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How do intactivists excuse their own behavior? Projection

January 3, 2018 Projection is a psychological defense mechanism in which a person projects her own thoughts, motivations, or actions on others. This technique allows one to avoid her own feelings of guilt and blame. [1]

We’ve found that many in the anti-circumcision movement use projection to avoid looking at their own bad behavior. They blindly repeat intacto-facts like "16 functions" and "117 deaths," and accuse others of being uninformed. They'll say, "We aren't obsessed with baby penises. You're obsessed." [2] They'll profess, "We aren't bullies - people who circumcise are bullies." By accusing an adversary through projection, they avoid taking responsibility for their own moral failings..

Last week we witnessed the latest example of projection, in which they denied the fact that their leader has a history of making perverted requests. A mother posted incriminating screen shots on her Facebook page of comments showing that the leader of the Blood Stained Men has asked for photos of the genitals of young boys. Our October 3 blog post contains the images. The mother soon received vicious personal messages, wishing that she burn in hell. Several intactivists swarmed to her page, insisting that Kenneth Hopkins (the founder of the Blood Stained Men who calls himself Brother K) would never ask to see a child’s genitals.

(These denials mirror the expressions of disbelief in response to our September counter-protest sign that quoted another leader of the Blood Stained Men. The friends of James Loewen insisted that he couldn’t possibly have said the words posted on our sign. When we quickly produced proof, Loewen was forced to admit that he had falsely disavowed the quote and that he had, indeed, said the malicious statement that we attributed to him.)​​

Eredina Vance claimed that the images were photoshopped in order to falsely accuse Hopkins. Last year Vance became a celebrity within the intactivist community when her June 28 post went viral. In an attempt to equate circumcision with piercing a child’s face, she photoshopped a piercing into a picture of her 6 month-old daughter. The post went viral, reaching more than 14,000 viewers, and she received several threats and other angry responses from viewers who thought that the photo was real. [3]

Vance projected her own actions on others when she claimed that the "Brother K" screen shots are photoshopped. Since a photoshopped image turned her into an intactivist celebrity, she apparently assumed that PPCs resort to similar tactics. [4]

Vance and Hopkins's other minions find it inconceivable that an intactivist leader would go online to ask parents for photos of their children’s genitals. Sadly, the intactivist movement has become a cult in which a leader like Kenneth Hopkins is considered a messianic-divine figure whose character may not be questioned. See these reactions by his followers.

In response to Vance's denial, pro parents choice defenders confirmed that the screen shots are real. So Vance went to her own page and wrote a post in which she accused PPC advocates of ignoring facts, research, and knowledge about circumcision.

Not satisfied with her post, Vance doubled down on her projection. She penned a note – actually a 1,500-word essay – in which she took it upon herself to pscho-analyze parents who don't apologize for choosing circumcision. She attributed feelings of guilt, helplessness, and rage. One section of her essay perfectly captures this phenomenon:

These enraged parents look for ways to personally attack them, they make disparaging remarks about their sexual orientation, their kids, their appearance, & anything else they may see as personal insecurities. These parents are so full of self-hatred that they deflect their personal disappointment onto others. They actually lose themselves, their humanity, & self-respect in an effort to ease their inner beast…

Though their guilt & rage are understandable, their behavior is nothing more than that of a childhood bully. As most made for tv after school specials teach us, the bully is hurting, only knows how to hurt others, & hopes that by hurting others they will somehow feel better about themselves. Unfortunately, these people are adults & they are not part of a tv melodrama. To make things worse, these adult bullies teach this unacceptable behavior to others, not only other angry adults, but to children.

These words so perfectly describe the hysterical mob mentality of anti-circumcision fanatics who viciously attack anyone who defends infant circumcision. If we didn’t tell our followers otherwise, surely you would have assumed that these words were written about anti-circumcision bullies. Because in fact, they so perfectly describe the typical intactivist.

Clinical psychologist Dr. George Simon offers advice on how to deal with people who use projection to blame others for their failings. “Holding manipulators and other disturbed characters accountable for their choices and actions is a must.” [1] While intactivist bullies project their bad behavior on anyone who disagrees with them, your Circumcision Choice team isn't intimidated. We’ll continue to report on their bad behavior and deceitful actions.

[1] Dr. George Simon, PhD; “Playing the Blame Game as a Manipulation Tactic”; Counselling Resource; February 27, 2009

[2] On the one hand intactivists accuse pro parents choice advoctes of being obsessed. On the other hand they accuse us of being insincere and insufficiently committed to our cause when we schedule our counter-protests to end while they’re still demonstrating.

[3] While loudly preaching about children’s rights, Vance failed to consider her own child’s privacy rights. When her daughter grows up, she might wish she had the choice whether or not her image would be photoshopped and used in a viral social media post.

[4] Intactivists are nothing if not attention-seekers. They assume that others share their craving for the limelight.

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