I don’t want to spend any time at the moment cogitating over title alternatives, but I came across a word in my keyboard travels yesterday that could be a contender – Unchosen.
This is a term used to describe people who are part of a family network that includes a person who suffers from a personality disorder (PD). They are called Unchosen because they had no choice in entering into that relationship and may include children, parents, siblings or extended family of a person with a PD. They are the unwilling, often initially unknowing, participants in a smear campaign.
In this novel the protagonist is the Unchosen; the target of the BP antagonist’s sustained smear and fear campaign that forms the outline of the story.
It's an interesting concept, but in this post I wanted to summarise my findings on adult grooming and recruitment and use of Psychological Projection.
Adult Grooming is correspondent to child grooming and applies to any situation where an adult is primed to allow him or herself to be exploited or abused. While it is a common assumption that grooming is only practiced on the very young, identical emotional and psychological processes are commonly used to abuse or exploit adults. By careful selection of words and posturing, recruits are groomed do much of the dirty work for the BP, unaware, having been persuaded by the BP’s rendition of truth. They take up the cause align themselves against the target.
The smear campaigner frequently engineers situations in which abuse is inflicted by another person and recruits friends, colleagues, family members, authorities, or any other third party to do their work for them, using them to threaten, stalk, convince, harass and otherwise manipulate the target. Carefully crafted scenarios of embarrassment and humiliation provoke social sanctions of condemnation, contempt, social exclusion and shame against the target.
Defamation of character and destroying the credibility of the target is the ultimate goal, while convincing others that the target is the persecutor and they are the victim. Through use of Projection (see below), the BP conducting the smear campaign, while perpetuating constant, residual torment, claim they are in fact being tormented by their target, creating rescuers who then take up their cause, believing they are protecting the BP from the ‘bully’. Usually, the claims the BP makes about her target are the truth, but about their own thoughts and actions.
When a person has uncomfortable thoughts, feelings, or even behaviours, they may project these onto other people, assigning the thoughts or feelings that they need to repress to a convenient alternative target. Psychological Projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against unpleasant impulses by denying their existence in themselves, while attributing them to others. For example, a person who is a bully may accuse other people of being bullies. Projection tends to come to the fore in normal people at times of crisis, but is more commonly found in personalities functioning at a primitive level as in narcissistic personality disorder or borderline personality disorder.