The American Intellectual Suicide Rate

Doctor and Patient looking

I want to share something I read that was the catalyst and fundamental idea behind launching the American Serf Shop.

It comes from one of my favorite books, Four Trojan Horses of Humanism by Harry Conn. I met Mr. Conn in the early 1990s, and his message has stayed with me all these years. 

The piece is named “Liberal Vignette,” and tells the story of a man who thinks he is dead. His concerned wife and friends send him to a doctor, who decides to cure him by convincing him of the simple truth that dead men do not bleed.


He puts his patient to work reading medical texts and observing autopsies. After weeks of effort, the patient finally says, "All right, all right! You have me convinced. Dead men don't bleed." Whereupon the doctor strikes him in the arm with a needle, and blood flows. 


The man looks down with a contorted face and cries, "Good grief! Dead men bleed after all!"

If one holds to unproven theories with sufficient tenacity, the truth will make no difference at all. -Harry Conn

You will be able to create a world all on your own, wholly unrelated to reality and totally untouchable by the truth.


Such a condition is comparable to the man who believed he was dead. Facts won’t change his view; therefore, his condition becomes equivalent to death because the connection with the living world is severed. 


He had committed intellectual suicide, and dead men don’t think!


After I read this, a thought came to mind: I wonder what the intellectual suicide rate is these last four years. My thought after reading this piece went immediately to something Joe Biden at the Iowa State Fair said, "we choose truth over facts."

Four Trojan Horses Book by Harry Conn

Birds of a feather flock together I guess because during the vice presidential debate, VP Mike Pence had to correct VP-Elect Kamala Harris after a historically inaccurate account of an Abraham Lincoln story. He told her, "You're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.


Here is one of the main reasons the American Serf Shop came to be:

The greatest problem we have in the United States isn't ignorance, it’s believing things and concepts that aren’t true

We exist as a community to revisit the truths we once held as self-evident, and push back the unrelenting rebranding of our country that has caused countless intellectual suicides. 


And with God's help, we can bring dead men back to life.