Before I started researching all the Rav Berland stuff, I actually spent about five years deeply immersed in researching personality disorders, and Erev Rav traits. The fruits of those labors were distilled into Unlocking the Secret of the Erev Rav, which you can learn more about that HERE, but it’s interesting to see the intersection that’s now occurring between the information I learned at that stage, and the information I’m learning now.
When people have a severe mental and / or emotional disorder, there’s always a few key traits present, or absent.
Top of the ‘absent’ list is empathy and compassion for others.
When people have a personality disorder, they simply can’t put anyone else in the picture and it’s all about them: their ego, their status, their opinion, their control of others, their self-image, their success, their need to be right.
Also on the ‘absent’ list is a marked inability to apologise to other people for their hurtful behavior and comments.
Over on the ‘present’ list, the key thing that tips you off that you’re dealing with someone with a mental disorder is when they can’t process or accept new information, and they desperately cling on to their old story, their old idea, their old certainty of ‘how things really are’.
When I start to hear the same story, the same comment, the same insults, even, for the fifth time in a row, there is no longer any doubt that I’m dealing with someone who is a ‘rigid thinker’, which is psychiatric code for ‘severely mentally disturbed’.
Again, this is a function of trauma, and it’s learned behavior that could, at least in theory, be ‘unlearned’ if more people really understood how their body, minds and soul actually work together. (I write about this subject a lot over on spiritualselfhelp.org. THIS is a good place to start, if you’d like to know more about this.)
But the point is this: When you’re dealing with ‘rigid thinkers’ with extremely fragile personalities, the truth is never going to be enough to change their minds.
Because ‘rigid thinkers’ can’t change their minds – about anything.
When we talk about ‘closed-minded’ and ‘narrow-minded’, it’s actually a literal description of what’s going on. The traumatized mind is closed, and cannot accept any new information.
In the deeper Jewish sources, this is referred to as mochin dekatnut, or ‘small-brained’. The person’s psyche is so stunted by trauma, so collapsed in upon itself, so consumed by its own paranoid vision of the world, that there is literally no space to put any new information.
A big part of the problem with rigid thinkers is that most of them feel literally sick about the idea that they could be ‘wrong’ about anything. This usually stems from the poor parenting they received, which is a whole book (or six…) unto itself, but this is how it plays out in real time:
The ‘rigid thinker’ is presented with some new information that would mean they’d have to change their position / attitude, possibly admit they were wrong, possibly have to apologise for doing or saying things that were ‘bad’.
This possibility causes their stomach to literally plummet into their shoes, and they become filled up with a disgusting ‘sick’ feeling that paralyses them, physically, and literally makes them feel like their soul is being shredded to pieces.
This feeling is one of the worst feelings in the world.
The rigid thinker’s main – and really only – priority at this stage is to get this ‘sick’ feeling to go away as quickly as possible. There are two ways they typically do that:
In a nutshell, the poor rigid thinker is simply trying to offload their own ‘ucky’ feeling off on to someone else. And the worse they feel about themselves, the bigger the ‘uck’ payload they manage to pack into their verbal attacks on others.
Often, you’ll get some combo approach, where they will begin with rubbishing and denying the information you are trying to present them with, but if you persist in shoving the truth in their faces, they will then get really angry, and fall back on trying to destroy you, as a person.
THAT'S WHY YOU CAN'T ARGUE WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE 'ANTI' RAV BERLAND
Lucky for me that I learned all this before I even started writing One in a Generation, because it makes it so much easier to understand the otherwise bizarre responses of so many of the rigid thinkers out there.
There’s enough real information circulating around now, on this blog and other places, about who’s really behind the persecution of Rav Berland, that any balanced individual should at least be pausing for thought, and feeling confused about where the truth actually lies, before rushing into the fray to publicly condemn him.
As I’ve said many times already, at this stage of the game no-one else can tell you the truth about Rav Berland – or about any of the other millions of things that we’re being lied to about.
That’s the test of our generation.
God wants each of us to go ‘inside’, and to connect to our souls, and to connect our souls back to Him, and that’s the only way we’re really going to have clarity about anything today.
So confusion and lack of clarity is a valid, normal response at this stage.
But what is completely abnormal (for mentally stable individuals) is to up the offensive by adding even more lies on to the old ones, and to keep refusing to acknowledge obvious facts and information that could potentially change the whole picture, and to resort to personal attacks on people who are telling you things you don’t want to hear.
But this is exactly how people with personality disorders and very fragile egos react. And this is exactly how ‘rigid thinkers’ react.
And there is nothing that anyone from the outside can do to change these people’s minds, because they are literally crazy.
CRAZY PEOPLE ALWAYS SUPPORT OTHER CRAZY PEOPLE
Something else I learned a long time ago is that ‘narcissists of a feather flock together’, because rigid thinkers seek out other rigid thinkers who will enable them to maintain their unchanging world view.
Mentally-stagnant and mentally-renewed people just don’t jive together, because the new learning and the new information that so invigorates the one threatens the other. This is also why rigid thinkers try to shut down the sources of any new, and threatening, information with denial, deceit and personal attacks.
So what does this mean practically? Rav Berland has already set it all out on his site. Here’s what he’s been telling us the last couple of years:
Because I still have a lot of work to do on my own bad middot, it’s actually getting kind of fun seeing which ‘big names’ are so publicly putting themselves on the wrong side of the equation.
At some point soon, we will reach that point when the world of lies will fall, and the truth will shine out.
And then, it’s going to get really interesting.
UPDATE: THE LAWS OF SPEAKING LASHON HARA L'TOELET
Following on from one of the comments below, I just wanted to share the 7 rules that apply to speaking lashon hara l'toelet, for a positive purpose. Again, lashon hara is TRUE information that happens to be negative. Slander is falsehood and lies. All the stories about Rav Berland are slander.
Just to be clear, the following rules don't apply to sharing things around on Facebook - with your own big, juicy, slanderous opinion attached - that you read on Ynet or Ha'aretz. You have to have witnessed or heard the 'story' you're re-telling FIRST-HAND, even when speaking lashon hara for a constructive purpose.
These rules apply to everyone, including and especially 'rabbis'.
When dealing with negative information that is TRUE, you must still follow the following 7 rules before sharing it l'toelet, for a positive reason, such as warning someone away from a bad influence. (See more HERE):
Saying Lashon Harah is only permitted when said for strictly constructive purposes. Even then, however, one is required to ensure what he is saying meets a criterion of seven conditions: