Monday, August 17, 2015

craven mailbag

The recent Wisconsin pole dancers for pit bulls fund raiser inspired this email from a reader:

Not everything reviled is misunderstood. Some things are stigmatized, feared, hated, for good reason, and should remain so, for the good of all. All thinking people realize stripping and fighting breeds, are not good things to be revered or encouraged.

The only people misunderstanding stripping are liberal jerks that think being sexually exploited is just everyday work, and have the nerve, and ignorance, to call it empowering. That's a lie, one that hides the abuse and dysfunction driving most strippers, along with a lack of better financial options, even the outright slavery that is part and parcel of the sex industry.

The only people misunderstanding pits are liberal jerks that have taken PC to a place that makes no sense at all. These people love an underdog to the point that they will take on the disgusting, and dangerous, as causes to celebrate, so long as the average person finds them repulsive. They can't be seen as one of the sheep! Blinded by their own false morality, they mistake solutions that are truly humane like BSL for evil plots to commit mass slaughter of innocent animals.

These type of pit pushers also include the rescue angels. Their need to feel special drives them, and owning a "pibble" fills that ego driven need for several main reasons. One reason is the ego boost that they get when they can look progressive to their peers (other such ignoramuses); adopting a vile creature with a bad reputation is a badge of honor amongst these fools.

Another reason is that if their pit hasn't (yet) maimed or killed, they can feel superior to others, which feels good and falsely elevates their self esteem. This is why they fully believe, and internalize the lie, that genetics mean nothing, and pits are safe and wonderful with the right owners. Their sweet fur baby is harmless, so they think, and it's because they are such great people, unlike those "un-enlightened trash" that have pits that attack.


You see a pattern here? I know I do. 


While this doesn't cover every person that parrots the line about the "true greatness of the poor misunderstood victim", it describes the reality I see everyday in my hyper liberal city.

You see, contrary to the crap many pit lovers spew, the majority know exactly what pits are, what they can do, why they are bred, and they revel in this. Whether it's the power they derive from intimidation and brutality, the sexual thrill (!) of owning and controlling a strong and virile beast, or simply the desire to profit big off of dog fighting/breeding, they know pits deserve their bad rap. They depend on it, brag about it!

Sure, these sociopaths will use the same lines about poor sweet nanny dogs when speaking to a non pit owner, but they have no illusions about their breed being misunderstood.

The same goes for the rest of the (all too often so called progressives and 3rd wave "feminists") that push approval of stripping (plus porn, prostitution, sexual deviants, etc). They aren't misunderstanding the nature of the sex industry. They just enjoy the enormous profits, and other benefits more than they care about the fallout and damage done.

The liberal lovers and defenders of pits and sexual exploitation give cover, and public legitimacy, to sociopaths and their actions. Their work making dangerous dogs, and sex "work", seem safe and fun is deplorable, harmful, even deadly, and utterly selfish. 

There is nothing progressive about this.



in case you missed it, pit nutter circus took a jab at the wisconsin freak show too. 



Monday, June 29, 2015

High Conflict People Part 2: Negative Advocates

High conflict people (HCPs), or people who fall within the spectrum of the cluster B personality disorders, have a life long pattern of blaming others. One of their preferred dysfunctional tools is emotional reasoning, assuming facts from feelings. Emotional facts are emotionally generated false information that are accepted as true and appear to require emergency corrective action. According to Bill Eddy, there are three types of emotional facts: 1) real facts that have been exaggerated, 2) real facts that have been taken out-of-context and 3) non-existent facts based on the worse fears of the HCP (high conflict person).

Eddy sees the pain of the cluster B personality disordered people as fear driven. He distills each of the four cluster B types down to a single, basic driving fear. Those suffering from anti-social personality disorder, the sociopaths, fear being dominated. The narcissists fear inferiority. The borderlines fear abandonment. And the histrionics fear being ignored.

Eddy approaches the cluster B personalities with a great deal of compassion, much, much more than I am typically able to muster. His compassion for their fear and pain is admirable. I love his books. They are concise, easy to read and he provides much needed attention to the histrionic variant, the type most authors and researchers ignore.

Here is another excerpt from one of my favorite books, High Conflict People in Legal Disputes. It completes the foundation and sets the stage for High Conflict People Part 3.
High-conflict personalities don’t get very far unless they persuade others to adopt their cognitive distortions and assist in their interpersonal battles. In substance-abuse treatment, we call these persons “enablers”. They enable the abuser to stay stuck in negative behavior, negative thinking and avoidance of responsibility. I use the term “negative advocate” for enablers in legal disputes, because the adversarial process relies so heavily on professional and non-professional advocates. Enablers–often inadvertently–advocate for the cognitive distortions and negative behavior of HCPs.

