A Theory of Abuse: Why Perps May Be Perps

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Re: A Theory of Abuse: Why Perps May Be Perps

Postby Apache on November 12th, 2015, 1:00 pm

A very interesting reply Hoi and I thank you for taking the time to go through my post.

hoi.polloi wrote:What was her theory? Is it different from the one I posted?

Her theory isn't the same as yours and isn't so eloquently written. I apologise, I didn't set out to pour cold water on your entire theory, only on the use of the term "cycle of abuse".

I wanted to distinguish from those who cannot themselves be tempted to do evil a special group of enablers who unwittingly cause it.

I think "unwitting enablers" is a much better term.

I have seen true regret flicker on the faces of criminals.

A very good point. Although I have seen pretend regret and pretend self-digust on the face of a psychopath, you are right that there has to be a certain percentage of them that do feel very deeply that there is something wrong with them.

attempting suicide?

Yes. Sometimes successfully.

I stand corrected, although it's very rare.

Don't psychopaths love themselves totally?

I am not so sure about that.

You might be right. I'll put it another way via a quote from the Narcissists Suck website:
The narcissist/abuser has tender feelings that they coddle and caress and expect you to do the same for their poor little feelings. Conversely, they will trample, disregard and spit on your feelings. This is a sign of their basely selfish and corrupt natures and isn't your cue to capitulate. Expect them to be 'hurt' when you state reality. Expect them to look wounded to the core when you don't perform properly your "duty" by them. Remember 'til your dying day that the narcissist and the abuser are filled with the tenderest sympathy for themselves, but can spare none or little for you.

I think the above says it much clearer than I did.

Perhaps "psychopath" should be reserved for this kind of person alone, but that slightly robs us of the ability to say everyone is born somewhere on that scale from psycho to empathic.

Indeed. There a sliding scale, no doubt about it.

In my opinion, I would sadly say, "No." Psychopaths are a form of humanity. We cannot extricate ourselves from the situation by executing or punishing psychopaths, even though that seems like the logical thing to do. Many wars are the result of psychopathic propaganda misleading us on how to get rid of the psychopaths. I don't know if we have a way to do that. I am not sure it's even possible. Maybe the solution is in the near future, though.

A form of humanity is a much better definition than "a part of human nature" and is far more accurate.

I agree that we can't extricate ourselves from the situation by executing or punishing them. I hope I didn't imply that as a solution. Psychopaths will exist as long as humanity continues to procreate on this planet. As for a solution, I think the illusion of money and the practice of usury allows them to take control and has to be neutered. Other than that I hope that better minds than mine do come up with a solution or the non-psychopathic are going to end up totally enslaved, if they aren't already.

so I don't think setting up her text in place of mine is a fair way to read what I wrote.

I wasn't setting up her text in place of hers, only the "cycle of abuse" phrase. Apologies if it came over that way. We need more essays like yours, not fewer, and I am sure you will continue to look at the issue, with or without my input. The "cycle of abuse" issue is close to my heart and I may not have as much objectivity on this issue as I would like.

It's unfortunate that a pre-existing text will color how people read mine

Again, less a pre-existing text, than a phrase and a concept, promoted by the vast of amount of psychological practitioners in the field. I mentioned Miller in isolation, which was an error, and I should have given a link to the entire field of psychology where the cycle of abuse phrase is promoted. Maybe it's deliberate, to confuse the issue and to put people off asking questions; the sort of questions you are asking?

Once again, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. Much appreciated.
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Re: A Theory of Abuse: Why Perps May Be Perps

Postby hoi.polloi on November 12th, 2015, 1:06 pm

Painterman wrote:More than fair, it follows from basic logic, given the theory that someone is an abuser due to their status of being abused.

No, I think that's far too broad. I think it's only sometimes the case that emotional damage tips people over the edge or may even be used to do so. To state it as a rule that always happens or a legal definition is too extreme, in my opinion.

My idea is that abuse is an unpleasant human behavior that we might find numerous causes for. Some "nature" and some "nurture". I take it that you take issue with the idea that mistreatment of others can be trained. I guess you haven't been in military service? This isn't about horrible legal cases where rape victims are blamed for dressing provocatively; nor is it an excuse for abusers. The law certainly shouldn't. I am only trying to describe a phenomenon that happens with humanity. If you'd like to help me clarify these things, please do. However, testing me with straw men is only making it seem like you don't understand or want to understand.

You seem to be suggesting that an abuser and the abused are the same thing in the very moment that the abuse occurs, in all cases. I don't understand why you read it that way. That seems like saying down is up in all cases.
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Re: A Theory of Abuse: Why Perps May Be Perps

Postby hoi.polloi on November 12th, 2015, 1:21 pm

Apache wrote:Psychopaths will exist as long as humanity continues to procreate on this planet. As for a solution, I think the illusion of money and the practice of usury allows them to take control and has to be neutered.

