How do you know that ulterior motives are hidden behind what seem to be the noble claims of rescuers and protectors?
How do we know if we’re dealing with a legitimate issue that needs to be confronted? Or are we dealing with false complaints? Are we dealing with a smear campaign? How can we tell the difference in public culture?
These are the questions that Marc Gafni asks and answers in this clip on the 4 Litmus Tests of Discerning Truth.
Litmus test one, before action was taken against the person who’s being accused, was there fact checking, which means checking both sides, comparing conflicting narratives, cross-checking evidence before action was taken? If that’s not the case, you’re probably dealing with some other hidden motive.
After applying this to his own case, he distinguishes a second test, looking at whether, if new evidence is gathered, the people supporting the original complaints, are they willing to look at and check new evidence. That he says is a core feature of justice.
If they’re not, if people are contacted and everyone refuses to check new evidence, you might want to check: are there corrupt motives? Are there hidden and ulterior agendas? Is this a fig leaf for malice?
He then goes on to Litmus test three: Do we demonize and dehumanize the person being attacked?
Marc Gafni in the video:
Whenever you see intense dehumanization, intense demonization, once in a long time it might be justified, but if you look at it carefully, feel the quality of it, you can actually feel the energetic quality of malice. Feel what you feel like when you read it, when you read the posts. You can actually feel a quality of degradation, dehumanization, demonization. When that’s at play usually there’s another agenda, because people are more complex, and if you can’t hold two sides of a person and you’ve utterly dehumanized and demonized them, something else, some other obsessive agenda is at play…
Gafni then elaborates on the fourth litmus test for discerning truth:
When the attack is made, do those attacking allow for the possibility of truth and reconciliation or do they set up the structure which says there can never be healing, there can never be transformation? Not only can there not be fact checking, but it can never be solved. So, for example, in my particular story, the people who launched the false complaints in 2006 called the key people associated with me and they said: We’ve got to make sure that Gafni never teaches again ever.
Well, why? I mean, even if a psychologist who has no business ever having sexual contact with any patient, if a psychologist has sex with a patient and they’re part of a psychological association, there’s a process of rehabilitation, there’s a process of transformation. Now, of course, I’m completely against any sexual contact between a psychologist and a patient, but there’s an actual process. There’s no assumption that nothing can be transformed.
But in my case we were dealing with false complaints, which means the wound claimed wasn’t a genuine wound, so the wound doesn’t heal, because a scab never forms, because the wound is not the issue. The issue is the hidden malice that’s driving it. So if there’s a structure which says healing can never take place, you can bet your bottom dollar there’s some other hidden malice at play. Those are four litmus tests for cultivating discernment in public culture to be able to discern between authentic complaints and false complaints.