Wealth Depends on Slaves

I thought for a long time before speaking again. “So these children are slaves,” I said. “They aren’t paid, and they have no other choice.”

“Well, you don’t have to put it like that,” Can said, with a clear scoff in her voice. “Nobody hurts them. Nobody fucks them. They’re safe and they’re taken care of. What more is there to childhood, anyway?”

I couldn’t answer her then, and I cannot now. In my travels, I have learned the same lesson again and again; every city as rich as Shy has that same flaw at its heart.

The life I live now is beautiful, but no one on Bambritch is entitled to the labor or the body of another. That is our one unshakable rule.

The Book of Flora (The Road to Nowhere 3) by Meg Elison

Understanding Right and Wrong

It was only when I realized that I was a slave and not a slaver’s apprentice that I understood that what Archie was doing was a great wrong. Right and wrong had no meaning in my life until I was almost a woman. I learned some of it from my father, but he was not a talkative man. I began to understand when I knew the horsewomen, but I could never see it the way they did. They didn’t know what I knew.

The Book of Flora (The Road to Nowhere 3) by Meg Elison

Desperate Freedom

He yearned for escape with a desire that was near to insanity; awake and asleep it was his obsession; and he thought his heart had stopped when Squad-Leader Aras Dilley muttered to him, as Doremus was scrubbing a lavatory floor, “Say! Listen, Mr. Jessup! Mis’ Pike is fixin’ it up and I’m going to help you escape jus’ soon as things is right!”
It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis
  • Biography from Nobel Lectures, Literature 1901-1967, Editor Horst Frenz, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1969

Drunk on Power

For a long time, I just figured that my parents’ friends were a bunch of sick rich pedophiles enamored of the 1960s and 1970s cinema genre of witchcraft and the Devil, like the popular Vincent Price movies portrayed at the time. Often referred to as “happenings,” during these events, drunk, drugged-out narcissists paid my parents to do what they wanted with my siblings and me. (All three of my siblings are much older than I.) For many years into my young adulthood, I thought that the satanic stuff was basically their one step beyond hedonism. Bored, rich, and demented beyond reason, they assumed that my father in his high priest red robes (signifying blood sacrifice) would be their fall guy if the group were exposed. Both of my parents participated in orgies involving children, which was instrumental to Omaha’s “happenings.”

…Rich, affluent, and powerful, my parents and their friends held beliefs that were well thought out and complex. Doctors, lawyers, law enforcement, high-ranking businessmen, and politicians—the people involved were community pillars, wealthy, well educated, well connected, and completely drunk on the power their group wielded.

…As a child, I couldn’t tell anyone what was happening because I couldn’t trust who was involved and who wasn’t, and what was happening was so crazy that I figured no one would believe me even if I told. People were adept at looking away, fearing they would somehow become involved in things too sordid to speak publically about.

Rabbit Hole: A Satanic Ritual Abuse Survivor’s Story by David Shurter

Blame My Timid Soul

“A few months ago I thought the slaughter of the Civil War, and the agitation of the violent Abolitionists who helped bring it on, were evil. But possibly they had to be violent, because easy-going citizens like me couldn’t be stirred up otherwise. If our grandfathers had had the alertness and courage to see the evils of slavery and of a government conducted by gentlemen for gentlemen only, there wouldn’t have been any need of agitators and war and blood.

“It’s my sort, the Responsible Citizens who’ve felt ourselves superior because we’ve been well-to-do and what we thought was ‘educated,’ who brought on the Civil War, the French Revolution, and now the Fascist Dictatorship. It’s I who murdered Rabbi de Verez. It’s I who persecuted the Jews and the Negroes. I can blame no Aras Dilley, no Shad Ledue, no Buzz Windrip, but only my own timid soul and drowsy mind. Forgive, O Lord!

“Is it too late?”

It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis

  • Biography from Nobel Lectures, Literature 1901-1967, Editor Horst Frenz, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1969

Dragons Shudder to Think

Essini’s parents had fled South to Yorbik Island where they were set upon by bandits and murdered for their paltry possessions. The bandits abandoned Essini in the rajal-infested interior forests, but an old Brown Dragon had found her and brought her to a Human enclave. They promptly about-faced and peddled the child to slave traders, who passed her from hand to hand until eventually a married couple from Gi’ishior, rug merchants who had no child of their own, purchased her out of pity. Now, she was as loved as any person could wish.

Auli-Ambar sighed. At least Essini’s story had turned out well, but it could have been much worse. Bandits and slavers were not known for their kindness to children, and Sazutharr had told her darkly, the fate of some children was so terrible, it made a Dragon shudder to think upon it.

The Dragon Librarian (Scrolls of Fire Book 1) by Marc Secchia

Six Forms of Slavery

As I spoke to more people who had been caught up in slavery I was amazed to learn that there are at least six distinct types of slavery in Eastern Congo: forced labor by armed groups; debt bondage slavery; peonage slavery; sexual slavery; forced marriages; and the enslavement of child soldiers. All of these types of slavery, in one way or the other, also support the destruction of this rich and unique environment. The most well-known slavery, related to me time and again, is forced labor at gunpoint.

Blood and Earth: Modern Slavery, Ecocide, and the Secret to Saving the World by Kevin Bales

Military Slave Children

Another type of slavery is less about profit and more about supporting the rule of terror and exploitation by the militias. This is the enslavement of children to turn them into fighters. During raids on villages young boys, and sometimes girls, are kidnapped by the armed groups and trained to kill. As part of their brainwashing they are often forced to rape other children or young people or to murder members of their own family or village. Brutalized, traumatized, and often drugged, the children will soon obey any order.

Blood and Earth: Modern Slavery, Ecocide, and the Secret to Saving the World by Kevin Bales