The myth of the Troll
Trolls are originally a mythical being depicted as a giant or dwarf dwelling in isolated mountains, rocks, and caves in folklore having a very ugly appearance.
A troll on the internet is a person who sows discord by starting arguments, antagonizing or ridiculing other people or their ideas. He (they are usually male) by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages online community. This is done to promote an emotional response or to disrupt a normal on-topic discussion. This is all done for their own emotional satisfaction or amusement.
Trolling is the impulsive habit of emotionally hurting, harassing or molesting others online, seemingly without immediate detrimental consequences for themselves. While many trolls on the internet are often narcissists, psychopaths, and even sadists, some trolling may only be the result of a bad day or a compilation of stress and anxiety in need of release.
The problem is that trolling can be addictive and once it begins granting some relief, people may return to it like the "Pig to the mire". And trolling on a group can be like a virus on a crowded bus. Trolling begets more trolling. Unfortunately, that is often the goal of some trolls, for misery loves company.
Trolls are not always after a person or even the subject matter of a conversation, but may simply desire to “create mayhem or confusion”. Like any addiction, it is a compulsion of the mind that is looking for a climax of confirmation through a perception of control. They are driven by feelings of frustration, failure, and inadequacy. If they cannot have accomplishment and accolades, they will have chaos.
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The historically recent phenomena of the internet troll is a classic example of a psychopathic "personality disorder characterized by persistent antisocial behavior, impaired empathy and remorse, and bold, disinhibited, and egotistical traits." People who are attracted to the activity of trolling commonly score high in psychopathy and cognitive empathy. Cognitive empathy means that they understand the emotions of others, but they have less affective empathy, which is the ability to naturally respond appropriately or with compassion to the emotions of others.
Psychology scores demonstrate a tendency toward sadism, even Machiavellian traits often falling into what psychologists call the "dark triad". Of course, the first ones to deny this or ridicule the idea is someone with a troll personality. They often imagine themselves social justice warriors, crusaders of truth, or just intellectual superiors who are protecting the masses of pions by putting down anyone with an opposing opinion. The delusion as a self-styled hero is essential to emotionally justify the actions of a troll.
Of course, if the subject matter exposes them, they will be motivated to troll with greater intensely.
Several studies indicate that Internet Trolling is a manifestation of sadism sometimes linked to being bullied from youth. So, some are just victims of other trolls, and they have become trolls or engage in trolling because of a memetic compulsion because of experienced abuse. But repeat offenders are almost always addicted to trolling. They need to get a rise out of others to give themselves a sense of superiority or just meaning. They become like a pack of wolves or sharks which smell blood and go on a feeding frenzy. They have no real life or compassion for others, and releasing their true malevolent hearts on the internet allows them some imagined safety.
The problem is, the more they indulge the more addicted they become. That rehearsal of mocking attacks, disruptive behavior, and infectious chaos at the expense of others will take a toll on the addicted troll.
What mechanism in his own mind and heart has he unleashed by lashing out at his digital victims?
There are lots of articles about trolling and Karma. There are lots of old sayings about "What goes around comes around" or just the golden rule to "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
But my favorite is Galatians 6:7 "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
Spirit of the Troll
What is the Spirit of the Troll?
- What is the driving force behind their mental disorder?
- Why can't they see it?
- Where is it taking them?
- And what can save them from their ultimate fate?
The unforgiving motivation for trolling is to obtain relief from their own "feelings of frustration, failure, and inadequacy". This is accomplished by putting others down emotionally, psychologically or simply disrupting the conversation with chaos and distraction. The same spirit that sits behind a computer screen disrupting and attacking conversations is also found shouting down speakers and disrupting events they disagree with.
A troll is a creation of the tortured soul, broken and twisted to an evil enslavement. They take delight in the torment of others like the "orcs and goblins" of JR Tolkien's story "Lord of the Rings". They were not happy creatures and take delight in spreading misery. They enjoy the fight. Win or lose, conflict is their goal. It is the light of the sun that is their common nemesis.
Trolling can lead to more frustration and the stakes or pattern of engagement may increase. To obtain relief can eventually lead to real violence. During that rise in aggression cognitive empathy must also increase which will increase levels of psychopathy.
The spirit of the troll dwells in the dark places of our own hearts. It resides in the realms of our soul we are not willing to see. It thrives in denial but in order to oppress, there must be a victim to dance with. Identity politics and intersectionality will not only create an army of trolls roaming cyberspace but also the orcs and goblins of the physical world in which we live.
- Trolling other people or groups is about a feeling of power over others to compensate for or oppress a feeling of failure and lack in your self and the denial of this truth will lead to an increase of a Cognitive dissonance.
