After the Chernobyl accident, multiple cases of mental disorders were reported. The Soviet, and as well as post Soviet, psychiatrists diagnosed all of them as Radiophobia.
In Stalin’s GULAG prison camps, they were short of pills, so whoever visited the doctor was receiving “Analgin”, which was the same pill for all illnesses. Sometimes doctors broke the pill on half and told the prisoners, – ” take one half for the fever, and the other half for the ulcers.” This is exactly the same method of treatment victims receive for all sorts of Chernobyl disorders, no matter what bothers them, the diagnosis is “Radiofobia” , and the treatment is always the same useless pill.
The Chernobyl radiation poisoned 1/5 of the total territory of neighbouring country of Belorus, which I call Belorussia. Everyone know this land is too poisoned for farming, and radiation will still be there when Lukashenko’s perpetual presidency is ancient history.
This spring, Luka won a another presidential term, jailed the opposition leader, and declared total victory over all his enemies including Chernobyl. He solemnly announced that some parts of the land are now safe for people to reinhabit.
I wanted to write him a letter to congratulate him on his victory, and to propose that his administration and their families become the first settlers of those dead villages..
I heard that they succeeded in gathering “volunteers” for this idea. Among those who agreed to participate in this experiment are people who have nowhere to go, including recent prison parolees and refugees from former Soviet Republics in Central Asia and Chechnya.
So far, all official attempts to breathe new life into Chernobyl have failed, and the only tangible results of their efforts are a few pages of wildly optimistic statistics made for UN reports.
Chernobyl must be revealed to the young and should become a required subject for study in school, because the longer one lives, the more one becomes accustomed to and fond of the things of this world. It is really the youth who strives to change the course of things, not the adults who perfectly put up with the worlds hypocrisy and take advantage of its error.
In the Soviet Union, nuclear physics was a privileged branch of science. As if wrapped in cotton wool, scientists developed nuclear technologies under surveillance of KGB, their studies being focused exclusively on Marx and science. The humanitarian parts of education were purposely ignored by their curriculum. The State didn’t need philosophers, it needed efficient scientists and patriots who wouldn’t think of leaking nuclear secrets to the CIA. Eventually this exclusive cultivation of technique produced scientists who did not understand the total process of life and therefore had little conscience for their activities. The Soviet system of education didn’t teach any respect for human beings. Without love and respect for life in general, and human life in particular, knowledge only leads to destruction and misery.
Being privileged means being arrogant, they didn’t listen to anyone who was not of their league. The designers of Chernobyl reactor were told many times not to build reactors close to large population centers, but they ignored it. They were told that building reactors with no caps was dangerous, but they built them anyway. They even built Chernobyl type reactors after the accident.
Chernobyl is as much a result of faulty totalitarian education system, where the temples of learning were like a chess-board. A professor of nuclear science had privileges of a queen, while professors of history and literature had less respect than a pawn. The decades of clinging to formulas and repeating slogans had produced millions of scholars and technicians with out-dated skills and leaden hearts. All these were dumped onto the job markets when the Soviet system collapsed. These very same clods are now back in business – in the business world.
The question is what now? Is new the generation of nuclear physicists and control room operators more professional than the previous? I doubt it, because at least during the Soviet times students had to study. Now in my part of the world everyone can bribe their way through examinations or just buy their diploma. No way for them to learn from Chernobyl, because the truth of Chernobyl is hidden from them as well as from the rest of us and they cannot therefore seek what they lack.. The irresponsibility of officials and designers of new reactors is encouraged by the fact that no one was punished after accident of Chernobyl. Now they do what they always did but this time more blatantly, and with real cynicism, because they know they will never be held accountable for their acts.
Many governments are controlled by large corporations and have taken present day education under their control. They combine their efforts and work together in the area of education or training of young children to NOT THINK critically about what corporations, governments and regimes are doing, but to give the young a cleaned-up or sanitized version of events that always gives future citizens and consumers a feel-good view of government-corporate power and influence. They cultivate productivity, efficiency, and success, but again, subjects which teach the respect and understanding of human life are suppressed. Students only study for a specific profession, they are taught how to earn a degree and to be mechanically productive – but without being intelligent.
