freud 2

Did Freud (or His Mis-intepreters) Create a Nation of Over-worried Parents?

This byaytbzszt
is an article about an article about a book
. The book is “Freudian Fraud: The Malignant Effect of Freud’s Theory on American Thought and Culture,” by the psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey, published in 1992. The article, “Child-Proofing the World” is by Nick Gillespie, editor of Reason, whose interview with Peter Gray went up on this site on Monday.

Their main point is one I make in my own book, too, in a chapter titled, “Relax! Not Every Little Thing Has That Much Impact on Your Child’s Development!” But it is precisely that fear that contributes so heavily to the burden parents feel today. We’ve been told that when and how we praise, feed, talk to, discipline and even get our kids to sleep at night can create a perfect child — or perfect monster. One wrong step (or non-organic grape!) and all bets are off.

Here’s a look at why we feel that way (boldface  mine):

All of Author Torrey claims “Especially from the World War II era on, parents have had an inordinate fear that any little thing they do may permanently misshape their child’s psyche.” The author attributes this to Benjamin Spock’s Baby and Child Care, which “did more than any single individual to disseminate the theory of Sigmund Freud in America.”

Through Spock’s books and articles, author Torrey says, “Spock persuaded two generations of American mothers that nursing, weaning, tickling, playing, toilet training, and other activities inherent in childhood are not the innocuous behaviors they appear to be on first glance. Such activities, according to Spock, are psychic minefields that determine a child’s lifelong personality traits, and maternal missteps on such terrain can result in disabling and irrevocable oral, anal, or Oedipal scars. Through-out his career Spock was deeply imbued with Freudian doctrine and in a 1989 interview he acknowledge, ‘I’m still basically a Freudian.’”

The acceptance of Freudian thought, says Torrey, “made parenting much more difficult because of the generally accepted theory that—to exaggerate it a little bit—if you look at your child cross-eyed, your child will never be the same again.” Author Torrey also claims, “except for grossly aberrant events, there is no evidence that the normal developmental events of childhood shape personality traits to any significant degree….”

Article author Gillespie summarizes: “Where Freudian-inflected thought stresses how ‘fragile’ the psyche is, Torrey argues for its resiliency. Where Freudian-inflected though stresses the parental role in personality development, Torrey makes a case for inborn temperament and a wider-ranging array of influences. An appendix to Freudian Fraud summarizes more than two dozen studies that attempt to substantiate a link between toilet training and personality traits and finds none (Freud hypothesized that botched toilet training leads to a number of possible ‘problems,’ ranging from homosexual orientation to paranoia to a fixation with order). Twin and adoption studies, says Torrey, suggest that ‘parents have much less effect on their children than we have been led to believe—or would like to believe.’” (Copyright © 1997, Woodbury Reports, Inc. )

Understanding that we cannot “create” the perfect child can mean a lot less guilt, fear and judgment. – L.


So I was wrong about some parenting things. Blame my mom!


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35 Responses to Did Freud (or His Mis-intepreters) Create a Nation of Over-worried Parents?

  1. C. S. P. Schofield May 3, 2017 at 9:59 am #

    We can’t make a perfect child, but we CAN make an unsocialized ball of undeveloped dough, afraid of its own shadow, and unable to lead a productive life.

  2. SKL May 3, 2017 at 10:45 am #

    This is part of it, yes. There are people absolutely convinced that the following will doom a kid:
    – Letting the cry themselves to sleep, even 1 time for 5 minutes.
    – Limiting foods, or insisting that kids eat.
    – Saying one word ever about their weight or appearance.
    – Sending them to school at the usual time (or earlier).
    – Potty training. At any age.
    – Giving them a blood test when they are born. (Forget vaccinations.)
    – Adoption.
    – Spanking. Oh lord preserve us from spanking.
    – Being told s/he is a girl or boy, unless s/he agrees with that designation.
    – Telling kid to hug grandma.
    – etc etc etc

    These ideas lead parents to think they have to control every single second of their kids’ lives, which is of course impossible, which leads parents to over compensate with what they can control.

