In our last article we asked the question, “Is the FBI looking in the wrong places?” We made the case that using mental health assessments or what the FBI refers to as “stressors” are not reliable precursors to identifying a future shooter. If you disagree with this statement on its face, we suggest you reread our first article; otherwise, the following article will make little sense to you. My previous article is posted on LinkedIn and is easy to find and read. It was also published on SecurityInfoWatch.com online-magazine and can be read at: https://www.securityinfowatch.com/security-executives/article/21077985/is-the-fbi-looking-in-the-wrong-place-for-active-shooter-precursors
CURRENT PARADIGMS: ARE THEY RELIABLE?
The legendary American philosopher of science, Thomas Khun, wrote in his 1962 book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions about how “Normal Scientists” work within a “paradigm” that tells them how to answer questions, and what counts as legitimate regarding questions or answers. Asking a question or offering a solution outside of this “paradigm” can quickly be considered at best “without basis” and, at worst, unreliable. These “Normal Scientists” do not question their “paradigm.” They teach their students how to act according to it. To challenge this “paradigm” is considered a challenge to rationality itself and could be considered heresy. Rationality, Kuhn argues, exists only within the “paradigm,” and all other methods should be dismissed. Because the “paradigm” tells us what is real and how it works, to question it is to question the structure of the world itself; according to those within the “paradigm,” these questions and their answers lead to “nonsense” and potentially to heresy itself. Are you so committed to an existing security “paradigm” that you will not consider the existence of a new and different approach and/or methodology?
DO YOU HAVE “SUNK COST BIAS?”
I would like to ask: “Are you afflicted with Sunk Cost Bias?” This is an intellectual and emotional affliction caused by an intellectually closed mind. In other words, “Are so committed intellectually and emotionally to one perspective (paradigm) you cannot, or will not, consider any other perspectives?” If this is you, STOP READING! This article will only cause you anguish. However, if you are willing to change your paradigm, I encourage you to continue reading.
THERE IS NO ABSOLUTE (100%) PREDICTION NOR PREVENTION OF VIOLENCE
Let’s start with the obvious, “There is no absolute (100%) prediction nor prevention of violence!” But, in between this statement and, “We can identify the precursors to violence and thus prevent violence,” we can find a “reliable” answer. “Reliability” is a scientific term and you will hear this term used throughout this article, because frankly “reliability” is the basis upon which we can build . . .
FINDING THE PATH TO VIOLENCE
Let’s start were we left off in our first article. We all know that the FBI has prevented active shootings in the past, but how reliable are the methods they use? We illustrate this critical point in our first article. On December of 2013, Andre Simmons, the Chief of the FBI’s Behavioral Threat Assessment Center/Behavioral Analysis Unit stated that the FBI’s ability to prevent violence is predicated on “identifying a person who is on a pathway to violence.” This perspective was based upon an earlier collaboration between the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Dept. of Education, and the National Institute of Justice, called the “Safe School Initiative Study.” It states that “An inquiry should focus instead on the student’s behaviors and communication to determine if the student appears to be planning or preparing for an attack.” Here is the key, “The ultimate question to answer …. is whether a student is on a path to a violent attack.” These statements are confirming that there are “reliable” sequential successive precursors to violence! In other words, it is not enough to identify that someone is showing signs of aggression, but we must identify that this individual is moving up these sequential successive precursors toward violence, i.e., on the path to violence. This demonstrates a critical flaw in our current systems, the difference between using “probabilities” versus “predictabilities,” but this is a topic for a third follow up article.
Imagine that there is a zero baseline (normal behavior) and nine levels or stages of aggressive behavior in ascending order, creating an Aggression Continuum. At the top of the “Aggression Continuum,” we have the perpetrator of murder/suicide, the most lethal of all aggressors.
BULLYING, ABUSE, HARASSMENT, CONFLICT AND DISCRIMINATION:
At the fourth level or stage of the Aggression Continuum, we begin to see aggressive behavior (maladaptive behavior) called “Bullying,” “Abuse,” “Harassment,” “Conflict,” and “Discrimination.” “Bullying” represents someone exhibiting bullying behavior; so we are reacting to bullying, not preventing it. The same goes for “Abuse,” “Harassment,” “Conflict,” and “Discrimination.” But here is the key: stages one, two, and three on this Aggression Continuum are the precursors to these maladaptive behaviors. By learning what these precursor behaviors look like and learning how to address these behaviors, for the first time we can “reliably” prevent the maladaptive behaviors of “Bullying,” “Abuse,” “Harassment,” “Conflict,” and “Discrimination!”
Wait just a minute! What about privacy regulations? What about HIPAA, FERPA and the Civil Rights Act of 1964?
PRIVACY REGULATIONS: HIPAA, FERPA AND THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964:
Imagine if we assessed only “Aggressive Behavior,” judging it on its merits. Because, we do not use mental health assessments, they are notoriously inaccurate, we do not violate HIPPA Regulations. We do not use culture, gender, age, education, nor sexual orientation so we will not violate FERPA in our schools and elsewhere the Civil Rights Act of 1964. By using only human-based Aggressive Behavior, we can record, track, and address “Aggressive Behavior” over time, with virtual impunity! With other forms of surveillance, users are attempting to keep their methods secret for fear of going awry with Civil Libertarians (ACLU) by violating HIPAA, FERPA or the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I actually heard the head of the SPOT (Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques) program tell me that they are moving away from recording and tracking behavior for fear of violating HIPAA. Does that sound absurd to you? It certainly does to me, especially when you don’t have to . . .
HAVING TRUST ISSUES WITH CYBERSECURITY
As humans, we tend to get transfixed with human-on-human violent attacks, but don’t miss that we can also prevent “Bullying,” “Abuse,” “Harassment,” “Conflict,” and “Discrimination.” But, let’s go even lower on our imagined Aggression Continuum to include “trust,” and the “loss of trust.” In Cyber Security, I am told the greatest threat comes from “Insider Threats.” Can we use the Aggression Continuum to identify when someone is moving from “worthy of trust,” to disgruntled, to treacherous, like an Edward Snowden or Bradley (Chelsea) Manning? We know that it is not instinctual for one human to attack another human; aggressors must disconnect, depersonalize and turn their victims into an object in order to attack them. We can identify the nuances of these disconnections and depersonalizations early on, and thus identify someone moving from worthy-of-trust to treachery. Once again, is this “Aggression Continuum” absolutely (100%) certain? Of course not, but we can be scientifically reliable in identifying someone moving from trust to treachery; we can identify the precursors to maladaptive behaviors like “Bullying,” “Abuse,” “Harassment,” “Conflict,” and “Discrimination” and thus prevent these maladaptive behaviors; and finally, we can reliably predict and thus prevent violence by identifying someone on the path to violence.
If you feel like this article offers a new perspective, share it. Share it with your LinkedIn group. Share it with you LinkedIn colleagues.
Yes, this is a validated “system” and we call it the Critical Aggression Prevention System (CAPS). If you would like to learn more, we are offering a 1.5-hour webinar where we will explain how the system works, why the system works, and how it might have application for you and your business. We are conducting two live-webinars, one on May 29 and the other on May 30 at noon Eastern Time. Sign up now by going to: https://www.aggressionmanagement.com/caps-webinar-landing-page.html. The cost of this webinar is only $19.95 and promises to be a life changing paradigm for you and your business!