For example, there is a tribe in southern Africa, the
Thonga, that requires each of its boys to go through an elaborate initiation
ceremony before he can be counted a man of the tribe. As with
many other primitive peoples, a Thonga boy endures a great deal before
he is admitted to adult membership in the group. Anthropologists
Whiting, Kluckhohn, and Anthony have described this three-month
ordeal in brief but vivid terms:
When a boy is somewhere between 10 and 16 years of age, he is
sent by his parents to “circumcision school,” which is held every
4 or 5 years. Here in company with his age-mates he undergoes
severe hazing by the adult males of the society. The initiation begins
when each boy runs the gauntlet between two rows of men
who beat him with clubs. At the end of this experience he is
stripped of his clothes and his hair is cut. He is next met by a man
covered with lion manes and is seated upon a stone facing this
“lion man.” Someone then strikes him from behind and when he
turns his head to see who has struck him, his foreskin is seized
and in two movements cut off by the “lion man.” Afterward he is
secluded for three months in the “yard of mysteries,” where he
can be seen only by the initiated.
During the course of his initiation, the boy undergoes six major
trials: beatings, exposure to cold, thirst, eating of unsavory foods,
punishment, and the threat of death. On the slightest pretext, he
may be beaten by one of the newly initiated men, who is assigned
to the task by the older men of the tribe. He sleeps without covering
and suffers bitterly from the winter cold. He is forbidden to
drink a drop of water during the whole three months. Meals are
often made nauseating by the half-digested grass from the stomach
of an antelope, which is poured over his food. If he is caught
breaking any important rule governing the ceremony, he is severely
punished. For example, in one of these punishments, sticks are
placed between the fingers of the offender, then a strong man
closes his hand around that of the novice, practically crushing his
fingers. He is frightened into submission by being told that in
former times boys who had tried to escape or who had revealed
the secrets to women or to the uninitiated were hanged and their
bodies burned to ashes.12
On the face of it, these rites seem extraordinary and bizarre. Yet, at
the same time, they can be seen to be remarkably similar in principle
Robert B. Cialdini Ph.D / 65
and even in detail to the common initiation ceremonies of school fraternities.
During the traditional “Hell Week” held yearly on college
campuses, fraternity pledges must persevere through a variety of
activities designed by the older members to test the limits of physical
exertion, psychological strain, and social embarrassment. At week’s
end, the boys who have persisted through the ordeal are accepted for
full group membership. Mostly their tribulations have left them no
more than greatly tired and a bit shaky, although sometimes the negative
effects are more serious.
What is interesting is how closely the particular features of Hell Week
tasks match those of the tribal initiation rites. Recall that anthropologists
identified six major trials to be endured by a Thonga initiate during his
stay in the “yard of mysteries.” A scan of newspaper reports shows
that each trial also has its place in the hazing rituals of Greek-letter societies:
• Beatings. Fourteen-year-old Michael Kalogris spent three weeks in a
Long Island hospital recovering from internal injuries suffered during
a Hell Night initiation ceremony of his high-school fraternity, Omega
Gamma Delta. He had been administered the “atomic bomb” by his
prospective brothers, who told him to hold his hands over his head
and keep them there while they gathered around to slam fists into
his stomach and back simultaneously and repeatedly.
• Exposure to cold. On a winter night, Frederick Bronner, a California
junior-college student, was taken three thousand feet up and ten
miles into the hills of a national forest by his prospective fraternity
brothers. Left to find his way home wearing only a thin sweatshirt
and slacks, Fat Freddy, as he was called, shivered in a frigid wind
until he tumbled down a steep ravine, fracturing bones and hurting
his head. Prevented by his injuries from going on, he huddled there
against the cold until he died of exposure.
• Thirst. Two Ohio State University freshmen found themselves in the
“dungeon” of their prospective fraternity house after breaking the
rule requiring all pledges to crawl into the dining area prior to Hell
Week meals. Once locked in the house storage closet, they were given
only salty foods to eat for nearly two days. Nothing was provided
for drinking purposes except a pair of plastic cups in which they
could catch their own urine.
