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 The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation

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PostSubject: The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation   The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation EmptySun Nov 11, 2012 10:48 am

I was thinking a lot about the issues of entitlement including denial and how isolation contributes to this mind-set.

With the recent election in the US, we saw this clearly with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. According to news reports, they were both absolutely shell shocked that they lost the election. They were certain that they were destined to rule and their election was a done deal, set up - by heaven, God and the angels - they didn't say that, but my guess is that is what they privately believed. Romney is an extreme example of Mormon exceptionalism and upper class entitlement. Ryan is a right wing Catholic with a strong overlay of the toxic objectivism philosophy of Ayn Rand. Romney had not even drafted a concession speech for election night and had paid $25,000 in advance for fireworks to celebrate his ascension.

A few things about this. All the conventional polls showed these two clowns behind - for months, but they and their inner closed circle of true believers continued to say the polls were skewed, wrong, biased -- and in any case, Romney had zero doubt he would lose, so why worry about polls or "facts". So they created their own closed and alternative reality where no doubt or questioning was allowed. It was heretical to challenge. So in this isolation, there was a culture of denial.

In addition, both Romney and Rand deliberately deceived the public on their belief systems. Romney's true beliefs - based in his Mormonism - were completely hidden from the voters, recasting himself as a mainstream fundamentalist Christian - which he is not. And Ryan denied his long-term deep belief in Ayn Rand's philosophy - which - if you don't know about it -- basically sees most people as parasites and the ruling class are the creators, the makers - the industrialists, the billionaires, wall street, CEOS, the elite capitalists, and she envisioned a world with little government, where the wealthy great men are unencumbered by rules, regulations or oversight from the evil parasitic bureaucrats and masses of people. In Rand's philosophy, compassion, empathy, charity are abominations. The glorified selfish-ego is god.

So the Romney campaign had the qualities of a religious cult, living in it's own bubble. There was a lot of talk about Romney's comments about the 47% of Americans who he rejected as people who felt they were entitled to services, help, support - "takers" - in Rand's philosophy. This very conservative attitude sees most people as not worthy of attention, medical care or support or "special" rights - so Romney and Ryan and Ayn Rand -- all on the same page. What is startling of course is this pathological lack of compassion and empathy or caring from people who proclaim their Christianity. If people are poor, homeless, struggling - well, it's their own fault - they are the takers, the parasites, ignore them, forget about them. God is punishing them. It is all God's plan. They are on their own and if they can help themselves, fine, if not, not our problem. In any case, Jesus is coming back - in the Mormon beliefs - to rule for 1,000 years from his divine seat in Missouri (American exceptionalismt) so why worry about climate change or poverty or anything really?

We have had many other cases of entitlement and denial recently both in the U.S. and the U.K. Here, basketball coach Jerry Sandusky and his molesting boys at Penn State University - for decades. Talk about a mind-bubble. Authorities there knew, did nothing, the grand game of football, which is a huge religion in America, was way more important than some boys being molested. Not unlike the Catholic Church - extreme denial, entitlement, all existing in this closed bubble - where common people don't matter - in this case, the fact that these teenage boys lives were being messed up - not important. In these situations, the ordinary people are seen as dolls, as playthings, as servants or even slaves that can be sacrificed - serving their higher masters and the vast greater glorified institution / ideal - the game of football at Penn State or the Catholic Church or the guru. The sin is not in the doing - that is ignored - the main sin is getting caught AND it becoming public. Keep it quiet, demonize or silence those that try to speak out, and don't let it come into the light of day.

One point is how, in many of these cases, when the institutions or the leaders, assume this boss mentality (in the Enneagram system - that is point Eight or point One), people are generally treated - for all intents and purposes - as servants or slaves. These servants / followers just don't matter in the big picture and in daily life. They are there to serve, to adore, to provide services and support - financial, physical, sexual, military, whatever. Individually or collectively, they don't matter - not their feelings, their thoughts, their concerns, their health, their needs, their lives. What matters? The big story - of the great basketball team, the true church, the perfect master, the great leader - the big myth must be maintained at all costs. Don't mess with the story. And when someone tries to mess with the story, blame them - that's the biggest crime of all - undermining the great story.

Many gurus and religious leaders can turn their devoted followers into servants. Of course, we have the ideal relationship that is often celebrated, the devoted disciple who serves the teacher for years or decades, and this intimate relationship is often profound, a true mentorship situation. In many eastern traditions, being the close attendant to the master is the plum job. You are hoping to get more direct teaching, personal instruction. Being close means you are special. And with a sane and self-aware teacher, this could mostly be a positive relationship and of great value to the student. But in this ideal scenario, the teacher can be at time strict, but he/she is not abusive, and knows that the person is not a servant.

However, i have seen many examples where disciples are turned into servants, are treated harshly. It may have started out as mentorship and may still be seen in that light, but in reality, the close students, and sometimes all the students, are just there to serve and adore the teacher without any restrictions - and it is all seen as "karma yoga" - by definition. you are making great merit by serving such a being - at least, that's the story. Complain, and you are sent away and replaced by someone who will not complain. And since in many of these cases, the only way you can get enlightened is through the grace, direct intervention and in the presence of the teacher, being away from him means being cut off from the source of truth. That's a common Hindu / Inidian model. You get enlightened because the guru zaps you when he wants to, when you are ready - you cannot zap yourself. You cannot awaken yourself -- only through the grace and energy of the perfect master - through his touch, glance. So you need to be around him as much as possible and do whatever is asked and are constantly hoping and yearning that he will look at you - in that way - and banish all suffering and illuminate you on the spot. Of course, in that mindset, if the guru wants to have sex with you or molest you, so much the better -- more intimate connection and touching. We have talked about that con.

enough for now.

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PostSubject: Re: The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation   The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation EmptySun Nov 11, 2012 11:07 am

About the Romney campaign -- good example of extreme denial. There will undoubtedly be some books written about how wrong the campaign went, how they could all be so clueless -- and I think there will be much more discussion on the religious thinking behind Romney and Ryan and their unquestioned belief in their being anointed by God. (Also, Romney like the Bushes, grew up completely entitled, never experienced much loss or setbacks, for the most part created and dominated his universe.)

Adviser: Romney "shellshocked" by loss

BOSTON, MASS. Mitt Romney's campaign got its first hint something was wrong on the afternoon of Election Day, when state campaign workers on the ground began reporting huge turnout in areas favorable to President Obama: northeastern Ohio, northern Virginia, central Florida and Miami-Dade.

Then came the early exit polls that also were favorable to the president.

But it wasn't until the polls closed that concern turned into alarm. They expected North Carolina to be called early. It wasn't. They expected Pennsylvania to be up in the air all night; it went early for the President.

After Ohio went for Mr. Obama, it was over, but senior advisers say no one could process it.

"We went into the evening confident we had a good path to victory," said one senior adviser. "I don't think there was one person who saw this coming."

They just couldn't believe they had been so wrong. And maybe they weren't: There was Karl Rove on Fox saying Ohio wasn't settled, so campaign aides decided to wait. They didn't want to have to withdraw their concession, like Al Gore did in 2000, and they thought maybe the suburbs of Columbus and Cincinnati, which hadn't been reported, could make a difference.

But then came Colorado for the president and Florida also was looking tougher than anyone had imagined.

"We just felt, 'where's our path?'" said a senior adviser. "There wasn't one."

Romney then said what they knew: it was over. His personal assistant, Garrett Jackson, called his counterpart on Mr. Obama's staff, Marvin Nicholson. "Is your boss available?" Jackson asked.

Romney was stoic as he talked to the president, an aide said, but his wife Ann cried. Running mate Paul Ryan seemed genuinely shocked, the adviser said. Ryan's wife Janna also was shaken and cried softly.

"There's nothing worse than when you think you're going to win, and you don't," said another adviser. "It was like a sucker punch."

Their emotion was visible on their faces when they walked on stage after Romney finished his remarks, which Romney had hastily composed, knowing he had to say something.

Both wives looked stricken, and Ryan himself seemed grim. They all were thrust on that stage without understanding what had just happened.

"He was shellshocked," one adviser said of Romney.

Romney and his campaign had gone into the evening confident they had a good path to victory, for emotional and intellectual reasons. The huge and enthusiastic crowds in swing state after swing state in recent weeks - not only for Romney but also for Paul Ryan - bolstered what they believed intellectually: that Obama would not get the kind of turnout he had in 2008.

They thought intensity and enthusiasm were on their side this time - poll after poll showed Republicans were more motivated to vote than Democrats - and that would translate into votes for Romney.

