The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Agency of Pseudo-Skepticism & Cultivated Ignorance

Post Stockholm Syndrome

More than simply developing an affinity for their captor, victims of Post Stockholm Syndrome begin to develop or are coerced into a state of amnesia about their being held hostage in the first place. Under such a condition, maintenance of this anosognosia on the part of the hostages becomes the preeminent priority.

My apologies for being lax at blogging for the last 40 days. I am embroiled inside a strategy/analysis for a pharmaceutical company. The emergent COVID-19 virus epidemic has placed an urgency on such work, and prevented me from using my late night hours for blogging and ethical reflection on our work as humanity.

Ethical Skeptic

Stockholm Syndrome as a social term was first used after four hostages were taken during a 1973 bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden. The hostages in that prosecution defended their captors after being released and would not agree to testify in court against them. Stockholm syndrome is identified through the affinity that hostages may often develop towards their captors, in contraposition to the fear and disdain which an onlooker might feel towards those same captors.1

Accordingly, we hold this current social definition of Stockholm Syndrome:

Stockholm Syndrome

/psychology : human interaction : willful blindness/ : a condition in which hostages develop a psychological alliance with their captors during or after captivity. Emotional bonds may be formed, between captor and captives, during intimate or extensive time together; bonds which however are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims of such captivity.

Wikipedia: Stockholm syndrome

Now for a moment, let’s expand the circumstance of captor and hostage under a Stockholm Syndrome such that it encompasses a substantially and sufficiently longer period of time. A circumstance wherein, because of generational turnover, pluralistic ignorance or mental impairment/injury on the part of the hostages, a milieu of amnesia has begun to set in. An amnesia which blends together, both neutral to positive mythological sentiments toward the captors, as well as a comprehensive forgetting of the circumstances of illegitimate captivity in the first place. Such a context broaches what I call Post Stockholm Syndrome.

Post Stockholm Syndrome

/Philosophy : ethics : malevolence/ : a condition wherein Stockholm Syndrome hostages, more than simply developing an affinity for their captor, begin to develop or are coerced into a state of amnesia about their being held hostage in the first place. Under such a condition, maintenance of this anosognosia on the part of the hostages, through information/science embargo, becomes the preeminent priority.

Captor actions enforcing such amnesia under a Post Stockholm Syndrome circumstance may also be falsely spun by the captor as enforcing ‘The Prime Directive’ – especially if the captor has masqueraded illegally in the role as a deity, sexual/breeding/genetic tyrant, slavemaster, governing body or other form of abusive godship over the hostages during its activities as captor.

In such a circumstance of detection risk, one wherein the captor could be held accountable for its malevolent actions by an outside Authority bearing punitive power – concealment of past activity, a lack of captor detectability or apparent presence, along with a pervasive and enforced collective-amnesia on the part of the hostages are all of paramount importance. Means of enforcing this may include:

  • Dividing hostages into entertaining and constantly warring factions
  • Denial of essential energy, health and development technology, save for that which will maintain firm order and war footing
  • Appointing governing authorities among the hostages who are complicit in an information/science embargo, along with the resulting amnesia and conflict
  • Developing ‘Samson Option’ destructive devices that can serve to obliterate everything if the captors are detected/threatened by Outsiders
  • Development of embargo-compatible pervasive, holy and club-enforced theologies and atheologies concerning the state of the hostages, fully explaining the circumstances in which they find themselves as being either ‘just’ or completely by chance
  • Posing captor activities as random events, or those of a higher enlightened being, or as being derived through an ‘unfathomable love’ for the hostages
  • Posing captor activities as just desserts for some offense or group sin the hostages have committed
  • Establishing the false mythology that if the captor is displaced and punished/banished, the captives are destined to receive that very same punishment/banishment for their wrongdoings as well
  • Inflicting the hostages with shortened lives bearing copious amounts of cerebral impairment, substance abuse, unchecked corruption, mandatory labor, disease, starvation and suffering – in order to keep their overall mental acuity, effectiveness and awareness low.
  • Captor enjoying all of the above as a type of power, belonging, loosh-as-a-drug or false clout which may be used as currency to purchase allegiance to its scheme.

Such a captor may face the inevitability of having to become ‘one-in-the-same’ or of the same genetic fabric as its hostages, in order to evade eventual enforcement of the penalty of Law upon them for such malevolent actions. In this way, captors hope to circumvent the Law and skillfully confiscate that which they sought through the hostage-taking to begin with.

After all, if the hostages indeed bear the same fate as the captors, why then would outside Authorities hesitate in their intervention at all?

