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Lies My Psychology Professors Taught Me PT 1

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  • robalini@aol.com
    Please send as far and wide as possible. Thanks, Robert Sterling Editor, The Konformist http://www.konformist.com http://www.konformist.com/2000/psych-lies.htm
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 21, 2000
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      Please send as far and wide as possible.


      Robert Sterling
      Editor, The Konformist

      Lies My Psychology Professors Taught Me
      David McGowan (dave@...)

      "[New] technologies are conditioning a growing segment of the
      society to regard all deviance as sickness and to accept
      increasingly narrow standards of acceptable behavior as
      scientifically normative ... Together the new programs and
      technologies are part of a burgeoning establishment involving
      welfare institutions, universities, hospitals, the drug industry,
      government at all levels, and organized psychiatry (itself in large
      part a creation of government) ... The ideal, in the view of the
      behaviorists, is the paranoid's dream, a method so smooth that no
      one will know his behavior is being manipulated and against which
      no resistance is therefore possible ... There is no longer a set of
      impositions which he can regard as unjust or capricious and against
      which he can dream of rebelling. To entertain such dreams would be
      madness. Gradually, even the ability to imagine alternatives begins
      to fade. This is, after all, not only the best of all possible
      worlds; it is the only one."
      Peter Schrag Mind Control, Pantheon 1978