• Eating of unsavory foods. At Kappa Sigma house on the campus of the
University of Southern California, the eyes of eleven pledges bulged
when they saw the sickening task before them. Eleven quarter-pound
slabs of raw liver lay on a tray. Cut thick and soaked in oil, each was
to be swallowed whole, one to a boy. Gagging and choking re-
66 / Influence
peatedly, young Richard Swanson failed three times to down his
piece. Determined to succeed, he finally got the oil-soaked meat into
his throat where it lodged and, despite all efforts to remove it, killed
• Punishment. In Wisconsin, a pledge who forgot one section of a ritual
incantation to be memorized by all initiates was punished for his error.
He was required to keep his feet under the rear legs of a folding
chair while the heaviest of his fraternity brothers sat down and drank
a beer. Although the pledge did not cry out during the punishment,
a bone in each of his feet was broken.
• Threats of death. A pledge of Zeta Beta Tau fraternity was taken to a
beach area of New Jersey and told to dig his “own grave.” Seconds
after he complied with orders to lie flat in the finished hole, the sides
collapsed, suffocating him before his prospective fraternity brothers
could dig him out.
There is another striking similarity between the initiation rites of tribal
and fraternal societies: They simply will not die. Resisting all attempts
to eliminate or suppress them, such hazing practices have been phenomenally
resilient. Authorities, in the form of colonial governments or
university administrations, have tried threats, social pressures, legal
actions, banishments, bribes, and bans to persuade the groups to remove
the hazards and humiliations from their initiation ceremonies. None
has been successful. Oh, there may be a change while the authority is
watching closely. But this is usually more apparent than real, the
harsher trials occurring under more secret circumstances until the
pressure is off and they can surface again.
On some college campuses, officials have tried to eliminate dangerous
hazing practices by substituting a “Help Week” of civic service or by
taking direct control of the initiation rituals. When such attempts are
not slyly circumvented by fraternities, they are met with outright
physical resistance. For example, in the aftermath of Richard Swanson’s
choking death at USC, the university president issued new rules requiring
that all pledging activities be reviewed by school authorities before
going into effect and that adult advisers be present during initiation
ceremonies. According to one national magazine, “The new ‘code’ set
off a riot so violent that city police and fire detachments were afraid to
Resigning themselves to the inevitable, other college representatives
have given up on the possibility of abolishing the degradations of Hell
Week. “If hazing is a universal human activity, and every bit of evidence
points to this conclusion, you most likely won’t be able to ban it effectively.
Refuse to allow it openly and it will go underground. You can’t
Robert B. Cialdini Ph.D / 67
ban sex, you can’t prohibit alcohol, and you probably can’t eliminate
What is it about hazing practices that make them so precious to these
societies? What could make the groups want to evade, undermine, or
contest any effort to ban the degrading and perilous features of their
initiation rites? Some have argued that the groups themselves are
composed of psychological or social miscreants whose twisted needs
demand that others be harmed and humiliated. But the evidence does
not support such a view. Studies done on the personality traits of fraternity
members, for instance, show them to be, if anything, slightly
healthier than other college students in their psychological adjustment.
Similarly, fraternities are known for their willingness to engage in beneficial
community projects for the general social good. What they are
not willing to do, however, is substitute these projects for their initiation
ceremonies. One survey at the University of Washington found that,
of the fraternity chapters examined, most had a type of Help Week
tradition but that this community service was in addition to Hell Week.
In only one case was such service directly related to initiation procedures.
The picture that emerges of the perpetrators of hazing practices is of
normal individuals who tend to be psychologically stable and socially
concerned but who become aberrantly harsh as a group at only one
time—immediately before the admission of new members to the society.
