Phil's Philosophy

Mind Meanderings of an Alchemist

Contents

On its most fundamental level, you cannot understand the decadence and corruption of society without understanding the pathology of the human mind. But it’s not just the diseased mind that needs to be scrutinized, the frail mind needs to be examined as well because the latter lacks the fortitude and immunity to resist the dominance and tyranny of the former.

~Additions~

2014-06-07:

The Toxic Legacy of Machiavelli’s The Prince

2014-05-01:

Criticism of Søren Kierkegaard’s Phrase: Once You Label Me, You Negate Me…

2011-05-26:

What is the Purpose of Demons?

2011-05-18:

Anatomy of Narcissism v1.0

2011-01-20:

Musings on the Purpose of Death

2010-08-15:

Introducing Three Degrees of Evil

2010-07-06:

Musings on Atheism, Religion and God

2010-04-01:

Would God Condone Attempts to Root Out Evil with the Sword?

2010-02-8:

Musings on Free Will – Letter to Prof. Alfred Mele

2010-01-22:

Meet Mr. Ego and Mr. Spirit

 

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Ron Kray’s Paranoia and Reciprocal Person-idolatry practiced by the Kray family

Original publication: https://www.facebook.com/philip.jonkers/posts/2067888153229379

The London of the fifties and sixties saw the heyday of the glamorous gangsters called Ronald and Reginald Kray. One of them, Ronald, showed increasingly severe symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia from a fairly early age onward. Followed by my own analysis of it, the next passage is taken from a biography about the twins, written by John Pearson, called The Profession of Violence — The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins (referenced as JP). For the sake of argument, I will assume that Pearson’s rendition of events is accurate and truthful, although I have no way of knowing at the present time to what extent this is indeed the case. In support of my analysis, in addition to using the material contained in Pearson’s book, I will also use portions from the autobiography of the twins called, Our Story — Reg and Ron Kray (referenced as RR).

The relevant part of the story begins when young Ron, already convicted and incarcerated, is about to change from his current gaol–where he is known and respected by fellow inmates–to an altogether different, more relaxed sort of prison; one in which, however, his esteem as an up-and-coming gangster happens to not be acknowledged by his new fellow inmates. Suddenly deprived of the intangible sort of sustenance he was so used to indulge, even though he otherwise had every reason to look forward to improved living conditions, this rather profound change of scenery marks the starting point–paradoxically enough–of the real psychic trouble for Ron.

Reading note: The quoted sections in the next passage form Ron’s own retrospective commentary on the matter at hand.

Then Ronnie Kray’s routine was broken. Without intending it, his good behavior had made him eligible for the easier life of a first offenders’ prison and he found himself aboard the Solent ferry, bound for the Isle of Wight. The prison at Camp Hill was more humane than Wandsworth. There was a liberal-minded governor, prisoners mixed freely most of the day, and the whole prison staff made an attempt to teach these first offenders trades and stop them turning into hardened criminals. Ronnie hated it.
There were too many games, and far too many straight prisoners for his liking. In Wandsworth the old lags respected him. He had had prestige. Here he was nothing. The Wandsworth tobacco circuit didn’t operate [note: tobacco constituted a form of trade-currency in prison]. Instead of prisoners needing his help, most of these new ones kept clear of someone smelling so patently of trouble. He was still shy, still vulnerable, and found it hard to start a normal friendship. All his relationships beyond the family had been with the weird, the cowed or the small group of Bethnal Greeners he had grown up with. New friends appeared impossible.
He was entirely alone here: his family and followers were a continent away across the Solent. He had no aptitude to learn a trade. And for the first time he sensed that he was losing touch with the one being who had always been his firm link with reality. Reggie’s success started to obsess him.
Gradually he withdrew into himself. He gave up the effort of talking to people. He stopped writing letters and seemed to lose the power to read. All he could do was watch, and he gradually became convinced that everyone was hostile to him. In the past he had controlled events; now he was helpless. People had feared him; now they were getting their revenge. During the night he would lie awake for hours, brooding on what he’d seen, trying to work out what had happened to turn everyone against him.
If Reggie’d been there. I’d have been all right. But there was no one. I started thinking there was someone there all set to do me in.
The worst thing was not knowing what he had done.
Then I worked out what was behind it all. I was a bit barmy now. But I thought everyone was thinking I had grassed.
This explained everything — the silences, the lack of friends, the sudden isolation. But it was terrible. Ronnie had spent his life loathing the Law; an informer was the lowest of the low. No one could seriously believe this of him. The suspicion turned to certainty. What other reason would a group of prisoners have for making him an outcast? He tried to face it calmly. If people thought like that, so what? He knew the truth. He had less than a year to serve now; then he’d be back among people who loved him and respected him. The year soon proved too long.
I don’t know what it was [that] set me off, but I thought there was agents everywhere working a big plot to torture me.
His only hope was vigilance — never trust a soul or give himself away. Somehow at night he had to keep himself awake. His survival depended on it now. He talked to no one, did nothing except concentrate on his battle to stay alive. People ignored him, but he knew that they were watching.
Then came the thought that finished him. Just suppose all his enemies were right — suppose he had been an informer without knowing it? How could he prove he wasn’t? If only Reggie had been there, he would have known, but on his own like this how could he be sure of anything? Perhaps there was someone else inside him forcing him to do things he never knew. How could he know that he was Ronnie Kray at all?
Hardly sleeping now, barely eating for fear that someone might have poisoned his food, Ronnie spent most of each day huddled in his cell facing the door. The warders, worried that he might kill himself, kept him under observation, making him more nervous still. They noticed that the only time he moved was to go to the mirror. He spent hours on end watching himself. They thought it vanity. It wasn’t. He was attempting to keep sane with the sight of the one familiar thing remaining — his own face. Even that was changing: there was a puffiness around the eyes, a faint thickening along the jaw-line.
This was the point at which he broke. The watching game could last no longer. If they were all against him, he would face them and get it over with. That evening, instead of staying in his cell he walked to the recreation room. He stood apart from all the others, watching for a while. There were all enemies — he could see that now. They were pretending to ignore him with their silly games, but he had had enough.
He began breathing deeply as he had done between rounds as a boxer to gain strength. He screamed, then charged, arms flailing, punching at everyone he could. He tipped a table over and hurt several prisoners before he was safely put into a straitjacket. (JP: pp.121-124; chapter 6)

Ron was convinced that his fellow prisoners considered him the lowest of the low; someone who snitched to the Law; someone who ratted out some of his own to what they considered to be the despised eternal enemy. He was evidently incapable of thinking that his fellow prisoners shunning him was because they simply didn’t want to make life any harder for themselves than it already was; they didn’t want to get involved with someone who was up to his eyeballs in serious gaol-time kind of crime; someone who habitually committed felonious sort of crimes; indeed, someone who had made a profession of violent crime.

The obvious implication being that Ron must have thought that there was an inherent nobility in his nevertheless predatory type of profession; that it was perfectly honorable to engage in his preferred trade, even if it meant–which it did–brutally feeding off of the community like a human-sized leech; someone who–rather than trading in the likes of pots and pans–was a merchant of fear, of terror and intimidation, of promises of pain and suffering if demands were not met. If Ron had had a more sober and realistic understanding of the ways in which he interacted with his social environment, he might have become privy to his fellow prisoners by-and-large being partial to an entirely different view of their shared world from his own: that the gangsterism practiced by the likes of Ron was not at all something to be proud of — indeed, something to be ashamed of. Hence, upon having managed to realise this, Ron could then also have figured out for himself that his fellow inmates, in general, would tilt toward wanting to avoid any association with men of his ilk; even so much as casually socialising with one of those dangerous “gangsters” was deemed something worth dodging.

Facilitated by an obvious failure to accurately put himself into their shoes, Ron perceived the distance the other inmates kept from him as being caused by their seemingly unanimously shared notion that he had become a turncoat — someone who was the worst of the worst, clearly deserving to be ignored (at the very least, that is…) In Ron’s distorted mind, his fellow inmates had now unveiled themselves as dangerous liabilities because they supposedly came to view him as fair game — a prey to be fed upon instead of its very polar opposite: the awe-inspiring fearsome predator he was used to be regarded as in the previous prison and with his people back home in London. Fully compatible with his own classic us-versus-them dualistic (Manichaean) sort of worldview, traitors deserve any beating, any kind of punishment, they could get. In other words, in Ron’s mind warped by an unhealthy flood of noxious paranoia, his fellow inmates had suddenly revealed themselves as enemies thirsting for his blood, and therefore needed to be dealt with as such as soon as possible. Better do it to them, before they do it to me — Ron must have thought to himself. And so by preemptively attacking his newfound enemy, Ron–in his predationoriented and alphamale natured type of mind–did what to him was only most natural, most sound; being an issue of vital importance, since it ostensibly concerned his very survival.

Reflecting on this fateful transfer to the new prison, Ron writes in his autobiography:

It was such a doddle there, just like a holiday camp, yet I hated it. It seemed so far away from home and my friends and family and Reg. It was great for them up in the Smoke, but I wasn’t part of it. I got depressed and withdrawn. I didn’t want to know anything or anybody. Then I heard that my Aunt Rose had died of leukaemia. I went beserk.
That’s when my paranoia started. I began feeling that people were plotting against me. If I saw two people chatting I was convinced they were planning how they were going to get me. So I just had to stop them, hurt them, make them see what they were doing was wrong. (RR: pp.48,9) I kept getting these urges to kill people because I was convinced they were plotting to kill me. (RR: p.51)

That Ron misinterpreted his fellow inmates is perhaps not so surprising if you realise that the gangster probably did not afford himself much occasion to really try to understand other people. Fully consistent with the predatory nature of his character, in which care for other people quickly became an obstacle in the way of exploitation and abuse, he admitted in his autobiography: I loved my family and my friends, but I couldn’t give a toss for other people. (RR; p.27) Would it then be such a grand mystery that he was prone to misread his social environment if he–by implication of this admission of his–refused to spend a lot of time trying to understand what all those other people were like? A basic understanding of what makes other people tick would, after all, easily have been beneficial to the man since they–by being all around him all the time–must have interacted with him on a daily basis.

This little anecdote about Ron Kray nicely illustrates the sort of trouble which may arise if and when your perception of other people shoots (far) into the negative for no rationally defensible reason. Change your view of them from humans to demons and, next thing you know, you might just catch yourself wondering how justified you would see yourself being to simply let it all hang out and blast those fucking guns at those evil bloody bastards, or jam those damn daggers up–far up–their diabolical bleeding guts. Send em all down on one way tickets to the depraved bowels of an perpetually-agonising eternally-infernal Hell (or waste em and let God sort em out, whatever; fuck those evil sons of bitches at any rate, just fuck em and fuck em royally).

Ron acted evil toward his fellow prisoners precisely because he thought–indeed, was convinced–that they saw him as evil, someone deserving–begging, yearning–to be punished (sooner rather than later). He must therefore have considered that what in reality was an evil act toward them, was merely an expression of self-defense: save me-self from pending pain and suffering by striking the enemy before they can strike me — the enemy who, mind you, is always itching to attack and dying to exploit weakness. And by striking them (preemptively), let the enemy know just how powerful an enemy they themselves were to have in me, one who didn’t take no shit from no-one, not one bleeding soul. Better think twice before trying to harm me then, eh?

Although the fate of the prisoners he attacked is unknown (at this stage of my investigation at least), if Ron had been armed, it could very well have resulted in a veritable blood-bath — and then heads might just have been ruled in need of rolling in retaliation and–if the times and circumstances had been different, less civilised, more medieval–the spiral of retributory violence could have been set in action, claiming ever more victims as the conflict would have dragged on.

The anecdote suggests that Ron experienced a corruption of his perception and subsequent interpretation of outside events such that their combined effect on his psyche would form a twisted seat of will. And by having obtained for himself a soul-anchored source of malevolent motivation–by virtue of this paranoid mindset of his, by owning this internal generator of ill will–the prophecy of those fellow inmates becoming his enemy would only have stood to become fulfilling due to Ron’s own deliberate efforts in that direction. Simply put, people tend to turn from potential into actual enemies if you treat them as enemies right from the start. Compared with the story of Emily Rose, who–like him–showed to also have had at least some of the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia, Ron acted as the confrontational counterpart of an obviously more reservedly-acting Emily. Whereas Emily preferred to flee from her “monsters”, Ron chose to confront and engage his enemies.

In order to understand the behavioral attitude of the gangster, it is necessary to understand Ron’s background — his social milieu — into which he was submerged from the time he was born.

Ron and Reg grew up in a rough and poor part of London, the East End, where street fights seem to have been the order of the day around that time — an apparent mix of pass-time and tradition. Crime was common-place and living in and around their neighbourhood–Bethnal Green–was far from idyllic, euphoric and utopic. But while street was pitted against street, they nevertheless all seem to have had a special enemy in what they called the lawi.e., even though they liked to brawl among their own, they had a common enemy in law enforcement, the police.

Reginald recalls when he was twelve and found himself arrested for something as relatively innocent as shooting a pellet gun out of a moving train. The police treated me like a hardened criminal. That was when I first really began to hate coppers. They went completely over the top and really upset my mum. It wasn’t as if I’d hit anyone or hurt anyone, but still they took me to court. I was lucky. I got off with a warning. (RR: p.14) Not surprisingly, coppers were not among the people young Ron and Reg sought to emulate. Quite the contrary, the choice role-models of the twins were always boxers or villains. Our biggest hero was Ted ‘Kid’ Lewis, who was champion of the world at three separate weights. He grew up just round the corner from us and we worshipped him. (RR: p.16)

The twins had a very special relationship with their mother, Violet. After they were born, expressing her delight at having been blessed with not one but two babies, Mrs. Kray liked to proudly wheel her adorable couple of new blood around the neighbourhood in her cute little carriage. The twins were not first-born, however; that one had come out four years earlier. But this child, Charles, was notably different in character from his younger siblings. Contrasting a placid Charlie, the twins were demanding and brought out all their mother’s protectiveness. They did something more: for the first time they gave Violet’s life a touch of the glamour she had dreamt of when she eloped [nb: Violet ran away from home to marry the father, Mr. Charles Kray, Sr.]. Nobody else had twins; they were something special, and when she pushed them out in the big double pram they conferred on her the final accolade of cockney motherhood. It was a pretty sight; blonde young mother, gleaming pram and these two beautifully dressed little dolls, making their way past the pubs and stalls of the Bethnal Green Road. People would stop and look, neighbours inquired about them; her two sisters begged for a chance to take them out on their own. In those days everybody loved the twins and wanted a go with them, says Violet. (JP: p.19)

Unfortunately though, Ron and Reg quickly found out that growing up as twins was not easy and they relied on each-other in order to assert themselves in what seems to have been a very trying sort of environment. In addition to each having the other’s back, the mother was always there for them, faithfully showing the kind of love that was not just without condition (=justifiable, indeed, desirable) but also without any expression of substantial criticism (=less justifiable, indeed, questionable). Apparently quoting the mother, Pearson writes, Twins always stand out. Bein’ twins they’re naturally conspicuous. Other kids pick on ’em. And there always seemed to be older children ready to lead the twins into trouble. So it was their fault, not the twins. For Violet knew how vulnerable they were behind their toughness — Ronnie particularly. And she could never bring herself to be hard on them. (JP: p.27)

Commenting about his mother, Reggie writes: She was the kindest woman in the world. She never hit us — not even when we’d been right little bastards. And whenever any of the neighbours or the mother of some kid we’d bashed up complained about us, she’d always say, What, my twins? Never! The thing was, she meant it. She thought the sun shone out of Ron and me. (RR: p.6) Pearson confirms Ron and Reg: Apart from their father, the only member of the family who really understood the twins was their Aunt Rose. Their mother didn’t. The twins were always careful to keep their fights and outside life from her. Even as small boys they would tidy up after a fight: whenever anyone complained about the twins, Violet would invariably defend them. Someone had to. Their father wasn’t there. I’d say to the twins, Well, what happened? And they’d say, Well it wasn’t our fault. If a mother has to choose between her own and someone else’s kids, what choice is there? (JP: p.39)

While initially referring to their local neighbourhood heroes, Ron likewise makes clear that not one of them could hold a candle to the supremely prominent position of the mother: I admired all these men, but the two people I really loved were both women — my mother and my Aunt Rose. My mother was simply a wonderful woman. No man ever had a finer mother. We often had no money and very little food, but she always made sure that Reggie and Charlie and I had something to eat and something half decent to wear. She always seemed to be cooking, washing or mending for us. She never gave in to despair or frustration, even when times were bleak and the future seemed to hold nothing. Even now, as I sit in Broadmoor, wondering how it all went so wrong, I can still remember my mother holding me in her arms when I was little. I can still remember the smell of her soap. She was always spotless, even in all the grime and filth of the East End. She was the most placid woman I ever met. I never had an argument with her, we never answered her back, and I’ve never had a bad word to say about her. I would kill any man who spoke ill of my mother. (RR: p.20)

The love of the twins for their mother went so far that they seem to have modeled their conscience based on what made her smile, versus what made her frown; what earned them blessings, gratitude or otherwise recognition from her was good, and what made her protest or what upset her constituted evil. Good was what brought them praise and love, chiefly from their mother but also from anyone they happened jointly to admire. Evil was the opposite. (JP: p.28) So it was that goodness centred on their mother but was extended to the life and the people she admired. The twins admired them as well. Violet had a strange sense of cockney decency. (JP: p.35)

The extremely attached nature of the twins’ love for their mother–one that regrettably stood to grow pathological with time–could very well have been encouraged and catalysed by the mother herself, regardless of how conscious she was of her efforts. From the moment they were born, Violet was able to indulge–viewed in a down-to-earth sort of pessimistic light–using her new children as trophies with heartbeats, as it were: cute little human vehicles–her two little bunny rabits–bringing in, it seems, copious amounts of soul-soothing recognition from the neighbourhood for her newly exalted position of cockney motherhood. Steeped in perhaps entirely well-meaning sort of gratitude, inspired by all the good the twins brought into her life as young mother, Violet’s love for her twins took on a dubious nature when she basically proceeded to idolise her new children. Indeed, viewed soberly and sceptically, in a symbolic or metaphoric sense, you might regard her as the high-priest tasked with overseeing a practice of Person-idolatry that was centred around her own two precious little infants — a literal twin-object of Person-idolatry, if you will.

