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Self Defense/Violence and Betrayal.... Shades of grey and various degrees? Is there an equivalent to a "betrayal scale" based on proportionality and circumstances?


You mention in your writings repeatedly that betrayal is the one act that inspires the most vicious acts of violence. This topic is so vast that we can go on and on because of the infinite question I have. Sadly I am using an internet kiosk at the mall right now and have so limited cash so I'll just stick to one specific thing about this topic.

I'm halfway through the anime Slayers Try. For over a year  I have been watching the Slayers franchise (which is primarily a series of fantasy novels and several anime TV show adaptations) and finishing the several TV series in the franchise. Try is the 4th TV series.

Now two important plot elements related to this thread. The protagonist is Lina Inverse, a fiery girl with a mean temper. She is infamous for holding grudges (especially towards personal betrayal). In addition she is a sorcery genius who is quite analytical and observant. READING people is one of her BEST GIFTS and just by body movements along with the circumstances under which a person acts, she can easily estimate a person's intentions and future actions including betrayal.

There is a secondary character named Xellos who is a loyal spy for the Monster Race. Because his missions often overlap with Lina's ambitions and objectives, Xellos tagged along. Xellos manipulates Lina and other factions throughout the series, often into accomplishing his objectives.

AN interesting thing is even though he's responsible for instigating conflicts that Lina has to tackle through simply because it helps him further his objective s(no matter how pissed Lina gets or ow many innocent bystanders suffer-several towns were destroyed simply because he manipulated mythical creatures into attacking Lina!).

However as I mentioned Lina herself is no fool and on the episode he debutted, he already had a premonition Xellos is no good.

In addition there is also a heroine named Filia who is currently accompanying Lina in Try. Filia is a Saintly goody-two shoes who cannot tell a lie and is so trustworthy that you can entrust your life with her if she makes you a promise. However like Lina she doesn't take personal betrayal well. However she is even FAR worse than Lina in that she is too naive and trusting and could not tell liars from honest people or a wolf-in sheep's clothing from genuinely good people. In addition whereas Lina takes  what she calls in her own words"PERSONAL BETRAYAL" as a grave offense, she feels that anyone "outsider her comradre" is easy opportunity (not lying she said these things literally). Filia takes betrayal  even from villains and acquaintances she barely knows as GRAVE SINS and will hold a grudge so vile you can sense she wants to kill you. Hell there are a few episodes in earlier TV series where Lina is actually glad to have been betrayed by bosses who hired her for mission, other factions, and even enemies who pretended to be allies because she says it'll "make her quest easier".

So in the episodes I watched of Slayers Try last night, Xellos' manipulation tactics didn't work this time with another faction and he had to take them toe-to-toe himself. Filia was alongside with Xellos during this battle and Lina and her companions (as in people she's willing to die for without hesitation) where away in another region battling. Xellos revealed his true intentions both to the enemy faction and Filia and not only was Filia so hurt that she was crying but she even actually attacked Xellos during the middle of battle.

THe enemies Xellos are battling are a bunch of demons so wicked they would rape a child just for fun and they are known to backstab each other for selfish gains. They not only looted whole cities and towns but it was even FILIA'S MISSION to stop them as a holy priestess (which is why she joined Lina's group in the first place for this specific TV adaptation). Xellos may be a backstabbing traitor and even a sadistic bastards who serves an evil faction, the Monster Race. But he's not out to destroy the world and he has standards (such as hating rapists; he destroyed a clan of raiders on his own in one of the previous TV shows not because it aids his agendas and helps the Monster Race but simply because he thought the raiders were disgusting for being pedophiles). THe same could be said for the Monster Race that he is a part of who, while being violent and certainly racist, HAD a Code of Honor which forbids many of the acts the enemy faction in Try is committing.

Anyone with common sense would obviously support Xellos despite his betrayal  because of his code of honor and the fact his faction is not endangering the world. But simply because she was so hurt from being betrayed and manipulated, Filia attacked Xellos during the duel thus giving the enemies an edge.

During their battle, Lina and her companions happened to come across them. Lina immediately went to aid Xellos. Filia (who believed Lina to be a friend at this point) was really going "WTF!". She warned Lina that Xellos was simply manipulating them and intended to betray them all along.

Lina stated that she's known Xellos to long that she was already expecting this, even adding that she already knew Xellos had the vibe of a "double-crosser" (and the episode even sowed flashback of Xello's debut and the first time he betrayed Lina's group). So she told Filia its no biggie. Which Filia could not understand at al.

