The Salem Witch Trial Effect

I don’t even know whether this is historically accurate or not but the way I understand it, if you were accused of being a witch in the late 1600s, your fate was predetermined.

You were weighted down and thrown in the water.  If you drowned, that proved you weren’t a witch.  If you floated, this was evidence that you were a witch, and it would be used against you at trial and you would likely join the couple of dozens killed during that period.

No win.

The accusation is the sentence.  

Often too this happens with modern-day accused criminals.  Innocent until proven guilty is a legal standing only. If your neighbor had been accused and acquitted of pedophilia, would you let him babysit?

And how about if someone is questioned about being an alcoholic?  If you say yes, you are are one; if you say no, you’re an alcoholic in denial.  Either way, it’s a done deal.

What about less dramatic situations?  I’m having some questions about my pre-teen daughter and her eating habits.  None of it is textbook and I didn’t get my hospital-issued crystal ball.  So I’m left with a whole lot of murky gray, and wondering, if I raise my hand and ask questions that turn out to be wrong, have I done more harm than good?  At what point does the system take over and move it out of my control?

And, really.  Who in the heck decided I was grown up enough to make these determinations anyway?

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