Undoing ‘Evilism Anxiety’

By Jeanne Sarson | Dec 14, 2011

Organized Acts of Human Evil

Who best to explain what it means—how it feels—to be held captive by the acts and ordeals of everyday evil than those who speak of having survived such atrocities? Writing this Blog is to share with equality, dignity and respect the voices of those who have survived, held in a terrorized, horrified and tortured state of captivity. Refusing to be forever silenced they have entrusted Linda and I with their knowledge, hoping it can be shared so societies will accept that torture happens in the home. So societies will develop the awareness that acts of torture are inflicted by parents and/or by other inter-generational family members, by spouses, by guardians, and by like-minded others who contact such families/groups for the purpose of “renting” their children. Why? Because, as one woman explained it, “I was trained to withstand torturing” and there was/is a demand for children who can withstand non-state torture (NST) including sexualized torturing.

Exploiters, pornographers, and human traffickers do financially negotiate with non-state torturing families/groups. Women describe how their parents—mothers as well as fathers—took them to adult-child “porn shots”. Or, when travelling with her parents, one woman explained how her parents stopped at restaurants where they ‘exchanged’ her for the price of a meal, for example. The exchange was negotiated by letting two pedophiles take her to the shed in the back yard of the restaurant. These forms of arranged victimizations imply the reality that there existed/exits a network of like-minded perpetrators. I can, however, do more than imply; I am reading a 1910 account of “white slavery” identified as “the worst evil of the age” by US District Attorneys. They disclose grave concerns about such perpetrators and their national and international networks.[1] In other words, there are historical ties that can be passed on generation after generation. For those who continue to perpetrate acts of NST, describable as acts of human evil, they usually are involved in other tag-along crimes such as illegal drug trades, the manufacturing of adult-child-infant ‘pornography’ and “renting” or trafficking of children to the like-minded. The family system has/does provide the greatest cover for such organized NST crime rings.

Is there a Western Form of NST?

It is just to say “Yes” to the question of whether there is a western form of non-state torturing. Its form can be referred to as ‘classic’ NST which displays itself differently than in countries that display, for example, NST in the form of female genital mutilation.[2]

Examples of acts that are generally considered to be acts of classic torturing are listed below. Classic torture is the term sometimes used to refer to acts of torture that are perpetrated by State torturers (government employees, i.e., police or military). These, however, are also the acts that women and the few male and transgendered persons who have contacted Linda and I, describe suffering. Frequently stated to have begun in their earliest of childhoods, including in infancy. Some persons state NST victimization continued until they managed to escape from NST families/groups. At one time societies did not believe that infants could be victims of NST—this reality has changed significantly based on police evidence, media articles and research reports that show that children, infants included, are victims of NST.[3,4]

Examples of Classic NST tactics:
• Electric shocking: externally/vaginally
• Beaten, burned, cut, whipped, kicked
• Immobilization tortures: tied, hung, caged
• Water tortures: head held under water
• Suffocation/choking tortures
• Deprivation tortures: food/liquids denied, forced urination/defecation on self 
• Psychological & dehumanization tortures: humiliated by forced nakedness and being laughed at; degraded when smeared with & forced to consume body fluids; animalized when made to be on all fours like a dog
• Sleep/temperature deprivations: e.g., forced to lie naked without bedding on cold hard floor, forced into bathtub of iced water  
• Witnessing torture of others
• Powerlessness: terrified, threatened, tortured into state of physical & psychological captivity, fear of self/others being killed
• Forced drugging

Western socio-cultural conditioning, in my opinion, has blinded us into:

(a) Believing that the only acts of torture that occur are committed by State actors—police, military personal or other government officials—for the purpose of gaining a confession from the enemy, and therefore is the only form of torturing that should be recognized and criminalized, and

(b) Absorbing, albeit maybe without awareness, a sexualized view of NST victimization—in other words, acts that constitute torture when inflicted relationally as in spousal torture, this is sexualized as “normal torture”. Meaning there is a socio-legal perception that the person experiencing/enduring acts that constitute classic torture has consented to participate in sadomasochism or if not consenting the NST victimization is minimized to assault. This social conditioning was made very visible when writing to Statistics Canada to ask how they tracked NST victimization. This was the response received:

If the state is not involved, it is just regular torture between two individuals [emphasis added] and called non-state actor torture. This is usually charged instead as assault (level 2 or 3) with intent, and the torture element often comes out at the trial stage (re: motive) and believe it or not there are all kinds of implications and exceptions for S&M [sadomasochism](re: consent to torture) (email communication, July 27, 2009).

When asked how this rationalization and minimization applied to the realities that 20 to 26% of pedophilic images viewed by special police forces involves torture this question brought no further response. Socio-legal positions such as the one stated above give rise to varying degrees of secondary revictimization. Because victimized women and others, for instance, are denied their right to seek justice for classic NST victimization, at least this is the socio-legal condition that exists in Canada.

