicians whose main concern
is not creating an efficient government responsive to the
needs of the people, but rather remaining loyal to corpora-
tions that subsequently make contributions to their re-election
Although some politicians can't be bought by campaign
contributions from political action committees, many mem-
bers of Congress have learned to use the political system for
their own profit. Time magazine reported (June 1989):
The real scandal in Congress is not what's
illegal; it is what's legal: the blatant, shameless
greasing of congressional palms that violates
good sense, good taste and good government.
Capitol Hill is polluted by money.
John F. Jennings, the staff director of the House
Elementary, Secondary and Vocational Education Subcom-
mittee was quoted in Common Cause Magazine (July 1989) as
We've had vacancies on our committees for
years, and we've had to accept temporary mem-
bers. Part of the reason is that members go to
committees where they can get more PAC
In April 1989, Common Cause Magazine warned, "PAC
donations by FSLIC - insured thrifts and their trade associ-
ations to congressional candidates in 1987-1988 [totalled]
$1,850,000." Money of this magnitude wields power which
can be abused as was demonstrated when Lincoln Savings
and Loan Corporation was seized for investigation by the
government and subsequently closed in April 1989. The
deliberate misuse of public funds by Lincoln Savings & Loan
owner Charles H. Keating Jr. will cost the American taxpayer
approximately $2.5 billion dollars (as of March 1991). Five
prominent senators intervened on Keating's behalf when his
operation was under investigation by Federal Home Loan
Bank Board officials. * Their paid interference caused such
delays the American taxpayer lost another $1 billion dollars.
When Keating was asked if his generous campaign contri-
butions bought him influence with key politicians he replied,
"I want to say in the most forceful way I can, I certainly hope
The Washington Spectator (November 1, 1994) quotes
the following assessment of Congress by Senator George
Mitchell (D-ME):
The fact of the matter is . .. [that] every Senator
knows this system stinks. Every Senator who
participates in it knows this system stinks. And
the American people are right when they mis-
trust this system, where what matters most in
seeking public office is not integrity, not ability,
The five Senators were John Glenn (D-Ohiol, Alan Cranston (D-Californial,
Donald Riegle {D-Michiganl, Dennis DeConcini {D-Arizonal, and John McCain
(R-Arizona l .
not judgment ,not reason, not responsibility, not
experience, not intelligence, but money. We
could have a candidate of the highest integrity,
highest intelligence, the most vast experience,
who can be overwhelmed by a tide of money by
someone who has none of them. Money domi-
nates this system. Money infuses this system.
Money is this system.
According to Common Cause Magazine, $175 million in PAC
contributions were made to politicians in Congress in 1994.
Many politicians maintain PAC money is a requirement
for their re-election campaigns. Moreover, they also say they
cannot survive on their governmental salaries. Apparently
former President Reagan agreed because he proposed a 51
percent pay hike for members of Congress, cabinet secre-
taries, judges and other top-level government officials despite
a rapidly growing budget deficit. Even though the members
of the U.S. House of Representatives receive salaries which
put them in the top one percent of all wage earners, they
continually vote themselves pay raises. As the following
figures (from The World Almanac) indicate, between 1982
and 1994, members of the House more than doubled their
salaries from $5,000 to over $13,000 a month:
$ 60,662
$ 77,400
$ 96,600
The August 1992 issue of Money magazine reported:
The cost of operating the U.S. Congress [535
members} plus its 38,696 person support staff
has zoomed from $343 million in fiscal 1970 to
an estimated $2.8 billion for 1992 .. . our
legislature is now the most expensive in the
world. Congress' estimated $2.8 billion tab is
more than 10 times the cost of the 346-member
Canadian parliament. Or measured another
way, U.S. taxpayers will spend an estimated
$5.2 million per lawmaker this year.
The article continues:
As much as 80% of legislative staffers' time is
devoted to getting their employers re-elected . ..
Postage-free mailings to constituents, a 217
year-old privilege known as franking, is among
the most prized and abused perks on Capitol
Hill. And Americans pay dearly for it: $80
million to $90 million this year alone.
Members of Congress officially earn $129,500
a year, up a munificent 45% from $89,500 in
1989. But according to Money's calculations,
the typical lawmaker actually collects $168,202,
if you count seven key taxpayer-paid perks that
are the equivalent of extra pay.
Besides postage-free mailings to constituents,
other perks include a pension plan, a thrift
plan, health insurance, free parking on
Capitol Hill, a tax deduction for living in
Washington, D.C., subsidized gymnasiums,
and life insurance.
Money magazine concludes the "creme de la perk" is "an
extraordinary pension plan":
... an estimated 300 or so members will each
collect lifetime pension benefits of $1 million or
more, while roughly 90 will pull down at least
$2 million. 'Congress has become a pension
millionaires' club,' says David Keating, ex-
ecutive director of the National Taxpayers
Common Cause Magazine (July 1989) quotes Repre-
sentative Les AuCoin (D-OR):
Something is systematically wrong with Con-
gress today, and it's money, the pursuit of
money, the endless pursuit of money, the virtual
hourly pursuit of money, either to finance the
perpetual campaign or to maintain a certain
standard of living.
In the congressional elections of 1990, 96% of the in-
cumbents (391) returned to political office. Time magazine
(November 19, 1990) explains:
Voters' choices are . . . reduced because so
many potential opponents do not see much
point in mounting a challenge. The advantages
of incumbency are virtually insurmountable:
voluminous free mailings, easy fund raising,
large staffs, access to the press. That power
creates a vicious circle: incumbents are so en-
trenched that few challengers of any caliber will
run against them . ..
Common Cause Magazine (April 1989) reported:
A record 98 percent of Members of Congress
seeking re-election in 1988 won. Only seven
House incumbents lost during the 1988 elec-
tions. In comparison, seven House incumbents
died in office during the past Congress. In other
words, the odds of being defeated in the House
of Representatives were the same as the odds of
dying while in office. The present PAC-rigged
system is creating a challenger-proof Congress
that is making a mockery of our elections and
destroying representative government.
Mark Twain once described the United States Congress
as, " ... the only native American criminal class."36 Unfor-
tunately, Twain's assessment may be an accurate description,
in general, of the Congress operating in Washington today.
Besides Congress, many other segments of the United
States' government also reveal man's insatiable quest for
self-importance through the accumulation of money and
power. In his book, The Government Racket, Martin Gross
documents several examples of greed, inefficiency, and waste
on the part of our male dominated government. For example,
the Environmental Protection Agency listed 1250 toxic waste
sites in 1980 to be cleaned up with a "Superfund" of $15
billion. By 1991, however, only 65 sites had been cleaned up
at the enormous cost of $10 billion. Mr. Gross contends that
much of that money was lost to fraud and incompetency.
The Housing and Urban Development (HUD) scandal of
the Reagan era lost, "Hundreds of thousands to prominent
Republicans; millions to crooked agents; a billion in bad
loans" according to Time magazine (September 18, 1989).
For example, the article states:
After eight telephone calls and one 30-minute
meeting with [Secretary of HUD, Sam} Pierce,
the former Interior Secretary [James Watt} was
paid $300,000 in lobbying fees for winning a
contract on a Maryland project.
When Senator Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) learned James
Watt had been paid $300,000 as a consultant to HUD he
commented, "Mr. Watt's only known experience in the field
of housing was making Bambi homeless."
Due to their subconscious feelings of insignificance, men
can easily be corrupted by positions of power. In an effort to
quell their sense of insignificance, they strive to amass ever
greater amounts of money, social status, and power frequently
in exchange for their moral integrity. A few male leaders have
shown a resistance towards the corrupting nature of power.
They could not be bought or intimidated by forces attempting
to manipulate them. They courageously proposed changes to
better the lives of their followers. Yet, as a result, many have
been expelled from office or even killed.
Mikhail Gorbachev, former General Secretary of the
Communist Party in the former Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics (USSR), risked his political career in a sincere
effort to change his country and the world for the better. His
policies of Glasnost and Perestroika ultimately led to the end
of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Iron Curtain. On
October 25, 1989, Gorbachev announced in Helsinki the
Brezhnev Doctrine was dead. Warsaw Pact tanks and troops
would cease to interfere with the political will of the
people living in Eastern Europe. This decision freed those
countries to discard the Communist Party and to choose their
own form of government. Shortly thereafter, on November 9,
1989, the Berlin Wall was dismantled. Gorbachev's policies
of Glasnost and Perestroika also inadvertently caused the
disintegration of the Soviet Union. The political, economic,
and social ramifications of this upheaval are still unfolding.
The former Prime Minister of England Margaret
Thatcher said the social change in Eastern Europe was due to
the " ... courage and vision of Mikhail Gorbachev." And yet
for his courage and effort to affect positive change, Gorbachev
was removed from office and the future of his political career
has been severely jeopardized.
Likewise, Egypt's Anwar Sadat demonstrated great
courage when he defied the threats of Muslim extremists and
signed the Camp David Accord with Israel's Prime Minister
Menachem Begin and U.S. President Jimmy Carter. His
vision was one of peace and prosperity for all in the Middle
East, and for this vision he was assassinated in 1981 while
reviewing a military parade.
President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated
because he inadvertently challenged the directives of the
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the military-industrial
complex of the United States. He wanted to withdraw U.S.
troops from Vietnam in defiance of the CIA, the Pentagon,
and defense contractors, all of whom claimed communism
was quickly spreading to America's borders. The new
President, Lyndon B. Johnson, immediately and dramati-
cally increased the number of soldiers and the amount
of supplies sent to Vietnam. This escalation ultimately re-
sulted in an increase in corporate profits in America and
the loss of over 50,000 American lives in the jungles of
Dr. Martin Luther King campaigned tirelessly for, and
ultimately died for, the dream of universal civil rights. In an
atmosphere of hate , his was a message of nonviolence, love for
one another, and the unification of all Americans. His charis-
matic personality drew Americans together to force equal
rights legislation through nonviolent means. He was slain
because his vision of racial harmony threatened the status
quo in America.
In summary, man's subconscious feelings of insignifi-
cance fuel a constant quest for money, social status, and
power which hinders his ability to make decisions conducive
to the survival of humanity. Although exceptions have exist-
ed, the vast majority of male leaders have displayed a pattern
of self-serving and shortsighted behavior. They live for the
moment while struggling in vain to fulfill their ever-present
need for significance. Consequently, they demonstrate little
concern for the long-term destructive ramifications of their
selfish behavior.The German medical missionary and theolo-
gian, Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965), reflected on the future
of man:
Man has lost the capacity to foresee and to
forestall. He will end by destroying the earth. 36
Meanwhile women, in general, continue to follow the
social, governmental, and religious leadership of men without
question. They adhere to his dictates with an intense blind
faith which ultimately will prove disastrous to the welfare of
their children. Women must understand and heed the warn-
ing of St. Augustine, "Cursed is everyone who placeth his
hope in man. "16
You can no longer save your family, your tribe
or nation. You can only save the whole world. 36
Margaret Mead (1901-1978)
American Anthropologist
If you put a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will im-
mediately jump out. If you put a frog in a pot of cold water,
however, and gradually turn up the heat, the frog will continue
to adjust to the slight change in temperature and eventually
be boiled alive.
