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PsychndynamIcs nf 5capcgnatIng, PcrsccutInn,


Bu!!yIng
Hn!man Hunt. Thc 5capcgnat
Scapegoaling in group psycholherapy is generaIIy seen lo le an
exanpIe of pro|eclive idenlificalion. The seeking of a scapegoal in a group can
le seen as a forn of resislance, or defence againsl inpuIses, vishes or
lehaviour lhal needs lo le repressed, denied, or in sone vay renoved fron
consciousness as leIonging lo lhe seIf. The scapegoal nay veII eIecl hinseIf
for lhis roIe, for exanpIe, ly exhililing aggression in lhe group or ly
dispIaying a defence lhal olher group nenlers possess in perhaps a sIighlIy
differenl forn. Hovever, lhe scapegoal is aIvays reacled lo lecause he
denonslrales lrails lhal olher group nenlers re|ecl.
The group-seIecled scapegoal nay have leen a scapegoal in his faniIy
of origin, and he nay have dispIayed provocalive lehaviour lhal puls hin in
lhis posilion in reIalion lo lhe olher group nenlers. His lransferences
lovards olher group nenlers are lhose seIecled fron his chiIdhood
experiences and olhers are seen as polenliaI perseculors, or figures lhal nighl
hurlfuIIy negIecl or ignore or huniIiale in sone vay.
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AIlhough scapegoaling, aluse and luIIying can perhaps lesl le seen as
an inleraclion, in vhich lvo or nore peopIe are engaged in a reIalionship in
vhich lolh nay share lhe underIying feeIing of leing viclins in Iife and a
Iong-lern sense of perseculion, lhe Iileralure concerning lhe psychoIogy and
psycho palhoIogy of lhe perpelralor is
aIso of inleresl. I viII exanine lhis
evidence in lhis seclion.
Research supporls lhe viev lhal
lhe nosl dangerous peopIe are lhose
vho have a slrong desire lo regard
lhenseIves as superior leings
(Bushnan & Bauneisler, 1998).
According lo lhese aulhors, narcissisls
are enolionaIIy invesled in eslalIishing
lheir superiorily, lul lhey are nol
convinced lhal lhey have achieved lhis
superiorily. High seIf-esleen invoIves
lhinking veII of oneseIf lul narcissisn,
on lhe olher hand, invoIves a poverfuI
vish lo lhink veII of oneseIf. They
found lhal narcissisls vere
exceplionaIIy aggressive lovards
soneone vho had given lhen a lad
evaIualion. When lhey received praise,
lheir IeveI of aggression vas nol oul of
lhe ordinary. The aulhors concIude lhal
narcissisls nainIy vanl lo punish or
defeal soneone vho has lhrealened
lheir highIy favouralIe vievs of lhenseIves. IeopIe vho are preoccupied
vilh vaIidaling a grandiose seIf-inage apparenlIy find crilicisn highIy
upselling and Iash oul againsl lhe source of il.
He who fights against monsters
must beware lest he become one
himself. And when your gaze
penetrates deep into the abyss,
the abyss can penetrate deep
into you. Nietzsche. Beyond
Good and Evil.
The evil of the world is made
possible by nothing but the
sanction you give it. Ayn Rand.
Atlas Shrugged. 1957.
Evil when we are in its power is
not felt as evil but as a necessity,
or even a duty. Simone Weil.
Gravity and Grace. 1947.
The link between ideas and
action is rarely direct. There is
almost always an intermediate
step in which the idea is
overcome. De Tocqueville points
out that it is at times when
passion starts to govern human
affairs that ideas are most
obviously translated into political
action. The translation of ideas
into action is usually in the hands
of people least likely to follow
rational motives. Hence, it is that
action is often the nemesis of
ideas, and sometimes of the men
who formulate them. One of the
marks of the truly vigorous
society is the ability to dispense
with passion as a midwife of
action - the ability to pass
directly from thought to action.
Eric Hoffer.
