In another post I referred to some of our group monitors as “pathogen catchers” – I like how that sounds. That’s what they do.
The symptoms of the pathogen are really easy to spot. My goodness, a neon sign sort of stuff.
The pathogen has three defenses, to hide, to seek allies, and to attack to put the other person on the defensive.
We’re likely going to see a lot of that third pathogen defense start happening. Wooo wee, the pathogen’s gonna be scared, and when it’s scared it attacks.
The purpose of the attack isn’t really the content, it’s designed to put me on the defensive, defending myself – because if I’m defending myself then the focus is off of the pathogen.
So one of the features of these attacks is they are “extreme” in their accusations (remember, “extreme” as the descriptor for something means we’re in trauma world – that’s what unresolved trauma does, it makes symptoms “extreme”). Hyperbolic accusations force the target to respond.
Pathogen: Dr. Childress eats children.
People: Dr. Childress, is it true you eat children?
Dr. C: What? That’s nonsense. Of course I don’t eat children.
Pathogen: Dr. Childress denies he eats children, but we have proof he does.
Dr. C: No you don’t. That’s complete nonsense.
Pathogen: Prove to us you don’t eat children.
See what’s happened? The attacks are designed to put me on the defensive, because as long as I’m defending then I’m not focused on exposing the pathogen. These hyperbolic attacks are a symptom of the pathology. A very intriguing symptom, I might add.
That’s why I labeled this aspect of the pathology as flying monkeys, drawing on the popular culture term for this aspect of narcissistic personality pathology:
At the more extreme ends of this feature is gang stalking and malignant narcissism.
This is a feature of severe narcissistic pathology, potentially linked to the Dark Triad personality.
Dark Triad Reference List
I’m more than happy to discuss any of this, or anything about Bowlby and attachment, or Minuchin and family therapy. But I’m not responding to “Dr. Childress eats babies” nonsense symptoms of the pathogen.
What I am doing though, is I’m studying the dickens out of these attacks. I am learning gangbusters as a clinical psychologist about the structure and nature of the pathogen from how it’s responding.
It’s called Response-to-Intervention (RTI). It is a really powerful assessment technique. Basically RTI is “poke it and see what it does.” We’ll be using RTIs down the road in both the assessment and treatment of this pathology.
With AB-PA, we have a very structured intervention – the diagnostic meme-structure of AB-PA; Bowlby, Minuchin, Beck.
I have also constructed a structured context meme-structure surrounding AB-PA through linkages to attachment pathology, personality pathology, complex trauma, and family systems therapy. So I have a defined “intervention.”
In psychoanalysis, it would be analogous to the “analytic frame” established by the analyst to capture the transference narrative.
Now that Dorcy and I have begun active collaboration, we are moving into a more active solution phase. This is going to provoke a lot of fear and anxiety in the pathogen. It’s going to attack. I want to see what the attacks are.
The pathogen is pattern, so I’m expecting two forms:
“New Theory”: AB-PA is a new theory; needs “peer reviewed research” – this is just the Gardner PAS attack transferred wholesale to AB-PA – it doesn’t apply.
“Dr. Childress eats babies”: This will be a personal line of attack on me, smearing and defaming me. This, again, is simply the Gardner is a pedophile line of attack transferred over.
So while I’m expecting to see those two lines, I’ve already got most of the information off of them. I want to see something new. So that’s going to be a lot of fun for me as a clinical psychologist as this gets moving, what’s the pathogen going to do once this first line of attack fails? I want to see the pathogen generate something new. Trauma is pattern. What happens when trauma pattern has to generate something non-pattern.
I don’t think it can. We’ll see.
But just a heads up, for about the next 18 months the pathogen is going to be terrified, so expect a lot of angry stuff going around, and blame stuff, and lots and lots of hyperbolic exaggerations and allegations.
We’re in trauma world. This is my world as a clinical psychologist. No worries on my end. Only threat is from forensic psychology, but I think I’ve got that covered and I’m safe from them. Seriously, I view the AFCC as the evil empire.
Things are likely to get… interesting. That’s the only word that fits for me. It’s going to be trauma world upside-down nutty, but for a clinical psychologist – especially an Internet clinical psychologist – it’s pure gold. Did you know I have background expertise in Internet psychology. Yeah, look at my vitae. I’ve written some peer reviewed articles on Internet psychology – World Health Organization presentation, invited presentation to the American Academy for the Advancement of Science… on Internet psychology. Hmm, and I’m having an amazing time watching what the pathogen does.
What if we transferred this process of Internet study and intervention with a pathology over to something else, like pathological racism and antisemitism? Based on what I’m getting from this trauma pathogen, I think there’s a lot that could be done online – through the Internet – with pathological racism and antisemitism. They are both variants of this trauma pathogen of cruelty and narcissistic pathology.
The important thing when working with trauma pathology is not to get swept up in the “contagion” of the trauma – the “extreme” of the symptoms. Take a deep breath, bring it down. Down. Dr. Childress is not eating babies.
I’m not going to defend. Won’t work pathogen. I’m going to stay right on you. We are exposing you from your crevices and dark places.
I will debate anyone, anywhere, anytime. Set it up. I’d especially enjoy a law school sponsored debate with someone or on a panel. I can guarantee a very enlightening discussion.
The pathogen lies. It lies a lot. It lies all the time. That’s the symptom.
The pathogen hides, but it exposes itself on attack. I’m pathogen bait. Oh, hello pathogen. At least in the Facebook group we have wonderful pathogen catchers who scoot the flying monkeys away, scoot, scoot, scoot, out you go.
It the broader Internet, I’m sure the monkeys are starting to howl, and it’ll likely become a pretty entertaining concert. Let’s watch what happens in the field of forensic psychology – I’m provoking the pathogen a lot, lets see how the forensic psychology allies respond. Will it be as simplistic as the flying monkeys, or will they come up with something… new. Show me new, pathogen.
Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857