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Everything You “Know” About Life You Learned as a Fetus: Foundations of Myth and Mind and my Personal Involvement with This Research into Our Actual “Human Nature”

Your Map of Reality Was Written in the Womb: Falls from Grace, Chapter One — Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and the Phenomenon of Re-Experience

Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and the Phenomenon of Re-Experience

Prenatal and perinatal psychology is the field that deals with the effects of events occurring prior to (prenatal) and surrounding (perinatal) the time of birth upon later life and personality. An ever increasing amount though certainly not all of the information we have about these periods of our lives and their effects is derived through the later and vivid remembering of these events in a phenomenon known as re-experience. Correspondingly, the two most frequently asked questions about this relatively new field, put by those initially encountering it, are those concerning the specific meanings of the terms perinatal and re-experience.

At the outset, I wish to present an explanation of these two terms and of my unique personal relation to this topic as well as some of my background in exploring it. I will follow this with an historical overview of the field of prenatal and perinatal psychology, which will reveal the key concepts and understandings employed throughout this book.

Re-Experience and Reliving

For over forty years, beginning in 1972 when I was a senior undergraduate in college, I have been involved both personally and professionally in a comprehensive investigation into the phenomenon of re-experience. Also called reliving, this phenomenon is reported to consist of a full somato-cognitive remembering of previous events in a person’s life. Reliving involves experiential but also observable and measurable components, such as brain wave changes, characteristic physiological and neurological changes, and typical observable body movements.

This phenomenon can occur, to varying degrees, in many consciousness-altering modalities—including hypnosis, LSD psychotherapy, primal therapy, rebirthing, and holotropic breathwork; to a considerable degree in re-evaluation co-counseling and treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder; and, occasionally and spontaneously, even in mainstream forms of psychotherapy, counseling, and “growth seminars.”

Re-experience is a more vivid and more completely somatic catharsis than what has been described in psychotherapy in terms of abreaction. It is in such contrast to normal abreaction that when these seemingly bizarre yet healing events have spontaneously erupted in traditional or mainstream Western contexts they have usually been mistakenly labeled psychotic, been intervened upon, and then aborted—via drugs and other highly coercive measures—by the attending therapeutic authorities.

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However, with an increasing appreciation for their therapeutic value, these events are gradually becoming understood and accepted in therapeutic contexts and thus allowed to complete themselves and to instruct the participants and observers in their meanings. Therefore, they appear to represent something new in our culture in terms of both a way of approaching knowledge and in terms of the kinds of information that are discovered (Grof 1976, 1985; Hannig 1982; Janov 1971; Lake 1966/1986; Noble, 1993; Stettbacher, 1992).

My Relationship to the Phenomenon of Re-Experience

My interest in the phenomenon of reliving began forty-four years ago at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. As an undergraduate there I was most inspired by a course in religious studies titled “Religious and Psychological Approaches To Self-Understanding.” I was so inspired by the course that I constructed my major around its topic and initially even used the same title for my program’s name. This major in “self-understanding” would lead me, in a few years, to a profound interest in and exploration of primal therapy, as presented by Arthur Janov (1970) in his much-publicized book, The Primal Scream: Primal Therapy: The Cure for Neurosis.

By 1972, I had completed all but the one final semester for a B.A. That semester was to include the cumulative project—required of such a Special Studies (individually structured) major. However, since my project would focus on primal therapy and one of primal therapy’s basic premises is that knowledge cannot really be known except through experience, I could not in good conscience turn in a project describing primal therapy without first experiencing it. Consequently I withdrew from college, for what was supposed to be only a semester, with the intention of “going through” primal therapy and then returning to school to write my cumulative project on it. In those days, the entire process of primal therapy was reputed to take only three to six months.

But a lot was unknown about that modality in those early days. As it turned out, I would not return to school to complete that final project until 1978—at which point I had five years’ experience of primal therapy behind me and was living in Denver, Colorado.

In addition to these experiences, I have amassed a broad array of other experience and training over the years that have contributed to my understanding of re-experience and of this field in general. Besides my two decades and more of primal therapy … both formally and in “the buddy system” … I have received training as a primal therapist. I am also a trained rebirther, having explored that modality since 1986. I have been experientially exploring the modality of holotropic breathwork since 1987 and did training with Stanislav and Christina Grof in that technique.

Finally, I have been facilitating people in their journeys into deep inner primal and holotropic states since 1975. I’ve given individual sessions in all three modalities of primal therapy, rebirthing, and holotropic breathwork. And with my wife, Mary Lynn Adzema, I conducted three day workshops in something we called primal breathwork. I’ve conducted two-day group workshops in this modality at conferences, which were attended by as many as sixty experiencers at a time.

Thus, I have experience in my own process in these modalities; but in addition I have facilitated for others on many occasions, and at times, it was my main profession—though most of my life I have spent in writing, teaching, and research.

