An Illustrated History of Slavic Misery: Murderous Drunks and Heinous Nuns

Posted on January 21, 2014

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During all of my research into the country of Macedonia, the spectre of Greece and Bulgaria has loomed large. Pretty much all of the figures detailed can be claimed by Greece, or by Bulgaria, or by god knows what other nationality. Indeed, possibly the two most famous people from Macedonia have nothing to do with the modern Slavic nation itself. They are Alexander the Great and Mother Teresa. Alexander was an Ancient Macedon military leader, and Teresa an ethnic Albanian nun. We’ve all heard of Alexander the Great and Mother Teresa, two figures of eastern civilization that are adored and beautified in the west. Their achievements are frequently espoused, and they often held up high as two of the most inspiring and influential monoliths in history.

But are we right to hold them in such high esteem? Was Alexander really a beacon of modernity in uncivilized times? Was Teresa the selfless helper of the sick that gained our hearts through her years of self inflicted poverty in India? Is there more to them than meets our western-leaning eyes? The answer, quite obviously, is yes, otherwise this part wouldn’t even exist. Let’s have a look at the real Alexander the Great, and the real Mother Teresa, starting with little old Alex.

Alexander the Great realistically holds a similar position in history to Napoleon, a figure that straddles the good and the bad. His ability as a military commander is not up for debate. Much like Genghis Khan and Napoleon, he introduced various ideas and measures that led to the advancement of warfare. He was a strategist of unparalleled greatness during his time. Despite this, his misdemeanour’s don’t garner much attention, despite their juice and size.

They start with the plight of his father, Philip II. Philip managed to drag Macedonia from so-so regional area to the position of a great military power. He afforded Alexander great luxury, even appointing the great Greek philosopher Aristotle as his personal tutor. When Philip headed off to invade Thrace, Alexander was left at home to rule Macedonia, a huge responsibility at the age of 16. The problems in the family began however when Philip remarried, to a lady called Cleopatra. At the wedding itself, Cleo’s uncle made a reference to the time being right for a true Macedonian heir to be born, of pure Macedonian blood. Alex didn’t really like this however, seeing himself as the true heir. He was suitably miffed, and threw his drink over the uncle. In defence of his new brides family, Philip drew his sword and charged at Alex, but managed to only trip over his own feet in a drunken stupor. Alex famously remarked;

‘Here is the man ready to cross from Europe to Asia, but he cannot cross from one table to another without losing his balance’

Witty, I’ll agree, but it didn’t make Alex any friends in the court. He had to flee. He was able to plan his revenge however, and his revenge would come in the form of the assassination of his own father. Now, Alex didn’t perform the deed by hand however, leaving that to a peasant by the name of Pausanias, but history is convinced that Alex himself was behind the murder. Indeed, Pausanias was killed shortly after in order to keep him quiet on the movers behind his action, and Alexander III took over the throne shortly afterwards.

That wasn’t the end of his close killing however. One of his great friends was a man who went by the name of Cleitus the Black, and he would meet his own downfall a few years later. Cleitus was the brother of Alexander’s personal nurse, and Alex considered him close enough to be a brother. Indeed, Cleitus once saved Alex’s life at the Battle of Granicus. Alex was a moment away from being sliced, before Cleitus intervened with the greatest timing and sliced off the would-be killers arm. Alex fainted, and Cleitus protected his body until the cavalry could arrive. Cleitus would remind Alex of this as he was being ended himself. As Alex grew more and more power hungry, Cleitus acted as a sort of sobering influence, trying to keep the powerful leader on the right path, sometimes successful and sometimes not. His final attempt was most certainly unsuccessful though.

Everything came to a head during a particularly big drinking session. Alex had a tendency to brag, and at this particular time he was bragging immensely about his military prowess as if it was a one man show, as if the army and his fathers achievements were mere side shows to the Alex episodes. Cleitus reminded Alex that the victories of Philip came at greater risk, and could be argued to be greater than those of Alex. The argument escalated and became petty, with Cleitus even insulting Alex’s get up. Alex threw an apple at Cleitus. A scuffle ensued, and it all ended with Alex putting a spear through his friend, fatally. Immediately realising what he had done, many sources say that Alex attempted to end his own life there and then. Others say that he was so power-mad at this point that he saw it as just another notch. Either way, Alex murdered his best friend, and thats pretty shitty. From this moment on, Alex was immensely feared by all around him.

