Sunday, February 26, 2012

More Nonsense in "Science"

I promise never to write about nonsense again but this piece is on the current cover of The Science Section of the N.Y. Times. And I cannot believe what I am reading; as if all late science in our field has been ignored and some video game has replaced it. And this is literal; they are discussing a video app that was promoted by a shrink from Columbia University, given an approval by a shrink from Harvard, and of course, finds its way into Science because serious honchos approve of it. It makes me sick.

OK so what is “it?” “It “ is a new app that proposes to take away anxiety and eliminates therapy with a human, altogether; rationalized that most people cannot afford it. “It” is something developed by C. Macleod of the University of W. Australia who believes that those who are anxious are exhibiting an extreme form of shyness. These people, he claims, fixate on hostile faces in the environment. And then in some kind of rationale which I truly cannot understand they do away with anxiety by focusing on neutral faces shown on the screen. Basically you are conditioning the brain to avoid the “bad apples.” To try to get rid of the bad choices the brain is making. That naughty brain. I hesitate to ask where the science is in all this? You need to keep on doing it and then they get good results.

I don’t know where to begin; such faulty logic. Anxiety is just a bad habit that needs to be changed. No idea what it is or where it comes from. And then to take one narrow behavior and change it in order to rid the person of anxiety is small minded in the extreme. What they do is condition the brain to avoid reality and look somewhere else. First of all, the brain is not naughty; it is trying to survive and develops strategies to do just that. The brain should look like that; it is flush with pain and terror. This is not different from what my mother did when I was a kid and started to cry. She started distracting me: “look at this. See how the doll cries,” blah blah. And I did stop crying. Is that cure? Have these people despaired of getting to causes? To generating sources?.... and so devise ephemeral devices?

I could go on, but Benedict Carey, whom I have sent articles, never acknowledged, manages to give this a big space. Why with this nonsense? But it doesn’t change anything; doesn’t require any radical adjustment, and does not require any science, except pseudo-science where they show that after many trials of looking away there is less anxiety. This is ”confirmed” in their studies; so much for statistical truths. Beware! It is as if anxiety is just a psychologic ploy with no physiologic concomitants. No body and no inner suffering. Obviously, these people in their head have never suffered prolonged anxiety; otherwise they could never come to these conclusions. Oh but wait! I forgot! They are marketing the apps.

They have a name for it; and anytime that this happens I get suspicious, as though that will make it scientific; give it a certain cachet or patina that makes shrinks everywhere acclaim it is wonderful. But of course we are asking the choir, those intellectual/s who left their feelings behind in graduate school. Intellectual ploys are all the rage for them because feelings can be avoided altogether. Oh yes, it is called Cognitive Bias Modification; or changing how you see things. If you say it in fancy patois it seems so serious and scientific. If you say it in everyday language it loses something in the translation. Whatever. It all makes me sick because it makes our field a laughing stock, bereft of any science except what they concoct that looks like science but is just the manipulation of statistics. Here the “right” people are promoting it so it becomes unassailable. How do you get to be the “right” people? Flee to your head.


  1. Why honchos/hotshots do not need any “whys”?

    The health sector, including the pharmaceutical industry have by the name of science, “legally” committed an immense number of suffering to make money of the consequences of human pain.

    You often ask where are the “why” even if you know, you never will get any answer! The question “why” is part of and connected to the human pain. Every hope and every short-term solution, desperately to kill the pain will be accepted and paid for even if they are no cures. In the scientific world, the adaptability has an economic sign. Political and economic power, propelled by pain, decides what is scientifically acceptable.

    In order to change this picture, you have to be a good person and to succeed you have to use evil methods. We should need an independent person like Steve Jobs to establish PT!

    Jan Johnsson

  2. "How do you get to be the “right” people?

    Flee to your head."

