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The use of certain figures of speech can be a sign of more tactics of bullying and passive aggression, by Joan Wheeler and Adult Adoptees Advocating for Change

by on December 1, 2011
 A recent editorial in my local newspaper brought my attention to something that seems to be quite a trend on the forum for Adult Adoptees Advocating Change and used in their bullying pro-adoption people. Lets look at the article before looking at the AAAC forum and Joan Wheeler.
November 17, 2011 by Meghan Daum
It’s time to ease up on a figure of speech arising from 1978’s Jonestown massacre.
Drunk any Kool-Aid lately? Or maybe you accused someone else of doing it? If so, congratulations, you’re right in step with one of the nation’s most popular idiomatic trends. A snappy, fruit-flavored way of referring to someone who unquestioningly embraces a particular leader or ideology, “drinking the Kool-Aid” has become a staple of self-righteous public discourse.
Bill O’Reilly is fond of the expression, as is Washington Times columnist Marybeth Hicks, whose new book “Don’t Let the Kids Drink the Kool-Aid” warns that “frightening percentages of our kids” believe that Christianity is “just plain mean.” Google Chairman Eric Schmidt was recently said to have drunk “the company Kool-Aid” when he finally joined Google+, and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz admitted in a recent interview that he “drank the Kool-Aid as much as anyone else about Obama.”
Finally, in a sobering portent of the divorce announcement that shook the world earlier this month, Us Weekly reported that within just 72 days of their $10-million wedding, reality star Kim Kardashian and her husband, Kris Humphries, were “not getting along at all” because “Kris is not drinking the Kardashian Kool-Aid.”
Such intransigence may have cost Humphries his marriage, but in different circumstances it might have saved his life. That’s because, apparently unbeknown to just about everyone who uses the expression, “drinking the Kool-Aid” isn’t some kitschy nod to 1970s junk-food or the mind-altering effects of citric acid. It comes from an event that, until Sept. 11, 2001, marked America’s single greatest loss of civilian life in a non-natural disaster, the Jonestown massacre.
On Nov. 18, 1978, in a remote Guyana compound, more than 900 members of the People’s Temple followed the orders of their leader, Jim Jones, and drank powdered grape punch (actually the cheap Kool-Aid knockoff Flavor-Aid) mixed with chemicals that included cyanide and Valium. So in Jones’ thrall were his followers that they poisoned their babies and toddlers first, using syringes to squirt the liquid into the children’s mouths. In most cases, death occurred within five minutes.
Yep, sounds just like Obama lovers and Christ-bashing meanies and the Kardashians. An apples-to-apples comparison. Or, should we say (to cite an oldie-but-goodie Kool-Aid flavor) a Man-o-Mangoberry to Man-o-Mangoberry comparison. Not.
OK, I know figures of speech evolve (“rule of thumb,” for example, may have come from an old law allowing a man to beat his wife as long as the stick was no thicker than his thumb). And some people will insist that “drink the Kool-Aid” stems not from Jonestown but from “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test,” Tom Wolfe’s 1968 book about the psychedelic peregrinations of writer Ken Kesey.
Whether that’s true (and, come on, are we supposed to believe O’Reilly is smacking down his dissenting guests by suggesting they’re tripping out in a Day-Glo school bus?), I still feel compelled to suggest we ease up on this particular metaphor. There’s something grotesque, even offensive, about comparing public figures or members of opposing political parties or nonviolent activists to followers of a deranged, murderous cult leader. We’re not isolated in the jungle; we’re drowning in information. We’re also knee-deep in round-the-clock analysis and critique of that information.
Unlike cult members, who are programmed to abdicate anything resembling personal opinion, we revere personal opinion and individual action. Granted, that can lead some people astray, but despite all the griping about the manipulations of “lamestream” media and the conspiracies waged by (take your pick) big corporations or big government, we probably drink the Kool-Aid less now than at any time in history.
We’ve even got one political movement whose problem is not that it’s lead by zealots but by no one at all. Can you imagine the Occupy Wall Street crowd drinking poisoned Kool-Aid? Those hand signals they use would make them spill it everywhere.
Friday marks the 33rd anniversary of the Jonestown massacre. It’s not a round-number anniversary; there aren’t likely to be a lot of memorials or mentions in the news. But maybe it’s worth marking the occasion by trying not to say “drink the Kool-Aid” for at least a day. After all, there’s no dearth of overused figures of speech out there — just think outside the box.               
—-end of article
Taking three sentences from the article:
A snappy, fruit-flavored way of referring to someone who unquestioningly embraces a particular leader or ideology, “drinking the Kool-Aid” has become a staple of self-righteous public discourse.
There’s something grotesque, even offensive, about comparing public figures or members of opposing political parties or nonviolent activists to followers of a deranged, murderous cult leader.
Unlike cult members, who are programmed to abdicate anything resembling personal opinion, we revere personal opinion and individual action.
These above three statements, from the article, point to the gist of things, namely that when the phrase is misused, as a weapon by some, it can have a very negative and detrimental effect upon those individuals that ARE using their own personal opinions and actions. When individual thinking and acting is ATTACKED by opponents, everything gets out of whack, particularly freedom to think for oneself and fear FROM bullies!
Lets see how these military angry adoptees define and use it when they go out there and bully others out of their so-called kool-aid views.
Title: Kool-Aid Happy Adoptees and Pity?
Post by: TheTe on February 10, 2010, 06:35:11 PM

