Quite by accident, I've been reading a lot of stories about righteous people who do wrong things for what they believe are right reasons. Some of these people reap the consequences of their decisions, and some do not. Some see the error of their choices, and a very few go on blindly believing that nobody else really understands, only they can see that they are right, and only they are able to interpret what is true.The religion of my childhood referred to itself as "The Truth." As a child, I trusted in everything that implied, up to and including believing that there could be only one truth, and not realizing that there are many such groups who call themselves by those precise words. In "The Truth," there are many rules, and the less thinking one does, the more following is possible. People act like they are happy when they choose not to think. But the truth is not "The Truth," and acting is not the same as being. Among the many rules in my particular "Truth," were rules regarding whom could teach, and whom could lead. There were rules governing relationships, permitted and proscribed activities, gender roles, clothing, and possessions, just as there is conformism in every society, to a greater or lesser degree. In my "Truth," to the greater degree, there were also rules regarding treatment of those who did not keep to the other rules, as well as instruction to repudiate any succumbed to "independent thinking."Koriba, the mundumugu - a witch doctor and spiritual counselor - tries to hold his people, in the Utopia he helped to create, to unreasoning rules and tradition which do not allow for personal growth and change, and prevent cultural progress. His reasons are clearly in protection of what he thinks is perfect justice and ideal society, but he forgets to love the people in loving the ideas. The stories are brilliant in their execution.These stories hurt my heart, but they are cathartic too. I lived in my own Kirinyaga. I know what it means to walk to Haven.