    I guess that's one way Dr. Janov. I suspect another would be to STOP CARING so much. Park that silly notion of yours (the one about a long-term, curative, historic – hahahaha - approach to therapy or some such nonsense) to one side, and sidle up with the boys - it's ok to be compassionate once in a while but not all the time surely - that's just boring! You need to lighten up a little, have a laugh, kick off your shoes and......., er, create an app?

    But seriously, you have found the answer and your pioneering genius poses a threat on so many levels. Suffering and anguish continues because not enough big wigs really care enough to try and make real inroads. Their histories won’t allow them such strength, their fear and pain dictate and so they can’t, they don’t, they won’t. It’s really tragic.

    1. So true! "their fear and pain dictate and so they can't".

      This is it.

      This is the point that needs to be amplified. There is no intellectual reason why Primal theory hasn't gone mainstream yet. The reason is emotional: a (tragic) corollary of Primal theory is that the theory itself CANNOT go mainstream. Why? Because pain won't allow it to.

    2. It's not them I care about at all; it is that they stand in the way of hurting people from getting well, from shaking off years of suffering. That is the tragedy. art

    3. To fumble in the dark may be OK, but why fumble in open daylight?

      People pay for “quick fixes” to get rid of their pain, anxiety and other illnesses to keep their jobs which provide shelter food and resoursces to keep their life going. People by their quick fixes of people, be they hotshots or underlings, with the same pain, but in a situation which temporary is better and / or more lucky. We have a tendency, like many politicians, to divide people into bad or good, insiders or outsiders, right or left wing to identify the evil adversary, instead of asking this revealing word “why”.

      Why are the Primal values not accepted and allowed at a higher degree? Has anybody ever made a thorough analysis to find out why? And from there create, present the values which will take PT (or IRT...) past the painpropelled emotional arguments! More scientific arguments are needed to evaluate the complete conditions of the entire primal process! Not just part of the medical conditions.

      Jan Johnsson

    4. Dr. Janov - you said in one of your books something to the effect that the neurotic will choose the therapy that fits his neurosis. I agree with you. Your books are out there. Why did I pick them up but some other "poor suffering" soul did not? You already answer that question in your books. Anti-depressants, CBT etc are so popular not just because they are being aggressively promoted by mainstream clinicians but mainly because the suffering masses just want quick fixes. I have tried to explain primal theory to friends who think the world of me, who consider me to be highly intelligent, who value my opinions in general. Yet when I explain primal theory, they resist. I can sense it. They will smile and nod and dutifully mumble "oh that's fascinating" but then they go right back to their sorry neurotic lives. They want to forget, not remember what a nightmare their childhood was. They want to forget how much they hate themselves, how hopeless they feel, how afraid ...

      We can't save people from themselves. People have to want to save themselves. And I don't think it is mainstream psychology that is standing in the way of saving them. It is the sufferer himself and his fear of his own pain that stands in the way.


    5. Maya: How do you get people to want to get well? You say people have to want to; but the trick is how do you manage to get them to want to? Isn't that part of the problem? art

    6. Dr Janov - I guess what I'm saying is that it is A. very difficult, and B. essentially neurotic, to try to "make somebody want to get well". PS: This is not my original idea, but something I found in a book called The Primal Revolution :-) [which, btw, in my favorite book written by you so far]

      I do believe primal theory predicts its own limited appeal. Why, for eg, in the story of The Emperor's New Clothes, there is only one kid who says "but the emperor has no clothes!" ? Why weren't there even two kids, let alone a whole band of kids? Primal theory can answer that easily. Once a neurotic system is in place, only those who are truly outside it can see it for what it is. Reminds me of a cartoon in which two aliens are watching earth from outer space, and one says to the other "So far as I can see, they seem to be fighting over whose religion is more peaceful". Clearly, earthlings have been taken over by a mass delusion which is easily detectable by the aliens. As I write this, your own brilliant online book "Grand Delusions" come to mind. Why did you use that title? Because you are calling out these therapies for what they are: delusions. Insanity being seen as a cure for insanity, and that is possible only in an insane world, and, perhaps that is all that is possible in an insane world. :-)

      If primal theory is revolutionary, well, by definition 1. the establishment will fight the revolutionary idea with all its might, and 2. it will take indescribable levels of mass suffering before the revolution has any chance of taking off.