 Any experience with Kool-Aid adoptees that say that they’ve loved their experience and then you get called a bitch because you stopped drinking the kool-aid? <sighs>  :tung:

Title: Re: Kool-Aid Happy Adoptees and Pity?
Post by: Ro on February 10, 2010, 06:44:46 PM

 All the time in the Internet comment wars.  I don’t know any KoolAid-drinking adoptees IRL, just ungrateful bastards  :hug2:  It makes it easier to tell them to go to hell if I don’t really “know” them. What counter-arguments do you need?   :gottabat2:
Title: Re: Kool-Aid Happy Adoptees and Pity? Post by: ne on February 10, 2010, 06:46:17 PM
 Too much, sadly. I never accepted the Kool Aid doctrine, although I was a bit foggy and didn’t allow myself to be angry about my losses until pretty recently. I didn’t realize *how* foggy I was until I met up IRL with a bunch of people from this forum for a weekend. At the end, they said I was shellshocked. True. Moreover, it was only after finding my first family and meeting my brother, that the anger began to come out. Anger at the lies, the rejection, and the loss of relationships.
 Title: A definition Post by: R on November 07, 2010, 01:24:21 AM
 I’ve only been a member of this forum for a week or two but it’s been amazing! So much support and so much understanding, thank you all. A question, though. I keep coming across the phrase “drinking the kool-aid” or words to that effect and I’m wondering exactly what it means. It sounds like being in denial but I’m not certain so I’d appreciate an explanation. Thank you  :justasmilie:
 Title: Re: A definition Post by: DIbn Zon November 07, 2010, 01:44:42 AM
 It’s funny because I’ve used this in some academic writing and have had to footnote a definition for it….but it became apparent that this is a phrase that is used without its origin always being known! It refers to the collective suicide of a politico-religious group overseen by Jim Jones which in 1978 in Guyana drank poisoned Kool-Aid to escape sure governmental retribution. Because the group was treated as a cult by the U.S. government, this description became prominent, such that to say “drink the Kool-Aid” (or, “don’t drink the Kool-Aid”) today refers to a mindless believe in anything to the nth degree.
 Title: Re: A definition Post by: R on November 07, 2010, 02:18:56 AM
 Thank you, Daniel. I remember the Jonestown tragedy but had no idea it was linked to that. Much appreciated  :cheesy:
 Title: Re: A definition Post by: Ton November 07, 2010, 01:37:25 PM
 I really do think Daniel’s definition is the authentic and denotatively correct definition.   :good: However, as language evolves and changes with the whims of societal moods, the connotative definition can and does change over time.  I have always intuited the phrase “drink the Kool-Aid” to include the fact that Koolaid was originally advertised as a fun, kid-centered, home-made, “better” substitute for sodas.  Moms mixed up the Kool-aid at home themselves, kids drank it thinking it was home-made–if not down right healthy.  Uuuuh, this is exactly why Jim Jones put poison in Kool-Aid and offered it to his followers.  To me, this phrase has evolved to include home-spun, but intentionally self-serving, subversive use of innocent symbols to corrupt those unable (too young?  too innocent?) to even see the possibility of a hidden agenda.  In the adoption world:  Typical child will assume the parents (natural or adoptive) have child’s best interests at heart.  Child has no understanding of fertility issues, the expense of adoption, etc., etc. and will assimilate the parents’ beliefs as his/her own…having no real idea of what the issues might actually be…doesn’t even realize the possibility of an alternate point of view…and blindly goes where he/she is told to go.  Implicit in the connotative definition is the fact that the PARENTS knowingly OFFER the CHILD a substance/truth/belief/opinion in a form that is irresistible.  Parents knowingly offer “poison”, child accepts without suspicion or doubt, child becomes poisoned, and finally, the truth comes at the price of acknowledging the intentional parental deceit.  Please correct me if I am wrong!   :chewnails:
Title: Re: A definition Post by: dp on November 07, 2010, 02:00:17 PM
 wow….Torrn…Your def. pretty much says it! Danile..never knew it had to do wiuth the Jim Jones thing makes sense. Me in my ignorance…thought itwas just perputating sickly sweet stuff and liking it! 
Title: Re: A definition Post by: To on November 07, 2010, 02:21:11 PM 
…and liking it! 

