Why Do Victims Want To Believe They Were Hypnotized Or Bewitched?
Because It Can Be More Comforting Than The Alternatives
A peculiar aspect of victim psychology after the scamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. is the desire to push away the guilt and blameBlame Blame or Blaming is the act of censuring, holding responsible, making negative statements about an individual or group that their action or actions are socially or morally irresponsible, the opposite of praise. When someone is morally responsible for doing something wrong, their action is blameworthy. By contrast, when someone is morally responsible for doing something right, we may say that his or her action is praiseworthy. Blame imparts responsibility for an action or act, as in that they made a choice to perform that act or action. by looking for fantastical explanations for what happened. Since almost all victims do not really know why they were scammed, urban legends and fantastical reasons can be more comforting than believing they were at fault.
Almost all victims feel shameShame Shame is an unpleasant self-conscious emotion typically associated with a negative evaluation of the self; withdrawal motivations; and feelings of distress, exposure, mistrust, powerlessness, and worthlessness., guilt, and substantial self-blameSelf-Blame Victim blaming occurs when the victim of a crime or any wrongful act is held entirely or partially at fault for the harm that befell them. SCARS seeks to mitigate the prejudice against victims and the perception that victims are in any way responsible for the actions of offenders or scammers. There is historical and current prejudice against the victims of domestic violence and sex crimes, such as the greater tendency to blame victims of rape than victims of robbery. Scam victims are often blamed by family & friends for the crime. Scam victims also engage in self-blame even though they are not to blame. for “allowing” the scam to happen. However, this is both unnecessary and simply wrong since victims are not to blame for their scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost..
Victims cannot understand why they would have allowed a criminalCriminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues. to control them so completely, so there must be a supernatural explanation. They must have been bewitched or under hypnosis.
Unfortunately, very few victims even understand what these things really mean! So, they get swept up in concepts that sound good and help them feel blameless.
The Fact Is That Victims Were Expertly Manipulated And Controlled
The fact is that victims are groomed, manipulated, and controlled by professional criminals to such an extent that they are relatively powerless. They are manipulated into doing what the scammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. wants.
Some victims break free of this control and end their scam before losing money, but many (most?) do not. They are so controlled by these professional criminals that they do what is wanted.
Victims Are Not Experts!
Unfortunately, victims have a very bad habit after the scam ends – believing that they know more than they do (a common cognitive bias). Not only about scams and scammers, but also about psychology and traumaTrauma Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world. Psychological trauma can leave you struggling with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety that won’t go away. It can also leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety or other emotional shocks, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated can result in trauma, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It’s not the objective circumstances that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized. Trauma requires treatment, either through counseling or therapy or through trauma-oriented support programs, such as those offered by SCARS.. This often turns into grabbing onto urban legends and false information because it “feels” right.
We have had victims who are psychologists or psychiatric nurses become victims and even they did not fully understand the mechanisms of manipulation or their own susceptibilities until it was explained to them.
In one way it is natural and understandable.
Victims are looking for ways to mitigate their guilt and shame, so anything that could easily explain why they behaved the way they did helps, even if it is completely wrong.
The problem is that because they do not understand these topics they latch onto urban legends and false information, in essence, more fairy tales and fantasy. This makes it much harder for them to recover, and resolve their trauma and other psychological issues that need to be resolved.
THREE MAIN URBAN LEGENDS
Let’s look at some of the fantasies that scam victims commonly grab onto after their scam ends.
1. JuJu, Witchcraft, and VooDoo
It is a fact that West Africans have many different belief systems. Sakawa or Yahoo cultists use various forms of witchery in their practices. These are religious beliefs. Scammers are also Christians and Muslims too. Regardless, they are using religion to both self-justify the crimes they commit and (they believe) to help them in securing money. All such belief systems are fairy tales. Maybe not the base religion, but certainly the notion that it helps them control victims and get more money.
What is worse though is that victims themselves often believe this nonsense and even spread these urban legends to other victims. This is why amateur anti-scam groups are so dangerous.
No scam victim has ever been affected by JuJu, Witchcraft, or Voodoo. We have helped nearly 8 million scam victims and not one was ever the victim of this, though many believed it. No mystical explanations are needed. Manipulation works just fine and is very effective. Any victim that believes otherwise is in denialDenial Denial is a refusal or unwillingness to accept something or to accept reality. Refusal to admit the truth or reality of something, refusal to acknowledge something unpleasant; And as a term of Psychology: denial is a defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality. of their true trauma and may have other psychological disorders.
Once again, victims do not understand what these terms even mean or are. Hypnosis has very limited application and there are no legitimate studies showing that it can make a person do anything they do not want to. PERIOD!
While you will find plenty of inaccurate or completely false information about this online, here is what hypnosis really is:
Real psychologists know that hypnosis is not some special altered state of consciousness, but simply a form of deep relaxation.
