This week

The dysfunction of Domination Culture



Maria’s Midweek Mindfulness 



The Wednesday Whisper 


How our systems model abusive and dysfunctional relationships

It was gratifying to receive so many messages of support for last week’s blog and to see the level of public outrage for the harm Ofsted has caused and continues to cause. So in this week’s blog, I want to speak more about how our systems perpetuate injury, loss and harm.

What’s important is that in recent times we can now name toxic, unhealthy and dysfunctional disorders. I am interested in how our systems model these behaviours but blame individuals for imitating them.


Here’s a great example of this recent banking crisis. Let me compare it to domestic violence. The bankers screw up (2008) monumentality. People in relationship with the bank (customers) are harmed. It is frightening, and an enormous amount of unnecessary human suffering is perpetrated. The banks beg and plead for forgiveness. They grovel and promise they will never do it again if only they can be forgiven and given another chance. They blame the customers for their actions (if only these stupid customers hadn’t bought these mortgages, we wouldn’t have to behave like this. Classic perpetrator speak). The customers ask for help. The bankers have a partner, the government, who tells them off and saves them because they are convinced that it won’t happen again because the bankers are so convincing of their contriteness. So, after a bit of grovelling, they resume their position. Once the dust has settled, the bankers do it all over again, maybe differently, but the net result is more unnecessary human suffering.


A so-called criminal justice system employs people who were never there and cannot possibly know what really happened or what the intentions were to write a reality for a group of people based on a balance of probability, guesswork and whatever evidence is to hand. People trying to speak their truth (or lie) are only allowed to speak when spoken to while being interrogated by biased people (prosecution or defence) who want to steer the story. Punishment or acquittal is meted out. A ‘truth’ is decided, and any other truth or lived experience is denied. Classic gaslighting behaviour.


In this case, Ofsted represents the classic narcissist. Ofsted is obsessed with creating and keeping the perfect image. Despite perfection being unattainable and unrealistic, the narcissist needs this perfect image in order to present themselves as admirable to the world. They use ‘power over’ to coerce people into cooperation. Imperfections are blamed on a scapegoat who is an easy target because they are immersed in the system the narcissist has created and frightened to leave it. When the participants stick to their “role” without making any waves, the narcissist is happy and less inclined to rage. If someone speaks up, they are punished by the system. Messages of not being good enough, creating unhealthy competition and blackmail are all tools in the tool kit. Of course, the narcissist does not know or recognise their dysfunction, and they work hard to maintain their superior position.

Anti-social Personality Disorder

Described as manipulation and cruelty toward others for the sake of personal amusement, in the entertainment industry and world of celebrity, we only have to mention names like Harvey Weinstein, Jimmy Saville, Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell to remember how celebrated they were in their worlds while their peers were covering up only until the tide of complaints was so great it couldn’t be suppressed. Those with APD might compulsively lie to manipulate the people around them, hurt others’ feelings or otherwise cause harm.


Maria’s Midweek Mindfulness 

Recognising how these dysfunctions are embedded into society is an important first step in seeing patterns that need to be broken and transformed. The DRM helps us to observe these patterns in ourselves and our systems so that we can name what is happening, empathise with the situation and choose a transformation process.


The Wednesday Whisper

Are you handcuffed to a dysfunctional system? Are you a silent witness?



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