The evidence, then, points to the ceremony as the culprit. There must
be something about its rigors that is vital to the group. There must be
some function to its harshness that the group will fight relentlessly to
My own view is that the answer appeared in 1959 in the results of a
study little known outside of social psychology. A pair of young researchers,
Elliot Aronson and Judson Mills, decided to test their observation
that “persons who go through a great deal of trouble or pain to
attain something tend to value it more highly than persons who attain
the same thing with a minimum of effort.” The real stroke of inspiration
came in their choice of the initiation ceremony as the best place to examine
this possibility. They found that college women who had to endure
a severely embarrassing initiation ceremony in order to gain access
to a sex discussion group convinced themselves that their new group
and its discussions were extremely valuable, even though Aronson and
Mills had previously rehearsed the other group members to be as
“worthless and uninteresting” as possible. Different coeds, who went
through a much milder initiation ceremony or went through no initiation
at all, were decidedly less positive about the “worthless” new group
they had joined. Additional research showed the same results when
68 / Influence
coeds were required to endure pain rather than embarrassment to get
into a group. The more electric shock a woman received as part of the
initiation ceremony, the more she later persuaded herself that her new
group and its activities were interesting, intelligent, and desirable.15
Now the harassments, the exertions, even the beatings of initiation
rituals begin to make sense. The Thonga tribesman watching, with tears
in his eyes, his ten-year-old son tremble through a night on the cold
ground of the “yard of mysteries,” the college sophomore punctuating
his Hell Night paddling of his fraternity “little brother” with bursts of
nervous laughter—these are not acts of sadism. They are acts of group
survival. They function, oddly enough, to spur future society members
to find the group more attractive and worthwhile. As long as it is the
case that people like and believe in what they have struggled to get,
these groups will continue to arrange effortful and troublesome initiation
rites. The loyalty and dedication of those who emerge will increase to
a great degree the chances of group cohesiveness and survival. Indeed,
one study of fifty-four tribal cultures found that those with the most
dramatic and stringent initiation ceremonies were those with the greatest
group solidarity.16 Given Aronson and Mills’s demonstration that the
severity of an initiation ceremony significantly heightens the newcomer’s
commitment to the group, it is hardly surprising that groups will oppose
all attempts to eliminate this crucial link to their future strength.
Military groups and organizations are by no means exempt from
these same processes. The agonies of “boot camp” initiations to the
armed services are legendary. The novelist William Styron, a former
Marine, catalogs his own experiences in language we could easily apply
to the Thongas (or, for that matter, to the Kappas or Betas or Alphas):
“the remorseless close-order drill hour after hour in the burning sun,
the mental and physical abuse, the humiliations, the frequent sadism
at the hands of drill sergeants, all the claustrophobic and terrifying insults
to the spirit which can make an outpost like Quantico or Parris
Island one of the closest things in the free world to a concentration
camp.” But, in his commentary, Styron does more than recount the
misery of this “training nightmare”—he recognizes its intended outcome:
“There is no ex-Marine of my acquaintance, regardless of what
direction he may have taken spiritually or politically after those callow
gung-ho days, who does not view the training as a crucible out of which
he emerged in some way more resilient, simply braver and better for
I'm speaking from my own experience. Young boys I've encountered, also in the mirror, need to deal with more bullying due to their puberty being more physical, competitiveness or interest in sports. I was playing football in a club since I was around 11 and at times I cried like a little baby after a lost match or some brawl just like any other pathetic 11-year-old would do. The shit-chat you get from parents and basically everyone around at lower levels is so big that eventually you just don't care, your skin thickens, you learn to deal with it just because you've been through this all.
I'm not saying it's men-exclusive, but boys are more prone to that due to their nature and things they're keen on. Obviously, there are males under whom skin you can get very easily, but I'm of the opinion that the above is the general rule.
Somewhat the same applies here, on the forums. The 3 most-known girls all appear sensitive and considerate. Of course I haven't been given a chance to meet them in person, as some of you might have quite recently, but it's what I get from multiple encounters and their reactions from them. Replies in this thread imply that it was unthinkable to assume that Garja was suffering from bullying, yet iwillspankyou noticed a potential threat, raised the topic and expressed her thoughts — from her point of view, and it seems it's a distinct one to the male majority.
Again, I'm not an expert but I don't think I'm so wrong here that I deserve the special high-horse treatment from certain members. Good to see positive energy still vibing after the tournament...