Like a frog in water that is becoming increasingly un-
comfortable, people continually adjust to the consequences
of man's destructive behavior in the world. Everyday, through
television broadcasts, newspaper reports, and magazine
articles, we are bombarded with news of man's obsession with
war and his destruction of the environment. Not only do we
fail to realize the threat his behavior poses to future human
life, most dangerously, we become desensitized to the news
reports. Such desensitization takes place because:
1) The human mind utilizes the defense mechanisms of
repression and denial to avoid the discomfort of fear.
2) People do not want to change their hedonistic behavior
and make sacrifices for the good of their society and
future generations.
As mentioned in Chapter 4, psychological defense
mechanisms protect us from frightening thoughts and feel-
ings. Under their influence, we become consciously oblivious
to many aspects of reality which can cause us anxiety. For
example, rarely do we think about death (specifically, how
and when we will die). Why? Because it is an unpleasant and
anxiety-provoking thought. Anyone reading these words is
alive and intellectually realizes he or she will eventually die.
And yet, when a person has some advance warning of his or
her death (i.e., learning he or she has a terminal illness), the
natural response is shock and disbelief. Most people seem to
react to their impending demise as if they are totally sur-
prised they are mortal. They seem to believe death is some-
thing that happens to everyone else.
The psychological defense mechanisms Sigmund Freud
labelled "repression" and "denial" are primarily responsible
for sparing us the emotional pain of thinking about our in-
evitable death. Repression means "forgetting" thoughts
which are distressing to us. If something is too painful to think
about, the subconscious mind represses it. Consciously, the
anxiety-provoking thought has been forgotten, but it still
exists at the subconscious level. Denial means failing to
acknowledge dangerous, frightening, or painful aspects of
reality because they are too emotionally overpowering for us
to cope with. For instance, we plan our lives many years into
the future because we deny the possibility we will die anytime
soon. These defense mechanisms protect us from potentially
crippling anxiety. If we were constantly questioning, "Is this
the day I'm going to die?," we would become consumed with
worry and have difficulty functioning on a day-to-day basis.
Likewise, when environmentalists warn us of the dangers
of overpopulation, global warming, ozone deterioration, acid
rain, water and air pollution, radioactive nuclear waste, forest
destruction, and the overfishing of the oceans, many people
believe the environmentalists are exaggerating and pretend
our problems aren't that serious. They are using denial to
minimize the severity of the situation and spare themselves
the emotional discomfort of fear. They then forget or repress
their fears by turning their attention elsewhere, for example,
to choosing which television shows they will watch for their
evening entertainment. The defense mechanisms of denial
and repression help provide us with a delusionary future of
plenty and therefore are detrimental to our survival.
Even if man truly appreciated the severity of the world's
problems, he would find sacrifice extremely difficult because
people have a tendency to be pleasure seeking. The human
animal is basically ruled by a hedonistic drive which Freud
called "The Pleasure Principle."* Simply stated, people
continually strive to rid themselves of discomfort by attempt-
ing to satisfy their biological and psychological needs im-
mediately after they arise. People instinctively do not enjoy
pain; they try to escape from it as quickly as possible.** They
do not like being hungry, cold, sick, or lonely. It is not sur-
prising, for example, that most people readily take pain-
relieving drugs at the first sign of physical discomfort or ex-
perience great difficulty when trying to stay on a diet or quit
The illegal drug trade flourishes, in large part, because of
our basic hedonistic nature and our desire to escape from the
problems of life. Any stress or psychological pain created by
the daily struggle of life, or by the failure to succeed in our
competitive society, is temporarily obliterated by the use of
drugs or alcohol.
Rather than face our frightening social and environ-
mental problems, we would much rather indulge in pleasure
Capitalism is predicated upon our hedonistic drive. Television advertisements
convince people purchasing a particular product will make them more socially
acceptable and thus happier. That delusion creates the fantasy happiness can be
bought .
Masochistic people, such as prostitutes and battered women, possess an un
healthy and selfdestructive need for pain.
directed activities. If, however, we continue to ignore these
urgent issues, the problems man has created will eventually
destroy all human life on earth.
Even though man is capable of intellectual thought (he
can design and build a mechanical heart, a Cray Computer
with 128 million word memory, a satellite that can track the
wake of a ship from 400 miles up in space at night, and even a
rocket that can fly people to the moon), he seems unable to
stop himself from killing others or from systematically de-
stroying the ecological systems of our planet. Paradoxically,
man's intellect may hasten his own extinction and not, as one
might think, guarantee his survival. The American physicist
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) explained the self-destructive
connection between man's primitive nature and his incred-
ible intelligence by writing:
Technological progress is like an axe in the
hands of a pathological criminal.
Man's intelligence and corresponding technological prog-
ress have frequently been harnessed to destroy life, not en-
hance it. Destructive acts that used to require a great deal of
man's time and effort, are now commonly "accomplished" in
a matter of hours or even moments. As each year passes,
man's inventions allow him to destroy his fellow man, the
forests, wild animals, and ocean life at an increasingly rapid
The crowning achievement of man's technological prog-
ress can be seen in his favorite passion - war. During the 1991
Gulf War, for instance, TV news coverage of Pentagon brief-
ings repeatedly showed the technological advances of modern
man; viewers watched "smart bombs" being guided to their
targets with pinpoint accuracy (i.e., literally down the smoke-
stack of a building). Everyone in the briefing room seemed
greatly impressed with these achievements. At one point,
they gasped in admiration at the force of an explosion which
ripped a building into pieces. No one in the audience of the
briefing room seemed alarmed at man's fascination with kill-
ing and destruction. As Commander Henry Urban, Jr. con-
fessed during the Vietnam War:
There are also a lot of nice buildings in
Haiphong {Vietnam}. What their contributions
are to the war effort I don't know, but the desire
to bomb a virgin building is terrific. 16
Man's intellect, his ability to reason, and his potential to
learn from the mistakes of his ancestors seem useless against
his primitive, animalistic nature. Loren Eiseley (1907 -1977),
an American professor of anthropology, wrote in The Immense
Journey (1957):
The need is not really for more brains, the need
is for a gentler, a more tolerant people than those
who won for us against the ice, the tiger, and the
bear. The hand that hefted the ax, out of some
blind allegiance to the past, fondles the machine
gun as lovingly. It is a habit man will have to
break to survive, but the roots go very deep.
Man, with all his intelligence, has conquered everything
but himself. Such weakness in man was apparent centuries
ago. Aristotle believed:
I count him braver who overcomes his desires
than him who conquers his enemies; for the
hardest victory is the victory over self 16
More than just being difficult for man, such a "victory
over self" may be impossible. Charles Darwin captured the
essence of man when he wrote:
Man is descended from a hairy, tailed quad-
ruped, probably arboreal in its habits . .. For
my part I would as soon be descended from (a)
baboon . .. as from a savage who delights to
torture his enemies . . . treats his wives like
slaves . .. and is haunted by the grossest super-
More recently, the Austrian ethologist Konrad Lorenz
(1903-1989) offered his evaluation of modern man:
I believe I've found the missing link between
animal and civilized man. It is us. 14
Such an analysis of man was echoed by David Ormsby-
Gore (1918-1985), a former British ambassador to the U.S.:
It would indeed be a tragedy if the history of the
human race proved to be nothing more than the
story of an ape playing with a box of matches on
a petrol dump. 16
From an evolutionary "survival of the fittest" perspec-
tive, man's violent, primordial nature is understandable.
Without a savage or animalistic nature, our ancestors could
not have survived and you and I would not now exist. Physio-
logically speaking though, man has not changed in the last
100,000 years.* Moreover, judging from man's behavior, he
has ceased to evolve beyond his primitive quest for power and
his zeal for destruction. As Albert Einstein lamented, "It is
easier to denature plutonium than to denature the evil spirit
of man."16
Man's counterpart in the ocean is the shark. The shark
stopped evolving millions of years ago because it physio-
logically achieved optimal efficiency. The shark kills because
that's its purpose in nature - it knows nothing else. Like the
* This is approximately when our species evolved into its current form,Homo sapiens
sapiens (Wise, Wise Man) .
shark, man is an adept destroyer. Also like the shark, man
seems to have stopped evolving. Unfortunately for the sur-
vival of humankind, while the shark's power for destruction is
limited, man's is technologically expanding daily. If contem-
porary man's violent nature is left unchecked, human life will
eventually cease to exist on this planet. The French ocean-
ographer Jacques Cousteau has warned:
If we are not willing to change, we will dis-
appear from the face of the globe, to be replaced
by the insect. .12
Despite his intellect, man cannot free himself from his
subconscious feelings of insignificance which fuel his de-
structive behavior and contaminate his attempts at rational
thought. Sigmund Freud understood the cognitive limita-
tions of man:
I do not have a very high opinion of the bulk of
mankind. I feel that the irrational forces in
man s nature are so strong that the rational
forces have little chance of success against
them. 16
A television newscast on February 24, 1992 reported, for
instance, that 80 percent of the island of Haiti used to be
covered by thick jungle forest. The Haitians burn the forest
to create charcoal which they sell to fuel fires for cooking. At
the time of the broadcast, only six percent of the forest re-
mained. The news reporter asked a hardworking Haitian
man, "What happens after all the trees are burned?" The man
replied, "That will be the end of the world - we will all die."*
Actually, the starvation, poverty, disease, crime, civil unrest, and human suffering
will all increase with overpopulation and the destruction of their environment; they
will then want to come to the United States for salvation.
The statement of this Haitian reflects the basic shortsighted-
ness of man. It illustrates his inability to reason in a rational
manner which consequently prevents man from changing his
destructive behavior.
After gaining an understanding of man's violent nature
and man's limited capabilities for rational thought, Albert
Einstein concluded:
We shall require a substantially new manner of
thinking if mankind is to survive.
