I've mentioned the Spanish Inquisition in connection with Righteous methods many times. The reason is that the Inquisition were possibly the most open and blatant form of Righteousness so far seen on the face of the planet. Not the first, and far from the last, but the most obvious. Their methods are still in use today.
One of their defining features was that they were never wrong. Never. They would charge you on the say-so of any local town gossip with a grudge against you but once charged, you were guilty. Nobody was ever sent away with 'Sorry, it seems the informant was lying'. If they found the allegations against you were baseless they'd find something - anything - and you'd be guilty of it. If your sentence was to make a donation to the Church or say Hail Mary until your tongue bled then you weren't actually guilty of anything. No matter what, once charged by the Inquisition, something was going to happen to you.
As with Cat Bin Woman. It sounds like a Captain Beefheart song title, but it's not. Pity, it would probably have been a good one. She behaved like an idiot but as the police said at the time, there is no law specifically prohibiting her from trying out Shroedinger's thought experiment with a wheelie bin. So the police took no action.
The RSPCA however, had hyped up the story to the point where they could not back down without admitting they were wrong. They are prosecuting her under RSPCA law, and like their Inquisition ancestors they don't tell you what that law is until you break it.
The Case of the Pink Moggie is another along the same lines. No harm befell the cat, its owner did nothing cruel or harmful to it, but the RSPCA and a silly vet woman had worked themselves into a frenzy of Righteous indignation at the sight. Once it transpired that the owner had done nothing wrong, did the RSPCA back down, apologise for being hyperactive hysterical harpies and slink quietly away?
Did they hell. They plan to visit the woman to lecture her on her sinful ways and make her say 'Heil Mary' until her tongue bleeds. They cannot admit they were wrong, ever. Not even in a case where it is blatantly obvious to everyone that they reacted like schoolchildren in a fairground ghost train.
It's not just the RSPCA. Another Inquisition trick was to imply vague retribution for not following their instructions, even when the instructions had no basis in law. Rather like the story Subrosa describes. If you don't fill in the form completely and truthfully, the NHS will Do Something to you. Even though they have no authority to do anything other than medicine, which is the one thing they don't seem interested in doing. I'd be wary, they now have quite a collection of experimental diseases in those hospitals.
Detention without charge was an Inquisition favourite. They'd arrest you but they wouldn't tell you why, nor would they tell you who had accused you. Then they'd hold on to you until you confessed to something. You had no contact with the outside world, nobody knew where you were or what you were accused of, you simply sat in jail until you thought of something you did that might have put you there. Then you confessed to it and if it wasn't serious enough to kill you and impound everything you owned, they'd fine you. The ultimate phishing scam, one that Labour tried to reinstate.
I think, in the future, the Inquisition will be regarded as only the second most blatant expression of Righteousness. Now we have their agents everywhere and they have no qualms about stopping and charging you even if you break no law at all. Take a photograph, look less than delighted by the sight of a veiled woman in a bag, drop ash from your cigarette, have a knife in your car for peeling fruit on holiday, say the word 'black' even if referring to a telephone or charcoal. Anything can be a crime even if it's demonstrably not. You can be charged with hate crime for saying something that a third party decides might be offensive, no matter the context. A joiner's tools are offensive weapons and insisting you know what's best for your child is abuse.
If you have too much rubbish in your bin, you are fined. If you try to dispose of it elsewhere you are prosecuted. If you hoard it you are a health hazard and if you burn it you get an ASBO. Yet everything comes in multiple layers of packaging. The best one I've seen was a multipack of scissors that would be impossible to open without scissors. I remember buying nails and screws in paper bags, by weight. Now they are carefully counted into plastic boxes with flip-top lids of the type we'd have hoarded in the past because they were useful and rare. These days they are just in the way.
I remember, as a fifteen-year-old, buying a pound (weight) of sodium chlorate weedkiller, and it was always handed to me in a brown paper bag. No markings, none of the plethora of warnings that accompany the child-proof packs of today. No questions from the shopkeeper, even though he knew full well that my rate of purchase of this substance meant that if I was really using it for its intended purpose, there should be no plant life at all within a five mile radius.
In those days, chemistry lessons were really useful. If my old chemistry teacher was alive, if he taught now what he taught then, he'd be arrested as a terrorist trainer. I doubt the stuff is even available any more. Maybe sulphur is although I suspect the only remaining ingredient I could get now would be sugar, and its days are numbered.