Sadly, however, this sort of initially innocuous sort of worship was not just confined to the cradle stage of development. When Ron and Reg got older and at an early age inevitably got caught up in the rough and violent social habitat of London’s East End, as already pointed out, Violet always chose the side of her own children whenever people came knocking on the door to complain. For Violet, Reg and Ron could do no wrong and, if it only helped to clear them of wrongdoing, would have no qualms to pretend as though her twins could not possibly have been the culprits of whatever it was they were accused of.

The twins’ aversion for the police was nurtured into being at already an early age. Mr. Kray, the man of the house, was a draft dodger. Staunchly refusing to get entangled in the ugly and rapidly expanding confragration which came to be known as World War II, rather than putting his neck (and limbs) on the line fighting for His Majesty’s forces in foreign places, Kray Sr. preferred to flee from the intrusive clutches of the government hungry for military-aged able-bodied male subjects. As a result of his choice to seek refuge in a perpetual flight from a nevertheless omnipresent local danger–which the government is, in such a case–the father could afford to stay at their home at Vallance Road only for ridiculously small intervals of time.

Having a father on the run for the draft-dodger-hunting department of the police meant that the rest of the family had to cover for him using deception. Ron recalls, When war was declared and my father went on the trot from the army we were only six, but on the occasions when he did come round to Vallance Road he told us that if the police came looking for him we were to tell them that he had left home, that he wasn’t living with our mother any more. And he used to send us round the corner to the tobacconist to buy a newspaper, just to see if there were any coppers hanging around. (RR: pp.21,22) As a consequence of taking on the continuous task of having to protect the father cost what may, the twins could hardly have helped learning how to be dishonest–and sell it convincingly also–from an early age. Through circumstances well beyond their control, Ron and Reg were therefore put into excellent positions to grow up into skillful deceivers and actors.

With the aim of finding some measure of peace for subjecting them to calculated and deliberate dishonesty, it helps your ego to see your victims of deception as only being worthy and deserving of your attempts to draw them away from perfect truth, away from perfect mental sanity — which is what lying, and engaging in deception in general, serves to do to all the souls exposed to it (including, by necessity, the liars themselves!). Hence, together with honing skills of deception, the children were also subject to–what they in all likelihood must have experienced was–the rather irresistibly attractive temptation to instill into their beings a sincere gut-level sort of hatred for the objects of their kindling faculty of deception; objects that (it should not be forgotten) were all around them all the time and–if such was not annoying enough–also had the undying tendency to bother them all the time, whether they happened to be at home sipping tea with mum, or roughhousing with other kids in the streets. Ron remembers an occasion when their dad was home momentarily, an undisclosed number of members from the loathsome camp of the despised enemy came knocking on the door, and the father quickly hid beneath the kitchen table, hidden by the tablecloth, while Reg and I were having our tea. He stayed there while a copper questioned us about our dad. We were both frightened but we gave nothing away. That was the first — and last — time a copper ever frightened me. Another time he was hiding in a cupboard and as a policeman was going to open the door I shouted out, You don’t think my dad would hide in there, do you? The copper shrugged his shoulders and went to look somewhere else. (RR; p.22) In no uncertain terms, Ron offers, I hated coppers ever since I was a nipper and they used to come round to our house looking for our dad. (RR; p.27) Our mother tried to bring us up properly, but with a background like that it was impossible for us to have any respect for the law. It was always a case of them or us. Times were dreadful really, but I found the war ever so exciting. I loved the sound of the bombs and all the noise. (RR; p.22)

Reg and Ron basically went on to grow up into two-faced individuals: explosive little “devils” dressed in sharp suits when, surrounded by members of their firm, going full steam trying to excel in their gangster roles; versus homely and considerate sort of “angels” when in the presence of mommy dearest (or elderly people, in general) — the aspiring young gentlemen, whom their mother no doubt liked them to be, diligently–feverishly and passionately–working toward the final destination in life that meant anything to them: to be able to live the =*good life*=, the exact opposite of a life of poverty and want, the sort of life they had (to endure) when they were little and which they seem to have hated with (a passion on top of) a vengeance.

Contrasting the relatively tranquil and serene world of the mother and her cozy East End peers, one in which they were quite capable of behaving in ways approved by the mother, there was another sort of world beckoning the twins the mother knew nothing of — or wanted to know nothing of. It was opposed to the world they respected and was exciting for that very reason. It was brutal and secret, and they first discovered it as they fought and planned their wars across the wastes of Bethnal Green. There was always someone threatening them, someone to be ‘done’. The only rules here were the rules of war, and just as the twins were so much kinder and more considerate than most boys in the respectable world, so they were wickeder here. (JP: p.36)

With the mother loving them to death, Ron and Reg–in perfectly symmetrical reciprocity–thought the world of Mrs. Kray, i.e. a rather exquisite and heavenly sort of world at that. To them, she was quite simply the best mum any couple of lads could have, someone who–in their returning worship–herself likewise supposedly couldn’t do wrong. In a most sober and dispassionate analysis, the mother seems to have used the twins as trophy children to gain relatively exceptional motherhood recognition from the neighbourhood; from the moment of birth already promising a future of local glamour and access to the much coveted, much revered =*good life*=. In grateful return, the two bunny rabits rather unreservedly and reflexively idolised the mother by sparing no effort to make her feel as if she–indeed–was the best and brightest shining mother in the world; declared, for all practical purposes, holy and beyond reproach — as if being a literal true-blue god-mother. In other words, by the twins categorically refusing to express or tolerate any sort of criticism for the mother and vice versa, the twins answered their own idolisation by the mother perfectly in kind; i.e., the mother and her twins together were caught up in a shared practice of mutual Person-idolatry: the mother idolised the twins and the twins dutifully idolised their mother in seamless (quid-pro-quo) reciprocity.

Unfortunately, as any practice of idolatry does, also this nevertheless deceptively seductive (ego-stroking) practice of triple-object Person-idolatry did come with a toll. In order for the mother to be able to hold on to her cherished artificially-exalted mental image-impressions of her two precious sons, she had to rather consistently assume an air of willful ignorance with respect to her little darlings their–what she otherwise could have noticed were–increasingly dubious, if not to say, outrightly shady, kind of wheelings and dealings. When the twins were eighteen and a distance was growing between them and their brother Charles, who had since given up attempts to instill discipline into his headstrong younger brothers through boxing classes, Violet and the twins were now adopting the rationalizations which would permit their love to continue unimpeded over the years ahead. ‘I used to worry about the twins, of course. I wasn’t their mother for nothing. But if they was involved in any trouble, I didn’t want to know. It only upset me. And as I knew that both of them was good boys at heart, I knew the things people said about them couldn’t be true anyhow. I was there one night when Ronnie came back from the police station when they’d beaten him up. An’ I was there another time when a copper told Reggie that if there was any more trouble he’d bash his face in. A mother remembers things like that. And if you have to choose between your boys and the police, what choice is that, especially if they’re all you’ve got?’ (JP: pp.46,47)

Irrespective of how conscious she actually was of her own existential predicament, the mother had to force herself–one way or another–to remain oblivious of the less than squeaky clean moral nature of the activities of her twins; or else, if she would afford herself the privilege of being a little bit “nosy”, her wonderful mental bubbles of them might risk bursting. Indeed, if sheheaven forbid–would admit to herself the Bold and Butt-Naked Truth, to wit: the actuality of her two darling twins keeping the neighborhood in a grip of terror and using wantonly predatory means (e.g., protection racketeering and fraud) to dish out a more than decent living not just for themselves but for the entire firm, if shein other words–would admit the veracity of the increasingly offensively-criminal curriculum vitae of her two sons, she would then jeopardise the rosy view she had of herself as (superficially) rightful claimant to the public esteem tied to her own name, the names of the twins and the name of the family — beautiful beautifying perks which may be regarded as the payoff for her continued and persistent practice of self-hypnosis aiming to sustain the self-delusion lying at the heart of the system of idolatry which she oversaw. For the purpose of keeping at bay the regardless painfully accurate and truthful awareness surrounding her two favorite children, the mother basically had to force herself to adopt a perpetual see-no-evil-hear-no-evil sort of attitude, one which unfortunately could hardly avoid stunting the development of her own psyche. Mrs. Kray evidently opted to never ask too many questions around the house; never openly wonder where the money for all those smart suits came from; indeed, where all the money financing all that celebrity-level glitter and glamour revolving around the Kray family came from. In effect, Violet was forced to permanently wear invisible blinders just so she could keep fooling herself into believing that she was the proud and esteemed mother of two wonderful and very special kind of children. But by drastically winding down her capacity to register and subsequently intelligently interpret (read) her social environment, especially that particular portion of it which encompassed the dubious hustle and bustle of her darling twins, the mother ended up in highly infertile ground for the cultivation of (social) intelligence, since such is predicated on having a faculty of progressively keen and apt perception.

As long as Reg, Ron and their mother were in each-other’s company, they could believe in the realness of the nonetheless delusionary nature of the mental image-impressions they had about themselves and each-other. In principle, as long as they lived together, they could ensure the stability of their shared system of reciprocal idolatry: the sons idolised the mother and the mother idolised the sons in return, all in seeming harmony. But then the inevitable happened when Reg and Ron found themselves arrested and–upon landing in goal, looking to do some serious time–it was especially Ron who began to feel the deprivation of the thick and warm cloak he must have been used to wearing, one that rather than having been made of real wool should instead be thought of as proverbially woven of luxurious maternal comfort and calming reassurance. And there was Reggie as well of course. His twin brother had likewise been an unwavering rock of support and when together as a team they could keep afloat the also substantial practice of mutual Person-idolatry which they maintained between them, with their own two selves being the objects of worship. Even though they apparently did fight a lot among themselves and they rivaled openly for the mother’s affection, at the end of the day, they nonetheless never turned their backs on each-other and always supported each-other up regardless of the circumstances. When they were separated, however, with both going to different gaols, this all changed. Suddenly they were no longer able to draw the rich kind of support which their system of mutual idolatry–lying at the heart of the Kray saga–had always faithfully provided to them up until that point in time. In regards to this brutal governmentally-induced severance from a soothing (egosyntonic) artificially-elevated and emphatically-counterfeit version of reality, Reggie–however–seems to have been able to cope better than a Ron giving the distinct impression of suffering the tragedy of slowly sliding off the abyss of sanity into a rather scary sort of mental illness.

In summary, in order to keep afloat the system of mutual Person-idolatry involving three objects and three principal practitioners which she brought into being and sustained, the great sacrifice the mother allowed herself to make was that she had to keep herself DUMB; Violet sacrificed her potential to cultivate social intelligence. As for Ron and Reg, in large part due to having an unconditionally uncritical and incessantly doting mother, effectively deprived of what could have been a functional behavioral (trial-and-)error-correcting system mediated by maternal critical feedback, the great sacrifice for them was therefore that they were unable to grow and develop into responsible persons, culminating in what would then have been genuine moral adulthood. It seems that their moral development came relatively late in life. After having been given rather stiff sentences for some of the crimes they committed, Ron and Reg seem to mainly have come of moral age while locked away (what turned out to be) for good, stripped–for the remainder of their lives–from the otherwise earned right to participate in normal human society.

In 1995, Ron died in prison of a heart attack; Reg died from cancer in 2000 and was allowed to only live the final six weeks of his life in the outside world.

If Ron, like Emily, was possessed by demons — when it comes to the decidedly nefarious goal of manipulating his consciousness such that he would be receptive to what to the sane mind would be the fanciful and harmful notion that the people around him formed an enemy only begging to be taken care of — it’s clear that the efforts of those little psyche-sabotaging (mind-fucking) devils were more successful than their colleagues inside of Emily had been — the poor girl who, by running away from her “monsters”, nevertheless was able to enjoy the relative fortune of having chosen a karmically far less costly way of coping with the assaults on her psyche than a Ron dealing with his by going berserk on his fellow inmates. Note, however, that the admittedly admirably strong-willed gangster himself might have stumbled–quite possibly, casually–on the idea that, in principle, there could have been demonic spirits housed (or, squatting) within him when he, according to Pearson, seems to at one point have wondered: Perhaps there was someone else inside him forcing him to do things he never knew.

Could what Ron did to his fellow inmates be an illustration of perhaps a main modus operandus of demons? Could it be that one of the prime objectives for demons is to trick their human hosts into believing that certain other people outside of and around the hosts were to form a (clear and present) danger of some kind? — a menace to be reckoned with; an enemy deserving to be loathed, evaded, or precisely confronted, challenged and–if given half a chance–preferably destroyed altogether? Moreover, could it be that demons try (very hard) to make the person they happen to possess believe that all sources of evil lie perfectly outside of the host themselves? — that, by direct implication, the host themselves were to be entirely free from any internally-present sources of evil?

If demons happen to be at war with humanity, such devious sort of core strategy would easily be meritorious for it has stellar potential to be a formidable weapon in the quest to defeat and *conquer* humanity. By driving ever more wedges in between the people of the world, by fomenting ever more *division* between individual people as well as all manner of groups of people . . . before long, the world will have degenerated into a vicious–Friends versus Foes, Us versus Them–kind of a cold and cut-throat ever more savage sort of a devilish dog-eat-dog dystopia.

 

Ron and Reg, as young boxing lads, posing with a proudly beaming mum.

 

Person-idolatry and Sadism in the movie Colonia (2015)

Original publication: https://www.facebook.com/philip.jonkers/posts/2067888153229379

Directed by Florian Gallenberger, starring Daniel BrühlMichael Nyqvist and Emma Watson, the illuminating movie Colonia (2015)–The Colony–highlights first of all the woes of Person-idolatry, centered–in this case–around a (religiously-inspired) cult-leader; and secondly, the film illustrates the remarkable phenomenon of people who happen to be possessed by demons, to–rather than acknowledging their own state of possession–go and *project* their spiritual predicament on other people and furthermore justify their proceeding evil actions against those ‘possessed’ people as being nothing more than good – essential even – necessary actions only serving to make sure all of that ultimate heavenly glory prevails over all those wicked works of evil.

Coloniaor Colonia Dignidad in full–is, as the name suggest, a colony of some kind; but not any old regular sort of colony (certainly not a Colony of Dignity as its name euphemistically implies). Set against the backdrop of Pinochet’s 1973 military coup d’etat of the Chilean government ran by the socialist president Allende, on the surface it concerns a post-WWII Germanic cult-like commune having set up shop in a compound located on a remote and fenced-off stretch of land somewhere in the middle of Chile’s nowhere. The leader would be a German lay preacher called Paul Schäfer (Michael Nyqvist); someone I hesitate to call charismatic and yet what is lacking in that department, is well compensated by a certain other dominant albeit dubious leadership trait. Answering to the suggestive (if pretentious) name of “Pius” for his followers, claiming that God would be seeing as well as talking through him and even going full-on Messianic when asserting – during one of his sermons – to be the resurrection and the life, it quickly becomes clear that the leader seeks to maintain absolute authority over his meek and servile flock and is not particularly averse of using sadistic means to see to it that – indeed – his will, however perverse, gets to be fulfilled, at all times.

By becoming the victim of abduction, through tragic misadventure, one of the protagonists–Daniel (Daniel Brühl)–ends up against his will in the colony — where he would also become the victim of torture, a casualty of the dictatorial new regime1. Upon finding out what happened to Daniel, the other protagonist–Lena (Emma Watson)–decides to join up with the cult voluntarily, all with the apparent aim to–like the rest of the commune–slavishly submit to Pius, and share in his worshipful glory2; yet having as secret real aim to reunite with Daniel, who also happens to be her lover.

We jump into the story when one ominous night the stoic and authoritarian female supervisor called Gisela (Richenda Carey), rushes into the dormitory of the girls. In perfectly-fitting commanding voice, barren of any hint of sympathy for sleeping ones, the older woman brusquely orders a girl named Dorothea (Jeanne Werner) to right away come along with and orders the remaining girls to resume sleeping. Immediately after a loudly protesting Doro had been virtually dragged out by a nevertheless insistent and imperturbable Gisela, as soon as the door of their room slams shut (or thereabouts), unlike the rest of the girls seemingly held down in either the debilitating grip of fearful apathy or plain old sleep-drunkenness, a perspicacious and rebellious Lena–determined to find out what the hell is going on–gets up silently, sneaks out of the dormitory and–while drawn to the conspicuously audible sound of a youth singing in a nearby building–runs up to one of its uncurtained windows.

