Pubdate: Wed, 18 May 2011
Source: 100 Mile House Free Press (CN BC)
Copyright: 2011 100 Mile House Free Press
Author: Richard K. Hode


To the editor:

Shame on you for urging people to spy on their neighbours (Suspect a
marijuana grow-up? On page A18 in the May 11 Free Press).

It is far better to put up with a suspected "drug house" in the
neighbourhood, especially one whose residents don't bother their
neighbours, than to create a community of mistrust, fear, suspicion
and hostility.

This type of perverse and evil-minded neighbour-spying has a long and
dirty history. During the Middle Ages, the police in Spain had a
problem identifying Jews who had been forcibly converted to
Catholicism but who persisted in practising their Jewish religious
customs in secret.

This, of course, was a crime. So, the police asked the citizens "for a
little help" to root out these evildoers, exactly like in your editorial.

Specifically, the police urged the citizens to watch their neighbours'
chimneys on Saturdays. No smoke meant the residents weren't cooking on
that day and this certainly warranted a visit by the

If it was found the residents were Marranos - convert Jews - it was
then presumed they were still practising the Jewish religion that
forbids lighting a fire on the Sabbath, and they were all promptly
arrested and taken away to meet an unkind fate. I will leave that part
to your imagination given this was the Spanish Inquisition.

Such is the type of conduct that you encourage. I am sure the Spanish
thought of converts who practised Judaism in secret with the same
horror and loathing that you display when it comes to drugs.

Today the Spanish seem absurd. Tomorrow, you will.

Your appeal to people's basest emotions is shameful.

Richard K. Hode

Los Angeles, CA
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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.