Categories
Day of Wrath (book) Lloyd deMause On Exterminationism (book) Pre-Columbian America Psychohistory Trauma model of mental disorders

Millions of Dahmers!

As I have watched more documentaries about Jeffrey Dahmer, I have continued to think about what I wrote about this serial killer at the end of last month and the beginning of this month.

Even in the recent Netflix miniseries, there is a moment when detectives ask the arrested Dahmer if his irresistible compulsion to possess body remains of his victims had to do with an unconscious desire to control males. Dahmer replied, ‘Yes’, and added that everyone wanted to tell him what to do, and he mentioned his dad. Dahmer also said that by his horrible actions he wanted others to ‘see his movie’, i.e. what he had suffered. The unspoken implication is that it was revenge in the form of transference onto substitute objects, in that it was finally Dahmer who had the power.

In my September post, I said that Dahmer’s behaviour reminded me of the behaviour of Mesoamerican Amerindians before the Spanish conquest. I don’t know how many of my visitors have read my book Day of Wrath, but there I call Mesoamerican civilisation a civilisation of serial killers. Today, while reviewing an article from another of my books, On Exterminationism, I came across this passage:

Tiesler and Cucina let us know that modern Mayanists are using, in addition to Spanish chronicles and iconographic evidence from pre-Columbian art, the science of taphonomy (skeletal analysis) as tangible evidence of human sacrifice in Mayan civilisation. On pages 199-200 [of the academic book pictured left] the authors mention the techniques the Maya used in their practices, now corroborated by taphonomy: the victim could have been shot with arrows or stoned, his throat or neck could have been cut or broken, his heart could have been extracted through the diaphragm or thorax; he could have suffered multiple and fatal lacerations, or have been cremated, disembowelled or flayed or dismembered. The bodily remains may have been ingested, used as trophies or in the manufacture of percussion instruments. The authors deduce this from direct, physical evidence from the skeletons studied (or other remains) and also mention a form of sacrifice I hadn’t heard of: the offering of human faces in the context of the influence on the Maya of the Xipe-Totec deity, ‘Our Lord the Flayed’, who was widely worshipped in northern, central Mexico.

As bizarre as it may seem, the psychoclass to which Dahmer belonged is virtually identical to the psychoclass of the ancient inhabitants of the civilisations of Mesoamerica. There were millions of Dahmers in Mesoamerica back then! (presently central Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and northern Costa Rica). In other words, the way to decipher minds like Dahmer’s is to be found in psychohistory, or more specifically, in the appropriation I made in Day of Wrath of the ideas of Lloyd deMause, who died a couple of years ago. (He was a typical New York liberal, and his liberal ideas had to be appropriated and given a racialist spin: what I did in my book.)

Categories
Charles Martel Karlheinz Deschner Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums (books) Lloyd deMause Middle Ages Roman Catholic popes So-called "saints"

Christianity’s Criminal History, 152

 
St Boniface, ‘Apostle of the Germans’ and of Rome

The Greatest Englishman. —Title of an anthology by Timothy Reuter

‘He was an utterly devoted person, one might almost say tender, not a tempestuous personality or a force of nature. A man of utterly pure and lofty idealism’. —Wilhelm Neuss

‘Moreover, any historian—including an atheist—should recognise that Boniface opened the door wide for us, that through him the frontier of Europe was opened to the east. The same is true of Charles’s wars against the Saxons’. —K. König and K. Witte

‘Boniface, who has influenced the history of Europe more profoundly than any other Englishman after him, was not just a missionary but a statesman and a genius of administration, and above all a servant of the Roman order’. —Christopher Dawson

‘The glory of the Middle Ages rests in a good part on his work’. —Joseph Lortz, Catholic theologian

 

Around 680, probably at the age of seven, the Anglo-Saxon boy Wynfreth (Winfrid), later called Bonifatius in Rome, was given by his father to the monastery as puer oblatas.

Editor’s Note: Anyone familiar with what we have quoted on this site from historian Lloyd deMause will know that paedophilia is not a recent phenomenon in the Catholic Church. From its earliest days parents who didn’t love their young donated them to monasteries—the institution of Oblation—where they could be sexually used by the elders. Deschner continues:

‘But the boy, who had been entrusted to the monastery without consulting his will, grew up to become a man of his own free will’, writes the German scholar Schramm today. In a monastery! A man of his own free will? As if Boniface had not been a servile slave of Rome for the rest of his life! ‘Day and night he cultivated scientific studies to procure eternal happiness’, according to the priest Willibaid in his bombastic Vita, which he wrote about his monastic hero in Mainz at the end of the 8th century.

Boniface began a propagandistic pilgrimage, but with a ‘missionary authorisation’ from Rome. Pope Gregory II (715-731) commissioned him on 15 May 719 ‘to exercise the service of the kingdom of God among all peoples imprisoned in the error of unbelief’. He was to examine—again in the poetic language of the biographer Willibald—‘whether the uncultivated fields of their hearts were to be ploughed by the plough of the gospel’.

 

Deliverance from ‘all uncleanness’ among the people of Hesse, Thuringia, Saxony and some bloodshed

The inhabitants of Hesse were still largely pagan, while the Thuringians—among whom the Frankish conquerors built the first churches in their feudal castles—had been partially converted to paganism by Saxon raids and pagan reactions. In any case, despite his honey-sweet doctrine, Boniface quickly failed here, partly because of the Christian bishops and priests and partly because of the lack of military support.

Still in 719 he left Thuringia and went, ‘filled with great joy’ at the death of the Frisian Duke Radbod (according to Vita Bonifatii), to Frisia until 721, where he was placed under the command of the elderly missionary Willibrord, an ‘Oblate’ like himself, i.e. already spiritually violated as a child.

With the backing of the high Frankish nobility and the force of Frankish arms, Willibrord had, since 690, spread his knowledge among the West Frisians under Pippin II and, briefly and unsuccessfully, among the Danes and Saxons. He fled from Radbod with little apparent martyr’s vocation and only returned after his death. Only the victorious campaigns of Charles Martell in 718 and 720 (repeated in 722 and 724) against the Saxons made possible the beginning of their Christianisation, their liberation from ‘demons’, ‘error’ and ‘diabolical fraud’ (Gregory II). With the invocation of the Holy Trinity, Willibrord destroyed the ‘idols’, desecrated and reduced to ruins the sanctuaries of the Frisians, killed their sacred animals and worked astonishing miracles. To put it briefly: it was in connection with the military men Pippin and Charles Martell that he weeded out ‘the tares of unbelief’ and strove to ‘renew by baptism those who had just been subdued by force of arms’ and ‘to spread without delay all the light of the gospel’ (Alcuin).

In 721 Boniface separated from Willibrord for reasons we ignore. He had refused to be consecrated bishop by Willibrord and returned to the territory of Hesse-Thuringia, where he founded a small monastery on the Amoneburg… After the first successes Gregory II called Bonifacius back and on 30 November 722 consecrated him a missionary bishop (without a fixed see). He thus became entirely bound to Rome by oath…

Boniface benefited from the campaigns of Charles Martel and his donations to the church of Utrecht and the monastery of Echternach, which soon became the basis of gigantic Catholic propaganda that extended as far as the Meuse, the Scheldt and the mouths of the Rhine.

In 722 Gregory II had also given the ‘apostle of the Germans’ a missionary commission for the Saxons. It is true that in 718 they had been driven out of the lower Rhine and defeated by Charles, but they remained almost entirely faithful to their ancient beliefs. They were one of those Germanic tribes east of the Rhine. The planned ‘conversion’ of the Saxons with mass baptisms only came about after Charles’ long and carefully prepared campaign of 738, which was carried out in close cooperation with the clergy. Gregory III (731-741), who once called the Frankish warlord who waged war almost year after year ‘St Peter’s beloved son’, declared the following in a letter to Boniface on 29 October 739:

You have given us knowledge of the peoples of Germania, whom God has delivered from the power of the pagans, by having gathered into the bosom of the holy mother Church hundreds of thousands of souls by your efforts and those of the Frankish prince Charles (tuo conamine et Caroli principis Francoruni).

The number is certainly exaggerated. But the Saxons were ‘delivered from the power of the heathen’ only by the military expedition of Charles Martell (738) ‘with dreadful bloodshed’ (Fredegarii continuationes). And in connection with this came the mass baptisms of the Saxons. Their conversion to Christianity took place ‘in close contact with the military-political organisation’ (Steinbach). This is probably even a ‘large-scale attempt at a Saxon mission before the period of Charlemagne’ (Schieffer).

It is true that Charles Martell was not very religious, but for political reasons he was ‘extremely interested’ (Buchner) in the spread of Christianity in the east. And there is no doubt that Boniface ‘owed everything to the victorious arms and personal protection of Charles Martell’ (Zwölfer).

