Sunday, November 27, 2011

What Did You Do in the War Daddy?



  1. when i was a kid i thought about being a crew member for the German-built Pacific Princess, also known as "The Love Boat" (not shown above). for some strange reason, despite the global recession, cruise ships are exploding in popularity, and this trend is expected to continue until the next world war, which is only a few years away according to Gerald Celente.

  2. Watching a documentary about World War II what most surprises me is the courage
    and will that had the soldiers in this time.I doubt that today could be mobilize people that way. Which makes me think that maybe it's because my generation is the one that has had the worst method of birth. People think it's because morally in the 21st century are better but I think it's because we are weaker.

  3. What my daddy did during the war: Well! at 40, he was all 'gung-ho' to go off to war and be patriotic until he got into the barracks; then he freaked at the nature of training people to be soldiers and faked mental illness to get out which he succeeded in doing. Then during the Thatcher years and the war to keep the Malivas (Falkland) Islands
    British; cheered Thatcher and her war effort.

    That same daddy argued with my bother that one should be obedient to all authority. To which my brother suggested that if ordered to turn on the gas in the gas chamber you obediently comply. Daddy hesitated for a moment then stuttered " Y ..,. y ,,, yes.

    My brother retorted; walking away "You dirty bastard."

    "damn" in my childhood was a dirty word; likely to get you punished.


  4. Uhm.. what is the point of this blog?

    1. The point is: Primal Pain [ unresolved pain and or imprints does not end with childhood ]. Traumatic events as adults can and does result in neurosis. Now called PTSD. As a US MARINE I was very severely injured in Vietnam. I am unable to " FEEL IT ". For one thing many metal fragments are imbedded in my body. I lost my right kidney and most of my liver and for sure thought I was dying. They put me in the hospital ship`s morgue while I waited for surgery. Many seriously wounded solders and Marines came BEFORE me. They wrote me off as a goner. But I think being refrigerated saved my life. ...Oscar

    2. Oscar: Wow, How are you now? Art.

  5. Hi,

    As an 8 to 15 yr old I was deeply fixated with the technology of WW2. I bought and made most of the Airfix models. I still obsess about Spitfires (all 24 marks) and Lancasters and those battleships.

    I seem to be in a strange recurrence from that time when my parents were living in the south of England as children and seeing it all happen with that technology.

    I reckon I have inherited their sub-conscious survivors' guilt because they were 'privileged' non-combatants in a war zone.

    Though I now know no 'belief system' will ever stop war on planet Earth I still harbour the sincere hope that we Humans will one day be able to truly beat "Swords into Plough-Shears" and reverse the march of industrialised mutual self destruction.

    Paul G.

  6. To just look the picture gets a little boy... big or small… to “feel” what power there is in the ship's "charisma"... a defense against never existed defense.


  7. Anonymous: Just to show the ship I was on. art

    1. Dear Art, I am a bigtime fan of you. Went through Primal Therapy at The Austin Institute because your Center was booked up for 6 years. So what ship did you serve on ? ...Oscar

    2. Dear Art, Thank you for your response. Your WWII war service is another reason for my admiration of and for you. I very much regret not having your PRIMAL center available to me. The Austin Institute tried, but the results were less than hoped for by me. I did meet some of your former patients whose names I will not disclose. We did the best we could with what we called " co-counciling ". I had a few good and healing PRIMALS, but the rest was what you call " abreactions ". Phony primals that did not heal. Thank you for responding. ...Oscar

  8. What did you do on the ship, Art? What were your duties? Did you see any "action"?

    My father handled "fire control" for the guns on the battleship USS Iowa (BB61).

    Before that, he was on the carrier USS Hornet...when Doolittle raided Tokyo. He was on it, too, when it sank in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands.

    I loved wearing his sailor caps and similar nautical items as a kid. Like all children I wanted to be like my father...and get his "validation." He was too reserved to offer it.

    He rarely spoke of his own childhood or military service. I only learned recently that he was trapped below decks when the Hornet was hit and only escaped death at the last minute when someone figured they could crawl out via communication-wire "tunnels." He wrote that for my cousin, though, not me.

