Law School Discussion

Legal Reasoning

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #140 on: August 25, 2006, 08:17:34 PM »

No wonder, then, why the production and traffic of forged bills is so actively repressed and so heavily punished -- to a far greater extent, for instance, than are theft or embezzlement.

Well, the answer can only lie in this -- that is, the Symbolic, of which money is precisely a representative -- ought to circulate. The very durability of the social cultural system is at stake here, for this system could be overturned or even destroyed by the proliferation of false references that are necessarily excluded from any form of legal and symbolic guarantee.

Forged currency is a parody: it apes, as it were, real currency, and renders this ridiculous in much the same way as an ape imitating a man makes fun of the latter. And as one cannot make fun of symbolic guarantees with impunity, the proliferation of forged currency is anything but neutral: not only economic values but equally ethical and juridical values, etc., soon appear as suspicious since currency is the expression of a global sovereignty.

Such considerations give support to the idea that it is impossible to completely trust the Symbolic, however absolutely indispensable this may otherwise be to Man. It may well be the case that the true bears the false within itself, but, more generally, money is never able to pay for or replace those minute fetishes (trivia, memories, etc.) that are so dear to us and which testify, over the course of our lives, to the absence of the fundamental object of desire (the proof that one cannot buy everything).

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #141 on: September 01, 2006, 02:52:18 AM »

Here are some of the signs:

1. People who avoid answering the issues you raise with them;
2. A group that uses psychologically coercive techniques to recruit and indoctrinate members;
3. An organization that uses falsehood in their indoctrination and recruiting methods;
4. A group that maintains that "the end justifies the means";
5. An organization that forms a totalitarian society;
6. A group that has a charismatic, dogmatic leader who plays "Messiah" and demands total devotion: he or she can seem like the most wonderful person you have ever heard of;
7. A group that obtains funds through deception for the personal gain and/or power of the leader;
8. A group that performs no real service to society, although they claim to do so (remember, deceit is one of their tickets);
9. A group that destroys existing relationships with family and friends -- if your family is aware that something is happening to you, the group tells you that your family is evil, or doesn't want you to progress, or that your family is the only reason you have ever been sick or unhappy in your life. (This is another major tool destructive cults use: they tell you your family members or close friends, if they are critical of the organization, are "negative" or "suppressive", or whatever buzzword the group uses for its enemies, and that your family and friends are actually making you sick, and trying to hold you back);
10. An organization that teaches fear, hatred, and rejection of society, while claiming to promote the cause of world peace and universal love. (A good example of a group that teaches hate, fear and rejection is the Ku Klux Klan -- under the definition of most religions, political parties, the Mafia, any terrorist group, the KKK -- all of these could claim they are a religion, since they follow the same definition used by most of the pseudo-religious cults and mind control groups);
11. A group that practices intimidation of critics by threats (which they sometimes carry out) or lawsuits, allow no development of the individual. (If a person in the group questions or wants to be an individual, he or she is told that the way to be an individual is to become more and more involved with the organization);
12. An organization that isolates their members, either mentally or physically, polarizing the group and society into opposing camps, creating an "us/them" mentality, making the members identify exclusively with the group;
13. A group that demands full-time or lifetime commitment: if you are allowed to work in the outside world, it is to get money for the cult, or for further programming or training within the cult for yourself;
14. An organization that has secret practices and docrines and/or objectives that the average new recruit has absolutely no idea about;
15. A group that has simple black-and-white solutions for the world's problems: if everyone becomes a member of this particular cult, then there won't be any war, hunger, or oppression;
16. An organization that makes its members afraid to dare to speak up, even afraid to think about how the cult is oppressing them;
17. A group that suppresses critical thought, blocking out questions and doubts by various methods, such as: chanting; rules of silence; long hours of meditation, study, processing, or counselling; speaking in tongues; various forms of repetitive action; inadequate diet or sleep;
18. An organization whose methods rob their members of free will, destroying family relationships;
19. A group that creates an attitude of willing slavery in its members: people in the group become willing to work long, long hours for the benefit of the organization -- not for their own individual benefit;
20. An organization that creates neuroses and psychoses in its members, so that some members become very angry if anyone points out that their organization may not be what it says, and may even be a destructive cult, and other members can even become violent towards anyone who disagrees with them;
21. A group that creates physical deterioration in its members, often caused by malnutrition, sleep deprivation, overwork, or emotional stress;
22. An organization that destroys its members' judgment, reducing their ability to evaluate for themselves what is most important to them individually, so each member thinks only of the group, losing sight of his or her own self.,3169.msg39724.html#msg39724

