Suggested Antidote and Treatment for Stockholm Syndrome Among Holocaust Survivors
In this piece, I’d like to present three extreme cases of Stockholm Syndrome that we have witnessed in the public eye and that have wrought destruction in society. The first is the case of Aaron Barak, former Head of the Israeli Supreme Court. The second is the case of Bernie Sanders. The third, and most extreme and destructive, is the case of George Soros.
All of these men are characterized by great intelligence and sensitivity – but not the requisite strength of moral fiber to fulfill the requirements of the positions of influence they have aspired to, and attained. They are all characterized by greater fear than love.
In numerous interviews throughout his career, Judge, if not Justice, Aaron Barak described the trauma and terror he experienced as a youth during the Holocaust. He has described how he thought that Christians were more moral than Jews during that era – an observation that is clearly more the fruit of his imagination than in line with reality. It is a statement of blaming the victim. Believing this, he developed a loathing and disgust for the Jews. Though he never admitted this openly, he probably could not admit it to himself; it can be seen in the fact that he made every excuse for not employing Jewish law in the justice system of Israel, even where such laws could have been applied such as they are, while others could have been reconsidered and revised to fit modern times while keeping to the moral Spirit of the Laws in accordance with the Morality of our Prophets (not many our Rabbis!). Barak claimed that the Jews in Israel are averse to employing Jewish law – even as he acted himself to engineer public opinion in Israel.
He commandeered the Israeli judicial system, pirated it really, and took it out of the sphere of influence within which courts must be relegated if we are to have healthy democracies. He was criticized for this by many jurists the world over.
Today, due to Judge Barak’s obsessive-compulsive efforts to control everything stemming from his overwhelming terror of everything, those who are not more moral than Judge Aaron Barak, but certainly far inferior to him intellectually, are trying to undo the damage he wrought to Israeli democracy by bloating his influence over the Supreme Court and the influence of the Supreme Court over Israeli policy-making, and decision-taking bodies. The efforts of the current Israeli government to ameliorate the damage Judge Barak caused to Democracy, are not ameliorating, but rather exacerbating, the problems because they are reacting to his policies and actions in resentment and from a position of feelings of one-down inferiority, rather than pro-acting in Wisdom.
The second tragic case of Stockholm Syndrome that I’d like to touch upon is Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders is quoted as saying the following during an interview on CNN: “I am very proud to be Jewish, and being Jewish is so much of what I am. Look, my father’s family was wiped out by Hitler in the Holocaust. I know about what crazy and radical, and extremist politics mean.”
Bernie Sanders was so terrified on the racism and bigotry that Donald Trump espoused, that he stubbornly refused to see that, having been a protégée of high-ranking KKK member Senator Robert Byrd; Hillary Clinton was every bit as bigoted as Trump and far more dangerous. However, Clinton was circumspect enough not to come right out and say racist things publicly – at least not in recent years. So, Bernie was able to delude himself that she isn’t a racist and isn’t a bigot, which he desperately needed to believe.
Bernie Sanders was not able to see that Hillary Clinton was, and remains, far more dangerous to the American public than Donald Trump only because the way she phrases things does not push his hot buttons. He cannot see dangers that do not push his private buttons.
As a result, he could not assess the political situation correctly and endorsed Hillary Clinton even after she and the DNC screwed and glued him, because, no matter what, he obsessively-compulsively rejected Donald Trump because Donald Trump, unlike Clinton, says what he thinks.
We have witnessed Bernie’s slavish, wholly irrational, self-harming and other-harming loyalty to the DNC despite his rhetoric. Bernie says we must stand up to power even as he acts out extreme fear of power. Bernie is terrified of brute, crude and blatant expressions of violence, while he doesn’t react nearly as strongly to sophisticated, subtle violence. His assessment of the relative dangers was completely incorrect. Bernie sabotaged his own campaign obediently.
Though he saw that the American people wanted him, not Hillary, for President; he was unable to get over the terror she and her henchmen aroused in him when they resorted to crude violence – which they are completely capable to doing without hesitation or moral inhibition. So long as they didn’t speak in bigoted, racist terms, Bernie wasn’t personally triggered to resist them – even in the face of brutal thuggery.
Bernie was not able to leverage the power of the masses behind him to fight Hillary. I don’t think he so much as considered doing so. He could not image, if need be for the good of America, and, by extension the world, renege on whatever promises of loyalty to the Democratic party had been extorted from him. He seemed to utterly forget that he had been an Independent most of his life. When he “signed on” with the Democrats, he became an irrationally loyal Democrat, though it was clear they were undermining his campaign in every way possible.
