Friday, December 30, 2016

My Life: The War Years

I have been telling my wife some stories about my life and she has encouraged me to write about it.  So I will.

I had spent the war in the Aleutians, South Pacific and now I was my on way to Europe. We took a troop ship. We marched down the highway in New York with crowds gathered around, cheering us off.  People rushed up to me to hand me things, mostly beer which I did not drink. But we were treated like heroes already. Getting on the ship was another matter.  Hundreds of us packed into what looked like beds but were jut light cots. This was not a three star voyage and our comfort was of no concern to anyone. Many got seasick, which was highly unpleasant because no one planned for that. Just like when I got to the Aleutians there was no foul weather gear. In 40 degrees below we were wearing towels. An officer stopped by to give us all nose clips. I asked what it was for?  He said, “You’ll see.”  And I did as everything in my nose froze into solid ice and I could not breathe.

Back on the troopship to Europe began the chase: submarines everywhere. It was obvious we were a troopship and so a grand prize for the Germans. If they could wipe out a few thousand troops how happy they would be. They chased us across the Atlantic until we got to England. Because I had been a Commando, they transferred us to South England to a base. We were getting ready for crossing the Thames to land just before D-Day to capture the submarine base in Brest, which even to me was a suicide mission. Their base was half underground and built with steel and cement. A guy who wanted to see Paris offered to trade with me. We got the papers and the deed was done. I don’t know if he made it. 

Speaking of being chased by submarines, we had a hard time leaving the steel enclosure near Kodiak because we were told that Japanese subs were waiting for us to come out. We finally did to fight in the islands of Kiska and Attu with fog so thick we could only hear the shells coming overhead but could see nothing.  We then chased Japanese ships all the way back to their homeland. Remember I was on a 365,000 ton battleship. It was in Tarawa that they sent over a massive fleet of Mavis bombers to put us out of action.  They were right above my head; they never saw us.  It was so dark. 

Meanwhile I traveled all over England in a band, which was wonderful. They had Tea Dances everywhere and we played  their favorite songs, ending with, Good  Night Ladies, Til We Meet Tomorrow.  On leave, I went to see my pal Larry Allred from Chicago who wrote to me years later. He drove for the Admiral in London and there were bombs just before I got there, which left Piccadilly Circus in complete rubble.  Hard to believe the blocks had been wiped out by the Germans with their buzz bombs. The Brits got to work right away to rebuild; brave souls. 
I stood amid the rubble in the area for a long time, seeing what people can do to each other; and for what?

And then I was ordered to go kill.  I would not kill in anger; I didn't even know who I was killing. It was my “job.”  Imagine, I was convinced to kill as a job. And I did in the Pacific. I was a machine-gunner, don’t forget. It left me with an antipathy for war til this day. We invaded an island and the women and children natives ran into the sea to escape our big guns. We shot our 20MM shells into the sea where they were. A guilt I never got over.

By the way, I was transferred to many battle areas because I was marked low down on priority due to my color blindness. The commander who gave me the test took me to the street and asked me the colors of various signs and I got them right. But still I was marked “failure” and shipped out. I got help to pass the test later on and went on to become a fighter pilot trainee on a carrier. I never got there because the war  ended. I was discharged at 
Tacoma, Washington, where I was at the day the war ended and some of the women in the street danced naked. What a jubilant scene. I went straight to UCLA and signed in. More than 12 years and 4 universities later, I got my doctors degree and became staff at Los Angeles Children’s Hospital, Psychiatric Dept. After a few years, I could no longer take sick and wounded children so I left, but some of the kids stayed in touch for years. I wish I could say that I learned about human life and the human condition but that would be a lie. It was all statistical and numbers and graphs.

Back to Europe. I traveled Europe with my band the same time as bandleader Glen Miller, one of my idols.  He disappeared in an air crash and was never found. I danced to his music for years.  Such a loss.

