WASHINGTON, July 4, 2013 — Oliver Stone is publically endorsing Edward Snowden and asking foreign countries to provide Snowden asylum.
Stone seems to choose his heroes with odd criteria. He should know that American history is rife with recorded deaths of brave people giving their all to obtaining intelligence to ascertain who America’s enemies are and keeping the nation’s public safe.
Some publications are insisting Snowden is not a spy but a so-called whistle blower. “Whistleblower” is a 1970 termed coined by consumer advocate Ralph Nader as, in his words “A more polite term than rat or informant.”
By all definitions, treason is the act of betrayal of country and a violation of allegiance. A traitor is one who commits treason, so a treasonous traitor is what defines Snowden, not a ‘whistle blower’.
Ecuador and Bolivia now say they may take him.
Stone claims he is infuriated with President Obama not halting previous President George W. Bush’s surveillance projects, so Snowden is heroic in his treason. Stone, a decorated veteran of the Viet Nam war should know soldiers do not go to war for a president but for our nation.
What Stone may not realize is President Obama may have come to terms with understanding he cannot discontinue such surveillance because our country is no more safe from potential terrorist activity now than it was when Bush left office.
Stone may envision himself a grand revealer of truth resulting from multiple conspiracies, and a look at his works certainly indicates this. However, there may be an explanation from psychology that influences Stone as much as anything else.
Many of Stones screen plays seem to have some aspect of paranoia and conspiratorial overtones. Even in his interviews with the media, he admits to this thinking. In an interview with Psychology Today, Stone pretty much suggests the late director of the F.B.I. J. Edgar Hoover as a serial killer of all civil rights activists and the Kennedys.
Stone’s distaste for the American political approach is, by the standards of some reviewers of his documentary South of the Border, evident as he soft-soaped the late President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez and demeaned our country for the way we handle Latin American leaders. One popular and respected publication called the relationship between Stone and Chavez “A love story.”
Some of his other movies are a window to Stone’s outlook. In Nixon, Stone suggests the late President Richard Nixon, through a convoluted series of events, had an influence on the assassination of the Late President John Kennedy.
With his rendering of the movie The Doors, some who knew of events of the era claim Stone took ‘artistic license’ and rearranged history to the point they would not work with him any longer. In his movie Kennedy, everyone but the white house janitor conspired to assassinate Kennedy. In Any Given Sunday, the owner of the football team conspired to fire coach Al Pacino’s character.
In Wall Street, Michael Douglass’s character conspired with everyone to make money until one of his co-conspirators, Charlie Sheen’s character, conspired to bring him down. In his movie of ex-president George Bush Jr. titled “W”, everyone conspired against and with everyone else until Bush was left speechless from the confusion.
It appears Stone often depicts older stories with deceased characters to re-write history as he believes it to be and soft-balls living potential history makers to avoid a self-popularized conspiratorial approach. Even Stone’s comedy Dave was based on presidential conspiracy.
As a youth, did Stone come to believe Baby Puss, the pet sabre toothed tiger on the cartoon series “The Flintstones,” conspired with Wilma to lock Fred out of the house as we see at the end of each episode? After all, Fred screams repeatedly for Wilma and she doesn’t respond. Actually, the lingering question is instead of banging on the door, why didn’t Fred climb through the window? It was open with no glass.
Maybe we will find out if Stone does a documentary on early humans conspiring to use elephants as vacuum cleaners.
Persistent thematic conspiratorial personality or tendencies may be the result of a degree of paranoia. Is Stone paranoid? Some indications he may have issues in this regard can be compared to what the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5th edition (DSM 5) says of paranoia:
- Mistrust of other people for long periods of time. perhaps a lifetime.
- Longstanding suspiciousness of others and government, or anyone in control.
- Conspiratorial explanations of events both personally and in the world at-large.
- Accusations of marital infidelity.
- Unbalanced parenting models.
- Self-asserting, unyielding and stubborn.
These are just a few of the criteria but upon closer examination, public comments by those who worked with Stone on films indicate he has a ‘my way or the highway’ attitude, has been married three times, his Mother was all but absent and one of the first words that come to many people’s minds describing a Stone movie is ‘conspiracy’.
This is flimsy evidence but evidence nonetheless. Perhaps Stone is nowhere near paranoia; he just endorses traitors. There again, paranoid is better than one noid.
Paul Mountjoy is a Virginia based writer and a member of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science.
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