The human side of chess, 3

‘Psychology is the most important factor in chess’.

—Alekhine

In pursuit of a metaphorical king

This booklet is not only written for the hobbyist. If you are not a chess player, you can ignore the algebraic notation of the games that appear in this chapter and read exclusively my literary comments. I will be told that very little will be learned by studying my games or those of any other player other than what FIDE classifies as IM, International Master or GM: a Grand Master of the board (above the GMs there is only the world champion). I doubt that is true. Defeats that cause us humiliation are experienced by all: champions, teachers, club players and ordinary fans. And the best therapy for both the professional and the amateur is to meditate, and eventually write, about what has hurt us. While it is impossible for me to write a confessional testimony about the insights of an alien mind, I can talk about my emotions during games. In this chapter I present four games that I played with humans and one that I played with my computer.

The score sheets (1) for the games I played in tournaments in my teens and twenties, which were not FIDE endorsed tournaments, have been lost. At that time I was going through a great family storm and got rid of both my collection of chess books and my equipment to play—a story I have heard from other young people. It was precisely because of the problems at home that, like many others, I had taken refuge in the skirts of Caissa. I didn’t keep my youth games from tournaments, when I really fell in love with the goddess of chess, for the simple reason that my family problems stifled any interest in keeping them. Three of the games collected here, whose score sheets I kept, I played already in my twenties and thirties, when the family storm had passed.

My proposal in this chapter is to invite the player to talk about his emotions through his own games. The fan will be able to play with much more confidence after formally analysing those emotions, so that he knows himself a little better. It is a therapy not only about our defeats and setbacks: we also have to explain why some chess players suffer so much when we extract a victory from the opponent. The causes for which the chess player suffers are complex. It is known that intuitive psychology is not his forte. Lacking insight, even some world champions have ruined their lives as soon as they are crowned with the laurel of victory. What many ordinary professional and amateur chess players evade is the knowledge of how they were treated as children, and take refuge in Caissa as I did as a teenager.

Hardly any attempt has been made to write about the psychology of the chess player from the inner experiences of a player. Of the chess fans I know, no one takes seriously, for example, the study of the psychoanalyst Reuben Fine, The Psychology of the Chess Player. Fine argues that the game’s phallic symbolism is obvious: that the king represents the penis; the checkmate the castration, and other sublime imbecilities. Ernest Jones himself, Freud’s most orthodox acolyte and a great chess fan, speculates foolishly about ‘the mother and the paternal penis’ when addressing the simple fact of the change of the figure of the grand vizier into queen when the game supposedly transformed in its passage from the Arab world to the West. It is with the desire to show the player from the inside, rather than from psychoanalytical theories of no value, that I present my intimate confessions as well as some observations about my opponents.

______________

(1) For a Glossary of chess see: here.

Published in: on June 19, 2021 at 1:03 pm  Comments Off on The human side of chess, 3  

Nobody wanted to listen, 6

A humanitarian analyst

Once again, I will be told that I chose the wrong people: that the Escobars were unfortunate cases and that in the world there are professionals capable of understanding a tragedy for what it is, a tragedy and call a spade a spade. Let’s now see what happened to me with the most benevolent analyst I have ever met.

Dr. Carlos García had lent money to my parents when they were going to be expelled from their house in Tlalpan for not paying it. Likewise, when I was unemployed at twenty-three, García invited me to play chess with him once a week and paid for my classes. Almost two decades later, the same month as my disagreement with the Escobars, I went to his house to personally deliver a copy of my Letter to him. Let’s see what my diary says of that encounter in his home study:

July 15, 1998

Today I went to see Dr. García and he surprised me with several comments that corroborate my vision of him as a good person. For example, he told me ‘I have never committed a patient since 1960’ and used the word ‘curse’ from Szasz, with whom he says he agrees, when referring to psychiatric labelling.

Given the prestige that the doctor has in society, Tom Szasz says that the semantic stigma with which the psychiatrist denigrates his victim results in a social curse.

He liked Ronald Laing because of his colourful personality, and he told me that Laing played bassoon and had died playing tennis in Monaco.

Also, and this is novel because it qualifies what I wrote in previous pages, it vindicated the role of benevolent analysts like him. He told me that at psychiatrists’ symposia he had been blatantly told ‘That won’t work’—psychoanalysis. ‘This is where the buck is made’— psychiatry—since psychiatrists earn four times as much as analysts. He has had schizophrenic patients and one ‘labelled’—he used that word—of manic-depressive who had been prescribed lithium for life, but he left her well with only therapy, taking away the medicine. The shrink who had treated her before ‘was on the same page’ he told me, pointing to a book by Ramón de la Fuente.

This was a splendid start, and everything suggested that I had finally found a friendly ear in a professional. A doctor who recognises fraud in his profession can be a guarantee of good feelings towards the victims of the parents and the doctors who pay them. A month after I gave him my manuscript I excitedly called García to see what impact my precious text had caused. I don’t know shorthand, but I managed to jot down some important phrases by writing as fast as I could while talking to him on the phone:

17 of August. ‘It is very well written. It is a good testimony, like Kafka’s letter. In my opinion, the family problem must be removed: by removing the names, it could become a good testimony to be known socially; we must remove the character of denunciation and give it more social and collective function. It has curative action. It is a book against family, medical institutions and in particular, ahem, the health [apparently an euphemism for the psychiatric] institution. With pseudonyms… hopefully it may be published’.

This opinion encouraged me and I made a new appointment with him. But I must confess something. Years before I had been offended by García when in his home study he defended Amara against my complaint. That happened before I started my psychiatry research and could properly present my case in two books. But García’s comments about my Letter reconciled me to him, at least momentarily. The day I saw him, back in his home study, I wrote these reflections in my diary:

August 28. Today I went to see him and spent an hour and a half talking to him. I was wrong in believing that García wasn’t compassionate. The first thing he said about my Letter to Mama Medusa was: ‘I was so amazed. I felt moved’.

And he did talk about Amara: that there was no communication, although I remember that he was ambiguous about assigning blame (he implied that it was necessary to find out where the error came from). But he did say that instead of wanting to understand family dynamics Amara turned to drugs. This comment and others end the resentment I had for him when he long ago repudiated my criticism of his colleague. He also spoke of the terrible lack of communication with my parents as a teenager. That was the year [1974] that García met me at my parents’ school. He was incomparably more human than Angelica, Hector and not to mention Solbein. García confirmed to me that no physician in Mexico publicly opposes psychiatry. Almost at the beginning he spoke of ‘the high-risk situation’ in which I found myself as a teenager. But he added that it would be ‘pamphlet’ if I didn’t use pseudonyms, which was ‘the only objection’ he made to my text.

So García advised me the same as Tere: he was more concerned with the public image of my family than with my need to report the case.

Without having assimilated this fact, two years later I would send him How to Murder Your Child’s Soul. Once again, I wrote down what he was saying to me over the phone. The brackets and ellipsis mean that I couldn’t write down his sentences in full, but the fragments are significant to know what García was thinking:

June 9, 2000.

What a disappointment! Dr. García told me:

‘I read half. I haven’t finished it; the question of sight has become more acute. From what I have read, I believe that you are wasting time and vital energy on the family matter. [You have to] put a line, a full stop and dedicate yourself to other issues. The critique of psychiatry is somewhat outdated; I feel it’s anachronistic, like that criticism of Dr. Amara. As far as I have read, if you reoriented your critical skills in another field… I think there was a series of misunderstandings and it led to suffering… My point of view [is that you should abandon your project so] you don’t have to continue paying the toll of what happened to you in youth. [I would suggest that] the question of Dr. Amara be put aside’.

I asked him ‘Are you friends?’ and he replied: ‘Not properly. We don’t treat each other; I don’t know about his activities. My opinion isn’t influenced by a question of friendship’.

García’s little sermon caused me enormous indignation. I embarked on a reflection for several days that made me fill my diary with expletives. I didn’t respond to García either at his home study or in writing because it would have been useless. But on the very day of his paternalistic advice I wrote down this soliloquy:

Do you remember his defence of Amara years ago that hurt me? Good!: history repeats itself. All this corroborates my view that only apostates of an ideology understand reality. García is an analyst. He never apostatised from his profession: he’s part of the guild. His internal alliances don’t allow him to see reality. He’s like Hector Escobar: good people but wrong. I mustn’t interact with them at all! I mustn’t speak to him again. You have to accept your solitude, Caesar: no professional will be able to understand you since the profession itself is a trap. Now the last door is closing…

11th of June. One of the nonsense that García told me that I didn’t write down the day before was that continuing my literary project ‘could harm me’. This shows that analysts know nothing of the mind. What García ignores (‘so that you don’t continue paying the toll on what happened to you in your youth’) is that you cannot start a different life without money. And even with money I would write first and only later would I dedicate myself to the cinema, for the simple reason that it’s now that my soliloquies from those years are alive and need to be written down. I have been a mountain philosopher for decades and it would be a crime if, by dedicating myself to something else, they would go out of my memory. I don’t see in what other areas I could help myself and other victims more than by telling my life.

June 17. There is something more serious in García’s response. If Amara keeps destroying teenagers in his office it is deeply immoral to say ‘put it aside’. That advice presupposes as an absolute fact that Amara hasn’t destroyed and is not destroying other young people. García didn’t deny my accusation, he simply ignored it, no matter how obvious the fact that, since Amara and other psychiatrists continue to do these things, my testimony would serve to combat them. Without knowing it, García is part of the system. His message seems to be: Your text is changing the rules of the game for me (he used those words!). I won’t read it all: it may endanger my POV about my colleagues.