As a result, they believed the public/media polls were skewed - they thought those polls oversampled Democrats and didn't reflect Republican enthusiasm. They based their own internal polls on turnout levels more favorable to Romney. That was a grave miscalculation, as they would see on election night.

Those assumptions drove their campaign strategy: their internal polling showed them leading in key states, so they decided to make a play for a broad victory: go to places like Pennsylvania while also playing it safe in the last two weeks.

Those assessments were wrong.They made three key miscalculations, in part because this race bucked historical trends:

1. They misread turnout. They expected it to be between 2004 and 2008 levels, with a plus-2 or plus-3 Democratic electorate, instead of plus-7 as it was in 2008. Their assumptions were wrong on both sides: The president's base turned out and Romney's did not. More African-Americans voted in Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida than in 2008. And fewer Republicans did: Romney got just over 2 million fewer votes than John McCain.

2. Independents. State polls showed Romney winning big among independents. Historically, any candidate polling that well among independents wins. But as it turned out, many of those independents were former Republicans who now self-identify as independents. The state polls weren't oversampling Democrats and undersampling Republicans - there just weren't as many Republicans this time because they were calling themselves independents.

3. Undecided voters. The perception is they always break for the challenger, since people know the incumbent and would have decided already if they were backing him. Romney was counting on that trend to continue. Instead, exit polls show Mr. Obama won among people who made up their minds on Election Day and in the few days before the election. So maybe Romney, after running for six years, was in the same position as the incumbent.

The campaign before the election had expressed confidence in its calculations, and insisted the Obama campaign, with its own confidence and a completely different analysis, was wrong. In the end, it the other way around.

"They were right," a Romney campaign senior adviser said of the Obama campaign's assessments. "And if they were right, we lose."
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PostSubject: Re: The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation   The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation EmptySun Nov 11, 2012 11:26 am

Here is another painful and clear example of institutional and cultural denial, the isolation of the BBC, the glorification of the celebrity / leader / great man, and blaming the victim. This is a very old story. Same circus, different clowns. Human nature in action.

November 10, 2012
Complaint Ignored for Decades Is Heard at Last in BBC Abuse Case

LONDON — No one listened to Deborah Cogger’s story. Not her teachers, who dismissed it as no big deal. Not her social worker, who accused her of making it up. Not the newspapers she called decades later, which said it was too explosive to publish.

It was not until this fall, nearly 40 years after she left a reform school in Surrey, England, that Ms. Cogger finally got anyone to believe her account of how she and other girls there were routinely molested by one of Britain’s most powerful celebrities, the eccentric, cigar-chomping television host Jimmy Savile.

“If you moaned about it, you were told not to say those awful things about Jimmy — ‘Oh, that’s just Jimmy, that’s his way; he loves you girls,’ ” said Ms. Cogger, 52. If you said he had touched your breasts, she added, “they’d say, ‘Don’t be wicked, he would never do that.’ ”

The revelation last month that Mr. Savile, who died last year, was most likely a child sex abuser with perhaps hundreds of victims has profoundly shocked a country that now acknowledges that all the signs were there, if anyone had cared to see them.

The disclosures have spurred a broad criminal inquiry involving numerous police departments and caused institutions, including schools, hospitals and the BBC, to investigate their ties to Mr. Savile. The disclosures have also provoked a crisis of management and responsibility inside the BBC and forced Prime Minister David Cameron to order two new inquiries into the handling of a sexual abuse scandal in Wales several years ago.

Hundreds of people have reported their own experiences to abuse hot lines. In addition, profound senses of discomfort and guilt were felt among those who knew, hired, admired, watched, welcomed, solicited charity from or cheerfully put young people in the path of Mr. Savile. And on Saturday, the chief executive of the BBC, George Entwistle, became the latest casualty, resigning after an uproar over a BBC program on the Wales scandal that wrongly implicated a former Conservative Party politician.

The disclosures have also highlighted how much Britain’s attitude toward sexual abuse has changed since Mr. Savile’s heyday, in the 1970s and ’80s, a time when it was not uncommon for women to be groped and harassed at work, and when show business celebrities openly leered at, if not preyed on, the teenage girls who idolized them.

“There was a massive cultural difference then,” said Donald Findlater, director of Stop It Now, which works to prevent child sex abuse. “We hadn’t really properly discovered child abuse yet.”

But, along with increasingly strict legislation, attitudes have swung drastically in the other direction — to a fault, some believe. In Britain, police background checks are now required of anyone working with children, including parents who volunteer in schools. Teachers are advised not to be alone with students and to be wary of touching them.

Some playgrounds refuse admission to adults without children. Some schools forbid parents to photograph sports events or plays, lest the pictures end up in the wrong places. In 2000, a tabloid antipedophile campaign led to vigilante attacks in which, at one point, a crowd confused the words pedophile and pediatrician and vandalized the home of an innocent doctor.

Given the current climate, it is hard to believe that Mr. Savile could have gotten away with so much for so long, even in a society burdened by collective, willful blindness. But the account of Ms. Cogger shows how for victims, the abuse was compounded by the realization that anyone who complained would be ignored, scoffed at or punished.

Ms. Cogger is not the only one from the reform school, the Duncroft Approved School for Girls, to have come forward with a tale of what Mr. Savile did and how he got away with it. At least six former students have told the British news media that Mr. Savile assaulted them in places that included his Rolls-Royce and the school’s dormitories, and in London on school-approved “treats.”

“Jimmy treated Duncroft like a pedophile sweet shop,” one former student, Toni Townsend, told The Daily Mirror.

In 2007, the Surrey police investigated Mr. Savile’s conduct at Duncroft, even detaining and questioning him. But he was never charged.

Duncroft, which closed in the 1980s — it is now a luxury apartment complex — was a privately run boarding school, operating under state control, for academically promising but unruly girls. Ms. Cogger was sent there in 1974, when she was 14.

Her childhood was chaotic. When she was 12, she explained in several telephone interviews, she overheard a shocking family secret: the woman she thought was her mother was actually her aunt. Ms. Cogger’s real mother, one of 13 children at home, had given birth at 15 and relinquished the baby to her older sister.

The disclosure sent her into a dark period. “I just kept running away,” Ms. Cogger said. “They put me in Duncroft because no one wanted me.”

She said the institution was in thrall to Mr. Savile, a wealthy benefactor whose money it depended on and whose picture was prominently displayed on its walls. The girls were encouraged to call him “Uncle Jimmy”; behind his back, they called him a perv.

When she arrived, she related, “they told me: ‘If he gets the chance, he’ll touch you up. He’ll put his hand up your skirt, his hand up your shirt, he’ll pinch your bum, he’ll stick his tongue down your throat.’ ”

Carrying armloads of records, cigarettes and candy to hand out, Mr. Savile would pull up in a huge car, greeted by a “little posse of the older girls,” Ms. Cogger said. He would have cocktails with the staff before being left free to roam the school — dormitories, recreation rooms, wherever. He seemed to have carte blanche.

He molested her twice, she said, once when he grabbed her around the waist with a surprisingly tough grip and pulled her backward onto his lap. “I was off balance, and then he just pressed really heavily on me and shoved his tongue down my throat,” she related. “I couldn’t get away from him. He was very strong and very forceful.”

The next time, he cornered her alone in the hall when she was on work duty, mopping the floor.

“He waved his hands at me and made this horrible noise, like ‘Woo, woo, woo,’ and he said, ‘My, you’ve grown.’ ” He then grabbed her breasts.

“I backed away from him” and told him to get away, Ms. Cogger said. “He just turned around and walked away. Nothing fazed him.”

His behavior was an open secret. “We all discussed it: ‘What did he do to you this time?’ ” Ms. Cogger recalled. But the school did not seem to care, and girls who complained were stripped of privileges. If they became hysterical, they were shut into a padded isolation room, sometimes for days, Ms. Cogger said, until they “calmed down and changed their mind.”

This month, The Daily Mail tracked down Duncroft’s longtime headmistress, Margaret Jones, 91, who said her students included “well-known delinquents” making “wild allegations.” A spokeswoman for the Home Office, which was responsible for supervising and inspecting Duncroft, said Friday that the agency would make no comment “while there’s an ongoing police investigation.”

Ms. Cogger did not tell any teachers. She did not tell her parents. When she told the social worker assigned to her case, she said, “he laughed at me and said, ‘Oh, come on, Deborah.’ He thought it was a tactic to try to get out.”

The experience preyed on her, she said, and several times over the years she called various newspapers and tried to talk about what happened.

“They just didn’t want to know,” she said.

