Bullying/Trolling and Modern Day Witch-Hunts

The Right Time..

This blog has been on the publishing table for a number of years, however on every occasion when the time was just right to publish it, I was caught up with other things and the perfect moment would pass me by. Clearly the Universe held me back for a good reason, because there has never been a more poignant time to publish this than now.

 

Caroline Flack

The last time I’d hoped to publish this was following the heart-breaking suicide of TV celebrity Caroline Flack.

If ever a suicide was a result of a modern day witch-hunt…Caroline’s suicide was it!

The mass media had their disgusting one-sided agenda which was to give their public what their public desired, and that of course is sadly always GOSSIP…stories & gossip no matter the cost!

That’s why our newsagent’s shelves are strewn with an endless array of gossip mags – gossip sells and most people want in on it – people spend money purchasing “gossip mags” and then spend precious time reading them – gossip is BIG business – but not YOUR business!

 

The mass media got the ball rolling with Caroline Flack, but the worst of the abuse came via her own Social Media!

Social media giants like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter have now become nothing more than public utility platforms; huge global organisations which serve to invade our privacy, furnish our governments with required information, work with the police against activists, and censor anything deemed “unsuitable content”! It is deemed unsuitable if it seriously questions the narrative being drip-fed to us by the mass media and interferes with the agenda of the government, who let’s face it, are the puppeteers of the mass media anyway. (Watch The Great Hack on Netflix)

Originally social media was sold to us as a platform that would bring friends and family closer together, platforms for free speech and empowerment, and a space where the public could take control and make more self-informed choices around creative arts, politics and social justice.

It is undeniable that many of these platforms have allowed us to forge worldwide movements and tackle many important issues; SM allowed us to grow the animal rights movement into the biggest and fastest growing social justice movement on the planet, it has been an invaluable tool to us for many years.

But that was then and this is now, and things have changed…drastically! Social media channels have become the sheer cesspits of the world, the very lowest of any lower realm ever imaginable, teeming with hell-beings of the lowest order at many a post.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, censorship appears to be the hot topic for the Silicon Valley social media giants.

Sadly Zuckerberg and his cronies never intervene to “censor” at the right times or for the right reasons! In relation to Caroline Flack’s Instagram for example, the severity of the comments from these hell-beings (we will refer to as trolls and bullies), were some of the highest volume and most disturbing, vicious, vile and sickening comments I had the misfortune of seeing on any posts. Ironically the comments posted on Caroline’s “Be Kind” post were especially gut-wrenching.

People came out in their droves to be judge & jury on the events that led to Caroline’s arrest. However, the only two people who could have ever possibly truly known the correct facts around the incidents that led to the arrest of Caroline Flack were Caroline herself, and her boyfriend.

 

Odd One Out

Another occasion I had hoped to publish this was after viewing the very sad BBC 3 documentary Odd One Out made by Little Mix singer Jesy Nelson; if you have not watched it yet I would urge you to do so and learn from it.

Odd One Out was such an appropriate title, because just being viewed as a little “different” is often the reason we are singled out and bullied! Bullied because we are vegan, because we are gay, because we are a certain body shape, because we are an environmentalist, because we have a different accent, because we have autism, because we are Buddhist, because we are Pakistani, because we are poor, because we care for certain species of animals – this list is endless (and pathetic)!

Jesy Nelson was singled out of Little Mix from day one. She was constantly and endlessly abused online simply because of her body shape. She openly admits that the constant abuse has massively impacted her self-confidence and has played a vital role in the reason she has now undergone numerous plastic surgery procedures.

Due to the ongoing bullying/trolling/abuse/hatred Jesy has received via social media, this beautifuland highly successful young woman has found it difficult to accept herself, and even like herself…even though she’s part of the most successful girl band in the world! This is the sad but honest result and outcome of bullying.

Footballer Dean Henderson gave an upsetting account of bullying, and more recently, the brave yet despairing post by the Scottish star of Starz TV Series Outlander Sam Heughan also posted his own personal account on what it has been like to be a long-term victim of bullying. All of these brave people reminded me I must speak out.

I had truly hoped to be strong enough within myself to work on the blog back in 2018 following the sad & tragic suicide of 13 year old Faith Hindle, or after little 9 year old Jamel Myles took his own life – both children completed suicide due to bullying!

Ironically at this time, I myself found my own mental health severely impacted also due to bullying – unfortunately this had happened on more than one occasion in a short and extremely traumatic 18 month period and by 2 different groups of people – one at work and one within activism!

Hearing about children completing suicide just tears my heart to pieces – I know the horrors of bullying in both adulthood and childhood. My energy and inner child wants to connect with those little broken souls and assure them I will try to do whatever I can to make a difference, to be a person in the world to shine a light on bullying.

