WAR — and how to stop it — in 300 words – Dr Bob Johnson – Medium
WAR — and how to stop it — in 300 words
WHY GO TO WAR? Until you know WHY, you (we) can never stop war happening. Once we do know, the answer is blindingly obvious — simple, but far from easy. Is war caused by DNA, greed, being macho, our reptilian past — or bottled rage? For 30 years, my job was writing medical court reports for all manner of crime, from petty theft to murder, mostly violence. If you talk to enough prisoners, two things hit you, inexorably — (1) the size of the emotional storm which drives them, it’s huge. It’s so big, it stops them thinking straight (2) — they simply can’t tell you, or themselves, WHY they do it — they splutter, they posture — they’re no help at all. So if you want to know why, don’t bother asking them.
So what to do? Let’s try an Einstein-type thought experiment. Come back with me into your childhood. You’re sitting in the nursery playing with your favourite toy, when along comes the neighbourhood bully, also a 2-year-old, who grabs it and runs off, laughing. How do you feel? “Waaaaah!” Try and grasp that — it matters. Of course, in well run kindergartens or households, an adult promptly intervenes, restoring order, your toy, and justice. Your mental world is re-stabilised.
Things don’t always go so well — parental distractions, money say, can outshine child-rearing — what then? That “Waaaaah” doesn’t stop. Why should it? What could stop it? What does stop is your thinking straight. You forget where it came from, you start hitting anything that moves — kicking the cat is the least of it, global violence a tempting opportunity — there isn’t anybody around to say stop.
Underlying all violence, including war, is an overwhelming but unthought-through “infant-injustice”– I call it “Toddler-Rage”. Glasgow, Scotland, halved its murders by boosting youth services and community involvement — they staunched the “Waaaaah”. If the Scots can do it — what are we (you) waiting for?
[end of 300 word section]
OK it’s not 300 words, it’s 313 — well within the permitted 10%. Why don’t you have a go at averting our forthcoming Armageddon in four short paragraphs? — you’ll need lots of direct personal experience, and more than a little confidence. But if, at this moment, you’ve time for a longer discussion, I’ll happily fill you in on the background to this “300-word” challenge. For 20 years I was a family doctor in the outskirts of Manchester, in the north of England, and when arson recently afflicted the local Saddleworth moors, a successful journalist from way back, invited me to explain WHY, for the local Oldham newspaper, limiting me to 300 words — cheeky of course, but I relished the challenge, which I’ve adapted from arson to war, as above.
As a family doctor, I was able to pursue the roots of irrationality, enthusiastically. Some wonderful people there helped me visualise my own Toddler-Fears. Speechless terror afflicts the worst thing that’s ever happened to you — you can’t tell me about it, because it’s the last thing you want to tell yourself (or are able to) — indeed you protect the stability of your mental world by pretending it never happened. Sad, really, because this mental “adaptation” stops you realising it’s long gone, it’s obsolete. “This isn’t happening to me”, was your only protection when small, in the past — inevitably this now prevents you realising it’s not there any more, in today’s reality. A 39 year-old gives a wonderful description of how telling it to stop, works wonder. I include his statement below.
There’s brainscan evidence to show how this works, produced by Dr Bessel van der Kolk, check out his YouTube. Play a trauma tape to someone in a suitable machine, and their frontal lobes and speech centre go off-line. He calls it a “having a stroke”. I developed a way round this, I call it “verbal physiotherapy” — and can now include below, a graphic account of what it looks like from the inside. It worked well enough in Parkhurst Prison — no alarm bells were rung in a maximum security prison wing for 3 years, down from 20 a year, for the previous seven years. The 50 murderers there, taught me that they invariably killed because of an unreconstructed past injustice — a real-life “Waaaaah” — when they grew up emotionally, they stopped threatening to kill either themselves or me. Their violence evaporated, as proved by the absence of alarm bells.
Glasgow used to be western Europe’s murder capital. After ten years intense social investment they managed to halve their murder rate. Link. To my way of thinking, they gave their citizens more reason to live than to die or to kill — as I did in Parkhurst Prison, Isle of Wight, all those years ago. They tackled Toddler-Rage on the nose, their enthusiastic intervention reduced it — taking the slaughter with it. Check them out — ask how they did it.
It’s not easy. These unfortunates have learnt, very deeply, that people in power are invariably dangerous, so they react as they did in the kindergarten — hit back, hit hard, hit often. But if the toddler has a machine gun, or in Trump’s case, the nuclear button, watch out. When thinking goes on the blink, anything, but anything can happen — there’s nothing inside them to stop it, and it’s too late to say sorry after the damage has been done, the hapless victim has been murdered or thermonuclear radioactivity has gone global.
