There is a tendency amongst humans to demonize anyone who is different to them and who may hold alternate views. This can lead to the press and trolls launching a full-out attack. To an extent we have seen this in respect of Russia, of late. They are clearly the devil incarnate in the minds of some. I personally doubt that Russia wants to invade Europe at the moment. And when we demonize we can neglect and conveniently forget our own faults and behaviours. Once the demonization process starts we can look for any evidence to support our demonization and thereby justify it. A form of selective perception kicks in.

If what I have read and seen on TV is correct such a thing happens when you leave a cult. There are a number of accounts of former Scientology members being the subject to a process of demonization. I used to know one ex-member and from what she said there was some truth to the reports. Humans are weird, and they don’t like “desertion” or “turncoats”. Such can quickly become the focus of ire and even hatred.

At the moment I belong to one section of the population that is already demonized, smokers. Clearly, we are the plague of demons that haunts the planet and drains all the resources of the NHS. We should be banished to roped off areas, far away, to indulge in our vile satanic practices. Never mind the tax revenue we bring in. We are pariahs who cannot wait to tempt all the little children into a 30 a day habit. Not only are we demons but we are pitied, and people simply cannot wait to evangelize and thus convert us. We are so mis-guided and a bunch of imbeciles.

The thing about demonizing is that it is so very often out of proportion, it is disproportionate. We may even be unaware of this demonization and think it perfectly normal. People love a good story and to point fingers, at demons, pariahs and the mis-guided.

Having cued this up:

Do I partake in this habit of demonizing?

Have I ever been demonized myself?

Was that justified?

Do I need to cross back through the portal into the very realms of hell itself, whence I came?