The deceivers behind the mask

Dear Editor,

 

I have written a poem called ‘The Mask’ which I see in action daily through the behaviour of people. Of course, what I wrote didn’t come out of thin air; it’s a ‘put-together’ of the habits and patterns of society in motion. As is well established, it is not how we dress and speak that is what we are, but rather the things we do that define us. We – each one of us − knows exactly just who we are! Can a man truly lie to himself!? I wonder.

Editor, I dislike with a passion fakes, pretenders and two-faced hypocrites, especially those who take the time and trouble to constantly remind society how good they are, and how nice, kind, loving and altruistic, when in actual practice they are the very opposite of how they are trying to portray themselves. Check for yourselves: those who condemn drug abuse are sometimes drug pushers behind the scene; those up in arms against child abuse are sometimes found to be paedophiles; those who turn up their noses in annoyance against the abuse of women and sexual harassment are sometimes the kingpins of it; those who scream and screech against fraud, deception and all other forms of criminal lawlessness are sometimes the proponents of it. They do so comfortably from behind a mask so people don’t really know them.   People see them looking good − well dressed, well spoken – and some even pride themselves on how good their English grammar is. The mask allows them such comfort. Which reminds me of Machiavelli’s advice to a Prince: That the viciousness and beast that reside within must of necessity always be guarded and well concealed so that society at large sees the individual as an angel − pious. And it is so unfortunate that the world judges by surface appearance that we know to be often deceiving.

Now governments change; they come and go but frauds and fakes don’t. How we were born, we were born; what we have cultivated in our character over time becomes indelible, and that’s what we are. We see these kinds of people every single day, they are a part of our society, they live among us in every department. Some are sickos, looking and sounding sanctimonious but ah! we don’t know them or the demon that’s raging within. The story of Red Riding Hood is very much alive among us, and not just mere folklore for children to be amused and frightened by; it is scary for all of us today. And it is so disturbing how these twisted personalities keep up this deceptive immoral assault on us, and have so many decent folks wrapped around their finger believing them to be what they present themselves to be. What further tears one up is the fact that many of these Dr Jekyll-Mr Hydes are in high society circles, and are influential individuals with clout and status. They pontificate on morals and the maintenance of standards while admonishing society, when they themselves are nothing more than deviants. The Mahatma was so right when in selecting his seven blunders of the world he included “Education without character.”

Yet again an even sadder thing is when you encounter victims of these frauds, who are hurting inside after being abused and exploited by these dignified psychos. They are eager and reluctant at the same time to tell their stories, since they are often not taken too seriously because of the decent label society has placed on the accused. It reminds me of the movie In the Heat of the Night where one man was considered too high up and important to be questioned for murder, so they turned a blind eye to him while harassing other ordinary people. Isn’t it for this very reason that we doubt children when they come to us complaining about being molested and make them afraid to ever approach us again? By so doing they are psychologically maimed long before they attain adulthood, and in many instances they indulge in a continuation of the very practices of which they were the victims.

And oh! by the way do we ever stop to think that some of these sick people can’t help themselves, that they too may have been victims? If so, it is easier to understand; if not then we have to accept that some are born with baser instincts. And I have to say that many times one is confused, not sure how to react when one comes face to face with those whom victims have pointed out to you, and they offer you that sanctimonious, dignified expression in the belief that you are under an illusion as to who they really are.

But the big question as always, is how do we protect the gullible from them when people do not readily accept the vile things you say about them. How do you expose them? And these deviants, being what they are, thrive on the fact that it is in the nature of man to be gullible, something which is reflected in the credo of the Mafia: “Every minute a fool is born.” So like a stalker they prowl on compliant victims. But you know what, we here have a beautiful proverb that captures this anomalous behaviour with a simple warning: “Bucket ah guh well everyday one day he bottom must fall out.”

Yours faithfully,

Frank Fyffe

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