High-conflict disputes don’t occur without one or more negative advocates–at least I’ve never seen it happen. On their own, most HCPs lack credibility. They seek negative advocates to justify their misbehavior and misconceptions, and to assist them in blaming others for their life problems–to advocate for them.

Negative advocates are those family members, friends, mental health professionals and legal professionals who try to help but get it backwards–they adopt or agree with the HCP’s backward thinking. They become persuaded–especially by Cluster B persuasive blamers–to focus all their attention on other people’s alleged misbehavior. They help the HCP to avoid responsibility and hold others responsible for their own problems and behavior. They agree with and advocate for, the cognitive distortions of HCPs: their all-or-nothing thinking, emotional reasoning, personalizing events, exaggerating minor (or non-existent) events and minimizing their own major misbehaviors. Negative advocates help HCPs stay sick.

Negative advocates absorb the high-intensity emotions of the HCP and often enhance them to a higher level of urgency–they amplify their distorted thinking and join in generating emotional facts. They have adopted the HCP’s process of emotional reasoning. If family members, friends and professionals would become more skeptical and avoid becoming negative advocates, high-conflict disputes would significantly reduce the pressure on our legal system.

The HCP’s emotional drive persuades them there is a crisis, so the negative advocate picks up that sense of crisis and also becomes emotional and aggressive in defending the HCP. However, the negative advocate usually has more credibility, and therefore is more able to persuade others. It’s the domino theory of negative advocates. In some cases, negative advocates are able to persuade a lot of other people to become negative advocates.

Bill Eddy, High Conflict People in Legal Disputes, 2012

My initial plans consisted of just a part 2 but I realized it would be better if it was broken up into three parts. I will complete the trilogy with High Conflict People Part 3 soon. Estimated publish date: July 4th. In the meantime, I hope you will click on the above link and purchase one of my all time favorite books. It is money well-spent.


High Conflict People Part 1

High Conflict People Part 3



Thursday, June 25, 2015

High Conflict People Part 1

This is long overdue.
Over the past decade I have observed a dramatic increase in high-conflict legal disputes––an increase driven more by personalities than by legal or financial issues. Perhaps half of all legal cases that go to trial today involve one or more parties with a HCP. In these cases, the conflict is driven more by internal distress than by external events.

After handling more than a thousand legal cases from three professional points of view––as an attorney, mediator and clinical social worker––I have recognized some surprising patterns to the high-conflict cases that are threatening to overwhelm our courts:

  • The level and cost of conflict is not based on the issues or on the amount of money involved: personalities drive conflict.
  • High-conflict personalities have a life-long, enduring pattern of behavior and blame, typically denying responsibility for their problems and chronically blaming others.
  • Many HCPs fit the criteria of Cluster B personality disorders described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association.
  • People with HCPs are more likely to escalate their disputes into court, either as plaintiffs bringing suit over misplaced blame for events in their lives, or as defendants due to interpersonal misconduct that harms others and needs to be controlled.
  • The disputes of HCPs are generally misunderstood and mishandled, and continue to escalate at a huge cost to our judicial system and our society in terms of time, money and emotional distress for all involved.



A little over two years ago I discovered a nifty little book titled High Conflict People. This book is devoted entirely to the spectrum of Cluster B personality disorders, one of my favorite topics, and their impact on our criminal justice system. The author, Bill Eddy, is a licensed social worker and a lawyer who has first hand experience dealing with this challenging bunch in both the mental health and the legal systems. Within the first two pages of chapter one that I quoted above, I saw how easily Bill Eddy's work applied to pit bull advocates. I intended to blog about it but for one reason or another, I never got around to it and it fell off my radar. The recent interest in me and my blog brought it back to the forefront.

The following is an excerpt, including the cartoon and table, from another book by Bill Eddy Managing High Conflict People in Court.

An Attraction to Court Process

The DSM-IV-TR lists 10 specific personality disorders, in three clusters (A, B, and C). The Cluster B personality disorders are generally identified as “high drama” and include Borderline, Narcissistic, Antisocial and Histrionic. Many of those with Cluster B personality disorders – or less severe “traits” – appear to have high-conflict personalities which frequently land them in our courts, either as plaintiffs endlessly pursuing exaggerated or unfounded claims, or as defendants who escalate conflicts into violence or other harmful behaviors.

