The Department of Agricultural and Environmental Affairs regularly publicises campaigns for free rabies shots yet I know of at least one person running a B&B who keeps a large dog that she can’t be bothered to vaccinate. If that dog gets rabies and bites one of her clients – scratching with nails is also dangerous – she will be up on major charges. Yet it is too much trouble to have the dog vaccinated for free. If you see neglect in one area, you will see it in other areas, such as lack of proper shelter and no neutering.
Widespread religious indoctrination of children is abuse and so is withholding of vaccinations. Very often these people are just too fucking lazy to think for themselves or get their act together. They should not be allowed to breed or keep any kind of pet.
If non-vaccination were declared a criminal offence, I wonder how many fundies would take to the streets to protest their god given rights over their children’s bodies – and you can take that both ways as we have seen that fundies sexually abuse their children too.
Yes, Holyschmoly, let’s jump to another page to avoid healthy debate. Or, are atheists not supposed to disagree?
You did not accept my suggestion that you first acquaint yourself with the subject matter at hand before you comment. It is so easy to comment widely on things, using ignorance as a base. That is what religious people do, isn’t it?
What I clearly see is narrow vision, totally focused on those that believe in a god or gods of sorts. Yes fine, but what about total worldwide ignorance of all sorts of other things, especially where it affects, and applies to the human condition? Are we not supposed to cry out for sanity, not only from godiots but also from all humans?
When should protection from insanity start? When are we at our absolute most vulnerable to any kind of abuse, in the womb at six weeks and on, or as adults?
Can you not see the simple fact that a six week old foetus has no defence mechanisms at all, in the face of a raging, hysterical and angry mother? She could be depressed, or even bipolar, filled with anxiety and panic, drinking many cups of coffee daily, or even drinking or doing drugs.
Read about the chemical exchange and interchange that happens between a foetus and its mother.
Read the latest research and please do not remain stuck on a level where you may have landed 20 years ago. You are an intelligent person. You can contribute to a cause much more urgent and necessary than blasting religious people only. Humans are suffering all over the world. We are very very sick. Religion is but one symptom of a pandemic of neurosis. The causes have been identified. It is intolerable PAIN, both emotional and physical. Even intellectual abuse occurs on a grand scale.
Since 1965 Arthur Janov has been doing something about it. He is a lone voice in the wilderness, with recognition slowly happening. Only during the last two years has some of his work appeared in medical journals. Hopefully it will grow, but one can’t help feeling like one is farting against thunder.
Verifanie says, “What I clearly see is narrow vision, totally focused on those that believe in a god or gods of sorts.” That happens to be the purpose of this blog, to discuss atheism, not for you to come here and peddle your snake oil. I don’t need any lectures from you, so fuck off and stop trolling me. Troll!
[Short answer: not science, because it is unfalsifiable. It’s not even a “wrong” answer.]
Is Primal Therapy Science?
This is an important question because advocates of primal therapy, including Arthur Janov have claimed that it is indeed science. “It may seem that Primal Therapy is miraculous, but it is not magic, it is science at work” Janov claimed. Indeed his second book The Anatomy of Mental Illness (1971) was hailed as “the scientific basis of Primal Therapy” which appeared on the back cover. Similarly, Janov’s more recent books also lay claim to a scientific basis as demonstrated by the title and contents in “The Biology of Love” (2000). This is further illustrated on the Primal Center’s website http://www.primaltherapy.com in which the subtitle to the main page is “where primal therapy is a science” (as of December 2006).
First of all, to answer this question, we have to know what science is.
Do most people think they know what science is?
How many actually do know it?
How many could say what the necessary elements of scientific study are?
Think about it before reading on; see if you can list them yourself.
You may be surprised, as I was. I found I didn’t actually know it and I was sure I did (I had studied science at undergraduate level and it turned out I didn’t even know what it is! I wonder how common this is).
Bear with me as we go through these essential parts of science, any one of these may seem irrelevant at first, but each element is important information that shouldn’t be left out to get a whole picture.
What is science, is it subject matter or equipment?
Science is NOT defined by subject matter or by the equipment used. Rather it is a way of thinking about and observing the world that leads to a deep understanding of its workings. This is important because this means human behavior, cognitions and emotions CAN be studied scientifically, but it is only classified as science if it is done according to the rules of science. Related to this is the important point: A scientist is only a scientist so long as he continues to do science. So, for example, if a physicist starts doing astrology instead of astronomy, he or she is no longer doing science.
“Observation is fine and necessary, but pure unstructured observation of the natural world will not lead to scientific knowledge”…”Scientific observation is termed systematic because it is structured so that the results of the observation reveal something about the underlying nature of the world.” Stanovich1 p10 (2001)
Briefly On Experiments
To qualify as an experiment, you need to manipulate one variable, while keeping others constant, and you need random or representative sampling. In psychology (and medicine), random assignment to the various experimental groups (which is different from random sampling) is an essential necessity in experiments, and clinical tests. My Personality Psychology lecturer told me: without random assignment it is NOT a scientific experiment.
