Thursday, February 6, 2014

Television: American Horror Story, Coven

American Horror Story Coven is about a group of witches who had long been the target of... well, witch-hunts. Eventually (small spoiler), they come out via television interview:

MAN: Since your extraordinary public statement last month, there has been quite a bit of fanfare.

This frank revelation about your cult-- that's sparked quite a brouhaha in the media, and...

WITCH-LEADER: Let me clarify that, Bill.

We are not a cult.

We-we don't proselytize.

We have no agenda, we're not recruiting.

Women who identify as witches are born as such, and their abilities-- which we call powers-- are part of who they are, part of their DNA, if you will.

MAN: Oh, I see. So, in fact, you're saying that it's not a choice, being a witch.

WITCH-LEADER: That's exactly what I'm saying.

There are so many young witches who have resisted their calling because they're afraid... of how they may be perceived,
or what's expected of them.

But there are still hate crimes.

That is true, but, you know, when you hide in the shadows, you are less visible, you have less protection.

We'll always be targets for the ignorant.

It is what it is.

But we are strong women, Bill.

So, what would you like to say to all those girls watching and wondering if they might be witches?

Hmm?

Call us, e-mail us or just come to New Orleans.

There is a home and a family waiting for you.

Parallels to sociopaths? Particularly the idea about hiding in the shadows versus coming out into the open?

Some viewers criticized the scene as a too blatant allusion to gay rights. Others criticized the plausibility of accepting witches into society:

In the final episode, the [Witch-leader] goes on TV and gives an interview. The scene equals witches to gay people, but like True Blood before it, this show didn't get that while people are stupid to fear LGBTQ people, they are most certainly NOT to fear witches, as we've been repeatedly shown this season that they are really likely to abuse their powers. 

See even more parallels to sociopaths now? But it's interesting how this commenter has misinterpreted what the Witch-leader is really saying. No one said anything about not fearing witches. In fact, she explicitly says, "It it what it is." Similarly, no one has said that there is no reason to fear sociopaths (or vampires, to tie in True Blood). Rather, she seems to merely clarifying misconceptions -- that witches don't choose to be witches, but rather are born with it.

But maybe if there isn't a clear parallel to gay rights, there is a legitimate parallel to rights of the mentally ill? Maybe, like with the witches, there are some reasons to fear the mentally ill, or at least take a certain level of care with them. But what next? Even if it is understandable or even right for people to fear the mentally ill, what should we do about that? Permit hate crimes against them? Weed these disorders out of the gene pool through forced sterilization? Assuming the worst (e.g, these people might hurt you or a loved one), what would you do to ensure that never happens?

And what, then, would be your criterion for doing the same to all other people you don't like, but would still manage to exempt all the people you do like. I'm honestly curious. What are people's proposals?

68 comments:

  1. the american horrorstory is called the economy

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    1. ha!!! There's some serious true crime going on there.

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  2. People tend to avoid what they're afraid of and attack things that are a threat to them. People don't go to crime ridden neighborhoods because they're afraid of getting killed. People do shoot home invaders because the invaders are trying to kill them. What can happen though, is if enough people are afraid of something, and they get together, the fear can turn into a threat. And the sociopath that everyone is afraid of and avoids turns into Frankenstein...

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  3. > But what next? Even if it is understandable or even right for people to fear the
    > mentally ill, what should we do about that? Permit hate crimes against them?
    > Weed these disorders out of the gene pool through forced sterilization?

    It would probably turn into a bureaucratic mess of regulations that people would need a lawyer for. If you can afford one you’ll be much better off than someone that can’t. If the government has it in for you, you’re screwed.


    > Assuming the worst (e.g, these people might hurt you or a loved one), what
    > would you do to ensure that never happens?

    Have a way to get out of wherever you and loved ones) are.


    > And what, then, would be your criterion for doing the same to all other people
    > you don't like, but would still manage to exempt all the people you do like.

    I would do whatever I could get away with.

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    1. There is something called the American Disability ACT??!!
      Maybe you are not American.