Judging by thousands of years of his destructive be-
havior, man is not capable of the "new manner of thinking"
referred to by Einstein. If humanity is to survive, woman
must intervene. Without woman's intervention, man will
ultimately destroy all human life on earth. Man calls woman
the "weaker sex," but she is the only force strong enough to
control him. Mahatma Gandhi {1869-1948}, a political and
spiritual leader oflndia, understood the relationship between
woman and the survival of the human race:
To call woman the weaker sex is libel: it is
man's injustice to woman. Has she not greater
courage? Without her, man could not be. If non-
violence is the law of our being, the future is with
woman. :J6
For centuries, woman has followed man's lead not only
because she fears his violent nature but also because she has
been exposed, since birth, to man's cultural and religious
indoctrination. Consequently, she usually doesn't think to
question his authority. The Russian Communist Nikolai
Lenin {1870-1924} spoke of the power of childhood brain-
washing when he boasted:
Give me four years to teach the children and the
seed I have sown will never be uprooted.
Once indoctrinated culturally or religiously in childhood,
woman unwittingly becomes an active participant in man's
universal scheme of male domination; as a result, her inde-
pendence is suffocated and her unquestioning obedience is
ensured. Women who blindly follow men can begin emulating
their destructive behavior. A misplaced trust in man has even
led women to the ultimate act of barbarity - killing their own
children. On the March 4, 1994 television documentary Let
Her Die (Jnvestigative Reports), women were interviewed in
India who were killing their newborn female infants. Because
this male-designed culture views the female as innately in-
ferior, thousands of baby girls are murdered each month by
mothers who had hoped for sons.
Likewise, on April 28, 1945, a mother named Magda
Goebbels wrote:
My Beloved Son,
We have now been here, in the Fuhrer's bunker,
for six days - Papa, your six little brothers and
sisters and I . . . Our splendid concept is perish-
ing and with it goes everything beautiful, ad-
mirable, noble and good that I have known in
my life. The world which will succeed the
Fuhrer and National-Socialism is not worth
living in and for this reason I have brought the
children here too. They are too good for the life
that will come after us and a gracious God will
understand me if I myself give them release
't 20
om l ... -
Elizabeth Cady Stanton addressed the self-destruc-
tive phenomenon of the female religious faithful when she
She was the wife of Joseph Goebbels, the Minister of Propaganda and Enlighten
ment for Adolf Hitler.
The religious superstitions of women perpetu-
ate their bondage more than all o.ther adverse
influences . .16
On November 18, 1978, in Jonestown, Guyana, 918 loyal
followers (many among them mothers) killed themselves and
their trusting children in a hysterical frenzy of blind religious
faith. These mothers must have suffered terrible anguish as
they poisoned their own children and watched them die in
their arms, but their devotion to their leader, Jim Jones, was
A similar tragedy occurred on April 19, 1993, in Waco,
Texas when 17 innocent children clung to their mothers and
were burned alive in an inferno deliberately set by their
leader, James David Koresh, who had convinced the women
he was the second coming of Jesus Christ. Ironically, the
following warning is written in the Bible (Matthew 15:14):
If the blind lead the blind,
both shall fall into the ditch.
Women must become aware of the dangers of blindly
following man's cultural, political, and religious doctrine.
They must hear the fury and heed the wisdom of Susan B.
I really believe I shall explode if some of you
young women don't wake up and raise your
voice in protest . .. I wonder if when I am under
the sod - or cremated and floating in the air - I
shall have to stir you and others up. How can
you not be all on fire?6
Inexplicably, women frequently seem to be their own
worst enemy. Women's groups splinter into factions and
waste time, energy, and resources attacking one another over
such issues as a woman's right to have an abortion and career
versus family priorities. Furthermore, some women's groups
display a self-defeating tendency to underestimate the po-
tential power of their housewife counterpart. These groups
frequently look upon women who are not aggressively career
minded as inferior. This type of thinking underestimates and
even trivializes the potential power these women possess to
affect change in our society. For example, one woman, Candy
Lightner, founded Mother's Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
after her daughter was killed by a drunk driver. MADD is now
a national organization with thousands of members, proving
how much can be accomplished by a woman some would call
"just a housewife."
Women, especially housewives, mothers, and grand-
mothers, comprise the foundation of power from which social
change can, and must, be constructed. They possess the
potential to change society, if they believe change will create a
better world for their children. Mothers and grandmothers in
particular, whether career women or not, are generally much
less selfish than their male counterparts. They are usually not
as interested in wealth, social status, power, or the glorifica-
tion of self. Their overriding concern is the welfare of their
children and grandchildren. With that goal in mind, they
possess the judgment and integrity with which to guide man
into the future.*
Women possess an intuition that Honore de Balzac called
"instinct" which can force great social change if properly
pooled and directed. Specifically, Balzac believed:
Every woman carries in the depths of her soul
a mysterious weapon, instinct - that virgin in-
stinct, incorruptible, which requires her neither
to learn, to reason, nor to know, which binds
the strong will of man, dominates his sover-
Loving fathers and grandfathers will also recognize the urgency of woman' s quest
and join her in her efforts to harness the destructive nature of man.
eign reason, and pales our little scientific
candles. 10
Underestimating the potential power of a woman, re-
gardless of her educational level, social status, or age is a
grave mistake. She does not have to be hostile, radical, well-
educated, or even outspoken to exert power in society. In
America, women comprise 52 percent of the population, and
at the marketplace, in the voting booth, and by modifying
their religious practices, they can affect enormous positive
One of the most effective ways women can empower
themselves is through the wise use of their purchasing clout.
Women are the primary consumers of a wide range of prod-
ucts (e.g., food, clothing, household goods, etc.) and, as such,
exert incredible influence over American industry. Women
must become better-educated consumers so they can utilize
their buying power to purchase environmentally safe prod-
ucts while simultaneously avoiding products that are environ-
mentally destructive. The easiest way to become more knowl-
edgeable about our environmental crisis is to join one or more
of the organizations listed at the end of this chapter.
Well-organized boycotts, directed at products which
contaminate or destroy the environment, can be powerful
economic tools for women to use to achieve positive social
change. Boycotts often bring forth change much more rapidly
than waiting for governmental action. In recent years, for
instance, enlightened consumers have successfully boycotted
tuna processing companies which were using driftnets to cap-
ture their fish. In addition to the tuna, thousands of dolphins,
seals, turtles, and other sea life were also ensnared in the nets
and subsequently killed (70 percent was thrown back into the
sea as garbage). Many tuna processing companies showed
little concern for this unnecessary, large-scale loss of aquatic
life until a well-organized tuna boycott threatened their profits
and effectively forced them to change their fishing policies.
A similar boycott could be lodged against the fast-food
hamburger industry. Currently, cattle ranchers in South
America are cutting down jungle rainforests so their cattle
can graze on the poor quality grass grown in its place. The
cattle are then sold to various U.S. fast-food chains which
save only five cents per burger by buying the foreign beefP A
hamburger boycott would force fast-food chains to buy their
beef solely from American producers and again eliminate the
need to wait for Congressional action.
An even better alternative would be to boycott meat
hamburgers in favor of hamburgers made of soybean patties.
Vegetable hamburgers are much better for the consumer and
will spare the environment the destruction caused by grazing
cattle. In his book Diet for a New America, John Robbins
writes that some 260 million acres of U.S. forest have been
cleared in order to raise livestock. Seventy-five percent of the
original U.S. topsoil has been lost to date and four million
more acres are lost to soil erosion yearly. Many companies
produce soybean burgers including the Archer Daniels Midland
A boycott should also be organized against Mitsubishi.
This giant corporate conglomerate is the largest destroyer of
forests in the world (according to the Rainforest Action
Network). The Mitsubishi corporation is relentlessly logging
in Canada, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Brazil, Indonesia,
Bolivia, Chile, the Philippines, and Siberia. The quickest way
to force Mitsubishi to cease its onslaught against the remain-
ing forests of the world would be to threaten its corporate
profit margin. A boycott of Mitsubishi products would en-
compass Mitsubishi cars and trucks (including vehicles made
under the Chrysler name - Dodge Stealth, Intrepid, RAM 50,
Colt Vista, Eagle Talon, and Summit Wagon), VCRs, TVs,
Nikon cameras, and Kirin beer.
Besides organizing boycotts, women can empower them-
selves politically. It is imperative that women go to the voting
booth and exercise their ballot power to elect increasing
numbers of leaders intent on protecting the environment. By
joining the League of Conservation Voter.s, women will learn
which politicians legislate to protect the environment. More-
over, greater numbers of women need to become elected
officials in government. In the United States, women must
become more politically involved, especially at the congres-
sionallevel. As members of Congress, women would be much
more likely than men to steer the government in the necessary
direction of protecting the environment, while simultaneously
placing much less emphasis on the accumulation of personal
wealth and political power. Their specific goals should be to:
develop an energy policy which emphasizes natural re-
source conservation as well as alternative fuel develop-
ment and use. * For example, propane gas can be substi-
tuted for gasoline in cars. Propane gas costs less than
gasoline, provides the same mileage, and causes no air
phase out the nuclear power industry and increase efforts
to clean up radioactive and other toxic waste sites.
increase protection of coastal fishing areas by directing
the U.S. Navy to assist the U.S. Coast Guard in patrol-
ling those waters.
protect national, especially old growth, forests and use
substitutes for wood products. For example, tree-free
kenaf paper and hemp/cereal straw paper are already
The war with Iraq in 1991 was aimed at protecting U.S. oil interests in the Middle
East and cost the country's taxpayers over $100 billion. That money could have
been used to discover, through research, alternative fuels that may have replaced oil,
coal, and nuclear power. Moreover, that war illustrates the consequences of
America's energy dependency and vulnerability due to the purchasing of oil pro-
duced in foreign countries .
The Earth Care Paper Company produces paper from the Kenaf plant which can
grow 12-feet-high in four months. The Tree-Free Eco Paper Company uses a 50-50
blend of hemp and cereal straw to make paper that has a shelf life of over 1500 years,
compared to 75 years for wood-fiber paper. This blend of paper also uses 90 percent
less chemicals in its production. (Earth Island Journal, Spring 1993).
re-train displaced workers for new jobs in emerging
environmentally safe industries.
research ways to decrease global warming, acid rain,
water and air pollution, as well as limit the depletion of
the ozone layer.
develop and implement environmentally safe agricul-
tural practices (e.g., protect the topsoil, limit the use of
pesticides, develop organic farming techniques* and
biotechnology**) .
The funding of these programs will represent a monu-
mental shift in the spending priorities of the United States
and must come, for the most part, from money presently
allocated to the Defense Department. As reported in Time
magazine (February 1990), Robert McNamara, the former
Secretary of Defense, believes the Pentagon's budget could
be cut by 50 percent by the year 2000 without jeapordizing
national security. By the turn of the century, the Pentagon's
budget could be reduced to $146 billion, a drastic decrease
from the $291 billion spent in 1991. By making such a
reduction in the Pentagon's budget McNamara says:
We could powerfully enhance our status as a
world power, strengthen our military security,
and redirect resources to more deserving sec-
tors of our economy.
