Beware of the Trolls

The Secular Jurist

By Robert A. Vella

We bloggers on WordPress are fortunate to have so many intelligent, caring, and talented individuals among our ranks.  In an outside world that seems to be deteriorating around us on a daily basis, it is comforting to share an inside world with such quality people.  Because we are exceptional in this regard, and because our virtual community rests upon a social media platform, there are those who would seek to infiltrate it for various reasons.  Yes, I’m talking about trolls.

Trolls are essentially agent provocateurs who work the internet.  They can be highly organized and secretly supported by large institutional entities;  or, they can be loose associations of likeminded people or even lone-wolfs who have some specific axe to grind.  Regardless, trolls typically misrepresent themselves deliberately and pursue their aims through subterfuge and other clever tactics.  No troll would ever intentionally reveal their true identities…

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Hundreds of deaths of homeless people ‘going unexamined’

Govt Newspeak

Reviews to find if deaths in England and Wales could be prevented ‘are not being used’.
Hundreds of deaths of vulnerable homeless people in England and Wales are going unexamined, an investigation has found.

Web scraping and freedom of information requests submitted by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ) have revealed that safeguarding adults reviews (SARs) – which charities say are crucial to determining whether the deaths could have been prevented – have almost never been set up after homeless people’s deaths.

Nearly 300 homeless people have died since 2013, data previously compiled by the BIJ – as part of its Dying Homeless project – and the Guardian has shown. Of those deaths, 102 have occurred since October last year, an average of three people a week.

Despite that, only eight SARs into homeless deaths have been launched since 2010, the research showed. They also found that not a…

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Colonia Dignidad – An Experiment in Terror and Behavior Modification

Incognito Press

Emma Watson Colonia

If you’re planning to see the new Emma Watson film Colonia, please don’t watch the trailer first. Punctuated by the groan-inducing line “When they took her man”, this has to be one of the worst trailers I’ve ever seen. Its weakness resides in the fact that they take an empowered, arguably feminist main character and make her out to look like a desperate flower, someone who cannot survive unless she finds “her man”. But since I’ve just told you not to think of a pink elephant and piqued your curiosity, here’s the trailer so you can see for yourself:

Hollywood is no stranger to using contrived romances that push the boundaries of cheese in order to serve up an important social or political event as backdrop. Think the fictitious, ill-fated romance of Jack and Rose to showcase the spectacular sinkability of the most unsinkable ships of all, the Titanic…

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The Authoritarian Personality

Psychopath Resistance

Authoritarian, sociopathic, and narcissistic personality traits have many similarities.


Research shows that authoritarians are far more likely to exhibit sloppy reasoning, highly compartmentalized beliefs, double standards, hypocrisy, self-blindness, a profound ethnocentrism, and—to top it all off—a ferocious dogmatism that makes it unlikely anyone could ever change their minds with evidence or logic.


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‘Scandal’ of mentally ill rough sleepers left to die on London’s streets

Govt Newspeak

Research shows a substantial rise in number of rough sleepers with mental health issues who have died on London’s streets.

A leading homelessness charity has called on the Prime Minister to take urgent action to prevent further deaths among homeless people, as damning figures reveal a substantial rise in the number of mentally ill rough sleepers who have died on London’s streets.

Shocking research from the homelessness charity St Mungo’s, shows that 80% of rough sleepers who died on London’s streets in 2017 had mental health issues, compared to 29% in 2010.

St Mungo’s says the startling figure should serve as a wake up call for Theresa May’s Government, describing a lack in specialist mental health services as a “scandal” that needs to be recognised and urgently acted upon.

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Gaslighting at work

Minding the Workplace

Gaslighting is a form of deliberate manipulation intended to disorient, confuse, and frighten those on the receiving end. Many discussions about gaslighting occur in reference to personal relationships, often in the context of domestic or partner abuse. However, gaslighting can occur in other settings as well, including workplaces. In fact, I predict that we’ll be hearing a lot more about gaslighting at work during the years to come, and I’d like to survey that waterfront.

In her excellent book The Gaslight Effect: How to Spot and Survive the Hidden Manipulation Others Use to Control Your Life, (2018 pb ed. with rev. intro), Dr. Robin Stern defines gaslighting as:

a type of emotional manipulation in which a gaslighter tries to convince you that you’re misremembering, misunderstanding, or misinterpreting your own behavior or motivations, thus creating doubt in your mind that leaves you vulnerable and confused. Gaslighters might be men or women…

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