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  4. M.E., what are you afraid of-really?
    You are smart, intelligent, accomplished and beautiful. You have the
    love and protection of friends, family and community. Sure, you
    could be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but so can we all.
    On the basis of your behavior no one would know you were a
    sociopath, unless you chose to reveal it, which you did.
    The "Halo Effect" works as much for you as it does for anyone else.
    Look at it this way: An obvious baby killer, Casey Anthony was acquitted
    solely on the basis that she was an attractive woman. Jodi Arais,
    followed Casey and her trail came within a hair's breath of being hung
    and WOULD have been hung if not for the Casey Anthony outcome.
    (It was a woman incidently, who was resistant to voting guilty. Did
    you ever notice how in woman's fashion magazines, the women are
    even more scantially attired then in the men's magazines? Women's
    sexual idenity is more "fluid" then men's. Plenty of women would
    jump into bed with Jodi.) And they couldn't vote for death for
    "obvious" reason's.
    M.E., just keep up your appearence, retain your mental and physical
    fitness, and cluminatively add to your bank account and you'll be fine!
    As far as the unkempt, ignorant, poor and charmless are concerned,
    leave them to their fate! You wouldn't want to procreate with them
    anyway, so let them wither on the vine!
    Just enjoy the many prividleges that God gave you and stop wining!


    Llik

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    1. So you are saying once ME reaches 35 or 40 she won't have anymore value? Nice.

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  5. For me the answer is simple; I don't talk to people I don't like. If it's a work situation I minimalize my contact with that person.

    I think the most dangerous mentally ill people are un-medicated schizophrenics as we've seen lately in the news (Navy stockyard shootings). And as the disorder progresses even medications can fail to be effective. Where I live (in the south) there have been several shootings by law enforcement of people who were out of control and wielding a weapon; an ax and a gun.

    We all have a choice of who we let in our lives, what lifestyles we agree with those we don't. It creates a problem when we attempt to force our opinions and choices on others, especially when we use legislation and the legal system to do so.

    ME, you're the attorney, what are the rights of the mentally ill? I've also thought rights for the mentally ill are in the following: Americans with Disabilities Act; Fair Housing Amendments Act; Civil Rights of Institutionalized Act; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Do you think more needs to be done? I think this would be a great topic to write about on your blog.

    MelissaR

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    1. Sociopathy is rarely granted the same exception in reality as other disorders. The law is impotent, because at the end when it is trial by jury, jury members care less about the law and more about what they despise and dislike (what they feel is wrong, regardless of fact). It's a field day for prosecutors that can be promoted subtlely or bluntly. It is a very common fault of juries, in a multitude of crimes. For example, there are plenty of cases where there was insufficient evidence under the law to remotely justify a claim of rape, but the defendant was found guilty. Not because of the evidence, but because the jurors blindly confuse a "charge" with actual guilt.

      It is ironic, because the best jurors would be sociopaths. They would coldly analyze the facts, push what feelings they had aside, determine what is reasonable (using reason) under the law, and pass judgment with little to no regret. It's funny, because that's how jurors are suppose to act.

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    2. You are correct. As a sociopath, it is clear I didn't choose to be born this way, even though I might have thought I chose it at some point. It is analogous to most boys choosing to like guns and trucks and most girls choosing to like dolls and games involving pretend familial roles.

      When I look at how illogical, emotional and irrational normal people are, I have to remind myself that humans have evolved to attribute the acts of others to their "choices", made without compulsion, but nevertheless completely constrained by things outside their conscious awareness.

      So just as I have to give myself a bye if I think it'd be a little boredome relieving to watch my toy dog shake a rat to death, I need to give others a bye if they think I'm a disgustingly bloodthirsty, cruel beast.

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    3. Don't be too hard on yourself.

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    4. Doesn't seem like he is. It sounds rational.

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  6. The more people are forced to deny their true natures, the more pathological and devious their behavior is destined to become. Admitting the biological basis for sociopathy and speaking of this cluster of personality traits in a morally neutral fashion (and only judging antisocial acts- not the potential for acts) is the only way sociopaths can be successfully integrated into society at large.

    ME's book and blog as well as James Fallon's work seems to be nudging popular opinion in this direction- which is a good thing.

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    1. This public admittance will most likely not happen within the next 5-10 years, minimum. There is too much collective stubbornness inset by the entertainment and the media industries to counter-act the effects. Sociopaths have been chosen as the villain and will stay that way as long as there is publicity and money to be made. As a sociopath, I am disappointed in this reality, but it is reality. It is a fact of current life. It is different from the issues of homosexuality in the past/present because it was not villainous - only deviant. Some religious groups consider(ed) it evil, but not really the whole majority. And there certainly wasn't money, not nearly as much, to be made from homosexual hate as sociopathy. There is an added element, a much more potent and resistant one, that exists in sociopathy that is only miniscule in homosexuality. It's Fear.

