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Thread: Scapegoating and Guilt by association?

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    Administrator Cara's Avatar
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    Default Scapegoating and Guilt by association?

    • How do we know when someone is guilty?
    • If we find that someone is guilty of some infraction or crime, can we extrapolate that guilt to other people connected to that person? To business associates? Friends? Family?
    • Of what crimes or infractions do we accuse those people who are in relationship with the guilty one?
    • How is the phenomenon of scapegoating related to assigning and determining guilt?

    ~~~

    On the one hand, exploring a network of relationships can be a way to investigate a situation more fully. It can help to understand who might be involved in a programme, plot, or plan. It can help to uncover links between events or more information about what was intended. Understanding a web of connections can be very useful.

    An example of this might be the way that Dark Journalist is exploring different connections between the mystery schools and US political and deep state operations in his X series (
    https://darkjournalist.com/xmaster.php)


    On the other hand, when exploring a web of relationships, speculation and suspicion can get out of hand. This could lead to a situation where anyone who is any way connected to the person can be labelled “guilty by association”. This can lead to targeting of the innocent and the destruction of people’s lives and families.

    An extreme example of this might be Reign of Terror, led by Robespierre and his committee of public safety, which occurred in the French revolutionary period (https://www.britannica.com/event/Reign-of-Terror). During this time, if someone was reported as having connection to an enemy of the Revolution, they might end up being imprisoned and guillotined.

    ~~~

    This thread is a place to consider different points of view about relationships & associations and assigning blame & guilt, including:
    • the necessity of understanding relationship networks,
    • the risks of too quickly assuming guilt by association, and
    • the issues of scapegoating.

    What separates an investigation of a relationship network from accusations of guilt by association?

    How do we ensure we’re examining what’s really happening and not falling into scapegoating?
    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

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    Default Re: Scapegoating and Guilt by association?

    It's called, "connecting the dots," and too many of the 'awakened' do it far too much and too frequently. Thanks for posting this. Pizzagate is a perfect example. There is nothing solid there, if you go all the way back to the original guilt by association documented 'evidence' Once you toss that all evidence that follows is confirmation bias and imagination.

    The thing is, particularly with pedophila, is we all KNOW it exists and that there are individuals within all systems engaged in it, some of whom are protected by networks. And that is why, great care has to be taken to refrain from connecting dots that should remain disconnected. Because most of those dots are going to end up being the most superficial working or casual relationships. They are going to miss the highly concealed and end up targeting people who may be complete monsters, but not necessarily into cannibalizing children.

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    Default Re: Scapegoating and Guilt by association?

    Perhaps it needs empathy or psychic sensitivity.

    I do not believe that man groping through chain after chain of objective facts does anything but lock him in a maze.

    I personally am guilty of many things which no one ever noticed, yet have been scapegoated for the "sins of the village" about things I would never think of. So, a human being and its observations are about as useful as a house fly. On the other hand, I have penetrated more than one web of deceit and not come up wrong or punished anyone unfairly. I have served on a jury of my peers and walked out hoping none of them ever had anything to do with the administration of justice.

    Since law comes down to what a court can enforce, evidence can play a major role, or not. You can be shot and if you can't prove the bullet was from that gun in that person's hand, too bad. You can steal from a house you have had prior access to, and evidence of you breaking in will be ignored. Defense is wily.

    An investigation may use "temporary detention" to try to get answers. An accusation would be a warrant, which takes evidence and an officer's time to obtain. "Association", to my knowledge, would not be substantial enough to obtain a warrant in most cases, although it does usually lead to further investigation. Historically, yes, that type of thing has been horrible with the Robespierres and McCarthys of the world. However I am pretty sure I can proudly be a Communist or Anarchist, and, as long as I don't commit treason or the like, it will be fine. I can say whatever I want, as long as it's not promoting insurrection. Paranoid people can fear monger over me all they want--well, they always have--their problem is being afraid of everything when there is no actual attack.