On a more serious note, bullying and hazing as you describe isn't exactly the same. The latter is as you say, an initiation rite, which aims to prove if the iniatiate is worthy of joining the community, which is the reward. This is clear from the start to the initiate, who usually are very keen to undergo the ritual, and at the very least suffer it voluntarily (ignoring peer pressure here for a second). Bullying is the opposite, it doesn't aim to prove that one is worthy, it aims to prove that one is unworthy. It aims to exclude, rather than include and it is usually if not always undergone involuntarily and there's no reward, nor is there a clear purpose other than the bully's personal gratification.
The initiate hazing is also limited to a very specific context, and limited time. Bullying is neither, and it's often this hopelesness, the seeming endlessness of it which drives victims of bullying to commit suicide or other self harm.
As with most, if not all things, you can distinguish between the "noble" form (initiate hazing) and the "perverted" form (bullying). You can also call it positive or negative, ying and yang or whatever you want to call it.
Method_man714 wrote:What the actual hell are you talking about? You got so many problems I don't know where to begin. What he meant by being glad you wasnt there is because your absolutely unbearable online so imagine how unbearable you would be irl. Stop making yourself look like a victim and grow up.
You didn't understand anything from this topic. But do tell me about those "so many problems" that I have. And do tell me how I am not grown up.
Cometk wrote:sometimes Dolan is right, sometimes Umeu is right, but rest assured, the debate will always be insufferable
No one is right <biggest brain meme>
krichk wrote:For some reason, you want the world to know that you're brave enough to challenge thebritish
''man he's slow rolling him more than a fish on a royal flush'' - Garja
NEED MORE XP https://imgur.com/a/xYHZCpe
First of all, regarding @Garja, I really don't feel like anyone was bullying him at all. I wasn't reading twitch chats so maybe they were there, but at the LAN itself, everyone absolutely adored him. With good reason too! The man is simply awesome and has put in an obscene amount of work on making incredible maps. I was so pleased to finally meet him in person and am so grateful that he was able to attend. I'm fairly certain that everyone there felt the same way. Jokes about him being a god aren't done with malice. Without him, we wouldn't have even had a tournament like this as he was responsible for many of the maps. Of course, we cannot forget the contributions of @Rikikipu and @Durokan, but they are not as present on the forums, thus do not get the same amount of attention. Garja is ever present on the forums and therefore receives a lot of attention. Whether or not that is a good thing is up to him. I would think that if he didn't approve of it all, then he would be less present. Only he can say.
Unfortunately, I haven't been able to keep up with threads on here since I was at the LAN and trying to focus on what all was happening there. It truly was a once in a lifetime experience and being immersed in it all was very rewarding. This did come with the cost of not being available to moderate things and to read all the threads and posts. Had I known, I would've asked him myself if he felt like he was being treated in a negative way. It's possible that he felt like he was getting too much attention, but I don't feel like it was negative attention at all. Only he can say that and perhaps he would be interested in posting his thoughts here.
Something to note about body language is that a lot of people don't feel comfortable being on camera. Additionally, being lavished with attention in such a public way, in real life, can cause someone to feel a bit awkward. Also, I don't think that he drank as much as everyone else which means that he was often surrounded by people who were much more tipsy than he was, which can also induce a bit of anxiety. From my perspective though, he seemed to be having a good time. Then again, maybe I'm simply projecting. I would be interested in reading his thoughts on everything, but that's up to him if he feels like sharing.
Secondly, yes, there is a bit of toxicity in our little family. But that's to be expected when you have people coming from various stages of life, cultures, backgrounds, etc. I would not say that the community is overly toxic, however. People are extremely helpful towards each other. At the LAN, I overheard the food van people tell @TheZeroEmpires that our group was the most friendly and respectful group of people that they've ever served. Everyone there would let other people go first in line, they shared their food with those who were waiting, people waited to get seconds until everyone had gotten firsts, many good conversations were had between people and the workers, lots of laughter and fun, and the vibe was just overall like that of a close family getting together for the holidays. There were some people there who didn't know anyone at all as they came from youtube/twitch and aren't on the forums at all. They were welcomed and instantly became integrated in with the group as though they were long lost cousins.
