Thursday, May 6, 2021

Comments by l_e_cox

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  • With the accreditation body? I’m not sure if she tells the exact story on that. She was probably getting pushback from them, but I don’t know the details.

    For those who might not be aware: She was a victim of traditional psych treatment. She knew it didn’t work, so she searched out something that would work better and started applying those techniques to her clients, mostly professional women. She decided to stop using psych drugs completely.

  • Oh boy.

    This guy has a good heart, but he’s riding the slow boat to China.
    You can “comb the medical literature for alternative treatments” until the cows come home. You won’t find them, because mental difficulties are not basically medical problems.
    Why did Kelly Brogan give up her Psych license? Because it isn’t needed to heal people!

    The little out-ethics incidents that he brings up here are only symptoms of a giant problem he either refuses to confront or can’t even fathom: Psychiatry is not there to make people well!

    Individual psychiatrists may feel differently. Some take their little wins where they can get them. Others like Kelly end up leaving the profession. I even know a psychologist with clinical experience who finally joined CCHR!

    Without a recognition of the reality of Spirit, psychology and psychiatry are mere hollow shells of what they should be. What the hell does “psyche” mean, after all?

  • It is true that these authors live within the world of academic research and feel somewhat constrained to be “polite” to their colleagues. Others of us, in the field or not, feel the time for politeness has long passed. And in many ways I agree. I see no particular benefit, at this point, in being polite to psychiatry.

  • This does remind me of the book “Looking Backward” which I read with interest when I was much younger.

    It proposed a system of group dining somewhat like we have currently with our massive reliance on dining out (at least among certain socioeconomic groups).

    I have experienced this for real where I used to work, and it did seem to be workable. There is a social aspect to dining out that we miss when we dine apart (or alone) in our houses or apartments. For me, though, it is not financially viable. If it were, I would do it more often. The relative nutritional value of the food, however, I cannot speak to. I would not stop taking vitamins!

  • These are good points. However, I don’t totally share your basic assumptions nor thus your conclusions.

    People’s problems are not caused by an inherent defect (at least not a genetic or biological one) but neither are they really caused by environmental or social factors. Yet if environmental or social factors are too extreme, more mental and emotional problems will trigger.

    So improving environmental factors is therapeutic, but does not handle root cause. How this is best done is open to discussion. The U.S. used to be better at this than it is now, though there were always factors present in the U.S. that weren’t significant in most of Europe.

    I don’t have hard data about Europe, but I share the perception that they are a bit more easy-going than Americans and that their welfare programs seem to be more effective. One possibility I have heard mentioned is that the nationalized health services that exist in most European countries have taken a lot of power and funding away from organized medicine. I’d be interested to learn if that’s a valid line of reasoning. It seems plausible. From the information I am getting, organized medicine is a huge part of our difficulties here in the U.S.

  • This is a good point. The demands from one’s environment can get so onerous that they can begin to become suppressive, or in other words, promote poor mental health.

    These days, I don’t know that it is any longer “normal” to have good body health. It is difficult – possibly even expensive – to achieve. This is a whole issue in itself, yet related to this one of mental health.

    If I had to name a higher-priority factor, though, I would say it was getting enough sleep.

  • These two have been working at this for many years now, and I am certainly happy to hear from them!

    There is not doubt in my mind that a healthy body makes a huge difference in our ability to stand up to the crap that life throws at us.

    As Bonnie has reported in the past, micronutrient supplementation, in one case at least, totally handled a psychotic break problem so that it never recurred.

    But this still leaves us with the whole world of cognition to understand and properly address. The brain and nervous system play a very major role in body health, but in cognitive health, this is not the case (assuming the body IS healthy). And I am still not seeing the discussions that are necessary to bring this subject forward in the direction of a useful resolution.

  • Well! This is a special story!

    One theme that shines through brightest for me is that most people do not have a clue about “mental health” or what to do when someone loses theirs.

    Everyone in this story had something going on. But the author and her friend were obviously still living on the safe side, while the other three (all related) were not. The landlady somehow had the wherewithal to own two houses. Yet she was not competent as a landlord, nor as a parent it seems.

    I am relatively sure that police intervention would have done nothing to improve the situation. There is a possibility that a very skilled and courageous health professional (or a team) could have made a difference, yet such people are a rarity today.

    It is clear to me that basic psychological literacy is as important as the 3Rs. Things happen too fast in interpersonal relations. There is no time to call in “professionals” to intervene when shit happens. Yet we have no system in place that could even remotely provide this, as our current mainstream theories are not even competent ones. Until we have an understanding of human life that is workable and useful, we are probably better off just hobbling along as we always did before the mighty institutions of psychology and psychiatry appeared on the scene. If we are going to have professionals in this field, we must find a way to make them competent. Meanwhile, these “crazy” women did the best they could.

  • My first thought for a very traditional but non-medical healing art is chiropractic. There are also schools that teach Naturopathy, and some centers that practice “functional medicine.” In the pattern of traditional psychotherapy, but drugless (and I hear quite effective), is the work Kelly Brogan is doing. Numerous others have carved out “life coach” sorts of practices along similar lines.

    The traditional spiritual healing practice that I am most aware of is Reiki. There are other centers, usually concentrated in certain geographic areas where more potential customers live, that provide various therapies that are more spiritually-based.

    I personally volunteered to work for my church, and did so for 26 years. But that’s not a normal life by a long ways. However, if you really want to help your fellow human beings, don’t expected to be treated as “normal” (even though you would expect that such an urge is normal). In spite of lip service to the contrary, corporate culture has taken over most mainstream healing practices and by long experience (if not blatant admission) the one being “helped” does not come first in those people’s minds.

