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Survivor Wars III – Foxes in Charge of Henhouse?

My article which explored the concept of ‘professional victim’ has definitely set off a shockwave at ‘Stuff Fundies Like’. I will address some of the points brought up on this blog, but I will not journey to that forum to participate in the dialogue with Miss Massi. If she wants to dialogue with me, she can either come here or unblock me from her website and/or Facebook profile and continue the dialogue in the presence of her fans. Also, no private messages either. If Jeri Massi is speaking, I want witnesses!

It’s interesting how she keeps bumping up two articles where she answers charges leveled against her by Jocelyn Zichterman and allegedly by Camille Lewis. The ones by JZ are rather ridiculous but the main charge by Camille Lewis that Massi has (or at one time had) a bias in favor of Bob Jones University can be backed up. There was a time when it was difficult to find accusations against faculty or staff of BJU on her webpage.

The idea of Massi’s BJU bias was further fanned when she wrote this on page 68 of her book Schizophrenic Christianity:

“The dynasty structure in Fundamentalism is nothing new. It dates back to the Joneses of Bob Jones University, the somewhat feudal Fundamentalist university which, despite its weaknesses, has remained free of the rampant, flaming allegations of sexual deviancy found in the high places of some other fundamentalist schools and churches.”

Schizophrenic Christianity was published in 2008. In her current answer to Camille, Massi does make a list of cases regarding those who attended or affiliated with BJU. Notice the years of those articles are post 2008. Perhaps that’s when her ‘state of grace’ regarding BJU came to an end?

The questions I would like to see her address are the ones I leveled at her on the FFF and occasionally in my blog that have gone without an answer. It concerns a post by someone who may, or may not, be her sock-puppet: spiffenwheeze.

You can read his comments here: http://spiffinwheeze.blogspot.com/2008/05/snit.html

Underneath his blog, I left a comment about a few matters I would like Jeri to address.

1) Is spiffenwheeze telling the truth? Does she know him? Is he, or was he at one time, her sockpuppet?

2) Where is this synopsis I allegedly wrote about her life? Can I read it?

3) Where did I ever say she met Voyle Glover at Hyles Anderson?

4) If she doesn’t know spiffenwheeze and has no relation to his page, will she repudiate his lies and allegations in public?

If spiffenwheeze ever gets deleted, I have screen shots! Those are some questions I would like to have answered!

Regarding the other points brought up at SFL. The idea that ‘even good homes can produce a rapist’ argument can also be used to cover up parent’s neglect. There are probably some very ‘good families’, at least that’s their perception, who act shocked when their children wind up being abusive.
These ‘good families’ may only be good when it comes to cover ups. Was there neglect going on where we can’t see it? The kind of neglect that can be covered up when the police, or researchers, come asking questions?

Remember, at one time cigarettes were deemed healthy and homosexuality was considered a mental illness. Let’s not forget the advertisements which once stated sugar is good for kids! Many times, the reality is right in front of our eyes in spite of studies that merely act to give us so-called evidence we need to justify our denial and ignorance.

This is a topic I will explore in greater context as I begin the series. Nothing is ever totally resolved and studies do have a way of reflecting a bias of the organizations which sponsored it.

One thing most abusive people, and organizations, have in common is a reluctance to answer questions and a bullying approach whenever questions are asked. When I broached the subject of ‘professional victims’ one of the posters at SFL said the very idea will ‘shut down any conversation’.

Maybe over there, but not over here. When all is said and done, only a ‘professional victim’ will get upset over the term ‘professional victim’.

Stay tuned. . .

Related links:

Fact, Fiction, and Blatant Exaggeration: http://christianschoolconfidential.blogspot.com/2008/12/fact-fiction-and-blatant-exaggeration.html

Spiffenwheeze blog: http://spiffinwheeze.blogspot.com/2008/05/snit.html

Stuff Fundies Like: http://www.stufffundieslike.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=5571

What is a professional victim?

“Do you believe there are professional victims?” a journalist once asked me.

“Yes.” I said, although I had not really given the matter much thought. It’s been close to a year since that interview and the question has been lodged in the back of my mind.

What is a professional victim? It sounds like someone making money off their story about being victimized, or possibly making money off the stories of other victims. Now, I do not believe it’s wrong for someone, after devoting weeks, months, and possibly years, of writing their story into a book to profit from the fruit of their efforts.

If it helps bring closure for themselves and others, that is for the good. Everyone is entitled to tell their story and draw whatever life lessons they can from it. What happens after the book? Will we be reading any story about how they have overcome adversity and have now embarked on a brand new enterprise? Preferably, one that has nothing to do with being a victim?

What did they pursue before their victimization? Have they discovered what was lost before the terrible events affected their lives?

What if they weren’t pursuing anything? What if they were victimized from the moment they popped out of the womb? If you’re born in America, or anywhere else in the world, chances are you were abused at least once in life. As Bill Maher pointed out, you’re slapped on the ass when you’re born!

What kind of welcome is that? Maybe we all start out abused with the first slap coming from the doctor? If you have nothing to talk about except abuse upon abuse, and that’s your only stock in trade, does that make you a professional victim?

I have met a couple of victims who immediately talk about forming nonprofit organizations. Since nonprofits can be quite profitable, does that make them ‘professional victims’? Do we really need another nonprofit organization?

Normally, I advise against starting organizations. If every victim starts nonprofit organizations, who will be left to join these organizations? We don’t need more organizations. We need more cooperation between existing organizations! That’s difficult since most nonprofits operate like small kingdoms receiving tributes from thankful subjects.

I have attempted to persuade existing child abuse groups to address the subject of clergy or religious abuse. That went over like a lead balloon back in 2006! Most of these organizations, in my view, did not want to look like they were criticizing religions. Other groups, like SNAP, began cropping up to address Catholic abuse and began creating ‘chapters’ like SNAP-BAPTIST to cover other denominations. In time, their influence began to wane as other victims, not feeling like they were being heard, began forming their own groups.

The zenith, for me, was at a convention where I witnessed a SNAP representative pleading that victims not forget those who came before them. Another blogger, not at the convention, complained she was becoming obsolete in the wake of other Facebook groups.

Today, it’s a dog eat dog world if you’re a professional victim. And yet, I’m still not sure what a professional victim is except it’s something you don’t want to become.

So what are the marks of a professional victim?

Is it a person who attempts to make a living out of their victimhood or victimhood of others?

Someone who has absolutely no other sense of self-worth except reveling in victimhood?

Someone so fearful and threatened by other groups or other people addressing the same subject that they invoke territoriality? This manifests itself in blocking those with different viewpoints and opinions on Facebook and webpages.

I’m changing tactics at Christian School Confidential. While others want to focus on the first abusers, I think it’s more valuable to contemplate the question: how do victims become the victimizers? Every abuser starts out as abused before something clicks and they carry out their abuse on others.

A few might be critical of this new path saying I should concentrate on the first abusers. However, as I see more and more ‘advocates’ utilizing the same techniques as those who cover up the deeds of the first abusers, it’s only a matter of time before a major scandal hits and reveals that so-called survivors are just as guilty of covering up the dirt as those fundamentalists they have accused.

If and when that happens, survivor culture might be given a black eye for their own hypocrisy. I say ‘might’ since transparency helps safeguard against such assaults. Thankfully, each new scandal brings a fresh crop of people who can learn from the mistakes of the past. For that reason, in the weeks to come, I will begin a series exploring the history of those who escaped religious abuse and analyze their methods of confronting such abuse. What worked? What did not?

In the meantime, what is a professional victim?

I’ve given my thoughts on the subject.

Anyone else care to comment?