    I think I scare my father. He associates me with his poorly-treated (by "experts") bipolar mother. She, like me, was "emotional." She was the firebrand Irish-Italian wife to balance his hyper-reserved English background. It probably broke his soul when she got "sick" and didn't respond well to endless electroshock, Thorazine, etc. treatments. She always said she'd die at 60...and did. I felt relieved. It would have been sheer hell if my father had died first.

    Of course, it didn't help that we 3 kids were left in her care. (At age 4 my sister had my father's work number to call when "Ma" started acting crazy.)

    We kids never got help from therapists. In those days, kids were neither seen nor heard. The kicker was having no relatives nearby. There were no aunts or uncles or others to hold, comfort, guide, or tell us we were loved. And not responsible for our mother's illness. So, of course, we felt responsible for her pain. And that our needs mattered not a jot.

    There are internal "wars" that rage, too, no?

    Anyway, how many sons suffered when their WWII fathers, socialized to be "strong, silent types," failed to share their lives and feelings? How many sons suffered when their war-damaged dads clammed up?

    All I ever wanted was for my father to pat me on the head and tell me he loved me. I was such an eager puppy! I needed so little...which would have meant so much.

    Now? My father is 89, in assisted-living out-of-state, and even less likely to reach out. I've more or less given up contacting him. It's the same a one-way, me-caring-for-him dynamic I've known all my life.

    People tell me to "get over" my need for needing him. They say I should feel sorry for the "old man." But how? How can I note his needs and not my own?

    Sadness reminds me what I needed...and never got.

  9. chyron, long ago it was morally sound for one country to invade another so long as certain ethical rules were adhered to. "conquering" was considered a birth right; a natural god-given instinct. anyone could do it for any reason. innocent men, women, boys, girls and babies had their arms and legs torn off while they ate breakfast. my nephew grew up on combat video games. for years he dreamed of joining the new zealand army. when he was seven he accused me of being "too weak to be a member of his family" because i refused to jump off a platform (painful landing). we were very good friends most of the time, but he was repulsed by my lack of bravery. in his early teens i asked him to imagine what it would be like to be wounded and close your eyes and never open them EVER again. he said "it won't happen. most people don't get killed in the army". i said there are always SOME people who get killed. i said to him, if you were lying there, dying at a very young age, at that very moment, would you regret your decision to join the army? he thought long and hard, and then he abandoned his dream of being the bravest soldier in the world. i never said he should stay away from the army. i just encouraged him to imagine something he had NEVER thought about. i didn't mention the secret initiation rituals that many new soldiers must suffer. for many years in america, new soldiers had their genitals painted with a substance that burns into the skin and often caused permanent damage. finally some weakling blew the whistle and the higher ranks could no longer turn a blind eye. you can watch the documentary if you like.
    early in the war on iraq, three american soldiers ignored sensible advice as they ran off into enemy territory to save their buddy. they were told it would be certain death, and most probably torture for all three of them. they were absolutely ecstatic as they shouted at the TV camera "HE WOULD DO THE SAME FOR US!!" they were so excited...absolutely fearless. brave? i would say fearless. all three of them were never seen again. there is a documentary on that too. did they die for their country? for their buddy? or to show off their bravery? or a combination of all those things? is the modern world lacking that kind of bravery? is the modern world lacking imagination?
    we should keep importing foreigners into our countries. as cultures blend and diffuse, there are temporary teething problems, but the long term result is more interpersonal understanding and harmony.
    in my opinion, hippies are braver than soldiers.

  10. Art: It must have been hideous knowing a u-boat could wipe you out at any time. No ability to relax in safety - ever?

