THE LONELY AMERICAN

Robert Putman’s “Bowling Alone” Should send a signal to all of us that something has gone horribly wrong with America.While some scholars may be critical of Putman’s work, many resonate with the accuracy of his assessment. One of Solomon’s proverbs illustrates this: “the rich have many friends, but the poor is despised even by his neighbor.” The wealthy critics of Putman are no doubt protected  by their status in society. “Just as wisdom is a shelter, so wealth is a shelter,” Solomon. It is not only a shelter from poverty, but a shield against the impoverished circumstances that so many trudge through on a daily basis. People reason from their own experience. It requires a towering imagination for one to understand an experience that is not his own.

Aberrations are beginning to emerge that are foreign to our past. Narcissism is on the rise and the sociopathic personality has risen with it. Change has somehow become synonymous with progress. Such tragedies as the Columbine High glare through our television sets as we have all become normalized in our reactions to such horrific events. Lone wolf shooters are now ubiquitous and infused with life itself.

The one religion that held us all together for so many years has now waned and become static noise in our minds, as if church attendance is a duty without any substance or expectation to learn. The sweeping slopes of doubt impel our imagination almost as if we are never really quite certain of anything until we are uncertain. Not only do Americans believe that knowledge is not possible, but actually despair of knowledge and believe it to be like a fading mirage, temporal, and transient.

“There are no absolutes!” Social Scientists exclaim with unwavering pride. Whatever can not be seen, sampled, or physically interacted with, is rejected as witch craft. One might do well to be reminded that such monsters as Stalin, Khrushchev, and Adolf Hitler created scientific societies that bowed before the alter of atomism.

Victor Frankl once said that places like Auschwitz were born on the desk of an academic. And who suffered from the atrocities of the death camps? Not the academics. They basked in the comforts afforded them by their tenure while everyone else fell below the line of disparity. Though the champions of science may worship reason, they actually reject reason itself when confronted with apriori logic. Empiricism is not the only epistemological avenue to extrapolate knowledge.

The people who think that this culture walks on water need to take  second gander. Just because something cannot be seen does not necessarily deny its existence. The more a society moves toward atomism, the less reliant upon logic it becomes, hence, the emergence of new ageism, Jungian analysts, UFOs, Zombie apocalypses, ghosts, goblins, ghouls, ect. Irrationality becomes a badge of honor that one proudly wares. If irrationality becomes the standard of judgment, then the irrational will come to believe the rational to be irrational.

Hyper individuality divides people because each person has his own individual truth. No truth is superior to the other which translates into, “there is no truth.” For example, if one believes in ghosts, he may find common ground and unite with others who believe in ghosts, however, when such collective beliefs become so exponentially numerical, one is left with a society splintered a thousand different ways.

Emotions become the leading edge of truth. I am reminded what C.S Lewis once wrote: “emotions and sentiments by themselves are  alogical, they may be reasonable or unreasonable as they conform or fail to conform to reason.” The post Darwinian Scientists call themselves paragons of reason, however, I become suspicious when they refer to the universe as benevolent. Benevolence is a human quality. A universe cannot be benevolent, only humans can have this attribute. This makes me believe there may be a number of Scientists who believe in the personification of substances, a religion known as pantheism.

The lonely American will never unite under atomism. The perpetual movement in the human psyche will assure him there is no foundation to rest his weary soul. There will be a significant decreased interest in his fellow human beings. I was speaking with a colleague not too long ago who asked me if I had noticed that people are no longer  inquisitive and curious about each other. When one meets another in these post modern days, he can rest assured, the person, whether sitting, or standing across from him, will only talk about himself, and have very little interest in dialogue.

 

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Romantic Poetry

If You Were Here

Wishing you were hear

for when you are near

my heart

is no longer

eclipsed

by the shadows

that linger…..

in the darkness

of this life.

 

the un-for-seen gift

 A dream of long ago

ashes from a dowsed fire

dust from a cloud

that left out to sea

was all that was left

of a life gone by.

Highways and byways

empty hotel rooms

occupied a broken heart.

But once in a life time someone comes along

with the same song.

More precious than my own life.

An avalanche of emotion

came crashing through

the walls of my heart

giving me a brand new start.

She is so tender

and I thank the one who sent her.

She looks like an angel from above

One whom deserves all my love.

The dream

We kissed last night

while your hair spilled

all around me.

It was so beautiful as the

ends of it brushed my shoulders.

And I begged you

Don’t take this heaven from me.

On leaving Biloxi

Farewell to the sea

who is boundless and free.

