Case Study in Behavioral Modification – Philip Kresnik

The name is, so far as I know, fictional. I’m using poor, non-existent Philip Kresnik as my virtual guinea pig to demonstrate the principle or principles behind how he came to kill his likewise non-existent wife and himself. The name may be a simple anagram of Kreskin, who I view as a fake, a charlatan, and therefore the name seems appropriate for someone who does not exist. Likewise, the case study is fictional but from what I can see, possible and similar happens regularly.

Philip Kresnik is a third generation American. His grandparents immigrated to the United States in the 1940s. He married his wife while they were both undergrads. He went to law school and is now an assistant state attorney on the path to becoming a district attorney ten or fifteen years down the road depending on when his boss who has held the job for two decades decides to retire and other factors related to garnering support, campaign funds, and gearing himself towards running for office.

He has no terrible skeletons in his closet. He once had a close call that turned out to be nothing. A misunderstanding at a picnic while he was in law school involving his then three year old son could have ended his career before it began. However, he managed to straighten things out and the incident is long forgotten. The truth was that there was no inappropriate behavior, merely a misunderstanding.

It is thirteen years later. He and his wife just had a conversation, one that seemed perfectly normal. At the conclusion of this short conversation, he shot her and then himself.

Here are three versions of what happened. As you’ll see, some may describe them as existing on a different level of consciousness. I don’t know if that is an accurate description. There is nothing supernatural nor transcendental about any of them. Rather, I see it as layers of an onion. Peeling the outer ones away is necessary if there is ever to be a leveling of the playing field and/or a staving off of whatever kind of oppressive system is waiting around the corner.

One – The police investigation.

Subject, Philip Kresnik, was working on a criminal case involving bank fraud as related to a gun and drug running gang known to operate in this state and others. At approximately 9:35PM last night, he shot his wife and shot himself a short time later. Both were pronounced DOA at 1:30AM at Municipal Hospital.

Their son, 16 y.o., happened to be leaving a voicemail via his cellphone with a schoolmate while in the next room. Forensics managed to enhance the audio to discern the conversation between Mr. and Mrs. Kresnik. It is as follows:

Mrs. K: LATE AGAIN? PHILIP, YOU NEED TO REST.

Mr. K: I HAVE TO FINISH THIS CASE. THE SOONER IT’S OVER, THE BETTER.

Mrs. K: DON’T HAVE A COW, DUDE.

A shot. A second shot.

Mr. K: (Sobbing).

A third shot.

–End of audio.

Further investigation suggests that the stress of the high profile case combined with harassing phone calls lead to a nervous breakdown for Philip Kresnik resulting in murder-suicide. Police have thus far been unable to determine who made the threatening calls to Mr. Kresnik’s office. His secretary has been cooperative.

Result: The case against the bank and gang for conspiracy is delayed considerably. Mr. Kresnik’s situation is called “a tragedy” by the news media. Psychologist “talking heads” discuss a lot about job stress.

Two – The investigative reporter’s book.

Unsatisfied with the official accounting of what happened and titillated by the story he has heard thus far, an investigative reporter decides to dig deeper.

He discovers that, in addition to the threatening phone calls, someone sent child pornography to Mr. Kresnik’s email account, a fact that Mr. Kresnik’s secretary kept from the police out of loyalty and anger at those responsible (which she will tell anyone must be members of the gang he was prosecuting). He also finds that sometimes the calls got passed through to Kresnik when the secretary thought it was someone calling other than the harassers.

The discovery that excites him most, however, is the significance of the conversation recorded on the son’s cellphone call. He discovers by looking through old family photos that the son himself wore a shirt with a cartoon character on it along with those words. It is his “Rosebud” moment and presents a perfect “bow” on the narrative he constructed.

Putting those two things together, he suggests that the Assistant DA may have had some kind of sexual deviant past though he is unable to uncover any actual evidence of that despite that is seems that the gang may have succeeded in doing so to drive him to that extreme.

Change: There is debate in the media between a few of Kresnik’s (many) friends willing to stick their necks out and say that he was not a pedophile and those who take the reporter’s book to its seemingly logical conclusion and say that it’s possible (while of course discussing it as though it is fact). Overall desire to always depict two opposing sides as equal allows the debate to continue because it propagates the discussion, keeps people watching.