In 1921, upon publishing "Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego," Freud was among the first to study the powerful influence that group leaders can have over group members. In his paper, Freud referred to the contagious and regressive nature of groups described by LeBon and McDougall, but he added the dimension of intrapsychic cathectic shifts that could occur in groups. Freud described the similarity of such groups as the Catholic Church and the army with the hypnotic situation. In all of these situations, there is a leader and one or more followers. The follower obeys the leader and gives up his own superego and ego ideal as he identifies with the leader's superego. Freud also compared the psychological changes occurring in group members to changes that occur to those who fall in love. In both cases, the ego can disregard the previous standards of the superego, because it gains a sufficient amount of narcissistic support and gratification of instinctual wishes elsewhere.

After the Korean War, under assignment by the U.S. Army, Lifton Singer, West, and others studied the effects of mind control techniques on the returning POWs. They described how these soldiers had been influenced to accept communist ideology while captive. They explained how these techniques of coercive persuasion went beyond normal group influences described by Freud through the use of deliberate manipulation processes that increased guilt, shame, and anxiety in the POW's. These mental health professionals were the first to describe the fact that some of the same mind control dynamic are used in modern day cults. Today there is a recognized body of literature by mental health professionals about mind control techniques used in cults. Of course, in addition to examining the coercive techniques, the clinician must examine the vulnerability of the cult recruit. Individuals become vulnerable to cults at times of stress, particularly during periods of transition (e.g., when dealing with loss of a relationship or employment).

The large majority of people who join cults do so in late adolescence or early adulthood. With puberty, there is an increase in the sexual and aggressive drives. Along with this, there is a revival of oedipal feelings and, therefore, there is a need for distancing from the oedipal objects of childhood. Parents are de-idealized and healthy young adults attempt to develop a vision of the world that is different from their parent's view. Also, during this time, there often is physical distance from the family. This distance and the concomitant feelings of separateness is engenders may trigger pre-oedipal anxiety and/or depression. Additionally, there are specific personality dynamics of late adolescence which were first described by Anna Freud -- intellectualization, asceticism and idealism -- which make adolescents vulnerable to cults. Furthermore, the adolescent superego is highly susceptible to environmental influences as a result of parental de-identification. Therefore, this is a time of life that the group or group leader can have a powerful influence.

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #142 on: September 01, 2006, 02:52:54 AM »
Adolescents and young adults also are in a period of transition and may desire a sense of community and acceptance at a time in their live, when they are experiencing uncertainty and/or anxiety about their identities and their futures.  Therefore, this is  a stage of development wherein group membership and the new identifications made with group members can be a progressive step of separation from the object, of childhood. As mentioned previously, an adolescent becomes particularly vulnerable to cult recruitment at a time when he or she is dealing with external and/or internal losses. Those who are particularly susceptible to groups that turn out to be cults are typically those who an in order to attack the recruits' identity and belief system; and pressuring recruits to meet a new standard of perfection. These influence techniques attack the recruit's identity structure, formed from identifications made with important figures in the recruit's life. That is, without conscious awareness of this process, individuals are induced to let go of their original identity and take on a new cultic identity; and, by doing so, enter into a dissociative state. This cultic identity enables the recruit to better cope with this recruitment process.

In viewing this situation psychodynamically, it could be said that with the absence of an anchor in the past, recruits defend against feeling anxious, overwhelmed, exhausted, and confused by forming an identification with the cult leader -- identification with the aggressor. Anna Freud coined "identification with the aggressor" in "The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense," to describe how a child "introjects some characteristic of an anxiety object and so assimilates an anxiety experience which he has just undergone." This defense was not only used to describe a process of childhood, but was seen as a defensive maneuver used at later periods of life when the individual was undergoing high levels of stress. For example, the defense of identification with the aggressor was later used to understand how Jews imprisoned in concentration camps sought out discarded insignias and torn shreds of SS uniforms with which to adorn their rags.

If this process is prolonged, the new cultic personality, initially formed as a role played in response to stressful circumstances, will be superimposed upon the original personality which, while not completely forgotten, will be enveloped within the shell of the new cultic personality. This new cultic identification encapsulates the general regression that occurs in recruits to cults. The pre-oedipal cult world is seen as black and white and objects as good and evil. This view, which defines the cult world as the only true path and the outside world (often including family and friends) as satanic, further binds the recruit to the cult. This also has implications for memory of past relationships and events. Typically, over time, life prior to the cult begins to be seen in a more negative light. Furthermore, there is a sense of omnipotence gained by sharing with the all-powerful cult leader (mother). This sense of omnipotence is experienced as euphoria by the recruit. The boundaries have blurred and the recruit's sense of individuality is weakened.

