Friday, August 28, 2009


Awful Abduction Case in CA

I was waiting for my connecting flight to San Fransisco (for tomorrow's Mises Circle) when I first heard of the awful Jaycee Dugard 18-year imprisonment story. (Here is an opinion piece with a bunch of new facets, both in the piece and the links on the sidebar. I don't know if they are accurate; I actually am not even clicking on them because this story really troubles me.)

The thing that I don't understand in this, though, is how did the guy keep someone prisoner for so long, in a regular neighborhood? I can understand if a fairly young child is taken, that the kid doesn't really get what's going on and might grow up thinking the abductor is his/her parent.

But this girl was 11 when she was taken. (I'm not using "alleged" since the guy admits he did it. And incidentally, his self-absorbed "this was really a heartwarming story about how I turned my life around" actually horrifies me almost as much as his behavior; it's another manifestation of the banality of evil.)

Readers, please don't freak out; I'm not blaming the girl for not running away. I'm just trying to make sense of this. Wouldn't she tell her children (presumably fathered by the abductor) what their situation was, and that if they ever had an opportunity, to make a break for it to get help?

So it seems that either this guy must have had a standing threat, like, "If any of you tries anything..." or that over time the original victim just accepted her fate.

But again, that just seems impossible to me, since she was in what, fifth or sixth grade when she was taken? Even though to adults, 11 seems tiny, think back to when you were that age. You certainly knew what a kidnapper was, and that if you were taken you would devote your life to killing the guy / escaping.

Well I just had to get that off my chest. I wonder if other people have wondered that too, but were hesitant to bring it up since, again, it sounds like I'm blaming the girl, when that's not what I'm doing.

This disgusting story just doesn't make any sense to me. I don't understand how this is even possible.

Good questions. I think, if anything, this story illustrates how we know so little, not just about the mind of someone who could do something like this, but the mind of a person who has this sort of thing done to them. I don't think any speculation could do it justice.

I have similar questions and confusions regarding this case as well.

I'm not sure if you're familiar with a similar case in Austria that was uncovered last year, the Fritzl case.

In the Fritzl case, the girl held against her will was actually Fritzl's daughter.

And he had an elaborate dungeon built underneath his house, so she really couldn't escape.

In the CA abduction case, I don't think there was an elaborate underground dungeon, so I wonder the same things as you do.
I can completely understand how an 11 year old girl could be brainwashed by sheer terror. It is the most vulnerable age for girls (who are often raised very differently from boys from the moment of birth). I think it'd be fairly easy to intimidate a young girl like that--remember this guy has no morality. He probably threatened to kill her parents, maim her, whatever. And once someone is brainwashed, their perception of reality is changed, even the chemical makeup of their brain is different. They don't think like a 'normal' person, so it's not surprising she didn't escape all that time.

It will be fascinating to find out what finally made her leave. Sad, too, though. She will never be the same person she was going to be--that is irretrievably gone.
Bob, I'm not real familiar with the recent abduction case, but maybe the Shawn Hornbeck case can shed some light on what happens to the victim's psyche.
Bob, more here:

You might also consider Garrido, as PZ Myers does, with a link to Garrido`s blog:
Plain old Stockholm Syndrome?
Bob, it looks like this FOX story does a good job of addressing your questions:,2933,544263,00.html
Patty Hearst was 19 when she was kidnapped and she really bought into the kidnappers view of things after being locked for months in a closet.
Tangent from Stockholm syndrome. Has anybody noticed how Americans, well almost all citizens of governments exhibit classic symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome?

Perceived threat to survival and the belief that one's captor is willing to act on that threat.(Government threatens to imprison you and possibly kill you if you don't follow the laws they have in place. There is also the threat of war as well.)

The captive's perception of small kindnesses from the captor within a context of terror. (The services the government provides, at the extant of tax payers.)

Isolation from perspectives other than those of the captor or captured.(Government and it's citizens)

Perceived inability to escape. (Governments are inevitable.)

Thus we tend to see the State as good and necessary, even within the context of all the evil things it does.
Perhaps Stockholm syndrome can be used to explain the sustainibilty of governments?
Thanks for all the links, I'll check them out (as depressing as this is).
Dear all,

I'm interested to know your thoughts on profiting from Austrian economics. What do you guys think about investors such as Peter Schiff, Jim Rogers, Chris Leithner and Mark Skousen? Can knowing Austrian economics help make me rich like Ron Paul?
It's God's Will. After all, if it happened, God arranged the world just so for it to happen. It's for the greater good.
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