The Abuse Syndrome

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Posted by Perry on December 14, 2009 at 14:19:41

I came across this very interesting article concerning the current state of American politics and culture. The discussion of "abuse syndrome" left out cults in its list of abusive entities, but the quotations I've copied below can easily be applied to members of TFI. Although the critique of American culture and politics in the article may strike cult members or apologists as confirming things Berg taught about the U.S., the difference is that U.S. citizens are free to dissent and protest (though most do not), whereas TFI members do not have that basic freedom, thus miring them ever deeper in the abuse syndrome.

Are Americans a Broken People? Why We've Stopped Fighting Back Against the Forces of Oppression

Can people become so broken that truths of how they are being screwed do not "set them free" but instead further demoralize them?

Yes. It is called the "abuse syndrome." How do abusive pimps, spouses, bosses, corporations, and governments stay in control? They shove lies, emotional and physical abuses, and injustices in their victims' faces, and when victims are afraid to exit from these relationships, they get weaker. So the abuser then makes their victims eat even more lies, abuses, and injustices, resulting in victims even weaker as they remain in these relationships.

Does knowing the truth of their abuse set people free when they are deep in these abuse syndromes?

No. For victims of the abuse syndrome, the truth of their passive submission to humiliating oppression is more than embarrassing; it can feel shameful -- and there is nothing more painful than shame. When one already feels beaten down and demoralized, the likely response to the pain of shame is not constructive action, but more attempts to shut down or divert oneself from this pain. It is not likely that the truth of one's humiliating oppression is going to energize one to constructive actions.

Can anything be done to turn this around?

When people get caught up in humiliating abuse syndromes, more truths about their oppressive humiliations don't set them free. What sets them free is morale.

What gives people morale? Encouragement. Small victories. Models of courageous behaviors. And anything that helps them break out of the vicious cycle of pain, shut down, immobilization, shame over immobilization, more pain, and more shut down.

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