The Systemic Crushing of Young Nonconformists and Anti-Authoritarians

Bruce Levine, Ph.D.

March 11, 2013

“To be a hero,” says Philip Zimbardo in his talk The Psychology of Evil, “you have to learn to be a deviant, because you’re always going against the conformity of the group.” That’s true, and I think Zimbardo would agree that the heroism required to battle for liberty and justice in the face of tyranny and injustice requires a special kind deviancy and nonconformity. Martin Luther King, Jr. called it “creative maladjustment,” for which a heavy dose of anti-authoritarianism is required.

Anti-authoritarians question all authority and challenge and resist illegitimate authority. Americans should be concerned how our institutions are crushing young anti-authoritarians and preventing the rise of heroes.

Zimbardo wants to promote the “heroic imagination” in our children through our educational system with hero courses that he is developing. I believe that our young anti-authoritarians — our potential heroes — have far less of a need for hero courses in their schools than a need for help in battling against the systemic, authoritarian aspects of their schools.

George Orwell concluded that nothing crushes anti-authoritarianism and heroism more than overwhelming fear. And sadly, our educational system has created overwhelming fear with its “no child left behind,” “race to the top,” and standardized testing tyranny. These policies create fear in both students and teachers who are forced to focus on the demands of test creators. This kind of fear-based schooling crushes curiosity, critical thinking, questioning authority, and challenging and resisting illegitimate authority.

Young people have also been frightened by repeatedly hearing that they will be “losers” if they don’t attend college; while at the same time college attendees are saddled with crushing student-loan debt that can keep them from bucking a system for fear of finding themselves in an even deeper financial hole.

We should also worry that our young deviants, nonconformists, anti-authoritarians, and potential heroes are increasingly being referred to mental health professionals for treatment, which often consists of medication. In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association added to their diagnostic bible (then the DSM-3) “oppositional defiant disorder” (ODD). The official symptoms of ODD include: “often actively defies or refuses to comply with adult requests or rules,” and “often argues with adults.” Many of history’s greatest heroes would today be diagnosed as youngsters with ODD and other so-called “disruptive disorders.”

Heavily tranquilizing antipsychotic drugs (e.g. Zyprexa and Risperdal) are now the highest grossing class of medication in the United States ($18 billion in 2011). A major reason for this, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2010, is that many children receiving antipsychotic drugs have nonpsychotic diagnoses such as ODD or some other disruptive disorder; this especially true of Medicaid-covered pediatric patients.

Ignacio Martin-Baró, a social psychologist in El Salvador and a champion of the oppressed, was ultimately assassinated by a U.S. trained Salvadoran death squad in 1989. One observation by Martin-Baró about U.S. psychology was that “in order to get social position and rank, it negotiated how it would contribute to the needs of the established power structure.”

Martin-Baró would not be surprised that for several years the American Psychological Association (APA) not only condoned but actually applauded psychologists’ assistance in interrogation/torture at Guantánamo and elsewhere. When it was discovered that psychologists were working with the U.S. military and the CIA to develop brutal interrogation methods, the APA assembled a task force in 2005 to examine the issue and concluded that psychologists were playing a “valuable and ethical role” in assisting the military. And in 2007, an APA Council of Representatives retained this policy by voting overwhelmingly to reject a measure that would have banned APA members from participating in abusive interrogation of detainees. It took until 2008 for the APA to overturn this policy. Philip Zimbardo is to be commended for being one of those psychologists who spoke out against this APA policy.

In every generation there will be authoritarians and anti-authoritarians. There will be power structures and authoritarian professionals who meet the needs of power structures to gain social position and rank. And there will be anti-authoritarians who refuse to meet the needs of power structures, and who often pay the price of marginalization for their resistance. Our young anti-authoritarians are now being systemically crushed by power structures and authoritarians, and we can all help them by battling the oppressive forces in their lives.

Bruce E. Levine, a practicing clinical psychologist, writes and speaks about how society, culture, politics and psychology intersect. His latest book is Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite. His Web site is www.brucelevine.net

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Bruce Levine, Ph.D.

Commonsense Rebellion: Bruce E. Levine, a practicing clinical psychologist, writes and speaks about how society, culture, politics and psychology intersect. His latest book is Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite. His Web site is www.brucelevine.net

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55 thoughts on “The Systemic Crushing of Young Nonconformists and Anti-Authoritarians

  1. Fear is definitely the major theme in education at the moment and I agree that the situation has become so dire in some instances that, though I really applaud Zimbardo’s positive ideas, much would need to change before “hero training” could be taught in schools as they exist now, moreover not merely be mutated into some psychotic, bastardized institutional version of Zimbardo’s conception. Our example is extreme but I don’t think any family or child is exempt from something similar these days.

    Though we were never homeschool fanatics and actually find it sad that schools have become so toxic and destructive, we couldn’t leave our kids in school and they’re being educated at home. We’re lucky we had the option and can almost scrape by on one income and zero supportive services so that one parent can stay home and do the work. Many families could never manage it, so it’s ludicrous to sell it as the “thing to do.” It’s too bad we had to do it.

    Our boy-girl twins are recovering from autism through drug-free interventions like a gluten-free, organic diet and a few supplements for clinically demonstrated nutrient deficits due to GI problems. All very, very controversial whereas loading up small children– who may already be toxically injured– with major sedatives, stimulants and medications with a known causal association for causing autism (among other horrible side effects) are considered acceptable.

    To say the least, the twins’ last school district was irked by our approach and there was really no way to hide our “non-authoritarian” practices. Even if we never expressed any righteousness over choices, simply by not complying with standard regimens– junk food and drugs– we were like walking indictments that what staff pushed on other children and considered normal for themselves was wrong. I would guess that one in three staff were medicated and many had pretty lousy personal health habits. If our children were palpably defying diagnoses and getting better, it was just adding insult to injury.

    In any event, it was clear how simple personal choices were perceived: staff fought us on everything, even to the point of refusing to peel an apple for a child who wasn’t allowed to come home from lunch. Everything about us and our children was just “wrong” and staff took it out on the kids in the most vicious ways. If a typical student– or even an “appropriately medicated” disabled student– cried in gym class for not making a basket in basketball, they might be consoled or distracted. Not our kids, they were stuffed in cinder block closets and, if they resisted, they were physically restrained and injured.

    Any small child may have difficulty reporting what authority figures do to them, so there was a lag in our finding out about the abuse. As soon as we knew, we took the children out of school with signed medical leaves, both because the kids were made sick by the treatment as well as the fact that, without a medical excuse, schools can typically file spurious truancy charges. That in itself is due to the fact that the Office of Civil Rights for the DOE is a joke, police and child services mostly claim (falsely) that they have no jurisdiction to report schools and schools have no incentive to investigate themselves.

    So though we never planned on it, we ended up homeschooling. What was so interesting about it is that we were free at last to teach our children from our own anti-authoritarian perspectives. My husband and I had both been raised with admiration for the principles of nonviolent struggle, for civil rights heroes and humanitarian rebels. We’d found we’d been skipping over those messages a bit or failing to explain how these things applied to daily life while the kids had been in school, fearing they’d misunderstand and it would create more friction with authority figures. Considering that the potential for friction was already there, this was a real fear: the mounting number of stories of institutional retaliation and abuse are terrifying.