Cult members become aware of the positive effect of belonging to a single-minded community. Whitsett describes how this sense of belonging can be used as a powerful tool to keep recruits in cults. However, the pressure for uniformity has a regressive influence on the ego, precluding any type of critical assessment of this coercive and highly suggestive experience. Recruits are actively discouraged from differentiating their own thoughts and feelings from those of the group. This single-mindedness is reinforced through a strict system ol reward and punishment. There is constant pressure to be obedient to the cult leader. If recruits have doubts or go against the cult leader's wishes, they are humiliated or, worse, threatened with excommunication -- which cult members come to believe is being d**mned to Hell. Furthermore, their doubt is defined as a reflection of their personal problems, not as reflection of deficiencies within the leader or the ideology, Therefore, by punishing any expression of doubt, the leader induces cult members to become more and more dependent on receiving his approval through obedient behavior. In this way, ego functions that interfere with group functions are attacked and diminished. The cult member becomes child-like and suggestible. Therefore, in order to continue to feel good the recruit must continually be locked into an idealizing transference the cult leader, which never ends and never is interpreted.

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #143 on: September 03, 2006, 06:50:56 AM »
I hope you have heard of unicorns.

Who hasn't heard of unicorns?  ;)


Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #144 on: September 06, 2006, 06:08:34 PM »
Looks like you're one of us, "notre petite bande" ;)


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« Reply #145 on: September 13, 2006, 03:05:47 PM »

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #146 on: September 13, 2006, 03:18:34 PM »
Praise Hank. Nice illustration of the stupidity of organized religion.


« Reply #147 on: September 14, 2006, 02:43:35 PM »

They left out the part where the protagonist asks John and Mary to prove that Hank exists, and they reply by saying, "you can't prove he doesn't exist." I believe that is followed by a discussion of 2 apples not equaling 1 because if holeycamels ate 2 apples he would be more full than if he ate 1. Therefore, you can prove a negative (the negative existential is that no human being exists who is more idiotic than HC). Therefore, Hank exists.

Wow, Christian logic is easy.

The script
« Reply #148 on: September 15, 2006, 03:12:37 AM »
John: "Hi! I'm John, and this is Mary."

Mary: "Hi! We're here to invite you to come kiss Hank's ass with us."

Me: "Pardon me?! What are you talking about? Who's Hank, and why would I want to kiss His ass?"

John: "If you kiss Hank's ass, He'll give you a million dollars; and if you don't, He'll kick the *&^% out of you."

Me: "What? Is this some sort of bizarre mob shake-down?"

John: "Hank is a billionaire philanthropist. Hank built this town. Hank owns this town. He can do whatever He wants, and what He wants is to give you a million dollars, but He can't until you kiss His ass."

Me: "That doesn't make any sense. Why..."

Mary: "Who are you to question Hank's gift? Don't you want a million dollars? Isn't it worth a little kiss on the ass?"

Me: "Well maybe, if it's legit, but..."

John: "Then come kiss Hank's ass with us."

Me: "Do you kiss Hank's ass often?"

Mary: "Oh yes, all the time..."

Me: "And has He given you a million dollars?"

John: "Well no. You don't actually get the money until you leave town."

Me: "So why don't you just leave town now?"

Mary: "You can't leave until Hank tells you to, or you don't get the money, and He kicks the *&^% out of you."

Me: "Do you know anyone who kissed Hank's ass, left town, and got the million dollars?"

John: "My mother kissed Hank's ass for years. She left town last year, and I'm sure she got the money."

Me: "Haven't you talked to her since then?"

John: "Of course not, Hank doesn't allow it."

Me: "So what makes you think He'll actually give you the money if you've never talked to anyone who got the money?"

Mary: "Well, He gives you a little bit before you leave. Maybe you'll get a raise, maybe you'll win a small lotto, maybe you'll just find a twenty-dollar bill on the street."

Me: "What's that got to do with Hank?"

John: "Hank has certain 'connections.'"

Me: "I'm sorry, but this sounds like some sort of bizarre con game."

