Ogre or Blind


In the city around us thereís a separate world. A world of ogres, blind people and victims. The ogres are squalid delinquents who exploit children. The blind people are us. Us when we turn away to the other side. The victims are children of five/eight/ten years old who are begging at the traffic lights.

Or they are playing the fiddle and too ashamed to ask for money, have their eyes towards the ground. Children who are beaten if they donít collect a few hundred Euro a day. Children obliged to steal. Imported into Italy to sell themselves publicly on the streets.

Once upon a time, on seeing a child on his own, in difficulty, we would give him a hand. We would ask his name. We would take him to the town hall, to the police, to the church. We would offer him a sweet, an ice cream, a hug.

Between the blind people and the delinquents thereís a fine line. A very fine line. Itís not easy to grasp.
In Milan, in front of a cemetery, the Musocco, the children from the East are low price merchandise. Itís certainly thanks to globalisation. Once upon a time they cost more and the risks were greater. Now itís all much easier and more convenient. Itís not necessary to go abroad to have the pleasures of the flesh. In a few years weíll be able to order them at home.

Today I want to publicise a number: 114, for child emergency. If you witness abuse of a child, donít turn away, but telephone 114. Do it for yourself, not just for the children. Youíll feel better afterwards.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 12:13 AM in | Comments (36)
Post a comment | Sign up | Send to a friend | | GrilloNews | TrackBack (0) |
View blog opinions


And in the midlle of this madness,children,womens,old people,the defendeless are still killed,Jesus Christ,Allah and the like,are turning in their grave seeing what is happening in their names, and the messagge "love one another" is not practised by religious people on all side,yes I think people are getting fed up with religions,they are on the way out,my theory,God is in my heart, I do not need any therd party,to intervine ,between the two of us,:-))

Posted by: evakulnurae | September 16, 2006 11:44 PM

Alex, you are 100% correct!!
It is all a game of diplomacy and the "joy stick"
is religion....?
The Pope gave "explanations" which were "rejected"....and the game goes on....

In the name of God the Crusaders massacred thousands and thousands of people, in the name of God and his Prophet Allah( who appeared 600 years after Christ) people are still massacred...I don't see much difference....:o(

Posted by: paola filinesi | September 16, 2006 07:51 PM

Paola, to be honest... I don't know if B-16 did it on purpose. If he did, I think he's playing a dangerous game.

Not because the others are right. But because they are quite dangerous fanatics.

To me, it's like if the two groups were fighting over whether Cinderella is better than Little Red Hood.

And they might even push the world into World War 3 in the process!

Sheer madness!!!

Posted by: Alex | September 16, 2006 05:51 PM

Do you think that the Pope's remarks were unintentional???
Do you think that the Malaysian and Turkish reaction are unintentional???
No political or financial benefits behind them??

I can assure you nothing is happening out or religious belief...religion and faith are being used in the worst possible way to the advantage of politics...: o (

I find more and more people sharing you thoughts and I believe this is very encouraging!!!

Posted by: paola filinesi | September 16, 2006 05:43 PM


I share your same values--which I associate with a civilized society.

I do not see the connection with believing in some superior entity.

Of course, everyone should be free to believe or not to believe. I think most atheists do not have a problem with people who believe. Unfortunately, things do not always work the other way around.

And this is where I see the biggest threat.

A good example is the fury over the pope's remarks. It may well all be true, but that's pretty bad diplomacy, if you ask me. And even worse timing.

But it's sheer madness that we should worry about violent retaliations over someone's remarks.

So, I see religion as causing a lot more damage than good. In fact, I see very little good at all--and even that little is costing society a lot more than it otherwise would.



Posted by: Alex | September 16, 2006 01:42 PM


Yes, as you said, the power of religions lies in organization. That is why I said that I am more for a personal religion based on faith (call it what you like).

To quote an example: I am sure many can find Christ even without going to Church. You can choose to follow Christ's teachings by helping others, seminating good, not being afraid to be critical of things that go against your principles, being honest, etc. No need to go to Church to do that.

You are obliged to go to Church for Communion, though, and Confession, for those who want to confess because you require the services of a priest or friar. (The confession bit is what irks me most, but that is way OT, something to discuss somewhere else.)

Anyway, in short, Faith is very personal. It stems from the mind and the heart, you have to resolve personally whether to embrace a faith or not have one at all.