    While I have never believed in Freud’s ideas, I have had the “control” issues at times. It helps to remember back to my childhood. For example, nearly every day I ate Cheerios for breakfast, and bologna sandwiches for lunch. (With whole milk!) Yet I was super healthy by today’s standards, probably because I ran around doing whatever I wanted outside of school hours (until I started getting a lot of chores).

  3. david zaitzeff May 3, 2017 at 12:19 pm #

    I had never thought about the possible connection between certain ideas in psychology and concern leading to over-parenting!

  4. Steve May 3, 2017 at 12:29 pm #

    But — then how do parents keep score?

  5. LGB May 3, 2017 at 12:33 pm #

    Misogyny was a driving factor. The psychiatrist’s command, “Tell me about your mother,” opened the door to blaming women for everything from a child going to jail to mental illnesses like schizophrenia.

    This mentality hasn’t died. There is still a movement to blame autism on “refrigerator moms.” In another example, my family and I toured an open house. I slipped away to use the restroom while my husband stayed with the children, who were noisy and exuberant as they jumped up and down claiming “dibs” on who would get which room.

    Rather than approach my perfectly available husband, the realtor, who didn’t appreciate the noise, waited until I got out of the bathroom before declaring, “You need to control your children.” This “control” was supposed to occur from a toilet seat behind a locked door, apparently.

  6. Workshop May 3, 2017 at 12:43 pm #

    We blame our horrible childhoods on our parents, never realizing that those “horrible” experiences allowed us to grow and become resilient to life.

  7. James May 3, 2017 at 12:56 pm #

    Freud is weird. He represents an early phase in the development of psychology as a science, and those early stages are always weird (see chemistry, physics, astronomy, geology, paleontology….). The early days of any scientific field are full of wild and weird and wonderful ideas, which are based more on a lack of evidence than any real evidence and which are typically systematically destroyed in the process of the field becoming a mature science.

    Or, to put it briefly: Freud is significant because he made testable claims that were largely proven wrong.

    What’s weird to me is that people still treat Freud as if he was significant to modern psychology. No one takes Aristotle’s views of motion seriously in physics, or humors in medicine, or Uniformity of Rate in geology. Yet somehow Freud seems to have escaped this culling process. It’s truly bizarre.

  8. Cristabel May 3, 2017 at 12:56 pm #

    The psychologist Steven Pinker has some excellent research on this subject. He convinced me to stop worrying that I’m screwing up my kid at every turn. If I am irritable and talk to my kid in an irritated voice once in awhile, he’s probably gonna still turn out ok, not be an axe murderer.

  9. Vicki Bradley May 3, 2017 at 1:27 pm #

    What astonishes me is that so many parenting experts espouse, and actually seem to expect, perfectionism from parents. The notion seems to be that parents should never take one misstep, ever, and if they do, they will doom their children forever. Bit of a lofty goal, I would think!

  10. Papilio May 3, 2017 at 2:41 pm #


  11. Donna May 3, 2017 at 2:44 pm #

    There are many things that parents can do to royally screw up their kids. I deal daily with royally screwed up kids and they all got that way due to their parenting. In fact, many of the children I represent will likely never function normally in society and the blame for that lies solely with their parents.

    However, none of them got to where they are because they weren’t breastfed or their parents toilet trained too early or too late or they didn’t engage in the right after school activities or they watched too much TV or ate an occasional (or even daily) cookie. They got there through parenting behavior that is so bad that all but the drug addicted, mentally ill people engaging in it can obviously tell that nothing good will come of it. Heck, half the time even the parent knows they are screwing up, they simply have no skills to do anything different.