Pre- and Perinatal Re-Experience

Re-experience of birth and of the events immediately prior to and after birth are termed perinatal—from the Greek, literally “surrounding birth.” It has been widely described at this point by a number of authors but is most closely associated with the work of Stanislav Grof, Arthur Janov, and Frank Lake.

However, one significant and as yet little explored or understood phenomenon, arising also from the modalities mentioned, is that of prenatal re-experience. In this case, the experiencer reports … and observationally appears to be … experiencing events that happened en utero, sometimes going back as far as sperm, egg, and zygote states (Buchheimer 1987; Farrant 1987; Grof 1976, 1985; Hannig 1982; Janov 1983; Lake 1981, 1982; Larimore 1990a, 1990b; Larimore & Farrant, 1995).

These reports of remembering experiences that occurred before birth are at such variance with Western professional and popular paradigms that they are met with near-universal incredulity and, too often, premature dismissal. Yet the evidence from the mounting numbers of experiential reports and empirical studies attests that something which is at least unique and interesting is going on here.

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Nevertheless, much of this prenatal information is thus far unformulated, untheorized, and unintegrated into a coherent structure for making sense of these experiences. This book will go a long way toward doing just that—making sense of prenatal experiences and exploring the implications and prospects of the knowledge gleaned from this fascinating new area of research and which arises from the vision that an exposure to this material induces.

The present work represents an attempt to bring this new information concerning our origins and our earliest experiences into such a coherent structure. After the initial overview of the field to be presented in this chapter, I deepen that review of the current understanding and findings in this area in making a case, in Chapter Two, for the legitimacy of prenatal spirituality.

First, let us take a closer look at what we know about the time before and around birth and what it means for us throughout our lives.

Overview of the Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Field—Early Theorists: Psychoanalysis and Birth

Sigmund Freud — Birth as Prototype for All Anxiety

While Freud (1927) disregarded major effects of birth on personality, he still saw the birth experience as the prototype of all later anxiety. His overall disregard of birth, however, was largely influenced by the belief—although discredited (see Chamberlain, 1988), still common in mainstream psychology and medicine today—that a newborn does not possess the neurological capacity for consciousness at birth.

Otto Rank — Psychoanalysis, Birth Trauma, Foundations of Personality and Some Myth, Separation Anxiety

Other early psychoanalysts disagreed with Freud on this. Otto Rank is the most notable of these. Following Freud’s basic psychoanalytic reasoning for personality patterns in early infancy, he asserted basic patterns of experience and ideas that are rooted in even earlier experience. Rank (1929) claimed the deepest, most fundamental patterns of these personality constructs originated at the time of birth, which Freud thought was not possible. Based upon the dream, fantasy, and other patterns of associations arising in his patients in psychoanalysis, Rank postulated a birth trauma, which he saw as a critical event in laying down in each of us particular patterns of thinking, motivation, and emotion for the rest of our lives. Notable among these prototypes was a feeling of a paradise once known but somehow lost, a separation anxiety caused by the separation at birth, and a resulting futile and lifelong struggle to re-unite with that golden age and that early beloved because of a desire to return to the womb.

Nandor Fodor — Dreamwork, Birth and Prenatal Processing and Relivings, Prenatal Origins of Consciousness and Trauma

Also a psychoanalyst, Nandor Fodor (1949) focused on the reflections of birth and prenatal material in dreams. He also designed interventions in therapy to release the negative effects of birth and to process prenatal memories. He was the first to mention actual relivings of birth, in which veridical memories were recovered. He agreed with Rank on many points, but he stressed the origins of consciousness and of trauma being in the prenatal period.

Donald W. Winnicott — First Primal Therapist? Birth Relivings, Importance of Birth—Negative Imprints but Positive Effects, Too

Another psychoanalyst, and pediatrician as well, Winnicott (1958) also held that birth is remembered and is important. He insisted that the birth trauma is real, but he disagreed with Rank and Fodor that it is always traumatic. He suggested that a normal, nontraumatic, birth has many positive benefits, particularly for ego development. Still, he contended that traumatic birth is permanently etched in memory and leaves a lifetime psychological scar. Winnicott (1958) also suggested the possibility of prenatal trauma.

He has been called the first primal therapist in that he described the first birth primals—actual observable relivings of birth—spontaneously occurring by some of his patients during their sessions with him. Thus he was beginning the trend beyond mere talking association or dream analysis as ways of accessing and integrating this material.

