All therapy is fraudulent

I wish those who visit this blog have already read Jeffrey Masson’s “Against Therapy: Emotional Tyranny and the Myth of Psychological Healing”. At any event, here’s what a blogger says for similar reasons.

Excerpted from a longer piece authored by Becoming Other (no ellipsis added between unquoted paragraphs):



What does one really expect when they are seeking therapy? In Thou Shalt Not Be Aware, Alice Miller denounces all therapy, as simply being an instrument of denial and pedagogy. I wish now that she had retained the courage of her convictions, that she had remained true to what her own experience was telling her.

The premise of therapy is that the victim is the one who is in the wrong, that it is they who need to change. I do not agree with this, and as I come to see that this is how therapy works, I become evermore opposed to it.

Built into it seems to be this premise that one must not strike out at one’s violators, one must not seek redress. The desire to do so is pathologized and taken as indicating the need for more therapy.

Therapy is pedagogy. It tells people how to live in middle class society, where one of the cardinal rules is no revenge, no retaliation, no strike backs. People go to therapy and they get sympathy, but do they actually have an ally, a comrade, and accomplice? If they want justice, if they want to be vindicated in all that they have resisted, they certainly do not.

Someone trains to become a therapist because they don’t want to take punitive or retaliatory actions, they don’t wish to strike at those who have done harm. Rather, they want to tell the victims that it is they who have to change. Really they are telling them what they have had to learn themselves, that in the end you have to submit.

There are lots of people who would not want to confront or strike back at their parents for fear of financial loss. But I think a big reason is that if one contemplates confrontation, redress, and strike back, one has to face the pain of what has been lost, as well as the pain of seeing how difficult the State makes it. To contemplate redress is extremely painful, excruciating. So most people so far would rather submit. The therapist helps here. He or she listens, but they don’t help with redress. Rather, they make excuses for the Family System, and they reinforce the values which pedagogy is supposed to teach.

So is the therapist going to help you resist? No, the therapist is not your ally, your comrade. Are they really giving you empathy? I don’t think so. Listening, but offering nothing except submission? I call that pity.

I understand that you are happy with your therapist. This makes me happy for you too. I know that you, just like all of us, are doing the best you possibly can. And no I don’t mean to be offering pity like a therapist. Rather, I am saying that people have to band together, and make common cause, and strike back. I understand that all of us are just doing the best that we can.

So why do people believe in therapy? Well for one thing their pain is real, and the therapists are there waiting. So the therapist can “treat” you. And where does it lead? No laws are broken, there is no conflict, no one is injured or killed, no perpetrator is even negatively impacted.

Therapeutic concepts are what keep the Family System in place. Anyone who resists is said to “need therapy”.

A therapist will encourage one to work with their repressed memories and repressed feelings. But as one does this, one is ignoring the just as real social forces which impact one’s life, marginalize one, and ruin one’s life, in the present!

So therapy generates compliance, submission. Hence it is a palliative, something which makes you feel better, but does not actually change anything.

You say I should look for a therapist? The only kind I would want is an Anti-Therapist. No, this does not mean someone who hangs up a shingle with his name and his hourly rate. No, I mean someone who actually works to undo the effects of therapy, on me and on our culture. I want an Accomplice, I want Comrades. I want people who are in the same place I am in, and this is not going to be a therapist. I want people who seek to fight back against the Family System, who will fight for justice, who will fight to hold the Family System accountable and hence change our attitudes about it.

A therapist is not going to give me what I want and need. What I need are Lawyers and Mafia Enforcers, people who will act on my behalf, and against others.

You could read Deleuze and Guattari in French. This would really help. Have you ever looked at their works?

Becoming Other

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Solitude among millions of fans

“No-one understands me… the painful youth I’ve had” —lyrics of Michael Jackson’s song “Childhood”.