Result: Same as the police investigation except now the bank’s attorneys manage to move public opinion by smearing the DA’s office.

Three – The Covert Op.

Thirteen years ago it may or may not have been arranged. The group responsible for what happened more recently either discovered the picnic non-incident or arranged it, understanding that Kresnik was an up and comer, likely to achieve some status due to his drive and intellect. In fact, they may have helped his career along hoping to use the old picnic incident to blackmail him should the need arise. They do this a lot, this is standard operating procedure for them.

When the discovery and subsequent investigation regarding the illegal activities of the gang and bank occur, they decide that it is too late to simply use public relations to shut it down before the trail leads to other operations that they are involved in. Some of the players involved know too much about these other activities.

Therefore they begin with the harassment and drug Mr. Kresnik without his knowledge. He and those close to him assume it is the stress and lack of sleep responsible for his change in behavior.

They also use voice-to-skull in the subliminal audio mode to make Kresnik recall the picnic incident over and over. Similarly, they use it to give his wife a hypnotic suggestion to continue to forget it. What she does recall, is that their son once used the phrase on his shirt when Mr. Kresnik was upset and that it made him laugh to hear his three year old say so and it reminded him not to take things so seriously. Conversely for him and unknown to his wife, V2K is used so that the recollection of the shirt becomes the focus and the day he nearly lost everything due to a misunderstanding. Those words become a psychological trigger. Between the drugs (which alternately cause feelings of anger, depression, and low self esteem causing him to underestimate the strength of his case against the bank and gang), the harassing phone calls (one of which implies that they know about the picnic incident) and his wife’s innocent comment (that he takes in that moment as a sign that she has turned on him, that “they” have “gotten” to her as well and that she will turn on him in the press before he can make closing arguments; not only will “they” win but he and his life will be destroyed in the process; this seems the better way out) he crumbles under the pressure while being bombarded with violent thoughts and thoughts of failure via V2K.

The situation is created and the reactions fixed and the people dance as if choreographed in a ballet. The inability for one person to hear what the other actually means when they say what they say becomes the weakness. Love of ones family, job, community, become weaknesses to be exploited. Seeing how motive, when it is strong enough, requires further investigation just doesn’t happen.

Change: None whatsoever despite ample evidence that these technologies exist and that these methods have been studied for over half a century. An apparent inability to see the dangers or grasp the ruthlessness with which they are used leaves it largely untouched as a topic in serious discussion now even though it was discussed seriously from the 1950s to the 1970s. Advances in this tech and these methods mean the danger for abuse and likelihood for no subsequent detection are both increasing.

Result: The criminals win, everybody else loses.

These same principles can be applied to less dramatic actions. This includes those that would seem on the surface to be unlikely on the part of people like Mr. Kresnik.

For example, a high speed car accident. Was the person involved running to or from something? What overcame the desire for personal safety and increased the chances that a momentary loss of motor control would prove deadly? Similarly, subjects for whom some parties find it desirable to be cut off from friends and family, these same principles apply. Fear of family being harmed can drive people away if they believe they are the cause or the center of the danger.

In short, it involves turning whatever it is the subject holds dear or believes against him or her. One could try to change what those things are, but it is in many cases much harder unless the target, the subject, is already a member of a cult or cultlike group.

Furthermore, the applications for these principles coupled with this technology are many. Mostly, we see this within political movements where group cohesion cannot be maintained. Wedges are driven between people who would otherwise make effective allies. Suspicion about motives, true loyalties, and the best ways to move forward overcome the desire to work cooperatively. Each group or individual finds themselves having to take on an opposition that does not have the same problem because it understands these principles and its loyalties are simple: love of money and power. The desire to “win” overcomes objectivity and the result is either risk-taking (resulting in injury, death, imprisonment, or other forms of being neutralized) or backstabbing among would-be allies that weakens the overall message. Additionally, the opposition uses these same principles to maintain discipline in their ranks.

As you can see, the case of Philip Kresnik was a bit of both. They hoped to control him at first but when he pushed onward with the case anyway they instead used it to destroy him.

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