I am no longer a victim of bullying, I am an advocate for anti-bullying and I will speak out against it for the rest of my life and use whatever means necessary to make a difference!

Bullies should never be allowed to believe their behaviour is acceptable and they MUST be shown it is not! Victims must speak out, employers must take it seriously, schools and teachers, and leaders in any group setting must set an example to their members.

The first part of the brave post by Sam Heughan

 

What Is Bullying?

The first thing we must establish is the definitions of bully and what it can cover –

Bully – (definition)

Seek to harm, intimidate, or coerce (someone perceived as vulnerable)

Similar: Persecute, oppress, tyrannize, torment, browbeat, intimidate

 

“Bullying is conduct that cannot be objectively justified by a reasonable code of conduct, and whose likely or actual cumulative effect is to threaten, undermine, constrain, humiliate or harm another person or their property, reputation, self-esteem, self-confidence or ability to perform”. Via Bullyonline.org

 

Bullying can happen in any setting – some examples are –

  • Online
  • Nursery/School/Higher Education
  • Work
  • Groups/charities
  • Cults
  • Friends
  • Family
  • Neighbours/community
  • Within religious groups 

Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a common form of bullying; this can happen one-on-one, in group settings and very often within the workplace. Gaslighting is something we hear about more and more these days – however a 1944 film simply called Gaslight portrays a perfect example of this form of abuse.

Gaslighting is all about manipulation and power – a complete power-game & struggle with an utterly deliberate intention of controlling the victim and/or a situation. Victims of gaslighting can begin to doubt their own thoughts, words and actions and ultimately feel they are going insane. This in turn leads them into becoming more vulnerable and hence becoming more and more dependent on their abuser therefore giving the abuser power and control, which is exactly what they so strongly desire. Sound familiar??

Social exclusion

Social exclusion is also recognised as bullying – this is where an individual is purposely, aggressively and repeatedly excluded with the hope and intent to cause the target harm, emotional distress and feelings of isolation and despair.

People who are bullied are often isolated and excluded which can lead to a lack of knowledge hence making them look incompetent.

A good example of this for workplace bullying was in the ITV drama Sticks & Stones – I am sure many people viewing this would feel extremely uncomfortable knowing full well they had at some point participated in similar behaviours.

Normally within a group situation a ringleader will orchestrate this excluding behaviour. A ringleader will often be someone who is reasonably popular; possibly popular simply because they are a team leader/manager/boss or they have established themselves as a leader of a group that people wish to be part of, or they may be a ringleader simply because others feel intimidated and/or fearful of them, so people choose to be with them rather than against them (a bit like the flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz)

Social exclusion can manifest in various ways 

  • Leaving an individual out of a group meeting, event, gathering, chat etc. knowing they will be hurt by these actions
  • Ignoring someone to their face/in a chat when other people are present
  • Telling lies/false stories (gossip) about an individual in a bid to blacken their name and how others perceive them – hence other people will exclude them
  • Telling other people not to be friends with someone
  • Telling people not to support any cause/group an individual is part of
  • Embarrassing an induvial in public if they were to attempt to approach you or your group

ALL of the above can apply to online or face to face – but actually according to the statistics, online bullying is now impacting the lives of the victims more dramatically than face to face bullying.

Cyber-bullying

Bullying online has a massive impact as it can literally happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It also has the potential to spread to any global location. What might have been a one-to-one discussion in real-life, can now culminate in hundreds and thousands of people attacking from any location around the world.

There’s rarely any consequence for the perpetrators and the hate can come thick and fast. Short of the victim giving in and closing their account, there’s literally no escape from it!

People very often forget when they type away furiously on their keyboard, there’s a real life person on the receiving end, and they have no idea the fragility of the mental health of that person, or how close to suicide that person might be. Just one more comment might be enough to push the victim over the edge!

The online groups and chats are also 24/7/365, and so they become an intense breeding ground for gossip mongers and bullies to congregate together to discuss how they can orchestrate the fall of their target, how to best tarnish and damage their reputation, and how to fully exclude and alienate these certain individuals.

From within the groups they reach their decisions and formulate their plans, it’s then all about manipulating others into their way of thinking. They do this by drip feeding the concocted stories to anyone who will listen, especially people they feel may be friends with or acquaintances of the hunted person, and of course, it must be specifically construed to any new person they may meet who will lend a willing ear to listen.

Apart from the scenarios mentioned above on methods for a digital witch hunts, there are also posts published, blogs written, videos made and even specific social media profiles and groups set up which exist ONLY to attack other people (and often the victims’ family) – what is that if it’s not a witch hunt and full blown bullying? What kind of person sets up and admins a profile to publically attack other people, and what kind of people follow, comment and Like?

