Torturing babies in the name of science

Plenty of stuff to discuss in the world, with the focus on causes
Bernard
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Post by Bernard »

I forgot to sign-in when I posted that message yesterday. I know you didn't mean the computer software analogy to imply DNA - I just wanted to point out it would be an equally good analogy for unfeeling theories of psychology.

That Alice Miller article you linked to doesn't support what you said. She's talking about liberation from the idealization of one's parents. In her reply to Franck she says "This repetition of the old trauma is the opposite of a therapy." She concludes the article by saying:
Today, I share the opinion of Arthur Janov who always affirmed, that primal therapy without the assistance of a well informed and compassionate therapist can be very dangerous. (cf. his homepage). In addition, I think that it contains (1) a contradiction in itself by reactivating a situation of which one want to get rid of and (2) a perpetuation of the violence directed toward oneself.
No way does that imply that she embraced it again. She says an enlightened witness is what's essential, not primals.

"Breaking Down Walls of Silence" is excellent suggestion for the forum title!
Bernard

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Dennis
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Post by Dennis »

Bernard, I suppose there can be different interpretations to Alice Miller's views on Primal Therapy and yours does sound valid. I interpreted her words as if she was critical towards primal self-therapy but not Primal Therapy (with an enlightened therapist), adding the word 'Today' to her statement.

Breaking Down Walls of Silence
it is. I'll re-design the front page of this site as soon as I have time for it.

Dennis

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Post by cc »

Breaking Down Walls of Silence

Looks great Dennis.
cc

Bernard
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Post by Bernard »

Nice logo. Will you be changing the forum text too? :wink: At the top of each page the link still says "Primal Theory & Practice Forum Index". Only the banner image has changed.
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Post by Dennis »

I haven't had the time to properly see what I should change but I'll change the name of the link right away. Thanks for pointing it out.

Dennis

Phil
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Post by Phil »

It is amazing how the other forum "Siding With the Child" has died. It will no doubt, however, come back to life in time. Notice again that it seems to coincide with the fact that John is no longer posting. He was stirring things up with some of his ideas. When everyone agrees on things, there doesn't seem to be much to say, and if no one really wants to share much on personal experiences.
The name of a forum could attract or turn off new comers. "Breaking Down the Walls of Silence" is fine but doesn't give much a clue as to what the forum is about. Maybe that will stimulate curiosity. Or people may just surf by it since it isn't evident what it might be about.
What I think is that, where primal is mentioned, it could be called "deep feeling therapy" or "regressive therapy", although primal is a recognised and accepted term.
But was this forum intended to be about Alice Miller and her ideas, about primalling, or just the general topic of how our childhoods have effected us, and about healing. I'd prefer to have it be inclusive.

Phil

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Dennis
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Post by Dennis »

Thanks for your input, Phil. My original intention with creating a new forum last year was when I realized John Speyrer's Forum was sinking fast. I wanted to have at least one serious forum on the Internet where people can discuss primal-related issues. But Primal isn't a new religion and it may scare off people who think it is. In the beginning I said that this forum is for any exploration on childhoods and adulthood in the same manner as Janov, Alice Miller, Van Winkle and Jean Liedloff described, to name a few. These are issues that matter to any human being on this planet.

I haven't posted on Daniel's forum for a while because I felt things weren't being discussed and what do you say to a parent in a forum called 'siding with the child'?

Regressive therapy isn't the same as Primal Therapy. The dangers in regressive therapy where people have to re-live past traumas without having sufficiently dealt with all the defenses, has not been shown effective in healing.

It's true when everyone agrees, there's no discussion. Therefore I'm also interested in the practical side of life, how people deal with their lives and problems, how to embrace life and not shielding away from it.

Dennis

Bernard
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Post by Bernard »

Two out four sub-forums are the Primal Cafe and Primal Therapy, so this forum hasn't stopped being inclusive. How many Janovians have posted new topics? A couple of announcements about primal books is all I could find.

There used to be contributors who discussed broader issues related to society's blindness.... like the polarization between religious fundamentalists and scientists over the evolutionary roots of human nature.... while the true causes of psychological problems in society get overlooked by both camps. Thanks to evolutionary psychology. Now that's what I call a new religion. There were discussions of counter culture too, from contributors who disappeared a long time ago. A forum can't rely on one person who stirs things up.

There's been nothing new in the media section for months... while relevant articles appear in blogs every week. The reason I used to come here was because I found links to interesting articles. I hope this forum will take on a new lease of life.

