Holier Than You: A Tale of Two Commentators
“I have seen people behave badly with great morality and I note every day that integrity has no need of rules.” —Albert Camus, from The Myth of Sisyphus
“There exists an obvious fact that seems utterly moral: namely, that a man is always a prey to his truths. Once he has admitted them, he cannot free himself from them.” —the same
Everyone knows that comments sections on the Internet tend to be toxic. To give a glaringly obvious example, Twitter is a veritable verbal cesspit. Another pretty obvious example is Bitchute, where anything remotely political attracts wild-eyed and foul-mouthed fringe extremists from both ends of the spectrum. I remember that a mainstream conservative blog or news site called The Federalist used to have one of the most consistently toxic comments sections I had ever seen: leftist trolls with names like Gay Bob Has Pride would spew the most virulently toxic insults almost at random, and evidently without bothering to read the articles under which they were spewing. It may be that they were paid to do this, but still. Finally The Federalist was almost taken down from the Internet (by leftists) for all the toxic waste in its comments sections (generated also by leftists), and so the staff there simply removed its comments sections altogether, and the trolls moved on to some other venue, like maybe American Greatness. Just about any comments section on the Internet that isn’t moderated, or that isn’t so obscure or vanilla that trolls and hostile jerks don’t know of it, or care, is liable to become a toxic waste dump.
Much of this toxicity is just venting pent-up hostility, usually vented behind a convenient screen of anonymity (another way to greatly reduce online vileness: do not accept anonymous comments). Also, a fair amount of it, especially with regard to high-profile sites, is harassment paid for by political activists. But these two sources of vitriol do not account for anywhere near to all of it. This little discourse involves two notable exceptions involving my content, two relevant case histories, whom we will call SD and SJ.
The first, SD, haunts the comments under the videos posted by my good friend Brian Ruhe on Bitchute. I will give a typical example of his behavior. I decided to refer to the latest video Brian posted on his channel which includes me, but the comments were so toxic that Brian simply turned off the comments under that one, possibly at the request of our mutual friend venerable Varapañño, who was also in that video. So I looked to the next to last video with me in it, and found in the comments no fewer than 68—sixty-eight—comments from SD, including the following:
You infiltrate little boys' rectums
Stop taking penises into your asshole loser pagan paedophile
crawl back up your mother's asshole LOSER
Ruhe and Probesanassa are paedophiles (SD usually calls me that)
Ahhhh so you are gay as well as a New Age pagan loser. Figures. Stop molesting children you pervert
You like the faggoty looking Buddha. A liitle pudgy slope head who conned a bunch of other slope heads. It is because he appeals to your inner homo. buddha was a homo.
LOL A couple of nazi Buddhist misogynist, sexist, fascists...what a couple of pathetic ugly LOSERS. What do you idiots know about normality, you are a couple of fringe dwelling freaks. Buddhism is not spiritual, it is a load of dumb Asian nihilistic pagan shit. Just get some fuel pour it over yourselves and light up..self immolate you parasitic leeches. See if you find nirvana..losers.
It is always hilarious to see these fringe dwelling losers like Ruhe and Probesanassa crap on about shit that is only important to them and their loser friends. But weak personalities with weak minds always need some group of fellow losers to join, like Hilter and his nazi morons. No self reliance and individual strength. Weak as piss losers! They cannot exist without relying on the parasitic relationship they have with society. You can hear the weakness in Ruhe's child like voice and his moronic ideas. They suffer from arrested development. They take on these fake personas and milk their little mental illnesses for all it's worth, extracting money from gullible idiots who need "leaders" in their pathetic lives. It is like those thieving, parasitic shonky tele evangelists who shyster money from the spirituallly deranged and emotionally under developed in society. The kind of people who gather in groups like dumb sheep ready to be fleeced. The false prophets Jesus warned about. Buddhism is just another shit cultist religious load of deranged crap for lost souls and gullible losers. The weak minded infantile morons who need to believe in some crazy cultist notions.
with regard to someone expressing concern for Brian’s paleness in the video: He has AIDS. Too many nights at the gay bar
personally to ven. Varapañño, who was ill-advisedly trying to remonstrate, then spar with him: You have never achieved anything, that is why you should self immolate.
