Unethical Quote Of The Year: Ariel Castro

Well, now, Ariel, with all due respect, I have to disagree with you here. You are, in fact, a monster.

Well, now, Ariel, with all due respect, I have to disagree with you here. You are, in fact, a monster.

Perhaps some gratitude is due to convicted Cleveland kidnapper, torturer, rapist Ariel Castro for yesterday’s long, rambling, thoroughly disturbing statement to the court before sentencing. Within the nearly 1900 words he inflicted on everyone present are a true treasure trove of rationalizations, ethical dodges and classic excuses for wrong-doing, many of which, in different contexts, we use ourselves or accept from others. Perhaps, in the future, when we hear or read of these very same rationalizations and deceit from politicians, celebrities, Wall Street manipulators, media flacks and the people who enable them, or when we detect the seeds of one of them germinating in our own heads, we will recognize them as the property of Ariel Castro, and reject them promptly.

Here is what Castro said yesterday, in its entirety. Read the whole thing…just picking out the highlights doesn’t do the statement justice. It is a masterpiece of evil. I’ll break in from time to time, in bold:

Ariel Castro’s Statement to the Court


First of all, I’m a very emotional person so I’m gonna try to get it out. Thus immediately softening up the audience for what follows. “I have feelings, just like you. I weep. I’m not an animal! I am a human being!” Masterful. The second I heard this, I knew what was coming.

I stated before that I am a victim of sex acts when I was a child. This led me to viewing pornography through my whole life. Eventually, I – after I held jobs, because I always worked – what I’m trying to get at is that these people are trying to paint me as a monster and I’m not a monster. I’m sick. I think … I think … my sexual problems have been so bad on my mind that I’m impulsive. We still allow all sorts of criminals to make this excuse, to introduce evidence of child abuse or other aspects of a tough childhood as part of a bid for sentencing mercy. We shouldn’t. For every victim of child abuse who grows up to hurt innocents, there are many, many more who manage to control their rage and move on from their damage to productive and virtuous lives. This “compassionate” use of childhood hardship as a mitigating factor for horrendous crimes is one of the lingering maladies of Sixties liberalism. The penalties for crimes should not be reduced because a criminal had a tough life. If that excuse works for others, there is no reason not to apply it to Ariel Castro.

But eventually I married, had four children. Had a good home life. By the third pregnancy, the art of touching myself and viewing pornography. I believe I am addicted to porn to the point that it really makes me impulsive. And I, I just don’t realize that what I’m doing is wrong. I know it’s not an excuse. I’m not trying to make excuses here because I know – when I told David and the sex crimes – that I will be guilty forever. I’m not contesting it. Of course, he is making an excuse, and he is contesting it. And addicts are still accountable for the results of their addictions.

I’ve been a musician for a long time maybe 25, 30 years. And uh, to be a  musician and, and to be a monster like they say I am. I don’t think I could handle that. I’m a happy person inside. I drove a school bus for 21 years. I did a very good job. TEspecially when he’s raping captured and subjugated women, apparently. This is manipulation by cognitive dissonance…very sophisticated. Fatherhood! Good home life! Music! Driving kiddies safely to school! Happiness! All leading the listener to connect the villain with nice, happy things,slyly moving him up the cognitive dissonance ladder. Remember: Charles Manson was a musician. Hitler liked puppies.

Towards the end I started slacking off …. trying to get fired because I knew. It was just too much. This job was too stressful and coming home to my situation, you know I just couldn’t get both of them. Poor Ariel. His narrative slowly casts him as the victim of stress and circumstances beyond his control.

But um, I have, I never had a record until I met my children’s mother.  Translation: “I was never caught.

My son was on there the other day saying how abusive I was but I was never abusive until I met her. And he failed to say that at the end, before she passed away, that then is when he was talking about. So what I’m trying to say – while she’s saying I was a wife beater, that is wrong. Because this happened because I couldn’t get her to quiet down. I would continuously tell her, ‘the children are right there, would you please…’ And she responded ‘I don’t care that the children are there.’ And she would just keep going, and the situation would escalate until the point where she would put her hands on me and that’s how I reacted. I put my hands on her. I know that’s wrong. “I’m not a wife beater. Wife beaters beat wives who don’t deserve to be beaten.”

After living with her for twelve years then we were separated. I was single for about five years …… and that time I continued to practice the art of masturbation and pornography and it got so bad that um … I think it something like maybe two or three hours a day nonstop – and when I would finish I would collapse in fear. When I picked up the first victim I wasn’t even fantasizing … it wasn’t something that they’re trying to make it look like I did and I planned it and I was thinking about it. I didn’t do that. That day I went to Family Dollar and I overheard her say something about she needed to get somewhere….. and I react on that. …. But when I got up that day I did not say ‘oh I’m going to get up and try to find some women.’ Because it just, it wasn’t my character you know. “See—she made me do it! It was really her idea.” This is the calling card of the sociopath, but also a classic thought fallacy. It it was wrong, then external factors were to blame. This way, the wrongdoer never has to accept accountability.

