Police Psychology | Honesty: An Endangered Species
by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D. ABPP
I was at a party this Labor Day weekend and I talked to a New York Port Authority Police Officer who was originally from Peru. His mom had cancer and I felt real bad for him. She was only given a few weeks to live, then he said that was 4 ½ years ago. When she was diagnosed, he went down to Peru and purchased a bunch of cancer eating beetles, bringing them back into the United States in an ant farm type of arrangement. The beetles have to be swallowed whole and alive, but seem to release some kind of toxin that kills cancer cells. The beetles were used in many different ancient medicines. The toxin actually burns you while going down and in the stomach. He said at first week you eat 10 beetles a day, and it increases to 80 beetles a day before it comes back to rest at 10. He said he didn’t know if it worked because they changed her diet and a whole bunch of things she was doing, but he said whether it is real or a placebo effect it definitely worked for his mother. I looked it up on the internet, and in fact there is a lot about it, even some studies. Seems it is only the male beetle that releases a toxin, it does offer a legit treatment for skin cancer, but the mythology is that it works with all cancers, sometimes. Whoa, 80 burning beetles! Alive! And let’s say 40 are female, so you are eating 40 that you don’t even have to!
My friend’s wife has cancer and they are not too positive about the prognosis. He changed the diet, she starting radiation and such, but he was considering cannabis oil as a treatment. When distilled in a certain way it has some studies that show it is effective, and there are articles on both sides of the effectiveness issue. It has also been used in ancient medicines. But of course, it is illegal except in California, and you can’t cross state lines to bring it back to New York. So we devised some ways to get it back and try it if needed. Not approved by the government for treatment, yet it sure sounds more pleasant than burning beetles from South America. Unfortunately, you are supposed to take the oil in suppositories, so you might get a “high” in the wrong end. When in desperation, you look for anything to cure the problem, but underlying this is a lack of trust in our government to regulate these types of things. A lack of trust in medicine also. Why is it we don’t trust medicine and the government to regulate these things anymore? Shouldn’t we do something about this problem?
Honesty in Danger
Well, in the US you only need to look at the way the election is being portrayed by our media. On one hand, the news wants us to believe we have a criminal who relayed the highest level government secrets over her personal internet server against all rules, then covered up that she did, and the other hand we have a ruthless businessman who can’t control the things that he says, who he pisses off and ran a scam of a university. Seeing that they are vying for the highest government position, is it a wonder that we can’t trust them to regulate our medical treatment.
But it happened before that, remember when the system decided that medical treatment had to be controlled because physicians and psychologists were abusing the system. So we hired lawyers to control the doctors, who controlled our treatment and they called it managed care. What a bizarre notion that we take people who go to medical/psychology school to help others and have them controlled by people who go to school to argue someone elses opinions and lies, not their own.
Honesty is an endangered species no matter how you look at it. Soon it will be gone completely from our day to day dealings with life.
In policing, we have reported that cops, regardless of their own race, want to beat up and even kill people because of their skin color or possibly their religion. A cop is no longer allowed to refer to things that give them a clue to intentions, such as being told a person is armed, or clothing that suggests gang involvement. All those pre-employment tests where you were asked about key observation are now thrown to the wayside when you are a real cop. That would be profiling, which used to not be a bad term in policing. Cops are supposed to react to attacks, but not threats as they see them. Again, if a cop is honest and told the citizenry what caused them to be suspicious of a certain person, they would be blasted and the lawyers would make them pay, so better not to say anything.
No wonder honesty is an endangered species.
The society holds all accountable for the questionable actions of a few officers that may be prejudiced. The society holds all doctors accountable for the few doctors that may be money grabbing. Yet they will alter statistics, minimize effect and not report real concerns in order to save a good story.
With all the litigation over deflategate where Tom Brady supposedly deflated balls on the way to the superbowl, I said society might as well change the way American Football is being played. I said everyone should get a ball, then the lawyers should come out at midfield and negotiate who get the balls when, who can borrow someone elses ball, and even when someone can be sued for their ball. We don’t need players any more. The attorney with the most balls at the end wins. It would mirror life better that way.
Most doctors I ask about blister beetles and cannabis oil state it doesn’t have great statistical support but if you want to try it, you have to do it without their knowing. They would be happy if someone was cured regardless of what the method. Most cops I know say if you can get one person on the right path and protect the others, they would be happy also. They don’t want anyone getting hurt regardless of race or religion. Sure there are some people that aren’t as altruistic in all professions, but there are not as many as you think. Entertain the realm of possibilities, but be honest when you get there.
Make Your Intentions Known
I always tell the officer to say “I didn’t wake up wanting to hurt anyone today, only to help them.” The doctor would say the same thing. It needs to be said to others and to yourself, over and over when there is a problem or you are being accused. “I didn’t get out of bed wanting to hurt anyone,” you’ll be surprised how much power that statement has on you own mental being. “I wanted to come home to my family tonight with no one hurt,” is another variation. Make it like a broken record, and you’ll find that people will give up trying to pin something on you – at least temporarily. We all talk too much when accused. Stick to that one fact, “I didn’t wake up wanting to hurt someone.”
The other coping statement I give to clients and friends is “people have a right to do what they want and be who they are as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.” We don’t need to be politically correct with anything or overly appropriate at all times. As long as someone isn’t going to hurt anyone, let them live their life. Especially when people are in desperate states. We need to feel their pain a little, not correct them.
These two simple sentences will bring about solid change in your life when repeated over and over.
I don’t know about swallowing toxic beetles or shoving a hallucinogen up your butt, but if someone I loved had cancer, I might consider it. You probably would too.
Until then, I will pray for a Port Authority officer’s mother and the wife of a friend.
Site Editor: Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D. ABPP
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