I. IntroductionII. Reference OverviewIII. Government vs. Prevention
IV. Victim-Blaming in Tobacco ContextV. Ration Card ExampleVI. Conclusion

Part I. Introduction

To solve problems, it is best to focus on the big picture, agreed? We sometimes hear slogans to the effect that 10% of the people do 90% of the work, problem, or whatever. So concerning problems, a solution that would deal with that tiny percentage who causes the problem would solve a lot! indeed, most of the problem. That's the wholesale solution. Then we would not have the overwhelming dilemma of trying to solve many individual cases and incidents, as they would not even be happening.

Doctors perfected this wholesale-solution technique centuries ago. Read the details at our website explaining how doctors solved scurvy,   smallpox,   rabies,   streptococcus infections, and other systemic problems.

Many people have concerns about a specific issue, let's say, AIDS,   alcoholism,   domestic violence, child sexual abuse, crime,   drug abuse,   suicide, and so on. Well, suppose that there is ONE COMMON FACTOR in all these matters. Amazing, deal with that common factor, the systemic causation, and we solve (PREVENT) 90% of all the incidents in one fell swoop! Here is more the subject of "systemic causation": "Yes, global warming systemically caused Hurricane Sandy . . . . Systemic causation is familiar. Smoking is a systemic cause of lung cancer. . . . there is a difference between systemic and direct causation. . . . Any application of force to something or someone that always produces an immediate change to that thing or person is direct causation. When causation is direct, the word cause is unproblematic. Systemic causation, because it is less obvious, is more important to understand. . . . In general, causation in ecosystems, biological systems, economic systems, and social systems tends not to be direct, but is no less causal. . . . Global warming systemically caused the huge and ferocious Hurricane Sandy. And consequently, it systemically caused all the loss of life, material damage, and economic loss of Hurricane Sandy. Global warming heated the water of the Gulf and Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, resulting in greatly increased energy and water vapor in the air above the water. When that happens, extremely energetic and wet storms occur more frequently and ferociously. These systemic effects of global warming came together to produce the ferocity and magnitude of Hurricane Sandy. The precise details of Hurricane Sandy cannot be predicted in advance, any more than when, or whether, a smoker develops lung cancer, or sex without contraception yields an unwanted pregnancy, or a drunk driver has an accident. But systemic causation is nonetheless causal." Source: Prof. George Lakoff, "Yes, Global Warming Systemically Caused Hurricane Sandy" (Tuesday, 30 October 2012).

The author realizes this concept, systemic causation, can be shocking to readers, sometimes wallowing in the horrors of some problem. At such a time, it can indeed be hard to look at the big picture. But when you can do so, please do so. Even if it is too late for preventing your own current situation, it can help prevent future incidents affecting you, and others. So please keep reading.

Here is something that may amaze you. Doctors have found that there is indeed a COMMON FACTOR, a 90% factor, in alcoholism,   domestic violence, child sexual abuse, crime,   drugs,   and suicide. We could solve, indeed, near-eliminate, these problems almost immediately, simply by dealing with the common 90% factor.

In fact, our ancestors, our great-grandparents, in the 1897 - 1909 era passed laws (examples, Iowa, Tennessee, and Michigan) to do exactly that, solve those six problems by preventing them.

So why don't we just enforce those laws? and pass them wherever jurisdictions lack them?

The answer gets to be lengthy, so bear with us. Our great-grandparents were better educated than we are on the subject. Don't take offense. Just admit that our great-grandparents knew the common element in the big four of problems. They knew the common element, tobacco.

Are you shocked to learn that?

Don't be surprised. The tobacco taboo dates back to slavery. Slavery was mostly by tobacco farmers. They mastered the technique of victim-bashing, even blaming abolitionists for the violence against abolitionists! says Gerrit Smith, Letter (New York: AAS, 1839), pp 31-32.

Are you shocked? Here is why you don't know these type facts. The media and educators nowadays REFUSE to tell you.

This current widespread unawareness of what our ancestors knew, is an aspect of the disregarding-system-aspects, in favor of the "blaming the victims" syndrome. There is a widespread tobacco taboo, meaning widespread censorship of what doctors know about tobacco effects, including its role in the following matters:

Alcoholism Alzheimers's Crime 
Divorce Drugs Hearing Loss
Macular Degeneration Seat Belt Disuse Suicide

Let's say you are interested in preventing alcoholism. You can see how drunk driving is a product of the interaction of multiple aspects, poor hearing, poor vision, poor reasoning, suicidal tendencies etc. Dealing with the system aspect, the common element, the tobacco role, we can solve it. (Reject that, you guarantee that the problem will continue.)

