"I asked my grandfather once
if he could tell me what truth was.
"I don't think I've lived long
enough to know that," he said, "all I know is that without truth
Iktomi, the Trickster, would be the
most powerful being on Earth."
Having lived more than half a century, I
think I'm just beginning to gain some insight into my grandfather's reply.
Truth is often difficult to distinguish.
Truth can be a gift or
a burden; it can be kind or cruel.
frequently eludes our grasp and
we find it difficult to describe.
Truth can at times hide so well that we
can't find it to save ourselves, or it disguises itself so skillfully that we
walk all over it without knowing.
And in the next instance it becomes
plain as day, whether we want it to or not.
In the end we learn we
can't live without truth.
"Truth is the marker along the roads we
travel in life," my grandfather did say.
The Red Road, the good or
straight way, has many markers.
If you choose the
Black Road, there is only the
illusion of truth.
We can be influenced by truth or by illusion.
Two chieftains met on a plain while their two armies waited.
have ten thousand warriors, every one skilled with weapons and seasoned by
battle. Victory will be mine," said the first chieftain. "What do you have?"
"Only the truth," replied the second chieftain. "This war has decimated
my people so I face you now with an army of a thousand children. This truth
will either destroy you or glorify you."
The first chieftain returned
to his camp, where his army of ten thousand stood ready for battle.
ordered his army to put aside their weapons while
he went into seclusion to ponder the truth
his enemy had spoken.
With the new dawn he sent his chief aide
with gifts of food and an offer
of peace to the army of a thousand children.
The first chieftain then
returned to his homeland and stood to be judged before his countrymen, fully
expecting to be dishonored for his weakness.
He was, instead made a
Sometimes truth is like the
You can't see it, but you can see the effect
Truth is also like sunrise and sunset.
We see the
sun come up over the eastern
horizon in the
morning and then disappear behind
the western horizon in the evening.
From the perspective of our existence on a spinning sphere, the
sun appears to "rise" and "set."
reality the sun does neither.
Reality is what is, first and foremost, on Earth.
Lakota reality is, for example, that the four seasons cycle in
precisely the same order year after year.
Reality is that lakes and rivers freeze in winter and thaw
in the spring, that all living
things die, that change is
Truth is the result of the trials and errors of life,
the lessons we learned such as "Without evil, goodness would be harder to
recognize," or "The first casualty of war is truth," or " A bird in the hand is
worth two in the bush."
Some lessons rise out of the
illusions we have acquired: "Good will
always prevail over evil."
Truth is subjective and subject to
change, as in "Man was not intended to fly."
If there is a universal
human weakness, it is that we want to believe there is truth because we want
clear answers rather than illusions, and
therefore we are vulnerable to anything that seems to be the truth.
Truth consists of two parts: that which
is given and that which is accepted.
We Lakota have heard Iktomi sing
At the Fort Laramie Treaty Council of 1851, as thousands
upon thousands of white emigrants made their way along the Oregon Trail from
Missouri to Oregon and passed through Lakota territory, the US peace
commissioners told us, "They are only passing through and need only as much
room as the width of their wagon wheels."
The Fort Laramie Treaty of
1868 established the Great Sioux Reservation - the entire western half of the
current state of South Dakota - for "as long as the
sun shall rise, as long as the
rivers shall flow, as long as the
grasses shall grow."
The truth is
sometimes painful, but without, it there is only illusion.
The truth is
we Lakota still walk the face of the Earth.
truth is we
survived traumatic change and are wiser
and stronger because of it.
The truth is that we are
survivors; we took on the worst that
our "conquerors" could throw at us and we are still standing.
illusion is that we are part of the past - something to be studied, analyzed,
measured, dissected, and ultimately judged.
The truth is we are still a
viable culture with traditions, customs, and values that have stood the
We all have our truths, some easier to accept than
When all is said and done there is only one truth that is
This one truth has endured and
will always endured because it will stand unabashedly
and without apology.
That truth is death, and it is the
one that is avoided and most feared by American society.
The truth of
death should be the standard for truth against which all others are measured.
We will find that nothing can
compare with its
Death is a taboo subject, generally
speaking, consistently referred to euphemistically as the Grim Reaper, the cold
night, or the wages of sin: There is rarely
casual conversation among non-Indians about death or dying.
references to death are made in hushed and apprehensive tones. A visit to any
mortuary or cemetery is a confirmation of the
general state of denial about death in American society. Funeral directors
sell coffins that will "protect your loved one for ages to come." Stone or
cement crypts and mausoleums are used for the same reason: to deny death as
long as possible.
are at least apprehensive about anything we don't know.
fear death because they don't know it, or they know the wrong things about
No matter how much we deny it or try
to avoid it, death touches us sooner or later when a friend or a loved one
After we mourn and grieve the loss, many of us become angry
at death as if it were an interloper, a thief in the night, a villain, or a
Death does not kill.