June 27th. Another thing. That response from García, allying internally with someone who deserves a trial in court, shows that therapy is really a very bad thing. There is no getting around this conclusion: If García had scolded me for denouncing his colleague in the past, I’d have been terribly confused. Well, something similar happened to me years ago, but in 1976 I would have panicked. I must use this in the future to show the accuracy of Jeffrey Masson’s stance: All therapy is toxic. Now I just hate him. As a teenager he would have hurt me.

Imagine this: suppose my book has already been published and is selling well. If a journalist interviewed García to talk about the literary novelty, he couldn’t have come out with the advice he gave me. It wouldn’t have been so easy to escape. He must have faced what I wrote in that half that he read. But talking to an analyst in private lends itself to violating the most elementary rules of logic and common sense. Therapists despise what their clients tell them and shy away like children. It is too evident that the Amaras, Santarellis, Krassoievitchs, Millanes, Corrales and even Garcías [the analysts who have offended me] should only be challenged in my writings. In other words, their offices are a Wonderland where the accusations are ignored, disregarded.

Remember that counselling the victim instead of reforming the perpetrator is what Miller calls poisonous pedagogy, and the same goes for trying to ‘educate’ the victim without vindicating him against the curse that Szasz spoke of.

It is clear, Caesar, that you shouldn’t expect anything from those in the cult of psychoanalysis, including those who originally showed a good heart. They all belong to a quasi-religion and will not apostatise from it. They will take it to their graves. Forget about them. If they weren’t so religious, García and Escobar could’ve called me to politely discuss our differences. They won’t do it: this is a world without morals and the García case exemplifies it. Instead of telling me something about my accusations, they close their minds. Like my sister Korina, they give advice. It seems that the taboo on these topics is much more widespread than expected. It isn’t just my parents. It isn’t only the old Uncle Beto and Godmother or my cousins Héctor, Octavio and Carmina. People who agree with Szasz himself, such as García, also have closed minds (and let’s not talk about doctors Santarelli, Millán and other renowned analysts who have offended me terribly). That is your world Caesar, like it or not. My message is for other people. Don’t give your pearls to pigs anymore.

June 28th. I can’t leave Garcia alone. I think of the phrases ‘that criticism of doctor Amara…’, ‘there was a series of misunderstandings…’ I didn’t criticise Amara: I denounced him! Using the word ‘criticism’ suggests something like an opinion, a point of view: as if in my book I hadn’t talked about criminal actions, not ‘misunderstandings’! See now this: ‘If you reoriented your critical capacity to another field…’ Imagine telling Solzhenitsyn to redirect his criticism to a field outside Russia! I have been thinking many things about Garcia. It’s a great indicator of how bad his profession is.

García also told me by phone that the National Institute of Psychiatry [known also as INP in Mexico] ‘hadn’t allowed a patient to be committed because it was involuntary’. With this argument he tried to refute my manuscript (‘the criticism of psychiatry is somewhat outdated’) by assuming that in recent years the profession has become more humanitarian. I was speechless. It couldn’t be that I, decades younger than García, knew that the INP is the only psychiatric hospital in Mexico City in which internment is voluntary. In the large psychiatric hospital next door to García’s home, the Fray Bernardino Álvarez Hospital, involuntary psychiatry is practiced, such as electroshocking the inmates! The INP does it too, but it brainwashes the patients into undergoing therapy with their consent. Of course: they aren’t warned that that ‘therapy’ produces amnesia. A woman who was interned at the INP told me in 2005 that the electroshocks that were applied to her there erased her memories of a trip. It is also worth mentioning that the director of the INP, Gerard Heinze, told me personally that he mentions the magic word ‘Fray Bernardino’ to intimidate his patients into submitting to electroshock ‘therapy’.(*)

Garcia’s ignorance of psychiatry in the year 2000 stems from his incredible—truly incredible—blindness before the human rights violations that take place a few blocks from his home. The only psychiatric facility in the country that locks up children, the Juan N. Navarro Children’s Hospital, is also close to his home! In which bubble was Dr. García living? A few months before García told me that the criticism of my manuscript was outdated, the Mexican magazine Proceso had published a cover article exposing the crimes committed in a national psychiatric hospital run by the state. My diary from 2000 continues:

June 29. Oh García: I can’t leave you! Two years ago you told me that the schizoid label is ‘label’ and ‘a curse as Szasz says’. But when a colleague of yours labels me as a teenager while I am perfectly sane, and as an adult I want to denounce him, then you tell me: ‘Amara must be put aside’. Isn’t this precisely schizophrenia?

The anger caused by the old friend’s scolding was such that in my diaries I continued to go after him sporadically in 2001, 2002, 2003 and even 2004. But the above is enough to provide an idea of the bile that I spilled over his little piece of advice and scolding: the ‘poisonous pedagogy’ that Miller speaks of in its purest expression!

Carlos García did exactly the same that my pseudo-friend Tere had done to me. They both advised me to abandon my literary project. They didn’t realise that just by giving me that advice they would become themselves characters in such a project. The only difference is that Tere wanted to dissuade me from publishing my Letter to mom Medusa, where I denounce the crime of my parents; García wanted to dissuade me from publishing How to Murder Your Child’s Soul, where I exposed his colleague Amara. For Tere as well as for García and many others, the crimes that society commits with a family child must remain hidden. No one is to pronounce names. This pair reminds me of the first Gulag fugitive who escaped from an archipelago island and published a book about his experiences. In a crazy western world where Stalin used to be worshiped, the fugitive’s testimony was ignored and its author was subjected to the same kind of expletives that I received.
____________

(*) With another anti-psychiatric activist, in 2002 I interviewed Gerard Heinze, the director of the INP, and later I wrote a report about that visit.

Published in: on October 14, 2020 at 5:43 pm  Comments Off on Nobody wanted to listen, 6  

Nobody wanted to listen, 5

The opinion of psychologists

‘Where are the men?’ the little prince at last took up the conversation again. ‘It is a little lonely in the desert…’

‘It is also lonely among men’, the snake said.

—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


It may be assumed that Tere simply followed the dictates of traditional morality, but that if I told my testimony to a professional psychologist I would find the much sought after oasis. Nothing further from the truth. In the same multi-family apartment complex where I lived with Tere’s family, I met the psychologist Angelica. She read a version of my Letter and other texts that bear certain similarities with what is written in the narrative part of this book. Let’s see what happened when the psychology teacher read my stuff. I will cite my diary and later some of her letters that we exchanged. I had spoken to Angelica on the phone and I surprised her at the moment when she read the climax of my Letter:

July 25, 1998. I interrupted Angelica right in the passage of ‘The Medusa’! She said that it’s very good; that she doesn’t read out of obligation but because she’s enjoying it a lot; that the psychological references are very good and that she congratulates me. She still doesn’t get to the toughest pages. Right there I interrupted her.

August 12 and 13. Nothing new she told me. We only talked about my next trip. Even when I mentioned Medusa, nothing came out except that she said ‘I had read Laing again’.

Compassion doesn’t exist.

Two years later, I sent Angelica the manuscript of my second book. As psychologists are colleagues of psychiatrists, I was particularly interested in having her tell me something about such a ruthless exposé of psychiatry: something that had never before come from the pen of a fellow countryman. In 2000 she sent me an email note: ‘I think you already handle more psychology than I do. What’s more, I feel myself behind in clinic stuff; just finished my sabbatical and started writing a textbook. I really think you have a lot of easiness to express your ideas’.

Thus the same story and the same lack of compassion of two years ago was repeated. Although Angelica intended to flatter me, her missive upset me. Not only a couple of years before she hadn’t told me anything—like Tere—about the tragedy in my family with my parents. Now she wasn’t saying a word to me about the profession that helped ruin my teenage life. I must say that her position is similar to that of some friends who have focused exclusively on the literary aspect of my Letter: something that doesn’t interest me. The sole purpose of writing had been for someone to tell me something about the agony I suffered as a teenager; that it would show some indignation towards the aggressors and a society that allows such things!

Angelica had gone to live in La Paz. Due to her lack of compassion I decided to get away from her as I decided to get away from Tere. To my surprise, four years after her letter, Angelica visited Mexico City; she went around to find out my new phone number, insisted that we meet and talk in a restaurant. As a mature man, I was determined to tell Angelica that many people who, as a lad, I had taken for friends hadn’t really been friends. I alluded to the case of Tere, her former neighbour, and tried to present my arguments along the same lines to what was written in previous pages. Remember that a few years before I had sent her some drafts similar to the ones I publish in this book: texts about what I have felt about the country in which I was born. In July 2004, just a few days after we last saw each other at the restaurant, Angelica sent me an email:

Hi Caesar:

I read your book again. It’s okay. I think some things seemed too racist to me, for example your comments about your country. Your work loses value by your stupid racism: nacos, etc.

In Mexico naco designates the clumsy and uneducated Indian who emigrates to the city. If Angelica hadn’t been indoctrinated in a Marxist-Leninist university, she wouldn’t have been offended. She is a white woman who had a very handsome son, and at that time she was living with another much smaller son whose absent father was European.

You who seek to be treated as a human being don’t treat others as what you ask. It really gave me deep sadness to see you so aggressive and deteriorated.

I don’t think I told you the end of the dream. I was crying and that’s how it was. When I went on the subway, I became depressed and I broke down crying. Believe me, I esteem you more than I imagined. I really wanted to see you and hug you but your mask prevented me. Hopefully you can read this email.

A hug,

Angelica.