This summer, though, a friend spotted an item in a newspaper mentioning Duncroft in connection with Mr. Savile. “I spoke to myself and said, ‘This time it’s going to come out,’ ” she said. In August, Ms. Cogger offered her story to The Sun, and this time the newspaper listened. “But they said, ‘It’s too controversial — we can’t touch it,’ ” she said.

Finally, the day before ITV, a British television network, broadcast the documentary that exposed the allegations against Mr. Savile, The Sun went ahead with an article about Ms. Cogger. But she is still haunted by what happened, and by the years of having to bear it alone.

“They pimped us out,” she said of the teachers at Duncroft. “He was a big, powerful man with a big voice, and we had no voices.”
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PostSubject: Re: The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation   The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation EmptySun Nov 11, 2012 11:34 am

denial and delusion....as the New York Times noted...... does this sound familiar?

October 9, 2012 - NYTimes Editorial
The Sandusky Rape Verdict

The case of Jerry Sandusky over the serial raping of young boys while a coach in Penn State’s football program ended Tuesday as it began: in denial and delusion. “In my heart, I know I did not do these alleged disgusting acts,” Mr. Sandusky said in a call from the jailhouse to the Pennsylvania State radio station Monday night. “My wife has been my only sex partner, and that was after marriage.”

Mr. Sandusky repeated the gist of that bloodcurdling statement on Tuesday before Judge John Cleland of the Centre County Court in Pennsylvania, who sentenced him to 30 to 60 years in prison on 45 convictions of raping, abusing and assaulting 10 boys over many years. University officials, including the former head coach Joe Paterno, looked the other way or covered up the crimes to protect a football program that brings in tens of millions of dollars a year.

“Before you blame me, as others have, look at everything and everybody,” Mr. Sandusky said. He claimed eight young men were motivated by “attention, financial gain, prestige” when they took the witness stand to describe acts of rape and abuse about which they had been so traumatized and ashamed that it took them many years to tell their stories. This, of course, is the man who was asked on television by Bob Costas if he was sexually attracted to young boys and had trouble denying it.

One of Mr. Sandusky’s victims was a young boy who was sodomized by Mr. Sandusky in the Penn State football shower room, according to testimony by Mike McQueary, a former assistant coach. Mr. McQueary did nothing to stop the attack. He reported it the next day to Mr. Paterno, who kept it from the police. Another was Mr. Sandusky’s adopted son, who did not testify in the trial but said later that he was sexually assaulted by his adoptive father.

Mr. Sandusky began his jailhouse statement by calling this “the worst loss of my life,” as if it were just another football game.

This is not the end of this case. Two other Penn State officials are facing criminal charges for not reporting the attacks, and Penn State has been fined and sanctioned by the N.C.A.A. and other collegiate football groups. The university board, to its credit, fired Mr. Paterno, who died early this year, and the college president at the time, Graham Spanier. The board commissioned Louis Freeh, the former F.B.I. director, to examine the university’s behavior, and he produced a [banned term] account of negligence, indifference and incompetence.

It’s not clear how Penn State intends to carry out Mr. Freeh’s recommendations. In a recent meeting at The Times, Karen Peetz, the chairwoman of the Penn State board of trustees, and Rodney Erickson, the current president, said they are “taking all recommendations under advisement” but indicated there were some — they would not say which — they might reject.

Ms. Peetz and Mr. Erickson did not deny the seriousness of the crimes or the catastrophic failures of management and leadership that were revealed. But they denied the obvious truth that football has been too dominant in Penn State’s culture, with terrible consequences. They said Penn State had not yet created the crime-reporting protocol that is required by federal law.

Asked about lessons Penn State has learned, Mr. Erickson said that “bad things can happen in good places” and child abuse happens everywhere. That is true, but has little relevance for Penn State.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation   The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation EmptySun Nov 11, 2012 11:52 am

I found this recent case of interest. I have known more than a few gurus and corporate leaders who did something quite similar, in terms of converting their employees or disciples into domestic servants - through fear. There is always some rationalization for the behavior of course, but when it comes out in the light of day, it looks to be as it is -- an extreme abuse or power.

This is also part of this entitlement delusion -- I am the dean, I am helping the college so much, I deserve much more than my salary - I deserve more staff, more support, more money. I AM THE COLLEGE.

Or as many gurus say in one way or another, I AM THE DHARMA. I AM THE BUDDHA. It is all about me and I deserve unlimited, infinite adoration, support, gifts, and so on. Sometimes it becomes quite concrete. I knew a guru who said that the only way she would be able to keep teaching her students and "stay in this human body" was if she was given lots of heavy gold jewelry. By wearing all this gold, it would keep her down here connected to the earth. It had to be gold, so her devotees spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on necklaces and bracelets, the more the better. They spent all their money buying her stuff like that. Rajneesh demanded Rolls Royces - and he had like one hundred of them. I knew another guru who demanded his own private island, as well as numerous mansions. This pharaoh / czar mentality of infinite entitlement can infect spiritual groups as well as nations.

November 6, 2012
Ex-Dean of St. John’s, on Trial for Stealing Over $1 Million, Is Found Dead at Home

Hers was the kind of rise through the academic ranks that could have epitomized the American dream, if not for the way she crashed. Fresh from Taiwan in 1975, she enrolled at St. John’s University as a student in Asian studies, becoming a dean in just five years and, soon after, winning the ear of the university’s top echelon as she raised more than $20 million for the school.

But the dean, Cecilia Chang, fought her way up driven by the same ambition and greed that would pull her down, accused of stealing more than $1 million from the school and using foreign scholarship students as her personal servants, prosecutors said during a three-week trial in Federal District Court in Brooklyn.

Hours after Dr. Chang took the stand in a desperate attempt to try to explain her actions, she was found dead in her multimillion-dollar home in Queens, one of the prizes of her swift ascent. Investigators said they believed she had committed suicide.

Dr. Chang’s lawyers had tried to reach her on Tuesday, and when they could not, they called her son and suggested he call the police. He did, and officers entered the home and discovered her body.

The beginning of the end came in 2010, when Dr. Chang was arrested and charged in the case. Prosecutors said she had used her position to recruit students to the school, promising them scholarships but threatening to expel them if they did not perform her household chores, including washing her underwear by hand.

They said she had created bank accounts in the students’ names, shuffling around tens of thousands of dollars that would ultimately end up in her pocket.

The government assembled a case so strong that Dr. Chang’s lawyers could hardly offer a defense in opening statements. She had taken the money, her lawyer said, but it was owed to her. The students had performed her chores, but not under duress.

Prosecutors called students and university officials to the stand, and they piled mounds of incriminating evidence atop Dr. Chang. She took the stand in her own defense, against the advice of her lawyers, providing the only defense evidence offered before her death. The presiding judge in the case, Sterling Johnson Jr., declared a mistrial after her death was confirmed.

The case was a reminder that trials are often where human dramas play out writ small. A courtroom tends to be an orderly, civilized place where jurors hear testimony about things that happened in the past. But beyond the metal detectors and the security guards, life can be much more grisly.

Dr. Chang’s defense lawyers released a statement on Tuesday. “Cecilia Chang dedicated 30 years of her life to St. John’s University,” it said. “She was a prolific fund-raiser and tireless advocate for her beloved Asian Studies Program at the University. Her death today is a sad ending to a complex human drama.”

Dominic Scianna, a spokesman for the university, said: “St. John’s University was saddened to learn this morning of the death of Cecilia Chang. We ask the entire St. John’s community to pray for her and her family.”

Separately, Judge Johnson, known for filling his sixth floor courtroom with levity, did not scale back when the news turned grim.

“Sayonara,” Judge Johnson said, adding that Dr. Chang had gotten everything off her chest in the previous day’s testimony. “We never know how an individual handles the pressure.” He called the turn of events a “Shakespearean tragedy.”

At one point, the prosecutors hugged each other and the investigators in the case.

As the drama unfolded in the courtroom, Dr. Chang’s son, Steven, the subject of much courtroom testimony about the chores his mother’s students had performed for him, was outside of his mother’s house, prevented from entering by the police.

The court was waiting to hear from the police about whether the son had seen the body. The judge was satisfied that she had killed herself after the police said they had shown a photo of Dr. Chang to a neighbor, who said it was her.

The judge did not immediately inform the jurors of what happened, keeping them in a separate room until the death was confirmed. In private, he told them, “Dr. Chang is no longer with us,” according to several jurors who were present at the conversation.

All said the news came as a surprise.

“My first thought was that she fled the country,” said a juror from Nassau County who did not want to give his full name.

