A Name for the Nameless

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But this new troop was unique. It belonged to girls who did not know where they belonged. It wouldn’t make sense to use the numbers normally applied to troops in any of the five boroughs. Given that its members had no fixed addresses, wasn’t this troop of girls, no matter where it was located, really like a floating borough in its own right? Or even a shadow borough, because the rest of society was ignorant of or didn’t want to acknowledge its residents? At some point Girl Scout staff realized that the 6000s, designated years earlier for specialized troops, like those for girls with special needs, were no longer used. And so, the Girl Scouts of Greater New York settled on the name Troop 6000.

Troop 6000: The Girl Scout Troop That Began in a Shelter and Inspired the World by Nikita Stewart

Shocking Poverty

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If Heidi had been shocked to hear that all of the rooms in the Sleep Inn were providing shelter for the homeless, she was absolutely shocked to hear that the person proposing to start a Girl Scout troop there was a homeless employee of the Girl Scouts. She began to grasp something that not enough city officials seemed to understand: Homelessness was escalating at such a rapid rate that a hotel had been informally turned into a shelter in a matter of a few months, so fast that a community development specialist at the Girl Scouts was now counted among the city’s most vulnerable.

Troop 6000: The Girl Scout Troop That Began in a Shelter and Inspired the World by Nikita Stewart

Eligible To Live

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They were waiting to be placed in what the city called conditional shelter: For ten days, before putting any family in permanent shelter, investigators would call landlords and relatives to verify whether applicants for housing were actually homeless. For years, advocates and attorneys for homeless people had complained about this intrusiveness, treating homeless people as if they were trying to steal something, as if everyone was a liar until proven otherwise. In the past, the definition of overcrowding varied from investigator to investigator, with some even asking relatives whether a person might sleep well on bedding in a bathtub. Acceptable long-term sleeping options included air mattresses, even if they took up all the floor space in a room.

About 58 percent of those vying for a place to live were initially found to be ineligible either because they had no documentation that they had been evicted or because relatives, unsure of what to say, would convince themselves or outright lie to investigators that ten people could comfortably and happily live in a one-bedroom/one-bathroom apartment. This meant that many people seeking shelter had to apply all over again after incorrectly being found ineligible; others just gave up in frustration, returning to crammed apartments or enduring family strife for the sake of a roof over their heads.

Troop 6000: The Girl Scout Troop That Began in a Shelter and Inspired the World by Nikita Stewart

DARVO

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DARVO refers to a reaction perpetrators of wrong doing, particularly sexual offenders, may display in response to being held accountable for their behavior. DARVO stands for “Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender.” The perpetrator or offender may Deny the behavior, Attack the individual doing the confronting, and Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender such that the perpetrator assumes the victim role and turns the true victim — or the whistle blower — into an alleged offender. This occurs, for instance, when an actually guilty perpetrator assumes the role of “falsely accused” and attacks the accuser’s credibility and blames the accuser of being the perpetrator of a false accusation.

Institutional DARVO occurs when the DARVO is committed by an institution (or with institutional complicity) as when police charge rape victims with lying. Institutional DARVO is a pernicious form of institutional betrayal.

Anti-DARVO refers to ways to reduce the negative impact of DARVO and also more constructive responses to allegations.

What is DARVO?, Jennifer J. Freyd, PhD

Jennifer Frey’d professional services are based on research conducted over many decades in her laboratory as well as the laboratories of her former students and colleagues.  This research includes investigations of interpersonal and institutional betrayal trauma, perpetrator strategies, and how to help address each of these challenges. About the Research — Jennifer Joy Freyd, PhD. (jjfreyd.com)

Sadistic Fun

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Beginning with the very next editions, the British press indulged in its own sort of good-natured London journalists’ fun, which could be described by the subject of their reporting as being an experience not unlike falling nude into a morass of itching powder while two sadistic dentists drilled into one’s teeth at the instant of apogee of alcoholic history’s most profligate hang-over.

The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon

Businessmen Are Not Everywhere

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Marco sat like a stone in the train chair, riding sideways in the club car. The car was about half filled. Almost all of the seats were occupied at one end, Marco’s end, by businessmen, or what seemed to be businessmen but were actually an abortionist, an orchestra leader, a low-church clergyman, an astrologer, a Boy Scout executive, a horticulturist, and a cinematographer, because, no matter how much they would like the world to think so, the planet is not populated entirely by businessmen no matter how banal the quality of conversation everywhere has become.

The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon

Pardonable Privilege

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In theory, Shaw possessed a manner that should become a sergeant, and perhaps would become a drill sergeant or a Marine Corps public-relations sergeant, but not a combat noncom because under heightened realism any attitude of power must always be accompanied by something that makes the privilege of power pardonable, and Shaw possessed no such rescuing qualifiers. His resentment of people, places, and things was a stifling, sensual thing.

The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon

The Fox in the Henhouse

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Johnny had become chairman of the Committee on Federal Operations and chairman of its Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, with a budget of two hundred thousand dollars a year and an inculcating staff of investigators. He grew sly, in the way he worked that staff. He would sidle up to a fellow senator or another member of the government placed as high and mention the name and habits of some young lady for whom the senator might be paying the necessities, or perhaps an abortion here, or a folly-of-youth police record there. It worked wonders. He had only to drop this kind of talk upon five or six of them and at once they became his missionaries to intimidate others who might seek to block his ways in government.

The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon

Obscene Financial Intimacy

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The bank issued rent checks for the apartment’s use, as they paid all the bills for food, pressing, laundry, and liquor. These the local merchants sent directly to Raymond’s very own bank officer, a Mr. Jack Rothenberg, a formidably bankerish sort of a man excepting for the somewhat disturbing habit of wearing leather tassels on his shoes. Raymond believed that the exchange of money was one of the few surviving methods people had for communicating with each other, and he wanted no part of it. The act of loving, not so much of the people themselves but of the cherishment contained in the warm money passed from hand to hand was, to Raymond, intimate to the point of being obscene so that as much as possible he insisted that the bank take over that function, for which he paid them well.

The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon

Dangerous Ambition

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Her ambition was an extremely distressing condition. She sought power the way a superstitious man might look for a four-leaf clover. She didn’t care where she found it. It would make no difference if it were growing out of a manure pile.

The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon