More on Snowden

imgresThe NY Times and others   sources give us more personal data on Edward Snowden: a collage of a hero/villain/computer dependent/ playboy/spendthrift/ leaker/ patriot/ anti-leaker/ patriot . So far it doesn’t add up without a major stretch. Perhaps he’s a loner who wants publicity. In the currently most  likely interpretation of the growing but disjointed profile, he got fed up with the job he was doing and the agencies he worked for and wanted to get even and/ do the right thing.. What is clear is that whatever his motivation, his life is in the process of being transformed.

In my last blog on Snowden I discussed among other things:  1) the way his small group work world might have played a psychological  role in his dramatic behavior  and 2),  the large group influences that are so critical in unconsciously controlling all our  political attitudes including Snowden’s. If he felt like a loner, therefore a potential scapegoat in his company, he certainly took care of the problem. He has the world’s attention. He has also  moved into the dangerous boundary place when potentially positive scapegoats:, ideologues, sensitive’s, justice seekers are catapulted into the world of hero and simultaneously face personal catastrophe—a prison cell without use of a computer. (The prison cell is daunting;  The loneliness of the computer addict is sad.)

Whatever his initial motivations his behavior has stirred the world. And its much more than anti-American attitudes. Look at Allan Sillitoes short story (also a movie)    The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner again. It’s about an adolescent, Smith,  in a Borstal, an English detention home, who is a very fast runner which gives the prison warden the chance of winning a track meet against a fancy English prep school.  Smith stops 10 yards from the finish line and sits unmoving as the runners pass him by. Even the winning preppie congratulates him on his stand.

Snowden, for better or worse, like smith  has already won the race.



  1. Dear Dr. Scapegoat,
    Perhaps Snowden felt that moment when ethically and morally he had to do the right thing. Many Scapegoats in history have been the truth tellers, and suffered because of this and been forced into a corner. Is not an easy road, and is not popular, or common, the more awareness of the learned psychological behaviour of Scapegoating the better the world will be, as nothing has paralysed human intelligence more than the search for a Scapegoat. Is Scapegoating behaviour learnt in childhood by our caregivers and who raises us?

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