Disease, accidents, rage, old age,
stupidity, among others, are killers.
Death is only part of the process of
The truth about death is simple. It will happen.
is more inevitable, no matter how vigorously we deny it or fight it.
Death will come for us regardless of how
powerful, famous, rich, beautiful, influential,
irreverent, or lowly we are.
There is no way to fight death.
can fight to live, but we will always
lose the fight against death.
Thinking of death in those terms creates the
illusion that death is an enemy, but death isn't our enemy; it is, when all is
said and done, our truest friend.
The most profound and reassuring
truth about death is that it is a part of life.
Life begins with
birth and ends with death.
With no other journey you travel can
you know how it will end.
We begin dying the moment we are born, which
means living well is dying well.
That is the truest
measure of any being.
The final - and perhaps the greatest - truth about death is that it is
the great equalizer; it connects all living beings to its truth.
form of life shares with us the same journey
that begins with birth and ends with death.
No one being or species,
not the most powerful, nor the most arrogant, nor the
wisest will ever alter that truth.
There are many certainties and even more
illusions masquerading as truth, nothing
short of living and learning will enable us to know the difference.
The first chieftain
accepted the truth he heard and reacted to it with the truth of his own
character, and was rewarded.
Iktomi, on the other hand, presents
illusion as truth, and always will. Beware of Iktomi."
Joseph M. Marshall, Native American
Sioux, Lakota tribe.
"There is the Truth," the poet concluded. "It does
not wipe out death. It does not diminish space, nor halt time. But it makes us
what we are in essence. Happiness
needs unhappiness. Joy goes hand in hand with
sorrow. It is thanks to the shadow that we
exist. We must not dream of an absurd abstraction. We
must guard the bond that links us to blood and earth. 'Just as
Remember that. We are a great mixture. We
are more than we believe." - Henri Barbusse
"Those who set their mind in harmony
free from the bonds of death."
"We are the only Western democracy that has the
penalty. It is time to join the rest of the civilized world and end the death
penalty." - Nancy Oliveira
"State-sanctioned killing is barbaric, cruel and
should be highly unusual. We should join the civilized countries of the world
in eliminating it." - Joy Buckley
"A study commissioned by the American Law Institute
said that decades of experience have proved that the system cannot reconcile
the twin goals of individualized decisions about who should be executed
and systemic fairness. It added that capital punishment is plagued by racial
disparities; is enormously expensive even as many defense lawyers are underpaid
and some are incompetent; risks executing innocent people; and is
undermined by the politics that come
with judicial elections." - Adam Liptak 01/04/09
The American Law Institute is the only
organizationList of countries that executed people in 2007: Iran
(265), Saudi Arabia (156), USA (42),
Iraq (29), Afghanistan (15), China (13), Japan (9), North Korea (8), Yemen (7),
Bangladesh (6), Syria (5), Somalia (3), Singapore (2), Sudan (2), Belarus (1),
Botswana (1), Ethiopia (1), Indonesia (1), Kuwait (1).
that built an intellectual framework supporting the
countries that have no
ANDORRA, ANGOLA, ARMENIA, AUSTRALIA, AUSTRIA, AZERBAIJAN,
BELGIUM, BHUTAN, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA, BULGARIA, CAMBODIA, CANADA, CAPE VERDE,
COLOMBIA, COSTA RICA, COTE D'IVOIRE, CROATIA, CYPRUS, CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK,
DJIBOUTI, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, ECUADOR, ESTONIA, FINLAND, FRANCE, GEORGIA,
GERMANY, GREECE, GUINEA-BISSAU, HAITI, HONDURAS, HUNGARY, ICELAND, IRELAND,
ITALY, KIRIBATI, LIBERIA, LIECHTENSTEIN, LITHUANIA, LUXEMBOURG, MACEDONIA,
MALTA, MARSHALL ISLANDS, MAURITIUS, MEXICO, MICRONESIA, MOLDOVA, MONACO,
MONTENEGRO, MOZAMBIQUE, NAMIBIA, NEPAL, NETHERLANDS, NEW ZEALAND, NICARAGUA,
NIUE, NORWAY, PALAU, PANAMA, PARAGUAY, PHILIPPINES, POLAND, PORTUGAL, ROMANIA,
SAMOA, SAN MARINO, SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE, SENEGAL, SERBIA SEYCHELLES, SLOVAK
REPUBLIC, SLOVENIA, SOLOMON ISLANDS, SOUTH AFRICA, SPAIN, SWEDEN, SWITZERLAND,
TIMOR-LESTE, TURKEY, TURKMENISTAN, TUVALU, UKRAINE, UNITED KINGDOM, URUGUAY,
VANUATU, VATICAN CITY STATE, VENEZUELA
List of countries that have
no death penalty except in times of war or under martial
ALBANIA, ARGENTINA, BOLIVIA, BRAZIL, CHILE, COOK ISLANDS, EL
SALVADOR, FIJI, ISRAEL, LATVIA, PERU