    Once free of the constraints of fear, we realized how inhibiting the fears were for genuine education. For instance in order to illustrate historic examples of justice, humanism, and the questioning of authority by using life situations that the children are familiar with, one renders one’s children completely unfit to get by in public schools as they currently stand. It would take too long to explain how this applies, just suffice it to say that you can’t teach anything properly or interestingly under a pall of hypocrisy. It makes it too necessary to skip over the really juicy details, those things that grab the attention of children who have such an innocent and untainted perception of justice. You can’t teach irony if you exemplify it, and a sense of irony is intrinsic to teaching history and ethics. You can’t teach health practices or science while simultaneously adhering to tobacco science (i.e., pushing drugs and corporate philosophy)

    And the other side benefit of this type of learning is that it meshes with healing from emotional trauma because you’re free to provide a realistic view that the price of standing up for principles is sometimes high and, most of all, that people who are punished for being different are hardly alone in an historic sense.

    We had been hesitant to enroll our kids in public school because of all the bad news about bullying, the pressure to drug, etc., but were told that they needed the special learning services and socialization. The services turned out to be nil– even if guaranteed by law, too many schools have developed ways to terrorize families out of rallying for them. And some socialization: Every child in their classrooms was getting “the treatment” in a sense, being shown what happens to those who are different. If a child was different in another way, say merely creative and a free thinker, our children were the heads on pikes. The point to which the institution’s retaliation against our attempts to report abuse also made us the heads on pikes for other parents who even thought about advocating for their child’s needs, individuality or basic integrity. For “hero training” to be possible, schools would have to stop the violent bystander training which is becoming all the more prevalent as rates of disabilities and drug injuries among children keep rising and children’s health in the US is now worse than any other developed country. There are just too many easy targets to “teeth” the bystanders-in-training on now.

    In our case, unplugging from the system boiled down to basic safety and sanity. But along the way we found many other upsides which the fear induced by even being even tied to the system had drowned out. It makes me think of a book I read as a kid, “A Wrinkle in Time.” When consumed by the “Dark Thing” radiating from “It” you start to lose your soul. The “Dark Thing” is very present in schools and institutions now and I’d venture to guess that “It” is largely corporate influence on education and an increasingly militarized, controlled society. Perhaps Zimbardo is just proposing to combat “It” with love and a counter example. This is wonderful but it will take more than that.

    • I was a high school teacher for fifteen years in private Catholic schools. We were head and shoulders above what was going on in the public schools in Louisiana. However, we had our own brand of coercion and propaganda that was practiced on the students. There was no importance attached to helping the students learn to think for themselves. This was the last thing that they wanted students to embrace since that would create people who questioned the system. Everything was rote memorization with an emphasis on regurgitation of information. Most classes were terribly boring and those that weren’t made the administration suspect the teachers who taught them. The price for fighting back agsint the system in any form was expulsion from the school. The mass drugging in the guise of the ADHD scam was just getting started when I’d had enough of the system and was fired for encouraging the students to think for themselves and to speak up and against what they saw as injustice. I was told that my “teaching philosophy didn’t fit in with the philosophy of the school!”

      I used to speak out against home schooling but now believe that this is what any parents with any sense must do for their children. Some of the best young adults that I now know are products of home schooling. There is no hope for our kids in the educational system of this country at this point in time. And if the kids don’t conform and shut up we drug them to the gills and if the parents fight against the drugging they’re threatened with having their children staking from them and put in the foster care system where they will certainly be drugged to the gills.

      • Stephen– thank you for the professional insights, your honesty and the affirmation. There are times when we wish the children could be in school but considering the legal immunity which the DOE and ed lobby have carved out for themselves, it’s just too dangerous.

        As if to illustrate what we felt in our guts about it, after we withdrew our children, two teachers were credibly accused of molesting former students in a scandal that blew up in the national press. That’s when we came across the DOE’s own report that the risk of sexual abuse by staff is now 100 times greater in public schools than in the church. When children aren’t taught to think for themselves, we have to take the bottom out of expectations– there is no limit, anything can happen.

  2. Bruce Levine Ph.D. wrote “Young people have also been frightened by repeatedly hearing…”
    The youth who willingly take the psychiatric medicines believe in the brain chemical imbalance explanation of mental illness.
    Too many people living on a monthly Government cheque is the only way this farce (legal drugs) is going to end.

  3. I don’t think Mr. Lombardo gets the whole Satan myth, actually. Although in many ways it’s quite clear. To me, it’s a fabrication trying to promote fear based responses. Lucifer means the light, the morning light, and the light is something that’s always there, no matter what. Anyone can decide to see that investing in duality only perpetuates (and causes) what they are fighting against, rather than solves it. It’s only our idea of linear time that prevents us from seeing this cause and effect. And on the the other side the light/ love is still there. Innocence is still there. It’s waiting for us to chose it, and it can break the cycle. This however goes against fear based programming of doing, being and having; all based on having to fight against duality. So, the light is seen as evil because it doesn’t promote this model (same as someone promoting the fact that there’s nothing biologically wrong with a mental ill person is seen as disruptive). Thus some “hero” has to win a war against lucifer. It’s this whole idea of duality and the hero that creates all the violence, and produces the “evil” it says it’s fighting; and pushes to the side what actually beyond duality always has healed.
    I agree that it’s the system which corrupts people. Milgrim proves that. But it’s people wanting to be heroes thinking there’s something to fight against, thinking they have to obey “the authority” the good guy; it’s this which causes the other side. If “evil” had created all the social patterns, all the weapons, all the means of social control, all of the ways to bind people into set arbitrary ways of conforming based on guilt; if “evil” had created all of this, there wouldn’t be any “society.” All “evil” has done is pick up some scraps of this whole fear based mind/control system and gone berserk with it, showing what a desire for power does in the end. The “good” guys don’t seem to get it or have the sensitivity to go berserk. And sorry, but I really find something wrong with an”experiment” which breaks people down within 36 hours, and doesn’t see that it’s breaking people down, and treating them in inhumane ways but is some example of a clinical trial in human behavior. But then someone else had to point this out to him.
    I don’t think that heroes ever have this inspiration to become heroes. They just respond when others are calculating loss, they haven’t lost sight of the light. They haven’t thrown “lucifer” out of heaven.
    There’s so much push to protest against the drug companies and use legal measures to do this. Anyone who doesn’t is a passive bystander. But what if this is making the drug companies more secretive, more corrupt in their practices. Is a penal system which uses trauma to control people’s behaviors really something to ameliorize to protect people who are traumitized, or is it perpetuating it? Are those who call anyone not taking part in their protest a passive bystander going to be there for those people who really need emotional help (and might be highly disruptive in their behavior); and who never got that help, and whose disruptive behavior in it’s call for love is only magnified by whatever new disabling drugs the drug companies have come out with? What’s clear is that there are people on both sides of the struggle that need help.

