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You Have a Bad Case of Stockholm Syndrome — Part 3

by | Feb 23, 2011 | Archived Material, February 2011

In severe cases of Stockholm Syndrome in relationships, the victim may have difficulty leaving the abuser and may actually feel the abusive situation is their fault. In law enforcement situations, the victim may actually feel the arrest of their partner for physical abuse or battering is their fault. Some women will allow their children to be removed by child protective agencies rather than give up the relationship with their abuser. As they take the perspective of the abuser, the children are at fault – the children complained about the situation, the children brought the attention of authorities to the home, and the children put the adult relationship at risk.

Sadly, the children have now become a danger to the victim’s safety. For those with Stockholm Syndrome, allowing the children to be removed from the home decreases their stress while providing an emotionally and physically safer environment for the children.

Who’s got you tied?

In abusive/controlling relationships, the victim is always “walking on eggshells” – fearful of saying or doing anything that might prompt a violent or intimidating outburst from the abuser. For survival, victims begin to see the world from the abuser’s perspective. Victims begin to fix things that might prompt an outburst, or act in ways they know makes the abuser happy, or avoid aspects of their own life that may prompt “a problem”. Victims become preoccupied with the needs, desires, and habits of the abuser/controller.

Thus, the survival technique of taking on the abuser’s perspective becomes so intense that the victim/hostage actually gets angry at those trying to help. The abuser is already angry toward anyone who would provide the victim support, and will use multiple methods (manipulations) to isolate the victim from others. Any contact the victim has with supportive people is met with accusations, threats, and/or violent outbursts. The abuser “must have their way” or it’s no way at all.

There is much more that could be said about “family system roles” and interpersonal relationships in relation to how traits and “perspectives”, being rampant throughout a society and with societal structures, have already shaped how you “view the world”. Taking on other people’s views of the world (as your own), IS HOW YOU CAME TO YOUR VIEWS ABOUT THE WORLD. There is only one question… “have you tested all things” in relation to “your view of the world”.

The bottom line is this; your perspective of the world has been shaped by numerous different sources. Those sources could have been parents, schools and teachers, churches, piers, the media (TV, radio, magazines, newspaper, and the Internet). Of course, very few people have ever looked at how this relates to Stockholm Syndrome, because all of these “sources of education and training” are not questioned very much and they are viewed as “normal”; even if these sources are being used to “isolate people’s perspective”. They are viewed as “normal” even if “you” or “everyone” is being lied to. And, these sources of education, training, and information are viewed as “normal” because “everyone” does it, “everyone” uses and depends on these sources, and “everyone” (allegedly) should accept that this is “just the way it is and should be”.

Now this could be viewed from what we are calling the “micro-level” or personal level, but it is much more than that because your “description of the world” intersects with everyone else’s at a “macro” or societal level. So of course, one of these societal sources of “perspective” is the Geo-political construct that you grew up in and that you are a part of. In following the same theme of this article; “how does this apply to Stockholm Syndrome and Condition C: Isolation of Perspective?” And, more importantly, how do Geo-political systems use this to “isolate” their people’s perspective from the “rest of the world”?

Understand that all Geo-political systems use certain tools to get “their people” to view the governmental system as a religion or religious system. This is done by “tugging on the heart-strings”, so to speak. People are taught early on the “pledge their entire allegiance to either the government or the “flag” of the government (Geo-political business construct….notice the addition of the word “business”). Then, there is other “programming” that instills “perspectives” into a society’s people, such as; National Anthems, National “Patriotism”, mottoes like “In God we Trust”, National Seals and Emblems such as a beautiful bird symbolizing freedom (like an Eagle holding an olive branch in one foot and arrows in the other….beautiful isn’t it…warms the heart, doesn’t it?).

Then there is the “good guy-bad guy” scenario. In America, the mantra is that “other countries are just jealous of our lifestyle and prosperity”. In Europe, the mantra is that “America is just a young country of spoiled and arrogant brats”. In other countries, “the Americans are just greedy”…or “America is aggressive and warlike”. And, America still has its own “view” or “perspective” of the “rest of the world”. “America is the moral authority…we are right and everyone else is wrong”.