“We’re shocked,” said Joan Bophy, a juror from Staten Island. “And it’s a shame. She probably punished herself more than anybody would.”

Some said she did not look right and thought it strange that she had seemed to implicate herself in her testimony.

“You could see she was stressed, really stressed,” Ms. Bophy said. “She was digging herself a deeper hole.”

Some learned for the first time about an article in The Daily News on Monday reporting that Dr. Chang was a suspect in her husband’s murder more than 20 years ago.

A person with knowledge of that case said that after they were divorced, Dr. Chang’s husband was shot and lived for 10 days before dying. He told investigators before he died that he recognized the person who shot him, and said his wife must have paid the person to do it.

Detectives were unable to corroborate his statement, which alone was not sufficient to support a case, and she was thus never charged. Dr. Chang saw the report before she testified.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation   The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation EmptySun Nov 11, 2012 11:53 am

Jcbaran wrote:

So the Romney campaign had the qualities of a religious cult, living in it's own bubble. There was a lot of talk about Romney's comments about the 47% of Americans who he rejected as people who felt they were entitled to services, help, support - "takers" - in Rand's philosophy. This very conservative attitude sees most people as not worthy of attention, medical care or support or "special" rights - so Romney and Ryan and Ayn Rand -- all on the same page. What is startling of course is this pathological lack of compassion and empathy or caring from people who proclaim their Christianity.

All very apropos Josh, but what I find amazing is how many people continued to support Romney/Ryan after the "47% video" was leaked. I figure a great many republicans were part of the 47% Romney referred to, yet they didn't seem to notice. It is really all of these people who are happy to be subservient and don't even perceive being insulted that make the likes of Romney and Ryan possible.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation   The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation EmptySun Nov 11, 2012 12:16 pm

from CNN:

My Take: Penn State’s dark fellowship

Editor's Note: Joseph Loconte, Ph.D., is an associate professor of history at the King’s College in New York City and the author of The Searchers: A Quest for Faith in the Valley of Doubt.

By Joseph Loconte, Special to CNN

(CNN)–The results of the investigation into the sexual abuse scandal at Penn State University, released last week, suggest a crisis of conscience in the academy. The report blames “the most powerful leaders at the university” for concealing vital facts about football coach Jerry Sandusky’s chronic record of child abuse. Singled out are university President Graham Spanier, Athletic Director Tim Curley, Vice President Gary Schultz, and head Coach Joe Paterno. “Our most saddening and sobering finding,” the report said, “is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State.”

Last month Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse, including rape and sodomy. If the investigation’s conclusions are correct, he had help. It seems that all these individuals, men of public achievement and outward propriety, conspired together to protect a serial pedophile. How is it possible?

An intense desire to shield the reputation of the school, a jealous regard for its venerable football tradition, a determination to avoid the financial fallout of a sex scandal—these are the usual suspects, and they all played a part in this criminal episode. Yet even taken together they don’t fully explain the alleged conspiracy of silence.

In their 162-page report, investigators said that “a culture of reverence” for the football program contributed to the abuse and its cover-up. This “culture of reverence,” in fact, functioned more like a quasi-religious cult than a college football program. At Penn State—as well as at other competitive football schools—we find the secular equivalent of high priests, holy rituals, secret initiations, unquestioned dogmas and fanatically devoted followers.

And, like any religious cult, there is a sanctified hierarchy: a cadre of elite who stand guard at the temple to protect its power and prestige—and its darkest secrets. They are individuals who, once welcomed into this fellowship, will not break faith with one another.

Christian author C.S. Lewis called this dynamic “the Inner Ring.” Based on his own experience at Oxford and Cambridge universities, Lewis discerned a powerful desire to enter these elite societies, to experience “the delicious sense of secret intimacy.” He described an equally potent fear of being shut out of the inner ring and, once admitted, to close ranks at the first sign of trouble.

In book three of Lewis’s space trilogy, "That Hideous Strength," we watch the moral descent of Mark Studdock, a university professor who comes under the influence of the N.I.C.E. (National Institute of Coordinated Experiments). The leaders of the N.I.C.E want to distract attention from their wicked machinations in the town of Edgetow. In an effort to consolidate their stranglehold over the community, they ask Studdock, a writer who craves their approval and acceptance, to fabricate a newspaper story.

“This was the first thing Mark had been asked to do which he himself, before he did it, clearly knew to be criminal. But the moment of his consent almost escaped his notice; certainly, there was no struggle, no sense of turning a corner,” Lewis writes. “For him, it all slipped past in a chatter of laughter, of that intimate laughter between fellow professionals, which of all earthly powers is strongest to make men do very bad things before they are yet, individually, very bad men.”

It now appears that the circle of leadership at Penn State, not unlike the N.I.C.E., was ruthlessly devoted to its vision of glory: a secular mission that took on the righteous urgency of a religious cause. The cult of football, like any other cult, not only produces heroes and saints. It creates hypocrites and charlatans.

None of the men implicated in the scandal at Penn State began his career determined to abandon his most basic moral obligations: to protect children from physical and sexual abuse. And, yet, the report found “a striking lack of empathy for child abuse victims by the most senior leaders of the university.” How could it happen? It probably happened in “a chatter of laughter,” in that dark fellowship that invites decent men to quietly condone the most indecent of acts against their neighbors.

If the report’s findings are true, the inner ring at Penn State manipulated a power structure that made dissent costly. University janitors, who knew what was happening to the children, reportedly kept quiet for fear of reprisals. “They were afraid to take on the football program,” said Louis Freeh, the former FBI director who led the investigation. “If that’s the culture on the bottom, then God help the culture at the top.”

The great tragedy here is that God and his moral law were excluded from the culture at the top. If that culture is to change, it will require more than tough talk and secular therapy. Maybe it’s time to recall that the God of the Bible is portrayed as the great defender of society’s weakest and most vulnerable. Jesus showed a special regard for children—a countercultural quality in his day—and admonished his followers about taking advantage of them.

His stern warning, repeated several times in the gospels, might serve as a moral signpost for coaches everywhere: “It would be better to be thrown into the sea with a millstone hung around your neck than to cause one of these little ones to fall into sin.”

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Joseph Loconte.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation   The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation EmptyMon Nov 12, 2012 10:24 am

Thank you Josh for another absorbing post.

I am particularly interested and horrified by the Romney fanaticism/denial paradigm.It Venn -Sets chillingly with the diagnostic criteria for psychopathy in traditional psychiatry.The psychopath is said to deny reality,have no regard or compassion,have an inflated sense of entitilement and bizarre delusional belief systems.

The link to news stories about sexual violence is well made.(I am averse to the phrase "sexual abuse" by the way.Sexual violence is just that :violence)

Thanks again.I may post again with more thoughts .It is good to establish forums for such thinking and debate as the news media mash things up so quick these days .Slow thinking,that is what we need!


Ikuko as maisie field
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PostSubject: Re: The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation   The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation EmptyMon Nov 12, 2012 12:37 pm

Cult mentality kept Penn State in denial Guest viewpoint
Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 - registerguard.com

In State College, Pa., there has been shock, denial and sadness. The deep emotional response followed public disclosures of Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno’s failure to inform proper authorities about a former staff member who had molested children.

The atmosphere eerily resembled the immediate aftermath of President John F. Kennedy’s death, as football fans across the nation grieved along with Penn State’s students and alumni. In both cases, millions of Americans lost someone who was larger than life.

The president and the coach were both charismatic leaders who influenced the lives of people who never met them. The importance of Kennedy’s death absolutely eclipsed Paterno’s fall from grace, but each event triggered collective mourning.

Charisma is a dynamic combination of followers’ need for someone to admire and a leader’s extraordinary ability. Paterno acquired both close and distant followers who enabled him to put aside a moral obligation. He was the leader of a cult — a small culture that insulated its founder and his inner circle from the consequences of their decisions.

Admirers hover around the edge of every successful cult. Enthusiastic fans saw Paterno as a benevolent father, nicknaming him “JoePa,” and, like Kennedy, Paterno seemed to embody national values of hard work, dedication and concern with the greater good.

Coach Paterno somehow symbolized what was best about America and implicitly promised that he could help people lead better lives. He showed his finest qualities to outsiders, concealing his irrational outbursts and increasing physical infirmity.

When the Pennsylvania state grand jury’s [banned term] report became public, many fans denied the facts. Students held vigils and demonstrated to show their support for Paterno, and national colleagues leapt to his defense.