The whole modern school system is a conveyor, teachers seeking to get bribes out of students seeking to get diplomas out of teachers. Our educational system is on the last stage of degradation, it allows the word “Wormwood” to be removed from dictinaries. It produces medics who conclude that kids of Chernobyl having higher IQ than children from not contaminated areas, journalists who write that Chernobyl was just a little fire accident… What about seminar, where they adopted the agenda “Let’s finish all talks about Chernobyl”
The very existence of the civilization depends of scrupulously schooled brains, talented engineers, inquisitive scientists and skillful workers that command the technique and develop it onward, but how someone who bought diploma can move forward progress? Civilization fades. No wonder. They can only produce illusion of progress. It is what they do with their ever optimistic reports. This happens because general principles of culture are surpressed in modern education and such education has no more material upon which to feed talent.
Most social institutions designed to keep people intellectually and emotionally dull, which makes them fitter to be governed, it makes us all subservient and incomplete, deeply thoughtless, and hopelessly passive. This system suits our ruling elite, for such a domesticated population is consistently useful for the manipulations of the ruling class of society. This is the dream of every government: To get in control a crowd who, like a herd of animals, could be moved from one contaminated place to other. But this dream of a Utopian. This days underdeveloped society can not ever exist, much less survive, with so many chemical industries and nuclear facilities, any mindless society is destined for omnicide. Counting down to Doomsday…
This is derogatory cry of those who apply themselves to research of Chernobyl, for the sake of gain raise, against those who pursue it for desire to find out the truth or from a pure interest in the history of Chernobyl.
This derogation rests upon the fact that personal gain raised through party-line research on Chernobyl can be obtained only through defending the interests of the power industry, and also upon promoting at every opportunity the universal conviction that everyone lacking degrees and diplomas can never be taken seriously. The general public, who do not understand anything about the issues of radiation, has the same outlook and consequently holds the same opinion. This is the origin of it’s trust for government officials and respect for “the professionals” and disrespect to “dilettantes and unprofessionals”.
The truth however, is that to the amateur the thing is the end, while for professional as such it is the means; In reality the only true professionals are those persons directly interested in Chernobyl and who occupy themselves with it from pure interest in the subject. The word amateur comes from the Latin verb amare which wants to say to like. An amateur does what he does because he likes to do it, and not because he or she is paid to do it. Only this type will pursue it with entire seriousness. It is from such as these, and not from wage-earners and careerists, that the greatest achievements have always come.
As for researchers who remain unrecognized and therefore forever thought to be unprofessional, their biggest problem is that they have to receive acknowledgment and degrees from the hands of the nuclear barons or their peers. In this respect Shopenhauer rightly said that the greatest misfortune of all intellectual merit is that it has to wait until the good is praised by those who produce only the bad.
The question I often ask myself is how long people will remain in darkness about Chernobyl? General history shows that comprehension of such complex issues as the Chernobyl disaster and its aftermath requires time for development. It is understandable that for the power industry the news was not favourably received and many want to bury the information in obscurity. Nevertheless, sooner or later there will come those who will discern without enmity or favor. Only then will facts win notice from intelligence of a higher order than accountants and spin doctors.
Optimist in me want to believe that the question will afterwards be gradually subjected to examination; light will be thrown upon it; it will be thought over, considered, discussed, and eventually in the end the correct view will be reached. After a time – the length of which depends upon the difficulty of the subject – the general population will come to understand that what every incisive intellect saw immediately.
Whether we ever live to see this day depends upon many factors, generally, the higher and more important a historic event, the less likelihood there is of survivors and witnesses ever living to reach the day when the fog lifts and truth is revealed for everyone. For instance, it took 50-70 years for majority of people here to learn truth about revolution, famines and repressions. It seems, that the history only triumph over aged evils, while the present and recent evils are easily triumph over history. In case with Chernobyl, it may last longer, but the matter won’t last forever.
There is a special benefit which everyone with a clear head has enjoyed: it is seeing clearly in the midst of general disinformation. One learns the true nature of things instantly, not in a half century like the simple souls who wait for the final result to be chewed, digested, and regurgitated to them on tv history channels.
What impresses me about Old Chernobyl is the half-life of some nuclear isotopes. A hundred, thousand, even tens of thousands of years! “Chernobyl will last until the second coming of Jesus,” Gorbachov once said in an interview. This spring the news anchors have introduced a new expression: “Old Chernobyl” Perhaps in this way they want to make us believe that Chernobyl is now fading history and soon will be gone completely…
Unfortunately, it is only its victims who are gone even before getting old. Chernie remains forever young, forever dangerous. The birth pains of its nuclear accident 20 years ago is just a few seconds in the age of this eternal infant. I believe, part of the reason why the general population is not capable of seeing the extended age problem of nuclear accidents is because people can only comprehend time when it is already past. We are still too close to the time of Chernobyl to see the whole scale of its disaster.