    There are many things Lenore writes about on here that we think “I can see where this would be helpful for a small number of people with ___________ issue, but not for the public as a whole.” Having some people be more mindful of the way that they are interacting with their children in certain circumstances is great. Extrapolating that to insist that every single decision and parent/child interaction carries the risk of destroying a child forever if not done to perfection is a bit much.

  12. James Pollock May 3, 2017 at 4:52 pm #

    It all starts with the simple error that the same parenting approach works well (or poorly) on all children.]

    “Before I got married I had six theories about raising children; now, I have six children and no theories.”
    ==John Wilmott

  13. Anna May 3, 2017 at 5:47 pm #

    I doubt anybody gets to be a helicopter parent from reading Freud, for two reasons:

    1. Freud’s central premise is that it’s parents (i.e., moms and dads) as such that cause the problems. Dads cause Oedipal complexes simply because they’re dads, and because they sleep with the kid’s mom, not because of any particular parenting choices they make. Hence less parental supervision should actually help rather than hurt, from Freud’s point of view.

    2. Freud views neurosis as largely unavoidable. He never suggests there’s some magic way of parenting that avoids it.

  14. fred schueler May 3, 2017 at 10:43 pm #

    looks like he was also wrong about the health benefits of smoking

  15. Peter May 4, 2017 at 12:13 am #

    We need to feel fear and danger in our lives. The question is not “why do parents fear…..” assumes we do not have a psychic need for express emotions across the broad range at least occasionally. That’s why we have movies, novels, theatre and sports. We have drama hunger which is left unsatisfied as problems in society are fixed and life i,proves. Utopia produces psychic emptiness. We have helicopter parents and “stranger danger” because we do not have measles, diphtheria or whooping cough to worry about. Humans are designed to build utopia but we are not designed to live there. In utopia we go mad.

    We have litigious lawyers, over zealous safety conscious and helicopter parents because life is go good and the better it becomes the more the arising psychic emptiness result will manifest in these hysterias. The forecast for the future is for more storms of hysterias about anything and for anything.

    I don’t think Freud has contributed too much and without him we would be in the same position. In fact Freud has given us an understanding of the unconscious with motives and effects influencing our behaviour which are irrational and contrary to what we consciously project. An understanding of the unconscious can allow us to appreciate psychic hunger when it s unmet.

  16. Claudia May 4, 2017 at 5:57 am #

    I have this philosophy that ‘you’re only their parent!’. I think kids are resilient, or else we’d all be basket cases by the age of 12, destroyed by every time our parents ignored us, or got cross, or did something for us we could do ourselves. We’re designed to cope with ordinary ‘shortcomings’ or else we could never have survived. The way I see it is that as parents, yes, we do ‘f*ck up’ our kids. But only a bit.

    The way we bring them up might make them a bit oversensitive to criticism, a bad loser, not great at intimacy, too argumentative etc… and that isn’t the end of the world. They will still do fine, have relationships, succeed despite the flaws we inevitably and unintentionally bring to the fore and we need to stop worrying and accept that I think,.

  17. BL May 4, 2017 at 8:12 am #

    “Did Freud (or His Mis-intepreters) Create a Nation of Over-worried Parents?”

    Wouldn’t that “nation” be Austria-Hungary? That’s where he was from.

    Now we know what happens to nations of over-worried parents. They lose wars and get split up.

  18. James May 4, 2017 at 9:42 am #

    “I doubt anybody gets to be a helicopter parent from reading Freud…”

    That’s not the contention, though. The issue isn’t “People read Freud and therefore become helicopter parents”; rather, the issue is that Freud laid the groundwork for modern helicopter parents. Other people took what Freud said and altered it (expanded upon it, removed parts of it, etc), as is evidenced by the post itself, but the foundations lead directly back to Freud.

    It’s like saying Postmodernism in philosophy is Kantian. No one reads “Critique of Pure Reason” and becomes a postmodernist; rather, people have taken Kant’s thought and developed it over the generations until Postmodernism arose. Kant laid the groundwork for the movement.