John: "But it's a million dollars, can you really take the chance? And remember, if you don't kiss Hank's ass He'll kick the *&^% out of you."

Me: "Maybe if I could see Hank, talk to Him, get the details straight from Him..."

Mary: "No one sees Hank, no one talks to Hank."

Me: "Then how do you kiss His ass?"

John: "Sometimes we just blow Him a kiss, and think of His ass. Other times we kiss Karl's ass, and he passes it on."

Me: "Who's Karl?"

Mary: "A friend of ours. He's the one who taught us all about kissing Hank's ass. All we had to do was take him out to dinner a few times."

Me: "And you just took his word for it when he said there was a Hank, that Hank wanted you to kiss His ass, and that Hank would reward you?"

John: "Oh no! Karl has a letter he got from Hank years ago explaining the whole thing. Here's a copy; see for yourself."

From the Desk of Karl

1. Kiss Hank's ass and He'll give you a million dollars when you leave town.
2. Use alcohol in moderation.
3. Kick the *&^% out of people who aren't like you.
4. Eat right.
5. Hank dictated this list Himself.
6. The moon is made of green cheese.
7. Everything Hank says is right.
8. Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.
9. Don't use alcohol.
10. Eat your wieners on buns, no condiments.
11. Kiss Hank's ass or He'll kick the *&^% out of you.

Me: "This appears to be written on Karl's letterhead."

Mary: "Hank didn't have any paper."

Me: "I have a hunch that if we checked we'd find this is Karl's handwriting."

John: "Of course, Hank dictated it."

Me: "I thought you said no one gets to see Hank?"

Mary: "Not now, but years ago He would talk to some people."

Me: "I thought you said He was a philanthropist. What sort of philanthropist kicks the *&^% out of people just because they're different?"

Mary: "It's what Hank wants, and Hank's always right."

Me: "How do you figure that?"

Mary: "Item 7 says 'Everything Hank says is right.' That's good enough for me!"

Me: "Maybe your friend Karl just made the whole thing up."

John: "No way! Item 5 says 'Hank dictated this list himself.' Besides, item 2 says 'Use alcohol in moderation,' Item 4 says 'Eat right,' and item 8 says 'Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.' Everyone knows those things are right, so the rest must be true, too."

Me: "But 9 says 'Don't use alcohol.' which doesn't quite go with item 2, and 6 says 'The moon is made of green cheese,' which is just plain wrong."

John: "There's no contradiction between 9 and 2, 9 just clarifies 2. As far as 6 goes, you've never been to the moon, so you can't say for sure."

Me: "Scientists have pretty firmly established that the moon is made of rock..."

Mary: "But they don't know if the rock came from the Earth, or from out of space, so it could just as easily be green cheese."

Me: "I'm not really an expert, but I think the theory that the Moon was somehow 'captured' by the Earth has been discounted*. Besides, not knowing where the rock came from doesn't make it cheese."

John: "Ha! You just admitted that scientists make mistakes, but we know Hank is always right!"

Me: "We do?"

Mary: "Of course we do, Item 7 says so."

Me: "You're saying Hank's always right because the list says so, the list is right because Hank dictated it, and we know that Hank dictated it because the list says so. That's circular logic, no different than saying 'Hank's right because He says He's right.'"

John: "Now you're getting it! It's so rewarding to see someone come around to Hank's way of thinking."

Me: "But...oh, never mind. What's the deal with wieners?"

Mary: She blushes.

John: "Wieners, in buns, no condiments. It's Hank's way. Anything else is wrong."

Me: "What if I don't have a bun?"

John: "No bun, no wiener. A wiener without a bun is wrong."

Me: "No relish? No Mustard?"

Mary: She looks positively stricken.

John: He's shouting. "There's no need for such language! Condiments of any kind are wrong!"

Me: "So a big pile of sauerkraut with some wieners chopped up in it would be out of the question?"

Mary: Sticks her fingers in her ears."I am not listening to this. La la la, la la, la la la."

John: "That's disgusting. Only some sort of evil deviant would eat that..."

Me: "It's good! I eat it all the time."

Mary: She faints.

John: He catches Mary. "Well, if I'd known you were one of those I wouldn't have wasted my time. When Hank kicks the *&^% out of you I'll be there, counting my money and laughing. I'll kiss Hank's ass for you, you bunless cut-wienered kraut-eater."

With this, John dragged Mary to their waiting car, and sped off.

Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #149 on: September 15, 2006, 03:48:01 AM »
Their nicks are also quite interesting ;)