When one discusses domestic violence or its very numerous manifestations, the inevitable question,
"Why does she stay in that relationship?" naturally arises among logical and rational people. We think that the question is more easily answered in the case of children, since we logically assume that children are intellectually inferior to adults; at least, this rationalization permits us to accept a less precise answer to the question. As we shall see, the answer is not that simple, because it requires us to abandon our preconceived notions about how the human mind works. If we can understand the underlying mechanism of how the mind really works, we will have the answer to "why".
This dissertation explains how the underlying mechanism of inflicted trauma affects a human being, and how it is, that the more severe the abuse becomes, a victim becomes increasingly unable to take action to extract themselves from the situation — both during the infliction of the trauma, and long after the immediate danger has passed. This analysis is supported by the largest body of scientific research ever assembled on the human mind, and hundreds of thousands of case studies. For an albeit extreme example of domestic violence, we will use the motion picture "Once Were Warriors".
First, we must discard our previous paradigms. These have been imposed upon us (the society-at-large) primarily by the psychologists, who are just as much in the dark, if not more so than the average American. Since so much literature, money, time, and effort has been devoted to attempting to understand this phenomena using the current nosology, there is a natural reluctance to change the way we think about a problem even when actions taken to solve the problem based on that thinking, yield little or no results. There is a true axiom:
"Denial occurs when people have sacrificed so much, or have invested so much time, energy, and money in a point of view, that they feel a need to see things not as they are, but as they want them to be. The denial I speak of here is not a willful attempt to deceive, but rather the inability to confront empirical  fact, and scientific data that challenges one’s entire belief system, or the validity of his or her hard-won education. This inability to confront is related to a phenomenon known in Dianetics as ‘asserted rightness’". – Author
The Test of Efficacy
The decisive test of any concept, belief, or theory can be stated by using another axiom of Scientology:
"The workability of a postulate is established by the degree to which it explains existing phenomena already known, by the degree that it predicts a new phenomenon which when looked for, will be found to exist, and by the degree that it does not require that phenomenon which do not exist in fact, be called into existence for its explanation". - Id at 636 (emphasis mine)
The problem is that psychology, sociology, and criminology cannot pass the test of a science as defined above. Therefore, we have these professions and we struggle with their theories that sound good because they are built upon what we were always taught, and have come to believe.
Of course, when a science or profession is built upon false data, the application of the false knowledge to the real world does not yield results. We wonder why. The reasoning is that all these Ph.D.’s (Pile Higher and Deeper or Phenomenally Dumb) are not given for nothing, and so it must be that these conditions and problems are intractable, or that we’re not doing enough. The former conclusion—that certain mental conditions are beyond help, means that perhaps it would be better for all concerned if people were just left alone.... but then the "therapist", the social worker, and the hordes of Hick-Farmer-Sigmund-Freud-Wannabes would be out of work. Better it would be for the potentially unemployed and the prison economy if we should believe that latter conclusion... that we’re not doing enough. And so we spend tens of
billions of dollars to hire an army of people who apply an ineffective methodology to people’s problems, and we end up with a social psychosis.
CHANGING the paradigm: because the way the human mind works is not the way most people believe it works, is the primary reason that our question "why does she stay in that relationship?" cannot be answered—not with psychology in any case. To have an adequate solution to the problem, one must have an accurate model of the basic underlying mechanism of how the human being (not a cat, a dog, or a mouse) reacts to trauma. In the last 50 years or so, this has been extensively researched and documented in the science of Dianetics, and Scientology. We will cover some very basic concepts here, and then use the movie "Once Were Warriors" to illustrate some important points that will logically explain some very irrational behavior on the part of the actors.
The Human Mind’s Components:
The human mind can be divided into two primary parts:
1) — The ANALYTICAL MIND, which is the part of the mind that rationalizes, learns, and remembers, is consciously (aware), and
2) — The REACTIVE MIND, which records painful incidents such as trauma or emotional upsets, along with all other perceptics emotions, conclusions, and responses of the person to trauma (for later use). The reactive mind uses this data in order to ensure the physical survival of the individual during periods of unconsciousness (periods of analytical mind shut down or partial shutdown called analytical attenuation; "anaten", for short).
The reactive mind’s purpose is to ensure the physical survival of the human being, nothing more, or beyond that.
The reactive mind is not engaged in thinkingness as we normally understand it; it is a primitive mechanism that records images, strips them of the context in which the traumatic event occurred, and equates these images to each other; equates them to the individual’s response to the environment at the instant moment, and his/her emotions and even his "conclusions". In short, these "Mental Image Pictures" are a packet of
undifferentiated literals — things that are "exactly the same" as each other as far as the reactive mind is concerned. When the trauma is over, and the danger is passed; this information packet is stored in the reactive mind as a single unit — like a computer’s disk file — in what is called an "Engram". This information packet will then just "sit there", and when conditions in the environment are sufficiently similar to the engram data, it causes the engram to be triggered or restimulated.
When this happens, the reactive mind activates the previous response; and this includes all of the emotions, thoughts, conclusions, feelings, actions, rationalizations, and somatics. To the person with an engram in restimulation, it is as if he or she is re-living the trauma in present-time. The person "responds that way"; i.e. stays in the relationship, submits to the physical beatings or sexual abuse, etc., — simply because the engram demands that response. The logic of the engram is that moronic stupidity of equating each bit of data as identical. This means that the emotion "I love him" equals the fact that he punches her in the face, which is the same as his abusive language, which is in turn, identical to the sound of the baby crying, and is no different from the physical pain of a broken jaw, which is the same as the phone ringing, and the smell of dinner burning in the oven, which is the same as falling to the floor and letting him beat you over the head with a chair.
