There is a weapon... it is a disease.
It does not propel pieces of metal at high velocity from expanding gases. It does not cut muscle and sinew. It does not crush bones. It does not tear
limb from limb. It does not burn flesh.
It does much more. It weakens the strong. It confuses the focused. It rips families apart and neighborhoods asunder. It can stop a healthy heart form
beating, or worse, make one want to stop. It causes more tears and pain and pure agony than all the guns, knives, and missiles the world has ever
known. No mushroom cloud, no shock wave can compare to its destruction.
It can turn a harmless child into a bloodthirsty killer. It can wreck homes, turn brother against brother, husband against wife, child against parent,
and parent against child. It can make men rush headlong screaming into certain death. It can spread throughout a home, a community, a nation, and even
a world. It is the single most contagious illness ever known to mankind.
It has been used since the beginning of civilization; it pre-dates fire. It has destroyed empires, erased civilizations, and allowed oppression of
more people than every religion and tyrant ever known by mankind combined. It has no soul, no conscience, no respect for persons. The rich and poor,
the strong and the weak, the free and the enslaved, the religious and the atheist, the male and the female, the healthy and the sick, all are at its
mercy when it is used.
It is silent, quieter than an arrow. It infects without needing a physical medium, more effectively than any biological creation. It can create
suffering which would make the worst chemical weapon known pale in comparison. It is the ultimate silent killer, and it is stalking you right now. And
worst, there is no warning; as soon as you realize it is there, you are already infected.
It's name is fear
It comes in many forms. It can be fear of losing your job. It can be fear of the police. It can be fear of a disaster. It can be fear of the unknown.
But no matter what form it takes, it is the same.
Fear makes men suspect and demonize their neighbors. It can make one see a serial killer instead of that young black man walking down the street home
from the University. It can make human beings of any race, creed, or difference appear to be dangerous animals. It can cause brothers to appear as
mortal enemies to each other. It can make a simple disagreement become a threat to very existence. It can take a single passing thought and turn it
into a lifetime obsession.
There is no hallucinatory drug, no substance that one can inhale, ingest, or inject that could come close to what this fear can do.
There is an antidote for fear. But it is painful, and difficult to administer. It requires regular doses over a long range of time, and still,
setbacks can occur. It is no pill. It cannot be purchased for any price. It cannot be created in a laboratory, nor administered by a doctor. Yet it
exists. It is the single common theme among every religion that has ever existed, although few who follow religion ever find it. It is the Holy Grail
of psychiatry, but is hidden amidst the theories and treatments. The search for this cure has spawned the writing of more books and the creation of
more art than anything else in the history of man, although it still eludes most. Yet, the weapon still continues; it has not been defused. The
disease spreads; it has not been cured.
False cures that are easier to use are all around us. Yet, they do not cure the fear. They only serve to make the symptoms appear to ease for a short
time, while allowing fear to grow and take over more of us. We see different false cures all the time; you, as you read this, are probably actively
trying at least one such falsehood. It will help for only a brief moment of time, then will leave you more infected than before. It is not a cure; it
is a sugar pill that not only does not treat the disease, but in the case of fear it actually aids it in the long run.
Money cannot treat fear. Money is not yours; it is a false security blanket that makes one think they are safe and well. They are not. Money is a
manipulated form of slavery that is used by those who control the real currency of the world to spread their fear weapon. consider the lottery; the
majority of those who win millions of dollars are, only a short time later, broke and miserable. If money cured fear, they and their heirs would
remain wealthy for many generations.
Power cannot treat fear. Power causes a loss of the very thing that can control fear. Power brings out the worst in people, making them act superior
to others and causing them to lose contact with those who have stood by them for years. And in the end, there is always a greater power, a superior
authority, whom one must answer to and who is able to weild fear so much more effectively on those in power.
