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January, 2022 Add comment

Why does power turn into abuse of power?

Why does power engage in abusive, transgressive behavior, which can completely destroy victims, families and households of this? We all were stunned this weekend with the news about what took place on “The Voice of Holland”. Jeroen Rietbergen, Linda de Mol’s partner and Ali B were allegedly exposed in sexually transgressive behavior among some female contestants. Marco Borsato was also pilloried a few weeks ago, for this same behavior, which allegedly took place several times. Marco Borsato also worked for years on “The Voice of Holland” as a juror, as we all know. According to crime reporter John van de Heuvel, he has spoken to a number of victims, who have also now mentioned Marco again. The program BOOS is the one that has researched all the allegations and is broadcasting their first program about it on YouTube on Thursday.

Abroad are many of the same stories, Prince Andrew (who is no longer a prince by now) was in the news again four days ago. Virginia Giuffre may take him to court for his alleged abuse, to which Queen Elizabeth immediately revoked all his titles. We already know all about figures like Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell, Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey.

The cover-up of this transgressive behavior should never have happened

What should never have happened with The Voice of Holland is that the program makers covered this up for so long, just afraid of losing their money. Anouk submitted her resignation to The Voice just for this fact, and this is bold and so correct!!! It is downright outrageous that this has happened. In this case we are talking about sexually transgressive behavior which has undoubtedly seriously damaged many young people. The hallmark of all these events is usually always, that these young people want to achieve something and allow themselves to be abused for it. Not daring to say ‘no’ for fear of missing their chance and therefore, unfortunately, being extremely manipulable.

Those who abuse their power are absolutely unscrupulous and blind to the damage they cause and the immense consequences of their behavior. They feel elevated above everyone and above every law, they literally do not see the unethical behavior that they exhibit. They only experience everything from their own point of view and perception and have become insensitive to what others think and feel. 

Jeroen Rietbergen expresses this well in his statement: “Meanwhile, I have become very aware that my own perception is not relevant at all, but much more the perception of the women concerned. And that these women may have experienced it very differently. Through this insight, I have come to realize that my behavior has been completely wrong”.

The winner effect

The “winner effect” is a term that describes in biology how an animal, once it has won a few battles against weak opponents, is much more likely to win subsequent battles against stronger contenders. It is a key element in the establishment of the dominance hierarchy that characterizes most animal species, including humans. A person’s place in social dominance hierarchies is one of the most powerful and, moreover, the most underestimated shaper of the structure and function of the human brain. When power is not constrained by democratic controls or good governance systems, those in power can exhibit undesirable distortions in judgment, cognition and behavior due to its “drug-like” effects on the brain. Read this extensive scientific research regarding the effects of power on our brains, power and brain.

Our last article triggered a lot

Our last article on the fact that we, as a foundation, want to fight the government, received many positive and supportive reactions, for which we are grateful, we are really very happy with that! But we are also impressed by the negativism of people, which apparently comes loose when you with only good intentions try to put something positive down.

We are in fact on a serious path to make the government understand that the 2G policy should not be imposed on us as a population and that our freedom of choice in whether to be vaccinated should be honored. This is because, in our opinion, it is absolutely against our human rights. Steven de Koenigswarter, the owner of this platform, wants to invest his own, hard-earned money in this. But he is immediately compared with a swindler and a charlatan who only wants to enrich himself with the donation money of gullible people through fake lawsuits. We believe that this gentleman is referring to Willem Engel. “All the wappies had to” according to this gentleman, “especially wake up because they would be conned en masse by us as a foundation!” There were other such responses, this one stood out, however.

We find this kind of accusation very inappropriate.

As a humanitarian foundation, fighting for human rights, we find these rather unbelievably accusatory and very inappropriate statements, which are based on nothing. People don’t know us, they especially don’t know Steven, who he is in his heart as a human being and which norms and values he uses. A foundation is a foundation and yes, maybe there will come a point when we will ask for support. We are not denying this, nor that we will ever need to attract funds one way or another. This is because the bags filled with money are not at Steven’s doorstep indefinitely, either. But so far there is no government grant and no donation to support our work, and we assure you of that. Steven puts large amounts of money into his mission because he feels that this is truly his calling.