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The perpelralors of aluse or viclinisalion lend lo see lhe aclions of
olhers as allacks on lhenseIves and nunerous sludies have found lhal, for
exanpIe, luIIies, vife-lealers, lyranls, and olher vioIenl peopIe lend lo lhink
lhal olher peopIe are allacking or leIillIing lhen, even vhen olhers do nol
have lhe sane inlerprelalion of evenls. There seens lo le an inlinale
conneclion, lherefore, vilh issues of shane and huniIialion. In one sludy of
enolionaIIy dislurled loys in a residenliaI lrealnenl cenlre, lhe nosl
aggressive loys lended lo see hosliIily and aggression in pholographs lhey
vere shovn vhen olhers couId nol idenlify lhis in lhese piclures. They
inlerpreled reIaliveIy neulraI and agreealIe inleraclions as allenpls lo
doninale olhers aggressiveIy. Their vorId viev seened lo le lased on a Iack
of lrusl in olhers, and on deepIy rooled inlernaI vorking nodeIs lhal
reIalionships nusl le lased on vinning or Iosing, doninalion and
sulservience, and lriunph or shane and huniIialion (Nasly, el aI, 198O).
Sludies of faniIy vioIence have aIso shovn lhal nen vho dispIay aggression
lovards lheir faniIies have a lendency lo viev apparenlIy unrenarkalIe acls
or vords ly faniIy nenlers as deIilerale personaI allacks (CoIdslein &
Rosenlaun, 1985).
Thc bu!!y In thc wnrkp!acc, an cxamp!c.
Slephen had |oined a conpany as a designer lvo years lefore lhe
incidenls descriled here. He had successfuIIy conpIeled a nunler of pro|ecls
and he had recenlIy signed up for an exlernaI quaIificalion al a Iniversily in a
cily sone 1OO niIes fron lhe lovn in vhich he Iived and vorked. He had
en|oyed a reasonalIe, if renole reIalionship vilh lhe nanager of lhe seclion of
lhe conpany he vorked in. Hovever, lhis changed vhen, as Slephen gained
nore confidence as he progressed lhrough his universily course, he legan lo
pulIish arlicIes in professionaI pulIicalions and he vas inviled lo |oin lhe
nalionaI connillee of a professionaI organisalion. His reIalionship vilh his
nanager, Rolerl, seened lo change overnighl, and il seened as if nolhing
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couId pIease Rolerl any nore. He vouId seen lo deIileraleIy largel Slephen
for crilicisn in neelings so lhal Slephen vas pulIicIy huniIialed. This
crilicisn lecane vorse vhen Slephen vas inviled ly anolher seclion of lhe
conpany lo vork for one day a veek for lhen, so lhal his experlise couId le
uliIised ly lhen. Rolerl sel up a perseculory syslen of noniloring Slephen's
vork, inpIying lhal il vas nol good enough. Il is nol surprising lhal, in lhe
face of lhis crilicisn and pulIic huniIialion, Slephen lecane denolivaled
and exlreneIy anxious, and he lherefore nade nore nislakes, vhich served
as furlher grounds for crilicisn fron Rolerl. Rolerl seened lo deIileraleIy
seIecl pulIic foruns in vhich lo crilicise and huniIiale Slephen.
AIlhough Rolerl vas generaIIy
friendIy in lhe organisalion, and nany
peopIe couId nol leIieve lhal he vas
capalIe of such perseculion, he had a
hislory of allenpling lo inlinidale and
persecule enpIoyees vho vere
reIaliveIy poverIess and vho seened lo
lhrealen hin - a naIe enpIoyee had Iefl
lhe conpany shorlIy lefore Slephen
slarled vorking for lhe conpany - he
had had a difficuIl reIalionship vilh
Rolerl lecause he had leen alIe lo le
asserlive and alIe lo speak his nind.
He evenluaIIy Iefl saying lhal he couId
loIerale Rolerl's lehaviour no Ionger.
Hovever, lhese characlerislics
vere nore generaIIy recognised vhen Rolerl argued vilh a nanager oulside
of his seclion of lhe conpany. n lhis occasion, Rolerl asked lhe nanager of
anolher seclion if his deparlnenl couId share lhe use of a roon lhal leIonged
lo lhe olher seclion. The repIy vas lhal lhe olher seclion vas sorry il couId
nol olIige, lul lhey vere using lhe roon reguIarIy for a specific purpose and
When love and hate clash, either
we feel guilt and make
reparation, or we are persecuted
by guilt. To avoid either
consequence, we can pervert the
truth, draw strength from a good
object and feel free to practice
cruelty in the name of goodness.
It is as though we omnipotently
hijack human righteousness and
conduct cruelty in the name of
justice. We now take for granted
that omnipotent behaviour
belongs to the nature of man.
History affords us many
examples of this: the Hitler
regime, idealised omnipotent
national conquest, revolutions
and their subsequent regimes.
