06 January 2008

Abuse and Groupthink: Players and Pawns [Part 2 of 3]

Here is where group cognitive disruption and memory impedance stand out sharply. Again, what precedes and what follows this statement is my opinion and analysis only.

Onlookers applying their full cognitive abilities - including both reason and memory - could have thought as individuals, rather than feeling and reacting as a group. Each person considering the event from a detached viewpoint could have registered at least some of the red flags noted above. They could have asked questions, questioned the unavailability of the actual communication versus selected excerpts, recognized Pica's self-praise as suspect [for the simple reason that all self-praise is suspect,] identified spin doctoring, enemy creation, covert malice, and self-marketing. Seeing these things, observers could have challenged Pica to prove her allegations, or quietly distanced themselves emotionally from the situation without being drawn into directing hostility against an unknown target, purely at Pica's bidding.

They could also have remembered prior incidents where Pica's behavior, at least as I observed and perceived it at the time, did not match the self-branding:
-one event in which Pica appeared to use a nearly identical 'enemy creating' gambit on someone else, more overtly. [That person exposed both the game and the distortions behind it, by publishing the actual communication for public view; which may explain why Pica did not disclose her target's identity this time];

-one event where Pica appeared to overtly bully a knowledgeable person who was providing useful information and support to one of Pica's 'fans'. By contrast, Pica [in my assessment] was only furnishing this 'fan' with platitudes and fostering emotional dependence. The bullying seemed clearly intended to drive the knowledgeable, helpful person away. That person soon recognized this, and expressed very clear opinions about it.

-more than one event where Pica appeared to react to others' accounts of abuse with immediate support for the abusers.
A person described an incident of amazingly rude treatment; Pica's immediate response was that the rudeness was "probably caused by [the target's] sullen attitude", thus making the clear implication that the rudeness was deserved.

What is most significant about this is that Pica did not witness the event. The "sullen attitude" criticism was invented on the spot. To me, it appeared that Pica created justification to align herself with the abuser she'd never met, in preference to the target she ostensibly supported and cared for.
If I observed and understood that last event correctly, it has major significance.
These vignettes - drawn from my observations, as I interpreted them - are only a sample. Anyone observing Pica over time could have seen these events and others. Yet the events had no perceptible impact on the group response to Pica.

Why? Because questioning, making comparisons [even of one person's behavior at Time A vs. Time B], and analyzing information in a calm, detached manner cannot be accomplished in a groupthink situation. The dynamics of groupthink actually discourage independent, critical thought.

[Part Three follows immediately.]

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