It turns out that the men–quite possibly all of them–have gathered inside; all of the women, however, have been excluded . . . with one exception. Doro, full of visible fright, is sitting sullenly and apprehensively on a small table in front of and facing the crowd of seated men — who seem to already be excited by the luscious anticipation of participation into a peculiar pending form of festive activity. It deserves mention that Doro recently told Lena that she’s planning to get married soon with someone she met in the commune a few years ago.

Also facing the crowd, standing next to Doro, is the source of the enchanting voice: a small boy singing with angelic abandon. At some point, Pius gets up, walks over to the boy, goes to stand right behind him and through one swift and decisive gesture with his hands suddenly and unceremoniously makes clear to the child that as of that precise moment his services are no longer required. He then briefly raises an arm, casually points into the broad direction of the crowd, and dismisses the perfectly-compliant little lad by softly saying, Go.

The autocratic leader now demonstrably and theatrically starts sniffing the air as if detecting the sort of smell that not only should not be there, it moreover is not to be tolerated (any second longer, to make it sound even more dramatic). He turns his full attention to the one girl sitting in crouched position on the table for all men to see (and selfishly savor).

Paul Schäfer: (normal voice yet condemnatorily) No. It still stinks.
Crowd of men: (eager to affirm) Yes.
Pius starts walking around, as if making a point, the rising pitch in his voice betraying rising animation within.
Paul Schäfer: Not even this divine music can drive the devil out.
Crowd of men: No.
Paul Schäfer: I still smell the harlot; rotten to the core.
Crowd of men: Yes.
Paul Schäfer: It is not your fault, woman. But you have Satan inside of you.
Pius wraps an arm around the frightened girl, trying to cozy up; or, at least, [histrionically] trying to give the appearancewith a touch of mockery–to his all-male audience that he so does. The entire time, while quite possibly being busy spending about all of his focus on playing his part of cynical interrogator to {authentic-enough and therefore credible-enough}-degree, the leader evidently remains utterly impervious to the distress oozing from the wide-eyed, audibly shivering and sniffling girl.
Paul Schäfer: (full of overt condescension; looks away from her into the audience, with a devilish smile) So you want to marry, eh?
Failing the entire time to even make eye-contact with her tormentor, Doro is lost in another world, the scary sort of world you’d rather not want to be in.
There’s no compassion coming from Pius, and the crowd is no different as they obsequiously suck up to their bully for a leader by bursting out in ridiculing laughter and thereby directly encourage Pius to continue his reckless adventure into the eerie realms of sadism.
Paul Schäfer: Who would want to marry you, you ugly stinking cunt?

More laughter from the crowd of men, who all (apart from presumably Daniel) are remarkably blind to the painful compassion-begging reality of a visibly shaken and suffering woman sitting and trembling right in front of their insentient noses; as if they all were under the influence of some drugged-up kind of somnambulatory spell–gripped by a strange form of conscience-overriding stupor-like mass-hypnosis–acting as if they with heart and soul have bought into the delusion, egosyntonic in a predatory way, that the one woman in their presence were to only deserve the psychically tortuous punishment of open humiliation and ridicule to which she has been subjected. The obvious implication being that, in their disturbed minds, the woman would not be a victim at all but rather a transgressor, indeed, a victimizer, a sure source of spite and spleen — someone only deserving, and squarely so, of what’s coming to her.

As such, they would be strongly inclined to perceive and interpret the besieged girl NOT as someone who would be having justified and rather extreme fear as to what horrible fate may await her while being at the malevolent mercy of menacing mad men made even more mad by a most mad master man; but RATHER, the men would see her and read her state of suffering as being nothing more than rock-solid proof of someone ‘clearly’ betraying to have personal guilt for having committed some, by implication, atrocious kind of offense; that she, as a result of perpetrating such unspeakably grave transgression, had only assumed a correspondingly-fitting pathetic countenance (plagued by a little bit of fear for punishment, that’s all); ‘obviously’ nothing more than the direct consequence of having an underlying mental state which–in big, bold all-capital letters–had plastered, GUILTY AS CHARGED, all over it — indicating the sort of committed sin which only begsyearnspleads to be redeemed (using some good-old-fashioned medieval means). That’s it, case closed, end of story.

Paul Schäfer: (commanding) I cannot hear you, speak up woman.
Doro’s too petrified to speak, only gibberish comes out.
Paul Schäfer: (cunning) I know who. (pauses; briefly studies the crowd; declares, with a touch of sneer) Diete, right?
Suddenly Diete (Johannes Allmayer)–who until now had been sitting inconspicuously somewhere to the back–rises to his feet, his face tense with fear and shame — perhaps also betraying an origin in conscience-wringing guilt, whether he knows it deep down inside or not.
Dorothea: (finally managing) Die- Diete.
Paul Schäfer: (perfectly calm) Diete, Diete, Diete. What do you say to the proposal from this ugly stinking cow?
More sardonic laughter coming from the crowd of men. Pius waits for Diete to gather the nerve to respond.
Paul Schäfer: Well?
Diete: (Shame 1, Love 0) It stinks.

The bond Diete is suggested to have with Pius, and – by extension – with everyman else present too since they unanimously back up their leader, evidently is stronger than the bond he is suggested to have with his very own fiancee (whom he, by the way, truth be told, were to have met only once before). This example goes to show the raw extent of power which Pius commands over his people. Diete seems so terrified of being shamed by Pius (and gang) if he were to defend Doro by openly acknowledging his pending matrimonial bond with her (and as such openly grant her worthiness and status among the men), that he would rather betray his love for her – minimize and trivialize it – by basically affirming that she indeed must be the source of trouble, and a grave one at that, only dying to be taken care of, as Pius and his faithful all-male echochamber were alleging all along (and loudly so).

But this is, of course, absurdly untenable and unjust a situation. The level of respect which Pius has for Diete and Doro shows, in bright and lively colors, when he casually delegitimizes and rebukes their relationship in its entirety. It’s not worth a damn to him, as he has no real respect for either one of the love birds. And yet, in spite of evidently not being able to lay claim to a loving and mutually respectful relationship with his leader, Diete does show to yield–by so easily squandering his love for Doro–to what, in practice, is a superseding and stronger type of bonding with Pius (& Co.); one that nevertheless cannot be based on love, but chiefly fear: fear for suffering alienation and rejection (from the group), for shame (in front of the men), for landing all-in-all into ‘unmanageably’ deep waters (requiring some, heaven forbid, novel and exploratory feats of personal independence and the ‘unbearably’ heavy yoke of personal responsibility that has to be heaved and towed with it).

Ever more intoxicated by sadistic amusement, the crowd of menshowing remarkable consistency in the rigorous uniformity of their responses–break out in laughter once more and thereby once again unambiguously and wholeheartedly show to condone the heedless extravaganza of their leader into the nefarious domain of extracting enjoyment at the painfully-serious expense of someone who happens to not be any random person grabbed from the streets (although that would still be bad of course) but rather someone belonging to their very own group (for crying out loud!)3. Such alarming fact alone should have given arresting food for thought–if not to say, paramount concern–to anyone present who, at the same time, would be living in full truth, having a fully-activated empathic connection with the people around them, and who therefore would be fully aware of what shoddy and shady kind of theater they not just find themselves in, but are also actual part of, in a stimulating way4.

Paul Schäfer: That’s right. That’s right, Diete. It stinks. Why don’t you come up here and relieve your lover of her stench. Those are the demons in her that you smell. (louder) That we must drive out!
Crowd of men: (loud) Yes!
Paul Schäfer: So we can breathe again.
Crowd of men: (louder) Yes!!
Paul Schäfer: We must drive it out.
Crowd of men: (even louder) Yes!!!
Paul Schäfer: So we’re gonna breathe again.

Pius suggests that Doro–owing to the alleged unpleasant odor supposedly lavishly emitting from her asserted demonically-infested body5–would be the cause for everyman present to have difficulty obtaining enough revitalizing fresh air; difficulty gaining the soothing, calming and relieving satisfaction which normal respiration would bring, if only there were not such an insufferably foul stench seemingly hanging in the air right now. In other words, Pius posits among all present souls that the root-cause for any feelings of (allegedly foul-odor-induced) anxiety they would be experiencing at the moment is the one very girl sitting right in front of them (in a full-blown yet completely unregistered state of shock, mind you). Pius thus declares Doro to be the singular cause of their collective anxiety (which may also very well include conscientiously-based bell-ringing sort of anxiety brought about by actively taking part in an escalating sadistic group-effort).

And the crowd reflexively take Pius‘ sermonizing of suspicious validity nevertheless in like heavenly wine, implying to fail to–even on superficial level–reflect critically on the moral nature of what their leader has them believe; as if his words were nothing but samples of the most holy and elevated sort of gospel ever to have graced this rocky planet of ours with recital; as if it were all spoken by an infallible, irreproachable and utterly flawless God-like being (((who so nobly, selflessly and graciously had accepted the pure, stainless and inerrant ruling of Divine Providence to become the leader of the commune way back when it had all started; sent straight down from Heaven by God himself as if being some special sort of spiritual envoy having divinely commissioned authority to rule over all of those silly and moreover sinful mortals down there in the commune, whom all were to only be positively lost, already standing squarely with one foot in eternal damnation, without his Messianic sort of superior type of guidance))).

In other words, Pius not only provides his men and himself with – at first glance, at best – a remotely plausible and, at any rate, what to them must be an egosyntonically irresistibly-attractive explanation as to why they would be suffering from perhaps not entirely pleasant nervous excitement right that very minute, but he also provides themselves with a purportedly fail-safe way to relieve their agitated selves from their anxious predicament. The peculiar dynamism between Pius and his followers thus strongly suggests that the leader has managed to program, or brainwash, his followers to buy into the fanciful and moreover outrightly dangerous notion that there were to be found genuine relief(carrying a loudly-colored sure heavenly stamp of approval)in the act of inflicting (arbitrary) violence on Doro. That is, even though they – in actuality – will be carrying out a blatant exercise of physical sadism, in their perverted minds they were to only be doing noble work, since – after all – they would only be working to drive out the internally-present “evil” sources of her and – by extension – everyone else’s (anxiety-ridden)(atmospheric) malaise. So that afterwards, they may, once again, be able to indulge the serenely sedative sort of ambiance of wonderfully revitalizing fresh air they – by implication — happen to be so used to, and or be so entitled to, as it would have such attractive potential to make them feel so at ease ((getting to have blissfully settling-down sort of feelings of relief; as if having had a really luxurious and satisfying sort of meal, well-lubricated with exquisite sorts of alcoholic beverages of course, coming only with a regal-caliber sort of dessert, even coming complete with a big fat after-dinner cigar if that’s your thing — or big fat joint, if that does it for you)).

It should be obvious by now that the men have fused and aligned their will with that of their leader, perfectly matching and consistently so. Since their leader, by being the bully he clearly is, deserves to be labeled the aggressor (by any objective standard), the men–by identifying not (one teeny-weeny bit!) with the victim but precisely (wholeheartedly and unreservedly) with the aggressor–by definition, may be thought of as being locked down in a state of trauma bonding with Pius. In other words, the men–while being perpetually and uncritically spell-bound by (in drooling awe of) their nonetheless openly abusive leader–have fallen victim to a Stockholm Syndrome kind of pathological attachment to Pius. By blindly – in full surrender – worshiping their leader, the men have rendered themselves incapable of interpreting the immoral actions of their leader (against Doro, in this case) as indeed immoral (God Almighty–FAPP, AKA Pius–can’t possibly be immoral — due to simply being too perfect and exalted to be anywhere near acting out in evil ways). Their conscience effectively must have been decommissioned with respect to Doro and, in general, with anyone designated sinful or evil by Pius (who were to then immediately qualify for the ne’er-getting-boring evergreen {purification of the soiled soul by way of sin-redeeming violence}-procedure). Instead, as long as they selfishly savor the seductively thrilling thrall of participating in the predatory events overseen by their terroristic leader, in order for them to manage preventing their egos from spiraling down in overwhelming inner-conflicting turmoil (and risk going completely mad), they will have to be able to rationalize away any abuse that Pius were to direct visiting upon whatever victim of his choosing — one whom, in their mesmeric myopic eyes, would therefore not be considered as such, but rather an offender of some kind, someone who would only deserve their punishment, however severe deemed necessary.

So there you have your victim-blaming license of (arbitrarily) sadistic conduct, heavenly sanctioned of course. . . because Pius is only doing God’s work, as God would only want to see the members of his beloved creation – all of them – be delivered from all those heinous (and correspondingly smelly) demons . . . as soon as possible and by any means necessary (. . . supposedly).

Paul Schäfer: (to Diete) Are you just gonna stand there like a fool; that doesn’t help her, come on. What we do, we do with love!
Crowd of men: (loud) Yes.
Paul Schäfer: (to his audience) What we do, we do with love.
Crowd of men: (louder) Yes!!
In other words, the punishment they are about to unleash on Doro would be based only on pure goodness; inflicting actually quite dangerous psychophysical shocks is going to only be in her best interest, coming solely from well-meaning men, animated purely by good-old fashioned healing love . . . all for the, in principle, noble purpose of helping that poor girl getting rid of all those nasty life-quelling little devils.
While Doro is looking at her fiance in puzzlement and fear, Diete nevertheless musters to hit her right in the face with his stretched hand.
Crowd of men: (loud) Yes!
Invariably followed by a loud and unanimously encouraging Yes! from the crowd, Diete slaps Doro in the face a few times more until he finally breaks down in tears — the apparent victim of overwhelming conflicting feelings, partially self-induced and steeped in guilt no doubt (whether he’s able and willing to acknowledge it or not).
Paul Schäfer: (puts a ‘consoling’ arm around a shattered Diete) Diete, Diete, Diete. The whore has enslaved you.
Crowd of men: (loud) Yes!
Paul Schäfer: (accusingly points to Doro) That’s the work of the devil!
Crowd of men: (loud) Yes!

Pius acts as if he’s under the impression (odd, but not surprising anymore by now) that, instead of being Diete’s own doing, it was Doro who somehow had succeeded to halt his punishment of her, as if the sly witch she is suggested to be had beforehand succeeded to enslave her fiance’s mind and through deploying some suggested (yet not verified) occultic witch-craft sort of mind control gimmick had magickally managed to make the other stop what Pius seems to believe, and vehemently so, only constitutes justified treatment. Pius thus holds Doro responsible for supposedly messing with the head (and heart) of what he solemnly would believe is but a completely vindicated and authorized punisher (i.e., a supposed certain agent of deliverance).

Pius called Doro a harlot earlier and now confirmed it by calling her a whore. There seems a pattern here. Indeed, I think it’s safe to say that this constitutes the very charge which Pius has all but spelled out explicitly: Doro would be a corrupter of men, someone who uses her genitalia as devices of attraction to seduce men, only to milk them dry and leave them with drained, empty and bankrupt souls (which would make her at once lowly and despicable, easily bordering on the unforgivable, if not already going beyond it, . . . royally). In Pius‘ mind, Doro would be looking to not just tease and flirt with Diete, but unbridledly spell-bind the guy, indeed, unabashedly snare him hook, line and sinker; and then, of course, the unavoidable–lots of problems–would happen. Whatever Pius his precise objections would be, I guesstimate him to be damned if he’ll allow all of this defiling and desecrating disorder – all of this sinful mayhem – to occur on his premises; not on his watch (no sirree!).

As for the men: by blindly and loudly backing up their leader–as if carefree yet sharp-toothed littlekidsset loose in a bloodycandy store‘–the implicitly fawning crowd of men may be interpreted as one big sanctioning amplifier of sadistically manifesting will: <who> not only all-too-eagerly buy into Pius‘ sanctimonious escapade (with a bloody twist) taking place–on an abstract, imagined level–in his heedlessly self-elevating, fantastical and emphatically artificially sweet (saccharine) version of a nonetheless stark, dark and – most of all – crimson-red kind of reality; but <the group of men>–effectively acting as a perfectly-obedient well-disciplined military unitalso actively promote the progression of their leader’s sadistic outbursts by way of their consistent and uniform chants of endorsement.
Enjoying the backing of a small army of loud and relexively-supportive sycophants, Pius has set his mind on acting on what he must passionately believe is a de-facto holy declaration, a divine decree stipulating that Doro would only be perfectly worthy of her purifying punishment and that–as an inescapable consequence–any obstructive effort trying to prevent her from getting what they all are convinced is perfectly hers to receive, is seen–by Pius and servile disciples alike–as unjust in itself (in fact, the very work of the devil) and therefore, without a shred of doubt, worthy of immediate and absolute overruling and censoring. They are supposedly trying to drive the devil out (from this sly witch coming equipped with a dangerous and treacherous pussy-trap), which – in principle – is something good, and automatically deem as evil (not their own actions at all! but rather) any intervening effort seeking to sabotage what they imply to sacredly believe is only God’s noble work manifesting on their earthly plane of existence, right in their midst, and right this very minute.