I didn’t answer her. The restaurant meeting had been forced, and it will surely be the last time I see her. But I would like to say something about the mask she mentioned. Angelica had had a dream, one of those that portray a situation. She had dreamt of myself as cold and distant, with a black mask; and in the dream she saw a woman who seemed responsible for all that; whom, within the same dream, Angelica related to my mother. In real life I was cold to her at the restaurant, and that was in dramatic contrast to the friendly lad Angelica had met in her apartment almost twenty years earlier. I wore a black mask in the dream and in real life I was dressed in black on my appointment with her (she was all dressed in flashy red).

Regarding her comment that she highly esteem me, I’ve also heard it from people I don’t want to see. Like Tere and Angelica, many hypocrites say they esteem me. But very few say anything meaningful to me when I open my heart to them by placing a homemade impression of the Letter in their hands: the core of my pain and the key that opens the door to my later life. Although Angelica is a professor of psychology, she didn’t show any compassion for what I told in that epistle. And from the other texts she read, it didn’t occur to her that if my father had agreed to emigrate I’d never have written a derogatory line about Mexico, although I’d have written about the United States. In her mind my cry of loneliness before a culture that is no longer mine appeared as ‘stupid racism’ (in my eleventh book in Spanish and Daybreak in English I address the issue of the word ‘racism’). More serious is that the psychology teacher had less compassion than Tere. The latter at least told me she was devastated; that only when she had the strength would she resume reading my Letter, and that at one point her eyes clouded when she read me. The professional psychologist didn’t even have that hint of pity.

It is worth saying that in 1985 Angelica had yelled at me horribly during an argument in which she agreed with my mother. And it was my mother with whom Angelica was talking about me that year! (although, unlike Tere, Angelica did it over the phone). The psychologist interpreted my belated resentment as if I was ‘aggressive and deteriorated’. Ironically, she saw me like this when I was enormously robust compared to the twenty-something lad of yesteryear. People get used to the docility of people damaged by their parents and with low self-esteem, and a change for the better is seen as a bad thing. I have only been ‘deteriorated’, to use Angelica’s word, when due to lack of a knowledgeable witness I couldn’t confront older women (Angelica and Tere are older than me).

Many years ago I witnessed how Angelica scolded her three-year-old blondish son with the threat: ‘I’m going to cut your balls!’ Betito, the European’s son, began to cry. Angelica and Tere say they esteem me. The truth is that there are many people who, like them, lack empathy for the feelings of others. What they estimate is not the real person, only a facet or one-dimensional image that they have of the person. Whoever is lucky enough to have a friendly ear, someone with whom to communicate the dimensions of the soul, knows that trying to transmit the secrets of the heart to a fellow without empathy is like speaking to Golem. Lack of empathy always has the same cause. The last time I saw her, Tere told me a creepy story perpetrated by her grandfather with his children. Once one of his sons was twelve years old, he took him to another city to abandon him. Tere’s grandpa told him that from that day on he had to subsist on his own. He didn’t even take him with a relative or acquaintances. He left him on the Mexican streets and never saw him again in life.

Tere and Angelica were, like the trio in the Cineteca gathering, victims of mistreatment. And not only that. Like those of the Cineteca they have buried the feelings of anger towards their parents. Ironically, the repression was greater in the psychology teacher than in Tere, who at least told me the story of her grandfather, or the filmmakers, who also spoke about their past. The more terrible the abuse of the parent and the greater the repression, the less empathy the daughter will develop towards her son (we can already imagine the toll that constant threats of castration can cause in a little boy of three years).

 
The analysts

There will be those who, after reading the above story, will think that there are not the psychologists, but the psychoanalysts the experts in deep psychology: professionals who take an interest in the lives of their clients, especially in the terrors of their childhood. This is a myth. I won’t repeat the exposé from my previous book on psychoanalysis because no one currently believes in its cornerstone. Freud said that his ideological edifice rested on his discovery of the Oedipus complex: that parents turn out to be a source of sexual desires for the child. It takes being too stupid, or seeing Freud as an infallible guru, to believe such a thing.

For many years Alice Miller practiced her profession as a psychoanalyst in Switzerland. In her first three books, Das Drama des begabten Kindes (The Drama of the Gifted Child), Am Anfang war Erziehung (translated as For Your Own Good) and Du Sollst Nicht Merken (Thou Shalt Not Be Aware) Miller believed that her discoveries were not incompatible with psychoanalysis. But in the late 1980s and early 90s she openly broke with her profession with the publication of Der gemiedene Schlüssel (The Untouched Key), Das verbannte Wissen (Banished Knowledge) and Abbruch der Schweigemauer (Breaking Down the Wall of Silence).

People like Miller, Jeffrey Masson, and others have found that an analyst is someone trained not to listen to his client. Before I became familiar with her thinking, which helped me distance myself even more from psychoanalysts, I used to hang out with a couple of young Lacanian analysts: Solbein and Hector Escobar. The same year that I gave copies of my manuscript to Tere and Angelica I gave another to the Escobars. Hector, who had studied psychology, loved it and devoured it in a day and a half. In a cafe he talked about my literary skills—as I said, something that irritates me to be told—and also spoke as a psychoanalyst: ‘The problem arose with that self that your mother deconstructed’. Hector was very cordial and warm, but his analytic term (‘deconstructed’) was cold and far from what my pages actually screamed (compare it with my metaphor ‘a dagger in the heart’). Solbein also liked my book and it was she who, when I sat with them in the cafe, brought up on the table the subject of the manuscript I had given them. But Solbein uttered an icy comment: she said she didn’t notice many differences with the cases she saw in her office. It was as if someone were simply telling a Gulag survivor that his story was not dissimilar to other zek stories! The way she concluded her comment was horrifyingly dry:

‘Those are common clinical experiences’.

The analyst’s words remind me neither more nor less of the infamous Dr. Amara when he read the epistle to my mother. Faced with Amara’s evasiveness in his office, I asked him: ‘But what do you think of what I say, that the cause of my problem was my mother?’ In my previous book I tell that Amara answered: ‘It’s myopia’ and that he explained that neuroses exist in every family, and that mine was just one more neurotic family. In addition to this incredible similarity, Solbein told me that the analytic thesis she was writing referred to mystical stages in people who had had absent parents. I wrote in my diary that I was surprised that she wasn’t moved by the tragedy of the physical torture my parents inflicted on me: getting out of bed every day after sleeping for only a few hours, something that has nothing to do with ‘an absent father’. Referring to their comments, in my diary I noted that these Lacanians ‘don’t touch the people, nor the Subject they talk about so much, but they invalidate him by speaking objectively about him’. Although Hector was much warmer, he listened to his wife without realising how terrible terms such as ‘clinic’ sound to those who seek consolation: a word that Angelica had also used in one of her letters. For an autobiographer immersed in the humanities, the repulsiveness of language in psychology and psychoanalysis is discovered in the following anecdote.

At the time when I gave my manuscript to the Escobars I used to eat at a restaurant in downtown Coyoacán in Mexico City, an extremely populous place. For the hermit, few things are more execrable than the crowd, the street vendors and the noise. As I didn’t have a kitchen in my home, I suffered greatly from having to fight my way through the human swarming every day when I went to eat. But, oh miracle, when I met the Escobars in that place I knew that the sacrifice of having gone there for weeks had been worth it. Out of dignity I hadn’t spoken to them on the phone to ask what they thought of my text. I hoped the initiative would come from them. But just like the day I ate with Tere in Coyoacán, my heart burned to know what the young analysts would say about my life. The daily and painstakingly crossing that crowd of Neanderthals, I told myself, was worth it to find them! (incidentally, in those days they both looked like Iberian-type whites). And it is that in my imagery prior to the meeting in the cafe I imagined a compassionate and understanding Solbein who explained to me, with her knowledge, my written confessions. But when in real life I came to what I thought would be an oasis of understanding, I found only sand. The intimate manuscript on the great odyssey of my life simply describes ‘common clinical experiences’.

Wagner vs. Bach, 4

Bach did not compose any opera at a time when the genre was very much in vogue. In this, he cannot contrast more with Wagner, mainly known for his operas (or, as some of his mature works later became known, ‘musical dramas’). Unlike Bach who used the Gospel text in his most ambitious works, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his works. My father, a composer of classical music, used to say that Wagner’s art predicted cinema.

However, the narrator tells us in the aforementioned documentary that St Matthew Passion has operatic elements. It was music that inspired ‘contrition and remorse’, and it is striking how the pundits of white nationalism don’t want to see the elephant in the room when they agonize to explain how the guilt that currently kills the white man originated. St Matthew Passion lasts an hour and a half, and has twice the choir and orchestra than St John Passion.

Who has hit you
my Savior, and with torments
so harshly abused you?

The narrator tells us: ‘And it’s in that moment that I feel Bach is saying, This suffering is unbearable. We have to stop it. We have to show our sense of moral outrage’.

You know nothing of our sins…
Have mercy my God
for the sake of my tears.

After explaining St Matthew Passion the narrator made the mistake of passing the microphone to a psychologist to ‘psychoanalyse’ Bach. Readers of this site know that I think clinical psychology is pseudoscientific, and it’s not worth adding much here except to say that Freud and his disciples loved to ‘psychoanalyse’ geniuses to feel superior to them (see what I say about the Vienna quack: here).

After the shrink mistake, the narrator tells us that Bach’s obsession with composing religious music was such that, despite his Lutheran background, he composed a large-scale Latin mass for a Catholic court. As the lyrics of one of his last compositions say shortly before Bach died:

Before (((your))) throne now I appear…

Published in: on July 4, 2020 at 7:04 pm  Comments (5)  

Advice to victims of psych abuse

To contextualise this series about psychiatry, see: here. Below, an abridged translation of a chapter of one of the books that I wrote at the beginning of the century:
 
After the parody of the previous pages I recover my original voice.