If the U.S. Congress would restructure its funding pri-
orities for the social benefit of the country, much could be
accomplished. The following table appeared in Worldwatch
magazine (October 1989):
Such as alternating crops and planting cover crops which ultimately become
natural fertilizer .
For example, tomatos have been genetically developed which are immune to the
mosaic virus.
"Trade-offs Between Military
and Environmental Priorities"
Military Priority
Trident II submarine,
F-16 jet fighter programs.
Cost Priority
$100 billion One-third of estimated clean-
up cost for U.S. hazardous
waste dumps over 50 years.
Stealth bomber program. $79 billion 80 percent of estimated costs
Approximately 2 days
of global military spending.
MK-50 Advanced
Light Weight
Torpedo program.
to meet U.S. clean water goals
by 2000.
$4.8 billion Annual cost of proposed U.N.
$6 billion
Action Plan to halt Third
World desertification over 20
Annual cost to cut sulfur di-
oxide emissions by 8-12 million
tons per year in the U.S. to
combat acid rain over five
The Center for Defense Information reports (December
12, 1992) one B-2 bomber costs $2 billion which could be
used to build 424 elementary schools for 254,000 children;
one F -117 Stealth Fighter costs $140 million which could be
used to hire 4,200 police officers for one year; one F-14D
Fighter Plane costs $121 million which could be used to pay
3,600 teachers for one year; nuclear test explosions for one
year cost $500 million which could be used to increase by 50
percent the federal funds for alternative energy; one Aegis
Destroyer costs $832 million which could send 263,000
children to Head Start for one year; one Seawolf Submarine
costs $2 billion which could pay for prenatal care for four
million low-income families for one year; 370 Tomahawk
Cruise Missiles cost $500 million which would pay to clean up
the worst 15 hazardous waste dumps in the U.S.; one aircraft
carrier costs $4.2 billion which would provide Pell education
grants to 2.8 million students; one V -22 Osprey Aircraft costs
$42 million which would fully fund vaccine research for AIDS
for one year; and the Star Wars project would cost an in-
credible $100 billion which could be used in countless hu-
manitarian ways.
Most of the other male-controlled countries in the world
share the United States' obsession for weapons much to the
detriment of the earth's ecosystem. For example, World-
watch magazine (October 1989) has estimated:
... a cumulative sum of about $774 billion
would have to be expended worldwide during
the final decade of this century to turn around
adverse environmental trends in four priority
areas: protecting topsoil on croplands from
further erosion, reforesting the earth, raising
energy efficiency, and developing renewable
sources of energy. This is, at most, 8 to 9 per-
cent of current annual world military spending.
The American mythologist Joseph Campbell (1904-
1987) identified man's priority in life when he said, "The
business of man is war."4; As evidenced by his global ob-
session with the manufacturing and sale of weapons, man ap-
parently chooses to ignore the wisdom of Albert Einstein:
Working towards peace and preparing for war,
are mutually exclusiveY
Benito Mussolini (1883-1945), the dictator of Italy
during World War II, addressed the innate difference be-
tween the sexes when he said, "War is to man what maternity
is to a woman."7 The Women's International League for
Peace and Freedom sells T-shirts with a slogan reflecting the
mutually exclusive priorities of the two sexes:
It will be a great day when our schools get all the
money they need and the air force has to hold a
bake sale to buy a bomber.
Such a day will never come as long as man rules the
governments of the world. Most men will not accept the
advice of Mikhail Gorbachev:
The only way to security is through political
decisions and disarmament. In our age genuine
and equal security can be guaranteed by con-
stantly lowering the level of the strategic balance
from which nuclear and other weapons of mass
destruction should be completely eliminated.
The goal of diminishing man's affinity for the weapons of
war is not enough. One of the greatest threats to the survival
of the human species (second only to a nuclear holocaust) is
overpopulation. The organization Zero Population Growth
reports that in 1650 only about 500 million people inhabited
the earth. That number doubled by 1850. By 1930, the
number of people on the planet grew to 2 billion and, by
1975, increased to 4 billion. As of 1994, the population of the
world numbered 5.7 billion, but at the present rate of repro-
duction, the population of our planet will double in only 60
years. As the earth's population "explodes," people will
intensify their competition and struggle with one another for
the limited natural resources and basic essentials necessary
for their survival (e.g., food, clean air, fresh water, medical aid,
Zero Population Growth also reports the population of
the United States is growing by 2.5 million people per year.
Without a population control policy, the future of the United
States can be foreseen in the miserable social and economic
conditions which currently plague many over-crowded coun-
tries including India, China, Mexico, Brazil, and Haiti. The
Japanese are so desperate for space they plan to build future
cities underground. Presently, at the end of a workday in the
city, many Japanese husbands even rent cubicles downtown
for a few hours of sleep while their wives put their children to
bed. Their tiny apartments are not spacious enough to permit
the entire family to move around simultaneously.
In the United States, women must force the legislation of
a population policy limiting immigration while simultaneously
funding a large-scale birth control program. Americans can
no longer afford to support the idealistic and romantic "save
the world" notion inspired by the beautiful verse on the
Statue of Liberty:
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your m i n g shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost, to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
When the American poet Emma Lazarus (1849-1887)
wrote those words of freedom, economic opportunity, and
brotherly love in 1883, the population of the United States
was about 35 million. By 1994, the population had exploded
to 260 million. The Census Bureau projects that by the year
2000, the population of the U.S. will reach 275 million.
The United States of America prides itself on its benevo-
lent history of serving as a "melting-pot" to immigrants rich in
cultural diversity. However, the U.S. currently has its own
"tired and poor" in the ghettos of numerous cities. Charity
begins at home. The limited resources available to help
people must be used to stabilize the nation's growing popu-
lation as well as assist the poor who already live within the
Former President Jimmy Carter demonstrated the fallacy
of the "give me your tired, your poor" philosophy in the late
1970's when he showed his good heart and poor judgment by
accepting thousands of immigrants from Cuba. In a very
clever social/economic ploy, Fidel Castro opened up his
prisons and insane asylums and sent his country's criminals,
drug addicts, and mentally-ill people to the United States
where they now burden overcrowded social service agencies
and criminal facilities.*
To further limit population growth, the U.S. must have
federally funded family planning services. All women must
have access to contraceptive devices and birth control pills,
including RU 486, a contraceptive pill currently used in
Europe. A woman's right to have an abortion must also be
protected. Recent decisions by the male-dominated United
States Supreme Court are eroding a woman's right to govern
her own body. In 1992, the Court gave state law-makers
increasing control over a woman's right to have an abortion.
This decision signals a move by the Supreme Court in the
direction of those who site man-made religious ideology to
support their anti-abortion stance. In fact, Chief Justice
William Rehnquist has said:
The 'wall of separation between church and
state' is a metaphor based on bad history, a
metaphor which has proved useless as a guide
to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly
abandoned. 13
This statement, issued by the highest ranking member of
the Supreme Court, stands in direct opposition to the basic
constitutional premise put forth by Thomas Jefferson calling
for a "wall of separation between church and state." The
blurring of the line between religion and law is ultimately
damning to women. If man is given the opportunity to use his
religious ideology to fortify his laws, he then, through circular
reasoning, will inevitably be further able to justify his sub-
jugation of woman.
On an international level, instead of sending weapons to
Third World countries, the U.S. should be a world leader in
In 1994, Fidel Castro again attempted to ease his country's economic burden of
overpopulation by encouraging his people to flee to the United States.
the exportation of birth control information and products.
Moreover, the U.S. practice of sending food to nations whose
populations are growing out of control, without also helping
them with the means to control their numbers, is counter-
productive and cruel. Under its present policy, the U.S.
provides enough food to keep the poor people of those coun-
tries healthy enough to produce more children who will be
sentenced to a life in increasingly overcrowded societies rife
with hunger, poverty, disease, and crime.
Former President Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994) wrote
in his book, Seize the Moment (1992):
We must help break the link between spiraling
population growth and poverty . ... Where they
have been tried, family planning programs
have largely worked. . . . Many pro-life ad-
vocates . . . contend that to condone abortion
even implicitly is morally unconscionable. Their
view is morally shortsighted . .. if we provide
funds for birth control . .. we will prevent the
conception of millions of babies who would be
doomed to the devastation of poverty in the
underdeveloped world.
Tragically, World Watch magazine (December 1993)
reports, "Forty thousand children die every day from hunger-
related causes." Twenty thousand adults also starve to death
each day. Drs. Paul and Anne Ehrlich, in their book The
Population Explosion (1991), make the following ominous
The population explosion will come to an end
before very long. The only remaining question
is whether it will be halted through the humane
method of birth control, or by nature wiping out
the [human} surplus.
To stabilize the world's population in a humane way,
woman must rebel against the teachings of religions which
direct her to bear many children. Such a change in attitude
and behavior will be extremely difficult for many women
because it means challenging the religious teachings they
have been indoctrinated with since birth. A magazine article
recently quoted a Catholic mother of 18 children explaining
her purpose in life is to be fruitful and bring forth as many
children as her God commands. She and her husband do not
practice birth control, but she admits to hoping God will
choose not to make her pregnant again. She accepts abso-
lutely no responsibility for preventing her repeated preg-
nancies. Apparently, this woman has a very healthy uterus
and a mind which was brainwashed in childhood by the
Catholic Church. She is a living example of the Catholic
Jesuit Maxim:
Give me a child for the first 6 years of life and
he'll be a servant of God till his last breath.
Religious indoctrination in childhood effectively blinds
woman to the question raised by American Congresswoman
Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1987):
But if God had wanted us to think with our
wombs, why did He give us a brain?16
Where reproduction is concerned, many religiously de-
vout women show little evidence of thinking in a rational
manner. A mother of eight children recently talked to me
about her devotion to the Baptist Church. She agreed that we
are overpopulating the earth. She admitted her children will
probably never live a full life. But she quickly explained a
This phrase mirrors the pedagogical philosophy of the Communist leader Nikolai
Lenin as noted on page 142.
nuclear holocaust was inevitable, signaling the end of the
world as prophesied in the Bible. Though she believed
nothing could be done to reverse man's destiny, she claimed,
by giving birth to her children, she was responsible for their
opportunity to share a life with God. She exclaimed, "The
reward for a few years of suffering on earth is eternal life in
heaven." This convoluted "reasoning" is truly frightening,
and if it is indicative of the thinking of the majority of women,
it will seal the doom of human life on this planet.