Overview of the Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Field — Later Research and Theorists: Hypnosis, Primal Therapy, and Birth

David Cheek and Leslie LeCron — Hypnosis, Birth Memories and Imprints on Personality and Relation to Psychiatric Disorders

Cheek and LeCron (1968) used hypnosis to retrieve early memories in their patients. They discovered that memories earlier than what they expected, going back to birth, were possible. Importantly, a relief of symptoms seemed to follow from the re-experience of these birth memories. They came to the conclusion that a birth imprint occurs, which is induced by the extreme stress of that time and is resistant to fading from later experience. Further they asserted that this imprint could be the cause of a wide spectrum of psychiatric and psychosomatic disorders.

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Leslie Feher — Psychoanalysis, Birth, Cutting of Umbilical Cord, Separation Trauma

Leslie Feher (1980) sought to extend the Freudian tradition farther back into areas that, she asserts, were until only recently unknowable. Thus, she describes a natal theory and therapy that includes experiences of cutting the umbilical cord, birth, and even prebirth. In fact, she considers the cutting of the umbilical cord to be central in her theory of trauma, calling it the “crisis umbilicus,” and echoes Fodor in claiming that it is the true origin of the castration fears made so much of in psychoanalysis. This is so because, according to Feher, the cord and placenta is an object of security and is considered by the fetus to be part of him- or herself. Thus, this cutting represents a supreme threat in being a separation from a total life support system, a major organ, a part of oneself. In these ways, she also brings forward for renewed appreciation Rank’s speculations on the element of separation trauma as a crucial element of the birth trauma.

Arthur Janov — Primal Therapy, Traumas of Birth and Early Life and Healing Them, Empirical Foundations and Neurophysiology of Early Events and Healing

Perhaps the major theorist and popularizer of the phenomenon of re-experience (which he termed primaling), Janov was reluctant to acknowledge the pervasiveness of pre- and perinatal re-experience and trauma. Yet when he did, it was in a major work on birth trauma, which remains as a touchstone in the field in its depth and detail. Imprints: The Lifelong Effects of the Birth Experience, published in 1983, among other things places birth as the determining factor in creating basic personality constructs, called sympathetic and parasympathetic, which roughly coincide with the more common terms introversion and extroversion.

This work is more empirical and neurophysiologically rooted than most in the field. While the book is recognized in the field, Janov and his work have not gotten anywhere near the respect and attention that they deserve. He remains the unfortunate kicking-boy of a movement that is itself scapegoated by the academy and the larger scientific community.

Thomas Verny — Primal Therapy, Birth, Especially Womb Life and Relation to Personality … Prenatal Mother-Infant Bonding

The actual stimulus for a new field of pre- and perinatal psychology and the Association for Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health—APPPAH was Thomas Verny’s (1981) The Secret Life of the Unborn Child. His work brought together a good deal of the new empirical research that had opened the doors to us on the events in the womb. While himself a practitioner of “holistic primal therapy,” he integrated the accumulating data from the phenomenon of re-experience with the new information from the more traditional, “objective,” scientific research into the prenatal—made possible by the latest advances in technology.

One of his conclusions from this combination of lines of inquiry was that “birth and prenatal experiences form the foundations of human personality” (1981, p. 118). His other conclusions center around the importance of intrauterine bonding in that his research strongly suggests that the prenate, via pathways hormonal and unknown, picks up on the thoughts, feelings, and attitudes of the mother. More importantly, he asserted, the imprint of these factors on the fetus predetermines the later mother-child relationship. He emphasized that positive thoughts and feelings toward the fetus—”maternal love”—acts to cushion the new individual against the normal stresses and unavoidable harshness inherent in birth and early infancy. Yet all of this cannot be completely avoided. “Birth is like death to the newborn,” writes Verny (1984, p. 48).

David Chamberlain — Hypnosis, Confirmed Validity of Birth Memories

David Chamberlain (1988), for many years the president of APPPAH (the Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health), has further substantiated the claim of consciousness at birth and the accuracy of pre- and perinatal memory in the phenomenon of re-experience. He reported one study he did in which he compared hypnotically retrieved memories of birth from mother and child and found an astonishing degree of conformity in their responses. Of note was the degree of inner consistency and originality in these memories as reported by the former neonate. They often contained technical details of the delivery and labor unlike what would be expected of the medically unsophisticated, a perceptive critique of the way the birth was handled, and other details of the event that could not have been known through normal conscious channels.

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Overview of the Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Field — Later Theorists: Societal Implications, Psychohistory, Birth and Prenatal

Lloyd deMause Psychohistory, Prenatal and Poisonous Placenta, Sociohistorical Implications of Gestational and Birth Events

Lloyd deMause (1982, 1987) was instrumental in establishing the new interdisciplinary field of psychohistory. In his study of historical happenings he discovered that stages in the progression of events related to stages in the progression of gestation and birth … which stages happened to correspond, by the way, remarkably well with Stanislav Grof‘s four stages of birth, his Basic Perinatal Matrices.