1How to think straight about Psychology. Keith E. Stanovich
In order for a theory to be useful in science it needs to be falsifiable, in other words it needs to be possible for some theoretical experimental result to prove it wrong. Put another way it needs to be testable. However the concept of falsifiability is larger than just this simple definition, it is a subtle concept, that is further explained with the example below. It is important, because if you have a theory in which NO MATTER WHAT THE OUTCOME of an experiment or study or therapy, if all these possible outcomes can be explained by the theory, then you have a problem.
Consider the case of Benjamin Rush:
“In 1793, a severe epidemic of yellow fever struck Philadelphia. One of the leading doctors in the city at the time was Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. During the outbreak, Rush was one of the few physicians who were available to treat literally thousands of yellow fever cases. Rush adhered to a theory of medicine that dictated that illnesses accompanied by fever should be treated by vigorous bloodletting. He administered this treatment to many patients, including himself when he came down with the illness. Critics charged that his treatments were more dangerous than the disease. However, following the epidemic, Rush became even more confident of the effectiveness of his treatment, even though several of his patients had died. Why?
One writer summarized Rush’s attitude this way: “Convinced of the correctness of his theory of medicine and lacking a means for the systematic study of treatment outcome, he attributed each new instance of improvement to the efficacy of his treatment and each new death that occurred despite it to the severity of the disease” (Eisenberg, 1977, p1106)” In other words, if the patient got better, this improvement was taken as proof that bloodletting worked. If the patient dies it merely meant that the patient had been too ill for any treatment to work. We now know that Rush’s critics were right: his treatments were as dangerous as the disease.
Benjamin Rush fell into the fatal trap when assessing the outcome of his treatment. His method of evaluating the evidence made it impossible to conclude that his treatment did not work…He made it impossible to falsify his theory.” Stanovich p23-24.
“If a theory is not falsifiable, then it has no implications for actual events in the natural world and hence is useless. Psychology has been plagued by unfalsifiable theories, and that is one of the reasons why progress has been slow.”
For example “Freudian theory uses a complicated conceptual structure that explains human behavior after the fact but does not predict things in advance. It can explain everything, but Karl Popper argued it is precisely this property that makes it scientifically useless. It makes no specific predictions. Adherents to psychoanalytic theory spend much time and effort in getting the theory to explain every known human event, from individual quirks of behavior to large scale social phenomena, but their success in making the theory a rich source of after –the fact explanation robs it of any scientific unity.” Stanovich (2001, p26)
Stanovich in his book said “remember Benjamin Rush” and those words haunted me like a Dickens novel!
Not only is Freudian theory unfalsifiable, but so are many of the neo-Freudian adaptations, such as Jungian theory. In fact the rivalry between Jung and Freud can be characterized by Jung saying he is obviously right, and Freud replying, no it is obvious he is right. Within each framework, both were right! That is because each theory explained everything, including why the other was wrong, and himself was right.
But how does this relate to primal therapy? Janov was trained and practiced in the Freudian tradition, and although he criticized Freud’s work, he then proceeded to use precisely the same means of assumption, deduction, case studies and his own interpretation of them, as Freud, Jung and others had done. Similarly with primal theory, within the framework of primal theory, Janov is right, and he can explain everything. But it is unfalsifiable and there are many other such theories that also explain everything. The question scientists ask is: are unfalsifiable theories really religions?
So we get down to the direct question. Is primal theory falsifiable? Is their a single event or a long series of events that could disprove it? Think about it. Really think about this before moving on.
Could poor results of therapy falsify Primal Therapy?
What if people don’t get well as a result of primal therapy, in the same way as was suggested in the Janov’s books? What if their eyesight doesn’t improve, what if their cancer doesn’t disappear after primal, what if they commit suicide, what if they get depressed, and what if many quit their jobs or studies? Would any of these things falsify primal theory?
No, they can be explained, “They just had too much Primal Pain” would be one a possible explanation (I heard that judgment repeated many times in various forms during my time out in the primal community, usually with regard to somebody not present or in another clique). “They just did not feel enough of their pain” is another. Or “they did the therapy wrong”. So, no, poor outcomes does not deter primal believers. It is set up so that poor results do not falsify the therapy. So long as primal therapists avoid measuring the therapy as indicated in my section “A Challenge to Primal Therapy” the therapy pretty much is unfalsifiable.