Note also that Pius is projecting the trait of seeking to enslave another person (i.e., control their heart and mind), on Doro. After all, being the undoubtedly dictatorial cult-leader that he is, Pius may be expected to very much rely on having his people being dependent on him, especially his mind; more (industrial-strength-sort-of) dependency, in fact, means better (industrial-strength-sort-of) obedience and thus better (industrial-strength-sort-of) control [[[gimme, gimme, gimme more of that yummy (industrial-strength-sort-of) *!power!*]]]. Pius therefore likely relies on a host of mind control techniques, all with–what to him would be nothing more than–the perfectly divine and purely noble aim of ensuring that his flock also remains his flock (of bleating bloody sheep)using blinding spell-binding gimmicks from his Machiavellian bag of tricks to keep having them in sweetly servile modes of existence: sadistically malleable men versus masochistically malleable women. And so, evidently unwilling to acknowledge (or plainly incapable of acknowledging) what he himself was doing–as mandatory matter of habit and routine–to each and everyone person walking around in the commune, the man, the master hypnotizer6, in an impenetrable and blinding haze of suffocatingly-thick hypocrisy, manages to pretend and allege that it would be (not himself at all! but only) Doro who had stooped to the, by inference, so incredibly very wicked practice of *!enslaving minds!* . . . (yes, that’s right, you read *!that!* right!)

Paul Schäfer: (passionately points to Doro; loud) That is the work of the devil!! (invitingly gestures to his audience) Why don’t you come up here and help her.

The rabid wild-eyed mob of men enthusiastically leap to their feet, rush over to a now loudly and frantically screaming Doro, instantly pin a perplexed, appalled and aghast victim–already blood-nosed–right down on her little table slash sacrificial altar, and proceed to – mind youpunch her dead-smack in the face. All the while Pius can be seen standing a mere few feet away, gripping with both hands–if you can believe it–the face of poor Diete, contorted in agony, just to make sure (the loving and caring father-figure he would be) that the broken and weeping fiance gets to have a first-class front-row viewing spot to an unfolding kind of scene, starring his very own would-be wife, that might just as well have been taken straight out of a horror movie.

Fortunately for the girl, and–in a karmic sense–fortunately for every single one of those demented men involved, after landing a few sure fists in the face of their defenseless victim (effectively acting as their choice sacrificial sin-absorbing scapegoat), one of the men suddenly notices the silhouette of a shocked Lena peering through the window, thus–as it happens–signaling the end of their frightening excursion into an expression of sadism that had graduated from an already traumatic psychic form to an especially-worrisome arbitrarily-hazardous physical counterpart.

Facilitated by Lena’s accidentally-detected presence, Doro is prevented from getting lynched on the spot, even though instead would just the same still end up in hospital for wounds sustained — courtesy of an irate crowd fanatically whipped up into a bloody frenzy by a leader high as hell on sadistic grandiosity of a religious bent.

The late psychiatrist R.D. Laing wrote that Attempts to wake before our time are often punished, especially by those who love us most. Because they, bless them, are asleep. They think anyone who wakes up, or who, still asleep, realizes that what is taken to be real is a ‘dream’ is going crazy. Suppose for argument’s sake, just a little Gedanken-experiment, that in the crowd of men there had been someone who had refused to join in the reckless goose-stepping gig of the hour: a rapidly aggravating predatory group-effort to the cost of one woman. Suppose that this person, a male immersed in a pool of like-minded fellow males, through whatever internal cause and or via whatever external trigger, had begun to realize what kind of a horrible and horrific freak-show he suddenly found himself in. Suppose also that he would have expressed his refusal such that it was noticeable by the other men. Now the big question of course is, how would his–let’s crank it up a notchprotestations (a perhaps growing list of moral misgivings dying to ventilate itself) be received by his male peers? What would Pius himself say and do?

If Laing is right, and I tend to go with him on this one, rather than having any ear for the ramblings coming from this suddenly materializing buffoon (quickly rising to the point of abject lunacy) the men–spurred on, if even need be, by Pius–will be bound to think that there must be something wrong with old Axel (or Heinz, Jürgen,…); maybe he ate something bad, having a bit of a flu, bit under the weather, going delirious and so all of this verbal diarrhea came gushing out. . . you know what, that’s probably it.

However, should – heaven forbid – his rebellious maladies persist, before long perhaps this poor sod too might be found getting rather odorous (ever more so) and – as such – might also very well be deemed (ever more so) in need of the ne’er-getting-tired {purification of the soiled soul by way of sin-redeeming violence} sort of routine. . . applied only with the utmost of care and love, that goes without saying, needless to say.

It doesn’t take long before it’s Lena’s turn. Either at the end of a day’s work or at the foot of some break, Lena manages to outsmart the watchful eye of Gisela and sneak off the grain field to go for a private skinny-dipping swim in a secluded small pond somewhere in a nearby copse (or maybe it’s a decent forest, after all). However, she somehow must have been caught just the same and that’s why she’s now sitting on display in that same room, in front of those same men, as Doro had been on that fateful other night. Presiding over this sadistic make-shift sort of a kangaroo court, again is Pius — Chief Prosecutor, Chief Justice and Chief Executioner all coming together into one volatile individual: smitten by unfettered megalomania, holding sway with a characteristic rod of iron, having an insatiable hunger for sin-redeeming blood and – arguably worst of all – accountable to — notonelivingsoul.

Paul Schäfer: (spiteful) So you fooled Gisela. Be my guest. That’s what she deserves; that fat, ugly, stinking cow.
With the robotic crowd of menas per well-established tradition–laughing approvingly in response, Pius gets intimidatingly up-close in Lena’s face.
Paul Schäfer: (softly) But that you would go and defile our water with your stinking, whorish, naked body.

In other words, we’ll give you a pass for having gotten the better of your female superior, but that’s all hunky-dory since we’re going to nail you good-and-proper another way. We’re going to string you up – in fact – for having violated what we now conveniently regard is a sacred and therefore absolutely unbreakable rule. You have supposedly soiled our supposedly precious (if not to say, holy) water with your uncovered and by implication unclean and defiling body. While we’re high on idolizing the nevertheless ridiculous rule stating that our water in the wild shall be kept free from contact with uncovered human skin–especially the patch covering the genitalia (in particular, of course, as it happens, the private parts of women)–while we’re getting all jazzed up and bent out of shape for having found what in actuality is no more than a superficially plausible excuse (flimsy, at best) to persecute your offensive little derriere (smelly too), you are going to have to redeem your ostensibly grotesque sin by way of suffering at our punishing hands7. And afterwards, after having seen to it that the hideous blemish is cleansed off (purged off with violent passion) which you so casually–yet so cruelly–had come to visit on our de-facto Holy Rule, upon having concluded another shiny one of those good and wholesome deeds of deliverance, we all get to feel better about ourselves, relieved from all of that unmitigated toe-curling anxiety that would now still so very much trouble us; and which supposedly could be traced back (for everyman present) to an intolerably unpleasant odor, somehow supposedly hanging in the air ((which might in its entirety be perhaps nothing more than a figment of mass-imagination, a uniformly-natured mass-hallucination simulating the collective sensory registration of an ambient bad smell, possibly brought about by a momentary (demonically-facilitated-and-coordinated?) corruption of olfactory mass-perception; the ultimate victims of mass-hypnosis administered by the mean mesmerizing master man running amok on much more than a mere modest misbehaving modicum of megalomania)).

Pius turns around to face the crowd, evidently seeking to emphasize the seriousness of Lena’s heaven-upending transgression and thereby unequivocally communicates to everyman present wanting to be recognized–also by everyman present–as someone who would quite obviously only all-too-laughably easily qualify with flying colors to be given green light to continue going down what in actuality – regretfully – is but a pathetically shabby and (at best) dimly-lit sort of a sordidly sinister and exceedingly eerie kind of a capriciously crooked and terrifyingly treacherous type of a sadistic path (ghoul-infested too); but which–in their self-upliftingly delusional, hopelessly infantile and, most of all, wantonly predatory kind of group-mind–gets to be egosyntonically translated into what strongly appears to be nothing but a perfectly-inviting and really extraordinarily well-kept, truly immaculately lit (bright as day) and endearingly rosy sort of road, straight as an arrow (zero acrobatic maneuvering needed), not at all riddled with deviously-hidden limb-severing booby-traps (hospitals? what hospitals?), having only row upon colorful row of madly-applauding and zealously-cheerleading sort of angels (not at all belonging to the fallencategory one single bit) standing on both sides of the way (all the way!), and one that were to only constitute a thoroughly just and flawlessly effective type of course which, beyond any possible shadowy hint of doubt (whatsoever), would be leading to no other possible destination (100% certainty) than the positive conclusion of another brilliant one of those insanely-blissful and – moreover – divinely-approved acts of deliverance. (. . . the sure stuff that legends are made of, eh?)

Paul Schäfer: (emphatic) Naked!
Crowd of men: (indignant) Oh!
Paul Schäfer: Defies belief. (turns to Lena again) I took you in like a daughter. I made you one of us. I gave you everything you need. (turns to crowd) Hasn’t she lived here snug as a bug in a rug?
Crowd of men: (eager) Yeah!
It’s obvious that Pius tries to paint himself (also representing the commune at large) as a sure beacon of generosity and virtue, luxuriously radiating nothing but wave after wave of admirably philanthropic sort of soul-warming kind of support and sympathy to all . . . versus Lena: self-profiteering, opportunistic and now also betrayer of good faith. It is apparent that the leader is trying to make himself look like the victim, one who couldn’t possibly be a victimizer if he tried and who therefore naturally were to deserve compensation for sustained grievances — inflicted by such a heartless, exploitative and clearly criminally-minded defendant.
Paul Schäfer: (to Lena; softly) Now you show your true face. For all women are full of lies, diseased and whorish demons.

If this is how he really feels about women in general, it’s obvious he hates them — like the true misogynist he then would be. However, truth be told, in all fairness, Lena did enter the commune on a ticket of deceit. Her whole stay, in fact, by pretending the entire time to be someone she in reality obviously was not (thank God), has been soaked in deceit. She has, after all, been lying from day one about being a true devotee of Pius (when she much sooner holds him in contempt, sometimes even barely-concealed so). And although he makes a wildly depreciatory and obscenely hypergeneralizing claim about wholesale womanhood that is unlikely to have any bearing in reality (I should hope), it does have to be ceded that Pius does have a point, however accidentally made, when he implies her to be a liar (by inclusion)8. Then again, it has to also be granted that Lena was given barely any other option than to lie her way in. Indeed, the militant fortress-like nature of the communefenced-off and booby-trapped, isolated and fiercely defended by raving mad men with lots of guns, while (almost) impossible to get out of voluntarily–thus can do little but to leave Pius being the great facilitator of a Lena resorting to deception in her–mind you–perfectly understandable and even noble quest of finding someone in the commune who didn’t even deserve to be there in the first place (not that anyone would though) and to then get the flimflamming fuck out of dodge together.

Although Lena manages better composure than Doro did, tears start to well up in her eyes regardless.
Paul Schäfer: (scornful and menacing) Your tears won’t save you. As any loving father should, I will now cleanse you of the demons that are within you.
Pius softly touches the face of his victim with his hand as if to comfort her and yet the gesture feels more than anything part of the old self-idolizing tyrant his (at best, only superficially credible and actually quite flaky) role-play as noble father figure — having immaculate parental credentials (ahem!) and divinely endowed authority to rule the roost (yeah, right). Indeed, the disingenuity of his consoling action becomes abruptly clear when he immediately follows up with a callous and forcefully executed slap right in Lena’s undefended face.
Crowd of men: (smelling blood) Yeah!
In spite of being slapped hard, Lena manages to remain calm and regain composure, as if she had been expecting all along that things would get rough. While she stares back at her assailant defiantly, basically turning the other cheek, Piusblind as a bat–hits her again, this time with an intrinsically harder backhand.
Crowd of men: (enthusiastic) Yeah!
Without deliberation (or consultation with any living soul present), Pius strikes Lena for a third time and does so with such force, that it sends her flying from her seat, making her land on a cold and unforgiving floor.
Crowd of men: (all riled up) Yeah!
Fired up by a maddeningly intoxicating blood-lust by now, Pius orders his men to join him in the assault on the poor girl lying defensively-huddled-together on the floor.
Paul Schäfer: Come on! Show your brotherly love!

In Pius his dubious worldview, one that is apparently shared completely and unanimously by the slavish group of men swarming around him, what in reality is a collective product of their selfishly manifesting love for sadism, gets to be egosyntonically reinterpreted as an entirely-justified and divinely-recognized purification procedure applied only with love (no trace of involved hate at all), as if they would genuinely care for the battered person lying in front of them curled-up in fetal position, exposed and vulnerable. And even as they are about to rain their fists of fury down on her, the maliciously mesmerized assembly of mad men that they are would rather view their pending acts of cruelty as only being part-and-parcel of a tried-and-tested lovey-dovey means to separate that which is evil inside of their victim from that which is good, thus causing her to be left with solely her purely good and true self. Easy, peasy, Japanesey.

On the verge of launching their attack on a defenseless and helpless Lena, out of the blue, an as yet unknown outside cause sets off the alarm-system of the compound. Acting on what seems like a sudden surge of overwhelming paranoia, Piusby giving mobilizing orders involving all men present–immediately though indirectly brings a halt to what it otherwise easily could have degenerated into: an ugly lynching ordeal (AGAIN!). Facilitated by Pius‘ paranoia, the mysterious party triggering the alarm therefore effectively albeit inadvertently ends up saving Lena’s life.