Perhaps the destiny of human life is extinction. Maybe
all life has a beginning and an end. The dinosaurs ruled the
planet for over 125 million years, yet the last one died over 65
million years ago, and all that remains of their legacy of
domination and power is their bones. Man, even with his
extraordinary capacity for intellectual thought, may be
destined for a similar fate. A tombstone in a graveyard in
Essex, England dated 1440 bears the following prophetic
When pictures look alive with movement free
When ships, like fishes swim beneath the sea
When men outstripping birds shall scan the sky
Then half the world deep drenched in blood
shall lie. 26
If man is allowed to continue on his present course of
destruction, Armageddon or Jihad (the final religious war
culminating in human annihilation) may well become a self-
fulfilling prophesy. Albert Einstein made his own prophesy
when he warned:
I don't know about World War III, but in World
War IV, we'll all be throwing rocks.
Any hope humanity has for survival lies with woman.
The Chinese men who created the philosophy of Yin and
Yang (mentioned in Chapter 1) accurately described a posi-
tive and a negative force in nature, but they inaccurately
labelled those forces. In truth, the creative, life-giving,
positive force is woman, not man; the negative, destruc-
tive force is man, not woman. Only woman can harness the
destructive force of man. Only woman can save man from
himself and protect human life from extinction. As Madame
Marquise de Maintenon (Francoise d' Aubigne, 1635-
1719), the commoner wife of King Louis the XIV of France,
once said, "Woman is the eternal savior of man."6
When attempting to change the male-dominated so-
cieties of the world, every woman must decide what degree
of involvement is comfortable for her. It may include
joining environmental groups, refraining from purchasing
products which damage the environment, recycling, voting
for environmentalists in elections, writing letters to poli-
ticians, networking with friends, participating in politi-
cal demonstrations, or even running for a political office.
Women must choose between meekly following men down
the path of destruction and human extinction or leading
them, and their children, to human survival.
Most male religious and governmental leaders would
agree with L. Ron Hubbard's (1911-1986) assessment of a
woman's place in society. The American author of Dianetics
and the founder of the Church of Scientology voiced a common
male belief when he warned:
A society in which women are taught any-
thing but the management of a family, the care
of men, and the creation of the future gener-
ation is a society which is on the way out. 16
Disguised in, and the force behind, Hubbard's state-
ment is "man's greatest fear," specifically that woman will
emerge from the cocoon of male domination and take control of
her own destiny, thus eroding his power. In doing so, she will
turn Hubbard's fear into a prophesy; the male's propensity
for war, destruction, and human suffering will indeed be "on
the way out." As the Canadian physician Augusta Stowe-
Gullen {1857 -1943} explained:
When women have a voice in national and
international affairs, war will cease forever. 16
The Columbian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez
described his assessment of humanity's only path for survival
in a special issue of Time magazine (Fall 1992):
The only new idea that could save humanity
in the 21st century is for women to take over
the management of the world. I believe that
male hegemony has squandered an opportunity
of 10,000 years. . . . The masculine power
structure has proved that it cannot impede
the destruction of the environment, because
it is incapable of overcoming its own inter-
ests. For women, on the other hand, preser-
vation of the environment is a genetic vocation.
The reversal of powers is a matter of life or death.
Humanity is running out of time to save itself from certain
extinction. The multitude of immense problems brought about
by man's selfishness must be confronted, and the appropri-
ate sacrifices made, by this generation to save the next.
E very time I hug and kiss my child, nieces, and nephews, I
feel the warmth of their spirit and see innocence and trust in
their eyes. They have no thought or concept of the future,
they just know that I love them. They trust me completely to
take care of them. I am reminded of the wisdom of the Old
Pennsylvania Dutch saying:
We don't inherit the earth from our ancestors,
We borrow it from our children.
To protect and care for our children we must realize the
future is now. Please get involved today. Eleanor Roosevelt
(1884-1962), wife of the 32nd President of the United States,
once advised:
It is better to light a candle
than to curse the darkness. /
You have just read my "candle."
Greenpeace USA, Inc.
1436 U Street, N.W.
P.O. Box 96128
Washington, D.C. 20090
Zero Population Growth
1400 Sixteenth Street, N.W., Suite 320
Washington, D.C. 20036
Natural Resources Defense Council
40 West 20th St.
New York, New York 10011
The Nature Conservancy
1815 North Lynn St.
Arlington, Virginia 22209
Association of Forest Service
Employees for Environmental Ethics
P.O. Box 11615
Eugene, Oregon 97440
Common Cause
2030 M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
Environmental Defense Fund
257 Park Avenue South
New York, New York 10010
Rainforest Action Network
450 Sansome, Suite 700
San Francisco, California 94111
League of Conservation Voters
1707 L Street, N.W., Suite 550
Washington, D.C. 20036
The Wilderness Society
900 Seventeenth Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006
Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund
180 Montgomery Street, Suite 1400
San Francisco, Calif. 94104-4209
Friends of the Earth
1025 Vermont Ave., N.W., Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20005
Center for Marine Conservation
1725 DeSales Street, N.W., Suite 500
Washington, D.C. 20036
Defenders of Wildlife
1101 Fourteenth Street, N.W., Suite 1400
Washington, D.C. 20005
American Oceans Campaign
725 Arizona Ave., Suite 102
Santa Monica, Calif. 90401
The Cousteau Society
930 West 21st. Street
Norfolk, VA 23517
National Abortion Rights Action League
1156 15th Street, N.W., Suite 700
Washington, D.C. 20005
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War
126 Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
617 -868-5050
Union of Concerned Scientists
26 Church St.
Cambridge, MA 02238
Population Communications International
777 United Nations Plaza, Suite 7C
New York, NY 10164-0154
Battered Women
Self-professed Arab sadists
brag of wife beatings
By Nabil Megalli
Deutsche Presse-Agentur
MANAMA, Bahrain - "When she starts arguing with
me, I take off the chord around my headdress, drag her by the
hair and whip her senseless," an Arab husband bragged pub-
licly in Kuwait.
"This is the only way to treat a woman so that she does
not imagine she is in the saddle," said another. "And, frankly,
there is not a lovelier sight than a woman in pain. It brings me
so much pleasure that I sometimes beat her for no reason at
all. "
"It asserts my manhood, and if she doesn't like it, the
door is big enough to let a camel out," said a third.
The astounding confessions were recently published by
the Kuwaiti newspaper AI-Anbaa as concerned social care
organizations began to shed light on the problem of battered
Arab wives. The husbands quoted in the AI-Anbaa article
spoke on the condition they not be identified.
"I have been involved with a group of women who suffer
excruciatingly from constant beatings that go to the extent of
bone breaking," says Fatouh AI-Waitian, one of the few
Kuwaiti women who practice law.
The phenomenon is by no means uncommon, and Kuwait
is not unique among Arab countries. In some countries the
problem is publicly ignored while in others, such as the
United Arab Emirates, concerned groups have started Battered
Anonymous meetings through the press to encourage victims
to come out and seek help.
AI-Waitian believes that the husband, not the wife, is the
one in need of professional help.
"A real man never beats up his wife," she stated. "Most
of the cases that have come to my attention involve abnormal
individuals - alcohol and drug addicts and psychopaths."
But the self-professed sadists included a wide cross-
section of society, among them a well-known physician noted
for demure social manners who told a female reporter: "A hus-
band must show his wife who is boss from the very beginning. If
I tell her red is blue and she disagrees, she is in big trouble."
He compares his lot with that of other associates "who
envy me because they did not do this and now their wives
dominate them."
"I know it is wrong and I am crazily in love with my wife,
but I can't help myself," admits a senior government em-
ployee. "I just love to torture her, and I shall keep on doing it
even when I am too old to walk."
"I started two months after our marriage and it has been
nine years now. She has been to the hospital several times,
but she always comes back because of the children."
Some battered wives stay with their husbands for the
sake of their children. There also is the law to contend with.
Many countries still have family laws that allow such prac-
tices as forced conjugal cohabitation. Also, the laws in many
Arab countries provide for lengthy litigations before even
meager alimony is paid.
In theory, a woman may be granted divorce if the hus-
band inflicts severe bodily harm. But that is difficult to prove,
and many of the victims are virtually under lock and key in
their own homes.
"She has a strict code to observe," said a man who
admitted to having once broken his wife's hand. ''Never go out
of the house, never talk with the neighbors, and never open
the door to anybody including your own mother."
"Islam is clear: The husband must first discipline his
wife by argument and then by not sleeping with her," said
Ajeel An-Nashmi, assistant dean at Kuwait University's
faculty of Sharia (Islamic jurisprudence).
"Beating is the last resort, and it must not be severe. In
fact, Islam says the beating should be withmiswak (a straw),"
An-Nashmi said.
"When I get angry, I use anything within reach, an ash-
tray, a chair or even a side-table," said one husband.
"Frankly, both me and my wife love the beatings, and
that's that," said a secondary schoolteacher who asserts that
women are "attracted by nature to rough and cruel men."
Individual abnormalities aside, psychologists theorize
that wife beatings reflect feelings of inadequacy in the hus-
band and may be the result of residual conflicts that harken
back to the early epochs of human evolution.
"It is not uncommon to find sadomasochism," said one
psychiatrist who requested anonymity. "But I am afraid what
we are talking about is a tragedy of perpetual suffering which
the law is doing nothing about.
"To the few husbands who venture to seek treatment, I
start with a simple question: Do you really believe any human
being - male or female - would enjoy having their bones
broken? It is just like the Western pornographic culture,
which tries to insinuate that women enjoy being raped."
The psychiatrist said he believes the phenomenon of
battered wives may be less common in the Arab world, where
family ties are generally regarded as being much stronger
than in the West. But the Arab woman is less likely to seek or
be able to get help.
San Jose Mercury News
December 19, 1985
By Lori Heise
Violence against women-including assault, mutilation,
murder, infanticide, rape and cruel neglect-is perhaps the
most pervasive yet least recognized human rights abuse in
the world.
Despite the problem's invisibility, its dimensions are
vast. In Bangkok, Thailand, a reported 50 percent of married
women are beaten regularly by their husbands. In the barrios
of Quito, Ecuador, 80 percent of women have been physically
abused. And in Nicaragua, 44 percent of men admit beating
their wives or girlfriends. Equally shocking statistics can be
found in the industrial world.
Then there are the less recognized forms of violence: In
Nepal, female babies die from neglect because parents value
sons over daughters. In Sudan, girls' genitals are mutilated to
ensure virginity until marriage. In India, young brides are
murdered by their husbands when parents fail to provide
enough dowry.