The labelling of primal therapy “failures” as deviants, sociopaths, paranoids, psychopaths, borderlines, parasympaths, LSD users, too repressed, etc, is a good example of how primal theory can be stretched to explain any negative result. That most people don’t benefit from primal, and most go on not to recommend it to their loved ones, can be explained with words like “Primal therapy attracts borderlines like flies”. I actually heard someone say that when he/she was talking about the problems they faced previously, in the 1990s. By the way, that was wrong, the complainers of the 1990s were not borderlines at all and they had valid criticisms in my opinion. About the early nineties I heard someone say “everybody was abreacting, it was horrible” [abreaction means false feelings in primal lingo]. This also explains away complaints or poor outcomes, and protects primal theory and primal therapy.
I hope I am making it clear how no matter what the outcome of therapy, even if they are majority poor or moderate, it always get interpreted in a way that preserves primal theory. This is the essence of unfalsifiability.
Now consider a way to falsify primal theory.
Let’s say a person who remembers no abuse or severe overwhelming pain in early childhood still reports some physical or mental problems. For example if they still developed muscle tension, cancer or depression. Wouldn’t that falsify the theory?
No, because a primal theorist would say that overwhelming pain is the cause, and therefore the patient must have repressed and forgotten about it. The challenge now would be to uncover those terrible hidden pains, in order to cure the patient of whatever. However, since the pains don’t exist would they end up creating them, or exaggerating them?
Here is where it may become unethical, because almost all human afflictions and even natural activities (often called “act outs”), even when relatively normal, can be interpreted as being driven by pain. So someone without a psychological disorder may be persuaded they need primal therapy in order to become “real” or healthier physically. Arthur Janov’s books were and are particularly persuasive in this way.
Consider the opposite, say somebody was abused, and is doing fine now in adulthood, does that falsify the theory? No, because by definition, the person must be pretending to be okay in some way, and they really need to do primal therapy to become what they were before the abuse. Using primal theory as self evident truths leads the theorist to interpret that persons report of a good present life as just a pretence.
The point is it is impossible to falsify the theory. Unfalsifiable theories are considered useless in science. I use the word “useless” advisedly, I found that exact term “useless” in at least three different college textbooks, it is not me being deliberately mean. I have found it echoed in many different disciplines. Philosophy, psychology, anthropology and all the natural sciences all mention this point; although it is easy to miss it sometimes (for example, recently in my chemistry course the professor skipped over the scientific method in 10 minutes, which I think is an injustice to young people).
Primal theory makes sense. It explains everything. That may explain why Janov and others, including myself, got so so excited about it. But that is not enough, a good theory is one that has many possibilities to be falsified, but has not been after much testing.
The philosopher of science, Karl Popper pointed out that both Marxism and Freudian theory are both unfalsifiable.
Primal theory is a beautiful idea. Communism is a beautiful idea. Communism didn’t work, and I think became authoritarian as a result of people not accepting that. In my opinion, primal theory (and therapy) doesn’t work in practice, and can become authoritarian as a result of people not accepting that.
There seem to be people who don’t know the difference between science and philosophy.
Science (from Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge”) is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.
In an older and closely related meaning, “science” also refers to a body of knowledge itself, of the type that can be rationally explained and reliably applied. A practitioner of science is known as a scientist.
Since classical antiquity, science as a type of knowledge has been closely linked to philosophy. In the early modern period the words “science” and “philosophy of nature” were sometimes used interchangeably. By the 17th century, natural philosophy (which is today called “natural science”) was considered a separate branch of philosophy.
Philosophy and science are two distinct activities. They work by different methods (empirically-based hypothesis testing vs. reason-based logical analysis. They inform each other in an interdependent fashion (science depends on philosophical assumptions that are outside the scope of empirical validation, but philosophical investigations should be informed by the best science available in a range of situations, from metaphysics to ethics and philosophy of mind).
Life Before Birth was 1st Runner-up of the 2012 Eric Hoffer Book Award in the Health category:
“This examines behavioral markers before adolescence and childhood, all the way back to gestation. Presenting case studies and trenchant research, Janov posits that much of the adult maladies affecting so many, such as anxiety, addiction, and ADHD, have roots in fetal biochemistry. His analysis offers hope for those concerned about passing on many perceive as hereditary conditions that might actually be prevented with a healthy lifestyle before and during pregnancy. Janov breaks down complex scientific and health-related ideas into accessible, relatable language. Life Before Birth provides a unique guidebook for parents-to-be and an interesting set of ideas for everyone.”
This is Dr. Janov’s opus magnum, a revolutionary work in every sense of the word. It may help to change the practice of psychotherapy as we know it, and above it, how we give birth today; the shoulds and should nots. It explains in detail how early trauma and adversity can have lifelong consequences and result in serious afflictions from cancer to diabetes. It can have monumental implications for medical practice, as well, and points to how we can rear healthy children.
