Psychological Profile of Christopher Blair
|Office of Special Psychological Operations
- TO: ADMIRAL GEOFFREY TOLWYN
- RE: PSYCHOLOGICAL PROFILE OF CHRISTOPHER BLAIR
- As per your request, I have interviewed Lt. Christopher Blair, with a view towards any potential security risk involving enemy psychological exploitation of trauma related to the death of his parents, or his mother's Pilgrim heritage.
- I interviewed the Lt. on three separate occasions (.084, .092, .099 of this year) at the SF Flight School on Sirius, for periods of 60 minutes each. The interviews were conducted under the guise of a research study into the early motivational factors of pilot candidates. I also interviewed three of Blair's classmates at the same time, to substantiate my cover and act as control subjects. I chose to interview the subject just after mid-cycle exams―a time of minimal training stress.
- I have no reason to believe that either the Lt. or his school superiors suspected that Blair was the target of any special inquiry.
PROFILE: CHRISTOPHER BLAIR
Despite a mild defensive reaction upon first mention of his mother, once he was satisfied that I had no observable prejudice towards Pilgrims in general, Blair proved quite eager to discuss his parents. This is, generally speaking, a positive sign―had he been evasive or sullen on the subject, that would have been a far more ominous indicator.
Lt. Blair definitely has deep-seated feelings of rejection and guilt over the death of his parents. As a small child he harbored the irrational belief that he had somehow caused his parents to "go away," and that he could somehow "bring them back" through correct behavior. Such childhood feelings are quite common in those orphaned at a young age, and they inevitably leave a deep impression on the adult psyche.
Blair was smuggled off Peron as an infant, and sent to live with his father's sister's family. His parents were both killed in the siege of Peron an event which occurred when Blair was four. His early school years fell during the immediate post -war era, a time when wartime jingoism remained high. He gained a good deal of self-esteem and peer acceptance from the fact that his father was a war hero who had been killed in action. (Blair did not find out until much later that his father was actually killed during an unauthorized attempt to rescue his mother―these details were suppressed in the account of the death released to the family, apparently for compassionate reasons.) He was kept ignorant of his mother's background and, like many post-war children (and indeed, many adults), he learned to demonize Pilgrims as treacherous, savage totalitarians.
Under these circumstances, he could not have discovered the truth about his mother at a worse time, or in a worse way. Shortly before his eighth birthday, his mother's origins were discovered by a reporter, who published a sensational story titled "War Hero's Secret Pilgrim Romance" to the sector news-nets. The story identified the Blairs by name, and prominently mentioned that the union produced a son, who was living on Blair's colony. The community was both rural and conservative, and the revelation created a disproportionate scandal. In a shocking display of irrational prejudice, the parents of several of Blair's close playmates instructed their children to stop associating with him. Of course, he was mocked severely by the same children who had formerly lionized him as a hero's son.
This incident constitutes the second significant trauma of Blair's childhood. It revived his early feelings of guilt and abandonment in a more mature and articulate context (the adult Blair is able to describe memories of his emotions from this time in great detail). If his mother was an "evil" Pilgrim, did that mean that he was evil, too? If his father loved his mother, did that make the father a "traitor"? During this period Blair's grades (which had been excellent) plummeted, and he began to become withdrawn, stubborn, and destructive. (In our interviews, Blair confirmed these reactions, but also expressed the opinion that his school reports from the period were exaggeratedly negative, due to his teachers' prejudice and reduced expectations of excellence.)
From that nadir his grades and conduct showed a steady increase over the next several years. As the community got over its initial shock at Blair's parentage, he was able to resume his emotional development. Nonetheless, his emotional scars continued to retard his progress.
Blair himself identifies his 13th year as the time in which he determined to move beyond his parentage. By this time the Kilrathi had replaced the Pilgrims as the popular demons of choice, and the media was becoming more objective in its assessments of the Pilgrim culture. Some were even beginning to publicly raise serious questions about Confed's own motivations and ethics in the Pilgrim conflict.