If you are a victim of abusive parents, the ideal is that you run away before they harm you.

If you stay in your parents’ home and they want to take you to the therapist, you blunder by believing he’ll be your ally. If you need someone to talk to, do it with a friend of your entire confidence. Don’t go with someone who makes his living from what abusive parents pay him, not even to one session. Remember that society gives the therapist powers to slander you with a psych label.

In case you have already gone with a therapist never, ever take any ‘medicine’ he gives you. These legal drugs are more toxic than the illegal ones that are being sold on the street. Having a real confident outside the mental health profession is the best option.

Alas, sometimes there is no one to trust or who is willing to listen. The family is such a monolithic institution that there are many taboos to question it, and the psychiatric profession has deceived many people.

In some cities there are places for people in distress where you can get some shelter. When I lived in England, part of the college course on mental health consisted of visiting Drop-in centres. I realised that only a few of those who took shelter there were genuinely disturbed; the majority were unemployed people in Manchester. It was refreshing to see that in those centres there were no psychiatrists or other professionals, not even social workers. No one who sided society or the family directed these centres. They even offered me to work if I volunteered. It’s not a bad idea that you go to one of these shelters for people in distress.

If the city where you live lacks a Drop-in shelter, or if there are no jobs to flee from your abusive parents, or if you are suffering from a panic attack, go to the nearest library and see if they have books by Alice Miller (child abuse) or Robert Whitaker (the most readable critic of psychiatry). If not, ask for any of these books:
 

Thomas Szasz, Anti-Freud: Karl Kraus’s criticism of psychoanalysis and psychiatry (NY: Syracuse University Press, 1990).

The critique of language is the most radical of all critiques. This is the number one book in my list because if we don’t uproot from our vocabulary the Newspeak of psychiatrists, psychoanalysts and clinical psychologists it will be impossible to understand the victims of the family. The millenarian humanities history, biography and especially autobiography after Modrow (see below) are more than enough to understand the human mind. The new and aggressive psychiatric and psychoanalytic ideologies, and especially their language, only mystify our self-understanding.

Karl Kraus, who lived in Freud’s Vienna, was a man of good heart who perceived the dangers that the Newspeak of psychiatry and psychoanalysis represented for the underprivileged of his native city. Kraus tried to debunk it in the strongest terms in his periodical, but his admonitions fell in deaf ears:

Yes, our pitiable state is partly caused by stupidity […]. Profound stupidity carries deep conviction and cannot be bought off for any price. The greatest public menace, therefore, is the incorruptible psychiatric expert […]. The very unselfishness with which such psychiatric outrages are perpetrated suggests that they spring from pathological imbecility rather than from any other source. If only such idiocies were not destined, in each and every case, to destroy a life! (p. 135).

I would recommend reading Anti-Freud together with the appendix of 1984 where Orwell resumes ‘The principles of Newspeak’.
 

John Modrow, How to become a schizophrenic: the case against biological psychiatry (Seattle: Apollyon Press, second edition, 1996).

In spite of the fact that Modrow uses a psychiatric label on the very title, on the first page he writes mockingly:

Actually I have about much belief in the reality of ‘schizophrenia’ as I have in the reality of witchcraft or demonic possession.

This book consists of two parts: an autobiographical recount of the author’s experiences about how he lost his mind when he was young due to parental abuse, and a scientific debunking of psychiatry.

The value of Modrow’s book lies in that compared to, say, a brilliant essay by Ronald Laing about madness, Modrow explains how he lost his mind from his own subjective experience. Given the unique value autobiography has in the true study of the human psyche, Modrow’s study must be considered a paradigm to understand the victims disturbed by an all-out assault at home. Robert Baker, a professor of psychology that I met in 1994, has said that Modrow ‘is, perhaps, the unrecognized and unappreciated world’s foremost authority on this disorder [schizophrenia]’. [1]
 

Jeffrey Masson, Against therapy: emotional tyranny and the myth of psychological healing (London: HarperCollins Publishers, 1997).

——————, Final analysis: the making and unmaking of a psychoanalyst (London: HarperCollins, 1991).

Everyone should know, then, that to step into an office of a psychotherapist, regardless of the latter’s persuasion, is to enter a world where great harm is possible (Against Therapy, p. 298).

The most difficult thing for a fish is to do a critique of the water.

Let’s imagine a fish in a factory-polluted waters. The only way this animal may realise that the pollution is poisoning it is to see the factory from a POV outside of the lagoon. But his aquaculture prevents it from doing so.

We are living 120 years after the first case of psychotherapy, Freud with Dora. Nowadays psychotherapy is a multibillion-dollar quack profession accepted and respected by society. Many of Freud’s ideas are now part of our culture’s folklore: repressed memories, sexual sublimation, phallic symbols, castration anxiety and more—the ‘water’ we breathe every day in our lagoon. Following the metaphor, Szasz and Masson are the amphibians that evolved, came out from the lagoon and saw the polluting factory from a privileged viewpoint.

Masson, a great fan of psychoanalysis in the past, defrocked himself from the profession because he didn’t want to play the role of an agent of the family, but of the family’s victims. He convinced me that the diverse schools of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy have not broken away from psychiatry. It’s very telling, Masson says, that no psychotherapist dares to denounce electroshock in the media. Those who still believe that psychotherapy (including psychoanalysis) and psychiatry are essentially different things would benefit from reading these books by Masson.

Many people have not realised yet that Freud was a writer of fiction. It’s incredible that Freud’s literary fiction has bamboozled so many intellectuals and sophisticated people. Someone said hyperbolically that the criminal of criminals is the philosopher. This sentence may be imputed not only on Marx but on Freud as well: the damage their followers did to the 20th century has not been fully appreciated yet.

After reading the Afterword to the second edition of Against Therapy I felt very pleased to see that Masson concludes his book advising his readers that instead of childishly searching for ‘therapy’ in a paternal figure they write their autobiographies.
 

Alvin Pam, ‘Biological psychiatry: science or pseudoscience?’ in Colin Ross and Alvin Pam Pseudoscience in biological psychiatry: blaming the body (NY: Wiley & Sons, 1995), pp. 7-84.

The most difficult thing for a fish is to do a critique of the water. But the most difficult thing of all, even more difficult than to criticise psychotherapy, is to criticize a pseudoscience that is being taught to medical students.

The psychiatrists of the 19th century had the political genius to perceive that science, and not the humanities, was going to be the paradigm of the 20th century. So they invested their ideology with a scientific robe. But as Alvin Pam says:

What I mean is much more fundamental: biological psychiatry cannot fulfill its mission properly because in its current state it has more the accoutrement of a scientific discipline than the substance. To be sure, this statement will raise skeptical eyebrows. It will be the burden of this chapter to spell out the grounds for such a broad iconoclastic assertion.

A common ‘fish’ frequently listens in his aquaculture that the gene of depression has been discovered; that a physician won the Nobel prize for his investigations on dopamine (that the psychiatrists relate with ‘schizophrenia’); that in his school Ritalin is recommended for kids who suffer from ‘attention deficit disorder’; that studies on twins have demonstrated that ‘mental illnesses’ are hereditary, etc. Since our fish is completely immersed in this water it’s impossible that it becomes aware that the water is contaminated. His critical intelligence has no basis to realise that these affirmations don’t come from scientists but from pseudo-scientists that have self-deceived themselves in order to make a profit.

Pam’s chapter originally appeared in the journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica and represented the ‘emergence from the water’ for a student of psychiatry who read it and became aware that in her university she had been taught a false science (pp. 241f). Pam’s paper uses the same jargon that biological psychiatrists use and it contains almost two hundred references of specialized literature. It’s ideal for medical doctors and scientists who are interested in a scholarly rebuttal of the claims of psychiatry and its ‘medical model’ of mental disorders.
 

Peter Breggin, Toxic psychiatry: why therapy, empathy and love must replace the drugs, electroshock, and biochemical theories of the ‘new psychiatry’ (NY: St. Martin’s Press, 1994).

The picture I have drawn looks overwhelming, yet it is not an exaggeration. Psychiatry is a giant industry, protected by a state monopoly and promoted by a psycho-pharmaceutical complex with multi-billion-dollar power (p. 370).

Just as Loren Mosher, Breggin realized that his profession might be based on a theoretical fraud. There is nobody more authoritative to debunk a cult or a pseudoscience than he who devoted decades of his life researching its foundations.

Breggin has fought against the tide in his profession. He sides children re-victimized by his colleagues. He has performed campaigns against the revival of lobotomy, electroshock and the medication of children and the elderly with neuroleptics.

Breggin’s book is a treatise of almost five hundred readable pages for the non-specialist. In the chapters on the alliance of parents with psychiatrists, Breggin denounces psychiatric labels and the drugs that are being prescribed to millions of children and adolescents—yes, millions of them [2]—at the initiative of psychiatrists hired by the parents.

Anyone who has been deceived by the media and believes that depression or even a severe mental disorder is of biological nature, or that it may be treated medically, must read Breggin’s book, especially if he is taking psychiatric drugs.

Breggin’s chapter on electroshock shocks the reader: it shows the truly inquisitorial methods of the psychiatric profession. It’s also shocking the chapter on the alliance of psychiatry with the medical schools in the universities; the insurance and the drug companies; the media, some government institutions and associations of parents: everyone except the ‘patient’ identified by all of them.

Since 1971 Breggin is director of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology. Originally the centre was founded to oppose the revival of lobotomy, and today it opposes the inclination in our culture to diagnose and medicate children and adolescents. Since 1999 the centre publishes a journal critical of bio-reductionist theories. [3]
 

Thomas Szasz, The manufacture of madness: a comparative study of the Inquisition and the mental health movement (NY: Syracuse University Press, 1997).