Oh! ocean of blue!

You were such great pleasure to view!

Your white caps and swells

and the secrets they could tell.

Where will my loneliness Abide

without you at my side?

I will be left on my own

now that you are gone.

And the sunsets with streams of light

that dissipate on the horizon until the last fight.

Then comes the night

black and opaque

but dawn must emerge for nature’s sake.

I too am bound by nature

and am pulled into the future.

No longer will I see thee

Unlike you, I am not free,

for the groan and travail

of my wish to stay will fail.

Moved by other powers

I am forced to cower

to the laws of human nature.

Good bye my ocean that I love

A gift long ago from heaven above.

Anticipation

Out of the darkness

my heart believes

it has found oneness

with one who does not deceive.

Though memories fade

they do not relieve

the grief my soul

did receive.

And now my waning years

have found me here

where failure left its mark.

If she leaves me in the dark

hope’s longing to sprout wings

will take flight.

After all…

I am only human, with so much fight.

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HOW RELIABLE ARE STATISTICS?

In this world of empiricism and sensation it becomes difficult to tell truth from deception. Our entire country is governed by quantitative statistics. There is a number attached to everything, especially humans. The world of work has evolved into nothing more than a set of statistical data where all values are measured numerically. The sweltering feelings that boil over in the work place from this model are cold, calculating and immutable. People experience them weather they are aware of it or not. In the community mental health system this is especially pronounced, as billable hours are now required of the therapist in order to maintain his/her employment.

Upper level management always asserts that you can do both, bill for the hours and take care of the client’s welfare. After 20 years of being in the field I can tell you that nothing is further from the truth and that no man can serve two masters, billable hours and the client’s needs. The therapist will do one or the other. She may fool herself into believing that she is doing both as I did, but tragically, it is the clients who suffer. Ronald Reagan once said that “there is a lot of money to be made off the downtrodden and poor.”  Your job is not dependent on how well you may help your client, but singularly on the statistical data driven by quantitative analysis.

What if the police or fire departments worked off of this model? Can you imagine what the state of our nation would be like if the firemen, in order to be paid, had to put out a certain number of fires each day? What happens when they are short on their quota a fire or two and do not meet billing requirements? Do they start fires in order to meet those requirements? Would the police have to go murder people to meet their quota as well? And then fool themselves into believing that they are doing both, serving the people’s needs and meeting the billing standards as well?

This bears a striking resemblance to Nazi economics. Adolf Hitler required the same of the German workforce during WWII. Statistics are often very irrational, yet people parade them around like they are scientific facts. For example, there have been studies done that show a rise in suicides with the rise in ice cream sales. The anti gun hysterics use the same irrational system for their beliefs. More children die from bath tub accidents than gun accidents. Should we outlaw bathtubs as a means for bathing children?

It makes one wonder what is behind the global warming parade? It is believed that there has been a rise in the temperature over the years. If for example, the temperatures in the southern part of the United States are unusually high and the northern part of the country are the same cold temperatures and you amalgamate the two to obtain a mean score, you will get a warmer reading across the United States as a whole.

If the distribution is skewed it will appear as if there is a general rise in temperature. All of the data is built around the measures of central tendency. One wonders? When I hear statistical data I have learned to never take any of it too seriously until I have examined how the sampling was conducted, who? What? When? Where? How? I find it interesting that the people who conduct these studies never publish their procedures with the results. I recommend that everyone be weary of empirical data. I have not studied global warming in detail, but it has the feeling of a religion sailing under the banner of the empirical sciences. However, I am not an authority on the subject.

There is reason to be suspicious of any so called “science” coming out of post modern America since it is a new age mystical country. Author of the sociopath next door, Professor Stout, seems to support this phenomenon of amalgamating science with eastern mysticism: “To this end, he (the Dalai Lama) an international series of dialogues between scientists Buddhists scholars, the most recent of which, in 2003, cosponsored by the Mind and Life Institute in Colorado and the McGovern Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.” Science and Mysticism; these are polarized opposite worlds. Science incorporates the law of contradiction and mysticism does not.

In ancient Greece they worshipped the great Sun God, RAH. Many of the “isms” just do not pass the smell test. Unlike most Americans today, I like to hear what both attorneys have to say and not just one so I can make an informed decision. Remember, as I have written before, an ideologue does not care about truth. He/she is only interested in the belief that he has preconceived to believe and has the most emotional investment. Someone interested in truth will change his/her mind when confronted with evidence regardless of the emotional investment. Over the years, I have changed my mind about a number of beliefs, some of them, I had a huge emotional investment vested (my education), but when confronted with the truth, I was willing to change. That is why having a robust debate is so important and when deciding, being able to use logic and deduction, not just empirically validated data.