Understand this; whatever you hear and whatever you have heard…whatever the dogma, or mantra, or “perspective” given to you from the Geo-political sources that you receive your education, training, and information from….that information is designed to divide. It is designed around ISOLATION OF PERSPECTIVE….Period…the end.

There are two old quotes or maxims that are related to this “isolation of perspective” and what you “think” concerning “your government” or “your system of governance”. The first maxim is “All people get the government that they deserve, ultimately”. The second maxim is “National patriotism is the beginning of all wars”.

Whether or not you agree with these quotes or maxims, let’s look at Condition C: Isolation of Perspective (just like we did “perceived threats” and “small kindness”) and see if Condition “C” produces any of the symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome at a societal; and even global level. Without going back to the top to find the list of symptoms, let’s restate them:

  • Positive feelings by the victim toward the abuser/controller
  • Negative feelings by the victim toward family, friends, or authorities trying to rescue/support them or win their release
  • Support of the abuser’s reasons and behaviors; and overlooking the abuser’s abusive and intimidating acts or tendencies
  • Positive feelings by the abuser toward the victim
  • Supportive behaviors by the victim, at times helping the abuser
  • Inability to engage in behaviors that may assist in their release or detachment

Okay, here are some questions about these symptoms at the Geo-political level.

1) Is it lawful or legal for you to pay a “hit-man” to commit murder just because you don’t “like” someone?

2) Do you like war?

3) Is it okay for you to support war?

4) Do you like high taxes?

5) Do you like it when someone lies to you?

6) Were you told and given a perspective that another Geo-political system had “weapons of mass destruction”?

7) Did this Geo-political system have “weapons of mass destruction”?

8) Have you supported using “your own weapons of mass destruction” to destroy those that had “no weapons of mass destruction”?

9) Have you swallowed hook, line, and sinker someone’s ABUSIVE PERSPECTIVE that you should pay for and support the murder of innocent men, women, and children over information that was a lie from the start?

10) If you don’t like war, then why are you supporting it using a “perspective” that was “given to you” that was a lie?

11) Is “honesty the best policy”?

Well, we will let you be the judge. The ancient maxim is “ALL PEOPLE GET THE GOVERNMENT THAT THEY DESERVE”. In some societies, they call it “Karma.” In some societies, people say “what goes around, comes around”. In some circles, people say “you reap what you sow”. And, in other texts it is written; “what do light and darkness have to do with each other.” And, “can a throne of destruction and iniquity be allied with you, one which frames mischief and evil by decree/law”?

Question …. “have you been subjected to Stockholm Syndrome at a Geo-political and societal level?”

Condition D: Perceived Inability to Escape

When threatened by individuals with guns, such as a hostage in a bank robbery, it’s easy to understand the inability to escape. In addition to yelling and screaming and intimidation, there is an imminent threat of losing one’s life. As a hostage of this type of insidious behavior, all of the conditions come into play very rapidly. Stockholm Syndrome can develop very quickly as the condition are met. The conditions are A) the threat, B) the small kindness of the abuser/hostage-taker over the hostage, C) isolation of perspective as the hostage can now only view the world from the viewpoint of the abuser/hostage-taker, and D) the perceived inability to escape. All primal survival instincts (going back to birth) suddenly kick in, and the psychology of this syndrome come upon some of the hostages (but not all).

Although the effects of Syndrome Syndrome develop over longer periods of time in inter-personal and societal and Geo-political relationships, the belief that one can’t escape is also very common. In unhealthy inter-personal relationships and definitely in Stockholm Syndrome there is a daily preoccupation with “trouble”. Trouble is any individual, group, situation, comment, casual glance, or cold meal that may produce a temper tantrum or verbal abuse from the controller or abuser. The victim also cleans the house, calms the children, scans the mail, avoids certain topics, and anticipates every issue of the controller or abuse in an effort to avoid “trouble”. In this situation, children who are noisy become “trouble”. Loved ones and friends are “trouble” for the victim who is attempting to avoid verbal or physical aggression.