Like a big building that requires a view from a long distance to see the shape of the whole structure, so it is with Chernobyl: the whole monstertude of its lengthening shadow will only appear after many generations. After that, it will not disappear until the End of Days.
On the gates of sarcophagus I’d gloomily write what Dante wrote over the entrance to his Inferno: “All hopes abandon ye who enter here.”
They say, in a kingdom of blind, one eyed man is a king. If you can see truly in the midst of general disinformation, then you are like someone who has at least one eye, when everyone around you has none.
You are truly a king or a queen, and you see things as they really are, while the rest believe what they want to hear. You see, everyone is applying false standards and being led by stone blind guides, all groping about among the other sightless wanderers, but you can do nothing to change it. There is no way for you to help anyone to learn what you see; for that they will need your eyes.
New Element (Parody)
Scientists of one of banana republic recently announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element has been named “Governmentium.”
Governmentium (Gv) has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 98 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 212. These 212 particles are held together by forces called morons. Morons still unexplored substance, the distinctive feature of which is large amount of pockets.
Governmentium has a normal half-life of 4 years; it mass will constantly increase over time, because during decay cycle, the mass of pockets of assistant neutrons, deputy neutrons and assistant deputy neutrons on the increase and when it reaching critical concentration, the stucture undergoes a reorganization, in which some morons become a neutrons, a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes everything with which it comes into contact and it comes in reaction with everything that has electrons and not inert. A minute amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second to take over four days to complete.
When Gv decays, it falls into another new elements, Retiredum (Re) and Retardium (Rt) which some call Dementium (Dm)
Bloggers and journalists
Nowdays mainstream media must battle with tough competition from internet. Bloggers keep winning audience and more and more newspapers are on the brink of bankruptcy. The reason is simple, internet bloggers are much more objective, genuine, and liberated than folks who work for news agencies. Newspaper reporters and anchors often wonder why people are blogging on the internet. What they really can’t understand is why bloggers will do for free what they, reporters, can not accomplish for money.
Basically bloggers do a better job because they don’t write for money. People will start writing badly as soon as they write for pay. An author can only remain objective when writing for the sake of the facts he or she is revealing. Authors who write for money are much like prostitutes: Their goal is to please media bosses and please tastes of reading public. Further, just like prostitutes, it is impossible for them to receive pleasure from their activity. A dedicated blogger never seeks to please anyone’s taste. Very often they work in defiance of all official and business policies, writing only for the pleasure of thinking and sharing with others their private conclusions.
Journalists and bloggers are so different. A true blogger can not write for the media just like a newspaper reporter can not blog.
Everyone who applies for work at any news agency, regardless if it is paper or tv or radio, shall be prepared to follow all instructions of political correctness, such as not to offend ethnic minorities, not to hurt religious feelings, not to step on any fat toe of the nuclear monster, not to bite a feeding hand of chemical food production etc… With all those restrictions the mind of journalist is being shackled to a frame of limitations and, like a bird in a cage, can not move. The mind of a blogger is a free bird, flying without boundary, seeing everything as it really is. The blogger can therefore speak his mind without constraint. The basic intelligence or education of the blogger is not important, what matters most is that such a person is master of their own thoughts and their intellect keeps on growing. In contrast, the mind of a journalist inevitably bogs down in a morass of ignorance and apathy and is therefore constantly degrading.
If you are going to work for mainstream media, you will have to obey all their rules. Eventually you will feel as if you received invitation to a disco and, upon arrving, found everyone dancing on crutches. Later you will discover that, apart from those who are naturally lame, there are actually some good dancers who wear crutches only because they have to feed their families. If you join in the dance of the lame, then in a number of years you will find that you, too, are lame and that you can no longer dance without crutches. Congratulations – you have become a journalist.
Our civilized world is a big masquerade-show, where grief of officials, smiles of shop-keepers, compassion of philanthropists and voluptuousness of porno actors are only masks, there is nothing real about them. One puts on the mask of law and becomes a lawyer, another chooses the mask of patriotism which morphs him or her into a politician, sometimes a politician takes environmental issues of doctrine then he becomes the environmentalist and so on. Basically, behind most of those masks are moneymakers and counterfeiters, whose success rates as con men are greater than their abilities to hide their real faces.
With countries of the world it goes exactly the same: each presents only a happy-face, fabricated by an assortment of politicians, pop stars, movie personalities, sport figures, and celebrities of all kinds.