The loath I feel toward pop culture is so intense that I almost never speak about it. When the American Congress spent a minute of silence for the death of pop star Michael Jackson I knew that the US had fallen into its cultural nadir. This said, Jackson’s case illustrates perfectly why parental abuse, as a subject, is the most potent taboo in our society.

He was born in August of 1958, just two weeks after I was born. Unlike my parents, professionals in classical music, Jackson’s family of musicians are pop. Yes: he was fabulously rich and, conversely, I have been unable to sell a single book to a publishing house and have been terribly broke the whole of my adult life.

I was good looking in my youth. But by trying to expunge his ethnic look, Jackson destroyed his face through aggressive facial surgeries. Why I am so poor and yet mentally and physically healthy, while Jackson was ridiculously rich and physically and mentally so unhealthy?

The reason that I am broke is simple. The topic I have devoted the most important part of my adult life is precisely what I said above, the most potent taboo of mankind and I am not making a penny out of researching it.

Why it is a such a taboo is exemplified in the sad life of Jackson.

A friend of Jackson, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, wrote an article that sheds some light into Jackson’s tortured soul. Jackson confessed the rabbi something that was tape-recorded:

“I am going to say something I have never said before and this is the truth. I think all my success and fame, and I have wanted it, I have wanted it because I wanted to be loved. That’s all. That’s the real truth. I wanted people to love me, truly love me, because I never really felt loved.”

Jackson had a lonely childhood. On February 2003 he confessed that his father used to hit him and his brothers. Little Mike often cried when he felt lonely and even vomited when he saw the father he so feared. His dad nicknamed him “Big Nose”: the etiology of his later self-consciousness and ulterior cosmetic surgeries. The surgery did seem to improve his look in the 1980s. But in the ’90s continuing and obsessive, self-conscious surgery ruined his face beyond recognition.


“Fat nose”
before and after
aggressive surgeries



I’d never have listened Jackson but in order to write this entry I had to watch a few of his videos. If we compare the joyful young Mike with later pictures of him, the downward physical metamorphosis cannot be more pitiful. Boteach says that for a couple of years he tried to repair Jackson’s life. He tells us that “Michael was a man in tremendous pain” and that his tragedy “was to medicate his pain away rather than addressing its root cause.” Trying to help, Boteach informs us:

I took him to meet Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate. At Oxford University he delivered a lecture asking all children to forgive their parents if they had been neglectful. On the way down to the university he [Michael] had called his father Joe to tell him he loved him. All this was significant progress. He came with me to synagogue and regularly attended Shabbat dinner. He seemed directed and content. Alas, Michael could not sustain the spiritual effort.

Telling his irredeemable father that Michael loved him after all was, according to Shabbat, “a significant progress.” But unilateral forgiveness is a myth. In fact, such therapy blocked Jackson’s path to true healing. The most potent taboo is so universal that not only mental health professionals, but even the major critics of such professions are trapped in it. Below I quote excerpts of Alice Miller’s Breaking Down the Wall of Silence:

Hard as it is to believe, in the entire world there is not a single faculty in which a degree is offered in the study of psychic injuries in childhood. Psychoanalysis does not distort the truth by accident. It does so by necessity. It is an effective system for the suppression of the truth about childhood, a truth feared by our entire society. Not surprisingly, it enjoys great esteem among intellectuals… Fear of the truth about child abuse is a leitmotif of nearly all forms of therapy known to me.

This includes the extremely toxic “forgiving therapies” like the one applied on poor Jackson.

The danger does not lie with individuals, however criminal they may be. Far more, it lies in the ignorance of our entire society, which confirms these people in the lies that they were obliged to believe in childhood. Teachers, attorneys, doctors, social workers, priests, and other respected representatives of society protect parents from the mistreated child’s every accusation and see to it that the truth about child abuse remains concealed. Even the child protection agencies insist that this crime, and this crime alone, should go unpunished.