Yes, that is a good start. Money is a huge issue. Ending usury seems like a great way to at least soften the blow of the money problem. We should talk about money issues in another thread, but I think that's a good way to talk about it.

I also think just talking about abuse is quite important. The anonymous Internet is not always the best place, and text is such a limited medium to express the true devastation of human-on-human violence, but at least if nobody in the community can listen it can be a place to find some minor form of help and understanding.

I am also very sensitive to this topic because of the number of people I have talked with who expressed to me some of what I have written down here — and by far the greatest majority of abused did not go on to become abusers themselves. More often than not, the contrary occurs: they become aware of frailty and suffering and do their damnedest to avoid hurting others. At least, in cases where abuse can be overtly identified as such.

Meanwhile, as you've already mentioned with the money issue, society continues to be comprised of people abusing one another all day in a variety of major and minor ways. I don't believe all of it is simply human nature; we are presented a sick arrangement and largely forced to participate.
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Re: A Theory of Abuse: Why Perps May Be Perps

Postby tokyojoe1 on December 7th, 2015, 10:28 pm

Well the intelligence community (IC) doesn't hire for competence, it hires for "reliability". And it does that by scouting out certain traits in potential recruits. It's actually more of a cult.

https://web.archive.org/web/20141203033 ... telligence

You may be surprised by the nature of the anecdotes in this post. In a nutshell, leaders of the intelligence community do not respect the personal boundaries of ‘intelligence community’ members, much like cult leaders don’t respect their followers’ boundaries. Intelligence community members, like cult-followers, dont’ expect to have any boundaries between themselves and their bosses. I’ll remind readers of Quinn Norton’s observations on the “IC” (“Intelligence Community”, for those of us who don’t belong to it):

The IC are some of the most surveilled humans in history. They know everything they do is gone over with a fine-toothed comb — by their peers, their bosses, their lawyers, other agencies, the president, and sometimes Congress. They live watched, and they don’t complain about it.

Followers in cults are traumatized in various ways by the different kinds of abuses they are exposed to as they accept the leader’s control over them; these abuses typically include intimidation, belittling and humiliation, and, more concretely, severe overwork and deprivation of sleep and proper nutrition. The follower’s rewards, which are recognition from the leader and the ensuing prestige the followers gain within their group, are bestowed and rescinded at the leader’s whim, keeping the follower in a state of instability and fear about displeasing the leader and thereby losing status and favor.

After the abuse, they want to see if the IC members stay "true".

Bearing what Shaw says in mind, here is the first of my anecdotes: An agent wanted to marry someone who was a clear security risk. Quite sanely, “IC” leaders said “no”. Also sanely, the agent said “I’m going to marry this person.” The sanity ends here, because instead of asking the agent to drop their badge by the front door, the “IC” tried to shame them into changing their mind about the marriage by demoting the agent to a low-prestige clerical job, which the agent carried out dutifully. After several months, the “IC” suddenly changed its mind, let the agent marry the security risk and gave the agent back a ‘worthy’ job. (I don’t know if it was the same job.)

Several things could have happened here, the “IC” may have eventually decided that they could use this marriage to spread disinformation– I just don’t know. However, the “IC’s” actions tell us that the most important thing to them was ensuring that the agent was still reliable: the “IC” decided that they could roll the dice with a security risk as long as the agent proved their continued reliability through a shaming exercise. My understanding is that these shaming exercises are not uncommon and are used to ‘correct’ undesirable political opinions too.

It's well documented that narcissism is unusually prevalent in military communities.


Various studies examining the prevalence of personality disorders in civilian inpatient and outpatient populations have consistently found narcissistic personality disorder to be one of the least common. In striking contrast to this, a recently published study showed narcissistic personality features to be among the most common personality features in a military outpatient clinic population. This paper examines several possible explanations for this finding. This surprisingly high relative incidence of narcissistic personality features may be related to a self-selection bias on the part of persons choosing a military career. Narcissistic personality traits may confer adaptive advantage in certain military professional roles. Kohut's theory of specific transference requirements in individuals with narcissistic character structure serves as a useful explanatory model for these findings.

They want slaves that give all their loyalty to the organization, but expect to give no loyalty back in return.

https://web.archive.org/web/20141218224 ... of-people/

The fairytale of the supreme leader teaches children to identify with following one leader who is ‘good’– for modern readers, think Harry Potter, He-Man etc. The story doesn’t change much when it’s repackaged for adults, except there’s more carnality thrown into the mix: consider the pantry-erotica of Nigella Lawson; the submissive longings of Fifty Shades of Grey’s Ana; or James Bond’s slavishness to the organization of his master ‘M’. Whether child or adult, the reader is encouraged to believe validation of one’s own worth comes from being accepted by a powerful master.

