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Failed "Phoenix Order"…

Posted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:59 pm
by Cesar Tort
Hi Dennis:

Instead of emailing you I rather post this publicly.

Since I removed all names from my forum (except Wirsén's), including yours, I'd understand if you are upset and remove in turn my name in your forum. It's clear by now that even people who have a good grasp of Miller have very different worldviews, so different in fact that we were not on speaking terms for a while.

I don't want to cast aspersions on my differences with you or Dan (psychohistory, politics, SRA, child abuse in the third world, etc.). I just want to state that what originally promised to be a kind of Millerian Phoenix Order turned out to be not as simple as a drama film.


Anyway, now that Dan removed his bulletin board from the net I wonder if you have considered pasting some of those boards' most interesting exchanges here, in your site?

Re: Failed "Phoenix Order"…

Posted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 6:15 am
by Dennis
Hey Cesar,

I never considered disagreement a reason to stop communicating with people, or to reject people who don't agree with some of my views. On the contrary I would say. Daniel changed his website but he kept some of the important threads, which you can find here. I offered at the time free help to move his forum to a new server but he decided it was better to close it (it was hardly attracting any new posts the last year it was active).

Alice Miller broke every contact with Barbara Rogers and even removed every reply she had made in her letter section. As far as I'm concerned, Miller presented some good and valid views but there are apparently huge holes in it, otherwise she wouldn't be so abusive in her own behavior. I have more regard for the empathy and insights of Barbara than of Miller.

Do you read Janov's weekly blog?


Re: Failed "Phoenix Order"…

Posted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 10:45 am
by Cesar Tort
No actually: I am not interested in Janov —at all.

I wonder if you have a link to what happened to Barbara Rogers and Miller? I like Barbara, even though she didn’t reply to my last friendly email. Actually I like both of them.

I don’t think that attracting few posts was the reason for Daniel closing the board. In a sense it’s the same of what Miller did. I don’t think Dan can stand real criticism and that that is the real reason for closing it. Although I got upset with Mimsy when she said we, the members of the “Order”, might harass her (what a paranoid sucker…!), she made a point in her critique of Dan’s essay of Miller. I am even tempted to copy and paste some of her posts critical of Dan into my blog. In fact, I myself talk about Dan in a YouTube video because it’s most irritating that, in a film about mad people, he didn’t mention maddening parents. Miserable coward.

Whoops! I am casting aspersions after all, despite my above promise. Sorry…!

Furthermore, in a board in which his recent “film” was discussed Dan preached prayer to a poster. Duh! I can’t believe it: another sucker! If the “Order of the Phoenix” failed it's because such infantile errors, some of them far worse than Miller’s (all of this New Age “enlightenment” stuff of Dan’s for example).

To put it bluntly, I infinitely prefer Miller’s character flaws than infantile, extremely dissociative flaws in the worldview. But I understand all of this is rather difficult to see for the truly unenlightened. And Dan is a perfect example of “dissociation mimicking enlightenment” to use his words.

I will be most frank. I am not resentful at you because we both know what poverty is. And it’s really hard to think clearly when not sufficiently well off.

Nowadays I am in an island beside Africa, and the Spanish economic crisis really hit me hard (unemployment, etc.). But unlike us Dan didn’t have parents that bad. Thanks to his parents he has a profession and he lives in the prosperous Big Apple. However, if compared to Miller, even with her errors, Dan represents a spectacular psychogenic regression, as I try to show in my blog.

Nice to talk to you again ☺

Re: Failed "Phoenix Order"…

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:09 pm
by Dennis
It's your loss not to read up on Janov. The link to Barbara's confrontation with Miller called "Escape from the Fog of Admiration" can be found here. Some very insightful replies can be found here, and especially Sabine's response was very interesting for me to read because of so many similarities of my altercation with Miller back in 2001 and her view. I've exchanged some emails with Barbara this year, which were enlightening and confirmed my own thoughts and feelings that developed after 2001.

