Capill syndrome

Capill syndrome, named after New Zealand’s notorious sex offender and former high-profile politician Graham Capill, is characterised as follows.

  • Shout loudest about that which you fear others uncovering.
  • Those who yell the loudest about something seem to have something they desperately don’t want us to know.

In psychology, Capill syndrome is known as projection. Projection is a psychological defense mechanism where a person subconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, usually to other people.

In literature, Capill syndrome is immortalised in the Shakespearean line, “Methinks she doth protest too much.”

I wonder about self-proclaimed Christians like Capill, I really do. Had Capill really never read Luke 6:41-42?

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Or how canst thou say to thy brother, ‘Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye,’ when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite! Cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.

Judge not, lest ye be judged!

Judge not? Dan Lacich says

What is possibly more amazing than the fact that so many people quote this verse and the concept of not judging, is that so many people could get the real meaning so completely wrong. This is especially true since the context makes it clear what Jesus meant by these words. When Jesus said that we should not judge unless we be judged also, he was not saying that we are to never judge if behavior is sin or not. What he was doing was giving us a caution to make sure that we are willing to be judged by the same standard of judgment. This verse is not a warning against judging an action. It is a warning against self deception and hypocrisy.

The way we know this is the same way that we usually know what the Bible teaches. We look at the context. The verse that immediately follow helps explain what Jesus was saying. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Matthew 7:2 In other words, if you are going to say that what someone else is doing is wrong then you better be prepared to be judged by the same standard. If you don’t want your life to be scrutinized, then don’t judge others. If you can stand the scrutiny then go ahead. Think of Al Gore telling us that we need to cut down our energy use in order to save the planet and then finding out that he has three large homes and the carbon footprint of Godzilla. He needed to read this verse first.

What Jesus was doing was cautioning us to make sure that we are willing to be judged by the same standards by which we judge others. In other words, “Judge, and be prepared to be judged.” Does that sound at all familiar?

[Cross-posted from SOLO.]

4 thoughts on “Capill syndrome”

  1. It /does/ sound familiar. And notwithstanding the ethical system of the person who coined the phrase, it is a very /helpful/ coinage to be. In other words, I benefited. But my saying these two words — “I benefited” — seem difficult for some to take, at least without entering into a political diatribe.


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