During the past two decades I have devoted much work and many words to exposing the scientific stupidity, the philosophical folly, and the moral monstrosity of this official psychiatric posture. [4]

Aristotle said that to obtain a truly profound knowledge about something it’s necessary to know its history. This scholarly treatise showed me what is psychiatry and why psychiatrists do what they have been doing in the last three centuries. In this work Szasz examines the great similarities between the Inquisition and psychiatry, including present-day psychiatry. Without the Inquisition there can be no ‘witches’. Likewise, without the Psychiatric Institution there can be no ‘schizophrenics’. In other words, psychiatrists manufacture madness.

Ignoring this work reminds me of the Russian who was ignorant of The Gulag Archipelago before the fall of the Berlin wall. Trying to understand the mental health movement without reading Szasz is like trying to understand Stalin’s Russia without reading Solzhenitsyn.

___________

Notes

[1] Mind games (op. cit.), p. 223.

[2] Your drug may be your problem (op. cit.), p. 16.

[3] Information about the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology can be obtained in the website (http://www.icspp.org) or writing to ICSPP, 4628 Chestnut Street, Bethesda, Maryland 20814, USA.

[4] Schizophrenia (op. cit.), p. 44.

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‘Patients are only riffraff’—Freud


To contextualise this series about psychiatry, see: here. Below, an abridged translation of a chapter of one of the books that I wrote in the last century:

 

Many psychiatric survivors have written manuscripts about their experiences but are rarely successful in getting their books published.

—Al Siebert [1]

Being silent is itself an indication of how we have been oppressed and ignored. The forces that keep us silent and invisible are most vulnerable to our speaking out.

—Harvey Jackins [2]

It is biography, and especially autobiography, the royal road to the conscious and unconscious, that continent barely explored; not Freud’s system. But to be fair with Freud, and very independently that as a physician of the soul he had been soulless, I must recognise that the man made a couple of good points.

In the Epistle for instance, I used a Freudian concept, the idea of abba (dad-God) in Jesus. Moreover, Freud introduced the fascinating notion of the unconscious and perceived that dreams meant something. (This doesn’t mean that his libidinous interpretation was accurate.) In this very indictment of psychiatry, although not directly, I based my ideas on a Freudian concept. According to John Modrow, the Sullivan-Modrow model of panic leading to a psychotic breakdown was based on Freud’s principle of self-delusion.

I confess I have scarcely read Freud. However, in my opinion (and Modrow’s) his fundamental discovery was that ordinary people continually distort reality in order to boost their self-esteem. This self-delusion is completely involuntary and inevitable. The objective is always to boost the self-esteem or self-image that an individual has of himself. According to Modrow, from this principle Harry Sullivan deduces that the most dangerous thing for mental health is an assault to the self-image. I call this an ‘assault to the Self’, and from Freud’s principle of self-delusion I would deduce that after our ‘I’ is assaulted, all sort of delusions crop up as defense mechanisms, such as religious and ideological delusions (psychoanalysis included!).

I recognise these lights inspired by Freud. But Freud also created a lucrative profession on the basis of human suffering, and that is precisely a fraud based on self-delusion.

Sándor Ferenczi, one of his closest disciples—so close to Freud that in 1909 Ferenczi, Freud and Jung vacationed together to America—, became aware of the fraud. I will only quote three lines of an intimate diary that Ferenczi wrote, a diary he devoted to the serious doubts he had about psychoanalysis. In a private conversation of Ferenczi with Freud, the latter:

said that patients are only riffraff [Die Patienten sind ein Gesindel]. The only thing patients were good for is to help the analyst make a living and to provide material for theory. It is clear we cannot help them. [3]

By some cruelty of fate Ferenczi died at fifty-nine (a little earlier for his diary reflections to crystallize to be published), disillusioned by a dispute with Freud and his colleagues about the veracity of incest in the lives of his female patients (Freud, who sided the Vienna establishment, always denied that actual incest took place).

According to Jeffrey Masson, Jung’s dissidence was not a threat to the fundamentals of psychoanalysis. But Ferenczi’s was.[4] Jung merely exchanged Freud’s pan-sexual meta-narrative by his own mystic-religious one but Jungian analysis, as the Freudian, claim to help people understand themselves and enlighten them with their problems. Ferenczi, on the other hand, knew that these problems could not be solved with so-called psychoanalysis. Freud also knew it (‘It is clear we cannot help them’), and could have confessed it to the world.

He didn’t: that could have aborted the birth of a lucrative profession.

Besides the moral limitations of the founder, this side of psychoanalysis must be exposed. Tom Szasz’s view is that both psychiatry and psychoanalysis are a kind of Machiavellian rhetoric; I would say, the rhetoric of blaming the victim. An inquisitorial pseudoscience, psychiatry, blames the body of the victim. Psychoanalysis, a system of inspired invectives (Szasz’s words), blames the mind. These pseudosciences are two sides of the same coin. They sprang from the same sources, but Freud had great intellectual powers and immense literary gifts. However, he had little heart toward human suffering, as we saw in a previous chapter.

Psychotherapists, far from helping those who suffer, make a profit on the basis of that suffering. There are more than two hundred schools of psychotherapy in the United States and fifteen million Americans that consult psychotherapists. The fee for a fifty-minute consultation with an “analyst” is something above the hundred dollars. Psychotherapy is a multibillion-dollar business, and its popularity continues in Spain, Italy and Latin America.

Freud was the father of the mystification to see the problems of those who asked for help as ‘neurosis’. Actually they are familiar, economic, social and political problems. Psychotherapists have invented a whole Newspeak. They redefine these problems as ‘mental problems’ of ‘patients’, otherwise they could not justify their profession and income. The ultimate truth is that anyone who claims to sell psychic solutions to environmental problems has entered, consciously or not, the reign of fraud. Unless someone sponsors economically a person suffering from tribulations, very few will be capable of helping him. But no therapist sponsors his clients: in that profession money flows one-way only.

It is worth saying that, since a quack is the one who earns money pretending to be a physician, the writer Vladimir Nabokov used to call Freud ‘the Vienna quack’. I would add that Freud’s legacy has some analogy to Marx’s. Both proposed totalizing meta-narratives that bamboozled a good part of the Western intelligentsia: one about political economy, the other about the politics of the psyche. Now, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Marxism agonizes but psychoanalysis lives. It is my hope that the 21st century witnesses more critics of analysis. Although I recognise the few lights Freud showed us—Marx showed us a few lights too—, the quackery of his legacy must be exposed. Freud’s epigones are a parasitic class of which civil society must free itself from.
 
Scholarly quackery

That not only psychoanalysts but biological psychiatrists behave as quacks can be seen in the case of one of the most influential psychiatric geneticists in our times. David Rosenthal edited The Genain quadruplets, a book about four women, identical twins, and family dynamics.

The father of the Genain family was an alcoholic that beat his wife and daughters, whom he restricted contact with the outside world. According to his wife, he was ‘always so angry and hateful’ and once he threatened to murder her when she wanted to leave home. The father played sexually with one of his daughters, but when he realised that the teenagers masturbated he send them to an unscrupulous surgeon who mutilated their genitals. The mother abused the girls too. On one occasion she banged two of the girls’ heads together to stop them crying. When the husband wanted to prevent the masturbation, she participated in the use of acid in her genitals. This occurred before she approved the initiative to mutilate them.

The four daughters got mad.

The Genain quadruplets is a treatise for biological psychiatrists, saturated with scholarly references of genetic studies. One could expect that, confronted with such a story, the contributing authors exposed the case as proof that some parents drive their offspring mad.

They did the opposite. Rosenthal believes his data is proof of a genetic aetiology of the madness of the daughters. The book is a study about hereditary and environmental factors in the family, but Rosenthal, an apologist of the medical model of mental disorders, stresses the hereditary factor. Genes turned out to be responsible for the ‘schizophrenia’ of these poor women. The very name ‘Genain’ is a pseudonym invented by Rosenthal, deriving it from the Greek words ‘dire birth’ or ‘dreadful gene’.

The psychiatrist Peter Breggin, author of a dozen books critical of his profession, read The Genain quadruplets and discovered that throughout the book, hidden in the irrelevant scholastic material, information existed about the happenings in the family:

The book presents one of the most tragic chronicles of child abuse recorded anywhere. Yet at no time is the abuse discussed as such. In no place in the book is it summarized. The data is strewn throughout the six hundred pages in the reports of the various professionals. Much of it is contained in the footnotes. The synopsis I have provided was put together from these observations. [5]

Breggin concludes that the omission to talk plainly about what really happened in that family constitutes intellectual complicity with the parents.

If one of the most renowned psychiatric geneticists ignores this level of abuse and inverts the information, blaming the genes of the victims, it is not surprising that ordinary psychiatrists ignore the anguished testimony of their patients in relatively lesser cases of abuse.

