Wednesday, June 16, 2010

On Alice Miller and Lloyd deMause

Below I reproduce an index page of my now defunct "antipsiquiatria" webpage, specifically, an edited version of what used to be the main page of the English section of my old site in Spanish (2003-2010), where I explained why I shifted focus from antipsychiatric subjects to the most relevant authors on the significance of child abuse:

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. 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.

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. Again, 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.”

Psychiatry and children

Originally this webpage focused on psychiatry, about which I still have a word to say. Alice Miller goes beyond the psychohistorians in this subject since she debunks the lies of the mental health professions. Miller’s work is far more sympathetic to the child’s cause than other child advocates.

The fact is that some parents and physicians are giving adolescents and children a variety of psychiatric drugs to control them. Some of these legal drugs are as dangerous as the street drugs. Incredible as it may seem, psychiatry is the only pseudoscience with political power today. However, I disagree with Tom Szasz and Peter Breggin’s epigones. The devastating consequences of child abuse is a subject that they largely ignore, as can be seen in my essay “Critics of Psychiatry: Blindness in the Midst of Vision.”

On the other hand, I pull no punches on Scientology: a religious organization that purports to expose psychiatry from L. Ron Hubbard’s viewpoint. As can be seen in the Spanish section of this site, I wrote an essay to show that Hubbard’s tenets are as crazy as psychiatry itself.

Here I also include a translation of my original contribution to the debunking of biological psychiatry. The article demonstrates that biopsychiatry does not fulfill Karl Popper’s criterion for hard sciences; that is to say, psychiatry is not a genuine medical specialty.

P.S. for this blog

In Mad in America Robert Whitaker exposes the unbelievable level of abuse that many young Americans suffered from established psychiatric practices in the first half of the 20th century—the lobotomy of sane, though rebellious children, the most notorious of all.

Sane psychiatric victims aside, if we take into consideration that mental disorders are caused by parental abuse this makes me think about a whole universe of squared martyrdom; that is, a martyrdom multiplied by itself: adolescents martyred by their parents are in turn martyred by the shrinks!

However, with the probable exception of Alice Miller this subject has been completely outside the realm of scholarly discourse, even in the mental health professions. In my book Whispering Leaves, most of which is untranslated, I try to explain this "forbidden knowledge."

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