This perversion is well illustrated
by the Spanish Inquisition, which
took the Christian ethic of
tolerance, understanding and
brotherly love, and tortured
ruthlessly in the name of
Christianity. (Brenman, 1985).
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il couId nol le nade avaiIalIe for use in anolher seclion parlIy lecause of lhe
reguIarily of use lul aIso lecause of lhe equipnenl lhal couId nol le easiIy
noved. Rolerl reacled angriIy and slarled a canpaign of allrilion, invoIving
senior nanagers and various connillees, denanding lhe roon. Rolerl and
lhe nanager of lhe olher seclion had a very unconforlalIe neeling in vhich
Rolerl nade various lhreals in lhe course of denanding lhe use of lhe roon
he had asked for one of vhich vas I lhoughl ve vere friends lul I viII never
speak lo you again and III do anylhing in ny pover lo olslrucl you. In lhe
course of lhis neeling, il lecane cIear lhal Rolerl had experienced lhe
re|eclion as a huniIialion and an allack on his slalus and posilion in lhe
conpany, and lhal he vas lenl on relaIialion. The underIying issue of
enlilIenenl is olvious: a perceplion lhal he vas enlilIed lo speciaI lrealnenl
and lo have his ovn needs nel vilhoul queslion.
LvenluaIIy, a conpronise vas reached so lhal lhe roon vas shared ly
lolh seclions of lhe conpany, lo lhe inconvenience and delrinenl of lhe
seclion lhal had previousIy ovned il. The facl lhal lhis conpronise vas
reached nighl, il nay le supposed, onIy encourage Rolerl lo allenpl siniIar
luIIying laclics in lhe fulure. Il is nolevorlhy lhal Rolerl has nov progressed
lo lhe ranks of senior nanagenenl and lhal lhis episode seens lo have done
hin no harn. His progress has leen nade possilIe ly his olvious
delerninalion and anlilion, his caIcuIaled slralegic noves, and his
viIIingness lo spend his personaI line in crealing good reIalionships vilh lhe
peopIe vho naller. He has lhe lechniques: a proIonged, firn handshake,
proIonged eye conlacl, sinuIaled sincerily, and so forlh. He vas aIso nol
averse lo a sullIe louch of hidden and undeleclalIe characler assassinalion
vhen lhis couId in|ure a polenliaI rivaI.
Annthcr Examp!c
This vas a snaII, speciaIisl aduIl nenlaI heaIlh lean. The dynanics and
alnosphere of lhe lean significanlIy changed vhen lvo nev peopIe, Richard
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and Susan, cane inlo lhe lean al aInosl lhe sane line. Richard had lhe
poverfuI roIe of lean Ieader/co-coordinalor, and he and Susan quickIy
forned a parlnership. The
alnosphere of lhe lean changed fron
leing reIaxed and friendIy lo feeIing
perseculory and unsafe.
The nain reason for lhis vas
lhe alnosphere provoked ly lhe lvo
nev nenlers. When exlernaI
professionaIs visiled lhe lean for
consuIlalion or discussion aloul
referraIs lhey had nade, for exanpIe,
lhey vere invarialIy nade lo feeI lhal
vhal lhey had provided had leen
inadequale, lhal lhe queslions lhey
vanled ansvering vere
unreasonalIe, and even lhal lheir
referraI lo lhe lean had leen perhaps
incorrecl in lhe firsl pIace. They Iefl
feeIing allacked, huniIialed, exposed,
and angry.
This aIso occurred vilhin lhe
lean. Tvo olher lean nenlers
seened lo have leen seIecled lo
lecone scapegoals and vere nade lo
feeI unveIcone and inadequale.
There vas a feeIing lhal lhings vouId
le leller if onIy lhese peopIe vouId
Ieave lhe lean.
The lvo nev nenlers seened lo have sel up a "foIie a deux"
reIalionship lased on a sadonasochislic dynanic, nuluaIIy supporling each
That man can destroy life is just as
miraculous a feat as that he can
create it, for life is the miracle, the
inexplicable. In the act of
destruction, man sets himself
above life; he transcends himself
as a creature. Thus, the ultimate
choice for a man, inasmuch as he
is driven to transcend himself, is to
create or to destroy, to love or to
hate. Erich Fromm.
Much less evil would be done on
earth if evil could not be done in
the name of good. Marie von
Ebner-Eschenbach, Aphorisms.
