To my knowledge, I have never been a consumer of conspiracy theories. I’m sure that maybe here and there one or two of them have a solitary lick of truth to them, but aside from that I just don’t see the point in putting all of that suspicious energy into something intangible when you could purpose that energy into something productive and useful. That said, there are indeed some outrageous tales of truth out there that if not for the undeniable evidence in support, we’d all prefer to write off as myth, hoax, and simple defamation. There’s a fine line in this. We all have our own, it’s that point where we accept responsibility for ourselves instead of harboring the expectation that other people will always have our best interests at heart instead of theirs.
This self-responsibility is one of the Satanic traits that I appreciate in myself and my peers whom I know to be Satanists. While I enjoy the luxury of worry-free living that comes from not knowing everything there is to know all of the time (an otherwise impossible expectation), when something comes up that I recognize has validity, I have to act to protect myself rather than rely on say, industrial America to do it for me. I don’t trust corporate America, specifically. I come from corporate America, and I know what evil thrives there. Capitalism is seen by many as one of the most “Satanic” forms of government and although I agree, it doesn’t make it good. It doesn’t mean that we can set aside our responsibilities for ourselves and believe everything we hear on the news, at the dinner table, or even within our own minds—since we often make decisions based on what we say to ourselves and not what other people inject.
A few weeks ago I was tipped off about a new movie called “Dark Waters,” starring Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins, Bill Pullman, and several other wonderful actors. To those who aren’t aware of what the movie is about, consider it in a similar vein to “The Pelican Brief.” In the film Mark Ruffalo, who plays a Cincinnati lawyer, goes head to head against company DuPont over a chemical compound manufactured during the Manhattan Project to waterproof tanks. Flash forward to the modern era: the compound is now used in domestic products that you have in your home this very moment such as nonstick finishes on your cookware, protective sealants on your furniture and carpet, and of course, any jacket that brags that it is water resistant. The movie is based in truth and the story is told much in a similar way as “Spotlight,” a film I advocate with heavy sincerity to anyone who will hear it. In the same way that “Spotlight,” was based on the exposé by the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team, “Dark Waters” was based from the New York Times article, The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare.
The content of the movie would probably make most people categorize it as a conspiracy theory if they had any unfounded faith in corporate America, but as the film revealed details about the case, my heart sunk. One part that particularly stands out was that when their product was found to cause birth defects, the company took all of the young women off the Teflon line. They didn’t share any explanation to the girls. Now, bear in mind here, this is the 60s. I can’t fathom that the young women would want to question their employer because they didn’t have the same sort of power that we women have today in the workplace (thank-you, sisters of the 70s, 80s, and 90s!). DuPont, accuses the movie, didn’t explain and the girls didn’t ask—until one of them had a child with birth defects. The movie (and subsequent documentary I went on to watch called “The Devil We Know”) mentioned that after denying to the young woman that the chemical had caused the birth defects, women were suddenly put back on the Teflon line, again without explanation. Looking at this with a corporate mindset, I can imagine what happened behind the closed doors in full color with 5.0 Dolby Digital Surround Sound. I imagine that once it was realized that the compound was dangerous that people tried to do the right thing: take the vulnerable people out of imminent danger. If you’ve never been a part of corporate America you might think, ‘Why not stop making the product all together!’ This isn’t how companies think, though. They’ve sunk costs into developing the product, and every Friday they are responsible for paying everyone who works there. I can imagine that in DuPont’s perspective, they’ll have had this product out for just over a year, and to suddenly admit that it’s too dangerous to be on the market (or even too hazardous to be safely produced) is going to result in company collapse. It could result in lawsuits, it could result in layoffs, it could result in defaulting on credit lines, it could result in the end of a future for the industrial machine that makes money and puts bread on the table for thousands of people in West Virgina. DuPont didn’t want that nightmare to unfold. All it could think to do then was pretend that it never happened. Companies are made up of people and companies want to survive just like any person wants to.
