“The Truth Will Set You Free” is a free-verse poem that explores the dystopian elements underlying contemporary Western society. We live in a strange time that seems to be defined by two utopian pursuits. These pursuits are taken by two groups of people, those who seek comfort over all—“the tranquility of repetition”—and those who seek to fight the repression of absolute truth. In this poem, I hope the reader will understand that it is the combination of these respective pursuits and groups which make up the dystopian state of contemporary Western Society—a state in which truth is no longer the way to peace, paradise, or the good life; rather, overcoming truth is society’s apparent goal, whether through comfortable oblivion or arrogant ignorance.
Those who seek personal utopia have traded truth for comfort and, therefore, will have neither in the end. They do not realize that the God of all comfort is also the God of truth. Those who seek to fight the repressiveness of absolute truth believe that utopia can only be had by rejecting the old order of truth’s governance. They do not realize that the truth they are rejecting is the only thing that can set them free from the trappings of hubris. However, there is a third group, divergent from the rest: those who know the truth and are willing to break the dystopian lines that surround them. Which group do you belong to?
The Truth Will Set You Free
“Nothing to see here. Everything’s fine.
No need to worry. Get back in line.”
One thousand, nine hundred eighty-four times
A day they say, “Get back in line.”
“Line up for work!” or “Line up for bread!”
A line everywhere we turn our heads.
Our Player we Ready, escaping this stead,
Then find consoles aren’t live, they’re dead.
A question appears and wanders inside,
“If not conceived, is this real life?”
Fan into flame now our Embering minds!
“If not alive, can we still die?”
As my head spins, my conscience confused,
My stomach turns with poisonous truth:
It’s Brave and it’s New, at the end of a noose
This World does swing; it’s drug-induced.
They camp together, that frenzied mob,
Collegiately trained, ignorant slobs,
Villainous Vendetta, vacuous vog
That slanders truth—“repressing snob.”
Equality held with their right-hand
Freedom is strangled with their left-hand.
How can we fight back in this Wonderland?
Falling, spinning, we’ll never land.
The night street colored by censored flame;
Everywhere I look, everyone’s the same.
The dreamer’s words burn in Fahrenheit flame,
“Are we the few that are still sane?”
They do not realize they’ve played the fool.
Their revolution rendered them null.
Divergence from truth has rendered them dull.
Their selfish end, taking its toll.
Their leaders succeed in their evil plot.
They cannot see they’re expendable pawns
In a Game where Hunger rules lot and laud,
They play the game in this great fraud.
So we must confess, we few who remain.
We must confess that we are to blame.
We are the ones who built truth a dark Maze
To be Run by those in a daze.
The daze of comfort that blinds the eyes
And led our race to commit suicide.
There’s not a Machine that will save the Time.
We can’t go back. “Get back in line!”
Or break the line.
Donald W. Catchings, Jr. is Founder and Board Chair of Street Light Inc. and Pastor of The True Light Church in Conroe, Texas since 2009. Donald regularly contributes to “An Unexpected Journal” and has published various titles including his most recent release, Strength in Weakness — a Young Adult reimagining of the Theseus Myth.
Donald W. Catchings, Jr. “The Truth Will Set You Free.” An Unexpected Journal 2, no. 3. (Fall 2019): 165-170.
 V for Vendetta, directed by James McTeigue (Warner Bros., 2006), 18:50-19:00.