Turd Terrorism: Not Just Shits and Squiggles
In an effort to better acquaint myself with the core members of PoopReport -- the regulars whom I have begun to really enjoy hearing from -- I had been perusing old posts. Unfortunately, I found many posts someone named The Shitman had smeared all over this site. As a budding (or would we prefer the term "prairie dogging"?) PoopReporter, I was inspired to tackle this very serious issue: why people smear their poop on the walls. What makes a turd terrorist.
"Hey!" I emailed Dave, our fearless (editor's note: and handsome!) moderator (editor's note: and editor!). "Hey! I know something about this fascination with smearing poop. One of my best friends, Andrea, is a licensed CPS investigator in upstate Washington, and she has seen poop smearing as a behavior typical of abused children."
"Well!" Dave emailed me back. "That's interesting."
Dave's overwhelmingly excited response compelled me to get in touch with my investigative side for this, my first serious poop report. As it turns out, the smearing of and/or fascination with poop can be a symptom of things darker than Mr. Hankey's shadow. According to my research, some of the reasons people become Turd Terrorists are as responses to:
- Surviving ritual satanic abuse
- Being sexually abused as a child
- Having ADHD or related attention disorders
- Enduring other types of physical abuse and/or injuries
- Sensory deprivation, e.g. solitary confinement in prison
- And, unfortunately, many more.
Ritual Satanic Abuse
The ritualistic abuse many unfortunate children endure at the hands of satanic cults is meant to break the little person down, to degrade him or her so badly that he or she feels no self worth. It is often accompanied by sexual abuse, animal murder, and the child being smeared with feces (theirs or someone else's) in every possible orifice. Jeanne Sarson, RN, and Linda MacDonald, RN, wrote a particularly upsetting paper on ritualistic abuse. I found a reference mentioning a child who had to chose between eating it and spreading it on another child -- the abuser was using poop as a symbol of isolation, creating one of the many situations in which the children were forced to betray each other. In the future, the child ends up mimicking this behavior (as is also the case with sexually abused children) at very inappropriate times, such as at school or in public places, if the child is young.
(Not, mind you, that I have ever found an appropriate time for poop smearing. We here at PoopReport discourage Turd Terrorism at all times, unless merited by even worse Turd Terrorism. Revenge is open for discussion.)
In an essay entitled "Child Abuse and Neglect: Physical and Behavioral Indicators," I found many possible symptoms in children of different ages. Under the behavioral symptoms of sexual abuse, one can find the following: "regression, wetting, soiling, smearing feces and urine beyond what is age appropriate." This means that many people who engage in shit-smearing behavior are showing what could be interpreted as equating themselves with shit -- hinting at very low self-esteem or a downright lack of any positive identity that's been developed as a result of abuse. An alarming fact is that in a very detailed report categorizing the severity of behavior, poop smearing is listed at Level Six -- Level One being the mildest, and Level Six being the most disturbed.
I found reference to poop smearing (urine included) in the corners of public bathrooms on a chart used to determine if a child could have an attention deficit-related disorder. Mind you, this is for a child who has been potty trained, or is past the normal age for potty training.
Poop smearing is also symptomatic of severe head trauma or injuries.
The Prison System
Within our prison system, it seems that abuse from prison guards and solitary confinement has taken its toll on many of our nation's incarcerated. Human Rights Watch has thousands of entries concerning prison abuse, often mentioning poop tossing (or, as we hear it on Court TV, a Brown and Yellow Cocktail). It seems that many abused prisoners hurl feces at guards and smear it in their cells during extreme episodes of what is called by the prison system "untidy behavior." Untidy indeed. Somewhere, Emily Post is not happy.
I joke -- but it is no laughing matter. Poop smearing during solitary confinement is apparently legendary. Poop is often the only thing the inmate has left to play with. I found a website detailing the degeneration of the mind of an inmate in solitary confinement, visible in the fact that he had lost all ability to communicate with other humans and that he had fashioned an entire chess set out of his own feces, with which he calmly played in the presence of others.
Poop flinging is an Olympic event in many of these confined blocks, with inmates hurling it at each other and then wiping it all over themselves. Poop smearing at this level is quite certainly be caused by deprivation psychosis or mental shutdown after experiencing such horrific abuse that the mind kind of, well, goes. In that sense, it is similar to ritualistic abuse -- a complete feeling of utter helplessness and worthlessness occurs, with no alleviation of the total absence of hope or trustworthy human contact.
Looking at the material I found, I see a pattern: people equate poop with their self image (except for one serial rapist, who identifies poop with the victim). And this is all very sad. While poop is not the best substitute for Play-Doh, it has been the source of much mirth and bonding here at PoopReport, and has been a common ground for many of us to relate to each other. There are PoopReporters whose names I anxiously await as bylines, because I know I will be entertained by the author, laughing with him or her at a normal, healthy function that inevitably goes pleasantly awry (sometimes, I think, purely for our benefit). But to so many unfortunate people in the world -- The Shitman being only one of many -- poop represents a very serious issue that we shouldn't really be joking about.
While by no means am I an expert on the subject, it is my firm belief that sitting down on a nice, clean, quiet toilet and taking a good, long dump is one of life's pleasures. It should be free of undeserved guilt, garbage, or neuroses. The victims of abuse who turn to turd terrorism are victims twice -- once of abuse and again in the loss of what our moderator Dave describes as "proper pooping pleasure." Well said, Dave. To them, the pleasures of the dump are lost under the pain of their problems. While we hate The Shitman and his ilk for ruining our bathrooms, we should also strive to understand their destructive behavior. It's really a cry for help.