All of the emotions, feelings, and somatics are also equal to the reaction of the individual to the trauma event, including her thinkingness at the moment, and the "conclusions" she comes to. The engram equates all of this to "survival". Why? Simply because she "responded that way" previously (it is recorded in exquisite detail), and as a result, she "survived" (the fact that she survived is implicit, in that a non-survival response would not be recorded in an engram, because the person would be dead). The Engram response is not under her voluntary control.
We see extreme examples of engrams in restimulation with combat veterans who have "flashbacks", and who, upon being "triggered" by some external stimulus, all-of-a-sudden act as if they’re out on the battlefield.
Psychiatry calls this condition
"Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder" (PTSD). For our purposes here, the best way to illustrate this is by an analysis of the scenes in the movie "Once Were Warriors":
Jake walks into the house (after work) with an armload of seafood — an unexpected treat for his wife and kids (it was expensive). She shows how pleased she is by being affectionate. This is her thinkingness at the moment; she experiences a set of conclusions and postulates that evoke pleasure. In a moment, he reveals that he’s been laid off from his job. She responds with surprise and disappointment, which he then takes as an affront to his ego, (which is known as a "valence" — a separate but related issue) and he proceeds to beat her half to death.
The "mental image pictures" recorded in her engram, beginning with the infliction of the trauma, includes the thinkingness and emotions of the events surrounding it, and immediately preceding it; the "images" in this case could consist of:
Thinkingness — emotions immediately prior; "he’s so thoughtful and kind, no wonder I love him. I’m sexually attracted, etc.", and
Perceptics — the five senses: his tone of voice, the words "… you’re no fuckin’ good", "keep your fuckin’ mouth shut", the pain of the blows, the sound of dishes breaking and things crashing to the floor, the taste of the food she was eating, the smell of beer on his breath, etc. These "images" are then stored "literally"; that is, they are stripped of context, or rather, the context is never recorded to begin with. To an engram, the phrase "He rode a horse", is identical to "He rowed a horse", or "He wrote a horse"; there is no difference. Phrases such as "stay here", "come back", "get out", are all stored as subconscious commands which, when the engram is in restimulation, must be obeyed—not under penalty of trauma or pain, but under the compulsion of non-survival (death). In this case, for example, a "smell" could be any olfactory cue that even comes close. The taste of lobster might just as well be shrimp, octopus, or any seafood.
The images are also not differentiated from each other; they are "all the same" to the engram; i.e.: his tone of voice = the actual words spoken = the smell of beer = the taste of seafood = all emotions surrounding the beating ("I love him"), her response (stay and submit; do not flee). In this particular case,
an emotional trauma follows after Jake stops beating her, as Beth looks at her battered face in the mirror, and encounters the "so what?" attitude of her friend who sits down to have a beer with her as if nothing significant had happened. Her conversation with Beth is as if she was affirming to Beth that this is the way things are supposed to be. We are dealing with extremely traumatized individuals, and a very aberrated society.
This emotional confusion is also part of the engram recording, and upon the infliction of similar traumas (subsequent beatings) in the future, or even by "similar things" (such as the smell of beer and the taste of seafood) being present in the environment (even if there is no imminent or immediate danger), may trigger the previous response. All of the recorded thinkingness, emotions, and somatics of the previous traumas will also surface as part of the engramic response.
Of course, the infliction of subsequent beatings create more engrams, and since she will "survive" (remain physically alive) each of them, the response that is evoked by each of the engrams reinforce each other. She "stays" the second time he beats her, because by "staying", she survived the first time. And now that she "survived" the second time, the third time he beats her, we have two engrams (instead of just one) compelling her to react the same way as before. She "stays" the seventh time, precisely because six previously recorded incidents all being restimulated, dictate that "stay/submit" is equal to "survival", and a combined compulsion to "respond as before" will override any cognitive (analytical, logical thinking) process to do otherwise. The only escape from such a predicament is by the assistance of someone that sees the situation objectively, and acts to remove the victim from the restimulative environment immediately.
In the movie, Beth’s friend drops by and finds Beth badly beaten, but acts as if nothing happened that was of any consequence. As part of the beating, Beth was also raped, but understandably, she never discloses this to anyone, since her friend jokingly comments that [Beth]
"You should keep your mouth shut and your legs open." (By the way, under emotional trauma, this comment
becomes a literal command). Beth has been severely traumatized, and this trauma is a type of psychological conditioning, which condemns her to being vulnerable to subsequent victimization. This is a well known, but not understood phenomena, which is exploited by most all of the criminal "pimps"; the way to gain the "loyalty" (which is an apparency) of your women (prostitutes), is to continually beat them, and rape them.
Contrary to the current reasoning, Beth’s "love" for Jake is not what keeps her from leaving him; neither is it her "fear" of being left without a breadwinner, or her desire to keep the family together, as we shall see. Under severe and repeated trauma, Beth’s reactive mind equates "pain" with "tenderness" in the engram(s).
When pain is inflicted, she feels emotion of "love", because
the engram compels it. This is a dichotomy — two things that are logically opposed. What she feels upon being subsequently beaten does not make sense to her analytical (rational, logical) mind. This condition arouses what psychology calls "dissonance", which is simply a state of discomfort that seeks to reconcile behavior with reason or ethics.
In order to mitigate this discomfort, she (her Analytical mind) "reasons" the she must be at fault; that she (really) loves him; that this beating would not have happened if she did not provoke it; that it is his right to have sex (rape) her any time he wants to. This is especially true this time, in her reasoning, since after all, she did ‘come on’ to him prior to learning that he lost his job. Her friend not only does nothing to discourage these rationalizations, but also compounds the problem by confirming that the rationalizations are valid.
Had the situation continued status quo, we see that Beth would have continued to (involuntarily) subject herself throughout the years, to the same
"cycle of abuse". She remained in this disastrous situation even though her eldest son had "escaped" by joining a gang, and their youngest had been taken away by the courts and placed in foster care.