In the 1980s an American series of scientific programs was televised under the title The Brain. One of the programs approached the subject of madness. It did not pass the microphone to any professional of the trauma model of mental disorders. But the program passed the mic to two biological psychiatrists who have devoted their professional lives to “demonstrate” the biomedical foundation of madness. Let’s listen to Daniel Weinberger:

At the turn of the [20th] century, every neuroscientist that was interested in schizophrenia was convinced [emphasis in Weinberger’s voice] that this is a brain disorder. There was no skepticism about that. It was only as that sort of stagnate [that] people really couldn’t make much of the findings they had through the 19th century that people begin to raise this notion of psychogenesis that somehow either bad mothering causes schizophrenia, or that bad neighborhoods [a strawman: the trauma model doesn’t claim that] causes schizophrenia, or drugs [same strawman] or some peculiar school experience [same strawman] or some major psychic trauma of some kind—for which there’s absolutely no scientific evidence, whatsoever! [great emphasis in Weinberger’s voice with a parallel movement of his hand on the table].[6]

In the same program Fuller Torrey, after talking at length about the Vienna quack Freud and his disciples, stated:

What the psychoanalysts said about schizophrenia is that it is caused by early childhood experiences. [False: analysts make no such a claim.] There is no evidence whatsoever for this! And in fact all of the research evidence today is diametrically opposed; it is exactly on the opposite side.[7] [Note of 2019: In fact, it’s the bio shrinks who lack scientific evidence. See: here.]

At the moment of the filming the program, Weinberger was a young professional who spoke with charisma. How could his emotional voice have impacted the millions of TV viewers (The Brain was televised in several countries)?

In the same program the case was presented of a very disturbed adolescent who spoke before the cameras and stated that his problem was originated in the rape during his Kindergarten years. But just as Rosenthal did in his treatise of the Genain girls, Weinberger and Torrey did not pay attention to his anguished testimony.

Like many other renowned psychiatrists, Weinberger and Torrey publish scholarly quack papers in the American Journal of Psychiatry. What is scholarly quackery? Let’s taste a flavour of it: ‘Evidence of dysfunction of a prefrontal-limbic network in schizophrenia. A magnetic resonance imaging and regional cerebral blood flows study of discordant monozygotic twins’.[8]

The journal that Breggin publishes has rebutted this and other quack, though scholarly, papers by Weinberger and Torrey. But as Colin Ross revealed to me when I visited him in Dallas, the psychiatric community kept silence about his book Pseudoscience in biological psychiatry, which also includes rebuttals. [9]

__________

[1] Flier published by the Kenneth Donaldson Archives for the Autobiographies of Psychiatric Survivors, Al Siebert, executive director.

[2] Harvey Jackins, What is wrong with the ‘mental health’ system and what can be done about it: a draft policy prepared for the Re-evaluation Counseling Communities (Rational Island Publishers, 1991), p. 21.

[3] Against therapy (op. cit.), p. 129.

[4] The revelations of Ferenczi’s diary and Masson’s observations appear in a whole chapter of Against therapy.

[5] Toxic psychiatry (op. cit.), p. 106.

[6] The brain, episode 7, ‘Madness’ (1984).

[7] Ibid.

[8] D.R. Weinberger, K.F. Berman, R. Suddath and E.F. Torrey in American Journal of Psychiatry, 1992, 149, pp. 890-97.

[9] Pseudoscience in biological psychiatry (op. cit.), pp. 56, 60 & 174f.

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Published in: on January 18, 2019 at 12:01 am  Comments (5)  

The hammer of the victims

To contextualise this series about psychiatry, see: here. Below, an abridged translation of a chapter of one of the books that I wrote in the last century:
 

This quotation explains perfectly why the so-called mental health professions have so much power in our societies:

To commit violent and unjust acts, it is not enough for a government to have the will or even the power; the habits, ideas, and passions of the time must lend themselves to their committal. —Alexis de Tocqueville [1]

Since psychiatrists and psychoanalysts diagnose people who are actually victims of insulting environments, their fundamental postulate is precisely to deny what they are. In psychiatric Newspeak the expression ‘victim of the environment’ has been eliminated; the aetiology of any disorder has to be looked for in the reign of the somatic. By doing this it is methodologically impossible that the profession will blame the parents even in cases of flagrant physical, sexual or emotional abuse toward the children (schizophrenogenic emotional abuse was what Helfgott and Modrow suffered). Thus psychiatry carries out an important function: to exonerate the family, the cell of civilisation, of the devastation manifested in the children.

Civil society lives in denial too. It doesn’t want to see that inside its most sacred institution maddening abuses exist on its most vulnerable members: children and adolescents. Both present-day university professions and civil society are as ignorant and superstitious of this situation as the Middle Ages was about diseases caused by microorganisms.

Voltaire saw the learned inquisitors as what they were—instead of diagnosing as ‘heretics’ the persons that the Inquisition tortured and murdered. Henceforth his call Écrasez l’infame! against the church, with which he annotated his liberating letters.

Nowadays the therapeutic state took over the labour of social control of the theocratic state. The call Écrasez l’infame!—Crush the infamy!—can be no more pertinent to refer to a profession that tortures and murders souls of children through psychological re-victimizations and handicapping drugs.

The studying of perpetrators is a revaluation of values of psychiatry: a new science that in lieu of hammering the victims it studies the perpetrators, or simply perps. In this revaluation of all psychiatric values science has to re-orient itself to the study of maddening parents (cf. Helfgott’s life), re-victimizing psychiatrists (cf. Breggin), charlatans who call themselves analysts (cf. Masson), and the civil struggle to abolish the therapeutic state (cf. Szasz).

In addition to these lines of investigation and struggle, my dream is that the study of perps will eventually include a new type of literature to reclaim for biographers and autobiographers the study of the human soul which was usurped by politicians that people call psychiatrists, psychoanalysts and clinical psychologists (psychiatry, psychoanalysis and clinical psychology are pseudosciences). One of the paradigms of this new literature is the study by John Modrow, who contributed to solving the mystery of why some adolescents get mad (in psychiatric Newspeak, ‘schizophrenia’) if subjected to parental abuse and psychiatric re-victimization.

If this new kind of vindictive autobiography doesn’t develop in the future, the true study of the human psyche will stagnate. The Lithuanian poet Czeslaw Milosz, Nobel laureate in 1980, has said that events such as the Napoleonic Wars, the American Civil War and even the Trench Warfare of WW1 were not autobiographically recalled in a satisfactory way, independently of the fact that historians have written entire libraries about those events. [2]

The same can be said of the absent autobiographies of the victims of our society. Hundreds of thousands of Doras didn’t recall literarily their testimonies. Brilliant politicians like Eugen Bleuler and Freud took their words out of their mouths and spoke in their names. Hersilie Rouy, Julie La Roche, Modrow and a few others are the exceptions.

__________

[1] Alexis de Tocqueville, quoted in W.H. Auden and L. Kronenberger (eds.), The Viking book of aphorisms: a personal selection (Dorset Press, 1981), p. 297, quoted in a lecture by Thomas Szasz presented in the Foucault Symposium in Berlin University, May 1998.

[2] Czeslaw Milosz in La experiencia de la libertad/3: la palabra liberada (Espejo de Obsidiana Ediciones, 1991), pp. 102f.

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The hammer of the witches

To contextualise this series about psychiatry, see: here. Below, an abridged translation of a chapter of one of the books that I wrote in the last century:

 

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It is not that witches and mental patients are alike; on the contrary, it is because inquisitors and psychiatrists are alike that they treat their victims similarly.

Tom Szasz [1]

I have asked why human beings are capable of committing atrocities and observed that, if in my epistle I approached the subject of what could have happened in the minds of my parents, I had yet to analyse psychiatrists and psychoanalysts (keeping in mind that many analysts are also psychiatrists).

Insofar, I think, the riddle has been solved: it is the self-righteousness of some ideologues, and the folly of their followers, what is behind the crimes of the most murderous century in history. Not only believing in a (((Trotsky))) convinced that terror is good for Russia is folly: it is folly too to believe in religious-political leaders such as Eugen Bleuler and the other founders of a criminal organisation known as ‘psychiatry’. Both the atrocities committed during the Red Terror and those committed in the West have been perpetrated by ideologues convinced of their own rectitude and backed by society. Just remember how The Machine hammered that helpless patient labelled ‘catatonic’—that is: a witch—and how the Bucks County District Attorney in Pennsylvania approved the torture.

I would like to quote a passage written down by a client after visiting the offices of a renowned psychiatrist who is also a university professor:

He said he ‘did not have the powers to take the schizophrenogenic parent by the ear and scold him’. Thus he treats ‘the most affected family link’ even though it was a societal problem: last family link – parents – grandparents – all society. That Laing used to say ‘We aren’t well because of others’ and that, ‘If it weren’t for others, we wouldn’t be unwell’. But an Italian psychiatrist had told him, ‘Only the last link is to be treated’. For this reason, and since it is not possible the little ear thing, ‘Treatment is performed on the most affected link alone’ [emphasis in the original]. This is why he prescribes antipsychotics to them.

The stupidity, monstrosity and immorality of this position is barely conceivable. If her father rapes Dora, then the orthodox psychiatrist won’t take that powerful family figure by the ear. Instead, he ‘treats’ the last link, the victim! And he has no doubt to administer dangerous drugs not to the rapist, but to the victim! After all, the one who pays is the rapist, right?

Let us compare the shrink’s philosophy with any crime. What would happen in a world where rapists, assassins and assailants remain unpunished whereas their victims went directly to jail? What would be of the world? This is the Wonderland Logic where a caste of pseudo-scientists lives in our societies to hammer not the criminal, but his witch.

This is the nature of evil. What psychiatrists do in cases of abusive families is to officially approve the behaviour of the perpetrators. For the physician of Julie La Roche, for Freud with Dora, for the president of the hospital where Jeffrey Masson studied—that great rhetorician who spoke in a booming voice about a helpless eight-year-old boy—, parents are untouchable. All action is taken against the child, against Dora, against the ‘last link’ according to the university professor.