He didn’t hold much back with the cities he conquered either. After conquering the great city of Persepolis, he ordered it to be razed to the ground because it refused to surrender quickly enough. One of the great mis-ideas of history is that Alexander brought civilization to the Persian Empire by conquering it. The truth is, however, that the Persian Empire was worth conquering precisely because of its advancement. It was a rich prize, a land that was greatly admired in the west. It is precisely because of his harsh treatment of conquered lands and setting back of eastern culture that he is seen in the east in a similar vein to how we view Genghis Khan.

Little Alex was obsessed with power, immensely cruel to his soldiers and unthinkably harsh to his slaves. He became convinced that Zeus, not Philip was his father. He murdered his cousin and any of his close rivals. He enslaved hundreds of thousands of women and children. When a friend died, he liquidated a nearby town in order to accommodate the friends ghost. He certainly was the Euro Genghis.

Which brings us to little old Mother Teresa. Sweet, old, harmless and loving Mother Teresa. Born Anjeze Gonxhe Bojaxhiu (I’ve no idea how to pronounce that), she was famous for spending her entire lifetime helping those in need, for opening clinic after clinic in her adopted home of Calcutta (India) and spreading the word of Catholicism to the world. She selflessly devoted her life to ministering the poorest of the poor in the slums, suffering deprivation and desperate poverty all in the name of God. She was beloved by millions worldwide. Supposedly. Without sounding crass, Mother Teresa may very well end up becoming a watch word for hypocrisy.

Let’s look at her clinics first and foremost. Rather than providing a place for the sick to get treatment and get better, they merely provided people with a place to suffer and die. They were essentially misery clinics. Many who visited weren’t terminally ill, just malnourished and in need of treatment. Teresa wasn’t interested in treatment however. In fact, she saw suffering as beneficial to her work. The little treatment that was provided in her clinics was desperately unsanitary, despite the millions that were thrown at her by shady figures the world over. She kept her clinics barren and austere, used needles were merely rinsed and re-used. She didn’t provide even the most minimum comfort or pain management. They were literally just places to go and die. One famous incident was that of a cancer patient who was dying in extreme pain. Teresa remarked;

‘You are suffering like Christ on the cross. Jesus must be kissing you.’

Unsurprisingly, the patient begged for Jesus to stop kissing them.

Indeed, it seemed that the only remedy or medicine available at Teresa’s death factories was prayer. Despite prayer not curing a single individual in the history of recorded anything, it was the only thing on offer in the Teresa backed clinics of Calcutta. However, when Teresa herself was unwell and in need of help, it seemed that prayer wasn’t going to be enough to help her. No, off she flew to hospitals around the world, in search of the best medical attention money could buy. It seemed Christ’s kisses weren’t going to be enough for her ailments.

The millions of dollars that flew into her bank accounts in London, New York and god knows where else also came from various questionable sources. The most famous of these was the $1 million donation received from renowned Wall Street criminal Charles Keating. When Keating was charged and prosecuted, Teresa herself sent a plea for clemency to the presiding judge. The prosecutor then asked her to return Keating’s donation as it was stolen from small investors and depositors. She decided against this. She received millions from the awfully corrupt Duvalier dictatorships of Haiti, and even laid a wreath on the grave of long time Albanian bastard Enver Hoxha. There was never any accounting of the millions she received. Sometimes you can judge a person by the friends they choose.

She also travelled the world lobbying and rallying against abortion, contraception and even divorce, despite all the evidence in the world in favour of all three. She famously said that AIDs was ‘just retribution for improper sexual conduct‘. When accepting her Nobel Peace Prize in 1973, she remarked that abortion was the greatest threat to peace in the entire world. Of course, no one is really sure why she received the Nobel Peace Prize, but it’s an irrelevant prize anyway. Her words however, carry weight.

In slight fairness, Mother Teresa is just a figurehead and face to put to the violence and hypocrisy of Catholicism as a religion. She was a saint who supposedly dedicated her life to helping the poor without ever stopping to think about or address the reasons why they were poor in the first part. She encouraged poverty, and slept in bed with wealth. Again, the perfect poster child for Catholicism.

Maybe Macedonia should think about distancing itself from these two adopted icons. There must be better things from their history, and there has to be better things in their future.

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