In the light of what Beth was forced to endure the words of a Tina Turner song:
".... What’s love got to do with it?
What’s love, but a second hand emotion?" ring true.
The phrase "second hand emotion" in Beth’s case is literally true, because it is in reality, the somatic that is "handed out" as the survival response by a restimulated engram; the
"love" is not motivated by events in "present-time"; it is not a rational response. This "love" was the state of her thinkingness immediately prior to the first assault, and now
is a compulsion that is motivated by "survival". By this, we see that "love" in this case is an apparency, and not at all real.
Moreover, to answer the first question in the song’s lyrics;
"Love" has absolutely nothing to do with it. The emotion of love in such cases is an engramic phantom, and arises along with other somatics in response to the stimulus of being brutally abused. As mentioned previously (briefly), an engram can be restimulated by something other than another identical incident. If enough of the elements of her environment become similar to what is recorded in her reactive mind, Beth could "flash back" and experience all of the pain and painful emotion at any time. Abuse of this nature and severity always and inevitably results in very severe aberration.
We have explained (albeit briefly) why a battered spouse remains in the trap of such situations unless assisted, by recognizing how the human mind really treats traumatic events. We can also, by the same analysis, understand why Beth was finally able to assert herself, and flee the situation, albeit at the cost of her daughter’s life. But first, allow me to make some collateral observations:
"Trauma", as defined for our purposes here, is an event that causes a degree of analytical attenuation ("anaten") or complete shutdown of the analytical mind. This
"unconsciousness" need not be complete;
i.e.: "knocked out cold", but can (and does) occur in degrees of severity. To the degree that the Analytical mind is shut down, the Reactive mind is open to engramic recording. This engram, or combination of engrams upon being restimulated at a later time, compels the victim to respond as she did when the trauma was first inflicted; it is a most insidious trap.
Becoming emotionally upset and angry, as in a heated argument; something that does not result in violence, is not trauma by this definition, although it may create an emotional pain engram in children who overhear it (even prenatally). Trauma cannot be hidden by silence — especially silence compelled by threats. The
trauma is always accompanied by an instant response, which is glaringly obvious to an un-aberrated casual observer. The problem with the situation in the movie is that although everyone knew what happened to Beth, they had become desensitized to trauma by virtue of its being constantly inflicted. The infliction of trauma had become "normal".
In the same manner that an elderly widow who lives with 87 "adopted" cats doesn’t mind (or no longer perceives) the nauseating stench, and the herds (or is it "gaggle"?) of flies; becoming accustomed to it, the people around Beth had acclimated themselves to brutality and abuse. After all, (at least the men) they "Once Were Warriors". Soon, in that society or culture, a face that looks like a squashed grape, is nothing out of the ordinary; it becomes, in the extreme, the polar opposite of what it really is;
abuse and physical violence become the
expression of affection; "rough sex", nothing more. Individuals suffer, while the society increasingly becomes emotionally numb.
"Trauma" also, in certain situations, becomes what the victim comes (or is convinced by "authority figures") to believe. This can work either way; a trauma can be taken in stride, or can be inflicted by deminimus things that restimulate an engram from a previous (similar) trauma event. In the latter case, the perception of danger (imminent trauma) causes an emotional somatic stimulus, but does not further aberrate the person with a new engram. This is important to keep in mind, as we look at the event of Grace (the daughter) being raped in her own bed by her "uncle" (father’s drinking buddy), and her subsequent reaction when her boyfriend innocently kisses her.
As Grace’s uncle forcibly rapes her, we see that the girl "withdraws from the trauma" (this is what a psychiatrist would say) and submits quietly. What is really happening here is that Grace has been physically restrained, and the confusion causes her Analytical mind to shut down to a large degree; there was no conscious effort to avoid awakening her baby sister, as it would appear. If Grace could have responded logically, she would have yelled for help - but she had no way of knowing what was going to happen. Her initial confusion turned quickly into the physical pain of being penetrated, which caused her Analyzer (Analytical mind) to shut down. Her awareness or consciousness is suppressed to a degree, and all the events — every sound, every movement, all of the perceptics, the smell of liquor on his breath, his hands holding her pinned to the bed, his words, his breathing, her thinkingness, her confusion, her emotions, and the response (lying still, being quiet, and being terrified) are all recorded below her awareness in an engram "packet". This is an extremely severe trauma.
By morning, Grace’s physical injury is apparent, as she washes blood from her nightgown in the bathtub, an act which is mistaken for her first menstrual cycle by her mother [Beth], who is too aberrated by her own trauma to question why an 11-year-old girl is bleeding vaginally, prior to "coming-of-age".
In a subsequent scene, Grace is getting high in her boyfriend’s car. The drug (marijuana), disconnects a portion of her Analytical mind, and makes her vulnerable to further aberration. The situation here, is much different (in reality) than the "rape scene"; her boyfriend really loves her, and
his kiss is a genuine and innocent expression of affection (affinity). However,
the kiss is the "lock" or the "trigger", which restimulates the rape engram (you will note that her "uncle" kissed Grace just prior to raping her).
We must note that Grace’s reaction is NOT totally engramic; it is combined with what she would have done had she not been physically restrained and unexpectedly penetrated by her "uncle" (by the time she was penetrated, it was too late to flee). Her reaction… what it would have been sans the physical restraints by her "uncle", now takes place. She "flashes-back" on the rape scene and (being unrestrained by her boyfriend) she runs away. Of course, the boy is confused over this, not knowing what happened to her only days before. He develops a guilty feeling of having offended her, despite the fact that no offense, and indeed, only genuine affection was intended.