  • This is a very perceptive comment on the state of the (mental) healing arts in academia!

    There are several pathways you could follow that are not part of traditional academia. I don’t recommend social work, as it was in the process of being taken over by academic psychology 60-plus years ago when my father got into it! That said, there are many of us who would like to spend at least some part of our lives doing “social work.”

    There is still a lot going on today in the “alternative” healing arts. They range from extremely spiritually-oriented practices to more traditional approaches that simply use different models for how people lose their health and alternative (usually non-drug) therapies.

    If you would prefer to become an activist in the field, there are some people and organizations doing that work, but that’s about all the information I have. I am a member of one such group, and there are others, but I am not that well-informed about them.

    I urge you remain wary of the various “easy” or “sure” paths that may be presented to you. These days, to live with truth, do the right thing, and learn and practice effective help is NOT easy. That doesn’t mean it’s not rewarding!

  • This is an interesting article for me, as I know a young woman in a very similar position who is considering to go back to school to study yet more – psychology.

    I never cease to be amazed at our ability to give other people the benefit of the doubt. Even though it is obvious to most of us now that these fields (psychiatry, psychology) tend to attract the criminally insane, so many continue to hold out hope that they can be “reformed.” In some ultimate sense, they may be right. But I would never set foot in an environment like that now without the knowledge that I gained outside of that environment. And I would know that I was entering into what is basically a traumatizing (we call it suppressive) environment for the purposes of studying it as I would any other dysfunctional group, and with no hope of getting any useful information from it, or even a degree.

    But I think a better use of my time would probably consist of walking away and see if I could find a calling or profession that is actually acting like it still cares about people and is helping others for real.

  • There are some good realizations here!

    I am constantly gobsmacked by how upset people can get about families, organizations and other social necessities. But there is a grain of truth in the attitude that we are all capable of a totally independent existence. It’s just that most of us would find this unbearable, and you can’t do it while coexisting with a human body.

    There are many levels of connectedness – or it could be called interdependence – that we should realize exist and learn to appropriately embrace. Therapy MUST address all of them, and indeed this is one reason I ended my traditional therapy (because it didn’t).
    These levels of connection include: 1) Our body (yes, it is NOT us, but something we are conected to!) 2) Our sexual partner (if we have one) and children 3) The groups we work with and enjoy time with 4) All of mankind 5) The rest of biology 6) The rest of the physical universe 7) The rest of the spirit world and 8) Everything else, often referred to as a Supreme Being or Creator.

    My training involves all these connections to some extent, probably 2) being the weakest one in my own experience.

    I now use a therapy paradigm that involves training a bunch of students to deliver a certain type of therapy, then pairing them up to deliver that to each other. There is one supervisor to watch over us while we do this, and another one to assess our individual technical needs and progress.

    Likewise, all group members, but particularly staff, are trained in group skills and how to be better group members.

    The aim, though, is not to eliminate individuality, which we see as the base or core on which everything else is built. We are expected to, and usually do, become stronger individuals as we become more skilled at being group members and helping each other. If our training left out any of the major kinds of connection, it would be much less effective. It is clear to us that the traditional therapeutic approach of most psychologists, psychiatrists and doctors is far too limited to handle anything other than temporary emergency situations. I used to cut these healers some slack for not yet coming up to speed. But I don’t like to do it any more. Now better alternatives in all the healing arts are everywhere in use, and the traditional people have no excuse beyond laziness or apathy.

    Step out of the way! The alternative mental health practices are HERE and are taking over!

  • This article tells a story of vested interests and corporate greed. It can get published in the Times because it stays away from the more important issues.

    People are suffering and dying because workable solutions are being suppressed or ignored. Is corporate greed involved? Of course. Are vested interests involved? Of course.

    But we are talking about premeditated murder! Willful acts of evil. There HAS to more behind this than the tired old explanations we keep hearing. And there is. We all look to psychology to explain this to us, to give us the answer. And we all look to government to protect us from this, to at least provide adequate regulation. But they don’t, because they were both early victims of this menace which more and more seems ready to ruin an entire planet to accomplish its ends.

    This menace depends upon the probability that not enough people will become aware enough and strong enough soon enough to stop the destruction. Our only hope is to accomplish the improbable.

  • Wow, what a communication!

    I am dismayed, really, at what was accomplished in those 10 years. But I am sure the writer feels a sense of accomplishment. She is obviously thankful for Billie, her therapist.

    How could she have known that Billie, in her training and throughout her career, could have been exposed to all sorts of data that would have made her much more certain and effective as a therapist? She probably could have saved lives and restored abilities far beyond what she, mostly through her loving intention, expected and accomplished.

    Love itself has tremendous healing powers. But today we do have access to material that can augment quite a bit our natural inclination to love and help each other. I certainly hope that some day the stories arising out of our experiences with the “mental health” system will be more stirring and miraculous than what we have read here.

  • To me, this is a rich example – in its verbiage if nothing else – of how far these people can stick their heads up their butts.

    I am convinced that most of these “researchers” would prefer to remain confused and ignorant to the end of time. If this were not their secret goal, wouldn’t they look a little harder in directions that are turning eyes in other fields, such as the ever-growing parapsychology literature, or the results being obtained by some of the more serious spiritual practices, such as fully awake past life recall?

    The issue of child psychology is particularly troubling, as this is a perfect time of life to start getting oneself straightened out and flying right, before the full weight of adult life falls on one’s shoulders. Yet I am sure many kids today, with absent or over-worked parents, feel that weight and need help coping. The field of “mental health” has the potential to help younger people in many ways. But in its current state, it is usually causing more trouble than it is worth. At this point I would not hesitate to council parents and their kids to stay away from the “mental health” system!