Ironically people discuss discrimination on a regular basis – but this bullying and witch-hunting mentality is just another form of discrimination. People often cover up their agenda by referring to their behaviour as “calling out”, but very often that is a guise to simply attack and persecute individuals of their choosing. Be under no illusion – this type of behaviour is 100% bullying, this is harassment, this is discrimination and this is a modern day witch-hunt.

 

Flying Monkeys

Bullying groups will often have a “flying monkey” (one or more). Flying monkeys are people within groups who will remain “friends” with the “target” to gain insight, private information, news and stories to carry back to the group.

This term originates from the flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz; accomplices who would fly back and forth to the witch (bully, ringleader) with whatever information she wanted on Dorothy. This scenario is a perfect example of how the monkeys were simply obeying the orders of the witch and doing her dirty work, not through love or admiration for her, but through sheer fear of her; this was clearly displayed by their celebration after Dorothy killed the witch!

These flying monkey roles are often carried out by the softer people within the group – usually for 3 reasons

  • They’re more likely to be convincing that they’re a genuine friend
  • They’re easily intimidated by the bigger and stronger characters within the group – so they are pushed into this role and easier to brainwash – so an easy target.
  • They believe if they don’t conform to the groups’ wishes & demands, they too could become a hunt victim themselves, and be on the receiving end of such treatment – and that scares them intensely!

 

Cults and their Leaders

Much of this “group work” is simply a form of brainwashing similar to the brainwashing within cults.

New people who want to become part of a group are easily influenced because initially they’re so keen to become part of the group and desperate to be accepted, they’ll go along with situations which may possibly be out of character for them. (Watch Wild Wild Country on Netflix & The Following)

At the head of each cult there’s always one leader instigating and orchestrating everything. Extreme ends of this kind of behaviour and influence are people like Jim Jones, leader of the Peoples Temple religious group – their collective actions became known as the infamous Jonestown Massacre – this one man carefully orchestrated the mass murder-suicide of over 900 people from his own group (watch Jonestown: The Life & Death of People’s Temple).

Another example of this type of brainwashing was Charles Manson of the infamous Manson Family. I use these 2 examples simply because most people will be familiar with one if not both, and if not, you can easily find out as much as you could ever want to learn online – there’s a plethora of information available on both men and their cults. However these are not isolated cases – these types of people exist the world over, and on our doorsteps, both the leaders and the followers, and of course the flying monkeys.

The groups will publicly pinpoint the targeted individuals and “virtually” begin to stone them at every possible opportunity they see. The hatred runs so deep, if they could have them burned at the stake they would!

 

Witch hunt

Witch-hunt – (definition)

A campaign directed against a person or group holding views considered unorthodox or a threat to society.

 

When bullying escalates out of all control and manifests itself into a mob-handed persecution of an individual or small group and the intent is to destroy the life and reputation of the victim, this is witch-hunt mentality.

At this stage we are on a real slippery path, because as hunts gain momentum it’s challenging for anyone to then back down and actually put their hands up and say –

“I am/we are wrong, this is an incorrect and fabricated perception of this person – this must stop”.

 

It’s like a snow ball – people keep rolling with it so it just continues to get bigger and bigger and bigger, and it won’t stop growing until everyone stop rolling with it.

Nowadays the term “witch-hunt” isn’t usually referring to practicing witches, but it is a term used frequently from people like politicians and paedophiles in an attempt to convince the public there’s no truth in a story, no foul play and the accusations at hand are a set up. For me this term should not be used by the rich, privileged and powerful because it misrepresents the pain, injustice and oppression that many innocent women and men lived through and died by, and how so many brutally lost their innocent lives many years ago.

(Believe it or not, modern day “witches” are still persecuted and killed today in varying countries).

Back in the day a “witch-hunt” was when a group of people armed with pitchforks and torches led a physical search for people (mainly women) who had been branded and labelled “witches”. The groups would often also search for evidence to substantiate their own perceptions of witchcraft.

Although in the west we no longer walk the streets mob handed with pitchforks and torches aiming to track down “witches”, the strong desire to persecute has sadly not been left behind with tales of spells, cauldrons and broomsticks!

The modern way to label and condemn a victim is to target and directly name an individual. From there keyboard warriors take to group chats and social media in their masses and conduct modern day witch-hunts in a particular manner.

Armed with phones and other tech devices they sit with digital pitchforks and revel in concocting stories and spreading dangerous and malicious rumours (most of which will be inaccurate, untrue or simply flawed perceptions). They conduct group chats where they discuss individuals, they share screen shots of “private” messages, photos and posts – and they all spend endless time and energy adding extra arms, legs and tails onto the original rumour to make it a bit more titillating (the original story probably wasn’t even close to truth in the first place).

