In comments after another post, Heywood Jablowme wanted a video of an amygdala hijack. Another commenter posted a video after his comment, of an Occupy Wall Street type beginning the early stages of amygdala activation, as he was out-debated by Peter Schiff. That video was good, but it was only the early stages of a hijack. Once a full amygdala hijack takes place, the amygdala is in control, and the person hijacked will no longer have any say in what happens. That is an important point to understand, because when picturing revolution, we picture people at kitchen tables, with excel spreadsheets and pie charts, trying to figure out logically if a revolution is feasible or practical. That is how you think when your amygdala is in low gear. Once the amygdala hits high gear and takes control, the “you” who is reading this, the you who thinks rationally, is no longer involved in decision making. That is how revolutions begin.
This is a video of singer Meatloaf in what I would say is a level six or seven (out of ten) amygdala hijack initiated by Gary Busey, on the reality television show “The Apprentice,” hosted by Donald Trump. There is no stroke, however it is clear that the peaceful Meat we all love is no longer in control – his amygdala is calling all the shots.
There is a temptation to think that because this was reality television, it might be staged, but I am quite certain this wasn’t. There were little details that jump out to anybody who has dealt with Narcissists and extended periods of amygdala activation. These details are probably not well known enough to have been included in an arranged skit. From Mark McGrath, earlier in the show, repeatedly performing loud, moaning sighs, without realizing it, after leaving the company of Busey (I found myself compulsively making the exact same noise, almost reflexively, after leaving my Narcissist Bob’s company, as a sort of subconscious stress relieving technique), to Meatloaf’s blank, stunned expression right before the meltdown, there are things that will stand out to anyone familiar with what it is like to be around guys like Busey. Plus, Meatloaf seems like a decent guy who would be genuinely horrified to lose it like this when a sick children’s charity was at stake. Based on my experience, this was real.
Meatloaf has probably always been a physically tough guy, for whom violence was always an option, so you won’t get him to stroke out. To get the stroke, you need a pathway in the amygdala which blocks using violence as an amygdala relaxant, (something produced most often by prior trauma associated with fighting as a child). If that violence-blocking pathway isn’t there, an amygdala hijack will likely precipitate violence, before you get the stroke.
As you watch this however, imagine what Meatloaf would have been like, cognitively, had he grown up small and weak. Imagine that beatings endured as a child inserted a few lines of code into his brain’s operating system actually forbidding him, through the application of sheer terror at the thought, from following the aggressive, threatening path Meat followed to blow off that steam. Imagine if his brain had made him bottle up all the mental energy you see in this video. Picture his amygdala just firing off faster and faster, until it literally could not get enough oxygen and nutrients to continue its operations. Imagine if it had no way to vent itself, and reduce its operating load like it did in this video. If you think of Barak Obama, or Henry Waxman, or Dennis Kucinich, or Joe Biden, they would not really have the ability to vent their amygdala stress aggressively, as Meatloaf did here, especially against a manly opponent. When the pressure release valve of violence is clogged up, that is when you get some really weird effects from the amygdala hijack. This will not be one of those cases.
I suspect, due to Gary’s mastery of this, he has never been really proficient at, or psychologically capable of, engaging others violently. In my experience, the naturals, those most innately capable of this type of manipulation, are usually those on whom it is most effective, and upon whom it is most easily employed. They learn to press these buttons, because they experience them being pressed in their own brains far more acutely than we could imagine. They have seen this happen firsthand, from the inside, since they were children. They know all the buttons, because they have felt them being pressed within their own brains for a long time.
Gary is typical of the naturals who regularly hijack the people around them for fun. You would never think he, of all people, would have the complex understanding of human cognition and brain function to be able to do this. Yet he does. Even worse, he understands this on a level that I am not sure I will ever reach. He even enjoys it, proclaiming earlier in the show that he gets a “kick out of keeping people off balance“(emotionally). That is why I have never worried about explaining how the amygdala hijack works publicly. The people you wouldn’t want to know about it already do, almost instinctually.
Some background to the scene, from my memory of the show (which I watched almost exclusively because of Busey). The stars had to go to a craft shop, and purchase supplies to create some sort of craft project for a charity auction. Meatloaf was very task-focused, trying to do a good job, and as he tried to concentrate on his task, Gary began hounding him with subtle annoyances designed to distract him and irritate him, thereby stimulating his amygdala. I believe Busey timed them for moments when Meatloaf was at maximal concentration, to maximize their irritating nature. Every time Meatloaf began to think about what he needed to buy, Gary would ask him a stupid question, like if he would buy Gary’s supplies for him. Often the question would be nonsensical, forcing Meat to stop what he was doing, and then see his ACC’s error detection function light up its neural alarm system as he refocused on a pointless question which made no sense, and had no clear answer.