He found that natal imagery especially predominates in societies during times of crisis and war, when national purpose and state of affairs are construed as a need to escape or break free from an enclosing and constricting force. He also noted the suffering fetus and the poisonous placenta as sources of these later metaphors and imagery. In fact, in studying the imagery in the national media of various countries he has been able to predict political, social, and economic events such as wars and invasions, recessions, and political downfalls.

His work begins to look at the prenatal influences and imprints and how they related to macrocosmic issues of politics, history, social movements, and issues of war and peace.

Later Theorists — Dream Analysis

Francis Mott — Conception and Gestational Basis of Myth, Archetype, all Patterns of Macrocosmic and Microcosmic Realities and the Nature of Reality, Devolutional Model of Development

Francis Mott’s work is less well known even by this field’s standards, yet it is undeniably impressive. Mott’s (1960, 1964) major contribution lies in his focusing on basic patterns of mind and cosmos that correlate with prenatal feelings and states. He traced consciousness back to events around conception and saw these events as instituting patterns affecting all later experience and conceptual constructions. Through dream analysis he elicited these “configurations,” and he demonstrated their manifestation as seemingly universal archetypes in myths and universal human assumptions about the nature of reality.

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In fact, through his study of womb and conception patterns he claimed to have discovered patterns that underlie and unite all of reality at all levels of manifestation—astronomical, social, personal, cellular, and even nuclear. While this may seem rather grandiose, his work was highly regarded and admired by Carl Jung.

Mott also carried forward the intimations of earlier prenatal theoreticians, notably Rank and Fodor, on the gestational basis of archetypes. While he does not address or seek to discredit the range of, supposedly genetic, archetypes postulated by Jung, his work is highly suggestive of an experiential, specifically, pre- and perinatal, as opposed to genetic basis for many of these.

Denial and Incest Taboo

Mott (1960) also helped us to understand why if these prenatal memories are possible they are not more prevalent by suggesting denial is necessary in order to protect against incestuous feelings that might arise around feelings remembered from being inside one’s mother.

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Devolutional Model of Consciousness Development

Finally, he made the postulation—hugely relevant to the theme of this work—that our original expanded capacity to feel is diminished, as he says, “divided,” by experience not increased by it. The idea is that there is a reduction in awareness as a result of early traumatic events, beginning around conception and then on, and not the buildup of consciousness and feeling that we assume from the mechanistic paradigm that sees consciousness as a byproduct of increasing physical, specifically brain, activity during our early years. (See, for example, The Doors of Perception: Each of Us Is Potentially Mind At Large… When Perception Is Cleansed, All Kinds of Nonordinary Things Happen and Occupy Science … A Call for a Scientific Awakening: In Tossing Away Our Species Blinders, We Approach a Truth Far Beyond Science.)

Later Theorists — Breathwork

Stanislav GrofBreathwork, LSD, Birth and Prenatal, Myth and Archetype, Spiritual and Consciousness

A pioneer in this prenatal area is Stanislav Grof (1976, 1980, 1985, 1990, to name a few). His many works, providing a framework for conceptualizing perinatal and transpersonal experiences, are a profound and useful starting point for an investigation into this area.

In his use of LSD beginning in 1956 for psychotherapy, called psycholytic therapy, he discovered four levels of experience of the unconscious: the sensory, the biographical, the perinatal, and the transpersonal. He noted a tendency for growth and healing to occur in a progressive way through these levels. The sensory band is the level of expanded sensory awareness and is usually initially encountered by participants. The biographical band is the realm of the personal unconscious wherein unintegrated and traumatic memories and material from childhood and one’s personal history are retrieved, often relived, and integrated. The perinatal level of experience usually follows after dealing with the biographical material and involves the remembering, re-experiencing, and integrating of material that is related to the time prior to and surrounding birth. The transpersonal band, the level of spiritual experience, is usually reached after dealing with the other three levels.

Four Modes of Experiencing—the Basic Perinatal Matrices

Grof has also delineated four matrices of experience, four general experiential constructs, which he called basic perinatal matrices (BPMs). He discovered that experiences at all levels of the unconscious often group themselves in four general ways that are roughly related to the four stages of birth. Thus, Basic Perinatal Matrix I (BPM I) is related to the generally blissful or “oceanic” feelings that often characterize the fetus’s state in the womb in early and middle pregnancy. BPM II is characterized by “no exit,” hellish feelings that are related to the situation of the fetus in late pregnancy when the confines of the womb become ever more apparent but there is as yet no indication of any possibility of relief. BPM III relates to the birth process itself, the birth struggle, which is still characterized by feelings of compression and suffering but in which there is movement and change and thus hope of relief through struggle. If BPM II can be compared to hell, where there is no hope, BPM III is more like purgatory. Finally, BPM IV relates to the actual entry into the world, the termination of the birthing process, and is characterized by feelings of triumph, relief, and high, even manic, elation.