In addition after a brief argument, Lina even told Filia not to worry because Xellos has been  quite useful in previous journeys and that even his acts of abandonment and betrayal have often been essential in turning the tides and defeating previous enemies. So while he's known to start shit and backstab everyone, Xellos has been really helpful as a "neutral bystander" that Lina doesn't mind hims traveling with her group and even expects him to betray at some point in every journey he joins (and thus she plans accordingly  based on Xellos's MO).

Now I know you're not fond of fictional references because of how unrealistic they are  especially anime and fantasy.

But my dad works in some management position and his experiences that he tells me  in the business world EXACTLY matches the interaction  between Lina, Fillia, and Xelos.

I known people like Lina who is not above backstabbing business partner and even accept traitors as friends because they are useful. But they do not tolerate betrayal from close companions and relatives. Hell I know of one person in the office, one of the board of directors who is now imprisoned because he murdered a coworker who he was friends with since childhood but did not support his way of running the company

I known the real life Xellos in the work office who are actually loyal to another faction but work to manipulate policies and politics so that the faction they are really loyal to will benefit.

I known goody-two shoes employees like Filia who are so weary of betrayal that they will leave the company if they are forced to work with someone who betrayed them in the past.

Wow my minutes are coming and the kiosk is about to shut my access down but I have so much details I want to put. I'll just have to wait another time.

But I am curious if the relationship between betrayal and violence is full of shades? Because in your writings you make it sound like any act of betrayal will forever make you on a former friend's or family member's hate list and you warn about betraying people or doing acts that can be interpreted as betrayal (even if you never intend to do so) because you might be brutally assaulted or even murdered on the spot.

But my observations (based on my dad's workplace) doesn't seem to be so simplistic as "betrayal inspires the longest grudges and worst acts of violence" as your writings state.

Your entire, long post could be summed up in this paragraph.

>But I am curious if the relationship between betrayal and violence is full of shades? Because >in your writings you make it sound like any act of betrayal will forever make you on a former >friend's or family member's hate list and you warn about betraying people or doing acts that >can be interpreted as betrayal (even if you never intend to do so) because you might be >brutally assaulted or even murdered on the spot.

Short answer is yes.

A longer version is: It inspires the worst that an individual is willing to do given the circumstances and the stakes of what the betrayal was over. Which, since people are different, circumstances are different is going to give you all kinds of different reactions and shadings.

Is the betrayed person going to actively seek vendetta? Will it be one explosive act or will it be drawn out stalking? Is he going to brood for a while then go for either of the options? Is he or she going to wait for an opportunity to fall in their lap? (And when it does exploit that?) Or will the person sit back and nurse the grudge and do nothing? Will circumstances change and another person become the latest 'target' in a long string target of their hate? Or will they have to work with the person again, so they take measure to not get screwed again (or screw the other person this time)?

You quoted me "betrayal inspires the longest grudges and worst acts of violence."

See the mistake you are making is thinking it's an equal sign.  Inspires does not mean automatic and always. So while the longest and nastiest are overwhelmingly inspired by a sense of betrayal (another rabbit hole**), extreme violence over betrayal is not always what happens.

Stop and think about it. If extreme violence was guaranteed, it wouldn't be safe to betray anyone, now would it? So the betrayer, is betting on being able to get away with it with this person. Or -- to put it another way -- relying on the worst response of that person to be hurt feelings and nothing else. The other strategy betrayers use is hoping/relying on is not being found out.

I didn't need the whole anime plot to answer the question in that paragraph. "Full of shading" boils it down to a simple answerable question. That way you can invest your internet time (and money) watching anime or reading free manga at the kiosk


** were you betrayed or do you just believe you were? Often the worst violence comes from these 'believers.'

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Marc MacYoung


Street self-defense, crime avoidance and personal safety


I grew up in the streets of Los Angeles in 'situational poverty.' I have dealt with criminals and violent people all my life -- both personally and professionally. I have written 15 books and 6 videos on surviving street violence. I was originally published under the name Marc Animal MacYoung. (Animal was my street name). I've taught police and military both internationally and within the US. I've lectured at universities, academies and done countless TV, radio, newspaper and magazine interviews. I'm a professional speaker on crime avoidance and personal safety. And I am an expert witness recognized by the US court system. My bio is at My abridged CV (Curriculum Vitae) is at

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