    In both cases the results are fairly radically different from what Freud or Kant projected. But we can still explore the intellectual lineage that lead to these notions.

    This is also why Freud’s influence isn’t limited to his home country. We’re dealing with intellectual lineages here, not political ones, and intellectuals are notorious for ignoring national boundaries. The official stance of the Geological Society of America is (or was a few years ago when I checked) to ignore political concerns to the extent possible–meaning that they encouraged collaboration with scientists from any country, including Cuba, Iran, Iraq, China, and Russia. A scientist’s influence can extend far beyond his or her homeland.

  19. test May 4, 2017 at 10:11 am #

    @BL “Wouldn’t that “nation” be Austria-Hungary? That’s where he was from.”

    Freud being from Austria-Hungary does not imply that his ideas influenced Austria the same way as they influenced Americans. Anecdotally, Americans tend to reference Freud more often then Germans. Freud was hated by local powers and eventually had to run away.

    “Now we know what happens to nations of over-worried parents. They lose wars and get split up.”


  20. James Pollock May 4, 2017 at 10:22 am #

    “the results are fairly radically different from what Freud or Kant projected.”

    So, we can blame Jesus for the Westboro Baptists? I mean, their ideas are fairly radically different from his, but…

  21. Anna May 4, 2017 at 10:25 am #

    “In both cases the results are fairly radically different from what Freud or Kant projected. But we can still explore the intellectual lineage that lead to these notions.”

    Sure, though I’d be more inclined to credit our fear that any little wrong decision will screw our children up and destroy their psyches to Rousseau, whose influence seems to me to be central to the prevailing modern ideas on parenting and education – e.g., that the child is naturally good and only becomes bad when we (society, parents, teachers) corrupt him; that any discipline should be done through natural consequences rather than by invoking authority, that children should learn by pursuing their own interests at their own pace, that the parent or educator should at all costs avoid ever causing any feelings of shame, etc. Although, ironically, Rousseau totally believed in the take risks, climb trees, and learn self-reliance part of free-range parenting.

  22. bluebird of bitterness May 4, 2017 at 11:57 am #

    One reason this belief is so popular is that it lets people off the hook for their own failures. My parents raised five kids, four of whom grew up to be relatively normal, boring, conventional, law-abiding adults. The youngest decided to do things differently. He dropped out of high school, abused alcohol and other drugs, chain smoked, and engaged in various illegal activities. He had multiple near-death experiences, where he ended up in the emergency room after drinking himself into a stupor, and every time it happened, the doctor who had just saved his life would warn him that if he didn’t stop drinking, it was going to kill him.

    Unsurprisingly, my brother became seriously depressed. Eventually he sought help from a psychologist, who told him that none of his failures were his fault — they were all the result of bad things his parents had done to him. Apparently the fact that those same parents had raised four other kids — for the record, all of us were their biological children, and we all grew up in the same house, went to the same schools, and so on — and somehow none of them had become alcoholics or drug abusers didn’t impress this guy.

    I will be the first to admit that my parents made a LOT of mistakes and did a lot of things wrong, but any harm that parental malfeasance did to my little brother pales in comparison to what he did to himself by dropping out of school, drinking too much, abusing drugs, breaking the law, failing to hold down a steady job, smoking like a chimney, etc. But he was (understandably) overjoyed to be told that none of his failures were his fault, that his miserable condition was all the fault of his awful parents.

  23. Randy May 4, 2017 at 12:03 pm #

    While it’s interesting to think that our modern parenting styles are in some way related to Freud, there are far stronger, DEMONSTRABLE, more proximate causes to helicopter parenting. There is no doubt that Freud, Jung, Erikson, Addler, and dozens of other psychologists and social science pioneers had some impact on how we interact with children, the mentally ill, the elderly, and each other, but there is one thing above all that has caused a revolution in parenting: The 24 hour news cycle and the media in general.