Already in the years 718, 720, 722 and 724 Charles had fought against the Saxons, as mentioned above. He repeatedly crushed uprisings of the Frisians and Saxons, and it was only through these bloody acts of violence that the ‘conversion’ or, as Boniface puts it, the liberation of ‘all the heathen’s filth’ depended. Gregory III attributed the missionary success as much to Charles Martell as to Boniface. And Boniface personally confesses to the English bishop Daniel of Winchester: ‘Without the protection of the prince of the Franks (sine patrocinio principis Francorum) I could neither have guided the people of the Church nor defended the priests and ecclesiastics, the monks and servants of God, nor without his command and his fear could I have eliminated the pagan customs and the horrors of idolatry in Germania’.

Categories
Ancient Greece Bible Child abuse Day of Wrath (book) Infanticide Lloyd deMause Psychohistory Wikipedia

Day of Wrath, 15

A bitter discussion


A quick way to show the Aristotelian phase where present-day history, anthropology and sociology are stuck is by quoting excerpts from a heated debate about psychohistory. To make the reading easier I will omit the use of ellipsis even between long unquoted paragraphs. The complete debate can be read in the Wikipedia archive of the article “Early infanticidal childrearing.” Since the original text is a raw discussion I slightly corrected the syntax. The following is a 2002 debate that came about the subsequent year when Wikipedia was launched, the multi-language encyclopedia edited by volunteers. To simplify the discussion I will also change the names and pennames used by various academics that discussed with a psychohistorian who edited Wikipedia under the penname of “Ark.” The fascinating polemic initiated with the subject of the tribes of Papua New Guinea.

Academic 1: Does this “model” [psychohistory] reflect actual facts? Increased mortality after weaning is common in non-Neolithic cultures as well; it’s a consequence of inadequate nutrition, not of parental desire.
Ark: You’re wrong there. “Inadequate nutrition” isn’t some random fact of reality. It’s a consequence of feeding pap to children, and not having the empathy necessary to understand that crying means the baby is hungry. These are both psychological problems of the parents, since feeding pap is a response to the fear of breastfeeding.
Academic 1: So PNG [Papua New Guinea] children were better off in the more “primitive” culture, and exposure to an “advanced” society has increased sexual abuse of children.

Notice how this is similar to Miguel León Portilla’s preposterous claim that, by becoming exposed the Mexicas to a more advanced society, they abused their own women.

Ark: Yeah right. The myth of the “noble savage” rears its ugly head again. The reproductive rate is proportional to the ignorance and poverty of the population. So the more ignorant and poor the population, the more they will fuck. What’s generally the case is that birthrate is inversely proportional to female education. The PNG have a very high reproductive rate. The PNG have a very high rate of infanticide, child suicide. So now you know why I think that “noble savage” is just complete bullshit.
There are a bunch of known facts which everyone agrees on. Ninety-nine percent of modern people will put a very specific interpretation on those facts. That interpretation is that primitives are pedophilic, incestuous child molesters. This isn’t something which is cooked up by deMause’s model.
Academic 2: I am unimpressed by your hysterical claim that 99 percent of our society would agree with this. My claim is that people in different cultures describe things differently. The issue for me is, what do Marquesans, or Yolngu, or Gimi, or whomever, think it is? An article that makes claims about a particular society must care what members of that society claim is going on.
Ark: The interpretation of child abuse in the case of infants is acultural. Infants do not have culture so are incapable of “interpreting” anything through a cultural filter. And yet again, you persist in ignoring the child’s point of view, as if the rationalization of the child abuser mattered to them. You’re promoting a very specific POV [point of view], the one of the child molester, and don’t seem to care at all about the POV of the infant. Only anthropologists care about how the members of the primitive culture rationalize their behaviors. Anthropologists are just very bizarre people, and about as relevant to most people’s view of what constitutes child molestation as experts in the paranormal. The relevant experts in the area are developmental psychologists. There is a substantial faction that regards any kind of sexual activity with children to be inherently abusive. They would reject the anthropologists’ claims that cultural attitudes are at all relevant to the matter. They would rather emphasize the universality and uniformity of children’s emotional needs. At the center of this faction are the likes of Alice Miller. There is another faction that traces its lineage all the way to Freud. When possible, it denies that child abuse exists. When it can’t do that it denies that it is traumatic. And when it can’t do that, it denies that it is inherently traumatic.
Academic 3: The purpose of anthropology is to describe culture, not judge it. If an anthropologist judges a culture under study, the ability to describe a culture objectively and explain how it is perceived by its members is lost.
Ark: Anthropologists widely report that primitives do not see their practices as abusive or sexual. I have no hesitation agreeing with that. But then, neither do typical pedophiles see their practices as abusive either. So the basic idea is to completely steal the psychology and child-rearing of non-Western cultures (contemporary and historical) away from anthropologists. If that happens, then theories about these phenomena will be held to different standards than theories in anthropology. Anthropologists are trained to ignore that tool.
Academic 3: Ah, so you’re an opponent of cultural relativism. I don’t consider North European values to be “more advanced,” just different. There’s a difference between considering a set of values to be more amenable to one’s conscience and labeling one set of values as “more advanced” than another. That’s like implying that a Papuan is dumber than a European just because his culture doesn’t use electricity. Anthropologists do regularly debate how much they can or should interfere when they disagree strongly with the values of a culture under study. Ethically, all we can do is present viable options and allow individuals to make their own choices and suffer the consequences of those choices.
Ark: But Papuans are dumber than Europeans because they don’t use electricity.☺ You just have to ask “why do we use electricity?” We use it because we have a high population density and a high technological level. Why is that? Because we are culturally evolved. Why is that? Because at some point a couple of millennia ago, our ancestors decided to stop murdering their children and start evolving culturally. Of course, that only proves the Papuans are dumb, not that we’re smart; we’re just the product of a long line of smarter mothers.
Academic 3: What you are proposing is a form of genocide: systematically destroying a culture simply because you consider that culture to be primitive and immoral. If lip piercing, or trauma to the brain leads to successful adult lives, is that not sufficient justification for continuing the practice? You sound to me as if you are a “moral absolutist.” I’d hazard a guess that you believe everyone should live under the same moral code.
Ark: Just because I’m a moral absolutist doesn’t mean I think I have a perfect access to moral truth. It does mean that I have a far, far better understanding of basic moral truths than people who beat or sexually abuse kids. We could emphasize that anthropologists don’t really try to understand their subjects’ psyche. It’s not moral assumptions which differ between societies. It’s the capacity for empathy and rationality.
Academic 3: The anthropologist in me, on the other hand, still bemoans yet another drop added to the overflowing bucket of human cultures is forever lost.
Ark: The primitive cultures are a failure. We should let them die.
Academic 4: Good—as long as we all understand that psychohistory has nothing to do with history and is not even accepted by all schools of psychology. I think that there’s a real problem here in that the entire concept as titled [“Early infanticidal childrearing”] makes no sense. The title implies that these cultures intentionally endanger and kill their children: something that makes no sense for peoples who want to survive and which, if these cultures still exist after thousands of years, is clearly misleading.
Ark: I’ve chosen to take extreme offense at what you’ve said, e.g., “psychohistory has nothing to do with history,” and will treat you like a hostile. I really wish I didn’t have to deal with people who say stupid things. For example, things that amount to “every human being is rational and since it’s not rational to kill children…” This negates the overwhelming evidence that infanticide occurs. Never mind such truly stupid statements like “preliterate hunter-gatherer tribes are those most concerned with basic survival.” Oh really, I guess that explains why they never developed any technology in order to guarantee their survival (never mind such annoying facts like beliefs in reincarnation, animism and ancestor-worship).
Academic 5: Ark, play nice. Julie Hofmann Kemp [Academic 4] is many things, can even be abrasive sometimes, but acting “stupid” (I see you modified the “idiot” statement)? That’s over the top. She is one of the smartest people contributing to Wikipedia. This is an encyclopedia, not a soap box for new ideas. Sorry, but regurgitation of the canon of human knowledge is what we do here.
Academic 6: I disagree, Maveric [Academic 5]. One of the things that makes Wikipedia different from a standard encyclopedia is our ability to reflect new thinking. Now, the whole that deMause put together and Ark is advertising here is striking, but I think that you will find most of the individual points are not nearly as radical or contrary to current understanding as you seem to present. To begin with, there are many people who would reject cultural relativism. The first example that comes to mind are the women’s historians which have become increasingly common, but a proper search shouldn’t have trouble coming up with others. Further, the idea of the noble savage is very controversial, and one should hardly consider it some sort of canon.
With regards to infanticide per se, I personally have very little knowledge about the Paleolithic, but that deliberate murder or abandonment of infants was common among ancient civilizations like Carthage, Greece, and Rome is well-known, and I can remember a mainstream text mentioning Mohammed’s prohibitions against the then-widespread killing of children without any implication that might be controversial. In absence of further data, a backwards trendline would be all it takes to suggest that Paleolithic infanticide was very common indeed. And I can recall articles suggesting that tribal cannibalism, to take the most headline-grabbing example, was far more common than previously thought. In short, I think this position is not nearly outlandish enough to deserve such curt rejection. An informative and lasting page on this would be valuable enough.
Academic 7: Note that the definition of rape and molestation vary among cultures.
Ark: Rape and molestation do vary among cultures. This is bad. Cultural relativism is crap, believed only by idiots, ignoramuses, anthropologists and historians. The Convention on the Rights of the Child explicitly rejects cultural relativism. Cultural relativists are merely denying human rights. (On a moral level, they are still violating human rights.) Anthropology and history have achieved nothing, or close to nothing. The reason anthropology and history are fucked is because they reject psychology and that is the only possible explanation for both culture and history.
For psychological reasons, anthropologists have been butchering psych-heavy data; on the whole, the data is irretrievably corrupt and needs to be junked. Psychohistory is independent of both history and psychology and is at war with both. As the new kid on the bloc it’s going to get attacked as “simply not recognized by most historians and psychologists.” But psychohistory actually gets results. There is no rational argument against psychohistory’s methods. Conservatism is not a rational argument. And as noted above, there are plenty of arguments against both history and anthropology (i.e., they deny psychology’s influence even in psychological phenomena). Like cartography or natural history, anthropology and history aren’t sciences per se. Cartography was never anything more than an engineering enterprise (though it did give rise to plate tectonics) and when the time came, natural history gave way to evolutionary biology. Similarly, anthropology and history should give way to psychohistory wherever the latter is interested in taking over.
Academic 2: To those who promote the myth of the brutal savage, I point out that westerners have often characterized non-Western practices as stupid, unhealthy, or wrong in part out of their own ignorance, and in part to justify colonial oppression.
Ark: The brutal savage isn’t a myth. I do not mean by it that we aren’t savages. That is a notion you rightly reject because any article attacking modern people as savages will be destroyed. What I do claim is that modern societies are less savage than societies in the past. That’s most certainly not a myth. And to argue otherwise is to promote the noble savage myth. If you have an absolute standard of morality, there is no choice other than the brutal savage or the noble savage (as long as you don’t redefine rape and murder as non-violent behaviors, which by now I don’t trust you not to do). Whether deliberately or unwittingly, you have been promoting the noble savage myth. To recap: Primitives, in relation to modern people can be either: 1. equally savage (obviously untrue) 2. differently savage (cultural relativism) 3. less savage (noble savage) 4. more savage (brutal savage). So rejecting options #2 and #3 leaves one only with #4. There is no maneuvering room for anyone to weasel around.
Academic 3: And this is where you and I differ. I generally contend that all present-day cultures are essentially “differently savage.”