I already wrote about my return to the south Pacific and more battles including the most beautiful island I ever saw: Majuro. When you see photos of WW2 there is a picture of Kwajalein with a giant plume of smoke rising over the island. That was us. We saturated that island and blew down every house and building and then we decided they were hiding under the trees so we destroyed every tree there. Thank the Japanese for that. Why on earth would they attack a country as well armed as the USA is beyond me? But they did. Not “they” but those crazy leaders far removed from battle decided it might be a good idea. And millions died, some horrendously, burned alive by the Hydrogen bomb.  These were thousands of children, mind you. President Truman believed it was the only way to end the war.  It helped but there might have been a more human way. We bombed citizens near Japan, not the fleet of ships in the harbor, but people going to work. The US helped keep their fleet intact. But hang on, mine not to question why, mine only to do or die. And we did. I was in the bloodiest of pacific battles: Tarawa. They knew we were coming and put out false reefs and slaughtered thousands of us; bodies floating in the water everywhere. We were the first ship in and bombed them non-stop and used gasoline spray to burn them out of the caves where they hid. After all, they were the “enemy.”  And then I learned an important lesson:  if you make someone an enemy, even in politics, you can do anything you want to them with impunity. We burned the “enemy.”
I have written how out at sea en route to another battle the captain called me in to say that I was being picked up by a destroyer and taken back to the States to go to the university.  The shock of my life; I was sure they made a mistake but my intelligence test said I was smart so I went on the destroyer whose screws had been shot off, making it list heavily to the right. And we entered San Francisco and I traveled to Oregon, a most beautiful town. Soon I organized a 26 piece band with two gorgeous singers, one of whom was my girlfriend and we traveled and broadcast over KOA Portland.  Is it still there?  More than 50 years later?
I never would have considered university without the Navy sending me, even without my asking.  They even chose the University for me: Oregon State,  and then I chose UCLA, USC, and then Claremont Graduate School… But  I never realized that my father had to make me stupid over and over again until we were driving East on Melrose when I was in my twenties, and he stopped at a signal where all alone, to no one, he blurted out, "I’m a failure." He never looked at me or addressed me.  It was so importuning that he could not hold it back; he was an utter failure. I mean, driving a meat truck is not the summum bonum of success. And in trying to be smart, he was obsessed with making me dumb. And he did. That is why I never considered university. My grades were terrible. I felt it was way above me. When I started Oregon 
State, I studied Portuguese for no rational reason and got A’s. For the first time in my life, my teacher asked me to stay because I was such a good student. That was a major epiphany of my life and a turning point. I felt I could do things and I began to study voraciously. I became a top student and an academic hall of fame. I received a lifetime achievement award from Los Angeles High School. All because I needed to hear just two words of praise. That is all it took. Parents remember that: PRAISE. You never build character through criticism.  NEVER.  Just “you are good and you can do it." That is what we all need and it is what I see in patients screaming out their need. HOLD ME,TOUCH ME, SEE ME, LOOK AT ME, WANT ME, CHERISH ME. How how hard is that? My neurosis made me well prepared for a therapy of pain.

End of part A

Friday, December 23, 2016

Treating Depression with LSD: Cure or Hallucination (2/2)

In our research we had much more evidence of how the liberated pain militated towards the last cerebral defense; the neocortex to concoct all sorts of nonsense to explain the inexplicable…..deep imprinted pain that is preverbal and therefore has no name. There exists no words in that repertoire to explain what is happening. A true mystery which Is now whispered in beneficent tones as the ethereal mystical experience, acclaimed as an exalted experience. It seems ethereal because it borders on the religious, unknown, unexplained, out of reach of ordinary intellect. It sounds so sweet….. mystical.

Of the 20 subjects we studied, all took at least ten LSD trips and almost every one had trouble sleeping for months and months. Even tranquilizers could not lower the activation levels to allow a calm system. Is that helpful for depression? Yes of course, if we open up the gating system and release the heavy mound of suppression weighing down the system. Yes, it is a momentary release, but what happens afterward? Is it biologic? As deep depressive patients travel down into the nervous system there is an accompanying lowering of blood pressure. The whole system is approaching fail. Their feelings of impending death is not mysterious; it is truly a state of impending death and the body accommodates. And of course as blood pressure dips into deep lower levels, to accompany a system drenched by hallucinogens, there are feelings of approaching death and thoughts of suicide.

The massive upheaval of pain from the lower depths floods the neo-cortex, infiltrating it with such input that concentration is impossible. It happens to our patients without drugs when they have undergone an infancy, and earlier, of constant and chronic neglect and abuse. The mounting layers of pain soon become laminated agony that no longer can be integrated.

As patients relive these pains in methodical order they begin to eliminate their anxiety and ADD. The thinking inventing neocortex is the last developed part of the brain and called into service when all else has failed. In our therapy patients soon learn what it is and what needs to be done; not to call on Allah or mysterious forces but on their history. To follow messages from the underground that point to stored pain.

