Jason posted the names and personal identifiers of the sadists who responded to the ad on a different web site.
On my other blog I wrote the following, posted it on Tuesday, October 17, 2006.
When I orignially discussed the prank on this blog (see Lessons From a Family Therapist LFAFT) I revealed how it had, shall we say, a negative effect on me. I said it was traumatizing to see the photos on the web site, that it would have been fine to have lived the rest of my life without those imprints in my brain. I pity a generation that has desensitized to sexuality and violence to this degree, but that's another story.
A magazine editor asked me for my expert opinion on Mr. Fortuny's possible motives. Here is what I told him.The comments in purple (mauve) are more recent thoughts :
I can’t emphasize strongly enough that this is entirely conjecture. But it’s educated conjecture.
Why Jason Fortuny MIGHT have done what he did
Why does a person do this kind of thing?
I have a theory. Jason says I'm way off the mark, by the way.
But we can learn from the theory. It's based upon my experience with the frustration expressed by adults who witnessed and/or survived domestic violence (and some pretty good branding by R., thank you Cyber-Vigilante
With that in mind,
The act of publicly exposing the men who volunteered to torture the "female" has elements of BOTH sadism and masochism; (1) sadism for exposing men who responded to the ad and their families to embarrassment and shame; (2) masochism for putting himself at risk for revenge. These were men who admitted their willingness to participate in violence for pleasure.
What kind of person puts himself into a dangerous position like this?
Maybe a new brand of Superhero, a Cyber Vigilante.
Most therapy docs have worked with patients subjected to abuse or who have witnessed one parent beaten by another, repeatedly. The beaten individual is generally a woman, usually insecure, with an underdeveloped sense of self and shoddy confidence. This woman, when she married, thought her mate had the strength that she lacked, sometimes unconsciously.
In fact her spouse was/is really insecure, too, and bullied(s) others to make himself feel strong. He bullied her. Perhaps he even beats her if she didn't agree with him, creased his shirt while ironing, gazed at another man, even her brother. He’s a jealous sort, a borderline, perhaps, with sociopathic tendencies.
This spousal abuse can become chronic, and ever more violent. The female, because she's got few resources can't or won't leave. She barely protests.
A child is watching. The child says to her, Please leave him, please stop him. Don't let him hit you.
She says, It's okay. He doesn't hurt me. This doesn't really hurt. I'm okay. You don't understand your father. Go back to sleep.
The child can't sleep. The child stays up wondering about the meaning of violence in relationships and comes to some conclusions on his own. He may get in-between his mother and his father at times, he may even throw a few punches.
When he does, his mother will try to stop him, will tell him that she is fine. She's okay. She is placating the man she has to sleep with at night, the one she wakes up to by day.
This makes the child angry. He becomes, perhaps, someone who is angry at both parents. With the testosterone of his father and the guts of his mother, he takes action.
He becomes. . .CYPBER VIGILANTE, gets his own revenge, communicates to not only his parents, but to the world, how wrong, wrong, wrong, this all is.
Again, I have no idea what really happened. I don't know Mr. Fortuny, have never met his parents, and for all I know they're wonderful people who have never lifted a finger to hurt one another. Seriously, it's possible Jason's out for the big buck, for the movie that they'll make out of the story one day.
It's just a theory. But it makes sense to me.
Well, it did at the time, and frankly, even if it's not applicable to Mr. Fortuny, is right on vis-a-vis families like those in my example above.
There have been copy cat pranksters, of course. For more on why people take pleasure in humiliating other people, see Humiliating Others, Deliberate Abuse
Oh, and if you're interested in Jason's Comment about my theory, click on this link (the original post) and scroll down to comments.
Copyright 2006, Therapydoc