Most Bible believers think this is God's world—but how can we reconcile that with all the crime, violence, wars, oppression, starvation and disasters we see all around us? The surprising fact is that, in terms of human society and its impact, this is not God's world, but a world that has been kidnapped by an unseen enemy. Here's the story of how it was kidnapped and how it will be set free!
by Jerold Aust
Kidnapping or hostage cases grab our attention, probably because the crime itself is so horrendous and the victims so helpless. But they also intrigue and puzzle us because of the unusual relationships that sometimes develop between the victims and their abductors.
Jaycee Lee Dugard, who in 1991 was snatched at a bus stop at age 11 and kept in captivity for the next 18 years, apparently did not try to escape and, over time, developed a close relationship with her captor. About her kidnapper, her stepfather said that she "has strong feelings with this guy" and "feels it's almost like a marriage" (Laura Fitzpatrick, "A Brief History of Stockholm Syndrome," Time, Aug. 31, 2009).
Natascha Kampusch, kidnapped at age 10 while on her way to school, was held captive in a cellar for eight years before finally escaping. Yet she is reported to have cried after her abductor then committed suicide by throwing himself in front of a train. "All I can say is that, bit by bit, I feel more sorry for him," she said. She later called her captor a "poor soul—lost and misguided" (ibid.).
Shawn Hornbeck, after 10 months of captivity at the hands of a kidnapper, called the police to report his stolen bike, giving them his first name, Shawn, and as his last name the surname of his abductor, Devlin (ibid.). He stayed with his captor another three years, never escaping even while the man was away working at his two jobs.
Then there's the infamous case of Patty Hearst, daughter of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, who not only acquiesced to the Symbionese Liberation Army's criminal leader after her kidnapping, but also adopted a new name and joined his group in robbing a bank (ibid.).
Stockholm syndrome at work
All of these hostages identified with and supported their kidnappers, even for a time after gaining their freedom. Mental health experts have a particular term for this irrational bonding between kidnapper and victim. They call it Stockholm syndrome.It refers to victims becoming bonded to and even feeling compassion for and loyalty to their captors.
Stockholm syndrome gets its name from a 1973 bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden, in which two thieves held four bank employees hostage at gunpoint in the bank's vault for six days. "When the victims were released, their reaction shocked the world: They hugged and kissed their captors, declaring their loyalty even as the kidnappers were carted off to jail" (ibid.).
Psychologists are still largely at a loss to explain such bizarre bonding. At its core it seems to stem from the victim coming to perceive the perpetrator as the one controlling one's survival and life itself. Thus the victim aligns himself or herself with the captor out of pure self-interest.
Paradoxical? Yes. Uncommon and remote from everyday experience? Surprisingly no—at least not in a broader sense, which the majority of psychologists are woefully ignorant of. Indeed, they and everyone else, including you yourself, have certainly succumbed to this disorder to some extent.
This is because our whole world has been held captive for several thousand years—and mankind has fallen victim to Stockholm syndrome, identifying with our malevolent captor more than our loving Creator!
The story is strange, but true—and spelled out in the pages of your Bible!