Fortunately, a systemic type solution is on the way, lawsuits to deal with one tiny spect of the tobacco problem, the health aspect. Honest juries are beginning to recognize that tobacco use is due to tobacco company fraud and deception. The next step is to recognize that tobacco effects are thus due to tobacco pusher fraud, universal malice, and deception.

"Most smokers do not view themselves at increased risk of heart disease or cancer." John P. Ayanian, M.D., M.P.P., Paul J. Cleary, Ph.D., "Perceived Risks of Heart Disease and Cancer Among Cigarette Smokers," 281 J Am Med Ass'n (11) 1019-1021 (17 March 1999). Wherefore they do not see the effects of smoking in other areas either.

The media's wide-spread censorship of tobacco-facts, to the extreme of printing gross disinformation on all the issues cited herein, has been noticied and objected to by honest writers since at least 1930, see Charles M. Fillmore, The Tobacco Taboo (Indianapolis: Meigs Pub Co, 1930), pp 88-89; Lennox Johnston, "Cure of Tobacco-Smoking," 263 The Lancet 480, 482 (6 Sep 1952) [See Excerpt]; and George Seldes, Never Tire of Protesting, (New York: Lyle Stuart Inc, 1968), Chapters 7-10, pp 61-99. (Seldes founded

Pro-tobacco forces have gone so far as to sue the media to try to prevent it from saying even the little that it does say!! This type of attempted intimidation has a further "chilling effect" on the media. Examples of cases include but are not limited to the following: Robinson v American Broadcasting Cos, 328 F Supp 421 (ED Ky, 1970) aff'd 441 F2d 1396 (CA 6, 1971).

It may or may not come as a surprise to you, but there is near total media censorship of tobacco news. Ask yourself, how much information have you seen in the media on tobacco-correlated subjects?

Birth Defects Brain Damage Breast Cancer
Crime  Divorce Drugs Fires
Hearing Loss Heart Disease Lung Cancer Macular Degeneration
Mental Disorders Seat Belt Non-Use SIDS Suicide

Undoubtedly you have never heard of tobacco's role in any of the above matters, certainly, never an organized explanation. And you have certainly never heard of the fact that our ancestors knew tobacco's dangers a century and more ago. Edison wrote in 1914 of it; doctors wrote of it, the State Legislature got a report on it; and many knew the addictive aspect of it.

And you have undoubtedly never heard of the fact that our ancestors reacted by laws that banned manufacture, giveaway, and/or sale of cigarettes in, for example, Iowa, Tennessee and Michigan. Nor have you ever heard of your Constitutional / common law right to fresh and pure air, a right for centuries, even before the Constitution, traceable back to 1306!!!

Part II. Reference Overview

Quotations from William Ryan,
Blaming the Victim (New York: Pantheon, 1971), pp 3-24

In the early fifties, comedian "Zero Mostel used to do a [comedy routine] in which he impersonated a Dixiecrat Senator conducting an investigation of the origins of World War II. At the climax . . . the Senator boomed out, in an excruciating mixture of triumph and suspicion, 'What was Pearl Harbor doing in the Pacific?' This is an extreme example of blaming the victim."

Then "we could laugh at Zero Mostel's caricature.

"In recent years, however, the same [victim-blaming, societal-role disregarding] process has been going on every day in the arena of social problems, public health, anti-poverty programs, and social welfare. A philosopher might analyze this process and prove that, technically, it is comic. But it is hardly ever funny."

"Consider . . . the miseducated children in the slum school. He is blamed for his own miseducation. He is said to contain within himself the causes of his inability to read and write well. The shorthand phrase is ‘cultural deprivation,' which, to those in the know, conveys what they allege to be inside information: that the poor child carries a scanty pack of cultural baggage as he enters school. He doesn't know about books and magazine and newspapers, they say. They say that if he talks at all—an unlikely event since slum parents don't talk to their children—he certainly doesn't talk correctly. . . . If you can manage to get him to sit in a chair, they say, he squirms and looks out the window. (Impulse ridden- these kids, motoric rather than verbal.) In a word he is ‘disadvantaged' and ‘sociably deprived,' they say, and this, of course, accounts for his failure (his failure, they say) to learn much in school."