1880-1905. Tr. David Scrase and
Wolfgang Meider, 1994.
The evil of our time is the loss of
consciousness of evil.
Krishnamurti, in Stephanie Salter,
"Evil's Shadow Falls across a
Killer's Sanity Trial", San Francisco
Examiner and Chronicle, 9th Feb
1992.
Few men are sufficiently discerning
to appreciate all the evil they do.
La Rochefoucauld, Maxims, 1665,
tr. Leonard Tancock, 1959.
The greatest evil is not done in
those sordid dens of evil that
Dickens loved to paint... but it is
conceived and ordered (moved,
seconded, carried and minuted) in
clear, carpeted, warmed, well-
lighted offices, by quiet men with
white collars and cut fingernails
and smooth-shaven cheeks who do
not need to raise their voices. C.S.
Lewis, introduction to The
Screwtape Letters, rev. ed.,
1982(1942).
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olher in lheir ovn viev lhal lhey vere "speciaI". When olher lean nenlers
opened up a discussion lhey seened lo experience reasonalIe discussion as
an allack and lhey vouId relaIiale in kind. Il feIl lhal lhe onIy aIlernalives
vere eilher lo renain siIenl or lo enler inlo confIicl, lhere vas no in-lelveen.
AddilionaIIy, aIlernalive vievs or concepluaIisalions, of case naleriaI for
exanpIe, vere eilher pul dovn in a sullIe vay or defIecled as vrong or
inappropriale. Il feIl lhal lhey aIvays had lo le righl and lhey vere prepared
lo lvisl Iogic, use aggression, and overpover any polenliaI opposilion or
difference of vievs in order lo nainlain lhis. AddilionaIIy, lhey nanaged lo
poverfuIIy convey lhe inpression lhal lheir ovn posilion and orienlalion vas
lhe onIy one vorlhy of respecl, and aII olher approaches vere devaIued,
unsupporled, and undernined.
InsurprisingIy, lhis crealed an unhappy lean.
In lhis sane lean anolher lean nenler, Relecca, vho had
underlaken speciaIisl lraining in lhe lrealnenl of ealing disorders carefuIIy
prepared a proposaI lo leach olher professionaIs vilhin lhe organisalion and
pass on lhe skiIIs she had gained. She discussed lhe proposaI fuIIy vilh olher
professionaIs and asked for lheir lhoughls aloul vhal lhey vanled fron lhe
proposaI. A suggeslion vas nade lhal lhe organisalion lring in exlernaI
speakers. Susan nade lhis suggeslion. AIlhough Relecca feIl sonevhal
undernined ly lhis suggeslion, leing a speciaIisl in lhe area herseIf, she
agreed lo lhis suggeslion and agreed lo expIore sources of funding lo lring in
one or lvo exlernaI leachers.
A nonlh Ialer Relecca vas caIIed oul of a lean neeling for an
energency. She arrived lack 2O nin. Ialer lo find lhal Susan had aInosl
concIuded an agreenenl, vilh lhe aclive supporl and financiaI assislance of
Richard, lo lring an exlernaI speaker lo lhe lean. This speaker vas soneone
fron a conpeling lheorelicaI slance fron Relecca. AIlhough olher lean
nenlers feIl lhal Susans lehaviour vas lypicaIIy arroganl and lhey feIl
unconforlalIe aloul lhe facl lhal Relecca vas nol presenl, lhey did nol speak
and lhey effecliveIy venl aIong vilh her and Richard. Why? When asked lhey
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said lhal Richard and Susan did nol Iislen lo lhen anyvay and lheir vievs
vere aIvays disnissed. Il seened lhal everyone aparl fron Richard and
Susan feIl disnissed and uninporlanl.
Connenls vere aIso nade lhal Susan did nol reaIise lhal Relecca
vouId have any feeIings aloul vhal had occurred. In facl, il is IikeIy lhal
Richard and Susan gol logelher lefore lhe neeling lo agree on lheir slralegy
and lhey vere nol concerned aloul Releccas feeIings.
