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"THE BATTERED SPOUSE and THE ABUSED CHILD"
The Battered Spouse
The Abused Child
Distributed as a public service by:
A pastoral analysis of domestic violence and sexual abuse
© Copyright 2005
– David J. Todeschini – all rights reserved
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David John Todeschini
Net4TruthUSA is not affiliated or associated in any way with The Dianetics Foundation, or The Church of Scientology. The author of this treatise is a
Born-Again Christian, and the following is his editorial opinions and views. Neither Net4TruthUSA, nor the author assumes any responsibility for the end-result of the use or misuse of the technology or methodology presented herein. We present this material in the spirit of Public Service.
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 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.
"The Battered Spouse and The Abused Child"
THERE IS A WAY OUT
Scientological Pastoral Counseling for the Battered Spouse
© Copyright 2005
– David J. Todeschini – all rights reserved
Presented as a Public Service by:
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, and what it actually does cannot 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 perceptics (5 senses) of the trauma event. Since the Reactive mind cannot "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 Battered Spouse and The Abused Child"
"The Battered Spouse and The Abused Child"