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Richard Jackson’s amazing Long Reads touches on corruption of the Vatican bank, the violence of Dr Dre and the power of writing to overcome war crimes.
An extract from Paul Vallely’s upcoming book, Untying the Knots – The Struggle for the Soul of Catholicism, which focuses on Pope Francis’ attempts to clean up the Vatican bank, which surprise surprise is a bastion of corruption. It’s a real credit to Vallely’s writing that he is able to make financial issues readable, as he unpacks the history of the Vatican’s misuse of money dating back to the Second World War. Some would say that the church’s misuse of money was morally bankrupt! Wayhey! Hit that drum, Paul Shaffer!
I know the name Dee Barnes from the song Guilty Conscience. “You gonna take advice from somebody who slapped Dee Barnes?”, Eminem raps about Dr Dre. Turns out that wasn’t just a song lyric and that it kind of glosses over what actually happened, as Dee Barnes here recounts being beaten “mercilessly on the floor of the women’s restroom at the Po Na Na Souk nightclub in 1991.”
The story of Ron Capps, a veteran who worked for the US State Department and served in pretty much every conflict of the last 20 years: Rwanda, Darfur, Kosovo, the Congo, Afghanistan and Iraq. The violence and death he witnessed led to such a level of anxiety that he could barely function – and to an eventual diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He almost committed suicide. After quitting, he fell back into writing, which he has since used as a recovery method, finding that expunging his past is cathartic. He has since formed the Veterans’ Writing Project to help others, as the article quotes:
“Writing helped Capps gain control of his mind and brought stability to his life. The more he wrote about his struggles, the more manageable they became. He was no longer sobbing in the middle of the day or paralyzed by flashbacks. If writing could do this for him, he thought, it might do the same for other veterans”.