This is not random violence. The risk factor is being
I never set out to investigate violence; I was researching
maternal and child health issues with scores of village women
throughout the world. I would commonly begin my interviews
with a simple question: What is your biggest problem? With
unnerving frequency, the answer came back: My husband
beats me.
More than simply a "women's issue," this violence could
thwart widely held goals for human progress in the Third
World, such as controlling fertility and improving child
Study after study has shown that maternal education is
the single most effective way to reduce child mortality, be-
cause it erodes fatalism, improves self-confidence and changes
the power balance within the family.
In effect, these studies say that a woman's sense of self is
critical to reducing infant mortality. Yet acts of violence and
society's tacit acceptance of them stand as constant remind-
ers to women of their low worth.
The Indian subcontinent is home to one of the most
pernicious forms of wife abuse, "dowry deaths." Increas-
ingly, dowry is being seen as a "get rich quick" scheme by
prospective husbands, with young brides suffering severe
abuse as promised money or goods do not materialize. In its
most severe form, dowry harassment ends in suicide or
Elsewhere in the world, the marriage transaction is
reversed, with prospective husbands paying "bridewealth"
to secure a woman's hand in marriage. In many cultures-
especially in Africa-the exchange has become so commer-
cialized that inflated bridewealth leaves the man with the
distinct impression that he has "purchased" his wife.
It is this unequal power balance-institutionalized in the
structure of the patriarchal family-that is at the root of wife
beating. While stress and alcohol may increase the likelihood
of violence, they do not "cause" it. Rather, it is the belief that
violence is an acceptable way to resolve conflict, and that
women are appropriate and safe targets for abuse, that leads
to battering.
Violence against women cuts across all cultures and all
socioeconomic groups. In the United States, a woman is
beaten every 15 seconds, and each day four women are killed
by their as saulters.
Today's cultures have strong historical, religious and
legal legacies that reinforce the legitimacy of wife beating.
Under English common law, for example, a husband had the
legal right to discipline his wife-subject to a "rule of thumb"
that barred him from using a stick broader than his thumb.
Judicial decisions in England and the United States
upheld this right until well into the 19th century. ANew York
judge recently let off with only five years' probation a Chinese
immigrant who admitted bludgeoning his wife to death. The
judge justified the light sentence partly by reference to tra-
ditional Chinese attitudes toward female adultery.
The preference for male offspring in many cultures,
while less overt, can be as damaging and potentially fatal to
females as rape or assault. The same sentiment that once
motivated infanticide is now expressed in the systematic
neglect of daughters. In some countries girls aged 2 to 4 die at
nearly twice the rate of boys.
"Let it be late, but let it be a son," goes a saying in Nepal,
a country that shares its strong preference for male children
with the rest of the Indian subcontinent, as well as China,
South Korea and Taiwan. In these cultures, sons are highly
valued because only they can perpetuate the family line and
perform certain religious rituals. Even more important, sons
represent an economic asset to the family and a source of
security for parents in their old age.
Studies confirm that where the preference for sons is
strong, girls receive inferior medical care and education, and
less food. In Punjab, India, for example, parents spend more
than twice as much on medical care for boy infants as for girls.
In parts of Africa and the Middle East, young girls suffer
another form of violence, euphemistically known as female
circumcision. More accurately, this operation-which removes
all or part of the external female genitalia, including the
clitoris-is a life -threatening form of mutilation. According to
the World Health Organization, more than 80 million women
have undergone sexual surgery in Africa alone.
Women have not sat idle in the face of such abuse.
Around the world they are organizing shelters, lobbying for
legal reform and fighting the sexism that underlies violence.
In San Juan de Miraflores, a shantytown of Lima, Peru,
women carry whistles that they use to summon other women
in case of attack.
Most industrial countries and at least a dozen develop-
ing nations now have shelter movements to provide refuge for
abused women and their children. Brazil has established
almost 30 all-female police stations for victims of rape, bat-
tering, and incest. And in Africa, women are organizing edu-
cation campaigns to combat sexual surgery.
Violence persists in part because it is hidden. If govern-
ments and women's groups can expose violence through sur-
veys and better documentation, then ignorance will no longer
be an excuse for inaction.
Also critical is challenging the legal framework that
undergirds male violence, such as unequal inheritance, dis-
criminatory family laws and a husband's right to chastise.
E specially important are the social inequities and cultural be-
liefs that leave women economically dependent on men.
As long as women must marry to survive, they will do
whatever they must to secure a husband-including tolerat-
ing abuse and submitting themselves and their daughters to
sexual surgery.
Lori Heise wrote this expose while working as a senior researcher at World watch
Institute. Thi s article is adapted from one appearing in World Watch magazine.
Currently, Lori Heise is the co-director of the Health and Development Policy Project
in Takoma Park, Maryland.
This World magazine,
San Francisco Chronicle, July 2, 1989
Appendix A
By Nikki Lastreto
with William Winans
Police Constable Raman, the father of five daughters in
the hamlet of Neyyarathode in Southwest India, had just
finished paying 35,000 rupees ($2,400) to arrange for a hus-
band for his eldest. Though dowry represented a fortune for a
man of his profession, the young man demanded still more.
The bride's four sisters, realizing that no family funds would
remain to "buy" their husbands and worried by the burden
their marriages would place on their parents, decided to hang
Santha was 24, Sumathi 21, Kanakalatha 19 and Sasikala
17. The suicide note they left on November 4 of last year read:
"Our parents are yet to pay fully the dowry for our sister, who
was married some time ago. Having sold our land and gold for
this marriage, we are not sure whether they will be able to
provide anything for our marriages. Hence the decision to end
our lives."
When the parents of Rani, an 18-year-old woman from a
resettlement colony near New Delhi, failed to deliver a suf-
ficient dowry for her marriage, her husband's family tried to
kill her by setting her afire. After suffering burns on 60 per-
cent of her body, she barely survived. She is now horribly dis-
figured and faces the life of an outcast. Rani's misery con-
tinues, for she is tormented by constant threats from her
husband and his parents, who live across the road from her
family home.
Dowry deaths-murders, and suicides provoked by
physical and mental torture-are on the rise in India. In a
country that remains a curious melange of the medieval and
modern, certain ancient customs refuse to die. Child mar-
riage, female infanticide and even sati, or suttee- in which a
Hindu widow throws herself on her husband's funeral pyre-
all continue clandestinely. But the prevalent injustice, which
can destroy entire families, is the increasingly common abuse
of the dowry system.
The term "dowry death" has only recently been included
in the Indian Penal Code.Itis defined as the death of a woman
caused by burns or other-than-normal circumstances within
seven years of marriage, and in which the death has been
preceded by dowry-related harassment.
The offense is punishable by a prison term of at least
seven years and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Gruesome reports of such murders appear almost daily in
local newspapers, but convictions are infrequent. Police
records in the southern state of Tamil Nadu indicate an
annual increase in dowry deaths by as much as 50 percent.
Reported figures from North India are even higher. Accord-
ing to Gobinda Mukhoty, president of the People's Union
of Democratic Rights, 72,000 brides in the 15-to-20-year-
old age group have been burned in India over the last 41
But even this figure seems low. Statistics made available
by two hospitals in the modern city of Bangalore show that
young, newly married and often pregnant women constitute a
shocking 40 to 80 percent of all burn cases treated. The
city's Government Victoria Hospital alone handled 1,200
cases in 1988.
Celine Suguna, a member of Vimochana, a women's
liberation group centered in Bangalore, recently accompa-
nied an angry mother to the hospital to see her burned
daughter firsthand. The mother hoped Suguna could get her
daughter to tell her before she died whether she had been a
suicide or a murder victim.
The charred daughter refused to blame anyone but her-
self. "The girls won't call it murder in fear of disgracing the
families involved. They figure they will die anyway," said
Suguna. "Whether she killed herself or was burned by her
husband and his family, it's still murder. She's killing herself
to escape them."
At the hospital that day were nine young women between
the ages of 16 and 25 suffering from burns, labeled victims of
"attempted suicide." The lucky ones died quickly. All nine
eventually succumbed, one lasting an excruciating 19 days.
Victims are interviewed when possible, but few will re-
veal what really happened. "Most of us prefer to be quiet
about domestic violence," said Geeta Ramaseshan, an attor-
ney who has dealt extensively with dowry and harassment
cases. "Most Indians feel the pain should be tolerated and
that it is the women who should change and adjust."
A Vimochana study documenting the recent increase of
dowry deaths showed that burning was the method of choice.
Since most women cook over open flames on kerosene stoves,
the crime is easiest disguised as a cooking accident. Women
are also strangled, thrown down wells or even tied to train
"When police do conduct interrogations, they ask how it
happened, not why," said Suguna. "The how is obvious, but
the why is the real answer to their question."
Mohandas K. Gandhi, the saintly founding father of
modern India who preached nonviolence, condemned the
dowry system vehemently. "Any young man who makes
dowry a condition for marriage discredits his education and
his country and dishonors womanhood. Young men who gild
their fingers with such ill-gotten gold should be excommuni-
cated from society," he proclaimed.
But the strong patriarchal tradition of India-where a
woman is still basically viewed as a liability, or at best a
domestic child-bearing work unit-and a growing lust for
material possessions account for exorbitant dowry demands.
Young men, fueled by the greed of their families, ask for more
and more in exchange for taking a bride into their homes.
Though this feudal practice is officially illegal, the
Central Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961 remains an inade-
quate measure. The minimum penalty for accepting dowry or
for abetting the offense was increased in 1986 from a six-
month term to a five-year sentence plus a fine of 15,000
rupees ($1,000). But the act is rarely enforced.
Since dowry transactions are done in private, generally
between the respective fathers, and either party's reporting
the offense would terminate the marriage alliance, detection
is virtually impossible. While few dowry deals are admitted,
the majority of middle-class Hindu and Christian households
are the result of arranged marriages involving a dowry.
In fact, middle-class families are the worst offenders of
the dowry system. The very poorest citizens, the "untouch-
ables," scrape together only enough money to survive from
day to day. At the end of the scale, the very rich claim to be
above this old-fashioned custom, though some admit that ex-
travagant gifts presented to the couple and ostentatious mar-
riage celebrations costing hundreds of thousands of dollars
are forms of dowry. Whatever the family's class, having a
daughter in India is going to cost it a great deal of money.
In Indian households, joyous celebrations are held to
mark the birth of a son. A son is more than an heir to the family
name. He ensures increased wealth and growth in the family,
because his wife and children will one day live with his parents
and provide for them in their old age.
