Dysfunctional Pyramids of Power:
Those Who Create and Sustain Them
A Big Dose of Your Own "Medicine"top
by Patricia Lefave, D.D.(P), B.R.P., "The Mystical Madwoman"
Most of us are familiar with the Drama Triangle: Persecutor (or Aggressor), Victim, Rescuer and the tendency of human beings to rotate through those roles, in an attempt to "fix" life, for both ourselves and others. In the ideal triangle, the Rescuer is at the top of the pyramid as an archetype. That one represents the Savior or Messiah.
In dysfunctional pyramids, the Drama Triangle has shifted slightly. The Rescuer has been replaced by an Aggressor, who masquerades as the Rescuer, and the base line of the pyramid is thick with Victims, unaware of the Aggressor's hidden agenda. Should anyone become aware, of the pseudo Rescuer's hidden agenda, he, or she, will soon see that beneath the mask, lies the Destroyer of anyone who gets in his way.
The Aggressor's "game" plan is to remain at the top of the pyramid of power, by manipulating and controlling everyone beneath him. How much damage will be done to everyone else, from the top down, will depend only upon how far that particular Aggressor is willing to go, to reach, and maintain his goal. Then it becomes how much those who are beneath him, are willing to accept, before they see the truth about the Leader, and attempt to stop his "game", or escape his control.
Often, the most successful dysfunctional pyramids of power, are run by the most "charismatic" of sociopaths. These are the people who really understand the "game", and playing the game, becomes their only reason for living. It has become their addiction. Their "fix". Seeing themselves as the "winners" of the game, has become their only real identity. Everything else in their life is done, or not done, for the purpose of keeping the game intact, and themselves in position, at the top of the pyramid.
The sociopaths who get really "good" at this, are the ones who become the "Adolph Hitlers", because like all addictions, the need for an ever bigger "fix" to make oneself feel better, feeds on itself.
The manipulated group which forms the base line of the pyramid, supports and enables the Rescuer/Aggressor's power. They are sucked into the scheme, long before anyone, ever, becomes aware it has happened, or even how it happened.
The first social situation in which the sociopath learns interrelationship, as a member of a group, is in the family. Of course, it's not the only social situation. But, we all take whatever we learn in our families, out into the external world with us; into schools, workplaces, and all other social situations. There, we repeat them, usually unconsciously, as "normal" patterns of behavior. "Normal" meaning; to what we have become accustomed, and so re-enact, robot like, without any thought given as to why we do it.
Dysfunctional families are the scaled down version, of the group dynamics, which support pyramids of power. This, the place where the "game" is most often first taught, and then, passed along, generation after generation. Any member of the group, who sees the pattern of the game itself, and; protests it, tries to create a group awareness of it, or tries to change it, becomes the natural enemy of the one who runs it. The leader then deals with that challenge to his power and authority, by attempting to, and often succeeding at, turning the group against the dissident member.
Often, this is accomplished by using a Bait and Switch con. The leader sets up his "enemy", by pretending to be his/her friend. He then sets up the group, by presenting the dissident as the Aggressor. The Aggressor continues to masquerade as the Rescuer, and manipulates the group to accept his version of the Victim, as stupid, sick, or crazy. The Aggressor/Rescuer communicates ambiguously, so that no one will obtain a clear picture of what is actually occurring. The opposing versions of reality, create so much chaos and confusion, through misdirection, that the truth about what is really happening, can rarely be pinpointed. The Aggressor is always careful to keep witnesses away from his private conversations with all the participants.
This group interaction actually equates to Chaos Theory. When the starting point is not really known, the results appear to be random and unconnected. But, when the starting point is known, the results are completely predictable. The Aggressor employs the "switch" because it is unlikely, once the game gets going, that either the Victim, or the Group, will ever be able to see through the chaos. He can hide successfully in the confusion. If his true agenda remains hidden, the threat to the loss of his position, or power, is greatly reduced.
The Aggressor's goal is never that of resolution, though he will deceive the group to believe that it is, if it seems politically expedient to do so. The Aggressor's goal is to make certain that resolution does not come, for if it did, it would mean the truth about him would be revealed. If it was revealed, he would lose his position at the top of the pyramid, and the power to control everyone else.
This is the "game" of Domination and Submission. It is the abstract paradigm of all dysfunctional leaders who have a hidden agenda of obtaining absolute power and control over others.
The Drama Triangle of this dysfunctional game is actually: Aggressor, Victim, and Manipulated Group. There is no Rescuer in this perverted drama.
This game varies only in the degree of it's insanity and the concrete details which reflect the structure. The details (the players, the roles, the sets, the costumes) may change slightly, but the play remains the same. Sense, or reason, has nothing to do with it. This play, is anti-logical to perfection.