Seeing your youtube video, I realize you still use the provocative style to confront people. Daniel made an interesting documentary and he chose this topic because I'm sure it was easier to realize such project. If he would have focused on the mad parents, all doors would be slammed in his face. He already experienced severe problems selling his film to festivals. He received a "no" every single time. We're just waking up from a realization that's been around for thousands of years. With "We" I mean some individuals. Some of them are still half asleep or have fallen back to sleep because no one keeps them awake. That's why it's important to get this message out and to live your life as you preach it. Miller's credibility is gone after all her abusive behavior. I've never met a person that has been healed through her books. The walls of silence are real in this world. The book project I started, gave me a number of very moving and insightful stories on child abuse, but man, all doors to publication stayed closed.

I can understand you feel bitter, angry and disappointed with Daniel. Could it be the "fog of admiration" that clouded your original view on Daniel? Regarding your blog post on him and me, I don't side with any abusive parent anywhere in the world. Do you really think a small child who gets abused in Europe or gets abused in Uganda, have a different perspective? They both feel pain and they both cry. I've known people in Holland who were obsessed with Third World poverty and child neglect but completely neglected their own childhood abuse, denied their own abusive behavior towards their children and they ignored the children around them who were abused. How's that for logic? I can scream, but I cannot scream so loud, that my voice gets heard all the way into the third world countries. It's already difficult enough to get heard here. I'm not responsible for any cruel act that's perpetrated by any parent in the world, but I won't tolerate it when I'm confronted with it.

Poverty creates stress, but poverty doesn't necessary mean child abuse. Love doesn't cost anything. But it's often used as a straw man by parents who were never emotionally ready for having a child.

I'm going to make my first documentary (I've received a grant) this summer but it's going to be about cheap ecological houses and communities with a high level of autonomy in England, Wales and Ireland. You cannot live a healthy life in an unhealthy society. Unnatural living creates stress and we have to go back to the basics of self-determination, without rejecting the benefits of certain technology. I'm getting more and more interested in practical solutions than theoretical ideas that lead to nothing.


Re: Failed "Phoenix Order"…

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:48 pm
by Cesar Tort
> If he would have focused on the mad parents, all doors would be slammed in his face.

Well, as you can appreciate, the main thrust in my short video was to ask why on Earth didn't Daniel Mackler talk about maddening parents when even a film which "was awarded an Academy award, an Oscar", approached the subject of David Helfgott and his schizophrenogenic father? Isn't it rather ironic that back in the 1960s and 70s lots of "antipsychiatrists" were talking about parents who cause schizophrenia and forty years later all professionals, included Dan, seem to behave like Chickens? At least I am talking a lot about such parents in my YouTube videos (in Spanish). Surely Dan and his ICSPP colleagues could do it in YouTube as well (in English)?

On the other hand, you might agree with me that Daniel Mackler has been steering close to New Age nonsense (note that both Wirsén and I have compared his "enlightenment" philosophy with the Buddha so-called enlightenment).

Changing subjects, why did this interesting post got zero replies in you forum? Didn't it merit a little discussion?

Re: Failed "Phoenix Order"…

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 11:41 pm
by Dennis
I assume that you never got a reply from Daniel regarding your questions. Youtube is great to get a message out, but if you see the number of views, it's rather disappointing. Last year someone made a feature movie using his mobile phone which made it to film festivals. The technique is cheap today, the means to publish practically free, but we disappear in an ocean of insignificant information.

Yes, I agree with the new age nonsense and I told Daniel that on his forum back then. This whole idea to grow towards someone who is perfect is ridiculous. Everything always has to be perfect in the future. Even after you're dead, people imagine places where everything is perfect. Or when you're not perfect, others imagine that we start in a new life after death and try again, until all is perfect.

But whatever your thoughts on Daniel, he's not going to change into another person because of it. The only thing you can learn from it is using the knowledge of those experiences when you meet new people.

