Epstein Fatigue … Where’s Dostoevsky?

Alyosha and Ivan (Brothers Karamazov)

by Roger L. Simon

Have we had enough of the revelations of the Jeffrey Epstein documents yet?

I know I have.

I have already learned more than enough, and I pretty much knew it all before anyway.

And what was that?

Who are the immoral hypocrites in our society?

Answer: Practically everyone rich and famous you can think of in our culture from Hollywood to politics, to big business, to academia and science—even Stephen Hawking!

Barely anyone has escaped and who knows?

This is not a pretty picture. In fact, it’s extremely ugly since intimations of pedophilia are involved.

That used to be the crime of crimes, called “short eyes” in jail because other prisoners regarded pederasts as the lowest of the low and often killed them.

Apparently, no longer.

Few of us have lived perfect lives, but what we are learning here is well beyond the pale, in some ways light-years beyond the pale.

So where does that leave us?

Back, I would suggest, with the famous question broached by Fyodor Dostoevsky in “The Brothers Karamazov”:

“If God did not exist, would everything be permissible?”

Translations and interpretations of this dialog from Ivan Karamazov, including whether it is an interrogatory, vary, but the general idea is clear.

That the denizens of Epstein’s island, not to mention, for the most part, his travel companions on his private plane, behaved as if He didn’t exist is also clear.

These people further seemed to have no interest in the famous wager of the 17th Century French mathematician Blaise Pascal “that it is in one’s best interest to believe in the existence of God, as it is a rational assumption and does no harm, and the possibility of eternal punishment in hell outweighs any advantage of believing otherwise.”

Nor did they demonstrate any fear of the bad karma, coming back as an insect or worse, such behavior would engender in the Buddhist tradition, despite various meditation classes they regard as helping them be more successful in a competitive world.

Having worked among some of these people up close during my many years in Hollywood, I can say the existence of God, whether they think of Him as dead, in the Nietzschean tradition, or just ignore the question, is not something that is considered.

I’m sure Bill Clinton doesn’t worry about it—well, maybe, until now.

Not uncoincidentally, I am doing some radio and television interviews for my new book—“American Refugees”—about the many who have moved from blue to red states.

One of the final chapters that interviewers seem to bring up because it interests them is called “Steeples.” It recounts how surprised I was when I moved to Nashville how many steeples (churches, of course) were around, almost on every corner, and how it affected me.

It encouraged me to examine my more-or-less secular past and the emptiness of that, and ultimately has made me more religious in my own faith.

The repellent, actually nauseating, behavior exhibited in the Epstein documents has doubled, or maybe tripled, this.

First published in the Epoch Times