Terrorists and Scapegoats

Wed, 08 May 1996 13:08:23 -0500 (CDT)

Several have noted that Bill's running attack has interfered with
the ability of this group to generate discussion. Doesn't this
say something about our group? For example, several people posed
intelligent querries and discussion topics but largely were
ignored (e.g., I posed several questions about PCP and
psychotherapy research). This occurred *during* the months of
Bill's rampage. Meanwhile, everyone (myself included) was
willing to jump into Bill's frying pan (when I realized this, I
jumped out).

Bill's intellectual terrorism and attacks were inexcusable.
Still, it takes two to tango. I suggest that the problem was not
simply Bill's attacks, but also that many, many people within the
group were strangely attracted to this emotionally charged
vitriol. Since hostility suggests conflict over the invalidation
of constructs, Bill was apparently touching on a nerve. As for
myself, Bill's blatent disregard for the integrity of others was
the source. But since there was no room for productive dialogue,
I simply dropped it (Someone referred to this pattern as boring.
I couldn't agree more!) However, given that others could not let
go of this seemingly endless pattern, I tend to believe that
there may have been other issues. [If Bill had said that PCP is
filled with omnipotent extra-terrestials from Neptune, would it
have drawn the same degree of acrimony?]

The point is that everyone who engaged in this shares the guilt
and responsibility for the atmosphere (again, myself included).
If we had wanted to talk about more productive things, we could
have. We still can!

Tim Anderson
Department of Psychology
Vanderbilty University
Nashville, TN 37240