As I have also written before, empirical science is irrational without logic and deduction. Logic and deduction or apriori must be the head that leads. Anyone who believes that knowledge is not possible and despairs of it, is not going to be convinced of anything, other than, that there is no truth. How does all this work? In a true experimental design there can be the random sampling of subjects where there is a dependent variable (measures outcomes) and an independent variable (that which is manipulated). For example if a teacher wanted to measure the effects humor has on learning, learning would be the dependent variable and humor would be the independent variable to be manipulated. The comparison group receives the treatment (humor) while the control group receives no treatment and is simply observed to determine if there is a statistical difference. If there is no statistical difference, then the experimenter would accept the Null Hypothesis.

There is also an ex-post facto design which just means “after the fact.” This design could be used to determine the affects of intergenerational psychopathology in childhood and mal adjustment in adulthood. There are a Quasi Experimental designs, Grounded Theory, ethno graphic surveys under the umbrella of Qualitative Analysis, ect…..The strength of any experiment rests on sampling size, longitudinal studies over long spans of chronology, test re-test reliability, high reliability and validity coefficients as well as the test of falsification and anti-thesis. The devil is always in the details. I encourage you to be aware of what is missing and not focused only on what the experimenter wants you to see, or perhaps, not see?

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WHEN IT’S TIME TO PART COMPANY

Sometimes it is difficult to know when the time comes to pick up your ball and go home. I use this metaphor because there is a point in time where the theological differences are just too severe to keep the company of people in your circle of religious friends whether they are pastors, churches, or other organizations where you may belong. This is something I struggle with and often seem to be caught in self deliberation. However, boundaries are important both social and individual. They define who we are and tell the world where we stand.

I really enjoy studying church history because there is a wealth of knowledge to glean from it. When George Whitfield and John Wesley teamed up they turned their known world upside down. David Hume, the philosopher and ultimate skeptic, once said of Whitefield: “Mr. Whitfield is the most ingenious preacher I have ever heard. It was worth going twenty miles to hear him.” At the closing of one of Whitfield’s sermons Hume also commented: “He then, in the most simple and energetic language, described what he called the Saviour’s dying love to man, so that almost the whole assembly was melted into tears. This address was accompanied with such animated yet natural action that it surpassed anything I ever saw or heard in any preacher.”

This is quite a recommendation coming from one of the most brilliant empirical scholars whose writings are reserved in the seats of immortality. Nothing of this magnitude could be said of any minister in our wretched post modern times. Whitfield spoke very boldly against the cruelty of slavery: “Go to, ye rich men, weep and howl, for your miseries shall come upon you! Behold the provision of the poor negroes, which have reaped your fields, which is by you denied them, crieth, and the cries of them which have reaped have come into the ears of the Lord of Saboth.”

Whitfield generated the origins of the Calvinistic Methodist movement. John Wesley espoused the Armenian side of Soteriology. These two men were on different sides of the same coin, so to speak. There was even a division that was faulted to John Wesley for the disagreement. Whitfield did not udder slander or opposition towards the man whom he said, “I love John Wesley more than my own life.”

He only told Wesley that there was no second blessing and later proceeded to hand over his 1,300 Calvinistic Methodist churches to Wesley’s 900 Armenian Churches to form one organization. Today’s Methodist denomination originates from John Wesley’s theological side. The last of the Calvinistic Methodist movement was Martin Lloyd Jones. Whitefield was truly a remarkable man! When he died, John Wesley preached his funeral.

When Wesley began his ministry he was earning a wage of 28 pounds a year. The next year he earned 33 pounds, gave away 5 pounds and lived off the remaining 28 pounds the following year. The years to follow he increased his pay to 135 pounds a year, gave away 107 pounds a year and lived on the remaining 28 pounds each subsequent year. Finally, someone ask him why he didn’t keep some of the money for himself, his answer, “I refuse to live in comfort while so many are begging for bread.”