Footnotes:
1 According to the credits of the movie, Colonia Dignidad would–literally below the surface–be a secret torture facility operated by the Chilean Secret Police;
2 Or in technical language: joining the commune of people who practice Person-idolatry having the cult-leader named Pius for its object; worship which expresses itself especially–when practiced in its purest form–as a blind, reflexive and unquestionable obedience to Pius (perfect slave-like submission); considered justified, worthy–indeed–desirable, as if the man being in a perpetual center of praise-seeking attention would be none other than (((God Almighty intheflesh))) — meaning that all of his governing actions and decisions are deemed by his worshipers as if readily without flaw and therefore immediately beyond criticism. Hence, in reference to the one unique person in their company allegedly being in closest proximity to God of them all (nearly able to indulge in certain omniscience and omnipotence, just watch), even casually questioning Pius would–in their sincere (if spell-bound) minds–be, at best, a most silly exercise in futility; and, at worst, a dreadfully heinous sort of insult (blasphemy!!) levied at their most honorable, most special and (of course, emphatically) most noble person in their midst. In other words, if the latter applies and–<with the collective mental engine driving Person-idolatry centered around their leader, Pius-idolatry, going full throttle now>–we would be talking about the sort of committed offense which once–during somewhat dated, more medieval and less enlightened sort of times–might have been ruled punishable by . . (. . fill in the arbitrarily bloody dots, here);
3 It is important to stress that the victim belongs to the same group as the mostly male perpetrators do, because that victim, upon returning from hospital to active commune-life, will be exposed to the very real risk of socially interacting with the same people who had directly contributed to her suffering, an episode which–after all–was of an especially traumatic nature. Due to their actively supportive role in bringing about Doro’s abuse, each and everyone person involved will have incurred rather substantial guilt with respect to her (whether conscientiously acknowledged or not) and so follow-up interaction with their victim–unless they come clean to her about their horrible behavior–will stand to be rife with automatically unpleasant sort of tension.
Let’s start with the one woman involved, Gisela. Being the female supervisor that she is, social interaction with her is unavoidable. Meetings with her will likely be uneasy, to put it mildly. Gisela, however–being too much in love with her exalted powerful position as Pius‘ lieutenant of the female division–will be unlikely to humble herself and offer any form of apology to Doro. Indeed, seeing that she would see herself as quite literally superior, I would expect Gisela simply to resolve projecting any form of guilt away from herself and unto what she could very well regard is but an inferior (lower-ranked) Doro, at once deserving of whatever kind of punishment their worshipful Godintheflesh sort of leader sees fit. Probably–therefore–having to deal with an inflexible and already menacing Gisela, it would be all up to Doro to try and mitigate any tension between them. As such, in order to help minimize or assuage any inherently emotionally-burdensome sort of hard-feelings from her end, Doro might just prefer to absorb the nonetheless entirely artificial and equally unjust load of guilt which so brutally was forced upon her. Since the frighteningly-challenging and unattractively-stressful alternative is to revolt–rebel like the true independence-craving adult human being she would then be–against the tyrannical and totalitarian rule of Pius and minions (armed not only with foul mouths and fists but guns and what not), I would estimate her to be partial to rather choose the way of least resistance by somehow blaming herself (consistent with a yielding masochistic attitude) for supposedly having stepped out of line, yada yada, by having had the stomach-churning audacity and temerity to strike up what turned out to be an unauthorized romance, seeking a romantic relationship with someone who apparently unfortunately was off-limits to her (seeing that she would be too ugly and smell too badly, yada yada).
On to the men. Owing to their sizeable guilt, the men will have to deal with natural and substantial fear for compensatory punishment (fear for revenge–Law of the Talion-style), typically becoming more pronounced the closer they happen to be to her (and their memory would be jarred into jogging due to now being able to live-register their victim through the senses). Especially Diete will have to process an especially-significant portion of guilt since he obviously let down his fiancee in such a spectacular and brutal fashion. Although hard to accurately predict what will come of their relationship without having any further information to go on, from a purely rational vantage point, I have little hope there would still be a marriage in the post (then again, love is not synonymous with rationality per se). Let me state (what probably many of you likely only find is) the obvious: If I were her, I would be (exceedingly) reluctant to want to stay involved with someone who so easily lets me twisting in the wind and furthermore not only betrays my love due to male peer pressure (of a most silly and infantile kind even!), but who also has the senseless nerve to physically hurt me due to that same silly outside pressure, which is coming from the sort of people who actually have no right (at all!) to interfere with my relationship. Then again, maybe she’ll forgive him for his betrayal–however flagrant and telling it is–if he admits (if even able to) his bloody folly to her, but–either way–their relationship would be unlikely to stand the light of day, while under their sadistic leader’s suffocating sway. He must therefore, first of all, free himself from servitude to Piusshake off this atrociously intrusive – invasive and life-draining spell to the mean mesmerizing master man–through, if need be, force-feeding himself with the cold hard naked truth, at once noble for its elegant simplicity and universal symmetry: that exercising personal (independency-seeking) autonomy is a natural right to be enjoyed by any living human being — as guaranteed by, and consistent with, the Golden Rule (and which should be denied only under special certain circumstances of emergency, such as a person being or becoming a veritable liability or menace to society if left acting under their own free-willed autonomy).
As for the other men, in case they were to sustain a sure Close Encounter of the Third Kind with their victim, should it ever happen that the (depraved)(power-hungry) sadist inside once again gets the better of them, the abuser(s) might just then be triggered to attack her once more as they (yet) one more time would yield to the (egosyntonically-attractive) temptation to boldly deny their own guilt, have furthermore the dry wits to project it unto her, and moreover also have the perfectly-blind balls to persecute her for it.
Sounds to me like a recipe for social disaster (if not blueprint for creating a miniature version of hell on earth).
When members of one gender sadistically exploit members of the other gender on a suggested routine (pseudo-legal) basis, it’s therefore no wonder that Pius seeks to maintain separation of the sexes in his commune. In addition, it should also be no great surprise if the women in the commune turn out to be especially submissive and masochistically inclined (!guilt-absorbing!), since their egos–after all–have to make sense of their abuse coming from (male-chauvinistic) sadistically inclined (!guilt-projecting!) men, who–notwithstanding their repulsively oppressive and exploitative behavior–still form part of the same overarching group as the women do and so whom the women therefore cannot ignore and or run away from; assuming a (mildly) masochistic character trait would therefore correspond with a relatively understandable roll-with-the-punches sort of a bend-instead-of-break kind of a survival strategy;
4 Actors who, as long as they help sustain the dreadful theatre macabre (vive la France!) in their midst, cannot help but to accumulate costly karmic debt themselves, staggering moral cost accrued for being part of a group of servile souls lending active support to the depraved machinations of a sadist for a leader;
5 That Doro might in fact be possessed by demons cannot be ruled out, strictly speaking. She already committed a significant and real transgression by way of sacrificing her autonomy in exchange for blindly worshiping Pius, an offense committed most of all against her own person (apart from God), something which the psychoanalyst Arno Gruen calls “the betrayal of the self” (and everyone is encouraged to read his fascinating and informative books). And this–I was taught by the human person overseeing my own deliverance on an earthly plane–is what demons love seeing us do, they love to see us acting abusively towards either one’s own being or one another as it would grant them some kind of metaphysical license to go and possess us in actual fact.
As a result of being part of one big sadomasochistic enterprise involving lots of suffering, Doro–like any other member of the commune–is likely to at least have been exposed to the very real risk of demonic possession. It seems self-evident to me that demons naturally gravitate towards places where there is lots of human suffering generated (like this prison-like commune but also regular prisons, mental hospitals and other places where there is an abundance of abuse going on); sites at which those rather evil-minded invisible creatures would have the best of opportunities to add fuel to the fire, so to speak; the best of prospects to push through their sinister perversions of human will with the greatest of eases, producing the greatest of yields — all for the benefit of their age-old war against us. Indeed, if demons were to prey on human beings, having as aim to override and usurp conscious human control (as much as possible), they might just welcome (very much) any event of a potential human host relinquishing autonomous personal control, whether that host would be sacrificing their free will by surrendering in worship to another human being (like Pius) or something else (like a false god or any idol), it doesn’t matter, as long as that free autonomous will–that full command over their own person–goes up in smoke and, as a result, would be leaving an attractive vacancy for outside non-human spiritual entities, looking to have some iniquitously-minded fun, to move in, join the party and gladly fill in any gaping holes of will, lusciously-succulent corruptible will.
However, owing to his irresponsible (grievously Golden Rule-perturbing) use of power over the commune, it is far more important to recognize that precisely Pius himself might be possessed. Unlike she (who’s no danger and whose potential state of possession has little relevance beyond her own person), since–in sharp contrast–quite a few people are dependent on him (about one or two hundred), it is–beyond a shadow of doubtPius himself who so deserves to – first of all – be a natural focal point of (continued) critical review and assessment (e.g., administered by an elected panel of elders from his own people, forming a counsel; unless your first name is ‘God‘ and last name ‘Almighty(which it isn’t), since omniscience and omnipotence are therefore well out of reach and so infallibility and flawlessness are likewise out of the question, flush that autocracy bullshit down the toilet, pronto!). Furthermore, especially for the sake of ensuring the rationality and justice of his rule, Pius very much owes it to the people under his wing to undergo spiritual examination to find out if he–in fact–would be possessed and, if so, to then also acknowledge the chief virtue (bordering on vital necessity) to have himself be put through the kind of deliverance procedure which, counter to his own blood-soaked brutality-promoting manual, should not involve the application of physical violence at all (nor preluding abusive violence directed at the psyche too, for that matter), but which would rather involve most of all a little bit of magic raining down from Heaven, the kind which really does heal and purify ((for what it’s worth, although I can only speak for myself, I didn’t feel a thing when my own six demons were pulled out of me; not even when the staunchly stubborn master commander–the Jezebel spirit, the last demon standing–was removed from me involving lots of apparent spiritual violence, according to the human person overseeing my deliverance on an earthly plane));
6 And self-hypnotizer too if he truly believes in his own poisonous sermonizing;
7 At heart, the charge would be for violating what essentially is an idolatrous sort of practice, one having for an object of worship (however rationally indefensible it quite clearly is) the otherwise freely and publicly available accumulations of outdoors water. In other words, Lena is being accused of failing to adhere to the cardinal apparent rule serving to safe-guard the idolatrous (de facto: untouchable and holy) status of said water reserves — she may be said to have failed in the apparently compulsory practice of Wateridolatry, having for its object the local wild water reserves, of which its admittedly minimalistic sort of worship comes down to leaving said water in a pristine untouched state.
As retarded and unenlightened as this (pseudo-legal) charge may sound to any rationally-thinking human being, it just so happens that only quite recently–in October 2018, in fact–Pakistan’s Supreme Court overturned a death sentence placed on a woman named Asia Bibi, who was convicted in 2010 for violating a very similar sort of ridiculous law promoting Wateridolatry. The original complaint against Bibi came in June 2009. As the Christian mother of five picked berries in a field with a number of Muslim women, she became thirsty, and went to a nearby well for water. One Muslim woman allegedly accused Bibi of contaminating the water because of her Christian faith, making it unfit for the Muslim women to drink. […] Bibi claims that several days later, she was hauled from the berry field into the village, where she was beaten. It was alleged that Bibi had insulted Islam in violation of blasphemy laws — a charge which she denied. During the beatings, she was again told to convert, but she refused, and was later taken into police custody. In November 2010, Bibi was convicted of blasphemy, and sentenced to death by hanging. In 2014, the sentence was upheld by the Lahore high court. Read more at: https://www.dailywire.com/news/42866/christian-asia-bibi-free-leave-pakistan-after-frank-camp
If the death sentence were to really be carried out as planned, then the life of a human was going to be sacrificed on the proverbial altar which may be thought to belong to the abstract idol–represented by public esteem, standing or name–representing the law at hand, some blasphemy law. By drinking from the well carrying–what the local Muslims infer to, in effect, regard asholy water, the woman – due to merely being Christian – had supposedly come to soil the water and, in an imaginary way, had come to soil the – in practice – supremely precious idol representing the corresponding blasphemy law, one which – as in the commune – serves to protect the purportedly holy status of the water by prohibiting the likes of the kuffar woman from contaminating said water with her ostensibly inherently unclean body (and penalizing them if they do). By sacrificing the life of the woman at hand, the idea would be that in the minds of the involved Muslims, the blemish which they imagine the woman had visited upon said law (reflected in a correspondingly tainted public image of that law) may be thought of as being washed off with the blood of the woman — made available for proverbial rinsing purposes by her capital punishment;
8 It deserves mention that Lena is not just any common liar, but a rather skillful one. After all, she obviously has the guts and confidence to lie repeatedly and persistently; and not just that but also while being in the sort of unchanging social habitat which only stands to more-and-more become like a hostile environment to her, ever more like enemy territory, since she would be incurring more-and-more guilt with respect to all the people she lies to and about, and keeps on lying to and about (tension on the rise; possibly promoting progressive paranoia). The same can be said for Daniel, who–if you watch the movie–so cunningly and convincingly managed to believably pretend being a retard during his entire stay at the commune. If Lena and Daniel were to get romantically involved on a serious level–and they also would want to keep it that way–in order to prevent their mutual trust being eaten away by mutual suspicion, each should therefore recognize to full extent both their own and the other’s proficiency at being credibly insincere — both are naturally exposed to the risk of using their skills of deception not just at times of (personal) emergency but perhaps also at less emergent and (personally) more convenient sort of situations (requiring, for example, some <proactive>, <remedial> or perhaps precisely <opportunistic> on-the-spot kind of ‘<ingenuity>’ . . .).
As for Pius, upon finding out that he had been suckered – shafted – the entire time by not just one but two members of his flock (fucked right in the culo and the kisser simultaneously), the corrosively cuckoo cult-leader may be expected to only up-the-ante of his toxic watchfulness. His cruelty to the members of his remaining flock is likely to increase because he now would be more prone to ‘detect’ spies and traitors in his midst, and treat them as such, with enhanced sadistically vindicating force, whether or not they even happen to be (half-way) real spies or traitors. Lena and Daniel would be partially responsible for an already sadistic and paranoid leader to become even more so. Then again, Pius himself of course would be mostly responsible for this new psychopathology-exacerbating development (naturally affecting the crooked entire circus of idolatry built around his person). By running a completely closed-off sort of a militant cult-like commune, the malevolently-mesmerizing mad master man of opprobriously-predatory priestly pleasure himself squarely deserves to be held responsible for creating the precise conducive conditions for infiltrators–naturally covertly pursuing independent agendas from his own heavenly-sanctioned divine one–to try and come join the stupefying soul-strangulating charade under his bloodstained superstitious supervision;

The look on Lena’s face, while sitting in front of her chief tormentor named Pius, sums the situation in this horrible cult-like commune….

 

Is God Just a Delusion? I.1. Brief No-nonsense Definition of Religion

Still a work in progress. Part I is still closer to being finished, but Good God what a lot of work this is. Part II is still in the mill and a little birdie tells me it will remain in that very same mill still for some time to come. (3-may-15)

Still going at it full throttle. (27-jul-15)