Although this desire to persecute is nothing new, what is new, is the huge potential for hatred to spread like wildfire and be exacerbated by our World Wide Web – something the witches way back when did not have to endure.

 

Witch Hunts of Old

If we travel back in time to the Early Modern period or around 1450 to 1750, we can find many accounts of real witch-hunts of the day. Our findings are that generally the biggest percentages of the accused were women (but not all were female); especially single women, spinsters and widows, along with others who didn’t quite fit with what society deemed as “normal”.

As it was men who enforced the rules, it was easier to persecute and step on women with them being the more powerless gender. The threat of being branded a witch was always something hanging over the head of women, and was definitely a way to keep them in line.

There are records and stories of witches as far back as the Old Testament, but it was from around 1500 that witch-hunts really began to take place and would continue for over 150 + years.

The infamous Salem witch trials took place in 1692. That all began when a group of young girls in Salem Massachusetts claimed to be possessed by the devil and accused several local women of witchcraft -“accused” being the operative word.

The reason so many were accused and condemned to death back in the 15th & 16th century, mostly boiled down to mere hearsay – someone, even a child, would simply accuse and point the finger and that was often judge and jury decided on their verdict!

 

The Bargarran Witches

Here in Scotland we have our own sad example of a witch-hunt that ended with 7 local people found guilty of witchcraft and being condemned to death – they were known and still remembered to this day as the Bargarran Witches.

They were hanged and burned on June 10th 1697 on our very doorstep in Paisley Renfrewshire at the Gallow Green; this was last mass execution for witchcraft in Western Europe.

The 7 Paisley townsfolk were accused of witchcraft simply because Christian Shaw, an 11 year old child and the daughter of the Laird of Bargarran, complained to her mother than a servant had stolen a glass of milk and had also been “tormenting her”!

Bargarran House Mitchell, J. Dickie JN. Public domain

The girl apparently became ill and was taken to their doctor. It was reported the girl was pulling hair balls, coal and gravel from her mouth. The doctor could not find any physical ailment with Christian, so the local minister was called in and he concluded that the girl must be possessed.

The Laird pulled rank and used his position to appeal to the authorities to take measures to arrest the people his 11 year daughter had accused of witchcraft. Initially the girl had accused only 2 people, however, that 2 grew and grew, and eventually the child had accumulated a whopping list of 35 names. This fact in itself needs no further discussion as it speaks volumes independently.

 

Eventually the number was whittled down to just 7 names – Margaret Lang, John Lindsay, James Lindsay, John Reid, Catherine Campbell, Margaret Fulton, and Agnes Naismith.

The 7 people were all found guilty of having bewitched Shaw and were condemned to death by hanging. Following the hanging, their bodies were heaped onto a blazing bonfire…it is said that not all of them were dead at this point, as moving limbs had to be pushed into the fire with a stick.

Of the 7 only 6 of them were actually hanged and then burned on the Gallow Green in Paisley, as John Reid subsequently completed suicide by hanging himself in his prison cell using his own handkerchief.

John & James Lindsay were brothers from Formakin Mill near Houston and were mere children themselves. Aged only 11 & 14 years old, they held tightly onto each other’s hand as they were tragically hanged together that fateful dark day in Paisley town.

The charred remains of the condemned were buried on a crossing now known as Maxwelton Cross in Paisley; a horseshoe was laid to seal the burial site. The site can still be seen today, and should serve as a reminder to us all, how mere words and accusations can hold unrelenting and irreversible power which will not only serve to ruin the lives of others, but to end them.

As Agnes Naismith took her final breath, she screamed a dying woman’s curse on all people present, their descendants and Paisley town itself. Many believe the curse of Naismith still hangs heavy over the town to this day (others might see it as karma)!

The original horseshoe from the burial site at Maxwelton Cross in Paisley went missing many years ago.

In 1810 Paisley was home to the UK’s worst canal disaster which saw 85 people lose their lives.

In 1979 there was a fatal accident at Paisley Gilmour Street Railway station which claimed 7 lives – 5 passengers and the drivers of both trains involved.

Paisley had been a bustling town of industry, but even being a global success, Paisley endured a rapid decline in their industries, and from the mid 1970’s the town just declined more with each decade. Paisley is now a shadow of its former self – a town barely recognisable from what it was many years ago.

Due to so many residents believing that the various misfortunes of this town were due to the curse of Agnes Naismith; in 2008 a new horseshoe was designed by Sandy Stoddart and it replaced the original horseshoe – this was in hope of breathing a new lease of life into this dying town.

Bargarran House no longer exists, but it did become a point of interest in Renfrewshire while it still stood. Many years after the “bewitching” incident, a hole was found in the wall of Christian Shaw’s bedroom – some believe this hole was used by an accomplice to pass Shaw the items she was then “removing from her mouth”!