Stockholm Syndrome produces an unhealthy bond with the controller and abuser. It is the reason many victims continue to support an abuser after the relationship is over. It’s also the reason they continue to see “the good side” of an abusive individual and appear sympathetic to someone who has mentally and sometimes physically abused them. Just like the hostage/hostage-taker scenario; the key is to survive, and “trouble” is to be avoided at all costs. The victim must control situations that produce trouble.

This “perceived inability to escape” may be the most insidious aspect of Stockholm Syndrome, especially at a Geo-political level. Why? Because when people want to “leave their country, nation, state, or society”…they are viewed by the society “as crazy.” Comments are made like “how could you possibly want out (either physically or “jurisdictionally”), this is the greatest nation on Planet Earth”? (sound familiar?) Voicing a desire that “things are wrong with the country/nation” or “presuming that the country doesn’t have your best interest at heart”…is not only considered wrong but TREASONOUS.

And, treason is a crime. The pressure brought on by peers and family if you “dare to question” a Geo-political system or government is akin to having an “eight thousand pound gorilla” standing on your neck. And, that is what many are told. The old maxim here is “you can’t fight city hall”.

But, what if City Hall is wrong? What if the country or nation or its policies are wrong? What should you do; just sit idly by while your freedoms slip away and you are reduced to absolute despotism?

Every time throughout history that one group of people wanted to “separate” and build a “new society or new Geo-political paradigm” (even if to re-acquire FREEDOMS that have been lost due to tyranny within the “old paradigm”); that “group of people” wanting to “separate” have been branded traitors by either the society, culture, population, and/or the government from which they wanted to “separate”.  It is worse than changing one’s religious denominational preference or even changing one’s religion, entirely.  In fact in most places around this world, it is very easy to conclude that “it’s okay to worship whatever God you want, but don’t you dare change your country or nationality (Geo-political preference)”

Face this fact; the Right of Self-Determination is not easy. But, it is an internationally recognized and protected Right. The right to NOT live under despotism and tyranny is the very reason that every nation/state/country exists on Planet Earth.  It is the right to choose.

(oh…this is just for you….the word “tyranny” comes from the Phoenicians:  “the King of Tyre”…not pronounced “tire”, but “teer”)

Part 5: Let’s Talk Solutions

Stockholm Syndrome doesn’t occur in every hostage or abusive situation. In another bank robbery involving hostages, after terrorizing patrons and employees for many hours, a police sharpshooter shot and wounded the terrorizing bank robber. After he hit the floor, two women picked him up and physically held him up to the window for another shot. These two women are simply “had enough” and there anger at what was happening to them and the others led them to take action. Whether that action was appropriate or inappropriate is not at issue here. The point is that taking action breaks the cycles of abuse and control.

As seen in the bank/hostage incident in Stockholm, that gave rise to the name of this syndrome; not all of the victims later supported the hostage-takers.  Two people that were victims that day did not later support their abusers/captors, although all four people were subjected to the same conditions.  As you can see, there are multiple factors that determine whether one is succumbing to Stockholm Syndrome.  One factor is the length of time one is exposed to abuse and control. Other factors include the person’s mental make-up, i.e. a person’s philosophies about life; their own internal levels of fear, their own desires to lead-follow-be in control, and their beliefs/“religion”.

In any case, ultimately the factors don’t matter as much as taking action; because it is still only taking an action that will determine whether Stockholm Syndrome prevails internally within the individual, or whether that individual will remain susceptible to the syndrome’s effects. It is the opinion of this author that the action should be appropriate and prudently considered because taking the wrong action could lead to more dire consequences to the victim. But, in the end, the longer one is exposed without taking an action that might/will break the cycle of abuse and control, the more likely it is that the individual will never break the cycle of “being the victim”. It is obvious that people begin to view the situation as “hopeless”, and therefore increasing dangerous to their individual survival; even if they truly desire their situation to change.

The final stage of Stockholm Syndrome, when applied to the “macro” level of the global Geo-political structure prevailing in the world today, is cognitive dissonance.

that’s all for now.

The question is now: is this syndrome what has you sitting in fear and paralyzed to the point that you do nothing about your condition?




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