Eric Hoffer would not have touched Janov with a barge pole. Alfred Nobel invented dynamite and wrote a one page will stipulating that his money go to discoveries or inventions in the physical sciences and chemistry. No mention was made of Nobel peace or literature prizes although Nobel might have approved of a special mention for terrorist Nelson Mandela for abuse of his own invention. So you can see how these principles become corrupted, unless you prefer to remain wilfully obtuse.
If women want to get themselves knocked up and drink too much coffee or alcohol or do drugs during pregnancy then it is their personal responsibility for bringing defective children into the world. If a woman gets pregnant against her will, she should be unconditionally entitled to an abortion. Dr Janov’s followers will make themselves very, very rich by extracting large, never ending fees from anyone stupid enough to believe them. Religious institutions have much the same approach albeit they get most of their funding from the poor.
Answer to the debunker ………
Ok, I’ve been meaning to write this post for while – a kind of tour of duty. So here we go…
If you refer to my post on Understanding Mental Sickness you will see I make reference to Dr Arthur Janov’s Primal Therapy, as a possible – and in my view probable – solution/method to breaking down traumatic repressed pain. I have studied Arthur Janov’s literature quite extensively for a long time, and I have followed his long-running blog and made many contributions to it over the last few years. I have even asserted (though often speculatively) some theoretical clarifications on various things.
I will first mention that the author of Debunking Primal Therapy, as he has admitted, was closely involved in Janov’s therapy himself but rebelled from it later. Why? Janov has claimed [in direct and public response to my questions] that the guy who formed this website was a trainee primal therapist who failed, and had to be dismissed – he just couldn’t do it. The trainee then ‘got himself a mission’ to hurt Arthur Janov and his clinic, and likewise formed the debunking website.
I can only report here on what others have said, but I think these assertions should be noted.
Firstly, we should ask ourselves what we need to do to debunk Primal Therapy. What questions do we need to ask? Really there are only two core questions that need to be confronted to give us the meat of what we need to know:
Well, getting to it, there is this guy on the Internet who has an anonymously authored website called “Debunking Primal Therapy”, which is primarily targeted towards Arthur Janov’s therapy. It is the author’s best attempt at damaging the image and credibility of Arthur Janov’s therapy.
Though I know there are many people out there who would laugh at the author’s work, few have posted in critical opposition to it. So I have decided to say what I have to say of it, in defense to what I know of Arthur Janov’s work.
1. Is it true that traumatic pain is blocked within the nervous system, leading to (and driving) symptoms and general repression, like Dr Arthur Janov describes it? Is repression, like Dr Arthur Janov [and Freud, for that matter] describe it, real?
2. Is it true that blocked pain, that we assume to be a reality, can be later integrated? That is, can we de-repress and allow for the originally blocked pain signal to run though it’s course, little by little, as the mature brain can then tolerate its assimilation, and again like Dr Arthur Janov describes it?
Well, as I said these are the only two questions that we really need to look at. Whether or not Janov’s therapy facilitates the integration of blocked pain, or whether or not it does so well, is ultimately a secondary issue. What we need to know about is if the therapy is standing on an accurate premise – not whether or not Janov’s personal therapy has or ever has had any operational flaws.
[And no doubt it has had its bugs, like all new developments. Nothing is perfect at conception. Maybe he is still making mistakes today? I don’t know. You can do any right thing wrong, but again Janov’s therapeutic competence is not the critical question.]
Now this is where I have my biggest problem with the debunking website. It never goes to what’s real – directly. It does not ask or answer the only two questions that really matter. It’s a vast mass of hard to read (because it’s boring – no substance) material that makes up for a huge pile of empty
accusations that, in themselves, debunk nothing at all.
Well, I for one do not need any more evidence on the idea of blocked pain driving neurotic behaviour. To me, from so many observations of both myself and others, this has become obvious. Countless mainstream therapists (including neurologists) are on my side with this too, I will add.
-Though some are not. Some seem to believe that all repressed memories are false memories, created via the suggestions of unscrupulous or incompetent therapists, and that repressed memories do not have an active impact on the brain. May I say that it’s true that false and implanted memories are real, but obviously not all memories are false. The existence of the unreal does not invalidate the real, and false memories and repressed memories are two different topics.
The real question that is considered controversial is Janov’s claim that he can de-repress blocked pain. When Freud tried this he merely ended up with abreaction (Keeping it simple: think of abreaction as a somewhat benign externally-induced psychotic episode), of which did not (and does not) lead to the integration of prior repressed pain. Freud then came to the conclusion that repressed pain could be triggered but not actually integrated and resolved, so the force of blocked pain was unfortunately permanent until the individual’s death.