For some reason, Gary may have designed these interruptions to carry a theme of personal entitlement, and Meatloaf’s subordination to Gary – in Meatloaf’s words they carried a theme indicating that it was, “as if every one exists to serve Gary.” I didn’t catch that theme in what I saw, but more occured than what made it to TV, and that is how it all struck Meatloaf. I don’t know why Gary would add that theme, but I think he knows more than me, so he may have done so purposefully, and that may be important. Perhaps the amygdala has some response to inverted social hierarchies, or inferiors treating you with disrespect, which aids hijacks.
Meat also explained that “Gary lives in his own world… He has no consideration of other people’s space.” The show then showed Meat and Rapper Lil Jon trying to talk, and Gary moved in between them to interrupt, well within the personal space of Meatloaf, with his face just a little too close to Meatloaf’s. As he did this, Gary grabbed Meatloaf’s shoulder, squeezing it, and waved his hand up in between Meat and Little Jon, right in front of Meatloaf’s face, while interrupting with some unintelligble, confusing question. In my Narcissist, although this type of faux pas would be portrayed as being due to obliviousness, it would actually have been a completely calculated action.
Gary even farted in the car on the way to buy supplies, to the consternation of everyone (even that would add to Meatloaf’s amygdala loading). The disruptions added up, because Meatloaf felt he couldn’t focus, and each disruption piled on the last one, as his amygdala began to pass the point of no return. This would also condition Meatloaf’s brain to become reflexively agitated at the mere thought of Gary, causing subsequent amygdala stimulations to have outsized cognitive effects. With the amygdala, if you can get your target to subconsciously anticipate your stimulation, and brace for it, it will actually have an even more potent effect when you deliver it, since they will be neurologically primed to react to it.
While shopping for their craft supplies, Gary also apparently bought many of the same craft supplies Meatloaf bought, so he had an exact set of supplies, just like Meatloaf’s, though he apparently kept Meatloaf unaware of this. I strongly suspect that Busey knew ahead of time, exactly how this would all play out on Meatloaf, when it would climax, and what Meatloaf’s reaction would be. I suspect that he actually planned all of this that far ahead of time. I am awed.
When they got back to the place where they were each to assemble their craft projects, Meatloaf’s supplies “disappeared” under the tablecloth on the food table by the front door. Gary then arrayed his identical set of supplies (which Meatloaf apparently didn’t know he had bought) on the table in front of him. This caused Meatloaf to believe those supplies were his, and Gary had stolen them. Gary made sure he looked super happy and content with himself at one point, as he sat and carefully examined the items, further irritating Meatloaf.
Meatloaf got flustered at the thought that Gary had stolen all of his supplies and was preventing him from working, and the pressure built. As it built, Meatloaf’s face went from worried and irritated, to a blank, stunned expression, as he walked around and tried to hold in what was building. I have seen that exact same blank facial expression – it is the calm before the storm. Don’t ever think that because your target suddenly looks hyper-unemotional as you try to hijack them that you are failing.
I love that as the pressure pops, the first thing Meat does is flex every muscle tight, grimace, and then scream the worst curse word there is, as loud as he can, just to kick things off. Meat, I hear you, and know your plight brother. The fall of civilization, and the return of wanton violence, will be a relief to us.
Note that Meatloaf’s violent reaction in this video is simply a mechanical attempt by his mind to calm his amygdala by eliminating what is irritating it – namely the constant, repetitive air-consumption being done by Gary Busey. Meatloaf’s loaded amygdala has scanned his brain for options to relieve its irritation, and the option that has come to the forefront is simply to kill Gary, or at least beat him severely enough that he will no longer impact Meatloaf’s ability to work. Gary’s existence is so revolting to Meatloaf’s amygdala that Meat’s brain just wants to destroy him, to relieve the stress. Were Meat to actually kill Gary, in a lawless environment, his amygdala would immediately shut off, it’s oxygen and nutrient consumption would immediately drop from the danger zone it is in, and the relaxing sensation this would produce would probably roughly approximate pleasure.
Also notice that as Meatloaf began to become violent, Gary actually squared his body off with Meatloaf, while maintaining that weird, Gary Busey eye-contact, even thrusting his blank, emotionless face forward while holding eye-contact, which was all further amygdala-stimulating. If you were a scrawny Gary Busey, and Meat was getting violent, the last thing you’d do is square off, throw your face into his, and lock eye contact like that. With my Narcissist, that would all have been purposeful. Obviously, you can’t argue with the results – Meat does lose it.
