The Voice is the Sound That the Soul Makes

Matthew 7:16: By their fruit you will recognize them.

Stanley Elkin.

Stanley Elkin, one of my favorite authors, wrote this sentence for his novel, The Dick Gibson Show: “The voice is the sound that the soul makes.” This memorable sentence uncovers a simple truth: We can learn a great deal about who people really are by how they speak, and what they say. To illustrate this point, click on the following chilling video of Adolf Hitler, and watch while the Nazi Führer carries on madly at the podium.

Some who listened while Hitler deliver his hateful, histrionic harangues were convinced he was the devil incarnate. One respected international reporter once had a vantage point behind Hitler while the Nazi leader was at the podium. The man swears that he say a violent series of blue electric flames shoot out from the back of Hitler’s head while he was speaking!

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The Adolf Hitler Store

I had no idea about the extras I would get in the mail when I ordered a CD of the shameful Father Coughlin’s speeches for historical review.

Recently, in conjunction with a new writing project, I began to research the life of Charles Coughlin, the infamous radio priest, hatemonger, and venomous anti-Semite of the 1930s. To this end, I ordered from Amazon a CD entitled Father Coughlin is on the Air! I actually bought the CD from one of Amazon’s many independent sellers. I did not pay attention to the name of the vendor, and clicked through as quickly as possible to complete the sale and get back to work.

When the CD arrived, it came with a catalog, copied poorly on plain white paper. I paid no attention to this cheap-looking product directory, putting it in my inbox for later review. That evening, I played the CD. Based on Coughlin’s evil reputation as the father of hate radio, I expected to hear a ranting and raving lunatic.  However, during the two radio broadcasts on the CD – programs for April 4 and 11, 1937 – Coughlin did not come across as unduly intemperate or unhinged. Quite the opposite. His delivery was powerful and passionate, and spoken in a strong and mellifluous voice, although for this listener fairly confusing, as the priest spoke disjointedly of unseemly debt and taxation levels, as well as the “manufacturing of money,” and what he quaintly termed “private property-ship.”

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