Using a Revenge Model to clarify VIOLENCE, PSYCHOPATHY and WAR.

On Saturday, August 1, 1914 … the Kaiser telegraphed his cousin, King George V “… The troops on my frontier are in the act of being stopped by telephone and telegraph from crossing into France.” … Moltke, witnessing the collapse of his entire war strategy, was “crushed.” “Your Majesty, it cannot be done,” he pleaded. “The deployment of millions cannot be improvised” … Moltke went back to General Staff Headquarters and “burst into tears of abject despair … I thought my heart would break … [later] … I never recovered from the shock of this incident. Something in me broke and I was never the same thereafter.”**

So, what was going on inside Kaiser Wilhelm? What pressed him to think this way? Unless we better understand this Twentieth Century cataclysm of violence, psychopathy and war, we’ve no chance of preventing the next one — it’ll be worse.

First, Wilhelm orders his army NOT to invade Luxembourg and later France, a move we would all now profoundly welcome. But then, just as whimsically, he reverses it. As Moltke, Bismarck’s favourite general, all too dramatically confirmed, such a cancellation of World War I, was well within Wilhelm’s power. Indeed Wilhelm had already — “without consulting Moltke … commanded his own military aide to telephone the headquarters of the 16th Division and halt the operation”. [**Robert Massie, Dreadnought, pp874–6].

There are many and varied antecedents to this mass destruction of Europe’s wealth and civilisation, but here, clearly, is one man who not only could, but actually did cancel World War I — if too briefly.

This type of illogic self-destruct occurs widely, so it’s instructive to see how it played out inside 60 UK murderers. What emerged was a clear model of distorted revenge, together with a practicable pathway to eliminate it, which, though simple enough, is far from easy.

A serial killer in the making couldn’t have put it simpler — “Having a tantrum aged 4, means stamping your foot on the floor — have one aged 24 — somebody dies.” Or in Wilhelm’s case, then aged 55, uncounted millions. Clarity is the first essential for human understanding. Everyone knows that children are powerless and entirely impressionable, so obviously they can become enraged, Wilhelm notoriously so. Clear enough. What is less obvious, especially to them, is the impact this ‘bottled rage’ can have in later life. Once this serial killer had clarified his childhood, he rescinded his entirely believable plan to murder every two years (including me) — since 1993, he’s never done so again.

I worked in Parkhurst, then UK’s flagship prison, 1991–96, convincing murderers that their wounded childhoods were over and could heal. I videod 700 hours coaxing crushed people to blossom. They responded by eliminating violence — zero alarm bells were rung there for three years, down from 20 a year. It became obvious that all violence (including war) is “distorted revenge” — also curable. Thus, contrary to conventional wisdom, “FREE LUNCHES STOP WARS”. So let’s “DROP WHITE GOODS, NOT BOMBS” — it’d be cheaper. How about that?

Dr Bob Johnson www.DrBobJohnson.org Monday, 13 February 2017

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