"Note the similarity to the logic of Zero Mostel's Dixiecrat Senator. What is the culturally deprived child doing in the school? What is wrong with the victim? In pursuing this logic, no one remembers to ask questions about
We are encouraged to confine our attention to the child and to dwell on his alleged defects. Cultural deprivation becomes an omnibus explanation for the educational disaster area known as the inner-city school. This is Blaming the Victim."

"The generic process of Blaming the Victim is applied to almost every American problem.
From such a viewpoint, the obvious fact that poverty is primarily an absence of money is easily overlooked or set aside . . . . Every important social problem—crime, mental illness, civil disorder, unemployment—has been analyzed within the victim-blaming ideology." [Ed Note: See at this site, the real factors behind crime and mental disorder. More sites on the way!]

"I have been listening to the victim blamers and pondering their thought processes for a number of years. That process is often very subtle. Victim-blaming is cloaked in kindness and concern. . . . In this way, the new ideology is very different from the open prejudice and reactionary tactics of the old days. Its adherents include sympathetic social scientists with social consciences in good working order, and liberal politicians with a genuine commitment to reform."

"Blaming the Victim is, of course, quite different from old-fashioned conservative ideologies. The latter simply dismissed victims as inferior, genetically defective, or morally unfit; the emphasis is on the intrinsic, often hereditary, defect. The former shifts its emphasis to environmental causation. The old-fashioned conservative could hold firmly to the belief that the oppressed and the victmized were born that way — ‘that way' being defective or inadequate in character or ability. The new ideology attributes defect and inadequacy to the malignant nature of poverty, injustice, slum life, and racial difficulties. . . . But the stigma, the defect, the fatal difference—though derived in the past from environmental forces—is still located within the victim, inside his skin. . . . It is a brilliant ideology for justifying a perverse form of social action designed to change, not society, as one might expect, but rather society's victim.

"We must particularly ask, ‘to whom are social problems a problem?' And usually, if truth were to be told, we would have to admit that we mean they are a problem to those of us who are outside the boundaries of hat we have defined as the problem. Negroes are a problem to racist whites, welfare is a problem to stingy taxpayers, delinquency is a problem to nervous property owners."

"Now, if this is the quality of our assumptions about social problems, we are led unerringly to certain beliefs about the causes of these problems. We cannot comfortably believe that we are the cause of that which is problematic to us; therefore, we are almost compelled to believe that they—the problematic ones—are the cause . . . .

"Blaming the Victim . . . is central in the mainstream of contemporary American social thought, and its ideas pervade our most crucial assumptions so thoroughly that they are hardly noticed. Moreover, the fruits of this ideology appear to be fraught with altruism and humanitarianism, so it is hard to believe that it has principally functioned to block social change."

"A major pharmaceutical manufacturer, as an act of humanitarian concern, has distributed copies of a large poster warning ‘LEAD PAINT CAN KILL!' The poster, featuring a phonograph of the face of a charming little girl, goes on to explain that if children eat lead paint, it can poison them, that they can develop serious symptoms, suffer permanent brain damage, even die. The health department of a major American city has put out a coloring book that provides the same information; while the poster urges parents to prevent their children from eating paint, the coloring book is more vivid. It labels as neglectful and thoughtless the mother who does not keep her infant under constant surveillance to keep it from eating paint chips.

"Now, no one would argue against the idea that it is important to spread knowledge about the danger of eating paint in order that parents might act to forestall their children from doing so. But to campaign against lead paint only in these terms is destructive and misleading and, in a sense, an effective way to support and agree with slum landlords — who define the problem of lead poisoning in precisely these terms. . . .

"It is not accurate to say that lead poisoning results from the actions of individual neglectful mothers. Rather, lead poisoning is a social phenomenon supported by a number of social mechanisms, one of the most tragic by-products of the systematic toleration of slum housing. In New Haven, which has the highest reported rate of lead poisoning in the country, several small children have incurred irreparable brain damage as a result of eating lead paint. In several cases when the landlord failed to make repairs, poisonings have occurred again and again through a succession of tenancies. And the major reason for the landlord's neglect of this problem was that the city agency responsible for enforcing the housing code did nothing to make him correct this dangerous condition."

