01 May 2015
As a citizen of the United States, a multiple award-winning author, the grandchild of genocide survivors, and a human being whose entire life has been deeply affected by the consequences of this tragedy in the relentless tides of a diasporan ocean, I hereby ask you, on the eve of the centennial of the monstrous crime that was the lot of the Armenian nation, to refuse political recognition to the events characterized as the Armenian Genocide in protest of the Armenian nation’s continued persecution and exile of writers, intellectuals, and activists who maintain opinions viewed as being in direct opposition to the ideologies of both the status quo in Armenia and . . .
its monopolization by religious-backed entities.
Armenian citizens in general, and Armenian organizations in particular, have conveniently forgotten that April 24 marks the day of remembrance of the arrest and assassination of several hundred Armenian writers a hundred years ago in Istanbul. For a republic systematically involved in the persecution and exile of its writers and dissenting viewpoints, to demand political recognition of such a tragedy from another polity is not only hypocritical and disingenuous, but directly insults the memory of those same authors who were the first to experience the ramifications of censorship and oppression from the Turkish government in a still recent history.
All major Armenian organizations in the United States, including the Armenian Assembly of America, the Armenian National Committee, the Armenian General Benevolent Union, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, the Armenian Apostolic Church—vociferous advocates of human rights only when to their own advantage—have been both complicit and silent conspirators as well as willing collaborators with the Armenian National Security Service (NSS) in whitewashing the crimes of Armenia’s junta before Western democracies and instituting their own internal censorship in suppressing the persecution and exile of Armenian writers even from the Armenian community in the United States.
All of the above-mentioned organizations maintaining troglodyte political consciousness (including their media outlets and those toadying to them) are not only fully aware of the egregious violations of the human rights and rights for expression of several Armenian writers, but have actively colluded with the oppressors since 2006 when a document titled ALARM was signed and disseminated by close to 120 intellectuals of twenty different nationalities detailing the persecution and exile of Armenian writers.
Over the past few years, I have been the recipient of several hundred threats of physical violence and assassination, mostly from Armenia but also domestically in the United States, from a public incited by the Armenian Church, an entity in total collusion with the NSS at the highest levels since Armenia’s independence in 1991. According to a 2013 study by an international religious monitoring organization, Armenia is religiously the third most intolerant country in the world.
The Armenian Church has been the perpetrator of several genocides against the Armenian nation spanning a millennium since its inception in order to subjugate the Armenians to its ideological hegemony (events that are thoroughly censored in the church-controlled Armenian educational system worldwide). This self-serving entity posing as a moral compass and guardian of a tamed nation is now drifting the country via dogma unresponsive to reform (and the training of a bigoted new generation licensed to employ anathema and violence against dissent) into religious polarization, a civilizational chasm and headlong potential confrontation with the surrounding Islamic world—itself a major underlying cause of the 1915 genocide. A blind policy on behalf of a state, political and educational organizations obsequious to a religious tradition that is, in my opinion, neither in the national interests of the United States nor those of Armenia.
The NSS has been manipulated the social media in an attempt to galvanize communal support for the murder of a United States citizen and author in retaliation to publicly stating the facts of his persecution. Rampant misrepresentation, distortion, and character assassination by a media infested with willing agents of both state and artistic oppression has become the norm. In such an atmosphere of total sanction for murder (including one posted by Armenia’s Vice-Minister of Culture on his Facebook page after a high-ranking cleric the assistant to the Armenian Catholicos announced on Armenian public television the birth of the "Antichrist" in the person of this writer, adding, "Beware Armenians, a viper is born in your bosom") numerous appeals were made in social media to revive international terrorism with the purpose of assassinating exiled writers in their host countries (United States, Sweden, France).
I have been reputed of associating with foreign intelligence agencies (first publicly, and internally, propagated by the Armenian Church on state television) and demonized in a nation that knows all too well first-hand experience of the consequences of demonization and oppression. Public attempts at questioning both my cultural heritage and “genetic lineage” as an Armenian and repeated attempts to paint me as inimical to the survival of the Armenian republic are all too reminiscent of the hallmarks of any nation that would hold dehumanization as the first fundamental prerequisite to political murder and genocide.
Such a nation has no moral impetus whatsoever to claim distinction as victims of genocide when they are indeed possessed of the same very mentality that encourages the very act. Such a nation has no morality whatsoever.