However, growing recognition of the magnitude of horrific sexual abuse and Paterno’s apparent involvement in the cover-ups has moved most of these supporters from denial and anger at the accusers to sad rejection of the Cult of Joe.

Nevertheless, a number of university administrators, assistant coaches and other Penn State employees are still trapped within the cult. Those who had routine contact with Paterno revered him as a symbol of their university and its football program. They also feared for their jobs if they crossed him. They shielded the coach from external criticism for decades and helped him conceal the sexual crimes that Jerry Sandusky is accused of committing.

The grand jury report describes chilling complicity across the campus. Dozens of insiders suspected or knew about the predator, but they had everything to gain from ignoring it. Paterno could make life better or much worse for anyone employed by Penn State — from President Graham Spanier down to Jay Witherite, a janitorial supervisor who had listened to reports alleging rape in the showers of the massive athletic complex.

Paterno was an extraordinary charismatic figure at the center of the storm. However, like other charismatics whose small cultures thrive through the efforts of loyal lieutenants, he came to see himself as infallible.

The coach sometimes rethought small decisions, but he ultimately trusted his own judgment alone, while his loving and ambitious inner circle supported his grandiosity. This was the isolated culture that nurtured and ultimately helped destroy Paterno’s legacy.

No one was willing to seriously confront his authority and jeopardize the tremendous football program that he built.

Mike McQueary, the 28-year-old graduate football assistant who claims to have witnessed Sandusky rape a boy in 2002, appears to have taken eight years to discuss it with anyone who was not in some way associated with Joe’s cult.

First, he went to his own father, next to Paterno, and then he talked with various university officials who had reassured him that everything would be OK. He wanted to believe them — and, for many years, he did.

This part of the story bears some distressing similarities to descriptions of the more than 900 deaths in Jonestown, Guyana, in 1978. Jim Jones also created a tight circle of staff and supporters who revered and protected him.

All charismatic leaders, good, or bad or mixed, construct their own realities, especially within their inner circles.

Many people have speculated about why McQueary failed to actively intervene and stop Sandusky from molesting a child or reporting him to the police.

More than 30 years ago, people also asked why no one stepped forward to turn over the vats of cyanide-laced Kool-Aid that killed hundreds of devotees in Guyana.

The power of charisma, the dance of individual talent and collective dependence on leaders, can be empowering, but it is more often paralyzing and deeply destructive.

Marion Goldman is a professor of sociology and religious studies at the University of Oregon, where she studies religious movements, including cults, and religious violence. Her new book “The American Soul Rush: Esalen and the Rise of Spiritual Privilege” will be published early next year.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation   The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation EmptyMon Nov 12, 2012 1:32 pm

Op-Ed - Los Angeles Times

For Pennsylvanians, Penn State football was a revered, life-changing institution, one most people would never dream of questioning.
November 13, 2011|By Shawn Hubler

I grew up in central Pennsylvania, steeped in the myth of Penn State football. I was 4 when I learned the alma mater. By the time I was 10, I knew every player's number and name. Every Saturday that there was a home game, we'd drive an hour from our tiny town "over the mountain," as my father called it, and sit high in the stands, in rain, snow or autumn sunshine. We'd do this cheer: "We are! Penn State!" The stadium would thunder. My parents had not even gone to college, but they'd yell it until their throats ached. Often, my mother would bring along her rosary beads.

"Worship" is not a strong enough word for the way we felt about Joe Paterno. Our regard for him was unquestioning. For one thing, he was Italian, like my mother. But the main thing, in our eyes, was that he was "classy." That was the word my parents used, always. The coach never bragged. He never gloated. He didn't put up with undignified antics. He made sure his players got a good education, like his, and were set for a life beyond football.

This was no small thing. That part of the country was, even then, nobody's job magnet, and as the years passed, the university only became more dominant as an economic engine. Penn State was the way to success, and, we felt, there was no greater success than to end up like Paterno — good family, good work ethic, accomplishment in something of value. And Penn State football was very much "of value." It could lift a young man up and out from a place like ours to a finer life and destination, and turn him into the kind of person we each wanted to be.

So I went to Penn State when I graduated from my small, rural high school. My parents were overjoyed. When I brought home a football player my freshman year, they were so thrilled that they took him on vacation with us. He was a second stringer who knew he'd never play professional sports, but he nonetheless felt that Paterno had changed his life forever. My parents treated him with a deference that didn't surprise me. That was how it was — the Nittany Lions were royalty.

Then, the year I turned 20, I started asking questions. One night, my roommate — a wisecracking scholarship kid from Philadelphia — asked me why the "white people around here" were so hung up on some game played by "no-neck blockheads." I tried to explain about Paterno and class and character in sports and what it all meant. She just rolled her eyes.

I tried to shake off the conversation, but her words vexed me. Who did she think she was, anyway? This was an institution. How dare she disrespect it? There were good guys and bad guys. A right way and a wrong way. And if you could question the rightness of this one excellent thing we had all believed in forever, what else might you question? Where else might true colors shade to gray?

But the seed had been planted. Suddenly I couldn't stop noticing my own deference to athletes — the way I'd overlook the superior attitude they took around my male friends who weren't athletic, the way they got dibs on the easy classes while the rest of us pulled all-nighters and never complained. The way I'd listen, rapt, to their sports homilies, like a geisha. I began to distance myself from football. I started hanging around with pre-med students, pot smokers, Young Republicans, kids who majored in economics, kids of other ethnicities, foreign kids.

It dawned on me that Penn State had whole other facets, that maybe I had been missing out on what it really meant to be part of a university. One day, a new friend — an artistic kid whose parents lived, of all places, in California — casually questioned the community's reverence for sports, and something snapped in me. I told my parents I wouldn't be needing my season tickets. We got into a blistering argument, and I think I said something about no longer believing in "the cult of football."

I remember feeling, as I spoke up, that this was an act of betrayal, not to football, exactly, but to a worldview that was dear to people who had lifted me up to a possibility of a finer life and finer destinations. For years afterward, I couldn't hear the voice of a sports announcer without feeling that I had rejected something I could never get back, that I had gone over the mountain and returned, classless, to despise my loved ones' ideals.

More than three decades have passed since I left Pennsylvania. I live, of all places, in California now. I have tried, this week, to explain to friends here how good people could be so blinded by loyalty that unspeakable acts might transpire, right before them, and still feel unable to ask the obvious questions. I've tried to explain my own mixed feelings to myself.

Yes, I have told them, Paterno really was a great coach. Yes, he really did force kids to study for hours every night in the library, where he and his assistants could track them down. Yes, he really did change the lives of his players. And yes, as the decades passed, the belief in the essential superiority of the man and his program really did grow to the point that it ceased to be a good thing, to the point that maybe even he was afraid to wonder about it, lest the gray areas take on a life of their own.

Back home, my friends and relatives are heartsick. Those poor children, they say. That poor old Italian man, so frail now in his doorway, so seemingly betrayed by the sick underling that everyone suddenly seems to have forgotten. How could this have happened? Did they not know good guys from bad guys? What became of that excellent thing we had all believed in forever?

So many questions. It's hard to ask questions. But that's what happens when something forces you to see clearly. You open your eyes, and there you are — over the mountain, where nothing will ever look the same.

Shawn Hubler, a former Times staff writer, is a freelance journalist.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation   The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation EmptyMon Nov 12, 2012 1:38 pm

Dorothy Cummings McLean is a Canadian writer living abroad. She recently published her book "Seraphic Singles". Dorothy has an MA in English literature from the University of Toronto, an M.Div./STB from Regis College and spent two years in doctoral studies in theology at Boston College.

Wednesday, 31 October 2

The cult of personality can come with blinders
Written by Dorothy Cummings McLean - from the Catholic Register

Sir Jimmy Savile (1926-2011) was an institution, one of Britain’s most beloved celebrities. He began his career in British media in 1964 as a radio DJ with the BBC, then as a television personality. He was the star of a children’s TV show called Jim’ll Fix It, in which he made the dreams of children come true, and a presenter on Top of the Pops, which featured the performances of the most popular rock bands. My Scottish husband watched Jim’ll Fix It as a child. We watch reruns of Top of the Pops together.

A self-described devout Catholic, Savile had a reputation for piety, charity and lovably zany behaviour. Kids and teenage girls flocked to him. He visited the sick and even had his own office at the famous, high-security psychiatric institution Broadmoor Hospital. He frequently visited a school for troubled girls and a childrens’ home. He was pals with princes, princesses and prime ministers. He raised £40 million for charities. He was knighted in 1990. When Savile died, a columnist in England’s Catholic Herald complained that the media accolades hadn’t mentioned that the nation’s treasure was a Catholic.

