[This excerpt is from Survivor
Psychology: The Dark Side of a Mental Health Mission by Susan Smith,
pp. 133-134. Upton Books and SIRS Mandarin, Boca Raton, FL. Copyright (c)
1995. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. Read
our review or order
it from Amazon.com.]
The entire system of survivor psychology and recovery culture psychology
is built on "true believer" logic. True believer logic is defined by Steven
Goldberg, author of When Wish Replaces Thought, as a system of fallacious
and subjective arguments which "have no logical consistency, are discordant
with the empirical evidence, and either fail to explain that which they
claim to explain or offer explanations of that which does not exist." This
is the definition I have used for survivor logic as well.
The basic principles of survivor logic are outlined below. Examples
will follow the list.
Principle 1-Personalize the issues.
The arguments are based on emotionally charged statements and "I messages."
Principle 2-The opposing argument becomes the proof.
Hard evidence in support of the opposing viewpoint, or the lack of
evidence for the belief is used as "evidence" and strengthens beliefs instead
of challenging them.
Principle 3-When confronted with logical discrepancies, revert
to God, society or morality.
When the evidence is stacked against the beliefs and the true believer
is backed into a corner, they retreat behind their preferred social control
modality-religion, political rhetoric and moral crusade monologues.
Principle 4-When in doubt, abort further interaction or exploration
of the issues by playing "Ain't it Awful" games while stepping up the intensity.
When the true believer is backed into a corner, he or she often reverts
to a favorite ideological or abortive interaction game (or plays all of
them sequentially): God's Will; The Oppressor and the Oppressed; The Power
of Evil and What Happens When Good People Do Nothing; Social Decline and
Moral Decay; This Hurts Me as Much as It Hurts You; I Know This Is Hard
to Believe-I Used to Be a Skeptic Too!; The Experts Know Best; Suicide;
Revictimization; No Motive; and I'm Only Trying to Help.
Principle 5-When all else fails, bring up denial and conspiracy
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