Regarding this post, there was very little I disagreed on, so that's probably why I didn't reply to it at the time. However, The Center for Feeling Therapy was founded by "therapists" who had left Janov's Primal Center because they didn't agree with Janov. They never finished their training. Of course they made a gigantic mess and many mock primal therapists emerged. I've also seen mock Alice Miller therapists who had her books on their shelves and claimed to work accordingly. But they were not. That's why I think it's important that therapists stay open what they do and communicate with independent ones about their methods. Until this day I've never met a therapist who was willing to do that. They stay in their own circles and their own offices. But therapists are not going to change the world, that's for sure.


Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:21 am
by Cesar Tort
A member of the "Order" who becomes a coward reminds me Peter Pettigrew, the third guy from left to right in the above photo.

I wish Bookish (or any sockpuppet of him), or CC, DRB or Dan himself commented on this thread. Too bad they're all gone...

Re: Failed "Phoenix Order"…

Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:42 am
by Dennis

Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:20 pm
by Cesar Tort
No capisco the relation of this video with the thread's subject... Oh, and I forgot to mention Phil as an old member of the "Order"!

Re: Failed "Phoenix Order"…

Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:17 pm
by Dennis
I posted the video link because it's from a movie, Network, from 1976. Now it's 2009 and its message still counts, more than ever, but people don't get angry for the right reasons anymore.

Besides Phil, Andreas Wirsén dropped out as well.


Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:34 pm
by Cesar Tort
That Daniel Mackler is not only wrong but also a dangerous man if taken seriously is plainly shown in his own web page (a page I guess you helped him to improve esthetically?). For example, in this stupid essay Daniel says that those who have not underwent psychotherapy and college would not have the right to have kids in the little Utopia he envisions. That means that, in a position of power, Dan would not allow people like you and me to have children, since we have neither! (As I said above, our parents didn't pay us any college: it's not our fault.) The point is not that these views are extremely absurd and even immoral, but that Bookish/BB demolished that essay in Dan's own forum.

Nonetheless, by removing all the threads of his forum in which substantive criticism was made of his essays —above I mentioned Mimsy's insightful objections to another of Dan's essays—, Daniel revels himself as a dogmatic ideologue, not willing to acknowledge any genuine criticism of his views. It's not only that he doesn't change a bit his already challenged views, but that by eliminating 99% of the forum he actually censors the critics of his views.

Also, a society in which only "analyzed" people may have the right to reproduce would give psychotherapists like Dan an unimaginable, totalitarian and priestly power. What would Jeffrey Masson say about such social engineering blueprints drawn by someone who claims to have understood Miller? I find it outrageous that such essay persists in spite of the fact that Bookish so thoroughly exposed just how silly it was.

This is why I would like to rescue some of the threads that Daniel elminated in his site and paste them either here or in my (dead —for now) forum. Fortunately, I have those threads well kept in my hard disk… ☺

Re: Failed "Phoenix Order"…

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:59 pm
by Dennis
I remember writing about that essay of a license for parenting at Daniel's forum. And the main problem is what the State will do when people are denied a license. The Black Market will flourish, trade in children will prevail and abortions increase. Any laws that come from above that tell people how to live a certain way is counterproductive. Number 8 where applicants must complete a college degree is quite frankly ridiculous. Some of the most wonderful people I've met in my life were high school drop-outs. Children need emotional stable parents, and they need the be surrounded by other children and emotional stable people. That's what counts.

At the bottom of that essay are some links to threads and my reply at the time was:
Dennis wrote:I guess I'm the only one here who didn't like Daniel's License to Procreate. It's good to
discuss options how to deal or stop inappropriate parenting but if he wants to start a
new religion, here are its dogmas.
First, what will happen to pregnant women who don't have the license? Forced abortion
clinics? Forced sterilization methods? What about the black market which a license will
create? To me that looks like a dark scifi movie, not an ideal picture of happy parenting.
What if the partner dies? What about external factors in which parenting becomes more
I see an underlying frustration to the poor and dumb, which Daniel - again - points to
the global problems this world has. Reading point 8; Applicants must complete a college
degree, seems to sum that up.
People without a college degree are not the ones who manufacture the latest versions of
weapons of mass destruction, have engineered a gigantic chemical industry that puts
the climate under pressure, have installed cruel hospital methods regarding birth, send
young soldiers to far away countries to fight wars, invent pills to manage people's
behavior, to name a few.
Except for the age factor, I would fail every single point in the list, which put me in the
same box as all the terrible (future) parents.
A child is not something a parent needs to work on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,
something to shape into a fine, adjusted citizen, someone who needs to rescue the
resources of the Earth. What a nightmare scenario putting future parents through these
ordeals just to be able to have a child. A child that they have high expectations of,
I like to add that I even fail the last point now, number 4, as I turned 40 last year.

