Ahmed, the jihadist, was brought into a small, well-lit room.
The brick walls were painted white and the floor was
gray concrete. It was easy to clean and disguised any
bodily fluids that might have been missed. The room had
no ceiling, just a metal grille. Ahmed noticed that the
words “Fuck Islam” had been tattooed across the knuckles of
the guard’s hands. It was here that Ahmed felt strongest.
As long as he could remember, he had been able
to remove himself from his immediate environment, shutting off the
bleak outside world by focusing on a self-created inner one.
Paraphrases from the novel Dirty Little Secret by Jon Stock.
For a long time I stayed from the Western Wall.
It daunted me, that somber wall. The weight and moment
of those worked stones promised to make the business of
seeing them a complicated one. So much converges there. It’s
what we’ve rescued from the madness. Holiness, dignity, order, proportion.
There are obligations attached to such a visit, what ambiguity
there is in exalted things. I kept putting off a
visit. The wall stood apart from the hissing traffic of
Jerusalem like some monument to doomed expectations. I approached. There
it was. I considered the vision before me, immeasurably awed.
Paraphrases from the novel The Names by Don DeLillo.
Just as leaders are recruited by groups, shouldn’t we recognize that scapegoats are recruited by groups?
Just as we say that a person has “leadership potential,” shouldn’t we recognize that a person has scapegoat potential?
Just as we say, “People look up to him, he’s a natural leader” shouldn’t we say, “People project onto him, he’s a natural scapegoat?”
Just as we say, “People look up to him, he’s a natural leader” shouldn’t we say, “People gang up on him?”
We accept it as natural if a person says on his resume, “I have had numerous leadership roles” shouldn’t we accept it as natural — and not as an admission of paranoia — “People gang up on me in groups?”
Just as we say there are leaders and followers, shouldn’t we say there are scapegoats and ____________________ ? (What is the blank?)
Don’t you love the fact that in Puccini’s Gianni Schichi, Loretta (Lauretta) is the name of the female lead? Hahahahaha!
— Gary Freedman (@garfreed) June 28, 2015
It sometimes occurs that victims of aggression in childhood are prone to experience similar victimization as adults. The process is known as revictimization. It has been found that child victims of sexual abuse are at higher risk of sexual assault in adulhood.
This brings me to the subject of Adele, Edgar and Ronnie. Ronnie was the brother of Adele. Poor Ronnie was triangulated in the romantic relationship between Adele and her husband, Edgar.
In some sense Edgar was a harassment ringleader in the trio, corralling Adele into sadistic games to taunt Ronnie. Uncannily, Ronnie was a victim of job harassment in adulthood, a situation in which a harassment ringleader corralled other employees into noxious pranks.
One wonders whether the adult victimization was in fact a revictimization.
In the summer of 1966 when Ronnie was 12 years old, Edgar and Adele had contrived a the following scheme. Adele was in possession of a little book. She and Edgar sexualized the book, making it appear that the book appealed to prurient interests — something that Ronnie would want to see. Edgar and Adele engaged in a whispering duet, leafing through the pages of the book, expressing mock shock at the contents. Ronnie ignored them for a time. He sensed they were playing with his head. Then Ronnie demanded to see the book. It was a legal directory, with contact information for Philadelphia attorneys.
Psychoanalytically, the game features projective identification of envy; the incident seems to be an example of gaslighting. Envy is a state of painful wanting. Edgar and Adele tried to induce a state of painful wanting in Ronnie. They sexualized a non-sexual object and made it seem highly desirable. This is followed by a letdown and feelings of humiliation.
Perhaps the book (legal directory) represented in Edgar’s mind the Oedipal mother, who becomes sexualized following the boy’s nonsexual image of the pre-Oedipal mother. The incident seems to suggest that a powerful envy was at the core of Edgar’s and Adele’s triangulation of Ronnie — and that they needed to abreact that envy.
Acting-out in the service of the group regression may take the form of symbolic castrative gestures directed at the harassment victim, as in shunning, exclusion, or isolation of the victim. Cf. Rubin, T. Anti-Semitism: A Disease of the Mind. A Psychiatrist Explores the Psychodynamics of a Symbol Sickness at 99 (New York: Continuum, 1990) (exile, imposed restrictions, and disenfranchisement on any level are symbolic castrative acts).
Acting-out in the service of the group regression may take the form of attempts to overstimulate the harassment victim in situations in which any response or retaliation by the victim would risk punishment (i.e., symbolic castration in the form of attributions of paranoia or hypersensitivity or even official reprimand or job termination.) Cf. Shengold, L. Soul Murder at 104-05 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989) (describing a patient who in childhood repeatedly teased male dogs by allowing the dog to sniff her genital area; she was especially gratified if the dog would get so excited by the smelling that he would ejaculate onto the floor, without his penis being touched. Making the male ejaculate with a humiliating loss of control meant conquering and castrating him. As an adult, the patient repeated the performance with susceptible men.)
(Here the dog is aroused to a powerful state of wanting: then experiences humiliation.)
Raben sat — thinking, ruminating. Even seated at his desk, Raben
was a fine figure of a man. His long head
made him seem taller (as if he needed to seem
taller!), and though he was no longer young, his shaved
head, far from aging him, made him look younger. He
never seemed to move a muscle without good reason, and
he never even changed the expression on his face unless
it was necessary. His face seemed cast forever in one
mold, never betraying any trivial or momentary emotion. A broad
smile would have disarranged his features and destroyed their harmony.
Paraphrases from the novel For the Good of the Cause by Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
True leadership requires the identification of some problem requiring attention and action, and the promotion of activities to produce a solution. In basic assumption mentality, however, there is a collusive interdependence between the “leader” (or central person) and the led, whereby the “leader” will be followed only as long as he or she fulfills the basic assumption task of the group. The “leader” (or central person) in a dependency basic assumptions group is restricted to providing for members’ needs to be cared for. The fight/flight basic assumptions group “leader” must identify an enemy either within or outside the group, and lead the attack or flight. In the pairing basic assumptions group the “leader” must foster hope that the future will be better, while preventing actual change taking place.The “leader” who fails to behave in these ways will be ignored, and eventually the group will turn to an alternative “leader” (or central person). Thus the basic assumption “leader” (or central person) is essentially a creation or puppet of the group, who is manipulated to fulfill its wishes and to evade difficult realities.
Perhaps a major problem at Akin Gump was the tendency to recruit work group managers out of the basic assumptions group, and specifically to recruit as managers persons who served as basic assumptions group “leaders” (or central persons) to be work group managers. You end up with extremely paranoid and narcissistically-disturbed managers. Typically, the most paranoid person will be recruited to lead a fight/flight basic assumptions group and the most infantile narcissistic person will be recruited to lead a dependency basic assumptions group. At least that’s what Dr. Kernberg says.
I’m not a management expert.
Ben stood at the window and watched the day dawn.
The view was across bridges, narrows and sounds and out
past the boroughs and toothpaste suburbs into measures of landmass
and sky that could only be called the deep distance.
It was still nighttime down on the river, half night,
and ashy vapors wavered above the smokestacks on the banks.
He imagined the whores were all fled from the lamplit
corners by now, duck butts shaking, other kinds of archaic
business just beginning to stir, produce trucks rolling out of
the markets, news trucks streaming out of the loading docks.
Paraphrases from the novel Cosmopolis by Don DeLillo.