  11. Frank: that ship was a pretty big defense. art

  12. Trevor: was a signalman and a 20MM machine gunner. All of the guys in my gun mount next to the big 14 inch guns went partially deaf in the same ear. Those guns moved the ship about 12 feet every time they fired. My ship saw more battles than any other ship in the fleet. We were all decorated. I got off after 6 battles from the Aleutians to the south Pacific. By the way, we do not ever get over our needs. your life sounds like so many other kids with fathers like that. alas, that is postwar life. art

  13. My grandfather was classed as an engineer in WW2 and had to fix tanks and things in incredibly dangerous situations.

    It's interesting that when he came home and had a family he would work on cars (as a professional mechanic) until very late at night, and although he was apparently exceptionally good at his work he did not charge much money.

    Maybe he was stuck in his past? Still "working on the tanks"? The war also turned him into an alcoholic, and my grandmother knew that something was wrong when he said to his fighting sons something along the lines of: "you go to it....god I hate peace".

    He aged rapidly (physically) and died in his mid-70's.

    I for one am glad I will never have to attend a war.

  14. Andrew: War is not only hell, it is dumb. Art.

  15. yes it is dumb. the hired killer is not trying to balance the nations. he is trying to balance his own mind. the hirer uses methods to increase the imbalance in the killer and the nations. it is the workings of a cult. it is crazy and pointless.

  16. I think it was Lloyd deMause who is quoted as saying that a countries child rearing affects it's foreign policy. Look at Afganistan. Many many children are bound from head to foot after birth. Just then is'nt the orbito frontal cortex is developing and so why should a human being like that have empathy for anyone else when no-one has empathy for him or her. Then add beatings and a child grows up into a man who only understands violence and projects his hatred of his Parents onto other groups. Add to this Mothers who also beat their children and such female violence is still taboo in many countries and we have a country which cannot get itself out of poverty or a cycle of violence. Alice Miller's "For your own Good" is an amazing book about the source of violence in our society. Look at the number of Politicians who win at the ballot box and then having "vanquished" thier foes (ie opposition parties) have to look for another fight and what better than a good war. In the UK Thatcher did it, Blair did it and Cameron has done it. People would argue they are just wars but most as a direct result of our country supporting the Despots we finally had to defeat. And that's not even touching on Hitler and how millions of other German children were treated at the beginning of the 20th Century. Bound and hung on hooks in the house and called "Shit Eaters" and worse. No wonder it did'nt take much for a little man with a Moustache to get them to plunge the world into war.

  17. Art: Ah, the topic of war. How strange to think of introducing you to my father at your play "Scream." The other weird thing "at least for me" was the fact that it was probable that you and he were both patrolling in the same convoy up to the Aleutians and Dutch Harbor during World War II. He as an M.D. on a destroyer. My life revolved around trying to match up to him which of course was futile. I even went to Vietnam as a Marine corpsman to seek his approval and love.
    War, what is it good for? (I think of Elaine in Seinfeld here) as the original title of War and Peace? So was WWII the good, just war if such a thing can be? Our violent origins of evolution explaining our never-ending infliction of violence on each other? In a "real" world we would not of course. But in the sick neurotic world that we actually do live in we have to defend ourselves from the psychopaths of the world. Who will do this as we hopefully evolve with kinder better natures? My anger at the world (actually my parents, school and all oppressiveness) brought me to being a medic in Vietnam. At the end of my time there I was a broken, malnourished and heavily traumatized 20 year old. Yes, Art, "combat neurosis," can be identified as a separate dysfunction of the brain which is rightfully named post traumatic stress. You asked me this years ago when I came from behind the camera to do my "dialectic." I still have this on tape. My life has been one of severe depression and anxiety but with therapy, I have somewhat normalized (whatever normal is?) Again I chuckle at these statements we all quoted during training. Getting back to the insanity of war. Just before I left my unit, I was on radio watch in the dead of night as my platoon slept. There in front of me next to the jungle growth was a Viet Cong scout with an AK-47 between his knees as he squatted. I froze as I pointed my M-16 and flipped it to automatic. What seemed like an hour but only seconds passed when I realized I didn't fire my weapon. Oh God I must be a coward. I never mentioned it to anyone then. Now in my late 50's I have "felt" this and many other instances of horror.
    My insight from that moment after a primal was: "If I execute/shoot this person, then I will be sicker than I already am." I am so immensely glad I do not carry that with me in life. Somehow, I still had enough of my "real" self to stop. Being a corpsman, I am thankful I was a "caretaker" and though I witnessed horrific events, I can come away from all of this and still respect who I am as a human being. Someday, maybe we all can?