Ironic!

Christian Shaw, the little girl who was partly responsible for the deaths, grew up to be a very successful businesswoman who left her mark on Renfrewshire in more ways than one.

Shaw founded the Renfrewshire thread industry which all began at Bargarran House in Erskine, which is where the “possession” incidents took place. It was Shaw herself who introduced Scotland to the spinning of fine linen to thread; she went on to develop her own thread company called “Bargarran Thread” – her threads were deemed as threads of fine quality, and through her efforts, Paisley became globally dominant within the industry.

Successful in life she may have been, but I would not like to have gone to the grave with that kind of karma to carry over to the next life!

Has Anything Really Changed?

Our modern day witch-hunts happen for very similar reasons – someone makes an accusation, and it doesn’t take long before the hunt begins,

Now it’s trial by social media, and the death is often through suicide not condemnation, but the mob-handed mentality is exactly the same.

It’s blatantly obvious that if someone who was a friend, acquaintance or colleague suddenly starts to ignore someone, Unfriends them from social media, becomes rude towards them or simply falls out with them for absolutely no valid reason at all, they have clearly been listening to a trail blaze of stories circulating about that targeted person. People are not just friends with someone one day and then not the next unless something happened between them, or…they’ve been brainwashed after listening to someone’s fabricated stories about the targeted induvial at the centre of a witch-hunt.

It starts small within the group chat or at a dinner table with a little group of people – but it grows and grows and spreads like a dark cancer.

This kind of persecution is the type of thing that can break the victims’ mental health, render them extremely unwell and eventually see them dealing with suicidal ideation, suicide attempts and/or completion.

 

Why Do People Get Bullied?

When we are living with bullying on a daily basis, our emotions become surrounded with darkness and daily life feels so heavy, incredibly lonely and such a struggle. It feels like we have been thrown overboard in the middle of the cold dark ocean; there’s no life raft, there’s no buoy, no light, and nobody around to offer a lifeline or any support – it’s a never-ending feeling of sinking while using every living second to tread water and desperately try to stay afloat. However, we do reach a point where it becomes too much and too tiring to keep going. When people’s minds reach such dark places and they feel so hated and so isolated, they will soon start to question if there is actually any point in continuing to tread water? Why use all this energy to stay afloat when the more peaceful option may feel like sinking and allowing all the pain to simply melt away?

Living life that way is not living life, that is simply existing!

Severe bullying leaves scars and deep wounds with people for life. If those wounds are picked at a later date with further episodes of bullying, abuse or violence, those wounds of old can reopen, exposing us yet again to all that same raw emotion, upset and pain that we experienced from the original events possibly spanning as far back as our childhood.

If you are a person who has never been bullied, you are possibly wondering how this could happen to the same person in childhood and again in adulthood, (once, twice or even more)?

So why do certain people get bullied and not others?

The reasons are varied and endless, but let’s highlight some more common ones.

If someone is the type of person to speak out again injustice, who chooses not to interact with gossip, to stand with the underdog (human and non-human) and always try to help & support others who are being bullied – even if it’s to the detriment of themselves, then they are at great risk of being bullied again and again, because they are always putting themselves in the firing line in order to help and support others.

Taking a stance against the masses will usually guarantee putting individuals against the injustice of the masses, so in turn, doing this can (and often will) lead to problems.

What else should people do though….look the other way, turn a blind eye?

I would always hope and pray that any victim of bullying had at least one person in their corner willing to stand with them and support them through such a challenging time.

If we turn away, what does that say about us as a person?

If we want to be the change we wish to see within our world, we must be prepared to take chances, to jump off the fence and speak out, to be unafraid and fearless of ridicule, to fight ‘til the bitter end for justice and ALWAYS do what feels like the right thing!

If you follow that rule you will leave this world with a pure heart and a clear mind, and when all is said and done, that’s all that truly matters – the only thing we will take with us is our karma – not our friends or family, not our money or job, not our fancy jewels or swanky car…quite simply our words and our actions!

Empath/HSP

If you are an empath or highly sensitive person, it is highly likely you will experience bullying at least once in your life. High Sensitivity within a person is a biological difference they are born with; a “personality trait” or “temperament” which stems from a difference in the central nervous system causing increased sensitivity to stimuli, and a greater cognitive processing of mental, emotional, social, spiritual and physical stimuli, so therefore HSP’s experience many subtleties, and they process information in a deeper and different way; in general, they experience the entire world very differently from non-HSP’s.

However, it’s a two-sided coin: they view differently, but are also viewed differently, and because of that, they are also very often treated extremely differently too, mainly because they are unbelievably misunderstood.