Organized religion is another matter, very complex and hierarchical, with lots and lots of money pumped in, the use of which we hardly ever get to know.

Posted by: Joselle Camilleri | September 16, 2006 12:36 PM

To the Roman Marzio Curzio Ponzio... you can choose to believe or not to believe, you can be as rational as you want. Faith is a very personal question. To believe in an energy of goodness, call it what you like, God, Buddha, Krishna, Siddhartha, Force Of Goodness, Positive Energy... that does not stop you being rational.

And well, while being rational with numbers, faith goes beyond that. Faith embeds our values and qualities. No need for mathematics there.

Posted by: Joselle Camilleri | September 16, 2006 12:26 PM

Alex, Our friend, very practical and down to earth as always...: o))
Religion and children...two issues that we have managed to combine here because of compassion and money; two things that are both "handled" by the church....And I do stress the word "both" because I believe they are separate...
We could carry on and on for ages and we will never reach an agreement about the usefulness or not of religion/church but I am sure we'll all agree on one point, that "exceptions DO NOT make the rule" and church funds are mismanaged and scarcely used for the purpose they are raised.

However,as Joselle said,the original post was not about the church and religion,sexually abused children are still an issue and as long as there is a market for them, abuse will never stop....

Posted by: paola filinesi | September 15, 2006 08:53 PM


I think the power of religions lays in the organization, not in the single individuals.

Of course, there are "bad apples" and good ones there, as in everywhere. But the relevance of religion is at a higher level--as organizations.

Posted by: Alex | September 15, 2006 03:18 PM

Faith and Reason

One doesn't need faith to believe that 1+1=2. While it takes a lot of faith to see that 1+1=3.

Why believe things that require faith and the negation of reason?

What's the point of believing that 1+1=3?

Posted by: Marzio Curzio Porzio | September 15, 2006 02:37 PM

Alex, I agree in part with what you say about religions. What is absolutely condemnable is the brainwashing that takes place as to what the role of religions should be.

Historically speaking, there have always been wars fought in the name of religion, whether it was the Spread of Islam, the Crusades, Reformation and Protestantism, etc. What is absolutely grave is the face that many do not differentiate between Faith and Organized Religion. I am for the first, and not much for the second, especially since all Organized Religions have had a long track of blemishes.

Naturally, when I spoke in defence of the vast majority of good priests, I was keeping in mind, first and foremost, the priests who work in small communities in outlandish parishes; the communities of friars spread all over the world who work with people, even people in hardship, and often suffering hardship themselves.

I was not speaking about the henchmen of the Hierarchy, those who are comfortably numb, so to speak, up there in power some of whom, most of the times, appear untouched by the reality out there.

Being a village priest with all the difficulties surrounding you and, apparently alone, makes everything seem lonelier still. But, of course, if you believe and have faith, you are never alone.



Again, the whole issue arose because someone on this blog mentioned the priests. Yet, we ALL know that some paedophiles are people with perverted and disturbed personalities, apparently harmless but who could be anything from simple workers to executives, bankers, teachers, lawyers, doctors, engineers, professionals of all kinds... I just wanted to get that right with the original poster.

Posted by: Joselle Camilleri | September 15, 2006 12:52 PM

Well, the conversation seemed to have come to a halt.

Violence on children is not a joke at all. Nor are religions.

In fact, I see religions as the worst threat to mankind.

(I guess I will not win many friends by expressing this opinion...)

Posted by: Alex | September 15, 2006 12:33 PM

This is importan issue,I tought you were joking about,if so I do not find this funny,if not my apologies ,ciao

Posted by: evakulnura | September 15, 2006 12:27 PM

Amen is what is usually said at the end, no?


Posted by: Alex | September 15, 2006 11:59 AM

Alex,what do you mean with Amen?!

Posted by: evakulnura | September 15, 2006 10:20 AM


Posted by: Alex | September 14, 2006 04:29 PM

Astolfio,if can make you feel better,here in australia,anybody that works with children,including coachs from clubs like soccer and ect.,have to be register and have a police check,before they are allow to work,any volunter have to sign in at school, in a special book,and they are not allow to be alone with children,at any time,school and preschool have in place (age appropiate and understanding)a child protection program,for example in preschools kids learn about good and bad touching,of course all of this is just the beginning it wan't solve the problems,but it a start.ciao

Posted by: evakulnura | September 13, 2006 11:40 PM

Do not focus your arguments solely on the Church, Astolfio. True, the Church as represented is as secretive as any Masonic Lodge. There are many intrigues that are best kept hidden from us mortal and lesser beings.

