Subject: Re: Allegro 6.1 on Debian Woody? From: Erik Naggum <email@example.com> Date: Tue, 04 Jun 2002 01:20:25 GMT Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> * "Coby Beck" | I am curious to know if anyone has ever heard of a successful lawsuit | over a usenet posting. (or even an unsuccessful one for that matter...) | Given the level of discourse on usenet that would be an extraordinary | thing, IMO. I've certainly seen threats. Today (2002-06-03) the Norwegian state attorney brought indictments against a 56-year-old psychologist (a behaviorist, of course) who has been busy harrassing and persecuting a large number of people his entire, however brief, existence on the Net, three of which filed charges last year. His behavioral problems is well covered by the penal code, so this is no libel suit. The key to a successful case is instead that he has been persecuting people who have once disagreed with him, abusing his skills as a psychologist in order to inflict prolonged personal harm. Unlike harrassment, which is silly, persecution requires prolonged and directed attacks even in the absence of retaliation or response. (We have a pretty decent and good old Viking-style rule in Norwegian law: If you think somebody said something wrong about you and you retaliate, you have no grounds for redress at all and any supposed libel is laughed out of court. If you are "harrassed" and retaliate, you do not need the court to protect you, because the person _you_ attacked has as least as good reason to seek protection as you did. If you _ask_ somebody to stop doing something hurtful to you and they _persist_, however, you have cause for a charge of persecution.) Brought to a psychology forum by a psychiatric patient with a serious grudge against psychiatry as such, he first attacked anyone who disagreed with his outrageous claim that psychiatry is the root of all evil (an opinion commonly held by stark raving mad psychiatric patients who need someone to blame for their pain), then that his pet psychological theory, radical behaviorism -- basically regarding humans as soul-less automatons who only respond to their environment -- was the only "scientific" theory of psychology (which is undiluted hogwash), then that anyone who opposed his increasingly insane and hostile behavior as a perpetual newbie should be terrorized for months in order to defend the non-learning of "newbies" everywhere, upon which he garnered a following of past and present mental patients with incurable problems and nothing left to lose, notably several psychiatric patients whose vociferous agreement on the evils of psychiatry would probably form sufficient material for a whole conference. It has all the markings of a landmark case and may well define freedom on the Internet more than the Jon Lech Johansen case (the DVD "cracker" who has angered Hollywood so much by trying to play a rightfully owned DVD on a rightfully owned computer that had not succumbed to Microsoft). [It is not that Norwegians are such law-breaking people, it is that we tend to ignore bad laws and fight it out. Viking blood and all that, although it tends to be more blood than Viking when all is said and done.] The perpetrator has lost his license to practice (to the extent that the quack psychologists need any here), has lost his job as a teacher of some special psychiatric nurses (even though he is touted as an authority on behaviorism in Norway, he is unable to modify his behavior such that people will work with him), lost his computers (because he managed to seriously piss off the courts, too), and long ago lost his mind, which is intimately related to his reason for being on the Net at all. He was very closely associated with an important case in Norwegian psychiatric care law, the Arnold Jukleroed case, in which a highly religious nutjob protested the shutdown of his daughter's school, on the way to which she had been sexually assaulted (a fact that surfaced only when the current perpetrator was instrumental in causing the psychiatric patient that brought him onto the Net in the first place to publish the Jukleroed journals in their uncensored form, a breach of professional ethics that will likely cause further indictments), and subsequently demonstrated beyond all reasonable doubt that he was suffering from an affliction known as "paranoia querulantis" (see ICD-10 or DSM-IV-R), in which an initially reasonable quest for acceptance of wrong-doing and reparations from the government (usually) went far beyond the reasonable into an obsession that would end with his quest to be cleared of his psychiatric diagnosis (!) and for which he paid with his life by spending his last few years living in a tent outside the psychiatric hospital that refused to clear his name (which was obviously correct, albeit slightly unwise), until he weakened and died of pneumonia. The perpetrator was probably the single strongest reason that Arnold Jukleroed did _not_ give up his idiotic fight and move home or accept hospitalization for his weakened health, but continued to fight his obviously losing battle. The Jukleroed "movement" has over the years fought for some important changes in psychiatric care in Norway, but similar developments have occurred independently in other countries without any similar incident and have generally preceded changes here, so there is little reason to believe that the Jukleroed case were a sine qua non for this development, although the Jukleroed movement certainly believe in the seminal nature of his case, denial of which is a major part of our perpetrator's furor. Regardless of the importance of the case, the perpetrator's role has long been well known by the psychiatric establishment and there is a strong consensus that he let Jukleroed fight his own war, just as he used another psychiatric patient to publish Jukleroed's journals after he completely derailed a research project to publish them sans personal details that would unduly tarnish the memory of unrelated people as well as his surviving family members, who have changed their names and sought to distance themselves from the case and the movement, except for a few nutjobs who have acquired an uncanny taste for conspiracy theories. Despite lack of evidence of any actual wrong-doing (other than unwisely insisting on same), there is no doubt that pscyhiatry is a fairly young discipline and has had some major problems, but, like other past ills, reasonably intelligent and mature and _sane_ people work to get over them instead of working to increase their own pain and suffering in order to blame others for their role as victims. (There is an ongoing debate in the United States that I will not name directly which is at least as insane and which has lots of people believe in victimization to the point that the very raison d'être of the United States as we know it from its Civil