    On a murder, even if you didn't do it, but you knew about it and didn't stop it, you are also charged with murder. Most other crimes give lesser charges to an accomplice.

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    Default Re: Scapegoating and Guilt by association?

    Nice post Shaberon. Thank you.
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone when we are uncool." From the movie "Almost Famous""l "Let yourself stand cool and composed before a million universes." Walt Whitman

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    Default Re: Scapegoating and Guilt by association?

    Thank you AutumnW and shaberon for your comments on the role of evidence and how we might be “chasing shadows” and sometimes can’t find evidence to support what we know is happening.

    ~~~

    I was looking for some videos and materials that might bring perspectives to this thread. Here is a short one (just over three minutes) on Guilt by Association, exploring some aspects of it. It does not get into all the aspects mentioned above:

    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

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    Default Re: Scapegoating and Guilt by association?

    Thinking about this before I went to sleep last night, I did a little thought experiment in the form of a varying scenario.

    Here it is (as best I can describe it in words):

    Person A’s family/group-they-are-part-of was involved in some aspect of the slave trade / human trafficking (here I am going to use a very loose definition of this). How do we judge Person A’s guilt if.....

    Scenario 1:
    Person A is Andrew: he grew up in south east England, attended Oxford University, and now works for an international retail chain that contracts with low cost manufacturers in Vietnam for its house label products. The workers in these factories live in dormitories, are not allowed home until vacation time and are disciplined harshly for errors. Over 200 years ago, one of Andrew’s past relatives had a share in a shipping line that transported slaves.

    Is Andrew guilty by association in some way? Does he feel some responsibility for any of this?


    Scenario 2
    Person A is Alyssa: she grew up in Sicily during and after the years of the Second World War. She’s in her late 80s now. Her family struggled for food and her father joined the Mafia because they “look after their own”. Since then all of Alyssa’s male relatives have been part of the Mafia. On more than one occasion, each has been involved in human trafficking. Alyssa’s family support her financially.

    How do we judge Alyssa?

    Scenario 3
    Person A is Ahmed: he grew up as the oldest son in a traditional trading family on the North East coast of Africa. For many generations, Ahmed’s family was involved the East African slave trade, buying slaves from inland African tribes and moving them to the coast for onward sale. Nowadays the family trades other items. Ahmed has joined a group of radical fighters who are fighting against what they view as a corrupt government. They have press-ganged young men into joining their radical militant group.

    How do we think of Ahmed’s guilt?

    NOTE: These three scenarios are completely fictitious though based on my own understanding of different regions, history, topics etc. I deliberately created some ambiguity and complexity in them because real life situaions are usually this way. It could continue with many other different scenarios.


    Some observations I have based on how I was thinking and feeling as I played this out:
    • It was interesting to see whether my tendency to judge / assign guilt was swayed by perceived differences in power, wealth and class. I wondered how much we have been conditioned by societal assumptions and media portrayals to view certain types as victims or heroes and therefore ascribe honourable motives or malign motives
    • What was helpful for me to experience in writing these is how clear it becomes that if we cast a wide enough net, we can find that everyone is complicit in some way.
    Last edited by Cara; 1st August 2019 at 09:02.
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    Default Re: Scapegoating and Guilt by association?

    Quote Posted by Cara (here)
    Scenario 1:
    Person A is Andrew: he grew up in south east England, attended Oxford University, and now works for an international retail chain that contracts with low cost manufacturers in Vietnam for its house label products. The workers in these factories live in dormitories, are not allowed home until vacation time and are disciplined harshly for errors. Over 200 years ago, one of Andrew’s past relatives had a share in a shipping line that transported slaves.

    Is Andrew guilty by association in some way? Does he feel some responsibility for any of this?

    Scenario 2
    Person A is Alyssa: she grew up in Sicily during and after the years of the Second World War. She’s in her late 80s now. Her family struggled for food and her father joined the Mafia because they “look after their own”. Since then all of Alyssa’s male relatives have been part of the Mafia. On more than one occasion, each has been involved in human trafficking. Alyssa’s family support her financially.