A daughter, on the other hand, represents another
mouth to feed, a dowry to pay and no security, since she will
eventually leave her parents for her husband's home. To
avoid the burden, families occasionally kill a female baby.
But increasingly popular among those who can afford it is
the use of amniocentesis to determine the sex of the fetus.
In a recent survey of 8,000 women who had aborted after
undergoing amniocentesis, 7,999 were carrying female
fetuses. The only exception was a Jewish mother who wanted
a daughter.
The childhood of an Indian girl is short-lived. Many girls
are pulled out of school and sent to earn a wage instead, in
part to save for their impending dowries. The number of girls
who finish primary school is dropping-down to 33.98 per-
cent in 1981 from 38.22 percent in 1971. Studies show that
adolescent Indian girls would prefer to continue their school-
ing and marry after 18, but many have no chance to do so.
According to 1980 census figures, 44 percent of all Indian
marriages are of young women between 15 and 18. In poorest
classes, the average age is even lower.
Generally, the marital match is arranged by the two
fathers involved. Sometimes a father hires a matchmaker;
sometimes the father chooses the son or daughter of an
acquaintance. Next, the astrological horoscopes are com-
pared to determine a favorable match. If the stars are in
agreement, the rest of the family is consulted and the bar-
gaining begins.
In modern middle-class Indian families it is common for
the couple to meet, briefly, before the ceremony. Suhrita
Paul, a bright and attractive 20-year-old medical student
from Calcutta, explained how she will be married.
"My father will arrange a suitable match for me, a boy
who is of our caste and hopefully will also be involved in
medicine. Of course I'll get to meet him first, at least once,"
she stated proudly. "The first marriage ceremony will last for
three or four days. During this time a natural love develops
between the boy and the girl so that the first night together is
not so frightening," she said with a blush.
Yet Suhrita shares the common fear of many young
Indian women: Will the groom and his family accept me?
"Boys look for girls who are slim and fair," she said, sighing
and glancing at her chocolate skin, still a bit pudgy with baby
fat. "If a girl's complexion is too dark, he'll not marry her.
Some girls are never chosen, and this hurts very much, but
Indian women are used to being hurt."
When the common methods of matchmaking fail, some
families resort to classified advertisements in the news-
papers. They do not specifically mention the banned dowry,
but promise a "decent marriage" or request a bride from "a
family of high status," giving a clue that costs will be involved.
Matrimonial advertisements are otherwise blatant, request-
ing specific castes, employment, height, weight and, of
course, religion.
An example: "Hindu forward caste, 34, 172cmc, pro-
fessional postgraduate service lecturer, invites girl below 25,
fair, employment and of like caste. Apply with horoscope."
Once the proper spouse is found, the families begin to
haggle over price. The father of the groom will expound on his
son's many qualifications while specifying acceptable gifts.
Besides cash, demands are generally for gold jewelry, house-
hold appliances, new saris for women, a motor scooter for the
groom-and, of course, a lavish wedding. In a country where
the average lower-middle-class annual income is 18,000
rupees (1,200),itcan take a family many years to acquire such
a dowry.
Insurance companies now offer marriage policies, and
many banks now encourage investment schemes to save for
dowry. A recent bank advertisement read: "Save for your
son's education and your daughter's dowry."
But the average Indian is unable to take advantage of
investment packages. In the words of one young woman, "In a
poor family a man may have to quit his job to collect his
pension early and sell his insurance policies to pay for his
daughter's dowry. Then once she is married he is left with no
money, no job and no daughter. A father wants the best for his
daughter, but the standards are too high."
Yet the tradition sets the standards. In the Ramayana, a
great epic of Hindu culture, Sita, the idealized wife of Lord
Rama, is delivered to her husband with a dowry of "a hundred
thousand cows, woolen cloths, countless silk robes and richly
decorated elephants, horses and chariots ... male and female
attendants, numberless gold coins with quanities of pearls
and coral." Of course, not all marriage prices are this steep,
but to an average man they may as well be.
The cost of the dowry is based on the estimated lifetime
earning potential of the groom, which is dependent upon his
education and family's socioeconomic status. In a film on
dowry recently shown on the staterun television network,
Nalini Singh interviewed young men in a Haryana college.
They talked proudly about the price they will demand when
they marry. Commensurate with the jobs they get upon gradu-
ation, they each hope for at least 60,000.
Singh also visited the bridegroom's auction in the state
of Bihar, where fathers come to purchase husbands for their
daughters. A government officer from the Ministry of Women's
Mfairs candidly admitted that an officer in the Indian Army is
worth a steep 75lakhs ($500,000).
At the other end of the price scale, Govinda Lal, a lower-
class bicycle rickshaw driver in the seaside town of Puri,
expects only 1,000 rupees ($66) from his bride. "I have no
education, no good job." Before Lal may marry, however, he
must help his father raise the funds for his sister's marriage:
7,000 rupees ($465), plus a new sari for the bride, a bicycle
rickshaw for her new husband, gold jewelry and a wedding
feast. By buying her a pricier husband, Lal and his father hope
to ensure her a comfortable future.
The Skandapurana, a sacred text of Hinduism, teaches
that "a wife should take her meals after her husband ... sleep
after he sleeps. If he assaults her, she should not lose her
temper. If she has to offer a suggestion, she should say, 'Sir,
this looks advisable but do what you think is right.' She
should never sit in an elevated place and never look angrily at
her husband. She should wash his feet, shampoo him, fan
Many Indian men take this quite literally. Narayana
Swamy, 44, the chief prosecutor in the county seat of Hassan
on the dry and rural Deccan plateau, recently displayed a
modern Indian male's view. While Swamy's wife unobtru-
sively prepared dinner over a kerosene stove on the kitchen
floor, her husband alone shared the evening meal with guests.
"The women are the first to rise, before daybreak, to
tend the cows and start the fire s," said S wamy. "They work all
day, feed their families, eat the leftovers and are the last to go
to sleep. Yet Indian women are at peace," he stated matter-
of-factly. "They find their happiness through serving their
husband and family."
For some women, however, this servitude becomes a
nightmare. A new wife, brought to her husband's home, is
plunged into the constant company of his mother and sisters,
who often submit her to a difficult hazing period. She will
need to prove her unwavering loyalty to her new family by
uncomplaining hard work and devotion.
The husband's mother is often the cause of the ensuing
familial friction. Having been subjected to similar harass-
ment as a young bride, she seeks a sort of revenge on her new
daughter-in-law by imposing heavy chores and verbal abuse
on the young woman. It is often the mother-in-law who insti-
gates further dowry demands, sometimes several years after
the wedding.
If suddenly the mother decides she must have a new
refrigerator just like her neighbor's, or her unemployed son
wants a motor scooter so he can look cool and Western, the
wife and her parents may be expected to pay the price. No
matter how high a dowry was paid at the time of the marriage,
the pressure oflater demands can drive the bride's family into
even deeper debt. If they fail to raise the funds, they risk a loss
of face as well as a life of terrible harassment for their
Very few women in India actually protest this inhumane
treatment, and divorce is not a viable option. A divorcee has
no social status, and her chances of remarrying are very slim.
A daughter who has left her husband brings shame upon both
families and often will not be accepted back into her parents'
home, leaving her penniless and with few marketable skills.
Even a working wife will find it almost impossible to save
funds for a divorce, since her in-laws make her turn her
income over to them -precisely to prevent her from seeking a
divorce. Nirmala Lakshman, assistant editor of The Hindu,
South India's largest-circulation newspaper, has great con-
cern for the working wives of India. "They are often farmed
out to work," she said, "and their earnings are seized by
husbands and in-laws who unhesitatingly take charge of the
household finances. These women remain hopeless prisoners
of an overbearing social tradition that views women as less
than human."
The Corps of Detectives of the Bangalore Police De-
partment had taken up only 187 cases of dowry death in the
last four years, according to the newspaper Indian Express.
Of these, 81 are under investigation, 83 are on trial and 15
have been dismissed. Six were acquitted and a mere two
cases have ended in conviction.
The lack of in-depth investigation by the police and the
underutilization of forensic specialists in death cases com-
bine to cover up crucial evidence that could lead to prosecu-
tions. There are numerous reasons the police are often remiss
in their investigations of dowry deaths. The difficulty of as-
sembling enough evidence for conviction of an ancient social
custom and common bribery are the most prevalent.
In the ancient Hindu city of Madurai, police last autumn
arrested three members of a family in connection with the
suicide of a married woman who had thrown her 8-month-old
child into a well and then jumped in herself.
It was later revealed, after thorough investigation, that
Amala Selvarani, 20, had been repeatedly harassed for further
dowry and in desperation had committed suicide. (Often a
mother would rather kill her baby than leave it to be tor-
mented by her in-laws and husband, whose next wife may be
jealous of the child.) Police arrested Selvarani's father-in-
law, brother-in-law and uncle and are still searching for the
guilty husband.
Amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code have
made it technically possible to convict men or relatives for
abetment to suicide and/or harassment. If a woman commits
suicide within seven months of her marriage, and if it is
proven she has been subjected to cruelty, the court may
assume abetment to suicide. But legal action remains rare.
Nonetheless, a few champions of women's rights are
attempting to make a difference. In response to a recent bride
burning in the old section of Delhi, angry wives paraded
through the streets chanting "Women Are Not For Burning."
Their neighbor, a young wife of 24, had been set on fire by her
mother-in-law as she watched television in her family's home.
The bride's only crime against her husband was failing to
provide more money to help his spare parts business; she had
already paid a large dowry when they married.
Many societies subjugate women, but in very few would
families murder young wives over a few thousand rupees. The
subservient role women have played throughout Indian his-
tory has led them to lack the self-esteem to defend their
rights. Other than a small number of women's liberationists
and a few movie stars, there are virtually no alternative female
role models among the women of India. A woman is simply
expected to marry, bear sons and serve her husband, as her
mother did before her.
Independence is not an option in a country where equal
pay for women is not recognized and job opportunities are
minimal. Spinsters , divorcees and even widows are socially
unacceptable, there is virtually no place for a single woman in
Indian society.
Amrita Pritam, a radical poet from the Punjab, summed
up the state of marriage in India this way: "Today a man and a
woman sleep on a bed of bondage rather than freedom. Man
and woman have both failed each other, become slaves to a
nature which is not their own but groomed by decadent
rituals. "
Nikki Lastreto is a freelance writer. She and her photographer husband, Willi am
Winans, are currently living in India and completing a book on Indian culture.
This World magazine,
San Francisco Chronicle, July 2, 1989
Before interpreting this drawing, we must first make
note of what we see. We observe a small bird's head attached
to an exceedingly shapely, nude, female body. The eyes are
very large, half-opened, and blue. The beak is long, pointed,
and dented. A protrusion is visible on the back of the head.
