April 22, 2002—Ground
Zero Plus 223
The World's First Terrorist
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York City, April 22-- I was startled
when I realized who the first Terrorist in the world was, and
even more rattled to find out who his parents were. Then,
the rug was pulled from under me when I found out his grandfather
could have changed the course of human history had he been more
Before I give you my opinion
of who that person was, take a couple of seconds and probe your
mind for the identity of the First Terrorist--who do you think
I love history.
History is generally not influenced by the present. It
is created after the fact, generally when one reflects upon
events and recognizes a pattern of behavior, which result in
certain outcomes--good or bad.
Police and law enforcement
authorities use the "modus operandi"--a person's M.O.,
if you will--as a tracking device to capture criminals.
People are creatures of habit; they leave trails based on certain
behaviors rooted in their being that form footprints or bread
crumbs leading authorities and historians to finally locate
their "secret hideouts"
Terrorism enjoys a modus
operandi that can be tracked through human history to the
first Terrorist, and then directly to his mother, father and,
most importantly, his grandfather.
The authority source
for tracking the first Terrorist is the most published book
in the world, the Bible. In the first book, Genesis, we
see the birth of the First Terrorist. It was Adam and
Eve's second son, Caine.
Able, the first son,
became a sheepherder. Caine, his younger brother
was a farmer. The parents of the two brothers asked
their sons to sacrifice a lamb to God for forgiveness of their
"sins"--the defiance that drove them out of the Garden
picked the finest lamb and burned it. Caine was skeptical
of offering such a prize to God, and so, according to the Book
of Genesis, Chapter 4:1 through 4:16, offered up some old, worthless
straw. It didn't burn.
Caine figured God
liked Able more because the fire consumed Able's lamb while
it wouldn't spark to life for Caine's throw-away straw.
Angered and jealous, so the story goes, Caine kills his brother
in a rage of ego over who was loved most by God. Caine
figured since God wouldn't command the straw he offered burn,
that God, his grandfather, favored his older brother.
When God asked Caine
where his brother was, Caine uttered the famous question:
"Am I my brother's keeper?"
So, here we
have it. The first Terrorist. He killed his
brother, some say with a rock by smashing his skull.
He was filled with envy, jealousy, anger, resentment and rage
because he thought he was "lesser than" in his grandfather's
eyes--God--the creator of his parents, Adam and Eve.
story is true or not, its roots are true. Human
beings are a composition of all the good and bad that one can
imagine--both saints and sinners in one genetic package.
is to blame? Where is the source of Terrorism?
story of Caine and Able is the same story of yin and yang, or
the science of polarity where a positive and negative repel
each other, pushing and shoving like two magnets with the same
charge trying to be pushed together.
up with that feeling. My mother and father were divorced
when I was nine months old. She remarried when I
was five and I resented my "new father."
Then when they had children, I was angered that my half-brother
was now the king of the house, and that my mother had taken
on a "new family" she loved more than I believed she
loved my sister and I, products from our biological father.
I wished ill upon my brother as a young child, blaming him for
stealing my mother's affection; for causing the disenfranchisement
between myself and my sister and our mother.
My mother and I did
not communicate emotionally. There was no "soul connection,"
no sense of my parents really caring about what I was inside--no
relation to my deepest secrets or most awful fears that terrorized
me and drove me to sleep in the bottom of my bed, curled up
so that the "monsters
of the night" in the dark might think I was a lump of pillows
at the bottom of the bed and move on to get my sister who slept
in the bunk bed above me or better to devour my half-brother.
I lived in Terrorism of
not being loved. At least, not the way I wanted
to be loved. And no one knew that but me because
no one asked me: "Cliff, how would you like to be
My mother was far too busy building
a new family to give time to the pains and anguish that roiled
in my soul, or that of my sisters. And my brother,
Mike, he was the cause of it, I thought. He was my replacement
in the eyes of my mother.
I also had no emotional relationship
with my grandparents. They came from the old school,
"children are to be seen not heard."
So I skulled around them, walking on eggshells, trying to win
their affection, their love, but failing miserably in my vainglorious
attempts to cleave myself to them as an equal so they could
hear the whimpers of my lonely soul and its pain of being alienated
from my mother because she now gave her full attention to my
A child's Terrorism, I
believe, begins with Complacency by its parents and grandparents
lack of Emotional Love. It is further fueled by
a sense of favoritism of one child over another, whether real
or imagined. I'm sure my mother would stand before
God and claim she loved me just as much or more than any other
child she had, but I would refute her argument--and so would
This doesn't mean she didn't
love me--but it does mean she didn't express that love in ways
that I grasped its depth, and its specialness to me. Instead,
I recoiled from her like she was a hot flame, and drove myself
into a shell where I could not be hurt, always conscious of
the favoritisms shown toward her "new family" that
grew more important
than her "old family." I was abandoned Emotionally,
set out on a sea of jealousy and anger to find my own way through
the maze of life.
If Caine was I, and I Caine,
then who ultimately is to blame? The easiest
target is to sling rocks at my mother. In the case
of Able and Caine, history can chide Adam and Eve for not loving
both children in such as way that both felt unique, and both
felt a trust to tell their parents all their feelings, and respected
them enough to garner their advice before acting on an impulse,
a defect of character such as pride, anger, envy, gluttony,
sloth or lust.
But there is one other responsible
person who cannot go without his fair share of the blame for
the creation of the First Terrorist--the grandfather, God Himself.
The rage that ended up killing
Able by Caine's hand came from Caine's belief God loved Able
more than he loved Caine.
The creational foundation of
the First Terrorist was born in jealousy.