      Until the prison, biomedical, entertainment, and media industries stop making a lot of money in the sociopathy sphere - both directly and the more insidious indirectly - it won't go away. The industries in question are too comfortable with the notion, while the populace is too uncomfortable to stray from it.

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    2. Well said to you both.

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    3. Hey superchick,
      I responded to your friend’s comment, that he left for me under “How to maximize utility of socio relationship?” at February 4, 2014 at 1:26 AM.He seemed honest so I responded honestly but I was right you guys were bunch of hateful revengeful people, who just wanted to follow me, violate my privacy, steal personal information, insult me, and frame me for something your black heart wanted. I was trying to be as pleasant & protective of myself as possible, but push comes to shove I will take this case to court for the amount of discomfort and harm that you guys have caused me, so far. Have no doubt in that!

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    4. These comment threads are unmoderated and unfiltered, but for the sake of intelligent discussion let's keep any attacks limited to the material that brought up, not the person. Question what they suggest, not who they are. ad hominem attacks hold little substance or weight, and are tediously petty. It doesn't take a sociopath to know it's stupid.

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    5. What? It was VERY ad hominem so far, but I guess it was ok because I was the target! Now that I want to defend myself is adhominem!!!
      I was FORCED to come to this chat room because I saw my personal information being sold here. But I didn’t know who were the sellers? Now, I know. I assumed they were bunch of douchebag, I didn’t know, they were people of higher authority. I have only few questions WHY? Why did they violated and exploited my privacy? Why did they sell it here? I thought, that university had email privacy rule.
      Do you know what they suggest? Abuse of power. What did they really expect from me? Smile at them and be charming! Love them for it! I did not lie when I said I had nervous breakdown when I saw some of my very personal information was used here & worst it happened when my son was in hospital and needed me the most. You can check the facts, I am not lying. In fact, except in a very few occasions, I did not lie.
      I was watching and watching your childish game, I was keep thinking at some point you guys will come to your senses. I did not want to embarrass any of you. At this point, I can name every one of you who participated in this abusive game. I contacted a lawyer today morning, I will file a lawsuit against the university- not any individual-, that harmed me and my family.
      And FYI. I am not a Socio!

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    6. Please disclose names, if possible.

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    7. If you are being threatened or harassed, you should definitely list the names of these persons as a precautionary measure.

      That way it's made public, you'll feel a lot better when people are aware of what's going on.

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    8. No I do not have to disclose my information here. But it’s not difficult to realize who they are, they are bunch of sick, pervert, sex persuaders who prey on vulnerable people.

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  7. Great, another Vril society in the making.

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  8. A majority in this forum don´t understand what a psychopath is, they think it could be anything: a psycho can be a great ruler, love puppies, punish carpenters, bake cakes for others to enjoy or be filled with hatred like an adder, they think. They-don´t-know-what-makes-hollow-men-hollow. And did you know there are real witchy folks? The zodiac sign labeled Virgo is the witch sign, it rules all small animals but especially cats..

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    1. Superstitious nonsense.

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    2. Stuff that has been around for 6000-8000 years and even shows itself in physical apperance is not mumbo-jumbo, even if science cannot prove it due to crude instruments.

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    3. It's hard to physically measure such sheer amounts of bullshit.

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    4. Actually it hasn't been around that long. The zodiac signs we recognize today were only developed - nevermind worshipped - about 2,500 - 3,000 years ago. After the bronze age.

      Bloodletting, or the extremely prevalent and popular "medical" phenomenon, has been around for ~6,000+ years. It was believed for medical reasons that illness could be cured by causing the patient to bleed profusely to "balance" mystical humors.

      Also don't confuse what science has done in this context. What science has done is *disproven* it thoroughly. Its "crude instruments", even in common usage, have the ability to compensate for a miniscule bending of space-time to allow your GPS to work.

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    5. Cats never bite or scratch virgoans, they creep up beside virgo childrens feet to protect them when they sleep! Do the Cristian lord of the manor or his son perform similar evening duties? Wonder why the worlds most powerful goverments use zodiac profiling to understand how foreign leaders are/will react if the whole thing is such nonsense? Why don´t they just pray hard and ask the Holy Carpenters Son for detailed descriptions?

