Conditioning

‘Stockholm syndrome is a condition that causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity.  These feelings resulting from a bond formed between captor and captives during intimate time spent together, are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims.  Generally speaking, Stockholm syndrome consists of ‘strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other.’    Wikipedia

‘It was formally named when four hostages were taken during a bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden.  The hostages defended their captors, after being released and would not agree to testify in court against them.  Stockholm syndrome is ostensibly paradoxical because the sympathetic sentiments captive feel toward their captors are the opposite of the fear and disdain an onlooker may feel towards the captors.’    Wikipedia

‘Stockholm syndrome has also come to describe the reactions of some abuse victims beyond the context of kidnappings or hostage-taking.  Actions and attitudes similar to those suffering from Stockholm syndrome have also been found in victims of sexual abuse, human trafficking, discrimination, terror, and political oppression.’    Wikipedia

I was watching a television special regarding the Jonestown Massacre that occurred in 1978.  The show traced the history of the cult leader, Jim Jones, and illustrated that in his early days he preached about social justice and made all welcome in the People’s Temple.  Slowly he became more and more authoritarian and this included verbal and physical abuse of the church’s parishioners.

Reverend Jones insisted that the church members refer to him as father and to his wife as mother.

Yet, over 900 members of Jim Jones’ People’s Temple…followed him to Guyana and drank Kool aide, laced with cyanide, and stayed obedient to their father and mother to their deaths.

We are all the product of our conditioning.

How do people attend a church where the parishioners are publicly verbally abused and where they also have undergone such emotional harassment…and yet seek the approval and affection of the person that is abusing them?

How do they give their money, ‘until it hurts’, and become poorer by the year while their faith leader becomes richer?

Why do women continue to live with a husband or boyfriend that abuses them physically and emotionally and verbally?

If you are employed by someone that verbally harasses and harangues you…you should report them to a higher authority.

Life is much to short to live in emotional distress and fear of a small minded and emotionally stunted supervisor!

How do so many americans who stood for morality and holiness and conduct that is becoming a leader…now say that those things do not matter?

Should we be the people that, ‘sit up straight’, when our leader commands…or should we rationally examine what we are being told as truth?

We humans tend towards hero worship in our leaders…and, at times, this includes leaders in the work-place.

When I was working at Southern Illinois University I received, roughly, equal parts praise and criticism.

I thought then…and I think now…that is the way that it should be.

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