Both of these men were Oxford Trained Scholars and always brought their Greek and Hebrew text into the pulpit when teaching. To be sure, Mr. Whitefield did have theological boundaries as evidenced by the comment, “directing his words towards false and hollow Christians.” It was said every tear that fell to his bible was sincere. He also had some words for pastors who taught on the doctrine of hell: “any preacher teaching on hell who hath no tears in his eyes, I doubt that he is a Christian himself.” (At one time there were many pastors who often sounded like they are glad people are going there, as if to say, that others deserve it and the rest of us don’t)

C. H. Spurgeon, the great reformed Baptist scholar, was considered the “Prince of Preachers” in London during his time. He was a brilliant man with over 30,000 volumes in his own library. He published his first book of poems at age 12 and by age 18 had mastered the biblical languages. He knew more about the empirical sciences than any scientist of his period. Spurgeon’s heart was as big as his mind. Compared to the money he took in, there was very little kept for himself. Most of it he gave away to the hospitals for people who could not afford medical care and the poor people of his time.

Spurgeon believed in theistic evolution and was a disciple of Sir Charles Lyell who espoused the theory that the world was millions of years old. When the “Origin of the Species” made its appearance onto the stage, Spurgeon recommended it to his congregation. Whitfield, Wesley and Spurgeon are people that I hold in extremely high regard. However, I find myself at odds with some of their theological frameworks, not so much Whitfield as I do with Spurgeon and Wesley. I am not a proponent of evolution or Armenian Soteriology. We don’t know what Whitfield and Wesley would have thought about evolution because they lived in the pre-Darwinian era. I feel, had I have lived during their time, I would have no doubt loved all three of these men.

I am able to see past the differences because they share some extremely important characteristics with me that the post modern ministers do not. I look at Spurgeon, Whitefield and Wesley with feelings of sameness. St, Thomas Aquinas once said that sameness was a cause for love. This means that diversity is cause for division, or at least, too much of it in fundamental areas of importance is divisive.

None of the above aforementioned men believed in a cafeteria style religion. They would have been abhorred had they have witnessed the advent of the post modern church. The smorgasbord, anti logic, anti intellectual theme would have been worlds away from Whitefield, Wesley and Spurgeon.  Their disciples were not confused about life and perplexed by the distortion of reality. None of these men would have been sitting around boasting about how evil knowledge was and the impossibility of its attendance to the human intellect.

Over simplicity was not the order of their day. Such a gross misunderstanding of epistemology would have been foreign to the intellectual prowess of these men. They did not despair of knowledge and not only believed that knowledge was possible, but absolute. They would not have promulgated so preposterous of a medley as to confound perception and reality. This may be the tipping point at which one parts company with the church and culture? Once the demarcation between reality and consciousness has been eradicated, there can be no debate, no knowledge, no points of interests, no point, counter point. After all, what would be the reason if knowledge is not possible and everything is nothing more than a blob of grey, egalitarian goo?

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THE THIRD REFORMATION

John Calvin came off the heels of Luther in the beginning stages of the second reformation. It is called the second reformation because the first reformation was the advent of the coming of Christ, or the second Adam as sometimes his birth is labeled. Though scanty, there is sufficient evidence to show that he was born in Bethlehem, grew up in ancient Palestine and had a ministry there until his death. Josephus the Jewish historian wrote about him in antiquity giving a loose description of Christ as “towering among men.”

At age 16 Josephus was commander of the Galilean army and by the age of eighteen he was sought out by the Pharisees for consultation and advice. He was born four days after the crucifixion. Although he had never actually seen Christ, he was what you call in law a second party observer and is placed very close to the drama and events that surrounded the life of Jesus. No doubt, he was well briefed by the Pharisees, religious leaders and other political parties since he was so close to Christ’s death. In other words, a court of law would fully accept Josephus’ testimony concerning Christ, not to mention, he was a brilliant historian. He would not qualify as an empirical witness but through apriori and deductive, logical proof we can rest upon the writings of Josephus. (see my blog on Axioms, conundrums and other subterfuges for further explanation about the meaning of “proof”).

Today’s world has produced a third reformation that is drastically different from the second one. As Rick Warren once said, “This time it is not going to be about believing but doing.” (paraphrase). Apparently, Mr. Warren and many other leaders in his camp are well aware that a new reformation has emerged even though much of the post modern church denies it, particularly, I find disturbing that the reformed Presbyterian Church is in denial about their embrace of the third reformation and pretending that they still adhere to the doctrines of Calvin.

What does one see when he walks into the church of today? A wide array of melodramatic affects, sights, sounds and in some of the larger churches, there are waterfalls inside the main entrance. The architect structure has changed. Many of the smaller churches do not have steeples and are composed of cheap metal siding more like a unit where one might rent for storage. If you listen to the ministers, they all pride themselves on simplicity and often attack the Greek and Hebrew languages of the bible by not using them, or accusing one of pride in an attempt to humiliate anyone who has an interest in the biblical languages. “Come as you are” is taken to mean dressing like a tramp when you can actually afford decent clothes. Holiness is measured by how disheveled one might look. It is one thing if a person can not afford proper attire, then absolutely, “come as you are,” however, there is no reason to measure spirituality by wearing clothes that look like Freddie the free loader on the old Red Skelton show.

