The dreadful punishment of persistence in lying is that one loses all sense of reality. This punishment is closing in on our Western “civilisation.” People can no longer distinguish between truth and falsehood, between fantasy and reality. Alas, fantasy may be sweeter, but reality always re-asserts itself in the end, and the more obstinately one has clung to fantasy, the more violently reality is liable to return. The two World Wars of the last century were violent returns of reality. We are heading straight for a third, because the preference of fantasy is being raised to an ideology. The following clear example of the turning of lies into an ideology comes from a website striving to uphold truth:—
In 2009 a Polish-born American, Herman Rosenblat, wrote a touching Holocaust memoir for which, even before it could be published as a book, the film rights were sold for $25,000. Angel at the fence tells how Rosenblat, imprisoned during World War II in Buchenwald concentration camp, met through the camp’s outer fence a nine-year old girl who tossed to him apples and bread over the fence. By war’s end they had lost touch with one another, and he emigrated to the United States. Years later in New York he resorted to a matrimonial agency to find a bride, and who should turn up on the blind date but the same girl? She was now an adult, but he recognised her immediately and proposed to her, was accepted, and they have lived happily ever after.
The story is most touching. Rosenblat gave everyone to understand that it had all happened in reality, and it seems that everybody believed him. However, researchers into the story proved from wartime facts, for instance from the impossibility for Buchenwald inmates to approach the camp’s outer fence, that the story was a pure figment of Rosenblat’s imagination. It was one more “fake Holocaust story.” But a regular visitor to the website mentioned above, Seymour Zak, protested vehemently that there is no such thing as a “fake Holocaust story.” What is frightening is his reasoning –
. . . . What anti-Semites keep insisting are “fake Holocaust stories” need to be seen in a more positive light as “the truth of imagination,” to quote the famous phrase of the poet John Keats. If something is perceived as true by the mind, though strictly speaking it may not have happened, and if that event is subsequently seen as a living truth in the minds of millions of other good people who have been exposed to that same heightened version of reality, then it must on no account be dismissed as a “lie” ( . . . ) All such stories are true in a higher metaphysical sense, and to deny them is a sacrilege ( . . . ) We have a sacred obligation to the six million who died under the tyranny of the evil Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler to remember the dead and dismiss with contempt all attempts to deny the Holocaust by referring to “fake Holocaust stories.” I repeat: there is no such thing as a fake Holocaust story. Every Holocaust story is true, 100 per cent true, whether it happened or not. ( . . . ) In the sublime words of Elie Wiesel: “In literature, certain things are true though they didn’t happen, while others are not true, even if they did happen.”
On Seymour Zak’s reasoning, it is of no importance whether the six million mentioned here really died “under the tyranny, etc.” or not. What matters is whether the Six Million constitute a “heightened version of reality . . . . seen as a living truth in the minds of millions of good people, etc.” and if they do, then to state that they died when in reality they did not die is no longer a lie, but a higher truth! Reality is no longer the measure of truth, especially if that higher truth is quasi-religious, namely a “sacred obligation” which it is “sacrilege” to deny, namely Holocaustianity. In other words, there is historical reality and non-historical reality, and only the second deserves the name of “reality”!
This is utter madness, but it is in society all around us, more and more so, and we human beings are social animals, necessarily influenced by the society around us. Catholics – and non-Catholics – if you want to keep your head above the rising flood of madness, pray 15 Mysteries a day of the Holy Rosary. Our Lady can protect your sanity. These “Comments” have no other remedy to suggest.