HSP occurs in approximately 15-20% of the human population and can also occur in non-human animals too. For example, I have 2 dogs – one is much more sensitive in many ways than the other. I have experienced exactly the same with cattle.

 

HSP’s are more sensitive to everything around them than the rest of the population; they are often more sensitive to noise, smells, lights, foods, drugs, chemicals, stimulants and fabrics (often finding many fabrics irritate their skin) etc. They detest and are also more sensitive to all conflict, drama and upset. As people, they are insightful, free thinkers, they are peaceful, conscientious, easy pleased & perceptive.

Due to that soft, gentle, caring and of course their sensitive nature, HSP’s can be viewed as a pushover, this makes them an easy target for anyone with a dark side for control, power, bullying and trolling.

 

Other Reasons –

  • Jealousy/Ego – Insecure people can often feel threatened by those they perceive to be more successful than them; better looking, better hair, better fitness, more holidays/travel, doing more, receiving a promotion, their career, gaining popularity, receiving more praise and recognition, their ethical stance, their lifestyle, their body shape etc – the list of reasons to be jealous could be endless!
  • Sometimes bullies/trolls have simply been brainwashed after listening to stories and gossip from group chats, nights out, meetings, gatherings, staff rooms, playgrounds, video calls etc. It’s about someone else’s thoughts rather than their own!
  • The “target” doesn’t fit into the stereotype, plan or vision of the bullying individual or group – so they then perceive the target as a threat or enemy.

People can also be subjected to bullying/trolling if they are considered to be different from what the masses consider as being the “norm” –

These might include a difference in –

  • Perceptions
  • Sexual orientation
  • Relationship status
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Skin colour
  • Disability
  • Political views
  • Religion
  • Marital Status
  • World views/opinions
  • Profession
  • Mental Health
  • Health (some diseases have been targeted in the past)
  • Lifestyle such as veganism/food choices
  • Spiritual path
  • Hairstyle
  • Image – Goth, rocker, hippy,
  • Taste in music
  • Circle of friends
  • Home/homelessness
  • Traveller
  • Money (often lack of, but also abundance of)
  • Power/Control (lack of)

 

I went to school with a girl who also got bullied because she had frizzy hair – her barbaric nickname was “nits” simply because a ridiculous story circulated that her frizzy hair was home to nits…all because it was frizzy. She endured that cruel torment for 5 full years!

The absurd list of reasons could go on and on…

Find more reasons here why people might be bullied on this excellent website BullyOnline.Org

 

Gossip Is The Devils Radio

Like Jim Morrison said “people are strange”, and strange they are!

Who do the public think they are to be judge and jury in relation to private incidents in the lives of others they know NOTHING about? Who are they to cast cyber stones at whoever is the target of their day? These people have absolutely no business getting involved in the business of others, but sadly, many people make the lives and business of others, their business!

We have all heard those expressions – “what’s the goss”, “spill the beans”, “you got any goss?”, “I’ll tell you something but don’t tell anyone”, “have you heard about Joe Bloggs”

We all know when we hear these words falling from the lips of others that gossipmongers are fishing and rumours are sure to follow.

If we choose to listen, we are choosing to be part of that gossip, part of the chain. Even if we only listen and don’t agree with gossip, listening and saying nothing means we are complicit, we are still part of the problem. Remember, gossiping is never innocuous, what is being said could break, or even end someone else’s life!

It is our absolute duty as compassionate people to immediately nip negative gossip in the ugly bud where it’s stemming from. Nothing good ever comes from gossip –“Gossip is The Devils Radio”

 

Cyber-Bullying – The Hate Train

Stories are shared, then extra bits are added on, then once the story is nicely concocted, the trolls jump out from under their bridge, take themselves to social media armed with their keyboard, and they kick-start the barrage of hatred that could go on for days or even weeks at a time!

Sticking the cyber knife in someone’s back and virtually kicking them when they are already down is totally despicable, but sadly it is an act that excites people with that type of personality.

Once it starts, many people will not stop until the target is so battered and bruised they eventually just break. Once a momentum of hate starts flowing, it sadly takes on a life of its own, and it’s extremely difficult to get that momentum to grind to a halt.

I refer to this scenario as a hate train – a train that is being driven along by an individual (ringleader) and the story is being broadcast over the intercom to all the passengers. The train makes as many stops as required to pick up as many new eager passengers who are more than happy to jump on-board and participate in the hate ride. As each new passenger joins they are “briefed” with the story from the driver and other passengers. Once new people feel suitably informed, they too feel suitably informed and qualified to join the social media shaming circus. This cycle continues to happen throughout the journey as the Hate Train trundles along on its merry little way to destination BreakLivesTown.

Once the train arrives and the targets life is completely broken, the passengers disembark and eagerly await the instruction from the driver regarding their next little adventure.