Pay close attention to Gary when he says, “That was all mine in my basket,” early in the encounter. That is the hyper-unemotional, monotonal, affect-free, Hannibal Lector delivery, perfectly done. He even folds his hands in front of him right after saying it, like an innocent choirboy, as the camera zooms in. If you or I were in that position, with Meat suddenly exploding on us, we would have evinced the emotional affect of interest, with our brow low, and an interested, questioning, quizzical look. We would have looked curious, as we wondered ‘why is Meat getting so angry all of a sudden?‘ Gary’s expression is blank and oblivious – and that is very amygdala stimulating. (This is a good example of something you will commonly see Narcissists do, called “Reinforcing the Narcissistic Bubble.” Narcissists will provoke outbursts, and then strike an unemotional pose, so as to reinforce their false reality, where they are the calm, cool, collected one, and their target is unbalanced. They will also try to create a theme in the social interaction of them being the “good,” reasonable one, and you being the “bad,” unreasonable, emotional one. Liberals do the same thing in an effort to out-group you, and it is why both Liberals and Narcissists get upset, if you remain emotionless when dealing with them. Sometimes called Gaslighting, this behavior has even manifested in efforts by Narcisssists to have their target formally diagnosed as mentally ill, and even commited to institutional care.)
Look at Meatloaf’s reaction to that meaningless, emotionless statement by Gary, that “Those were all mine in my basket” – it is reflexive, and explosive. His amygdala begins to go into an even higher gear, and he has no control of it. Subconsciously, Meatloaf wants an emotional response out of Gary so his mind can feel that it is gaining control of the situation, he is impacting Gary’s future behavior, and these negative circumstances will not arise again. When that emotional response isn’t forthcoming, his amygdala flips into an even higher gear, because, ‘By God, this bastard is going to respond!‘ Meat probably doesn’t even hear what Gary said. At this point he is fully reflexive, and the hijack is more of a mechanically induced event, than a logically induced event. Here, with an overloaded amygdala, unable to flag, weigh relative importance, or seek a logical solution, vague themes and physical presentations can supersede the effects of detailed logic and irrefutable reason. As the amygdala enters high gear, its flagging and weighing functions will deteriorate, and details and complex thoughts will become much less noticed than grossly perceived, broad-stroke emotional stimuli. This is why decisions to make Civil War, or just go wantonly killing every Liberal you can find in a bloodly orgy of violence, will not be made rationally, whenever they get made.
After being escorted out by John Rich and asked to wait outside until Rich comes back out to get him, notice how quickly Gary re-enters, and locks eye contact again with Meatloaf, to reinitiate the hijack. Notice how all of Gary’s speech is delivered in the unemotional fashion of the Hanibal Lector delivery. Notice how when Meatloaf reignites as the hijack resumes, and says, “You just don’t fucking assume…And you fucking ask!,” he has taken to looking down at the ground as he talks to Gary, to try and avoid eye contact, so as to diminish the load on his amygdala. After a particularly harsh amygdala hijack, my own Narcissist, Bob, reflexively looked at the ground, and off to the side, away from me as he talked, as if he were autistic, and he couldn’t bear to look at me. He did that to avoid the eye-contact-mediated amygdala stimulation which had become unbearable to him. It would not surprise me if it was experiencing this inability to make eye contact, which schools Narcissists on the power of eye contact, and the sort of stimuli which activate the amygdala and irritate others.
This all relates to politics, in that Liberals try to quiet their own amygdalae by getting government to stimulate Conservative amygdalae in some way. They want to make Conservatives pay for their birth control, to tax them, to disarm them so they can’t defend their families, to regulate their businesses into oblivion, to force them to confront sexual themes and activities which disgust and repel them, to prevent them from enjoying something under the guise of environmentalism, or prevent them from forming free associations to get healthcare or economic advantage. I mean, Leftists try to make parts of US parks off limits to humans who just want to peacefully enjoy them. They even insist Conservatives stop publicly acknowledging realities that bother the Liberal, from the failure of the multi-cult, to the bad effects from destroying the family unit, all so the Liberal can more easily retreat into a bubble of fantasy and false reality that will help the Leftist avoid all amygdala stimulation. That leftist behavior is all amygdala-stimulating to a freedom-loving K-psychology, and Liberals know this. Liberals are the people who feel good when others are irritated. That is not as uncommon a psychology as people think.
The thing is, when Conservatives reach sufficient levels of amygdala stimulation, they will let the pressure out, and it will likely be in the form of violence. We haven’t evolved that much in the last 500 years. The same humans who gladly hunted Comanche nearly to extinction, fought the revolutionary war, angrily killed their own brothers in the Civil War, happily flame-thrower’d Japanese in the Pacific, dragged Mussolini’s dead body through the streets, ruthlessly wanted blood after 9/11, and murdered Khadafi after torturing him on the spot, are all still around today. Push the right buttons, and all of that can happen again.