    • Sorry one sentence there said: ‘The “good” guys don’t seem to get it or have the sensitivity to go berserk.”

      or was supposed to read nor thus it should say

      ‘The “good” guys don’t seem to get it nor have the sensitivity to go berserk.’

      • Bruce’s article wasn’t about indoctrinating people into “Christian” beliefs. So my responses will end here. It certainly wasn’t about saying that people who don’t believe in Lucifer were “unregenerate.” That’s more like something the drug companies would say about anyone not taking on their beliefs and not joining the gang. It’s also the same kind of labeling that is promoted in the DSM. The one institution that has vied with the amount of political mind control and corruption that people calling themselves “Christians” used to get into, is corporate media the last so many years.

        What I believe Jesus taught is that what you call your “enemies” are actually your saviors, in a sense. This is because they challenge you as to how you respond; and when you respond with forgiveness and love, you forgive (for give) from an energy where there is no loss. This is where the resurrection comes from, this is where miracles come from, this is where the changes Martin Luther King, Ghandi, The Peace Pilgrim and all of the proponents of non-violence (which is deemed crazy) came from, this is what happens when you let go of something and wake up the next day to see you have a whole new take on it or it has changed for itself; and this is what happens when people let go of the fear-flight response and allow their own body to heal itself, instead of responding with disabling stress. This is also how Jesus could allow himself to be “crucified,” and not see himself as a victim (not see himself as torn, beaten, murdered etc.), and know there was no loss (something other people thought was impossible or crazy).

        I don’t believe heaven is a place people find (and certainly don’t defend) when they wage a war against lucifer, and I don’t believe it’s something attained by investing in the belief in guilt. I don’t believe that there is any separation in heaven, that we all come from the same spark and share the same energy of consciousness that’s collective, and transcends time and space. “Schizophrenics” tap into this energy all the time. When you look at your fellow beings differently, without judging, without adding to the whole condemning energy which is part of the fear based mind control which caused the trauma, which caused them to behave in a way that you would judge rather than heal…when you look at them differently you break the whole vicious cycle, and you invest in the light that it is to be human rather than judging it and believing in limitations that don’t exist for it. We all are connected. When judging another person all you do is hold onto that belief in guilt inside yourself and try to project it on others. Healing would be not judging, by actually following what Jesus taught, instead. And you have no secret thoughts. You forgive someone in your thoughts and the change really doesn’t depend on whether they see it with their physical eyes or whether anyone else does. The change is stronger that, and not dependent on the rules of space and time Quantum Physics itself has shown don’t really hold at basic physical levels.

        This also is what is meant in Buddhism by compassion. It’s also what Taoist non attachment refers to, and the Buddhist idea of letting go of desire. It happens in art (which exists in all “primitive” religions) when someone allows the holy spirit to give them perspective on life and see it’s meaning.

        I think that judging others as “unregenerate” is exactly what Jesus was saying is what prevents you from seeing God. And the holy spirit shares a whole different outlook.

        And if someone would look at the kind of cruel things the “Christians” did to others they felt needed to be made repentant (which supposedly was facilitating some war against “Lucifer”), who were seen as being unregenerate, who were unwashed, who hadn’t been indoctrinated; you do touch on exactly the kind of behavior that is being talked about in Bruce’s article. People who didn’t see it the “Christian’s” way were seen as nonconformists, anti-authoritarians etc. to no end…(evil, savage the whole works).

        I don’t believe that your judging of ANYONE as being unregenerate has anything to do with what Jesus taught, except that’s what he taught NOT to do. And his life is an example of what you accomplish when you don’t judge other people in such a way. DSMs included…

        Even in your bible it says that Jesus says he would send a paramour after him. The holy spirit. Thought itself. He never said that he would be creating a whole religion, and those not indoctrinated wouldn’t get into heaven, as if heaven isn’t in every moment. And many priests and pastors are exactly the kind of people that fall prey to social conformity and promote the whole mental health system’s suppression of thought rather than allowing it. This comes from conformity, not thought. Jesus certainly never said that the Roman Catholic Church would be putting together a book as instruction manual, and that the idea of cardinal sin was something else than an attempt in fear based mind control, and those not believing in it wouldn’t get past his disciple Peter, when trying to pass through the “gates” of heaven. In fact I think that this “heaven” and what Jesus taught is something Universal and doesn’t depend on anyone even having to know who Jesus, nor is that how he shares his wisdom.

        You might want to look at a book called A Course in Miracles. That was what came to be when a woman who was a militant atheist, and worked as a “medical psychologist” had a whole change of mind, she first thought was a whole form of insanity, a “voice” she heard in her head that wouldn’t go away until she started writing this book whose voice identified itself as Jesus. Not that you have to believe any of it, or that I would call you unregenerate if you didn’t.

        I also have what the Catholic Church would call a drop of Jesus blood that manifested on my left thumb, at one time, after leaving mass. Someone who at one point was maybe trying to kill me, also recognized the energy in that drop (and which transcends the whole idea of death, or murder even); which certainly doesn’t require a belief in some entity called Lucifer who conveniently used to project one’s thoughts on rather than recognizing them as something in oneself to let go of. Instead, I didn’t judge someone whose behavior is a call for love, and when I invested in what Jesus taught rather than the penal system and other forms of violent coercion, it changed his life. The article above is about what happens in the penal system.

        I also had a physical condition which was healed thanks to the help of a man who was institutionalized as a child when miracles happened around him. That then was seen by a priest as a sign of the devil. He was given shock therapy for a whole year as a child (more the kind of behavior that’s talked about in the article); and not until much later in his life, when to other people his life would be judged as falling apart, did the miracles start occurring again. When I was healed (and wondered afterwards what happened), I realized went to a place where everything that you believe is unforgivable about yourself can be washed away. It’s what we see unforgivable about ourselves that is what we project onto others, when we judge them, also. And when we don’t judge others, we aren’t holding onto this guilt inside ourselves, and we love ourselves and the human condition instead. That’s how I was healed, and it’s not going to change whether others believe it or not. Judging them as if this will defend heaven is losing that healing rather than defending it.

        I also recently had a healing of my heart. Like many people in the Mental Health System, I encountered a lot of heart break. I started taking some natural healing which is said to heal the heart. A cup of hot water with honey, a capful of vinegar and some lemon juice. And some Ginger powder and a few cloves of garlic cut up. There’s a common potion shared online with these ingredients, although that’s a bit different. I could feel that as it relieved some of the stress to my heart, my behavior started to change and I recognized how I had been avoiding feeling the strain to my heart. And then one day I could feel a metaphysical healing. And I found how I could let go of this whole idea that I needed to invest in responding to pain with any kind of drama; and even laugh at it instead. There were two sides going on. One was real, and the other wasn’t. The other then (like the Lucifer Myth) was something I could just invest in as not being real, and it would dissolve, which it did. And I’m left with a new heart that’s calm. That’s healed. When you judge others, this is how you see yourself. And that is how you withhold healing and understanding from yourself.

