Tag Archives: Admiralbill

Similarities between Trolls and Terrorists

OBLIt occurred to me recently that internet trolls and terrorists share certain distinct qualities. This idea came to me when I realized that the victims of trolls and terrorists always have the same response. This response is to question why trolls and terrorists do what they do. Specifically they ask themselves, “Why they do they hate us?” Often the victims explain the actions of the trolls and terrorists by labeling them as evil or simply jerks. I am certainly not here to argue that these labels are inappropriate. But I do think they demonstrate a lack of understanding on the victim’s part as to what is truly motivating the trolls and terrorists.

I think I have a good idea what motivates an internet troll because I have acted as one in the past. Although I have never committed an act of terrorism it seems reasonable to speculate that the terrorist’s motivations are the same as the troll’s motivation because the actions of both terrorists and trolls have the same effect on their victims. That is, their actions are designed to make their victims suffer in and of itself.

When I was a troll (or when I was accused of being a troll) I felt like I was being mistreated by the people who dominated the Star Trek message board on which I was an active member. (See my book “Shame and Internet Trolling” for more details). There was one politically conservative guy on the message board named Admiralbill who I felt was particularly nasty and condescending to people who had the audacity to question the George W. Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq. I took it upon myself to passive-aggressively attack him with sarcastic remarks and by posting articles on topics I knew would make him angry. I was not particularly liberal at the time but I was willing to advocate the liberal argument to achieve my goals. The administration of the board sided with him and so I began arguing with them until they eventually banned me. When I look back upon my actions I can see that I was chiefly motivate to make both Admiralbill and the board administration suffer. In fact I took pleasure from doing so.

But there is another aspect to this behavior in that both trolling and terrorism are unconscious acts. They are unconscious in the sense that the perpetrators of both acts (I believe) are unconscious of their true motivations. It is my contention based upon my own experience that a person who derives pleasure from making other people suffer feels this way because someone else derived pleasure from making them suffer. In other the feel compelled to repeat this behavior because they are addicted to the feelings it evokes in them.

Because trolls and terrorists are unaware of (or unwilling to admit) their true motivations they tend to cloak their behavior in righteousness. When I trolled I argued that I was defending the liberals from Admiralbill’s abuse. Admiralbill argued that conservatism was rational and by contrast liberalism was irrational. (Although I admit my behavior was troll-like I suspect Admiralbill also share my motivations. This motivation to cloak this behavior in righteousness is probably why terrorism and religion attract each other in many cases. Other examples of this that come to mind are Michael Voris the snarky, condescending and judgmental producer of the Church Militant videos available on Youtube as well as the white supremacist Thordaddy who stalked my blog some months back. Both seem to take pleasure in judging and shaming others while at the same time cloaking their behavior in righteousness and religion. It is my contention that all these examples as well as the terrorists in Al Qaeda and ISIS are all similarly unaware of their true motivations. And they must remain unaware of their true motivations in order to continue with their behavior. I believe this to be true because in my own experience once I became aware that I was simply repeating the abuse I once suffered I realize that it is the cycle in which I was trapped that is evil and not the people upon which I sought to perpetuate the cycle. Once I realized this my motivation to continue with the behavior disappeared.

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The Logic of a White Supremacist

ssAt some point I have to ask myself if there is any value in continuing this conversation with the self proclaimed “white Supremacist.” I say this because it is now evident that his world view is not indicative of some larger movement. His mindset and belief system is really just his own (and perhaps an Australian blogger he referenced to have been influenced by). In spite of his solipsism he has hijacked the labels “white Supremacist” and “Christian” but truly he is neither in the traditional senses of these labels. I say this only because he specifically denies being a part of a community of fellow white Supremacists or fellow Christians who share his beliefs. As such, what I am really investigating when I debate him is the content of his mind and nothing else. No larger truths are revealed in this process; at least no larger truths concerning white Supremacy or Christianity.

Another aspect of our relationship I must acknowledge is that he has given me a wealth of material to write about which has significantly increased the viewership of my blog. I suppose I should be grateful for his assistance in helping me to get my message out. Ironically, he started commenting on my blog for the specific purpose of expressing his displeasure with my message.