I ON THE ONE HAND…
I.1. What is religion?…
I.1.1. Uniform artificial morality
I.1.2. Uniform prescription of life-style
I.1.3. Squeezing and squirming in the callous and cold behavioral mold
I.2. Idolatry 101 – Crash Course Modern Anatomy of Idolatry
I.2.1. What is Idolatry?
I.2.1.1. Idols (still) demand (human) sacrifices
I.2.1.2. The double error lying at the heart of idolatry
I.2.2. Religious idolatry
I.2.2.1. Positive Idolatry versus Negative Idolatry
I.2.2.2. Concrete Idolatry versus Abstract Idolatry
I.2.2.3. Supporting the practice of idolatry with blind pride
I.2.2.4. Defending air-castles built on idols
I.2.2.5. Promoting ignorance while fixating on superficiality
I.2.3. Principal kinds of religious idolatry
I.2.3.1. Condemnation of idolatry by Abrahamic religions
I.2.3.2. The four heretofore unrecognized kinds of idolatry professed by religion
I.2.3.3. Ensuring addiction to religious idols
I.2.4. Introducing Self-idolatry
I.2.4.1. Rudimentary Self-idolatry – The tale of Narcissus
I.2.4.1.1. Moral lessons derived from the tale of Narcissus
I.2.4.1.2. Modern tale of Narcissus, “Devil’s Advocate” (1997)
I.2.4.2. Positive-Attention-Seeking versus Negative-Attention-Avoiding
I.2.4.3. The addictive character of narcissism
I.2.4.3.1. “The Narcissism Epidemic” strongly suggests, yet not explicitly states, that narcissism is an addiction
I.2.4.3.2. The pompous praise-demanding pink elephant in the living room
I.2.4.4. Developing Negative-Attention-Avoiding~Self-idolatry in response to the presence of a blaming, shaming narcissist
I.2.4.5. Overt Self-idolatry versus Covert Self-idolatry
I.3. Introducing the unrecognized practice of counterfeiting God’s authority
I.3.1. Falsifying the blessing of the highest possible metaphysical authority
I.3.1.1. How to recognize when God’s authority has been counterfeited
I.3.1.2. Estimating the severity of the moral crime of counterfeiting God’s authority
I.3.1.3. Declaration of absence of divine authority in my own person
I.3.2. Counterfeiting God’s authority in the Bible
I.3.3. Counterfeiting God’s authority in the Qur’an
I.3.4. Blackmail of the soul in the Qur’an
I.3.5. Spiritual extortion in Catholicism
I.3.6. Reading into scripture to facilitate blackmail of the soul
I.3.6.1. Spiritual extortion by the Christian volunteer ministry GotQuestions.org
I.3.7. Would God even be willing to submit to (humanly drafted) rules? God, a Rule-idolater?
I.3.7.1. Worshiping a humanly-reduced interpretation, or image, of God – Introducing God-idolatry
I.3.8. Counterfeiting God’s authority in “Kingdom of Heaven” (2005)
I.3.8.1. Killing infidels to secure a place in heaven?
I.3.8.2. Is suffering a crippling disease a punishment from God?
I.3.8.3. Waging war with God on your side?
I.4. The Toxic Effects of Unmitigated Shaming on Child-development
I.4.1. On the Dynamics of Guilt, Shaming and Soothing in Parent-Child Relationships
I.4.1.1. The punitive and destructive Shaming Inner Parent versus the restorative and constructive Soothing Inner Parent
I.4.2. Fostering or stunting the development of autonomy and empathy – Embracing Love or Power
I.4.2.1. “Empathy as a catalyst of autonomy” – On the origin of autonomy and empathy
I.4.2.2. Empathy and the Moral Law of Cause and Effect
I.4.2.2.1. The world of the idol is a world of power, destruction and moral retardation
I.4.2.3. Embracing power as a means to protect the self against suffering shame
I.4.2.4. Male-chauvinistic men stuck in the behavioral straitjacket that some call the “Man box
I.4.2.4.1. The tremendous debilitating cost to society of destroying personal autonomy and its derivative capacity for empathy
I.5. Systematic Punitive Shaming practiced by Jehovah’s Watchtower Society
I.5.1. The Watchtower Society’s practice of Traumatic Punitive Shaming called “Disfellowshipping
I.5.1.1. In spite of Christian claim, attributing higher importance to idolizing Jehovah organization than caring for human beings
I.5.2. Only Jehovah’s Witnesses will Survive Armageddon and subsequently enter into Eternal Perfect Paradise
I.5.2.1. Outsiders who do not know Jehovah, including their children, will meet eternal death and destruction
I.5.3. Why the Watchtower Society Cannot (Solely) be Guided by God
I.5.3.1. The many date-specific prophecies of “God’s only organization” consistently fail(ed) to come true
I.5.3.2. Fatal doctrinal contradiction on attitude towards the practice of idolatry
I.5.3.2.1. Promoting Idolatry of the Jehovah System YET formally prohibiting all practices of idolatry
I.5.3.3. Implicitly sacrificing human lives on the altar devoted to Idolatry of the Jehovah System
I.5.4. The Other Unrecognized Forms of Idolatry practiced by the Jehova’s Witnesses
I.5.4.1. The Watchtower Society practices Scripture-idolatry
I.5.4.2. The Watchtower Society practices Rule-idolatry rooted in Scripture-idolatry
I.5.4.3. The Watchtower Society practices hierarchical Group-idolatry rooted in Scripture-idolatry
I.5.4.3.1. Salvation not solely by Grace of God but also by Works – driven like slaves to go on “door-to-door” service-ministry
I.5.4.3.2. Notwithstanding Christian orientation, further promoting Group-idolatry by teaching to hate enemies and to shun certain kinds of neighbors
I.5.4.3.3. Promoting a public image of persistent yet artificial group-happiness
I.5.4.3.4. Hated by “all the nations” and with Armageddon (forever) pending, finding protection with the “anointed” leadership of the Watchtower
I.5.4.4. The Watchtower Society practices Idolatry of Human Authority based on Scripture-idolatry
I.5.4.4.1. Idolizing the founder and first president of the Watchtower Society, Charles Taze Russell
I.5.4.4.2. Supporting Human-Authority~idolatry by behaving in perfect obedience to Jehovah’s “elders”
I.5.4.5. The Watchtower Society practices Idolatry of Spiritual Authority rooted in Scripture-idolatry
I.5.4.5.1. Jehovah must be a wasteful and inept creator-god when having to order destruction of billions of specimen of his “highest creation
I.5.4.5.2. Although the Watchtower advertises him as the Most High God, Jehovah actually does not lead in love, he follows in love
I.5.5. Held Captive by Jehovah using the Lure of an Exclusive Fairy-tale Future and a Paralyzing Mix of Fear and Guilt
I.5.5.1. In the grip of the many fears promoted by the Watchtower
I.5.5.2. Bogged down by ample artificial guilt instilled by the Watchtower
I.5.5.3. Bound by trauma to the Jehovah leadership, dreading the iron rod ruling of the Judicial Committee
I.5.5.4. Exerting mind control power by exploiting sinner’s artificial guilt
I.5.5.4.1. Suffering under the mesmerizing spell of the Watchful elders of Jehovah
I.5.5.4.2. By punishing the offender, the Watchtower also punishes the local community socially-connected to the offender
I.5.5.4.3. Uncompassionate punishment promotes sadistic and callous traits to emerge in the congregation
I.5.5.5. Moral ramifications for being pardoned by a human arbiter for a real moral crime
I.5.5.6. The Watchtower Society sustains a breeding ground for social maladjustment
I.6. The Cost of Strict Religious Adherence for Child-development and Society-at-large
I.6.1. Drawing Fear from Religious Persuasion to Manipulate and Intimidate Children
I.6.1.1. Under the morally dubious cloak of religion, depriving children of individuality and autonomy
I.6.1.2. Strict religious adherence compromises use of defensible reason in teaching children what they are not supposed to do
I.6.1.3. When the cost is so high for everyone, why subject children to morally murky rigorous religious upbringing?
I.7. Promoting the Manichean worldview – Introducing Group-idolatry
I.7.1. What is the Manichean Worldview?
I.7.2. The serious evils of Group-idolatry
I.7.2.1. Christian Group-idolatry
I.7.2.2. Killing human beings in the name of God
I.7.3. Denial and projection of psychic shadow
I.7.3.1. Why religionists like to shame other people
I.7.4. Fanning the flames of inter-group strife
I.7.5. Manichean madness and Chris “American Sniper” Kyle
I.7.5.1. Basic moral error of Manichean logic
I.8. Worship of scripture – Introducing Scripture-idolatry
I.8.1. What is Scripture-idolatry?
I.8.2. Idolizing Abrahamic scriptures
I.8.3. Proving the imperfection of Abrahamic scriptures
I.8.3.1. Contradictions in the Bible
I.8.3.2. The New Testament contradicting the Old Testament
I.8.3.3. Contradictions in the Qur’an
I.8.4. Reverse-ordered Controlled Demolition of Abrahamic Scripture-idols
I.8.5. Substituting Stupendous Con with Chief Moral Objectives
I.9. Worship of the law – Introducing Law-idolatry
I.9.1. The irrationality and immorality of Law-idolatry
I.9.1.1. Court-case victories based on law-juggling rather than moral soundness
I.9.1.2. Had the abused actually been abusing the abuser instead?
I.9.2. Deriving Law-idolatry from Scripture-idolatry
I.9.3. Trauma-inflicting retributive justice-strategies
I.9.3.1. The fundamental problem with inflicting trauma in the name of justice
I.9.3.2. The seemingly sacred severing service of the sharpened sword
I.9.4. Replacing focus on morality by focus on legality
I.9.5. Law-worship and its barren moral content
I.9.5.1. Basing power on the practice of Law-idolatry
I.9.5.2. The priesthood has crafted to perfection the art of projection
I.9.6. Law-idolatry versus Universal Human Equality
I.9.6.1. Pope Francis: “Inequality is the root of social evil”
I.10. Worship of rules – Introducing Rule-idolatry
I.10.1. Tony Montana’s unflinching commitment to Rule-idolatry to protect kid-sister Gina, “Scarface” (1983)
I.10.2. Changing favored Rule-idol on joining self-help cult, Jim Carrey in “Yes Man” (2008)
I.10.2.1. Unreservedly submitting to the “Yes Man” Rule-idol
I.10.2.2. Exchanging service to the “No Man” Rule-idol for the “Yes Man” Rule-idol, under duress of shaming
I.10.2.3. The hierarchy of idolatry built around the “Yes Man” Rule-idol
I.10.3. Tolstoy’s commitment to the Christian non-resistance-to-evil Rule-idol
I.10.3.1. The human cost of adhering to the rule of perfect non-resistance to evil
I.10.3.2. Comparing the non-resistance-to-violence~principle to the Second Chief Moral Objective
I.10.3.3. Turning the other cheek as a means of shock absorption and to promote moral leadership
I.10.3.3.1. The cost of failing to turn the other cheek in “Brokeback Mountain” (2005)
I.10.3.4. On the origin of Tolstoy’s personal need to resort to Rule-idolatry
I.10.4. The altar devoted to the worship of Britain’s anti-homosexuality Rule-idol claiming a human sacrifice in Alan Turing
I.10.4.1. Retroactive Moral Indictment of the cold-war era UK Government for callously violating the human rights of Alan Turing
I.10.4.2. While under the tyranny of the Homophobia~Rule-idol, sacrificing personal assets to have homosexual relationships in secret
I.10.4.3. My First Letter of Gratitude devoted to the Great Alchemist of Technology, Alan Turing
I.11. Loving parents versus worshiping parents – Introducing Parent-idolatry
I.11.1. What is Parent-idolatry?
I.11.1.1. Honoring parents according to the Bible
I.11.1.2. Honoring parents according to the Qur’an
I.11.2. The cost of Parent-idolatry
I.11.2.1. Why Moses is a poor authority on healthy child-parent relationships
I.11.2.2. The virtue of being honest and truthful to parents
I.11.2.3. If we may not dishonor parents, may we dishonor corrupt (parental) authority figures?
I.12. Worship of religious figures – Introducing Human-Authority~idolatry
I.12.1. What is Human-Authority~idolatry?
I.12.2. Worshiping the Authority-idol of Muhammad
I.12.2.1. The Qur’an practically equates Muhammad with God
I.12.2.2. Muhammad’s human imperfection
I.12.2.3. The fundamental problem with the practical deification of Muhammad
I.12.2.4. The Qur’an forbids the “placing of others beside Allah”
I.12.2.5. Responding to the Jyllands-Posten and Charlie Hebdo tragedies
I.13. Worship of Christian authority-figures
I.13.1. Condemnation of Person-idolatry in the Abrahamic scriptures
I.13.2. Worshiping the “Blessed Virgin Mary” – Mariolatry
I.13.2.1. Catholic doctrine supporting submission to “Virgin Mary”
I.13.2.2. Declaring Mary’s immaculate conception and heavenly ascension by counterfeiting God’s authority
I.13.2.3. What would Mary herself say of ending up the subject of idolization?
I.13.3. Worshiping Catholic Saints
I.13.3.1. Are the scores of Catholic Saints really all in heaven?
I.13.3.2. Rather than God, do Catholic clergy get to decide who goes to heaven?
I.13.3.3. Proposing an alternative worldview based on reincarnation
I.13.3.3.1. Living a conditionally-terminal series of lives instead of one single life
I.13.3.3.2. Working toward a next life that is either Heaven-on-earth or Hell-on-earth
I.13.3.4. Why saint-worship may be classified as Human-Authority~idolatry
I.13.3.5. Catholic doctrine based on Rule-idolatry based on Verse-idolatry
I.13.3.5.1. Verse-idolatry affecting all Abrahamic religions – Universal Verse-idolatry
I.13.4. Idolizing still-living Catholic clerical leaders
I.13.4.1. Scriptural support for the dogma of infallibility
I.13.4.1.1. Reading into scripture what you want, to get what you need
I.13.4.2. Creating a hierarchical platform for Human-Authority~idolatry rooted in Scripture-idolatry
I.13.5. What about idolizing Jesus himself? – Introducing Jesus-idolatry
I.13.5.1. Militant “Christianity” – Jesus Camp (2006)
I.13.5.2. Militant “Christians” shaming on gays and lesbians
I.13.5.2.1. Wait, the musical-genius Freddie Mercury and the computer-pioneer Alan Turing are in “hell”?
I.13.6. The price of indulging in Person-idolatry
I.13.6.1. The toll for all those who idolize
I.13.6.1.1. North Korea’s cost for maintaining the Cult of Personality of the Kims
I.13.6.2. The toll for the idolized persons themselves
I.14. The Chief Moral Objectives and Universal Human Equality (certified 100% Idolatry-free!)
I.14.1. “Love your neighbor as yourself” – The Second Chief Moral Objective
I.14.1.1. Love your neighbor more than yourself – Your submission to your neighbor’s idolatry
I.14.1.2. Love your neighbor less than yourself – Your neighbor submitting to your idolatry
I.14.1.2.1. Your self-idol, like a subtle and invisible vampire, slowly and unnoticeably sucking you limp and dry, until you die
I.14.1.2.2. Making your neighbors submit to other idols that you promote
I.14.1.2.3. The Source of Eternal Life
I.14.1.3. Enabling to “Love your neighbor as yourself” by recognizing Universal Human Equality
I.14.2. Moses his poor reception of the Chief Moral Objectives
I.14.2.1. Deriving the Ten Commandments from a flawed interpretation of the Chief Moral Objectives
I.14.2.2. Moses the psychopathic and or sadistic punisher?
I.14.2.2.1. Counterfeiting God’s authority to rob and slaughter the people of Midian
I.14.2.3. Counterfeiting God’s authority in prescribing penalties for violating the Ten Commandments
I.14.2.4. Moses, the heartless megalomaniac – Proof that Moses his “Lord” was not God Almighty
I.14.2.4.1. Moses, the unrepentant and staunch counterfeiter of God’s authority
I.14.2.5. The inhumane double-standard inherent in Mosaic Law
I.14.2.5.1. Legal systems adopting and normalizing the conscience of a sadistic, vindictive psychopath
I.15. Idolatry of the organized whole – Introducing System-idolatry
I.15.1. Warranting the practice of idolatry by making it systematic
I.15.1.1. The systematization of the worship of the golden idol of Nebuchadnezzar II, the King of Kings
I.15.1.1.1. Interpreting Nebuchadnezzar’s intriguing yet elusive dream
I.15.1.1.2. Legally mandating the rule which guarantees the systematic worship to Nebuchadnezzar’s golden Person-idol
I.15.2. Fostering fascistic System-idolatry in a High School setting – Ron Jones’ “Third Wave” (1967)
I.15.2.1. Introducing the first fascistic constitutional Law “Strength through discipline!
I.15.2.2. The second fascistic constitutional Law: “Strength through community!
I.15.2.2.1. The inherently addictive character of the fascistic System-idol
I.15.2.3. The third fascistic foundational Law: “Strength through action!
I.15.2.3.1. Socially-cannibalizing on fellow members to continue staying in the inherently addictive fascist group
I.15.2.3.2. The natural tendency of the fascistic System-idol to attract underachievers seeking solace and salvation in the group
I.15.2.4. The fourth and final fascistic foundational Law: “Strength through pride!
I.15.2.5. Strength through… understanding – Piercing the bubble that is fascistic Group-idolatry
I.15.2.5.1. Shame and guilt muffled away in the unconscious suddenly brought to the fore of conscious awareness
I.15.2.5.2. Recapitulation of Ron Jones’ fascistically-flavored System-idolatry
I.15.3. The System-idolatry of Philip Zimbardo’s “Stanford Prison Experiment” (1971)
I.15.3.1. The “Stanford Prison Experiment” Prison-System-idol
I.15.3.2. The inhumane nature of the count ritual and the systematic dehumanization of the prisoners
I.15.3.3. Enforcing dependency to the worship of the Prison-System-idol
I.15.3.4. Key developments and aspects of the experiment
I.15.3.4.1. Prisoner rebellion already kicking in within 24 hours after starting experiment
I.15.3.4.2. Covering up the hideous real face of the prison with a smiley-face mask
I.15.3.4.3. Paranoia of the guards feeding an escalating punitive treatment of the prisoners
I.15.3.5. Exposure to the practice of Prison-System-idolatry causing the generation of a two-tiered “Manbox
I.15.3.5.1. Shutting down feelings, emotions and empathy
I.15.3.5.2. Bringing out the sadism in the guards
I.15.3.6. Forcing the prisoners to mirror the Prison-System-idol by way of Trauma Bonding
I.15.3.6.1. Little casual chit-chat going on in an all-consuming combative atmosphere saturated with negative idolatry
I.15.3.7. Does the power lie in the situation or in the response to the situation?
I.15.3.8. Why do some guards become cruel in a prison environment and others do not? – Affinity for System-idolatry
I.15.3.8.1. A closer look at the character of the cruel guard named Hellmann
I.15.3.8.2. Becoming cruel by way of self-fulfilling prophecy
I.15.3.8.3. A closer look at the character of the rebellious prisoner, Doug Korpi “8612
I.16. Introducing Absolute, Natural Conscience versus Relative, Artificial Conscience
I.16.1. What is Absolute, Natural Conscience versus Relative, Artificial Conscience?
I.16.1.1. Shaming without soothing leaves lingering AN-guilt
I.16.1.2. Masking a guilty AN-conscience by adopting a kind of idolatry that has a permissive yet deceptive RA-conscience
I.16.1.3. Introducing the concept of Moral Insanity = (Spiritual Insanity, Social Insanity)
I.16.2. Examples of various kinds of idolatry and their accompanying Moral Insanity
I.16.2.1. The Moral Insanity of Generic Narcissism
I.16.2.2. The Moral Insanity of Generic Group-idolatry
I.16.2.3. The Social Insanity of Victim Blaming – Victim-Perpetrator Role-Reversing Self-idolatry
I.16.2.3.1. Victim-blaming under Sharia-law — Victim-Perpetrator Role-Reversing Self-idolatry rooted in Gender-idolatry
I.16.2.4. Misogynistic Victim-Blaming in the Jehovah’s Witnesses — Victim-Perpetrator Role-Reversing Gender-idolatry
I.16.2.4.1. An ex-JW blows the whistle on the misogyny happening in the Watchtower Society – The story of “Donna”
I.16.2.4.2. The professed Social Insanity by the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the case of “Donna”
I.16.2.4.3. Proving to have the strength to face persecution by a religious cult of cowardice
I.16.2.5. The Social Insanity of punishing anonymously – Exploiting Idolatry of the Anonymous Self
I.16.2.5.1. The Social Insanity due to Anonymity-Warranting~Self-Idolatry occurring in warring primitive tribes
I.16.2.6. Social Insanity by denying the humanity of the victim – Exploiting Negative Idolatry
I.16.3. Promoting Moral Insanity under the cover of System-idolatry
I.16.3.1. The Moral Insanity of Nebuchadnezzar’s System-idolatry
I.16.3.1.1. The brave three young men who defied the King of Kings
I.16.3.1.2. The moral of the story – Submission to idols is futile and sterile
I.16.3.2. The Moral Insanity of Jane Elliott’s Racism-emulating “Blue-eyes superior, brown-eyes inferior” System-idolatry
I.16.3.2.1. Embracing Group-idolatry to facilitate visiting vengeance
I.16.3.2.2. Victims of Negative Idolatry seeking solace in compensatory Positive Idolatry
I.16.3.3. The Moral Insanity due to the Stanford Prison Experiment’s System-idolatry
I.16.3.4. The Moral Insanity owing to the System-idolatry practiced in Stanley Milgram’s experiments on Obedience
I.16.3.4.1. Milgram’s definition of System-idolatry and its supportive RA-conscience
I.16.3.4.2. Persisting in obedience to a dictatorial system for fear of being punished
I.17. Proving Invalidity of Published Testimonies about Visits to Hell
I.17.1. Mary K Baxter’s Not-so-Divine Revelation of Hell
I.17.1.1. The fundamental error of confusing Jesus with God Almighty
I.17.1.2. “Jesus” the rigorous militant, shows not one iota of mercy in “hell
I.17.1.3. Sinners and disbelievers “bound” for “hell” – Group-idolatry
I.17.1.3.1. Filling up “hell” with lesbians and homosexuals
I.17.1.4. Baxter’s Bible-worship – Scripture-idolatry
I.17.1.5. “Jesus” the Supreme Narcissist, demanding all worship from all “saved” souls
I.17.1.5.1. Turn, to the Supremely Narcissistic “Jesus, or Burn!
I.17.1.6. Mary K Baxter’s own doubtful spiritual health
I.17.1.6.1. Baxter promoting an Anti-Christian version of Christ
I.17.1.6.2. Baxter’s own demons
I.17.2. Bill Wiese’s Supposed “23 Minutes in Hell”
I.17.2.1. Wiese’s “Jesus” takes him on a visit to “Hell
I.17.2.2. Wiese’s “Jesus” counterfeits God’s authority
I.17.2.3. Bill Wiese’s practice of Jesus-idolatry based on Scripture-idolatry
I.17.2.3.1. “Choose” Eternal Bliss or Eternal Pain
I.17.2.3.2. Wiese’s practice of Scripture-idolatry
I.17.2.3.3. Wiese’s visually-challenged trust in “reputable” authorities
I.17.2.4. Shaming “sinners” from the pulpit of Scripture-idolatry
I.17.2.5. Estimating the psychological nature of Bill Wiese
I.17.3. Personal beliefs on hell and demons
I.17.3.1. Why I don’t believe in hell
I.17.3.2. What could be the purpose of demons (jinns), though?
I.17.3.2.1. The Grand Cosmic Mystery
I.17.3.3. Exploiting our drive to worship idols to manage waging war on us
I.18. Atmosphere of fear and emergency
I.18.1. Religion and its penchant to promote fear
I.18.1.1. Casting fear in the Bible and the Qur’an
I.18.1.2. Conserving or worsening fear in order to secure power and control
I.18.1.3. The tasty carrot and the rather BIG stick
I.18.2. Fear “fueling” the carnal mind
I.18.3. Fear and moral growth
I.18.4. Religious fear and idolatry
I.18.4.1. Practicing religious idolatry out of sheer fear
I.18.4.2. Exploiting fear for political purposes, the paradigm of terrorism
I.19. The carnal mind and the image – the ego and the idol
I.19.1. The ego’s weakness for idols
I.19.1.1. Drawing focus of attention away from inner being and unto external world
I.19.1.2. The superficiality of the ego and its affinity for idols
I.19.1.3. The unjust and cold-blooded execution of a Tolkienian Orc
I.19.2. Machiavelli’s idolization of the carnal mind
M. Movies Illustrating the practice of Various Kinds of Idolatry Poisoning the Human Experience
M.1. The interplay between Negative-Attention-Avoiding~Self-idolatry and Narcissism in Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky I, II & III
M.1a. Holding ground against a powerful narcissist in the form of a boxing champion, “Rocky” (1976)
M.1a.1. Rocky’s first personal sacrifice on the altar of Negative-Attention-Avoiding~Self-idolatry
M.1a.2. The struggle against a shaming narcissist hellbent on treating his opponent as a punching bag
M.1a.3. “All I wanna do is go the distance…
M.1b. Continuing the struggle against a shaming, powerful and narcissistic adversary in “Rocky II” (1979)
M.1b.1. Feeling the heat from the narcissist’s incapacity to handle personal shame
M.1b.2. Apollo dying to reclaim lost stature by cannibalizing Rocky’s newfound dignity
M.1c. The fight against the spellbinding tyranny of elevated personal image in “Rocky III” (1982)
M.1c.1. Intoxicated by the worship attributed to his image, Rocky unknowingly sacrifices his precious Eye of the Tiger
M.1c.2. Adrian yanks Rocky back from his paralyzing Self-idolizing bewitchment to reality
M.2. Progressively sacrificing mental sanity to Status-Seeking~Self-idolatry, Cate Blanchett in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine” (2013)
M.2.1. Doggedly clinging on to an expired Superiority Status
M.2.2. Jasmine sustains her first narcissistic injury in San Francisco
M.2.3. To Shame and to avoid Shame, that is the quest…
M.2.4. Jasmine ups the ante of her Self-idolatrous combativeness
M.2.5. Further descending into camouflaging inauthenticity when meeting a new guy
M.2.6. Slipping further into insanity by refusing to abandon avoidance and denial
M.2.7. The new bubble also bursts
M.2.8. The conflict between Ginger and Jasmine reaches its inevitable boiling point
M.2.9. Jasmine catches her combative boomerang full-on with her head, instead of her hand
M.3. Driven to commit moral crime in a Law-idolizing social environment, Sharon Stone & Ben Foster in Nick Cassavetes’ “Alpha Dog” (2006)
M.3.1. The hateful actions coming from a person convinced to be doomed for hell
M.3.2. Casually invading the home of a stranger driven by a sense of entitlement
M.3.3. Working toward becoming an object of hatred fueled by self-hatred
M.3.3.1. The paradox of the self-hating Nazi Jew
M.3.4. While under pressure from vindictive brother and Law-idolizing authorities, driven to moral crime by myopic selfishness
M.3.5. The heavy yoke the community is forced to carry due to the practice of Law-idolatry by the authorities
M.3.6. Replacing the societal burden of Law-idolatry by a morally-acceptable alternative
M.3.7. If drugs would have been decriminalized, the “Alpha Dog-tragedy would likely never even have happened
M.4. Victimized by the governmental practice of Drug-Law-idolatry, Edward Norton & Barry Pepper in Spike Lee’s “25th Hour” (2002)
M.4.1. Shaming others after realizing that oneself will become the object of shame for years to come – A Protracted Act of Projection
M.4.2. Sacrificing personal identity, (all) social contacts and one’s good looks on the implicit altar of Drug-Law-idolatry
M.4.3. Prosecuting the mutually-voluntary and mutually-satisfactory and non-violent business-practice of trading medicinal plant-material
M.4.4. The practice of Drug-Law-idolatry claiming human sacrifices drawn from the drug-seeking population
M.4.5. Punishing society at large with the idolatrous practice of immoral drug-laws
M.5. Sacrificing personal authenticity and integrity to Homophobic Rule-idolatry, Jake Gyllenhaal & Heath Ledger in Ang Lee’s “Brokeback Mountain” (2005)
M.5.1. An authentic and open homosexual relationship is out of the question
M.5.2. The consequent emptiness of the marriage between Ennis and Alma
M.5.3. The consequent vacancy of the marriage between Jack and Lureen
M.6. Police brutality making “turning the other cheek” next to impossible, Sylvester Stallone in “Rambo – First Blood” (1982)
M.6.1. Introducing evil into the world by acting as if evil only exists outside of yourself and is out to get you
M.6.2. The Sheriff and deputies interpret Rambo’s failure to cooperate as defiance and a liability to their hegemony
M.6.3. Blinded by power-lust, the deputies proceed to dehumanize, abuse and humiliate a Rambo troubled by PTSD
M.6.4. Hunted down like a wild animal, driven to self-defense
M.6.5. The moral murkiness of equating obedience to the Sheriff with obedience to the Law