The first troll
Cain was the first troll. Having feelings of frustration, failure, and inadequacy because his sacrifice was not acceptable he was driven to mercilessly bludgeon his brother to death. He hid the truth of his deed to avoid the consequences of his actions and excused himself with a lie "...[Am] I my brother’s keeper?" Cain clearly would score high in psychopathy and cognitive empathy.
Saul was a great man who fought for justice and was held in high esteem. But after he was given power by the people he began to demonstrate a similar psychopathy and cognitive empathy toward the people who he "foolishly taxed" and manifested Machiavellian traits toward David who he tried to kill.
Saul continued to make choices seeking to maintain his power that devastated the people in the chaos of war and eventuall would end in his suicide upon his own sword. God through Samuel had prophesied that rulers would become oppressive tyrants in 1 Samuel 8 and that the people would cry out but God would not hear them.
Philip Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment demonstrated that the situation and conditions we are placed may alter our actions despite our learned or assumed morals. The Milgram experiment measured the willingness of varied group men to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts conflicting with their personal conscience.
What drove Saul to his fate and what saved David?
Saul foolishly forced the offering of the people to support his army. David numbered the people so they could be drafted into military service but repented. He started to build a stone temple which would further centralize the government but repented. He was going to use force to extract support from Nabal but repented through the kind and generous efforts Abigail. Except for his betrayal of Uriah to steal his wife David did pretty good because he was willing to change his thinking and actions, which is the essence of repentance.
Overcoming the Spirit of Troll
The troll may not see the spirit that drives his addiction but we should have no doubt the desire to put down others, accuse others, even destroy others makes self-destruction the destiny of a troll.
We may see the extreme manifestation of the troll spirit as the tyrant who leaves untold millions dead. But the same spirit in modern society is palpable in the mass shooter, who like Saul, may turn his merciless instrument of death and chaos upon himself at the appearance of possible defeat. But even long before those extremes, the spirit of the troll may creep into our own hearts working its evil upon us. Many troll spirits lurk about spreading their poison with resolute compulsion and self-justification through gossip, whispers and false accusations.
The victim may also play a part in the dance of the oppressor or antagonizer. Both are a part of an unhealthy alliance of the soul. You do not want to dance with the devil or with trolls.
The guards and prisoners of the Stanford Prison Experiment needed each other in order to degenerate their mind to the level of the tyrant and oppressed. The Intersectionality of modern identity politics sets the scene for the rise of trolls and tyrants as everyone scrambles for victimhood and the privileges it promises. The clamor for gun free zones and safe spaces is the desire to retreat to a cell of apathy and complacence that gives rise to the institution of victimhood that calls forth that malevolent spirit of troll or tyrant into being.
To argue with those who do not want to see the light is dancing with the devil. The troll spirit wants you to debate on his terms. He feeds on your reaction in fear or in anger. Online the troll imagines his justified victory if you when loose or draw, fight or flight makes no difference to him. But if there is no flight or fright but only light, the troll's heart will turn to stone and his own end will come quickly.
What can you do?
Don't become a troll.
- There is nothing you can do to save a troll.
- The only real enemy of the troll is Christ's love and the light it brings with it.
- So fear not the troll.
- They feed on judgment and hate.
- Feed them not.
- Do not fight them on their terms.
- Resist not their evil with evil.
- Never dance with them in the dark of their night.
- They are lost souls who will pierce their own hear to prick yours.
- Set the light of the Holy Spirit on a lampstand of forgiveness and hope.
- "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" 1 Corinthians 3:16
Our hearts and minds can open the door to the Spirit of God or the spirit of the Troll. Pride does goeth before the fall.
Admitting the truth of your pride and error allows "his marvelous light" to enter into you and drive out the influence of the dark Troll spirit of judgment and hate.
You must begin to make room for the light of the [Holy Spirit] in your heart and mind through the process of repentance and acceptance of the anointing spirit of Jesus. This is more challenging than most realize because the more light shown in you the more of the dark corners of our own heart may be revealed. You may find your own heart trolling those who show you the truth.
- "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." 1 John 2:3
If you believe in Jesus you will keep his commandments if you are not keeping his commandments then your faith is lacking and may even be a lie. There are many people who rather than deal with particular facts or issues will rather go about accusing everyone of being all sorts of thing: racist, sexist, homophobic and xenophobic, false teachers, heretics, liars, backbiters etc. They want to believe they are born again but the truth is not in them. They cannot see the kingdom of God nor The Way of Christ and early Christians. Their ego keeps them loyal to the image of Christ and God they have created in their own minds.
- "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:" 1 Peter 2:9
Do not Feed the Trolls!
Trolls serve the false accuser, Satan who is the adversary of God. They want to occupy your time and make you dance to their tune and keep you lost and distracted with their disordered dark ramblings. They want to suck you into their own world of confusion and self-justification.
