Remember the Wizard of Oz? Of course, you do. There are many aspects of this enchanting movie to discuss on a deeper level. For the sake of today’s subject, however, let us briefly talk about the wizard himself. Throughout most of the film, the great Oz was an omniscient figure elevated to legendary status. Questioning the all-knowing rendered wrath, as we witnessed with Dorothy and her merry misfits. One cannot forget the Cowardly Lion’s fear, speedily fleeing from the scene. Yes, the invisible has its merits, being used as a tool to control and manipulate to make others disappear. As we learned at the end, behind the invisible curtain displaying a larger-than-life head was an ordinary human being.
Like the wizard, some bullies hide behind something or someone. With his financial largesse and fanatical message, Osama bin Laden instructed his gullible followers to wreak havoc on the United States. For many years, this coward managed to evade his hunters by remaining invisible. Hiding in plain sight, this so-called religious adherent, a hypocrite, lived a life of debauchery. In the end, he displayed his cowardly behavior, shielding himself to avoid assassination.
Visible with Ridicule
Many bullies are obvious, showing their power and might to foment cower and fright.
Since antiquity, people have tried to silence those who may appear different or wish to target for other reasons. As I mentioned in Part 1, there are a few ways to do this. Let us talk more in-depth about ridicule. Bullies often use this form of verbal abuse to frighten and diminish their victims. The outcome is for the injured party not only to feel invisible but to want to vanish. You will frequently see them cringe around their predators. You might also witness attempts to appease the perpetrator for a reprieve if they are lucky. Finally, for some, nothing seems to be effective in escaping their Goliath. What ultimately happens? Suicide.
The behavior of ridicule occurs in all populations. From the family and the school to professional organizations, this misuse of power is most damaging. Adults, at least, for the most part, have some ability in the 21st century to escape. For children not so easy. Parents need to be vigilant, ensuring their children do not become victims of this. Allegedly, the two teens from Columbine experienced bullying. Look what happened? Perhaps, they felt invisible. Whatever occurred will never justify their actions. Their undetectable rage bubbled over, transforming them into monstrous beings. Eventually, these disturbed young men wreaked havoc on their peers, banishing them from their earthly lives. Yes, this destruction forced the worst invisibility ever.
Isolation and Ignoring
What else contributes to invisibility? Isolating someone or ignoring them are effective ways. Let us begin with isolation. Covid has contributed to a sense of invisibility. We have not started to see the total fallout of this unexpected, disruptive pandemic. We also know about victims of abuse who can be isolated and feel isolated, whether it be a child or adult. Solitary confinement is an extreme example of isolation often used to punish individuals simply standing for their beliefs. Sadly, more often than not, they become invisible forever.
Accompanying this, at times, is to ignore. Ostracizing someone from the group or tribe can create a feeling of angst and invisibility. Many people, young and old, experience this as they see displays of events on Facebook or Instagram that exclude them. How about belonging to a clique or club? I have heard stories about older people feeling bad about themselves for being banned from these affiliations because of their beliefs.
What about the attempts of invisibility on Prisoners of Conscience? In addition to solitary confinement, other egregious tortures are used, attempting to stamp out their beliefs forever. The Falun Gong followers have endured great suffering from the CCP. Gao Rongrong was shocked with electric batons on her face for over seven hours. A photo of her reveals features indistinguishable, attempting to produce a faceless, invisible creature. Sadly, but not surprisingly, she died as a result of this affliction.
Speaking of invisible, what has happened to the Cuban protests? How about the Cuban people who were arrested for speaking out? Will their fate be the same as those from Hong Kong? Where have the Iranian people been? Those suffering individuals have barely made a peep since 2009. Yes, the primary goal of the oppressor, large and small, is to silence first, force conformity next, finally manufacturing servitude and invisibility. What happens when the people do not acquiesce? The consequence is eternal disappearance from this world, never to be seen or heard from again.