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    6. Is that so.

      Well, that explains the current economic crisis.

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    7. Using zodiac signs is actually bunk when it comes to world leaders. You manufactured that, because you want to believe it, and through that make us believe it.

      What world leaders really do is use psychological profiling based on history and past behavior. They have professional analysts do it - whole teams and think tanks. It gets updated constantly. They get briefs from them whenever before they met a world leader for the first time.

      It is also the same for major corporations with CEOs and significant members of a board. Everyone has a profile built on them, which are then taken into account when strategic decisions are made which can involve rival corporations.

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    8. If you want more information on it, look up "game theory". It is quite complex, but for a simple demonstration look up "Prisoner's dilemma".

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    9. I'll add those to my list of failed ideas.

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    10. Why do you consider them failed ideas? Genuine question for discussion.

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  9. The line about weeding out the disabled brings to mind the Star Trek movie where they need an extinct species to save the planet-nature seems to require sociopathy, or else it wouldn't exist. As for the magickal aspects of sociopathy, there is much research to be done in this area-and it may provide better outcomes in the area of 'treatment' (or effective socialisation) than will our rather 19th century psychology which seems ill equipped to deal with our current state of evolution. The prejudice is just like all forms of bigotry-a knee jerk emotional response from the part of the brain that fears alternatives and seeks to preserve some abstraction that can be defined as NORMALITY.

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  10. Any sort of purposeful manipulation of the gene pool is full of difficulties, as eugenics is not only an ethical slippery slope, but a practical one as well. Putting morals and ethics aside - the argument against it is already clear - the practical issues are difficult to overcome.

    Due to what we now know about gene expression in modern genetics, environmental conditions over a long period of time can actually cause the expression of certain genes (called epigenetics). Not only does genetics affect behavior and the environment, but behavior and the environment has shown to affect genetics.

    This causes a practical concern in isolating any unwanted genes from the gene pool. Even if there was a definitive genetic test (which current does not exist) to identify the specific "mental illness" genes, you run into a problem. Do you only prevent reproduction to those whose genes are expressed/activated, or all of them? What about the people who have the genes, but those genes aren't expressed? There is a risk due to uncontrollable environmental factors that those genes can be later activated.

    There is also an issue on the other side of the equation as well. What about people who have a mental illness, but do not have the genetic components for it? Environmental factors, especially severe ones over a long duration, can cause mental illness without requiring any genetic foundation for it. Should they be sterilized as well? While they may not pass on the mental illness genes, their existence as parents becomes an environmental factor against the child.

    Any significant influence against mental illness would be incomplete with only genetic manipulation. It would require significant societal and social changes as well.

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    1. I wouldn't have a problem with making people pass IQ tests to reproduce.That is, don't bother discriminating between genes and epigenetics. just do like mother nature does, and select for desirable phenotypes.

      It is unsustainable to pay the most criminal, stupid and unproductive classes to breed. In the long term, you can't have a government supported welfare system without a eugenics program. The eugenics program doesn't even need to be compulsory - stupid people with short time preferences will sell you their gonads for jewelry, sneakers and crack.

      If we insist on doing without a eugenics program, unless we get rid of our safety net, we will lose our democracy and equality before the law, because once the stupid people can vote, they'll vote themselves the resources.

      The situation is analogous to Israel. due to the Arabs in Israel and their birthrate, Israel will either become an apartheid state or an Arab state. It can't remain Jewish and democratic, because the Jews don't have enough kids.

      You may have strong feelings about this stuff, but this is the world we live in.

      I would rather live in a country with voluntary eugenics and a high-IQ population with individual rights. there are plenty of countries out there with low-IQ people, and they don't have rights or a society or civilization worth saving.

      Why? perhaps because one day the sun will burn out, and unless the high-iq people figure out how to get humans off this planet, all life we know will perish.

      I'm a sociopath, by the way.

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    2. Imagine a world filled only with people like yourself...

      Yeah, not even you'd want that.

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    3. Technically speaking humanity is already deviant from following nature and evolution. In nature, people with physical and/or mental disabilities would have a far greater propensity to die before reproduction. Genetic defects, which naturally develop as a fact of biology, are not permitted to spread to further generations. It's a form of natural de-weeding. However in modern society, where those with genetic defects are artificially maintained and protected, it causes the defects to persist in future generations. This is unfavorable in nature and evolution.