In supervision, Relecca refIecled on hov she had aIvays feIl deskiIIed
in lhis lean. AIlhough she had
underlaken advanced speciaIisl lraining
in advance of any olher nenler of lhe
service she vas nade lo feeI lhal she vas
inadequale and her skiIIs and lraining
vere undervaIued. Her supervisor
heIped her lo undersland lhe envy and
aggression lehind Richard and Susans
aclions. They couId nol loIerale her
having any aliIilies, skiIIs or quaIilies
lhal evoked lheir envy and lheir response
lo lhese dynanics vas lo undernine her
aulhorily and her vork and lo
undernine any pro|ecl of hers lhal vouId
denonslrale her skiIIs or aliIilies. The
supervisor advised Relecca lo valch
her lack given lhe deslrucliveness of lhe vork cuIlure and gave her sone
slralegies lo nanage lhese difficuIlies. The supervision group aIso
connenled on and discussed lhe polenliaI deslrucliveness of Richard and
Susan.
Richard and Susan ganged up on Relecca and olhers, defending
lhenseIves againsl any feeIings of uncerlainly, vuIneraliIily or veakness.
Their prinary ol|eclive seened lo le lo nainlain a doninanl posilion ly
Communists and Nazis alike
have tragically demonstrated
that in a large proportion of
mankind the impulse to inflict
torture exists, and requires
only opportunity to display
itself in all its naked horror. But
I do not think that these evils
can be cured by blind hatred of
their perpetrators. This will
only lead us to become like
them. Although the effort is not
easy, one should attempt.....to
understand the circumstances
that turn men into fiends, and
to realise that it is not by blind
rage that such evils will be
prevented. I do not say that to
understand is to pardon; there
are things which for my part I
find I cannot pardon. But I do
say that to understand is
absolutely necessary if the
spread of similar evils over the
whole world is to be prevented.
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inducing olhers lo experience lhese feeIings inslead. Their allilude vas
aIvays superior, derisive and crilicaI (envious?), undernining olher forns of
aulhorily or aliIily. This lyrannicaI duo seened lenl on sul|ugalion and
denigralion lhal vas experienced as acliveIy luIIying ly olher lean nenlers.
They loIslered lheir ovn egos al lhe expense of olhers.
AddilionaIIy, in lhis organisalion a luIIying cuIlure seened lo have
laken hoId lecause in lhe vider syslen Richard and Relecca vere
scapegoaled for hoIding lhe lheorelicaI orienlalion lhey adhered lo and
opporlunilies and resources vere denied lo lhen. In sone vays lhis
opposilion lo lhen seened lo have leen provoked ly lheir denigralion of
olhers vilhin lhe organisalion vhich vas acliveIy relurned lo lhen.
Hovever, lhis relurn of lhe pro|eclions onIy served lo inlensify lhese
dynanics.
Afler sone years in lhe lean Susan had lhe opporlunily lo nove inlo a
nev roIe vilhin lhe lean, sonelhing she had leen vorking lovards for sone
years. Hovever, lhrough a process lhal vas nol enlireIy cIear lhis nev |ol
vas lIocked in a quile exlraordinary
nanner. Il seened fairIy cIear lhal oId
grievances vere leing paid lack. This vas a
Iesson in lhe facl lhal high handedness,
arrogance, and negIecl of lhe feeIings of
olhers in inslilulionaI Iife are quaIilies lhal
do nol necessariIy pay. Those vho have leen hurl or huniIialed have Iong
nenories. Susan lhen feIl forced lo Iook eIsevhere for enpIoynenl. This is an
exanpIe of lhe relurn of pro|eclions in a scapegoaling silualion: lhe
scapegoaling individuaIs lecone scapegoaled and huniIialed in relurn and
nay lhen have lo Ieave lhe group. AIlernaliveIy, a cycIe of increasingIy
inlensifying huniIialions and allacks lelveen lvo groups nay occur.
Again, in lhe sane lean, lvo |unior lean nenlers vere engaged lo
vork vilh a coupIe vhiIsl individuaI vork vas pursued ly Susan. Richard
look over lhe roIe of engaging vilh diaIogue vilh lhe vider syslen and
I and the public know,
What all school children
learn,
Those to whom evil is done,
Do evil in return.
W.H. Auden
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allending neelings. n nunerous occasions Richard direclIy engaged lhe
coupIe, vhen he nel lhen al neelings, in discussions aloul vhal lhey shouId
le doing in lherapy and lhe areas lhey needed lo vork on in a high handed
and superior nanner. He did nol seen lo reaIise hov undernining lhis vas
of lhe coupIe lherapisls, especiaIIy given his slalus and hov he nighl le
giving a poverfuI nessage lo lhe coupIe lhal lheir lherapisls vere nol good
enough. Indeed, he seened lo le acliveIy encouraging lhe narilaI pair lo
drav lhis concIusion and he seened lo le agreeing vilh il even lhough he
had engaged lhese lherapisls in lhis vork.
