Sunday, March 3, 2013

Unseen Influences: evil operates by the rulebook

Evil is said to operate according to certain rules. For example, anyone who has watched vampire films will know that they can’t come in unless you invite them. Dracula lurks outside the window trying to hypnotise someone into opening it for him. I vaguely remember a horror film with a ‘black’ (magician) who tricks someone into inviting him in and offering him a drink of water – this gives him some kind of power over the household.

The message here is that if you know the rules they operate by, you can defend yourself against and perhaps even defeat the dark forces.

One of these rules seems very strange:  it says that victims must consent in advance to whatever evil is worked upon them. This seems very unlikely: who would agree to this? No one would knowingly consent to being taken away and tortured. No one would agree to be exploited and destroyed.

The answer is that naïve and gullible people can be tricked; unprotected and vulnerable people who cannot look after their own interests and have no one to do it for them can be taken advantage of. Evil people load the dice against their intended victims and cheat them. They manipulate, manoeuvre and confuse people into doing things that they would never consider if they were in their right minds and a healthy state or had someone suitable to advise them. Evil people – or forces - engineer situations that close off all avenues except the one they want their victims to take.
Jane Eyre is tricked into choosing the wrong option
There is a good example of victim consent in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. After the red-room scene, the good doctor asks Jane whether they could locate any relations for her - or perhaps she would like to go to school. She chooses school without having much idea of what this would be like, which leads to starvation and humiliation; she rejects the offer to find her relations, which would have led to a much better life with her rich uncle.

The doctor is kindly and well intentioned, but he does not know enough to be able to guide her to a good decision.

It all seems arranged. Jane is desperate to get away from a place where she is continually persecuted: ‘anything must be better than this’; a maid has told her that school is a place where young ladies learn accomplishments such as painting and playing the piano; Mrs Reed has told her that her Eyre relations are a ‘beggarly set’ so Jane naively thinks that if they find these ‘poor and low’ relations of hers, she will have to wear rags and go from door to door with them asking for money – as if she has not been humiliated enough already.

Jane decides that life with her Eyre relations would be much worse than life with the Reeds and school would be much better, whereas the opposite is true. This reversal is characteristic: in one of John Buchan’s books he says that evil convinces you that black is white and vice versa. Jane was put into a very tight corner with only one apparent way out, a way that seemed to offer a better deal for her.

An example from real life
I have personal experience of consenting to be victimised. I agreed to go to a school that downplayed academic work in favour of subjects such as art and acting, and to leave this school as soon as I reached the legal age. This was lower then than it is now.

I wanted to go to this school because it was ‘hyped’ and sold to me as a great opportunity and privilege. There were no compulsory sports, something I detested, and I was told that I would have more freedom. I did not know any better at the time: I knew nothing about the real world and had been told nothing about the importance of educational qualifications. I am very much the academic, scholarly type, but no one took this into account.

I agreed to leave this school because I was learning nothing and did not even have enough money for my basic needs.

I thought that if I left school and got a job, I would be an adult. No one could put me in a children’s home, something that I had been continually threatened with since the age of five. By this time it seemed obvious to me that whatever I wanted, I would have to get for myself; getting a job seemed to offer the best means to do this.

It all seems carefully engineered, designed to ruin my formative years – or even my entire life - and sabotage my chances of getting suitable work. I wasted many miserable years just trying to survive in alien environments, in jobs that were not right for me.

The profession I eventually managed to get into requires an educational pathway that I had no experience of. I had to try to fit in and keep up with people who had gone right through the normal educational system, including five years of university.

I had no one to look after my interests and could not do that for myself. Like Jane Eyre, I had been put in a situation where I was producing a lot of food and fuel in the form of negative emotions and pain and suffering. Who or what benefits from this?

Giving permission to be victimised
HHHHAnother way in which people consent to be victimised is when they do not assert or defend themselves when attacked in a certain way by a certain type of person.  Ignoring or downplaying what is said will be taken as licence to proceed. The victimiser will say or do something small just to test the water, and when there is not an appropriate, healthy reaction will take this as permission to attack again – only harder.

And so on until the victim is living a nightmare life and is almost destroyed.

The perpetrators may take advantage of the victim’s fear, lack of emotional strength and coping ability; the victim may experience an overwhelming, paralysing psychic jolt; the victimiser may benefit from behaviour patterns established in early life as a result of similar attacks on the victim by family members. Victimisers go for the low-hanging fruit.

The first step for the victim is to see the scenario for what it is. Then they must stop giving permission for the attacks. This is much easier said than done.