I had nothing to do with Daniel's new website. He informed me at the time that he was going to another server, and I proposed free help to move the entire forum and to even set up a better website (he uses now a template), but he didn't reply. It has always been difficult communicating with Daniel. Do you think he removed his forum because it made him look bad, now that he has made a documentary, edited and published some books?


Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:46 pm
by Cesar Tort
Yes, sure: that's what I believe.

I hadn't noticed that part of (a now frozen) thread at the bottom of the page. Still, isn't it significant that the most extensive exchange on that subject, Bookish/BB vs. Daniel, is missing in the link you called my attention to? Watching over Dan's site makes me spill bile, but I guess his un-American, 9/11 rant is still unchanged in his site?

On a much, much lesser note, Daniel Mackler is neither a musician nor a filmmaker. Ask me! As you know, I come from a family of real musicians (one of my father's orchestra compositions has been played in New York and my brother has conducted orchestras: he's now in Paris). Unlike Dan's amateurish films, had I not been abused in my teens I'd surely be a real filmmaker by now (in 2001 my cousin Gerardo Tort won the fist Opera Prima place in San Sebastian International Film Festival for a film on homeless Mexican kids he directed/produced).

Sorry to say this but for any real artist, such as those in my family, Dan's music and home films as they appear in YouTube, like that silly film about Dan's dog, are utter rubbish.

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:29 pm
by Cesar Tort
I forgot to mention above that Daniel Mackler claims to be "a filmmaker and musician".

More to the point, Daniel wrote an essay on homosexuality a couple of years ago. I've not read it again. Like you with his Orwellian essay on reproductive rights, I felt the same when Daniel received cheers from several co-reviewers on this other essay. Now I feel freer to speak out…

Firstly, all through his essay Daniel uses a word that I try to avoid. That word is "gay": a sequestered word by the homosexual community (when I was a child that word meant cheerful). Repeat: I won't read the essay again. My liver is delicate to ingest some of Daniel's stuff. However, as far as I remember the essay, he wrote it as if homosexuality was not only as healthy as heterosexuality, but in some places he even hints that it might be healthier! (especially in context of his concerns about reproductive human rights).

But homosexuality cannot be as healthy as regular straight relationships in humans. This is so obvious that both Alice Miller and Lloyd deMause agree with the view that most homosexual behavior is sort of pathological. This doesn't mean that every homo relation is intrinsically pathological. I for one believe that discrete, non-ostentatious, non-promiscuous and stable commitments might be relatively OK. But if I remember correctly, in his essay Daniel didn't make any distinctions in spite of the fact that, through bisexuals, the homo community brought the AIDS epidemic into the straight community. As a New Yorker, Daniel should know better what caused the AIDS epidemic: extreme promiscuity and the lifestyles among homosexuals. In his essay he preferred, instead, to bury his head in the sand.

In Dan's essay it also bothered me his pose as an objective scientist, a psychologist. As Wirsen demonstrated with beautiful prose in this very blog, this is a regression when compared to Miller's writing. The point is that, since Daniel Mackler's essay is sheer apologetics of homosexuality, my educated guess is that he may be a sort of closet homosexual.

Let me say that I have the right to speak in these terms because I myself had the usual homo experiences many have as adolescents. Now I know that those experiences had their basic etiology in my unconscious repulsion of my mother's figure. (The extremely disturbed mother I had a few decades ago made the young teen I was to view many women under a sinister light: an obvious projection.)

