Friday, April 07, 2017



How does a despot rule his roost? With the Rule of Fear. One can adopt that in miniature form i.e. in a relationship.

What is the Rule of Fear? It is someone, or an institution, that burns fear in you so deeply that you cannot function without them. You are trapped in their world, and their hand of pain is also the hand that gives. How else do abusive relationships survive for years? The oppressed does not believe he or she can survive without the oppressor.

Religion is a great oppressor. Do wrong and you go to hell. Worse still, watch those who have lost everything turn to the very institution that took what they loved away. A grieving mother (who is taught God loved her child so much he took it from her to place that innocent soul to sit beside him) turns back to that same God for comfort of her loss. Personally, I’d aim a bazooka at his soul and fire, but then I’m enlightened to the Rule of Fear.

This Rule of Fear is also known as the Stockholm syndrome, which is becoming less associated with hostage situations only and more attached to everyday oppressor/oppressed relationships. Its name was derived from a situation, some 40 years ago in Sweden. It produced a smorgasbord of emotion that some smart geezer identified and wrote a book about. How does the psychology of the Stockholm syndrome work?

Psychiatrist Dr Frank Ochberg wrote:
"First people would experience something terrifying that just comes at them out of the blue. They are certain they are going to die.”
"Then they experience a type of infantilisation - where, like a child, they are unable to eat, speak or go to the toilet without permission."
“Small acts of kindness - such as being given food - prompts a primitive gratitude for the gift of life."
"The hostages experience a powerful, primitive positive feeling towards their captor. They are in denial that this is the person who put them in that situation. In their mind, they think this is the person who is going to let them live."

And so it is with relationships. At first we feel the terrifying onslaught of our captor’s wrath. It is our soul that fears death. When we are reduced to a ball of pain ‘we play dead’, like any animal that needs to survive. We retreat and we wait for affirmation that we can be forgiven or at least we are given hope of a reprieve. We are grateful for any little mercies, and that bonds us to our captor. Denial that we would not be in that situation, had it not been for our sentinel, allows us to believe that without our subjugator we are unable to survive.

And how do we break free from one? Bazookas are available on the dark web. Happy shopping, happy shooting.


  1. I think we all know someone in that sort of relationship. If we don't know them that well we often feel it's not our place to interfere so we let them sink deeper and deeper into their own private prison. And if we do try to point it out to them we are just highlighting a painful truth which they already know but are too frightened or ashamed to acknowledge. Sadly, if the victim does come to their senses, the bazooka, or what it represents, is often the outcome, when the abused or suppressed finally reacts in an act of volcanic violence. And then the victimisation continues as they become a casualty of the legal system.

    1. Just as in the case of Patty Hearst; jailed by law after being held hostage when she succumbed to the Stockholm syndrome. One hopes though the bazooka is metaphorical and it's only a question of opening your eyes and smelling the roses (also metaphorical) and then packing a bag and leaving the abuser. Indeed you are right that a person is often in denial and pointing out their situation doesn't always lead to their release but maybe…. just maybe… it begins (or continues) to be a step in that direction.


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