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Here's to the many who are increasingly aware and finding positive ways to focus and re-construct their lives to make a difference out there in the real world.

Those of us who break through our own conditioning, (who learn to better see the reality of the personal and cultural dynamics of abuse) start to find ways to act and educate, big or small.

A government or a person that allows abuses to happen because of either lack of awareness or vested interest is betraying its people, and so often the people become convinced it’s normal. I like the term 'adaptive blindness' below, because it describes how people numb out reality and thus accountability. For example, our tax system here is abusive because most people cannot wade through the thousands of tax laws themselves! It is so confusing that most cannot do their own taxes. People complain but think it’s just normal.

Betrayal trauma is a twisted perception in which people can be convinced that an authority who abuses has their best interest at heart and even align with them for help. In other words people will numb out, disassociate that part.

The topic of betrayal trauma was on the radio yesterday, and on the net I found this:

The phrase "betrayal trauma" can be used to refer to a kind of trauma (independent of the reaction to the trauma). "Most mental health professionals have expanded the definition of trauma to include betrayal trauma. Betrayal trauma occurs when the people or institutions we depend on for survival violate us in some way.

"Jennifer Freyd introduced the term "DARVO" near the end of a 1997 publication about her primary research focus, "betrayal trauma theory." (For more on betrayal trauma theory, see http://dynamic.uoregon.edu/~jjf/defineBT.html.)

DARVO refers to a reaction that perpetrators of wrong doing, particularly sexual offenders, may display in response to being held accountable for their behavior. DARVO stands for "Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender." The perpetrator or offender may deny the behavior, Attack the individual doing the confronting, and Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender such that the perpetrator assumes the victim role and turns the true victim into an alleged offender. This occurs, for instance, when an actually guilty perpetrator assumes the role of "falsely accused" and attacks the accuser's credibility or even blames the accuser of being the perpetrator of a false accusation.

The reference for the 1997 article introducing the term is: Freyd, J.J. (1997) Violations of power, adaptive blindness, and betrayal trauma theory. Feminism & Psychology, 7, 22-32.

In that paper Freyd explained that DARVO responses may be effective for perpetrators. "...I have observed that actual abusers threaten, bully and make a nightmare for anyone who holds them accountable or asks them to change their abusive behavior. This attack, intended to chill and terrify, typically includes threats of law suits, overt and covert attacks on the whistle-blower's credibility, and so on..... [T]he offender rapidly creates the impression that the abuser is the wronged one, while the victim or concerned observer is
the offender. Figure and ground are completely reversed... The offender is on the offense and the person attempting to hold the offender accountable is put on the defense." (Freyd, 1997, p 29-30) These ideas were further developed in an article by Veldhuis and
Freyd (1999):

In the 1999 article Veldhuis and Freyd explore the separate components of DARVO, and they also note a connection between DARVO and "betrayal blindness," a concept from betrayal trauma theory (Freyd, 1996; see http://dynamic.uoregon.edu/~jjf/defineBT.html):

"By denying, attacking and reversing perpetrators into victims, reality gets even more confusing and unspeakable for the real victim. .... These perpetrator reactions increase the need for betrayal blindness. If the victim does speak out and gets this level of attack, she quickly gets the idea that silence is safer." (Veldhuis & Freyd, 1999. p 274)."

In the training, speaking out often met with this kind of treatment, for your own education or for your own good. When defenses combine with strong intellect, a dangerous web is constructed that blinds those who have betrayal trauma (disassociation); they cannot see what is being done to them. Even now, trainers are being repeatedly groomed to feel they are right and all light, and those who left out of integrity are not only wrong but abusers. Look at the following equinox focus and see how this is done:

Fall Equinox Focus: "Gratitude = Receptive Graciousness
Thanks for all we receive, the harvest of the wealth of wisdom. Gratitude and receptivity in the face of arrogant taking.

Hold for the high road that the graciousness, that the love of Source provides, may prevail. Hold steady in the face of disrespect and contempt, that others may learn to stop the bullying and the bickering. Hold for the fair way that the one-up-manship may finally stop.

Learn to live with Source and all of what Love brings."

Sorry for any feelings this brings up for anyone, but the more people who identify, sift through and talk about this insidious abuse publicly the better we can expose and educate to break the spell and hold accountable any abusive spiritual system that relies on betrayal trauma to confuse and bind others to serve their needs.

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