    We’re still in the throes of a panic over the safety and security of our children that started in the 1980s. Everything from mass paranoia regarding satanic cults and pedophiles to electronic baby health monitors has their beginning in this decade. We went from a culture of hippie communes, free love, and flower children to kicking in the doors of daycare operators looking for tiny skulls, underground bunkers, and secret air-fields to traffic toddlers so fast it’s a wonder we don’t all have whiplash.

    In the 70’s people had close relationships with their neighbors and all that entails: block parties, social support, community involvement. News was primarily gotten via newspaper, supplemented by 30 minutes or an hour of Walter Cronkite and world events. In the 1980s this turned into world, regional, and local news at your fingertips, 24 hours a day. Big city drug violence got dragged into suburban American living rooms. The growth of small town America paranoia can be mapped directly to Ted Turner and CNN.

    Then… the internet. News headlines tailored, and sometimes fabricated, to prey on your worst fears. The whole state is Amber-alerted when a teenager runs off to Vegas with her boyfriend. A kidnapping, building collapse, or tropical disease thousands of miles away becomes water-cooler conversation for weeks in Topeka.

    Does anyone really think this is going to get better anytime soon, or that understanding how Freud played his minuscule role will bring this mass delusion to a halt?

  24. test May 4, 2017 at 1:34 pm #

    I just had a look at the crime rates in USA over years and it seems like violent crime was going up between 1970-1993 and then went slowly down. I guess there was a lot of discussion going on about why and what to do about it. Parenting and such ended up blamed a lot.

    The helicopter generation are people who were born when the crime rates were going up and were big enough during peek of it to listen to discussions and internationalize some of what they hear.

  25. Megan May 4, 2017 at 2:42 pm #

    Alice Miller

  26. NY Mom May 5, 2017 at 2:30 pm #

    Have you read Dr. Spock’s readable and helpful child care paperback book?
    I doubt it!
    It was my guide to raising a Free Range Kid in New York City in the 1970’s.
    The good doctor said to relax and be happy.
    He was criticized for being too permissive! That is, Free Range!
    How did his message get so distorted?

  27. Dingbat May 6, 2017 at 5:12 am #

    Everyone always forgets the Silent Generation… those who came before the Boomers and many also had WWII Gen Parents. They are also parents of a large portion of Gen X. MLK, Jim Morrison, The Beatles… all Silents. Some Boomers pretend to be Silents while freaking out and trying to undo their sexual revolution and free speech movements. Spock’s first book came out the year of the oldest Boomers birth.

    On that note, I think lyrics from one of my favorite Silents are in order. The song was written in 1968 and parts of it were used again on his mid 1980s album Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention. It was inspired by his run in with the PMRC, headed by Boomer Tipper Gore, who was trying to censor rock music, aka “Porn Rock” corrupting and killing all the children. Yes, it’s very fitting. It’s called:

    What’s the Ugliest Part of Your Body?

    What’s the ugliest part of your body?
    What’s the ugliest part of your body?
    Some say your nose, say your toes

    (I think it’s your mind)

    But I think it’s YOUR MIND

    (Your mind)

    I think it’s your mind, woo woo


    Where did Annie go when she went to town? Who are all those creeps that she brings around?


  28. Dingbat May 6, 2017 at 6:01 am #

    @ LGB

    Unfortunately Radical Feminists, the last leg of the 2nd Wave, decided to challenge psychoanalysis in the 1970s and address the patriarchal and misogynistic elements in Freuds, who they were obsessed with. A large part of this came from problems they witnessed their mothers go through, methods of treatment they found to be lacking, and drugs some women were put on (Miltown) that caused more problems.

    At the same time they were “consciousness raising” (that was also often code for making Boomers problems societies problems) about child abuse, and the 2 collided in the most unfortunate and devastating way possible.