"The cause of the poisoning is the lead in the paint on the walls of the apartment in which the children live. The presence of the lead is illegal. To use lead paint in a residence is illegal; to permit lead paint to be exposed in a residence is illegal. It is not only illegal, it is potentially criminal since the housing code does provide for criminal penalties. The general problem of lead poisoning, then, is more accurately analyzed as the result of a systematic program of lawbreaking by one interest group in the community, with the toleration and encouragement of the public authority charged with enforcing that law. To ignore these continued and repeated law violations, to ignore the fact that the supposed law enforcer actually cooperates in lawbreaking, and then to load a burden of guilt on the mother of a dead or dangerously-ill child is an egregious distortion of reality. And to do so so under the guise of public-spirited and humanitarian service to the community is intolerable."

"But this is how Blaming the Victim works. The righteous humanitarian concern displayed by the drug company, with its poster, and the health department, with its coloring book, is a genuine concern [Ed. Note: or worse, faked, mere rehearsed 'play-acting'], and this is a typical feature of Blaming the Victim. Also typical is the swerving away from the central target that requires systematic change and, instead, focusing in on the individual affected. The ultimate effect is always to distract attention from the basic causes and to leave the primary social injustice untouched. And, most telling, the proposed remedy for the problem is, of course, to work on the victim himself." See William Ryan, Blaming the Victim (New York: Pantheon, 1971), pp 3-24.

"There are a thousand hacking at the branches
of evil to one who is striking at the root."
Henry David Thoreau

Part III. Government vs. Prevention

And tobacco effects likewise involve blaming the victim. Police do not enforce laws against poison in cigarettes, laws against illegal sales of cigarettes to minors, laws against deleterious cigarettes. Instead, malicious proposals are heard to prosecute the children for buying! (Following that logic, the next step is jailing bank tellers for being robbed!)

Police do not enforce laws against the gateway drug, i.e., its delivery agent, cigarettes. Instead, they wait for it to lead to post-gateway drug use. They they make make arrests. Arrests at that later stage only. And periodically beat to death minorities. And so-called reformers, instead of insisting that the gateway drug ban law be enforced, advocate "drug courts," more blaming the victim, more changing the victim, not the systemic underlying factor.

Others advocate the so-called "Drug Abuse Resistance Education" (DARE) program. DARE is a scam aimed at the individual and post-gateway drugs, not at the systemic aspect, the gateway drug. DARE is repeatedly found to be ineffective, see the most recent study showing this (August 1999). Of course DARE is ineffective, it is intended to be ineffective, as ineffectiveness is the "natural and probable consequence" of focusing on individuals, not on the system. Such foreseeable intended ineffectiveness is malicious.

Corrupt officials do not enforce laws against the toxic chemicals cigarettes emit. They do NOT enforce laws against SELLING (e.g., Iowa's, Tennessee's, Michigan's) the dangerous product cigarettes. So babies die of SIDS. Then police and coroners periodically want to blame the parents, not the systemic underlying factor.

Here in Michigan, the State Health Department is well-aware of the fact that cigarettes are illegal. Its director has twice so advised, by letters verifying the law, and verifying that there is no legitimate reason for its non-enforcement. But we repeatedly see billboards and advertisements by it, focusing blame and social disapproval at the user stage!! No mention of the law banning the manufacture, giveaway, and sale of cigarettes!

This systemic situation, across the board, cannot be understood, except by applying what analyst have long said, factoring in

Blaming Doctors and Women For Abortion
An Underlying Factor, Tobacco

Blaming AIDS On Factors Other Than
The Immune System Destroyer Tobacco

Blaming Alcoholics Vs The Prior Tobacco-Caused
Suffering For Which Alcoholics Are Self-Medicating

Blaming Children For Their Birth Defects
The Tobacco-Causation

Blaming The Mentally Ill Rather Than
The Tobacco-Induced Brain Damage

Blaming Criminals For Crime Vs Non-Enforcement
of Cigarette Ban Laws Involved In Making Criminals

Blaming Divorcées for Divorce Rather Than The
Tobacco Factor, Cigarette Manufacturers and Sellers

Blaming Users for Post-Gateway Drug Abuse, Not
The Gateway (Starter) Drug Manufacturers and Sellers

Blaming Smokers For "Careless Smoking" in Fires,
Not Illegal Cigarette Manufacturers and Sellers

Blaming the Smoker For Heart Disease Rather Than
The Illegal Cigarette Manufacturers and Sellers

Blaming the Smoker For Lung Cancer Rather Than
The Illegal Cigarette Manufacturers and Sellers

Focusing On The Babies Who Die of SIDS Rather Than
The Illegal Cigarette Manufacturers and Sellers

Blaming Kevorkian For Suicide Rather Than
Illegal Cigarettes Causing Underlying Suffering

Counselors Focusing on Individuals' Vs Societal
Causation, Compounded by Money Motivation

Suggestions for adding to the above list are welcome.