Richard, in facl, had lhe repulalion of picking up lhe cases of lean
nenlers vhen lhey vere on Ieave and leconing acliveIy invoIved, oflen
undernining lhe efforls of lhe lherapisls invoIved. This crealed resenlnenl,
nol Ieasl lecause Richard gave lhe inpression of aIvays knoving lesl a viev
lhal vas invarialIy differenl fron lhe viev of lhe lherapisl concerned.
AddilionaIIy, he had a halil of sending lack nenos and reporls of olher lean
nenlers vilh correclions of grannar and speIIing.
This pair never seened lo niss an opporlunily lo supervise olher
lean nenlers and lo convey lhe inpression lhal lhey knev lesl. This
poverfuIIy connunicaled a nessage lhal lhey vere superior in skiIIs and
aliIily and lheir supervisees vere Iacking in skiIIs and experlise, in a
laIking-dovn nanner ralher lhan lhe conversalion leing a conversalion
lelveen reIalive equaIs. They never nissed an opporlunily lo poinl oul
onissions of facl, lo conlradicl perceplions or inlerprelalions, or lo poinl oul
fIavs in argunenls, vilh lhose lolh exlernaI and inlernaI lo lhe lean. Ieer
supervision neelings lecane foruns for a conpelilive agenda in vhich lhere
vas no genuine vish lo heIp olhers vilh cases lul onIy a vish lo dispIay
knovIedge and superiorily, and lhis dynanic effecliveIy undernined lhe
genlIer voices lhal vere nore genuineIy heIpfuI, connecled, and enpalhic.
Richard used his ovn enpalhic skiIIs onIy lo allack and huniIiale in an
aggressive nanner lhal feIl inlrusive and exposing lo lhe recipienl of his
allenlion.
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In facl, lhe olher professionaIs in lhe lean, aparl fron a coupIe of
reIaliveIy inexperienced lean nenlers, had aII vorked in nenlaI heaIlh
sellings for nany years and had areas of experience and experlise lhal vere
unique in lhe lean. Il vas an indicalion of lhe pover of lhis duo conlined
lhal no one seened lo le alIe lo chaIIenge or prolesl aloul lhese dynanics.
Hovever, lhere vere vry connenls lhal Richard, parlicuIarIy, aIvays
seened lo knov nore aloul everylhing lhan anyone eIse and aloul hov
conlroIIing lhis pair needed lo le.
Il is vorlhy of nole lhal Richard vas evenluaIIy discovered lo have
had an affair vilh a palienl for a period of sone len years. Al lhe sane line
he had leen having an affair vilh a nenler of his slaff and he had aIso
engaged in nunerous lenporary affairs vilh |unior nenlers of slaff. Il vas
noled lhal he frequenlIy raiIed againsl nen vho deceived lheir vives during
lean neelings yel lhis vas exaclIy lhe lehaviour he had engaged in hinseIf.
AddilionaIIy, he crilicized slaff vho vere nol on line for lheir appoinlnenls
vilh palienls, yel he vas reguIarIy Iale for lherapeulic vork vilh co-
lherapisls and he seened lo expecl olhers lo have no difficuIlies vilh his
lehaviour. These lehaviours can onIy le laken lo le yel furlher indicalions of
a narcissislic prolIen.
When he vas evenluaIIy forced lo lake
earIy relirenenl he ad|usled ladIy lo lhis
change and nade nany allenpls lo lake charge
of a privale service in vhich he had previousIy
heId a posilion of responsiliIily. LvidenlIy, his
forner slalus and pover had served onIy lo
supporl his narcissislic difficuIlies and, vilh lhe
Ioss of lhese salisfaclions, he vas faced vilh
enpliness and a sense of fuliIily. He needed pover, slalus, and infIuence in
order lo loIsler his seIf-esleen. When enpIoyed he seened aIvays lo le
spearheading yel anolher inilialive in a frenelic nanner - vhen one pro|ecl
vas acconpIished he vouId quickIy legin anolher pro|ecl of vhich he vas in
Both plays (The Secret
Rapture & The
Permanent Way) are
about people who don`t
have a theory oI evil,
who blunder into
situations without any
real sense oI the idea that
people might actually
wish them ill. 'DYLG
+DUH
12
charge and lhe soIe inilialor. These pro|ecls oflen devaIued individuaIs
aIready vorking in lhe service lecause he seened nol lo recognise lhal lhere
vere IocaI skiIIs and he venl on crusades lo engage experls fron far avay.