But interacting with him is a negative business. I have been over this before. It does not uplift my spirit in anyway. On the contrary, it drags me down to his egocentric level. It is criticism, comparison, degradation and shame. It has a painful and depressing quality to it. Of course I am bringing this up to also acknowledge that this dialog must at some point come to an end because ultimately it serves no positive purpose. It is akin to internet trolling or addiction in that it provides a moment of entertainment value but is actually void of higher purpose value. It is almost as if Thordaddy (the white Supremacist’s handle) is a reincarnation of Admiralbill from Sistertrek.

It must end at some point. I am thinking Lent might be a good time to cut the chord. The great thing about this sparing match taking place on my blog is that I can end it at any time simply by deleting his comments. I did not have this luxury on Sistertrek with Admiralbill. As such I was always in the position of hoping he would not respond so that I could maintain my possession of the last word.

Before I cut the chord there is a little more to discuss. Notably, he recently wrote a comment wherein he laid out a five point logical proof of his belief system:.

  1. The Perfect Man [is an] empirical fact.
  2. No such “thing” as “universal equality” [exists].
  3. Ergo, [the] white man strives towards Supremacy.
  4. We call such white man a “white Supremacist”.
  5. Blacks HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH 1-4 beyond simply … showing an enemy face.

His first assertion is “The Perfect Man [is] empirical fact.” By this he means that there is documented evidence of eyewitness accounts testifying that Jesus Christ existed. This documentation is the New Testament. He refers to Jesus as the “Perfect Man” but it is not at all clear in what sense he sees Jesus as perfect. I suspect he does not believe Jesus was racially perfect in that he was ethnically a Semite. Perhaps he means that Jesus had a perfect mindset. If true, I would argue that Thordaddy does not seek to emulate this mindset. I suspect he would argue that my interpretation of scripture is corrupted by modern, liberal influences and that Jesus in fact advocated white Supremacy which I suppose would make him prejudice against himself.

His second assertion is that there is “[n]o such ‘thing’ as ‘universal equality’. By this he means that humans are not inherently equal. The implication is that I or liberals in general believe that everyone is equal. I am not sure why he holds on to this assertion so tightly but it seems very important to his belief system. People are clearly not equal. Some are short and some are tall. Some are strong and some are weak. Some are rich and some are poor. I do believe in equality before the law. I am not sure if this is what he is referring to in terms of “universal equality” but I suspect not. He once said something to the effect that equality before the law works well on paper but not when managed by “radical autonomists.” I think the stronger argument is that equality before the law would not work well when managed by racists.

His third and fourth assertions are the “white man strives towards Supremacy” and that “[w]e call such white man a ‘white Supremacist’.” He has repeatedly argued that when he uses the word “supremacy” he actually means “perfection” and not “superiority over other races.” In other words, the fact that he seems to hate other races should not in anyway be considered as it relates to his racial superiority. This seems like he is not willing to fully own his racism which in turn suggests there is an undercurrent of shame at work. This has been my point all along. It is a point that seems to get under his skin which in turn suggests there is some truth to it.

His final assertion is that “Blacks HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH 1-4 beyond simply agreeing or showing an enemy face.” But I think “Blacks” have everything to do with his first four points. He seems to want to hate “Blacks” but justify this hatred with a pseudo-spiritual / philosophical system. His denial runs strong and deep. I know that I will never convince him that he is wrong and he will never convince me that he is right even though this is the mode in which we converse with each other. So really there is no purpose in continuing this dialog which is the point that started this piece off in the first place. There is an entertaining quality to it, true. But there is also a negative, ego saturated quality to it as well. It is this negative quality that will ultimately motivate me to put an end to it.


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Dialog with a [W]hite Supremacist Part IV

It seems to me that it gratifies my white Supremacist’s ego to place himself in a position where he can look down upon, judge and shame other people. When I asked him if this was the case he became hostile.