The keys to the kingdom are "...whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Matthew 16:19
Christ is the door. Seeking the kingdom of God includes seeking the righteousness of God without covetous practices, biting one another but serving one another in love and attending to the weightier matters. Thi is not tht hard when the real spirit of Christ is born in you.
Christ died on the cross so that you might be saved.
Jesus gave us much instruction about not coveting, serving, feeding His sheep and above all else stop the taking of oaths. We are endowed by our creator with certain rights which are powers and duties. Mankind has been in a process of obtaining power over others or relinquishing that power to others to avoid personal responsibilities.
Both granting power to select individuals or group and the relinquishing of power can give rise to tyrannical abuse and expand the degenerative submission to injustice. Most systems of society facilitate the engagement in both.
The idea of an indirect Democracy is implementing the process of the granting of power to a select group. Socialism is the continuation of granting more power and communism is the culmination of power where a tyrant may seize control of all. Polybius clarifies this rise of tyranny and social degeneration. When you become accustomed to living at the expense of others; when you do not exercise personal authority and responsibility to attend to the weightier matters as Christ told us; when we are slothful the people will be weakened and changed and made subject.
The oppression people imagine they are experiencing is actually the result of their parents or themselves because of their wantonness, failure, and sloth. If we refuse to admit our part in this degeneration and rise of despotism we may be sucked into a spirit of resentment that blames others rather than ourselves. Do not imagine yourself a victim.
The centralization of power corrupts both the individual who obtains power and the individual who gives it away.
Nature abhors a vacuum. If you do not exercise your responsibility for yourself and your neighbor then the spirit of the troll may enter into your heart and mind and become manifest in your actions. You are made in the image of God but neglecting the way of God and the name and the character of Christ will bring anxiety and depression.
Christ was empowering the individuals to take back their responsibility for themselves and their neighbor through a system of charity. This is the only righteous way to get your rights back and maintain them. The formation of the called out ministers and their appointment by Jesus the Christ to feed His sheep through the practice of Pure Religion without the covetous practices of the world is a way to repentance.
You must seek humility and the truth of your failings and the truth where you have neglected your responsibilities.
You must forgive others their possible fault or participation in your failure. It will take a humble heart to accept the truth about yourself and a need to forgive everyone else, leaving judgment to God.
You must practice love in the form of giving charity to both test your forgiveness and affirm the truth of your claim of being humble. You cannot just give to your local home church but you must "cast your bread upon the waters". You cannot just love those who love you ut even your enemy. The practice of fervent charity activates your cognitive empathy to become more merciful and less destructive. The covetous practices of the world has been degenerating your heart and mind for generations just as Polybius explained over a hundred years before Christ.
Any cognitive empathy is overcome by activation of your personal empathy for others which comes about by loving your neighbor as yourself with no hope of a direct return.
1 Corinthians 6:19 "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?"
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- : In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement.
- This sense of the word "troll" and its associated verb trolling are associated with Internet discourse but have been used more widely. Media attention in recent years has equated trolling with online harassment. For example, mass media has used troll to describe "a person who defaces Internet tribute sites with the aim of causing grief to families." In addition, depictions of trolling have been included in popular fictional works such as the HBO television program The Newsroom, in which a main character encounters harassing individuals online and tries to infiltrate their circles by posting negative sexual comments himself.
- One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.Internet troll
- "Their hearts were of granite and their bodies deformed; foul their faces which smiled not, but their laugh that of the clash of metal..."
- the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.
- the mental discomfort (psychological stress) experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values.
- Genesis 4:9 ¶ And the LORD said unto Cain, Where [is] Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: [Am] I my brother’s keeper?
- concluded that systemic and situational forces can operate to influence individual behavior in negative or positive directions, often without our personal awareness.
- 2 Samuel 18:1 And David numbered the people that were with him and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them.
- 2 Samuel 24:10 And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.
- 2 Samuel 11:3 And David sent and enquired after the woman. And [one] said, [Is] not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
- 1 Kings 15:5 Because David did [that which was] right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any [thing] that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.
- Jimmy Savile was a popular disc jockey who raised millions of dollars for charity but was allowed to get away with sexual abuse of children for years. We see the same phenomena among priests, politicians and judges.
The Myth of the Troll
- When traveling over hill and dale,
- Or googling down some digital trail
- where trolls do lurk and smite
- and are always looking for a fight
- No sympathy can move his mind,
- to do those things that might be kind.
- For there is no empathy in his heart
- But no one said that trolls are smart.
- He may have an ego gigantic
- and skin so tough and thick,
- but with a skull that is thicker
- He must settle for nitpicker
- Fear not the troll
- Nor his brooding soul
- For he loves the night
- and shuns the light.
- He means you no good.
- Help you not, if he could,
- Feed not his monstrous appetite,
- Nor dance with him in the dim moonlight.
- Do not fight or flee.
- Just leave him be.
- To stone, he will demise.
- When the sun, it does arise.