Meat used to come wrapped in paper from a butcher's. Now it comes in a little plastic coffin and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see the addition of a brass plaque with the animal's name on it. Everything else is on there. How is it that obesity is on the rise now that everything has the exact calorie content stamped on it? We used to get 'a bone for the dog' for free even though we didn't have a dog. The bone made soup, the residual bone was a toy and eventually it was buried and left to rot in the garden. Nothing went in the bin.
Bins used to be far smaller and made of galvanised steel. No wheels. They were referred to as 'the ash can' because coal-fire ashes were their main contents. Old newspapers and paper bags were used to light the coal fire. At Christmas and birthdays there'd be wrapping paper but that went on the fire, as did the boxes the toys came in. Those small bins were never overfilled because anything combustible had been reduced to ashes.
Nowadays coal fires are frowned on even though the waste generated by one week's shopping could provide several hours of free heat. Instead, we meekly sort it into separate bins so that one lorry can come around and pile it all together in the back. It's soul destroying. It's meant to be. It's control by humiliation.
At school, prefects and sometimes teachers would give us 'lines'. Some meaningless drivel such as 'I must not picknose myself' or 'I must learn to grammarise proper' we'd have to write out a few hundred times. Then, when we presented our efforts, they'd tear it up in front of us. That recycling that ends up in one Chinese landfill is the same. Do the work and watch us destroy it. Because you are less than us, we are Righteous and you are there to amuse us.
Even the Inquisition didn't go quite that far. Oh, they had Catholic guilt, enough for everyone, and it was yours free at the moment of your birth but they didn't make the serfs sort horse crap from cow crap and then send round a cart to mix it all. They still made sure everyone lived in hopeless despair.
Everyone was a Sinner from birth. Quite how anyone was meant to sin before they gained any control over their body was explained as inherited sin. Your parents obviously had sex, which is a sin, therefore you are the product of sin, therefore you are a sinner. Second hand sin. Oh, the lunatic version of science used by ASH has been around for quite some time.
Every Righteous Inquisition has its targets. usually they include the Jews but this time they've found better targets. You and me. Whatever we like to do can be turned against us. There's no need to limit themselves to particular groups this time. Drinkers can hate smokers, fat people can hate drinkers, everyone can hate everyone and everyone feels justified in their hate. This time it's Equality Righteousness. We all get a target, and we are all a target.
Once, Jews were all thought to be like Fagin. People believed it. They informed on Jews and sent them to the camps. Now, all smokers are as depraved as Jarvis and people believe that too. All fat people are Mr. Creosote and all drinkers are Rab C. Nesbitt. Oh, there are many who believe it all. However, they are not the main force behind this New Inquisition. That lies in the pitting of one despised group against another.
There are smokers who despise fat people. There are smokers who despise drinkers. We smokers are not immune to the programming even though we like to think we are. There are cigar smokers who hate cigarette smokers and pipe smokers who hate rollup smokers, and there are hash smokers who hate us all. The animosity between smokers and Electrosmokers is well known. Even within groups, we are split.
Electrosmokers can inform on smokers with impunity - for the moment. Wine drinkers can inform on Special Brew drinkers with impunity - for the moment. But they are not the Righteous, they are merely tools of the Righteous and when a tool's use is done, it can be disposed of.
In this incarnation of the Inquisition, they have pitted their targets against each other. No more 'us' vs. 'them' as in the days of Torquemada. Now it's 'us' vs. 'us' and whichever way it goes, we lose.
The Inquisition eventually failed and they will fail again. There are signs of it already. It won't happen overnight and it will be messy. The smoking ban is breaking in Europe and it will eventually break here. Ireland is about to run out of cash for the Righteous to play with and so are we. The entire EU is on the verge of collapse and when it goes, centrally dictated government goes and our current politicians will have to function without instructions from above. They still won't listen to us but their replacements might.
As the facade falls apart, interesting people are showing up with interesting things to say. There is more history coming out now than has ever been taught in any school. The central theme is, of course, money, and I could rabbit on about that topic for a whole new post, but I'll save it for now.
Money, power and control are what the Righteous desire and in order to achieve the last two, they need a lot of the first. For the Righteous, money is fast running out.
And with it, time.