In his descriptions of the levels of experience and the matrices of perinatal experience, Grof has provided useful maps of the unconscious and experience in nonordinary states, which have incredible heuristic value in our understanding of cross-cultural religious and spiritual experience, psychopathology, personal growth, and consciousness and personality in general. And they have been utilized successfully in providing a context and guide for many tens of thousands of participants in his psycholytic and holotropic therapies.

However, while Grof is exhaustive in his descriptions of fetal and perinatal experience, he says less about the earlier experiences in the womb—the first trimester—and even less about conception and the experiences of sperm and egg—what is known as cellular consciousness. Still, this area is beginning to be discussed among his followers. And through his current nondrug modality, called holotropic breathwork, people are accessing these areas and beginning to give word to them (e.g., Carter, 1993).

Frank Lake—Breathwork, First Trimester, Early Experience as Foundation for Myths

Frank Lake, though less well-known again, has probably been the premier theoretician on the topic of prenatal events during the first three months of gestation. Just prior to his death in the early eighties, he wrote a culmination of his thirty-year investigation into pre- and perinatal influence in two works titled Tight Corners in Pastoral Counselling and The First Trimester. In these works he goes beyond his other works (for example, 1966) in placing the roots of all later experience, and in particular, distress, at the first three months of physical existence.

Lake began his investigation of re-experience in 1954. Like Stanislav Grof, he did this using LSD, initially, in the psycholytic therapy that was being developed at that time to facilitate therapeutic abreaction. Later he, again like Grof, developed a nondrug modality to accomplish the same thing. His method of “primal therapy” employed a type of fast breathing—again, like Grof’s later technique—to access theta-wave brain levels, which are levels of consciousness that he saw as crucial to accessing and integrating these memories.

His thirty-year research led him to the realization of the importance of ever earlier experience. Thus his earlier stress on the importance of birth gave way to his later emphasis on the first trimester in 1981 (Tight Corners in Pastoral Counselling) and in 1982 (The First Trimester).

He stressed the maternal-fetal distress syndrome, beginning at around implantation, as a major time of trauma. He also described a blastocystic stage of relative bliss just prior to that.

His one other major disagreement with Grof was his belief that the mythological and symbolical elements described by Grof were a product of LSD and that the first trimester events were the actual roots of much of such symbolism and supposed transpersonal/mythological scenarios (1981, p. 35).

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Later Theorists — Myth and Sacred Text/Mysticism

S. Giora Shoham — Devolutional Model of Development, Falls from Grace

While not strictly a pre- and perinatal psychologist, I include this too little-known theoretician and criminologist because of the close relationship and influence his work has had upon my own work regarding these Falls from Grace. Falls from Grace and other devolutional models of consciousness postulate that during life and over time, beginning at conception, we actually are reduced in consciousness and awareness, not increased in it, and it corresponds to a “brain as reducing valve” theory of consciousness. (Again, See The Doors of Perception and Occupy Science.)

While I initially constructed and wrote down my devolutional theory of consciousness—Falls from Grace—without the benefit of Shoham’s work, upon discovering it I could not help but be both confirmed and reinspired by the astounding resonance his understanding has with my own.

Shoham (1979, 1990) starts his devolutional model in the womb and carries it through birth, weaning, and the oedipal periods of development. Though, as I delineate in Part Two, I disagree with his model by beginning mine at the creation of sperm and egg—as does other devolutional theorists like Francis Mott and David Wasdell—in virtually all other major instances his model corresponds to my own if one simply … in keeping with a normal trend in child development in general as it begins to integrate the new pre- and perinatal evidence … places everything back a little farther in time—in this case, specifically, one stage back.

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Later Prenatal Psychology Theorists — Cellular Memory and Conception, Foundations of Myth and Personality, Spirituality and Soul

Lietaert Peerbolte — Conception and Cellular Memory, Soul, Spirituality

Peerbolte (1954) was one of the earliest theorists to relate spirituality to conception and sperm/egg dynamics. In addition to claiming that a regression to conception is the inevitable result of all prenatal states, he traced the sense of “I” — the “I-function” — back to the egg, existing even in the mother’s ovaries. He further postulated that the spiritual self was invisibly present within the field of attraction between the egg and the sperm. Correspondingly, he was the first to point out that the existence of conception, preconception, and even ovulation symbolism in dreams indicates the existence of a soul. For, he asked, what mind records these events otherwise?

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I wrote the article, “A Primal Perspective on Spirituality,” which later became the next chapter in this book before I knew about Peerbolte’s work. Yet, once again the conclusions I came to, especially about the existence of soul being established by the fact of these memories and especially those at the cellular levels of sperm and egg existence, are very much in line with his.