Why do I think these power drugs are dangerous? Because it has a lasting effect and upsets the equilibrium of the brain which is now structured to include what the brain already underwent in its ontogeny. Traumatizing that precious brain can never be considered therapeutic. Except by those ethereal souls who tend to believe in the booga booga. I know, I worked with them, including associates of Tim Leary, the guru of drugs. Too often their research falls on prepared minds who can accept the mystical and received wisdom with alacrity. The wife of the director of research took me for a walk while high on LSD. We started to cross the street when I panicked. I looked down at the curb which seemed to me to be a mile down and a dangerous fall. I backed up. I had no aftereffects from it but knew to use caution. For those who are fragile it can cripple the neocortex by opening the lower level gating system and allowing the in-rush of immense, unintegrated, very early pain, which can lead to serious mental problems.

The job of the drug is to open the gates. But out comes voodoo land; latent imprints from the deep interior that scramble any coherence and replace perception with all kinds of irrationality. Irrational thinking is an attempt to maintain sanity, to make life experience make sense even in a twisted way. We not only see crazy; we think crazy. We think in the same way that some think when life has piled on trauma after trauma from very early on. Scrambling is a defense operation that prevents us from facing reality; the early reality of beatings and neglect, of no love, of being sent away alone at an early age….in brief, my life.

Here is an example from a patient describing the result of a psilocybin trip before entering therapy: “On the trip sitting in a car looking out the window at the sidewalk which became a bubbling liquid mass. It looked like bubbling cement. Later on when I judged it safe to exit the car in a residential neighborhood, I saw an alligator in the middle of the street; these were hallucinations that contained the feelings of my youth: fear and terror. Here was a safe place so the unsafe place was bubbling inside of me. The alligator nipping at my heels was only the fear and terror coming at me in symbolic form.”

In my case, further use of hallucinogens would have caused serious damage. If I had continued taking drugs, I believe the symbolism would have overwhelmed me because the gating system would not have been able to recover enough to withstand more pressure. When preverbal (first line) imprints of pain are thrown up indiscriminately they first attack the highest levels of consciousness. But because the nonverbal content cannot be assimilated and integrated on that level there is an overload of unconnected Primal information. If pains come up in a cohesive manner one would then be in the midst of Primal feelings. The problem is that with the drug it rises in undelineated form, vague, putting pressure on the gating system. It is coming up out of sequence and cannot be anchored in reality. Therefore, it takes on a mystical air. The hallucinogen does not allow an ordered sequence to develop. It prevents a slow unfolding of Primal Pain to achieve proper connection and instead it opens gates widely allowing pains from several levels at the same time that have no chance of integration. Those preverbal pains thrown up by the drug, thrust pre-birth traumas into the fray long before the person has relived much less forceful hurts and has prepared the way to live deeper pains. That is why it takes month to prepare the piste toward the inner depths.

This is the origin of abreaction, which I have written about extensively. Those patients who come in and begin to undergo birth Primals are often pre psychotic and need tranquilizers, never hallucinogens. The level of pain must be heavily controlled lest the patient slips into a beginning mental affliction. It is very difficult from that break in defenses to find normalcy again. This is also true of those chronic users of marijuana. The defense system is called in to help out but it loses its impact after a while and there can then be a break in defenses with strange ideation and hallucinations. Defenses are weakened so much that often there is no recovery or only partial recovery. If they go on with seemingly benign drugs such as hash they may lose their sanity and fall into periodic delusions and paranoia. I am against legalizing these seemingly innocuous drugs because they can cause psychosis in fragile souls. And they do not liberate anyone or anything.

In some literature these drugs are classified as hallucinogens. A person first taking cannabis may laugh or cry more easily and seems more relaxed and less depressed. But over time he will pay a heavier price as mental symptoms appear, not always obvious to him. These are also openers of the gates of repression, but more slowly done over great amounts of time. Their memory system will slowly suffer as will their cognitive abilities. We want a free lunch but it is wrapped in a nightmare. Unwrap the fragile covering and we get open mental illness.