        And the term “ungenerate” in many ways is no different than “nonconformist,” or “anti-authoritarian,”

        • This should have read: ‘And the term “unregenerate” etc…’

          To correct:

          And the term “ungenerate” in many ways is no different than “nonconformist,” or “anti-authoritarian,”

          • N- you’ve articulated your beliefs and I’m sure you would allow me and the millions like me to have our own, different beliefs. Regenerate/Unregenerate are biblical terms. They differentiate between those whom the Holy Spirit has changed their nature and whose nature has not yet been changed. These is no similarity to that concept in the way Mr. Levine’s article uses the term. I don’t feel the need to challenge the statements you set forward other than to say, you don’t have an understanding of orthodox Christianity (which is fine) and this isn’t the forum to engage in education on that subject. I’m always amused that people don’t think the Lord judges. Yes, he judges and he judges with eternal verdicts. The gospel is translated from “good news” because it shows the way to escape God’s judgement. Sinful man is absolutely desparate to believe in a God who doesn’t judge, but Christians should never be complicit in agreeing with that lie. God judges.

          • It’s one thing when you yourself believe in a judging God that me metes out eternal condemnation and suffering; but it becomes another things when you tell for example a homosexual who practices love that he is a sinner and that you are telling him this out of love and that if he doesn’t follow what you say your God will not deem him worthy of heaven. Saying such things, which the Catholic Church does, is not only traumatizing, but it is in collusion with making homosexual teens amongst the highest suicide rate victims as well, and it’s a form of sexual abuse. This is in many ways the same as the drug companies saying that there is some genetic or biological flaw in people with a mental illness, acting like they are practicing love and healing by doling out “medications” said to correct this flaw and then actually create biological illness as well as genetic mutation, all which shortens life. The Eugenics in the Nazi regime, which is talked about in another thread here The Trouble with Twin Studies was also directed towards homosexuals, those deemed to have a mental illness, gypsies (a people the Catholic Church waged genocide against as well), the mentally retarded as well as the Jews or those dissenting against the Nazi Regime. And it was those Eugenics theorists that tried to prove that there’s a genetic flaw in schizophrenia in quite convoluted ways.
            Instead of laughing at people who don’t believe in a condemning God, perhaps you need to spend your energy changing your Church to not uphold such doctrines. That Woman can’t be priests might be another form of an erroneous belief in a genetic flaw.
            “George Orwell concluded that nothing crushes anti-authoritarianism and heroism more than overwhelming fear.” Trying to convince people there’s something wrong with them using a judging God and the fear you can induce in an innocent person with such doctrines is no different than the method of using the myth of mental illness being a biological flaw. Where healing occurs there aren’t such attempts to wield fear.

        • It gets hard to read the words of *non-Catholics* when it comes to matters of faith within the Catholic Church. Common sense would dictate this if probably not a good source.

          I’m not sure this is the forum to get into lengthy religious discussions. As a Catholic, I can only say that I find some of the statements on this site to be outrageous…. hardly *representative* of the teachings of the Holy See.

          The Catechism of the Catholic Church can be found online. Catholic.com and EWTN are good sites for anyone interested in learning more about the teachings of the Church.

          But this hardly seems the forum.

          Kyrie Eleison.

          Duane

          • One only has to read the statements the Catholic Church makes about homosexuality to support exactly what I said. For the Catholic Church to say that it is an act of love to tell innocent people there’s something wrong with their natural instincts doesn’t make it any less than persecution. Psychiatry used to make homosexuality out to be seen as a sign of a mental illness that should be healed. The same.

            I’m quite sure that those who fashion the DSM say exactly the same thing about someone who can see what’s going on. When criticized they also might resort to saying that not being part of the DSM or a follower of psychiatry, you’re not a good source to know what’s going on. Wow that’s easy. You can disqualify any criticism that way. Only those who are “believers” know what’s going on. Or they’d just call it outrageous.

            When someone pointing out the abuse by the Catholic Church towards homosexuals is seen as outrageous, this really speaks for itself as does the statements by the Catholic Church. And when someone sees these statements by the church for what they are this isn’t disrespectful (or a sign of dangerous anti-authoritarianism or non conformism); this is a statement of solidarity with a persecuted minority, and an honoring of what Jesus truly taught.

            And as I said already, gay teens have one of the highest suicide rates thanks to such behavior of the church and other people.

          • Homosexuals really aren’t in any need of “spiritual help” from the Catholic Church so that they *conform* to the *authority* of what the Church would say about their nature, their sexual orientation. Those in need of spiritual help would be those judging homosexuals as sinning when they express physical love. Neither do women who would want to see themselves as capable of being priests need any spiritual help to see it otherwise, the spiritual help goes to those trying to convince them they’re not capable of being qualified.

            This also points out that the Catholic Church doesn’t listen to it’s own people. Catholic Americans, in fact, support gay marriage more than the general population in American. http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/03/08/among-catholics-increasing-support-for-same-sex-marriage/
            http://www.advocate.com/politics/religion/2013/03/08/catholics-support-gay-marriage-more-americans-whole
            http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/News/majority-catholics-support-gay-marriage/story?id=18684305

            Outrageous isn’t it?
            More nonconformist anti-authoritarians, in the church itself. The very Church that initially persecuted many of it’s nonconformist saints.

            I cheer them on…..

            They’re the ones that give the church meaning rather than those wielding “authority.”

            Here’s more information
            http://www.globalresearch.ca/pope-francis-and-argentinas-military-juntas-policy-of-mass-assassinations/5327398

            Sorry for my anti-authoritarian non conformist behavior, but that’s what the blogpost is about……

          • This is a response to Nijinsky’s post this morning, which is below.

            Being a former Roman Catholic I think you have hit on a real point of truth. I turned my back on this church when I and two of my friends tried to expose a pedophile priest. The archbishop told us we were totally mistaken about the priest and that we needed to mind our own business and get back to our seminary studies. Ten years later the priest in question was the first in this country to be put on trial and put in prison and ended up bankrupting the diocese he was from because of the 12 million dollar settlement for the victims. This isn’t exactly the same thing that you’re talking about but is another example of the hypocrisy running rampant in the church that allows it to hold the arrogant and hypocritical views that it spouts about gay people.

            This is exactly the same kind of arrogance and hypocrisy that fills psychiatry and everything that it does to people labled as being supposedly “mentally ill.”

          • Nijinsky,

            I’ve read each of your comments and respect your right to your opinions.

            Again, I’d prefer not to continue to debate these issues about religion and church teaching on MiA. It’s not the forum.

            Steve,

            The priest you mentioned deserved to be put in prison. IMO, he should serve a life sentence.

            Duane

          • Let’s be fair to Jesus here.
            What he taught actually does heal.
            He wasn’t resurrected because he wanted God to function as some kind of a judicial system which keeps people in line by threatening eternal damnation. That’s intimidation not inspiration, harmony or healing. And by taking fear and condemnation out of the equation, what Jesus taught actually does heal trauma, regardless what another has done. It’s the people trying to control others with fear that causes the kind of oppression of the human condition resulting in all these atrocious acts. And so often healing isn’t found in the places that portend to be a place of healing or protection; whether it’s the penal system, the formal body of the church, psychiatry and/or the drug companies.