To go along with that, as a woman, I felt extremely comfortable being there. No one harassed me, no one made me feel less than them, no one told me to go make them a sandwich, everyone made me feel like I was just another person there and I wasn't defined by my sex. Chrisie's sister was also there and she had a similar sentiment to mine and she felt quite comfortable even though she didn't know anyone at the start. This is really impressive to me and to be honest, really helped with my sometimes negative views toward men. The experience was actually so positive that Chrisie's sister said that she wants to learn how to play and people even offered to teach her.
This isn't to say that sexism is not in our community. Some people do hold sexist views or their views are a bit borderline. I do think that it's important to really look at what people are saying, however, and not just dismiss a view as being sexist simply because it appears to be sexist. If that makes sense.
Thirdly, continuing with the sex differences discussion, I think that it's clear and obvious that there are biological differences between the sexes. I think that it's lazy, however, to simply say that these differences are the cause of certain actions/reactions when there are other variables that come into play, such as how one was raised and the culture in which one was raised. In addition, there are other genetic components and it can't simply be reduced to testosterone levels. We don't know everything about our genes, let alone all the genetic interactions. I do find the discussion and research into it all rather fascinating. However, I do have concerns that the knowledge will be used to justify certain behaviours, as it has been in the past and as it is currently. I would enjoy having this particular discussion (sex differences), but it really should be in its own thread. While I do see how it fits in with bullying, I feel that the depth in which it can go deserves it's own place. Come to think of it, just about every thread that discusses bullying ends up in this type of discussion. Interesting.
Anyway, I had a shitton more stuff to write, but 1) this is already too lengthy and 2) I have other things to do. In addition, I'm only on like page 5 of this thread so I'm sure that much of what I wanted to say has already been covered. Let's just all be mindful of each other and our feelings. We're all real people behind our screens and we should try to respect one another as such. This doesn't mean we shouldn't and can't have discussions. It just means that we should do so in the same way we would if we were standing face to face.
But our past is a ghost fading out that at night it’s still haunting.
I must admit, you not being a moderator is a good point.kami_ryu wrote:Dolan wrote:@kami_ryu Ban yourself, you don't deserve to be a mod.
And I don't mean that you should do that in some self-deprecating, sarcastic way. I mean really. Your reply basically mocks real debate. Your behaviour as a mod is contrary to good discussion. You're mocking people who put effort into writing actual arguments, instead of knee-jerk one-liners, like yourself.
I'm not a mod?
Edit just so we're clear, debating this topic is, for me, a fat waste of time. I've discussed sexism at length with people who know what they're talking about. It's opened my eyes in a few ways. I don't care to share the lessons I've learned from them with people who aren't interested in hearing them in the first place. Empathy should be the first step. There is none here.
zoom wrote:I miss Jerom!
"mr.brookg go buy jeans and goto the club with somppuli" - Princeofkabul, July 2018
krichk wrote:For some reason, you want the world to know that you're brave enough to challenge thebritish
Sargsyan wrote:Theres no toxicity in our community, i feel like the ones who bring up that card are usually the ones who are toxic.
"'That's some catch, that Catch-22,' he observed.
'It's the best there is,' Doc Daneeka agreed.”
tedere12 wrote:Is iwillspankyou really concerned about bullying? She has no problem flaming people for no reason (other than she having drinking issues, some say) on twitch chats, for sure. In my opinion that's closer to the definition of bullying than memeing about Garja.
Who made the post does not dismiss the question. Al Gore rides a private jet; Global Warming is man made.
SirCallen wrote:tedere12 wrote:Is iwillspankyou really concerned about bullying? She has no problem flaming people for no reason (other than she having drinking issues, some say) on twitch chats, for sure. In my opinion that's closer to the definition of bullying than memeing about Garja.
Who made the post does not dismiss the question. Al Gore rides a private jet; Global Warming is man made.
Sounds like we just need to kill Al Gore to solve it then
If you, spanky, feel like the Garja jokes are crossing a line, that's fine. Ultimately, it's up to Garja to decide where the line is. I'll be more careful with my jokes about you in the future if it's any concern.