This author believes that over the past fifteen years our courts have become a prime playing field for undiagnosed and untreated personality disorders. This is because the adversarial court process has a similar structure to their disorders, combined with increased media exposure of courtroom procedures and dramas during this same time period. Ironically, while practitioners and parties experienced in the adversarial court process are making a significant shift to alternative dispute resolution methods (arbitration, mediation, settlement conferences, private judges, collaborative law), those with high-conflict personalities (HCPs) have become attracted to the traditional litigation process, seeking “my day in court.” The following comparison from the author’s book, High Conflict People in Legal Disputes (2006) shows a striking fit:
Because the thought structure of HCPs and the adversarial court process are such a perfect fit, HCPs are at times effective at making innocent people look guilty, while at the same time with their desperate charm and aggressive drive they often succeed at looking innocent themselves. Many cases that appear to be two HCPs fighting are actually being driven by only one party who successfully makes the other party look bad. (Friedman, 2004)
Bill Eddy, Managing High Conflict People in Court, 2008


Does anyone else see the striking similarities between high-conflict personalities and pit bull owners and advocates?


I highly recommended the following books by Bill Eddy:

It's All Your Fault!: 12 Tips for Managing People Who Blame Others for Everything, 2012

Managing High Conflict People in Court, 2008

High Conflict People in Legal Disputes, 2012

If you can only purchase one, I recommend High Conflict People in Legal Disputes, 2012 but if you can afford them all, do it. Eddy has many more books on the subject and I will eventually get through them all.

I can not stress the importance of these books enough. If you have an interest in Cluster B personality disorders, these are a must for your library. Eddy's contribution to the understanding of Cluster B personality disorders is uniquely impressive. It is a true gift to the world and should be required reading for law students (and arson investigators. lol). His books are by far some of the best sources of information on Cluster B personality disorders that I have read, especially the histrionic variant, which unfortunately has not garnered as much attention as the other three PDs but in my opinion, HPD is more often than not the "undiagnosed and untreated personality disorder" playing out in the bizarro world of pit bull advocates.

In High Conflict People Part 2, I will explore the recent shenanigans on this blog.




Tuesday, May 19, 2015

craven email: Confessions of a Wolfdog Owner

After reading every word on Craven Desires I feel compelled to share my own menacing dog story.

I grew up in a very rural town in Alaska. When I was about 13 years old, I wanted nothing more in the world than a wolfdog of my very own. This was in the mid-80s, a time before internet, when access to the world's knowledge was limited to what could be found at your local library. The only library to be found in my town was at the elementary school. I did love to read, though, so my head was filled with the heroes of Lad a Dog (in which Lad's wolfy behavior is frequently emphasized), Kavik the Wolfdog, White Fang, Journey of Natty Gann and so forth. Not to mention the similar wild or feral 'friends' found in stories like Gentle Ben or Plague Dogs.

By the time my parents gave in to my incessant whining I thought I knew just about everything there was to know about wolves, dogs and wolfdogs. My wolfdog and I would form a legendary bond and together we would tame the wilds of Alaska, just like Jack London. And so, for a mere $180, I bought myself a wild beast.

Lulu, as she came to be known, was purchased from a local fellow who bred wolfdogs to supplement his income. He had somehow acquired two full-blood wolves from a zoo in Minnesota years before; the rest of his dogs were various breeds of huskies. Lulu was the offspring of the male wolf and a MacKenzie River husky. The huskies all lived on chains, the wolves were in kennels that wouldn't have looked out of place in a zoo. I still remember those wolves, pacing, pacing, pacing, those golden eyes windows into foreign souls that I knew intuitively, even at age 13, I could never truly understand.

But Lulu wasn't like that. She was a curious, blue-eyed little puppy that only wanted to play and explore the world. With the luxury of time that only kids have, I spent every day working and playing with her. In most respects she was great---very obedient, could do every trick in the book and then some, and so on and so forth.

In other ways she was not so great, especially as she got older. By the time she was 6 months old she was extremely neurotic and fearful of anything strange, especially unfamiliar people. She was also impossible to contain; she could climb like a cat and dig like a badger. Her neck ruff was so thick she could easily slip any collar, unless it was tight enough to choke her. As free-ranging dogs weren't unusual around there, I just let her roam.