Modern Bible teachers sidestep
the issue of blaming God for showing favoritism by letting Able's
fine gift of a prized lamb burn, and Caine's shallow, selfish
gift of old straw smolder and contend that God didn't favor
one over the other. Instead, they claim, it was
Caine's "bad seed," his "bad choice," his
use of "free will," that caused the death of his brother.
In other words, they absolve
God and blame Caine. Some might say what is
happening in the Catholic Church over child molestation is not
unlike the Caine and Able story. For centuries children
accusing a parent or relative or higher authority of such moral
crimes have been berated, stifling their accusations.
"How could a man of God do such a thing! NO!
It isn't possible!" sang the choir to the choir.
Today, Vigilance looms over Intimidation.
Those who embrace the Principles Of Vigilance can not escape
the responsibility for the acts of Terror committed by their
children or grandchildren. Terrorism begins at home.
So does Vigilance.
If the story of Caine and Able
is true, then God screwed up by not teaching
Adam and Eve about the Rules of Parenting. He missed
the mark. He goofed.
Had He been a Parent of Vigilance,
He would have taught His children to fight their Fears with
Courage, their Intimidations with Convictions, and their Complacency
with Action. Parents of Vigilance build a child's Emotional
Shields of Vigilance to defend itself from the "monsters
Had Grandfather God helped build
such defenses, perhaps Caine would not have felt the rage that
God loved his older more.
Child favoritism--where parents
like one child more than another--is the crux of the issue.
It is easy for a parent to embrace one child more.
The more a child is like us, the more we dislike the child because
we can see the character defects in all his or her actions.
The more a child is like we wanted to be like, the more we embrace
the child, the more we vicariously live through him or her to
sate the lack of love when we were children.
But God should have known
As a grandparent, I have
the privilege of a life of mistakes to render upon my grandchildren.
I believe we call these "wisdoms," the sum of our
errors. I also have a duty and responsibility to pass
on to my grandchildren knowledge and experience of how to live
an emotionally happy life rather than one filled with Terror.
That means I must ask my
grandchildren to tell me about their Fears, the things that
Intimidate them, to not be afraid to speak about the Complacencies
with me--those things they don't want to do, or try to avoid.
To win their trust in communicating
with me, I must show them my Fears and tell them I am afraid
at times of certain things so they know I am just as vulnerable
as they. I must tell them about my Intimidations, and
how I have cowered and relinquished my rights and will to others
and how that feeling made me only feel less than, rather than
equal. And, I must tell them about my Complacency, my
lack of desire to challenge things, to go beyond my limits,
to test my faith, my courage, my convictions by taking actions
that are full of risk--and--possible failure.
On the obverse side, I
owe it to my grandchildren to share with them the Courage I
mustered to overcome my Fears. I have to tell them
how Conviction made me stand up tall and proud in the face of
feeling "less than," or, taught me I wasn't "better
than," another. And, I must show my grandchildren
I am not afraid of taking Action to overcome my Complacency.
I think if God had passed on
his wisdoms to his grandkids, maybe Caine might not have picked
up a rock and smashed his brother's skull.
I also think that had God passed
on similar Wisdoms to his children, Adam and Eve, they could
have passed those on to their children.
I think God should have not told them: "Don't eat the apple!"
Instead, he should have said, "You're probably, because
your human and have free will, going to test my authority.
You're probably going to take a big bite out of the apple and
be cast out of Paradise. So, if you choose that
way, you will have to pay a price. It won't be pleasant.
If you do the crime you have to do the time. But, I'll
be there for you in the pain and suffering, just as I am here
in the warmth and glory of Paradise. I'll love you
unconditionally, no matter what, just for who you are, not because
of what you are."
I understand that Adam and Eve
I understand God makes mistakes.
His first one was thinking you can tell people how to live.
The New Testament went a step further and provided a way of
"showing people how to live." But that
was only a couple of thousand years ago, and modern man has
been evolving for over 35,000 years--since the advent of the
Cro-Magnum when civilization as we know it today was launched.
Those who don't believe in the
Bible, Old or New Testament, don't have to shy from the essence
of the story of Caine and Able. Somewhere along
the line humans grew into Terrorists.
The old adage that says:
"If you want to know what a child will be like when it
grows up, just follow it home," applies to Adam and Eve
as well as to Osama bin Laden or the people living next door.
Being a Vigilant person who cares
about preserving the peace and harmony of the world begins at
home, just as Terrorism does. In the case of every
madman or madwoman can be found the footprints of their parents
and grandparents. Somewhere along the line the child
removed himself or herself from love and caring and compassion,
and lived in caves of fear and oppression and hate.
People just don't wake up one
morning and say: "Hey, today I'm gonna be a suicide
bomber!" They don't lie awake at night dreaming up
more ways to become a worse pedophile, or child abuser, or murderer
unless those "bad seeds" were neglected by Parents
and Grandparents of Complacency, people who assumed the child
should "be seen and not heard."
If you haven't lately, ask your children, your grandchildren
or your loved ones some usually taboo questions such as:
"What were you afraid of today?" "What
were you intimidated by today?" "What
did you feel complacent about, or gave up on before you started?"
If you get no answer, then tell
the child what you were afraid of today, or what you were intimidated
by, or how you acted with complacency. Then ask them for
advice on how to overcome those fears, intimidations and complacencies.
Once the conversation gets rolling,
and it will, work in the courage that must be found to deal
with the fear, the conviction necessary to stand up to the intimidation,
and the actions necessary to overpower the complacencies.
We aren't prototypes any more!
It's time to stop the propagation of the world's Next Terrorist
by remembering the lessons the World's First Terrorist taught
us--and that's to be Semper Vigilantes.
Go To April 21--Vigilant