The sermons are anti knowledge based and attack the human intellect. Simplicity is the order of the day in the post modern religious movement. The music is comprised of praise bands that sound like nothing more than repetitive chanting with music. My influence, Gordon Clark, once said that the intellect may produce ivory tower theology, but it is this ivory tower that is the control tower of civilizations.

It is quite a change since Calvin first published The Institutes (The Institutes was a 1,200 page volume on Christian apologetics and philosophy) and sold out at every printing. By today’s standards it would be considered a national best seller. Calvin’s work is extremely complicated, difficult to follow and thought provoking. Luther performed an intellectual feat for his time that would be difficult for any world class scholar of today to even replicate. He translated the entire bible into German and gave it to his friend, one of the cardinals in the Catholic Church as a gift.

Given the current anti intellectual climate of the church, it makes one wonder why the seminaries still require Geek and Hebrew to be taught. Gordon Clark’s Thales to Dewey has some insight: “Like the secular counterparts, the great theologians and doctors of the church taught that knowledge is possible to man. Yet the theologians of the twentieth century have repudiated that belief. They also despair of knowledge.” I wonder what the post modern church does with the passage in Hosea 4:6, “My people parish for lack of knowledge.” Professor Clark further explains: “The misologists-the haters of logic-use logic to demonstrate the futility of logic. The anti-intellectuals construct intricate intellectual arguments to prove the insufficiency of the intellect. The anti theologians use the revealed Word of God to show that there can be no revealed Word of God-or that if there could, it would remain impenetrable darkness and Mystery to our finite minds.”

Having a debate with the clergy and religious educators is next to impossible. The Hegelian logic of the church follows that knowledge is not possible; therefore, every view is nothing more than a subjective interpretation of man’s puny, paltry, intellectually depleted brain. This type of thinking is not inspired by a love for human life, but a hatred for it! It is a fleecing of what God has created and declared as being good. In 1st John 1:1 it says that “in the beginning was the word…”  The Greek word for “word” in the text there is logos. It is a derivative of our English word for “logic.” That passage literally reads “in the beginning was the logic and the logic became flesh.” Clark summarizes: “The twentieth century has been called many things; the Atomic age, the Age of Inflation, the Age of Aquarius. But it deserves one name more than the others: the Age of Irrationalism.”

If you put a genius in with a hoard of morons, the morons don’t get smarter, the genius will parish in agony. Anyone that might pursue knowledge succumbs to feelings of overwhelming guilt displaced by the church as if he is committing some great sin. There is no interest in learning, only experiencing some type of sensational delusion that has no bearing on reality. The old church hymns that had so much depth and knowledge are nothing more than an obscure object barely visible in the post modern church. The empirical sciences have now amalgamated with the religious institutions of our day and created a blob of grey, egalitarian goo unrecognizable to the rational, feeling, thinking self.

Christ used logic and deduction to deride the attacks levied against him made by the religious leaders and politicians of his day, thereby, imprinting his approval of logic. Mr. Warren went on to say, “either change or die” I don’t think he meant to literally die, however, I do believe he meant that one would spiritually die because he would not be able to adjoin with the church of today. Many Christians have completely stopped attending their local churches.

I remember one year when I had moved out of state, I began to attend two of the local Presbyterian churches. When the pastors of those churches found out what my education and credentials were, they began to take quite an interest in using me for a counseling ministry in their church. One of the ministers even commented that “I would love to sit at your feet and learn from you.” When he found out that I believed in using the original languages, logic and depth for the building up of his flock, it went from, “I would love to sit at your feet” to “We are going to make you so uncomfortable here that you will leave our church.” I felt greatly marginalized and did leave those churches not to attend there or anywhere else again.

At the onset they had previously invited me to help facilitate a group in their church for people who had lost loved ones. I was very eager to help in any way that I could. When the group began, I was instructed not to say anything throughout the duration of the meeting. I was told just to “listen” and say nothing. It was a very bizarre experience and afterwards I did not attend another one of their grief groups. I wonder how the minister would have felt if he invited me over to his house for supper and all I did was just “listen” and not utter one single word the whole time,  then when I left, I only said two words, “good bye” at my departure? I wonder if he would have felt that I actually “listened” to him. Perhaps they believed that words have no meaning and despise language as well?