another to ven. Varapañño: if you call yourself a buddhist you are a moron
And this, mind you, is just a small sample from ONE video. The man (assuming that this individual is an adult male) apparently spends HOURS, pretty much daily, doing this on Brian’s channel. Not long after I began doing videos with Brian a few years ago, SD, while knowing almost nothing about me, publicly accused me of having been deported from Thailand for sexually molesting boys—which wasn’t true at all of course, but this person sees no persuasive reason to tell the truth, at least in such cases as this. I have attempted to interact with him twice that I can remember, both times essentially warning him that he is on the road to hell; the first time, at least, may have actually worked, slightly, temporarily, as he seemed to decrease somewhat his output of sneering and lying at my expense. But now he has begun to attack venerable Ajahn Varapañño also with the same sort of vile accusations, and may decide to start spamming my own channel also, if he hasn’t already.
The second case history, SJ, is very different in some fairly obvious ways, though similar to SD in at least one or two respects to be noted in due course. Some of you familiar with this blog may know to whom I am referring, just as some of you who have watched my videos on Brian Ruhe’s Bitchute channel may know who SD is. I do not want to malign SJ, who evidently is a Buddhist monastic—hell, I don’t even want to malign or misrepresent SD, who is just plain nasty—so maybe I should explain my past interactions with him.
SJ first contacted me several years ago, when I was living in Fremont, California, before my final trip back to Burma. I was still writing the Nippapañca Blog back then, and maybe he had come across it and liked it. Anyway, he enthusiastically invited me to join a kind of Buddhist website or forum that he managed; but he was so rigidly, dogmatically fundamentalist in his views, as are most Asian Buddhists too, bless their hearts, and his English was so execrable, that I declined…but he took the liberty of joining me up himself, so I continued to receive newsletter-type fundamentalist emails in barely decipherable pidgin English until I finally flagged them as spam (the process of unsubscribing was so Byzantine that marking it all as spam was much easier). I occasionally heard from him after that, but not often.
Then recently, after the announcement on this blog of my impending exit from the venerable Bhikkhu Sangha, SJ began spamming my comments with a vengeance, as may be seen from the comments to part three of that post, here. (Spoiler: if you look you’ll find out who he is.) It may be at first that he was trying to cajole, persuade, and/or scold me out of my intention to disrobe, which could be considered his duty as a fellow monk; but obviously, repeated harping has no more persuasive power than simply stating one’s case once or twice with some well-meaning benevolence. He eventually went to the extent of declaring ALL laypeople to be fools and losers, presumably in an effort to scare me away from joining their ranks. (I tended not to publish those, partly because they were insulting most of you, my readers.) I figured that maybe after the deed was done he would give it up as a lost cause…but that didn’t happen. True, his output of scolding comments has decreased gradually over the past few months, but even after I told him that I wouldn’t post his comments anymore he continues to fire them off into my inbox for moderation. Why? What does he hope to gain by this behavior? Here are just a few examples of comments that were submitted long after I notified him that I wouldn’t post any more of them.
to the recent post “The Elder Sister of All Alms Rounds”: Amazing how one can sell off all of ones merits and gifts of the Gems for yonis [i.e. “pussy’s”] sake... sure worthy a topic, but maybe to incorrect for further sells...
to “Beauties of Meditation 4” (which I admit was fairly begging for his comment): There exist fools and also shameless fools, proud to walk the way of a fool. Which one would good householder consider himself, if asked this way?
to “Hysteria and the Holy Life”: Actually the hysterically ways of somebody fear relation and bond to the world, is not only much more common, but leads also to ways of missuse what has been given to those fearing the world, means for liberation, using a heritage for ones belly and never dare of all kinds of ingratitude and shamelessness for ones sales in the world.
another, from about two months ago: Home seeking, home sharing, outsiders of the path, homies... the bad thing is just that giving food for defilements of all kinds in the Name of the Gems, even if actually abounded and far left outside.