A captive hostage circumstance is always based upon lies – no matter how popular, loving or righteous those lies might be codified.

Just as with mathematics, the ethical skeptic can extend the logical reach and calculus of philosophy, to stand inside theoretical circumstances which are not readily apparent to the average philosopher. Does such a circumstance regarding Post Stockholm Syndrome exist for humanity on Earth today? I do not know the answer to that question from an epistemological standpoint – however, just as with most principles of humanity, while I can’t define its presence, I know when I am in it.

The Ethical Skeptic, “Post Stockholm Syndrome”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 8 Mar 2020; Web,

March 8, 2020 Posted by | Ethical Skepticism | Leave a comment

The Distinction Between Bias and Agency

Bias comes from the inside and only becomes bias when we ignore it or are compelled to act upon it. Agency comes from the outside and seeks to leverage ignorance. Bias is the prejudice of the individual. Agency is the awesome insistence of the club. Agency is that intent which seeks virtuous godship over a lesser person or at-risk stakeholder.

What is Agency?

As part of my studies of mythology and in particular Gnostic Christianity, I made an effort to transliterate my way through some of the Nag Hammadi codex material and in particular The Hypostasis of the Archons. These Second Century early-sect Christian texts were not discovered until recently, inside buried and sealed clay jars, in upper Egypt in 1945.1 2 In this version of early Christian mythology the ‘God’ which created the original failed prototype of mankind on Earth was named Samael. Pistis Sophia, the celestial and true God, took pity upon the suffering creature and made him into a fully sentient being – much to the indignation of Samael. As a result, Samael enslaved the new creature back into servitude under the Archons, or Rulers.

Samael, also called the ‘demiurge’, was a heavenly being, subordinate to the Supreme Being (Pistis Sophia), that was considered to be the absolute Ruler (Archon or Archangel) of the Earth – antagonistic to all that is celestial, enlightened and/or spiritual. Samael eventually came to be known as Ha-Satan,3 the one who in Levant mythology tempted Christ, the Son of Man, by offering him rule over all the kingdoms of Earth if he would only subjugate himself (and the coming Mankind) unto the authority of the Archons.

This Gnostic version of ancient writ was regarded as holy well before that Canonical consensus which was assembled three centuries later and eventually came to be called the Bible.4 It is no mystery why those in charge of developing that World power which would become the Christian Church would have sought to exterminate this version of scripture – causing it to flee into Egypt – because in its texts as compared to the Bible, the roles of God (Pistis Sophia, Eternal Wisdom and Faith) and Satan (Samael, Ruler of Earth) are reversed in many regards:

Of primary importance to know, is the core principal that the Chief Authority of the Rulers, Samael is spiritually blind. Because his spiritual vision was very limited in this regard, because there was apparently no one to challenge him from what he could see, and finally because he was also arrogant, he concluded that quod erat demonstrandum, he must be the most powerful entity which exists. He therefore declared himself manifestly, to be God. But as a good man knows, it is the gravest of sins to adorn one’s self in the costume of God over a fellow or lesser being.

Thereafter, the Rulers took the man Pistis Sophia had rescued from their inept hands and mercifully transmutated as well into a fully sentient being, Adam, and placed him into a great garden situated adjacent to their abode in the Levant. They tasked him to maintain and cultivate the garden. But in this garden, they had hatched another plan as well – that of a trap. The Rulers had decided to plant a Tree in the center of the garden, and to subsequently instruct their ‘Man of the Clay’, “From every tree in the garden shall you eat; yet from the tree of understanding what is not-evil and what is evil, do not eat. For in the day you eat from that tree, you will again fall under our dominion and may no longer claim this Earth which has been so unworthily bequeathed to you. You will again die like the service animal you are.” Of course the Rulers knew, that once man was told to not do something, that is the exact thing which he would elect to then do.

Nag Hammadi – The Hypostasis of the Archons (Consolidation and Transliteration)

Now of course, this cache of ancient mythological writing bears no more credibility nor lack thereof than does any other. However such mythology can stand as a form of analogue or parable relating key messages. What interests me in these passages of the The Hypostasis of the Archons, is the premise that – relative to the array of misdeeds which can be undertaken there exists no morality, there is no virtue – as every and any intent is actually good, when compared to that intent which seeks to enact godship over a fellow or ‘lesser’ being. It is not the costume one wears, nor how one appears to regard self, but rather what one does to others – which betrays the narcissist. This urge to godship is the original sin of the Archons.