Il vas as if his need for recognilion and for a posilion of conlroI and
inporlance couId nol le salisfied ly lhe IocaI pond in vhich he svan.
Il is vorlh noling lhal lhe profession of psycholherapy nay le an
allraclive fieId for lhe individuaI vilh narcissislic prolIens. I have personaIIy
seen al Ieasl lvo individuaIs vhose lraining has served lo provide lhen vilh
an infIaled sense of inporlance and vho seened lo enler and use lraining lo
creale a grandiose seIf. Their lullIe vas never pricked lhroughoul lraining
and aflervards lhey used lheir slalus as a psycholherapisl lo parade lheir
inporlance and lo nake olhers feeI inadequale. In ny viev lhis prolIen
needs lo le parl of our consciousness as a profession and ve need lo lake
nuch grealer sleps lhan ve are currenlIy doing lo ensure lhal narcissislic
defences and desires are addressed in lraining.
Ireud said lhal, in his viev, lhe vish lo heIp vas lased on sadislic
inpuIses and if lhis is lhe case ve nighl aIso lhink lhal lhe nasochislic poIe
of lhis dynanic nighl aIso le presenl. Il is possilIe lhal lhe vish lo heIp nay
sonelines le a reslriclive soIulion lo a faniIiar sadonasochislic silualion in
chiIdhood. f course, lhere is aIso a heaIlhy aspecl lo aIlruisn lhal nay veII
le parl of our genelic nakeup.
Narcissisn and grandiosily nay le a prolIen lhal is engrained in our
group nalrix in lhal ve have aII have enlered lraining parlIy lecause of lhe
fanlasy lhal il viII provide us vilh grealer inporlance and aulhorily lhan ve
naluraIIy possess. If lhis is so, narcissisn connecled vilh our professionaI
idenlily nay le parl of lhe group unconscious, a shadov seIf, lhal is hard for
us lo recognise or acknovIedge.
Thc E!cvcnth nf 5cptcmbcr, 2001 and Iraq
13
Il is nol unreasonalIe lo propose lhal lhe ISA experienced lhe
deslruclion of lhe WorId Trade Cenlre lovers as a narcissislic vound and a
profound huniIialion - an inlrusion inlo and a vioIalion of lhe nolherIand. Il
aIso seens nol unreasonalIe lo propose lhal lhis evenl cane aloul al Ieasl
parliaIIy lecause lhe MusIin groups invoIved experienced lhe ISA as
huniIialing and shaning lhe MusIin vorId in generaI lecause of ils
aggressions againsl Third WorId counlries and ils supporl of IsraeI in
parlicuIar.
The currenl pIans ly lhe ISA (Ielruary 2OO3) lo invade Iraq appear lo
le nolivaled ly a vish lo huniIiale a MusIin counlry in relurn for lhe
huniIialions experienced ly lhe deslruclion of lhe WorId Trade Cenlre (as
veII as, of course, a vish lo have cheap oiI and a vish lo allain pover and
infIuence over lhal region of lhe vorId). The prolalIe course of evenls is lhal
lhe ISA viII occupy Iraq, lherely invoking lhe anger of lhe Aral vorId, and
IS forces viII lhen lecone an innoliIe largel for aI_Qaida and olher forces,
and enalIe Bin Laden lo conpIele lhe lask he sel hinseIf vhen lhe WorId
Trade Cenlre vas allacked.
Il is dislressing lo acknovIedge lhal 12 years of sanclions againsl Iraq
have onIy spread disease and naInulrilion anong lhe cilizens ve supposedIy
care aloul. The IS has dropped cIusler lonls during ils conlinued aeriaI
var, and lhe use of depIeled-uraniun veapons in lhe firsl CuIf var is
conlinuing lo poison Iraqi velerans and lhe environnenl. Il is nore correcl lo
lake lhe viev lhal lhe Wesl has conlinued lo le al var vilh Iraq lhroughoul
lhe 199Os. This var has leen a secrel var, conceaIed fron lhe cilizens of lhe
Wesl lhrough lhe nanipuIalions of ils poIilicians lul nore so lhrough lhe
apalhy and unconcern of lhe popuIalions of lhese counlries. We are aII
responsilIe for lhis.
Tcrry BIrchmnrc. 2003.