List of countries that have the
penalty but have not executed anyone during the past 10 years:
BENIN, BRUNEI DARUSSALAM, BURKINA FASO, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, CONGO, GABON,
GAMBIA, GHANA, GRENADA, KENYA, KYRGYZSTAN, MADAGASCAR, MALAWI, MALDIVES, MALI,
MAURITANIA, MOROCCO, MYANMAR, NAURU, NIGER, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, RUSSIAN
FEDERATION, SRI LANKA, SURINAME, SWAZILAND, TOGO, TONGA,
row from 1973 to 2003 stands at 111." -
Penalty Information Center
Lawyer Johnson, 10 years Massachusetts'
row; Randall Dale Adams, 12 years Texas'
row; Clarence Brandley, 9 years Texas'death
row; Kirk Bloodsworth, 9 years Maryland's
row; Shareef Cousin, 3 years Nicholas James Yarris, 21 years Pennsylvania's
row; Joseph Amrine, 17 years Missouri's
row; Timothy Howard and Gary Lamar James, 25 years on Ohio's
row; Juan Roberto Melendez-Colon, 17 years on Florida's
row ; Ray Krone, 10 years Arizona's
row (the 101th
row inmate in the US to be exonerated and released from prison since
"I am troubled by the report's general finding that
far too many forensic disciplines
lack the standards necessary to ensure their scientific reliability in court."
- Senator Patrick J. Leahy
convictions based on the misapplication of forensic science are all too
common. Nationwide, in about two-thirds of the exonerations proved through
post-conviction DNA testing,
sloppy or fraudulent
forensic evidence played a role." - Peter Neufeld, Barry Scheck
profiles are stored electronically and searched for possible matches."-
Department of Justice/FBI website
"DNA databases were built initially
to deal with violent sexual crimes and homicides a very limited number
of crimes. Over time more and more crimes of decreasing severity have been
added to the database."- Harry Levine sociologist
"Law enforcement officials are vastly
expanding their collection of DNA to include millions more people who have been
arrested or detained but not yet convicted. Sixteen states now take DNA from
some who have been found guilty of misdemeanors." - Solomon Moore 03/18/09
"According to population geneticists, it is indeed possible to have the
six loci match in perhaps many dozens of individuals whose DNA is contained in
a databank of 700,000." - Andre A. Moenssens October 2000
"State crime lab
analyst Kathryn Troyer was running tests on Arizona's DNA database when she
stumbled across two felons with remarkably similar genetic profiles. The men
matched at nine of the 13 locations on chromosomes, or loci, commonly used to
distinguish people. The FBI estimated the odds of unrelated people sharing
those genetic markers to be as remote as 1 in 113 billion. But the mug shots of
the two felons suggested that they were not related: One was black, the other
white. In the years after her 2001 discovery, Kathryn Troyer found dozens of
similar matches - each seeming to defy impossible odds. The FBI laboratory
tried to stop distribution of Kathryn Troyer's results and began an aggressive
behind-the-scenes campaign to block similar searches elsewhere, even those
ordered by courts." - Jason Felch, Maura Dolan 07/19/08}
"In fact the
most glaring weakness is that no matter how efficient and fair the death
penalty may seem in theory, in actual practice it is primarily inflicted upon
the weak, the poor, the ignorant and against racial
minorities. " - California Governor Pat Brown
"To take a life when a
life has been lost is revenge, it is not justice.
Justice allows for mercy, clemency and
virtues are not weakness." - Reverend Desmond
"The illusion of gentleness of lethal
injections has made executions far less of a taboo experience for the public.
But as Albert Camus wrote in 1957 in "Reflections on the Guillotine,"
those who actually witness an execution know it for the
horror it is." - David DeKok
laboratories are grossly underfunded, lack a scientific foundation and are
compromised by critical delays in analyzing physical evidence, according to a
broad study of forensic
techniques published February 18, 2009 by the National Academy of Sciences.
Among the problems: there is little if any scientific research to
support the claim that no two people share identical fingerprints; chemical
analysis of the lead in bullets has been determined to be flawed and
unreliable; crazed glass, the tiny, weblike lines that spread across glass that
lead arson investigators to determine a set fire was found to be caused by
water dousing the fired; bite-mark comparisons are subjective.
of forensic analysis helped send innocent people to prison and
showboat?"I stand before
you to explain my frustrations and deep
concerns about both the administration and the penalty of death.
