[Ansteorra] Psychos and other Ogres

L T ldeerslayer at yahoo.com
Wed Nov 23 20:03:28 PST 2005

HE Jan has some excellent suggestions on how to identify "psychos." Her suggestion of a continuity of record and knowledge of officers is also an excellent suggestion.
  But I'm afraid that ya'll may think that this is only an "officer's /authority's problem"...it's not...it's everyone's problem...and everyone needs a hand in the solution.
  The general populace must be willing to recognize and work with the officers/authorities to deal with problem people. There are just some problem 
  people that revel in creating problems for others, if you ignore them, you just allow them to gain more "power" and create a larger problems later. 
  A problem person usually is an individual who, on the basis of nonsubstantitive evidence, go out of their way to make instatiable demands, usually attacking the person or performance of others.  These attacks are selfish in nature, tearing down rather than building up, and are frequently directed against those in a leadership capacity.
  Often these problem people have a negative self concept, are narcisistic, agressive, rigid, or authoritarian in extreme forms.
  Flags to spot a potential problem person (problem people have several of these at the same time)
  1. Past Track Record Flag -how have they acted in past situations or past situations that they have told you about?
  2. Parellell Track Record Flag - how do they act in other areas of their life outside the SCA
  3. Nameless Other Flag - When they offer criticism they say "there are X numbers of people who feel the same way"... people who are not trying to cause problems don't need to talk about "all the others" - they simply express THEIR OWN thoughts and feelings.
  4. The Predecessor Downer Flag - They denounce your predecessor and praise you at the same time...
  5. Instant Buddy Flag - they are overly friendly then probe you for information...then become cool to you when they know you
  6. The Gushing Praise Flag - they lavish effusive, gushing praise on you...and are just as effusive with criticism behind your back later
  7. The "I Gottcha Flag" - They try to catch you in error...and try to force you into a defensive response.
  8. The Extraordinary Likability Flag 
  9. The Group Hopper Flag - People who move from group to group because they are never satisfied with their "old group."
  10. The Liar Flag - not just a minor occaisonal misuderstanding but a history of lying.
  11. The Aggressive Means Flag - the means they propose or employ to accomplish their ends are extreme, unethical, combative or any combination. They often use vicious language that impeaches the character of another.
  12.The Flashing the Money Flag - persons who make a public display of their generosity.
  13. The Note Taker Flag - people who take notes at inappropriate times.
  14. The Portfolio Flag - making a practice to carry impressively stuffed protfolios to demonstrate that they posess evidence for their charges.
  15. The Tyrant Flag - They associate power with painful prodding. They use sharp, cutting language such as sarcasam or a barbed comment disguised as a joke.
  16. The Pest Flag - an insatiable questioner, a persistant suggester, or an incessant caller. 
  17. The Cause Flag - someone willing to go to agressive means to promote a cause.
  18. The Situational Loser Flag - Someone who is on "losing" side of a decision but uses the loss to create conflict.
  Warning Signs of problem people:
  1. Nettlesome questions
  2. Mobilizing forces and pot stirring
  3. Meddling
  4. Resistance
  5. Sloganeering
  6. Accusing
  7. Spying
  8. Distorting
  9. Misquoting Policy/Procedure/Rules
  10. Letter-writing
  11. Pretense
  12. Lobbying
  How other SCA groups have successfully dealt with problem people. 
  1. Keeping personal/office record of all possible problem people and situations.
  2. Keeping lines of communication open.
  3. Investigating and trying several problem solving techniques while keeping up a united front.
  4. After trying several standard ways of problem solving the officers/populace ask a local authority to intercede (and stand behind the authority)
  5. Asking the help of the next level of the chain of command, and then the next level if necessary.
  6. All of the populace at meeting, verbally, tells the problem person that their behavior is unacceptable and asks the problem person to leave the group.
  Lorraine DeerSlayer
  Jan Van Zandt <mysticmarks at hotmail.com> wrote:
Zubeydah wrote:

Who defines who a 'psycho' is? The 'in' crowd? the angry mob? the
brass hat? the 'popular' folks?
Playing devil's advocate,
- Zubeydah Jamilla al-Badawiyya

That's an excellent question. Thank goodness there is but a small
handful of these 'psychos' out there in our Kingdom.

They can be identified by the years and years worth of problems they
have created for their local group. I'm not talking about spats or
minor personality conflicts that can be resolved. These are the
individuals who continually antagonize, gossip, manipulate others and
want to have everything their way - their actions can disrupt the
private and SCA lives of the people in the group. They make unfounded
complaints to the BoD if they can't get what they want from the
officers or Crown. When these people are,over the years, continually
the source of problems and gossip and they are the ones who harrass
others through email, call names, make accusations and keep trying to
encourage others in the group to go against the local, regional and
kingdom officers you can pretty much tag them as troublemakers.

I will step down as Southern Regional Seneschal in a few months when
my warrant expires. I have information from prior Regional Seneschals
as well as my detailed records and these records/letters,etc. will be
passed on to my successor so he or she will be aware of the depth of
the problems with these specific troublemakers. One of the situations
in our Society and one that these kinds of people take advantage of is
that the offices are changed on a fairly regular basis on all levels
as the warrants expire. This is the way things should be, but unless
the officers on all levels pass down all information, then there is a
good chance the next person who fills the office can be blind-sided
by the troublemakers. The troublemakers are always eternally innocent
and quite adept at convincing new ears that they are misunderstood and
mistreated. Then the problems will start up again or just continue on
and Populace of the local group will continue to suffer.

Yes, we need a way to deal with this small element in our Society and
hopefully by discussing it we can find a resolution. Considering that
over the years the troublemakers have not changed their ways, how many
chances do these people get?

Baroness Jan
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