Note: Since the Just Us Brothers are so good at tearing down strawmen, I thought it only fair that a superior strawman—the Scarecrow—should take a whack at them. Those not familiar with the exploits of the Just Us Brothers and the lore surrounding the Dark Knight will undoubtedly not fully appreciate the following.
Reporter: We are pleased to present an edited transcript of our recent interview with clinical psychologist and psychiatrist Jonathan Crane Ph.D. from Arkham Asylum.
Reporter: Prior to our interview, Dr. Crane acquainted himself with the patients’ rants on the pages of Right On Daily.
Doctor, if the author of this blog was evaluated for admission here at Arkham Asylum, would you be inclined to admit him?
Dr. Crane: Before beginning, our lawyers want me to say that past performance is not always indicative of future results. Any psychiatric results cited may not be typical for all patients. If your psychotic episode lasts for more than four hours please seek immediate help.
Now to the patient evaluation.
I’d like to say thanks for letting me have a look at this unique case.
A person exhibiting the symptoms displayed in the writings of Right On Daily likely does belong here at Arkham Asylum.
Reporter: Wow, that was a swift diagnosis.
Dr. Crane: Let me explain.
Like many master criminals, this individual seems to have started off meaning well and lost his way.
Many criminals start down the wrong path in their youth by torturing small animals and the like. This fellow has a different pathology. He started torturing other people’s political yard signs. Later he infiltrated political campaigns…but always from a distance. Instead of working for free as a volunteer, he became an explosives expert for hire.
Clearly he learned that the problem with demolitions is that it can shorten the lifespan of the person delivering the bomb. The last mission that he did himself was in neighboring Yolo County several years ago. His target was a sitting judge, Dan McGuire. Unfortunately, the shape charge was backwards and when it went off, his client, Clint Parish, was blown off of the political landscape. After the State Bar finished with Parish, he retired to a non-descript farming town to live out the rest of his years in exile and disgrace.
Learning from this experience, the patient’s solution is the same as many in the Middle East; make the bomb and let others deliver it for you. This strategy allows one to continue saying the right words about their cause and simultaneously recruiting others with minimal personal risk. Clearly he reasons that, if I don’t lead who will?
This fellow has evolved into a skillful operator. He identifies the target, scouts the terrain and then takes advantage of a new recruit. Always he manages the plan but typically he lets others deliver the munitions.
Reporter: But doctor, doesn’t this reduce his likelihood of success?
Dr. Crane: Yes but he has his reasons. While others around him are proficient in checkers, he fancies himself a chess master.
Let me explain.
His bombing missions are of two types: ambush and suicide.
Ambush missions involve planting the device and detonating from a safe vantage point. From a distance he can perform bomb damage assessment or if he has an epic failure, he has a good head start on any pursuers. No matter the outcome, rarely will he take immediate credit for these operations.
Suicide missions are something different. Once in position and ready to detonate, the person in the vest is required to shout, “Allah AkPark” and then hit the switch.
Reporter: Doctor, why involve others?
Dr. Crane: Part of his illness requires that others take part so the patient will have a measure of leverage for future missions. It’s a crude but effective way of compromising a person. It also allows the patient to deflect responsibility.
He justifies wrongdoing by rationalizing like children who say, “But he does it too”. (It’s this type of juvenile reasoning—they do it so I will too—that makes this patient so difficult to treat.)
You see, with the mentally ill, the body develops but the mind can’t get beyond childhood. It gets stuck, and then warps in unhealthy directions.
Reporter: And you think that this is the situation here?
Dr. Crane: Oh yes. Look at what he does. If the mission succeeds then he can claim credit and if it fails, he can blame the volunteer. Unlike most bombers, this patient will sometimes refrain from claiming credit until after the election cycle. However it turns out, the patient does his best to insure that he will live to see another day.
Reporter: So his survival is a priority while the welfare of others is unimportant?
Dr. Crane: If there’s anything that we learned from watching the Penguin in season one of Gotham, henchmen are disposable and rather easy to recruit. Not one ever made it to the next episode and yet people stand in line just to work for him.
Similarly, a person like the author of Right On Daily can usually make quite a good first impression on strangers. Only when you compare his words to his actions does the true nature of the patient become evident. This process takes time.
Reporter: Doctor, what’s the point? What is his motivation?
Dr. Crane: Mostly ego. Self-worth at the expense of others.
Reporter: Doctor, what does he get out of this?
Dr. Crane: Off the books money is his typical metric of success. His pyrotechnic payments are often under the table and difficult to trace. He uses third parties and blind drops to transfer funds. This minimizes the risk to the candidate or consultant that hired him.
There is an anecdotal report that a passerby once heard him retrieve a message on his cell phone that said, “Greeting Sergeant York, should you decide to accept this mission… As always, should you or any of your team be caught or killed, we will disavow any knowledge of your actions.”
If that’s not crazy enough, reportedly, the message was in the patient’s own voice.
Reporter: Doctor, that’s really nuts. But elections are every two years what else does he do to pass the time?
Dr. Crane: Recently, the patient has added to his infractions by branching out into reallocation of resources. He joins organizations to scatter their membership and rape their treasuries. Once he has no further use for the group he will leave them destitute.
Some proceeds from his ill-gotten gain may be used to create new organizations that can be exploited later. These groups also deliver endorsements in exchange for advertising in his modest publications empire.
Reporter: Doctor, he seems quite troubled.
Dr. Crane: The patient suffers from many things.
