Luke The Jackal – The Frightening Kinship I Feel With Carlos The Terrorist

I just watched a miniseries on the terrorist Carlos the Jackal and felt a strange connection with the man.

I remember when I was booted from Young Israel of Century City in June 2001, some members of the shul called me an “internet terrorist” for my blogging about Dennis Prager.

I’ve never been able to forget that. I always thought I was the good guy. Imperfect, sure, but I was fighting on the side of God. I fought to get important stories out to people. I fought to tell the side of the little guy who was getting squashed and abused.

I spoke truth to power!

When I got called an “internet terrorist”, I felt like that Michael Douglas character in the movie Falling Down who’s stunned to learn that he’s the bad guy.

As IMDB summarizes the movie: “An unemployed defense worker frustrated with the various flaws he sees in society, begins to psychotically and violently lash out against them.”

Like Carlos the Jackal, I’m from the Southern Hemisphere. Early on in my life, I am seized by a vision of myself as a great man. In early adulthood, we both embrace marxism. Perceptive observers soon see that we are more bent on our own glory than any cause.

Through audacious strikes, we become famous. We love fame and attention and we tell ourselves it is recognition and our just due.

We particularly love the attention of pretty young women. We can’t get enough of them.

We’re constantly on the move. When we start to feel at home, we get booted.

We imagine ourselves the equal of the great men we terrorize. Because we have the massive ability to inflict harm, we feel we are big men. We love it when the powerful bid for our services.

We uneasily experience our decline from the pinnacle of success. It is a sick feeling when we realize that the price of our notoriety increasily outstrips its benefits and because of our past choices, we can do little to change the inevitable grinding of the mills of social retribution.

We’re kicked out of home after home and nobody bids for our services anymore. We have to humiliate ourselves to make a living.

We’re seized with the conviction that this won’t end well. We see that we bring misery to those around us. We feel ourselves becoming irrelevant. It is hard on our vanity. We rage when others fail to defer to our grandiose vision of ourselves. We become nostalgic for the days when we were big shots.

We grow fat and our testicles hurt.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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