[This post is part of the Guillermo Fariñas Blogburst, organized by Fausta.]
Schizophrenia is generally considered the most devastating of all psychiatric illnesses. It is a condition in which the sufferer feels like they are "losing their mind" and in some cases, actually experience their own minds as being out of their control. All of us have "crazy" thoughts form time to time, and many, perhaps most people, experience intrusive and unwanted thoughts on occasion. However, for the Schizophrenic who suffers form Paranoia, the intrusive thoughts and "crazy" thoughts can come to predominate their minds. They literally feel as if someone, or some powerful force, is controlling their minds. The terror that this evokes is hard to appreciate.
The worst totalitarian ideologies attempt to impose just this kind of thought control on their subjects. Most people are aware of the case of Abdul Rahman, an Afghani who converted to Christianity many years ago and is now being prosecuted for apostasy, which carries a death sentence under the interpretation of Sharia law prevalent in large swaths of the Muslim world. Michelle Malkin has an excellent summary and includes a link to this Eugene Volokh's post:
The striking thing about the Abdul Rahman prosecution — in which an Afghanistan court is considering whether to execute Rahman because he converted from Islam to Christianity — is how Establishment the prosecution is. The case is before an official Afghani court. The death sentence is, to my knowlege, authorized by official Afghani law. The New York Times reports that the prosecutor, an Afghan government official, "called Mr. Rahman 'a microbe' who 'should be killed.'"
Volokh goes on to juxtapose the attempt by Muslim officials to silence critics of Islam in the West with these attempts to murder an apostate. This represents the logic of thought control; not only must you not "change your mind" about Islam if you are a Muslim, but you must not think poorly of Islam is you are a non-Muslim. This is totalitarianism and is the greatest danger facing the West today.
All of which brings me to an over-looked story that Fausta has been doing her best to bring to our attention:
Guillermo Farinas represents the real Cuba. The Cuba that Hollywood, the MSM and some in Liberal circles ignore. The Cuba that I’ve described in the past as a country under the dictatorship of Fidel Castro in which:
” … one is not allowed the luxury of choice, freedom of speech or expression. Many in the US and Europe have no idea what it is like to be shackled to a country or to its dictator. We come and go as we please. We have no fear of speaking out against our leaders. We live in what many consider to be an economic Mecca of great wealth. So for many of us it is impossible to understand the suffering of those who are kept imprisoned by Communism.
Communism and its refined methodology of thought control (which includes gulags in its past and present and political correctness among its present offspring) is still with us and still exercising its waning power to destroy people's humanity in its attempts to control people's thoughts.
Who is Guillermo Farinas? The Miami Herald on-line says he is Desperate for freedom:
A psychologist turned independent journalist in a dictatorship that allows no free press, Mr. Fariñas directed the Cubanacán news agency from the city of Santa Clara. He sent uncensored accounts of human-rights abuses and other news via e-mail from an Internet café. That ended after he described to The Miami Herald a government-organized mob attack typical of the tightening squeeze on Cuban dissidents.
''I got on my knees and said, `Down With Fidel!','' Mr. Fariñas was quoted in the front page of the newspaper. ``They started kicking and beating me, bruising my back, arm and head. They stopped when they saw I would not lose my dignity and say things I didn't feel.''
The next day, his e-mail was blocked, and his hunger strike soon followed. Now he is being fed intravenously in a hospital and has lost more than 60 pounds.
I have spent much of my working life trying to free my patients from the constrictions their inner, unconscious conflicts impose upon their own minds. I have struggled to help free my sickest patients from the chains their illness imposes upon their minds. The evil that the Castro regime continues to perpetuate is a crime against humanity. Sadly, the "useful idiots" who have always excuse such heinous crimes, in the name of progressive thought, continue to exercise their attenuated power to frame the debate. It would be nice if the New York Times, and other MSM outlets, put the story of Guillermo Farinas on their front page, but he is just one man, a Psychologist who in his own way is struggling to free minds, and thus easily overlooked by those who pretend to know what is best for us to know.