scapegoating - conscience
May 25, 2006 11:20 PM
I have also found Scott Pecks' writings useful. His chapters on community
building and process in his book "A Different Drummer" were aways available
during the 12 year period I was involved in engaging in a cooperative
living household and provide good guidelines for group and community
dynamics. The 'People of the Lie' becomes even more insightful when
reframed in a theosophical context (as Peck had somewhat Christianized it)
As you note Peck gives very clear examples and desciption of the
narcissistic inflation that goes with the psychological type that is
perpetually scapegoating and projecting their 'shadow' content (see Jung's
varous writings also Robert Bly's short book) onto others. Eric Fromm's
large 500 page volume "The Anatomy of Human Destruction" is one of the
more comprehensive studies of the psychological type of 'Malignant
agression' which carries this study into more detail. Fromm uses examples
from Astray, Stalin to Himler and Hitler as case studies which is very
revealing. One historic incident he quotes is when the Spanish fascist
General Millan Astray was giving a speech at the University of Salamanaca
in 1936. The Generals favorite motto was 'Viva la muerte!' 'Long Live
Death!'. The great Spansh philosopher Miguel de Unamuno who was the rector
at the university was in the audience. Though very elderly, Unamuno rose
and challenged the General: "Just now I heard a necrophilous and senseless
cry: "Long live death!" And I who have spent my life shaping
paradoxes....must tell you as an expert authority, that this outlandish
paradox is repellent to me. General Millan Astray is a cripple. Let it be
said without any slighting undertone. He is a war invalid." (here in the US
Rumsfeld at a press conference last fall was praising the psychological
benefits for solidiers on the battlefield that 'war brought out the best in
one' !) Unamuno was arrested and put under house arrest and died a few
months later. In Spain during the fascist period Theosophy and related
thoughts and movements were greatly suppressed or even illegal. --
Regarding conscience, my understanding is that it would be the passive
reflection of the Buddhic principle. Buddhi becoming active as HPB says
when galvanized with the essence of Manas (Voice of the Silence) or as she
describes in the 'Key' a centripetal force, bodhicitta or the 'vow to save
all sentient beings' in Buddhism when activated would become a directive
The process of "scapegoating" is an important element to understand the
connection between Nazism and the Vatican. A link which, in a way, the
"The Da Vinci Code" helps to explore.
Both Nazism and the Vatican used Jews (and for some time Communists) as
scapegoats. Jews were scapegoats to Vatican for some 15 centuries.
But scapegoating can be used by Communists as they fight Capitalism, or by
Age groups against rival institutions, and by Christians and Moslems
It is used within any unbalanced family. In fact, scapegoating is a
possibility everywhere, any time, for lower selves.
Psychiatrist M. Scott Peck, author of the best-seller “The Road Less
wrote a book about human evil called “The People of The Lie”, in which he
examines the process of scapegoating which produces the sense of “enemies”.
Scott Peck writes:
“Scapegoating works through a mechanism psychiatrists call projection.
evil [ persons ], deep down, feel themselves to be faultless, it is
that when they are in conflict with the world they will invariably perceive
conflict as the world’s fault. Since they must deny their own badness, they
must perceive others as bad. They ‘project’ their own evil into the world.
They never think of themselves as evil; on the other hand, they
much evil on others. (...)”
“(...) Strangely enough, evil people are often destructive because they are
attempting to destroy evil. The problem is that they mistake the locus of
evil. Instead of destroying others they should be destroying the sickness
within themselves. As life often threatens their image of self-perfection,
are often busily engaged in hating and destroying that life – usually in
name of righteousness. The fault, however, may not be so much that they
life as that they to NOT hate the sinful part of themselves.”
Religious structures -- not only the Vatican -- often use scapegoating
mechanisms in order to produce a sense of collective security, or a
“relief from evil” among its followers. For centuries, the Vatican had to
torture and kill innocent people to keep its centralized power.
In the 19th century, H. P. Blavatsky was also a scapegoat of collective
ignorance structures. Her “death” was emotional and political, though,
Many an Initiate has had to play this same role, whenever they come out to
challenge the mechanisms of collective ignorance. The legend of Jesus
Crucifixion describes the general lines of such a process, also
St. Germain, Cagliostro, Giordano Bruno, St. John of the Cross, etc.
In the 20 th century, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and other bloody
used Scapegoating as a social and political-military tool which also needed
persecution and killing of ‘weaker enemies’ to maintain its ‘efficiency’.
Nazism and the Vatican have several things in common,. One of them is the
process of ascribing absolute perfection to an absolute leader -- the Pope
the ‘Fuhrer’. In order to better serve and adore that false “perfect
the Absolute Authority, people develop an utter despise for those who do not
submit to the centralized power. Then they have a false sense of “sharing
absolute power” and feel themselves strong by vicarious mechanisms.
But scapegoating is also a psychological and emotional device used by
individuals and by smaller groups of individuals. It is an unwillingness to
fight one’s one faults and shortcomings. It is a spiritual failure.
Higher self, higher manas, dissolves this kind of dualistic and conflictive
perception, and true martial arts also go beyond it. The book “The Art of
is inspired by Philosophical Taoism, and Bodhidharma is said to have
Kung-fu, the martial art.
Higher manas develops where there are both contrast and synthesis. It grows
where we can find diversity in unity, that is, democracy, or
Hence the creation in 1875 of the theosophical movement. It has been
as a “sangha” which is open to diversity and contrast, and not attached to
uniformity, or to one single authority. It is an universal sangha, a
community which shows and studies the unity underlying life’s diversity and
Best regards, Carlos Cardoso Aveline.
(1) “People of the Lie”, M. Scott Peck, M.D., Arrow Edition, 1990, London,
pp., see pp. 82-83.
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