  • I have no problem with people discussing how psychology, or the “mental health” system, relate to politics. But my perception is that most people don’t understand the various aspects of politics or the various aspects of spiritual existence well enough to bring much clarity to this issue.

    One meaning of “politics” concerns governance, policy and control. Here we see the interplay between those who see freedom as the more workable principle and those who see slavery as the more workable principle. One of our biggest problems with “mental health” currently is that it appears to be firmly in the slavery camp, even when it gives lip service to the contrary. Blaming it all on the brain is not liberating. Validating the role of Spirit could be liberating.

    Another meaning of “politics” concerns one’s personal sense of power in various situations, whether or not they are overtly competitive. Can one stand up for what one believes is right or best or workable at work or at home? I believe that a central goal of “mental health” should be to increase one’s sense of personal power, or certainty; self control. The current trend seems more geared to “helping” people fit in.

    And then we have the meaning of “politics” involving political parties, social justice issues, and events that come up and affect us in various ways. The amount of deception involved in many of these activities is seldom fully recognized. Here, I think the ideal goal for “mental health” would be to help each individual get up to the point where they can freely make up their own mind about each issue that presents itself, fully cognizant of the likely underlying power plays that result in distorted information (“fake news”) and similar attempts to influence public perception and opinion. Here the actual emotional state of the individual is very important. Someone who is fearful will react very differently than someone who is cheerful, when presented with the exact same event or set of facts.

    All these aspects of politics interact and they are all relevant to the subject of mental health and Spirit. But where discussions of mental health or psychology don’t even take Spirit into account, the likelihood that those discussions will result in any conclusions that are useful or workable is small. We might as well be talking about sports or the weather.

  • I must admit to you that my “question” was somewhat rhetorical.

    But I am dismayed that in this day and age, even an appeal to “freedom” or “human rights” often falls on deaf ears.

    Yes, we certainly need a balance between thinking and doing. Our technical words should be pronouncable and not overly flowery or evasive. Our theories should inform practices that are definite and doable, a bit like we have in the engineering world.

    The current challenge seems to be in the field of ethics. We are allowing certain players to stifle unwanted discussions and punish unwanted activities. It is a very grave situation. It seems we must now appeal to the average man’s most basic sensibilities and repugnance for dishonesty. But if the majority continue to allow themselves to be lied to and mistreated, things could become even rougher for those who can see plainly that this is what is occurring.

    Some think that a fairly major and shocking event will need to happen that will finally force people to realize that they are being horribly manipulated and at the same time give them a sane way to respond. I shudder to think what such an event might look like. Barring that, it seems to me to be very important for those who are more aware to support each other in speaking out and not chop at each other for making minor mistakes (or perhaps handle these things privately). But the forces of “evil” are very great, and we should steel ourselves for some defeats. We can’t give up.

  • What you are saying here is very important!

    After I started to get a better grip on philosophy and older teachings, my favorite word became “love.” I also like “spirit.”

    I wonder sometimes if most modern people have any idea what these words mean!

    Yes, I am “modern” in that I hope for improvement. But not through a drug or some fancy technology.
    How do we convince more “modern” people to reconnect with the wisdom-seeking traditions?

  • How did you learn that we are not born with knowledge? Would you be willing to consider the possibility that this is an incorrect datum? If it were found that beings arrive in this life already equipped with lots of knowledge, would that change your ideas about what factors influence human behavior?

  • Wow. I see you put considerable effort into working out an understanding of all this that made sense to you. I am not familiar with most of your sources, but there are obviously many well-intentioned thinkers out there who actually want to help people, and are arriving at ideas that are a lot more workable than traditional psychiatry or psychology.

    I am personally very convinced that allowing Spirit into the discussion is extremely important. But in my experience many people have a cognitive block or unwillingness on this subject. Others like me introduce the subject indirectly using more pedestrian topics (like assisting someone to recover from an injury, or organize their business better) but I have decided to aim directly at the actual target of the subject, which many of us still call “mental illness.”

  • “John Doe,” these are valuable insights! What study, may I ask, has led you to these conclusions?

    As I acknowledge the existence of Spirit, I can point to “trauma” as a key factor in mental-emotional distress without blaming all the people around me for the rough situations that they have contributed to. We can always look into past lives and find trauma considerably more abusive – and more hidden – than most trauma we see inflicted on others today. And while the same mechanism you detail in your comment also results in the impulse to deny Spirit, it puts everyone on Earth on a more even footing, as the experiences that trouble most of us happened very long ago, and we could in no way point to anyone living today and pronounce, “that’s the guy who made me crazy!” This gives us a path forward, and that path is being followed. I just wish more were aware of it and willing to explore it with more sincerity and less suspicion!

  • This article would qualify as a rant. While Megan’s points are all well-taken, she admits “I don’t know how to change a culture…”

    It should be noted that, besides the fact that cultures on Earth were more diverse in the past, they were also less criminal for the most part. So, someone DID know how to change cultures, and did succeed in doing so!

    The subject we are looking at has a name: ponerology. It is not a well-known subject, as the people currently “in charge” don’t want us to know how they succeeded in accomplishing what Megan describes above. Political ponerology is an interdisciplinary study of social issues primarily associated with Polish psychiatrist Andrzej Łobaczewski. According to Wikipedia, “A form of government interesting to ponerologists is one they have called pathocracy, in which individuals with personality disorders (especially psychopathy) occupy positions of power and influence.”

    So, since socially pathological individuals figured out how to dominate our current culture, it should be possible for saner people to learn how they did this, then invent a parallel movement that could result in the culture being returned to a more sane operating basis.

