The Power Dynamic of Bullying

10. Mai 2013 0

Kathy Seifert and Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin with Recommendations concerning its Violence and the Use for Terrorist Profiling

Bullying - picture: Gerd Altmann  /

Bullying – picture: Gerd Altmann /

Bullying is intentionally causing emotional or physical hurt or harm to another person with the intention of gaining power. To have more power, you must convince someone else that they have less or no power. This is done through violence.

Families of bullies often use a power dynamic. Power determines who is in charge and who gets the largest share of available resources. In a power dynamic, some family members are led to believe that they are less important than others. They are not allowed a voice. This is enforced by power and violence. It is very old in terms of male dominated societies and ethnic groups that fight for scarce resources. Having the eldest brother engage in bullying is a common strategy used in patriarchal shame honor cultures.

It has been reported that Tamerlan Tsarnaev (one of the alleged Boston bombers) used violence against a girlfriend and had a volatile temper.  If this is so, it was likely used to maintain his position of power in the family dynamic. This is no different than a drug dealer or, bank robber or other criminal exercising power over another. Tamerlan is reported to have had criminal activity, as well, in the form of selling drugs. Moreover he had a repeated history of motor vehicle violations. Timothy McVeigh was caught after the Oklahoma City Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing when he was pulled over because he car lacked a license plate. These are not benign insignificant violations. They are signs of a deeply troubled and potentially violent behavior.

Tamerlan is now under investigation post Mortem for three murders in Waltham MA. One was Christian and the other two victims were Jews, making them, kufars, or infidels. The triple homicide was committed on 9/11 the Tenth Anniversary 2011. Their throats were slit. This is called qital in Arabic, slaughter and it is considered jihad. One of the murder victims was a friend of Tamerlan who also did not attend his friend’s funeral. The crime scene seemed to be staged as drug related.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev also bullied his brother into becoming more religious. It is an indicator which the FBI must more monitor closely with regard to any reported history in a family or a report of bullying in the school.

Someone who uses a violence power dynamic in his family will choose the most vulnerable person or group, the most “hated” person or group, or someone that has something they want.  In the case of Tamerlan, it is reported that his boxing career was thwarted by his lack of US citizenship.  In joining other radicals, the US became the most hated group. Those at a sporting event in an open society, such as America are vulnerable to a bombing attack such as the one that occurred.

It is possible that someone that uses a power dynamic in relationships and has a history of violence should be looked at more closely when their names come up on a terror watch list.

We recommend that records of criminal assault as well as domestic violence charges, and even motor vehicle incidents be filed with information on anyone on a terror watch list. Furthermore for those foreign students holding visas to study here in the U.S. and elsewhere throughout the global, we recommend to other countries that they consider such violations and that they be entered into the database monitoring their foreign students‘ visas and travel. These factors of criminality, domestic violence, motor vehicle violations and bullying can assist law enforcement in profiling.

Dr. Kathryn Seifert, CEO of Eastern Shore Psychological Services, has worked for over 30 years in the areas of mental health, criminal justice, and addictions.   She is a certified forensic psychology expert. Her books are the award winning, How Children Become Violent, the Amazon Best Selling Book, Youth Violence, CARE2: Child and Adolescent Risk and Needs Evaluation, and Relaxation Journals and MP3’s.

Dr. Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin is a psychoanalyst and Arabist with a specialisation on Islamic terrorism. She is the author of The Banality of Suicide Terrorism. The Naked Truth About the Psychology of Islamic Suicide Bombing and has been interviewed by Citizen Times in 2010 and 2012.

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