Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

The Texas church killer was not inhumane, insane, fanatical, evil

He was a very typical case, it seems, of what Miriam Adahan has dubbed the Abusive Personality Syndrome. Normal people divide mankind into nice and not-nice people, people with the APS (more on them below) divide the world up into strong people and despicable naive weaklings.

It’s too easy (and wrong) to call such people inhumane evil creatures. It takes away their responsibility and guilt, as if their actions stem from their nature. They are not innocent. Our opposition against them is to tell other normal people: you can’t just do what you want in life, even not when you’re furious. If you want to be controlling, control yourself.

Insane also means to say: this person doesn’t know what s/he’s doing. As if people in great pain are not really here mentally. This is insulting people with mental distress and too much honor for violent behavior.

And he was not “radicalized” – also as if this is done to someone passive.

Rather, such people know very well what they’re doing.

They were typically brutally abused as babies. Most babies who get abused so viciously somehow decide to become doormats: people who prefer to feel weak than to express anger. With therapy over time, they can hope to regain their sense of value and strength.

But a small number of babies who get abused so violently, somehow decides to rather kill than to let anyone get so close again, be vulnerable. They won’t take the risk. They’ll be secretive, violent, power-holic, abusive control freaks. Such decisions to distance others are repeated throughout life. And as long as they are so secretive, no therapy can help them with it. (Therapy can help change their behavior once they changed their behavior….) They feel that they need to step on close ones whom they perceive (again) as attackers of their autonomy.

However, the greatest tragedy is that such people will seek people they could learn from how to return from their bitter decision: the doormat survivors of early childhood abuse, the people pleasers. Their pathetic behavior somehow fascinates them – and of course, their self-perceived weakness is very convenient to them.

And the doormatters so much want to reconnect to their lost power. They see these other survivors as powerful (rather: they are terrified) models to learn from. And being with them feels so homey, so like the good old days – of which they forgot that they were not so very good all-over. (Not-abused people run from these cold fake charmers.)

So they typically marry each other. For closeness, the people pleasers desperately try to cling to the violent survivors. But if one thing panics the latter then it is closeness, loss of independence. So the nicer the pleasers, the more violent the (terrified) controllers.

The abusers can team up with other ruthless people, and the abused will find understanding from other victims. But most bystanders will not understand any of it – especially not that, if the violent one is a man, he could literally kill to “prove” his independence to himself.

This Texas church killer all his life, left a trail of violence everywhere. In the end, he shot up a whole church because he was furious with his former in-laws and just hoped they were inside (didn’t even check).

Such people don’t take no for an answer. You can only corner them when they have no escape. If they have, they will come out even more dangerously. To stop such abusers (I’m not talking about someone who once exploded, but rather about people who built their whole life on abusing weak-feeling people they collect around them) needs careful planning. And not the sloppiness of the authorities that surrounded this future mass murderer.

They always end up killing themselves because they believe they even must control their own death. They don’t kill themselves from despair. They don’t kill themselves to spare themselves the humiliation and shame to face a trail. They really are not bothered by such feelings of softies. They think they need to be in charge no matter what. No law enforcement and justice system is going to decide on them.

If you did not suffer childhood cruelty, you probably won’t get it.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500th blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To find his earlier blog posts on a certain subject XXX, among his over 1200 ones, go to the right-top corner of the Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". His second daily active less tame blog, to which one may subscribe, one may find here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.