Monday, December 19, 2011

Kim Jong Il The Tyrant is Dead, and The People of North Korea Suffers From a Bad Case of Stockholm Syndrome

Source: psychologytoday.com


Political Terrorism and the Stockholm Syndrome

by Brian Trappler, M.D.

During the "Cold War," individuals living under Soviet rule would have to be on constant guard against "thought police."

Children were indoctrinated in school to inform authorities if their parents spoke critically or even questioningly against the State, even within the privacy of their home.


A common methodology of winning over groups to the sway of simplistic ideologies is through combining seduction with fear. The concept of the "Stockholm syndrome" began on August 23, 1973, when Jan Olsson began a bank robbery that would forever transform the spectrum of how the world would view the outcome of hostage situations.

It started with the storming of a local Kredit Bank in downtown Stockholm, Sweden, and the shooting of the police officers who had gone in after Olsson.

With this action, a six-day ordeal and hostage situation known as the Norrmalmstorg Robbery began. Three women and one man were confined to a small room, fighting to survive. Four hostages were taken into the bank's vault. Dynamite was strapped to them, and they were rigged to traps that would kill the hostages regardless of any rescue attempts.

Yet when these captives were released, they had more sympathy for their captors than the police who had rescued them - and went so far as to publicly decry their own rescue. Two of the hostages became friends with the captors, establishing a fund to help pay for their defense fees accrued through the trial. The psychologist Nils Bejerot named the captives' attachment towards their abusers the "Stockholm Syndrome" ("The Six-Day War in Stockholm." New Scientist, 1974: 61).

While the phenomenon of "emotional bonding" between hostages and their captors had been familiar in psychological circles, the use of the term "Stockholm syndrome" became popularized following the publicity of two more high profile hostage cases: Patricia Hearst and Elizabeth Smart.

Both cases involve the kidnapping of a woman to pursue of ideals of their captors. In the case of Elizabeth Smart, at the young age of fourteen, Smart's instincts of survival and protection resulted in the development of a strong bond between her and Brian Mitchell, with characteristics of a Stockholm syndrome.

This paradoxical sense of loyalty was exemplified by her behavior in the willful obstruction of rescue attempts by family and law enforcement: Only three days after her kidnapping, Smart had heard her uncle searching and calling for her, not far from her hidden location, but did not call out or attempt to draw attention to herself. The pervasive resistance to be rescued dominated the entire nine months during which she was kept hostage, she remained resistant toward rescue efforts.


The Stockholm syndrome refers to the unique bond of loyalty established between a hostage and his or her captor occurring within the dynamic of the victim's absolute dependence upon the predator (Dee, Graham and colleagues. "Love Thine Enemy; Hostages and the Classic Stockholm Syndrome." NY University Press, 1994).

This unique attachment established between the victim and captor evolves from the exclusive dependence by the former on the latter. In exchange for the restricted life granted by the captor, these victims are willing to adopt a new reality in which no harm can come to them.

In this apparent act of self-deception, victims of Stockholm syndrome believe that their irrational empathy for their captors and their ideologies will protect them.

The psychological dynamics dominating subservient bonding patterns have been previously conducted among abused children and women, victims of incest, cult members, mistreated prisoners of war, and criminal hostage situations.

On a more global scale, one can observe the same power-dynamic imposed by tyrannical dictatorships such as the Soviet Union North Korea, as well as other dictatorships.

In this fashion (through a combination of threat, isolation, and propaganda), a political tyranny has been asserted over the collective consciousness of large populations inducted into the mythical ideologies of their masters.

When entire communities lose their power of critical thinking, there is nothing to protect them from the exploitations of their ‘anointed' leaders. There is also the phenomenon of modern day charismatic leader who can provide an almost religious adherence, via media-control, to a shared lofty devotion.

While adopting quasi-mystical attributions of meaning that offer existential relief, such ideologies have been devised to serve and empower the idealized leader's political goals.

Within the religious and political arenas, unquestioning dogma is used to induce obedience.

The replacement of autonomous and critical thinking by a "sacred" ideology, may be the Trojan method of introducing a soft political tyranny.

That should sound an alarm when discovering the other shared attributes of the Stockholm syndrome.