This is the third post in a series on Two Paths in the Woods by guest author Dr. Anthony Marsella.
A popular tactic used by “national security agencies” to neutralize critics does not involve directly interfering with an individual’s efforts to promote peace and social justice or to be a voice for moral actions.
Rather, these agencies simply collect and collate extensive information from surveillance, monitoring, and searching archives from distant years. At some point, if the critic becomes too “unbearable” to the agency, they simply begin the process of neutralization by releasing “offensive” information gleaned from many sources, and systematically destroying the critic’s character and moral standing.
All our lives involve sins of commission and omission. Some are apparent and well-known. Others may be buried in the privacy of the critic’s soul. But agencies intent on “neutralization” engage in building a systematic profile designed to destroy the words and ideas of the critic. This is done by using different cooperating sources to affirm their conclusion. Was this not what occurred in Nazi Germany, STASI East Germany, Fascist Italy, Communist USSR, North Korea – “Enemies of the State”?
Is this not what is happening in the USA and its allies today?
These destructive acts, whether done by a person, society, or nation, are equally violent and devastating, leaving scars on minds and bodies that are painful and memorable for the agony they have carried. We accuse, vilify, slander, denigrate, abuse, and malign individuals, groups, races, religions, nations, and the very planet on which we live through choices we make and utter each day. This is the way it begins! This is the root of hate and violence. This is the seemingly innocent path that leads so easily to broader acts of violence, destruction, killing, and war.
Anthony J. Marsella, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Hawaii. Dr. Marsella’s essay was originally published by Transcend Media Service at https://www.transcend.org/tms/2014/10/two-paths-in-the-wood-choice-of-life-or-war/ . We will publish excerpts from it intermittently over the next few months.