They present only the “game-face” of their countries, and we can learn nothing from them. The real face of a country is revealed when the social uprisings, strikes, and wars break their brittle little masks apart. As the scales fall away, for a little while we see their real problems. Chernobyl in this respect is a complete disaster, the image of my country is tarnished for decades. In the first 10 years after the accident it was really hard for them to put any mask on such a gloomy face, but all her citizens can now join the masquerade-ball. Ukraine has gotten herself some good socker players, boxers, singers and dancers. No matter how dark the night, the party can just go on and on…
In Gulag prison system when convicts wanted to kill some informant, without anyone being held responsible, they usually coiled a long rope around the neck of the traitor. Then a few dozen people pulled one side, and few dozen pulled the other side of the rope. In this way, no particular person could be determined as having caused the actual death.
The more people involved in the rope-pulling, the greater the chances for all of them to escape both punishment and personal accountability. This is the main principal of all collective crimes and this explains why the number of Chernobyl victims is always the same and why no one has ever admited guilt or expressed any remorse for this crime. There were just too many people on both sides of the rope.
Today, on December, 16th, 2006 I noticed that the level of radiation at my home was higher than normal. I went outside and measured the radiation at a different parts of my neighbourhood. I used several different Geiger counters just to be sure.
Later, through my information sources, I learned that the higher radiation level was the result of some maintenance work on the Chernobyl sarcophagus – (they opened up part of its roof) This left me wondering if the new radiation was reflected or if it was brought with the wind. We can only guess because there is no mention of any such event in the news, and our weather report says the levels are normal.
In February 2007, my friends’ father died of lung cancer. He worked in Chernobyl as a driver from the first day of the nuclear accident in 1986. At his funeral I met an other driver, a collegue of the dead man. We spoke as we waited for the burial service and I learned some interesting things. He told me he is the last survivor from the pool of drivers that were sent to Chernobyl. He also said that the territory, which is surrounded with barbed wire and known as the “Chernobyl Dead Zone,” is not a 30 kms radius around the reactor, but it actually 40-50 kms. Upon arriving home, I checked my maps and yes, only one checkpoint is at a distance of only 30 kms from reactor. The other dozen checkpoints are located 45-50 kms from ground zero. Why does everyone refer to the Chernobyl “Dead Zone” as 30 kilometers when the radius is in fact 45 kms? What about the huge area beyond of this territory? Does anyone think the barbed wire can keep the radiation from spreading. The way our eyes follow the ball instead of the game is really frightening…
About book publishing
Twelve years ago I was delivering books to a prison. We were also cleaning all the old Soviet books out of its library. The prison Librarian, whom I depicted in the short story Nikholayevich, wept at seeing thousands of such books being carried out of his library. ‘Several generations,’ he said, ‘have been raised with those books and now we just have to throw them away for utilization.
These days when I walk through endless rows of new books at some book fair, exactly like my friend the librarian, I can only sigh with thoughts that in just a few years none of those authors will be remembered at all. The whole of modern literature is a lottery that has never had any winning tickets, because now it is industry, where everyone is busy with making money off literature: authors and publishers, critics and advertisers – all corrupt – they keep together, mutually sustain each other, they are part of the same system and all have but one goal: robbing the reading public of their time and money.
Such industry thrives on the mindless desire of the public to buy only books on the bestsellers list. Open any such book and you will see it melts on your mind, like cotton candy, leaving no aftertaste. It is because there is no way to publish ones thoughts in book form. This system is intolerable to intellect, it trample on everything that appears to be above the common level, which forces authors to write about dragons or flying saucers. Everything that bears any manner of resemblence to realism or thought is banished from modern literature because realism reveals how domesticated we have really become. Contemplation that has always been quintessence of real poetery or philosophy is to be treated as contraband, it is not to be put up for sale even at the lowest price, but forthwith confiscated, immidiately upon detection. There is absolutely no way to publish a book about Chernobyl here. All our Chernobyl books must be printed in Western Europe and now with resurgence of nuclear monster it became difficult to print them anywhere.
Very little of our modern literature will stand beyond the day after tomorrow, except those by mediocre authors: the inventors of new clamour, with strong connections to show business, who create another period in a history of literature that will make posterity sigh when it lights upon a grotesque architecture of words. It will push the door of this decayed structure and find it utterly empty, nothing alive inside of sarcophagus, not a single living flower can be extracted from that dry herbarium of conventionalities, not even a trace of thought to stop the future librarians from throwing our time bestsellers to the recycling can.