The situation leading up to Grace’s suicide was transparent to her mother, who, if she could even think at all through her own trauma, took no notice of the obvious indicia of her daughter’s rape. Beth would never have suspected (not that there wasn‘t any evidence to arouse suspicion), had Grace not written something in her diary, which was discovered, too late.
When Grace "hung up", and Beth found her hanging from a tree in the backyard, this was entirely different than her [Beth’s] previous traumas, and happened under vastly different conditions than the verbal abuse and physical violence — beatings and rapes — she experienced at the hand of Jake, earlier. Jake’s "love and attention" did not precede this trauma as in previous incidents. Technically speaking, there was an insufficient similarity to any of the "mental image pictures", in Beth’s prior engrams to evoke a "survival" response. Although finding your own child "hung up" is the most terrible emotional trauma conceivable, there was nothing in Beth’s engram bank —
nothing in her "past experience" that would be an engramic "solution" to this situation. Therefore, as many engrams as there were from previous traumas, none of them were restimulated; her response would have to be "something new". She rebels, and defies Jake to "... kill us all, then...", and ultimately does what she should have done when Jake first beat her.
Without a doubt, a major contributing factor to her ability to make a conscious decision to leave Jake forever, was the wise counsel of her grandmother, whom she called on the telephone to inform her of Grace’s death. In the movie, the audience is not privy to this conversation in any meaningful detail. We do know that an objective person, who observes or learns about such situations, is often the only hope a victim of domestic violence has, to escape the situation of being continually brutalized.
Also, as we see in the case of Grace running from her boyfriend, that an engramic responses can be triggered by "similarities" in the post trauma environment. We also observed that the response dictated by the engram is involuntary; an involuntary "reflex" as opposed to an analytically calculated reaction. The engramic response (if the person is conscious at all, and ambulatory), will seize as much control or "attention" from the Analyzer as is required to carry out the dictated response.
Although there is obviously a cognitive or conscious component in an engramic response to a trauma where the victim has not been rendered completely unconscious (Grace running, found her way home), we see that "thinkingness" in present-time post trauma, is insufficient without assistance, to overcome with "reason and logic", the action of an engram, which compels the person to respond with the motivation of personal, physical survival, the action or inaction previously taken. An engramic compulsion is by definition, irresistible, and there have been many documented cases (in the Dianetics Foundation) of people who have lived with such compulsions in constant restimulation for most of their natural lives.
It is an observable, and scientifically, empirically verifiable fact, that engrams can be inflicted on a newborn child, practically from the moment of conception. This might sound a bit far-fetched, but I assure you that there is irrefutable evidence by the metric ton, collected over the past 50 or 60 years, to support it. This is a bit off-topic here, but it is useful to note that
even a person who is totally unconscious (as in a heart operation), records everything that happens to him; the pain, and everything done to him, and every word, every sound, etc., in the Reactive mind.
Particularly aberrating are tooth extractions or other normally painful surgical procedures done under nitrous oxide ("sweet air", or "laughing gas") anesthetic. With NO2, the patient doesn’t feel the pain consciously; in fact, tooth extractions and root canal surgery under Nitrous Oxide has been called "painless". The patient doesn‘t FEEL the pain, but the pain is nonetheless experienced and recorded below the patient’s awareness in the Reactive mind.
Any word or phrase spoken around a traumatized person or crying child is stored literally in the reactive mind. A nurse’s answer "B- negative" in response to a surgeon’s inquiry of the patient’s blood type, can become a literal command to "BE negative" after the person recovers from the operation. Upon recovery, the patient is commanded to have a negative attitude.
Engrams in restimulation are commonly called
"Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder" (PTSD), and a variety of other things by the psychology professions, and is generally considered "treatable" (with drugs, which only suppress the symptoms), but intractable (requiring endless therapy and associated "therapy" fees). Dianetics is the only efficable technology that can be applied to trauma; it works 100% of the time when applied competently, and is remarkably simple.
Now that we’ve explored domestic violence and sexual abuse from the viewpoint of the victims, it is obvious that what aberrates a person post-trauma, is not so much the conscious memory of the trauma per se’, but the hidden, underlying recording of the events in the Reactive mind (commonly called the "subconscious mind" because it is below a person’s awareness).
Contrary to popular belief, "time" does NOT "heal all wounds". What happens in reality is that life’s subsequent traumas overwhelm the previous ones, and often compound prior aberrations. Common elements in all the engram recordings become linked together, and given enough traumas and a restimulative environment, the inevitable result is a "mentally ill" person.
An analysis of Jake’s aberration here would also be appropriate, although at least as complex as the previous discussion. The mechanisms are idiotically simple, and only complex to describe because many of our engraved-in-stone paradigms must first be cast to the wind.
Obviously, the culture and society have a great influence on people, and Jake and his buddies wanting to appear "macho" (for lack of a suitable term) in each other’s eyes, are certainly to some extent, victims of their environment or their upbringing. While Jake certainly was not operating (as far as we know) on an engramic compulsion, his behavior, given his "Once Warrior" heritage which disclosed at the end sequence of the movie, suggests he was in
a valence. This means that he was acting in the persona of another (unknown) individual; possibly his father, or another abusive male figure who he either looked up to, or had traumatized him as a child. A person goes into valence because his own persona is the "loser" or the "victim" in some conflict or trauma in the past, and
by unwittingly assuming the "winner’s" or dominant person’s identity and mannerisms / behavior, he can now become "cause over effect".
A person who has been sexually abused as a child (post-conception, prenatal coitus, experienced in vivo, can surface later as a "recollection"; an apparency of rape). In particular, a male child will often go into the valence of his abuser, victimize someone unwittingly, and thereafter be appalled that he could do such a thing.
