Beware of the Beria Method

Lavrentiy Beria, the infamous head of the Soviet secret police created his own realities in his service to the Communist Party. He boasted to Joseph Stalin:  “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.” Beria did not allow facts to disrupt the process leading to his murderous goals.

Fairfax County (Virginia) law enforcement is conducting a criminal background check and I have my fingers crossed. The county requires the background check for adults associated with pre-schools. I’m innocent of all crimes. I hope. But it all depends upon the meaning of “crime,” “guilt,” and “innocence”—and whether Fairfax County uses the Beria Method in its investigation.

 Fairfax County is a bedroom community of Washington, D.C., the seat of the Federal Government behemoth. Big government begets more government, and Fairfax County has grown to rival nations in terms of budget and power. And big local governments similarly spawn sprawling bureaucracies that regularly ignore facts to avoid disrupting a pre-determined bureaucratic process. I know. As a pastor—and like many small business owners—I’m personally on the receiving end of County bureaucratic demands.

It’s hard to argue with the need for periodic fire safety inspections, elevator safety maintenance, and the like. But “the process” demands that the extent of requirements always err on the side of excess. My little church routinely pays over $7,000 a year in fees for the privilege of electronic fire monitoring—and responses to countless false alarms. I console fellow pastors by encouraging them to think of these expenses as tribute. Make the payments to government bureaucracies and their corporate proxies with as little thought and irritation as possible, to satisfy the process. Unfortunately, the process includes a good deal of complacency that comes with the frequency of false alarms. (Whatever happened to a good old-fashioned loud and annoying fire horn?)

 

Of course, the safety of our children is our highest priority. That’s why the county also requires criminal background checks for employees associated with a pre-school. The diocese (a parish’s equivalent of “corporate headquarters”) requires the same checks, but the Fairfax County Big Brothers will not be outdone. Duplicate background checks are required, and the process requires the usual intrusive paperwork.

The safety of our children as our highest priority cannot be repeated enough. The county’s Family Life Education (FLE) curriculum—for county schools—has the same concern. That’s why the public school kids begin sex education in kindergarten and learn about oral perversions in the 7th grade and posterior perversions in the 8th. Catholic schools, like the little school under my charge, prefer to keep our children “innocent” and “pure,” words that cannot be found in the FLE curriculum. (Nor the word, “perversion.” That would be hateful and judgmental.)

I attended a couple of sessions of the county’s FLE committee meetings. It was a bewildering process. The most vocal of the committee members insisted that children have a right to self-identify their “gender.” He spent a lot of time educating committee participants on how a birth certificate should record only the apparent gender of a child. He insisted genders go beyond mere “male” and “female,” and include men who think they’re women (and many other variations on the same theme). He insisted children must be allowed to self-identify their gender as they get older, presumably under the watchful eye of teachers, perhaps some of whom are men dressed as women. Who are we to judge?

Western Civilization had it wrong. Doctors who used to slap the little behinds of the children at birth to make them gasp for air (is that a violation of the new child protection rules?) can no longer be trusted to record the sex of the child using crude old-fashioned methods. The records are only tentative and allow the child himself, or herself—or itself—to make the necessary amendments according to whims of the moment in the years ahead. You never know when a young man might feel the need to self-identify as a woman to enter a women’s shower room. Nor are you to judge if he chooses to do so.

A group of about 25 (mostly) school teachers that make up the committee agreed (except for a meek and respectful two or three) the sexes should not be limited to two, male and female. Further, those who insist there are only two sexes are not only “unscientific” but violate the process. They are guilty of hate and are responsible for the low self-esteem of our young people, resulting in bullying and the high rate of teen suicide.

It is clear FLE committee members use the Beria Method in their perception of human sexuality. Students—aided and abetted by the faculty—will not be confused by the facts in the pursuit of their impure dreams.

The county practices what they force upon our children. As I was subjected to the criminal background check, I was permitted to self-identify as “male,” “female,” or “other.” But after filling out the paperwork, I got nervous. The same people who recognize “other” as a valid sex self-ID will evaluate my record for criminal behavior. Will the Beria Method also be used to process my background check? “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.”

Not long ago reality mattered in popular culture, and facts testified to reality. In the classic TV “Dragnet” series, Detective Joe Friday didn’t allow much wiggle room in his police work. “Just the facts, ma’am,” he would insist. But recognizing the facts of reality is dangerous today. Indeed, a person who fearlessly recognizes and accurately describes reality is judgmental, violates the process, and hates. Beria would approve of the epitaph:  “right-wing fanatic.”

What does this have to do with Christ? Everything. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1). “[A]nd you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32). If we want to know Christ, we need to appreciate the true meaning of words. And we need to understand the Beria Method to resist it.

Editor’s note: Pictured above are Lavrentiy Beria and Joseph Stalin.

Fr. Jerry J. Pokorsky

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Fr. Jerry J. Pokorsky is a priest of the Diocese of Arlington who has also served as a financial administrator in the Diocese of Lincoln. Trained in business and accounting, he also holds a Master of Divinity and a Master’s in moral theology. Fr. Pokorsky co-founded both CREDO and Adoremus, two organizations deeply engaged in authentic liturgical renewal.

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