Further then implicit in the Nag Hammadi mythos is the understanding that, avoiding regarding one’s self as god, and treating others accordingly is actually rather straightforward in its application:

First, there is a higher wisdom, knowledge and faithfulness (Pistis Sophia) to cherish and hold dear above all else.

Second, hold those within your reach just as worthy of this as you do yourself.

That is pretty much it. One does not have to save the world. One does not need to put on a fake humility. One does not need to extract money from hard-working people in the name of helping the oppressed refugees championed in some virtuous narcissistic fantasy. These are merely forms of godship over those ‘lesser’ than us. We are deceived often in this – that between the at-risk laborer who is harmed, and the lowly victim who is blessed, there exists an enacting, ‘humble’ and ‘virtuous’ third party who has made an implicit claim to godship inside this entire sordid play. Part of treating others as you would want to be treated, also involves holding all accountable to do their share and not simply sexually reproduce beyond sustainability and confiscate the workfruit of their fellow beings (through that third party). This does not serve to invalidate acts of taxation nor mercy of course; however, there is no mercy in this particular social play act – rather only opportunities to claim godship over one’s fellow man.

Those who promise us paradise on earth never produced anything but a hell.

Karl Popper

Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when you superadd the tendency of the certainty of corruption by authority.

Lord Acton

Therefore the mere biases of suspicion, skepticism, sponsorship, hunch, predilection or conspiracy theory are one thing – but evil is known by one signature and one signature alone – and that is agency – the intent which seeks a position of godship over a lesser being or at-risk stakeholder. To costume this intent in virtue, goodness, morality, justice, science, religious or academic robes or any other urge of the poseur, stands only to compound such evil.

Evil is known by one signature alone – agency –
that intent which seeks godship over a lesser being or at-risk stakeholder.

To costume this intent in virtue, goodness, morality, justice, science,
religious or academic robes serves only to compound its evil.

Yes, an ethical skeptic recognizes the risk inherit in bias – but also understands as well that bias, is not really our preeminent problem. This is why the First Duty of Ethical Skepticism is to oppose agency.


Any form of development in epistemology which is conducted under a lack of epoché or skeptical neutrality. Bias is not something that one holds – as everyone possesses this form of ‘bias’. Rather bias is an action which has succumbed to such inclination, whether conscious or unconscious. It is a set of actions, postulates, questions, observations, analyses, portrayals, manipulations, methods or conclusions which are influenced in any way by a premise of non-neutrality concerning a question of inquiry or science.


The manipulation of persons, institutions, procedures, risks, ignorance, biases or social message such that they bring to effect a particular surreptitious or manifest outcome. The seeking of godship over lesser, disdained or at-risk stakeholders in the form of power, virtue, moral authority, conflict, positional authority, defamation, control, retribution, sequestration, harm, death, justice, extermination, extraction of wealth, oppression or enslavement.

         Bias versus Agency

Bias will be acknowledged and surrendered by an honest researcher. Agency will not.

Bias can be mitigated and worked around. Agency can not.

Bias does not seek to exploit other bias. Agency does.

Bias does not form a syndicate (cartel, mafia, cabal). Agency does.

Bias does not seek to govern. Agency does.

Bias introduces error. Agency enforces it.

Bias is Tau. Agency is Indigo. (*see here)

Bias counters its potential error by means of skepticism. Agency entrenches its correctness by joining a skeptic club.

Bias can be countered by in-context methodology and researcher discipline. Agency can not.

Bias does not celebrate, exploit nor seek to wallow in ignorance. Agency does.

Bias is identified through knowledge. Agency is identified through intelligence.

Bias will seek to protect its own. Agency will seek to harm those different.

Bias might involve standing up to a bully. Agency is the bully.

Bias does not see the full set of ramifications. Agency sets those as its goal.

Bias does not seek to bolster an institution. Agency does.

Bias comes from inside. Agency comes from the outside.

Bias appeals to a higher authority aside from itself. Agency does so only in furtherance of its goals.

Bias can detect and deliberate an impact upon stakeholders. Agency does not care – or is even worse when it does.

Thus I have outlined as faithfully as I can muster, the threshing tool of the ethical skeptic allowing a distinction between bias and agency. Wise is he or she who understands and can master the difference.

The Ethical Skeptic, “The Distinction Between Bias and Agency”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 4 Jan 2020; Web,

January 4, 2020 Posted by | Ethical Skepticism, Institutional Mandates | , , | 5 Comments

Carl Sagan was Just Dead Wrong

Information is a market. ‘Extraordinary claim’ and ‘simplest explanation’ are two common buzz-phrases of that market’s huckster, hustler and shyster. Be very cautious of such easy and equivocal disposition, especially as it regards an implicit appeal to truth.

