A dim yellow bulb hangs limply from the ceiling. It’s light flickers, making shadows dance upon the walls. “Yes, master” comes the confident reply. A neophyte bound, blindfolded and kneeling on the tiled floor. A slight trickle of blood on the edges of his lips, his body bruised and battered. It’s just been a few days of punches and paddles, of waterboarding and electrocution, but the ordeal has been going on for months. From trivial things such as bowing or saluting or being made into a personal slave to much more degrading and mentally abrasive chores. “Yes, master I’ll go through with it, I won’t struggle, I won’t complain. After all that has happened what could be worse?”. It is much too late when the realization dawns, what’s worse is not a thought that occurs to the neophyte but is immortalized in paper, ink and video. The headline flashes for all to see above the victim’s picture, bruised, bloody, lifeless.
Is it too much to ask for a little decency in this world of violence? Can’t we act a little less like the animals that we truly are. What makes these acts much more malicious, more violent is the cloak of tradition and necessity. What better proof than a trial by fire, what better mark than one upon the flesh. “If we got through it then why can’t you” “it was worse in our time” the senior members would say. Their senses numbed and their reason mute, blind they are to the senselessness and inhumanity of their actions.
While the public reels and the media continues it’s circus the victim’s family grieves at the sad fate of a son or daughter. This goes on for quite some time then it slowly dies down. The people forget, the people forgive. Meanwhile, somewhere dark, dank and isolate the shadows dance their fevered dance of violence, and the circus begins again. “Yes, master”