            If the formal body of the church actually taught forgiveness, (and I mean true forgiveness where you don’t overlook a sin thinking you’re getting good points for it, but where you actually know there’s something beyond our judgments, an energy where the resurrection came from and that’s creative, that comes from truth, from knowledge in the sense that it’s unchanging and can’t be altered or destroyed; that spark of innocence we all share)…if the formal body of the church would teach this then it would be a place of healing. When a person looks at their own trauma to understand trauma, experiencing and witnessing that healing is possible, and from that learns compassion with those who traumatized them; (people who perhaps they never got the chance to look at their own trauma and heal), this same occurs. And healing happens on all levels; one changes the world simply by opening up an avenue for healing rather than condemnation.

            But making yourself out to be inviolate as some kind of media campaign, and not even seeing the atrocities occurring in the church that need healing. And preventing healing by maintaining population control, promising either heaven of hell for fear based mind control, I don’t think this is healing. I also don’t think that giving a person a chemical imbalance, while stating you’re healing one, is healing. And I don’t think, nor do statistics show, that a penal system aimed at controlling people through fear protects a society from crime.

            I actually think we’re all connected, we have no secret thoughts. When you stop judging other people and wanting to control them with fear, intimidation, humiliation, condemnation, ostracization, coercion; and instead see that the innocence of the human condition in itself is inviolate. That’s how it was created. That remains beyond anything the senses could judge one way or the other. Beyond time. Beyond space. That remains beyond any suffering we invest in to condone our attempts at fear based coercion etc. (See redundant list above). The rest is us learning what we cause when we fail to invest in love; which we all do and cause profusely, proving we’re all in this together.

    • Million of Christians don’t share your “Satan myth” myth. Lucifer, before the fall, was light in the sense that he reflected the glory and majesty of God. But, for those with different, including no, faith traditions, this all seems silly. And it should. How often did Jesus say, “For those with ears to hear, let them hear.” This was code for, some of you who’s natures have been changed will understand what I’m saying, but for those who remain unregenerate, this is nonsense.

      Great piece by Bruce as always.

          • I wish there was a way to discuss religion and faith on MIA Duane that could be useful, but I just don’t see how it’s possible. The forum just doesn’t seem to lend itself to this extremely important topic. The exchange we’ve had here is another example. Jinks has beliefs which may be 180 degrees different than my own. We’re both entitled to them but the chance of “common ground” is not likely. So both Jinks, you and I are all non-comformists in the sense we will not conform to truths that we believe are falsehoods. We refuse to accept authority from those not worthy of it. All hail the non-conformists and anti-authoritarians!

          • David,

            There may be *some* common ground.

            None of us would be on MiA if we were not *non-conformists* when it comes to the *false* authority of psychiatry and the mental health system.

            We have some *major* differences in matters of faith, but I think it would be fair to say that we each refuse to see the human soul (in either the secular or spiritual sense) as solely *reduced* to neurotransmission.

            Speaking for myself, I believe that *love* is the cornerstone of faith – along with a *faith* in that love – to include the concepts of grace, mercy, redemption – for *all people* who are open to receive it, and *act* upon it.

            But I agree, David. We are not in a place to have dialogues on this topic as of yet.

            Peace be with you.

            Duane

          • Anti-authoritarian means being anti-authoritarian. Nonconformist also means non-conformist. This is in regards to those that use coercion and intimidation, otherwise there would be no need to rebel. Threatening eternal damnation, regardless whether you believe this or not, is exactly what anti-authoritarians and nonconformists rebel against. They rebel against that kind of coercion and intimidation. They also rebel against fear based programming.

            To say you’re rebelling when there’s nothing to rebel against, no coercion going on, no threat of anything…you need to look deeper at why you get so stressed out.

            And this is what Jesus taught that what you believe are you enemies are actually your saviors, because they challenge you as to how you respond. And forgiveness is an illusion that leads to the light, but remains an illusion. There’s nothing to forgive. No one is threatening you, you’re doing that to yourself.

  4. Bruce and all,Retired neuro-surgeon Russell Blaylock who has seen the inside of brains of individuals of all ages says drugging the developing brains of children is worse then eugenics.See him interviewed by googling { RussellBlaylockMD Mental Health) see a link to his writings at http://www.whale.to/vaccine/blaylock_a.html I believe the most accurate overview is by Dr. Rath founder of the Rath Foundation. It seems obvious to me we have become the American Indian.Ask your self just for starters what the powerful are doing to our food supply ,homes,and jobs.Thats not even speaking of “meds”.How much of the money stolen from the people is being used to control with high tech even our minds ? Are the efforts so far to remove the bootheel from our necks just a “Ghost Dance”?What needs to realisticly be done ? Should we all have alternative ID’s and disguises.How can we save as many as possible? Do we need to set up underground railroads?Do you think that just because people know others are being hurt it means that they will even lift a finger to help.Lets face it, there is real trouble and I haven’t seen any real rolling back of the oppression.The only answer I know is mutually guaranteed survival but I don’t know how to get there from here.Remember the broken treatys and promises made to the American Indian while everything they valued was taken away.I don’t see how a divided population can survive.Are most jobs controlled by the oppressors?G-d help us .We need miracles ,hero’s and unity in a multifacited survival stradegy. In fact we all need to become hero’s somehow.

  5. Thank you Bruce. You are one of the brave ones.

    “To be well-adjusted to a sick society is no sign of health.” ~J. Krishnamurti

    Krishnamurti was more against authority than anyone I know.

    “Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world, in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obediednt while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running the country.” ~Howard Zinn

    It’s no secret why we conform: FEAR.

  6. It’s indeed true that children, who have been programmed to believe they are losers if they don’t go to college, end up saddled with enormous debts. This debt then goes into the same machinery that calls itself capitalist, criticizes socialism as being for a few; and distributes this debt between the few who are part of it’s cult. And people pointing this out are called anti-capitalist (anti-authoritarian, nonconformist) while the “capitalists” share the money to pull the strings in their behind the scenes behavior which is exactly what they say is bad about socialism. And thus it’s not about open enterprise or capitalism, either.

    Those are very hurt people….If the mental health system actually dealt with trauma rather than disabling the brain, they might find help. The money the drug companies are making for them obviously isn’t helping either.

  7. Kermit, re:

    This might be interesting to some:
    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2013/apr/04/religion-without-god/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=March+19+2013&utm_content=March+19+2013+CID_0e5e24b842189fa687ab52d69042ce67&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=Religion%20Without%20God

    Yes! Very interesting!

    This is a great essay, by the way, and I appreciate these articulations of the double-binding dynamics of expectation, limitation, and punishment. Isn’t it ironic that a country which was founded as a result of a war with the word “Revolutionary” in its name does not allow defiance and that, in the midst of all this talk of freedom, we find ourselves so constrained.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t Jung theorize that disparity between what one is told is real and what one observes to be real, coupled with damned if you do/damned if you don’t scenarios, tends to catalyze manifestations of madness?