That’s an interesting question for the mindset it seeks to project,” he said. “There is first the assumption that I CAN think in your terms… An assumption that all think in those terms. But, there is an implicit message in your question that says winstonScrooge does not ‘think’ like this…

I’m not sure what it is he is claiming not to be able to think in terms of. He surely cannot be claiming that he is not able to judge other people? He calls himself a “white Supremacist.” Does this label not outright claim a superiority (or at least the intent to have superiority) over other people? As for assuming all people thinking in terms of judging other people, I know many do but I certainly do not think all do. As for me claiming or implying that I do not judge other people, I do not make this claim and it is not my intention to imply this either.

I do try not to judge other people in most cases. I recognize that most judging of other people comes from a place of shame which is usually brought about by being judged and shamed by someone else. In other words, when a person judges or shames another person he usually does so because he suffers from a negative self-image and seeks to alleviate this feeling by making someone else have a negative self-image of themselves. This motivation is largely unconscious when acted upon. It is the ego at the helm in those instances. But of course Mr. white Supremacy will never admit to this (probably even if he believed it to be true).

Moving on. Then he made the following accusation: “This is your manner of radical autonomy. You impose a mindset on the masses that you are happily free from thus maximizing your autonomy in relation to the world.”

I asked him how he thinks I am imposing a mindset on anyone. After all, I write a blog that has gets 5 hits a day on average (not counting those coming from my white Supremacist reader). If this is my mouthpiece I fail to see how this influences, let alone imposes a mindset on the “masses.”

He responded, “By believing that your questions were comprehensible in the first place. Your question is in the form of ‘when’s the last that you beat your wife?’ My answer is feigned ignorance. I don’t understand your question. I know of [no] such ‘ego’ that you speak of? Can you articulate your question in a more concise and understandable way?

I am not sure what questions he is referring to. I think my questions are far more comprehensible than his inscrutable tirades. I don’t see how my asking him to tell me how he think I am imposing a mindset on anyone is like asking him about the last time he beat his wife when he directly accused me of “imposing a mindset on the masses.” I think he actually believes his writing is perfectly logical and straight forward and that I am merely feigning ignorance (as implied by his comment “My [meaning his] answer is feigned ignorance.”

Perhaps this is the impasse. He thinks I am being dishonest with him when I am actually trying to understand him. But he gets offended when I try to get him to clarify his argument. He reminds me a great deal of Admiralbill in this regard.

To be continued…


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People Who Enjoy Making Others Feel Crappy About Themselves

Have you ever argued with someone who makes you feel crappy about yourself for the views you espouse? I call these types of people “Admiralbills.” Admiralbill was my old nemesis from the now defunct message board called “Sistertrek.” He had a personality type I have observed in all corners of the internet, talk radio and conservative cable news.

Typical examples of the Admiralbill personality type include Ann Coulter, Michael Voris, Anchormom, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. This personality type is almost always conservative although there are some liberal examples. Bill Maher comes to mind. The liberals tend to be atheists interestingly enough. The conservative ones long for a return to a more virtuous era, blaming change and liberalism for the downfall of civilization.

The reason the Admiralbills of the world make you feel crappy is they make their points by shaming their opponents. They label their opponents weak, lazy, stupid dishonest with the implication that you are possessed by these same qualities if you agree with them. Admiralbills are bullies and try to intimidate their opponents into admitting they are correct or otherwise giving in to their point of view.

Admiralbills are unforgiving. They will use any olive branch their opponents offer against them as evidence of guilt.

Another interesting trait shared by many within this personality type (mostly the conservative ones) is that they talk in clichés. They typically have a snappy, prefabricated phrase always at the ready with which to label their opponents. Perhaps this technique makes it easier for them to remember their arguments. It seems a little intellectually lazy; almost a technique to avoid thinking in an Orwellian sense. Once an opponent is labeled they become that label and cease to be a person deserving respect in the eyes of an Admiralbill.

