- 2.78 million men in the U.S. have been victims of sexual assault or rape.1 https://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/sexual-assault-victims
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Mike's Story Part 55 Hegel
My email correspondent in yesterday's post had more observations worth discussing:
1. As Mike himself said to you (at the time), he thought that the MCR of pre-Venezuela was gone. But to give a complete picture, you would have also [to] go back to that MCR to balance the brutal freefall you are writing about. The MCR of the CIA-Drugs era not only functioned through all of his problems, but provided support and counsel to other whistleblowers who were in far worse shape. Guys like Cele Castillo. How can you do that if you're beset with seemingly every psych malady on earth? This would require that you find these guys and interview them, which I know is beyond the scope.
Reading your series without knowledge about the "old MCR", the image is heavily negative. Which leads to...
2. Propaganda. My worry throughout all this is the Powers That Be. Anything that the PTB can use to weaken collective hope. Their contempt, their laughter. You are being honest showing MCR's humanity, but are you giving the PTB a lot of ammunition to giggle over? Those on the other side are never portrayed as less than gods. Dick Cheney is invincible. That is how they win. While our side has no one to believe in.
Comment: As Mike himself said to you (at the time), he thought that the MCR of pre-Venezuela was gone.
Response: That's a double-edged sword. It meant that the fight had been knocked out of him; he no longer had what it took to do the investigative journalism that had forged his career. Also, he knew that if he did, his unwritten "deal" with the government - "You keep quiet and we'll allow you to live in peace" - would be off.
But after saying that, as everyone now knows, he did get back in the game. With a difference, though. Nowhere in the movie Collapse will you hear 9/11 mentioned.
The flip side of "the MCR of pre-Venezuela is gone" is the private demon which he attempted to exorcise by fleeing the country. He said that it worked and at least for as long as he stayed in my apartment, that seemed to be true.
Please note the symbiotic relationship between the demon and the avenging angel here. You can't have one without the other. This is why he said, "There is a deep flaw in me and it's responsible for everything I've accomplished."
Comment: The MCR of the CIA-Drugs era not only functioned through all of his problems, but provided support and counsel to other whistleblowers who were in far worse shape. Guys like Cele Castillo.
Response: Thank you for raising that! Yes! I hope someone writes about it but if they don't, thank you for adding it to this record.
Comment: How can you do that if you're beset with seemingly every psych malady on earth?
Response: Actually, just speaking anecdotally from personal experience, I've found that it's the people with stable backgrounds who are least able to understand those of us who are screwed up in some way.
He wasn't beset by every psych malady on earth. The provisional diagnosis was bi-polar but the manic side was supremely functional, as it often is. As soon as he received the diagnosis, he googled it and was gratified to read the list of his fellow sufferers which included Hemingway. He never hallucinated so all of those diagnoses are irrelevant. He was narcissistic in a way that is pandemic in our society and also worked to his, and his readers', advantage. I used to wonder why his various mental health professionals never mentioned that, at least not that he passed on to me. Maybe they thought he'd take it the wrong way and only needed the other diagnosis for prescription purposes anyway. That's pure speculation.
Note that in psychology, "narcissism" does not have the same meaning that it does out in layman land. The average person thinks a narcissist is someone who thinks he's hot stuff in some way. To professional psychologists, however, a narcissist is someone who doesn't have a solid sense of "self" and so seeks approval from outside. This is why narcissists are attracted to the performing professions - from acting to teaching; they like to be watched or listened to with some form of applause as reward. Probably, the same may be said of writers. In modern society, virtually everyone has narcissism of one kind or another. We find it hard to take when people don't like us or our work. And we reward narcissism by holding movie and rock stars in highest esteem. The late transvestite wit Quentin Crisp observed that while his youth was marked by beatings from thugs who objected to his dress, his later life was marked by reverence from those same populations because they'd seen him on television. Television, he maintained, was the medium through which he regained his "virginity." Hence the title of one of his books: How to Become a Virgin.
Comment: Reading your series without knowledge about the "old MCR", the image is heavily negative.
Response: In your previous email, there was a suggestion that even revealing the sexual abuse when he was a child could serve to discredit him and undoubtedly this is true. People use every tool they can. So I googled what percent of men have been the victim of this sort of abuse and found:
About 3% of American men — or 1 in 33 — have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime...1
Mike didn't say his mother attempted to rape him; it was more of a seduction so we'll have to expand that 3% to include the less violent category. (There was also his flashback to the older boy sodomizing him. But he wasn't sure if it was real or not.)
For women, of course, the statistics are considerably worse:
1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (14.8% completed rape; 2.8% attempted rape).1 https://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/sexual-assault-victims
Again, add in those who were simply abused without completed or attempted rape. Then add to that those who've been traumatized by violence and the number mushrooms. In the end, how many people are left whom we can "trust" because they weren't scarred by some horrific event in childhood? Speaking of that: Isn't it ironic how shocked we are by his mother's sexual abuse whereas no one bats an eye at Mike's nonchalantly mentioning memories like, "And then Dad beat the shit out of me."
Comment: Propaganda. My worry throughout all this is the Powers That Be. Anything that the PTB can use to weaken collective hope. Their contempt, their laughter. You are being honest showing MCR's humanity, but are you giving the PTB a lot of ammunition to giggle over?
Response: Ah, but that's the point. The opposition does not write; they are not in search of the truth. Quite the reverse; they're engaged in covering up the truth. That's what propaganda is for.
Propaganda is descended from ancient Greek Sophistry, which has come to mean "false reasoning." It uses whatever tactics are at hand to manipulate people, usually by way of their emotions, appeals to "pathos."
So if this is a war of propaganda, yes, I'm a turncoat for the other side. But what we're doing here is the opposite.
We are of the Socratic school who engage in a dialectic of opposing views (in Hegelian terms, thesis, antithesis, synthesis) to arrive at a multi-faceted truth by way of "logos" or appeals to reason.
Comment: Those on the other side are never portrayed as less than gods. Dick Cheney is invincible. That is how they win. While our side has no one to believe in.
Response: We have plenty of people to believe in! I grant you, none of them are gods or invincible. Do they need to be, in order for us to believe in them? Glwt (Good luck with that.)
Mike's traditionally been portrayed as a seer on the one hand and a kook on the other. Of course, he was neither. He was not clairvoyant. He was extremely smart and well-informed. He was the right man in the right place at the right time. Having been raised in a CIA-family, he had the right mindset and background to understand what was happening. He worked to uncover government malfeasance with a great deal of help from whistle-blowers and researchers, most of whose work will never be divulged. He published and sang out his findings from the rooftops for anyone who wished to listen.
There's a friend of Mike's whose email signatures are inscribed above a quote from Emile Zola: "I have come to live out loud." Mike did that. If you were close to him, he let you know what was on his mind (except when he felt like killing you in which case he decently kept the thought under wraps and transferred that animus to planning his own death.) What a loss it would be not to tell people what was really going on with him, which had nothing to do with a propaganda war.
And re: "This is how they win." It's only a small part. They win because they own the government and the media. They win because the public likes the status quo; they just wish they had a bigger piece of it.
We'll never win as long as we engage in the same game. To tell the truth about Mike or anything else is simply to change the paradigm.