The attached letter of resignation [see link below] from the Armenian nation details the facts and circumstances of this issue.
President Obama, I am keenly aware of the responsibilities involved in your position. I am aware that a tragedy of a national proportion is incomparable to the tragedy befalling individual writers no matter how iniquitous these crimes may be. However, given the fact that both a government, and in effect, a nation has (be it through cooption, manipulated ignorance, or personal or ideological benefit) knowingly and willfully usurped the inalienable rights of Armenian writers—even effectively denying them participation in an epochal centennial commemoration in Armenia (when, in truth, they may be the only people who rightfully deserve to lead the ceremonies commemorating the execution of their compatriot writers); a nation that collectively fails to recognize the persecution of its writers but heaps terminal insult upon terminal insult on authors daring to complain against their exile; a nation while begging for rights refuses to grant the same to its present and former citizens; a nation that imposes ostracism and advocates the assassination of a United States author in the United States by United States citizens with the total conspiracy of its media; such a nation does not deserve empathy from the President of the United States of America. Or any government whatsoever. Such a nation is neither humane—nor even human.
If, despite the above, you still decide to recognize the Armenian Genocide on April 24 of this year, I would exhort you to make your recognition conditional upon:
—The termination of all forms of persecution against Armenian writers.
—The granting of necessary provisions for their safe return and official participation in the centennial commemoration in Armenia.
—Written statements by the President of Armenia and the National Assembly guaranteeing their personal safety and legal protection.
—A guarantee offered by the Armenian government for their general immunity and immunity from fictitious prosecution (a process dissident writers are too familiar with all over the world).
—Removal of all overt and covert obstacles inhibiting their direct participation in shaping the future of their nation.
—Moral restitution including granting appearances on the national public radio and television of Armenia to present their plight directly to the Armenian public.
—Restitution made to them for the incalculable medical and other damages including the destruction of their personal lives and economies suffered as consequence of persecution and exile.
U.S. State Department
Amnesty International USA
Human Rights Watch
Attachment (article): Author Calls Genocide Centennial “A Farce.”
Author Calls Genocide Centennial “A Farce.” Calls Armenians “Moral Degenerates,” Armenian Writers “Swine and Whores”
24 February 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Los Angeles (March 4, 2015)--After a decade of persecution and ostracism, American writer Armen Melikian has formally renounced all ties to the Armenian nation, culture, literature, and identity.
In a statement posted on his blog less than two months before the worldwide commemoration events of the Armenian Genocide centennial, Melikian expressed dismay with “the innate inability” of the vast majority of Armenians (save two fellow writers who were themselves exiled) “to register an iota of human emotion and revolt.”
“The Armenians, at best, treat an author’s odyssey as entertainment, if not for derision, finding myriad reasons to criticize the author himself or giving high-minded advice even in his most critical moments, without a single thought of revolt against those responsible for his plight.”
He calls the Armenians "moral cadavers with lacking consciousness of and sensitivity to the most egregious human rights violations" and the Armenian nation, "a mausoleum."
While Melikian’s work carries universal overtones, at its core is the conflict between national and diasporan or stateless identities. Melikian rejects all existing modes of Armenian national and religious identity, probing into fresh philosophical and existential vistas.
“Ten million inborn hypocrites commemorating the centennial of the massacre of Armenian writers are themselves complicit in the destruction of several of its present writers disagreeing with their religious lunacies and hypocritical mores,” Melikian elaborates.
“The centennial commemoration of the genocide (on the very day of the massacre of Armenian writers in Istanbul a hundred years ago) by a nation not only conniving to bury the facts of exile of several present-day Armenian writers but in many cases encouraging it is not only a farce, it is an insult. A mockery of all authors and voices of conscience worldwide, and a travesty of human rights. A slap in the face of literature."
"The commemoration committee is a junta that has hijacked the history of Armenian writers, cherry-picking episodes for propaganda.”
“Such a society of frauds is unworthy of any writing or attention . . . Their ears are fine-tuned to solely ingest nationalist propaganda, NOT literature. The internal moral compass of the Armenian socius is obsolete. It's North Pole is Turk-hatred. Murder is highly valued when directed against writers liberated from its nationalist (dubbed patriotic) or religious conditioning."
"All Armenian writers keeping silence on the issue of exile and participating in the commemoration in the absence of exiled authors are swine and whores,” Melikian adds.