If of course the energy had caused the train to speed and spiral completely out of control, one of two things would happen – an emergency stop or a full blown crash before the train could reach its final destination. The crash of course signifies when their target completely breaks and their life becomes no more (target caving under the pressure and taking their own life as in the above mentioned cases).

On the occasions involving a death, there’s always an extremely bizarre twist in the tale. The Hate Train passengers disembark immediately and return to social media. Many quickly remove their previous vicious comments and replace them with hypocritical messages of love and sympathy. This deceit and hypocrisy is a bid to convince not only themselves, but hopefully others, that they were in no way involved in ruining and/or ending the life of the victim. This appears to soothe their guilt and put their nasty minds at rest, allowing them to toddle off with eyes and ears wide open waiting to pounce on their next victim! They will tell and write endless lies to cover their dark tracks.

Dedicated Posts

Depending on the level of hate, some victims may even have a full post dedicated to them…this will be written and posted with hate on the profile of a bully. To show support and allegiance to the ringleader, it doesn’t take long before the puppets and flying monkeys will click share and display these posts on their profile too(no doubt with suitably sarcastic emoji’s) – keeping their fellow troll fed and happy.

To be honest, I find it truly bewildering that people will actually use their precious human time to write posts, and also to design and create memes that mock, joke & jibe.

It would also appear the more they participate, the more they revel in turning the victim into a laughing stock. Let me remind you… this is all happening even though the actual truth about the situation remains unclarified and unknown (think back to Caroline Flack as an example) – all the judgment has simply arisen from stories; unconfirmed stories that people have listened to and proceeded to share! Never forget this… the only way you can truly know something, is if you were there and you witnessed clearly 100% what happened, or, if it happened to you yourself – everything else is unconfirmed!

Bullying Contributes to Mental Health Deterioration

Bullying, trolling and the witch-hunt paradigm are on the rise.

Being a victim of such is something which can severely impact on our mental health, and may sadly even end in attempted or completed suicide. Read the stats here for yourself Megan Meier Foundation Website as of April 6, 2020 

 

At this point I URGE you to please bear these facts around mental health and suicide in mind before you ever gravitate towards a keyboard to attack any other individual. If these tragic facts are merely disregarded and overlooked, then many consciences could be riddled with never-ending guilt if someone were to end their life due to bullying and harassment they had been subjected to. How must it feel to know you’ve actually bullied someone to death? One thing we do know for sure is that many social media users will know exactly how bullying someone to death feels!!

Watch 13 Reasons Why on Netflix to see an excellent portrayal of just how seriously gossip, bullying and assault can impact on an individual and ultimately their loved ones.

A survey conducted in 2019 by the Diana Award found that 1 in 5 children consider suicide due to bullying.

The survey of 1003 pupils aged between 11-16 years of age also highlighted the fact that bullying can negatively impact a child’s education.

The survey also indicated that 35% of children miss school and 20% actually change schools or are home-educated as a direct result of bullying. As a child I refused point blank to go to school because of bullying to the extent that social services were involved.

The percentages show how rife bullying. As if enduring this at school isn’t bad enough, imagining growing up and being subjected to it once or even twice again – sadly it is not something we leave in the schoolya.

WE the People – WE the Divided!

Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week 2020. We are in the middle of the global Covid-19 pandemic and also in the middle of one of the biggest divides in humanity I have ever witnessed.

Since March we as a species have endured some of the most mentally challenging times many of us have faced in our entire lifetime.

Covid19 has seen a huge increase in various types of hate crimes and domestic abuse. It has also sparked an increase in cyber bullying, trolling and general online hatred.

Initially much of that hatred was around race and xenophobia due to covid being viewed as a foreign virus. More recently that hatred has also become rife between the groups who are split in the middle – the groups believing the mass media (MMG) and the groups listening to independent media and doing their own research on the facts and figures (IMG) (otherwise referred to as truthers, conspiracy theorists, flat earthers, tinfoil hat wearers, tree huggers, right wingers, Trump lovers etc).

It would appear that we are no longer at liberty to peacefully share our own findings, thoughts and opinions on this Covid19 situation on our own social media profiles without being viciously attacked and then Unfriended, and going through a lot of what’s been discussed above.

Considering Covid19 is the world’s biggest challenge since WW2, and the single most bizarre event to ever happen in most of our lifetimes, it is clearly something we do all have our own thoughts, ideas and opinions on. However, it’s my observations and even my unfortunate first-hand experience that the MMG’s have become filled with venom, fury and vitriol and are attacking and being brutally malicious towards the IMG’s for merely sharing the clear statistics and findings of independent scientists & doctors who are not on the payroll or agenda of any government related organisation.

Meaningful conversations are of such importance at this time because only through peaceful and polite discussion can we help and guide one another to look at our global situation with fresh eyes.