But I know its wrong and I’m not trying to make excuses here and I know I’m 100% wrong in doing that … “Note to self: Keep repeating that you are not making excuses so the audience might forget that you are making excuses.”

…but I’m saying … they’re trying to say that I am a, a violent person. And I’m not a violent person. Like I said, I drove a school bus, I’m a musician, I had a family. I do have value for human life. Because every time I came home I would be so glad to see … of the situation – as crazy as it may sound.
And my daughter she just made every – made every day for me after she was born. She never saw any violence that was going on in that house. If you question her, she’ll say the opposite. She’ll probably say “my dad is the best daddy in the world.’ ‘Cuz that’s how I tried to raise her in those six years. So she wouldn’t be traumatized or anything like that. She had a normal life in those six years. I tried to take her out into public to give her a normal life. ‘Look, this is how it works.’ I would take her to church. I would come home and just be normal like a normal family. More of the cognitive dissonance ploy—Fatherhood!  Value for human life! I am loved!—but overplayed. If you’re not a violent person, Ariel, where did the violence going on in the house come from…you know, that you had to shield your daughter from? 

These accusations that I would come home and beat her – beat them – totally – toally wrong Your Honor. Because like I say before, I am not a violent person. I know what I did was wrong but I am not a violent person. I simply kept them there without them being able to leave. Simple as that! This is called ‘insulting your audience’s intelligence.” Politicians do this a lot.

Um, I know when I picked up the second victim – which was Gina – I don’t understand how I passed up my own daughter to pick her up. Because I was driven by sex. And no I did not know who she was. I saw her walking with my daughter, but I did not know that she was from the [neighbor’s family.]…  Because I know her dad. We went to school together. We didn’t see much of each other in school, ah, but I know him from school.
 Amanda, she got into my vehicle without even knowing who I was. I’m – I don’t blame her, I’m I’m not putting fault on her, but I’m saying, I’m trying to make up a point across … that I’m not a violent predator –  I’m not a monster, I’m a normal person. I’m just sick. I have an addiction. Just like an alcoholics have an addiction. Alcoholics cannot control their addiction. That’s why I couldn’t control my addiction your Honor. A tour de force! Translations: 1) “It’s not like I picked up and kidnapped a total stranger. That would be terrible.” 2) “She made me the criminal I am, because she was so reckless and stupid.”  3) “I’m a normal person…just a normal person who kidnaps and rapes women.” 4) “You know that alcoholic in your life? And those of you who are alcoholics yourselves? I’m the same. If you blame me, that finger points right back at you, buddy. Where’s your compassion for sick people, you hypocrites?”

But, ah, ah, most of the sex that went on in the house – and practically all of it – was consensual. This, this – these allegations about me forcing it upon on them – that is totally wrong. Because there was times that they would even ask me for sex. Many times.   People like Castro…and sexual harassers, and rapists, incestuous parents,  sexual predator teachers, prison guards, supervisors and  the defenders of Bill Clinton…don’t comprehend the concept of consent, which they like to believe means only that a victim eventually says “yes.” If there is vast inequality of power, consent by the weaker party is legally and ethically impossible.  Does having a woman imprisoned in one’s home under threat of violence constitute inequality of power?  Ariel probably would say no.

And I learned that these girls were not virgins. Um… their testimony – they had multiple partners before me. All three of them. “So really, what are they complaining about? This is what they do.”

But, ah, that’s basically it. I just wanted to say the record. I am not a monster. I did not prey on these women. I just acted on my sexual instincts. Because of my sexual addiction. And God is my witness, I never beat these women like they’re trying to say that I did. I never tortured them. “Deny, deny,deny.”  Besides, to someone like Castro, being confined, shackled and forced to have sex with him isn’t torture. It’s…hospitality!

Finally, I would like to apologize to the victims. Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight. I am truly sorry for what happened.
To this day I’m trying to answer my own questions. I don’t know why {cries} I mean I had everything going on for myself. I had a job. I had a home. I had vehicles. My musical talent. I had everything going on for me your Honor. I have a good history of working. Providing. I just  hope they can find it in their hearts to forgive me. Because we had a lot of harmony going on in that home. A non-apology apology, and a transparent one. The apology is primarily self-pity. He’s apologizing to himself, because as a true narcissist and sociopath, he is the only person he is capable of feeling sorry for.

And if you – if you seen the YouTube video of Amanda this weekend, that right here in itself proves that that girl did not go through no torture. Did not go through no torture. Because if that was true, you think she would be out there partying already and having fun? I don’t think so.  I seen Gina and little Mia, she was normal. She acted normal. A person that’s been tortured just does not act normal. They would act withdrawn and everything. On the contrary I heard the opposite. She’s happy. All the victims are happy. Consequentialism! They’re all OK now, so really—no harm, no foul! It all worked out in the end! The ends justifies the means! What’s everyone so mad about? Geez!

I haven’t seen much of Michelle because Michelle, since day one, no one missed her. I never saw flyers up about her. Translation: “At least I cared enough to kidnap her, and rape her now and then. She should thank me, if you think about it.”