So what leads people to react like this?

So why are people such that they totally scandalize and put others in a very negative corner without any evidence or basis? Someone who outright trashes someone’s good intentions on social media is also doing so from a position of power! The power that such a person feels that no one will do anything to him when he ruthlessly trashes someone on a platform. Mind you, and then double enjoy when others rebel against it. They create something even if it is a negative thing and because they create it gives them satisfaction and recognition from the world. This they experience as power and thus gives them the feeling that they are above everyone else. They imagine that people really need their guidance and opinion in order to lead the way to a different and better understanding of the world. 

The idea that they are above others. That one is needed and that they are in charge is what makes these types of people less and less empathetic to the thoughts, consequences and feelings of the person they rule over. This is how the transgressive abuse of power occurs: this person feels like they are more than everyone else, so who can do anything to me. But most of all, that person no longer sees how he comes across to others and how over time the behavior has been abnormalized.

Power does something to people that is often very clear, or is there also something else going on? 

People with real power, or people who usurp power because they need recognition from the world, end up in social isolation because of their behavior or power. Wealth and power change your brain and abnormalize you as a human being. However, the isolated person because of wealth or power or because of a damaged past, has a strong need to be seen and recognized.

A great example of this, for example, is Elon Musk, who is starting to behave more and more strangely. He offers his help everywhere, even if it is often downright impossible. He does this mainly to experience the satisfaction that comes with the recognition that the world gives him. If this help is then rejected, he usually throws socially very undesirable tweets into the world. In which he seriously insults the rejection of his help, to which then there is a massive negative response. So he chooses negative recognition instead of the positive, non-received recognition. Also, the situation with Djokovic last week in Australia, is also very similar to this transgressive behavior. The L’équipe the leading newspaper in France describes it as follows:

“An only child, loved and overprotected by his countrymen, less and less open to criticism and more and more convinced of his omnipotence. He thought he was irreplaceable, but Australia saw it differently. The almost sacred aura around him is splendor. It shines, but sometimes it blinds.”

A person with power experiences many stimuli that work on your dopamine system

A person with power or appropriated power, as well as top athletes, experience many stimuli that work on your dopamine system. The problem, however, is that many stimuli dull this system, and you therefore have to keep looking for something that will give you a stronger dopamine stimulus. Dopamine is called the happiness hormone, and it plays a major role in your reward system. At the moment when a stimulus (from tension, food, sex, etc.) produces dopamine in the brain, you get a wonderful feeling of happiness and pleasure. This feeling is so intense that it plays a major role in addictions. So people who have power or appropriate power, or athletes etc. are constantly looking for a way to activate that stimulus that makes the dopamine in the brain. 

The more recognition you get or prestige, but also resistance and stress or anything that has to do with power, the more dopamine this produces in the brain. So for example the more negative or super positive you express yourself on social media, the more people respond to it, the more dopamine is released. This makes you feel happy and acknowledged. We all know by now that social media is totally addictive, and this is exactly why. Read our article about the danger of social media.

The more stimuli, the more dopamine is produced in your brain

However, our dopamine stimuli become extinguished by the excess of uplift, and we are constantly looking for a new stronger activation of this stimulus. It is up to the underlying character of the person whether they choose negative or positive stimuli. This often has to do with how that person’s childhood was. The amount of positive love and recognition the person has had from their family and parents then determines which path the person with power picks. From past damage, people find it totally normal to put someone in a heavy negative light, it has happened to them so frequently in the past. Note that the one who does this, wins something with it and that is his dopamine rush. 

Anyone who abuses their power all gains exactly the same. They feel recognized, seen, empowered, happy and delighted by a wonderful dopamine rush. Dopamine stimuli are seriously addictive, to, for example, stress, arguments, conflicts, the winner’s behavior, smoking, drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex and improper nutrition. Because of this, the person who, for example, commits sexually transgressive behavior towards another, becomes totally blind to the consequences what this behavior has, even for himself. The person only experiences his perception from the irresistible urge for this stimulus, and is no longer empathically open to that other person. His happiness, rush and addiction is above the other! 