One serious trauma can produce it at once. Incest by a parent can produce it as the person who is supposed to protect you becomes the danger. I have treated several of these cases; the earlier it occurs the more likely the psychosis. In Europe I once treated the daughters of a Nazi officer. They both kind of made it until the older daughter found out he was also sleeping with her sister. She fell into psychosis. It happened more than we imagine among the Nazis. The trauma was “I am no longer loved.”
There may be many roads to Nirvana, but all are posted with same sign: Danger Ahead. You will lose your mind if you stay on this road. Only feeling is healing.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Treating Depression with LSD: Cure or Hallucination (1/2)

I read a recent article in the New York Times about new research in treating depression with hallucinogenic agents (see I found the article – excuse the expression – mind-blowing. And I suffered a flashback to a time 50 years ago when I, in my youthful stupidity, took LSD on two occasions. One was a very bad trip and I decided the experience was not for me. After I did research on the effects of hallucinogens on the brain, I decided it was for no one.

I was under the impression that experimenting with mind-altering drugs was a thing of the past, along with The Sixties, Timothy Leary and Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds. And I thought the dangerous notion of treating mental disorders with hallucinogens had been discredited, or at least abandoned. But I was wrong. It seems like the old adage forever holds true: Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Today, there is a renewed interest in the use of hallucinogens to treat depression, accompanied by much hype, as The Times article indicates. I believe his resurgence is a sign, not of progress, but of our failure to understand brain science, and in particular, methylation. To say little about what is anxiety and depression, which they are studying.

The article published Dec. 1 in the Health section of The Times is titled, “A Dose of a Hallucinogen From a ‘Magic Mushroom,’ and Then Lasting Peace.” It reports on two experimental studies – at NYU’s Langone Medical Center and at Johns Hopkins University – in which cancer patients were given doses of psilocybin, an illegal hallucinogen. During the eight-hour sessions, patients were provided with eye masks, ear phones, programmed music, hospital setting, the whole panoply of the proper accouterments necessary for an “out of space,” serious experience. Their question: Can the drug reduce anxiety and depression in cancer patients?

The results: 80% of cancer patients “showed clinically significant reduction in psychologic disorders.” They often had mystical experiences which I would like to know much more about, because my explanation is quite different from those who write about it. Too often, in my previous research, those studying hallucinogens thought that mystical experiences were a good thing, beneficent and healthy. My view is different. It is dangerous for reasons to be explained in a moment.

  But what if the psychologic disorders and physical aberrations such as cancer, are essentially the same thing; stemming from the same source and originating during the same evolutionary time frame. We have seen this many times over in non-cancer patients, and have also seen it with cancer patients. We have seen serious psychologic afflictions such as anxiety making their appearance during the earliest time frame, during gestation and just after birth. We have also seen patients who have been reliving those very early times who have incipient, inchoate cancer. Our research has not gone as far as to justify a hypothesis about anxiety and cancer but in my papers I have alluded to the possible relationship between them. Our future research into early trauma and cancer will delve into it much more strenuously.

Here is an important result of the Langone study: “The intensity of the mystical experience correlated with the degree that their anxiety and depression decreased. Why is that? The usual statistical studies which should explain it, do not.

The results of both studies were also released concurrently in the Journal of Psychopharmacology (December 16, 2016). I saw no reports on the deleterious effects of this drug on patients, which to me, should be a sine qua non of any research: Can it do harm? The mystical experience these patients underwent seemed to me, based on my own research, to be signs of overload. That is, the unleashing of mountains of pain which is not always evident, even to the patient with pain. What seems to happen is that the gating system, charged with suppressing deep pain militates to where it is needed to control the level of pain. That is, to keep the system from being overwhelmed by the input. Heavy pain becomes a beacon to guide the pain to where it is needed, to aid repression and keep us unconscious. Nevertheless, the impact of high pain levels weakens the defense system so that further use of drugs can produce a crack in the gating system, leading to strange beliefs, such as being at one with Allah. These ideas, like many symptoms, are signs of overwhelming input. That is, when defenses falter, symptoms appear to absorb the input. These symptoms such as migraine headaches, or hallucinations, are indicative of too much input into the neurobiologic system.

The input happens when the repressive gates weaken, allowing accumulated pains from the start of life into higher levels. What also allows this to happen is the use of hallucinogens which blast open the gates, allowing far too much pain into the system. Normally these pains stay in the neurobiologic “cage.” Bur forcing drugs into the system allows the influx of historic early hurts to ramify throughout the body and brain. The gates give way. The result is serious cognitive aberrations, such as mystical experiences, which are no more than ineffable, laminated loads of pain arising in vague and diverse, aleatoric form to higher brain levels. Once the pain breaks through, those higher brain levels are then forced to concoct esoteric ideas without form, as the brain starts to lose cohesion and boundaries.