Even in “secular” psychology we do what it is called, “active listening” whereby the therapist, when appropriate, paraphrases the content of the listener so that he/she feels understood and supported. The post modern church is nothing more than a bunch of demon slayers, sensationalists, hand waving participants driven by raw emotionalism, heightened by irrationality and all around just plain craziness. What rational mind could possibly hold up under such a thing? There are now anecdotes of people coming back from the dead and publishing books about their experiences. Some of the anecdotes are reported by small children. There was a movie produced about one of them. Parents used to believe that their kids lied, or at best, had highly active imaginations. Shakespeare described death as “the undiscovered country from whose borne no traveler ever returns.” There isn’t even one single scripture in the bible to support such an occurrence. All of this can only mean that the church has abandoned logic, deduction and scholarship in favor of empiricism. Furthermore, it is dishonest and deceptive for the pastors not to inform their congregations that they no longer believe in the second reformation, and that in fact, a third reformation has unfolded.

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A DECLINING AMERICA

In Allen Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind he gives a chilling portrayal of a declining America, “America is nothing more than a great stage on which theories are played as either tragedy or comedy.” It can’t be the imagination painting a picture of the many vicissitudes that have unfolded over the years in American life. I have witnessed the faltering foundation and have been thrown off balance many times myself. Often one hears the excuse by the educated elite that “well, the reason there are more atrocities is because there are more people committing them and consequently all this upheaval is a direct correlation to the population explosion.

You have to be careful with believing statistics because the data can be manipulated to favor the experimenter’s own bias. If increase in population was the result of such a wayward society then we could expect to have seen a gradual increase in aberrations over a long span of time concomitant population increase instead of the drastic explosion over the past 50 years. Experts tell us that serial killers have increased over the past 40 years by 900 percent. There are so many such killers that most do not even make news. The same goes for teen suicide and suicide among adults in general. The military reports one suicide an hour within all the branches combined. Suicides were almost unheard of back when I was in high school. They suddenly made an appearance onto the cultural stage several decades ago.

And mass murderers were rare in America prior to the 1960s. Children were not killing children. Kids were not bringing guns to school. Children were not killing their parents and parents were not murdering their children, at least, not at such an alarming rate other than the occasional report.

The next excuse post moderns give to defend their utopian society is that the news media was not ubiquitous in the culture of yester year as it is today. And since there is more exposure by social media, there are more reported incidents. Dr. Stout believes that sociopathy is on the increase in America: “And disturbingly, the prevalence of sociopathy in the United States seems to be increasing……the prevalence of anti social personality has nearly doubled among the young in america…..Apparently cultural influences play a very important role in the development (or not) in any given population……American society seems to allow and even encourage me-first attitudes devoted to the pursuit of domination.”

There is a heavy emphasis on parents, particularly mothers, bolstering a child’s “self esteem.” What most do not know is that the people who score high on self esteem inventories are criminals and sociopaths. The architect of the self esteem movement, Abraham Maslow, early on said that he did not have the empirical evidence to validate self esteem as giving people a higher quality of life, however, moved ahead with his model anyway, commenting that the evidence would later unfold. What kind of scientific method is this????

What did actually unfold was the opposite of Maslow’s prediction. That self esteem was in fact a myth and not only didn’t increase a person’s worth but actually caused damage to his psyche. (For literature review, see professor Baumeister’s “the myth of self esteem.”) Maslow further stated that he hoped the self esteem motif would someday replace religion in America. Mission accomplished! We have a whole nation enamored with this movement and even in the face of solid scientific evidence, declaring it to be false, will not relinquish because so much emotional investment, time, money, has been poured into it over the years. The schools would have to scrap their curriculum. The colleges and universities reverse their teaching on the subject. Can you imagine all of the soar book authors who profit off millions of people through their publications?

What about all the colossal, emotional carnage that has been disseminated upon American culture? Again Stout elaborates: “…..no small project, changing the values and belief systems of an entire culture is even more of a gigantic undertaking, with a time horizon that seems distant and discouraging.” People with high self esteem lack the capacity for doubt and are reassured that there is no error in their ways. A certain amount of doubt is healthy and necessary as long as it isn’t emotionally crippling to the individual. Stout explains the difference between good people and the bad ones, “Good people question themselves constantly, reflexively, and subject their decisions and actions to the exacting scrutiny of an intervening sense of obligation rooted in their attachments to other people.”

