Sunday, 29 June 2014

Inside the Mind of Jimmy Savile : a response

In an article in the Guardian, Oliver James asks that we try to see into the mind of Jimmy Savile as part of our effort to prevent more predatroy behaviour emerging across Society as a whole.

There is of course the usual range of comments, including those that treat the emergence of someone like Jimmy Savile as a genetic disorder, as an inhumane  monster or another reason to 'lock them up' or execute them.... as well as a few well reasoned comments, and stories from survivors of childhood mistreatment, abuse about their minds and experiences.

I quote from one reasoned commentator, rogergdavidson as the starting point for this article:

"If all the people at the BBC who saw what Savile was doing had been able to discern that he was a sociopath and compulsive sex abuser - that he clearly had serious personality problems - they might have realized the potential scale of what he was doing, and also the harm it would cause, and someone would hopefully have been more likely to take action."

What this means in reality is that in a societal culture that tends to avoid examining and understanding the nature of emergent and predatory pathologies, such as Savile, Blair, Bush, Henry the 8th, Nillsen, Bundy, the banksters, gansters, terrorists, et al, demonstrate, is in part because these people are part of a wider pathology of Power (and the issue of childhood trauma, abuse and deprivation or mistreatment is fundamentally linked to the issue of WHY some people seek power over others, both in terms of it's genesis and outcomes) and in part because there is a cultural revulsion and an emotional response (both anger and fear) which avoids looking atrocities in the face.

"THE ORDINARY RESPONSE TO ATROCITIES is to banish them from consciousness. Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable."
Quoted from : The opening lines of Trauma and Recovery : the aftermath of violence - from domestic abuse to political terror, by Judith Herman

1. The BBC is an hierarchical power structure in itself, and it is part of a larger hierarchical power structure - the establishment.

People within the BBC are subject to two distinct and connected threads of Power.

The immediate thread is observed when employees expose adverse behaviour in someone higher up, in that it will often have an impact on their careers, and their lives, that the higher up has allies and power he or she can bring to bear on the whistleblowers.

The wider thread is the BBC's place in the UK Power structure, which it has occupied since it's inception, as an arm of State propaganda.

This can be seen, for example, in the manner that the BBC refused to present the case against Pope Benedict in any substantial detail, in spite of massive evidence, and calls from thousands of Survivors, and from Geoffery Robinson no less, during his State Visit in 2010. It enables Tony Blair to articulate his insane perspective without any decent challenge. These are but two examples, and there are many, many more...

2. This speaks of a societal culture of Power that has a profound impact on the lives of all those who live within it's influence. The emergence of such hierarchically violent societies is directly related to childhood mistreatment (which is often seen as 'normal' ), and to post traumatic inter-generational patterns
In the anthropological research there is a constant and reliable predictor of hierarchical violence in any Society : the degree to which the biologically mandated child-mother bonding process is disrupted , The two are profoundly connected. They feed into each other.

Over the past 40 years, this initial research has been consistently corroborated and confirmed by newer research and understandings about child development and trauma (we now consider trauma to be any event or sequence of events that have an affect on a child's development from 'in utero' through birth, infancy, toddlership, childhood)... some of this understanding comes from Survivors, some form the detailed research into endocrinology, neuro-biology, neuro-chemistry, pre-natal and ante-natal studies, how children learn, indergenerational trauma patterning and much else besides.

To put it in simple terms:

When a person is traumatised, and cannot resolve the issues related to the trauma, they adapt a 'coping mechanism' to survive: the coping mechanism is often a necessary attempt to maintain some form of control over events and people in order to feel safe.

When a community, a family or indeed a Society, is traumatised, and cannot resolve the issues related to the trauma, they may each in turn adapt a 'coping mechanism' to survive: the coping mechanism is often a necessary attempt to maintain some form of control over events and people in order to feel safe. It may be driven by the unconscious, and it may well have conscious elements.

In either case, if that group of people, or Society build Institutions, or social structures, those entities will have within them the psychology of the unresolved trauma issues. And in their attempt to create safety, they may well cause harm to those the perceive as a threat.

None of this is to suggest an 'excuse' for any adult who perpetrates, predates, causes harm, abuses or manipulates other people to meet perceived needs.

Adults are volitional, we do choose our actions, and we are ALL accountable for those actions....
However, in order to PREVENT more repeating cycles of trauma and abuse we have to understand them, and we have to be 100% honest about what has happened, Survivors must be listened to and understood, and perpetrators must be put in positions where they cannot cause any more harm.

Punishment as 'revenge' is futile: it has NEVER prevented further abuse in meaningful and societal terms.
Nuremberg was an utter failure. Bullying is rife in our schools. Ridding Iraq of Saddam has blatantly made life for most Iraqis worse. The war or Drugs has increased the trafficking, and the incarceration rates of recreational and addict 'users' is growing year on year.

I understand the reactive responses of people, and institutions, who refuse to engage with this most important subject matter. Power and trauma. For some it's a matter of their own conditioning, for Institutions it's a question of their desire to maintain and expand their power, for others the sheer horror of what we are seeing across the world is beyond words, and terrifying.

However, that said, unless we - the adults - get to grips with what Savile is telling us, with that trauma and power is telling us, then we are in for a bumpy ride, and worse than that, far worse, we are committing all our children, and their children to come, to even more turbulence.

That is unconscionable.

That, in my opinion, would be the most egregious failure of responsibility of all.


A note of clarification:

"In a child's life (as in any other) there are things that ought to happen, that don't, and things that ought not happen, that do"  Gabor Mate

These can range from, for example, a pregnancy where the mother is under chronic stress from external or personal effectors (where the mothers endocrine flows impact the development of the foetus) to a birth trauma (where damage to healthy tissue goes unresolved), to emotional coldness and to a sense of abandonment (leaving the child to cry it out..), to the loss of one or both parents or living an inadequate caring environment, to outright abuse by parents, siblings, in school, amongst peers.... to intense religious or ideological indoctrination....

Some predispositions emerge from stress in the in utero situation. Some may well be genetic. yet the child is not born to be the monster.

All of these, and more, can happen in a child's life, and the signs of distress can be missed, or diagnosed as 'problems' : and not all children will react or respond in the same way.

Statistically, we can say with some degree of certainty, that there will emerge from a population of children who are mistreated, abused, traumatised those who become part of the continuing pattern of predation, and that if their distress symptoms are missed, or the children are treated as 'problems' : bad, shamed, loathed, and punished, then more damaged and predatory adults will emerge, It doesn't take many to cause havoc in a community.

We can also say with a degree of certainty that many who do not become predators will show signs of that stress in terms of health outcomes in later life. The Adverse Childhood Study by the CDC in the USA, amongst many others, shows this to be the case for addiction, obesity, heart disease, diabetes etc.
If the signs, the symptoms of distress, are understood and the adult worlds response is empathic, concerned, caring and well informed, that the patterns can be broken before they become too ingrained.

We can prevent much of the repeated abuse cycles, and we can prevent the emergence of serious health issuers if we understand their roots, and act responsibly and responsively ....

This is a cultural response ability we desperately need to create.

Kindest regards


Do what you love, it's Your Gift to Universe

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