"Enabling": A 21st Century Crime
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 by Jon Burras
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     The world is certainly changing much faster than you can imagine. It used to be fairly easy to distinguish good from evil. Bad behavior was commonly punished in the hopes of transforming one's future behavior. The lines and boundaries were easy and clear. However, nowadays those lines between good and evil are somewhat blurred and it is not so easy to know where good ends and evil begins.
     Enter the world of enabling. "Enabling" is a term that came into focus in the 1970's with an expansion of the 12-step alcohol and drug recovery programs and a focus on others who had similar addictive behaviors. One does not necessarily have to drink alcohol or take drugs to be an addict. We have discovered that there are many types of addictions. Enabling is a type of behavior and state of consciousness addiction. Another term for enabling is called "codependence". For all practical purposes enabling is a disease of the mind and in most cases the newest crime of the 21st Century.

    Enabling is the disease of rescuing others. It is ignoring common sense and trying to save others. On a criminal front it is about bonding with criminals and criminal activity and doing whatever is necessary to protect people engaged in criminal or sabotage activity from holding any accountability or facing any punishment. Enabling is another form of "Stockholm Syndrome".

      In classic Stockholm Syndrome someone who is kidnapped or tortured often bonds emotionally with their captures. In enabling, people often bond emotionally with others who are committing crimes and sabotaging their lives. The two are inherently the same. An enabler is the one who wishes that a person involved in a car chase will ultimately get away from the police and never be caught, no matter what crime he might have committed.

      Notice how in the past few years there have been an abundance of people who have donated money to campaigns to get people out of jail who have committed crimes. We have seen a rise of organizations (government, community and religious) who are committed to protecting homeless people from taking any responsibility for their lives. We have seen governors, mayors, city council members, district attorneys and Presidents who have thrown away the rule of law and instead have done whatever they can to protect people who are breaking the law. This is not just a mental illness problem that we are facing but it is also a vast wasteland of new criminality.

     If you are the driver of a car that is involved in a drive by shooting where someone is injured or killed you are equally guilty for that injury or death as the person who pulled the trigger. You are an enabler. If you sell illegal guns to someone who kills several people you are also guilty of the same crime. You are an enabler. If you provide alcohol to your alcoholic son you are just as guilty. If you give money to your heroin addicted daughter you are just as much part of the problem as she is. An enabler is the one who passes out clean needles to drug users so that they can continue using drugs. These are all classic examples of enabling behavior.

     With that in mind, people who belong to organizations that give food, sleeping bags and tents to homeless people without demanding that homeless people change their lives are also guilty of the crime of enabling. A city attorney who lets criminals out on the street is also guilty of the crime of enabling. City council members who pay a criminal for damages are also enablers. How often have we seen a criminal rob a bank or steal a car and be injured or killed in the process? The city council then pays this person or his relatives millions of dollars in damages for the injuries he suffered while committing a crime. I am not sure who we should be arresting in situations like this—the criminal or the city council members.

     The society that we are living in today is filled with enablers. These individuals are both mentally unfit with the codependence addiction and also engaged in criminal activity themselves. They often blame a law by protecting those who broke the law. They attack the system rather than become accountable and hold others accountable. Enablers are part of the addicted framework of society where few wish to take responsibility and many act as victims.

     The unfortunate problem in today's world is that many who are afflicted with enabling addiction have taken over our political arena. They are now mayors, city council representatives, United States Senators, federal judges and local district attorneys. They are in control of the purse strings and continue to shovel out massive amounts of money to people who have chosen to sabotage their lives. Enablers are engaging in high and low level crimes when they defend criminals and make it easier for those committed to self-sabotage to not change their lives.

     Enablers are just as guilty for the problems in our society as those who might have their fingerprints on the crimes themselves. Enablers have infiltrated into our schools, politics, businesses, media and churches. Just as you might not know that your next door neighbor is an alcoholic until she crashes the car while intoxicated, you might not know that your favorite city mayor is inflicted with the enabling addiction as well until he drains the city's coffers to pay for people who have sabotaged their own lives. He is in his disease when he ignores common sense and spends hard earned taxpayers' dollars to help those who do not wish to be accountable for their lives. He is just as guilty of the crimes that these individuals are committing as he is their partner in crime. Just like with any addiction the rest of us just have to grimace in disbelief when we witness such chaotic behavior.

     Enablers are often the ones behind the scenes of vast social movements. They do not need facts or common sense to justify their support for these movements. Just like in traditional Stockholm Syndrome, an enabler bonds with victim-based causes without really understanding his or her own behavior. He is blinded by his addictive nature and often feels altruistic. Just like with all addictions, his rescuing addiction is the blinding light that guides his way as he is enveloped under a rainbow of delusion.

     Unfortunately there is not a flashlight strong enough to shine the light on enablers for them to change their ways. Their codependence crimes begin to mount and there is much damage that is done in the meantime. Just like with all addictions it is only a matter of time before the addict hits rock bottom. The enabler might eventually come to his senses when he realizes how much damage he has done and his rescuing plan did not work. Even enablers of alcoholics know that they are only buying time before things get worse. Their rescuing plan cannot go on forever before there is a crash. Enablers in society will eventually feel this crash as their ideology is challenged.

      In the meantime, gone are the days of the cattle rustlers and the stage coach robberies. The new 21st Century criminals have emerged. These are the enablers of society. While their crimes might seem blurry and ambiguous their destruction to society cannot be overlooked. To save an alcoholic you do not keep buying them alcohol. To save society you do not keep enabling those who sabotage their own lives or engage in criminal activity.