They also neglected to mention that Savile was a sex abuser. There had been rumours at the BBC for decades that Savile was bedding underage girls, but the one time he was asked about them officially, he denied the allegations and the matter was dropped. Soon after his death, a team of BBC journalists followed up the rumours and interviewed people who claimed to have been molested by Savile in the 1960s and 1970s. Their boss shelved the documentary and the BBC ran a Boxing Day tribute to its late star. Rival station ITV broadcast its own expose on Savile’s alleged crimes last month.

The UK is in an uproar, and watching the BBC report on itself is surreal. Only now are people asking why Savile had so much access to vulnerable young people in the BBC studios, on the road, in children’s homes, in special schools and in hospitals. Authorities are insisting that they didn’t know about the abuse. Fellow DJs are muttering that they knew, but they didn’t think they would be believed, or that sex with underage girls was part of the culture of the 1970s. And, amazingly, it turns out that Savile hinted in his own autobiographies of his sexual misdeeds. Joking about his lustfulness was part of his zany routine. Savile had been hiding in plain sight.

People don’t want to believe that their heroes — people who make dreams come true, people who raise millions for charity, people who bring in the highest ratings, people who sell the most tickets — are capable of the sexual abuse of vulnerable people. But the sad fact is that some people who appear to be very good, who care very much about the sick and the young, use their personae as zany, funny, generous people to get access to vulnerable people. They wriggle their way into trusted institutions and use the reflected glory to attract victims. And in return, the trusted institutions do what they can to preserve their reputation — either ignore or deny a problem, or cover it up.

What the Savile scandal illustrates, as did the Penn State scandal in the United States, is that sexual abuse and the reluctance of an institution to appropriately deal with the problem is not merely the problem of religious communities but of institutions in general. Institutions have to recognize that it is in the nature of an institution — whether it is a family, a university department, a television station, a national icon — to preserve itself at any cost. They must transform that nature so that it puts the good of vulnerable people first.

It also illustrates that the trust people put in celebrities can be unwise and misplaced. We must resist being so beglamoured by someone’s celebrity or position in a community that we allow them to break rules or to behave in an eccentric way, when their eccentricities include being unkind or abusive to vulnerable people. We must not excuse the hurtful behaviour of friends with a sigh and “That’s just Jim.” Everyone is responsible for the protection of the vulnerable.

And, finally, it illustrates that among the pious and devout are people who use their piety and devotion as a disguise or even to make deals with God. When decades ago someone asked Savile how he, a devout Catholic layman, could have sex with teenage girls, Savile said he had a deal with God. The deal was that because Jimmy did so much for charity, God would overlook his sexual behaviour. There is absolutely no excuse for a Catholic to think this way, and priests and schools are duty-bound to make sure we don’t.
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PostSubject: Re: The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation   The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation EmptyTue Nov 13, 2012 10:35 am

When I bump into more examples of bubble thinking, I will post them. To me, these stories and examples and scandals are all mirrors that reflect back how human nature operates - within "elite" organizations, with "special" leaders who often feel they are more than human, better than the masses of people, exempt from accountability, not subject to ethics or conventional morality, can do whatever they like and treat people with disrespect.

Yes, many of these stories involve sexual exploitation, but I think the vastly greater behavior is emotional, social and verbal abuse, harsh language and treatment and domination, excessive use of power and control, and so on. Just because a leader / boss / guru didn't sexually molest his employees or followers or physically beat them, doesn't mean they weren't mistreated and taken advantage of. Everyone is accountable, regardless of their rank, title, colors of their hats and robes, size of their bank account, or the rationalizations they weave about how their behavior is for the good of others, is blessed by divine forces, has been done for thousands of years.

November 12, 2012
Concern Grows Over Top Military Officers’ Ethics

WASHINGTON — Along with a steady diet of books on leadership and management, the reading list at military “charm schools” that groom officers for ascending to general or admiral includes an essay, “The Bathsheba Syndrome: The Ethical Failure of Successful Leaders,” that recalls the moral failure of the Old Testament’s King David, who ordered a soldier on a mission of certain death — solely for the chance to take his wife, Bathsheba.

The not-so-subtle message: Be careful out there, and act better.

Despite the warnings, a worrisomely large number of senior officers have been investigated and even fired for poor judgment, malfeasance and sexual improprieties or sexual violence — and that is just in the last year.

Gen. William Ward of the Army, known as Kip, the first officer to open the new Africa Command, came under scrutiny for allegations of misusing tens of thousands of government dollars for travel and lodging.

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair, a former deputy commander of the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan, is confronting the military equivalent of a grand jury to decide whether he should stand trial for adultery, sexual misconduct and forcible sodomy, stemming from relationships with five women.

James H. Johnson III, a former commander of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, was expelled from the Army, fined and reduced in rank to lieutenant colonel from colonel after being convicted of bigamy and fraud stemming from an improper relationship with an Iraqi woman and business dealings with her family.

The Air Force is struggling to recover from a scandal at its basic training center at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, where six male instructors were charged with crimes including rape and adultery after female recruits told of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

In the Navy, Rear Adm. Charles M. Gaouette was relieved of command of the Stennis aircraft carrier strike group — remarkably while the task force was deployed in the Middle East. Officials said that the move was ordered after “inappropriate leadership judgment.” No other details were given.

While there is no evidence that David H. Petraeus had an extramarital affair while serving as one of the nation’s most celebrated generals, his resignation last week as director of the Central Intelligence Agency — a job President Obama said he could take only if he left the Army — was the latest sobering reminder of the kind of inappropriate behavior that has cast a shadow over the military’s highest ranks.

The episodes have prompted concern that something may be broken, or at least fractured, across the military’s culture of leadership. Some wonder whether its top officers have forgotten the lessons of Bathsheba: The crown of command should not be worn with arrogance, and while rank has its privileges, remember that infallibility and entitlement are not among them.

David S. Maxwell, a retired Army colonel now serving as associate director for security studies at Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, said that the instances of failed or flawed leadership “are tragic and serious,” but that he doubts there are more today, on a relative scale, than in the past.

Mr. Maxwell noted that Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt, both wartime presidents, fired many more generals than Presidents George W. Bush or Obama. “These general and flag officers are humans,” he said. “Faced with stress, and a very complex combat environment, people make mistakes. These incidents do not represent the vast majority of our senior leaders.”

Like the troops, wartime commanders are separated from family for long periods, and the weight of responsibility — in a business where the metric of failure is a body bag, not the bottom line — bears heavily.

Still, with drivers and staff, private quarters and guaranteed hot meals, the lifestyle of the top echelon of commanders on the battlefield offers a significant buffer from the hourly rigors of frontline combat endured by the troops. So explanations differ for the lapses.

Paul V. Kane, a Marine Corps Reserve gunnery sergeant who is an Iraq veteran and former fellow of Harvard University’s International Security Program, believes the military is not the only institution facing a problem. “The country is suffering a crisis of leadership — in politics, in business and in the church, as well as in the military,” he said. “We have lots of leaders, but we have a national deficit in true leadership.”

He acknowledged that the post-9/11 stress on the military, from enlisted personnel to commanders, has fractured the very souls of people in uniform. “When you pull people out of family life, repeatedly, over the course of a decade, you are going to fray their most basic relationships with spouses, with children, with their own personal code,” Mr. Kane said.

Other national security experts warn that a decade of conflict shouldered by an all-volunteer force has separated those in uniform — about 1 percent of society — from the rest of the citizenry. Such a “military apart” is not healthy for the nation because the fighting force may begin to believe it operates under rules that are different from those the rest of civilian society follows, and perhaps with a separate set of benefits, as well.

“Our military is holding itself to a higher standard than the rest of American society,” said Kori N. Schake, an associate professor at West Point who has held senior policy positions at the Departments of State and Defense.

“That is beautiful and noble,” she added. “But it’s also disconcerting. Sometimes military people talk about being a Praetorian Guard at our national bacchanal. That’s actually quite dangerous for them to consider themselves different and better.”

In extreme cases, say some military officers and Pentagon officials, the result of this “military apart” is that commanders may come to view their sacrifice as earning them the right to disregard rules of conduct.

They note that if anything positive emerges from an era of increased scrutiny of misbehavior, it will be an invigorated effort to hold the officer corps to account for the way troops are led in combat, for the way the treasury is spent, for the way military leaders wear the mask of command.

And they warn that the problem may get worse before it gets better. While most of the more notable improprieties have been alleged against officers of the ground forces, the Navy, which has not been the fulcrum of the wars of the last decade, is also showing strain. A study by the Navy Times found more than 20 commanding officers were fired this year for inappropriate behavior and misconduct.

