by Guest blogger
VH Frater A.A.
Rosicrucian Order of A.O.
We are living in a world of juxtaposed digits; in a duality of Black & White, Off & On, 1 & 0. This mess of disjointed logic apotheosizes Either/Or/Not/And striving to delimit the knowable.
Cast adrift on this unformatted sea of noise, the depersonalized post-modern seeks purpose.
Deprivation invites the digitized wanderer to fall for easy solutions; to define itself in the shattered mirrors of fashion, fad and fantasy; to swallow ever easier lies.
In numberless chat rooms, on blogs and pages by the score, the Reconstructed Self struggles to assert a measure of independence. However, while faked pictures cover false views with forged identities, only the DISCOURSE itself provides lasting meaning.
Encrypted interactions add a final touch of opacity to the already obscured self-image, providing an extraordinary rendition of the common existential state – a devastating lack of self-knowledge.
Personae become 2-Dimensional caricatures demanding instant gratification, yet ephemeral in their impact.
“You can be whatever you want to be” becomes the battle cry of the Reconstructed, along with “it is whatever I say it is – because it is I who say it” and then all that is required is a pinch of “going with the flow” and a dash of “staying in the present” to complete the transformation of untruths into cherished positions.
By sacrificing attention span upon the altars of the god of sound bites, the lies are made to appear real in the very moment of their assertion by the Reconstructed, with all contrary evidence conveniently forgotten in the next clock pulse.
From this root stock of spiritual immaturity and grasping materialism, certain traits are developed to defend the nascent Mask from the most damaging evidence – for the wearer must avoid confrontation with what lurks within, behind the façade…
This archetypical knee-jerking and defensive posturing is cut from the same cloth of delusion, however desperately and colourfully applied. In the heat of flame the varieties of Internet Troll strut their fleeting sense of identity, ignorant of its utter banality!
There is a veritable bestiary of Internet Flame Trolls out there, and we have seen more than a few of them engaged in recent skirmishes on our borders!
We are in a fortunate position in the current Witch Hunt to have a few strong opponents who exhibit some of the classic archetypes, and a mix of weaker ones to observe spinning lies into their version of “Reality.”
“Higher Moral Ground Troll”
This is often called of the “Holier Than Thou Troll”. It claims the “Moral High Ground” perpetually, while remaining classically two-faced about it and doing nothing to demand similar standards from supporters.
It makes it easier to throw rocks at opponents if one can find a hill to stand on, so this variety of Troll manufactures a hill, and then gleefully pelts the opponent while proclaiming moral superiority.
When this bullying behaviour is noted, this Troll will generate evasive arguments in an attempt to prove that it has simply been misunderstood, or even misrepresented.
The more transparent the Troll’s behaviour becomes in the spotlight of tenacious opposition, the more this Troll will attempt to take ownership of words and phrases that it uses to paint itself in a good light, while seeking to make a set of stock negative phrases stick to the opponent. If continually challenged for this hypocrisy it will claim that opponents are being abusive, and may flounce out of the debate, or otherwise end it.
In essence, this boils down to endless repetition of: “I am a good person, you are a bad/misguided one” and there is no bringing this Troll back down to earth. This variety of noisy Troll can easily take things personally and start to stalk the object of its ire across multiple fora.
“The Pit-Bull Troll”
This one can be counted on to go for the jugular – constantly! It will ALWAYS have the last word if it has to remain glued to a keyboard for 36 straight hours to get it.
The fighting style is one of constant jabs. This Troll aims to wear out the opposition with bandwidth, and DRONE. It is quite machine like. In fact an AI could model it very easily, as it also constantly adopts the best argument of the opponent, then applies it with similar words attached, but yet more vehemence. In attempting to take ownership of the opponent’s territory, and throw it back at them with unremitting vitriol, the Pit-Bull Troll displays some characteristics of a more evolved cousin, the Mirror Troll (see under.)
Another weakness of this Troll is that the incapacity to change tone makes it appear very two-dimensional, and even supporters switch off after short exposure.
The Pit-Bull Troll is very useful as a sparring partner for those who may find it hard not to fall into the trap of becoming angry, and flaming… as more than any other variety, it attempts to create an angry response so that fellow Higher Moral Ground Trolls will have ammunition to fire.
Note the typical tone of voice in a Pit Bull Troll’s wording; it is often very much DECLARATIVE. This Troll states it like it IS, and keeps stating it like it IS, because it obviously IS that way, “to any decent human being” etc. etc. etc.