Janov claims that Freud’s observations were accurate with respect to abreaction, but Freud was achieving abreaction only because he did not discover how to achieve Integration. Freud formed the assumption that integration was impossible, which Janov came to refute. This, in my view, is the only core difference between Janov and Freud.
My own experience with the Integration process:
When I was 17 years old my defense system truly broke down for a short moment, and I had what Janov calls a Primal – an event of pain integration.
Note: This happened before I knew anything about primal therapy or developed any serious interest in psychology and mental sickness. So no-one can say this was some sort of externally suggested experience. It most certainly was not.
Anyway, I will give you the basic run-down sequence of what happened.
1. Forced to my knees and let out an absolutely spontaneous cry. Immediately prior to this I felt, for a very short moment, the experience of truly losing control (mentally) which was the distinctly uncomfortable part of the experience. This experience has a quality that cannot be described to anyone who has not experienced it. I will say it feels like profound vulnerability.
2. I then felt what was like a straight-jacket (that I was always wearing) being sequentially released around my mid-line, again as an entirely spontaneous motion. [Janov accurately calls this “dropping into the feeling”].
3. I then felt utterly like a 4 year old child, and in a specific feeling that was completely real for me. The best way I can put it was that I finally went to the real [prior repressed] feeling, rather than battling to deny it, which, as Janov again describes, is what we are all unknowingly doing all of the time. I will not give you the details on the feeling but it was the saddest feeling I remember having.
4. I enjoyed the feeling. It was a deep relief to feel it – rather than battling away from it.
5. After going to bed to feel my feeling, and feeling it for a time, I then found myself profusely sweating. This actually distressed me a bit because I could not understand why on earth I was sweating. It was like my body was not making sense.
6. I then felt very cheerful, if not elated, because I knew it was the end of the issue I was having at the time and I was fascinated by how I had really felt. The best way I can describe the cycle is as a true, full-bodied acceptance of reality. In true acceptance there is resolution. When you have really resolved something you know it. It is not abstract. It is not something you try to tell yourself and convince yourself about (like cognitive therapy). It is inherently real.
So what’s my point? My point is that this sequence is identical to what Janov had described way back in the seventies, with his classic The Primal Scream.
So is Janov a con man making it all up? From this experience of mine, and for many other reasons, I really doubt it. For me, the main question is simply “How far can the regressive process go?”. Is infantile pain as far as we can go, or can we go further into fetal level pains? I am not yet in a position to completely affirm what I think is probably the truth. I need direct experience beyond my current experience to know for sure.
Note: I want to mention that the integrative process is not something that a therapist does “to you”. As you may have already gathered Integration, by Janov’s definition, is a natural process. It happens on its own, conditions withstanding. So a primal therapist merely performs a facilitation role, allowing the individual to naturally experience and integrate their pain. It seems that the brain will heal itself – you just need to give it the chance.
The zealot detractors:
Ok reader – let me tell you something! One thing I have learnt in my political interests and studies (and other) is that if you have a strong opinion on something, then no matter how right and well-explained you might be, you are going to piss people off. And that includes intelligent people who are prepared to prostitute their intellects to the service of wishful-thinking rationalisations. Leaving you, guaranteed, with an army of detractors who may seem right (to the uneducated eye), yet, just as easily, be so completely wrong.
My point is that websites like the debunking primal therapy page are to be expected, no matter how right or wrong Arthur Janov may or may not be. Believe me, Janovian primal theory is for many people a charged territory.
Please take note of that, and do not be prematurely spooked out of Janovian Primal theory/therapy by this highly arguable debunking site. On the surface it appears to say so much, but from what I have seen it really says so little. Personally, as I have already said, I think it’s a mass of speculative junk. In my analysis of it (a couple of years back) I could not find any real substance. I just reeks of an agenda to look for any way, no matter how spurious and weak, to make some kind of a case to damage the image of Arthur Janov’s therapy. Payback for being kicked out of the clinic? Who knows.
They just don’t get it:
I’ve had lots of conversations about Janov’s theory on Janov’s blog and elsewhere, and here’s another thing I can tell you for sure. Countless people, including those who have a direct interest in this area, just don’t understand it properly (which is why I wrote my understanding mental sickness). Most of the critics I have seen on Janov’s therapy, including the highly credentialed ones, also so often demonstrate that they have only read the back cover of The Primal Scream, at the most.
Go directly to the source if you want to get a grasp of what Janov’s theory/therapy is all about. It’s a tricky territory to grasp at first, and there’s a lot of misunderstanding out there.
Note: Also, reader, respect that the most substantial anchor you have for forming a perspective on any therapy or theoretical idea, in the psychology world, is your own first-hand experience – that is, from naturally observing both yourself and others, over the years. Ask yourself: Are the author’s claims consistent with the simple truths that I already know and can see? If they’re seriously out of whack then you’re probably listening to someone who’s more interested in using intellectualism to escape from reality, than clarifying it.