    It is always a bit excruciating to me to hear someone complain about their cultural (or personal) environment and so hear them describe the various characteristics of the sociopath as I learned them many years ago. What Megan rants against, then, is the same thing that sane beings have always ranted against: The anti-social personality. Until recently (my lifetime) we had no clue how to detect and handle such people, and repeatedly made the mistake of elevating them to positions of power due to their shrewd promises that if they were so elevated, they would handle “everything bad” in life. We have finally learned know how to detect these liars and handle them, and – in theory at least – how to remove their destructive influences from our cultures to attain a saner way of life. If we do not now learn these lessons and use this newly-gained knowledge, we are condemning ourselves to lifetimes more, if not an eternity, of the kind of suffering and abuse that Megan so ably describes above.

  • All I see here is a veiled admission that psychologists and psychiatrists don’t know what they are talking about.

    We already know the major causes of distress and suffering on Earth. To turn the natural reactions of people to the results of the criminal practices of inept leaders into a “global mental health crisis” was one of Big Pharma’s boldest marketing victories. Suddenly all the poor and downtrodden of Earth became clients of the “mental health system!”

    But the ordinary sufferings of life ARE NOT mental health issues! The ones with the issues are the ones causing the suffering! And “solving” human suffering by creating a socialist Utopia won’t solve the mental health problem, because oppression and poverty have nothing to do with why people go insane. At best, they can be triggers. But the rich are just as likely, if not more so, to be deranged than the poor and oppressed.

    I would be most happy if mental health researchers and practitioners would concentrate on the criminally insane and leave the rest of us alone. But they are unlikely to do this, because it is difficult to look in the mirror and honestly see what is really there.

  • For me, an important part in all this is the recognition of the existence of “spiritually destroyed” individuals. They have so turned away from their own spiritual identity that they become disgusted with the subject and violently fight against it. One of the big challenges in returning to a love-centered society is learning how to deal with these spiritually “dead” individuals in a loving way but also in a way that protects society from their irrational destructive impulses.

  • Realize, though, Steve, that pushing the problem away from us and talking instead about “systems” also tends to push the solutions away from us.

    If we can understand that societal systems are composed of individuals, and that through the action of individuals systems can be changed (such as the outlawing of slavery), this gives us a path to change that starts with individuals and goes towards new agreements about what is acceptable and valuable in a society.

    We have seen various systems set up with the best of intentions fail in the hands of people whose awareness had not been elevated enough to operate those systems with honesty and real compassion. (The “mental health system” being perhaps one example.) So, the way I see it, the real work needs to be done at the level of individuals, and as their awareness shifts, they will adjust their systems to align better with the new-found awareness.

  • What a valuable essay! Written with much passion and clarity.
    And yet it begs the question: How do we correct this deficit of love in modern society?
    I can only say that if I did not know what I learned during my lifetime, I would be in despair on this subject.
    We find ourselves in a very tight spot. The criminals of the planet seem poised like vultures, waiting for their prey to buckle and fall under the unbearable pressures of life. Though you may not believe me, I am quite certain we have lived through this sort of situation before. And every previous time, love lost. We only have a chance this time because we have become more certain of some basic truths about ourselves which give us the capacity to rehabilitate our ability to love. Now it is only a question of how quickly we can work to rehabilitate this in people, while the enemies of love work in the opposite direction. I was warned that the road back would not be easy to travel. This is certainly proving to be the case.

  • It is wonderful to hear of your experience!

    I can only suggest that you work to clarify your understanding of Spirit so that you may benefit more from your awareness of it.

    YOU are Spirit! The flow you speak of is something that comes from your interaction with the physical. A harmonious interaction produces a flow of pleasure. A “dissonant” interaction can produce pain.

    You, as Spirit, have the capability of improving your control over your life, so that the flows (emotions) you experience are more balanced and feel right to you. It all depends on what you are willing to learn, what skills you are most interested in developing.

  • This article touches me. I have been involved in many of the forms of music mentioned here.

    It is interesting that it ends with a nod to the importance of Spirit. You know this word in English also has the same root meaning: breath!

    But that brings up the concepts covered in the introductory paragraphs. It refers to our supposed “evolution” from ape-like creatures. To me, that whole narrative was an attempt to demean Spirit and reduce us to animals. It is a false narrative, but today if you are “educated” then you have to believe it! I see our reach for music as a Spiritual yearning for the beauty and harmony of earlier times, now lost. Music, well-made, lends beauty to anything it accompanies, words in particular.

    I was most involved with music in my mid-20s. And those were happy years for me! These days many in that age group are suffering. They should spend more time playing music together!

    For a year I was involved in Gamelan Sekar Jaya. It is a musical non-profit devoted to Balinese music. And indeed I played the gong! And I experienced that “spiritual strength” of the sound first hand.

    I also learned Afro-Cuban dance, which is indeed dominated by clave, which I became very familiar with. And I learned Greek folk dance, which is another community or group participation type of musical experience.

    I have also experienced how group play tends to socialize individuals and to identify those who are having a rougher time. In one work group we had “team games” where we tossed a ball around to each other as we stood in a circle. The ones having a harder time being group members liked to slam the ball high into the air, instead of throwing it to someone else with the intention that they would catch it!

    I studied African music when I was a young teenager and continued to be interested in it. Dance is an important part of the African experience and is traditionally done in large groups. The drumming is important, but if you don’t move to it, it gets boring.

    In our (Western) culture, music as a group experience – and group experience in general – has been devalued in favor of individual experience and personal mastery. There is something to be said for both approaches. The Western approach has its political benefits. The community approach found in so many places has greater emotional and mental benefits. We still need to find a better balance between these. The realization that we are a manifestation of Spirit could, I think, lead us to this better balance.

  • Exiting a decayed body after death normally restores
    any lost ability to remember.