    If people are spiritual, or religious as defined in the Dworkin excerpt, then they may have a deep sense of ethical responsibility and a reverence for nature…yet, we live in a culture in which even the sacred is pathologized (punished and illegitimated) if it falls outside of approved venues or modes of expression or if its potential outcomes may defy the interests of authorities…whether those authorities are corporations, government, church or family.

    It is so encouraging to see these ideas in so many different forums, gives me hope for the great turning.

    • To begin with. This is unacceptable (and the administration will agree) that you as a blogger here are referring to me, in attempts to humiliate me, as “the Jinkster.” or “Jinsky” etc.. Everyone sees the reference to Jinx

      The screen name I use is Nijinsky

      This doesn’t effect me, but…

      What you chose to believe is your own personal choice, but that you can’t defend what you call or believe to be faith without using such a demonstration of pettiness, and as a blogger invite other people to do the same is completely unacceptable for the purposes of this site, and contaminates the whole idea of it.

      It certainly isn’t any example of a profession of faith or a defense of one but an invitation to replacing true dialogue with petty name calling and personal attacks.

      Further more, neither are my beliefs or humanism something where truth is constructed where a person sees fit. Or rather that truth is fabricated to avoid true contemplation. I believe this happens more when a person tries to defend the creative energies (or God) as being an intimidating force that needs eternal damnation to keep people in line (or anything else in the Universe). Not only is this illogical to me, but if you look at the history of the Churches that follow such beliefs, it shows to be something that corrupts society rather than creates one. It doesn’t create a peaceful society, and it creates warring nations. Jesus actual teachings were different, as were the actions of his initial followers, as are the actions and results of those that still follow his example rather than what was added by the Romans, because Christianity had become enough of a movement not to ignore anymore. And Jesus teachings are pure. Pure teachings don’t need the kind of attempts at humiliation, shame, intimidation and pettiness you have shown, to defend them. It certainly doesn’t defend anything. And it really means nothing to me. There’s nothing to forgive because it does nothing. As little as that the pharisees could kill Jesus or that there was any need to indulge in the same kind of behavior to respond to anything, other than it shows what doesn’t work. Also, Neither humanism nor my beliefs are incompatible with Christianity, as many people follow them who are truly Christian. Making blanket statements about humanism shows the same bigotry as saying this about homosexuals, “schizophrenics,” people with brown skin, people with white skin, animals or what have you.

      As I said already, the truth is something which doesn’t change and isn’t susceptible to fears such as death or eternal damnation. The resurrection pointed this out as well as that the body itself isn’t ever really destroyed nor does it die. Who we truly are remains inviolate beyond time and space, and isn’t effected by pain, suffering, isn’t controlled by intimidation or threats of eternal damnation, isn’t destroyed by death; and remains what it is and unchanged and unaffected when we invest in pain to stop pain, suffering to stop suffering, murder and wars to stop death, and humiliation to find self worth, all to find out that’s not how it works. Jesus’ miracles and his teachings point this out further. These are absolutes.

        • For YOU it’s inevitable, not for others…..

          Changing peoples names making derogatory abbreviations is petty.

          Further more, other than you think this is some sincere expression of your feeling for my soul, if I don’t follow your beliefs; that you say you feel sorry I feel the way I do is as ridiculous as that I was supposed to think this is OK, negligible or take part in the same nonsense of petty name calling towards whoever (Pharmacy people, non Christians, “Christians,” Christians….) or other distractions, when I’m actually sharing information vital to many people, whether you agree with it or not. Many other people read these messages. And MANY people besides who has spoken out feel abused by your church…..And they don’t need to be made to feel that if they would speak their mind they would have their screen name dissected and used for ridicule and humiliation.

          • I don’t find the information you’ve shared to be “vital to many people” but you may be correct. I think the information I’ve shared is vital to many people as well, but I don’t expect you share in that view.

            I don’t believe the orthodox Christian faith is abusive. Certainly there have been abuses of power within churches of all different faith traditions over time. This is a reflection of the sinful people who make up the church, not the sinless God we worship.

            “…made to feel” is an interesting topic if you’re willing to discuss it further. I would argue that the individual has the power and responsibility to manage their own feelings, as best they can, and that a belief that their feelings aren’t their own or can be controlled by others through words, actions, behavior, etc. can lead to all kinds of issues. I’m open to differnt views on this, yours included.

    • I’m sorry I didn’t step in earlier. I regret I gave David a bit of extra leeway as a blogger here and also hoped that this may resolve itself in an enlightening fashion without intervention, but I now see that is not the case. This post includes clear personal attacks on Nijinsky’s character and is not appropriate for Mad In America.

    • David,

      I couldn’t help but notice in your comment above to Nijinksy about “made to feel,” followed by what I consider a bunch of psychobabble after doing tons of research to validate my own experience and reality on verbal and emotional abuse.

      I am in no way entering the discussion between you and Nijinksy here whatsoever since that’s like grabbing a mad dog by the ear as in PROVERBS.

      However, I notice you have seeming “mental health” credentials and I know there are lots of great quotes like “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent” or positive thinking thoughts from N.V. Peale not to mention the old “Sticks and stones” vicious LIE! Turns out the people that came up with such “BRIGHT SIDED” (title of book ranking out positive thinking forced on one and all) positive thinking did it to shore up their own miserable, negative selves!

      Anyway, I suggest you look into the dynamics of abusive relationships in the home, work places, schools, churches, community and the world at large. You will find that verbal, emotional and psychological abuse are the beginning stages of any abusive, bullying/mobbing relationship to wear and tear people down, destroy their self esteem and health, manipulate them to do the abuser’s bidding and it often leads to physical abuse and even murder.

      In fact, though male bullies are more inclined to punch it out, girl bullies are more infamous for what is called relational aggression whereby they ridicule, backstab the victim, ostracize her, slander her and engage in other verbal and nonverbal violence to create a life of hell for the targeted victim. There are many books about this including ODD GIRL OUT and movies like MEAN GIRLS in recent times to expose this deadly type of mobbing and bullying that boys engage in too.

      I suggest you read books like THE VERBALLY ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP, VERBAL ABUSE SURVIVORS SPEAK OUT, WHY DOES HE DO THAT?, WHEN LOVE GOES WRONG, MOBBING, THE BULLY AT WORK, THE EMOTIONALLY ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP, IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING, MILITANT MANAGERS, STALKING THE SOUL, NASTY PEOPLE, NASTY MEN, NASTY WOMEN, THE PEOPLE OF THE LIE, NO VISIBLE WOUNDS and tons of others that more than demonstrate that verbal, emotional and psychological abuse are ABSOLUTELY DEADY AND DESTRUCTIVE TO ANYONE and can destroy one’s health, family, career and whole life while even driving people to suicide.

      I hope you will reconsider your “no fault” approach to whatever you might say without regard to others’ feelings given the “theory” you espoused here. And I hope you burn whatever great source you used to make the above comment that implies that people should be able to totally control their feelings regardless of the provocation or when subjected to emotional, verbal or psychological abuse.

      Now, I am not saying you were abusive here with Nijinksy, but rather I am challenging your views about how people react to what they perceive as an insult, putdown or other forms of verbal, emotional and psychological abuse.