In 2006, the prominent English biologist Richard Dawkins published The God Delusion, a book in which the atheist frontrunner expounds his position based on a denial of God’s existence (i_little), argues for the {redundancy and dismissal} of religion as a whole, and submits his own version of a strong-atheistic worldview — i.e., one that is necessarily rooted in pure physicalism. (ii_little)

This Facebook-comment, Goodreads Review, article, paper, BLOGBOOK is a critical review. (well, that was the initial objective anyway)

I. ON THE ONE HAND…^

…I applaud Dawkins for offering {fair and sound} critical assessments of religion. I sincerely welcome his tireless efforts to expose the many flaws of religion and to justifiably reject harmful practices that are (still) being exercised under the umbrella of religion, such as genital mutilation, corporal punishment, stoning, honor killings, not to mention penalties of death (including beheadings) and so on.

But let’s start at the beginning.

I.1. What is religion?…^

…but maintenance of {uniform artificial morality plus uniform prescription of lifestyle} = uniform {artificial morality + prescription of lifestyle}, yes? (i-a)

I.1.1. Uniform artificial morality

israel_orthodox_jew_family_800px_shutterstock_54606043

Orthodox Jewish family

Regarding morality, a religion, including its managerial priesthood, defines and administers an artificiallyconstructed uniform conscience on grouplevel: the consciences of all (lay) members, or (non-clerical) adherents of the religion — independent in free and unspoiled (natural) mature state — have been uniformly (=the same for all) redefined to {suit and accommodate} the mores (i.e., “commandments”) of that religion.

A religion broadly revolves around service to God in some {uniform and predetermined} sense by way of {promoting and enforcing} adherence to a set of specific {instructions and rules}: a traditional program of worship, if you will, telling you what you are to do (and routinely to rather great detail) and especially telling you what you are not to do (in the form of abiding by a set of (specific) prohibitions), . . . all for the goal of gaining and retaining the favor of God.

The priesthood makes sure you stick to and do not deviate from those precepts. But should you happen to do so; should you stoop to violate the held-as-sacred moral code; should you choose to lower yourself by breaching the muchtouted code of ethics that is factually worshiped by the religion, . . . then that same priesthood will see itself forced — as if its administering priests, while “completely” abnegating personal will of their own, are moved only by the (grotesquely punitive!) very HAND of “God” (i.e., the god (idol?) of Law) — to take good care” of your “guilty” conscience by way of castigating fiery reprimand (fire-and-brimstonesort-of-thing) and or substantially traumatic corporal or sometimes even capital punishment.

I.1.2. Uniform prescription of life-style

Miller Family revised

Amish Christian family

A good compliant religionist turns to scripture not just for moral counsel, but also for direction regarding more mundane, even trivial, customary matters of life such as dress-code and eating-etiquette.

After all, a religion typically tells you what to wear and when to wear it; how to dress hair, what to shave and what not to shave; what to eat, how to prepare it, when to eat it and what not to eat; when to pray or for what occasion to pray, how to pray and what to say when praying; when to go to mass or service (how many times a week and on what times) and what to do during mass or service (listening and or reading from an evergreen scripture, praying, singing, …); what bodyparts are to be covered up and during what occasions; what holidays to celebrate (e.g., Easter; Eid al-Fitr) or what {feats or occasions} of life to celebrate (e.g., baptism; Bar Mitzwa) and how these holidays and festivities are to be celebrated; … etc.

As such, apart from defining and administering an artificial moral code, religion formulates and hands down to you, the obedient adherent, a veritable laundrylist of {customary and decorative} rules for you to abide by in order to be a good (read: perfectly compliant and very meek) member of the flock (flock!, there you have your dead giveaway, eh?)

Since it prescribes (and to rather great detail as well) as to how you are to behave and how you are to decorate your life; or, rephrased, since it prescribes as to how you are to define the style of your life, that aforementioned laundrylist thus may be understood to be a prescription of lifestyle.

And since everyone adhering to the religion is given exactly the same prescription (although coming with likely circumstantial nuances determined by age and gender), we are necessarily speaking of a uniform prescription of lifestyle.

I.1.3. Squeezing and squirming in the callous and cold behavioral mold

photos2

Muslim family

A religion may therefore be regarded as a onesizefitsall kind of behavioral mold, {allowing and enforcing} only a relatively narrow range of permissible behavior, accompanied by a rigid and cold collective artificial conscience (a kind of collective Freudian SuperEgo: profoundly punitive and prohibitive at heart) by which the priests grant themselves the degree of mindcontrol power that (ideally) enables them to make sure you stay in that mold, using punitive slash retributive cruelty and fear.

Or, rephrased, religion may be perceived of as an amalgamation, a mix, of a rather spicy hot dictatorial flavor of politics and a splash and a sprinkle of spirituality; it defines and enforces its system of behavioral {policies and customs} — thus revealing religion as a political doctrine (of sorts) — in such a way as to be able to accommodate oneandonlyone fixed way to serve God, as articulated in the presumed-evergreen-though-never-actually-updated ancient founding scripture.

Hence, a religion may be understood as a static governmental form of spirituality of a rather totalitarian bent. For those not in the know, static means standingstill like a tonofbricks; totalitarian means that the priesthood will be micromanaging (all the various aspects of) your life, whether you like it or not, and also for the entire duration of your precious life, from birth to death, from cradle to grave.

maria

The Catholics have their “Blessed Virgin Mary”…

4.0.1

The Muslims have their “Kaaba”…

Priestly_blessing_crowds,_tb100906963sr-794627

The Jews have their “Western Wall”…


Little Feetnotes:

(i) When I write “God” (without quotation-marks), I mean God Almighty (or Almighty God or Allah, whichever term you prefer); when I write “god” (also without quotation-marks), I mean either a kind of divinity, a nonexisting divinity or a lesser divinity (than God Almighty, whom I sometimes, when I’m in a cheeky mood, like to call el Big Chief!). I use the plural form, “gods” (also still without quotation-marks), when I refer to divinities in a general conceptual sense, needing no further specification concerning composition and rank. (back2text)

(ii) Strong atheism is the belief in the existence of exactly zero gods; Weak atheism confesses a mere absence of belief in gods. When asked the question, “Does God exist?”, the strong atheist answers a confident, “No!”; whereas the weak atheist answers to not believe so, but is less confident than the strong atheist and, unlike the strong atheist, does not afford to hold any fixed beliefs concerning the existence of a possible God and “the spiritual”, in general.

Physicalism (also known as Materialistic Monism …) is the philosophical position that everything which exists is no more extensive than its physical properties, and that the only existing substance is physical. (philosophybasics.com) In other words: matter is all there is (and thus in (only) matter lies, and could possibly lie, our “salvation”).

Actually, to be perfectly honest, I am quite frankly surprised by the existence of strong atheist philosophers, since they have so daringly chosen such a confident position on an asyet unresolved metaphysical issue. Personally, I find the natural indecisiveness and implicit prudence of the fence-sitting weak atheist a much more rational position than the sometimes almost cavalier blustering attitude of the strong atheist.(back2text)

The Toxic Legacy of Machiavelli’s The Prince (2/2)

Part 1 of 2
Introduction
Pragmatic Morality
Importance of Reputation
Debasing Human Nature
Fox and the Lion
Direct Top-Down Toxic Influence
Imitation of Toxic Character
‘Kingdom of Heaven’
Propagation of Toxic Treatment
Cyclically-Reinforced Toxic Influence
Internal Rule
External Rule
Part 2 of 2
The Legacy’s Sinister Roots
Machiavellian Idolatry
Origin of the Machiavellian Shadow
Perpetual Suffering
Love is Nothing, Fear is Everything
Machiavellian Kind of Love
Conclusion


000jung

“Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.” Carl Jung

The Legacy’s Sinister Roots

In his intriguing little discourse, Machiavelli admittedly showcases an impressive arsenal of insights into the human psyche; but they nevertheless are observations of an invariably devious, manipulative and degenerate human nature. Machiavelli promotes an, in retrospect, universally burlesque view of the human being — a humanoid creature that is at all times fraught with alarming character defects and possesses an insufferable baseness of heart and mind. Arguably deserving more infamy than renown, the scholar of old advances a worldview in which the ruler, while feigning to be noble and honorable, is exhorted to adopt as cunning and ruthless a personality as needed in order to deal with depraved and dangerous subjects as well as menacing rival rulers itching to usurp his realm. Machiavelli’s understanding of the world paints a toxic worldview which works to seduce the real world into shaping and molding itself in accordance with the distorted and disturbing recommendations suggested in The Prince; where the severity of this corruption, the extent to which the real world is made to approximate the Machiavellian worldview, depends on the quantity and quality of all those ambitious and unscrupulous students of power finding themselves unable to resist the lure of the Machiavellian lore and choose to model their mores after it.

That is, in summary, Machiavelli’s legacy.

In the function of being an instruction-manual for rule, The Prince promotes a sinister form of idolatry. In effect, Machiavelli instructs the Prince to embrace a self-image in which he poses as the very embodiment of goodness while recognizing evil and blameworthiness in potentially everyone but himself. The ruler is expected to idolize a mirage featuring himself in the role of the untouchable exalted ruler, divinely-guided and fully-militarized, heroically fighting evil rival rulers wherever they crop up and either form a threat to be dealt with or an opportunity to be preyed upon; while, simultaneously, ruling with an eternally righteous iron fist over flocks of unruly subjects, barely deserving to be called human.

And by so doing, as he seeks to destroy evil by seeking to destroy all those human beings who, in his warped view, commit or represent evil, thereby completely negating the existence of his own profoundly sinister psychic shadow, if he was not so already, basically volunteers to at least partially become morally insane as he stunts or even freezes his conscience and sense of empathy. Therefore, as a model to be imitated, together with his responsibility-denying and fear-exploiting rule, the Prince thus helps to further corrupt society by (unconsciously) encouraging its members to likewise become Machiavellianly insane.

In particular, Machiavelli champions a doctrine which capitalizes on the Prince’s incapability to own up to the unavoidable shame and guilt that is native to the imperfection of his personality and defects of character; the untouchability of the Prince is regarded an unshakable axiom. Apart from repenting and seeking forgiveness with God and making amends with any possibly involved injured parties, the way to deal with shame and guilt in a healthy manner ultimately requires application of self-compassion and self-forgiveness. When instead resorting to blatant denial or projection, the toxic effects of shame and guilt on the psyche are, at best, merely temporarily mitigated while their psychic roots remain intact. By being able to forgive yourself, by admitting and accepting past mistakes, by humbling yourself through admitting and accepting your own fallibility, you put yourself in a position where those noxious roots may be pulled out, as it were; and you may then move on the morally wiser. Effectively you come to peace with yourself when admitting a past mistake and become able to prevent making that same mistake again in the future; and by having learned to make one mistake less, you get to climb one rung up the ladder of personal moral progress.

Unfortunately, since the Prince is bound to worship(*) his pristine and unassailable image of the valiant warlord, by being thwarted from recognizing his own shadow, he is denied the means to morally mature. Although in informal private circles he may perhaps be permitted more leeway and somewhat relax his commitment to idolatry, in the presence of the prying eyes of the public, including and especially aristocratic fellows, he can never afford admitting to having made a mistake as he would jeopardize loss of face, fear losing public confidence, fear some rival ruler may exploit the exposition of his weakness and thus fear inviting ruin. As a result, courtesy of his dependency to a toxic form of idolatry, his moral development being impeded, in a worst case scenario, he may very well be stuck in a state of moral infancy.

It is interesting to note that Machiavelli precisely advices the Prince to shun burdens of responsibility. In Chapter XIX he broaches a then contemporary issue on how the French King commissioned a third party arbitrator, parliament, to have as aim to relieve the King of suffering reproach from the nobles upon favoring the commoners and, vice versa, suffering reproach from the commoners upon favoring the nobles. Teaches Machiavelli:

“And hence we may draw another notable lesson, namely, that Princes should devolve on others those matters that entail responsibility, and reserve to themselves those that relate to grace and favour. And again I say that a Prince should esteem the great, but must not make himself odious to the people.”