How were the American people so betwixt? Freud and Jung only visited America one time and asked each other with almost a comical demeanor, “Don’t they know we are sending them poison?” Why would an entire nation fall in love with a hoard of scholastic tyrants who hated them?? It is beyond logic and reason, other then, it can only mean that humans are self destructive by nature and will go against their own well being and survival. Perhaps Szasz has some insight: “Hitler’s famous recommendation that politicians use only big lies. Small lies, Hitler warned, are easily unmasked, discrediting the person who utters them; whereas big lies astound, commanding the acceptance of the lie as a truth and of the liar as a leader.”

As Americans we need to ask ourselves, are our lives better than what they were 30 or 40 years ago? Don’t use abundance as the only measuring stick for your answer. I have to say that in one sense our lives are much better off due to the advancements in technology and science. This does bring a higher measure of happiness if you and your loved ones can live longer due to medical advancements. However, is all quality of life to be measured by biology?

What about having loving relationships instead of hatred, envy, and a culture of sociopathy and narcissism? What if, as Americans, we had real community and care for each other again? Isn’t real life more than food alone? Why can’t we have both scientific advancements and real love? Ok, suppose you live much longer in this age of the empirical sciences. Are you happy being alone and isolated? In Democracy in America Tocqueville said that living in isolation was an existence worse than death. Judging by the number of suicides, depressive disorders, ect.. Americans must be considering death as an alternative choice to life. The evidence speaks loud and seems to indicate that we as Americans are in misery.

Don’t believe the post modernists who tell you it has always been this way because it hasn’t. I have witnessed the changes during my own life span thus far and they have been huge paradigm shifts. Where is the utopian dream promised by the educated elitists? Ideologues are not interested in truth, because for them, truth does not and can not ever exist, and when the unfamiliar haphazardly wonders into their radar of knowledge, it is immediately expunged without question.

http://www.amazon.com/Democracy-America-Volumes-Alexis-Tocqueville/dp/1496183495/ref=http://www.amazon.com/Democracy-America-Volumes-Alexis-Tocqueville/dp/1496183495/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1424830534&sr=1-7&keywords=democracy+in+america+alexis+de+tocquevillesr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1424830534&sr=1-7&keywords=democracy+in+america+alexis+de+tocqueville

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IS YOUR PSYCHOTHERAPIST A SOCIOPATH?

After finishing graduate school I was quite excited to be transitioning my career from a professional bartender to a professional counselor. I had high expectations of what my new found career was going to look like in my mind and a basic concept of how this would unfold. My first job as a mental health counselor not only met those expectations but exceeded them. It was a wonderful job and everything that matched in my mind’s eye early on. The clinical staff members I worked with were real pros heavily focused on how the clients could be helped.

After the center dissolved the grant based program I was working in, something strange emerged in my next job and each subsequent job after. I noticed, even a few in my first position, that I was not very well liked by many of the other mental health workers. I could not understand why? Was there something I had done? I really didn’t know these people very well outside of work relations, other than the usual joking around and talk that goes on in an office on any given day. Some of the case workers even went after my job by going to the clinical director and trying to have me fired.

I was appalled that anyone would do such a thing! These therapists were treating me like I had just shot their dog or punched their mother in the nose. Their reaction was so disproportionate towards, whatever I had done, God only knows, that it boggled my mind.  I mean, who would try to destroy someone’s life for no apparent reason?? Living in fear of losing my job felt like someone had a gun pointed at my head while at work.

I found the same nasty spirited therapists, mental health workers, ect. in all my jobs afterwards. I maintained a very high standard of ethics as dictated in the bylaws of my licensing board and refused to back date Medicaid/Medicare charts when pressured to do so by the various managers and supervisors. I found myself in and out of jobs over the years like a work vagabond. After 20 years my resume’ began to look like someone with an employment pathology.

The amount of pressure I worked under was unbearable and generated a conversion disorder while working in several agencies whereby I ended up in the hospital. In one agency, while at work one day, my clinical director went into a flying rage over something I had done, jumped in my face, and started yelling at me. I would have been well within my rights to have punched him in the nose. Looking back, in my present state of mind, I probably would have done just that. My colleagues and family, church and pastor, showered me with the compassion of the KGB and further inculcated my tremendous sense of ubiquitous guilt. All the churches and pastors where I attended over the years told me to submit to authority and continue to take the intimidation and break the law to keep my job. This advice sure does sound ominously familiar, like what the SS told Bonhoeffer before he was marched off to the gallows: “You should have done like the bible says, submit to the governing authorities!”

