“Aubrey was absolutely magical, enchanting, and captivating. In fact, one of our Rabbis stated that he was the best storyteller that he has ever heard!”
Rachel Kamin, Director, Temple Israel Libraries & Media Center, West Bloomfield MI
“Aubrey Davis defies superlatives. His repertoire is amazing and his ability to hold the audience’s attention is legendary. He can tell stories to preschoolers and elementary school students as well as their parents….He is very creative and chooses his stories to match the audience in front of him. The adults (teachers, parents, older students) were as mesmerized as were the children. “
Penny Fransblow, Head: Norman Berman Children’s Library, Montreal, April 2012
Q: Are people really as stupid as the Sufis make out? If they were, how could society function as well as it does? How can one test whether people really do behave in such an absurd manner as some of the people in Sufi stories and teaching narratives do?
A: People really are as stupid as the Sufis make out. Society works as well as it does because not everyone is stupid all the time. The Sufi enterprise helps them by showing up stupidity to forestall its appearance at times when it blocks understanding. There is little need to test whether people really do behave as the ones in stories and narratives, because the newspapers are full of accounts of this behaviour, and hence it is displayed everywhere all the time. You do not need, after all, to ‘test’ whether a cherry is red – you can see it easily, once you know what red is.
There are, however, many people who like for one reason or another to demonstrate human stupidity. Jaroslav Hasek (author of The Good Soldier Schweik) was one of these. He wrote an article in a zoological journal, which was highly thought of, asserting that elephants liked recorded music while tigers did not. When he published a treatise on prehistoric fossilized fleas, it was such a success that many European learned journals reprinted it. When he advertised ‘thoroughbred werewolves’ for sale, he was inundated with orders for them. He put on a police uniform and told the Rector of a Prague Academy that he was under arrest, whereupon the man obediently followed him to a police station.
By these means Hasek showed that people will obey the symbols of authority, that they accept what is written in academic journals, that they will accept even ‘werewolves’ if they are offered them, that they will publish tripe at the drop of a hat.
And may I ask you a question? If people were not as stupid as they are made out to be, would they tolerate the kinds of individuals and organisations which exploit them? Who votes for the lying and improbable politicians who, remember, actually rule over so many of us?
by Robert Cecil This is a substantial extract from the original monograph which can be downloaded from: i-c-r.org.uk/publications/monographarchive.php Introduction The term ‘brainwashing’ has perhaps lost some of its currency in recent times through misuse, or overuse, in popular culture....
If you damage the jail, you harm the captive. If you remove the prisoner, you bring the guard along too. If you touch the captor, you imperil the victim. Each human being lives in a jail. The prison is himself; and he is his own warder as well. While the warder is the prisoner and the jail, it is not surprising that there are so few escapes, and rescues are so rare. And the process of interweaving captured and captivity, not to say dungeon, is so effective that this reflection must inevitably sound like nonsense. But then, everyone’s sense is someone else’s nonsense.