More on abusers:

Any abuser will try to convince their target that the target ‘needs’ them to be happy, that the abuser provides some special validation to the victim. In reality, the victim’s healthy needs are not being met and that’s a painful problem for them. Instead of dealing with the source of the problem– the abuser and the unhealthy need– the victim tries to deal with their pain in other ways, not all of them helpful. Consider the propensity for military drone operators to self-destruct, for example: US version and UK version.

Institutional abuse won’t be something dramatic like bodily harm: it might be working employees in a way that makes having a healthy family life impossible; or making the ‘clearance’ process such a black box that it scares employees out of political engagement; or exploiting existing mental illness. In return, the employee is told that they’re special, unique, a ‘cut above’ the rest and part of a ‘secret team’.

This type of positive reinforcement is particularly effective against people with low self-esteem, or the character weaknesses which used to be described as ‘narcissism’. (‘Narcissism’ is exceptionally prevalent in the military community, which is the community most spooks are drawn from.) Perhaps worst of all, these abusive practices can trick weak-minded people into doing things that run against their own conscience; things that poison the soul and may also trap the individual later. Ex-intelligence agents don’t exist. Welcome to human resources in the spy business!

Beyond character traits such as narcissism, control can be managed through substance abuse and addiction.

https://web.archive.org/web/20150604221 ... d-control/

The military and intelligence communities are unusually tolerant of addiction amongst their own members. The ‘get out of jail free’ card is ‘Post Traumatic Stress Disorder': much behavior is forgiven on the grounds that the individual is suffering from battle stress– which may be a perfectly humane and reasonable explanation of the bad behavior, but tends to ignore the fact that 1) the person may still be suffering from an addiction and 2) the addiction could have been in place well before any combat experiences.

What do I mean by ‘tolerant’? I’ve seen veteran police officers excuse soldiers’ ‘buzzed’ (i.e. drunk) driving on PTSD grounds on three separate occasions– three different drivers in three different states. Alcoholism is something that the ‘IC’ and military seem very willing to turn a blind eye to; there is a culture of heavy drinking in these communities which extends from the grunts all the way to the higher-ups. I’ve also seen an inexplicable number of professional ‘second chances’ given out as a result of self-destructive, addiction-related behavior.

Alcoholism isn’t the only addiction which is given leeway by the military and ‘IC': in my experience there is a pervasive culture in these institutions which considers casual sex ‘macho’ as long as it’s kept away from ‘the chain of command’. I’m told that quite a number of recruits join on the expectation that they’ll have access to women they’d otherwise not have. Amongst the ‘IC’ agencies, it’s not unheard of for ‘office meetings’ to be regularly held in strip clubs. Your tax dollars at work.

IC employees become co-dependent on their employers

‘Co-dependent’ is a psychiatric term that I’ve come to understand as ‘a type of person who looks for relationships which help them avoid emotions that they are terrified of feeling’– emotions that would “annihilate” them. This means that co-dependent relationships are not love-based, but based on the need to cover up those scary feelings with:

security (financial, physical, etc.)
feeling of belonging, worthiness, specialness, ‘secret team’
enabling of addiction, or feeling that their addiction is ‘okay’.
Besides better understood addictions such as those to drugs, alcohol and medications, “enabling of addiction” includes addictions to sex, power, gambling, pornography, overworking, overeating, spending, exercise/ ‘cult of the body’ addictions; or ‘spiritual’ addictions like miracle cures, ‘personal empowerment’ schemes, religious ‘epiphanies’, psychics, gurus, cults or other “emotions for sale”. Co-dependent people want relationships that enable their addiction, or at least that ‘don’t judge’ it.

How does this all fit together:

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of overlap between medical definitions of ‘co-dependency’, addiction and ‘narcissism’, the personality disorder I’ve identified as being useful to exploitative organizations. Tian Dayton, a clinical psychologist, offers this explanation:

A narcissist often prefers to have people around him who behave in such a way as to meet and gratify his own needs or enhance his own vision of himself. If they act separately, have too many of their own points of view or their own opinions they threaten the narcissist’s equilibrium.

How does this mirror addiction? The addict is ever absorbed with getting their next fix; that’s how they maintain their equilibrium, albeit very dysfunctionally. Their needs come first.

The narcissist also tends to be absorbed in themselves and in meeting their next need and rather unaware and even uncaring of the needs of those around them.

Same with the addict: the needs of those around them have to come second to their meeting their own, often overpowering desire for their next “fix” whether it be a drink, drug, food or sexual encounter. Both the narcissist and the addict are first and foremost self absorbed. They come first.

Addiction creates a kind of narcissism. It is constantly preoccupying; it takes a person over body, mind and soul.

So this explains better how the IC targets their perps. Maybe some of the shills reading this board can chime in with their experiences ;)

If anybody is interested in reading more about how the IC identifies "reliable" recruits, look into Gittinger's Personality Assessment System:

https://web.archive.org/web/20150611184 ... nt-system/
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