    7. Maya: Very well seen, indeed, and I think that in my case and in many of you it is because I lived in a zoo, and for survival I had to live outside the family and their values and interests, which were none. But the start was not being able to integrate into my family at all what with a mentally ill mother and a distant tyrannical father, so I remained outside and saw them for what they were, much later. art

    8. Maya, you're right on! You can not force a cure.

      you mean well, but it appears to me that maybe at times, you employ techniques to force feelings up. It might work for a time, but sooner or later, the patient is going to take a stand and buck or resist. Its a failure waiting to happen. Most do not want to find that internal "truth." That is, as Maya pointed out, why PT is doomed to never be mainstream. Mainstream is neurosis in action. It does not want to see or find anything. It just wants to justify itself.

    9. Dr. Janov - Thank you for sharing this. I'm very touched and honoured. I also feel that I can relate. I sometimes ponder what imprints unite us primal folks .... and I suspect that an imprint of alienation from our families may be a common thread, since primal theory is in some sense the Reject, the Outcast. In my case, well, I was an abortion survivor, and my mother's rejection continued after birth, and my father was tyrannical and controlling. So I carry within me a sense of being stuck on the wrong planet, in a hostile misguided world that doesn't want me, doesn't see me as valuable, and in turn, I've learnt to reject the whole world. I have not yet unrepressed any pain before my toddler years so this is really only an intellectual insight -- useful to have, no doubt, but not curative. Maya

  3. Dr. Janov,
    Sounds like the old Masters of manipulation with a congregation crying AMEN!.
    I think they lean on the old combination of diverting (distracting) confronting (Fritz Perls-Gestalt) and flooding, forcefully confronting the anxious to see “reality”.

    Definition: “Flooding is a form of behavior therapy and based on the principles of respondent conditioning. It is sometimes referred to as exposure therapy or prolonged exposure therapy. As a psychotherapeutic technique, it is used to treat phobia and anxiety disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder.”
    The diverting method is about persuading- disregard your feeling and stick with reality - stay in the here and now and learn to behave – appear pleasant in your environment – be mindful to others.
    The mixture of all these methods lead to blaming the anxious: “if it does not work, it is your fault”.
    I call it cognitive manipulation. There is no healing of the original imprint, but good money for the therapist; the client need to come back every week for new instructions and to be trained again in focusing and confronting.
    I had plenty of this mind-manipulating therapy. It didn’t work, no matter how hard I tried, I could not override my anxiety.

  4. How about renaming PT as 'IRT' (Imprint Removal Therapy), that cures the condition IDB (Imprint Directed Behaviour). You'd be straight into the next DSM classification of disorders.

    Just so my posting has something to contribute, had you seen that 11,000 psychologists have signed a petition objecting to the latest DSM5's crazy expansion of disorders? Please remain a renegade, Art. It suits you better.

    1. Tony: thanks and I will. I have no choice; it is my imprint art

    2. The whole DSM is a pharmacists charter. This documentry blows the whole shebang out of the water.

  5. Hi Art & All,

    -"“It” is something developed by C. Macleod of the University of W. Australia who believes that those who are anxious are exhibiting an extreme form of shyness. These people, he claims, fixate on hostile faces in the environment. And then in some kind of rationale which I truly cannot understand they do away with anxiety by focusing on neutral faces shown on the screen. Basically you are conditioning the brain to avoid the “bad apples.”

    Ok, look check out Sylvia Brinton Pereras' "The Scapegoat Complex".

    Having slagged off Jungian Analysis I now ask you all to look at this Gem because Jung has some value, don't deny the recurrence of eternal symbols, you can learn from them.

    In this gem she delineates the CBM (Cognitive Bias Modification) of our neurosis in the Judeo / Christian dichotomy.