Stage hypnosis – such as the kind seen in Las Vegas comedy acts where “suggestible” audience members get on stage and pretend to be chickens or caught in embarrassing situations – is not true clinical hypnosis but instead a combination of showmanship and participatory comedy. People act like chickens because they want to be the center of attention and simply go along with the show.
There is evidence that hypnosis might be useful in addressing some behaviorBehavior Behavior / Behavioral Actions Otherwise known as habits, behavior or behavioral actions are strategies to help prevent online exploitation that target behavior, such as social engineering of victims. Changing your behavior is the ONLY effective means to reduce or prevent scams.-related medical issues such as quitting smoking or weight loss – but in these cases the patient wants to quit or lose weight already, so it is only aiding them in reducing their own resistance to something they already want.
There may be a placebo-like effect in that a person who is highly motivated to change their habits might get a boost from believing that hypnosis is helping them. However the evidence is weak because people who seek out hypnosis for help with their problems are by definition highly motivated, and any added success rate may be due to that motivation, with or without the benefit of hypnosis.
It’s not clear why a person would believe or assume that he or she had been put into a hypnotic trance when they had not. Such a belief may be due to memory loss or confusion, trauma or psychosis, or other psychological issues, but there’s no reason to fear hypnotist scammers.
Hypnosis can serve to help someone do what they want to by putting them in a more relaxed state, but all claims about its ability to control people and force them to do someone else’s will is fantastical thinking – in other words, more fairy tales.
Where hypnosis may apply in a scam is with autohypnosis or self-hypnosis. Victims want so much to believe in the fantasy relationship that they actually could reinforce their belief in the fantasy by auto-suggestion. Though this still is an effect of the manipulation.
Also, as a part of manipulative techniques, a victim can be placed into more relaxed states through a combination of techniques that can include suggestion, but it is not the cause of the victim’s behavior.
Manipulation and human susceptibility are the real causes of all victims’ behaviors during the scam, along with the victim’s own psychology. No victim is to blame for this.
Brainwashing is a real thing, but there is no evidence that it can be done without physical control or contact with the person – the victim. In other words, you can’t do it by text, chat, or a few rare phone calls.
Brainwashing is distinctly different from other forms of temporary manipulation and control, in that it changes the victim’s belief system permanently (long term). This is why it is seen so often in religious cults.
An example of a technique used in both scammer manipulation and in brainwashing is GaslightingGaslighting Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which a person or a group creates the seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or group, making them question their own memory, perception, or judgment. It may evoke changes in them such as cognitive dissonance or low self-esteem, rendering the victim additionally dependent on the gaslighter for emotional support and validation. Using denial, misdirection, contradiction, and disinformation, gaslighting involves attempts to destabilize the victim and delegitimize the victim's beliefs. Once in this state the criminal can then more easily control the victim for their own purposes. Instances can range from the denial by a scammer that a scam has occurred, to belittling the victim's emotions and feelings, to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim. The goal of gaslighting is to gradually undermine the victim's confidence in their own ability to distinguish truth from falsehood, right from wrong, or reality from delusion, thereby rendering the individual or group pathologically dependent on the gaslighter for their thinking and feelings. – when done in person over an extended period of time, it can be considered brainwashing. The victim is permanently programmed by the brainwasher. This is one of the reasons why domestic abuse victims are so profoundly controlled and have such difficulty recovering. They have to be reprogrammed. The same with cult victims, and there is a specialized branch of psychology for dealing with these.
But in the case of scam victims, the scammer does not have psychical control over the victim 24/7. They do use manipulation that can be almost as powerful, but that control is typically very temporary and can be easily broken in many ways if the scammer is not careful.
This is not to say that victims are not profoundly traumatized by the experience, and sometimes it might appear to be brainwashing, but it is not. Most often when victims appear to be more deeply affected then trauma or other psychological disorders easily explain their situation.
DON’T LOOK FOR FAIRY TALES
Victims of relationship scamsRelationship Scam A Relationship Scam is a one-to-one criminal act that involves a trust relationship and uses deception & manipulation to get a victim to give to the criminal something of value, such as money! Click here to learn more: What Is A Relationship Scam? are expertly manipulated and for that reason are not to blame. The human mind is wired to be susceptible and controllable. We do not need to go looking for reasons that are not real.
In the period immediately after the scam, most victims are in a state of shock and panic and looking for answers. Often, they find them in amateur anti-scam hate groups that have no idea what they are doing or even what information is real.
They spread urban legends and nonsense information believing in their own authority. This causes considerable harm to victims, which then requires professional support and counselingCounseling Counseling is the professional guidance of the individual by utilizing psychological methods especially in collecting case history data, using various techniques of the personal interview, and testing interests and aptitudes. A mental health counselor (MHC), or counselor, is a person who works with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. Such persons may help individuals deal with issues associated with addiction and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; and aging. They may also work with "Social Workers", "Psychiatrists", and "Psychologists". SCARS does not provide mental health counseling. to overcome.
Every scam victim should find a local trauma counselor and a professional support organization to help them from the beginning – though it is never too late. They should avoid anyone that spreads false information, urban legends, and fairy tales.