The danger for us K-strategists is, we tend to fight without thinking clearly, when we approach Meat’s level of amygdala stimulation – and that level of amygdala stimulation is almost the only time we will actually fight. This can lead us to be easily manipulated by r-strategists into fighting other K-strategists. Few Conservatives, pissed that the Federal government is seizing their guns, will hunt down the nearest unarmed Liberal rabbit hiding in their bedroom, and kill them in cold blood in their own house, as the rabbit pleads their helplessness and innocence. Rather, K-strategists will tend to fight anybody but the Liberal, from heavily armed government agents who come to take guns, to radical Muslims trying to implement Sharia on the streets of America, to K-strategists of another race who have been goaded into wanting to fight us by the Left. Even though the Liberal is a vile creature, and the source of all our problems, we are almost programmed to fight anyone but them.
On top of all of this, we have Liberals who, like Gary Busey, instinctively know how to draw out violent urges, and who are almost programmed to pit K-strategists against each other. This is how r-strategists operate and occasionally win. The only way to prevent it is to decide intellectually that when the violence starts, you will only target the unarmed rabbits who engendered it, and you will drive them from your land, no matter how unpleasant the endeavor. Any other path may lead to r-strategists clamping down tyranny and oppression, to assuage within them an amygdala that cannot tolerate stress. In great irony, letting it be known that you intend to follow that path may be the only thing which can stop the rabbits from fomenting war as K-selection approaches.
Returning to the show, what I find really funny about it all, is that aggressive guys like Meatloaf don’t amygdala hijack other people, and tend to be quite decent and moral personally. They don’t even know how you would do an amygdala hijack, and would have no desire to do one if they knew how. I’m sure Meatloaf doesn’t know what happened here. Even stranger, I would bet that if you tested Meatloaf’s IQ, it would be way higher than Gary’s. Yet Gary, of all people, not only knew how to do this, he showed himself to be a master of it.
I saw another episode where Trump introduced Gary to a wealthy and successful friend of his from the world of business, and Gary immediately moved in too close (space invasion), grabbed the guy’s hand to shake it as he squeezed the guy’s shoulder (uncontrolled physical contact/sensation), shook the hand aggressively, in an irregular, choppy cadence (the amygdala disregards that which can be predicted, but activates in response to unpredictability), all while placing his face uncomfortably close to the guy’s face, while locking an uncomfortable level of eye contact (amygdala stimulating). As he did all of that, he said, in an intense, whispering/gravely voice, something very confusing. I forget the phrase but it had the structure of a profound statement about something like love and God and angels, but which on closer inspection made no sense at all (again, flag the amygdala with the appearance of being profound/important, and then trigger the uncomfortable neural alarm of the ACC’ error monitoring function by making it nonsensical). The guy’s shoulders quickly hunched, his face took on a look of anguished confusion as he tried to smile politely for the camera, and he began to turn his head to the side and lean away from Busey defensively, even as they were still locked in an uncomfortable handshake. It was all amygdala stimulation, and Gary seemed to enjoy doing it.
Of all the people I’ve known who knew how to do this naturally, all gave an impression of having very low IQ’s, and limited-to-no technical scientific/analytic tendencies. Perhaps they are morons, or maybe they play dumb purposefully – I don’t know. I have suspected that some forms of intelligence, or perhaps task-focused cognitive models, focus your brain on technical details which deprive you of the raw emotional data the people around you give off, and as a result, your brain fails to develop skills similar to those which Gary’s brain has obviously developed. If you are task-focused, you focus on the idea that someone presents to you, trying to process it, and trying to formulate an intelligent reply that will help them. When you are like this, you tend towards the Asperger’s end of the cognitive spectrum. However, even as you master the physical world around you, you ignore why emotionally, your interlocutors are saying what they say, how saying it makes them feel, and how your reaction affects them emotionally.
Now imagine you were the exact opposite of that cognitive model. Lose the technical intelligence, and suddenly processing the idea technically is totally beyond you, and the emotions are all that you can see. This perceptual model is the opposite of Asperger’s syndrome. Always focused solely on the emotions in interactions, you and your brain become a virtuoso of emotional manipulation in ways the technically smarter can’t comprehend, even as you lack technological intelligence. I also suspect, such a skill at controlling the brains of others, placed in the hands of a child with no other power or aptitude, quickly becomes a pleasurable distraction which is perfected at every opportunity as they grow up – especially if they have a personality disorder which derives pleasure from the unhappiness of others.
This, in the end, is what those who love freedom face. Brilliant manipulators who enjoy the unhappiness of others and know how to irritate and socially manipulate the K-strategists of our populations into fighting each other, and K-strategists who are programmed in such an aggressive and honorable fashion as to be susceptible to the self-destructing manipulations of sociopathic r-manipulators. That , IMHO, the most difficult obstacle that freedom will have to overcome.