What are these pains? Trauma during gestation, birth and infancy. A smoking, drinking mother. An anxious mother living in chaos. An impatient parent who demands too much from the baby. A carrying mother taking drugs or ingesting medicine that alters the baby’s metabolism. And on and on. They are too numerous to adumbrate.

When those pains suddenly break through after a lifetime of repression, they cannot be enumerated nor defined by the patient, not his doctor; hence, they are considered mystical. It should read “mystery” rather than mystical because that is what it is for the victim, who never sees himself as victim. He swears he has been liberated. “Liberated” temporarily from his pain, it seems.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Precious Advice

Here is the response I sometimes get from so-called well wishers:   “Hey, time has passed.   Get over it and get on with your life.   Blah blah blah…”  This is not a well wisher; it is the  ultimate denier.  And the more you try to get over it the shorter your life will be. You cannot leave a trail of emotional debris scattered around while you “get over it.”  Biology will not permit this wait because you cannot get over what is now part of you.   Now here is the problem: if you are enmeshed in mental activity and insights and explanations you are in fact stating that memories are mainly in your thinking, remembering mind.  Yet our work and recent research says the opposite, that key embedded memories that contain the mountain of pain are located much deeper than that. And you cannot  just get over something engraved in your neurology and biology. And get on with your life.  Your life is driven by those memories, ad nauseam.  It is like telling someone to cut off his hand and get on with his life.  Well with imprinted Primal Pain he has cut off something far more important for survival:  his feelings. They should guide and direct him but alas, they fail because they have been left in the wilderness.   I was going to say, “left in the wilderness without  trace,”  but unhappily there is always a trace.  A trickle of methyl that marks the spot and tells us where the memory lies and how forceful it is.

It damages us and then screams its message, “I am suffering and I cannot stop.  The pain originates right here.”  It demands that we return to the scene of the crime and address it again. You mean to “suffer all over again.”   We can rationalize, forget and deny but the memory does not; it stays in its pristine form, unchanging, clamoring for surcease.   Yes you have to suffer again but this time there is an ending.  The first time we could cry  but repression rushed in to stop the overload.  This time in therapy the therapist will help stop any hint of overload which can often lead to the deadly abreaction and the blockage of feeling. That is what overload means; no more feeling.  It is already too much.

So what are we getting over, at last.  We are not; we are forgetting, denying, changing the subject.  We are changing our mind in the guise of ”getting over” something.  And yes, we can force the top level mind to change the direction of memory and pretend mentally that it does not exist.  We can play tricks with our minds but never can we play tricks with deep-lying trauma whose memories have penetrated the deepest levels of the brain and, like the methyl trace, are part of us biologically.  And those are the memories that wreak havoc with the system creating  afflictions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and numerous others.  And those are the same maladies that require addressing on the level where they were imprinted:  diseases that become systemic because the deep-lying pain has  also become systemic.

Here lies the crossing of the road where  conventional psychotherapy plays games with the brain, making it mindful, or unleashing volcanoes of pain. When taking hallucinogens, for example.  But not making the slow, painful, journey into the zone of the interior to meet with the devil also known as birth with  drugs, lack of touch, lack of nursing,  or a nursing mother taking pain killers, and you can fill in the blanks.  And it remains a “blank” until we can give it a name---pain.  We use any kind of painkiller, no matter the name, because it erases for a moment the real problem, imprinted agony.  Why?  Because we cannot see it, and above all, we cannot feel it because the system in its wisdom has shut down the pain just so we cannot feel it.  Imagine what a miracle it is that when deep pain becomes overwhelming we have a mechanism to shut it down for decades, and oft- times, for all or our lives.  How about that for efficacy? We  survived because we could build and create despite our pain.  And we could die prematurely because of that same pain.  We pay a price for repression; that is, for cutting away part of us so we can go on creating and inventing.

When we go deep in the brain we can feel it in all its agonies. And patients tell me that is a pain that does not hurt. I would say that it is a pain that has an ending, where each session is limited to what the  patient can feel and integrate.  That is the need for an expert therapist.  To make sure that patients do not suffer too much and are not pushed to go on feeling beyond his limit.   For that reason we need feeling therapists not someone who delights in watching someone writhe to prove what a good therapist he is.

