Torturing babies in the name of science

Plenty of stuff to discuss in the world, with the focus on causes
Bookish

Post by Bookish »

Dennis > primal therapy deals with any early trauma, including swaddling.

Cesar let me know in a PM that Lloyd de Mause told him by email that swaddling was mentioned on pages 35 and 303 of The Biology of Love. False. And swaddling is not mentioned in the index of any book by Janov, although he would most certainly agree that it is a severe trauma. However, if I missed a mention of swaddling not listed in the index of a particular book, please let us know. I guess that book would be the one Cesar would want to start with.
...written a 600 page autobiographical novel that I couldnt get published (in Dutch as well as in English). Most publishers I had contacted considered it well-written but the taboo of hating ones parents was too much for them. A few even said it was too thick.
Not all publishers maintain the taboo. Some do, but others are happy to publish candid autobiographies, and many have been published which tell the truth about childhood. Dave Pelzer wrote a series of books which provide a perfect example (five of them made it into the New York Times bestseller list). At the same time, very few autobiographies are anywhere near 500 pages, let alone 600 pages. If an author makes it into the bestsellers lists, publishers might consider a longer manuscript for the next book. I worked as an editorial assistant in a large publishing company when I first left college. With unknown authors they wanted to avoid the risk of unusually high production costs. Twice as much paper would be required for 600 pages than the average biography. Also, the editors preferred to deal with literary agents than with individual authors.

P.S. I like the new forum name. A good choice.
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Post by Dennis »

Bookish, I have read Janov's The Biology of Love but don't own a copy so I cannot check deMause's reference. But I really doubt he would lie about such a thing. Couldn't he have another copy of the book, where the order of pages is different? I do agree that Janov hasn't sufficiently put swaddling forward as a major trauma like a traumatic birth. His work is mostly based on observations and it could be that those that visited the institute and were accepted, weren't the victim of swaddling. Maybe he calls it something else? I do remember reading about it somewhere. I didn't particularly enjoyed reading The Biology of Love, as Janov tried to convince the scientific community of his theories by offering a lot of science.

Publishing in Holland is a bit different than the UK and the US. Dutch publishers seldom work with agents, and most Dutch publishers are too conservative. In the beginning I did find a British agent who was very enthusiastic but she mentioned she didn't work with Dutch authors and it's getting increasingly difficult for publishers to survive. They rather play it safe. I didn't write an autobiography, but a novel. I often don't present it as autobiographical, but the inspiration for it comes directly from my own life. I think I've approached 40 - 50 Dutch publishers during 2 years and about a handfull asked to read the whole manuscript. Twice I found an enthusiastic editor, and one of them succeeded in getting a colleague enthusiastic as well. Then they need to convince the majority of the staff and the boss, and that's where my book died. A few years ago I translated during a winter the whole book into English and had and American friend proof read it and correct certain phrases and such and she had enjoyed reading the whole thing. I found an American publisher who publish books about childhood issues and problems and specialize in Dutch and Belgian authors but they weren't interested in reading it. I have founded my own publishing firm two years and published my other books myself (and an international literary magazine in English) because I got tired of the establishment. The autobiographical novel is on halt for the time being.

I still haven't read Dave Pelzer but extreme cases in society usually draw an audience. Subtle childhood abuse brings much more resistance within people. Also Dave Pelzer was rescued at age 12 and because of the immense and unspeakable cruelty he had suffered, was validated by everyone. And that he became such a good and adjusted citizen who did his tasks and fought wars, is something many people high up in the hierarchy value.

Cesar, how can men be so cruel as to operate babies without anesthesia? Because scientists and doctors believed babies couldn't feel pain. There are too many out there who still believe that. There's something fundamentally wrong with the basis of science.

Sure I accept the psychoclasses. I've always thought that a civilization can be measured by the way they treat their children. Politically speaking I've never been part of the left, but do admit that many years ago I did vote for the Dutch Communists. When it comes to politics and society my background is anarchism. I still see a lot of value in there even though I wouldn't know any real anarchists. Anarchists have always fought against authoritarian abuse, and recognized child abuse as a major factor in childrearing when it comes to explanations why some people are so unfeeling. For a while in human history, anarchists, atheists and existentialists were the most hated people in society. Go figure. Not pedophiles, not warmongers, not men who exploit the workers. An indication to how much crap you have to deal with when you question the holy authorities and parents.