In addition to the phenomena of valences, there’s a thing called
which operates on the offender, post-offense. So without the benefit of an extended therapy session with Jake, if I had to make an analysis from just the information presented in the movie, this is how I see the events that could have contributed to making Jake the brutal, aberrated scumbag that he was:
Jake probably grew up in a "dysfunctional home". His father was probably a violent drunk and a wife beater like his father before him, and his great-grandfather before that, right down his genealogy to the time Noah came out of the ark. And so it is, I believe, a valid and true datum to conclude that
violence and abuse is inflicted by some "first cause", and then passed along by contamination of aberration to the next generation. It is not a "cycle" as the psychologists imagine, and this is primarily why the aberration cannot be treated successfully by psychiatric "therapy". Indeed, by labeling the patient with one or more of the 347 various "official" disorders listed in the
DSM-IV, psychiatry defeats itself at the point of diagnosis. By holding the patient in the valence of the person or persons he is emulating, condemns him to repeat the behavior as a means of asserting that the behavior is "right" and therefore, he is not "crazy" (or wrong). To get a clear understanding of this, please read "Fundamentals of Thought", by L. Ron Hubbard available from Bridge Publications www.BridgePub.com
The mechanism of asserted rightness is most insidious. It cannot be punished out of a man, and in fact, punishment will inevitably cause an escalation of the behavior one is trying to suppress, and it drives it into more "creative" and covert manifestations. I cover this in detail in an article entitled: "Recidivism and Asserted Rightness", which is part of another book. All of this is not to imply that bad behavior should not be punished, as the Bible tells us to use corporal punishment, even on children.
In addition, the Bible says,
"Do not provoke your children to wrath [anger]." Punishment has to be accompanied by loving, understanding correction, not only with children, but with adults as well.
The most vicious, bloodthirsty of criminals are no match for love and genuinely expressed affinity. One only has to observe the effect that a number of Prison Ministries (such as Kairos, and Prison Fellowship, et. al.) have had on so-called "hardened" criminals, to know that this statement is empirically true. Jake is probably also driven by a variety of external pressures, not the least of which is the "image" that he perceives he must portray to the pack of psychos he calls his friends. Primarily because the society-at-large accepts his behavior, Jake honestly sees nothing wrong with bouncing Beth of the walls and raping her at his whim.
In much the same way, children are exposed to violence on TV, and the brainwashing of "Gangsta’ Rap" lyrics, coupled with the New Age postmodernist, outcome-based psychobabble in public schools. Along with that, they are taught to believe that they came from monkeys (Darwinism) and ultimately, from rocks (Big Bang Theory). This loss of spiritual identity begets automatic weapons fire and multiple dead bodies with no remorse (psychiatrists call this "flat affect") by the youthful perpetrators.
There comes a point where all of these factors operating against the most stable, ethical and sane person is just too much for the Analyzer to overcome. Perhaps this is what happened to Jake, and I am tempted to raise the question that a competent defense lawyer would: "Is Jake responsible for his actions, if circumstances beyond his control drove him temporarily insane?"
As a society, we must ask that question, because it can be empirically demonstrated that normal, well-adjusted high school kids can be turned into murderers without conscience by using (legal) drugs; Ritalinä, Prozacä, et. al., and exposing them to teams of psychologists, and
Hick-Farmer, Sigmund Freud Wannabes in school (see: Hidden Hand of Violence issue: www.freedommag.org). How can the "justice" system imprison these children to punish them for acts committed under an insanity that was knowingly and willingly inflicted upon them? Yes, that’s right! I am accusing the APA of knowingly inflicting insanity upon over nine million children in this country (a/o 2005) who are on psychotropic medication for BOGUS "disorders" such as AD/AHDD. True, murder is not to be taken lightly, or condoned, but the question must be answered nonetheless.
Getting back to Jake, it is entirely possible (and let’s assume for the sake of this treatise) that the first incident of violence we saw in the movie, was not the first time Jake beat up Beth. Had this been the first incident, I would have expected to see some indication that Jake was initially shocked by his own behavior—at least upon the very first incident of such a thing. The brutality and lack of any "remorse" on Jake’s part, leads me to conclude that this had been an ongoing behavior prior to us (as a movie audience) observing the first assault by Jake upon Beth.
At the very first incident, Jake probably was as shocked at himself as he hit her, as we were to observe it. The thing called "denial" then sets in, as Jake naturally distances himself from the offense by taking up a "macho" valence or persona.
In Dianetics, there is a true datum: "Man is basically good [that is, he tries to be right]." (Brackets mine). The problem is that human beings equate "goodness" with "being right", and if they can justify their actions, somehow as being right, they can avoid the conflict (dissonance) with their God-given ethics, which tells them they’re wrong (or have done something wrong). The Bible has another name for the repeated wrong actions in an attempt to assert "rightness"; Biblically, it is called "a hardened heart".
Jake, like the Pharaoh of Exodus, upon striking Beth for the very first time, instead of acknowledging that he was wrong to have hurt her, he "hardened his heart". He could not undo the blows he had struck in anger, and he could not change his deep down loathing of himself that his God-given ethics demanded. Most of all, he had no loving God to turn to, and therefore could not be forgiven.
Jake probably came to hate himself because of his abusive actions, and he covered his self-loathing with an abundance of "machismo", and his equally demented drinking buddies admired him for it. Jake justified his brutality by continually engaging in the behavior;
it became "right" because it became what was expected of him as a "normal" — "Once Warrior" that he was.
And finally, let us not ignore the fact that Jake was an alcoholic. Perhaps more than any other drug (with the possible exception of PCP and "Ladder" — a CIA concoction used in Vietnam), alcohol seems to go hand-in-hand with violent behavior. We have all this data on the man named Jake, and we fail to see where the "cycle" can possibly be interrupted and broken. It is a shame, because the answer is so obvious to those not blinded by the psychological nosology.
