While this is in no way meant as an hysterical babble, I know some may find it such. I urge you only to continue reading having been warned that it may impact your thoughts on social media – in how much you choose to share… or not. It’s an enigma in many ways.
In the second world war – not so very long ago in the grand scheme of things – anyone in Germany suspected of being a Jew was rounded up and summarily transported to a camp and most likely executed. Neighbors betrayed neighbors, friends betrayed friends – not for fun you understand, but because there was a noose around their own necks. They were known to have associated with Jews or to have ‘Jewish tendencies’ – the shops they visited, the clothes they bought. It was very easy to be caught out as an ‘accomplice’. The Nazis even had what they called ‘persils’ – ‘clean’ documents for any Jew who would turn in a fellow Jew – and how did they encourage that type of betrayal? Fear, and promises of death to family members.
The persil seekers were sent to cobblers and shoe stores. They waited for the Jews on the run to come in and get their shoes mended, and they ‘befriended’ them – and then betrayed them.
Too much knowledge shared with anyone outside of your closest family meant the camps. It was an environment of fear, treachery and death.
That was 70 years ago. The other most renowned evidences of word of mouth betrayal in our western society (though there are thousands more – and this is not meant to diminish those) involve the French Revolution and the English Court of the 15-1600’s.
- During the revolution it got to a point where business rivals were denouncing their competitors as ‘royalists’ to ensure their trip to the guillotine;
- During Henry 8th’s time as well as during the time of his daughters Bloody Mary and Elizabeth the first – during the huge upheaval of the Church in England, thousands were denounced as heretics and burned in Smithfield, or beheaded on Tower Green. This account doesn’t even consider the desperate state for hundreds of years on the greater continent where just about anyone could denounce his fellow brother/sister/neighbor/priest as an heretic during the dreadful inquisition.
I know that we are a free society, but history has taught us that freedom is hard-won and earned. Hard work and dedication to a clear objective keep it so. I’m as guilty as many of airing my opinions and thoughts in our free press society – but if ever we needed to be concerned about what big-brother, his cronies – or his enemies – were wondering, one only has to look at the reputation management tools of today to know that every-thought we put down in the moment is kept safe for future reference by… who knows who?
Just a thought to consider, one I do anyway. Perhaps I am paranoid, perhaps I am too realistic. Perhaps I am over-protective, perhaps I am a fool. Regardless – these are some thoughts I wanted to share – whether you agree with them or not – perhaps they may generate some conversation among you and your friends – or not.