Our Bernie exhibited a number of inscrutable, self-destructive behaviors during the campaign that cannot be explained without understanding that he is another Jewish Holocaust survivor suffering from Stockholm syndrome. He freezes when he is made afraid, cannot assess the landscape rationally and correctly and becomes subservient to power in fact and in practice. Despite what his mouth may be saying, the rest of his body is subservient to power.
He failed the people who put blind faith in him because, being a victim of Stockholm syndrome, he identified with and is terrified of the people who were abusing him.
The most extreme and dangerous case of Stockholm Syndrome is that of George Soros. George Soros has openly said that the best and most exhilarating (those are the terms he used – “best” and “exhilarating”) year of his life was the year during which he, at the age of fourteen, accompanied his Nazi adopted father on his rounds expropriating Jews of their property – and their lives.
One can see that, despite the fact that he is famous for taking economic risks that would make most people feel ill and faint, he is a frightened and neurotic person wracked by his emotions. When the term ‘psychiatrist’ is mentioned in the interview he conducted with 60 MINUTES, he rolled his eyes upward in fear. It is clear that the idea of psychiatry frightens him – not because he is afraid that he will wind up in one of the psychiatric hell holes designated for the poor and those who are interrogated – but because he knows that he is stark raving mad.
Soros is wreaking havoc on the world and he needs treatment desperately.
The most salient pathological element of Stockholm syndrome, identification with the abuser, is also the key to antidote and treatment of Stockholm syndrome.
In all psychiatry it would do us well to understand that there is no such thing as “mental illness”. There is only moral illness and this includes those who are insane as a result of organic abnormalities and drugs.
All people who exhibit pathological behaviors and who suffer debilitating cognitive and affective states are morally ill, not mentally. If we insist upon the misnomer “mentally ill” we will not find antidotes and treatment of neurotic and psychotic symptoms.
The morally ill fall into three categories:
1) those who are Psychopaths are therefore make others suffer for enjoyment and other profits
2) those who have been driven to try to create an alternate reality because they cannot endure what a Psychopath, or a number of Psychopaths, have done to them
3) Those who are some (im)balance of both – these are the vast majority of the neurotic and psychotic.
In the case of Stockholm syndrome the identification with the enemy is actually rudimentary insight into a most profound truth – but not with the proper understanding. A person with Stockholm syndrome identifying with their abuser/s rightly perceives that their abusers are embodiments of their own shadow selves – but rather than embracing those personalities with identification in compassion and desire to heal and be healed; they are overcome with disgust, dread, terror and they lose their core personality.
People who suffer from Stockholm syndrome often blame the victim/s – themselves and others whom they saw suffer.
Victims are often blamed in Human societies when a crime occurs because we know, at bottom, that there is an underlying identity of the victim and the perpetrator exists – but we do not understand this principle deeply enough and with sufficient compassion to be able to feel appropriate (not foolishly sentimental!) compassion for both the victim and the perpetrator and heal each in accordance with their respective needs.
We are commanded to love our enemies as we love OurSelves because they are OurSelves. We are all looking at one meta-personality – Man – through the prism of our minds that is diffracting the image into what appears to be separate people.
We have to consider and then build societies and systems of education in which Children are taught the principle of accepting the Other as Self from the start of their lives.
Western society would be well advised to learn the Mayan teaching: “In Lak’ech Ala K’in”, which means I am you, and you are me or “You are another Me”.
A consciousness fully aware of that truth cannot hurt another, because it requires moral, not merely intellectual excellence to really experience that. There is no fear of sado-masochism among those who understand that all Others are their Selves because one has to be Wise and Kind and Loving to really see that. Therefore, the possibility of horrors like the Stockholm syndrome of obviated before they can begin in societies in which people cultivate the perception that we are all diffractions of one meta-personality.
Psychoses are very imperfect, pathological attempts to create alternative realities. Those alternate realities are born of fear and dread – and so they are born deformed. Humans have to (re)learn how to create alternate realities is a healthy way – not as an escape from an unbearable reality – but as an act of love and an ever-growing ability to create beauty.
We only develop that ability when we have attained the requisite moral level that allows us to appreciate they physical world deeply enough to understand how to change its nature.