I first read Alice Miller after she removed all references to Stettbacker from her books. Apparently, revised editions were published about ten years ago. But I found general criticisms of primal therapy in two of them. When I tried to find out more I learned that Arthur Janov claimed in The Primal Scream that his therapy would CURE neurosis in LESS than two years. The Janovians on this forum tell a different story. Not many Alice Miller readers posted in John Speyrer's Forum and the ones who came here went away again. Breaking Down the Walls of Silence is the title of an Alice Miller book (the best one, I'd say), which might attract the attention of people interested in her ideas.
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Post by Phil »

I agree that it would be a good thing if more people would visit and contribute here.
Here is a question for which I haven't found a satisfactory answer.
What type of therapy does Alice Miller really favor./ I guess it wouldn't be primal therapy, but what would it be?
There is the psychohistory forum which tends to address societal issues.
But it has a psychoanalytical framework that I don't agree with. There seems to be a feeling that psychoanalysis has been discredited. And I think thats true. But if therapeutic theories would move back to considering childhood and repression, that would be a good thing.


A real problem is that there are "regressive type" therapies which deal with ones history which work and heal, and others which don't do much at all. It isn't easy for anyone to choose the right one.

Phil

Cesar Tort

Post by Cesar Tort »

I agree, Bernard, that Breaking Down the Wall of Silence is Miller?s best book.

Though I have not read Janov I am very concerned about Antonio?s testimony. And my educated guess is that to be swaddled for many months traumatizes more an infant than the current non-empathic methods of childbirth, or the immoral circumcision of babies. On the other hand, there are some subjects about abuse in later life that are taboo even among Miller?s fans.

If you take a look at my Wikipedia user page or to this trauma article that I started, you will see how speaking out about childrearing modes in non-Western societies is something that goes beyond Miller; beyond this forum, and beyond Daniel?s forum. For people who identify themselves with the political left and against the U.S. it is just too disturbing to acknowledge that, generally (though not always), non-Westerners mistreat less their children than people in other cultures. But this is the key to understand the real world.

It is impossible to understand what has happened to mankind unless the legacy of the psychohistorians is merged with Miller?s legacy. And I would emphasize more the swaddling issue, still practiced in rural Greece, China, Russia and other countries. Never forget that Miller herself was swaddled; she doesn?t remember it and that?s why she displaced her anger toward Dennis (and, if I understood Daniel?s essay correctly, she may have displaced it toward her own children).

I tried to show this new dimension of child abuse in the Apocalypto posts in this forum but I guess it?s very strong meat even for the people of these forums.

Yes Phil: you are right: the psychoanalytic framework of psychohistory is a real flaw of Lloyd deMause (though psychohistorians have distanced themselves from Freud). And it?s true that Miller doesn?t recommend a specific therapy. That?s a very tricky issue, since Jeffrey Masson is right about therapies. Personally, I would recommend Susan Forward?s therapy to neurotic people as explained in Toxic Parents and Ross? therapy to people on the verge of psychosis.

On the other hand, psychohistorians are on denial about the war against children in the psychiatric profession. Breggin?s group is on denial about the trauma models (again, see this trauma article). Everybody seems to have blind spots regarding child abuse. Even in a total merge of Masson, Miller, Breggin and deMause?s legacies there is something missing: vindictive autobiography about our parents? crimes, such as John Modrow?s How to become a schizophrenic. Only the acknowledgement of all these dimensions can take us to three-dimensional inner space.

Forgive my immodesty but that is precisely what I am trying to do in my seven-volume Hojas susurrantes, of which I have already written half.

Cesar Tort

Post by Cesar Tort »

postscript

There is an erratum above: "non-Westerners mistreat less..." It should read:

"Westerners mistreat less..."

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Post by Bernard »

Phil wrote:What type of therapy does Alice Miller really favor./ I guess it wouldn't be primal therapy, but what would it be?
Sounds like you haven't read all the posts. The answer to your question is very, very simple. Alice Miller favours the support of an enlightened witness who doesn't deny that parental mitreatment causes lingering psychological problems. There's a FAQ on her website about how to choose the right therapist. Please pay attention.

By trying to marginalize Alice Miller on this forum I'd say you have a lot to answer for as far as lack of activity is concerned. What have you got against the idea of examining the nature of abuse by parents? ....which is what her books are about.

I'd like to emphasize my question:
What have you got against the idea of examining the nature of abuse by parents?

I said I only found a couple of posts by Janovians. I forgot the post by Alan Selk in 2005 and one by annette. There are 78 separate topics altogether. I didn't count posts about primal topics by people who never claimed to have been patients at either of the rival Janov outfits. By the way, Dennis, the front page still says "Primal Theory and Practice" as the header for all the sub-forums.
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Post by Phil »

Hi Bernard,

I have seen what Alice Miller has written on the support of an "enlightened witness" and what she has said in her FAQ for finding a therapist. I was thinking she may have more of a description somewhere else. This is just not enough of a description of a therapy or a healing process.
A few people might make progress with such an enlightened witness, and it is worth a try. But I am afraid most people are so closed off and defended from their pain and childhood traumas that they need more.
More of an idea of what therapy will entail, and what the therapist's role is. But I have been glad that she points in the right general direction as opposed to the majority of therapists who ignore childhood history.