We can't reason with the leader since he will simply invalidate everything we say, do, or feel, in order to validate himself, his position, and his power. We usually can' t get the leader to just leave us alone, or "allow" "inferior" us, to disagree either. If we threaten his power, even by suggestion, we get stopped every time, for as long as he manages to hold onto the power to stop us.
The goal of the one at the top of a dysfunctional pyramid of power, is to maintain that power and his position, by keeping the system closed. That means, he must see to it that nothing inside it, gets out, and nothing outside it, gets in. "Reason" has nothing to do with it. Dysfunctional pyramids are structures of power, built without reason. The only way anyone can "win" in this insane "game" is to stop playing it, and expose the madness of the game, itself, to the light of day. To do that, you must first get outside of it, so that you can see it clearly. Once it is seen for what it really is, the mystification comes to an end, the agenda no longer hidden. No one gets sucked into a con game, if the end result is perfectly obvious from the start.
The sociopath thinks in adversarial terms. He sees life itself, as a "contest" against others, which he must "win". In religious terms, the name "Satan" means adversary. If I were to discuss this in purely religious terms, I would still mean the same thing. There is a saying about Satan, a.k.a The Devil (which you may notice is "lived" backwards) It is: Satan's arrogance blinds him to the truth about himself. Arrogant individuals maintain their position, in spite of any and all evidence that it is wrong, by projecting their own errors onto their victims. The victims' lives are "sacrificed", one way or another, to appease the petty gods of dysfunction and to maintain the perverted system.
These are the group dynamics of scapegoating. This system is supported by a blindly led majority, which enables the leader, simply because we all want to feel we "belong"; that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. I believe it appeals to the innate desire of human beings to be "One" again, to feel safe and warm within the "womb" of Creation, and to follow a Rescuer who will lead us all safely "Home". Unfortunately, when our Savior turns out to be our Destroyer in disguise, we often blindly follow him anyway, all the way to the edge of the Abyss, before we start to notice that something isn't right.
The Destroyer who masquerades as the Rescuer always has a primary rule which must be followed if you want to belong to his group. The rule is: You are not allowed to perceive any fault in the leader, or his system. If you do, you threaten his power and control, and become the enemy. If you become his enemy, he will enlist the support of the group to force you out. Then you will face the terrors of isolation, for committing the sin of awareness.
Paradoxically, the only way to see the truth about the distorted system, is to see it from the outside. So, being forced out, may be just what you need the most. At that moment, we start to regain our sanity. That is the moment we reach the nexus. Our collective "center". That is also the moment the group often believes we have "gone insane", because we see something the group does not see. It is during this period of our transformation that we "nuts" tend to laugh and giggle uncontrollably. At the complete absurdity of it all. A Cosmic Joke. If psychiatry is really interested in healing, rather than suppressing the truth nobody likes, and controlling misunderstood emotional reactions, it needs to get out of the instant judgment business, and start listening. Learn to see and hear , what has been right in front of you all along, "hidden" in plain sight.
As I said to psychiatry in 1995 ,about my own relationship with an Aggressor, masquerading as a Rescuer, "He couldn't have done it without manipulating the group to help him."
Allow a new idea to enter you own collective mind. For what is "hidden" to you, isn't necessarily "hidden" to "us". It is actually possible that "we" "defectives" understand something, that you "experts" do not. As hard as that may be for you to imagine.
It is said, the original error occurred back in the Garden, when that Old Serpent, that Snake in the Grass, pulled off the first Bait and Switch routine. He switched positions with God, in order to create doubt in the minds of the original parents, Adam and Eve. And Adam and Eve "fell" for it. We've paid for that error (which means sin) ever since, even passing it along, generation after generation, like the family heirloom. All because no fault must ever be found in the preceding generation, (or "authority" figures who represent them), even if the failure to find that fault costs us all, Life itself.
It's time we all faced the reality of that error, as the faulty premise of our reasoning. Still, who am I, to have the unmitigated gall, to dare to disagree with authority. They are right, I think. It's time I "let it go", stopped this "whining" and did something different to "get on with my life".
In MY ultimate "reality", I find myself in full agreement with psychiatry's diagnosis of me. For I am indeed, resisting, denying, non compliant, and NOW, I'm even "seeking fame". Would you say we've come "full circle"?
Patricia Lefave, D.D.(P.)
email: Psychevolution @ yahoo.ca
Patricia's Blog: www.beyondthepsychiatricbox.blogspot.com
© 2003, Patricia Lefave
View our related articles:
"The Minds of Psychiatrists Research Project"
The Psychiatric Tautology: Our Collective Nightmare by Paticia Lefave
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