X-files' Cancer Man. Image Source: X-files Wiki.
In the Post-Postmodern world, 'para-' is the new 'meta-'. Sometimes on the Internet, a perfect storm of bullshit produces something brand new, say, a sharp little neologism like 'Paraterrorism.' This emerging pseudo-science demonstrates just how peculiar theories of human psychology can get when people are struggling to understand huge political, cultural and technological upheavals that transform whole societies. What happens when the values of believers and skeptics merge? Brace yourself. This stuff is so weird, it's terrifying.
Paraterrorism involves the injection of paranormal theories into explanations of terrorism. This fusion ultimately says something simple: we use the paranormal or the occult to comprehend that which we find difficult to explain. Terrorism is hard to understand, and the supernatural, apocalyptic or occult are shortcuts to rational thinking on the subject. Also, those shortcuts produce real and horrible results.
opaquely defined as a theory of group psychology and mass psychological conflict that appears to those affected to enter the realm of the paranormal. It takes the basic psychological mechanics of terrorism, and injects a theory that the people involved in a terror event are appealing to a supernatural power.
The key theorist on Paraterrorism is someone named Tres Mali Scott. Scott builds on the real psychological violence and long-term damage obviously intended by an act of terrorism. In Scott's theory, the terrorist's psychological goal becomes a perceived form of psychic warfare. Attacked people develop acute and chronic stress disorders collectively symptomized by economic collapse, intensified political divisions and group projections of responsibility.
This last condition, the projection of responsibility, manifests as a perceived psychic attack that is internalized by its victims. The Paraterrorist justifies himself with religion and negative Karma. Scott contends that the act of aggression depends on a religious and semi-magical appeal to a supernatural force (Karma) to invert responsibility for aggressive acts: "Para-terrorist[s] elicit responses from religious foundations for attacking. ... [They] use negative karma ([and call it] ... sin). Sin or negative karma is an act considered morally wrong that causes negative chains of events to occur.."
I guess Scott means that the terror act depends on creating the false view that that act of aggression is the outcome of a preexisting chain of Western sins. That chain seemingly absolves the terrorist of negative moral responsibility and makes his violent attack rather a positive act of karmic retribution. That karmic image is then absorbed by the victims of the violence. In other words, if the Paraterrorist is successful, the whole terror act is perceived by both terrorist and victim in spiritual and supernatural terms, not materially or rationally. If religion is the first spiritual paradigm of terrorism, the paranormal or the occult is the second, larger spiritual paradigm of terrorism.
At least, I think that's the idea.
The red flag, perhaps (as if we needed one), is that Paraterrorism is also a merger of "religion and technology." On the one hand, Paraterrorism belongs to the province of "Aberrations, psychic phenomena, use of Divine Beings and Spirits, Celestial Beings and Spirits, Demonic, Satanic, Ghostly, and Spiritual means." On the other hand, it refers to "Organization of [Internet-based computer] communication-code ... [made to] sound ... like it means something else. Some of these practices come from and lead to psychopathology." Under the latter category, Scott refers to Internet bots, malicious code posing as friendly code, and false avatars; these are, in other words, Internet tropes, code, language, signs and symbols that appear to be friendly when they are really hostile.
Here are a few other points:
- Para-terrorist[s] use psychic disturbances to distract the society and individuals.
- They steal computer identities or create false ones to infiltrate organizations and dismantle their structures as well as their targeted society's foundations.
- They are motivated by religion, but use technology as their principle means for manufacturing destructive symbols that channel seemingly paranormal acts of aggression.
When you shoot a person, you kill one man, a Chinese proverb says, but you frighten a thousand. That’s the message Dr. Olaf Hendricks said was delivered Tuesday by a broad daylight shooting at the Tutu Park Mall parking lot that killed one man and left another injured.
Hendricks, a psychiatrist who works at Juan F. Luis Hospital and the Golden Grove Correctional Facility, said the incident this week, coupled with a similar public-place shooting in May on St. Croix, sends a chilling message to the territory.
“I call this para-terrorism,” he said. “The obvious take-home point is the message … ‘I can do whatever I want.’”
“You’ve seen us creep up that mountain of resistance, Hendricks said. "We didn’t have many shootings, then we’ve gone to shooting someone at 3 in the morning in the bushes. Now we’re doing it out in daylight in front of anybody.”
According to Hendricks, the “battlefield,” if you will, has gone from strictly the gang-related sites to anywhere.
“That’s a big message,” Hendricks said. “I’m coming on your turf.”
There is an entry on Paranormal Criminology here, which indicates (in a hazy, badly-written way) that the psychological stresses associated with escalating crime carry a perceived paranormal dimension. These peculiar ideas must be a Millennial mash-up of politics, religion, technology and superstition.
Terrorism with an Occult Face
There are strange Millenarian subtexts in apocalyptic references to terrorist attacks and counter-attacks. The events of foreign affairs and Realpolitik are bizarrely read as mystical signs of the end of the world. For a wild Christian comment on terrorist eschatologies, go here.
Projection of Occult Theories upon Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists
The unsettling coincidence that 9/11 is the same number as the emergency telephone number across North America, 911, left numerologists pondering the occult dimension to terrorism. They try to explain the repetition of the number 11 in great upheavals: September 11 (9/11/2001); Egyptian uprisings (2/11/2011); the Japanese earthquake (3/11/2011). The repetition of the number 11 in these and other events is taken to be a sign that the terrorists themselves are not real actors, merely puppets in a larger occult conspiracy.
Creepy anti-Illuminati sites claim that radical Islamic terrorism is rooted in the occult. Yet those who doubt that radical Islamists committed the crimes that took place on 9/11 - so-called 'truthers' - believe that numerological coincidences provide the signpost as to who is truly responsible. In the minds of conspiracy theorists, the numerology of dates on which significant terrorist acts (and environmental disasters?) occurred is a sign that these acts were really perpetrated by the Illuminati. Of course, this madness eventually comes full circle and lays blame on Freemasons and/or Jews, and/or occult-loving Brits. Moral relativism and a cognitive disconnects thereby use the paranormal and occult to explain away the uncomfortable facts and muddled logic around the perpetrators of world terrorism. I think the last time the paranormal and world affairs were so successfully merged was when the X-files was popular.
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