But .. I feel that the FBI let these girls down. Because they, they, ah, when they ah, when they questioned, when they questioned my daughter, that’s ok. But they failed to question me, I’m her father. And if they would have questioned me in 02 or whenever I had Gina, was the victim, it’s possible it would have ended right there. So. And also Dave forgot to mention, that I did mention to them that I was addicted to porn. Wait a few hours, after baseball announces its suspensions for PED abuse. We’ll hear this one, as we have heard it for years in relation to baseball’s steroid-users, again, and often. It’s the fault of the authorities for allowing the wrongdoing, and not being competent enough to stop it! In Castro’s mouth it sounds especially absurd which is why his statement is a blessing. Lax enforcement may allow and encourage crime, but it does not is any respect excuse it.

But I am truly sorry to the victims’ family. Michelle. And Amanda. You guys know all the harmony that went on in that home. I ask God to forgive me. I ask my family and I apologize to my family also for putting them through all of this. I want to apologize to the state of Ohio, to the City of Cleveland for putting the dark cloud over this city. I just want to apologize to everyone who was touched by this event. But I do also want to let you know that it was harmony in at home. There was harmony at home. I was a good person. Didn’t need no help. I never had a record. I just hope they find it in their hearts to forgive me. And to maybe do some research on people who have an addiction. So they can see how their addiction takes over lives. So again, I’m sorry to all the victims. Sorry to my daughter because I know that … God bless her, she’s a miracle child. And God bless the women too. But she, you know, there was times that she, when she was born. I know I could have taken her and that’s why she was a victim also. I could have taken her to the ER and I chose not to. Thank God nothing happened, nothing bad happened. Because um, just last year she started getting toothaches and I said to myself, “I’m not going to let her die – {starts to cry} because I know an infection could possibly take her life.”  I was just … the situation I … your Honor .. was just … I don’t know … collect the words … but … that’s part of the problem that I have also – I’ll start talking and I just, I just go blank. So I, I apologize to you your honor for bringing this case into your courtroom. Ah, again, thank you for – thank you everyone and I’m sorry for everything. I know the true judgment day is when God comes and judges me. But I’ve been reading the bible and I’ve been praying and asking for forgiveness and due to the fact that I do have a sexual addiction, I don’t know how he’s going to judge me. I don’t know, the comment that the uh lady made, jacy’s family, again, that was uncalled for. So again, thank you everyone. Thank you victims. Please find it in your hearts to forgive me. What a grand finale of self-pity, non-apologies, appeals to God (how bad can a man be who prays?) and posturing as a good man come to ruin by no fault of his own! As unethical quotes go, this is like the climax of the 1812 Overture. He’s contrite! He’s remorseful! He’s gracious! He thanks everyone but the moon!

Thank you.


No, thank you. (You are a monster, by the way. Just thought you should know.) This statement has enough ethics alarms in it to stop a million tragedies. We all just need to remember–if we ever hear any of Ariel’s words echoing in our heads, pay attention. Something is seriously wrong.


Graphic: horrorchannel.uk

16 thoughts on “Unethical Quote Of The Year: Ariel Castro

  1. His whole statement sounds as if it was written as a SATIRE of a sociopath addressing the court!

    Only…it’s not funny…

    • Speaking of judicial ethics, why didn’t this judge shut this guy up after a few sentences with “That’s enough Mr. Castro. Please sit down.”

      • Because even with such awful people as Castro, the tradition of allowing a man to have his say about his case before he is sent to prison or executed is an old and strong one, a hallmark of civilization, signifying that every life, however misspent, deserves a level of respect.

        • I suppose, but I think a few paragraphs would have been a sufficient dollup of respect that would have left the time-honored tradition intact.

          • I was serious, though—I think it’s a gift. I think the whole thing is a masterpiece of unethical reasoning and thinking. Yesterday, an MSNBC hack, Chris Hayes, admitted that the speech caused him to have a tinge of empathy for Castro—he was abused, you see! Yes, so ingrained is the instinct in the extreme brain-muddled left that they will let even this guy avoid some accountability if he can prove he’s a “victim.” It’s not as sick as Castro, but it’s sick.

            • Wow. Chris Hayes really said that? Hah.

              I can see it though. I get such a kick out of watching these wet behind the ears lefty policy wonk kids they turn loose on MSNBC trying to cover anything other than the sort of politics they like to talk about. They are entirely and hilariously adrift. I particularly like to see them try to talk about military engagements or a plane crash. As if peaceniks and iphone users can also expertly comment upon military and engineering issues. Hah.

              • I don’t know about EMPATHY, that implies a degree of “I see how you could do what you did” and I can’t get behind that. However, statement or no statement, I feel a certain degree of deep profound pity for people who are so broken.

  2. And then there was the additional fact that these girls were children- either adolescents or preteens- when he kidnapped and molested them. That alone puts him at the lowest rung of human existence. However, as I have often pointed out, self-rationalization is one of those human misqualities that should never be underestimated and whose capacity is apparently without limit.

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