It is a tirade of is-ness, and demands for recognition that the Troll’s reality is the One True Reality. Many fundamentalists share this voice. The lack of relativism in the Pit Bull Troll’s tone is part of what labels it.
“The Mirror Troll”
It takes a certain level of toughness to play this Troll game well – it is so fundamentally dishonest that not everyone has what it takes to morph into a true Mirror Troll. It also does require considerable variety of tone and emphasis, or the reflection will not be convincing.
The Mirror Troll also uses the Higher Moral Ground position extensively, in efforts to raise the distorted reflection as the REAL position, and cast the opponent as representing a debased perspective.
At best this troll is hard to answer as when the Mirror Logic is very well applied, the opponent would only be refuting their OWN original argument in the process of attempting to subdue this thief.
The Mirror Troll has a surprisingly powerful style IF the opponent is equally dishonest, or otherwise cannot demonstrate their honesty. The Mirror Troll can be very effective against much stronger dishonest opponents.
However, it can all fall apart when the ground over which the Troll is attempting to take ownership, is honestly and simply defensible… then the mirror cracks.
At the end of the day, this Troll is complementing the opponent via the aggressive takeover of their perspective, even though it must twist that perspective in order to further its own warped objectives. Deployment of Mirror Trolls indicates a serious lack of good arguments in the enemy arsenal.
“The Scholar Troll” or “The Expert Troll”
This one frequently has an Expert Complex. In general terms the Expert Troll is just a pain in the neck to deal with. Monomaniacal focus on their subject is used as an excuse for putting others down. More kudos is then gained with a bit more sharing of “scholarly output” with supporters… then it is “OK” to go on the attack once again.
Expert Trolls are not usually committed to spending a lot of time on the battlefield as they have “important research” to conduct. (And they may well.) This can make them very short and nasty.
The Expert Troll may educate himself in one of the other styles if it thinks it can use it to sufficiently satisfy the handlers that it is “doing enough” and thereby not have to spend so much mental energy on the substance of the engagement… in short, the Expert Troll will tend to be LAZY in battle.
This type of Troll is only of use in protracted combat if the issues involve the pet topic of their obsession (they often score higher on the obsessive-compulsive axis.)
Expert Trolls are easily bought off by access to information that furthers their Intellectual Quest. Their preferred food is mouldy old documents with extra servings of dust!
It is a dangerous Troll archetype for one engaged in more advanced spiritual work, as it can make it very hard to let go of the Rational Soul… generating delusion on top of obsession.
Expert Trolls often become a liability for their handlers, and are sacrificed for small positional advances in the middle game.
“The Nice Troll”
This Troll can be genuinely funny, and really wants to be liked. When there are disagreements it can be quite passive-aggressive, and whining. The Nice Troll is inconsistent and can’t be trusted to stick with anything for very long. This Troll often doesn’t really even appear to know itself all that well. It may not know that it is a Troll!
The lack of a solid core to the creature makes it hard to engage solidly.
The risk with Nice Trolls is that if too much heat is applied they will win many sympathy votes. The niceness is often genuine.
The Nice troll does not like to be shown up for being a Nasty Troll – as that might cause it to suffer rejection, whereas it really just wants to be loved.
Sometimes, the Nice Troll is just not sufficiently committed to the Cause, and has yet to fully engage in a more energetic Troll Mode.
This type of Troll is a follower not a leader. Give it too much attention and it may get ideas beyond its station. Typically, it may adopt characteristics of the Expert Troll, and at worst, also display some Slime Troll traits.
“The Slime Troll”
Do not expect a direct answer from this Troll. Do expect to be stabbed in the back and to see a look of exultation on the Slime Troll’s face as the dirty deed is carried out.
Innuendo, misdirection, skewed words suggestive of a thousand interpretations that MIGHT be an attack on the enemy position… these build on pseudo-scholarly foundations with quotes and references, and other passive aggressive weaponry.
This is a cowardly Troll. It hates to be caught out at its nasty little games. It will seldom come out to fight alone, and generally stays in a safe place with a clique for supporting fire.
This is the Troll of “why did you think I was attacking you when I didn’t even name you” and deserves no more respect than it offers. At worst it is capable of writing whole books full of political attacks, while tarting these up as some variety of intellectual affair, then accusing the damaged parties of misrepresenting its works!
The hypocrisy of the Slime Troll is quite breath-taking and more than anything else characterizes its combat method.