It is unnecessary to cite Ark’s long response. It is already answered in the previous chapter. But I would like to mention a newspaper note about an atrocity in Kismayo, at the south of Somalia. On October 27 of 2008 Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow, a thirteen-year-old girl that had been raped, was accused of premarital sex by militant Islamists and condemned to die by stoning on the head. (Although hard to believe, there are people who punish the victim of rape, not the rapist: the hypothetical nightmare of my second book turned reality.) Most disturbing in the press release is that dozens of men stoned Aisha in a stadium with a thousand spectators! What better example to clear away any doubts about the relevancy of the concept of a manifestly inferior psychoclass to ours.

Academic 3: Hum, as I understand it, most casual murders recognize that their actions are considered morally “wrong.” They just don’t care.
Ark: Morality is a psychological phenomenon. It refers to a person’s capacity for empathy. It’s difficult to describe empathy since nobody has a good grip on what it means. But of course, that’s the point: if a person has no morality then they don’t have any of these emotions. Keep in mind that our very ability to accept social and technological progress at the rate we’re going is something which primitives lack. And we’ve yet to annihilate a foreign nation (as the Assyrians did) to pay for that progress. This too is a genuine advance.
Academic 4: Ark: in the interests of fairness, I went ahead and looked at the deMause article. Basically, it can be digested into one Philip Larkin poem. Big Whoop. Parents fuck up their kids. We know that. There is absolutely nothing there besides that fact that is provable. It is a mass of huge generalizations predicated on two simple ideas: violence begets violence (duh) and everything that happens is down to psychology. Yes, there are references to acts of violence by parents (particularly mothers) against children, but we don’t get to see the breadth of the studies to show what kind of population was used, etc. I stand by my statement that most historians reject psychohistory not because we feel threatened by it, but because most historians believe that human society is complex and filled with individuals who may act in particular ways for any number of reasons. Generally reductionism is not provable—merely a simplistic way for the insecure to find meaning.
Ark: You dismiss the article I cited because it doesn’t provide concrete proof against history’s “no explanations” stance. Well so fucking what? I never claimed it did. I merely claimed it crucified history as a scientific field and historians as scientists by showing that the theories historians entertain are all unbelievably idiotic. If you wanted a detailed theory and the evidence to back it up, you’d have to read half a dozen of deMause’s books on the subject. You haven’t provided a single remotely intelligent argument, satisfying yourself with irrelevancies and vague aspersions. (This is what you call “fair”?) If you stand by your statement on that basis, it just proves you’re an idiot. I dismiss you from my consideration.
Anonymous: Will someone please ban Ark? His non-stop slander, personal attacks, and foul language are damaging the Wikipedia community.
Academic 4: I would happily do so, but being a ranting troll who supports crank theories in an anti-social way isn’t enough for a ban. He is correct in his assertion that deMause’s theories deserve their own article—even if he’s amazingly rude in the way he treats others, and his insults towards me.
To that end, Ark, You haven’t convinced anyone that you’re anything but a crank who thinks he’s far more intelligent than he’s demonstrated so far.
Ark: I have a pretty good grasp on what history is and what it is not. As for psychology, you’re wrong about its scientific basis. Overall, it’s a fucked field but it’s one that has always aspired to be scientific.
As for psychohistory, it is not a fucked field. These two facts (history not being science and psychohistory being science) explain why I’m so eager to dismiss history. Why should scientists be subjected to the authority of non-scientists? The same arguments apply to anthropology, and doubly so when the psyches of primitives are concerned. Convincing people was never my goal, I’m too lazy and people are too bigoted for that. As for people thinking I’m a crank, I’m a power unto myself and I haven’t need for their approval nor favour. I’m just not interested in being the whipping boy on this subject. Fuck you all.

With this insult the psychohistorian who signed his posts under the penname of Ark left the discussion page. Perhaps with the exception of Academic 6, his opponents did not want to see that western childrearing has been less barbarous than in the rest of the world.
It was not always so. Both whites and Semites began as the others. Let us remember the sacrifice of Iphigenia by her father Agamemnon, and a similar sacrifice in the Bible: after victory over the Ammonites, according to the Book of Judges, Jephthah makes a vow to sacrifice whoever came out of the doors of his house to meet him. The one who met him on his return was his only daughter…
What remained in Europe was a mere metaphor of such sacrifice. Robert Godwin hit the nail when stating that Christianity’s unconscious message is that when we murder our innocent child we murder God. “The crucifixion of Jesus is meant to be the last human sacrifice, with Jesus standing in for our own murdered innocence.”
 
___________
The objective of Day of Wrath is to present to the racialist community my philosophy of The Four Words on how to eliminate all unnecessary suffering. If life allows, next month I will reproduce another chapter. Day of Wrath is available: here.