Michael C. Irving — Primal Therapy, Birth, Sperm, Egg, Myth, Dragon Symbolism, Prehistoric Cult and Ritual

Michael C. Irving is a primal therapist whose contributions include his relation of these earliest events from sperm and egg through the birth experience to fundamental mythological motifs and images across cultures. The originator of a way of interpretation that he calls natalism, he has brought together a host of artistic and artifactual images from a wide range of time periods and cultures which relate, with an astonishing degree of accuracy, to actual pre- and perinatal events.

In particular, he has traced the universal serpent/dragon motifs and mythology to birth and sperm experience, noting, among other things, that the serpent/dragon shape represents the birth canal or tunnel, that the fire-spewing characteristics of dragons relate to consuming pain, and that the constricting characteristics of snakes correspond to the constriction of the birth canal. Of great interest is his deduction that the widely prevalent snake and dragon cults, which were especially popular in prehistory, indicate an attempt to deal with such unfinished birth trauma material as we are only now, in modern times, rediscovering the importance of doing.

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Graham Farrant — Primal Therapy; Sperm, Egg, Cellular Consciousness; Soul and Spirituality

Graham Farrant (1987; Buchheimer 1987), a psychiatrist and primal therapist from Australia, is probably the most influential and well-known of those discussing the phenomena that occur at the earliest times of our lives. In addition to echoing Frank Lake in describing fetal, implantation, and blastocyst feelings, he has been able to elicit and describe sperm and egg imprints. He has found trauma from these earliest events to influence lifelong patterns of personality and behavior. He produced a notable video in which segments from the widely acclaimed movie “The Miracle of Life,” which shows actual footage of gamete and zygote events, are juxtaposed via a split-screen with actual footage of a person reliving the exact same events in primal therapy, which occurred before such cellular events were ever able to be seen and recorded. The effect is astounding in the detail in which the relivings replicate the actual cellular happenings.

In addition to his emphasis on cellular consciousness, Farrant has stressed the spiritual aspects of these earliest events. He relates incidents of spiritual trauma at the cellular level in which the individual splits off from Divinity—thus setting up a lifelong feeling of loss and yearning and a desire to return to Unity and the Divine.

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Paul Brenner — Sperm, Egg, Cellular Consciousness and Biological Foundations of Myths

Paul Brenner (1991), a biologist and obstetrician, has been presenting at conferences and in workshops on the idea of the biological foundations of myth. For example, he relates basic biological, cellular events to biblical events described in Genesis.

He also relates male and female adult behavior to basic patterns of sperm and egg behavior and to events prior to and surrounding conception. He has said that male and female behavior are just sperm and egg activity grown up!

Elizabeth Noble — Cellular Consciousness and Spirituality, Empirical Underpinnings

Elizabeth Noble (1993) is an educator in the field of pregnancy and childbirth and is a student of Farrant’s. She published a comprehensive overview of this new field, titled Primal Connections, in which she doesn’t hesitate to stress the issues of cellular consciousness and the spirituality that appears to coincide with the re-experience of these earliest events. She provides empirical and theoretical avenues for understanding how memory can occur at such early times. Some of these are consistent with mainstream physicalist science while others coincide with the cutting-edge, new-paradigm discoveries in fields such as biology, physics, and neuroscience.

David Wasdell — Sperm/Egg and First Trimester Imprints, Devolutional Model of Development, Social and Historical Implications

One of the more recent theoreticians in this area is David Wasdell. Wasdell’s (1979, 1985a, 1985b, 1990) major contribution lies in his relating these earliest events to social and cultural patterns. He describes a process of devolution of consciousness beginning at around conception and proceeding through other reductions caused by traumas at implantation, in the womb, and at birth.

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Most importantly, he delineates how the result of this diminution of potentiality is projected outwards into the problems and crises of violence, wars, and the mediocrity of modern personality on the scale of the masses and the macrocosms of the group, society, and global events.

In describing the problems of “normality” as rooted in a deprivational and deformational series of traumas from our earliest biological history, Wasdell emphasizes that this gives us the possibility to change that tragic social and personality outcome by focusing on the prevention and healing of such traumas. Thus, he holds out the vision of a new person and new society as an outcome of the efforts directed at the earliest laying down of human experience.

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The Importance of the Intrauterine for Understanding Our Times and the Goal of This Book

Despite this long legacy of work and thought in this pre- and perinatal area, much of it, especially the prenatal, remains ignored by mainstream psychology and is largely unavailable to the public. Within the field itself, in addition, the prenatal information, in relation to the more widely accepted and circulated perinatal evidence, seems to be analogous to Otto Rank’s (1929) ideas of birth trauma were to Sigmund Freud’s concerning early infancy in that they are cast under an extra cloud of suspicion and disbelief and disregarded accordingly. Yet, like Rank’s findings also, their main problem may lie with unfamiliarity and prejudice rather than validity or scientific viability; and these findings, like his were, may end up harkening the outlines of future endeavors and being confirmed by subsequent research.