Talking of Trump, how do you explain his haphazard approach? Have you a better explanation than that it’s just an unfinished “Waaaaah”? Joined up thinking is conspicuously absent, the future is none of his business, just as it isn’t for any other two-year-old. He rabbits on about being hoaxed, and handed fake-news — could this be because no-one answered his initial “Waaaaah”, so he’s given up on happy days and social delight altogether? That’s the thing about the “Waaaaah” — since nothing can be as bad, nor can things get any worse — so anything goes. Making things better has never worked for him, so all he’s left with is refighting the old battles he lost when he was two years old, and is forever destined to lose again today.
He doesn’t trust anybody well enough to believe them, never has, never will. He was so badly defrauded in infancy, he’s nothing left to look at life afresh with — delight is for others, he can see that, that’s all he can see. Do you fancy trying to persuade him to think better? Who would he now believe that could tell him there was more to life than Toddler Rage? Certainly none of his fellow culprits.
If it were up to me, I would impeach Trump right away, for fear of where his “infant-injustice” infested policies are landing us. His history mimics that of Kaiser Wilhelm II, far too closely for comfort. I also blame him for endangering the Republic by waging trade wars, for messing with North Korea, and for risking war with Iran — but then I’m not a Republican Senator, some of whom half admire him because he reflects their very own infant-injustices.
Here now, is that description from the inside, written and owned by one Scott Maloney. It wasn’t Scott’s toy that was wrenched from him, it was his granddad who sexually abused him. The first substantial support he received was when he happened to come to see me for a court medical report, 10 years later. Thus I first saw him in my clinic (since closed) in 2000, and at that time offered him certain verbal tools, which, as you can see, he’s put to excellent use. I now have a recent 135 minute videod interview with him, TV quality on a Blu-ray disk, in which he calmly traces all his infant-injustices, plus all the injustices the UK has thrust upon him as well; and how, against all the odds, he escaped from a maximum security prison hospital — more a prison than any hospital I’ve ever worked in.
HOW MY “STOP-GRANDDAD-THERAPY” WORKS FOR ME, by SCOTT MALONEY
Whenever I get flashbacks, about my childhood-sexual-abuse, or I get angry feelings, and thoughts, or I get or think sexual inappropriate thoughts, I straight away go into role-play . . . I’ll explain further . . . .
I go into role-play there and then, or I find somewhere quiet on my own, then I shout out at Granddad. I know he is dead, but I also know he is in my head, trauma, and flashbacks, and anxiety.
I shout out to Granddad, stop abusing me, you cannot do this to me any more, I am a man now not a child, so leave me alone.
I shout out to Granddad, I am not gay, I am a straight man, I am not confused any more about my sexuality, so leave me alone.
I shout out to Granddad, I will not expose myself any more to women. There is no need for me to express myself in any sexually inappropriate ways, as I know my true sexuality, so leave me alone.
When I shout out these statements to Granddad, my mind, thoughts, feelings, urges, just go blank, they all disappear. I know this, because I use these techniques regular. When I get flashbacks of my sexual abuse, or when I get thoughts or feelings or urges to act inappropriate to adult women, I quickly leave the room or area, find somewhere on my own and then I start my Stop-Granddad-Therapy.
I remember once about two months ago in “X” prison, whilst in my cell on my own, I was doing my Stop-Granddad-Therapy, when a prison officer popped his head in my cell. He said, “Are you okay? Are you hearing voices, or something?” I said “Of course not”. I told the male prison officer that I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and I was using my Stop-Granddad-Therapy techniques. The prison officer said, “Does it work?” I said, “Yes, it does work for me”. The male prison officer then left my cell. Not sure if it was documented on my prison files or not.
I use Stop-Granddad-Therapy often, and I believe it works for me, and it benefits me, and I believe it reduces my risk issues on my Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I will always use these techniques, in prison and in the community on Stop-Granddad-Therapy. I thank psychiatrist Dr Bob Johnson for helping me explore and have insights into my Stop-Granddad-Therapy and have been able to learn my Stop-Granddad-Therapy techniques . . . . . . .
Scott Maloney 4 August 2015 [emphasis added]
On the video, Scott is calm, articulate, vastly insightful. He warms the cockles of my heart. He gives hope for humanity. He shows what can be done, if you give the human spirit half a chance. If you’re interested in how this works, I’ve got an ebook on How Verbal Physiotherapy works. In my workshops, I go through his statement line by line, expounding on the hidden depths — it’s fab.
Dr Bob Johnson (retd) Consultant Psychiatrist,
Empowering intent detoxifies psychoses
How Verbal Physiotherapy works — https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/892956
P O Box 49, Ventnor, Isle of Wight, PO38 9AA UK
GMC speciality register for psychiatry reg. num. 0400150
formerly Consultant Psychiatrist, Special Unit, C-Wing, Parkhurst Prison, Isle of Wight.
Author Emotional Health ISBN 0–9551985–0-X & Unsafe at any doseISBN 0–9551985–1–8