    Please you all, read this one, order it from Amazon.

    She also wrote "Descent to the Goddess" for women (and their men too).

    Check it out. Find out how it leads to the centre. But you need a Primal Centre for it to make sense.

    Paul G.

    1. Paul: You're so sure of yourself; are you certain there are eternal symbols? And are you sure we can learn from them? It scares me when you so sure that you order us not to deny something. I hope you will give me permission to deny.....just a wee bit. art

    2. Did'nt Jung just sit there every day and listen to distressed and upset people telling of sexual abuse, trauma, manipulation etc etc. Therefore he would have heard many tales of the minds dealing with phallic symbols or canverns or what ever. If he heard so many it's no wonder he came up with symbols and the collective unconcious. Symbols are useful ways of avoiding the truth.

    3. Planespotter: All the early analysts considered tales of sexual abuse a phantasy. art

    4. Hi Dr Janov

      Yes I agree and therefore they had to develop symbols etc to deny the victims hurt, except perhaps Freud in his very early career before 1896 when I understand that he believed that all mental illness was created by denied sexual abuse. The trouble was that he probably could'nt live with the rejection by him of most of society so developed the Drive theories.

  6. 1st Art,
    It is not an intellectual ploy. It is a lie crafted to deceive and deny what the person seeks. Call it psychiatric or psychological junk food. It does not employ the intellect in any way. It appeals to people who want an easy way out and do not want real solutions and answers. That is the opposite of “intellectual.” Maybe you could define intellectual for me so that I know exactly what you are referring to, since we seem to possibly have very different understandings of that word.

    It may be called “cognitive,” but that does not mean it improves cognition, awareness, and understanding. You can call something anything you want but that does not mean it is what you say it is. And lets face it Art, you are great for redefining things in very peculiar ways and descriptions, which is why I asked for a clarification in the previous paragraph. Sophist gymnastics do not impress me.

    Would you suggest these “promoters” are sincere or is there another motive, perhaps? I don’t see any possibility but sinister ones, myself. Now you last words were, with sarcasm, no doubt: “Flee to your head.”

    One is not fleeing to their head when they embrace this stuff. They are ignoring good sound thinking, i.e. the intellect. I think the problem is that you do not understand what the intellect truly represents and is capable of and since you are a primal feelings hammer, everything looks like a nail. A good intellect would have recognized and avoided this scam.

    1. Apollo: Not sure what to call it; simplistic, left brain intellectual concoctions emanating from a brain totally out of touch with any internal reality. Some one who has no inner life, no ability to reflect and put himself in question; someone wearing blinders who sees nothing of the world and his patients but his own projections. A small mind hiding behind an advanced degree who relies on it rather than real intelligence to get him through. A man with no self doubt, fixated on his own ideas irrespective if they have any basis in reality. A dangerous man because of all that; who can never help anyone. Art

    2. Yes, those early analysts were paid liars and nothing has changed to this day. the mainstream are still paid liars and intellectual whores who go to the highest bidder. Money controls our world.

      Well, as I see it, Art, and I do know what you refer to, the stem/core/1st level is hi-jacking the intellect. It is sabotaging intellectual function. You have been reluctant to accept this understanding. These pseudo intellectuals you refer to are dishonest, self-justifying sophists. Sophists do not believe right or wrong is important. It is who argues best. They ruined Greece. But against solid sound reasoning, sophists do not have a snowball’s chance in hell.

      The advanced degree you speak of is what is known as authoritarianism. Preachers were great for using it. “You should listen to me because I am an authority and you are not.” “ I have a degree and you could not possibly know what I know as a result.” Weak minds actually go for that stuff.

      But you and I are not responsible for the dub masses who fall for this stuff all the time, nor of those that promote it. We can expose them and promote more sound reasoning. Its all in the reasoning, Art. If its junk, it can be easily exposed. If there are no words to refute it, then we might want reconsider it. Lies can not overcome truth in people who want truth. Lies only appeal to those who like to be deceived. Let them be deceived if they insist.