Thus, I believe that this prenatal area in particular is ripe for reaping what it can teach us about what is human, about “human nature.”

Therefore, this book will put forth the possible relationship between our earliest ontogenetic experiences as humans and the structure of human consciousness and stages of human “development.”

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I build a model that seeks an initial formulation of this information, teasing out its implications, and integrating it with relevant thinking and theoretical perspectives in anthropology, philosophy, psychology, and others.

However, before proceeding, it seems important to establish this pursuit within the logical-empirical framework that validates it. To do this, let us now turn to the re-experience movement I am most familiar with and feel to be the most important, primal therapy, and discuss its relation to the phenomenon of prenatal re-experience and spirituality.

Continue with How Valid Are Spiritual Experiences? Psychedelic Research and Deep Experiential Psychotherapy Have Intensified the Exploration of Spiritual Aspects of the Unconscious

Return to Falls from Grace, Introduction — The Radical Rational View of Us and It: “Normal” Truth Is Convenient Truth … and Is Anything But True

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We Are a Fever, Part Two — The Evidence That Life’s Blueprint Is Written at Birth: Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology Overview — Early Theorists, Psychoanalysis, and Birth

The Template for All You Think Was Created at Birth: Overview of the Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Field — Early Theorists, Psychoanalysis, and Birth

Overview of the Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Field—Early Theorists: Psychoanalysis and Birth

Sigmund Freud — Birth as Prototype for All Anxiety

While Freud (1927) disregarded major effects of birth on personality, he still saw the birth experience as the prototype of all later anxiety. His overall disregard of birth, however, was largely influenced by the belief—although discredited (see Chamberlain, 1988), still common in mainstream psychology and medicine today—that a newborn does not possess the neurological capacity for consciousness at birth.

Otto Rank — Psychoanalysis, Birth Trauma, Foundations of Personality and Some Myth, Separation Anxiety

Other early psychoanalysts disagreed with Freud on this. Otto Rank is the most notable of these. Following Freud’s basic psychoanalytic reasoning for personality patterns in early infancy, he asserted basic patterns of experience and ideas that are rooted in even earlier experience. Rank (1929) claimed the deepest, most fundamental patterns of these personality constructs originated at the time of birth, which Freud thought was not possible. Based upon the dream, fantasy, and other patterns of associations arising in his patients in psychoanalysis, Rank postulated a birth trauma, which he saw as a critical event in laying down in each of us particular patterns of thinking, motivation, and emotion for the rest of our lives. Notable among these prototypes was a feeling of a paradise once known but somehow lost, a separation anxiety caused by the separation at birth, and a resulting futile and lifelong struggle to re-unite with that golden age and that early beloved because of a desire to return to the womb.

Nandor Fodor — Dreamwork, Birth and Prenatal Processing and Relivings, Prenatal Origins of Consciousness and Trauma

Also a psychoanalyst, Fodor (1949) focused on the reflections of birth and prenatal material in dreams. He also designed interventions in therapy to release the negative effects of birth and to process prenatal memories. He was the first to mention actual relivings of birth, in which veridical memories were recovered. He agreed with Rank on many points, but he stressed the origins of consciousness and of trauma being in the prenatal period.

Donald W. Winnicott — First Primal Therapist? Birth Relivings, Importance of Birth—Negative Imprints but Positive Effects, Too 

Another psychoanalyst, and pediatrician as well, Winnicott (1958) also held that birth is remembered and is important. He insisted that the birth trauma is real, but he disagreed with Rank and Fodor that it is always traumatic. He suggested that a normal, nontraumatic, birth has many positive benefits, particularly for ego development. Still, he contended that traumatic birth is permanently etched in memory and leaves a lifetime psychological scar. Winnicott (1958) also suggested the possibility of prenatal trauma.

He has been called the first primal therapist in that he described the first birth primals—actual observable relivings of birth—spontaneously occurring by some of his patients during their sessions with him. Thus he was beginning the trend beyond mere talking association or dream analysis as ways of accessing and integrating this material.

Overview of the Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Field — Later Research and Theorists: Hypnosis, Primal Therapy, and Birth

David Cheek and Leslie LeCron — Hypnosis, Birth Memories and Imprints on Personality and Relation to Psychiatric Disorders

Cheek and LeCron (1968) used hypnosis to retrieve early memories in their patients. They discovered that memories earlier than what they expected, going back to birth, were possible. Importantly, a relief of symptoms seemed to follow from the re-experience of these birth memories. They came to the conclusion that a birth imprint occurs, which is induced by the extreme stress of that time and is resistant to fading from later experience. Further they asserted that this imprint could be the cause of a wide spectrum of psychiatric and psychosomatic disorders.