    The release of the book Sybil in 1973 sparked their interest in Freud’s Seduction Theory. They believed Frued was correct in thinking most of his female patients had been sexually abused as children, had repressed the memories of it and they assumed his work was silences by those who didn’t want it getting out. Since Sybil was supposedly based on a true story written by a therapist they they decided it was wise for radical feminists to reclaim the seduction theory, aka Recovered Memory Therapy. I’m not quite sure how you reclaim someone else’s shelved (it was shelved by Frued himself because he realized it was flawed) psychoanalytical work but whatever.

    The Recovered Memory and Incest Survivors Movements were born! Thousands of women underwent quack, fringe, highly suggestive, drug fueled therapy and proclaimed they had uncovered forgotten/repressed memories of being sexually abused as a child. The trauma of the abuse had caused them all to shatter into a million pieces, aka multiple personalities, who had taken over to protect their psyche and remember the abuse for them.

    It was as absurd as it sounded but it was also incredibly dangerous. It resulted in marriage breakdowns, suicides, prolonged institutionalization, false accusations based on faulty therapy/memories and wrongful incarceration. This went on for 10 years before the panic turned to actual children in the form of The Daycare Ritual Sex Abuse Hysteria. It was all part of the Satanic Panic.

    The RMT movement carried on for years, along with the day care panics. By the time it was all said and done thousands of lives were destroyed, including the lives of several teenagers demonized as devil worshippers, expelled from
    Schools, sent to re education camps and set up on murder/sacrifice charges due to the type of music they liked and books they read.

    Watch the 1990s Frontline documentary titled Divided Memories to see more of the feminist side of the therapy. Several famous/published radfems like Judith Herman, Alice Miller, Laura Brown, Ellen Bass, Laura Davis, Gloria Steniem … practiced RMT, wrote books about it and promoted it.

    Also see Frontlines The Search For Satan. It covers the RM Therapists who were also illuminati theorists. They told their patients they were abused by Satanic Cults, and radfems heaped praise on them and gave them awards. You will see Gloria acting as the guest of honor and keynote speaker for one of the most horrific Therapists of that time.

    I can’t say they were alone in this. Some well known Radfem’s & activists encouraged the Satanism aspect in therapy, and many well known feminists like Cat Mackinnon & Gloria S publicly declared their belief in widespread networks of sexual abusers targeting women and children in daycares.

    See this article on Myra Riddell and the Ritual Abuse Task Force she created through The LA County Commission on Women. It’s one of my favorite 90s Flashbacks.


    Myra Riddell, a psychotherapist, former president of the Los Angeles County Commission for Women and pioneering activist for lesbian and gay rights, died Jan. 11 at her Studio City home. She was 81.

    Riddell had Alzheimer’s disease, according to a longtime friend, Susan M. Wolford.

    A prominent figure in the gay community for several decades, Riddell was the founding president of Southern California Women for Understanding, launched in 1976 to build a social and political network of gay career women.

    In 1977 she was one of 14 gay and lesbian leaders invited to the White House to brief Carter administration officials on discrimination against homosexuals by government agencies. The meeting, which provoked intense criticism from conservatives such as Anita Bryant, represented the first time openly gay leaders had met in the White House.

    Riddell later served on the Los Angeles County Commission for Women for 12 years, including two years as president, from 1992 to 1994. She stirred controversy during her last few years on the commission when she helped form a task force on satanic ritual abuse. She had developed an interest in the subject after some of her psychotherapy patients described memories of satanic abuse as children.

    There are dozens of commission and committee meetings every week in Los Angeles County’s massive Hall of Administration, but in only one will you hear serious discussion of members being slipped a mickey through air-conditioning vents.

    At meetings of the Ritual Abuse Task Force, a corps of well-meaning men and women use the clout of county authority to warn of satanic abuse they claim forces thousands of young people into unholy rituals including human sacrifice, torture and orgies.

    On Monday, several task force members repeated their longstanding claim that satanists are poisoning them and other satanic abuse survivors–and their therapists–by exposing them to a toxic pesticide pumped into their offices, homes and cars. One woman claimed she was even poisoned during a task force meeting.