    3. To Appollo - on being intellectual

      According to the Australian website Gifted & Creative Services Australia, intellectually gifted adults often share many of the following set of characteristics:

      Perfectionistic and sets high standards for self and others
      Has strong moral convictions
      Is highly sensitive, perceptive or insightful
      Fascinated by words or an avid reader
      Feels out-of-sync with others
      Is very curious
      Has an unusual sense of humour
      A good problem solver
      Has a vivid and rich imagination
      Questions rules or authority
      Has unusual ideas or connects seemingly unrelated ideas
      Thrives on challenge
      Learns new things rapidly
      Has a good long-term memory
      Feels overwhelmed by many interests and abilities
      Is very compassionate
      Feels outrage at moral breaches that the rest of the world seems to take for granted
      Has passionate, intense feelings
      Has a great deal of energy
      Can't switch off thinking
      Feels driven by creativity
      Loves ideas and ardent discussion
      Needs periods of contemplation
      Searches for ???? in their life
      Feels a sense of alienation and loneliness
      Is very perceptive
      Feels out of step with others

    4. That is very Good, Anonymous. The Australian site was dead on except for one minor category.
      Feels a sense of alienation and loneliness.

      He feels alienation, for sure. Or at least a fair amount of isolation. That is the way some people in high places want it. Got no problem with that. Loneliness? NO! Nor would I change the alienation if it met compromise with the maggots.

      The first study and published book in gifted children here in the USA was “A Gifted Child,” edited by Paul Witty and based on studies done at Stanford U. Many more have followed since. Gifted children are a fascinating study. Studying problems is important but so is studying success. It takes both.

      I might point out that Art’s 26 part series on hypnosis indicates that the best defense against hypnosis attempts is a good strong effective intellect. I never leave home without it.

      I have heard this statement before. It takes one to really know one.

  7. Oh my God (literally if needs be)!
    What with people always looking for a quick fix, and now actual medical people promoting the very quick buck, this surely does not bode well.
    And further, where will it go from here?
    What will be next should this crazy and dangerous sounding train take off? We should all shudder to think.

  8. Wow.

    "Anxiety? There's an app for that."

    Ok, they're not Apple but still.

    Art, you mentioned you've sent articles to this Benedict Carey. I'm just curious about papers you've sent to peer-reviewed science mags in general; how many have you tried to get published, and have they published any? I remember you mentioning only one article that got published, the mag had something to do with pre-natal or perinatal care or something.

    There should be a way to make more people in those purely intellectual circles aware of what you are doing. Now people can just say "Primal therapy? Art Janov? How many peer-reviewed articles has he published?" and brush it off. So they can go on thinking they don't have a huge load of pain inside them that has to be felt in order for the therapy to be truly curative.


    1. Antti: I have sent Carey articles over the years. I don't remember which but if you read Life Before Birth there are over 200 scientific references in it, as well as in Primal Healing. Last year I published in a peer reviewed journal. And there are several scientific pieces in peer reviewed journals, as well, including work by E. Hoffman and L. Goldstein, going back to the first one done by the UCLA Brain Research Lab. art

  9. Aarrgh! My ears have gone red!

    I'm not sure of anything since getting onto your blog Art,

    Except when I'm feeling my pains, those I am sure of. Inside I am a frightened little boy trying to be grown up on the outside, understanding and clever. It's a front I'm afraid to admit.

    'The bad apples'. Trying so hard not to be one of those.

    Paul G.

    1. You are not the only frightened little Boy Paul. Why do these people think this is such good science. They are the mad ones.

    2. Feel you pain paul... it is the little despairing boy you trying to grow away from... stay there.

      Yours Frank,

  10. Hi all,

    Actually, I hope you can forgive me for this; (due to an horrendous crisis at that time, now passed thankfully) I got rather drunk before I wrote that post about the 'Scapegoat Complex'. Strange how alcohol 'inflates' certain parts but diminishes others.