America is not in league with most of our major allies: Europe, Canada, Mexico,
most of South and Central
America. These countries rejected the death penalty.
partners in death with several third world countries. Even Russia has called a
The death penalty has been abolished in 12 states. In none
of these states has the homicide rate increased.
You are 5 times
more likely to get a death sentence for
first degree murder in the rural area of Illinois than you are in Cook
County.Half of the nearly 300 capital cases in Illinois had been reversed for a
new trial or resentencing. 33 of the death row inmates were represented at
trial by an attorney who had later been disbarred or at some point suspended
from practicing law. 46 inmates were convicted on the basis of testimony from
jailhouse informants." - Governor George H. Ryan of
Governor George H. Ryan of Illinois commuted
all death sentences in the state of Illinois to life in
Realizing that moral integrity in public servants when it comes
to speaking up or actually doing something about the unnecessary, inhumane and
unjustifiably violent treatment of social outcasts is a trend that must by
nipped in the bud, Alberto Gonzales has succeeded in
creating a finding, by jury trial, that George H. Ryan is a corrupt
If the US government chose to they could imprison nearly
every modern politician that ever ran for office. George H. Ryan was found
guilty of accepting gifts and steering government business to friends and
associates just like every politician ever elected.
federal prosecutors George H. Ryan stands out as an anomaly, one of only a
handful of corrupt politicians, for accepting gifts and steering government
business to friends and associates.
cruel and unusual is not the argument
that opponents need to make; rather, the argument is that as long as the
political state is permitted by its citizens to
kill helpless, restrained prisoners as a
solution to a problem, the door to State sponsored
genocide, however remote an idea it seems in America at the moment, remains
is, and always will be, a political power in search of a crime, whether it's
murder, treason, being a member of a
hated ethnic group or anything else that
inflames public opinion. States, just like
their citizens, should only have the legitimate power to kill in immediate
self-defense, and never in the service of
punishment." - Lindsie
As Americans accept murder as a
solution to a problem,
expect murder to occur in America.
This web site is not a commercial web site and
is presented for educational purposes only.
This website defines a new
perspective with which to engage reality to which its author adheres. The
author feels that the falsification of reality outside personal experience has
created a populace unable to discern propaganda from reality and that this has
been done purposefully by an international corporate cartel through their
agents who wish to foist a corrupt version of reality on the human race.
Religious intolerance occurs when any group refuses to tolerate religious
practices, religious beliefs or persons due to their religious ideology. This
web site marks the founding of a system of philosophy named The Truth of the
Way of Life - a rational gnostic mystery religion based on reason which
requires no leap of faith, accepts no tithes, has no supreme leader, no church
buildings and in which each and every individual is encouraged to develop a
personal relation with the Creator and Sustainer through the pursuit of the
knowledge of reality in the hope of curing the spiritual corruption that has
enveloped the human spirit. The tenets of The Truth of the Way of Life are
spelled out in detail on this web site by the author. Violent acts against
individuals due to their religious beliefs in America is considered a "hate
This web site in no way condones violence. To the contrary the
intent here is to reduce the violence that is already occurring due to the
international corporate cartels desire to control the human race. The
international corporate cartel already controls the world economic system,
corporate media worldwide, the global industrial military entertainment complex
and is responsible for the collapse of morals, the elevation of self-centered
behavior and the destruction of global ecosystems. Civilization is based on
cooperation. Cooperation does not occur at the point of a gun.
social mores and values have declined precipitously over the last century as
the corrupt international cartel has garnered more and more power. This power
rests in the ability to deceive the populace in general through corporate media
by pressing emotional buttons which have been preprogrammed into the population
through prior corporate media psychological operations. The results have been
the destruction of the family and the destruction of social structures that do
not adhere to the corrupt international elites vision of
a perfect world. Through distraction and
coercion the direction of thought of the bulk of the population has been
directed toward solutions proposed by the corrupt international elite that
further consolidates their power and which further their purposes.
views and opinions presented on this web site are the views and opinions of
individual human men and women that, through their writings, showed the
capacity for intelligent, reasonable, rational, insightful and unpopular
thought. All factual information presented on this web site is believed to be
true and accurate and is presented as originally presented in print media which
may or may not have originally presented the facts truthfully. Opinion and
thoughts have been adapted, edited, corrected, redacted, combined, added to,
re-edited and re-corrected as nearly all opinion and thought has been
throughout time but has been done so in the spirit of the original writer with
the intent of making his or her thoughts and opinions clearer and relevant to
the reader in the present time.
Fair Use Notice
This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has
not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making
such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of criminal
justice, human rights, political, economic, democratic, scientific, and social
justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such
copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In
accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is
distributed without profit to
those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information
for research and educational purposes. For more information see:
www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted
material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you
must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
© Lawrence Turner
All Rights Reserved