I have nothing against examining the nature of abuse by parents. But I think that the examination is most accurate when we talk about ourselves and how our own parents effected us. When talking about others, it is mostly guess work.

I am sorry you feel frustrated about this forum. But I don't really think that you can speak for people who haven't posted here or left for some reason. They would need to speak for themselves.

Phil

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Post by Dennis »

Cesar wrote:Though I have not read Janov I am very concerned about Antonio?s testimony. And my educated guess is that to be swaddled for many months traumatizes more an infant than the current non-empathic methods of childbirth, or the immoral circumcision of babies.
A huge misconception about Janov's Primal Therapy is that it's supposed to be centered around birth traumas. This is not true at all. Maybe you're thinking of re-birthing? Janov's primal therapy deals with any early trauma, including swaddling. Though swaddling is still very common in Russia and China, in the Western culture, only some of the older generations in some countries have suffered this. Non-empathic methods of childbirth, as you call it, is a pretty vague description. Often some of the most cruel torture techniques take place on the infant during and after birth. Electric shocks, huge tongs to pull at the infants head during birth, cutting the umbilical cord too early, which results in near suffocation, harsh lights and sounds, separation from the mother, spanking, surgical operation without anesthesia, and more.

Cesar, I'm surprised to hear you haven't read a single book by Arthur Janov. Though that Antonio makes a few good points, you could form your own opinion by reading a book by Janov first. Prisoners of Pain is Janov's best book in my opinion. Also The New Primal Scream is a very interesting read.

I understand Phil's point of view that people who are looking for a good therapist, and feel strong enough to filter them through Miller's How To Find a Therapist, probably don't need a therapist in the first place. Anyone who is seeking a therapist, wants a good one and wants to be helped. But only help in the way they can understand and feel that it will make them FEEL BETTER. This feeling better is a trap because a person in pain, wants to avoid that pain, not feel it. So anything that can make that person feel better, will be chosen first. That's also why those therapies that deal with short term (temporarily) solutions are much more popular. When a person in therapy learns that it's not about feeling better but about feeling, a breakthrough is made and it's often the point when people stop using drugs. After a good therapy, a person can still suffer, can still feel pain, but only as a reaction to the current situation and not anymore as a reaction to the childhood.

Cesar, I'm curious, what are your plans with your biographical books, once they are finished. Do you already have a publisher who has shown interest? As you may or not may know, I've written a 600 page autobiographical novel that I couldn't get published (in Dutch as well as in English). Most publishers I had contacted considered it well-written but the taboo of hating one's parents was too much for them. A few even said it was too thick. I started writing on this book when I was 23 and finished it when I was 31.

And I also think Miller's Breaking Down the Walls of Silence is her best book. The first time I read it twice within one week (has never happened with any other book) and I've read it in total probably 5 times and every time I discovered new things.

Dennis
Last edited by Dennis on Tue Apr 03, 2007 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Cesar Tort

Post by Cesar Tort »

>Though swaddling is still very common in Russia and China, in the Western culture, only some of the older generations in some countries have suffered this.

Well: if you recognize this you are accepting the existence of ?psychoclasses?.

Thanks for explaining. And forgive my ignorance about Janov. I had a horrible birth, including forceps; but I?m pretty sure that at least in my case the major abuse started later.

I acknowledge the existence of all the horrors performed on babies you mention above. They make me hate humanity. How can men be so cruel as to operate babies without anesthesia? ?one more example that shows why I call mankind ?moral Neanderthals?!

But it?s the therapeutic side of Janov what concerns me, even though I have never read him.

Freud was smart and had many insights. But he started a cult as Masson demonstrated it (and even Miller in Thou Shalt?). We must beware of good writers and pay attention to their deeds, however bright and insightful their writings may be.

Changing subjects, how many publishers have you approached? There?s a trauma press in New York. I could find out the exact name and address if you wish.

Yes: I?ll try to publish it. But as I implied above my books are not only autobiographical: they?re hybrid genre of auto-bio, i.e. not novel but real names, with theoretical framework. Back in 2002 a small Mexican publishing house accepted two of my books but I stepped back (long story to explain it).

Short essays are OK for the internet. But if we are to speak out the whole think we need volumes. One of the main differences of my work with Miller?s is that I never write again the same book.

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