This is the heart of darkness.
Sex slaves. Sex trafficking. Secret societies. Powerful elites. Government corruption. Judicial cover-ups.
Once again, fact and fiction mirror each other.
Twenty years ago, Stanley Kubrick's final film Eyes Wide Shut provided viewing audiences with a sordid glimpse into a secret sex society that indulged the basest urges of its affluent members while preying on vulnerable young women. It is not so different from the real world, where powerful men, insulated from accountability, indulge their base urges.
These secret societies flourish, implied Kubrick, because the rest of us are content to navigate life with our eyes wide shut, in denial about the ugly, obvious truths in our midst.
This is how corruption by the power elite flourishes.
While Epstein's alleged crimes are heinous enough on their own, he is part of a larger narrative of how a culture of entitlement becomes a cesspool and a breeding ground for despots and predators.
It doesn't matter whether you're talking about a politician, an entertainment mogul, a corporate CEO or a police officer: give any one person (or government agency) too much power and allow him or her or it to believe that they are entitled, untouchable and will not be held accountable for their actions, and those powers will eventually be abused.
We're seeing this dynamic play out every day in communities across America.
Abuse of powerand the ambition-fueled hypocrisy and deliberate disregard for misconduct that make those abuses possibleworks the same whether you're talking about sex crimes, government corruption, or the rule of law.
For every Jeffrey Epstein (or Bill Clinton or Harvey Weinstein or Roger Ailes or Bill Cosby or Donald Trump) who eventually gets called out for his sexual misbehavior, there are hundredsthousandsof others in the American police state who are literally getting away with murder simply because they can.
Unless something changes in the way we deal with these ongoing abuses of power, the predators of the police state will continue to wreak havoc on our freedoms, our communities, and our lives.
And absolute power corrupts absolutely.
However, it takes a culture of entitlement and a nation of compliant, willfully ignorant, politically divided citizens to provide the foundations of tyranny.