We have seen that a father can be more devastating than a Mengele (in Colin Ross’ clinic I saw adult women of high social standing so devastated that they talked about ‘mom’ as David Helfgott talked about his ‘dad’). We have seen that according to John Modrow his pre-psychotic panic was the most appalling and devastating experience that any person can undergo; and that the re-victimisation of a victim leads to the sensation of the betrayal of the universe, and often to madness.

Sometimes the psychiatrist sees a glimpse of the truth and even quotes one of his anti-psychiatric foes (‘We aren’t well because of others; if it weren’t for others, we wouldn’t be unwell’). But they have those others as untouchable! And how will they touch them if they are precisely the source of income of the psychiatrist?

Thus, in this Wonderland where everything is inverted, the parents—the real clients of the psychiatrist—are always right. They are the sole criterion to ‘identify’ the child. Physicians cannot take by the ear the powerful industrialist who seduced Dora. Let us treat, instead, the last link. Let us incarcerate her in false hospitals or tame them her down with handicapping drugs. That is not only what the above-quoted professor taught but also what the departments of psychiatry teach (‘When a child manifests gross pathology…’). If such re-victimisations produce panic, even stronger drugs are administered!

Moreover, there are laws that allow the Doras to be treated against their will. They are confined in Ministries of Love where electroshock and lobotomy are practiced. For this surgical ‘treatment’ they gave the Nobel Prize to an inquisitor in 1946, and since that date to 1965 no less than fifty thousand lobotomies were performed in the United States alone, and at the moment of writing these lines continue to be performed.[2]

As we have seen, perfectly healthy brains are the ones that get a lobotomy, electroshock or the neuroleptic. This is how this malleus maleficarum, this hammer of the witches, culminates with the soul murder of a Dora.

That, my dear readers, is evil.

Each mind is a whole world inside. Each person is the centre of his or her own universe. A betrayed and re-victimised universe suffers a demolishing panic like the girl who witnessed her little sister be hammered in the most bestial manner by a death-dealer such as that of Kaunas. Then she saw the psychiatrist play the accordion on the inert body and pool of blood. On this survivor has befallen the whole madhouse of a dysfunctional society.

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[1] The manufacture of madness (op.cit.), p. 130.

[2] ‘A few physicians still advocate psychosurgery for severe emotional problems, and in some states of the US special boards have been set up to review all such operations’ (Lobotomy, Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2000).

A psychiatrist wrote in a web page that I visited on 7 May 2000: ‘Since some OCD patients [a DSM label: ‘obsessive-compulsive disorder’] are refractory to state-of-the-art treatments and remain almost totally disabled, the research group has focused on the use of neurosurgical treatments for severe and treatment-refractory patients. Human subjects approval has been obtained at MGH, Brown University, and Rhode Island Hospital, and this study is now underway’ (Michael Jenike, Obsessive-compulsive disorders [defunct link when clicked in 2018].

On this revival of lobotomy see also Toxic Psychiatry (op. cit.), pp. 261ff.

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Published in: on December 14, 2018 at 1:47 pm  Comments Off on The hammer of the witches  

The Italian with an inferiority complex

In view that a couple of visitors have suggested that my anti-psychiatric series on Fridays could be due to the fact that I had a problem with psychiatry, I would like to clarify my personal motivations.

When, as a teenager, my mother made war with me at home, it occurred to her that in order to subdue me it would be easier for her to use a third party and she sent me with an Italian psychoanalyst, Giuseppe Amara (photo), who had studied with Erich Fromm in Cuernavaca in Mexico.

Why did I agree to go with an analyst? Because at seventeen, I imagined mistakenly, the analyst would treat me differently than my parents had treated me; I thought that my testimony about what was happening at home could move him.

Others who have visited this site have come to think that I am half crazy about my exterminationist ideas, formally collected in my Day of Wrath. Perhaps some have come to speculate that my mother’s initiative of so many years ago could have been justified! What these people ignore is that they are reversing cause and effect.

First came the assault at home and in the analyst’s office. Then came my hatred for a large part of humanity. As Jeffrey Masson said on page 126 of the British edition of Against Therapy: ‘How do children survive knowing that fathers can be so cruel, and that they can expect nothing but disbelief, derision, or indifference from the rest of the world when they attempt to talk about it’?

That was exactly what happened to me in consultation with Amara: he did not believe a word I said to him! The only thing he did was insult me in his office and side my parents a hundred percent!

As I said in my previous post about Freud, people are unaware that real-life psychoanalysis (not Hollywood) has nothing to do with traumas caused by abusive parents. It is something entirely different, as we will be seeing in my Friday entries.

But I did not want to talk about that fraudulent profession in this post. I confessed the above about quack doc Amara only because I wanted to mention something about the Jewish question.

As I have said on this site, the personal experience I have had with people moves me to say that the Latin Americans I have met sometimes behave like little Jews. They may not hate the gringos as much as Jewry does but they don’t like them in any way. And something similar happens in Spain. Spanish nationalists are able to identify more with Mestizo America than with North America.

The same can be said of certain Italians. As far as I knew for the years that my mother forced me to go to his office, Amara, for example, could identify himself with the mestizos but never with the Aryans at the north of the Río Grande. The anecdote that moved me to write this entry is as follows.

After Star Wars premiered in 1977, Amara commented that he very much had disliked the movie. Remember that in that first film of the series, Mark Hamill, who represented the character of Luke Skywalker, looked very handsome on the big screen—much better than the youths in Amara’s native town (I once read he was born in Asmara in Eritrea).

During an analytical session Amara pronounced some words about Luke Skywalker that made a dent in my memory: ‘Creer que sólo un gringo puede ser un chingnón…’ (‘To believe that only a gringo can be a badass…’). I don’t remember the continuation of the sentence, but I do remember his gestures of extreme indignation at the movie he had just seen.

At that moment he, Amara, was like the patient and I the one who analysed his mind: as it was obvious to me that he said that just because he was a Mediterranean suffering from an inferiority complex before the neighbouring country at the north. Naturally, no Aryan ‘gringo’ would feel anything like that; on the contrary, he would identify with Luke.

As far as I know Amara is not Jewish. But his Mediterranean complex against the Aryan is obvious. And this is a feeling that I have observed not only in castizos and harnizos (those Latin Americans who could pass for Spanish but have some Indian blood), but also in many Mexican criollos: those who, like Amara, have no Indian blood.

But what I want to get to is the Jewish question.

My impression is that the exterminationist hatred felt by Jewry before the Aryan is only the tip of the iceberg of a much wider reality. It’s easy for me to see it because I almost never see Jews. But I treat Latin Americans with inferiority complexes constantly. And this must happen even in Europe, as the case of Amara illustrates: who could not tolerate the only episode of the Star Wars series that does not contain bad messages for the Aryan cause.

Published in: on December 5, 2018 at 1:40 pm  Comments (16)  

(((Sigmund Freud)))

To contextualise this series about psychiatry, see: here. Below, an abridged translation of a chapter of one of my books that I wrote in the last century:

‘I’ve never done a mean thing’—Freud [1]

 
It must have been noted that insofar I have used interchangeably the terms ‘psychiatrist’ and ‘analyst’. Before reading Jeffrey Masson I thought they were two essentially different things.

How mistaken I was. Now I know that since its beginnings psychoanalysis has been closely related to psychiatry, and that in the United States and Canada almost all analysts are both physicians and psychiatrists. Sigmund Freud himself, who initiated his career as an electrotherapist, flourished thanks to an amalgamation of his system with psychiatric policies. For instance, the first journal of psychoanalysis was published by Eugene Bleuler and Freud in 1909. Again, like Kraepelin and Bleuler, it was difficult for Freud to side his ‘patients’ and easy to side their parents.

The psychiatrist Krafft-Ebing disliked a letter that Nina R., a nineteen-year-old girl, sent him saying she had erotic dreams. He wrote to Freud accusing her of ‘psychic masturbation’. In 1891 Freud wrote: ‘Nina R. has always been overexcited, full of romantic ideas, thinks her parents do not like her. Has the occasional fantasy that her father does not love her’, and in 1893 Freud wrote to Dr. Binswanger about this girl:

The inborn crookedness of her character manifested itself in her forgetting her immediate duties, her adjustment to her milieu, while she strove to gain interests on a more idealistic level and absorb more exalted intellectual stimuli. [2]

Clearly, this was a case of one of those so-called liberated women at the end of the 19th century chased by medical inquisitors that wanted them ‘sick’ to ‘treat’ them. (Note of 2018: Keep in mind that although I want to restore patriarchy, this must be done in the Aryan way by restoring the Jane Austen world in England for example. On the other hand, this business of pseudo-medical labelling as a previous step to assault healthy brains is a non-Aryan way of doing things.)

Freud also used his position to degrade male adolescents. This comes up from his own writings. In Psychopathology of Everyday Life Freud recounts that a mother asked him to examine her son. Freud noticed a spot in his pants and the adolescent said that an egg had fallen upon him. Freud didn’t swallow the story and talked with the mother in private. He diagnosed that the boy was ‘suffering from the troubles arising from masturbation’.[3] The point of the anecdote, which I owe to Tom Szasz, is that the boy did not suffer absolutely of anything: it was the ignorant mother the one who was preoccupied of the emergent sexuality of her son. But since, contra Hollywood, Freud shared the sexual prejudices of his age, he saw as ‘psychopathological’ something so normal as an adolescent ejaculation. Whether masturbation produced the spot or not, just as Catholics take the child to the confessional, the boy’s ejaculation merited a whole medical ceremony that culminated in a formal diagnosis. This was no lapse by Freud. Throughout his life he shared the 19th-century European hysteria about masturbation: he believed it to be noxious and even called it an ‘addiction’. [4]

Freud not only sided the parents in conflicts with youngsters, but the State as well. I had said that Freud started his career as an electrotherapist, but did not explain that this therapy was a medical torture in disguise used by the Austro-Hungarian Empire government. The German psychiatrist Julius Wagner-Jauregg used painful electrical shocks in the First World War against the fearful youngsters that wanted to abandon the military service. After the war some of the soldiers under this ‘treatment’ in the psychiatric ward of the Vienna General Hospital complained. In 1920, a commission was designated to investigate the charges. The commission asked Freud for his opinion. He defended Wagner-Jauregg and not only that: he insisted on calling ‘patients’ these soldiers and to talk of their fear as ‘illness’. The commission decided in favour of Wagner-Jauregg. Freud never repented about the defence he made of this case. [5]

In comparatively healthier times, the fact of being Jewish prevented Freud to do the career of a psychiatrist: a profession closely related to the State, so he elaborated a sophisticated method, ‘psychoanalysis’. I cannot make a detailed examination of analytic theory but can focus on its most important aspects.