Categories
Alice Miller Autobiography Child abuse Hojas Susurrantes (Whispering Leaves - book) Literature Lloyd deMause

Wirsén on Miller’s fans

That the author is secretly smuggling out and reworking, often lying about and numbing, their abusive emotional childhood is something Alice Miller tends to imply when dealing with works of art: a mode of thinking we as her readers easily slip into, isn’t it? That Kafka’s work is basically explainable as an artistic dramatization of a child’s insecurity about his parents’ true agenda, that the vampiric women of Baudelaire’s poems are in fact his emotionally unavailable and seductive mother… —this is still the only opening to Baudelaire’s work I can stand, the only way in which I can read his work with interest.
In this way, artistic work after Alice Miller demands a new openness and consciousness in the producer. We can’t only chew and chew the unworked-through emotions from our childhood and find creative ways of repackaging them, then call it Art. It’s a new game now. All bets are off… Which brings us to the subject of this post: C.T.’s criticism of Dennis Rodie’s novel The Curse of the Third Rate Artist. Discussing this opens the larger subject of the differences in worldview and even temperament between the two writers.
First I must clarify that I think César is a very promising and interesting writer who in his work is attempting to take on very large themes, which are important to me also. As mentioned briefly above, I believe artists working after Alice Miller have a new responsibility to be conscious. To this, I will add the meta-perspective on history developed by Lloyd deMause, which says that the whole of human history, in particular its destructive aspects, is based on childhood abuse.
“The history of childhood is a nightmare from which we have only recently begun to awaken…” begins his most important work. Miller says as much, but not as systematically and not as clearly as to the development that has, despite everything, taken place. Put in this perspective, the emotional abuses and the stressful life situation that Martin Maag, the narrator of Dennis’ novel, was put through was just as destructive as it was, but less destructive and less producing of the kind of howling-at-the-moon stressful psychosis and magical thinking that the childrearing of the European Middle Ages produced.
The criticism of your novel which César wrote in the context of polemics around the subject of Satanic Ritual Abuse elsewhere in this forum must be read in this context. Dennis Rodie’s novel does not have the same meta-perspective as C.T.’s has, something which Mr. Tort from his perspective must see as weaknesses. Since I, myself, am interested in the approach to writing and the expansion of consciousness of which his writing is the physical trace, created for communication that C.T. is developing, I share in part his criticism. Let me, to make writing this post quicker and easier, quote the relevant part from a review-letter I wrote recently to Dennis Rodie after having read his novel The Curse of the Third Rate Artist.

[Wirsén’s review of Dennis’ unpublished novel, a novel that by the way I printed and leather-bounded for my personal library, can be read in Dennis’ own forum. Daniel Mackler✡ on the other hand never shared his huge autobiography with anyone.]

Allow me to get personal for a while. For what I intend, and for the kind of writing I myself aim to produce, a perspective the world needs, I think César is a pioneer developing a new sport. His successes are mine, and even his failures will be valuable lessons. The way he dares to be expressively angry is inspiring to me, though for my own part I am unsure of the outcome. Perhaps by temperament (which can’t be helped), perhaps by lack of courage (which, if true, must be conquered) I cannot be that clear about my anger. On the other hand not anger, but sensitivity, seems to be the guiding star of Dennis Rodie’s novel. For me, the jury is still out and César’s, as well as Dennis’ future developments as a human being and an artist will give me the information I need as to whether this is the road I want to pursue.
César’s five-book work Hojas Susurrantes expands from angry letter to mother, through anti-psychiatric tractate to brutally honest (so I’m told, have not taken it on yet) autobiography, over to family history, to the chronicle of the bloody past of his nation into an assessment of the human race and where we are now, which is an expansion in a new direction of deMausian thought: the quick eradication of those who abuse and hurt children, thus stopping humanity from evolving into the best we can be. How César brings this off in his last book will be very exciting indeed to take part off. That much I know. Whether or not and to what degree I will agree is another of those questions where the jury is still out. On the negative part, he might be steering dangerously close to a new motivation for genocide, a new ideological twist on the old Nazi game.
Daniel Mackler, in his writing, seems to imply that there is a lack of what he calls “enlightenment” in C.T.’s exposing of his emotional life and his family’s. That this is unhealthy exhibitionism, and an unfortunate development of a tortured soul, rather than the pearl the clam produces because a grain of sand is torturing, cutting and carving at, its vulnerable pink flesh. To stop the hurt.
I lean toward César’s side in this conflict. I, myself, have ambitions as a major writer and find that, after assimilating the thinking of Alice Miller, works of art that are not intensely personal and honest to be unrewarding. Is Mackler suggesting that we keep our stories to ourselves and sit around healed in a lonely buddhistic state, when instead we could let our stories go out and make changes in the consciousnesses of the real world? As I said, I lean toward Tort’s interpretation, but as always the jury is still out. And I believe even Mackler can’t avoid looking at Tort’s work, like he has before with the psychological case studies or autobiographies—the motivation for writing which he finds emotionally doubtful—; can’t avoid looking at them as at a beautiful car crash, provided as entertainment for the Buddha from others’ flesh and blood. The Buddha floats around in the suffering of the world with a distanced face.
Everything I have written above must be read in the perspective that I found reading the writings of Daniel Mackler, C.T. and Dennis Rodie as a revelation and breathing with the life of a new integrated consciousness, pulsating with a true emotionality, which I have before found in the work of Alice Miller and Lloyd deMause and to which, once I’d tasted it, nothing else compares. This is the reason I care strongly enough about them to read and reflect on them, as well as writing this text.
Andreas

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Day of Wrath (book) History Human sacrifice Infanticide Lloyd deMause Philosophy of history Psychology Trauma model of mental disorders

Day of Wrath, 14

Psychohistory

 

Perspective
Lloyd deMause has written that his scholarly life brought him to one conclusion: the history of mankind is founded in the abuse of children. His greater finding is that the central force of change in history is not the economy, but the psychogenic changes that occur due to the parental-filial interactions in successive generations. These changes are the result of the parents’ capabilities, especially the mothers, to experience inwardly previous traumas and sparing the next generation of children. The process ensues in an evolutive mutation of the inner space of human groups. DeMause goes as far as claiming that most forms of violence, from crime to mental disorders, are ultimately the consequence of abuses during childhood. In the article “The evolution of childhood reconsidered” Henry Ebel wrote:

DeMause’s argument had a breath-taking sweep and grandeur such as we associate with the work of Hegel, Darwin and Marx. Moreover, it seemed to be a valid response and interpretation of a series of gruesome facts that had been consistently understated or suppressed by conventional historians… “The Evolution of Childhood” has proved a morsel too large, too complete, too assertive, and in many ways too grim for the historical profession to digest… Since adult styles and roles, including the academic and professional, are mainly denial-systems erected against those early needs and terrors, the academic consideration of deMause’s argument has been, understandably enough, of less than earthshaking intelligence.

As terrible as being prisoner in a concentration camp may be, it cannot be compared to seeing that our parents themselves, with whom we are infinitely attached, destroy the head of one of our siblings, as did the tribes of the Canary Islands before they were conquered (as we will see). Throughout prehistory and history parents have committed more injurious crimes for the health of the human soul than the crimes committed during the genocides of the 20th century. But the current zeitgeist only allows us to judge the West. In a TV documentary I watched how a black tribesman grabbed a boy to sacrifice him. The anthropologist that studied the tribe did not intervene. Had this happened in the West, it would have raised indignation. For example, a pervert that was about to rape a little girl before his internet audience was detected through his I.P. address and the police rescued the girl. On the other hand, in the case of the tribes the anthropologists never rescue the children during passage rituals such as the Sambia, where New Guinea boys have to fellate the adults.
When we think about the implications of psychohistory we should bear in mind that the cannibalism of the bone and stone ages was much more common than previously thought. Also, from 3000 to 2500 B.C., before the psychogenic mutation that gradually left bicameralism behind, the people of the Mediterranean Basin and of Finland ate the flesh of the deceased. Moreover, the Mesoamerican mythology of the great transgression by some gods to create life without parental consent exemplifies what Ivan Strenski has pointed out in his book Contesting Sacrifice: originally all cultures had at its basis universal guilt, and thus require of purification rituals to repair the broken bond with the divinity.
For identical psychological impairments of the Amerindians, a huge quantity of human sacrifices was perpetrated at the other side of the Atlantic: in China, Chad, Egypt, Tahiti and even in the Greco-Roman world. Diverse societies in India, Indonesia, Melanesia, Filipinas, the Amazons and many others continued with their terrible practices before they were colonized. During the pre-classic times of Mesoamerica the ancient Spartans offered sacrifices to Agrotera. Rome practiced several forms of human sacrifice until they were abolished by senatorial decree. The circus races of the Coliseum represented a less barbarous form of sacrifice since, unlike their neighbors, it was not done with one’s own children. The Romans spearheaded the most advanced psychoclass of their times. When Scipio Africanus took Numantia, the Romans found mothers with half-devoured bodies of their children. Celts and Druids also practiced human sacrifices. The Gauls built hollow figures that, with people alive, were burnt. Gaul was conquered by Caesar. Rome’s victory over the Carthaginians in the Punic Wars was a milestone of a superior psychoclass over the inferior one. The sacrifices to the Phrygian god Attis consisted in choosing a young man who was treated like a king for a year only to be sacrificed. Were it not for the fact that the Mexica sacrifice was so splendorous, I would say that the young man who immolated himself for Tezcatlipoca was identical to the Phrygian sacrifice. In our times, among the forms that arguably could be described as sacrificial we could include rituals such as Cuban santería or Indian tantrism. More shocking is the sacrifice known as sati in the most retrograde areas of India, where the custom dictates that the widow throws herself to the funeral pyre of her deceased husband. At the moment of writing, the last of these cases was reported in October of 2008 in Kasdol in the district of Raipur.
The culture that the Europeans brought included family violence. But unlike them, in the conquered people the anxieties that the children arose, based in turn on the abuses the natives had suffered as children, were enough to kill the source that triggered the anxiety. Children have been the garbage bin where the adults dump the unrecognized parts of their psyches. It is expected that the child bin will absorb the ill moods of his custodians to prevent that the adult feels overwhelmed by her anxieties. If I kill the soul of my daughter I thus kill the naughty girl that once inhabited me.
It is interesting to note that according to deMause it is the mother, with her own hands, the perpetrator of most cases of infanticide: be by strangulation or by physical punishment. In this book I wrote about my female ancestors [omitted in this translation]. For deMause the crucial relationship in psychogenic evolution is the relationship between mother and daughter. If the girls are abused without helping witnesses, they will grow as adults incapable of feeling their pain. Since trauma demands repetition, they will traumatize the next generation, stalling all potential for psychogenic growth. DeMause exemplifies it with the mistreatment of women in Islamic countries and in China.
Since 1974, the year of deMause’s seminal essay, a fair amount of academic material about infanticide has been published. According to Larry Milner, since pre-history thousands of millions of infants have been killed by their parents (the bibliographical references on these incredible claims appear by the end of this chapter). Likewise, Joseph B. Birdsell estimates infanticidal rates between 15-50 percent of the total number of children born since prehistoric times. Laila Williamson’s estimates are lower: 15-20 percent. As we shall see, this kind of statistics appears time and again in the writings of other researchers. Although Milner is not a psycho-historian, he wonders why such data have not received its due place in the departments of history, anthropology and sociology.
This is a blindspot that will be studied in the rest of the book.
 