    If you are having an hallucination, that records into memory as an experience. It probably came from a real screw up of the normal mental mechanisms. But whatever earlier incidents might have been involved are still intact, and the hallucination experience is intact, too. Probably just hard to reach.

  • OK, needless to say, you see it as a fairly complex system with recordings scattered all over across numerous physical parts of the body. With that understanding, my concepts won’t make very much sense to you.

    All I can say about my concept of memory is that it is workable from a therapeutic viewpoint. It also explains some of the vagaries of “inherited behaviors” and things like “child geniuses” and similar phenomena.

    I see it as an energetic structure into which experience is recorded more or less automatically. Sort of like an energetic CD. (DVD?). This is maintained by a being, not by a body. When the being leaves the body, so do its memories. The whole process of therapy, and life in this physical world, revolves around how the being uses this energy structure.

    To complicate things a little, there seems to be entities that follow bodies around and maintain their own memories at a physiological level. And a “higher” being that flirts around a bit more who deals with the more conceptual aspects of experience.

    So our difficulties stem largely, I suspect, from how different our models are. Remembering, hypnosis, forgetting, confusions about what really happened, those are all part of a process in my model, not part of memory.

  • Only problem is, memory is not a brain function. I believe what most drugs do is distract or aggravate the being in various different ways, producing emotional reactions and affecting his ability to control his own attention (recall process). To the extent that a drug could “switch on” some sort of neurological or physiological “alarm,” the condition could become permanent.

    But yes, we do know that all sorts of drugs affect ability to remember and many other cognitive functions.

  • oldhead, I know the mind as something actually physical. But it is made out of energy that is not visible to the eye. The being, though, can “see” it (perceive it). That’s a common way we remember things. Experience is stored in the mind as “pictures” and the being can locate pictures he wants and “view” them. So in that sense, I can agree that the mind is as “real as my hand.”

  • Reading through this was painful for me; I didn’t make it all the way to the end.

    Here is one of many areas of psychology (or what I might term the study of human experience), that is in great need of a reevaluation. We need to begin to take the work of parapsychologists such as Ian Stevenson more seriously.

    Once you consider even the possibility that past life experience could have some bearing on this life outcomes, the current version of the “nature versus nurture” debate must be thrown away.

    I am totally persuaded that the “blank slate” idea is a fallacy. Furthermore, genetics are only one factor in what a newborn starts with. On top of this, “environmental factors” (nurture) begin to influence child development at conception, not birth.

    Thus, if we actually want to DO something to improve intelligence in children and adults, we might as well assume that it can be influenced by nurture. Otherwise, why bother with all these studies? And the data I have indicate that nurture can play an important role in intelligence. But so can nature!

    If society weren’t nearing a serious tipping point, perhaps I would be more restrained in my comments. My judgement is that we only have about a year to turn things around and start getting things right. Otherwise, A slick, modern, and covert tyranny will engulf us, and our discussions here will make very little difference. Do we value our freedoms and our human rights enough to defend them in the face of a pompous academia and a corrupt governing structure? If we don’t we will surely lose them.

  • Oldhead, you may remain “unaware” if you so desire!

    Of course, Hubbard’s techniques were never reputably studied in academia, because if they had been they would have found to be workable, and then what???

    Many many people have used these techniques. I have personally met people who have benefited from them or had their lives changed.

    A certain number will sit back in their arm chairs and wait until they see “proof.” When the society falls around them in ruins, they will wish they had acted sooner, “proof” or not!

  • You have skin in this game! Well, so do the rest of us!

    That real incidents can sink totally below conscious awareness should be obvious! I hope we are not questioning this obvious fact here.

    The only question, then, is how to recover them faithfully. Such recovery WILL be therapeutic, or at least of a neutral result. Why aren’t more clamoring for the best way to do this instead of gaslighting those who have such memories? The mentioned “false” incidents are often quite real! To deny this is to deny the reality of living on Earth!

  • This is a sad chronology.

    But, to be complete, it should start earlier.
    In 1950 Hubbard wrote that all significant mental problems are caused by indents that really happened but are not available to normal waking memory. He wrote about discovering many attempted abortions by uncovering dissociated prenatal incidents and then confirming them with the mothers.
    For this work he was soundly roasted by the psychiatric “profession.”
    In fact, he was definitely onto something!

    There has never been any attempt, as far as I know, to duplicate Hubbard’s work in an academic setting. But as the article points out, many studies have been done that demonstrate the validity of the basic mechanism.

    It should be noted, however, that Hubbard found that these dissociated incidents included not just abuse, but incidents all the way down to and including times when the subject had been totally unconscious (such as a severe injury or a surgery). Such incidents can be discovered, and then recovered into conscious memory. This takes very skilled work, however.

    The “puzzle” of memory is one key area that psychology must get right before the subject will be of any great value to the general public. We know damn well that things occur to people that they absolutely cannot remember (because they were unconscious at the time)! Are we really ready to believe that such incidents will have no subsequent effect on a person? What do you think “triggers” is really all about?

  • In my book, the problem with any study that looks at the effects of an “intervention” on the brain is that it is looking in the wrong place! If you want a good indicator of how a person is feeling, just LOOK at him and ask him a few questions! Who cares exactly what the brain is doing if the person is feeling better, getting more competent, or is obviously in better control of himself?

  • I have a young friend who rather carelessly informed me recently that she had once been diagnosed as “borderline.” She knew I was a Scientologist and didn’t believe in those labels. And I ignored the communication for that reason. (I didn’t know what “borderline” meant.) But I didn’t forget it!

    Now this subject comes up in the context of “mental health awareness.”

    What??