War is denied and the lives lost of 350,000 soldiers who fought to end this evil are attempted used to make the _vanquishers_ pay for evils of the _vanquished_, a kind of blame-throwing and denial that at least in Germany would lead to swift incarceration.) The lack of ability to get over something painful is perhaps an all too human character flaw, but it does not infrequently lead people to commit acts of evil that far surpass _normal_ imagination and are most certainly so insanely exaggerated compared to the initial cause that nobody could even dream of accepting what they demand after it has reached its feverish pitch. (Some would argue that terrorists have a similar, if not the same, mental problem.) We actually see this problem exhibited here from time to time, where some people who have not even been subject to any wrong-doing lose it and run the whole gamut of purposefully destructive behavior in order to (pretend to) seek redress for some irrelevant hurt feeling that they have to blame somebody else for, and if those others do not recognize their "need" to seek redress, such as by accepting "blame" for their hurt feelings (which is itself pretty nuts, but _culturally_ acceptable in the United States and Germany in particular), they go nuts in a _really_ big way. I still remember a French nutjob who proved all too well what happens when you install Internet at psychiatric hospitals -- or more generally, in France. I find it most interesting that people who somehow become obsessive about some peculiar irrelevancy, like using full names on USENET, can consider their supposedly hurt feelings because somebody does not "obey" their stupid rules a sufficient reason to attack someone who not only uses his full name and disagrees with the stupid rule in a civil and courteous manner, so one could reasonably expect them to be in the clear, for their "hollow and self-righteous pose". I mean, what _possesses_ people who respond in this way to mere disagreement over a rule? For once, I was not the target of such a nutjob, but time and again, we see that people who cannot handle disagreement of any sort not only blame others for this peculiar character flaw, they use unlimited force in trying to hurt those who "disrespect" their feelings and they will do absolutely _anything_ to stop someone from hurting them, even though the only possible cause of their pain is self-infliction and they prove to the whole world how evil they are and how unable they are to stop. Is there a cure for this illness? Yes, and it is simple: If you feel hurt by something somebody says that is not _specifically_ directed at your person and that should not rather be regarded as directed at what you have actually done, it is your own goddamn problem: You _choose_ to be hurt by it, and you can choose _not_ to. If it _can_ be directed at your actions, it should be, and the way to avoid more pain is simply to change your actions. (However, if reasonable efforts to change does not work, you _know_ that it is personal.) Feeling personally hurt because you get a negative response to something you have done is immature beyond belief. Feeling similarly hurt by proxy (on behalf of someone else) _is_ insane, there are no two ways about it. There never were a more evil person than he who rises to "defend" others from pain that never was. (It is, of course, perfectly legitimate to defend others from physical harm, but words are _not_ physically harmful, despite the ardent belief of behaviorists, among other nutjobs; a word is hurtful only because the listener chooses to accept it as such.) There is, however, a belief in the American culture that an outrageous claim that words can cause physical pain should be intellectual respectable, but it is the root cause of the rampant victimization of the entire American population. All sorts of wacky notions of "protecting" people from hurtful words have gained force in recent years, and are hailed as "progress". There are laws that actually regulate what you can _say_ if some paranoid-neurotic bystander can claim to feel bad because of it. Nobody need ever act on it, no actual loss need ever occur, just holding opinions that some idiot cannot deal with is enough. Protecting free speech is far less important in some circles than protecting feeble-minded neurotics from the need to seek treatment for their frail and fragile personality. The right to be a helpless victim who can blame somebody else for everything and get paid a lot for being hurt is far more important than the right to stand up for your beliefs: in effect, you should _not_ stand up for your beliefs if some neurotic somewhere can be "hurt" by it. One likely outcome of this trial is that we will get mature and wise men to hand down a ruling that a certain amount of tolerance for "pain" from other people's words is required of all participants in any public forum in the interest of unregulated and free speech, but that persistent and directed, unprovoked and unrequited harrassment is not free speech so protected. This may set an important precedent for how people can be expected to deal with their own hurt feelings, and that those who do not have the mental wherewithal to engage in public discourse refrain from attempting to do so (and instead rely on letters to the editor where they cannot experience the snickering over the readership's breakfast), and still convey a message to those who feel a need to take revenge that not doing so is significantly smarter than they think. This may even cause such randomness as those who see "hollow and self-righteous pose" in those who reject their "rules" to be dampened at the outset, and may lead to a general dampening of the so often excessive oscillations of emotion when some nutjob feels hurt and cannot handle it. But not that Americans would notice until their own victimization parades have been rejected and they can come to grips with expressions of opinions that "hurt" their increasing number of professional neurotics, including their feeble- minded president, who has obviously done more to weaken the spirit of the American people than anything else in their entire history, particularly the direct precursor to the approval ratings that, alarmingly, exceeded his IQ. The only way you can look up to an intellectual midget is by denying yourself the opportunity to stand on your own two feet. We may yet see a change to this attitude and a desire even for modern Americans to protect freedom more than fear, conformity and political correctness. [ Those offended by the unbridled off-topicness of this article may be eligible for a refund _only_ upon applying to the author by mail. ] -- In a fight against something, the fight has value, victory has none. In a fight for something, the fight is a loss, victory merely relief. 70 percent of American adults do not understand the scientific process.