Silenced: Chapter 19: Yet More Manipulation

Berlitz and Aryana visit the folks, and…

…while neither seemed to know how to interact with kids that age, their interest alone eventually won over Brie and Connor.

How awesome are Berlitz and Aryana?  They are so damn sweet.  Some amoral atheists you’ve made there, Jenkins.

While the doting uncle and aunt are busy with the kiddies (as well they might be—kids might as well be orphans for all they interact with their parents), Ranold tells Jae all about Ball Dangler’s conversation with Paul, which Ranold heard about from “the head of USSA NPO.”

Wow, some great secret-keeper that Dangler is.  Private conversation with the one agent closest to the international terrorist?  I’m gonna tell everybody!

Not that Dangler suspects anything.  In fact, he called Paul “a brilliant thinker.”

So we can see that he clearly does not know Paul at all.

But Ranold does:

“Rather transparent, if you ask me.  Wanted him to delay the announcement of the pledge of loyalty.”

Jae cocked her head, trying to make sense of it.  “What possible reason could Paul have had for that?”

RIGHT???  Gorram, why are the Main Villian and the Little Woman the only ones in this story with any sense?


Back in his hotel room, tired after a day of accomplishing absolutely nothing and, in fact, potentially making things worse, Paul feels “strangely at peace” and listens to John 12:24-28, which I suppose reinforces the whole better-to-die-than-to-lie-about-being-a-Christian thing.

Like Paul and his Plot Armor need to worry about that.


A bit later (after, no doubt, brainwashing himself to sleep just like Jae does), Paul is woken by a skull call from one of the French Lieutenants (har), one Lothair.  Lothair informs Paul that Random Christian Woman was caught and killed by the cops.

“There is nothing we can do, Doctor.  We don’t dare do or say anything with the announcement coming Monday.  That’s so frustrating; we’re climbing the walls here.”

Wait, so are you saying you would have done something, but for the announcement?  Because that’s not how things have gone so far.  When has the French underground, or any Christian underground in any other country, made any kind of protest or, hell, said or done anything when the Powers That Be oppress them?  I mean, Jesus, in Soon, the Christians went out of their way to deny everything that happened (blood in the Reflecting Pool, cherry blossoms rotting)—it wasn’t Christians protesting, it was God!

I just don’t see what the announcement has changed here, is all.

Anyway, apparently ChappellShow needed a Trigger Warning for Random Woman’s death, because he can’t speak to Paul now and wants to pull out of the whole contact-Magnor plan, because it’s all bringing back memories of his wife and kids.

Paul’s response?

“No!  Now, he can’t—”

“I am just passing on the message, Doctor.”

“NOOOO!!!  This means I might have to do my job!!!”


Back in D.C., Jae is conflicted over Paul.  The serial infidelity had “nearly killed her,” but as far as the traitorism goes…

She was an intelligent woman.  She wouldn’t protect him for no reason.  She didn’t want him at any cost just so her kids could have a live-in dad.

Wow.  Just like Lothair, Jae, your actions (or lack thereof) speak elsewise.  You’ve seemed quite willing to have him at any cost just so your kids could have a live-in dad.

(And some “live-in dad.”  Actually, that may be the perfect term: whether atheist or Christian, Paul has always lived in the same house, but has never really been a husband or a dad.)

Jae already deeply regretted having shown her father the devastating letter.  What was this need she had to pour fuel on an already raging fire?  Did she need the points with her dad?  For one thing, Ranold needed no more ammunition.  His mind was clearly made up.

Love how Jenkins tries to paint this as Ranold being closed-minded and stubborn.


Jae chooses a New Testament disc at random, and of course it is terribly appropriate.  Surely it was no accident that Jae picked that disc.  He let Random Woman get murdered, but makes sure Jae picks the right CD.  I guess it’s kinda like how God helps people find their keys, but doesn’t stop wars and famine.

Turns out it’s Philemon 1.  Go ahead and read the whole thing—it’s not long.

Jae reads verses 8-10:

Talk about manipulation, Jae thought.  This Paul put her father to shame.

That is fantastic, that after all this time, and all that’s happened, Jae still thinks it’s Ranold who is the manipulator.

Who could deny this request, regardless of what it turned out to be?

So Jae straight-up admits that she is perfectly willing to be manipulated.  She sees the manipulation, but just does it anyway.  And maybe now we have another little clue as to why Jae has stayed in her wrecked marriage this long…

After verses 11-12:

No wonder her husband’s father had named him Paul.  Mr. Stepola had wanted a son like this.

Um, I hate to be the one to have to remind you, Jae and also Jerry Jenkins, but PAUL IS A JUNIOR.  He is Paul Stepola, Jr.


The Stepolas named their son after his father.  (By the way, love the implication that Mrs. Stepola had no say in her own son’s name.)  Not after the Biblical Paul.

I just…


And her conclusion:

Even if she never shared this Paul’s faith, there was much Jae knew she could learn from him.

I really don’t think there’s much anybody can learn from Paul, except maybe how to be a dick.

So, hey, look at all the great stuff Jae is getting from the Bible!



My 400th post here at Heathen Critique is coming up soon!  I’ll be polling on the next book you all want me to read, and revealing the movie critique that will come after Silenced.  I am so looking forward to this one—it’s…a bit of a different animal.

Posted on February 8, 2014, in Books, Silenced. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Just a little note about the passage from John: I notice that in the NIV phrasing that you linked to, we have this:

    “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

    However, The Message (a rephrasing of the Bible into modern idiom, so people don’t get overfocused on or misdirected by the details of idiom that was unique to earlier versions of Hebrew and Greek) puts it this way:

    “Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal. If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you’ll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment’s notice. The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me.”

    The meaning certainly gets cleared up; the “loving their life” as put in the NIV is referring to stubbornly wanting everything to stay as is. Perhaps “hates” should have been translated as “dismisses”. Nonetheless, given Jenkins’s predilection for Cozy Catastrophes, maybe he should take another look at whether what he puts his protagonists through is effectively leaving them just those same single grains of wheat, never in a position to germinate.

  2. She didn’t want him at any cost just so her kids could have a live-in dad.
    He hardly ever even lives-in. He’s constantly traveling for his job. And yeah, as Ruby said, Jae comming back to Paul for absolutely no reason at the end of the first book rather undermines the point. But then, Jenkins might’ve intentionally tried to undermine any argument that included the words “She was an intelligent woman.”

    Ranold needed no more ammunition.
    True, in the sense that he already has plenty to put Paul up against the wall.

    This Paul put her father to shame.
    But her Paul gives that Paul a run for his money.

  3. My Meta-Jae is the last backup copy of her mind from before her memetic infection.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Round Up, February 15th, 2014 | The Slacktiverse

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