Admiralbills subscribe to a shame based morality structure. They believe shame is what keeps civilization intact. If someone is not pulling their weight or otherwise acting immoral they deserved to be shamed. What the Admiralbills of the world do not seem to realize is that their motivation to shame other people is not virtuous as they would like to believe but is really only a replaying of the shaming they received when their own morality structure was imposed upon them. They possess a loyalty to this system of shame and often become enraged when this system is challenged. Challenging this system touches the very core of their sense of self and has to be protected at all costs. They view the people who challenge this system as literally trying to destroy their world. This is why there can be no compromising with Admiralbills. Compromise destroys their world and the people who seek to compromise are traitors and terrorists.

This system of shame is passed on to others by shaming them. When a person is shamed they will instinctively want to shame other people because this lessens their own shameful feelings momentarily. It is a primitive, dominating instinct like dogs humping dogs and prisoners humping prisoners. But like an addiction the desire to shame other people can never be fully satiated. In this way shame repeats itself over and over and spreads like a virus from one host to another.

How do I know all this? Because I was once one of them. I was trapped in the shame dynamic. I was miserable but I did not want to see past it because shame had convinced me that to challenge shame is disloyal and treasonous. Breaking out of this dynamic was an eye-opening and liberating experience. It all starts with awareness of the cycle. With awareness the burning desire to pass along shame begins to diminish. There is more to it but that is the start.


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The part of me that wants to hate Anchormom

My last blog post was a critique of a post written by a woman calling herself Anchormom. Part of me tried to write my critique in a non judgmental way but that was really impossible. There is part of me that judges her because I expect she would judge me (if she read my blog). I was preemptively judging her so to speak. I feel like I have encountered her type before. She is Admiralbill from Sistertrek. She is Michael Voris. She is that conservative, self-righteous, judgmental, I’m right and you are wrong type that really gets under my skin. (Note: I fully realize that I am basing my condemnation of her on one blog post she wrote and to a lesser extent the smug picture of herself she attached to her blog, and the fact that she calls herself Anchormom. All these facts about her annoy me and I know this has more to do with me than her). I don’t like these types of people because I don’t like being judged. I don’t like being judged because I was judged as a kid and it hurt me and I never really got over it. Now when I am judged (or I perceive that a person might be in a position to judge me as is the case with Anchormom whom I assume will never actually read a word I have written) it stirs up these old hurts within me and I then feel the need to lash out at other people. I do this in a judgmental way. I do this in a passive aggressive way (to allow for deniability).

Still there is another part of me that feels my critique of Anchormom was legitimate. I should not let the petty, ego driven, shame based part of me derail my criticism of her entirely simply because it piggy backed on to the logical points I made and thus derived a sense of satisfaction out of the hurt feelings I imagine Anchormom could potentially have if she ever read my blog post. (Note: so far I think only one person has read the post and I think he is part of the Entitlement Generation Anchormom originally criticized in the blog post I criticized in my last blog post).

So where do we stand here? Anchormom criticizes the Entitlement Generation because she thinks her point of view will somehow reform them or cause other people to agree with her and eventually tip the scales against the Entitlement Generation in favor of the Silent Majority of neo-conservatives. I in turn criticize Anchormom by opining that her real motivation is to shame the Entitlement Generation out of a sense of loyalty to her parents generation who originally shamed her into adopting this conservative outlook. And now I acknowledge  that I (or part of me) wrote my critique of Anchormom motivated by a desire to frustrate her and make her feel ashamed just as I was frustrated and made to feel ashamed when I was young. I did this because her condescending tone stirred up these old feelings of inadequacy inside me.

If this does not adequately encapsulate the crazy, insane, overcomplicated, dishonest and exhaustingly self-defeating nature of shame I don’t know what does.

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Beliefs Separate

A Facebook friend posted this article entitled 18 Spiritual Teachings That Will Alter Your Mind and Improve Your Life. The fourth item on the list reads:

Beliefs separate.

Since absorbing this fundamental teaching via J. Krishnamurti, I have strived to let go of beliefs and labels. I am not a Catholic Buddhist liberal American yogini. I am a human. You are a human. Now we can relate.