Review of "Beyond Belief"

This thought-provoking and important book shows how people are drawn toward dangerous beliefs.
“Belief can manifest itself in world-changing ways—and did, in some of history’s ugliest moments, from the rise of Adolf Hitler to the Jonestown mass suicide in 1979. Arthur Janov, a renowned psychologist who penned The Primal Scream, fearlessly tackles the subject of why and how strong believers willingly embrace even the most deranged leaders.
Beyond Belief begins with a lucid explanation of belief systems that, writes Janov, “are maps, something to help us navigate through life more effectively.” While belief systems are not presented as inherently bad, the author concentrates not just on why people adopt belief systems, but why “alienated individuals” in particular seek out “belief systems on the fringes.” The result is a book that is both illuminating and sobering. It explores, for example, how a strongly-held belief can lead radical Islamist jihadists to murder others in suicide acts. Janov writes, “I believe if people had more love in this life, they would not be so anxious to end it in favor of some imaginary existence.”
One of the most compelling aspects of Beyond Belief is the author’s liberal use of case studies, most of which are related in the first person by individuals whose lives were dramatically affected by their involvement in cults. These stories offer an exceptional perspective on the manner in which belief systems can take hold and shape one’s experiences. Joan’s tale, for instance, both engaging and disturbing, describes what it was like to join the Hare Krishnas. Even though she left the sect, observing that participants “are stunted in spiritual awareness,” Joan considers returning someday because “there’s a certain protection there.”
Janov’s great insight into cultish leaders is particularly interesting; he believes such people have had childhoods in which they were “rejected and unloved,” because “only unloved people want to become the wise man or woman (although it is usually male) imparting words of wisdom to others.” This is just one reason why Beyond Belief is such a thought-provoking, important book.”
Barry Silverstein, Freelance Writer

Quotes for "Life Before Birth"

“Life Before Birth is a thrilling journey of discovery, a real joy to read. Janov writes like no one else on the human mind—engaging, brilliant, passionate, and honest.
He is the best writer today on what makes us human—he shows us how the mind works, how it goes wrong, and how to put it right . . . He presents a brand-new approach to dealing with depression, emotional pain, anxiety, and addiction.”
Paul Thompson, PhD, Professor of Neurology, UCLA School of Medicine

Art Janov, one of the pioneers of fetal and early infant experiences and future mental health issues, offers a robust vision of how the earliest traumas of life can percolate through the brains, minds and lives of individuals. He focuses on both the shifting tides of brain emotional systems and the life-long consequences that can result, as well as the novel interventions, and clinical understanding, that need to be implemented in order to bring about the brain-mind changes that can restore affective equanimity. The transitions from feelings of persistent affective turmoil to psychological wholeness, requires both an understanding of the brain changes and a therapist that can work with the affective mind at primary-process levels. Life Before Birth, is a manifesto that provides a robust argument for increasing attention to the neuro-mental lives of fetuses and infants, and the widespread ramifications on mental health if we do not. Without an accurate developmental history of troubled minds, coordinated with a recognition of the primal emotional powers of the lowest ancestral regions of the human brain, therapists will be lost in their attempt to restore psychological balance.
Jaak Panksepp, Ph.D.
Bailey Endowed Chair of Animal Well Being Science
Washington State University

Dr. Janov’s essential insight—that our earliest experiences strongly influence later well being—is no longer in doubt. Thanks to advances in neuroscience, immunology, and epigenetics, we can now see some of the mechanisms of action at the heart of these developmental processes. His long-held belief that the brain, human development, and psychological well being need to studied in the context of evolution—from the brainstem up—now lies at the heart of the integration of neuroscience and psychotherapy.
Grounded in these two principles, Dr. Janov continues to explore the lifelong impact of prenatal, birth, and early experiences on our brains and minds. Simultaneously “old school” and revolutionary, he synthesizes traditional psychodynamic theories with cutting-edge science while consistently highlighting the limitations of a strict, “top-down” talking cure. Whether or not you agree with his philosophical assumptions, therapeutic practices, or theoretical conclusions, I promise you an interesting and thought-provoking journey.
Lou Cozolino, PsyD, Professor of Psychology, Pepperdine University

