As Ron Paul recently pointed out, our medical providers and religious “leaders” more and more treat others – including the specific people they supposedly serve and lead – as legitimate prey on which they can feed. In this, they join government leaders and employees. The people in government have demonstrated for thousands of years that other humans are their prey, and they survive by eating us. (And since the benefits that government provides are (a) ineffective, (b) can be provided in other ways, and (c) dubious at best, governments can be considered parasites. If you are willing to foolishly give them the benefit of the doubt.)
The same is true of the medical profession, if you look honestly at history. Remember that in the past, medical practice was virtually identical to religious practice. And not just in tribal societies, although most people are at least aware of the common idea in AmerInd societies of “medicine men” – spiritual leaders who also had the knowledge and ability to treat illness.
Indeed, this was the case in the times of the Old Testament. Because much of the Law of Moses detailed practices and prohibitions on matters that were not just spiritual but related directly to health, the priesthood in Israel and later Judah were also viewed as the medical providers. Israel was hardly alone in that: the same thing seems to be common in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia (Babylon, Assur and Nineveh, etc.). And in many other cultures.
Suspicious minds may note that medicine, like speaking to and for the gods (or even THE God) was an easier life than “tote that bale, lift that barge” and all the rest of work needed to produce tangible goods. There is a clear reason that the Hippocratic Oath and all the scriptures about being servants, not masters, were written long ago: these temptations seduce many.
But human society seems to be addicted to honoring, respecting, and even worshipping medical practitioners and clergy – the priests. Even when they know they are corrupt, self-serving actors. As a result, if not predators, many people following those professions were and are parasites. But the distinction between parasite and predator is sometimes hard to find.
Make no mistake. There are many good people who practice medicine – whether as now-traditional MDs or holistic or chiropractic or folk, nurses, midwives, nutritionists, therapists, dentists – and who do help and heal people. But there are always a few – and that number seems to be larger today – who go straight for the power, the wealth, and the prestige. Like politicians and cops and soldiers.
In the same way, there are many people who believe that they are good – and serving God – who are clergy, and there are some that can and do help people in many spiritual and mental (and even physical) ways. Not just through preaching and teaching and counseling but through benevolence. And yet, there are many who are out and out predators, as Dr. Paul points out. Again, like medical people, politicians, bureaucrats, and others.
Because people have to trust them somewhat, the predators use that trust and gain power and influence over those they are supposed to serve. (One reason that Christ Jesus did not create a clergy for the community (ecclesia, church) He built: there were servants but constant warnings against behaving like the Judaic priesthood or the Gentiles’ rulers.)
When coupled with a failure to teach basic essential morality and the idea that all men are created equal by God – and are not just a talking animal, it creates the dangers we have so commonly today. And to Dr. Paul’s warning about medical providers and religious leaders, we must add teachers to the list, whether government employees or not.
In all of these areas of life, there are similar solutions: personal responsibility, situational awareness, preparation for danger even from those we tend to trust, and other things that are essential to our God-given personal liberty.
For all of these predators and parasites, we may be sure. Whatever they claim to believe (and indeed may), whatever they tell us, the objective of stealing away our liberty (along with our wealth) is NOT to help us. It is for their convenience.
More than morality, some people are unable to deal with “Authority”, and allow their desires/lusts to run into the authority they have acquired. Politicians, teachers, physicians, police, etc. are vulnerable to such slippage. It is easy, then, to mistake a potential victim’s acceptance of some “authority” as an acceptance of the deviant desire. It is a risk of the human condition.
It is always a bit of a dance. I spent some effort finding a replacement physician when mine died. I react badly to being talked “at” instead of “to”. Once again, I ended up with an “instructor” who could answer questions without treating it as an affront to their authority. Tricky business.
Yes, people are subject to and do succumb to temptation, if not completely. And just when and how do we tell when someone has gone to the dark side?