Are beliefs and labels the same thing? They both tend to place limits on the concepts. A belief is something I hold to be true. A label is a name I give to something. Once I fix a label to something it does tend to define it for me so in that respect the label becomes a belief. And a belief tends to become a fixed point of reference. I put it in a box and no longer question it. I can then use these boxes to construct my theories about the nature of reality. In this sense beliefs and labels help me to navigate this unfathomably vast and complex reality that I inhabit. In that way they are useful despite their limitations.

In the religious tradition in which I grew up (Roman Catholicism) beliefs played a central role. As I understand it belief is required for salvation. I always questioned why this was so. In other words, why would God care whether I believed in him or not? It is not as if his existence depends upon my belief. Or does it? I still label myself a Roman Catholic and I recite the Nicean Creed every time I attend mass. I do think about whether I truly believe all the points in the creed. Honestly I do employ a level of doublethink to say the creed and not feel hypocritical. Ultimately I guess I do not believe that beliefs are what is really important when it comes to religion. I am sure Michael Voris and Admiralbill would disagree with that statement but that is their belief and our different beliefs are what separate us.

There is also some crossover here with the idea of creative visualization. If I believe something is true then I can visualize it and perhaps that brings it into being.

To the point of this idea that beliefs separate, if I believe something and someone else believes something else then there is a point tension. I have not read anything by J. Krishnamurti but I am guessing this is the point that he is trying to make. If you and I cast aside the importance of belief then we eliminate a great deal of potential conflict. In the same respect if we both believe the same thing and there also is no conflict. But there is a conflict with others who believe something different. So with beliefs there is always the potential for conflict and separation.

I still come back to the idea that beliefs and labels are probably necessary for me to navigate reality. It is simply too vast and complex to take in as a whole on any meaningful level. However on a one-to-one basis conflicting beliefs can become problematic.

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Michael Voris and Shame Based Criticism

I’ve been watching videos posted by Michael Voris who is a Roman Catholic apologist and a self-appointed lay defender of the faith. Here is one of his videos:

In this particular video Michael Voris talks about a movie released on the life of christ.  I have never heard of the movie he reviewed and if I had I probably would never have gone to see it. What I found interesting was the message he drew out of it and how he went about explaining his point of view.

In his review he talks about the differences between Catholic and Protestant theology. He talks a lot about the “real presence” in the consecrated bread and wine during mass and how Catholics believe this and Protestants do not. He seems to imply that a Catholic who does not fully believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist is not a real Catholic.

Voris talks about how this movie appeals to emotions and not the intellect. He goes on to say that this is emblematic of the Protestant view of Christianity. I don’t know whether this is true or not. What I find interesting is that Voris, like Admiralbill (the conservative on the Star Trek message board I used to torment and documented in my ebook “Shame and Internet Trolling“) has to make his points by criticizing other people. In his analysis Voris takes an “I’m right. You’re wrong” approach and then criticizes his opponents to make his point. He then says that he does what he does for the good of the people he is mocking.

Voris argues Catholic truth appeals to the intellect whereas Protestant truth appeals to the emotions. There is the sense in his argument that emotions are not authentic or important. He says “emotions do not save … often times they deceive.” Admiralbill once typed, “WE THINK YOU FEEL” as a response intended to convey his belief that thoughts are more important than feelings and conservatives base their views on thoughts whereas liberals base their views upon feelings.

It is interesting to me that Michael Voris argues using the shame playbook just like Admiralbill. He claims to be motivated by saving souls but his method of argument (ie, shaming those who disagree with him) and the hostile energy he emits suggests to me that his real motivation is to shame others to make himself feel better about himself. This is what shame-based people do.

I am not commenting on the substance of his arguments. That is a question of faith I would suppose. He seems to have faith that Roman Catholicism is the one true faith. I am a Roman Catholic, I will make no argument with that. I am really questioning the motives he claims to be striving for. If I am being honest, if his true motivation is to assuage his shame ego then his arguments seem to carry less weight to me. Perhaps this is valuing feelings over thoughts on my part. But I am not entirely convinced that feelings should be weighted less than thought.

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