Chernobyl is alien to the spirit of our epoch, because our culture denies all misery and only accepts success. We are moved by the hope of gain than by the danger of loss. People learn only to seek the maximum pleasure with minimum thought. Realism has no place today and one who speaks with a realistic outlook sounds like a terrible pessimist. The huge propaganda machine teaches that happiness is mandatory while misery is optional. Its relentless mantra is ‘enjoy life every day in every way and to live, like there is no tomorrow.’ Eventually, this prevents whole societies from admitting and learning from their mistakes. As a result, the world keeps generating more and more of bad news.
At all times, the first rule for wise conduct of life has been expressed by Aristotle. He bids us direct our aim, not toward securing what is pleasurable and agreeable in life, but toward avoiding, as far as possible, its innumerable evils. Now, this rule is disregarded. I believe that side-stepping it is the source of all our present and future troubles. How can people avoid evils, mistakes, and failures if they deny such problems even exist?
PS: If we live like there is no tomorrow, there won’t be.
“The prudent man seeks not pleasure but freedom from pain” Aristotle “The Nicomachean Ethics” 1152b10
Some nuclear advocate once told me - Chernobyl is a hard lesson and it has shown to the world, that we cannot let technology get ahead of our own development. My answer was - be careful what you wish for, because highly developed society may not accept technology that killing people.
There are more than 2,000 dead towns and villages within a radius of 250 kms (155 miles) around the twisted, Chernobyl reactor. There is no way to count all the villages because many have been systematically demolished by the authorities and some roads are ruined now.
Traveling through the dead zone I have yet to see any ruined church. Looters are superstitious folks and are afraid to rob churches. Also, nearby community members come to fix the abandoned churches every few years, so they stand longer than all other buildings in the area.
Doors in these old churches are unlocked. There is nothing valuable inside, only a couple of cheap icons, towels and slightly radioactive Bible – usually opened to the page where the age of wormwood is foretold (Revelation 8: 10,11*). Few people can remain unaffected when they learn that the Ukrainian word for ‘wormwood’ is ‘Chernobyl’. I am not exception and this inspired me to explore the sacred side of Chernobyl.
Chernie is haunted by many ghosts, because there are two spiritual armies still and always at war: the forces of good and evil. As long as the churches still stand, the battle continues. It is not just an empty place, like those deserted coal mining towns. Chernobyl is magical, repellent, interesting and frightening at the same time. One who travels solo through Chernobyl never feels like he or she is alone, there is the ever-present feeling of being watched. The discomfort is real. This supernatural and unpleasant sensation can be felt even through the photos and videos of Cherny. The Christians call it: the presence of the devil.
I don’t believe Chernobyl is only about the bitter taste of Wormwood, the falling star of Revelation. Our Chernobyl is just the final consequence of compounded human error and greed, the root causes of which are also indicated throughout many books of old and new testament.
If I had to bring a few passages from the Bible that explains the causes of Chernobyl, I’d bring as the most striking and most appealing the temptations of Jesus in the desert. These did not emanate from a finite, terrestrial intellect, but indeed, from the eternal, absolute and consumately evil mind of an exiled angel: Satan himself.
Those temptations are Miracle, Bread, and Authority. Temptation with Bread is the most applicable to the Chernobyl disaster and most difficult for the human race to resist.
‘Thou see these stones in the desolate and glaring wilderness? Command that these stones be made bread – (and mankind will run after Thee. Show people a miracle and they will follow Thee),’ croons the evil angel.
Jesus rejects them all, but mankind is too weak. Science knows how to turn uranium stones into both weapons and bread. The people embraced the vision with unbridled enthusiasm, lured by the tricks of nuclear alchemy. Never mind the penalties of Time’s usury and the violation of all natural principles, the people chased after those tainted miracles, marched with nukes in parades, and shouted – Hurrah!
But after the reactor exploded, the people lost their enthusiasm. Science, too, is frustrated and no one believes in miracles anymore. The time of free will is gone and the real nuclear violence begins. We can do little to stop it, because if we take away their sword we also lose our bread and butter, so we must consume it now in order to go on living. The second advent of nukes is not about miracles as was the first – now, it is about necessity. Turning nuclear particles into food has now become an industry fueled by the will to live.
In Satan’s three temptations of Jesus we find, as if blended into one and foretold to us, the complete future history of man. We are shown three images, uniting in them all the future axiomatic, insoluble problems and contradictions of human nature. The seeds of this truth are rooted deep and wide inside the Bible; it is more than a few scattered passages. Chernobyl is a vital icon for modern Christianity, and a bitter fountain of learning for us all.
* Revelation 8: 10 – And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; 11 – And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.