Quite simply, the solution for Jake would have been to admit his offenses, and take responsibility. In order to get to this point, a person has to be able to confront his actions and not only find forgiveness, but be able somehow to make amends of his own choosing to those who were hurt. Our "justice" system does not even attempt this, and in fact, actively stands in the way of it when it is possible, and even desired by all sides. This is a tragic mistake.
At the end, Jake did confront the result of his behavior; he saw his lovely daughter hanging dead from a tree by her own hand. If there was ever a time to repent, that would have been it. But no! What does Jake do? He flies into a rage, and some might say "understandably" seeks vengeance on the man who raped his daughter, once he discovers what is written in her (torn up) diary. Yes, Grace’s "Uncle" raped her; it was the "last straw" in a long series of emotional traumas and physical violence inflicted in that house by Jake. Emotional abandonment; the
lack of gentle affection towards any of his children,
is a worse form of abuse than a rape, to a child. Jake knew he was at cause for his daughter’s death, and he could not face it (inability to confront). Instead, he turns to violet rage, the only emotional expression he has permitted himself to have; the only emotion that his "macho image" (in his valence) perceives to be "culturally acceptable" (men don’t cry) (men are expected to be tough). His actions, as always, led to disaster, and his own suicide, when police attempt to arrest him in front of the gin mill where he had just killed Grace’s "uncle" (the man who raped her).
Via specialized and highly codified Dianetics processing (verbal consultation called "auditing"), engrams can be effectively erased. This pastoral counseling is usually done one-on-one, and what it accomplishes properly administered, is nothing short of remarkable. "Auditing" (which means ‘to listen’) is always done in a highly confidential sacrosanct agreement. The auditor never evaluates his client, and never criticizes or invalidates what is told to him. The person is guided to recall the trauma incidents in detail, whereby his Analyzer can then differentiate the images, by seeing them with their logical context restored.
This process destroys their "literalness" and thereby their ability to activate or restimulate the engrams. The images, which were previously "subconscious", become "standard" Analytical mind memories, often filling in lacunas (gaps) in the person’s conscious recall of the trauma.
A person’s memory of the traumas, as well as his / her memory in general, often improves dramatically after Dianetics auditing sessions. This process has been used to recover the memory (stored in the Reactive mind) of many crime victims, who, for example, cannot recall an attacker’s face or eye color, and who "do not remember" the license plate number of a car that hit them and sped away.
Dianetics can easily "run out" valences, returning a person’s true personality to him. The methodology is very simple; it is the situations that are complex. However, Dianetics is not concerned with the forensics of a case; most situations can be handled without this data. However Dianetics technology lends itself very well to the forensic sciences — it is that reliable when properly administered!
The bottom line for this is to illustrate to the reader, by the dissection of an example case, the insidious mechanisms by which a victim of abuse effectively becomes an emotional slave to an abusive partner. The friends of such a victim should know how imperative it is that they intervene to remove the victim from the abusive environment, and not to validate the victim’s "affections" or "feelings" for the abuser. This is not to say that reconcilement is impossible; that comes later. Maybe.
Also, and of equal importance here, is to demonstrate to the offender, the serious ripple effect of violence – and show what it can lead to, even though causing so much harm to so many people was perhaps never the offender’s intention (lack of Mens Rea).
A responsible person need not be "at fault" for what is unforeseen; Jake did not rape Grace, but
his violence and his lifestyle is the cause of her being raped, and indirectly, the cause of her death. Jake was therefore responsible for what happened to his daughter; direct guilt is unnecessary—the effect is nonetheless identical.
It is perhaps unfair to "Monday-morning-quarterback" such a situation; one cannot know the future, and it is sometimes true, that
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions". However, the super-highway that leads to the sides of the pit is paved with violence and the "hardened heart" of asserted rightness. Those who can understand how this insidious mechanism operates, are in a better position to avoid its pitfalls than those who are ignorant.
Taking responsibility for one’s actions puts you or me in CONTROL of those actions in the future. We become "cause over effect", instead of being the "effect of the cause".
In the absence of competent counselors ("auditors"), the study of Dianetics is therapeutic in its own right; at least these treacherous and insidious mechanisms can be known. Many of the traps of remaining a victim, or a victimizer, can thus be avoided. The next step is being able to confront one’s actions and the consequences of those actions.
Without faith in a merciful God, and knowing that He is real and is willing to forgive; and without
true repentance (not empty remorse), such confrontation is humanly impossible. If the guilt is never absolved, then
"The wages of sin is [literally] death"... and sometimes you will take innocent loved ones with you, as Jake did.
The only safe course of action for any human being is to have the heart and mind of Jesus Christ. Insofar as it is humanly possible, be in the valence of the Son of the living God, and base your actions or actions withheld on the question:
"What would Jesus do?"
In closing this discussion, I must conclude that the root cause of man’s aberrations is his loss of identity as a beloved child of the living God. "The world" has convinced mankind these past 150 years, that man is an "evolved" ape that crawled out of the primordial slime 3-½ some-odd billion years ago. "Evolved" slime has no soul, and can only end up as a stimulus-response-motivated low-life form like Jake had become. A child of God, knowing of a certainty that he or she is a child of God, cannot help but act like it. That is our goal; to address the mental traumas with technology that has been proven to work every time it is properly applied, and to repair the spiritual damage with the true and everlasting promises of a loving and merciful God. The pastoral approach to these problems is holistic, and is the only solution that completely heals and restores.
I am working on several related topics:
- The Wheel of Ixion – Beyond the Belly of The Beast
The Merchants of Chaos
- Our True Colors – The Nature of Man and The Grace of God
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There will always be something of interest there for you.