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The objective of Day of Wrath is to present to the racialist community my philosophy of The Four Words on how to eliminate all unnecessary suffering. If life allows, next month I will reproduce another chapter. Day of Wrath is available: here.

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Child abuse Day of Wrath (book) Lloyd deMause Psychohistory Psychology

Day of Wrath, 4

The history of childhood and its Newton


John Bowlby advanced the fundamentals for understanding attachment; Colin Ross did the same for mental disorders in human beings, and I will keep his class in mind to explain psychohistory.
But Ross is a physician, not an historian. In the following pages I will show the deeper reasons why parents have abused their children since time immemorial. The perspective to our past will open up in the widest possible way: a framework of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of years of what has occurred in my family and in all other families of the human and pre-human species. My autobiography will disappear and it will only reappear in my next book, not without having shown first the psychogenic theory of history.
Lloyd deMause (pronounced de-Moss), born in 1931, studied political sciences in the University of Columbia. After his university studies he borrowed money to establish a publishing house that consumed ten years of his life before again taking up his research work. While Freud, Reich, Fromm and others had written some speculative essays on history on the basis of psychoanalysis, such essays may be considered the Aristotelian phase of which today is understood as psychohistory. In 1958, the year in which I was born, Erik Erikson published a book about the young Luther in which he mentioned the surging of a new research field that he called “psycho-history” (not be confused with the science-fiction novels of Isaac Asimov). After a decade, in 1968, deMause presented a sketch of his theory to an analytical association where, unlike Freud and his epigones, he focused psychohistory into the diverse forms of childrearing. After the West abandoned colonialism, and endured for its behavior an absurd handover to other nations and ethnic groups, it became a taboo to focus in the dark side of non-Western cultures. By choosing a frowned-upon research area in academia deMause had to make an intellectual career independently. The drive of his research was always what the children must have felt in the most diverse cultures of the world. As we saw, the mammal, and even more the primate, are so at the mercy of their parents that the specific forms of childrearing cannot be dodged if we are to understand mental disorders. But it is precisely this subject matter, the forms of childrearing and infantile abuse, what conventional historians ignore. In his essay “The independence of psychohistory” deMause tells us that history qua history describes what has happened, not why, and he adds that history and psychohistory are distinct fields of investigation.

Whole great chunks of written history are of little value to the psychohistorian, while other vast areas which have been much neglected by historians suddenly expand from the periphery to the center of the psychohistorian’s conceptual world.

DeMause does not care that he has been accused of ignoring the economy, the sociology and the use of statistics. “The usual accusation that psychohistory ‘reduces everything to psychology’ is philosophically meaningless—of course psychohistory is reductionist in this sense, since all it studies is historical motivations.” The statements by deMause that I like the most are those in which he says something I had been maintaining for many years before reading them, when I told myself in soliloquies that, if we have to be objective to understand exact sciences like physics, only by introducing subjectivity we could understand the humanities:

Indeed, most of what is in history books is stark, raving mad—the maddest of all being the historian’s belief that it is sane. For some time now, I often cry when I watch the evening news, read newspapers, or study history books, a reaction I was trained to suppress in every school I attended for 25 years. In fact, it is because we so often switch into our social alters when we try to study history that we cannot understand it—our real emotions are dissociated. Those who are able to remain outside the social trance are the individuals whose personal insights are beyond those of their neighbors.
Psychohistory is a science in which the researcher’s feelings are as much or even more a part of his research equipment than his eyes or his hands. Weighing of complex motives can only be accomplished by identification with human actors. The usual suppression of all feeling preached and followed by most “science” simply cripples a psychohistorian as badly as it would cripple a biologist to be forbidden the use of a microscope. The emotional development of a psychohistorian is therefore as much a topic for discussion as his or her intellectual development.
I no longer believe that most traditional historians are emotionally equipped.

DeMause adds that, when he talks with a typical scholar who only uses his intellect, he runs into a stare of total incomprehension. “My listener usually is in another world of discourse.”
The publication of The History of Childhood in 1974 marks the turning point in the field that deMause created. Putting aside the idealizations of previous historians, the book examines for the first time the history of Western childhood. But the daring exposé of an entire rosary of brutalities on childhood, like the ones mentioned in the preface of this book, moved Basic Books to break the contract it held with deMause to publish The History of Childhood. The process by which from here on contemporary psychohistory was born is fascinating. In this section I will recycle and comment on some passages of one of the articles by deMause, “On Writing Childhood History,” published in 1988, a recapitulation of fifteen years of work in the history of childhood.
DeMause had taken courses at a psychoanalytic institute and put to the test the Freudian idea that civilization, so loaded with morals, was onerous for modern children; and that in ancient times they had lived in an Eden without the ogre of the superego. The evidence showed him exactly the opposite, and he disclosed his discrepancies by criticizing the anthropologist Géza Róheim:

I discovered I simply could make no sense at all of what Róheim and others were saying. This was particularly true about childhood. Róheim wrote, for instance, that the Australian aborigines he observed were excellent parents, even though they ate every other child, out of what they called “baby hunger” [the mothers also said that their children were “demons”], and forced their other children to eat parts of their siblings. This “doesn’t seem to have affected the personality development” of the surviving children, Róheim said, and in fact, he concluded, these were really “good mothers [who] eat their own children.”

Most anthropologists did not object to Róheim’s extraordinary conclusions. In his article deMause called our attention to a very distinct reading by Arthur Hippler on Australian aboriginals. DeMause had already consolidated his publishing house, and in the Journal of Psychological Anthropology he published an article in which Hippler, who had also directly observed the aboriginals, wrote:

The care of children under six months of age can be described as hostile, aggressive and careless; it is often routinely brutal. Infanticide was often practiced. The baby is offered the breast often when he does not wish it and is nearly choked with milk. The mother is often substantially verbally abusive to the child as he gets older, using epithets such as “you shit,” “vagina to you.” Care is expressed through shouts, or not at all, when it is not accompanied by slaps and threats. I never observed a single adult Yolngu caretaker of any age or sex walking a toddler around, showing him the world, explaining things to him and empathizing with his needs. The world is described to the child as dangerous and hostile, full of demons, though in reality the real dangers are from his caretakers. The mother sexually stimulates the child at this age. Penis and vagina are caressed to pacify the child, and clearly the action arouses the mother.

Keeping in mind what Ross said in the case of the second girl, we can imagine the transfusion of evil that these infants, children of filicidal cannibals, would have internalized; and how could this have affected their mental health. I believe it is appropriate to continue quoting excerpts from the deMause article: it is very instructive to understand psychohistory and how it contrasts with the postulates of anthropologists and ethnologists. Once the observations by Hippler were published, an enraged defender of Róheim responded:

I am indeed much more sympathetic to Róheim’s accounts, precisely because he does not rush to the conclusion that deMause does. Australian Aboriginal culture survived very well, thank you, very much for tens of thousands of years before it was devastated by Western interference. If that isn’t adaptive, what is?