that is the important part of the deception

  Title: Re: A definition Post by: Dyd on November 07, 2010, 02:30:23 PM
 It’s definitely what Torn is saying: The origin of the phrase has been mostly forgotten, yet the original meaning persists and morphs. “Home-made”– My favorite line is: “It’s safe–we drink it!” LOL
Title: Re: A definition Post by: j on November 07, 2010, 02:34:29 PM
 I totally forgot that we used to do that, dye yarn with kool-aid, without the slightest sense of irony, just one more of its magic. Although, my amom didn’t allow kool-aid, I didn’t see it in person until I visited another little girl at her house after kindergarten and we had red kool-aid.  I heard angels and a beautiful light shone down from the heavens at the first sip.
Title: Re: A definition Post by: Ro on November 08, 2010, 06:13:16 PM 
Thank you, Torn, for that amazingly comprehensive definition. I think I may print it out and read it and re-read it. It expresses exactly what I’m beginning to realise but am usually unable to put into words. I don’t think we have kool-aid in Australia, not literally, but we have lots of metaphorical kool-aid drinkers!
Gert here again…AND now lets see Joan Wheeler, as 1adoptee, in action…going after people whom she believes is driking the Kool-aid.
« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2010, 05:16:06 PM
I blasted him several times. 

« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2010, 07:27:02 PM
Thanks Rom. I may sound like a broken record to those who know my story, but it bears repeating so that others can learn from reading it. I don’t know of any other orphan or half orphan in the movement too speak out on adoption issues. So I have to do it!
« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2010, 08:23:46 PM »
 I just sent Mikey all 5 of my posts! I’ll let you know if he emails back. How much you wanna bet he’s never heard from a real half orphan before? Not one single instance of unmarried parents to complain about, but a hell of alot of lying! Grab the baby and run! Ohh, boy, I am having fun with this one tonight! 
 Gert here: and apparently Ruth and I must have posted something…I didn’t bother to check and record that here for I’m only interested, here, with Joan’s behavior on this particular issue.
« Reply #34 on: December 09, 2010, 02:20:44 PM »
Thanks, Krista, for seeing that they are, indeed, stalking again. They’ve stalked me my entgire life: during my childhood by asking an aunt wehre i lived, and then calling me on the phone when I was 18. Sure, I get it. They were looiking for their missing sister. My point has always been we should never have been separated in the first place. That separation has caused us all great pain. Finding me caused me and my adoptive parents great pain. It is even now very diffficult for me to carry on with the task of enjoying adoption reform with the three of them pestering and stalking around they do. Your support — folks who are adoptees and supporters on this forum — mean the world to me. Thank you for your udnerstand ing in seeing that i am trying to escape their petty nonsense. do you see that they are causing the trouble? Calling me a HO even! Shit, I just wish they’d crawl back into the whole they came from. They are dysfunctional, mean-spirited and sad. And they read our board and follow what we do just to keep track of me to keep me “in line”. I’m sorry all of you must be sunject to their BS.


 Right, we have kept Joan in line! We have seen it over time, as we have wiped her face in her own shit, that like a puppy who MUST be house trained, Joan can learn to keep her mouth shut, over certain things, or we will wiped her face in it again!
And so who is drinking the Kool-Aid here?  These adoptees are using this phrase, in their self-righteousness that they and only they are right, and applying it because they BELIEVE that anyone who adopts MUST BE WRONG. These types of adoptees never give the other guy the right to own their own thoughts and beliefs. These types of adoptees are just as bad as a cult leader who made his followers drink the kool-aid.
What ever happen to proper public discourse in this country? from the above article: Unlike cult members, who are programmed to abdicate anything resembling personal opinion, we revere personal opinion and individual action.
for more information on Joan’s behavior check out this post

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