    The supposed victims say they suspect satanists of slipping diazinon, a chemical compound used in bug sprays and powders, into air-conditioning vents to silence them.

    (I’m too tired to proof read so pardon any mistakes)

  29. Dingbat May 7, 2017 at 4:22 am #

    I enjoyed the interview with Peter Gray (and still have the first edition of his Psychology text).

    It was an interesting conversation, aside from the feminism apologetics. I find it sad that people feel the need to say… I don’t want it go back the way it was! Attack mode was the reason no one had a discussion about children then. That and the fact that the loudest feminists have often been ones who have no children.

    There brief discussion on the previous meanness involved in child rearing is true. Kindergarten was a dream for me but 1st was not. I had a teacher that would make you sit on her desk for 3 – 4 hours, often missing lunch, with your mouth taped shut. One 2nd grade teacher was fond of screaming and humiliation. One 3rd grade teacher pinned a cows tail to your pants and made you walk at the back of each line all day. One 4th grade teacher paddled you in front of the class for missing 3 or more questions a quiz. 5th and 6th grade involved really nice male teachers as opposed to 9000 year old schoolmarms who taught my parents. 7th & 8th grade were virtual BDSM dungeons, but only in appearance. The teachers, schoolmarms second in command, had paddle displays that took up entire walls. Leather, rubber, wood, plastic, studded, etc. Fortunately we had one nice teacher with some semblance of remaining sanity that went through school with our parents in each of the rough grades to balance it out, and we took pride in being declared the worst group of students so far.

    Parents would lose their minds today. To be fair we didn’t tell our parents a lot then. I think most of us thought they knew since many went to the same school but several of the teachers had lost their minds somewhere along the way.

    I still think I would have preferred being paddled and moving on as opposed to the non stop zero tolerance suspensions today. I see similarities but it just looks nicer on the surface. I was only paddled 3 time but I had male classmates paddled daily. They eventually started throwing their desks at the teachers head so they could actually give them a reason. I know I’ve said this before but I really do see similarities when I look at the way people are being treated in high school and (mostly college). In my late 80s & early 90s days I watched (again, all male) friends be targeted for wearing black metal & punk concert tees, being demonized as devil worshippers, and then kicked out of school. Today students are targeted for wearing red and have been demonized as racists or sexist for things as minuscule as reading a historical library book, in public, with a picture of the klan on the cover or for putting up satartcal flyers about taking the stairs to avoid gaining the freshman 15 in their dorm. It stinks of hysterial persecution.

    All and all they do have it much better in several ways but at the same time I can not imagine the misery of not having free play time. I knew no kids that did not play outside all day, but I’m in Appalachia and were 50 years begin the rest of the country. Free play time made everything better, and the rest provided some perspective on what actually constituted as bullying or harassment.

  30. Mark May 7, 2017 at 3:33 pm #

    What struck me as globally dubious was how much onus Freud put on (EARLY CHILDHOOD) supposed traumas. Versus positive experiences. Versus most anything in life even from puberty on, especially adulthood.

    Also IMO inflated notions re catharsis, transference. Knowing, proclaiming genesis of some neurosis, phobia, may not eviscerate it.

  31. Leigh May 7, 2017 at 6:58 pm #

    Having several kids helps people understand how little personality is based on parenting. My oldest three boys were all born within 15 months (single followed by twins). Raised by the same parents at the same time, their life experiences were as similar as it gets. Three very different personalities emerged. It really takes a lot of pressure off once you accept this idea.

  32. Mark May 7, 2017 at 7:45 pm #

    Bingo Leigh! Heck, even w/ dogs, cats, IMO, this could hardly be plainer for anyone not hopelessly mired in sterile doctrine, bromides, pernicious social/peer pressures.

  33. SKL May 8, 2017 at 12:09 pm #

    Here’s my concise opinion on Freud and my kids.

