30 August 2009

Thought for the day (disquieting)

By now most of us have heard of the case of Phillip Garrido, who was recently found to have abducted an 11-year-old girl and kept her as a sex slave for 18 years. And we all remember the similar case of Josef Fritzl, who similarly enslaved and abused his own daughter for 24 years starting when she was 18.

What startles me most about these nightmare stories is the sheer length of time that both Garrido and Fritzl were able to keep both their captives and the secret of their captivity. And these things happened in populated areas, not in some remote shack out in the tundra somewhere. In both cases the end came not because of an ongoing investigation (not after so long!) but rather because some unexpected circumstance forced the secret horror into the open where it could be detected.

What if those circumstances hadn't arisen? How would anyone ever have found out what Garrido or Fritzl were doing?

How many other situations like this are there, going on right now, in basements or backyards or other places where no one suspects? Cases we don't know about and will never know about?

6 Comments:

Blogger Elizabeth said...

How many other situations like this are there, going on right now, in basements or backyards or other places where no one suspects?

Likely many more. We don't know what's going on in our own families these days, much less in those of our neighbors.

30 August, 2009 10:18  
Anonymous NickM said...

Wouldn't happen in the UK.

Oh no!

Daily Mail Readers would have raised Cain about the backyard shanty town and what it was doing to their house-prices!

30 August, 2009 11:55  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Elizabeth -- It's true. In the case of a full-size house (especially with a basement), it's all too easy to imagine something like this going on without even the next-door neighbors having any inkling. Maybe even for decades. And there are always people here and there who vanish and are never found.

Nick -- Surely there's some agency that regulates the aesthetic appearance of sex-slave quarters?

30 August, 2009 13:18  
Blogger vamp said...

Children are oblivious to laws. Just the threat of harm is enough to keep a child at bay.

Makes you wonder about brainwashing. Here's what I just looked up, because I knew this had to be it. And it's exactly what I thought, but couldn't put into words:

"Because brainwashing is such an invasive form of influence, it requires the complete isolation and dependency of the subject, which is why you mostly hear of brainwashing occurring in prison camps or totalist cults. The agent (the brainwasher) must have complete control over the target (the brainwashee) so that sleep patterns, eating, using the bathroom and the fulfillment of other basic human needs depend on the will of the agent. In the brainwashing process, the agent systematically breaks down the target's identity to the point that it doesn't work anymore. The agent then replaces it with another set of behaviors, attitudes and beliefs that work in the target's current environment."

Her story makes me physically ill. I can feel a pain in my gut I can't describe. I just can't imagine, looking at my own fourteen year old daughter, her having a baby at that age. It's astounding.

30 August, 2009 17:01  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Vamp -- I think children come into the world wired to accept and adapt to pretty much whatever value system and authority figures they find dominating their environment. That's how each of the very varied human cultures around the world perpetuates itself generation by generation. Of course, brainwashing exploits this. See the "Stockholm syndrome" as well. Humans are primates; primates are hard-wired to organize themselves into dominance hierarchies. Faced with a permanent and overwhelming authority figure, there will be an urge to become submissive and obedient. Human history would have looked very different if this were not the case.

Of course, to exploit this psychology in order to enslave a child -- it doesn't bear thinking about. Most humans could not bear to do such a thing. But even if only one in a million would do it, that would still be thousands.

30 August, 2009 19:06  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Hmmmm ... shaggin your kids too? I reckon thats what they call "family value" heh? :)

Later Guy..........

31 August, 2009 15:24  

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