It is the resentment of the past, we are told, that is making us ill. In those by now familiar groups in which addicts and their relations go into therapy together, the following belief is invariably expressed. Only when you have forgiven your parents for everything they did to you can you get well. Even if both your parents were alcoholic, even if they mistreated, confused, exploited, bet, and totally overloaded you, you must forgive.

The burden of therapy was thus placed on Jackson as it is placed upon hundreds of thousands of other victims of abusive parents, never upon the perpetrator. Keep in mind that Boteach is a rabbi. Miller continues:

The majority of therapists work under the influence of destructive interpretations culled from both Western and Oriental religions, which preach forgiveness to the once-mistreated child. Thereby, they create a new vicious circle for people who, from their earliest years, have been caught in the vicious circle of pedagogy. For forgiveness does not resolve latent hatred and self-hatred but rather covers them up in a very dangerous way.

In my own therapy it was my experience that it was precisely the opposite of forgiveness—namely, rebellion against mistreatment suffered, the recognition and condemnation of my parents’ destructive opinions and actions, and the articulation of my own needs—that ultimately freed me from the past.

By refusing to forgive, I give up all illusions. Why should I forgive, when no one is asking me to? I mean, my parents refuse to understand and to know what they did to me. So why should I go on trying to understand and forgive my parents and whatever happened in their childhood, with things like psychoanalysis and transactional analysis? What’s the use? Whom does it help? It doesn’t help my parents to see the truth. But it does prevent me from experiencing my feelings, the feelings that would give me access to the truth. But under the bell-jar of forgiveness, feelings cannot and may not blossom freely.

Michael Jackson was prevented from experiencing his feelings and his personality could only blossom in music performances. In real life he withered. Even the rabbi acknowledged, after taping hours of talking with Jackson, that he couldn’t listen to Jackson’s words without “feeling a tremendous sadness for a soul” because “Michael substituted attention for love,” and that “he got fans who loved what he did but he never had true compatriots who loved him for who he was.” I conjecture that the pedophilic feelings that Jackson felt toward boys of the age when he himself was unloved speaks for itself. Miller again:

I cannot conceive of a society in which children are not mistreated, but respected and lovingly cared for, that would develop an ideology of forgiveness for incompressible cruelties. This ideology is indivisible with the command “Thou shalt not be aware” [of our parents’ cruelty] and with the repetition of that cruelty on the next generation.

Michael Jackson had a recreational park for children in his property. He slept with young boys and thus he wanted to save his inner child by a sort of projection onto substitute children. Of course, he didn’t succeed. Here’s the real therapy that Jackson never had:

The possibility of change depends on whether there is a sufficient number of enlightened witnesses to create a safety net for the growing consciousness of those who have been mistreated as children, so that they do not fall into the darkness of forgetfulness, from which they will later emerge as criminals or the mentally ill.

Why did Jackson never get the real thing, an enlightened witnesses, not even with his millions of fans? This fact—solitude among literally millions of fans—is what moved me to write this entry. Miller explains:

But who is there to help when all the “helpers” fear their own personal history? Bogus traditional morality, destructive religious interpretations, and confusion in our methods of childrearing all make this experience harder and hinder our initiative. Without a doubt, the pharmaceutical industry also profits from our blindness and despondency.

That’s what finally killed poor Jackson, the pharmaceutical industry.

Although “Big Nose” forgave his dad in therapy, Joe Jackson never actually repented. Like so many women who ruin their faces with unnecessary surgeries, Jackson’s self-consciousness, ultimately originated from his dad’s teasing humiliation, drove him to abuse surgery to the point of ruining his face and finally looking like a scary mask.

Like most blacks, Jackson had a low IQ for sure. But the moral of his story, and similar stories, is that we should never forgive an unrepentant parent. Only telling the truth about our parents, like the posts I’ll be adding in this blog, can save us.

__________

Note:

Originally published in 2009 at Blogspot after Jackson died, this 2011 version of the original post has been edited.