      I would appreciate your considering this.

      Donna

      • You make some great points Donna and I agree with most if not all. I must not have been clear. I think each human being has a capacity and a responsibility to manage, as best they can, their own emotions. That’s of course made extremely challenging in some of the instances you describe in your response. No argument. But I don’t think you’re suggesting that the goal shouldn’t be to gain as much management as is possible, regardless of part/current trauma of one’s emotions. Correct? I was responding to a blanket statment that people were “made” to feel a certain way. Hope that helps and I appreciate your thoughts.

        • David, People have the right to their feelings and if they find something offensive, it is considered abusive to say or imply things like “You’re too sensitive” and other typical abuser ploys to invalidate and further verbally abuse the target. Again, see the great book, THE VERBALLY ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP by Patricia Evans. Most if not all victims of domestic, work and other violence say the emotional, verbal abuse is far more deadly than physical abuse, which applies to everyone including children.

          Past or current trauma has NOTHING to do with the FACT that all disrespectful, controlling, invalidating behavior or emotional, verbal, psychological abuse is harmful to ANYONE AND EVERYONE even if in the best of emotional health.

          One of my favorite recent books by a famous professor and human resources expert that has gotten a lot of attention and praise is THE NO ASSHOLE RULE!! I suggest you might want to check it out to see what this expert defines as the worst types of verbal and nonverbal behaviors that make life hell at work.

          In fairness to Nijinksy, she objected to your toying with the name Nijinksy as part of your argument, which came off as name calling to her it appears. It sounds like you are saying she doesn’t have a right to feel the way she does, which is considered abusive in itself since feelings are feelings.

          Anyway, I strongly disagree with you that people should be expected to not feel something when insulted or offended, but it is true that people have to control their reactions in that they aren’t allowed to hit someone with a bat or shoot someone when offended. But, on this web site the only possible weapons are words or maybe ostracism!

          Hope you reconsider this. Thanks for responding.

          • Donna, no I’m absolutely NOT saying anyone doesn’t have the right to feel the way they do. I did not say nor intend to imply that. I don’t seem to be communicating my point very well. I’m not saying people don’t have a right to feel something, I’m saying we should feel empowered to know that we can manage our own feelings. I’m sure you would agree that feeling as if someone else has total control over your emotions would NOT be a pleasant thing. If our emotions are held captive by another we’re all in real trouble no? Hope you reconsider with the clarification I have given.

          • David,

            You just don’t seem to get it! People manipulate, emotionally, verbally and psychologically abuse people to gain power over them without their even realizing it as explained in excellent books like STALKING THE SOUL, THE VERBALLY ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP, MOBBING and many others.

            In many cases people are TRAPPED in such situations like a job they need badly, a horrible marriage where they have to protect their children and other horrible situations where such verbal and emotional abuse can cause physical illness, trauma and even suicide.

            I guess I have misunderstood what those letters mean by your name because I thought you had some time of social worker type credentials.

            You are simply refusing to acknowledge how lethal such gas lighting invalidation using words and emotions as weapons can be just as deadly and more so as shooting someone with a gun!

            I suggest you read some of the books I cited.

          • “…all disrespectful, controlling, invalidating behavior or emotional, verbal, psychological abuse is harmful to ANYONE AND EVERYONE even if in the best of emotional health.”

            Thank you, Donna, for this concise summary of why we have the posting guidelines that we do on this website.

      • Donna

        Thankyou for taking the time to address the issue of the smug way in which Nijinsksy was treated in this thread. BTW you have been quite prolific recently with great spirit and content.

        I wanted to come to Nijinsky’s defense on some issues but did not have enough time to give this tender subject enough care and justice. I carefully read all the posts and believe she brought up some important contradictions in religious morality. I feel bad that she was left alone in such difficult waters, but she held her own quite well.

        Donna, you sort of point out one of the fundamental problems with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy and therapy in general; that is, this believe that “we are what we think.” These therapy techniques have some pragmatic usefulness, but they ultimately down play the powerful role of the environment, including the role of trauma and other forms of systemic injustice.

        How can we expect every person subjected to on going abuse and/or abject poverty to simply start thinking positively or start challengeing negative thought patterns about the actual nature of their predicament. Yes, some people can find their way, but this system crushes human resilience on a daily basis; we need fundamental systemic changes in our society to afford everyone the opportunity to achieve their full human potential with basic human rights and a chance to live a safe and productive life.

        Imagine your given the task to provide counseling to a serial killer who is in jail awaiting trial for multiple murders, and he presents as depressed and suicidal. Imagine trying to use the power of positive thinking in this setting or using CBT or REBT to convince him that his negative thoughts about himself are actually “onesided” or overly “negative.”

        Yes, helping people change negative thought patterns has a role but it is better when people can also understand the true source of their oppression and actually be involved in changing for the better the material world in which they live. It is this process that truly leads to both tranformational thinking and doing.

        Richard

  8. In case there’s still any confusion, with these “responses.” Whoever thinks they are fishing for something….

    By this time, I’m supposed to have given up responding, from fear of malicious stimulation (thanks to name calling); or have gotten psychotic making up some story on how to jinx who knows what, from the sheer confusion and overwhelming overload that on a site that says it cares about mental well being and is the one refuge for many people: one meets with SUCH behavior..

    Further more one wouldn’t know whether this is all to make some adult nonsense with Roger Rabbit (and his pancake making frying with it gulps, sobs and shockers swinging around trying to hit balls) Bloopin Beeper and the LONE ranger f’lailing again…… or what kind of cartoons one gets stuck in trying to raise oneself out of it, but!

    Even someone who is on psychiatric medications believing in the “authority” of psychiatry; if allowed to see himself as whole, as complete, as not needing any threat of being put into eternal hell to inspire him to behave properly; that he doesn’t have to behave according to the dictates of ANY stress induced by threat or images of such loss; might do a lot better. And even such a person, having let go of fear, would according to me probably do better going off of medications (would he make such a decision), and would have better emotional means to withdraw properly than someone who gives himself no freedom for thought, beyond what he’s intimidated to think, thanks to whatever he’s told will save him from burning in hell for all of eternity, something one can only honestly laugh at, that a loving God would inflict this on anyone or anything, call it love, or “create” this as a means of maintaining harmony, and an example of communication.

    “Eat your vegetables or burn in hell forever…”

    “Don’t kill your neighbor or you’ll burn in hell forever, but kill the enemy because we have the only way, and THEY don’t; because, if you don’t, this “loving” God’s message will be lost.”

    Even the birds that fly in the sky, whose wings come out of an egg without any threat of burning in hell would they not; and if nurtured and allowed to grow, whose flight inspire people to think of the angels that are God’s emissaries, they have instincts fear has had nothing to do with, nor ever will….

    All of this without some poltergeist idea of a God that threatens immeasurable disabling and suffering if you don’t fear him….

    • David,

      I’m sorry you found my response “disparaging and insulting.” Actually all the comments combined, especially that of Richard Lewis above, helped me to see that throughout this “debate” we were speaking OF TWO MINDS, the title of a great book that explores the almost opposite direction psychiatry took when it left behind the focus on relationship and environmental stressors and adopted the new biomedical blaming the victim approach you mention.

