The Stockholm Syndrome

Freespeak (
Sun, 22 Mar 1998 15:58:14 -0700

x[Note: Earlier parts of the peme debate --
including the "peme rules" -- can be found
at: '#TL075: Pemes = Political Memes' --
and '#TL076: The Twilight of the Phobocrats' --
which are periodically updated.]

At 09:34 AM 3/22/98 +0000, Emily Sandblade <> wrote:
>Recently, on a cryptography list, there was a discussion
>about how a prisoner of a political system begins to accept
>that system, just as prisoners in extreme situations begin
>to identify with the prison guards. It is an act of survival
>on the part of the prisoner: by identifying with his captors,
>he can withstand the torture and violence that he is subject
>This well-identified mechanism, known as "The Stockholm
>Syndrome" may be readily used to explain why NSPIC becomes
>so deeply ingrained in the psyche of most individuals.

NSPIC = Neuro-Semantic Political Illusion Complex.
NSPIC consists of pemes (political memes) plus the
Peme Rules. See '#TL07E: NSPIC DEBATE #1' --
<> and
'#TL075: Pemes = Political Memes' --

>I believe that there are strong similarities between
>the cases of:
>[class 1] individuals in an overtly hostile situation,
>such as overt prisoner situation, and
>[class 2] those who live under a government where the
>immediate threat of violence is somewhat less apparent.
>These two classes are described as follows:
>Class 1: The individual's safety and life is at the
>mercy of cruel and unpredictable captors. The captors
>threaten to kill the individual and are perceived to
>be capable of doing so.
>Class 2: The individual perceives his safety and
>life to be at the mercy of unpredictable terrorcrats
>who may use violence to enforce their wishes. The
>terrorcrats threaten to kill, imprison, or take away
>everything valuable to the individual and are perceived
>to be capable of doing so.

"Terrorcrat" = terrorist bureaucrat or coercive political
agent -- usually written "terrocrat." Phobocrat is used
in the same sense.

>Class 1: The individual cannot escape.
>Class 2: The individual believes that he cannot escape.
>Class 1: The individual is isolated from support, or in
>the case of hostages, the knowledge that other people are
>trying to help them.
>Class 2: The individual is isolated from support, and
>discredits any support that he might see.
>Class 1: The captor shows kindness as well as violence,
>increasing the individual's sense of being totally
>dependent on the captor.
>Class 2: The bureaucrats show kindness as well
>as violence and unpredictability, increasing the
>individual's sense of being totally dependent
>on the government.
>In this syndrome, all the individual's attention is
>focused on survival. The individual clings to the
>captor because the captor has complete power over
>him. If the captor doesn't use this power, the
>individual feels grateful and in his mind the
>abuser becomes a good guy. The individual also
>knows that any expression of anger, resentment,
>or challenge to the captor's power will result
>in violence. (Sound familiar?)
>There are four stages in Stockholm syndrome:
>1. Disbelief and denial. "This isn't happening."
>The person refuses to believe the evidence that
>he sees.
>2. Acceptance. The person comes to identify
>with the captors/terrorcrats, and believes that
>his life depends on them.
>3. Escape/release from situation, accompanied
>by depression and post-traumatic stress. The
>individual is separated from the source of his
>identity, and feels lost without it. In addition,
>he may continue to identify with the former captor,
>going to such lengths as trying to defend the
>captor, and even re-entering the previous
>4. Integration of the experience; re-establishing
>personal identity; acknowledgement of the horror
>of the captor's acts.
>Stage 3 may be correlated with f-prime's description
>of some libertarians, who have managed to lose some
>of their "surface pemes," but are still have an
>intrinsic commitment to their captors.
>Stage 4 hints at potential processes to discover and
>release the deeper beliefs.
>How we burned in the prison camps later thinking: What
>would things have been like if every police operative,
>when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been
>uncertain whether he would return alive? If during
>periods of mass arrests people had not simply sat there
>in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the
>downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but
>had understood they had nothing to lose and had boldly
>set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen
>people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else
>was at hand? -- the organs would very quickly have
>suffered a shortage of officers -- and, notwithstanding
>all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have
>ground to a halt. -- Alexander Solzhenitsyn

This is a great contribution to understanding why so
many freedom lovers support the terrocrats at the
most fundamental or semantic level. Peme Rule 19:
"Whenever pro-freedom humans (secondary
peme purveyors) communicate -- although
they may question, attack, and expose a
few surface pemes -- they shall make a
special effort to use deep pemes in their
language -- in order to maximize peme
survival and propagation."

The word "government" is one of the most pernicious deep
pemes. The falsely-called "constitution" is a fraud, hoax,
and sham. The hucksters who masquerade as "president,"
"congressmen," etc. are liars and imposters. The false
notion that these terrocrats constitute "the government"
is central to NSPIC = Neuro-Semantic Political Illusion
Complex. To habitually call these phobocrats "government"
(using the word as if valid) is a lie, a gross and harmful
misrepresentation of reality.

To use the word "government" as if valid, is to conceal
the fact that the entire "political system" is a hoax,
fraud, and sham. It's a form of identifying with the

The power of terrocrats depends most fundamentally on
words such as "constitution," "government," "state,"
etc. not being challenged, i.e., using them as if valid.

(Caveat: Most people operate at a level such that it's
not appropriate to challenge the terrocrat lexicon in
their presence -- they'll simply think you're crazy
and you'll lose your audience. Great care needs to
be taken to challenge basic terrocrat words (deep
pemes) when it's appropriate to do so.)

Report '#TL50C: Bought-Into-The-System' expands on
several issues relevant to this topic. Interestingly,
it includes a section on "Identifying with the Enemy"
-- see <>.

Frederick Mann

"The [one] who knows what freedom is will find a way to be free."
-- Robert LeFevre
"We are free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it."
-- William Faulkner
"The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed."
-- Steve Biko
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