To admit to having chinks in his armor is something the Prince has learned, likely from an early age onward already, to avoid like the plague. But the price is to say farewell to effective means of relief of suffering and the means to morally mature. To further shed light on the psychology that gives rise to this pathology, the book The Betrayal of the Self by psychoanalyst Arno Gruen is very instructive. Although it is not devoted in particular to describe the psychopathology of budding potentates, its scope is nonetheless general enough to be relevant and applicable for that purpose. Gruen writes that exposing a child to a flooding of environmental high-intensity stimuli is destructive to its developing psyche, and the child responds to being overwhelmed with a state of helplessness. It seems to me that such a state of helplessness may however also be induced when subjecting the child to a strict code of conduct, a narrow range of permissible behavior suitable for a young ruler in the making. When the child has no choice but to rigidly submit to what the parents–and all the child’s court nannies, tutors and governesses–regard as desirable and becoming behavior, when thereby the child is robbed of the possibility to develop autonomy, it seems reasonable to presume that it, at some stage, may also fall victim to a state of profound frustration and helplessness. If this indeed were to take place, Gruen then proposes two ways for the child to respond: it may either succumb and become psychologically crippled or it may repress its defenselessness and split it off from the growing self:

“If the latter occurs, children will block out everything reminiscent of the situation in which they experienced these feelings, thus reducing their capacity for empathy and, consequently, their humanness. In this manner, entire parts of their developing self will be split off from consciousness. For the split to be sustained, helplessness must become an object of rejection and hatred. Helplessness is what seems threatening and not the situation which brought it about. As a result, people will continue to seek revenge on everything that might recall their own helplessness. That is why they scorn it in others. Scorn and contempt conceal their fear and at the same time encourage a general attitude of contempt for helplessness and the need for a compensatory ideology of power and domination. In this way, victims join the ranks of their oppressors in order to find new victims–an endless process by which human beings become dehumanized.” (p.9)

In other words, the child’s response reads as: if I cannot profess my, in actual fact, inalienable right to become a sovereign master of my own internal world, if I may not cultivate my own autonomy and authentic individuality, I will try to become a sovereign master of my external world through seeking power; if I cannot control my own person, I will seek compensation by trying to control other persons; instead of truly living on the inside, however, I now am being lived by outside influences; instead of developing into a freely acting individual, I now have degenerated into a slave of power and appearance; I act not so much because I want to, but because I have to. And as I cut myself off from my sentient and independent inner core of being, I sacrifice my capacity to have empathy because I have sabotaged my ability to sentiently register the suffering of other people by way of psychic mirroring, as it were–or, put more simply, I have become unable to suffer along with other people in a way that is sympathetic and free from interfering judgment and prejudice.

In terms of idolatry: my autonomy, my independence, my mastery over my own authentic and individual being is replaced by a dependency to the worship of a prescribed idol befitting to one who is being groomed for rule. In practice, this means that I accept to learn to play an externally-imposed predetermined role of an upcoming ruler, filled to the brim with mandatory behavioral protocols and etiquettes; and as I pour all my attention and energy into playing that part, there is none left for me to tend to my spontaneous and unrehearsed, autonomous and independent genuine feelings; ultimately, by completely having surrendered myself to idolatry, I have starved my sentient inner-most self and by so doing I have starved my responsiveness to the sentient selves of others–who, from my vantage point, as do I myself, now have come to resemble self-animating humanoid dolls more than living breathing autonomous human beings having more than just a pulse.

And therefore as I have thoroughly immersed myself in the role forced upon me, I find myself having difficulty to suspend my disbelief when others enter my presence in a state of emotional distress or turmoil; and I often tend to think that their tears are but crocodile tears, aimed to manipulate and deceive me. And so I rarely have more than little patience or comfort for them. In fact, depending on the prevailing circumstances, I may just prefer to scorn or even persecute them for their insolence and audacity. You see, because I have become a permanent actor myself, I tend to prejudice that the people around me have embraced the same fate. In fact, to me, human life has now become one big play and I have become an arch-skeptic or even cynic of human emotion.

Gruen further clarifies the effects of the willful withering away of the capacity for compassion and empathy:

“When we are confronted with the helplessness of another person but turn our back on it because we repudiate it in ourselves, that person arouses our self-hatred. Faced with helplessness, our fear is transformed into anger at the victim for serving as a mirror of our own hated self. What we are doing is making the victim responsible for our own “weakness.” This is the revenge we take for our own repressed humiliation, a mechanism with a long history of development. Here we find the underlying reason for our identification with violence … the actual source of our cruelty and callousness lies in the rejection of our own suffering. The more inhumanly we behave, the more we repudiate our suffering and betray that human self we were never permitted to have.” (p.38)

So here we see a confirmation in the notion that the child’s focal point of where the causes which inspire its behavior shifts from internal to external. As it seeks to dissociate from its own painful inner core of being, it naturally looks to base its actions on a reactivity to external impulses coming from other people rather than being directed from within his own inner being. When the child happens to witness a helpless person (or “weak” person), it refuses to lay the responsibility within his own troubled psyche for the anger and pain that this observation provokes in him. The unpleasant sensory pangs the child experiences when the helpless person enters the child’s field of perception are blamed instead on the helpless person themselves. Therefore, ultimately the child’s pathological response originates in a misattribution, an unjustified externalization, of the cause of his suffering. And as the child refuses to own up to the responsibility for his own feelings, he will see himself vindicated to strike in retaliation to what he perceives as the culprit for his suffering. Generally speaking, the child thus learns to deny and evade self-responsibility for his own harmful actions by shifting it unto external agents. Hence he may always walk away from the fruits of his own cruel hand with a relatively clear conscience.

So this pathological mindset may serve as a basis, a psychological rationale, for the child to learn to seek power over people who squarely deserve to be exposed to mistreatment in the form of exploitation and domination, augmented with cruelty where needed…. after all, the child is led to believe, by being the miserable beings that they are, they never cease to having the gall to make him feel miserable too by committing the “crime” of entering his presence; and so to exercise power over them, it is suggested, is perfectly justified and works to fulfill two desires of the child: payback and pain management.

What this means for the Prince, when his character has suffered such an alienation of the self, is that he will have a natural commitment to persecuting and exploiting the weaknesses of his subjects, concerning internal rule, as well as his aristocratic rivals concerning external rule; and by his efforts of power in so doing, by seeking to subdue his subjects and rivals he tries to gain a sense of superiority and righteousness. With respect to internal rule (see the Cyclically-Reinforced Toxic Influence section), this means that initiating measures of persecution and surveillance will come natural to the Prince, in the sense of being in perfect harmony with his toxic disposition; it also means that the Prince sees himself justified to exploit the masses, as he rationalizes his ruthless domination of them by placing the blame squarely with their own weaknesses. Concerning external rule, any perception of weakness in a rival ruler the Prince may eagerly use as an excuse to step up hostilities aimed at such an easy prey and blame the prey’s possible demise on its own weakness; if, on the other hand, the Prince perceives a rival ruler to be both menacing and powerful, the fear that now he might become a prey must trigger self-hatred which quickly is to be transmuted into hatred for the threatening rival, provoking again the Prince to step up exaggerated preemptive hostilities. Hence it shows that the Prince’s self-alienated character is perfectly consistent with the paranoid and megalomaniacal worldview of Machiavelli; or, rephrased, courtesy of his toxic nature, the self-alienated Prince works to make sure that the Machiavellian prophecies come true in a self-fulfilling way.

It is also interesting to note that the infant Prince’s decision to seal off the “weak” part of his psyche, is paradoxically itself an act of weakness. The young Prince simply could not handle being in a state of helplessness, he failed to muster the strength to process the experience of his weakness, and rather than having the strength to admit to being weak and in need of help, he chose to altogether distance himself from his own insufferable weakness in a state of utter self-disgust and self-contempt. It is of course entirely possible that the Prince was raised in such a decidedly cold and unaffectionate royal environment in which the prospect of being granted help when he was helpless was out-of-the-question to begin with, perhaps precisely because his parents were also of a weakness-despising toxic disposition and were therefore committed to raising the Prince dispassionately. In addition, the parents may have regarded it to be matter of virtue for the child to learn to fiercely despise helplessness and as such be able to look toward becoming a more effective (read: resolute and ruthless) future ruler; and so they intentionally let the child suffer in solitude and as such force it to brand itself with the mark of psychic toxicity, as it were, disguised as the mark of suitability for rule.

Since he despises weakness lock, stock and barrel, the Prince may be expected to in general be unable to forgive those who in some way have wronged him but who, in some point in time, have a change of heart and, in a state of remorse, proceed to humbly request his pardon; a patent gesture of weakness, in the eyes of the Prince. The only possible exception I can think of for the Prince to welcome offers of regret, however, is if his acts of absolution put him in a favorable and therefore exploitable public light; this could happen, for example, when such generous exercises of amnesty are accompanied by all the magnificence and pomp the Prince can bring to bear to make certain that everyone under his rule is reinforced in the impression that they have the special fortune of serving a most benevolent and magnanimous ruler. Since the main object is to impress his people, however, one cannot help but place doubt in the sincerity of the Prince when he extends his grace and mercy in such spectacular and self-profiting fashion.

Being therefore, on the whole, fiercely hostile to compassion, the Prince automatically forgoes on the unconditional expectation of himself receiving gentle approaches from those who can afford to not having to stoop to grovel at his feet upon entering his presence, those dignitaries who have the luxury of being able to face the Prince more-or-less as a peer. Together with Machiavelli’s heavily advertised need to devote himself virtually exclusively to the art of war, and therefore wholly embrace a sincerely belligerent attitude, the Prince is sure to move in a very harsh and unforgiving political climate and will likely never quite be a stranger to abundances of psychic stress and tension. As long as he clings to his images, as long as he is idolatry-dependent, as long as he remains on the road of rule and commits himself to don the mask of power, he will never be denied freedom from psychic suffering.

And so it is that the Prince is bound to keep on suffering, although he must choose to stay oblivious to the real cause of his suffering for fear of having to recognize his own weaknesses and defectiveness of character, his kryptonite. Grounded in his inability to reconcile himself with his unavoidably shame-burdened and guilt-ridden shadow, the inner core of his being that he abandoned as a child in hatred and contempt, the Prince seeks, ultimately in vain, to relieve himself of his stressful, fear-based suffering by seeking to make his minions, subjects and, most favorably: enemies suffer. By virtue of his power, the psychic toxicity that issues from the Prince may affect not just his whole realm but may resonate, in principle, across the world.

0000drones
Love is Nothing, Fear is Everything

With so much toxicity radiating out from the warlike Machiavellian Prince of Darkness and the reasonable expectation that a good deal will be returned to him, it is obvious that his underlying attitude is not what one would expect were he to be an adept at professing effective self-love. Notwithstanding the possibility that he may have an affectionate regard for his self-image, which at any rate is only an intangible mental abstraction, he may be considered to be all but a complete stranger to both love for his fellow human being and love for his own person. And this notion is perfectly consistent with the teachings contained in The Prince when Machiavelli encourages the Prince to place little stock in love (Ch.XVII), whether it concerns the love his subjects have for him or the love he has for his subjects. Machiavelli in fact glorifies rule by fear while he distrusts and rejects love for being too fragile to rely on as tool of power.

He blatantly ignores the possibility that man is more than a purely selfish and socially-isolated creature who has bonds with no-one when he writes in Chapter III:

“And let it here be noted that men are either to be kindly treated, or utterly crushed, since they can revenge lighter injuries, but not graver. Wherefore the injury we do to a man should be of a sort to leave no fear of reprisals.”

In the real world, however, every person normally is thoroughly meshed in a social network of loved ones, friends and other people who care for them. And by killing a person, or even by slaughtering an entire family or tribe, one may still expect a desire for revenge from all those who were not killed but were connected to the slain ones by affective bonds of one kind or another; especially in modern times, facilitated by telecommunication systems enabling people to become instantly connected with each-other in combination with the globally distributed do-it-yourself media facility known as the Internet, the expectation of no reprisals is too unrealistic to ever deserve guarantee.

Indeed, the blow-back from the heinous American drone bombing campaigns perfectly serve to illustrate this point. As these unmanned remote-controlled spewers of death and destruction send shock-waves of terror across the middle- and far east, it is precisely such campaigns which function as indirect yet fertile recruitment grounds, cynically enough, for the one thing they on paper are supposed to combat: terrorism. Those who henceforth choose to become “terrorists” may be driven to do so not so much out of purely religiously inspired motives, although that is possible, but simply rather as a way of fighting back–to protect their besieged lands against an overwhelming external enemy as well as avenge slain loved ones. Admissions such as, “Drones have replaced Guantánamo as the recruiting tool of choice for militants”, reported in an article by the New York Times in 2012, come hence as no surprise.

Rather than being based on general observations of the society the Prince resides in, perhaps the lack of trust in love evident in The Prince is due to the writer himself being a stranger to love. When in Chapter XXV discussing whether it is better for the Prince to be impetuous or cautious, Machiavelli claims to be “well persuaded, that it is better to be impetuous than cautious. For Fortune is a woman who to be kept under must be beaten and roughly handled; and we see that she suffers herself to be more readily mastered by those who so treat her than by those who are more timid in their approaches. And always, like a woman, she favours the young, because they are less scrupulous and fiercer, and command her with greater audacity.” Do we sense here that to Machiavelli a relationship between man and woman, entails the former being licensed to brutally subdue the latter by way of violence? If so, and although the times of emancipation of the woman were still far off, any kind of love that the woman may have for her man under such appalling misogynist circumstances must indeed be of a rather unreliable and insincere quality; on the whole, she is much more likely to be driven by fear than love; after all, how well may love survive when it stands to be drowned out by the eternal fear of punishment from a husband who has rather loose hands? If in this kind of relationship between adult people, where love may have a chance to rise to have an exceptionally strong quality, it turns out that even here love also is inferior, then how can it fare any better in other kinds of relationship between adult people? It is thus no grand mystery for Machiavelli to altogether abandon hope in love as an asset for rule.

Machiavelli’s idea of love seems to come in two basic flavors. The first is the kind akin to bribery, where you give someone something valuable and in return that person enters into a state of commitment, a tacit understanding, an unspoken promise to return the favor when you show to be in want of help. Since there is is a compulsory sense of commitment here, it is questionable however whether it is real love driving that person’s desire to payback what they owe. It would seem to me, after all, that a sense of compulsion tends to squeeze out feelings of love. The other kind of love applies to the love the subjects have for their Prince. But this kind is really a one-way street, the subjects are to love their ruler but the ruler is not expected to reciprocate. Indeed, upon Machiavelli’s advice, the Prince is to base his rule on fear rather than bank on the love his subjects may have for him; and it can therefore be presumed that the Prince is not too keen to return the insincere love of his subjects; except perhaps in a broad impersonal way when–during grand public spectacles, where he shows up and waves his hand to the crowd every once in a while–the Prince’s reputation as a benevolent, generous ruler of the people and for the people stands to benefit. Which brings me to the point I’m trying to make. The subjects are not really loving their Prince the way a person loves another person in a direct, personal and intimate way. It is more accurate to state that the people are more engaged in worship, and not of the Prince as a human being either, but rather an embodiment of an idealized abstract semblance of a Prince who is present yet distant and impersonal. In terms of idolatry, the people are to worship a perfected image of the Prince, undeservedly augmented with all manner of flattering features while cleansed of any incriminating flaws and insulting blemishes–an idol expressly made suitable for consumption by a naive and gullible public yearning for a heroic savior and protector. So what the people “love” is in essence merely a propagandized mental abstraction, a promoted figment of the imagination, rather than a tangible and accessible human being. And worship is not real love either since it is, on the one hand, motivated by the hope of gaining favors and, on the other hand, the fear of being punished for failing to live up to the idol’s suggested expectations and demands. Functionally speaking, worship is what a poor beggar professes in order to make a few of his many roving masters cough up a few pennies so to be able to make it through the day–unlike love, the spirit of worship is manipulation the aim of which is to gain favors and merciful recognition for the self.

Machiavellian love therefore seems to be an instrumental kind of love, an impostor kind of love (the stuff of bribes and begging), more than genuine love: which is freely given and is free from coercion and a sense of obligation. It’s a conclusion that does not come out of the blue when one considers the harsh prison-like conditions of medieval communities in which love is expected to thrive in. Poetically put, the rugged lands of the Machiavellian principality lend themselves poorly to be hospitable to the flowering of love.

The great tragedy is that The Prince its barren and cold reception of humanity is perpetuated when it serves in the capacity of being a model for rule. In the Machiavellian worldview love means nothing whereas fear, as the source of political power, means everything…. and so fear is what the world will know.

Conclusion

To some unknown degree, the world is a callous and perilous place precisely because its inherently toxic and morally retarded Machiavellian rulers, big and small, so consider it and actively either so shape it or so keep it by the ruthless, myopic and self-aggrandizing ways in which they wield their power and influence.

Used English translation: http://www.bartleby.com/36/1/

Part 1 of 2 Part 2 of 2

*) With a person engaging in worship, in the context relevant here, is understood the gathering of that person’s attention (commitment of time and directed mental energy) together with that person’s means to morally develop and sacrifice both personal assets to an idol/image which is perceived to be without flaws and beyond criticism.
hemingway