Army’s “spiritual fitness”‘ test

posted by
January 6, 2011
by Jason Leopold  
Posted in Commentary

"An experimental, Army mental-health, fitness initiative designed by the same psychologist whose work heavily influenced the psychological aspects of the Bush administration's torture program is under fire by civil rights groups and hundreds of active-duty soldiers. They say it unconstitutionally requires enlistees to believe in God or a 'higher power' in order to be deemed 'spiritually fit' to serve in the Army." (01/05/11)  
  • Posting at is not a simple procedure if one is not going through facebook and has more than a few lines to throw out… My comment both as one longish item and then with just the 1st 3 paragraphs received this message: "Your posting was blocked by our spam filter.
    Your post appears to be a duplicate. Please allow up to 15 minutes for posts to go live."
    I had waited 15 minutes before trying the long version a 2nd time without a link and then again when going with just the first 3 paragraphs…. So I enter the entire thing here and maybe I'll try there again another day…

    ——– Comment text ———
    "[T]eaching its service members how to be psychologically resilient and resist "catastrophizing" traumatic events." – you mean like experiencing guilt feelings for killing and otherwise physically harming individuals who are not actually *initiating* physical harm towards that soldier?!

    I hope the readers of this article stop and ask themselves who are the actual harm-doers in war – declared or not. The soldiers/sailors/marines – the government enforcers in geographical areas outside the USA – are the key to stopping wars, just as they are the essential key to starting them. I write it this way because, the hundreds of thousands of ordinary soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen are the ones doing the actual harm – most of it per order of their non-coms, officers and high command including the President. Do you think that the high command generals, admirals and the President are going to go out in the field and enforce their own orders to fire the guns, tanks, missiles, to set the traps/bombs, deploy the drones or even do the maintenance and repair on the various equipment used? No way!

    Protesting in writing and person against the current administration's continued warfare in Iraq, escalation of it in Afghanistan and talk (and plans?) of it in Iran (and who knows where else) is good. BUT it is not enough! The actual enforcers of the government's plans are the key!!

    ========= split point for 2 posts….

    If large numbers of the troops become convinced to cease being the fingers on the triggers, then the current wars (and those on the drawing board or just possibilities) will burn out from lack of fuel. I recommend families and friends to use logical persuasion of the above type to urge their military enforcer to cease being so and to resign, refuse re-enlistment and instead to get truly productive employment. And do not hesitate to urge potential enlistees to take a non-military route for employment. Also, if family/friend military members have the courage to refuse deployment (while attempting to resign) and the possible ensuing military court repercussions, support them openly and heavily.

    An additional method of persuasion for those who will not be convinced of the logic above is to refuse to voluntarily associate with them – those individuals who continue in or join the military and those persons who "support" the troops as they continue to inflict harm. This negative Social Preferencing (contrasted with the positive form to favor those approved) has been referred to as ostracism in many parts of the world for centuries and has been an effective method of nonviolent political action. (Writings of Gene Sharp recommended.)

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