A bit off topic, but anyway...

Dennis
Bookish

Post by Bookish »

Dennis > But I really doubt he would lie about such a thing.

There is one English language edition of The Biology of Love and one French language edition.
See: http://www.primaltherapy.com/SEO/items_books.shtml

The Biology of Love (2000) -- published by Prometheus Books (same details at Amazon).
and
La Biologie de Amour (2001) -- published by Editions du Rocher.

It seems unlikely that the French edition would contain a different text, or that Lloyd deMause was referring the French edition without telling Cesar. I have a copy of The Emotional Life of Nations by Lloyd deMause. There are three short of two thousand footnotes providing references to back up his claims. The footnotes are individually numbered for each chapter. I have read some of the books deMause refers to, and not all of them support the assertions for which they are cited. Neither do they contradict them -- they are simply not relevant. I think he is careless, not a liar. And if he was referring to the English edition of The Biology of Love he was definitely wrong. Those pages discuss the consequences of lack of touch during infancy, not swaddling in particular. Probably he though that was near enough to what Cesar wanted to know.

In many traditional cultures swaddled babies are strapped to the mother as she goes about her daily activities. By contrast, babies in push-chairs can move their arms and legs, but there is no body-to-body contact with the mother. I can imagine that it could be very frightening for an infant to be pushed around in a busy public place -- strapped to a chair and facing forwards -- and not able to see the parent who is doing the pushing. But the poor kid would certainly see lots of knees flashing past.

Dennis > Publishing in Holland is a bit different than the UK and the US.

Thanks for explaining. It was in the 1970s that I worked as an editorial assistant, and the publishing industry has changed a great deal since then. But autobiography or novel, I think the economics probably remains the same. One of my main tasks as an editorial assistant was to work out the production costs for each proposed book and calculate how many copies they would have to sell to make a profit. I feel sure a shorter manuscript would have a better chance.

Dennis > ...but extreme cases in society usually draw an audience.

I agree with everything you say about Dave Pelzer. There are other autobiographies which demonstrate the subtle abuses much better.

It looks to me as though there is a quorum of visitors to the forum who would like to raise public awareness about the psychological abuse of children by parents. Discussing an expensive proprietory therapy method, which was famous for while because of John Lennon, is unlikely to achieve that aim. There are moderated mailing lists about the psychological abuse of children which are only accessible to registered members. I think the problem with forums is that they lose their focus through off-topic posts, and also that they attract trolls from time to time. Maybe those shortcomings can never be overcome in a public forum unless all posts are vetted by a moderator before they go live.
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Post by Dennis »

Bookish, that's an interesting observation on deMause. I was first thinking if he was quoting from the paperback version or the hard cover version, if there are such versions. But if he's that careless about footnotes and research as you say, then that is a sure indication.

Regarding this forum, I'm thinking of introducing certain projects people can participate in. Just to make that step from theory to practice. Such projects could be about anything related, for example writing a letter to the press to raise certain awareness on a particular situation related to child abuse.

I prefer to keep an open forum, because I like to have it reflect open society as much as possible.

Dennis
Bookish

Post by Bookish »

Dennis > I was first thinking if he was quoting from the paperback version or the hard cover version, if there are such versions.

All versions of all books have separate ISBN numbers. There is only a hardback edition of Biology of Love in the English language. The word swaddling is nowhere to be found in the book. Not on any page. I checked twice.

The independent outcome studies which Janov fails to mention in his writings show that the success rate for primal therapy is approximately the same as for other types of psychotherapy, sometimes marginally better. No published independent study shows primal as markedly better, notwithstanding a misquote of the Vidergard study that I saw. Primal science is not wrong. Published scientific studies which have nothing to do with primal therapy support parts of the basic theory, but they are not mentioned by medics or PhDs who concentrate on speculative genetic theories. Better to publicize peer-reviewed research in journals read by scientists than try to tell the world that a business owner, who is a psychotherapist not a neuroscientist, knows better. Lloyd deMause is foolish to cite him when there are reputable alternative sources (e.g. Allan Schore of UCLA).

