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Chapter 29: Power Corrupts People

Mike Sugerman, from KCBS Radio; Bill Crown from the Associated Press, Portland; Bill Baxter, NBC Network News; Dirk Madison, People magazine; Richard Draper, KOIN-TV, Portland; Mike Housical, The Globe, USA; The Daily Telegraph, Syndey, Australia; and The Star, London, UK; Roger Worthington, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Illinois; Walden Kirsch, KGW-TV, Channel 8, Portland (NBC Affiliated); Swami Videha, Panorama magazine and Expresso magazine, Italy.

Mike Sugerman,

KCBS Radio.

I’d appreciate if you could, a short answer to the question. You’ve indicated that Sheela would be welcome back if she decided to come back, although you’ve also accused her of some rather serious crimes, including those against your neighbors here. And I was wondering if she came back and was convicted of some of the crimes you’ve charged her with, how could the local people around here trust you and your people not to do that sort of thing again, if you could live in peaceful coexistence with your neighbors after this incident?

Our neighbors have to understand our way of life and of our way at looking at things. For example, I accuse Sheela for many wrong things that she and her group did. Still I love her, her group, and no action can make the being of the person corrupted. Action is a small thing, being is a huge potential. You do something wrong; that does not mean you are a wrong individual. We hate your wrong act, but we don’t hate you.

So if she comes back she will be welcomed. She will not be given the power she had and we will not prevent the legal processes against her. We will help the law in every possible way to find all criminal acts that she has done, but that has nothing to do with our love for a human being. Howsoever criminal a human being is, after all he is a human being. And acts are small things.

And it is a well-known fact that even Judas who sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, felt guilty and within twenty-four hours committed suicide. Now his suicide Christians don’t talk about, because his suicide is immensely significant. He is simply destroying his whole life out of guilt. And a person who can feel guilty. And he is confessing by his suicide his guilt. I have immense love for Judas. He was a man of conscience.

People commit mistake. It is just human to err. My position is: we will accept them with love, but we will not protect them against the law. We will help the law to put their actions right. So it looks a little complicated, but this is how my approach to life is. I condemn always the action and never the person. The person has always the possibility to change.

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