I have the courage to confess this. But Daniel Mackler never confessed anything about his actual experiences in any of his writing. If we claim to be "Miller's radical sons", reticence about one's own preferences only regresses our writing a giant step backwards of Miller's legacy. Not speaking out frankly about what made a confused adolescent have a couple of homo experiences, but instead theorizing from the Olympus as academic psychologists do, gravely obfuscates the issue. Further, such attitude gives the theorizer ample room to avoid exactly that which, in the first place, dragged the teenager to look for romantic accomplishment in same-sex relations.

There's no doubt in my mind that Daniel's advice to several people to "try celibacy" is the result of something seriously unsolved in his psyche. In the Internet I've even seen Dan advising celibacy in a board about his film on psych medications. That's a pretty freaked out advice since Dan is not telling he is probably projecting. He may well have been struggling with himself but, instead of telling it, he advices celibacy to the other person.

A rather strange post by Dan in his vanished forum now comes to my mind. He asked the apparently bizarre question "And what about masturbation?" Nobody understood it because Dan didn't want us know he was probably referring to an inner warfare. The struggle with the sexual daimon was pandemic among Christian saints who believed that strict celibacy was the way to enlightenment. Read the Confessions by Augustine. It's must reading and Penguin Books has a beautiful edition of it. But by talking always of "they", the homos, in his essay Daniel conveniently avoided the issue. It is not the needs of other people what he is addressing, but the projected struggle of his own mind. (I have approached an analogous case in my analysis of Ronald L. Hubbard's disturbed mind.)

A couple of years ago I wanted to tell this all in Dan's forum. But again, because of the many cheers by the posters on Dan's homo essay (I remember Austerlitz saying it was so perfect that he would not even comment on it!), and because of my extremely brutal post about ugly homos, I refrained myself. I didn't want to hurt Daniel for a second time. But now that time has passed and that, as you say, he probably does not read this forum, I can finally speak my mind.

Re: Failed "Phoenix Order"…

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:56 pm
by Dennis
I think we have to put Daniel in the right perspective. Yes, he's a therapist and yes some of his ideas are radical when it comes to child abuse but he isn't an established filmmaker or musician or author. The impression I get is that it's more like a hobby than a career. I mean, the video song about the dog drew about as many views as this very thread. It's not worth my energy to analyze such things. I personally feel that I can devote my energy (which is limited) to better causes. I haven't read every essay that Daniel wrote and you know that I very much disagree with some of them I've read. The reason why I got hooked on to his forum was his essay on Alice Miller, which partly confirmed my own opinion. Ive never exchanged personal information with Daniel because like you say, he never mentions anything about his own life or family. I know he rejected the entire Summerhill school because he read that A.S. Neil described a particular situation where he showed himself nude towards a child. He's very much against nudity while I think that there's nothing shameful about nudity if it doesn't lead to situations where the integrity of a child is at stake. This was just one situation where AS Neil did that to a child who was plagued with curiosity what a human body looked like. It was not like he did that with every child. Daniel's opinion on celibacy seemed extreme. Yes, people have often sex for the wrong reasons but celibacy is not going to solve that. It's the root of the problem that needs to be dealt with. But apparently these type of feelings go very deep in people. If I speak for myself, I can honestly say that I've never experienced any homosexual tendencies, not even in my dreams and I also have never made a problem about it. Some of my best friends are homosexual. I have a hard time understanding the critique many people have towards homosexuals because there are so many things in the world that need attention so much more. There are many heterosexual relationships utterly destructive, so why don't we forbid marriage period. Ultimately it's the self-delusions people have built that prohibit them to live a full and healthy life.
Cesar wrote:As you know, I come from a family of real musicians (one of my father's orchestra compositions has been played in New York and my brother has conducted orchestras: he's now in Paris).
I'm curious Cesar, what ambitions do you have nowadays? I know you always wanted to leave Mexico, which you have managed. What's the next step?