Shamema had just turned five years old.
TO SAM SLOAN :
Hi Sam !
I am just one of the many people on chess-l who enjoys your contributions to that list.
Also that I have been reading AT YOUR WEB SITE the story you give of your life and that of your family. In a word, everything you write is very moving.
In that connection with that I have not read *everything* at your web site and even then I would need to think over what I have read. All of which will take more time.
At this point I only have TWO questions : what do you think was the *true* reason for your daughter's kidnapping ?
What is your kidnapped daughter's view NOW about her kidnapping ?
You see as an evolutionary psychologist I can see why *special* factors come into play regarding the having and raising of children : we are programmed to do so. Those who were not so programmed left - in the long run - fewer descendants.
It costs upwards of GBP 100,000 (say 160,000+ U.S. dollars) to raise a child from age 0 to 15. In terms of classical economics (never mind, the cost of blood, sweat, tears, sheer anxiety etc etc) it is plain daft. In fact, sheer idiocy.
Think about it in classical economic terms : what is the return on that investment ?
But the truth of evolutionary psychology easily outweighs that of classical economics.
You should know that where genetic reasons do not inhibit, then the risk of violence, mistreatment, abuse (etc) to children (I mean to be precise, towards stepchildren) is much greater. In fact some sixty times greater according to work by Martin Wilson and Margo Daly.
That is why children are NOT, generally speaking, kidnapped frequently. It makes *neither* genetic nor economic sense.
Thus, the rare cases where it does happen deserve a special explanation.
And you of course are not obliged to give one !
So please forgive my observations and question if you think that I intrude on your family business in a way that annoys you.
Thank you for your letter and the interesting points you have raised.
The reason my daughter was kidnapped was entirely religious. They wanted to raise her in their version of the Christian religion. They had no other reason.
As to what she thinks about this, I do not know and will not know until I get her back, which I hope will be soon, as she is almost 18 now.
If you have an essay on the web making your points, I would like to link to it.
Thank you for your kind and considerate reply.
Yes, I think Christian religious fundamentalism (or equivalent) has to be the reason.
I keep forgetting that such forces are SO much stronger in the U.S. than elsewhere !
I have even heard that Ken Starr and his team were primarily acting for the religious right.
In addition to that the deep hatred of Islam in the U.S., where in the media Islamic is considered equivalent to Fascist.
Perhaps the U.S. (culturally speaking) is easily moved to needing "devils" ... blacks, Russians, Cubans (with Castro as arch devil) etc etc and now Muslims etc Though I hope I am wrong about this.
Alas I have no essay and would not dare write one without a very thorough reading and mulling over everything you have published on your www site.
Consider me mostly ignorant of many things to do with your tragic circumstances.
But I *do* hope that you can re-establish your relationship with your daughter.
Thanks for your e-mail below.
You have courage. This is what I mean :
I think it takes considerable courage to expose details of one's personal life as you have.
Now imagine that I am playing blindfold chess (I can play one game blindfold more or less well) or *better* that form of chess where you suggest a move and are told by a third party whether something is possible or not possible ... kriegspiel I think.
NOW pondering on what you write - and which I accept I hasten to add - I came to the conclusion (reasonable to me, possibly utterly absurd to you) that you and your family must have been *targeted specifically* ...
Minimally possible scenario :
Christian fanatic branch of Sloan family doesn't like what Sam is doing and instigates kidnapping by third party of Sam's daughter.
BUT HOW DID THEY EVEN KNOW OF YOUR EXISTENCE ??
Alternative and MORE PLAUSIBLE scenario :
"Concerned" branch of Sloan family doesn't like what Sam is doing and employs (or simply convinces) weird Christian extremists to kidnap his daughter.
LATTER SEEMS MUCH MORE LIKELY. IF SO, then WHO "BETRAYED" YOU ??
You see, Sam, I find it hard to believe that those weird Christians targeted you for NO SPECIAL REASON other than a girl THOUSANDS OF miles away was being brought up in the Islamic tradition. But even if she wasn't ... ... maybe they simply thought she wasn't being brought up as a "proper Christian" in their peculiar sense.
So I am left wondering what the truth is ... maybe I am TOO curious ! Possibly something to do with my chess playing mentality ... Sorry.
I will perfectly understand if you reply "Mind your own business etc etc". "Get lost". "I'd tell you but this is a delicate ongoing matter".
Nonetheless, I wish to emphasize that I wish you and your family the best in the process of righting what seems obviously to me a clear injustice.
You are correct.
The person responsible for all this happening is my brother, Creighton.
Creighton went to church every Sunday without missing even one Sunday, until he was at least 20 years old.
It was Creighton who contacted the Roberts and got them to attack me. Creighton even introduced the Roberts to the man who agreed to kidnap my daughter for hire.
Creighton also came to court traveling 350 miles from South Carolina to testify against me twice to send me to prison.
Yet, I have never said or done even the slightest thing wrong to my brother, Creighton.
Had Creighton not been involved in this, the Roberts could never have kidnapped my daughter. They would not even have been able to find out where we were.
Hi Sam !
Many thanks for your reply. Such *betrayal* (it is not too strong a word) by a brother must be especially hard to bear.
I don't want to sound boringly academic but your story jibes with others where it and the others can be predicted for sociobiological reasons.
I really do hope that you are reunited with your daughter.