      I have a degree in psychology from UCLA. I don't know exactly where
      it is, though I'm sure it's safely filed away somewhere. It's not
      really worth much though. I don't mean that it doesn't have much
      value in the job market, though that is surely the case. No, it
      isn't worth much because it was awarded to me on the supposition
      that I had gained a substantial level of knowledge about the field
      of psychology, which in hindsight was clearly a faulty premise.
      It's not that I didn't try to learn. I actually did a very
      good job of regurgitating back the information that was presented
      to me, even graduating with honors. No, the problem was that -
      despite the exalted reputation of the UCLA psychology department -
      none of my professors seemed to be particularly interested in
      teaching me what psychology is really about.
      I have a much better understanding now, though I had to
      fill in many of the gaps in my education on my own. Doing so, by
      the way, took considerably less time than the four years I spent
      being spoon-fed pseudo-knowledge at college. Society doesn't place
      any value on the acquisition of such knowledge however, so I don't
      have any kind of degree for my post-college education.
      Nevertheless, I thought I'd pass along some of the information that
      I wasn't formally taught, for whatever it's worth.
      One thing I was taught was that John Watson is a much
      revered figure in the field of psychology, considered the father of
      'behaviorism.' Watson, who began his career in 1908 as a professor
      of psychology and the director of the psychological laboratory at
      Johns Hopkins University, was perhaps most notable for venturing
      into the field of infant study in 1918 - at the time a largely
      unexplored area of research. Watson conditioned a fear response in
      an infant identified only as 'Little Albert,' afterwards
      triumphantly declaring that "men are built, not born."
      Ten years later, Watson would pen what was at the time
      considered the bible of child-rearing, Psychological Care of Infant
      and Child, assuming the mantle that would later be worn by Dr.
      Spock. Unfortunately, there are a couple of elements of this story
      that seem to have been omitted from my textbooks, one of which is
      that Little Albert was not just some random infant; he was, in
      fact, the illegitimate son of the good doctor himself. And how did
      the reigning expert on childcare fare as a father? Not too well, it
      seems: Albert Watson was so traumatized by his upbringing at the
      hands of his father that he committed suicide shortly after
      reaching adulthood.
      Watson had long since left his position at Johns Hopkins
      amidst a nasty divorce from his first wife, presumably precipitated
      by her displeasure with the revelation that Watson's experiments
      had included impregnating his nurse and torturing their resultant
      offspring. In 1921, Watson had headed for Madison Avenue where he
      would put the behavior modification knowledge he had acquired by
      traumatizing infants to work on a society-wide level, ushering in
      the era of modern propaganda (oops, I meant to say advertising).
      Along the way, he would find U.S. intelligence services to be an
      excellent source of funding, as would all the characters in this
      sordid tale.
      Following closely in the footsteps of Dr. Watson was B.F.
      Skinner, the other revered figure in the behaviorist school of
      psychology. Skinner - who had received a defense grant during World
      War II to study the training of pigeons for use as part of an early
      missile guidance system (I don't just make this shit up) - invented
      what he termed the 'Air Crib' in 1945, which was essentially a
      sensory deprivation chamber built specifically for infants. Like
      Watson, he used his own child as a human guinea pig, raising her in
      the thermostatically controlled, sound-proof isolation chamber for
      the first two years of her life, cut off from human contact.
      Skinner ultimately followed a bit too closely in the footsteps of
      his mentor; Debby Skinner, like Albert Watson, committed suicide in
      her twenties.
      In 1948 Skinner joined the faculty of Harvard, putting him
      in the company of such luminaries as Dr. Martin Orne, the head of
      the Office of Naval Research’s Committee on Hypnosis and later a
      prominent member of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. Skinner
      and Orne - as well as numerous others at Harvard, including Timothy
      Leary and Richard Alpert - received heavy funding from both the CIA
      and the U.S. Army. In 1971, Skinner published an unabashedly
      fascistic diatribe entitled Beyond Freedom and Dignity, advocating
      a dystopian society in which freedom and dignity were outmoded
      concepts. It earned him a cover story in Time magazine and the
      honor of having his work named the most important book of the year
      by the New York Times.
      Also on board at Harvard at the time was Dr. Henry Murray,
      overseeing the work of Leary's Psychedelic Drug Research Program
      and various other CIA-funded projects. So deified was this man
      during my years at UCLA that an entire undergraduate course focused
      almost exclusively on his supposedly brilliant work. Yet during
      that course, no mention was ever made of the fact that Murray was a
      fully owned asset of the intelligence community. Recruited during
      World War II by none other than Wild Bill Donovan, Murray was
      quickly put to work running the Personality Assessments section of
      the OSS, precursor to the CIA.
      Murray's best known contribution to the field of
      personality assessment - the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) - was
      in fact developed as a tool of the U.S. military/intelligence
      complex. After the war, Murray would be one of the key players in
      the CIA's MK-ULTRA projects, studying various methods of achieving
      control of the human mind. One of his best research subjects during
      his days at Harvard was a young undergraduate by the name of
      Theodore Kaczynski.
      Perhaps even more revered than Murray was Dr. Louis Jolyon
      West, the head of the UCLA Psychiatry Department and the director
      of the prestigious UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. Dr. West was
      another prominent participant in the MK-ULTRA program who would
      eventually wind up on the board of the False Memory Syndrome
      Foundation. His work with the military/intelligence community began
      at least as far back as 1958, when he conducted studies funded by
      the U.S. Air Force in surviving torture as a prisoner-of-war. If
      you're wondering how it is possible to study the conditioning of
      soldiers to survive torture without inflicting that very same
      torture in the process, the answer is simple: it isn't. A few years
      later, West achieved a moment of fame when he injected a beloved
      elephant at the Oklahoma City Zoo with a massive 300,00 microgram
      dose of LSD to observe how it would react; Tusko's reaction was to
      promptly drop dead.
      In 1964, West was called upon to evaluate the 'mental
      state' of a man by the name of Jack Ruby, at the time being held
      pending trial for the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald. West quickly
      determined that Ruby was delusional, based on his obviously absurd
      belief that there was some sort of fascist conspiracy behind the
      assassination of President Kennedy. Dr. Jolly, as he was known to
      colleagues, ordered Ruby drugged with 'happy pills.' Ruby
      subsequently died of cancer, which he maintained he had been
      deliberately infected with. Having finished up that assignment, the
      doctor soon after found himself a crash-pad in the Haight where he
      could 'observe' the acid subculture in its native environment by
      drugging unwitting 'subjects.'
      West is probably most notorious for proposing in 1972 to
      then California Governor Ronald Reagan the creation of a Center for
      the Study and Reduction of Violence, to be built on a remote
      abandoned missile test site in the Santa Monica Mountains. One of
      his first recruits was Leonard Rubenstein, formerly a top aide to
      Dr. David Ewen Cameron, as well as two South American doctors who
      had also worked for Cameron - one to run the shock room and the
      other to run the psychosurgery suite. At the time, the two were
      employed at 'detention centers' in Paraguay and Chile, which is a
      nice way of saying that they were working at torture/interrogation
      centers run by Nazi exile communities (many of which - including
      the notorious Colonia Dignidad in Chile - still exist to this day).

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