During one of my team’s overseas projects, we were tasked with the mission of observing a particular ancient and resurgent empire’s illegal mining operations inside our host country. The empire had become the de facto ruling entity in the region, despite this site not even being their country nor property at all. These illicit operations were enabled by various foreign and religious insurgent groups-for-hire who had invaded the countryside and conducted a war of terror on the local population. A war of intimidation, compelling the indigenous people into keeping quiet about the entire set of foreign invasion and mining activity.

Getting to our objective involved an excursion across a 12 mile trek of terrain bearing an odd set of features. We were outfitted in full pack and had to traverse the entire distance on foot, through thick waist-high beige colored savanna grass. The 12 mile journey extended across an ancient igneous lava dome which was formed of iron-rich magnetite and hematite. In fact, if one dropped a tool upon open hard ground there, its impact produced a curiously metallic sounding thump. A very slight but perceptible difference from standard earth. Various team members fascinated themselves by dropping items to the ground until we needed to assemble for the excursion.

Illegal immigration and insurgency are a Ruling Party’s method of punishing its constituency for having the audacity to attempt to hold it constitutionally accountable.

Numbered among the team of course were guides, familiar with the local trails and accessways to our destination, and possessing a rapport with the local tribal leaders. As we set up to make our journey, I directed that the team take a formation which was defensive, in the possibility that the savanna grass concealed opportunistic lions. Our guides advised that “The lions will not come here. They are sensitive to the magnetics,” suggesting that the mineral makeup of the lava dome itself, served to repel both prey and lion alike. It was actually both a fascinating and reasonable conjecture to my mind; probably even one which would stand up to scientific scrutiny. Indeed this was not an extraordinary claim by any stretch – easily the simplest explanation.

But this particular context of deliberation entailed a need for more verity than simply an estimation of the most probable, simplest or most likely explanation. The logical calculus in this particular situation, involved critical matters of value and risk: stealth in movement, team safety and state of focus, avoiding placing mission-critical personnel at risk, along with the primacy of the mission itself. The grass was ‘the fog of inquiry’ if you will. No, we were not afraid of being attacked, drug off and eaten. Rather, discharging weapons at or being distracted by marauding lions was not in the cards, as such activity served to place the mission, and more importantly the local allied population, at risk. Such activity was deleterious to value and exposed to risk (two different things).

An insistence upon sacrificing value or placing stakeholders at risk, constitutes the most extraordinary of claims.

So, despite our guides’ recommendation, we elected for the team to take a lion-disincentive formation – people side-by-side in front, and side by side to follow up our column of personnel. We were to present no lone stragglers – no lion tease or entrapment of any kind. Was the formation necessary? I am a skeptic; skeptical that us interlopers possessed the locus of existential knowledge commensurate with such a decision. Our guides regarded our decision as a form of extraordinary claim; one in which we bore no evidence. In the end, I elected to serve preservation of value, along with robustness to risk. Precaution; something well practiced on the high seas, as well as on land. Such is often the circumstance in science as well, especially when value, ignorance or risk are involved in its logical calculus or deployment upon stakeholders.


/philosophy : ethics/ : a consistent praxis which is transparently focused upon benefiting its stakeholders in terms of value preservation and attainment, or robustness to risk. One who does not pretend to be everything to everyone, nor seeks to obfuscate any part of value and/or cost.

We made it both to and from our objective without being detected. We placed none of the local indigenous people in harm’s way of being questioned by insurgency squads. We brought back proof of this empire’s illegal activities in stealing our host nation’s mineral wealth. Three days later, a local laborer working on the periphery of that plateau, was killed by a lion.

Now that we have briefly touched on a context example, let’s examine Carl Sagan’s second most famous apothegm, aside from “All things being equal, the simplest explanation tends to be the correct one.”

‘Extraordinary’ is an Evidence-less and Risk-Ignorant Claim to Specific Value

Information is a market. ‘Extraordinary claim’ and ‘simplest explanation’ are two common buzz-phrases of that market’s huckster, hustler and shyster. Be very cautious of such easy and equivocal disposition, especially as it regards an implicit appeal to truth.

Carl Sagan is credited with the famous apothegm of social skepticism, ‘Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence.’ And while this truism is a semantic truth, it is not also therefore a logical truth. That is to say, that the principle bears some utility in certain specific circumstances, but also bears the potential of encouraging a mistake of logical calculus when blindly applied in other contexts. In particular, when the apothegm is used to enforce certain conditions and conclusions which violate the precepts of skepticism itself. Ludwig Wittgenstein would have a field day tearing this apothegm apart by its predicates and permissives.