Classic NST and Evilism Anxiety

Sexualized and reproductive tortures are perpetrated by non-state as well as by State torturers. I have not listed sexualized and reproductive tortures in the above list of classic NST tactics because I am going to discuss these specifically in relation to the evilism anxieties women speak of suffering. Three frequently mentioned terror, horror and torture ordeals that led women, or women when they were girls, to internalize evilism anxieties relate to the following:

(a) Bestiality. Perpetrators who forced girls and women into enduring bestiality were also told they would have monster babies; encoding this belief they harboured grave fears that if impregnated their body would produce an evil monster, half dog and half human for example. 
(b) Ingestion of perpetrators’ body fluids. A common visualized belief held by some women was that the body fluids they were forced to ingest were evil and that these evil particles—semen, blood, urine or feces—gathered and grew like grapes on their internal organs.
(c) Forced ingestion of tissue from forced abortions. Some women speak of suffering painful forced abortions perpetrated by family/group members, including those with medical/nursing training, who then forced the girls/women to consume bits of the aborted tissue which they then believed their body would grow some form of evilism.

The consequences of this latter evilism anxiety/fear are dramatically illustrated in the words and accompanied drawing of one woman, as:[5] 


In the drawing "my reality" I used the lace up the side of the body because I have always tried to appear well put together and 'fine.' To hide how I felt and believed I had evil inside. However I was always afraid that every time I ate the evil grew and would come bursting out of me. Like bursting out at the seams as in the picture. My fear was that it would start seeping and exploding out of me ripping me apart. So after I left home and had already quit eating as an attempt to disappear, I continued to not eat to shrink the evil. I thought once the evil was shrunk and disappeared, I would be clean and worthy of living and breathing the same air as everyone else (Email communication Nov. 21, 2010).

The evil belief she had been forced to internalize led her to become anorexic and to Self-cut in her efforts to eliminate her encoded sense that she harboured evilism.

A Helpful Gender-Based Healing Intervention

Healing from the torturers’ destructive lies and false statements which they expound to the women and girls they torture as beliefs can be challenged with facts—with scientific explanations. Victimized women/girls need to be informed of the anatomical and physiological facts that their bodily digestive processes eliminate, over hours and days, any body fluids or tissues they were forced to ingest. Likewise, those who have suffered bestiality need to be informed that they will not have a cross-species—a half and half monster if impregnated. These facts can help women eliminate some of their evilism anxieties. Facts also help women and girls so harmed gain some emotional space which can help them decrease Self-blame for having a vagina—for being a girl or a woman.

Everyday Evilism

Dictionaries define evilness as acts of moral badness and wickedness with the intent to do harm. Michael Welner has been researching how to index acts of human evil by developing a Depravity Scale in an attempt to categorize and equalize how to define the behaviours of those who commit acts that are "heinous, depraved, atrocious and cruel". He defines these acts as being intentional, accompanied by attitudes that motivate sadism and the perpetrators as being so Self-absorption they disregard the impact of their acts on those they victimize.[6]

Non-state torturers do intentionally organize or plan their torture pleasures; seeking their sadistic brutal torture pleasures they are Self-absorbed, showing no empathy for those they torture. In fact, their pleasures derived from sexualized torture and other acts of NST are aimed at the intention destruction to the humanness of those they victimize.

What might others do?

• Research whether the laws in one’s country address NST. Do NST laws exist? If not, advocate for NST criminalization. If so, are charges for NST brought before the courts? Is NST victimization identified in the anti-violence programs? Are there specific NST-informed services for NST victimized persons in one’s community or in one’s country? 
• Always name and include NST victimization as one form of relational violence.  
• Participate in the research on depravity at: https://depravityscale.org/depscale/
• Participate in Linda and my questionnaires, such as: 
   o “Sexualized Harms Inflicted by Others” http://nonstatetorture.org/survey/
   o  “What are your thoughts?” http://nonstatetorture.org/files/3413/0671/4846/QUESTIONNAIREtorturegeneral.pdf
   o Torture that Happens in Families and in Other Intimate Relationships http://nonstatetorture.org/files/7713/0671/5129/QUESTIONNAIREtorturefamily.pdf

[1] Bell, Ernest A. (Ed). (1910). Fighting the traffic in young girls or war on white slavery. Copyright by G. S. Ball.

[2] Méndez, J. E. (2011, June 1). Female genital mutilation: Progress-Realities-Challenges. Side event sponsored by Women’s UN Report Network, Worldwide Organization for Women and NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva. http://www.wunrn.com/news/2011/06_11/06_06/060611_un.htm

[3] Canadian Centre for Child Protection. (2009, November). Child sexual abuse images An analysis of websites by cybertip!ca. http://www.cybertip.ca/pdfs/Cybertip_researchreport.pdf

[4] Caswell, J., Keller, W., & Murphy, S. (Producers). (2006, July 26).Supervisor of RCMP child exploitation unit, Ottawa, Earla-Kim McColl speaking about child pornography [Television broadcast]. Atlantic Canada: CTV News.

[5]. Shared with consent.

[6] Perina, Kaja. (2002, April 5). Indexing evil. Psychology Today. Available http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200201/indexing-evil


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