How to recognize a cultist
Page 1 of 1

Author:  Mojo [ Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:39 am ]
Post subject:  How to recognize a cultist

Several things made Janov's approach to therapy remarkable, among them:
  1. He contradicted the Freudians who said that incest was an Oedipal fantasy, or else that sex took place because of Oedipul urges in the child. Janov bluntly discarded that kind of bullshit and said that all neurosis, and many varieties of psychosis, were the result of childhood mistreatment and trauma. One year after Primal Scream, his second book provided case histories of birth primals.
  2. Unlike all other psychotherapists (right up to the present day), Janov encouraged his clients to write up their own case histories, in their own words, and included them in his books.
  3. He claimed his methods cured people of neurosis more quickly that other approaches to psychotherapy. That claim hasn't stood the test of time.
Here's how you can identify a cultist (it's remarkably easy)...

They don't accept that whether a person chooses primal therapy or another method is less important than whether they resolve repressed feelings. They say only the proprietory methods of Arthur Janov can achieve the desired result. In addition, there are two very obvious signs that reveal a person as a cultist:
  1. Unlike Janov, they say that reliving birth alone can cure neurosis. Janov doesn't say that. He calls people like that 'rebirthers'. He says birth trauma or fetal distress compounded by a lack of love or actual abuse during childhood gives rise to the most tenacious varieties of neurosis (or psychosis).
  2. When asked directly to provide an account of their childhood traumas, and how they overcame them, they respond evasively. They start dissembling.
How to talk to a cultist (if you must!)...
  1. Don't get bogged down debating the finer points of the theory. That kind of head trip can go on forever. It's a way of avoiding feelings. In other words, a defense (even if the cultist won't admit it).
  2. Ask the person to give an acount of the mistreatment or abuse they suffered during childhood. If they can't, they haven't achieved any real success with primal therapy. Don't let yourself be fobbed off with anything vague or generalized. If that happens move on. Even if you can't find a 'post-primal' person who is willing to share the true story of their childhood, there are plenty of biographies on the shelves of bookstores that would make Janovian case histories look insubstantial.

If you are in agreement with what I have said, please make this a locked topic. Otherwise it might get filled up with endless rebuttals. Let those who disagree start a new topic to discuss this if they want to.

* Mojo *

Author:  Phil [ Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:57 am ]
Post subject: 

Well, I want to post something here just so that this isn't a "locked topic".
Why would it have to be. What is or isn't a cult should be up for debate just like anything else.

What I would say is there are people who seem overly devoted to Janov's brand of therapy and theory. But there are also others, I notice, who seem to have excessive knee jerk reactions against him.

Most people would find the whole practice of exploring deep feelings weird. They will think, it must be some kind of "cult", it is so out of the mainstream. The scientific thing to do when you feel bad is to get a doctor to prescribe some pills to make you feel better, that is what they think.

Author:  Dennis [ Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:19 pm ]
Post subject: 

You made certainly some good points, Mojo, but I don't see a reason to lock this topic. This forum is for discussion. I will - in good time - have a separate part of this website (not on the forum) dealing with cultism in which I'll post your message, Knecht's article and possibly some more cult-related articles.

What I have read in the mainstream press about primal theory the past 15 years is so far off from Janov's books that I can understand Janov had to choose his radical stand to discard all other primal therapists. I think that's why he's afraid of promoting self-therapy, out of fear for negative results. But then came Alice Miller, Stettbacher and later Ellie van Winkle. In my opinion they are strongly connected.

I once told someone that I was interested in Primal Therapy and she looked at me like I had lost my mind. She had seen once a documentary on TV about 'primal therapy' in which a woman said she had experienced through therapy that she was stuck in the overy when 'she' was an egg and that it had solved her problems. Of course this is total bogus. I told her that and she read a book by Janov and said: this is really different and everything makes sense.


Author:  Guest [ Fri Jan 13, 2006 11:25 am ]
Post subject: 

She had seen once a documentary on TV about 'primal therapy' in which a woman said she had experienced through therapy that she was stuck in the overy when 'she' was an egg and that it had solved her problems

Sounds like the kind of bullshit that still passes for Primal Therapy in this country (Australia) and in my experience has very little bearing on what the Janov's are about...


Author:  Mojo [ Sat Oct 14, 2006 5:33 am ]
Post subject: 

I noticed that the unidentified troll took a "Blame The Victim" swipe at Bernard, so I thought I should remedy an oversight. When I first posted this topic in January I simply listed two obvious signs that reveal a person as a cultist. Considering what the unidentified person said against Bruce recently I would add this third point:

3) Cultisits believe that Arthur Janov's claims should never be question under any circumstances, despite the absence of independent outcome research since the 1984 publication by Tomas Videgard. Beware if any of these 'true believers' offer you a drink of Kool-Aid.

See also: An Experience with Enchantment

Ignore the troll, Bernard.

* Mojo *

Page 1 of 1 All times are UTC + 1 hour [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group