Janov warns about “pseudo” Primal therapy:
Janov makes the claim that he is the only guy in town who knows how to do this therapy properly. In making this claim he creates the suspicion of just being a profiteer.
Well, I can say myself that I know he is right – in part at least. Though I do not dismiss the idea that others can develop a therapy of effective regression like Janov has [probably] done, there still are, bluntly, a lot of people out there of the type who never should have been involved in the sensitive territory of psychotherapy, including and especially including the potentially dangerous therapy that is Primal.
I won’t bother going into details, but I will personally recommend that you stick with Janov if you develop a serious interest in this. Take it from me his warnings are not unfounded or merely money-motivated.
What we need is a serious investigation into repression and integration as a process, using Arthur Janov’s clinic as a study piece only to that end – and not to use Janov’s failings, be what they may or may not have been, as an excuse to outright dismiss the concept of Integration. And we need to be agnostic on the possibility of regression therapy until we know what we know.
Already a lot of work is being done on post traumatic stress disorder (intensive neurological studies) which spell out clearly enough the function of at least recently repressed pain (not pain from very early childhood, as such). Trauma and repression is real, and so are the long-lasting effects. How we can and do relieve blocked pain is the question, if that’s possible at all (respecting the need for clinical evidence), and that should be the center of our focus. Thus far, the “debunking primal therapy” site tells us nothing.
Clarification: Do I personally recommend Janov’s therapy?
As a possibility to independently study – absolutely yes, and before anything else. But I can only recommend it from this position, because I have not yet had direct personal experience with Janov’s therapy. Until I try the therapy myself (which I will do in good time), and comprehensively investigate it, I feel I do not have the right to outright recommend it from my current position. I need to test what I believe in terms of first-hand experience.
Update: 2-10-12: Personal statement: The debunking site:
The debunking site is a smokescreen of cheap intellectualism designed to intimidate the novice. For the most part, I just see a mass of cryptic drivel with no anchor in real. The author leans more than heavily on the abstract (and likewise spurious) to try and prove his case.
If you ever look through the debunking site you would see that virtually all of the accusations could, with dedication and effort, be applied to nearly any group or movement that isn’t the spitting image of stereotypical conservatism. This, if I may speak freely, is part of the reason why I find it so obnoxious – it’s just one cheap shot after the next.
If this guy from the debunking site really had something to say then he wouldn’t need a trillion words to say it. He would have quality – not quantity. The site is often childishly accusational (like calling Primal Therapy a cult), takes quotes out of context, and is frequently economical with the truth. Though the site calls itself friendly it is obviously an antagonised beat-up. There is nothing friendly about strategic misrepresentation.
I have not gone into the specific details of the content of the debunking site, because there’s just so much of it (where do I begin?) and it’s the wrong focus anyway. To avoid the never-ending circle of a geek-style debate, I again ask the reader to just first focus on the only two questions that actually matter:
Is repressed pain real? Can repressed pain be de-repressed, and integrated?
Note: Trying to pin the ‘cult’ label on primal therapy is the nastiest of the authors accusations. In doing this he’s not just claiming that primal therapy is ineffective, he’s basically telling people that the boogeyman will get them if they even give it a go (which is no doubt his intention). I could respect his accusation if he had any real substance to justify making it, but he doesn’t. As I see it, the attempted cult labeling is seriously defamatory.
Posted by Andrew Atkin at 3:54 PM
Dis maar moeilik om ‘n standpunt oor te dra aan ‘n fundamentalis of dit nou ‘n moeslim, Jood of ateîs is. Hulle is so rigied in wat hulle glo dat daar geen “vryheid” van bewegings ruimte is nie, dis amper soos om aan ‘n tv skerm te klop en die flikkerende beelde van akteurs in Mallies se gunsteling sepie te probeer vertel hulle hoef nie so onsteld te wees nie, dit was net ‘n misverstand.
( Ek kry die indruk dat sepie stories word meestal gebaseer op misverstande tussen die rolle wat die “akteurs” vertolk en dit hou vir jare aan ).
Ja Johann, it’s like my fundie “Christian” neighbours wanting me to “forgive and forget” after trying to trash my name left right and centre. It’s about control. The same story over and over. They will want to tell me what so-and-so thinks of me, all in an effort to undermine my feeling of control over my own property. So that I will move away, and then they have won, until the next owners arrive. Unless a huge, vulgar guy moves in who will go across and give the neighbour a hard klap. They would love to have a valid reason to call the police. I have a no contact rule with these fundies so I don’t have to listen to their crap. They give everyone they think might be vulnerable a hard time. This is supposed to be a respectable area. Now there is a badly torn awning in full view of my private courtyard. They don’t repair it, the same way they put up a ladder on their tree to see over my garden wall. And all the time it’s Jesus this and Jesus that, and God bless you and they go around saying I don’t behave like a Christian because I refuse to talk to them. White trash. Every normal person calls them what they are: total cunts.