    So I looked it up. I read part of the definition of what “borderline” is at PsychCentral then double-checked it at NIMH. While these descriptions describe this young woman quite well, what a trip to lay on a person!

    I can imagine how easy it would be to convince someone that all their reactions and emotions were because they were “borderline,” and so send them on a trajectory of endless self-doubt and basically despair. I can imagine how seriously this woman (being a former psych student) takes this information! I can only imagine how it could make her worry, wonder if she will ever “get better” and impede her from taking the risks we all have to take in life in order to stay alive and fulfill our basic obligations.

    She desperately wants to heal or “get better” without any drugs or other interventions. But if she takes this diagnosis seriously she could find herself back on meds, in endless and costly “therapy” and with her relationships with her children and with me possibly ruined (she has already suffered through a divorce).

    This gives me more reality on what these labels, especially in the absence of fast and effective ways to get rid of them, can do to ruin a life and offload all the responsibility for a person’s upset and suffering onto their own personal world, when only a fraction of that responsibility belongs there. I am glad I stayed away from all that. I am very concerned for my young friend, as she was not able to stay away from it, and she now lives in a world where almost everyone around her thinks that psychologists actually know what they are talking about.

  • Well, I hope this system works for some people.

    But I am still waiting to see a system (besides the one I am trained in) that actually sees people as immortal spiritual beings, which is, after all, the actual truth of our situation.

    RAP, WARS, “dance” are bizarre expressions for a system that is supposed to help families come to peace with each other and with themselves. On top of that, the world is not that peaceful a place, and in recent times in particular, has been at war with families, with parents and with their children. (In short, at war with all of us!) This needs to be taken into account, too, and I don’t see that here. The ENTIRE PROBLEM a family could be running into could be coming from some antagonistic (criminal) element outside the family but lurking in the workplace, the school, or even in the media. These influences on childhood “bad behavior” and parent stress should not be overlooked!

  • That’s right, Steve. This is a marketing campaign. It’s done in the context of other “awareness” campaigns that are a bit more honorable in their purpose and intent. So it takes advantage of that sheen of moral meaning. But it is clear from the careful work of many that the current “mental health” system is a scam designed to make money for certain groups and worse.

  • Yes, this is the same Peter Sterling that stood up against ECT (shock therapy) all those years ago!

    But evolution is a very faulty model. I no longer subscribe to it to any great degree. It only covers the body, for one thing, leaving Spirit entirely out of the equation.

    And what we have learned from Spirit seems to stand most ideas about evolution on their heads. Evolution has been very soundly brought into doubt on its own merits, as well. To me, it’s as old fashioned as a flat Earth.

  • Thank you so much for your story!

    Much like any “fad,” everyone who has benefited from mindfulness techniques thinks everyone should do it. They aren’t really aware of the fact that people are different and some might not be ready for it, or it might just not be the thing for them. Such practices will always be voluntary, so they will never get tested on a wide variety of different people, like drugs are supposed to be.

    Those techniques are not the only non-drug route to emotional healing. All such routes should be discussed and evaluated, not just the ones the mainstream thinks are “cool.”

  • When a “new idea” does not address corruption in the system, or even the potential for corruption, but just assumes that we need “better technology” I get suspicious. That approach fuels the fires of industry without doing anything to protect people for abuses. We are slipping into an age where the “great new technologies” of 20 or 30 or 40 years ago are now being used to enslave us. We need to address that problem first.

  • Anyone except a sociopath should agree with his point of being courteous.

    “The way we treat each other IS the therapy.”
    In most cases, this is absolutely true. Respectful, kind, caring, even loving treatment of one another is a basic of human interaction and some of the best “therapy” that anyone should be able to provide to another. Without this basic in, you can’t make it any farther with another person, if your goal is to help them.

  • A progressive take on the “problem of mental health.”

    Progressives don’t see a huge problem with psychiatry. Except that it costs too much and doesn’t have enough social justice activists in its ranks.

    Handled these problems, and the world will be a better place. Right?

  • The modern work was started by Wilder Penfield. That work is summarized in books like I’m OK You’re OK. It has been continued along one line by hypnotherapists. On a different line, Hubbard used Dianetics techniques to find such recordings around 1950 and subsequently. He later used a meter to separate “real” memories from “dub-in.” Meditators have discovered past life memories using sheer mental focus. The recordings are definitely there, and there are many ways to dig them up in addition to conscious recall.

  • Dr. Sterling returns!

    And though his criticism of our current orientation is incisive, and his recommendations for change fair minded, I am troubled by the introductory sentence indicating that what we are walking into is a “new world order.”

    And I am even more troubled by his reliance on evolutionary psychology as his theoretical basis. It is a false construct.

    While what he says and recommends may be true enough for the human animal, we humans are far more than mere animals! And NO theory based on the idea that we are just animals will open our eyes wide enough to find a positive direction forward.

    If our bodies need regular bursts of dopamine to live well, I am sure the New World Order Technocracy can figure out a way to provide that … to those who survive its vagaries.

    What of freedom? What of higher purpose? What of God or Creator or The Infinite? Are not these, too, real needs? YES! Of animals? Of course not. But that is not what we are; never were, never will be. We are beings, and that has been amply demonstrated, though not amply reported on. And we will seek the future of beings, not of animals. I really hope we do not have to sacrifice another planet to get this right. But if we do, so be it. There will be, perhaps, other chances to get it right. I don’t see the point of waiting, though. The basics of a way forward are clear enough. They are to me, anyway.

  • For many reasons beyond the sphere of “mental health” it is important to get memory right. If it does constitute something along the lines of a “library” of all experience, then that opens up a new way to learn more about our past – our history. Initial results of this are already a part of the materials I am studying, and a different form of the “data recovery” process has been used by remote viewers with very promising (surprising? – not to me) results.