In this environment Blair was able to channel his adolescent rebelliousness and natural intelligence into an intense search for the "truth" about his parents. He read voraciously on the Pilgrim Conflict ―popular history, Confed propaganda, radical revisionist propaganda and militaria were all pursued avidly. It is at this time that he began to surreptitiously wear the Pilgrim cross inherited from his mother (which had been recovered along with his parents' bodies). His intellectual fascination with the period of his parents' death continues to this day, and appears to be the cornerstone of his personal coping mechanism against his childhood traumas.
In high school his grades again rose. His only reported behavioral problems during this time involve argumentativeness in class, and several variations on the theme of "holding unconventional/unpopular views in a conservative community." This intellectual individualism did not prevent him from becoming a class leader and successful athlete.
He says he did not know whether or not he would apply for Academy appointment until the day of the deadline. According to Blair himself, he did not want to become an officer until he was "certain he was 100% behind it." His Academy record indicates that he did commit himself completely to his goal, once he determined to act upon it.
Lt. Blair has unquestionably been traumatized by his early losses and the childhood humiliation associated with the revelation of his Pilgrim heritage. There is likewise no question that a skilled psychological operative could, through a concentrated program of hypnotism, role playing and physical abuse and deprivation, turn these tendencies into a full-blown psychosis, probably involving intense feelings of hatred towards Confed.
As I am sure the admiral is aware, however, it is axiomatic to those in my profession that everybody has such early traumas, which can bé manipulated through sufficiently concerted modifications to produce virtually any desired behavior. The meaningful question is not whether Blair possesses exploitable psychological weaknesses (a tautology, from my viewpoint), but whether these vulnerabilities represent any unusual risk.
In my opinion they do not. Were I, for example, assigned to compromise Blair's unit, my initial line of attack would certainly be an attempt to introduce certain members of the unit to attractive members of the opposite sex (nor would Blair be among my first choices in this regard). Furthermore, if I actually did try a complicated and expensive course of radical behavior modification on Lt. Blair, it would be far more likely to leave him a vegetable than to produce a functional psychopathic operative with exploitable neurosis.
I do feel that there is some risk that Blair's traumas may assert themselves under combat stress. He does display a certain militancy towards his mother's background (he wears her Pilgrim cross at all times) and if his Pilgrim connections bring him into suspicion―particularly under the insular conditions of a warship―it may trigger a reversion to his childhood rejection traumas, resulting in an erosion of discipline and moral, and perhaps even violence. Such risks should more properly be assessed within a psychotherapeutical environment.
Moving on to the question of Blair's present loyalties and motivations, I see little cause for alarm there, either. Blair is an intelligent young man with a complex personal morality. He has deliberately exposed himself to, and rationally evaluated, most of the radical philosophies of the present and recent past. After this research, he chose to become a Confed officer when he was, in his words, "certain he was 100% behind it." His loyalty to Confed is neither unreserved nor unconditional; however, it is conscious, rational and, in my opinion, deeply felt.
Regarding his feeling towards the Pilgrims, he has carefully cultivated a neutral viewpoint towards the Pilgrim conflagration. This is a coping mechanism related to his feelings towards his mother, but it is also a rational and informed viewpoint. Blair does not see the Pilgrim war in terms of good and bad, but as a dispassionate political and philosophical struggle. While he apparently respects the sincerity of the Pilgrim faith, I saw no sign that he had any personal inclination towards Pilgrim dogma (and, in fact, Blair displays some amusement at the more outré manifestations of the Pilgrim faith). He did express some frustration at the dearth of objective reports on the Pilgrim religion and culture (as opposed to the history of the Pilgrim conflict) in the popular media.
To summarize, I find no special security risks in Blair's background or psychological makeup. I do not recommend any further observation or any restriction of his career as a pilot or Confederation officer.
- [Colonel Jillian Ickes, M.D.]