Extraordinary’ is a descriptive which is proffered by our minds most often in advance of knowing anything about a matter of contention. In advance of actually possessing any level of intelligence concerning a subject, one should instead err towards exposure to or conservation of value, along with robustness towards risk. Any claim which poses a logical calculus running counter to these ethics, must come necessarily with extraordinary evidence.

What my experience in developing trading markets (see The Future of Ethical Markets), and leading people under scenarios of risk has taught me, is that it is the ordinary which is most often misleading. And in being regarded as such, is also often the most harm-imparting. Some of our most disastrous case examples in trade, involve very ordinary claims to proof of product or proof of funding. In fact, ‘ordinary’ – or ‘you see it’s simple’ are most often the tradecraft and watchwords of the fraudster – the huckster, hustler, hustle-chain or shyster. The savvy executive and military leader learns lessons to which the scientist or academic is never exposed. There is a preeminent role for extraordinary evidence, which in this first priority has nothing whatsoever to do with addressing extraordinary claims.

Logical versus Semantic Truth

/philosophy : truth : species/ : a logical truth is a statement which is true, and remains true under all reinterpretations of its components or in all contexts aside from simply that of its apperception and crafting. A semantic truth is only true in certain given circumstances.

Which serves to introduce a correction to Carl Sagan’s semantic truth regarding extraordinary evidence.

The Semantic (Unethical) Truth of Extraordinary Evidence: Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence.

Carl Sagan was not just wrong, he was destructively wrong. This abortion of a philosophical principle helped usher in the grand suffering entailed inside the bullet pointed errors below – by focusing skepticism on the wrong issues. Equivocation promoting fecklessness. This apothegm was developed inside the cocoon of academic celebrity, and not through the requisite sampling of the breadth of human experience and exposure to risk.

If one could in theory constrain the equivocal context of the Wittgenstein object ‘extraordinary claim’ to those claims which serve to place stakeholders at risk, or be deleterious to value, then this semantic context might pass muster. But of course, semantically the apothegm is employed as a data filter, useful in squelching anything a fake skeptic finds unacceptable instead. Rendering the apothegm in reality, only useful for unethical activity. The actual principle, under ethical skepticism is expressed in the form of a logical truth as follows:

The Logical Truth of Extraordinary Evidence

Any claim which exposes a stakeholder to risk, ignorance or loss of value – regardless of how ordinary, virtuous or correct – demands extraordinary evidence.

Ghosts, Bigfoot and UFOs don’t cause harm – rather, rolling out untested-risk technologies or lying to large stakeholder populations at risk causes harm – this is what demands extraordinary accountability. Examples of ordinary, virtuous and correct claims – which should ethically have been supported by extraordinary evidence, and were not:

‣ Instructing the obese that they are obese from eating too much and watching too much TV.

‣ Citing as medical authority that diabetes is caused by ‘sugar’.

‣ Citing as medical authority that heart disease is caused by excess serum blood ‘cholesterol’.

‣ Citing as medical authority that tinnitus is caused by exposure to loud noises.

‣ Citing as medical authority that ‘one gets all the nutrition they need, from a western diet’.

‣ Citing as medical authority that ‘supplements are useless and/or harmful’.

‣ Citing as medical authority, without any study whatsoever, that a skyrocketing medical trend is ‘simply a matter of change in diagnosis’.

‣ Rolling out a major change in food technology for every human to eat 3 times a day for life, and then only testing that product on rats for 240 days after you have deployed the technology, and only after the stakeholder population started to complain of new and skyrocketing chronic, autoimmune and intestinal diseases.

‣ Rolling out a 68 event vaccine schedule without safety testing even one single vaccine injection at all, and then only conducting unethical linear affirmation studies of mild statistical observation of absences, in the wrong population of people, only after the population/doctors started observing skyrocketing related maladies in our children.

‣ Despite persistent observation or suffering by millions reporting direct personal or eyewitness experience, instructing the world as scientific authority and without any research, that ________________ does not exist.

‣ Instructing millions of ulcer sufferers that they were the cause of their ulcers, for doing _________________.

The assertions which served to precipitate these large-scale actual events of harm – these assertions constitute the real ‘extraordinary claims’. This is a core philosophy which drives ethical skepticism. It satisfies my soul to be able to apperceive, craft and teach this much needed philosophy.

The Ethical Skeptic, “Carl Sagan was Just Dead Wrong”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 11 Dec 2019; Web;

December 11, 2019 Posted by | Ethical Skepticism | , | 3 Comments

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