We had our first physical fight before she was a year old. I bent down to pick up her empty food dish and with a quick snarl she bit my face. It was not a bad bite and it was very fast, but it did leave a scar on the bridge of my nose. Thanks to all my wolfdog book-learnin' I was of the belief that this was a normal attempt to challenge my dominance. I made up some story about running into a tree so my parents wouldn't take Lulu away. We had countless minor 'disputes' like that over the following years.

Not long after the face bite, Lulu killed all my gerbils. Not long after that, she killed one of our chickens. I hid the corpse and began working with her daily to teach her to not attack our chickens, ducks, rabbits, etc. It actually seemed to work, to my knowledge she never attacked our animals again.

Other peoples' animals though... that was a totally different story. I found her outside playing with dead cats a few times; didn't think too much of that because that's what dogs do, right? Certainly wasn't the first time a husky-type dog killed a neighborhood cat, and I didn't much like cats anyway. I always hid the bodies though, fearing the response of adults.

Then one day I found her in the yard playing with a dead dog. This was something I knew would definitely not be okay with anyone. It was a little Jack Russel-looking dog, so ripped to shreds its limbs were barely connected to its body. I buried that dog deep in the woods.

She also regularly brought home wild animals; rabbits, squirrels, birds, etc. One day she had a dead ferret; I still have no explanation for that. Did she snatch out of someone's house?

Bit by bit complaints started coming in from other neighbors about Lulu threatening or attacking their animals in their own yards. I defended Lulu fiercely, lying about her being with me or whatever to try to take blame off her. My parents built a 6-foot high chain link fence to try to contain her, but she climbed it with ease and her murder sprees continued, while I continued to do my best to hide the evidence. I had quite the little pet cemetery going in the woods behind my house.

This wasn't a daily thing; it happened maybe once or twice a month sometimes, other times several months would go by with no problems. She was great when she was with me, would barely even acknowledge other animals were present. She would always come when called, no matter what was going on, and heeled like a champion if asked. The trouble was when she was on her own---and between school, sleep and, as I got older, social activities, that came to be the majority of the time.

One day I came home from school to find Lulu on the porch, muzzle covered in blood. Something snapped in me and I was filled with rage; after all my hopes and dreams and work this stupid dog just would not stop. I was tired of burying dead critters in the woods. I grabbed her roughly by the scruff of the neck and tried to drag her inside the house. She twisted her head and slashed my arm from elbow to wrist. So much blood... I was scared shitless and had my parents been home it probably would have been a completely different story. But they weren't home, the bleeding stopped, and I justified Lulu's actions in my head. I wore long sleeve shirts for a few weeks and yet again hid the damage from my parents.

When she bit my best friend on the thigh as he tried to stop her from following us inside his house, I convinced him to hide the injury too.

Finally Lulu was caught 'red handed' killing a dog tied in its owner's fenced yard. The owners put Lulu in their garage until animal control came; my parents said the only way that dog was getting out of the pound was if I found another home for her. So I did... some fellow who lived 40 miles out of town and raised sled dogs agreed to take her. I have no clue what happened to her after that.

Through all this I felt Lulu was the victim; she was just doing what a wild, spirited wolf does. I felt nothing but contempt for the pathetic little pussy dogs she killed. Her threats and attacks on me were even seen positively; she saw me as an equal, not a mean, domineering 'master'. The only fear involved was that someone would take my poor misunderstood wolf away and contain her, where her soul would surely die of captivity. I long resented that tattle-tell neighbor and my parents for making me get rid of her. It was many years before I started to see the whole thing in a different light.

I was a stupid, selfish kid, but I was also a victim to some extent of the whole romancing dangerous dogs thing. I devoured those wolfdog stories and took every word to heart, and at no point did anyone bother to show me a different kind of reality. Standing up for your dog by any means necessary was just what you do, everyone knows that... just like everyone knows you stand by your best (human) friend even if he kills someone. That's the code, at least at 13.

I see so much of my former attitude reflected in pit bull advocates, and quite frankly it scares me more than their dogs. It is so staggeringly immature and unrealistic, but I remember how very real that world was for me. Anyone outside of it was the crazy one, and, being crazy, they had no value and warranted no consideration. They were pussies; I was the one embracing life and adventure and nature red in tooth and claw. The difference is I outgrew it; these people in their 40s and 50s advocating friendly neighborhood pit bulls and other naturally savage dogs have some serious developmental issues going on.

And that is my story. Do with it what you will.

--A former wolfdog fanatic