IF YOU BELIEVE?
If you really believe that you were bewitched or hypnotized or brainwashed, then we suggest that you find a local trauma counselor or therapist to be evaluated.
Belief in these urban legends, even after it has been explained, may be a sign of something deeper that may need help to be sorted out. We are not saying you are crazy, just that you are a human being that needs help.
Scams happen because we are human and our brains are hard-wired to be deceived.
Everyone is susceptible to deception – there is nothing supernational about it.
Scammers use powered techniques to lure, groom, manipulate, and control their victims. This does considerable psychological damage along the way!
You are not to blame – pure and simple.
There is no reason to feel shame and guilt.
Especially, do not let your desperation for answers lead you to urban legends and fairy tales, and to fake experts that tell you otherwise.
If you believe them you are once again believing in another scam, another fantasy.
Get real help and you will be able to recover from this experience. Follow the wrong path and you may never fully recover.
Essential Tools For Every Scam SurvivorSurvivor A Scam Survivor is a victim who has been able to fully accept the reality of their situation. That they were the victim of a crime and are not to blame. They are working on their emotional recovery and reduction of any trauma either on their own, through a qualified support organization, or through counseling or therapy. And has done their duty and reported the crime to their local police, national police, and on Anyscam.com From SCARS Publishing
Each is based on our SCARS Team’s 32 plus years of experience.
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SCARS GREEN BOOK
Self-Help Self-Paced Recovery Program Guide
LEARN HOW TO RECOVER ON YOUR OWN
This program is designed to help scam victims struggling to recover on their own and for those who want to understand the overall process. You can be using other resources, such as trauma counseling or therapy, qualified support groupsSupport Groups In a support group, members provide each other with various types of help, usually nonprofessional and nonmaterial, for a particular shared, usually burdensome, characteristic, such as romance scams. Members with the same issues can come together for sharing coping strategies, to feel more empowered and for a sense of community. The help may take the form of providing and evaluating relevant information, relating personal experiences, listening to and accepting others' experiences, providing sympathetic understanding and establishing social networks. A support group may also work to inform the public or engage in advocacy. They can be supervised or not. SCARS support groups are moderated by the SCARS Team and or volunteers., or completely independent – on your own!
The SCARS Steps program is a complete program and is provided for the purpose of helping scam victims to overcome this experience. Throughout this SCARS Steps Program, we speak about issues and challenges that a victim may have and help guide them through their recovery. But each person is different and it is important to understand your own reasons for being vulnerable to being scammed.
After the trauma of being scammed, you need to take steps to recover and move on. This may be an alternative to counseling in the short term, but we still encourage you to seek out professional help & support. Throughout this SCARS Steps Program, we speak about issues, challenges, defects, or problems that a victim may have in a generalized way.
The SCARS GREEN BOOK will help you recover from your scam offline and it will always be there when you need it!
SCARS SLATE BOOK – Let Us Explain What Happened!
A Guide For Families & Friends Of Scam Victims
HOW TO HELP ROMANCE SCAM VICTIMS FOR FAMILIES & FRIENDS OF SCAM VICTIMS
This SCARS Publishing book represents a complete guide to help the families and friends understand how these scams work and how to help the victim.
The SCARS Slate Book should be purchased by family and friends to better understand what happened to the victim and the traumatic impact on them. But it can also be shared by the victim so that they do not have to explain to family and friends about the scam. This publication is to help others to help Scam Victims to make it through this traumatic experience and recover.
Each person is different and it is important to understand how relationship scams work and why people are vulnerable; to being scammed, how they were lured in, then groomed and manipulated. This understanding is essential in helping them through the process of ending the scam and then on to recovery. The SCARS Slate Book will provide the information necessary to help support a victim through this process.
SCARS RED BOOK
Your Personal Scam Evidence & Crime Record Organizer
ORGANIZE YOUR INFORMATION TO MAKE THE REPORTING PROCESS SIMPLE!
Helps you get and stay organized. This publication is to help Scam Victims organize their crime information. Complete this information before reporting to the police then bring this book with you
Before or after reporting to the police the RED BOOK gives you a dedicated tool to record all the essential facts of this crime. The Victim, the Scammers, the Money, and your Police interactions. Everything that really matters can be easily recorded for your immediate use and for the future!
As we have seen, money recovery/repayment programs can become available years after the scam ends and you need to keep all the details of this crime in case it is needed. We have also seen scammers being extradited to the U.S. and other countries, this will help in the event you testify or give statements, Additionally, this helps you have your information ready to qualify for victims’ benefits, compensation, or aid.
The Official SCARS RED BOOK is your way of recording all the important facts of this crime so that you do not lose essential information, Complete the RED BOOK then put it away with the confidence that you will have it if or when it is needed.
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By the Society of Citizens Against Relationship ScamsSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS. Inc.
A Worldwide Crime Victims Assistance & Crime Prevention Nonprofit Organization Headquartered In Miami Florida USA & Monterrey NL Mexico, with Partners In More Than 60 Countries
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