Part V. Ration Card Example
          Too many people react with horror to the notion that society has a role in, for example, causing crime. They insist that the SOLE FACTOR is personal responsibility. Perhaps this parable will help.

Once there was a society called Nazi Germany (NG). In a ghetto of 100,000 Jews, society (NG) decided, premeditated, intentional, with malice aforethought, to cause crime. Impossible!, you say? No, EASY!!

NG knew, on the contrary, something you don't know, are prevented from knowing by the tobacco taboo. NG knew this: criminalizing people is easy, can even be systematized. Issue for the 100,000 residents not 100,000 ration cards, just 75,000. To eat, 25,000 will, by definition, steal. Presto: 25,000 "criminals."

And due to the "personal responsibility" scam, those 25,000 themselves will even believe they are criminals. They may even cooperate in their own murder (of course, it'll be called an "execution" for crime, but same result, death as already pre-intended by the NG lawmakers.)

The false and malicious notion of 'personal responsibility as the SOLE factor' is so much a matter of propaganda that even those suffering from its effects, can rarely if ever see even what should be an obvious blatant, brazen, clearcut, systemic aspect.

And don't overlook the corruption and low quality of prison staff; and the money-motivation of rehabilitators/counselors/'treatment' occupations.

These occupations reject centuries of medical science. Yes, they do. They reject medical science since the Renaissance, on tobacco-induced brain damage, alcoholism, suicide, drug abuse, crime. Notice their standardized, rehearsed, well-acted whiny-voiced pretenses of concern, while rejecting the medical data that would prevent these matters. Examples:
  • claims of people as 'unique,' rejecting the bell-shaped curve data on common patterns. (In the Middle Ages, the 'Dark Ages,' the 'uniqueness concept even covered clothing. Tailors, money-motivated, denounced the notion that clothing sizes could be devised, on the pretext that everybody is 'unique' and needs individual fitting! Nowadays we know that the claim of uniqueness preventing sizing is a fraud; but most people are still scammed by the uniqueness deceptions of rehabilitators, counselors, law enforcement, treatment-types: still money-motivated like pre-Renaissance tailors!)

  • claims that acting on the cause and effect data, are 'anti-personal responsibility.' They fixate on responsibility, vs the causation process, so as to keep the problems continuing, the money flowing to themselves!

  • fixation on the victims, and their every trait. But not one word about the tobacco role as the common 90% trait in making the perpetrators!

The rehabilitator/treater/counselor/pro-prison scam includes doing phony research "studies" that omit all the objective data of medical science on the subjects herein! Read their phony "studies," you'd never know of genuine medical research, on tobacco-induced brain damage, alcoholism, suicide, drug abuse, crime, on any aspect of the tobacco role. The tobacco role is carefully omitted! Horrors, someone might suggest prevention! And rehabilitators, treaters, counselors, pro-prison types would lose their lucrative jobs!

Part VI. Conclusion

Doctors actually want to prevent these tobacco-linked problems. Doctors centuries ago learned how to prevent problems! Example: Doctors centuries ago wanting to prevent scurvy knew the "personal responsibility" notion was a myth, a scam, a malicious and vile accusation. The sailors getting the scurvy were not the ones deciding the food that would be issued! The employers, often the government, were! The solution had to be systemic, or there wouldn't be one!

The "personal responsibility" notion was a scam, a vile and malicious accusation then. And it still is a scam. People who insist on ignoring the systemic aspect, in favor of that sole allegation, are malicious. They actually intend harm. The thing (alcoholism, suicide, drug abuse, crime) they loudly profess to oppose, they actually want (meaning, in definitional terms, "intend") to happen.

Remember: actions speak louder than words, in this case, the actions by people opposing dealing with the systemic factor. (Reason: When the systemic solution is opposed, minimized, ridiculed, the intended "natural and probable consequence" is, more harm, more incidents, more foreseeable problems!)

"There are a thousand hacking at the branches
of evil to one who is striking at the root."
Henry David Thoreau

"Partem aliquam recte intelligere nemo potest, antequam totum, iterum atque iterum, periegerit."
No one can rightly understand any part until he has read the whole again and again.

This site is sponsored as a public service by
The Crime Prevention Group
Please read our 'tobacco effects' site.


Copyright © 1999 Leroy J. Pletten