Study: A Voodoo Doll Of The Boss Will Make Your Employees Happier!?

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Allowing disgruntled staff to stab voodoo dolls of their boss could help them feel less resentful and improve the quality of their work, a new study has suggested.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, more than 12 million Britons are forced to take time off work each year because of stress and anxiety, often caused by pressure from overbearing or abusive managers.

But rather than allowing staff to brood over their mistreatment, which can be detrimental to work, business experts have suggested they should be allowed to take out their anger on voodoo dolls.

A study of 229 workers in the US and Canada found that engaging in ‘symbolic retaliation’ lowered feelings of injustice by one third.

Although revenge is often viewed negatively, the researchers say the findings highlight ‘the largely overlooked benefit of retaliation from the victim’s perspective.’

Assistant Professor Dr Lindie Liang, of Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario Canada said voodoo dolls could help staff

“As weird as it sounds, yes,” she said  “We found a simple and harmless symbolic act of retaliation can make people feel like they’re getting even and restoring their sense of fairness.

“It may not have to be a voodoo doll per se: theoretically anything that serves as a symbolic act of retaliation, like throwing darts at a picture of your boss, might work.

Symbolically retaliating against an abusive boss can benefit employees psychologically by allowing them to restore their sense of justice in the workplace.”

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The participants in the study used an online voodoo doll programme created by Dumb.com, which allows users to name the effigy after their boss, and sticking it with pins, burn it with a candle, and pinch it with pliers.

Although voodoo dolls are often linked to Africa and the Americas in popular fiction, early records suggest they have their origins in the British medieval period, when people would make rag dolls or sculptures of witches – called poppetts – and pierce them with pins to inflict harm or break an enchantment.

The dolls were later mistakenly linked with Afro-Caribbean Voodoo or Vodou.

The report authors decided to embark on the study because previous research suggested that people who feel they have been treated unfairly will lash out at their abuser, but it can spark a spiral of retaliation and counter-retaliation which is detrimental in the long term.

“We wanted to see, rather than actually retaliating against the abusive boss, whether mistreated employees could benefit from harmless acts of symbolic retaliation,” added Dr Liang.

For the study, the participants were asked to recall and visualise a workplace interaction which had involved abuse from a supervisor. Some were then asked to retaliate using a voodoo doll, before all completed a task to fill in the blanks to complete words.

Those who had been allowed to stick pins in their virtual boss were far less likely to still feel bitter, and were also better at completing the word exercise.

In a paper in the journal The Leadership Quarterly, the authors conclude: “These findings suggest that retaliation not only benefits individual victims, but may also benefit the organization as a whole, given that justice perceptions is important for employee performance and well-being.”

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Exorcists in training as Vatican tackles rising cases of the ‘demon and possession’

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‘Satan arrives wherever there are human beings’: a special conference will be held in April to help bishops who train priests to become exorcists (file photo) CREDIT: PACIFIC PRESS / BARCROFT IMAGES

The Vatican is holding a training course for exorcists from around the world to help the Roman Catholic Church cope with the growing numbers of people who claim to be possessed, Church officials say.

A conference held in April at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome will focus on anthropological, social, theological, liturgical, pastoral, and medical aspects of “exorcism and the prayer of liberation.”

It is aimed especially at providing support for bishops who train priests to become exorcists.

Cardinal Angelo Amato, the Vatican Prefect for the Congregation of the causes of saints, will open proceedings with a lecture on fighting Satan.

The number of Italians approaching exorcists has tripled recently to half a million people, according to Vatican News.

Father Cesare Truqui, a priest who learned to cast out demons from Italy’s most famous exorcist, Fr. Gabriele Amorth, told the Vatican Insider that “in the popular mind, the exorcist is a sort of good wizard who deals with the devil.”

He acknowledged that many who turn to exorcists in reality have “problems of the family, of losing work, even girls with problems of the heart” while others suffer from “spiritual deviation.”

“Even among Catholics there is a lot of superstition,” he said. “I have been asked for help by a girl who requested a long-distance exorcism of her ex-boyfriend who left her. In such cases one tries to give human understanding.”

True possession by demons is not common, he says, cautioning nevertheless that “the devil is always lying in ambush.”

“Nowhere is immune, not even the Vatican. Satan arrives wherever there are human beings.”

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Jesus was frequently asked to cast demons out of people CREDIT: THE ART ARCHIVE/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

Brother Benigno Palilla, a Sicilian exorcist, also blames superstition for the surge.

“The number of people ready to make use of wizards, sorcerers, people reading cards and the tarot has increased,” he told Vatican News. “That leads to the demon and to possession.”

Last month Brother Palilla organized a grassroots training course for Sicilian exorcists who learned about Satanist sects and heard “stories of liberation” from the exorcised.

“A self-taught exorcist certainly will make mistakes. He needs a period of apprenticeship,” he said.

“The possessed are the existential backwater of which Pope Francis talks. They are people who suffer a lot and, unfortunately, are not inserted in the Church registry office,” Brother Palilla said.

Fr. Truqui says the course in Rome next month is timely because the struggle against the Devil has reached “a crucial stage of history.”

“Many Christians no longer believe in the existence of the malign one, few exorcists are appointed. There are no longer young priests willing to learn the doctrine and the practice of the liberation of souls.”

Critics warn that exorcisms can be a form of “spiritual abuse” and counsel extreme caution using them.

The Church of England says medical professionals must be consulted where appropriate.

Anne Richards, the Church of England’s national adviser on such issues told the Guardian: “Exorcism in a technical sense is incredibly rare. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a case that’s been authorised.”

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Did Pope Francis question the existence of hell?

Fox News contributor Father Jonathan Morris clarifies a report that Pope Francis questioned the existence of hell and explains why it is called Good Friday.

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