The description that Hippler and Róheim give of this aboriginal culture seems the worst of all possible nightmares for children. But for Western anthropologists to avow condemnatory value judgments is the ultimate taboo. Some of them even accept the Freudian theory that the historical past was less repressive for childhood, and that Western civilization was a corrupter of the noble savage. But they avoid the fact that Hippler and Róheim themselves observed barbarities towards the children that would be unthinkable in the civilized world, like eating them. (Other sources that confirm the veracity of claims of filicidal cannibalism appear later.) However incredible it may seem, anthropologists and ethnologists do not condemn these cannibal mothers. Under the first commandment of the discipline, Thou Shalt Not Judge, the emotional after-effects of childrearing are ignored, such as the clearly dissociated personalities that I myself saw in the Ross clinic, and even worse kinds of dissociation.
In the academic world Róheim was not as well known as Philippe Ariès, an historian who collaborated with Foucault and an author of a classic book on the history of childhood, L’Enfant et la Vie Familiale sous l’Ancien Régime. Ariès started from the Freudian premise of the benignancy of the milieu towards children in past times. Just as with Róheim, Ariès didn’t deny the beatings, the incest and the other vexations against children described in his book. What he denied was that such treatment caused disturbances. “In other words,” deMause writes mockingly, “since everyone whipped and molested children, whipping and molesting had no effects on any child.” Ariès has been taken as an authority in the history of childhood studies. DeMause not only rejected his assumption that there were no psychological after-effects; he inverted Freud’s axiom. His working hypotheses are simple: (1) within the West the forms of childrearing were more barbarous in the past, and (2) compared to the Western world, other cultures treat their children worse. These hypotheses, which broke the tablet laws of the anthropologists, would give birth to the new discipline of psychohistory. For the academic Zeitgeist the mere talk of childhood abuse, let alone of soul murder, was against the grain of all schools of thought in history, anthropology and ethnology, which take for granted that there have been no substantial changes in parental-filial relations.
The academics could not deny the facts that fascinated deMause. As we saw above, Róheim did not deny them; in fact, he himself published them. Ariès also did not deny them. The tactic that deMause found among his colleagues was the argumentum ex silentio: without historical trace of any kind, it was taken for granted that children were treated in a way similar that in the West today. The following is a splendid paradigm of this argument. In 1963, ten years before deMause started publishing, Alan Valentine in his book Fathers and Sons, published by the University of Oklahoma, examined letters from parents to their children in past centuries. He did not find a single letter that transmitted kindness to the addressee. However, in order not to contradict the common sense that in the past the treatment a man gave his sons was not different, Valentine concluded:

Doubtless an infinite number of fathers have written letters to their sons that would warm and lift our hearts, if we only could find them. The happiest fathers leave no history, and it is the men who are not at their best with their children who are likely to write the heart-rending letters that survive.

DeMause found the fallacy of the argumentum ex silentio everywhere, even among the same colleagues who contributed articles to his seminal book, The History of Childhood. For example, when deMause made a remark to Elizabeth Wirth Marwick about these kind of letters, and also about the diaries that parents wrote, Marwick responded that only the bad left a trace in history. Most historians agreed with her. DeMause had started to study the primary sources of these materials. Marwick was only one among two hundred historians that deMause had written to for his book project, of which he worked with fifty. He claims that in all of them the argumentum ex silentio appeared at the time of reaching the conclusions to which the evidence pointed out to.
The reasons were, naturally, psychological. An Italian historian delivered to deMause the draft of a chapter that began by saying that he would not consider the subjects of infanticide and pederasty in ancient Rome. DeMause had to reject it. Other would-be contributors went further. At the beginning of this book I spoke of the torment that swaddling with tight clothes has represented for babies. John Demos, author of a book about the family in American colonists, denied that the European practice had been imported into American soil despite the evidence that deMause had collected and published (in a television history program even I saw a drawing of an Anglo-Saxon swaddled baby). As regards other kinds of abuse in American childhood, Demos used the argument that bibliographical evidence in letters, diaries, autobiographies and medical reports was irrelevant; that what mattered were the court documents.
The problem with this argument is that in colonial times there were no organizations for the protection of childhood, which originated in nineteenth century England and which have become much more visible since the 1980s. Demos did not only argue from the basis of lack of court documents against the thesis that parents abused their children more in colonial times. He also argued that “had individual children suffered severe abuse at the hands of their parents in early New England, other adults would have been disposed to respond.” Demos’ conclusions were acclaimed in his time. But just as in his argument about court documents, this last conjecture suffers from the same idealization about the past of his nation. If other adults were unwilling to respond it was simply due to the fact that in those times the social movement of infant protection had not yet arisen.
Once deMause discarded all those who argued on the basis of the argumentum ex silentio, nine historians remained. Even while the contributors were delivering their articles, some of them showed reticence about publishing all the evidence they had found. Before publication the nine contributors—ten with deMause—circulated their articles among themselves. Most of them were shocked by the first chapter written by deMause, whose initial paragraphs became famous in the history of psychohistory:

The history of childhood is a nightmare from which we have only recently begun to awaken. The further back in history one goes, the lower the level of child care, and the more likely children are to be killed, abandoned, beaten, terrorized, and sexually abused. It is our task here to see how much of this childhood history can be recaptured from the evidence that remains to us.
That this pattern has not previously been noticed by historians is because serious history has long been considered a record of public not private events. Historians have concentrated so much on the noisy sandbox of history, with its fantastic castles and magnificent battles, that they have generally ignored what is going on in the homes around the playground. And where historians usually look to the sandbox battles of yesterday for the causes of those of today, we instead ask how each generation of parents and children creates those issues which are later acted out in the arena of public life.

Once the initial impression was past, some of the contributors were reluctant that their articles should appear beside the initial chapter by deMause, and, as I previously mentioned, Basic Books broke its contract. However, since deMause was already the owner of a publishing house he decided to publish it himself.
Although the contributors finally accepted that their articles would appear under a single cover, the history journal reviews were very hostile. Even a magazine like New Statesman derided deMause: “His real message is something more akin to religion than to history, and as such unassailable by unbelievers. On the other hand, his fellow-contributors to The History of Childhood have much useful historical information to offer.” Some reviewers were impressed by the body of evidence on child abuse in past centuries, but they supposed that future investigations would place such evidence on a much more benign context. “Ariès for one,” wrote deMause, “remained convinced that childhood yesterday was children’s paradise.”
The initial chapter of the book edited by deMause was titled “The Evolution of Childhood.” DeMause claims that of the published reviews on this chapter, translated into German, French, Italian, Spanish and Japanese, no reviewer challenged the evidence as such; only his conclusions. “Yet not a single reviewer in any of the six languages in which the book was published wrote about any errors in my evidence, and none presented any evidence from primary sources which contradicted any of my conclusions.” As we will see in “A Critique of Lloyd deMause” his theories are not exempt from error. Far from it! There are errors: lots of them. But these critics who rushed to judge him falsely did not see the real faults of his model. With regard to the published reviews, deMause wrote:

Since it was unlikely that I could describe the childhood of everyone who ever lived in the West for a period of over two millennia without making errors, it was extremely disappointing to me that the emotional reactions of reviewers had completely overwhelmed their critical capacities. No reviewer appeared to be interested in discussing evidence at all.

There were nonetheless magnanimous reviewers like Lawrence Stone, who in November of 1974 wrote in New York Review of Books about “the problem of how to regard so bold, so challenging, so dogmatic, so enthusiastic, so perverse, and yet so heavily documented a model.” But the majority adhered to the conventional wisdom, as did E.P. Hennock in a specialized magazine:

That men in other ages might behave quite differently from us yet be no less rational and sane, has been a basic concept amongst historians for a long time now. It does not belong to deMause’s mental universe. The normal practices of past societies are constantly explained in terms of psychoses.

Once more, the evidence as such is put aside to proclaim the conventional wisdom, which is taken for granted. In a review published in History of Education Quarterly, Daniel Calhoun wrote that deMause’s approach resembled a regression to 19th century concepts, an antiquated evolutionistic morality for Calhoun. As we will see in a later chapter in refuting Franz Boas, reality is the exact opposite: the Boasian school represented a gigantic regression compared to nineteenth-century anthropology.
At present studies of the history of childhood continue to emerge from deMause and academic historians alike; for example, the study by Colin Heywood. But it is precisely books like Heywood’s, which accept the historical evidence of abuses of childhood but differ from deMause’s conclusions, that have convinced me that deMause has found a gold vein that still has substance for much exploitation. DeMause ends his retrospective article of 1988 by pointing out that, despite the rejection by the academy, The History of Childhood, the books of Alice Miller and other popular authors who advocate the cause of the child are widely read by an important niche of society. In a nutshell, the main finding of psychohistory is that academic history fails to recognize the profound role that the love, or hate, of the parents for their children plays in the future developments of mankind.
 
