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Sunday, February 19

CSI: Miami - Horatio Caine Pedaphile?...NO...Bad Namesake

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It is at the strangest times and in the strangest places sometimes that you actually learn something from your children, and you sit amazed by the young men or women they’ve become. I am a HUGE fan of CSI, or Forensic Files, etc. We watch a lot of that sort of program around my house. I was watching a recent episode of CSI: Miami the other night with my son which had a typical scene involving Horatio Caine coming to the rescue of a frightened young girl. While soothing her fears and explaining things to her, he told her a comforting story of how he had been named after Horatio Alger. My son, said, “MOM! That’s HORRIBLE! Don’t the producers of CSI research things before they just put stuff on the air?” I was surprised by his statement, and told him that Horatio Alger was an author during the time of Mark Twain and if you are considered to be a “Horatio Alger Story”, that you have come from meager beginnings and made good in life. I even joked that I suppose our story was like that as I certainly came from a poor background, and after I met his Step-Father, and we married that our lives certainly turned around after we worked hard and were afforded the chance by his father to open our own business. Since that time, we’ve done fairly well in three short years. My son again a big agitated said, “Well, if I were you I would never compare yourself to someone like that again!” He then told me of how he has been studying this man at school, and began to tell me his real story. I was shocked to find out someone I’d always considered a household name and a patriot of literature was evil…

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It turns out, that Horatio Alger was a horrible man. During a period of time in his life that he was a MINISTER, he actually was having sex and engaging in horrible acts of pedophilia with these young boys he was supposedly helping to bring from “rags to riches”. Two young men told their stories, and when approached by the church elders, Mr. Alger did not deny the charges. His status as a clergyman was revoked and it was agreed that if he left town, no further pursuit of the scandal would ensue. He immediately fled to New York before the news could break, and from there he wrote all the novels he is famous for. He was a writer around 1867, and sold more publications than any author to date. His writings include dime novels such as Ragged Dick, Rough & Ready, and Tattered Tom. He continued to produce novels about young boys that were poor and worked hard and made it good in America. He also continued to take wayward common boys that no one cared about and help lead them from “rags to riches”, while continuing in secret to have inappropriate sexual relations with them.

I did some further research, and found this all to be true, and the information was not that hard to find. If you look back now and read exerpts of these books knowing these facts, the storys do resemble pedaphile fantasies. However what is shocking to me is the fact that you can find dozens of “Societies”, and “Award Programs” that offer honors to successful people and give them “Horatio Alger Awards”, or lots of “Horatio Alger Societies”, etc. WHY…Why would anyone associate anything “honorable” or make any goal relating to Horatio Alger something someone would work hard to strive for? I’m stunned and disappointed to learn this sad truth. But hats off to my kid (who I never thought paid a lot of attention in History class) for being a good student and teaching his “old school” mother a thing or two. Perhaps after all, the producers at CSI: Miami should better research the associations they write into their story lines.