“Every Armenian participating in the commemoration event and, in fact, every Armenian visiting Armenia or living in Armenia (knowing that there are exiled writers who are deprived of this inalienable right) is a moral degenerate and a thief of the rights of their compatriots in exile.”
Among the exiled is the French-Armenian author and scholar Alexandre Varbedian who was refused entry to Armenia two years ago and was sent back to France after spending three days in confinement at Armenia’s capital Yerevan airport at the age of 70.
Melikian repatriated to Armenia in 2002 from the United States and for two years studied the Armenian epic tradition. He also compiled his observations on post-Soviet Armenian society which provided the raw material for his epistolary novel, Journey to Virginland, which won eleven awards in the United States after its release in 2011. Melikian’s manuscripts were obtained by the National Security Service (formerly the KGB) triggering his effective exile from Armenia.
His wife was interrogated at the headquarters of the NSS and was threatened with prosecution for “treason against Armenia” should she fail to cooperate—and threatened with assassination by a member of the interrogating team should she continue her newspaper column where she had recently introduced Melikian’s literary work.
The newspaper offices were swarmed by a group of religious fanatics threatening “to slaughter her” the day of publication of an interview with Melikian, followed by an NSS officer threatening to shut down the newspaper. The NSS also invaded the premises of the National Public Radio of Armenia with the purpose to arrest a prominent journalist minutes before the scheduled broadcast of his program on Melikian’s work.
Armenia's Writers Union has officially denied the existence of such a writer in a public response by its president.
After a decade of unabated persecution and national ostracism accompanied with several hundred assassination threats (including publicly by high-ranking government officials, as well as thousands of instances of criminal harassment, mayhem threats, libel, public derision, sabotage, boycott) incited largely by the Armenian Church (in conjunction with the NSS)—and condoned through a conspiracy of silence by Armenian political and cultural institutions worldwide, as well as so-called “human rights” and literary organizations—Melikian renounced all ties to the Armenian nation, culture, literature, language, and identity.
Claiming irretrievable financial destruction and medical damage from his persecution by a nation which, additionally, is endowed with an incorrigible collective raison d’être of looting and destroying without compunction every diaspora-Armenian setting foot in Armenia, a phenomenon exacerbated at every step during the defense of his rights for the past ten years by a host of mutually abetting people (not leastof which his representatives, members of the legal and judicial systems) savoring his inability to return and resorting to every conceivable stratagem including the exploitation of the entire government apparatus to make his return impossible, the author explained that “any human being, possessed of a conscience, regardless of their personal views toward nation or religion, cannot in good faith continue to wear the mantle of national identity so long as that very nation continues to destroy, demonize, and suppress its authors—authors who by their very purpose must be charged with the task of free and full expression of thought without fear of censure or reproach—for what they deem inappropriate orhazardous expressions of thought.”
"If the church and state apparatuses cannot evolve to accommodate diametrically opposite viewpoints, then they are in no business of calling themselves a nation or a culture. There is no difference whatsoever between them and those who committed the genocide of 1915.”
Melikian explains, “If anyone, the exiled are the sole legitimate authors to representtheir massacred compatriots in Istanbul in the centennial commemoration. By refusal to grant them recognition, restitution and participation, organizersand participants alike have become persecutors and robbers of human rights, reaping personal political dividends, exploiting a national tragedy for aggrandizement and self-glorification.” He accuses the junta governing Armenia with culturocide and genocide.
Melikian holds a Master’s in International Relations from American University, Washington, D.C. He has also studied mathematics at Harvard and elsewhere, and was admitted by the Mathematical Institute of Oxford University. However, he abandoned both politics and mathematics in favor of literature and dedicated his life to writing.
Melikian has been described as “one of those rare thinkers whose intensity of passion matches their sharp wit and intellect. His poignant observations take to task the core tenets of meta-ideologies and jockeying civilizations, helping to discard layer after layer of entrenched misinformation and dogma.”
Melikian brings a prodigiously layered voice to contemporary literature, not only expanding the boundaries of the novelistic endeavor as an artistic medium per se, but infusing it with extraordinary urgency and relevance in terms of sociopolitical, cultural, religious, and philosophical thought as well as mythological exegesis.
With its prescient vision, Melikian’s novel has been compared by critics to some of the masterpieces of contemporary literature, among them the politically explosive works of George Orwell, Samuel Beckett, and Ernst Junger. It has also been compared to Gurdjieff’s Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson, and even to the Book of Revelation.