      Here is a review of that book though I don’t agree with the assumptions of “take your meds and all is well” and using rare violence from the poster child of “mental illness” here typical of psychiatry’s forced treatment agenda:

      http://www.salon.com/2000/05/25/luhrmann/

      Richard helped me clarify that I am coming from the “old school” of recognizing the environmental stressors causing emotional distress and trauma with much research and validation of that paradigm by many experts in the past that I’ve posted on this site. Richard named what I was perceiving in that your approach seems to be that of CBT or REBT or other such therapies that espouse we can think our way out of the hurt we feel when we are subjected to what we consider invalidation, disrespect, bullying, etc. In some cases you are probably right in that one of the most popular self help books of all time is David Burns’ FEELING GOOD and his related work book, which deals with challenging negative or harmful thought patterns in fairly NORMAL relationships. I read his books quite some time ago, so I’m not sure he goes into abusive, bullying relationships there.

      Anyway, the point is that I was challenging and even criticizing the THEORY you seemed to be using to make Nijinksy feel that she SHOULDN’T BE feeling the way she did when it was clear that she seemed very upset from what she felt were attacks or teaming up on her by you and Duane. Would Albert Ellis’ advice to stop shoulding on yourself apply to others too? Ellis was using a stoic philosophy of not allowing yourself to get upset about things you can’t control, which is good up to a point. But, when it comes to abusers, bullies and mobbers, I say if you can’t beat them, run like hell. Now, I am not accusing you of being any of these. I used them as examples of why CBT and other “how you can survive in your lethal environment” approach Richard Lewis exposes with great wit do not work in such cases.

      You are right that we can all get quite passionate here and I’ve observed you coming on in a very aggressive way with others and I’ve sure fought passionately for and against things that are important to me. I’ve had to apologize as I’m doing with you too since you say you felt offended by things I said. But, I wasn’t fighting you, but rather, that the new “blaming the victim” paradigm espoused by biopsychiatry and even the CBT and REBT as adjunct therapy to force people to adjust to and accept toxic environments is soul murder and a great deal of the cause of so much violence and suffering. Kermit just posted a great article about how Capitalism is killing us.

      There is a saying in the recovery movement that goes something like: the first time somebody does something, it’s maybe a mistake; the second time, it may be a coincidence and the third time, it’s a pattern that may be harmful and must be addressed by confronting or leaving the situation.

      Anyway, I think you and I have been “fighting” between two different paradigms of dealing with emotional distress, abuse, bullying and other environmental stressors or are “of two minds” in some respects partly because you are probably younger than Richard and me. But, I would agree there may be a place for CBT or REBT when it comes to irrational thinking that can harm one’s life like catastrophizing, all or nothing thinking, etc. On the other hand, when it comes to abuse, bullying, mobbing or abuse in general this will never work for the victim since it is the abuser(s) who are irrational, cruel, narcissitic and out of their minds and blaming the victim is just another form of abuse and bullying.

      Anyway, please note, I said I wasn’t getting into the dispute you had with Nijinsky, so I wasn’t judging YOU. I just became concerned when you said the following and felt a need to challenge such a theory:

      “…made to feel” is an interesting topic if you’re willing to discuss it further. I would argue that the individual has the power and responsibility to manage their own feelings, as best they can, and that a belief that their feelings aren’t their own or can be controlled by others through words, actions, behavior, etc. can lead to all kinds of issues. I’m open to differnt views on this, yours included.

      I think everyone’s input seems to indicate that we are talking of two different paradigms and your views may come from a CBT and RBET orientation and mine come from a more environmental orientation that acknowledges that severe emotional stressors like domestic/work abuse/violence and other bullying is toxic and can be deadly to the target.

      So, I am sorry if you felt bullied, mobbed and teamed up against yourself, but that might help you to see how Nijinksky felt. I really mean it when I say my posts were not attacks on you, but the fact that people routinely bully, mob and scapegoat others without a clue or concern about the possible deadly consequences. Please check out the horrific case of Phoebe Prince bullied to literal suicide by her fellow students while it appears psychiatry’s great contribution to helping her was to give her Prozac and Seroquel I imagine helped drive her over the edge. This medical information was published due to a nasty bully of a journalist who blamed Phoebe for her abuse, got illegal access to her medical records and was cruel enough to publish it in spite of family protests. And to cite some supposed pre-existing condition like her parents’ divorce to excuse such pernicious mobbing and bullying just exposes the bullies all the more because any ethical, decent, compassionate person would back off if they knew somebody was already suffering a loss and was vulnerable rather than going for her jugular. Needless to say, I feel the same when the mental death profession does this.

      Have a nice day. Thank you for everyone for their input that helped to clarify this issue for me.

      Anyway, I hope we can fight theories and ideas rather than each other. Again, I am sorry you found my remarks disparaging and insulting to YOU when they were only meant to be disparaging and insulting to certain theories used in the wrong place at the wrong time IN MY OPINION. You fought for your opinions too and I understood that, so I didn’t and don’t feel put down by your disagreement with me.

      Thanks for your input.

      Thanks to Kermit too for understanding my point. I don’t think Kermit was singling you out David since we are al guilty of not being as respectful and considerate as we could and should be when we get carried away with our passion and anger at what we see as abuses here or our pet theories, so I see it applying to me too.

    • We do not attack or diminish an individual’s character or intentions. Everyone has come a very long way and been through trials the rest of us could hardly imagine to be a part of this conversation. We offer them this basic respect as human beings.

      We are here to discuss ideas and beliefs. For many good reasons, we have our territorial emotions about what we believe, which are considered here to be a matter of personal responsibility. The message of the guidelines is to please not allow the upsetness at having one’s ideas challenged manifest as lashing out against the other person.

      These matters are not up for discussion on blog posts because it results in long derails of discussion on the article. I’d prefer if no one even replies to this post. Please feel free to email me directly or start a thread in the forums if there is interest in having further discussion about the posting guidelines.

      As always, please email me directly with any concerning comments. While I skim new comments regularly, I cannot read them all and miss problematic ones as often as I catch them.

  9. Now that it’s what it is….

    Let’s remember the amount of money that’s thrown into the hole we call religion.
    Only governments vie with this.
    People work many and all too quiet jobs just to have the honor….
    The honor to have their money thrown into this hole
    One could even say that it’s like….
    It’s like jumping into the sidewalk..
    When you’re in Mary Poppins…

    (I’m just trying to be funny, since it’s Easter) I get so much help from the Catholic Church. As to so many other people, people that also are in developing countries like mine.

    • I don’t consider my religion to be a “hole” It seems the use is disparaging. I take it that way at least. I respect that others have no religion or different religions, but I’m not sure we should characterize another’s belief in something so personal to be a belief in a “hole.”

  10. Brilliant conversations here…
    Thank you…

    Follows the theme of the original post – Anti-Authoritarians: Debating one another…
    I say to the moderator – allow these debates – but speak like gentlemen…

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