“The Navy’s time in the stress tester is coming,” said Peter D. Feaver, a professor of political science at Duke University. “The number of ships is dropping. The number of tours will increase. Reliance on the Navy instead of the Army to back up foreign policy will become greater over the next decade than the last. If the Navy is cracking under a past decade of strain, what will it mean for the Navy when it is in the hot seat?”

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PostSubject: Re: The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation   The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation EmptyTue Nov 13, 2012 10:42 am

The Bathsheba Syndrome

The story of David and Bathsheba is well known in both Old Testament and Torah accounts. King David is described as an able, charismatic leader of high moral character with strong organizational skills and a brilliant strategic vision for his country.

The Bathsheba Syndrome: The Ethical Failure of Successful Leaders

David’s failings as a leader were dramatic by any standard. They included an affair, and in his attempt to cover it up, the corruption of other leaders, deception, drunkenness, murder, the loss of innocent lives, and a “we beat the system” attitude when he thought he had hidden his crimes. The good, bright, successful, visionary king was nearly destroyed because he could not control his desire for something he knew was wrong for him to have—Bathsheba, the beautiful wife of his military commander. This led to his traumatic failure as a leader and moral crisis as a man.

Authors Dean Ludwig and Clinton Longnecker’s finding is that principle is abandoned more often in the wake of success than in the face of competitive pressure. So, why, the writers ask, are success and ethical failure related? The authors examine the four dynamics of success that can lead to ethical failure.

1. Personal and organization success often leads to complacency and loss of focus and thus diversion of attention to non-company pursuits.
How often have we seen executives lead their companies to the top with displays of exceptional courage and energy who then put their organizations on autopilot, kick-back and indulge themselves.

2. Success often leads to privileged access to information, people, or objects.
Many recent scandals evolved from the inability of leaders to understand that privileged access is supposed to give the perspective to lead more effectively —not to satisfy personal wants.

3. Success leads to unrestrained control of organizational resources.
In the present day examples of unrestrained control of resources can result in expense account fraud, million dollar birthday parties, use of employees for personal needs and sexual impropriety.

4. Success can inflate a leader’s belief in his or her personal ability to manipulate or control outcomes. Highly trained modern executives, over confident in their abilities to “get things done,” and “to make things happen,” often court disaster because they see themselves as invincible and not subject to control.

The authors suggest that two explosive combinations can be found within this matrix, one organizational and the other personal. When loss of strategic focus is combined with privilege access, the door is open for real abuse. A more explosive combination occurs when the primarily personal issues of control of resources is coupled with an inflated belief in personal ability to manipulate outcomes.

Ludwig and Longnecker remind us that living a balanced life reduces the likelihood of the negatives of success causing leaders to lose touch with reality. Family, relationships, and interests other than work should be cultivated for long-term success to be meaningful. Complacency is dangerous because strategic direction is never “set” no matter how successful. Change is the norm in dynamic organizations.

D. Luwig and C. Longnecker, “The Bathsheba Syndrome: The ethical failure of successful leaders,” Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 12, 1993, pp. 265-273.

The pdf of the full text of this essay can be found here: http://ksuweb.kennesaw.edu/~uzimmerm/Notes/Ludwig+Longenecker,%20The%20Bathsheba%20Syndrome.pdf
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PostSubject: Re: The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation   The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation EmptyThu Nov 15, 2012 5:14 pm

:-) Thank you, Josh, for these interesting pieces.

Jimmy Savile was interviewed on radio by psychiatrist Anthony Clare in 1991, as part of a series of interviews (Christmas Humphreys was another interviewee, as you uploaded from YouTube). Unfortunately the full transcript of the Jimmy Savile interview does not appear to be available directly online (but features in Dr Clare's book, In The Psychiatrist's Chair, named after the series).

The article below, dated 2nd November 2012 from the UK's Channel 4 News, is about that interview...
Quote :
How Jimmy Savile revealed all in the psychiatrist's chair

A rare transcript of a radio interview with Jimmy Savile, obtained by Channel 4 News, reveals startling insights into a man who planned escape methods and said "I could be corrupted".

In 1991 Jimmy Savile gave a chilling interview that left BBC psychiatrist Anthony Clare with concerns about the then beloved broadcaster.

A full transcript of the recording obtained by Channel 4 News reveals dramatic insights into Savile's disturbed psyche and his obsession with holding "ultimate freedom". Savile even boasted on air of his escape plans should he ever be caught out in a major career-ending scandal.

The interview appears in a book by BBC Radio 4 psychiatrist, the late Anthony Clare, which brings together a number of interviews from the radio series In The Psychiatrists Chair.

Throughout Savile refuses to allow Dr Clare through his facade; denying having any emotions, using patter and concocted stories to distract from awkward questions.

Savile reveals that there was nobody who knew him intimately and insists "what you see is what you get". Dr Clare notes that as the seventh child in his family a young Savile was emotionally and materially deprived and his "spartan emotional regimen" hinted at powerful reasons to shun intimacy.

"His reluctance to plant emotional roots is mirrored in his refusal to identify any one physical location as home," Clare states in his 1992 book.

Clare notes that if Savile does have feelings he is "unable or unwilling" to express them concluding: "There is something chilling about this 20th-century 'saint' which still intrigues me to this day."

When asked by Dr Clare about his freedom from emotional attachments to people, Savile boasted: "I'm not constrained pretty well by anything.

"The tough thing in life is ultimate freedom, that's when the battle starts. Ultimate freedom is what it's all about, because you've got to be very strong to stand for ultimate freedom.

"Ultimate freedom is the big challenge, now I've got it, and I can tell you there's not many of us that have got ultimate freedom. I've got some considerable clout as well, all over. That is where the battle, the personal battle starts now."

"I've managed to handle complete and ultimate utter freedom. It's marvellous but it's dangerous.

"It would be easy to be corrupted by many things, when you've got ultimate freedom, especially when you've got clout. I could be corrupted."

He goes on to say he has "all the money that was ever printed" and as such can do what he wants when he wants, stating "it is all too much".

Savile explains how he never sleeps in the same place two nights in a row and carries a shoulder bag that has not been completely unpacked for "nearly 30 years".

His obsession with making money is questioned, with Savile revealing an odd motive for always keeping a new car in the driveway. Knowing what we now know, it seems he prepared to be ready to go on the run.

"I can go skint in a day. I can be finished like that. If a scandal comes up or something like that or the people go off you, you're finished. I'd much rather go skint with a brand new Rolls Royce in the garage than one that's eight years old that I love, because I'll get more for it.

"So the day that I get finished by some whatever, then the bits and pieces that I've got I'll make sure that they're all paid up and they're all brand new because I could then go and be very unhappy in the south of France, covered in shame and sunshine and mad birds with bikinis on for a long time because there was a new Rolls Royce there and a new this and a new that.

"So I am all terribly logical which is actually bad news for you guys, because common sense and logic don't leave you with a lot to find out."

Savile boasts of suing newspapers to keep them out of his personal affairs and confidently states that even if he lost everything he would quickly regain his position in society.

"I've got the freedom to do pretty well anything now including being bored, or being alone or being with people or getting things, I suppose if I didn't have that I would only see that as a temporary setback because somewhere my inventiveness is such that if I had everything taken away from me now it wouldn't be long before I got it back again.

He goes on to claim he "hates children"* and has no interest in charity: "I haven't got an interest in charity, not really. No it's just that I've got a knack, I think you're putting the cart before the horse there.

"Because I've got a knack for raising money or making money now, I don't really care whether I make it... I don't care whether I make it for me or somebody else, it's academic to me, as long as I'm having a go at making it."

Savile's relationship with his mother, who he called "the duchess", was complex, he notes she never showed tactile affection but says she raised him for the first half of his life and he raised her for the second half. He barely mentions his father.

After his mother's death he spent five days with her body before the funeral and claimed it was the happiest time of his life, when quizzed by Dr Clare Savile claims that in those days she was "all mine".

"We hadn't put her away yet and there she was lying around so to me they were good times, they were not the best times.

"I'd much rather that she hadn't died but it was inevitable therefore it had to be. Once upon a time I had to share her with a lot of people. We had marvellous times but when she was dead she was all mine, for me. So therefore it finished up right, you understand, and then we buried her."

Throughout the interview Savile refuses to open up about his feelings and goes to great pains to claim he has no skeletons in his closet: "I mean I don't go away from here and indulge in some wild fetishes or wild weirdo things or anything like that.