The neck is muscular and tense. The breasts are exceptional-
ly large and round with red, protruding nipples. The navel is
missing. The genitalia, covered by a very small, black gar-
ment, is the only clothed area. The knees are together, so
close that the legs are partially crossed. The arm appears
short and muscular. The fingers have pointed nails painted
yellow. The toes are not showing, itseems the artistranoutof
space. The whole body is lightly shaded in black.
An interpretation of this drawing could be as follows: by
drawing an atrocious-looking bird head atop a voluptuous
female body, the artist is expressing a paradox. Basically, he
views women as attractive and potentially nourishing, while
simultaneously finding them revolting and dangerous. Thus,
this drawing suggests an overriding theme of conflict in this
man's relationship with women. This conflict probably began
developing in his relationship with the first woman he knew -
his mother.
The large eyes represent his perception of woman's
(probably his mother's) ability to see all of his behavior when
he was a child. The eyes are one of only three colored areas on
the drawing (the addition of color adds emphasis and thus
importance to those areas.) The eyes are half-closed, repre-
senting a lack of interest or concern exhibited by his mother,
and women in general, for the artist. The dark blue color
makes the eyes appear emotionally cold and apathetic. The
small cranium suggests he sees women as possessing a small
brain, in other words, not very intelligent. The long, pointed
beak may indicate the artist views woman as dangerous,
perhaps verbally in the sense of "henpecking," or even
physically because of the maternal rejection and/or abuse he
probably suffered as a child. The long, sharp beak can also be
interpreted to signify potential danger in the form of castra-
tion, not in the literal sense of the word, but in terms of
woman's power to verbally denigrate the artist's self-respect.
It is significant that the beak is dented. As a phallic symbol, it
suggests feelings of sexual inadequacy or even impotence on
the part ofthe artist. This man probably possesses little self-
confidence and self-respect and very likely feels inferior to
others. He may encounter anxiety and frustration in his social
interactions, especially with women.
The emphasis on making the neck muscular symbolizes a
constant and conscious effort to stifle and control certain
powerful biological impulses. Impulses, such as the need and
simultaneous hostility for women, are recognized as danger-
ous by the artist and may find a degree of expression in his
fantasy life and artwork.
The breasts in the drawing are exceptionally large with
bright red, protruding nipples. Breasts can be interpreted to
signify emotional nourishment. In suckling a mother's breast, an
infant receives gentle touch, affection, and emotional security,
as well as life-sustaining milk. The disproportionately large
breasts on this drawing suggest the artist harbors an intense
and unfulfilled need for emotional nourishment that has not
been satisfied by a loving mother and women in general.
The absence of the navel, likewise, suggests the lack of a
loving relationship between the artist and his mother. With
this omission he also seems to be saying, "My life is a mistake.
I'm not wanted. I'm sorry I was ever born."
Though the whole body is shaded, the genital area,
shrouded with heavy black shading, is the only area covered
on the body. Black indicates anxiety and depression,feelings
in the artist which are intensified in the genital area. While he
probably desires sexual interaction with a woman, this need
seems to stimulate corresponding feelings of fear of rejection
and despair within him.
Similarly, the artist has lightly shaded the whole body.
Again, this suggests anxiety and depression at the sight or
even the thought of a woman. In short, this man's great need
for woman is only surpassed by his fear of her.
Drawing her knees overlapping one another suggests
additional fear of female sexual rejection. A woman who loves
and wants to "make love" with a man will spread her legs and
arms in welcome. This man sees women as beautifully allur-
ing while simultaneously rej ecting and totally disinterested in
him and his needs.
The relatively short arm represents a lack of ambition
and social striving in the artist, probably because of his feelings
of inferiority. The large muscles in the arm may represent his
mother's power, and the power of women in general, to push
him away. The yellow, sharp fingernails suggest hostility and
potential danger. The artist sees hostility in women and
believes that it is being directed towards him. In truth,
however, this man is projecting his own hostility for women
onto them, thus distorting his perception of them. When
considering his hostility for women and the potential for him
to act out his aggressive impulses, it is significant to note that
if the protrusion at the back of the head is interpreted as a
handle, then the beak becomes the long sharp blade of a knife.
Since the toes are missing, it appears that the artist ran
out of space. This is not an example of poor planning. Rather
the oversized drawing indicates frustration caused by the
artist's inability to resolve his emotional conflict.
1. See appendix A for the newspaper article entitled, "The High Price of Marriage
in India - Burning Brides," by Nikki Lastreto and William Winans, from the San
Francisco Chronicle, This World magazine, July 2, 1989.
2. Time magazine special issue entitled, "Women: The Road Ahead." Fall 1990.
3. San Jose Mercury News, July 30, 1989.
4. Life magazine article entitled "The Woman Problem," by Richard Gilman,
August 13, 1971.
5. The Heart of the Dragon, by Alasdair Clayre. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1984.
6. Living Biographies of Famous Women, by Henry and Dana Lee Thomas. New
York: Garden City Publishing Co., 1942.
7. The Great Quotations, compiled by George Seldes. New York: Pocket Books,
8. Hitler Close-up, by Henry Picker. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co, 1969.
9. "The International Crime of Genital Mutilation" by Gloria Steinem and Robin
Morgan, from the book, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions. New York:
Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1983.
10. French Wit and Wisdom, Mt Vernon, New York: The Peter Pauper Press, 1950.
11. Book of Familiar Quotations. New York: Universal Publishing Corporation, 1970.
12. Papa - A Personal 'Memoir, by Gregory H. Hemingway. Boston: Houghton
Mifflin Co., 1976.
13. The San Francisco Chronicle, by L.M. Boyd, April 24, 1994.
14. People magazine, April 3, 1989. Quoted from the London Daily Mail.
15. National Geographic magazine, September, 1989. "Retracing the First Cru-
sade" by Tim Severin.
16. Peter's Quotations, by Dr. Laurence Peter. New York: William Morrow and Co.,
17. Living Biographies of Famous Rulers, by Henry Thomas and Dana Lee Thomas.
New York: Garden City Publishing Co., 1940.
18. "The Golden Age That Never Was ," by Jared Diamond. Discover magazine,
December, 1988.
19. Beyond Power, by Marilyn French. New York: Ballantine Books , 1985.
20. 60 Minutes television show entitled, "Saint Peter's Banker," presented on June
10, 1990. CBS News, produced by Jeanne Solomon Langley. Executive
Producer, Don Hewitt.
21. Common Cause Magazine, June, 1991.
22. Final Entries 1945, The Diaries of Joseph Goebbels, edited by Hugh Trevor-
Roper. New York: G.P. Putnam, 1978.
23. Rainforest Action Network newsletter, 1993.
24. Perestroika -New Thinking for Our Country and the World, by Mikhail Gorbachev.
New York: Harper and Row, 1987.
25. National Geographic magazine, June, 1986. "Bikini-A Way of Life Lost" by
William S. Ellis.
26. Nature's Mysteries, New York: Arco Co., 1972.
27. The Pursuit of Liberty, Volume one, by R. Jackson Wilson. New York: Alfred A.
Knopf, 1984.
28. Rolling Stone magazine, May 3,1990. "Hall of Shame," edited by Robert Vare.
29. Best Quotations, by Lewis C. Henry. Conn: Fawcett Publications, 1955.
30. Living Biographies of Famous Philosophers, by Henry Thomas and Dana Lee
Thomas. New York: Garden City Publishing Co., 1941.
31. Union of Concerned Scientists newsletters, 1992.
32. Calypso Log, the magazine of the Cousteau Society, 1991.
33. National Abortion Rights Action League newsletter, 1992.
34. Mount Vernon, A Handbook, by Charles C. Wall. The Mount Vernon Ladies
Association, 1985.
35. Nice Guys Finish Seventh: False Phrases, Spurious Sayings and Familiar
Misquotations, by Ralph Keyes. New York: Harper Collins, 1993.
36. The Home Book of Quotations, by Burton Stevenson. New York: Greenwich
House, 1984.
37. International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War newsletters, 1993.
38. Legends, Lies, and Cherished Myths of American History, by Richard Shenkman.
New York: William Morrow & Co., 1988.
39. "The Ecological Basis For Aztec Sacrifice" a paper by Michael Harner, 1975.
40. "Temple of the Aztecs" by Alfred Meyer. Science magazine, 1980.
41. Beyond Oil: The Threat to Food and Fuel in the Coming Decades by John Gever
of the University of New Hampshire. New York: Ballinger, 1986.
42. "Sexy Secrets That Daddy Told Jackie," by Doris Lilly. San Francisco Chronicle,
June 13, 1978.
43. The San Francisco Chronicle, by L.M. Boyd, June 6, 1986.
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46. Luther: Letters of Spiritual Counsel, The Library of Christian Classics, Volume
XVIII. Edited by Theodore Tappert, D.O. Penn: The Westminster Press, 1955.
47. New York Times, August 17, 1980.
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49. WAR documentary presented on public television. Produced by The National
Film Board of Canada, 1983.
50. The Civil War documentary presented on public television. Produced by Ken
Burns, 1991.
51. Common Cause Magazine, July, 1989.
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Corp., 1995.
53. In God's Name. by David A. Yallop. New York: Bantam Books, 1984.
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Eileen Nechas. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, 1993.
55. Television documentary about football on ESPN, produced by NFL films, 1992.
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59. The Old West. The Indians. Time-Life Books. New York: Time-Life Books, 1974.
Man has voiced his hostility for woman for
centuries. This hostility is fueled by a subcon-
scious fear which compels him to dominate her.
Why is man afraid of woman?
A Spaniel, a woman, a walnut tree,
the more they're beaten,
the better they be.
Submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the
husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the
church. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
... a wife should take her meals after her husband. .. sleep after he
sleeps. If he assaults her, she should not lose her temper. ff she has to
offer a suggestion, she should say, "Sir, this looks advisable but do what
you think is right." She should never sit in an elevated place and never
look angrily at her husband. She should wash his feet, shampoo him,
fan him.
There is a good principle which has created order, light and man; and
a bad principle which has created chaos, darkness and woman.
Nature intended women to be our slaves ... They are our property, we
are not theirs ... They belong to us, just as a tree which bears fruit
belongs to the gardener. What a mad idea to demand equality for
women! ... Women are nothing but machines for producing children.
511 .00>
9 7.809
ISBN 0-9645750-0-0
People ask me how many children I have,
and I say one boy and seven mistakes.
COVER DESIGN Amparo del Rio
Printed on recycled paper