    He was a perv. I would not have left my kids alone in a room with him. 😛

  34. Dingbat May 9, 2017 at 8:13 am #


    The Recovered/Repressed Memory therapy that experienced a booming resurgence in the 1970s – 1990s, based on Frued’s Seduction Theory/the idea of significant childhood trauma being so devastating that it shattered your psyche into multiple personalities, was catastrophic. I wish I was being hyperbolic.

    Yes, Spock helped push this for years but books & TV movies like Sybil, and Michelle Remember’s, which was a cheap knockoff of Sybil with Satanic Cults, opened up a whole new playing field where adult women with underlying mental illness were coming forward with tales of forgotten abuse and 352 new personalities.

    Michelle Remember’s gets the moral panic contributing credit it deserves but Sybil is often ignored, even though they are essentially the same book and both were portrayed as true stories written by credible Therapists, as opposed to the fringe quacks they were. People like to forget both immediately inspired several supposedly true tales of forgotten child sex abuse trauma and that the majority of accusations during the panics involved fathers, not cults.

    Michelle Remembers is a book published in 1980 co-written by Canadian psychiatrist Lawrence Pazder and his psychiatric patient (and eventual wife) Michelle Smith. A best-seller, Michelle Remembers was the first book written on the subject of Satanic ritual abuse and is an important part of the controversies beginning in the 1980s regarding satanic ritual abuse and repressed memory. The book has subsequently been discredited by several investigations which found no corroboration of the book’s events, while others have pointed out that the events described in the book were extremely unlikely and in some cases impossible.

    Both gave grown women a chance to become children again. I was young when all of this started (born in 1975) but I can remember being creeped out when I heard grown women being called “the children”. The traumatized children. Creditable Therapists came forward and spoke of well spoken and educated women who came into clinics seemingly fine but 2 days later were finger painting in a corner, rocking back and forth, sucking their thumb and talking like a child. They progressively got worse, never better.

    By the time they moved on to actual children it was a nightmare.

    ^ The people in this video proclaimed themselves ritual child sex abuse experts. 2 named Catherine Gould and Vicki Graham Costain were radical Feminists. 3 named Dr Bennett Braun (dark hair, glasses, tan suit, doesn’t speak in this clip), Dr Corydon Hammond (the man rambling ok about Nazi SS Death Squads, fingers on strings and the brainwashing of Korean War Vets) and Bobbi Sachs (short red hair) were illuminati theorists. They had all been working with grown women since the 1970s and most of their signs and symptoms of Ritual Sex Abuse came from therapy with grown women they called the children.

    Somewhere between Spock and mass hysteria we ended up in a never ending, watered down, spiral of things that would traumatize your child for life. The panics really pushed this over the edge.

    Journalists Debbie Nathan tried to ease parents minds in the 1990s by writing about research that showed children would not be traumatized to the point of multiple personalities after abuse. She also tried to clarify that a 17 year old teen sleeping with a 23 year old is probably not going to result in life altering trauma. She was labeled a promoter and supporter of pedophilia.

    In 2017 it’s reached the point where parents think red ink being used to grade papers will destroy their child for life. It’s never stopped, and just like the therapy patients seen during the panics, everyone has just continued to get worse.

  35. Dingbat May 9, 2017 at 8:41 am #

    Note when I say really pushed I think the idea of early childhood trauma reached more than it would have during the panics. I don’t know many moms who read Spock. My mom said she got through a couple chapters, yelled bull shit and threw it in the trash. She’s an Appalachian farm girl that grew up when 7 siblings who started walking miles to school in the dark. They got up, built fires, milked cows, cooked, helped with the kids… worked non stop and were not pampered. She didn’t experience life with electricity or indoor plumbing until the mid 60s, when she was over 18, and Spock was over the top for her. She didn’t buy into the panics either, but many did and the primary focus became your child’s fragile psyche.