We all know that the Church exerts its own social control, but when I spoke of the Church, I was referring more to the individuals who work within the Church and who help the poor. I know a lot of them who, together with professionals, do invaluable work in Kenya, Gabon, Sudan, Chad, South America, Puerto Rico, etc. The work of these missions, together with that of missions from other Christian denominations is not to be taken slightly.

The topic Beppe started spoke of abuse in general, especially that type of abuse which, perhaps, some of us see only partially because it is a tip of the iceberg we get to see. The children who beg, who insist on washing your windscreen, who pest you in buying tissues or car air-freshener.

Besides, some of the shelters offered to the homeless and the disadvantaged are run by the Churches [any Christian church in general]. I am sure that some of the money collected really does go to these services.

It is true that the Church hides its real richness in terms of pounds, shillings and pence BUT tell me honestly, has any politician ever declared the truth about his income and assets? That will be the day when we, honest taxpaying citizens, get to know what the people we have put in power have accumulated in riches and investments... perhaps we will finally see the light of day and realize why every politician fights dearly to hold his/her seat in Parliament.

Posted by: Joselle Camilleri | September 13, 2006 11:39 PM

The difference is that the schools or the hospitals do not help the rapers.

Posted by: Astolfio Quintrugli | September 13, 2006 08:45 PM

I agree with Astolfio.
The catholic church is very powerful and with interests and businness in the whole world. Sure, they are doing also good things, but, as usual, we must distinguish between the "institution" Church and the individual persons. The institution is bad, the individuals may be good and bad, like everybody else too. I know there are priests who are making a goog job in the third world, helping poor populations, building schools and hospitals, looking after abandoned and undernourished children, but they are not THE CHURCH, they are only good guys who are working by the church.

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | September 13, 2006 08:35 PM

I have been following this thread about the church with great interest and I find both your arguments very logical.
Joselle has a point there when she says that the Church is doing some good work although it could do much much better...
Astolfio, you are talking about the Catholic Church but I can assure you that most other Churches (Orthodox, Eastern, Evangelical, etc) operate in the same manner...Unfortunately Churches do not represent a belief any more, churches are institutions and as such they are after profits.
Now, if there are some pedophilias among the priests it should make so much impression as much as those school teachers who sexually molest their students, or psychiatrists who rape their patients...

Posted by: paola filinesi | September 13, 2006 05:16 PM

If the catholic church really did use its money for good deeds, it would have no reason to keep its finances secret. Yet, they are. No one, except the pope and a selected few cardinals, know what's going on in the IOR (the Vatican's central bank), for example.

If the catholic church really did use its money for good deeds, it would publish how the money it collects is spent and it would have its accounts certified. Yet, it doesn't.

What's there for everyone to see is that the church indulges in luxury, that it spends tons of money on lawyers to defend the criminals in its fold and attack the victims, that it has been involved in unholy businesses with the mafia... just to name a few.

The good is mostly hype.
While the bad, unfortunately, is all real.

Posted by: Astolfio Quintrugli | September 13, 2006 04:43 PM

Quite true, I am aware of that. There are many things the Church hides, but what is important is that we, as Christians, Catholics, whatever we may be, are not afraid to talk about it.

The Church is afraid of losing power if it exposes its "dirty laundry" in public.

There are many debates about what is going wrong with the church, amongst them the vote of chastity which, according to many, is definitely one of the reasons why many in priesthood become frustrated. Yet, look also at the work and the good things the Church has done.

We tend to focus a lot on the negative things, and forget the good deeds. Some perverted individuals do not constitute the whole body of the Church.

Posted by: Joselle Camilleri | September 13, 2006 03:41 PM

Paedophile priests have systematically been protected by the catholic church.

Posted by: Astolfio Quintrugli | September 13, 2006 02:00 PM

Astolfio, I know what you are trying to mean though remember, MOST priests are NOT paedophiles. Paedophilia has other roots, even amongst some of the most established, well-known and admired professionals who, because they know how to hide their tracks, never get caught.

