Desire your Master

“Desire causes Suffering” goes the Noble Truth. But it is hard to see. Desiring a good grade, job, house for your family – does this cause suffering?

Desire is not bad per se, only when it becomes your master is it to be feared. Newspapers are full of stories that show the kinds of things desire and greed can drive a person to. This one comes from the Ananova news site – always a good source of quirky stories….

Man Impersonates Deat Mother 

A New York man has been charged with impersonating his dead mother so he could claim her benefits – for six years.


Thomas Prusik-Parkin, 49, allegedly wore a wig, thick make-up and old dresses as part of his elaborate ruse to claim £70,000 in social security benefits and rent subsidies.

Prosecutors, who described the alleged fraud as “unparalleled in its scope and brazenness”, say it started when Mr Prusik-Parkin’s mother, Irene Prusik, died in 2003 aged 73.

The story may be unparalleled, but it is not unexcelled – last year two people actually tried to wheel a dead body in to a store to cach a cheque. But to continue…

Mr Prusik-Parkin, who had lived with her, allegedly gave his mother’s funeral director a false social security number and date of birth so her death did not show up on government records.

Dressed as Mrs Prusik, he would then collect benefit cheques, visit banks and even go to renew her driving licence, say police in Brooklyn.

On each occasion, he would be accompanied by an accomplice, Mhilton Rimolo. Posing as her nephew, he would help the ‘frail old lady’ to walk and communicate with officials.

Charles Hynes, Brooklyn’s district attorney, revealed: “He said he’s not Norman Bates. This guy is not stupid, this guy is very smart. His schemes were brilliant.”

Mr Prusik-Parkin was arrested after prosecutors received a tip-off from the owner of the building where his mother lived and arranged to interview ‘Mrs Prusick’.

He turned up “wearing a red cardigan, lipstick, manicured nails and breathing through an oxygen tank”, say prosecutors. He was wearing a scarf to hide his Adam’s apple but failed to conceal his “rather large hands”.

Mr Prusik-Parkin and Mr Rimolo, 47, were charged with grand larceny, forgery and conspiracy. Both denied the charges which carry a prison sentence of up to 25 years.

One reply on “Desire your Master”

  1. “Desire causes suffering” is yet another unfortunate case of misinterpretation, or careless translation. The original Pali leans more toward ‘craving’ and ‘obsession’ rather than mere ‘desire’. So yes, craving and obsession do cause suffering; while desire in itself is neutral.

    So change the word “desire” to “craving” or “obsessing” in the opening sentence and it WILL be easy to see; as follows:

    “Craving causes Suffering” goes the Noble Truth. Obsessing for a good grade, job, house for your family – does this cause suffering? The answer this time is a resounding “YES!”

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