“Dis maar moeilik om ‘n standpunt oor te dra aan ‘n fundamentalis of dit nou ‘n moeslim, Jood of ateîs is. Hulle is so rigied ….” Ek let op jy laat christinne voorgenoemde aanhaling uit? Is hulle nooit fundamentalisties nie Johannie?
En terloops, om enigsins as fundamentalisties beskryf te word, is die vertrekpunt GELOOF in iets. Ateiste hang geen dogma aan nie en kan dus per definisie beswaarlik fundamentalisties wees. Dis so goed jy verklaar die nie-speel van gholf ‘n sportsoort. Dit maak eenvoudig geen sin nie. Maar bygesê jy maak selde sin Johannie, so jou stellings hierbo is 100% in pas met dit wat ons van jou verwag.
Nobody wants to live next door to a fundamentalist, whether Christian, Muslim or Jew – in order of prevalence and pestilence. I have yet to be approached by a Muslim about my relationship with Muhammed or a Jew about my relationship with Moses.
Ha, ha, exactly Holy. They simply ignore the fact that an atheist by definition does not believe in the supernatural. It does not exist for us. We regard it as totally irrelevant when explaining the environment around us. That pesky little fact seems to escape dimwits like Johannie. They keep on “convoluting” facts to suit their shoddy arguments and will vigorously set up straw-men; then shoot it down with self-important bravado. Talk about storming the windmills!
Diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend: why it’s advisable to share your home with a sensitive parrot rather than own jewellery.
‘Hercule’ Parrot solves case
A pet parrot in India has been credited with helping catch the man who murdered its owner, a relative said yesterday.
The owner, a 55-year-old woman, was stabbed to death and her jewellery stolen at her home in Agra on February 20.
The woman’s relatives grew suspicious when her caged bird became agitated whenever her nephew, Ashutosh Goswami, was in the home or his name was mentioned.
News agency dpa said the parrot was named Hercule, but other reports had it as Heera – which means diamond in Hindi.
The family started calling out different names to the parrot, who stayed silent until the nephew’s name was used.
“When the name Ashutosh was said, the parrot shrieked and behaved abnormally,” said a relative.
“This information was passed to police,” he said.
The nephew, 35, who had a bite mark on his hand from the woman’s dog, was arrested and charged, along with an accomplice, after the murder weapon and the jewellery were recovered, police said. A senior police superintendent praised the bird.
In the Youtube video below, Stephen Fry gets the short end in an argument with ex Catholic priest Simon Lokodo who is now Ugandan Minister of Ethics and Integrity. For once I’m with the Catholic. Conflating gay rights with women’s rights is a cynical argument. Gay men are interested in other gay men, not women or their rights. (Johann, please note this video is not directed at you as it flies over your aerodynamic skull.) Fry whines on and on about being gay and how wonderful it is to be a “gay western liberal” and even tells Lokodo to “try it”. Liberalism is another religion which you are not allowed to argue with.
No Holy, for once I do not agree with your statement. What is currently happening in Uganda is atrocious, barbaric and backwards to say the least. Fry’;s objective is to point this out. His argument regarding being “born gay” is based on scientific findings and well documented. Stephen Fry is perhaps not the best debater because he tends to become a tad emotional on the topic, but the braindead peanut opposing him belongs in the stone age. Good heavens, when will we accept the fact that sexual preferences is a private issue? No-one has the right to interfere with consensual sex between two grown-ups. Simple as that. Sela.
He didn’t need to come out and ask the guy to try out being gay for himself. And the comment about anal sex happening more often between heterosexuals than gay men? Wtf! My friend with the B&B has to bag the sheets and send them out for decontamination whenever she has a gay male couple staying over. How does that work, anal sex, when you don’t realise you need to crap? Notice to potential guests: if you want to fuck each other up the arse, go and do it elsewhere.
With all the other shit flying in Uganda around corruption and wide scale rape of anything with an aperture, the “liberal” west only decides to impose withdrawal of aid because Uganda decides it doesn’t like gays? Africa does not need aid, it only feeds more corruption and war. Meantime, female genital mutilation in Kenya leaves something to be desired.
Why Ugandan, Kenyan sex workers are at war
SUNDAY, 19 JANUARY 2014 23:14 WRITTEN BY PIUS OPAE PAPA
The world has long been fighting a war against female genital mutilation of young women, with little success.
But as Pius Opae Papa reports, some women from Uganda appear to be enjoying controversial advantages because they escaped the circumcision knife as girls.