I assure you, the honest and genuine priest will have no problem talking to Beppe about the issue. Child trafficking has become the order of the day because the very countries from where these children are taken are doing practically very little to protect them in the first place. And we should do everything, then, to ensure that no further exploitation or damage takes place.

We Europeans love so much speaking of dignity, integrity, values and moral issues. The effort must be concerted and taken up by all and sundry in order to defend the defenceless, whoever they are and wherever they may be.

Posted by: Joselle Camilleri | September 13, 2006 12:53 PM

Girls you cover most of what I like to say on the matterer,how feel, is a shame how kids in general are treated those days,either in the 3 world countrys,(sex slave, free labour,soldiers in africa) and in the western countrys,there's not enought protection for them,not enough is done in general, it make me sick,just thinking about!

Posted by: evakulnura | September 13, 2006 12:33 AM


After this post about children and paedophiles, will the priests still talk to Beppe?

Posted by: Astolfio Quintrugli | September 12, 2006 11:16 PM

I agree with both of you Raffa and Joselle,
but I do believe that minds AND laws should be changed in order to able to succeed something....

Posted by: paola filinesi | September 12, 2006 11:08 PM

I can understand the drug addict bit and the police avoiding involvement, even if I do not agree whatsoever with such an attitude, but where the persons concerned are children, there should be no excuses at all.

Children have fundamental rights that are inviolable and these rights form part of every civilized country's constitution... Children have a right to a home, to nurture, to security and safety, to SAFE shelter and, because they are defenceless, they have to be protected.

AND, all that being said, if this attitude of "it does not concern me" persists, then, I am sorry to say, we are living in a callous and undermining state which tantamounts to barbarism.

Posted by: Joselle Camilleri | September 12, 2006 08:41 PM

In this matter (violence against children) it's not enough to change laws and constitutions, we must change the minds!

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | September 12, 2006 06:43 PM

Guilty silence it is,no doubt about that, but because Joselle mentioned police's indiference when seeing small children wipping carwindows and do nothing about it....I could add to it that when I saw a drug addict falling in front of me on the side walk and the police car was just a few meters away,I asked them why don't you peak him up and help him their answer was:
Help how madam??
We cannot take him to a hospital because we are not authorized to do so;
We cannot take him to prison because we haven't caught him in the act of administering the drug;
We cannot put him in jail because we cannot press charges without violating his personal freedom right,since he is not hurting anybody else but himself and...besides prisons are full and there is nothing done....
So as I see it, the whole consitution should change before anything could be done,and changing consitutional laws is not something that is done so easily not by Beppe not by the whole population of each country...:o(

Posted by: paola filinesi | September 12, 2006 03:38 PM

The problem, very often, is that there are "hidden" realities that are simply unknown by many and ignored by some.

Child abuse, sexual violence, all these things are condemnable but the network is vast indeed, it is a very well worked cobweb which will continue to flourish unless the spider weaving it is caught.

Posted by: Joselle Camilleri | September 12, 2006 03:36 PM

Of course, Paola. In my opinion this Beppe's post is useful insofar as it's stimulating the discussion and the collective reflection about this theme, which is too often hidden behind a guilty silence.

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | September 12, 2006 03:15 PM

The problem of abused children and people in need is a lot bigger and the causes are much deeper that to be simply dealt by a telephone call....Who thinks that by dialing a 3 digit number can give even the remotest assistance to those children in need, is greatly mistaken.
So I find this article, as much as it is in good intention, at least naive...

Posted by: paola filinesi | September 12, 2006 02:49 PM

Hello Joselle!
I want to give to Beppe's post another interpretation. I know, he's talking about immigrant's and gypsie's children, but I would extend the matter to children on the whole.
I think there is no difference between the father in France you was telling about, the gypsy parents who send their children collecting money, the disgraceful asian parents who are selling their children as sex slaves in Milan, or the italian, english, french, american children who are victim of sexual abuses, violence, beating, neglecting in their own families, "normal" families.
The threads of these stories is the lack of respect and protection towards the weakers, children indeed.
Until the problem of children-begging, juvenile delinquency by immigrants and children prostitution will be mostly considered as a problem of public order, rather than as part of an everywhere widerspread lack of protection of our children, we'll ever be accomplices of this massacre of the innocents, even in our "normal" families.