    Developing reliable ways to retrieve memories with the least amount of alteration due to language and other cultural limitations is a whole other subject. But if psychology can’t agree on what memory is, then they can never find ways to use it successfully in therapy (assuming they really want to.)

    A much more perverse, if possibly more accurate, interpretation of what psychology wants to do with memory is find new and better ways to kill it, destroy it, or invalidate it so that we can’t use it to discover their past crimes.

  • Well, there we go. That’s the argument, then.

    My information is that the recording process is entirely below the conscious level, whereas to remember usually takes some amount of conscious effort. They could not possibly operate by similar processes, as various techniques can be used to recover memories of events that the being was never even consciously aware of.

  • I thought I’d read through this, as suggested by the number of comments (zero) no one else has yet. But I can see why.

    I am probably not even an appropriate person to comment on the DSM, or any suggested replacement, as I am of the conviction that the whole system should be jettisoned, and psychologists be encouraged to return to studying rats. The subject has so far been relatively useless to the human race. Maybe they can figure out how to make rats happier.

    I might mention, though, the major “dimension” I have been trained to look for in anybody: Emotional tone, or you might say, “degree of happiness.” It is possible to look at 29 different observable behaviors, plus several more that are observable in therapy, that all correlate to this single dimension.

    If the person improves in this dimension (“gets happier”) then you know you have a workable therapy (at least for that person).

    Psychology has been in its rut for a long time now. As far as I can tell they have gone seriously subterranean! If it weren’t for a few dear people in the field who have helped me, I would be inclined to totally disregard it.

  • This piece is thick with life!

    I believe many more people would write like this if they could find the words and the voice.

    My young friend who has been trying to sort through issues like this is more than ten years younger than Bojana. She knows there is something wrong, but everywhere around her there is agreement that it is she who is wrong, and everybody else is just fine. That it makes perfect sense to take a pill whenever you “feel bad.”

    The social pressure brought to bear on a person who is a bit more perceptive, a bit more sensitive, a bit more creative (a bit more alive?) can be anything from moderate to openly threatening depending on how close one is to the nearest sociopath. In the worst cases the sociopath will try to kill (or bring to death) their target and often succeeds. And so it is that I fear for my young friend, and for so many others like her in similar situations.

    I wish Bojana well, and hope she continues to learn what is most useful to living a full and happy life and manages to do so.

  • Again, you’re talking about the remembering process, not the recording process. I am confident in describing memory itself as simply a huge array of “pictures.” The “pictures” store ALL perceptics, not just sight, including emotions and thoughts.

    The remembering process, on the other hand, is very problematic and can be injured, modified, disabled, and so forth.

    Memory is a little like a huge library. Well, how do you find the book you want (or need?). That’s a whole separate process. What if someone blows up your index card system? Or you never bother to create one? Then your ability to remember accurately will suffer greatly.

  • Sure, but how did the researchers know which objects were recognized and which weren’t? By the people being studied saying so, right? So they don’t know for sure how the perception was stored. They just know that the person couldn’t give it back to them. So, are we studying memory or remembering?

  • Well, I’m no anthropologist, but this is what I have seen: First, the more indigenous or nature-attached cultures tend to make music a big part of their lives. And if I can generalize, Africa has embraced music as a public community activity much more than the West has. I know that public performances have also been a big part of life in Bali. There are probably other places that I am less aware of. There is for instance the way street samba infuses life in the favelas of Brazil, particularly in Rio. I have also heard good things about Puerto Rico. In these places. music can be heard almost everywhere at almost any time. It tends to be celebratory rather than overly introverted and almost everyone is involved with it, including may part time or “amateur” musicians that help during festival times.

  • Well, that may well be the case. But since when is someone who visits Mad In America all the time going to rely on psychological research for the definitive data on how the mind works? I don’t, and that’s for sure.

    How does a person know what he/she has experienced? One way is direct knowingness, without relying on mental recordings (memory). And the other way is through consulting one’s “records” (memories). This is similar to how a historian figures our what really happened a long time ago. But we know this way of discovering data (truth?) has problems, whether the records are in a file drawer or in a mind. The records are what they are. Do they amount to a perfect record of what happened? No. Can they be alterered? Yes. Can they be interpreted different ways by different people? Yes. But the records are what they are.

    So I think psychology has the records themselves (memory) all confused with the process of digging up and interpreting those records (remembering).

    It is in the best interests if criminals, I might point out, to invalidate the reliability of memory as much as possible, as this is quite commonly what is used (in places like courts of law) to get them into trouble. So, unfortunately, the profession as it is currently constituted has a certain vested interest in research findings that show memory to be unreliable. I don’t believe memory is that unreliable. Remembering is another story.

  • Now you are talking about communication, not memory. And I think what this study was really about was how people communicate what they remember. Sure that goes through cultural filters. But we know that communicating involves cultural filters. We see that in how people from different cultures describe their NDEs. That just means language is an imperfect method for describing a memory. It doesn’t mean that the actual contents of the memory depend on the culture the person was a part of when he/she acquired the memory.

  • I didn’t say culture was irrelevant. I said is not key. Spirit is key. Why does an old white man love African rhythms so much? Because he’s a spiritual being! I’ve never been anywhere near Africa this lifetime. That’s not “my culture.” But I love it as if it were. Why? Spirit.

  • Another cutting piece of writing by Megan! Her words tend to make me very emotional. Her generation will shape our future, and so few of them have any certainty yet about what direction to go in.

    She recognizes how much of the messaging we are getting amounts to PR and marketing. Manipulative tools of the large corporate interests. The problem I see is that there is almost NO messaging out there right now that is not of this type. In other words, I find the “progressive” messages meant for the young just as disingenuous as the ones that seem to be promoting “the system” being maintained by their parents or grandparents.

