Reverse-Engineer SERE for Learned Helplessness and Torture!

I continue to be amazed at the psychobabble that the psychology and neuroscience industries spout at us. Take the concept of “learned helplessness,” which is essentially the default mode of lying down and whining under conditions of duress. An easy example is the abused spouse who learns that it’s easier and safer to avoid whatever eggshells land-mine the marriage, and to avoid what could be done to better her life—or so they say. Accessing social services, taking care of herself—which in itself could trigger an assault for her—or making plans to leave are all put off for the physical, emotional, sexual, and spiritual safety of herself and any children, other family members, and even pets. If she ever does execute a plan to leave, that is when she is in the most danger of being killed. To me, she’s one tough, resilient, rational person. She must think beyond herself. Psychologists diagnose her as suffering from learned helplessness.

Patriots, by the way, are suffering from learned helplessness, according to the analysts. It’s viewed as negative if you believe that the current political situation is not likely to change within our lifetime. I think that’s actually realistic. We won’t recover from either the invasion at the border or the tampered voting machines. Those two things are not survivable as a nation. If the border is closed, the illegals returned, and the six counties in the six states with the six corrupt legislative and legal systems are brought into line, well then, I’ll modify my opinion. Until then, the country is communist; prove me wrong.

A WWI soldier visits the grave of a fallen comrade.
The more you learn, the harder it becomes not to let cynicism permeate every aspect of your life. Since Vietnam, which our leaders refused to let us win, we’ve been steeped in a collective “learned helplessness,” as the psychologists put it. It starts to resemble a 50-year-long Gallipoli.


In addition to thinking that the situation is unlikely to change, two other perspectives are at work in a person or a people wrestling with learned helplessness. They belief the situation is their fault. Like an abused spouse who thinks that if she only could do or be something different, she would earn respect and love, patriots are ashamed that this glorious country fell on their watch, as if somehow we could have stemmed the tsunami of identity assault we’ve been under since the Vietnam War. The attack on men, on Western Civilization, on the family, on traditional family values, on Christianity, on our founding principles, on our history, our statues, our culture, our sports, our military intensified the more it was confronted. To somehow assume that none of us tried to warn, or influence, or change is a lie. Yet, somehow, we’re left to feel that if we only paid closer attention, if we only said and did more, we could counter all the dollars, all the propaganda, and all the wars meant to wipe us out. And that’s what they were. All the wars were merely to take the very best of us out of the game—permanently.

So, if we think that the situation is unchangeable, and that we are to blame, there is only one other piece to the learned helplessness puzzle: We are convinced there is nothing we can do. I’m pecking out an article that few may read, but I’m not leading a band of Cossack warriors into the Capital building, cutting down Congress critters with my bloody sword. I’m not working out my cyphers for some romantic underground resistance either. I get up. I make my bed. I do what I can for the day, and try not to expect too much from myself. I’m surviving. There will be plenty of time for evading, resisting, and escaping as we get further into mandated vaccine passports and firearm confiscation.

So yeah. I’ve pretty much learned to be helpless, or rational, as I like to call it. Pollyannas exhaust me. You know who else was rational? Nick Rowe. He washed the excrement out of his bedding, cooked his rice, and went about his daily tasks, praying to God when he felt he had something worthy to bring to the Lord’s attention. He’d be rolling in his grave right now if he knew that the principles he used to develop the Army’s SERE course were reverse-engineered and applied to first terrorists and then American citizens. I imagine as a victim of torture himself, he’d know for a fact that our enemies do not and never have abided by the Geneva Convention. Humane treatment of prisoners of war is not in their mindset. They are not eaten alive by their own softness like we are in our small-d democratic societies. But would Rowe be OK with twisting something meant to save our captured men into something to psychologically torture our enemy? Maybe. Would he be OK with those torture techniques being brought up to the modern age through digital and neuropsychological no-touch advances? Maybe.  Would he be OK with those slow-kill harassment methods being used on his own people: conservative Americans? Absolutely, unequivocally NOT!

The application of some kind of ethical standard must be applied to interrogating prisoners of war. I’m no pansy; they’re POWs, not “detainees” or “criminals” entitled to access to civilian justice. But the use of these techniques on American citizens is heinous and criminal. Let’s return to the abused wife scenario. Let’s say she’s finally able to execute a plan and she extracts herself from the marriage, perhaps even on good terms with her former spouse. Some black ops company, subcontracted by some intelligence agency to save money and hide experimentation on humans without their consent, picks her up digitally. She’s laid off from her job due to a bioweapon, and then the algorithms are adjusted to sink her resume to the bottom of the pile, blackballing her new employment opportunities. She’s forced to return to the abusive spouse while she sells her home, if she hasn’t lost it already. Maybe she sells her car to pay bills, so she’s isolated from family and friends. Now the “scientists” sit back and rub their hands in glee as they tighten and loosen stressors, seeing how much she can take before appearing to go insane or committing suicide. I couch this example in the form of a woman because it’s easier for us to absorb the concepts.

Let’s look at it from Rowe’s perspective. Actual physical torture was surprisingly rare in his circumstance, because the threat of it, the memory of it, was psychologically devastating. One of the most horrific parts of “Five Years to Freedom” was when Rowe found himself putting his own body into the stress position his captors had used to torture him. He was shocked at what he was doing to himself. That concept can be acted out in other harmful ways besides physical pain. I’ll eat right and exercise again once we have the country back. I’ll go to the doctor’s after the midterms. I’ll get my finances back on track once I stop buying things to anesthetize myself from the pain of living through the fall of the republic. You learn to harm yourself because your identity and all that you loved has been shredded.

James E. Mitchell, along with Bruce Jessen, are believed to be the men that flipped SERE so it could be used to interrogate prisoners of war. Mitchell is seen in a Vice interview crying because he could not comprehend the choice of throwing oneself out of a tower or burning to death. He is a patriot and the CIA played the music that called him out of retirement to develop the “enhanced interrogation” techniques used to defend a post-911 America. He raises good, hard points. Oversight is good, he says, but it does not equate to control, and congress can’t even be trusted to balance the budget. He was responsible for saving lives, and he’s been maligned for answering the call to do the dirty work that nobody else would do. He’s tired of the CIA being blamed for being out of control when congress can’t complete the most elementary of governing tasks. Does he know how they’ve taken his program and run with it—against our enemies, against our own countrymen? They’ve taken SERE and used digital harassment and neuropsychological no-touch torture to remove themselves from direct interaction with the subject and eliminate the proof that is needed to win a case in a court of law—if those even exist in our country anymore. Oh, I forgot, lawfare, warfare; it’s all the same.

If you’ve ever seen the movie “Shooter” with Mark Wahlberg as Bob Lee Swager or read the Swager book series by Stephen Hunter, you’ll be familiar with a concept that we’re all facing right now. There comes a point where Swager knows he’s been played, or used, or betrayed, or all three. When he’s asked about it, he says that they knew what music he’d dance to. They knew he could not say no because of his love of country, his sense of duty, his devotion to the military, his knowledge that only good men can do the bad things required, because if bad men do them, people suffer and die. He always says something like, “I’m not proud of it, but I’m not ashamed of it either.” Effing-A right!

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