Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Adult Bullies

If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers.
- Thomas Pynchon, writer (1937- )

"They" are bullies, though they may wear suits. Like more traditional childhood bullies, their objective is to destroy the self esteem of their victim, to wreck their reputation and to irreparably damage any relitionships their victim may have developed.

They don't usually steal lunch money, beat up their victim behind a garage, hold their hands over the victim's mouth from behind so he can't breathe or make fun of his name or his family. Those are matters that children care about more than adults.

Some more socially maldeveloped bullies will use these tactics even as adults. From their hiding places they strike and run.

They want to harm without being caught. Political campaigns are favourite hangouts of these bullies, where they manage to find anything their victim has done that is less than perfect, or make up juicy tidbits if they can't find anything legitimate.

Or maybe they simply want you to ask the wrong questions, as Pynchon said. Maybe they want you to ask questions that they can answer with well manipulated facts that make you tend to think their way. These too are bullies.

When someone actively tries to sway our thinking to what they believe, it would serve us well to consider carefully the motives of that person. What does he have to gain?

What do we have to lose?

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to make the bullies easier to see.
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