The Dysfunctional Culture of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Part One and Two.
Recruiting by the RCMP is also a form of conforming or indoctrination. RCMP member and recruits must conform to the higher ranking members’ agenda or risk being sidelined.
To break with so called tradition could be a career ending move. The career ending move could take shape in harassment, punitive transfers, or just being ignored. The forms of abuse are only limited by your imagination.
When recruits enter the RCMP Training Academy in Regina SK. an indoctrination process is started.
It is the following:
1. Leave home, family, and friends. 2. Eat different food. 3. Dorm living. Loss of privacy. 4. Lack of sleep. 5. Learn a new language. 6. Wear a uniform. 7. Rigid control of time.
The above process has always been used to shape the minds of people. It was used in Indian Residential Schools, The Armed Forces, and even the Moonies Religious Group.
Once at the Training Academy the culture of drinking is introduced. There are five drinking establishments at Depot. The “Stand Easy Lounge” for cadets only, the Corporal’s Mess, the Segreant’s Mess, the Officer’s Mess and alcohol is served at the Drill Hall on base whenever there is a function. The alcohol can be purchased at subsidized prices as well.
When I first arrived at Depot facilitators/instructors were expected to sign a form taking full responsibility for the troops at their half way party. Remember, that the cadets could frequent the Stand Easy Lounge every night unsupervised. The night of the half way party was expected to be a night of binge drinking.
Once graduated the RCMP member has easy access to RCMP drinking sites especially the Mess in each Division or Detachment.
Joseph F. Dietrich Ph.D., C.A.C. started the Members Assistance Program in the RCMP. He is one of the foremost authorities in the world on Police and Alcohol.
He conducted a survey of RCMP members in 1989. The Clarke Institute in Toronto was used as the mailing point. 3500 questionnaires were sent out to the members across Canada. 3043 members answered the questions.
The results were:
11% of members were having 7 or more drinks a day. 17% of members were having 5 or more drinks a day. 35% of members were having 3 or more drinks a day. 26% of members needed psychological intervention.
The above information was not released to the public for a significant period of time and only after being watered down. Dr. Dietrich further stated that to curb the drinking the RCMP should raise the prices in the mess to that of public drinking facilities and let the members know the stats of the survey. Most members would have had an alcoholic supervisor in the first five years of their service. Just ask them.
Think of a detachment and the roles that were played out: (alcoholic family as well?) The Alcoholic Dependent Person – perfectionist, aggressive, charming, blaming, etc. The Chief Enabler – sickly powerless, compliant, manipulative, etc. The Family Hero – successful, independent, seeking approval, perceptive, etc. The Scapegoat – sullen, defiant, acting out, blaming, etc. The Lost Child – creative loners, solitary, withdrawn, etc. The Mascot – hyperactive, humour, centre of attention, etc.
Each member could take on any of the above roles. They are interchangeable at any given time.
Those of you who are now, or are past RCMP members, I would like to you consider a yes or no answer to the following questions:
RCMP members compulsively protect their inner feelings? Only certain feelings are ok to be openly expressed by the member? Performance is more important than the member? There are many taboo subjects and lots of secrets? Everyone must conform to the highest ranking member’s ideas and values? There is a great deal of control and shaming? There are a lot of “shoulds” from the higher to the lower ranks? The rules are unclear, inconsistent, and rigid? The atmosphere is frequently tense? There is a great deal of anger and fear? People feel tired hurt and disappointed? A number of RCMP Members have low self-worth? Coalitions form across generations (keeps repeating the process)?
The above list is the traits of a dysfunctional family. ( Source: Double Duty by Claudia Black)
These traits exist in all military and police organizations including the RCMP. What happens to people who criticize the family? The family closes ranks and ostracizes the family member. The same process takes place in the RCMP organization. The RCMP is the name of a police organization. “People” I repeat, “People” have to change before the organization will change. We cannot change what we do not acknowledge and this includes the RCMP.
Workplace harassment follows 5 stages As was researched and discovered by the late Dr. Heinz Leymann (The Mobbing Encyclopedia)
There is a five stage process that occurs when mobbing begins. Once in full swing this process is very difficult if not impossible to stop.
Stage 1 This stage begins with an unresolved conflict or a critical incident. Usually the target is an above average employee with a vulnerability that can be exploited. This often stems from jealousy, the need to scapegoat or to deflect blame, or simply because it builds social cohesion in divisive and dysfunctional groups. This stage is very early in the mobbing process, and may not go any further in developing into mobbing.
Stage 2 This is where the assaults begin to take place. There are different tactics that are utilized and this is when the process begins to pick up steam. Here a ring leader and allies will not only add fuel to the fire, but sabotage any resolution of the conflict to ensure that the lynching will run its course. They will counter and dismiss all attempts at resolving the conflict and when the outrage seems to be quieting they will rejuvenate the topic by taking it in another direction.
Stage 3 This is the stage where management begins to play a role. This is the first step in the elimination process. Managers often misinterpret the situation, and blame falls onto the victim. Supervisors simply don’t want to believe that their employees are capable of this kind of behaviour. With the targets now discredited and stigmatized any defence they make is disregarded. With “reality” now distorted, the individual’s word will not be taken over a group. There truly is strength in numbers.
Stage 4 This is where the process meets a critical stage and the target is labeled mentally ill or antisocial. By this time the target has become frustrated, withdrawn and unhappy while coworkers maliciously interpret this as mental illness. The target is highly suspicious of others and often discredited by being labeled as paranoid. Counselling at this point is mostly ineffective, as it does little to relieve the toxicity of the work environment. Unfortunately, many psychologists are ignorant or untrained about mobbing and its devastating effects. They will often attribute this to permanent mental conditions and personality flaws that were “always there” Nobody sees that this is a “normal reaction to an abnormal situation”.
If the target begins to fight back, he/she is labelled as an aggressor. When the target is excluded or withdraws and seeks solace then he/she is accused of being introverted. The mob will put the target in the compromised position, and will attack him/her for being there. As in any abusive situation, victim blaming is always the aggressors way of abdicating responsibility.
Stage 5 This stage is the expulsion process. By this time the target is mentally and physically drained, and has difficulty mustering the resources to provide an adequate defence. Often times there is little due process in the removal of a target and he/she has little chance of succeeding. Management being human as well will take the course of least resistance, they are more concerned about making the problem go away than getting to the root of the problem that is the bullying/mobbing behaviour. It is easier to remove one target than it is to deal with a gang of bullies.
After the expulsion, the target is emotionally devastated and can often show signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. With their professional reputation destroyed, nobody else wants to hire them. Their lives are all but ruined.
What does bullying do to your health? Bullying causes injury to health and makes you ill. How many of these symptoms do you have?
* constant high levels of stress and anxiety
* frequent illness such as viral infections especially flu and glandular fever, colds, coughs, chest, ear, nose and throat infections (stress plays havoc with your immune system)
* aches and pains in the joints and muscles with no obvious cause; also back pain with no obvious cause and which won’t go away or respond to treatment
* headaches and migraines
* tiredness, exhaustion, constant fatigue
* sleeplessness, nightmares, waking early, waking up more tired than when you went to bed
* flashbacks and replays, obsessiveness, can’t get the bullying out of your mind
* irritable bowel syndrome
* skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, athlete’s foot, ulcers, shingles, urticaria
* poor concentration, can’t concentrate on anything for long
* bad or intermittently-functioning memory, forgetfulness, especially with trivial day-to-day things