Erik Hoffmann, PhD, departed from the Primal Center in 1996. Dr. Michael Holden had a psychotic breakdown in 1983 -- http://www.primal-page.com/holden.htm

Arthur Janov was the first to tell the blunt truth in his early books about how mistreatment by parents causes lasting psychological distress. Things changed after his affair with a patient by the name of France D -- and losing the Primal Institute to his first wife as part of the divorce settlement. Now his books claim PT is more scientific than other therapies, despite the shortage of independent, peer-reviewed scientific research into PT. Janov now emphasizes reliving birth, even though a wide range of studies -- reviewed at great length by Allan Schore -- show that early neurological deficits due to trauma cannot be undone after the first two years of life. Dr. Michael Holden is proof. Possibly birth primals can remove doubts about whether birth was the root cause of later difficulties. I believe it could be true if the trauma was unusually severe.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_Schore
Phil
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Post by Phil »

Hi Bookish,

I think you are right, Arthur Janov doesn't really have any good scientific studies backing him up. But, nor do they disprove what he says.
Outcome studies are unreliable, I don't think they are worth much.
Aren't they mostly patient questionaires etc? Ideally some individuals, trying various therapies might be able to evaluate them for effectiveness.

Birth primals lead to enormous healing for people who experience them but, no doubt, can not heal major neurological deficits. But I wonder if any studies included people who have had birth primals. I am just guessing, probably not.

What happened to Michael Holden can't be considered proof of anything. He was just one individual.

At Vivian Janovs Primal Institute, birth primalling is discouraged.
I think one of the problems is, people want to quickly get to birth primals because of the large amount of relief that comes from them. But the things from later childhood have to be dealt with first and shouldn't be skipped. Trying to jump right to birth causes problems.

I have been wondering, do you like books and thats why your Bookish?
Just curious.

Phil
Bookish

Post by Bookish »

Phil > Outcome studies are unreliable

Not all outcome studies are well designed. Some are simply questionaire excercises, others are longitudinal studies with in-depth interviews. I have a copy of the study Tomas Videgard carried out at the Primal Institute in the early 1980s. Probably you have seen the review by Stephen Khamsi at the PPP -- http://www.primal-page.com/success.htm

Phil > But I wonder if any studies included people who have had birth primals. I am just guessing, probably not.

Videgard found that only a small minority from his Primal Institute study sample experienced birth primals as described in the books.

Phil > What happened to Michael Holden cant be considered proof of anything. He was just one individual.

Without independent outcome studies that critique applies to all one-off accounts by individuals, whether for or against. However, Dr. Michael Holden was the medical supervisor and Director of Research at the Primal Institute, and co-author of Primal Man. His chapters were presented as *proof* that primals are a unique healing phenomenon.

Phil > I have been wondering, do you like books and thats why your Bookish?

Indeed. After graduating I worked in a publishing company while I completed a postgraduate course part-time. Also, I jointly run a private forum with Ian Copeland for readers of candid autobiographies. We only invite people who have written compassionate reviews of autobiographies on Amazon or public forums similar to ours. They join because public forums are plagued with apologists for abusive parents. Mainly, we favour autobiographies which tell the truth about childhood. Few are as well known as the ones by Dave Pelzer, and more often than not, they are written by celebrities of one sort or another. But they do achieve good sales, and some publishers are willing to take the risk of publishing unknown authors who have an unusual and verifiable story to tell.
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Post by Phil »

Hi Bookish,

Very interesting about the autobiographies.

As can be seen from Holden's account, he had a very severely traumatic birth. Also he mentions a seemingly psychotic episode from late in his childhood. He had a lot of difficult stuff to deal with.
His description of his primalling is an example of a lot of things to avoid in the process. He would go straight to his birth, disregarding later childhood material, and did not use a therapist. One conclusion would be that he became overwhelmed with too much pain, and thus his religeous "conversion".
His contributions as a writer in Janov's books did not really focus on his own personal experiences, as I recall. I think it was more theoretical.
It is of special interest what happened to him, however, because of the position he held.
Birth trauma to large degree is held in muscle tensions, the same as later traumas. This might account for some "neurological deficits", but no doubt there is permanent damage done which can not be healed.

Phil
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