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WebPastor David Todeschini
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"The Battered Spouse and The Abused Child"
There IS a Way Out
Scientological Pastoral Counseling for the Battered Spouse
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THERE IS A WAY OUT
Scientological Pastoral Counseling for the Battered Spouse
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THERE IS A WAY OUT
I know that it may not be easy to do right now, but relax. Because you are reading this, you are among friends. Therefore, you are safe. No one is going to tell you what to do, but instead, we are going to help you recover - not only from your physical injuries, but also from your emotional distress. Unfortunately, this cannot be completely accomplished by reading an article or a book, but after you read this, you will better understand what is happening to you, and why you feel the way you do. With that better understanding, you will be better equipped to overcome the emotional distress, and you will know how to pursue a quick and complete recovery; and you will know what to look for, and what to avoid on the way to your recovery.
Please read this carefully, and do not read past a word you do not understand. Footnotes are provided for words that you might not normally encounter; please avail yourself of the resources provided.
In order to understand "why I feel this way", and to see why your family and friends see your situation differently than you do, it is necessary to admit to yourself that you have been traumatized, and may not be acting rationally; trauma victims rarely do, and here you will learn why.
The strongest instinct or motivation of any living creature is survival - personal survival. This motivation is involuntary; it is "built into us" from the moment of conception; it cannot be avoided. "Survival of self" is known in Scientology as "The First Dynamic" (there are 8 "dynamics"). Part of the human mind that is commonly called "subconscious" is the Reactive mind. This part of the mind does not "think" as we normally understand the word "think". Contrary to what anyone might tell you, there is NO SUCH THING as a SUBCONSCIOUS MIND; a separate thinkingness or homunculus that is below awareness.
The Reactive mind is in fact, normally below awareness, but it does not rationalize, postulate or use reason and logic to "come to a conclusion". This mind is not itself, "aware of being aware"; it is not
sentient,t be called "thinking" in the sense of what we normally do.
Our Analytical mind - the part of the mind that I am using to write this article, and the part that you are using to read it, or listen to it read to you, is what is commonly called "the conscious mind".
Both the Analytical (conscious, aware, thinking) mind, and the Reactive (below awareness, non-thinking, reflexive) mind, are comprised entirely of "mental image pictures", recorded in vivid detail, and sequentially stored chronologically. The mind records 25 of these "images" per second, and they are known as "the time track" in Dianetics and Scientology.
These "images" are not only the visual (as "pictures" are normally understood), but recordings of all the (5) senses, your emotions, your moods, conclusions, and postulates during every moment of your life - awake, asleep, or unconscious, from the very moment (believe it or not) of conception - Not only from the embryo stage, but from the very moment sperm meets egg, until the moment a person dies.
Since these images are recorded continuously and stored indefinitely, any moment of a person's life can be called into memory - even those moments where a person was unconscious or under anesthesia. In Scientology counseling (called "auditing"), this happens all the time.
The analytical (conscious) mind is where all of our good (enjoyable) emotions, experiences, and practical knowledge are kept. As for pain, negative emotions, and trauma, as well as events that happen (such as an operation in a hospital) when we are fully unconscious (knocked out cold), are stored as images that are stripped of their narrative or context in the Reactive mind.
When a person is subjected to physical or emotional pain, or when she is taking psychotropic drugs (legal or otherwise), the person's Analytical mind begins to withdraw or "cut out", and the Reactive mind begins to activate to the corresponding degree. In this sense, one is partially "unconscious"; partly aware, and partly unaware. The result is that all pain, and any perceptions associated with it, along with the emotions and thinkingness, and the person's response to the trauma, is recorded in the Reactive mind.
The Reactive mind records these images in "bundles" or packets called "engrams". The "images" as stated previously, consist of all the percepticsnnot "think", it cannot postulate or reach its own conclusions.
All of the data stored in an engram, is missing the context in which the event occurred, and becomes what is called "an undifferentiated literal", and very generalized. Spoken words recorded in engrams can be interpreted quite differently when the engram is restimulated. For example, a person undergoing an operation is anesthetized, but he can hear the conversation around him. A doctor asks about the man's blood type and a nurse responds, "B-negative". After he recovers from the surgery, the man develops a very nasty, irritable, nagging and gloomy personality unwittingly. His personality is now the total opposite of what it was before the surgery. This is because the Reactive mind recorded the nurse's response "B-negative", and stripped of its context (in an Operating Room, where blood is typed and cross-matched), when the engram is active, "B-negative" is acted upon as a command: "BE Negative", and the man developed a "negative" outlook on life.
The Reactive mind is a primitive mechanism whose sole purpose is to compel the person "to survive", by comparing present-time perceptics to recorded images (in the engram), and when enough of the conditions in the present environment are ROUGHLY similar to images in the engram, the Reactive mind "plays back" all of the thinkingness, emotions, postulates, and conclusions recorded in the engram, and the person feeling these phantom perceptics, somatics and emotions, involuntarily and inevitably responds or reacts as they did when the engram was recorded.
In other words, she reacts to the present-time environmental stimulus as she did when she was bring beaten and abused, even though the present environment may or may not present a threat. This may be called "a survival response". The engram being restimulated, overwhelms any conscious, rational thought. If you wish, the Reactive mind may be thought of as "a set of programmed reflexes" that are unwittingly installed by experience with trauma or pain (physical or emotional). Reflexes such as pulling your hand away from a hot stove, or closing your eyes upon being exposed to a sudden, very bright light, are not under your volitional control, and you cannot control engrams, either.
When you were beaten, abused, raped, or molested the FIRST time, how you responded emotionally, and reacted physically is recorded in an engram. If you "survived" (obviously, you did, because you are still alive to read this), you are still alive, and that is all engrams do; they enforce a past response to a trauma or an injury that resulted in "survival" the last time, so that by responding as you did THEN, you might survive NOW. However you responded in the past equals "survival", no matter if another course of action (like: fleeing immediately at the first sign of trouble) would have been a better course of action.