from the same post as the previous one, which I also didn’t publish (he apparently quoted this, hence the standard English, and note that I was already disrobed at this point): Maggots When we give rise to right view in our hearts, we can be at ease wherever we are. It's because we still have wrong views, still hold onto ideas that are poisonous, that we're not at ease. Holding on in this way is like being a maggot. Where it lives is filthy; its food is filthy. Its food isn't fit to be food — but it seems fitting to the maggot. Try taking a stick and flicking it out of the excrement where it's feeding, and see what happens. It'll wiggle and wriggle, eager to get back to the pile of excrement where it was before. Only then does it feel right. It's the same with you monks and novices. You still have wrong views. Teachers come and advise you on how to have right view, but it doesn't feel right to you. You keep running back to your pile of excrement. Right view doesn't feel right because you're used to your old pile of excrement. As long as the maggot doesn't see the filth in where it's living, it can't escape. It's the same with us. As long as we don't see the drawbacks of those things, we can't escape from them. They make it difficult to practice....
the same again: One should not deny ones deeds, and good if not doing what is disliked or causes such. Deeds "make" beings... One isn't but does, good householder, and by ones deeds one becomes either an outsider or insider, in regard to the world or toward beyound.
as a final example, this one is apparently admonishing a reader not to waste his time with this blog: So it's good to seek out for the last on the way out and lose no time with doubters and losers, good householder.
I have received a boatload of this sort of comments from him, most of it unpublished, and although he is not exactly vicious, he is like a pit bull that won’t let go once he bites.
Anyway, these two people are very different outwardly, one being a devout religious renunciant living in tropical Asia, I think, and the other being who knows what but certainly not Buddhist—SD is continually insisting on Christian dogma, and of course indulging in every kind of wrong speech known to Buddhist ethics.
But we needn’t dwell on the differences of these two, because their similarities are much more interesting, to me anyhow. They both appear to be, first of all, extremely determined. SD for example appears to spend hours every day attacking Brian’s Bitchute videos, and when Brian deletes them he simply spams another long series of them. (There are some who suppose that SD is being paid to do this, considering all his time and labor, though he may just be living in his mother’s basement without need to work, or perhaps disabled and living on government checks, and I can’t imagine Brian Ruhe is a big enough deal that someone would be paid full time just to troll him and pollute his comments sections.) Second, and more importantly, both of these commentators appear to be phenomenally self-righteous—self-righteous to the extent that they are absolutely certain that they are right and justified in their behavior. (The indoctrinated left in general indulge in this same sort of compulsive self-righteous bashing of others all the time, as do many on the right, but I am trying to keep this post relatively apolitical.)
It does not appear to occur to either of these two that their own reactions may be more unwholesome than what they are attacking. SD is obviously morally inferior to Brian Ruhe, even though Brian sincerely believes that Adolf Hitler did nothing morally wrong, just for starters. At least Brian does not knowingly lie when he says such things, is not an aggressively malicious person even against his haters, and takes his Buddhism seriously enough to try to live a moral life…which includes no vicious verbal attacks full of untrue accusations of sexual perversion, etc., on anyone. If he says things that aren’t objectively true, it is because he has made an honest mistake, or at least it appears that way to me.
With regard to SJ, his attempts at persuasion failed, and of course continue to fail, yet nevertheless he seems incapable of accepting the way things are. He is right, I am wrong, and he seems unwilling to stop insisting upon that, and letting me know it. That this is obviously a case of compulsive scolding and attachment doesn’t seem to occur to him, even when someone other than myself (and this has happened) ventures to point it out to him. At least he tries to be honest, as befitting a monk, and he isn’t making up wild accusations of homosexual pedophilia resulting in deportation, etc. At worst he vehemently and repeatedly calls those who disagree with him and his lifestyle fools and losers. I have found that living a life of seclusion can result in one drifting away, largely without noticing it, from a healthy and balanced mental state. This is one reason why interaction with other humans, including those who are antagonistic, has real spiritual value.
So what we have is two people wallowing in unskillfulness, while believing themselves to be skillful, or at least justified. To be fair, it happens all the time, all over the world. And, as was implied in the previous post, I am not trying to set myself up as the one who is right, in contrast to these wrong-doers; I just think that everyone is wrong; though some, at least, manage to be amiable about their wrongness.
I bear no ill will towards either of these antagonists, and I am even willing to break my word in this one case and allow either of them to leave comments below, although SD seems to limit his aggression and insults to Bitchute.
|good old Brian Ruhe heiling the Führer, while protected|
from the crowd by police officers