      And before you ask, because someone will retort with it, sociopathy is in fact a boon in nature. Nature is, fundamentally, sociopathic. In a way, sociopathy is not a genetic defect. It's more a genetic anachronism of predators.

      Whether that is necessarily "good/right" for society is something else, because being a wolf in sheep's clothing still scares the sheep when they realize it.

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  11. Which witch is the witch? I think grammar is very important. Being mentally ill myself, I have a lot of bullshit to deal with. Mostly people telling me whats what, how I'm wrong for being me. I don't have the heart to tell them I know everything about them (and why should I). I'm not a mean person.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Oops, A touch obliviously forgot that she was dead. But I think she was saying that if you think you know something about someone just tell them and don’t play games, or worse don't guess. Sometimes games breed unnecessary hates. You never know everything. Say your mean stuff to them, you may get shocked by their response!

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  12. One would be wise to be afraid of the mentally ill.

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  13. We can only do exactly what you ask for.

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    1. I 100% agree with you people can only do exactly what they think is asked from them. For instance, If they think you are a ghost they go on a “GHOST BUSTING” project. So they will not project their true self to you. For instance, A touch leery thought some haters/stalkers are intentionally following him, so she became as vague and scary as she could be. But she never realized that she was the ghost herself and others were ghost busters.

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  14. So for me its terrifying, straight people.

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    1. So just like you said because she was terrified of haters, for some practical reasons, she gave some nasty responses/data. But she was mainly "pretending" just like you.

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  15. I know. I was there, I've been in the past. I know how it works. Its sad. So sad. (Insert emotion here).

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  16. I'm not missing anything. It is all there.

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  17. WE CALL IT SEDUCTION. Eventual seduction..

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  18. Why would I want someone who loves me? I want someone who hates me.

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  19. hey freak, no one loves/hate you! Good people get occasionally misunderstood and is important to clarify.
    Your eventual seduction is EMPTY if it has no basis.

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  20. people are wrong to fear the mentally ill because they are much more likely to be the victims of crime than the perpetrators, also autism isn't a mental illness, I don't know a lot about it but it's described in wikipedia as a "disorder of neural development", it's not like depression which can be treated and cured, it's something that you are

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  21. Okay. cuz i like all the mental illness. lIke the more mental illness the better.

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  22. I just don' wanna be judged by those people who don't exist.

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  23. I think it would be more fair to say that I am developmentally delayed, of my own making.

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  24. Like I just make up everything on the spot

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  25. I don't want no one to love me.. I just want hate.. :(

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  26. As much hate as possible would be nice.

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  27. So like basically when it comes to witchcraft, its very simple. Intentions are bad. Intentions are never good. Blessing is good. Cursing is bad. Expectations are bad.

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  28. Buts theres always this confusion like, you will never know.. its witchy.

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  29. I've always thought witchcraft to be dangerous. Anything that uses intentions is dangerous. its harmful to the individual its being used on. Manipulation is painful.

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  30. Like don't ever listen to people. They don't know what they're talking about.

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  31. M.E. The thing is, people are being dispossessed from their countries, their futures totally ruined by mass immigrattion from other countries, usually the third world. That's actually the majority and founder people of the Western world. Are you worried for them? I don't think you are. I think you play the game very well to keep that frogmarch into the mire lockstep for them. That's a genocide involving you and yours. Addressing your question, what you're asking is not realistically whether individual people are hurt or sterilized or their rights stripped away. Why not let's frame this right. This is a question of whether in the future certain strands in personality weeded out. The answer to that is, it's already happening, and has always been. Personally I think your overegging any sense this is something you lose sleep over. I mean, I don't care particularly if anything I happen to like about me isn't to some future worlds liking. Why should you|? I mean sure, you've decided to live and try to scratch a living by defining yourself in terms your sociopath traits. But even with that, it's a bit of stretch seeing little M.E. there of a night thinking about all those little sociopath traits in the future that just never born at all. I mean get real. That's the same for more or less everyone in terms of their traits.
    How about worry some about the entire European people being trashed and you going along with that every little nuance and declaration that you can. Don't worry I'm not really complaining. But it's amazing you don't worry about that one going pearshaped. Must feel that's solidly in the bag. Wouldn't be looking too closely at history would be best advice in that case.

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