Friends cannot treat fear. Friends are only a minor defense against it, and a possible source of further contamination. As everyone is subject to the
disease, it follows that everyone is a potential carrier. The more people around you, the more chance that you will succumb to fear if you remain
Family cannot treat fear. Family can create fear. They can create the fear of disappointing those who you care the most for. They can create fear by
making money and power seem so much more important than they are. And in the end, fmaily is composed of people too, all of whom can be carriers for
Independence cannot treat fear. Independence is based on a belief that one needs nothing one cannot obtain themselves. This is a false belief at the
very core. No man can do eevrything needed to survive unless they do so as an animal. Man is more than an animal. In addition, independence can be
another expression of fear, the fear of not being able to rely on others.
Religion cannot treat fear. Indeed, some religions are wrongly used to instill fear. Others look for a cure in rituals and unexplained teachings that
can mislead at best and confuse at worst.
Medicine cannot treat fear. Medicines are only meager attempts to duplicate those same substances that grow and exist all around us, in order to make
us feel better physically faster. But they have side effects, some of which are worse than the disease or discomfort they intend to cure. And they may
become an addiction, both physically but also psychologically, thereby giving their users another thing to fear.
Popularity cannot treat fear. Popularity is a curse in itself, as one now begins to fear the loss of this popularity. Were popularity a cure for fear,
how could it be that many popular teenagers commit suicide? Suicide is the result of the ultimate fear: fear of life.
So what is this cure for fear? What can protect us against this invisible, deadly, overwhelming enemy? If our money, power, freinds, family, religion,
self-sufficiency, medicine, and status are useless, what is left? Is all doomed? Are we somehow destined to be annihilated by this terrible enemy?
No, one thing is left: knowledge.
Knowledge informs rather than alarms. Knowledge presents alternatives to anything that may come our way. Knowledge does not judge, except to judge
fear itself. Knowledge brings with it all those things that do not themseves combat fear:
Knowledge produces monetary wealth, either through understanding of how to get money, or in making one a more valuable asset to employers.
Knowledge produces power, through allowing us to better understand others.
Knowledge produces friends, as people are drawn to those who understand them.
Knowledge promotes family as it allows one to understand their place and the place of others within the family structure. Knowledge combats
misunderstanding and strife, both of which can tear a family apart.
Knowledge makes religion work. Without knowledge, religion is akin to wandering in the dark, looking for truth. With knowledge, religion becomes a
stroll down a well-lit path toward further enlightenment.
Knowledge is the single most important aspect of self-sufficiency, allowing one the ability to find alternatives when others see none.
Knowledge makes medicine and health work properly, removing the uncertainty and misunderstanding of effects that cause the majority of the problems in
Knowledge brings with it more than just frineds, but respect among even those who may disagree.
Knowledge has no side effects; knowledge cannot be overdosed on; knowledge does not deceive; knowledge does not judge. Even better, knowledge is free.
It is housed in books, on the Internet, in the opinions of others, and even in simple observation of the world around us.
But as exists between all enemies, there is strife between fear and knowledge. Partial knowledge combined with fear simply leads to more fear.
Knowledge must be searched out sincerely, with humility and an open mind. Complete knowledge does not exist where prejudice exists, nor where greed
exists. It cannot exist in the midst of fear, as fear cannot exist in the light of knowledge.
When we debate here on ATS, we search for knowledge. We sift and sort that which is offered, testing it to determine it it is true knowledge. I submit
that the ultimate test would be: does that which is offered as knowledge promote fear? It so, it cannot be actual knowledge.
Thus, when one is confronted with stories of how a certain group is going to somehow harm others and nothing can be done about it, or how the world is
going to end and we have no hope, or how we must submit to something to avoid disaster, or perhaps that someone is out to get us and we are helpless
to resist, it should be obvious that those ideas are not actual knowledge, but fear masquerading as such. There may indeed be threats to be taken
seriously, but knowledge, as previously mentioned, will show alternatives and ways to avoid the things that fear would have us obsess over.
The first injection of this knowledge is understanding the enemy, the weapon, the disease itself. It is the realization that fear is not only real,
but all around us. It is the knowledge that fear cannot harm us if we understand it and what it does.
Now, can I interest anyone in a nice shot of knowledge?