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The objective of the book is to present to the racialist community my philosophy of The Four Words on how to eliminate all unnecessary suffering. If life allows, next time I will publish here the section on Julian Jaynes. Those interested in obtaining a copy of Day of Wrath can request it: here.

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Abortion Australia Child abuse Day of Wrath (book) India Infanticide Juvenal Lloyd deMause Psychohistory

Day of Wrath, 2

The trauma model


 
Introduction

Throughout history and prehistory children’s lives have been a nightmare about which our species is barely starting to become conscious. “Parents are the child’s most lethal enemy,” wrote Lloyd deMause, the founder of psychohistory. While paleo-anthropologists have found evidence of decapitated infants since the time of our pre-human ancestors, and while it was known that infanticide continued into the Paleolithic and the Neolithic periods, the emotional after-effects on the surviving siblings was appreciated by deMause with the publishing of The History of Childhood in 1974. As we will see in the third section substantiated by a hundred references, infanticidal parents were the rule, not the exception. Even in the so-called great civilizations the sacrifice of children was common. In Carthage urns have been found containing thousands of burned remains of children sacrificed by parents asking favors from the gods. It is believed that infants were burned alive.

Although in a far less sadistic way than in Carthage and other ancient states, and this explains the genius of the classic world, Greeks and Romans practiced infanticide in the form of exposure of newborns, especially girls. Euripides’ Ion describes the exposed infant as: “prey for birds, food for wild beasts to rend.” Philo was the first philosopher who made a clear statement against infanticide:

Some of them do the deed with their own hands; with monstrous cruelty and barbarity they stifle and throttle the first breath which the infants draw or throw them into a river or into the depths of the sea, after attaching some heavy substance to make them sink more quickly under its weight.

In some of his satires Juvenal openly criticized abortion, child abandonment, and the killing of adoptive children and stepchildren.

My first reaction in the face of such revelations was, naturally, a healthy skepticism. This moved me to purchase books about infanticide and histories of childhood not written by “psychohistorians,” but by common historians; and I started to pay special attention to certain kinds of news in the papers of which previously I scarcely gave any importance. One day in 2006 a notice caught my eye, stating that there are 32 million fewer women than men in India, and that the imbalance was caused by feticide. I recalled a photograph I had seen in the June 2003 National Geographic, showing a Bihar midwife in the rural North of India, rescuing a female baby abandoned under a bridge. Infanticide and selective abortion, particularly of girls, continue as I write this line. According to a Reproductive Rights conference in October 2007 in Hyderabad, India, statistics show that 163 million women are missing in Asia, compared to the proportion of the male population. They are the result of the exposure of babies, and especially of selective abortion facilitated by access to techniques such as prenatal testing and ultrasound imagery. These snippets of information gathered from newspapers, coupled with the scholarly treatises which I was reading, eradicated my original skepticism about the reality of infanticide.

But let’s return to psychohistory as developed by deMause. There are cultures far more barbarous than contemporary India as regards childrearing. In the recent past of the tribes of New Guinea and Australia, little brothers and sisters witnessed how parents killed one of their siblings and made the rest of the family share the cannibal feast. “They eat the head first,” wrote Géza Róheim in Psychoanalysis and Anthropology published in 1950. Gillian Gillison observed in Between Culture and Fantasy: a New Guinea Highlands Mythology, published in 1993, that the mother eats the son’s penis. And Fritz Poole wrote:

Having witnessed their parents’ mortuary anthropophagy, many of these children suddenly avoided their parents, shrieked in their presence, or expressed unusual fear of them. After such experiences, several children recounted dreams or constructed fantasies about animal-man beings with the faces or other features of particular parents who were smeared with blood and organs.

These passages are quoted in deMause’s The Emotional Life of Nations. Reading further in this work, one can also learn, as Wolfgang Lederer wrote when observing the tribes, that other primitives threw their newborns to the swine, who devoured them swiftly. Lederer also recounts that he saw one of these mothers burying her child alive:

The baby’s movements may be seen in the hole as it is suffocating and panting for breath; schoolchildren saw the movements of such a dying baby and wanted to take it out to save it. However, the mother stamped it deep in the ground and kept her foot on it…

Australian aboriginals killed approximately 30 percent of their infants, as reported by Gillian Cowlishaw in Oceania; and the first missionaries to Polynesia estimated that up to two-thirds of Polynesian children were killed by their parents. In a 2008 article I learned that infanticide continues in the islands even as of the time of reporting. Tribal women allege they have to kill their babies for fear they might become dreadful warriors as adults.

Another type of information that shocked me in deMause’s books was the frequency throughout history of the mutilation of children. Once more, my first reaction was a healthy skepticism. But I had no choice but to accept the fact that even today there are millions of girls whose genitals have been cut. The Emotional Life of Nations publishes a photograph of a panicked Cairo pubescent girl being held down by adults at the moment when her family has her mutilated. Every time I see that photo I have to turn away my head (the girl looks directly into the camera and her pain reaches me deeply). According to the French National Institute for Demographic Studies (INED), in 2007 there were between 100 and 140 million women who had had their genitals removed. The practice ranges from the partial cutting of the clitoris to the suturation of the vaginal orifice, the latter especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, some regions of the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. The INED study points out that in Ethiopia three-quarters of women have been genitally mutilated, and in Mali up to 90 percent. The practice is also carried out in Yemen, Indonesia and Malaysia.

In historic times there were a large number of eunuchs in Byzantium, and in the West mutilation was a common practice for boys. Verdun was notorious for the quantity of castrations performed, and in Naples signs hung above stores saying, “boys castrated here.” Castration was common as well in other cultures. DeMause observes that the testicles of boys between three and seven years were crushed or cut off. In China both the penis and the scrotum were cut, and in the Middle East the practice continued until recent times.

(A swaddled boy of the tribe Nez Perce, 1911.) DeMause’s books are eye-openers also about another practice that no school text of traditional anthropology had taught me: the tight swaddling of babies.

It is worth noting that historians, anthropologists, and ethnologists have been the target of fierce criticism by some psychohistorians for their failure to see the psychological after-effects brought about by such practices. Through the centuries, babies were swaddled by their mothers with swaddling clothes wrapped around their bodies, several times and tightly fastened while they screamed in their vain attempts at liberation. Before reading deMause the only thing I knew of such practice was when I as a boy saw a cartoon of a couple of Red Indians who had their baby swaddled, of which only a little head was visible crying big time, while the Indians walked on casually. Despite its being a comic strip, I remember it made a mark in my young memory because of the pity I felt for the baby boy and how I noted the parents’ indifference. This happened decades before I read Foundations of Psychohistory, wherein it is described that this practice was universal and that it goes back to our tribal ancestors. Even Alice Miller herself, the heroine of my third book of Hojas Susurrantes, was swaddled as a child. In Europe swaddling is still practiced in some rural parts of Greece. The sad spectacle of the swaddled newborns in Yugoslavia and Russia draws the visiting foreigners’ attention. Even in the city in which I was born a few friends have told me that some relatives swaddled their babies.

Those who have read my previous book would not be surprised that the man in the street has barely thought about the ravages that these practices—swaddling, mutilation, growing up knowing that mom and dad had abandoned or sacrificed a little sister—caused in the surviving siblings who witnessed it. What we have before us is the most potent taboo of the species: a lack of elemental consciousness of what parents do to their children. As we will see at the end of this book, some historians of infanticide who do not belong to the deMausean school estimate in astronomical figures the infanticide rate since the Paleolithic.

 ___________

The objective of the book is to present to the racialist community my philosophy of The Four Words on how to eliminate all unnecessary suffering. If life allows, the following week I will publish here the section on trauma model researcher Colin Ross. Those interested in obtaining a copy of Day of Wrath can request it: here.

Categories
Beauty Lloyd deMause Yearling (novel)

The Yearling, 1

moment of eternity

The Yearling is a 1938 classic authored by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (1896-1953); the above is an illustration by Newell Convers Wyeth (1882-1945) of a scene in the novel.

Recently I read The Yearling for the very first time in my life—the very same old copy with Wyeth’s moving illustrations that so much inspired me as a young child, though never read it.

Now, decades later, I finally read it and the story was quite a shock. I’ll try to offer my views on it now that, for many years after my childhood, I investigated in-depth the subject of parental-filial relations.

My interpolated comments below, in brown letters:



Penny Baxter lay awake beside the vast sleeping bulk of his wife. He was always wakeful on the full moon. He had often wondered whether, with the light so bright, men were not meant to go into their fields and labor. He would like to slip from his bed and perhaps cut down an oak for wood, or finish the hoeing that Jody had left undone.

“I reckon I’d ought to of crawled him about it,” he thought.

In his day, he would have been thoroughly thrashed for slipping away and idling. His father would have sent him back to the spring, without his supper, to tear out the flutter-mill.