"If you turned my stone over there ain't nothing underneath it. It's probably a boring stone for somebody like you who wants to find things out about people. What you're seeing is actually what there is full stop.

He also openly confesses "I'm dishonest in inverted commas insofar as I'm a ducker and diver and if I see an opportunity of getting something by only going halfway round the course I'll do it".

Forensic psychiatrist Dr Seena Fazel, who has studied dozens of child sex abuse cases, has viewed the transcripts and told Channel 4 News that he believes Savile's problems stem from unresolved issues from childhood and "emotional poverty".

"There seemed to very little emotional warmth or support in growing up," Dr Fazel explained.

"He makes it very clear he always lived a solitary life and is not interested in friendship...Clare's conclusion is that this is a man who has profound psychological problems."

Dr Fazel believes that Savile's offending does not appear to be motivated solely by sexual urges but rather a lack of boundaries, both internal and external.

He explained that Savile believed he was above the law and kept himself detached from other people who could provide balance to his character.

Dr Fazel also notes that Savile is obsessed with power, which is rooted in a "sense of powerlessness growing up", this is highlighted as the root of his problems.

"In a way one can see his offending now as a way of enforcing his power, it's essentially an act of power, abusing power, rather than someone who has an unusual libido."

"He talks about this unconstrained freedom that he had, it makes you wonder that if there were boundaries, either internal or external that they would have halted this offending behaviour and abuse. It highlights the importance of having boundaries."
source: http://www.channel4.com/news/how-jimmy-savile-revealed-all-in-the-psychiatrists-chair

* More from the interview...
Quote :
Asked about his feelings, he said: "I haven't got any emotions... feelings aren't logic."

When asked about children, he said: "I couldn't eat a whole one... hate 'em." The only reason he got on with children, he said, was because he did not like them particularly.
source: http://www.britmovie.co.uk/forums/obituaries/110389-sir-jimmy-savile-2.html

Speaking of this to interviewer Joe Jackson in 2001...
Quote :
I ... asked if he was specifically into young girls.

“Anthony Clare asked me my feelings towards children, and I said, ‘I couldn’t eat a whole one . . . I hate them!’” he said, turning the subject of child abuse into a joke. “But that is because I want to shut up someone who’s trying to go down that dirty, sordid road with questions like that.”
source: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/weekend/2012/1020/1224325497241.html

While most human-beings feel some empathy for others, Jimmy Savile never struck me as someone who had a deeper-than-that sense of connection with others, so I found his considerable charitable work rather puzzling (while recognising that merely seeing him on TV was not the best way to understand this). So I find what he said above on his motivation (if frank and comprehensive) interesting and believable. It reminds me in some ways of something I was told by someone I knew for a few years (I'll call her Lila) about her (now ex) husband, who worked as a high-powered executive in London with one of the world's leading 'financial providers'. I met her husband only once or twice, but felt some strong impressions during that time. (As we know from Myozen's story, it may be unwise to cling tightly to ones impressions, and I held mine loosely: I would not state them as 'facts' of the man, I had no 'proof', and would have been quite happy to find out otherwise). Lila often spoke of him as her "bonny prince", her dashing strong-but-soft-centred hero, gallantly facing the 'dragons' of the corporate realm to provide for her every material want and need. She said that he used to go fishing in the country, but she was utterly convinced that the fishing was but mere pretext for her sweet prince enjoying the beauties of the countryside, an irrelevant detail having no bearing on his real reason for 'spending time in nature'. Personally I doubted it but I hadn't been married to him for ten years (and tactfully said nothing). When eventually he commented that he went fishing not to 'enjoy nature' but for the "challenge", she was truly astonished. It was just as I had thought...but I would have been happier to have been mistaken. (-:
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PostSubject: Re: The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation   The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation EmptyFri Nov 16, 2012 6:13 am

Anne , interesting but ghastly , and i slightly wish i hadn't looked at the above . Is it all to do with misuse of power , lack of love, and a big etc etc and so explaining JK ? I hugely value this site and everyones input , but i feel a little adrift . i wonder if you can say why you put up that post ? OR have i answered my own question , and am left feeling a bit sick !
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PostSubject: Re: The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation   The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation EmptyFri Nov 16, 2012 4:26 pm

I think it is nice you feel repulsed Nicky.
I believe these stories and everyday tales of mental and physical abuse and also sexual abuse of adults and children are usually about power over others. The desire for power for others does not start with strong people, it starts with weak people. Strong people live their own lives and do not need the power over other,real spiritual people see it as misappropriate action from an illusionary path.
So does this explain JK i don't know. I was actually attracted to her as I felt she was a very moral person,and was sincere in her practice,I do not think that she was immoral at all in sexual ways that we have discussed here with other teachers. However we have raised serious questions about her own need for power and religious status, we have raised serious questions about the way she treated alot of her disciples,and found excuses for not telling the truth.

Maybe we need some good karma to meet these strong people that live their own lives and can cut through the facades, smoke and mirrors of their own lives and religious practice, for to meet them is rare indeed,when we meet them they can help by pointing to the path.But our hearts intuitively know this path,and that, as we all know, is the easy part
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PostSubject: Re: The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation   The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation EmptyFri Nov 16, 2012 6:00 pm

Thanks for your response Chisan , makes me smile, in surprise - your words:
'nice you feel repulsed Nicky.' And yes i get it this power over others , and all the rest .As for the Karma bit i always begin to growl , but then saved by our hearts - if you see what i mean .And by the way , the important way , I hope all is well with you .
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PostSubject: Re: The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation   The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation EmptySun Nov 18, 2012 12:05 pm

:-) Hi Nicky!

My post was an 'addition' further to earlier posts on this thread referring to Jimmy Savile. In some ways I see the post as an aside to the theme of this thread (i.e "thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation"), but one that may have features nonetheless relevant to the theme in the case of some individuals.

Jimmy Savile seems to me to have been someone without any insight into (or aspiration toward insight into) what one might 'buddhistically' term illusoryself-view and illusoryself-grasping, and so I do not think there is much in his motivations that explains JK's behaviour.

I think that, because of his charitable work (which, in purely financial terms, must have brought much benefit to some), many people would think that this must reflect admirably upon his character...and I would not suggest that he felt no empathy or sense of 'job well done' on its beneficial outcomes. Yet I find his explanation for his involvement interesting because it does not point to the motivations that some might have deduced: for example, that charitable activity must indicate a general deep and benign sense of connection with others.

Likewise, similarity perceived in the fact of JK and Jimmy Savile exercising power in/upon others' lives also with adverse outcomes does not, to me, necessarily indicate alike motivators...similarity on the surface may not necessarily bespeak deeper similarity of cause, beside the fact that misunderstanding/misperception has arisen or exists and that detrimental choice in activity has followed or follows.

It seems inappropriate to add a 'smiley' to the above...but here's one for you, Nicky... (-:
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PostSubject: Re: The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation   The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation EmptySun Nov 18, 2012 12:41 pm

By posting these stories, I was sharing various examples of institutional blindness, group-think, the entitlement of celebrities and leaders and so on. Of course, I was not suggesting in any way that Kennett had the same motivation as a Jimmy Saville or a Jerry Sandusky. But what we can see is how organizations operate, how any group and culture can slide into being more cultic, can glorify their story and leaders, and can blind themselves to keep the story alive.

I just posted the essay about some current charges about a Zen teacher. Read that and you will see a small example of precisely these issues being played out. Decades of deliberate ignorance, turning a blind eye, joking about it. A deal with the devil.

And going forward, we will probably see many people in that organization deepening their denial, circling the wagons, attacking those who dare to criticize, finding new ways to justify and rationalize the behavior of the "master", as happened with Shimano - claiming it's all forms of great Dharma teaching, or since he is the master, everything is OK and there is never any accountability. This is such an old story, isn't it? The absolute right of the lord to take his pleasure and use women as he chooses - the right of the king, the prince, the pope, the guru. The women should be thankful. They are being blessed by the guru. How dare anyone complain or speak out? Who are you to criticize - he is enlightened, you're not, so what he does is divine and what you see and think and feel is delusion. Blah, Blah, Blah. Really, what would the Buddha do with all this?

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PostSubject: Re: The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation   The Bubble: thoughts on entitlement, denial and isolation EmptyMon Nov 19, 2012 1:19 pm

Anne , thank you for answering , and the smile . i'm feeling a bit silly it was a instinctive response , i hadn't read back far enough , i struggle- with good will - with your posts anyway, and ,as is evident , dont have your and Joshes amazing exploring cleverness.
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