Unfortunately for DuPont, their secret is out. It’s out along with a raw exposure of how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) falls short of protecting the environment when it matters, and it’s not the first time that we’ve heard that tune. It’s a dark echo of the Food and Drug Association (FDA)’s failure to protect the American people from the dangers of Monsanto and Conagra’s “Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO).” No, this tragic story isn’t unique, which additionally in itself is tragic. From here most will immediately direct their anger toward the companies that have duped them. Reality didn’t match their expectations. Most people want convenience and safety, and the anger stems from the loss of security and the despair that they have been harmed in some way by an entity who they once believed were their friend. However, it is what follows next may be the most important part.
My wife, also a Satanist, decided to look for more information after the movie and read to me from her glossy screen, “It says that we only have to worry about it if we have products from before 2014.” A moment of silence fell between us, we exhaled, rolled our eyes, and shook our heads. What would you do? Would you return to trust a company that claimed that they had the ability to do the right thing but chose not to? If it really was safe, why would they wait until 2014 to make the transition? Certainly, it could be the same sort of situation as what happened with McDonalds at the premier of “SuperSize Me,” where the SuperSize option magically vanished a few months before debut of the film. It could be financially driven: maybe they didn’t want to put the money into designing another compound until they were pressured to do so. It’s possible. It’s equally possible though that they only modified their compound enough that they could call it something different, just like how counterfeiters and illegal drug labs will do the same thing in order to evade modern tests for products. I really don’t know, but we ask this: what incentive would they have to make this substantial change now, without broad announcement and fanfare, when they could have quietly done it back when they first tried to do the right ethical thing in the 60s?
Capitalism, whether you believe it or not, is democratic. We vote with our dollar. It may not seem like much, but it’s the easiest ballot you will ever cast, and you get to make it to the tune of 35,000 times per year (or about 70k average per household). Every purchase you make is in the language of corporate America. They look at data of where sales are, how much they are, when they are, who’s buying—they look at a plethora of traits of a purchase and they use that data to manufacture more profits in the foreseeable future. If they notice they are lacking a certain demographic, they ask why and attempt to cater to that demographic.
Our family will not be purchasing nonstick pans in the future and the beautiful nonstick pans that we got at our wedding will be removed with a heavy heart even though I do think they’re a pain in the ass. I love a good scouring because it’s a good place for me get my energy out and some meals stain the nonstick pans anyway. I knew beforehand that I couldn’t scratch the surface or I’d risk poisoning the food, but all in all, especially with this new information, I don’t see why I need to purposefully subject myself to its hazard when it’s not even that convenient in the first place. This is a permanent decision. How many nonstick pans do people go through in their lifetime? How many people are like us in our decision to purchase stainless steel pans? DuPont will know the reason for its decrease in sales, and so will its competition. Even if we don’t trust DuPont again, we are sending a loud warning to the rest of the industry: don’t fuck up like DuPont did, or the same will happen to you.
I do expect that we have purchased products which are dangerous to our health, despite our current belief that they aren’t harmful. It seems like every few years science flip flops back and forth about if eggs are trying to kill me or if they’re so good for me that I should have them every day for the rest of my life. I don’t know if someday my cell phone will give me cancer or if my laptop is going to make me infertile. I’ve heard theories about the dangers of products, but I can only do my best to protect myself in this large world of competing information. I recognize that I don’t have all the facts, and I support those whistleblowers and journalists who bring them to the surface. I appreciate them so much that I considered subscribing to the New York Times and Boston Globe just to support the good work they are doing with these exposes and disseminating critical information to the American public. It wouldn’t be the first time that I considered throwing money at something as a thank-you: I did it with the Church of Satan as well, and that’s a story for another time. For now, focus on what information you have before you in this present moment.
You are responsible for yourself, not industrial or corporate America, and certainly not me. Others may be satisfied by the new information set out by DuPont about their new compound being safer, but I think back to that example from the Corn Refiner’s Association I used in the past, and I won’t be fooled twice. We can all only make decisions based on information is available to us at the time and given this new credible information about the larger issue, these Satanists are throwing in the towel on Teflon. I expect that we will continue to make mistakes in trusting the wrong people moving forward, but an ounce of common sense is worth a pound of prevention…and we all know an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Who is the Witch?
I'm just another successful Satanist who happens to be kinda good at the whole Lesser Magic thing. This blog is about my personal experiences and perspective in Satanism and does not speak for others nor their experiences. For more information please click here and learn more.