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Discovering Humanity

2001-April Add-on

The Stockholm Syndrome

The Stockholm Syndrome! Most of our readers will recall, if only vaguely, the seeming strange behaviour of hostages after an incident in Stockholm in 1973. A messed-up bank robbery resulted in hostages who did not want to be released and who subsequently tried to defend their captors.

That incident caused that behaviour to be called the "Stockholm Syndrome", but that behaviour, strange though it may seem, is not unusual. In fact "battered wives" display a similar strange need to be loyal to their husbands and often resist appeals to escape or take other defensive action.

Most common of all, and the reason I bring this matter to your attention, is: 'the common fear to escape the captivity of slavery' where people refuse to accept actions, experience and reason that shows 'their' government is their enemy. The syndrome could, more correctly, be called the "Slave Loyalty Syndrome".

  • It is now well documented that people, when captured by forces that they feel helpless to resist, seek to appease these forces and work with them. It is a basic survival instinct. If we are to understand why people, in general, appear blind to the reality of their enslavement after generations of subjugation to what we may call 'political forces', we need to admit of this primitive feature of our nature.
  • We have to admit our primitive, instinctive need, to cling loyally to superior force. Once we admit this, we can then consider our position with human logic and see that we are now bound to our enslavement by emotion rather than need. When our minds become free to face reality we understand that our situation has changed. Our survival now depends on using our human intelligence to resist our animal appeasement instinct and the forces that control our political captivity.
  • At present we are not facing our problem! We complain, we protest, we become agitated, but we do not trust ourselves to understand our situation and escape.
  • Captivity, by one or other form of slavery, has been the fate of almost everyone during the whole history of human political activity. If you think that you are not caught up in some form of slavery (in particular, slavery to implanted beliefs) then you are either captivated and blinded by your situation and the deceit of our oppressors, or you have had a life of miraculous good luck. If the latter then you must feel quite lonely and frustrated at not being able to convey the truth of our situation to others; I look forward to your help.

A kind of remark not uncommon to released captives is that "these good people (their captors) gave me my life". That the criminal may have spared the life of the hostage only to save it as a bargaining chip, is overlooked, as also is the fact that the criminal had stolen the captives life and used it for his own ends.

Over the long period of human slavery, slaves have had many opportunities to escape but have rarely taken them. Perhaps the only time they really try to escape is when the master makes life so unbearable that they feel they would be better off dead; in this situation an attempt to escape may seem a better alternative than suicide. The forces that bind us are many, they are not weak and should not be underestimated.

When a strong leader has emerged the majority generally hang back. "How will we live without our masters to feed us? How will we find shelter? Who will protect us?" "How can we govern ourselves when not supported by those with power ". These are the kind of worries common to those who have become accustomed to living in slavery; these are the feelings encouraged by modern slave-masters. In many times and in many places, these were justified concerns; today they are delusions.

  • Today we have a rare and unique opportunity for escape. Today we do have enough knowledge to manage our lives in a way that, even as we begin, would, at worst, be better than perpetual slavery. We have an alternative to leading our children to the shadow world of half-life, or worse, to death in ignorance of what might have been. Today our access to knowledge means we no longer need to rely on animal instinct. We are human and have no humane excuse for servile submission.

If you want to know more about the Stockholm Syndrome you can search the net for stockholm-syndrome. If you want to know more about the fight to get government out of education and other relevant matters try: http://www.syntac.net/hoax/stock.php

It is about thirty years since I first realised that my search for understanding had forced me to try to warn the world of its danger. At that time I thought it would not be too difficult - but, I still had a lot to learn. Today I know an awakening will not be easy, however the consequences of failure are so horrendous for humankind that I keep trying.

This may be a time to recall the wisdom of Thomas Szasz; quote:

  • "Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one's self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily; and why older persons, especially if vain or important, cannot learn at all.
  • It is so difficult to face the sacrifice of ideas to which we have adapted our lives. But it may become possible, even easy, if we understand that it is our human ability to self-sacrifice that creates the food of wisdom and a healthy mind. Self-sacrifice (of belief to better information) is the fuel of our intellectual progress.

It is this: our ability to sacrifice our instinctive desires for the greater good, that reveal us as human. Personally I am more than content that I did not spend my lifetime 'picking daisies'. I now live in a pleasant position overlooking a river valley where the atmospherics combine to produce some spectacular misty valley and colourful cloud effects. Still, disappointment can intrude with the thought that, barring an act of God, there may soon be no human to appreciate the true beauties of life or even of our world.

  • Yes, it seems our human potential may all be thrown away for want of a little caring, a little honesty, a little effort.

We are often asked to have faith in God; how often do we think of the faith that God must have in us? We have been warned of what was likely to happen but the God I know would be delighted should we pass this test of our human potential without needless suffering. Though the barriers may seem piled high by forces of power, deceit and animal survival instinct, there is only one real barrier holding us back from achieving human liberty and the true potential of our human vision: that barrier is built of stony pride cemented by loyalty to implanted beliefs.

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