One is a delusion similar to Burgess Meredith in the Twilight Zone. Remember the episode where Meredith finally sits down on the Library steps to read his books only to break his glasses? Like Meredith’s character, the patient thinks he can only be truly happy in a society made in his own twisted image.
In many ways, the patient’s behavior is like a bipolar individual that fell on hard times and as a result, quit taking his meds. However, unlike Ted Kaczynski, this patient is in love with technology. He learned how to be LOUD on the Internet, but without medication, he was unable to make cogent arguments.
Everywhere he looks, he sees his own demons in the reflections of others. Instead of seeing others for who they are, they all are morphed in his twisted mind into doppelgängers of his own failings. Due to the advanced state of his illness, these projections of his inner demons are now so distorted that many appear to him as black widow spiders.
Reporter: It’s quite a remarkable manifestation.
Dr. Crane: Yes but the patient’s fixation on black widows is a subconscious manifestation of his rabid hatred of women; especially those that he can’t control. He wants them weak and demure. Powerful women intimidate him.
Reporter: So he has mommy issues? How sad. Anything else?
Dr. Crane: A most unfortunate result of his illness is that when those closest to him try to steer him away from self-destructive behavior he turns on them and unleashed his wrath. This repayment of sound council with vitriol pushes people away.
In his world, there are only two categories of people: allies and traitors.
• Allies always agree with him and do what he says.
• Traitors are any with contrary opinions.
Over time, he became a legend in his own mind. He sees himself as a kind of Mad Max figure, bringing order to a world in chaos.
“Order through chaos” is the motto that most sums up how he lives his life. Spread chaos to consolidate control and establish his order.
Reporter: Doctor, how can we stop him from harming others or himself?
Dr. Crane: Frankly, the only way to prevent him from harming others is a “tough love” approach.
First, his unimpeded involvement in social organizations must be ended. By exposing his past words and deeds—as you have been doing here, it is hoped that others may have ample warning about his character. Furthermore, he must banned from membership in organizations that heretofore have welcomed him. His ability to be an officer or delegate in such organizations must forever be prohibited.
He must be kept as far away from volunteer political organizations and campaigns as possible. Letting him near politics is like letting a pedophile guard the campground…but enough about the Boy Scouts.
Reporter: So you mean he has to quit “cold turkey”? Wow.
Dr. Crane: Second, an unfortunate side effect to his illness is that he takes things that are not his own and use them in improper ways. By his own admission, he was involved in embezzlement of large sums of money that belonged to others. He has done this several times recently and then had the hubris to brag about it very LOUDLY and publicly.
A careful reading of his blog rants give you an idea of how he reasons. Just beneath the surface you can hear him screaming:
”Behold what evil I have done, thou canst undo it. I have denied you your property and the work of your hands and declare this evil deed an act of charity.”
Reporter: So he is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour?
Dr. Crane: Yes. Only when you put his words and actions in chronological order can you see how off the rails this guy really is. He has more bluster than a hurricane and is just as empty in the middle.
Here’s an example. He and his brother “liberated” all the money from the Placer County Republican Assembly bank accounts on May 20th and then held a sham vote on May 30th—a full ten days later—that was supposed to authorize (whitewash is a better word) an illegal action that had already been taken. Then in an email dated May 30, 2015 he brags about the whole thing as if they had just done it that morning.
He must learn that wealth redistribution using other people’s money is something only Democrats and big governments can legally do.
Reporter: Is this why he now feels comfortable in the presence of Jeb Bush?
Dr. Crane: Sadly it appears so.
He must restore what he has taken and learn to respect the property rights of others.
Reporter: Anything else that can be done?
Dr. Crane: Third, sometimes the mentally challenged have the habit of needlessly exposing themselves in public. This poor fellow has his own unique manifestation of this symptom. He feels compelled to needlessly expose the private things of his former associates on the Internet. Their names, addresses, bank account numbers, email addresses, political affiliations and alleged marital details are often posted for all to see.
Lacking a conscience, this man revels in the harm he caused others; for to him, tearing down others is to build himself up.
Reporter: Glass houses and stones…how sad.
Dr. Crane: He needs to make restitution to those he has wronged but until he has a change of heart, this is just a dim hope.
Reporter: Dim, indeed.
Dr. Crane: Lastly, his untoward behavior is enabled by his employment situation and subsidies that they provide for him. It would be in his best interest if he were deprived of those things that amplify his voice. Pressure must be brought to bear to revoke his vocational license. Since his microphone is in fact owned by his employer, it is hoped that he can be deprived of this instrument of harm also.
Reporter: But, Doctor this seems harsh. Is there no other way?
Dr. Crane: Unfortunately, if men won’t govern themselves then it must be done for them. This is why he should be entrusted to the facilities of Arkham Asylum.
Reporter: But isn’t that costly.
Dr. Crane: Yes but his friends have already collected six thousand dollars to help him on to the “straight and narrow way.” If needed, more can be raised without much trouble. Many all over the State want to see him receive the intervention that he so desperately needs.
Reporter: Doctor, you seem to be saying that the sooner this intervention begins the less people he can harm in the future.
Dr. Crane: Yes. Please don’t misunderstand; I have no ability to cure him. If he was kept at a facility like Arkham, we would be protecting the public and the patient.
The patient is suffering from what some call “hardness of heart”. Curing this is beyond my training. Only God can take his heart of stone and give him a heart of flesh.
Given the cognizant disconnect that he displays, it may be decades—if ever—before he will regain his right mind.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m late for a therapy session.
Reporter: Doctor Crane, thank you for taking time for this interview.