    At this point, all really viable alternative viewpoints, or messages, are almost completely suppressed. Many people who decry the “medical model” still think the brain must have a lot to do with mental and emotional functioning!

    So, what I see is that “the system” has provided us with an entire game, complete with opposing views that seem very contentious but that always leads us back inevitably to … the same system. Megan recognizes that we seem to be confronted with a choice between changing (“reforming”) the existing system and creating a new system. She sees that the need for a brand new approach to almost every aspect of life is required, yet most of us are too embedded in the current system to think in those terms.

    I have my own vision of how things could play out.

    It starts with the realization that we have all participated in creating the current system, that it is an insane system, and that we therefore all must have some degree of a sanity problem, need to take responsibility for that, and stop shopping around for an Oppressor that we can blame for everything that goes wrong.

    Next, a relatively small group of people who realize the above will get together and learn what needs to be done and what has to be done to create a new system, and will quietly go about creating one. The system, when it notices this, will dismiss this work or its people as having its own characteristics – dishonest and criminal. Therefore, recruiting new members into this smaller group will be very difficult to do.

    But, assuming they can get enough people and keep their show on the road, their creations will begin to become more noticeable. Probably at first this will be most apparent as attempts to “clean up” the system, or for calls to restore basic rights and freedoms. Revelations of long-standing systemic wrongdoing may occur. And it will start to become more obvious that this group has a “leg up” for some reason. Popular support will begin to shift to the point that it cannot be hidden by false or wild stories.

    I don’t expect the clamor that can be created by the real crazy people will ever go away. But the rest of us will get better and better at ignoring it, like a few of us do now. Eventually “the system” will become a sideshow, to be amused by or pitied. And it will lose its political power.

    I think it is important to realize that a lot of this madness traces back to the compulsive need for political power. As more people turn sane and learn how to use power properly, Earth could become a formidable force for good in the universe. It actually has that potential.

  • Annie was in the singing group Lambert Hendricks and Ross. She died last summer at the age of 90.
    I always knew “Twisted” as Joni’s song, but it is indeed Annie’s, and many singers have performed it. I always thought it was a delightful little “FU” jab at the whole middle class idea of what is supposed to be “normal.”

    I wonder now how many girls I knew (when I was a boy) had to deal with the sort of emotional torrents that Miranda describes from when she was a teenager! I know one young woman (now a young mom) who still experiences this sort of thing a lot (she is embarrassed by it, I think, and likes to be alone when in the middle of it). But since roughly the 6 month mark of the lockdown in California, there is seldom a day goes by that I don’t cry pretty hard at least once that day.

    Psychiatry (if it were a single being) would be sitting there grinning and rubbing its hands together, I imagine. A new flock of potential victims – I mean patients! – for our operation to chew up and spit out.

    I like to listen to music from places where it is used as their primary route to health. Most of those places trace their musical roots to Africa.

  • Are we really speaking of memory here, or of our interpretations of experience? Memory can be accessed and recovered with a high degree of accuracy, but the ordinary person, when simply asked to recall something they experienced, will ordinarily do this quite sloppily.

    Sloppy stories of past experience are not always therapeutically useful, which is one reason most talk therapies underperform. There are various ways around that problem.

  • Alright, then you are being simply… ???. Just because we are spiritual beings does not mean we can ignore language and the various other mechanisms we use to relate to each other. Sure you can communicate using just telepathy, if you are good, but that is not where most of us are at. Language remains workable, particularly when we include the use of it for expressions of spiritual understanding. I am not aware of any culture that does not have such concepts in its language.

  • That’s the problem with “woke.” There may be a version of it that is authentically sincere. But a lot of people are trying to ride it like a bandwagon, and they have no real sense of how conflicted they sound when they push cultural sensitivity while ignoring the oppressive nature of the medical model (DSM).

  • I agree. The new movement is going to have to look a lot different. Their takeover, you might say, has been executed with a degree of sophistication (and finance) that we have not matched. We can at least become more sophisticated. It will not be easy now. Some of my closest friends and loved ones think psych drugs are totally fine and the way to go. Now we are in a hole that must somehow be climbed out of.

  • Lord! Yet another researcher promoting wokeness!

    This “different” viewpoint might be worthwhile if it really led to any revelations about memory that were useful.

    Memories influenced by culture? Do you think? That’s probably why some people become multilingual more easily – they spoke those different languages in earlier lifetimes. Oops! Not sure the R word is allowed in woke culture!

    I know one person who wrote down almost everything she could remember about her past in a book. I know many more people who have many ancient memories but who aren’t really writers, so they just tell their friends about their memories. But this woman (Dena Merriam) who wrote up all she could remember has been a Norman, an Indian, a Persian, a Japanese, an African, a Russian and an American. So, what “culture” does this woman actually belong to? The only answer is “human culture!” And that does not even include all of her memories, because she also remembers living between lives in a place of Light. So she is part of a non-human culture as well!

    Can we get over Woke and realize that we are spiritual beings? I’m not going to stop writing about this until I either die or get drowned out by others who finally begin to realize that this has something to do with them and their possible futures.

  • I am concerned that this new “study” might basically be just a hit piece.

    However, I don’t think meditation techniques should be mixed up with the field of “mental health” as it currently exists.

    This is possibly, though, a case of meditation teachers seeking a share of the “mental health market” and traditional therapists complaining about it. I don’t think meditation can be practiced non-voluntarily, as mentioned above. So that gives us a different “intervention model” (or whatever they want to call it).

    From a science point of view then, you might be comparing apples to oranges rather than different kinds of apples.