    An act of desperation.

    Nevertheless I have a serious point to contribute. My point was that in some Jungians' analysis there is more than a grain of truth. I feel in the case of the scapegoat complex outlined by Perera. She has something to offer.

    In the book she talks about 'splitting' and the supportive methods needed to bring the 'split off' parts back into unity.

    She mentions pain several times but does not describe how the poor patients handle it or what it actually looks like, feels like. In this there is yet again the problem of how to use words to describe feelings. You can't really can you? Not easily anyway.

    As far as I can see Pereras' description of the complex and remedies are pretty well spot on. Except for one thing: The Primal Context. The original primal source. My drunken ranting was trying to express this but merely exposed my desperate inflation.

    Also in her book is a reference to a Sufi story called "The Wayward Princess". it's on page 106. It's such a good story and so full of the truth about our 'collective' Human condition I feel other readers might appreciate it. I could transcribe it onto this blog, it's not long. Probably 2 blog entries worth.

    Shall I?

    Paul G.

  11. Dr. Janov

    Another point about those ‘attracted’ to your Primal Therapy.

    You say (I think in The Janov Solution) that most patients who come for therapy are parasympaths. If your message gets through to mainly people whose trauma produce this prototype, then it seems you are talking to a minority of the population. I think I myself am a parasympath (starting treatment this summer). I’ve read about highly-sensitive people as described by Dr. Elaine Aron (and I can identify myself in this group). She says that 15-20% of humans are highly-sensitive (‘sensitive’ nervous system, notice subtleties in their environment, they ‘pause to check’ situations before rushing in.... more prone to depression and anxiety in adulthood if they don’t have happy childhoods (parasympaths?) - pre and peri-natal isn’t addressed, but for the purpose of this blog that’s a given in affecting personality/ways of being. Tests have shown that this 15-20% exists in most higher animals. In one study a trap was placed into the middle of a pond full of pumpkinseed fish attracting the majority, who swam into it, with 15% or so not entering the trap. Another example is of deer in a forest where most run into a clearing to get fresh grass (sympaths?) and again 15% or so remaining cautiously behind. An advantageous strategy sometimes (the ‘bold’ deer get to eat well in that situation) and not at others (what if there are hunters about?).

    Perhaps people to whom your Primal Therapy ‘speaks’ are within this group, propelled (by their imprints?) towards your therapy because A, they’re more aware of being in a lot of pain and B, they’re the pumpkinseed fish who are less likely to swim into the trap (of, for example, cognitive behaviour – or at least they are more able to recognise when they feel manipulated and they seek out healthier answers). They’re cautious, less easily fooled, less likely to follow the crowd, they tend to question, hold back and wait until they find the safest, most beneficial, smartest ( :) I’m biased) way to proceed: your Primal Therapy. JL

    I hope that the treatment on your throat is going well for you.

    1. Anonymous: My first stem cell therapy begins in texas march 19 and then every week another 200,000.000 mesenchymal cells until we reach 700.000.000 cells.After that I hope to be OK. but we will see. art

  12. Ok,

    'The Wayward Princess'.
    A certain king believed that what he had been taught and what he believed, was right. In many ways he was a just man, but he was one whos' ideas were limited.
    One day he said to his three daughters:
    "All that I have is yours or will be yours. Through me you obtained your life. It is my will which determines your future, and hence determines your fate".
    Dutifully, and quite persuaded of the truth of of this, two of the girls agreed.
    The third daughter however, said:
    "Although my position demands that I be obedient to the laws, I cannot believe that my fate must always be determined by your opinions".
    "We shall see about that", said the king.
    He ordered her to be imprisoned in a small cell, where she languished for years. Meanwhile the king and his obedient daughters spent freely on the wealth which would otherwise have been expended on her.
    The king said to himself:
    "This girl lies in prison not by her own will, but by mine. This proves, sufficiently for any logical mind, that it is my will, not hers which is determining her fate".

