Monthly Archives: January 2016

Know the tactics

A hand moving a chess piece during a game

To fight passivity, we must know what to be aware of what to look out for. Child molesters are master manipulators. Often they also have a group of advocates that surround them as well. These advocates are often very good people who are extremely gullible and are likely too trusting as they won’t verify what they have been told by one who would harm a child. These individuals are the “useful idiots” of a child predator. In order to know what to look for, we need to look for the tactics that the molesters and their advocates use.

One very common tactic used is gaslighting. This tactic gets its name from a 1944 movie “Gaslight” starring Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman. In this movie Boyer’s character attempts to drive Bergman’s character insane. The tactic involves modifying evidence or falsifying information to cause one to doubt his or her own recollection of the story.

Gaslighter’s use:

  • Denial
  • Compartmentalization of data
  • Deflection
  • Invalidation
  • Minimization
  • Blame
  • Depreciation
  • Domination
  • Humiliation
  • Insincerity

Does this sound like something common? Patrick J Kennedy in his book “A Common Struggle” shared some insight to what the late Senator Ted Kennedy, his father and arguably the patriarch of the Kennedy family at that time, had to say when Patrick’s addictions were out of control by his own admission.

“I saw a picture of the car, and I don’t know why they’re making such a a big deal of this. It looked to me like it was only a little fendah bendah.” Patrick Kennedy went on to state, ‘Very old-school. No ‘How are you doing?’ Just “a little fendah bendah” (or, for those not raised in New England, “fender bender”). In fact, that’s pretty much how he suggested I play it with the press and the public.’

Do you see how Ted Kennedy began to frame an event that happened to his adult son? Within a few sentences one can find, denial, minimization, and domination. A narrative was being formulated to put the family as a whole in a good light, but not his son, Patrick’s health. Powerful political families and families down any street in America are professionals at saying nothing.

Saying nothing is passivity in disguise and it is making a mess out of a lot of things including the statistics on child abuse in America today. We must become aware of the tactics that those who would harm our children use or those who would advocate for them. By learning these tactics we become better watchmen.

Passivity Breeds Chaos

Passivity Breeds Chaos

Passivity breeds chaos. This is a universal truth that we find throughout life in everything around us. A poorly maintained automobile will eventually provide the owner with much frustration, as it becomes less efficient and unreliable requiring replacement way before the same model that had been maintained. A neglected home will require very expensive repairs before one can live in it once again. Relationships suffer from neglect. Look at your marriage, what would your marriage look like if you did not communicate with your spouse but for fifteen minutes every three months for a few years?

Luke 10:30-37 – 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii[a] and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

Looking at Luke 10:30-37 who caused greater chaos for the man going from Jerusalem to Jericho? The priest and Levite made a decision to be passive in the situation and to not act as they passed on the other side of the road. The Samaritan, the one who chose to take action and be assertive had the most positive impact on the man who was robbed and injured. It is a common battle to fight passivity. Many are lulled into a passive state and do not even know it. This passive state opens these families up to

Genesis 3:1-7 – Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You[a] shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise,[b] she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.”

Men have been fighting passivity since the times of Genesis. We can go all the way back to Adam and see a man struggle with passivity. Adam did not step in and tell Eve that they needed to leave as the serpent was tempting her with the fruit. He stood there, watched and listened as she asked about the fruit, picked the fruit up and then took a bite of it. No protest from Adam is recorded in the Genesis account. Through Adam’s inaction sin came into the world. One does not have to have the news on long to see that we live in a fallen world.

Why is it so important to note that passivity is a challenge that men face? In the context of the Ezekiel 33 Project it is critical to understand that to be a good watchman that the luxury of being passive is not an option. Passivity is even described in Ezekiel 33:6.

But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.”

Can one that calls himself a watchman be a watchman at all if they see trouble coming and fail to speak up? What good is the security guard that does not alert others and then attempt to stop a thief from breaking into a warehouse in the middle of the night? Wouldn’t a security guard who did such a thing be considered an accomplice to the crime?