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The Puppet Slayers


What is the straw that breaks the camel’s back? This is a key question in the problem of personal morale.

No one can really tell how they will behave in times of great danger until it comes to actually facing the test. The true test of reality is solved in different ways. Many accept the challenge. Some hyper-vigilant, compulsive individuals even welcome the danger. Still others, who were already unstable, misuse the new situation as an excuse to break down and let their emotions go.

[. . .]

Somewhere along the line, good morale means no longer being afraid to die; it means solving that mythological anxiety about death being something dark and obscure; and it means the willingness to accept the inevitable. Accepting inevitability, duty, and responsibility is living in a different way: it is living with the moral courage to stand for moral principles that you have gathered in your life and without which life is not worth living.

[. . .]

The anticipation of bad occurrences can have a paralyzing effect. If one expects people to break down, they may either give in more easily to these false prophets, or, out of hostility, feel boosted in their morale. Media outlets, press, radio, television, and the like, are well aware of their subtle responsibility as morale-influencing public relations mediums. Some however, have rather nefarious influences and motives used specifically to manipulate social outcomes.

It is important to realize that mental prophets expect more panic in others when they themselves feel jittery and insecure. Humans are often mentally much stronger than expected of them. Of all the animals, humans can suffer most and take danger best, provided they do not weaken themselves by their belief in superstitious, supernatural terror stories nor become unnerved by the false influences of a psychological war.


Compare and Contrast Some Factors Influencing Group Morale

The following factors may endanger morale:

The usual puppets

  1. Wrong anticipation of danger; myths and rumors about an enemy
  2. Severe stress; Post-trauma stress, social psychosis
  3. Poor physical and mental health
  4. Lack of food, lack of sleep; decrepit living environment
  5. Bad leadership
  6. Poor education and training; lack of skill; over training
  7. Poor communication and poor information
  8. Destruction of basic core values, lack of faith
  9. Confusion of activities, strife in politics, wrong selection of government
  10. Authoritarian and undemocratic behavior; humiliation, blame
  11. Tyranny; too rigid discipline, unjust lack of discipline
  12. Homesickness and feelings of estrangement
  13. Internal hostilities, prejudices, and persecution of individuals
  14. Thought control and menticide; no right to be an individual, no justice, no right to appeal
  15. No function in the social setting, boredom, no duties.
  16. Alcohol, crime and drugs

The following factors may boost morale:

  1. Sound democratic leadership
  2. Well-planned organizations with the freedom of improvisation; minimum of bureaucracy.
  3. Democratic self-discipline. Faith in our own institutions
  4. Information and unhampered communications
  5. Freedom of religion; moral integrity
  6. Mutual loyalty and mature responsibility; team spirit
  7. Mental alertness; important psychological awareness of the problems faced
  8. A sense of belonging and being accepted, unity.
  9. A sense of justice, freedom, and privacy.
  10. Confidence in experts ready to give aid (medical, public, and social)

–Joost A. M. Meerloo, M.D., 1956. “The Rape of the Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing” (edited)

“It’s a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” – Sherlock Holmes (A C Doyle)

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