In Agatha Christie’s famous mystery novel, Murder on the Orient Express, a surprising but supremely unsatisfying conclusion arrives when genteel Belgian detective Hercule Poirot figures out that the gruesome murder was actually committed simultaneously by every single one of the suspects he’s been circling around.
I read as much of Christie’s work as I could absorb when I was younger, but it was this book in particular that left me with the most disquieting feeling. I pictured the horrifying “group murder” as some kind of slow-motion satanic ritual, not unlike the orgy scene in Stanley Kubrick’s final film (which took me several years to come around to and fully grasp), Eyes Wide Shut.
I’ve had similar disquieting feelings these past few weeks, as I’ve been reading and making audio recordings of Whitney Webb’s series for Mint Press News on the Jeffrey Epstein affair. By pulling together so many errant strands of historical thread, she has taken me for a ride on a non-fictional Orient Express and, though I’m considerably more well-informed for going on that journey, the tableau I see upon climbing off the train is remarkably painful to look at.
Because, to understand Jeffrey Epstein—how (and for whom) he was able to commit these traumatizing crimes against girls for so many years, and why he was able to live like a (fake) king while doing it— is to understand as naturally as breathing that his violent death in prison, before any public reckoning could occur for him or his criminal partners, would be a near certainty.
As stated by sociologist Edward Curtin in an extremely perceptive piece published on August 15th, …”Whether he was allowed to kill himself or was killed makes little difference.”
I would go further and note that it doesn’t even matter which one or two individuals committed the murder or facilitated the suicide. The real killers, the killers of spirit as well as of flesh, are all the suspects on the Orient Express.
This is the horrifying tableau I’m talking about. These are the passengers. Fix your eyes on them.
They are members of organized crime. They are wealthy businessmen, who are merely less conspicuous members of organized crime. They are the CIA and the FBI, which are essentially their own organized crime syndicate. They are the Israeli Mossad. They are the grotesque and grasping bureaucrats, politicians and celebrities blackmailed by and embedded within these various incarnations of organized crime. They are the actual international ruling class, each member their very own Dorian Grey.
They, not the three check-and-balance branches of the government we’re taught about in school, are the system we live under. Parasites and hosts all at once, they collaborate with, support, betray and kill one another in the end. And the girls? Well, they see the girls as just insignificant and disposable playthings. Cruel amusements and utilities for controlling other members of their same class.
The fact that, with this series, Whitney Webb has in all honesty proven nothing concrete about Jeffrey Epstein himself, is to miss something much larger. What she has actually done is coalesce many stray bits and bytes of information—as well as strategic pieces of educated conjecture—that serve to remind us that the people we’re raised to respect and even revere are a pathetic group of child rapists, murderers and thieves.
I’m an American and I’ve been paying attention long enough to see that we jump up and down far too much about our love of freedom. Too many of us, in truth, love authority…and let it feed us poison we mistake for pride.
As our country and the world enters a period of intense crisis, the solutions for which need to be enacted at massive scale, it seems to me incredibly important that when we seek those solutions, hopefully together, that we recognize our authorities for who and what they are—and perhaps smother any ounce of respect for them that might reside in our hearts and minds.
As always, thanks for reading and thanks for listening.
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