I remember becoming extremely ill while working at one agency, so much so, that I had to be hospitalized. When I contacted my supervisor about being sick, she implied that she hoped I died. The company was angry over my refusal to be a team player by back dating Medicaid charts so they could collect their payment. The CEO even sent word down to me through a case manager for me to stop my whining about ethics and follow suite with everyone else. The other therapists had no conscious about it either. After I had been released from the hospital I went back to work. The next day, after I had finished with a client, I went to give the office manager one of my charts, when I handed the chart to her, she starting yelling at me in front of everyone. Normally I am a calm person and not too much rattles my cage. At the time, I had been in the mental health field for probably ten years. I think all the abuse had culminated to one point on that day. I suddenly snapped, and people said they could hear me yelling at the office manager well outside of the building. When it comes to yelling, few can match my level of volume.

When I was finished with the verbal punishment I had metered out to her, she turned white as a sheet and you could have heard a pin drop in the office. She had a reason to be scared.  Everyone’s mouth dropped open and they were all speechless. I turned around and walked back into my office and slammed the door behind me. I became known around the center as the therapist who was a loose cannon. After ten years, I asked myself, where was all the compassion that these therapists were supposed to have possessed? They certainly didn’t have any for me and I think they were far more interested in social control of their clients as opposed to actually helping them.

The clinical psychology profession and the churches, to this day, give me the same Stalinist  response, and that is, to cognitively re-frame the abuse and focus on the positive. I find it interesting that none of them give this same advice to the co-dependent clients they see in their offices. I began to understand what Patrick Henry meant when he said, “Power is intoxicating, men are wanton of it.”  There is a story told of Joseph Stalin: one day some leader from another country visiting him asked how he was able to exert such control over his people. Stalin turned and told his chef to get him a live chicken from the kitchen, Stalin, so the story goes, grabbed the live chicken broke its neck and threw it on the floor and while the chicken screaming in excruciating pain, he then dropped some food in front of the agonizing chicken. The animal started eating and stopped screaming.

In Martha Spout’s book, “the sociopath next door” she expounds upon what it really means to be a sociopath and deposits a frightening fact, and that is, sociopaths are far more common in the society of today than most other diagnoses. It is because of our limited understanding of what it means to be a sociopath that such people fall through the cracks of society and destroy people’s lives with no accountability. Their victims are defenseless. At least, in high profile homicides, the perpetrator is pursued by the law. Sociopaths, according to Stout, are typically non violent people and we miss this because we have a tendency to only think of them as people like Ted Bundy, Stalin, Adolf Hitler, ect., But these are the more rare kinds of sociopaths.

Professor Stout explains: “What differentiates a sociopath who lives off the labors of others from one who occasionally robs convenient stores, or from one who is a contemporary robber barron- or what makes the difference between an ordinary bully and a sociopath murderer-is nothing more than social status, drive, intellect, blood lust, or simple opportunity.” Dr. Stout tells us that one in twenty five Americans are sociopaths.

According to my experience in the mental health profession, I would have to write that, many of them must be gravitating towards careers in counseling and psychotherapy. After all, it makes sense; this profession would be fertile hunting ground since people who come to see a psychotherapist are placed in such a vulnerable position. All a sociopath needs is a PH.D. and/or a professional mental health license and he/she can fly under the radar un-noticed by colleagues (probably because they are sociopaths as well) or the general population. George Carlin once said that if you threw honesty into the American social system, the whole thing would collapse. Perhaps America has become a nation of sociopaths?

Stout further expounds: “The prize to be won can run the gamut from world domination to a free lunch, but it is always the same game-controlling, making others jump, “winning” at all costs (emphasis added).Even Ayn Rand, who promulgates a selfish manifesto said that the purpose of winning isn’t to “beat someone.”

I know we all like to think of psychotherapists as warm, fuzzy feeling, compassionate people. Beware my friends, the one sitting in front of you listening to your deepest, darkest, secrets, may be a sociopath. I am not writing that ALL psychotherapists are sociopaths, however, most I have encountered over the years are and you would do well to be wary of who you choose as a therapist. I have met and worked with some wonderful counselors that I would not only recommend to a client, but see myself for treatment. However, they have been far too few for the length of time and number of psychotherapists I have known over the years.

I highly recommend Martha Stout’s “the sociopath next door” and “the myth of sanity.” See the link to her work below.

http://www.amazon.com/Sociopath-Next-Door-Martha-Stout/dp/0767915828/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1424447736&sr=1-1&keywords=the+socipath+next+door

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