    How do we judge Alyssa?

    Scenario 3
    Person A is Ahmed: he grew up as the oldest son in a traditional trading family on the North East coast of Africa. For many generations, Ahmed’s family was involved the East African slave trade, buying slaves from inland African tribes and moving them to the coast for onward sale. Nowadays the family trades other items. Ahmed has joined a group of radical fighters who are fighting against what they view as a corrupt government. They have press-ganged young men into joining their radical militant group.

    How do we think of Ahmed’s guilt?
    Excellent scenarios. (Very real, too.) Thinking out loud here, I'd offer two observations:
    • Andrew is guilty not by association, but because he's knowingly exploiting and harming other human beings for his own benefit. There's no excuse: he should know better.

      But of course, there's no limit to the degree that people can justify their own harmful acts to themselves. Often, the higher intellect the person has, the greater their ability to rationalize anything in a self-justifying way.
    • Re all three scenarios, anything that anyone does to harm others is always in an attempt to solve a problem.

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    Default Re: Scapegoating and Guilt by association?

    Here’s a video that explores guilt by association. It’s somewhat focussed on the “call-out culture” that has evolved on social media in some circles.

    He develops an useful and simple framework to think about guilt by association. I don’t agree completely with his application of it in the examples he cites but it’s a useful thinking tool.

    Click image for larger version

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    Note and warning: He seems to have a particular political view and he does use some swear words.

    Not everyone in the comments agrees with his interpretation of the essay “Death of the Author” which he refers to in the video. I’ve not read it myself, so can’t comment. That part might best be set aside.

    Here are some of the comments more on the topic of guilt by association:

    Quote Guilt by association is a social heuristic/tool not an argument.
    Quote Just because a single association means nothing, doesn't mean there's no such thing as dog whistling[*]. Sometimes people use tropes, images, metaphors, etc. to let others know what they think while maintaining deniability should they be challenged. You should never assume that a particular association is bad when taken by itself, but it IS possible to examine context and do research and find that it's extremely likely that the association has a deeper meaning. As always, the only real answer is to do research and approach the truth as carefully and rationally as possible.


    * Dog whistling:
    Quote Dog-whistle politics is political messaging employing coded language that appears to mean one thing to the general population but has an additional, different, or more specific resonance for a targeted subgroup.
    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

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    Default Re: Scapegoating and Guilt by association?

    I don't know if this will add anything to the discussion in a direct way but I'll give it a whirl anyway.

    Yesterday, I was with a group of friends and we got into a really interesting discussion about what it meant to be a healthy male.

    We looked at what we thought defined a healthy male.

    We wanted to create a snapshot of what a healthy male looked like so we made a list.

    The word, "whole" came up. One of my male friends postulated that it was the "whole" male was what he considered to be healthy. He talked about how we needed to return to "wholeness" and what he felt had fragmented humanity from that whole state of being.

    It was an eye-opener from his perspective. He began by sharing in his childhood that just the fact that he was from a certain race and culture - he felt he was automatically seen as being guilty of certain things that had nothing to do with who he really was as an individual. He also talked about how just by being a male, he had been made to feel guilt around performing certain actions that came naturally to all beings in nature.

    He shared that he felt that guilt was a part of a triad - the triad being guilt, shame and blame. The triad in his eyes had replaced 'wholeness' or 'whole-in-ness' (holiness)

    He speculated that this triad had been handed down to us over generations from our associations with the Annunaki. He felt that guilt was a part of a triad that had prevented the male from being a protector and an initiator.
    Last edited by Constance; 3rd August 2019 at 22:23.
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    Default Re: Scapegoating and Guilt by association?

    Constance,

    Good example. Scapegoating is used to strengthen the scapegoater while weakening the scapegoated. Neo-radical feminism IS a perfect example of this. And it isn't strong women who play this political game, it's weak sisters looking to empower themselves by weakening someone else. In their case, the entire male sex. It's divisive, denatured and wrong.

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