How accountable are you if you actually act from a dopamine addiction?

Pooh, that’s a tough question!!! Actually no, it is a biochemical call from the brain that is barely to not resist! People who are dopamine addicts, you almost don’t get through to them either. If you read our article about the young man in addiction care who refuses all care, you understand how intense this can be, see dopamine and addiction.

Is it the responsibility of that person’s environment – who notices the changed behavior – to stop that person in their behavior? Yes and no, it always remains a personal responsibility, but an addiction is quite something. Before you even realize that you are addicted, you have already done so much damage to others, to yourself, your family, your partner, you name it! And if we would dare to see abuse of power and transgressive behavior from this angle. Then we see that we are dealing with damaged people who have essential deficits in their brains, which is actually quite simple to remedy. Read our protocol for psychological complaints soon.

These people actually need help

Because of this damage and deficits in their brains, they start exhibiting the certain behaviors that they actually need help with. So should we, as victims, keep our mouths shut for years? No! We should just show the other person what they are doing, you should bring this up as soon as possible! That is why we also highlight the negative social media reactions in this article. It is abnormal behavior to treat and condemn people who only want to do right. Our sense of right and wrong needs to be restored, our values too! We turn a blind eye to too much, even as partners or family members. We feel and know when someone changes and goes over the top, but out of fear of loss, we too often keep our mouths shut.  

In this light there is still some respect for the attitude of Jeroen Rietbergen

Of course, let it be clear that we roundly disapprove of everything he has done in the past! But he is the first, at least that we know of, who immediately admits that he has done so. So he takes responsibility for this, is currently going deep into darkness and brings shame and disgrace on his famous family and partner Linda de Mol. He is the one who went under therapy (long-term) and that says something. However, we have a feeling that even though he will be far from having told everything, these people are just extremely adept at hiding their actions. We will be curious to see if Linda de Mol really knew and heard everything from him, what happened a few years ago. We wonder if this would have been so she would have ever given him another chance.

But just through this huge resistance, anti-climax and deep dark times he had to go through, he was able to literally find his healing and stop this very damaging behavior towards others. We think it is downright powerful of Linda to have acutely shown him the door at the time. By the way, we do hope that his dopamine response has actually been restored, it could preclude any repeat of these abuses forever. (Editorial note: It is now known that Linda de Mol indeed did not have a total overview of what happened and has broken off her relationship with Jeroen Rietbergen).

Resistance and constant confrontation with their actions is exactly what these people need

Resistance and constant confrontation with their actions is exactly what these people need in order to see themselves and their actions again. To experience themselves again from the perception of others. We feel terrible for all these young women who have been victims in this situation. Of course, critics will now say that Linda de Mol’s actions were all done out of PR policy, but these people feel sadness too! Their hearts are breaking too, and their children are suffering too: PR policy or not!

Still, we think we should learn from such situations! As bystanders, are we not condoning far too much out of fear of loss? On the other hand, aren’t we totally out of control, thinking we can do anything to others from a misplaced sense of power? As people with money and power, should we not always employ a highly reflective coach to keep us straight in our perceptions? Look at all the governments of countries: how difficult is it not to always work from your heart and ethics when power simply scientifically proven does something to your brain? Is our system still working correct, then? Shouldn’t there be a row of psychologists next to ministers and administrators? 

We think that humanity should be more humane

In any case, we think that humanity should be much more humane, respectful and loving. That we should start to fully restore our norms and values. That we are truly critical of our environment and again start sensing when someone is out of line. Have the courage to confront this person, but also try to help. But above all, do not call out things that are not indisputably proven in their truth. You damage people staggeringly in this, if there are no proper grounds afterwards. The stain remains for life and these people can never lead a normal life again. As Chantal Janzen shouts, “the deepest hidden has to come up” so it is, but that should have happened a long time ago. It should never have happened that the program makers covered this up for so many years at the expense of so many participants!

If we are more alert to the behavior of others and are a bit more sensitive in this, more daring and less afraid of the consequences for ourselves, then we can help and guide people many times earlier. In this way we prevent intense suffering and damage to people, children and animals. So let’s become more humane and alert, really help each other and be there for others.

Just think!

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