In the most unlikely place, Kenyan tribes’ insistence on cultural practices is preventing its women from competing in the world’s oldest profession – prostitution. Kenya’s Kalenjin and Bukusu tribes practice female genital mutilation (FGM), while in Uganda it is being vigorously fought among the Sabiny of Kapchorwa.
Consequently, in the border town of Malaba, truck drivers are choosing Ugandan women over their Kenyan counterparts as sexual partners. They are now smuggling Ugandan women to the Kenyan side, or crossing the border to hunt for the Ugandan sex workers. Bashir Kamudu, a truck driver, insists that Kalenjin and Bukusu sex workers, who are readily available on the Kenyan side of Malaba, are exceptionally attractive but boring in bed. Kamudu blames FGM for his preference of Ugandan women.
Yusuf Omondi, another truck driver, agrees with Kamudu; but he adds that not only have Kenyan sex workers been tampered with by illiterate village ‘surgeons’, they are also too expensive. Kenyan prostitutes charge between KShs 300 (Ushs 8,000) and Kshs 1,000 (about UShs 28,000) per hour, compared to their Ugandan counterparts who charge between Ushs 2,000 and Shs 5,000 for same duration.
Apart from not practising FGM, in which the labia are cut off, Ugandan women are also known to elongate the labia, a matter that is thought to make them more attractive to their sexual partners. Allen, a 28-year-old Ugandan sex worker, who has practised her trade in Malaba for 11 years, agrees that her compatriots are in high demand, compared to Kenyan women.
“It’s not our problem that their own men and truck drivers are abandoning them and choose to look for us,” says Allen.
Allen sometimes earns up to Shs 50,000 a night, and sometimes up to Shs 500,000 – when dollar-paying Somali truck drivers flood the area. Because of the fierce ‘international’ competition, however, Ugandan sex workers have to hide from Kenyan rivals, by pretending to be clearing agents, in order to provide their services on the Kenyan side of the border.
It is estimated that there are over 500 sex workers camped in Malaba earning an average living through the night business of prostitution. They service the hundreds of truck drivers using the customs point.
A gynaecologist, Dr Pauline Nassolo, agrees with the Kenyan men that mutilated women may be a turn-off for men during sexual intercourse, because the organs of sexual stimulation are cut off during circumcision.
Mutilated women, she says, are also colder. She adds that mutilated women rarely enjoy sex, which may explain why some men find them boring.
Both Uganda and Kenya have ratified several international protocols against FGM. These include a December 2012 resolution by the United Nations General Assembly, declaring FGM an abuse of rights of women and a threat to the health of women and girls. UN figures from 2010 indicate that FGM is declining, although it still affects about 100 million to 140 million women and girls worldwide.
Although prostitution is illegal in both Kenya and Uganda, there have been attempts by local authorities in Malaba to legalise the oldest profession. Authorities in Malaba-Kenya passed a bye-law in 2004, legalizing sex work and setting up a tax that prostitutes had to pay to operate there.
Commercial sex workers were required to pay KShs 9,000 (Shs 252,000) per year for a licence. However, the sex workers reneged on the deal, after some men in Malaba threatened a boycott, arguing that prostitutes had increased their charges. Malaba town chief John Ikileng then threatened to close all the unlicensed sex shops in the town, if the sex workers refused to pay the annual operating tax.
However, the men then threatened to take legal action against Ikileng, arguing that the bye-law contravened the penal code and Constitution, and was also against the women’s human rights. With his back against the wall, Ikileng succumbed and the law was scrapped from the law books.
Since then, prostitution has faced challenges both for those practising it and those supposed to stop it. Apart from the harassment from her Kenyan competitors, Allen cites incessant police patrols at night as a hindrance to their business. She says the police extort a lot of money from them to allow them stay on the streets – fees sometimes collected in kind.
“The policemen patrolling at night sometimes come as clients but after offering them the services, they threaten to arrest us and close our operating zones, but there is nowhere we can report these cases because we fear to be arrested,” Allen explains.
However, other sex workers, who declined to be named, said they hoped that if borders were removed, under the East African Community, they would be able to operate without harassment.
The sex workers also want prostitution legalized across the region, as they say they use it to look after their families.
Cause of cross-border prostitution
According to Charles Ojulo, a social worker and counsellor with North Star, an NGO rehabilitating former prostitutes and HIV/Aids patients in Malaba, endemic poverty is behind prostitution. He explains that several frustrated women see it as an easy way out of poverty.
Ojulo tells of several cases where a young girl’s parents die, and the resulting desperation forces her into prostitution to earn a living.
He adds that some girls and women, who arrived at the border as victims of the violence that followed the 2007 elections in Kenya, have never returned home for fear of retribution and have turned to prostitution.