    The people of the country, hearing of their princess' situation, said to one another:
    "She must have done or said something very wrong for a monarch, with whom we find no fault, to treat his own flesh and blood so".
    For they had not arrived at the point where they felt the need to dispute the kings' assumption of rightness in everything.
    From time to time the king visited the girl. Although she was pale and weakened from her imprisonment, she refused to change her attitude.
    Finally the kings patience came to an end.
    "Your continued defiance", he said to her, "will only annoy me further, and seem to weaken my rights, if you stay within my realms. I could kill you; but I am merciful. I therefore banish you into the wilderness adjoining my territory. This is a wilderness, inhabited only by wild beasts and such eccentric outcasts who cannot survive in our rational society. There you will soon discover whether you can have an existence apart from that of your family; and, if you can, whether you prefer it to ours".

  13. Hi,

    The Wayward Princess, Part 2:

    Part 2:
    His decree was at once obeyed, and she was conveyed to the borders of the kingdom. The princess found herself set loose in a wild land which bore little resemblance to the sheltered surroundings of her upbringing. But she soon learned that a cave would serve for a house, that nuts and fruit came from trees as well as from golden plates, that warmth came from the Sun. This wilderness had a climate and a way of existing of its’ own.
    After some time she had so ordered her life that she had water from s[prings, vegetables from the earth, fire from a smouldering tree.
    “Here”, she said to herself, “is a life whose elements belong together, form a completeness, yet neither individually nor collectively do they obey the commands of my father the king”.
    One day a lost traveller- as it happened a man of great riches and ingenuity- came apon the exiled princess, fell in love with her, and took her back to his own country, where they were married.
    After a space of time, the two decided to return to the wilderness where they built a huge and prosperous city where their wisdom, resources and faith were expressed to their fullest possible extent. The “eccentrics” and other outcasts, many of them thought to be madmen, harmonized completely and usefully with this many – sided life.
    The city and its’ surrounding countryside became renowned throughout the entire world. It was not long before its’ power and beauty far outshone that of the realm of the princess’ father.
    By the unanimous choice of the inhabitants, the princess and her husband were elected to the joint monarchy of this new and ideal kingdom.
    At length the king decided to visit the strange and mysterious place which had sprung up in a wilderness, and which was, he heard, peopled in part by those whom he despised.
    As, with bowed head, he slowly approached the foot of the throne upon which the young couple sat and raised his eyes to meet those whose repute of justice, prosperity and understanding far exceeded his own, he was able to catch the murmured words of his daughter:
    “You see, Father, every man and woman has his own fate and his own choice”.


  14. > "the suffering masses just want quick fixes."

    Why? Surely they would try other ways if they were encouraged to .

    The problem is, they weren't.

    When their problems first surfaced they were told to "get over it" or be "seen and not heard" and so on. Maybe their cries for attention were ignored. Or they were beaten into silence.

    Young boys are taught around age 5 to stuff certain feelings (sadness, pain, helplessness, etc)...which they do. Why? Because they are no longer held or comforted if they cry or act upset or withdrawn. Instead, they get love and attention when they act like they need neither.

    Ergo, they learn love is conditional. That they have to now "earn" love. So they do.

    As time goes by they feel less and less, yet occasionally succumb to "humanness." Then. like army doctors, society tries to get the wounded healed as quickly as possible. Why? The better to get them back to being robotic cannon fodder, corporate drones, relationship "providers and protectors."

    Quick fixes are sought because the wounded need to keep performing to get love (or at least lessen the pain of not being loved).

    Who in our "fast-paced, multi-tasking" workaday world can take the time, energy, and care to heal properly? That goes against what most folks experienced in their lives. Modern times don't allow it. Time is money after all. And what is love compared to money?

    Plus, folks can hardly be expected to eagerly seek long periods feeling feelings they were forced to stuff their entire lives. It'd feel like waking up one night as an adult and finding monsters really DO lurk under the bed!


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.