Freud abandoned his own ‘seduction theory’, the discovery that some women that consulted him suffered from memories of having been raped by their fathers. In 1896 Freud wrote an article about the subject, ‘The aetiology of hysteria’, but when he realised that his scandalous revelations only estranged him from his colleagues in Vienna, he turned over his ideology and decided it was better to blame the victims. Freud then labelled these women as ‘hysterical’, and defined hysteria as an occult desire to be seduced. Although incest does indeed occur in some families, this revaluation of his original findings was to be the cornerstone on which Freud built his edifice. For psychoanalysis the year 1897 signals both the abandonment of the seduction theory (if you say that your father molested you…) and the ‘discovery’ of the Oedipus complex (… it means you fancied him).

In the year 1900, at the turn of the century, Freud saw for the first time the girl Ida Bauer, called ‘Dora’ in his writings. Mr K., an industrialist and friend of Dora’s father, had tried to seduce Dora several times, the first one when she was fourteen. When Dora spoke out about the situation her father decided to take her to the physician. The girl did not want to go: she only asked to be kept at a distance from Mr K. But finally she yielded. In a session with Freud, Dora recounted her story: since her father did not help her, perhaps the doctor could vindicate her. Freud listened to her during several sessions and, in contrast to his father, he believed her story. But he did something else. Let us listen to Freud:

You will agree that nothing makes you so angry as having it thought that you merely fancied the scene by the lake [the place of the seduction]. I know now—and this is what you do not want to be reminded of—that you did fancy that Mr K.’s proposals were serious, and that he would not leave off until you had married him. [6]

This is one of the sins that analysts commit. In this very moment one of them is ‘interpreting’ the mind of one of his unwary clients in a way as capricious as this seminal case. After Freud’s interpretation, that she was in love of a man so mature that could be her father, Dora said good-bye to the quack doctor never to come back. Freud retaliated contriving the theory that if someone does not agree with the analyst’s interpretation it is simply due to lack of insight: of not wanting to face one’s own psychological reality. Freud baptised this additional interpretation, elevated to doctrine in psychoanalysis, as resistance. To him this word meant that, once the analyst has made a diagnosis the case is closed, the rest is ‘resistance’:

We must not be led astray by initial denials. If we keep firmly to what we have inferred, we shall in the end conquer every resistance by emphasizing the unshakable nature of our convictions. [7]

What Freud really wanted was that his patients fell in a state of folie à deux with him. Freud not only failed to apologise to Dora for the stupidity he had told her, but elevated his stupid interpretation to the level of science with his literary resources: the essay of Freud on Dora is the most extensive clinic story of the Freudian legacy and the most cited about female ‘hysterics’. Because those in the cult of psychoanalysis consider Freud almost infallible, throughout the decades the Freudians have devoted themselves to continue to defile Dora’s image in their writings—without having met her. Famous analysts such as Ernest Jones, Felix Deutch, Jacques Lacan and even feminists like Toril Moi have expressed themselves with contempt for Dora. In other words, the folie à deux between Freud’s ideas and his followers continues. [8]

By the end of the 19th century, in a letter to his intimate friend Wilhelm Fliess, Freud had confessed that because of his essay on seduction ‘the word has been given out to abandon me and I am isolated’.[9] The isolation was caused by his theory of incest. But the Dora case vindicated him. His new theory of hysteria meant a hundred-and-eighty-degree turn over his previous position. Now Freud had no powerful industrialists like Mr K. as a target, but a helpless girl. Freud’s behaviour was already in line with psychiatry: to side parents, the affluent classes and to oppose its victims. From this perspective, it is no exaggeration to say that psychoanalysis was founded on the betrayal of women and children.

The Dora case and the abandonment of his seduction theory are no lapses of the founder of psychoanalysis. They invalidate two pillars of the Freudian edifice: the notion of hysteria and the famed Oedipus complex. After abandoning his ‘seduction theory’, that is, the discovery of some of his female patients had been victims of incest, Freud did not become interested again in the sorrows of the world. In fact, contra popular views his system has nothing to do with psychological trauma. For example, in all of the vast work of Freud and his disciple Carl Jung, there is no single line critical of involuntary psychiatric hospitalization. Jung himself learned his craft in the Burghölzli Hospital of Zurich under the supervision of Eugen Bleuler, the same psychiatrist who invented the word schizophrenia. On occasion Freud played the accomplice of Jung’s penitentiary psychiatry. On 16 May 1908 Freud wrote to Jung:

Enclosed the certificate for Otto Gross. Once you have him, don’t let him out before October, when I shall be able to take charge of him.[10]

This is Mafia. Gross himself was a physician who, ironically, had published that year a letter to the editor objecting the involuntary confinement of a girl by her father. Fortunately on 17 June Gross escaped the Burghölzli. Jung retaliated by labelling him ‘schizophrenic’. Freud accepted the slander with enthusiasm. [11]

 
Siding the witch burners

Like his forerunner Charcot, when discussing the subject of women persecuted by the Inquisition Freud wrote about ‘hysterics’. This is one of the facts that shocked me the most while reading a classic by Szasz, The Manufacture of Madness: Freud and his mentor did not talk of the perpetrators of the Inquisition but diagnosed their victims. In his obituary of Charcot, Freud wrote:

By pronouncing possession by a demon to be the cause of hysterical phenomena, the Middle Ages in fact chose this solution; it would only have been a matter of exchanging the religious terminology of that dark and superstitious age for the scientific language of today.[12]

As Szasz has noted this is an extraordinary claim. Freud acknowledges that the psychoanalytic description of hysteria is merely a semantic revision of the demonological one! [13]

In the 4th century the stigmatising labels of the Christian Newspeak were ‘pagan’ and ‘heretic’. A thousand years later there were no pagans, only heretics; but a new group became the target of stigmatisation: some women, also-called ‘witches’. In 1486 the Dominican theologians Jacob Sprenger and Heinrich Krämer published the Malleus Maleficarum, literally The Hammer of the Witches: the ideological source of terror for innumerable women that would last centuries. The number of assassinated women by the Inquisition is unknown, but some estimates yield numbers from a hundred thousand to half a million (the last execution for ‘witchcraft’ performed in 1793 in Poland).

Incredible as it may seem, these victims of crazed Christians are not considered such in the writings of psychiatrists. Following Charcot and Freud they talk of neuro-pathologies referring not to the inquisitors, but to their victims. For instance, for psychiatry historians Franz Alexander and Sheldon Selesnick the fact that these women were tortured and burned by the Inquisition is enough to convert them, not the murderers into objects of medical interest. And what do the psychiatrists say of the inquisitors? Gregory Zilboorg, another psychiatry historian called Sprenger and Krämer ‘two honest Dominicans’.[14] Similar words of admiration can be read in the writings of Jules Masserman, another psychiatrist. Of course, these psychiatrists, as haughty as medieval theologians, diagnose ‘psychopathologies’ centuries later, without having examined any of these women.

I call this ‘Wonderland Logic’ making reference to Lewis Carroll’s tale: the surrealism of accusing the victim and not the perpetrators. In the psychiatric Wonderland, almost every psychiatrist believes in these official histories of psychiatry. Fortunately, for historians who are not psychiatrists like Hugh Trevor-Roper the witch-hunt was by all means a paranoiac enterprise of the Church; after the Enlightenment there is no excuse to see in other way this chapter of history.

Freud’s semantic ‘hysterical’ revision over the demonological speaks of his virtual lack of morals and compassion. It is no surprise that a fellow who labels as ‘hysterical’ a victim of religious fanatics had treated patients the way he did.

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[1] Ernest Jones quoting Sigmund Freud in Thomas Szasz, The myth of mental illness (Harper & Row, 1974), p. 153.

[2] Quoted in Against therapy (op. cit.), p. 82.

[3] The manufacture of madness, p. 195.

[4] Ibid., pp. 194-196.

[5] The myth of psychotherapy (op. cit.) has a chapter about electrotherapy and Freud.

[6] Against therapy, p. 95.

[7] Quoted in Paul Gray, ‘The assault on Freud’ (Time, 29 November 1993), p. 33.

[8] Against therapy, pp. 108-113. In his book, Masson devotes a whole chapter to the story of Dora.

[9] Ibid., p. 104.

[10] Anti-Freud, pp. 135f (footnote).

[11] Ibid., p. 136.

[xii] The manufacture of madness, p. 73.

[13] Ibid.

[14] The position of Charcot, Freud, Zilboorg and the other psychiatrists on the Inquisition appears in The manufacture of madness, pp. 73-81 esp., and in Szasz’s The myth of mental illness (Harper and Row, 1974), chapter 8.

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