With the re-explosion of the Isreali-Palistinian conflict the numerous incidents of hate crimes everywhere pose an even greater danger to all mankind. It exposes the obvious that many do not wish to acknowledge: hate only creates more hate, and intolerance only breeds more intolerance.
The greatest distributor of hate and intolerance in the current time is the internet. Not that it has to be that way. The internet has been a distributor of many good things. But because we refuse to post warnings to all that the internet’s drug can destroy our reasoning it has also become a poison. And the more we take, like any drug, the more damage it has on our critical reasoning. No better example exists than the senseless killing of a family of 4 Muslims in London, Ontario in June of 2021 by a crazed “white nationalist”, Nathaniel Veltman, who lost all sense of reality.
The Veltman murders would not be reported on this website, like so many murders, except for the fact that they occurred by use of a motor vehicle that became a convenient weapon. And so at rare times the reconstruction of motor vehicle collisions comes in touch with the purposeful taking of lives for wicked ends.
Initially, the trial of Nathaniel Veltman in Windsor, Ontario left questions regarding the pleading of the accused. He pleaded not guilty. Veltman, was described as a white nationalist. At the opening of the trial Crown Attorney Sarah Shaikh provided evidence of what Veltman told police: “I thought I needed to send a strong message” and “I was planning on killing” and “I knew what I did. I don’t regret what I did. I admit that it was terrorism”. Given these statements it seemed peculiar that Veltman reportedly pleaded innocent to the murder charges against him. Yet none of the news media attempted to explain this paradox.
Over the years I have been involved in a number of collision analyses where various entities have tried to twist the facts to fit some form of devious purpose. Reconstructionists have tried to twist the evidence to suggest that an unintentional collision was, in fact, purposeful. Police have misreported evidence in order to incriminate some innocent party. Lawyers have been notorious, on both sides, for twisting the facts, and surprisingly, judges have done the same. Therefore I become suspicious whenever someone lays out a theory of intent where a collision has occurred.
However the information coming from the Veltman trial has been compelling. A description of his past history matches the theory that Veltman was purposeful in murdering the Muslim family.
I cannot enter the mind of such a useless creature because there is no mind there to enter. As I’ve observed previously when attempting to reach similarly lost creatures, they do not have a capability to listen. They are merely devices that spew out their indoctrinated views which they have developed over many years of misguided logic. I am reminded of a lyric coined by Bernie Taupin, the guy who writes the words to Elton John’s songs. In the killing of John Lennon, mourned in the song “Empty Garden” Taupin’s lyrics commented “Its amazing how one insect can damage so much seed”, or something to that effect. Its that word “insect” which applies to Veltman. No capability to understand anything except destruction. Yet John Lennon was instrumental in touching the world with many positive lyrics including those from the song by the Beatles entitled “All You Need Is Love”, in which the lyric was repeated over and over again: All you need is love, all you need is love, all you need is love. How much has that advice gone by the wayside in our internet world where: All you need is hate, all you need is hate, all you need is hate.
I understand the importance of freedom of speech and thought. Even those who continually grind on our minds, like fingernails on a chalkboard, must be tolerated because those freedoms are so important.
In the last few days the lawyers from Veltman’s defense began their side of the story by bringing Veltman onto the stand. The news media quickly reported his words: “I was an outcast”. And so began the re-building of Veltman’s character. He was home-schooled by his strictly religious mother from kindergarten till grade 11. The battle with the very strict mother caused him to hate her. He began to recognize he was not normal and his “abnormal behaviour” was attributed to being home schooled. Once he was allowed to attend public school he began hanging out with the wrong crowd, drinking and using drugs. He started to visit extreme websites and started to “constantly watch this conspiracy theory garbage”.
From past experience it will be difficult for the jury, and the general public, to believe that Veltman was somehow not in control of his actions and that it was all because “The devil made me do it”, as if comedian Flip Wilson’s buying a red dress can be of any comparison. Even though there is a defense of insanity, that theoretical concept does not enter the minds of many when they also balance it with the need for vengeance.
But I return to the issue of internet brain-washing and our communal responsibility for its consequences. The internet has allowed the formation of isolated chat groups, much like isolated villages in the Amazon rainforest. There, persons of similar viewpoints, gather to encourage each other’s frustrations, often led by a fanatical shaman or two who possess better skills in inflaming those viewpoints. Misinformation is piled onto more misinformation like a pyramid, growing higher and higher in the minds of those who become less and less capable of separating myth from reality. In the minds of the indoctrinated there is never a belief that they have been indoctrinated, that possibility is out of the question. In such minds there is no such thing. If one were to bring them into a psychology course and spend substantial time describing how persons become brainwashed it would be a difficult task to get them to admit that such a thing is possible, let alone that they might be victims of such brainwashing. There were earlier times, before the internet, when such indoctrination and brainwashing existed only in limited contexts. But that is no longer the case. Now there are vast percentages of the human population that are affected. And few realize it.
Whatever the courts decide to do with Nathaniel Veltman is only one part of the issue. The other part is that we, as a society, are also to blame for allowing such a large number of easily-manipulated persons to become manipulated. As an analogy, in our society we understood the importance of telling our children about simple traffic dangers, such as looking both ways before attempting to cross a road. Now we are simply saying nothing. Let the children be free to discover the danger themselves, and if some pay the ultimate price, so be it. That is not the way it should be. The weaker members of society need our guidance. We need to tell them that crossing the internet “road” can be dangerous and we need to explain why in a manner that they can understand.