Terrorism in the Home

Early Detection


Fifth Estate # 289, January 24, 1978

LNS/Peoples News Service, London — As part of its ongoing hysteria campaign against both “terrorists” and their “sympathizers” (that is, literally, anybody who refuses to condemn the “terrorists”), West Germany’s notorious Bild Zeitung (a Springer newspaper) has now offered its readers a chance to predict whether their children will wind up on the most wanted list some day.

Headlining the provocative question “Could your child become a terrorist?” the paper recently published a “psychological test” supposedly designed to provide the answer.

To take the test, parents simply have to answer a series of questions about their children’s family lives and personal habits. Then it’s just a matter of holding your breath and adding up the results. “If your child scores more than 50 points,” the paper claimed, “she or he is theoretically likely to be infected with terrorist ideas and even to commit violent acts.”

And 50 points aren’t at all hard to come by. A child can be half way there simply by picking up 10 for a “yes” answer to “Does your family have a weak father?” and another 15 for a yes to “does the mother dominate?”

A child who is “sensitive” adds on another eight points toward becoming a pin-up on the post office wall. Apparently “sensitivity” is even more dangerous than asking “difficult” questions. Asking questions instead of “being happy” costs six points.

Reading habits are another give-away. A child who reads Franz Kafka rates another three points, while a taste for Wilhelf Busch (a nineteenth century writer of moral tales) shows enough redeeming social value to subtract eight points.

Busch seems to provide only slightly less moral momentum than a motorcycle. For any child who belongs to a motorcycle gang, the test instructs parents to subtract 10 points.