Believe me, it I could have gotten over it and got on with my life I would have but memories endure; they are a life force we must deal with.  No way out and no short cuts.  I always knew the danger of abreaction but it was only recently that we know how to reverse it.   In long-time abreactors who wanted the easy way they often become untreatable.  So caution and care; do not treat your body as a toy or plaything.  There are serious consequences for not doing it right.  I can tell who is an abreactor, but treating it is a whole other matter.

 An example:  my cats were yelling for their food this morning.  And I got anxious and wanted to feed them right away. It is also the reason I am known as some one who gets things done.  Why?  I felt about that need to feed the cats.  It took me back to my asking my father for something I wanted to buy.  His answer was either "Later”.  Or no response.  He was incapable of acting spontaneously.  This helped make him a loser.   He could not get going on anything.  Kept it all inside, and died early of a massive heart attack.

It was all of a  piece; he could not say anything spontaneously, could not show love or affection, could not reach out to touch or hug.   Everything was “later” for a later that never came.   He just could not make a decision.  He was happy to drive a truck and have no one bother him, which he did day after day, never putting his life in question or what his life was about. He never read a book, listened to music, never escaped that tight circle he called life.   He had to have it that way because he wanted no surprises not even a son who asked for something.  To put it off for him was never having to make a decision or do anything new or different.  He was comfortable doing nothing and never changing his routine.

I became the  opposite; wanting to find out more and more; reading religiously, becoming a musician, traveling to various countries; you get the idea—to become the opposite from him.  That was my way to survive.  I learned from him; how not to be.  Money was his only interest which was something that never ever interested me.  He never laughed or joked.  Never saw the humor of life and above all,  never saw any beauty in the world.  I learned to travel to art galleries in many countries.  I learned foreign languages.  He dined at the 5:30 at inexpensive restaurants, not because he liked the food but because it was cheap.  Money dominated everything.  I never knew there was a place to buy clothes apart from the little Mexican shops on the East side.  He never gave gifts because he could not give.  A man with a short fuse, angry all of the time, something I never am.  I heard his screams constantly and vowed not to be like that.  He was my inverse role model.  A man with no interests and no knowledge and no idea how to interact socially. A man without friends whose wife was mentally ill.  She was also my mother….. A five year old who called my father, "daddy". "Daddy can I go to the store now?"

She was always a thing, a nonentity to me.   I needed love and believed I could get it from my father until I learned better and saw a man who could not love.  As Shakespeare described him: a man with no music in him. I made my own.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

If You Value Privacy?

If you truly value privacy do not ever join the Navy. I will tell you why. 3000 of us slept head to feet every night.  If anyone snored then none of us slept.  If you wanted to do a serious bathroom, do not go to the john. There are little tin gutters with water flowing through them to wash it out.  We sat on the gutter facing guys just facing us with all the grunts and noises.  For me it was humiliating.   And worse, during battle and rough weather, the ship was rolling up and down and sideways and “material” was flying all over the place.  Unbelievable.  When we tried to zip up and walk out, the waves were so high that we had to walk up a huge hill to get out, usually we bang against the steel doors. Or as the wave was deeper we found ourselves hurtling downhill to leave. If we were eating then food fled everywhere.

During battle the 16 inch guns moved the ship 16 feet to the side and buckled decks. Their noise was deafening and many of us on the gun mount went partially deaf afterward.  If a bullet stuck we dared not touch it as it was white hot.   I had a machine gun mount just on the side of the 16 inters. And I never once considered that I was shooting at human beings, the mothers and children who ran into the sea to escape our shells.  These were not Japanese soldiers, they were families who lived there; it was their home, until we arrived.  I was never mad at anyone, I was just doing a job… kill.  And when a submarine tried to sink us we fired on the men who run up to the top deck to escape.  We blew them up to the top with our depth charges.

 We had to take our guns and helmets with us during battle because we could not go back inside for days. The ship had to remain waterproof at all times.   We used our helmet to do our defecation and washed it out by dipping it in the sea.  But we had no food and ability for ablutions for days at a time.  If you value privacy would you like to do that? I never thought it was so bad, at age 18.  That is why they get us very young. We know nothing and do not have the experience to question anything.  ayayay.    art

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.