WE are the people, yet WE are divided!

I hear many people compare the Covid19 situation to that of the Wars, but during the wars the people of our country were united and supportive of one another, they came together. Not only are we being divided physically through social distancing, shielding and self-isolation, but we are becoming divided on many other levels too. We are witnessing growing division between families, friends, colleagues, children, doctors, scientists and of course politicians.

We were divided over Scottish Independence and Brexit, but never before in peace time have we been as brutally divided as we are now.

Is this really a time for hate and division? Is it a time for bullying, condemning and parting ways? Will hate and anger repair our broken lives, or would that job be better suited to love and compassion?

 

Be Part of the Solution, Not Part of The Problem…

I’ve seen and known of this happening in other people’s lives before just as it has happened in my own life too.

I feel obliged to share observations of how it can all too easily occur, wreak havoc on the lives in touches, and escalate out of control.

I am aware of it happening all around to me to people I don’t know and people I do – to friends, to children, to colleagues, actors, musicians and celebs.

Bullying nowadays often originates online and it’s impacting massively on the lives of the victims subjected to this hatred. The cruel impact is all too often a cause for many suicides (attempted & completed).

I URGE people to stop bullying, end the witch hunts and please please please, let’s reunite in love and peace and harmony.

I have reached out to people before in peace, and I will always reach out again.

I do not bear grudges and am always happy and willing to build bridges

Division is not the answer, unity is the answer

Hate is not the answer, love is the answer

Negativity is not the answer, positivity is the answer

Even if we have different views, we can live peacefully and lovingly with different views. There’s enough war in the world without waging one on each other.

If YOU have an issue with someone else, the only way you may be able to resolve that is through direct communication with the person. Not through discussing it someone else, not through a public display of virtual hate – that becomes more about egos and point scoring and playing to an audience than humility, care or compassion!

I will say again, please make no mistake, if you are aiming to convince yourself and others that you are fighting to end oppression and try desperately to openly portray this image on social media while you are also actively orchestrating or participating in any form of bullying and witch-hunt, you surely must also have enough common sense to see just how unbelievably ironic and hypocritical that is? How can you fight to end discrimination and oppression within specific groups, if YOU are doing exactly the same thing to other individuals/groups? YOU are oppressing others with your bullying and witch-hunting behaviours…YOU have chosen to target and orchestrate a witch-hunt simply because their views do not meet with yours, jealousy, intimidation etc?

You know the expression pots & kettles?????

People orchestrating and participating in this type of abusive and bullying behaviour definitely need to STOP looking at and judging the lives of others and focus on themselves for a long period of time; there is an URGENT requirement for them to rehabilitate that angry, hateful, judgemental and spiteful nature they have nurtured within and allowed to fester and fester – because now it is that very behaviour which is the major problem!

Anyone who truly believes any form of behaviour that even closely resembles this is acceptable has a lot of soul searching to do in a bid to see the bigger picture of what they preach – they are talking the talk but the only walk they are walking is a walk of absolute shame!

If our seeds of negativity are watered daily, they are the seeds that will grow and bloom; there will be no room for our seeds of positivity (that are within us all) to come up and bloom in the garden of our minds.

Rather than judging others we can stop and look at our own behaviours!
Be mindful of our thoughts, words & actions.
If being judgemental is part of who we are, we can change it. Even if we find it challenging, we can do it in small chunks – “for the next 30 minutes I will be non-judgemental”, “for the next 1 hour I will be non-judgemental” “for today I will be non-judgemental”!

In a world where we have the choice to be anything at all, why would we not choose to be kind?

THANK YOU!

Finally, I would like to thank those people who excluded me and bullied me, who lied about me and pushed me out where you didn’t want me to be (you know who you are).

Had you not lashed out at me, I would probably not be on the verge of starting an entirely new life right now. I’d possibly have stayed in the same place, doing the same job, and doing the same thing day in day out – but you pushed me out, and you pushed me to fight for my life and for my future – and here I am – free of the rat race, fighting for social justice and trying to be the change I wish to see in the world.

In Gratitude

I THANK YOU!

 

If you are the victim of any form of bullying, don’t suffer in silence – talk to someone –

Samaritans 24 hrs/365 a year: www.samaritans.org.
For an immediate response phone FREE

☎ 116 123 (UK) 116 123 (ROI)

MIND, mental health charity: www.mind.org.uk

☎ 0300 123 3393

Rethink Mental Illness: www.rethink.org

☎ 0300 5000 927

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

Sources:

Thomas S Jolly (local history)

https://bullyonline.org

https://defeatthelabel.com/

https://meganmeierfoundation.org/

https://diana-award.org.uk/

https://www.paisley.org.uk/2016/06/paisley-witches/