"Querdenker" rally in Berlin
Photo: Jörg Carstensen / dpa
Every movement needs a large and attractive, but simple narrative that can be followed.
This can be an ideological core, an emotional worldview or a historical shortening.
The function of this idea must also be imagined as a kind of filter or glasses with which everything that happens is viewed and evaluated.
The movement into which "lateral thinking" has congealed has now found the essence of its narrative: We are the victims!
It is no longer just about the classic sacrificial pose that many radical movements use as an instrument. It is about a comprehensive cult of being a victim. With all the associated cult elements such as martyrs ("He sacrificed himself for us!"), Stab-in-the-back legends ("We were betrayed by those who were supposed to protect us!"), End-time conspiracies ("The pandemic is just the beginning!") And Redemption fantasies regarding the victim existence ("Soon we will overthrow the Merkel regime and will finally be free and happy!").
"Thinking outside the box" has become a cult of self-sacrifice.
The constant dance about being a victim is the most important ritual of this cult.
Therefore, the cult must never run out of opportunities for self-victimization; the participants must always have the opportunity to develop a strong, connecting, driving feeling of victimization.
This works mainly through three different mechanisms:
The constant search for acceptable victim situations: This approach serves to assure oneself of being a victim and includes the absurd construction of supposed historical parallels or the strange actions of "lateral thinking" to the flood disaster.
The deliberate creation, provocation and documentation of situations in which the cult is actually a victim or can stage itself in this way: This mechanism can be observed well at the demonstrations, where mass-activating images are to be produced under the guise of reporting.
"Lateral thinking" as victims of the media, politics, the police.
The reinterpretation of all events as an attack on the cult, its goals and values
This ideological self-manipulation makes it possible to continue spreading victim myths of all kinds in everyday life, for example by referring to the cult every activity of the federal government even remotely related to the pandemic.
Examples of these mechanisms can be found in "lateral thinking" from the start, but have increased in recent months. After the banned demonstration in Berlin on August 1st, they intensified again. Leading figures in the movement refer to themselves as "contemporary witnesses" in order to create a subtle parallel to the Nazi era. As if the vaccination campaign was comparable to the industrial mass murder of the Nazis.
A well-known sticker of the ecological movement of the seventies and eighties - the alleged »prophecy of the Cree« - is rephrased so that it sounds more intensely like victims in the sense of the »lateral thinking« cult: »Only when the last demo was banned, the last video deleted, the last bank account terminated, the last apartment searched, the last critic was silenced ... Only then will you notice that it was no longer a free country .21 in Berlin! «Is called.
An allegedly imminent vaccination requirement is staged as a constantly threatening Damocles syringe, in the same breath the vaccines are described as poison, from which tens of thousands of people have died.
The bizarre idea of the "artificial flood"
The strange attitude of the "lateral thinking" movement towards the flood disaster also points to the cult of self-sacrifice.
The bizarre reinterpretation of the flood as a catastrophe deliberately brought about by the federal government enables "lateral thinking" to see oneself as a victim.
In the case of a simple natural disaster, that would be impossible, but with an "artificial flood" it suddenly means: After all, we have all been betrayed and lied to, not just those directly affected by the flood.
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One of the most important reference persons for “lateral thinking” was able to collect more than half a million euros in donations with the help of this victim story.
In any case, the “money sacrifice” of the audience has long since become an important factor.
From which coincidentally - be it directly or indirectly - the high priests of "lateral thinking" benefit themselves.
To ruin through "lateral thinking"
A leading figure in the scene, a well-known member of the »lateral thinking« party »Die Basis«, had to realize in a moment of clarity after the demonstration that she had ruined her orderly life through her own activities.
According to her own statements, she can no longer pay her rent, presents herself as a victim who is discriminated against because of his attitude and calls for donations.
PayPal links are the amen in the scene's quick prayers, the audience should participate in the exemplary sacrifice of the leading figures with a monetary offering.
The unconventional sense of victim meanwhile turns completely freely.
On various Telegram channels, some of which have over a hundred thousand subscribers, where "lateral thinking" informs, networks and organizes, the following was seriously posted:
“Lateral thinker Live Matters”.
Of course, this is an allusion not only to “Black Lives Matter”, but also to the alleged cardiac death of the “lateral thinker” at the demonstration, hence the bulky, orthographically challenged reformulation as a singular. While "lateral thinkers" suggested that the 48-year-old died as a result of police violence, the preliminary autopsy shows a different picture: According to this, the man died of a heart attack, no traces of severe violence could be found.
The absurd equation of death in Berlin with death that sparked the great "Black Lives Matter" protests last year shows once again how serious "lateral thinking" means with its psychological strategy of self-victimization: victims at last!
Already the anti-Semitic belittling of the Holocaust in the form of a Star of David with the inscription »unvaccinated« belonged to the insignia of many participants in the movement almost from the beginning.
It's a very German strategy.
And it is the foundation of a further radicalization of the movement towards a right-wing esoteric conspiracy and doomsday sect.
A German longing for victims
My assumption is that the - historically necessary - omnipresence of the perpetrator-victim positioning in Germany, especially among the descendants of the perpetrators, could have triggered a kind of longing for victims.
Finally not to be among those who have to carry around a historical responsibility, but to whom injustice has been done.
Reality shock: ten lessons from the present
Published by Kiepenheuer & Witsch
Number of pages: 400 pages
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That would also explain the great attractiveness of the “lateral thinking” cult for anti-Semites, QAnon disciples, right-wing extremists and right-wing extremists, because the offensive emphasis on one's own victim existence easily relativizes one's own responsibility and the victim status of others.
The dangerous: The victim pose not only allows a simple perpetrator-victim reversal - it also serves to legitimize violence.
Because the most widely accepted form of violence in society is the victim's (supposed) self-defense.
How distancing yourself from the right becomes worthless
A well-known right-wing extremist from Halle an der Saale suggested "lateral thinking" after the Berlin demonstration, to see the dead person as a "martyr" and to continue to take to the streets for him so that his death would not be pointless.
“Thinking outside the box” has long since given up its distance from right-wing extremists and Nazis, which was sometimes emphasized at the beginning.
In a manifesto that was published on various "lateral thinking" pages, it says: "We are non-partisan and do not exclude any opinion - after the restoration of the Basic Law, all democratic means will be available again." a variant of the manifesto with the sentence: "We talk to everyone who acts peacefully and non-violently, regardless of how they are referred to by third parties."
Translated, this means: Nazis are welcome as long as they serve our cause, because after the great, redeeming revolution we will get them under control with democratic means. If it's Nazis at all, what does the Merkel fascist talk mean, doesn't it? With such a basic attitude - all opinions are equal - no matter how prominent it is to distance yourself from "inhuman ideas" or "anti-Semitism" in the same text. The aggressive pseudo victim pride is the "lateral thinking" turbo in violent extremism.