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | September 12, 2006 01:35 PM

Dear Beppe,
I have to comment on this because there are few things you have overseen. True, these young children at the traffic lights, they really do impress me. As a mother, I would want to know where my son/daughter is. I would prefer to know he/she is at school learning something useful in life than doing the dirty work of some Don or Capo. Yet I have been told, often and often again, that behind these children lies a rather complex network of "malavita", the criminal hooks who'd suck your blood even for a dime.

Some parents themselves are often guilty of negligence and the thought that immediately comes to mind is to take the children away from abusive parents, or parents consenting to abuse. We have been seeing many gysies running around with children [and sometimes I wonder if these are REALLY their own flesh and blood], literally sprawling on pavements with new-borns and toddlers, asking for money, dressed shabbily and stinking with filth.

The worst thing is that I have NEVER EVER seen a Police patrol car stopping, taking information of these people. I have never seen a police officer taking these children off the streets. Like me, MANY have reported cases of ill-treatment, inhumane conditions and lack of nutrition, care and love towards these children and teenagers.

Many policemen or carabinieri simply IGNORE these people as they pass them by - what I am saying is true, not some figment of my imagination. Why, some boys even wash their windscreens!

Not all wash windscreens though. Some sell you kleenex and they pray mightily that many happen to have a cold or some malign form of flu that requires your use of many tissues. Others, especially women, pose as "victims" of the Kosovo war, claiming to have 3, 4, 5 or 6 kids and wanting money to feed them and clothe them. To one such woman I offered a job, to come home and do honest work to which she would have been justly paid - her answer was NO.

Don't think people do not try to help, but at the constant refusal of help offered, many simply give up and "survive" with the situation.

Mine is no condonation of what happens. On the contrary, I urge the Government to set up an Enforcement Unit to protect these victims. The moment that they are on Italian soil they are governed by Italian Law which, I am sure, is far more humane than most of the rules set up by the criminal clan to which these poor victims belong. For yes, victims are told that they are the property of someone, they are slaves and that to survive they have to obey the rules or else pay dearly for it.

Let me give you the gist of a particular incident in France: a father used to urge his son, aged 10, to feign being hit by a car. The boy would simply run at the last minute in front of a slowly moving car and then start yelling, falling, and saying he had been hit. The father would then come out and say that he was a witness of the accident in order to extort money from the drivers who were convinced that they did actually hit the boy. All until one day this man found a woman driver who insisted taking the boy to hospital for treatment because, on that particular occasion, the boy was bleeding. It ended up with this man stabbing the woman in her abdomen, murdering her, and then running away with his son who was losing blood profusely. The police did eventually find him but not his son who was being treated in hospital for a severe leg injury and infection resulting in a partial amputation of the leg.

Morale: a woman died for trying to protect that boy, the boy himself got partially disabled [because of all the injuries sustained] and the father was imprisoned. This was one case in particular but there are many similar and diverse cases that happen everyday about which we hear nothing.

This NIMBY [not in my backyard] syndrome is, unfortunately, due to fear of retaliation, or sheer indifference, or both. I still believe that a lot can be done in a concrete manner than what is already being done. More police in civilian clothes to patrol, arrest and, if necessary, assist victims AND, above all, more suitable structures and assistance to help children, victims of all sorts of violence and abuse, be it physical and/or psychological.

Posted by: Joselle Camilleri | September 12, 2006 12:12 PM

Post a comment

Beppe Grillo's Blog is an open space for you to use so that we can come face to face directly. As your comment is published immediately, there's no time for filters to check it out. Thus the Blog's usefulness depends on your cooperation and it makes you the only ones responsible for the content and the resulting outcomes.

Information to be read before using Beppe Grillo's Blog

The following are not allowed:
1. messages without the email address of the sender
2. anonymous messages
3. advertising messages
4. messages containing offensive language
5. messages containing obscene language
6. messages with racist or sexist content
7. messages with content that constitutes a violation of Italian Law (incitement to commit a crime, to violence, libel etc.)

However, the owner of the Blog can delete messages at any moment and for any reason.
The owner of the Blog cannot be held responsible for any messages that may damage the rights of third parties Maximum comment length is 2,000 characters.
If you have any doubts read "How to use the blog".

Post a comment (English please!)

First name and Surname*:

Email Address*:
We remind you that anonymous messages (without real first name and surname) will be cancelled.

* Compulsory fields

Send to a friend

Send this message to *

Your Email Address *

Message (optional)

* Compulsory fields