In Life Before Birth Dr. Arthur Janov illuminates the sources of much that happens during life after birth. Lucidly, the pioneer of primal therapy provides the scientific rationale for treatments that take us through our original, non-verbal memories—to essential depths of experience that the superficial cognitive-behavioral modalities currently in fashion cannot possibly touch, let alone transform.
Gabor Maté MD, author of In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction

An expansive analysis! This book attempts to explain the impact of critical developmental windows in the past, implores us to improve the lives of pregnant women in the present, and has implications for understanding our children, ourselves, and our collective future. I’m not sure whether primal therapy works or not, but it certainly deserves systematic testing in well-designed, assessor-blinded, randomized controlled clinical trials.
K.J.S. Anand, MBBS, D. Phil, FAACP, FCCM, FRCPCH, Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Anatomy & Neurobiology, Senior Scholar, Center for Excellence in Faith and Health, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare System

A baby's brain grows more while in the womb than at any time in a child's life. Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script That Rules Our Lives is a valuable guide to creating healthier babies and offers insight into healing our early primal wounds. Dr. Janov integrates the most recent scientific research about prenatal development with the psychobiological reality that these early experiences do cast a long shadow over our entire lifespan. With a wealth of experience and a history of successful psychotherapeutic treatment, Dr. Janov is well positioned to speak with clarity and precision on a topic that remains critically important.
Paula Thomson, PsyD, Associate Professor, California State University, Northridge & Professor Emeritus, York University

"I am enthralled.
Dr. Janov has crafted a compelling and prophetic opus that could rightly dictate
PhD thesis topics for decades to come. Devoid of any "New Age" pseudoscience,
this work never strays from scientific orthodoxy and yet is perfectly accessible and
downright fascinating to any lay person interested in the mysteries of the human psyche."
Dr. Bernard Park, MD, MPH

His new book “Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script that Rules Our Lives” shows that primal therapy, the lower-brain therapeutic method popularized in the 1970’s international bestseller “Primal Scream” and his early work with John Lennon, may help alleviate depression and anxiety disorders, normalize blood pressure and serotonin levels, and improve the functioning of the immune system.
One of the book’s most intriguing theories is that fetal imprinting, an evolutionary strategy to prepare children to cope with life, establishes a permanent set-point in a child's physiology. Baby's born to mothers highly anxious during pregnancy, whether from war, natural disasters, failed marriages, or other stressful life conditions, may thus be prone to mental illness and brain dysfunction later in life. Early traumatic events such as low oxygen at birth, painkillers and antidepressants administered to the mother during pregnancy, poor maternal nutrition, and a lack of parental affection in the first years of life may compound the effect.
In making the case for a brand-new, unified field theory of psychotherapy, Dr. Janov weaves together the evolutionary theories of Jean Baptiste Larmarck, the fetal development studies of Vivette Glover and K.J.S. Anand, and fascinating new research by the psychiatrist Elissa Epel suggesting that telomeres—a region of repetitive DNA critical in predicting life expectancy—may be significantly altered during pregnancy.
After explaining how hormonal and neurologic processes in the womb provide a blueprint for later mental illness and disease, Dr. Janov charts a revolutionary new course for psychotherapy. He provides a sharp critique of cognitive behavioral therapy, psychoanalysis, and other popular “talk therapy” models for treating addiction and mental illness, which he argues do not reach the limbic system and brainstem, where the effects of early trauma are registered in the nervous system.
“Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script that Rules Our Lives” is scheduled to be published by NTI Upstream in October 2011, and has tremendous implications for the future of modern psychology, pediatrics, pregnancy, and women’s health.