“But that’s it,” he thought. “A boy ain’t a boy too long.”

As he looked back over the years, he himself had had no boyhood. His own father had been a preacher, stern as the Old Testament God. The living had come, however, not from the Word, but from the small farm near Volusia on which he had raised a large family. He had taught them to read and write and to know the Scriptures, but all of them, from the time they could toddle behind him down the corn rows, carrying the sack of seed, had toiled until their small bones ached and their growing fingers cramped.

Although it is apparently nonsense to try to ponder into the soul of a fictional character—precisely what I’ll do—, I believe that Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, hereafter referred to as “Marjorie,” must have observed something like this in real life.

Folk who lived along the deep and placid river St Johns, alive with craft, with dugouts and scows, lumber rafts and freight and passenger vessels, side-wheel steamers that almost filled the stream, in places, from bank to bank, had said that Penny Baxter was either a brave man or a crazy one to leave the common way of life and take his bride into the very heart of the wild Florida scrub, populous with bears and wolves and panthers. It had been understandable for the Forresters to go there, for the growing family of great burly quarrelsome males needed all the room in the county, and freedom from any hindrance. But who would hinder Penny Baxter?

It was not hindrance. But in the towns and villages, in farming sections where neighbors were not too far apart, men’s minds and actions and property overlapped. There were intrusions on the individual spirit. There were friendliness and mutual help in time of trouble, true, but there were bickerings and watchfulness, one man suspicious of another. He had grown from under the sternness of his father into a world less direct, less honest, in its harshness, and therefore more disturbing.

He had perhaps been bruised too often.

As will be seen by the end of the novel, the way he was treated by the preacher will have consequences in the way Penny treated his only son. As to the mother, Marjorie tells us that “The babies were frail, and almost as fast as they came, they sickened and died.”

It is a pity that nobody in the white nationalist scene is familiar with the work of Lloyd deMause, since this pattern of many babies that became “sick and died” is common among mothers that actually are not doing their best for the survival of their offspring. Again, it would be nonsense to psychoanalyze a purely fictional character, but I am pretty sure that Marjorie observed actual happenings in the real world before writing her most famous book.

Marjorie describes the main character, the surviving son, thus:

The mirror showed a small face with high cheek bones. The face was freckled and pale, but healthy, like a fine sand. The hair grieved him on the occasions when he went to church or any doings at Volusia. It was straw-colored and shaggy, and no matter how carefully his father cut it, once a month on the Sunday morning nearest the full moon, it grew in tufts at the back. “Drakes’ tails,” his mother called them. His eyes were wide and blue. When he frowned, in close study over his reader, or watching something curious, they narrowed. It was then that his mother claimed him kin.

It must be noted that Jody’s skinniness (I would call it “leptosomatic physique”) was direct inheritance from his father, since Marjorie writes about the two, “There was room enough for the two thin bony bodies.”

The first adventure in The Yearling was a failed attempt to kill a large bear who had been causing havoc among the family’s farm animals. Three dogs joined the hunting with father and son but one of the dogs fled in panic while the other two charged heroically at the wild beast while Penny tried to fix his broken shotgun.

A whine sounded in the bushes. A small cringing form was following them. It was Perk, the feice. Jody kicked at him in a fury.

As a child I’d never had expected this behavior from the cherubic boy I saw in Wyeth’s illustrations. Penny patiently explained his son that even a coward dog should not be mistreated.

Penny was a good man. Later he and his son Jody visited their rude neighbors, the Forresters, to get a new shotgun. Jody’s only friend in such a remote place was a Forrester kid called Fodder-wing. Handicapped since birth, this kid is presented in the novel as an animal lover. The following is a dialogue between Fodder-wing and Jody:

He said, “Hey.”

Fodder-wing said, “I got a baby ‘coon.”

He had, always, a new pet.

“Le’s go see it.”

Fodder-wing led him back of the cabin to a collection of boxes and cages that sheltered his changing assortment of birds and creatures. The pair of black swamp rabbits was not new.

The timeframe of novel is the aftermath of the American Civil War. The above dialogue caught my attention because it shows the jump of empathy or “psychoclass” (again, a deMause term) from those times and our current times.

A year ago my niece received a wonderful gift: a little rabbit. I observed her pet’s behavior for a while and concluded that it is cruel to put these absolutely cute creatures in cages. They need open spaces and feel real soil beneath their limbs. Presently rabbit lovers know that their pets must be free at least four or five hours a day, preferably in the backyard or home’s garden. Many rabbit owners allow their pets move freely in their flats if they cannot afford gardens. Compared to them, even the most sensitive member of the Forresters belonged to another class, empathetically speaking.

After the scene of Jody and Fodder-wing’s diverse pets outdoors, the next scene occurs indoors, in the Forrester home:

Buck said, “Leave the young un stay, Penny. I got to go to Volusia tomorrow. I’ll ride him by your place.”

“His Ma’ll rare,” Penny said.

“That’s what Ma’s is good for. Eh, Jody?”

“Pa, I’d be mighty proud to stay. I ain’t played none in a long while.”

“Not since day before yestiddy. Well, stay, then, if these folks is shore you’re welcome. Lem, don’t kill the boy if you try out the feice afore Buck gits him home to me.”

They shouted with laughter. Penny shouldered the new gun with his old one and went for his horse.

Even while Penny was, metaphorically speaking, two quantum leaps above the Forresters as to what elemental empathy is concerned, in my opinion he was not empathetic enough.

If I had a beautiful young son like Jody, I would never leave him spending a night among the masculine, Neanderthalesque neighbors even if I had no reason to suspect that any of them had “feelings” for my little angel. (To be continued…)

Categories
Alexandr Solzhenitsyn Alice Miller Arthur C. Clarke Childhood’s End (novel) Gulag Archipelago (book) Lloyd deMause Maxfield Parrish Red terror

Ten books that changed my mind


1. Maxfield Parrish Poster Book

2. The Sickle

3. Laing and Anti-Psychiatry

4. Childhood’s End

5. A Skeptic’s Handbook of Parapsychology

6. The Relentless Question

7. Final Analysis

8. The Gulag Archipelago

9. For Your Own Good

10. The Emotional Life of Nations

Categories
Alice Miller Child abuse Hojas Susurrantes (Whispering Leaves - book) Human sacrifice Infanticide Lloyd deMause Psychohistory Psychology Trauma model of mental disorders

Miller and deMause

Or:

The ten books that made an impact in my life
before I became racially conscious

9.- For Your Own Good by Alice Miller
(read in 2002)

10.- The Emotional Life of Nations by Lloyd deMause
(read in 2006)


In my review of books 5 and 6 I said, “That smart people seem to be drawn to sects has nothing to do with intelligence and everything to do with the human mind’s strayed ways of trying to cope with the unprocessed trauma of earlier experiences at home.” In other words, the root cause of my former alienation in cults and paranormal pseudosciences was, of course, the previous abuse I had experienced at home. Below I reproduce an index page of my now defunct antipsiquiatria.org webpage (2003-2010), specifically, a version of what used to be the page of the English section of my website, where I explained why I shifted focus from antipsychiatric subjects—the subject-matter of some of my previous entries—to the authors whom I am most indebted with:


My critique of psychiatry is now relegated to a second plane. The reason for such a drastic change is that in the last few years I have read two authors that have changed my worldview: Lloyd deMause, and Alice Miller who died earlier this year [this was written in 2010]. Though Miller and deMause do not focus on psychiatry, their legacy opened my eyes: it made me see that the child abuses in the psychiatric profession are only the tip of the iceberg of a much wider crime.

Since the times of our simian ancestors infanticide was common, and it continued through the prehistory of Homo sapiens in the ancient world. This can be gathered from the remains of the sacrificed victims. For example, in the city in which I live the ritual murder of children was regularly practiced before the Spanish conquest.

I confess that when I read deMause I was unprepared to face the vast body of historical evidence about infanticide, child mutilation, the tight and tortuous swaddling of babies, the ubiquity of incest and other horrors, many perpetrated through millennia. Once in a while I had to suspend my reading of one of his books to give me a break before the horrific nature of the revelations.

Similarly, the books of Alice Miller made me to delve deeply through the very core of my being: something that detonated an emotional atomic bomb. Miller is right when she states that the suffering of a child victim of extreme parental abuse can surpass the level of pain in a concentration camp for adults [for those who can read Spanish, cf. my chapter on Miller in my Hojas Susurrantes].

Due to what John Bowlby calls attachment, parents are the most notorious soul murderers. For those who have been emotionally crushed and years later have made contact with their inner being, this is obvious. However, it’s not obvious at all for most of mankind. Because of our attachment to the perpetrator, what we are dealing with is the foundational taboo of civilization: what Alice Miller called “the forbidden knowledge.”

For the other eight books see here.