If you think about the circumstances in every instance of abuse you've endured, and think of the perceptics in a very vague and general way, you will find "similarities" in each incident. Up until this point, you've endured because you were unwittingly compelled to "survive" the way you survived previously.
Now, something has changed. No doubt someone intervened to remove you from the situation, or you downloaded this from my web site. Hopefully, you are now physically safe and out of harm's way, but you have to understand that you have been aberrated by the trauma you experienced. This damage probably consists of several, if not multiple engrams. We will explore how you can be adversely affected years later, in a non-threatening environment, even by such a simple thing as a word, a tone of voice, or and odor or smell (et.al).
As for why there is such a thing as the Reactive mind, is a question which is still the subject of much speculation, and with modern science now coming to grips with the fallacy of Darwin's theory, we must of necessity conclude that "we are designed that way" by the God who created us. My personal opinion, for whatever its worth, is that God had never intended for a human being to be traumatized, but since human beings insist on inflicting trauma upon each other, and "nature" inflicts its own disasters, this "mechanism" arose as a result. It is not "Evolution", but in fact, a very intelligent feature that is designed to ensure the survival of the person, even when the Analytical mind is completely shut down.
The fact that the Reactive mind exists as specified in the Scientology texts, is without any doubt or question. Over 50 years of testing and research, but more importantly, RESULTS gained by the application of the technology, prove it without a shadow of a doubt. Engrams are a reality that must be accepted.
It is very important that you understand this fully, because when you do, you can better know how trauma has affected you, and you can take steps to resolve it from there.
When you are REPEATEDLY beaten or abused, the "way you feel"; your emotions, and all, are really NOT motivated by the way you're being treated. These feelings are phantoms, that are played back by an engram recorded in a previous trauma, and unfortunately, cannot be distinguished from "the real thing";
i.e.: an emotion or feeling that you are feeling in present time, and is consistent with the present environment and stimulus. As a consequence, you may become confused momentarily, and in order to end the confusion, you will rationalize "how you feel". Your narrative, consequently, does not make sense to anyone but you. It is possible that you "love" a man who beats you half to death and rapes you, only in the sense that you "feel" the emotion, but the emotion is being COMPELLED upon you against your better judgment as a "survival" response by a restimulated engram. The emotion of "love", and any other emotions, feelings, thoughts, or conclusions at this point, are phantoms - they are NOT REAL. Unfortunately, the compelled emotions come on so strongly that you can't tell.
Outside of the fact that engrams have kept you in a never-ending (what the psychologists call) "cycle of abuse", possibly for years, there is another quality about them that you should know about: the images in each engram are literally equal to each other, i.e.: the emotions = the perceptics = the sound and tone of his voice = the pain of being struck = the actual words spoken = the phone ringing = the baby crying = the smell of alcohol on his breath = falling on the floor = the sound of dishes breaking, etc. In addition, similarities between images in several (different) engrams called "links" can exist, as well as a conscious memory (Analytical mind) of an image or a perceptic that itself will restimulate the engram or somatics, called a "lock".
"Links" can restimulate more than one engram, when sufficient environmental stimuli exist, while a "lock" can restimulate the somatics in the engram, simply by being consciously reminded by appearance in the present-time environment, of a stimulus (such as an odor or sound, etc.) that are "similar to" (in a very broad sense) a mental image picture that is recorded in the engram. It is entirely possible, and happens all the time, that you can be made to feel just as you felt when you were being beaten (including "feeling" the somatics), by such a simple and innocuous thing as hearing the phone ring.
This is just a small part of how a human being is affected by trauma. The good news is that engrams can be "erased" by a very exact process in Dianetics and Scientology called "auditing".
Erasing the engrams does not mean that you will no longer remember the traumatic event(s); indeed, your conscious memory will drastically improve, as you are skillfully guided to view these engramic images with your Analytical mind. As these images are processed, the Analytical mind restores the context and narrative to the images, destroying their "undifferentiated literal" association; i.e.: the emotions NO LONGER equal the perceptics, which NO LONGER EQUAL the sound of his voice, or the baby crying, or the pain of the blows, etc. The engram is thus dismantled, and cannot be subsequently restimulated and compel you to respond or react irrationally. The phantom emotions are gone, and the mental image pictures are "re-filed" in the Analytical mind as standard memories, which you can recall in vivid detail without becoming upset.
As a result of even one or two auditing sessions, you will find that things "you could not remember" previously, can be recalled at will without being overcome by emotion. The practice of auditing in Scientology bears absolutely no resemblance to psychotherapy, or any other form of trauma counseling. It is conducted under strict confidentiality and the sacrosanct protection of minister-penitent privilege. An auditor cannot be legally compelled to testify in court (and won't) about anything told to him / her in the counseling sessions. Any records kept of auditing sessions are also immune from subpoena or seizure. You can speak with an auditor in full trust and complete confidence.
Now that you are out of harm's way, you can begin to recover from the effects of what you endured. This is not to say that reconciliation is not possible, if that is what you truly desire. However, you must come to this decision when you are certain that "what you feel" is not being inflicted upon you by an engram. If you wish to do this after auditing, the Church of Scientology offers marriage-counseling services, also. You must both at least agree to this in order to begin the process. You should, in any case, consider taking the "Handling Suppression" course.
You will find counseling in Scientology a unique and very refreshing experience.
Scientologists are not "shrinks"; they do not use any mind-altering drugs, no hypnosis, and certainly no "cognitive therapy". An auditor will not impose his will or his ideas upon you; he or she will NOT tell you what to do, or use "hypothesized cues". Instead, you will be guided to correctly perceive your present-time environment. Auditing will help you recover from abuse and mistreatment. You owe it to yourself to give it a try.
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