Leslie Feher — Psychoanalysis, Birth, Cutting of Umbilical Cord, Separation Trauma

Feher (1980) sought to extend the Freudian tradition farther back into areas that, she asserts, were until only recently unknowable. Thus, she describes a natal theory and therapy that includes experiences of cutting the umbilical cord, birth, and even prebirth. In fact, she considers the cutting of the umbilical cord to be central in her theory of trauma, calling it the “crisis umbilicus,” and echoes Fodor in claiming that it is the true origin of the castration fears made so much of in psychoanalysis. This is so because, according to Feher, the cord and placenta is an object of security and is considered by the fetus to be part of him- or herself. Thus, this cutting represents a supreme threat in being a separation from a total life support system, a major organ, a part of oneself. In these ways, she also brings forward for renewed appreciation Rank’s speculations on the element of separation trauma as a crucial element of the birth trauma.

Arthur Janov — Primal Therapy, Traumas of Birth and Early Life and Healing Them, Empirical Foundations and Neurophysiology of Early Events and Healing 

Perhaps the major theorist and popularizer of the phenomenon of re-experience (which he termed primaling), Janov was reluctant to acknowledge the pervasiveness of pre- and perinatal re-experience and trauma. Yet when he did, it was in a major work on birth trauma, which remains as a touchstone in the field in its depth and detail. Imprints: The Lifelong Effects of the Birth Experience, published in 1983, among other things places birth as the determining factor in creating basic personality constructs, called sympathetic and parasympathetic, which roughly coincide with the more common terms introversion and extroversion.

This work is more empirical and neurophysiologically rooted than most in the field. While the book is recognized in the field, Janov and his work have not gotten anywhere near the respect and attention that they deserve. He remains the unfortunate kicking-boy of a movement that is itself scapegoated by the academy and the larger scientific community.

Thomas Verny — Primal Therapy, Birth, Especially Womb Life and Relation to Personality … Prenatal Mother-Infant Bonding 

The actual stimulus for a new field of pre- and perinatal psychology and the Association for Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health—APPPAH was Thomas Verny’s (1981) The Secret Life of the Unborn Child. His work brought together a good deal of the new empirical research that had opened the doors to us on the events in the womb. While himself a practitioner of “holistic primal therapy,” he integrated the accumulating data from the phenomenon of re-experience with the new information from the more traditional, “objective,” scientific research into the prenatal—made possible by the latest advances in technology.

One of his conclusions from this combination of lines of inquiry was that “birth and prenatal experiences form the foundations of human personality” (1981, p. 118). His other conclusions center around the importance of intrauterine bonding in that his research strongly suggests that the prenate, via pathways hormonal and unknown, picks up on the thoughts, feelings, and attitudes of the mother. More importantly, he asserted, the imprint of these factors on the fetus predetermines the later mother-child relationship. He emphasized that positive thoughts and feelings toward the fetus—”maternal love”—acts to cushion the new individual against the normal stresses and unavoidable harshness inherent in birth and early infancy. Yet all of this cannot be completely avoided. “Birth is like death to the newborn,” writes Verny (1984, p. 48).

David Chamberlain — Hypnosis, Confirmed Validity of Birth Memories 

David Chamberlain (1988), for many years the president of APPPAH, has further substantiated the claim of consciousness at birth and the accuracy of pre- and perinatal memory in the phenomenon of re-experience. He reported one study he did in which he compared hypnotically retrieved memories of birth from mother and child and found an astonishing degree of conformity in their responses. Of note was the degree of inner consistency and originality in these memories as reported by the former neonate. They often contained technical details of the delivery and labor unlike what would be expected of the medically unsophisticated, a perceptive critique of the way the birth was handled, and other details of the event that could not have been known through normal conscious channels.

Overview of the Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Field — Later Theorists: Societal Implications, Psychohistory, Birth and Prenatal

Lloyd deMause Psychohistory, Prenatal and Poisonous Placenta, Sociohistorical Implications of Gestational and Birth Events 

Lloyd deMause (1982, 1987) was instrumental in establishing the new interdisciplinary field of psychohistory. In his study of historical happenings he discovered that stages in the progression of events related to stages in the progression of gestation and birth … which stages happened to correspond, by the way, remarkably well with Stanislav Grof‘s four stages of birth, his Basic Perinatal Matrices, as we shall see.

He found that natal imagery especially predominates in societies during times of crisis and war, when national purpose and state of affairs are construed as a need to escape or break free from an enclosing and constricting force. He also noted the suffering fetus and the poisonous placenta as sources of these later metaphors and imagery. In fact, in studying the imagery in the national media of various countries he has been able to predict political, social, and economic events such as wars and invasions, recessions, and political downfalls.

His work begins to look at the prenatal influences and imprints and how they related to macrocosmic issues of politics, history, social movements, and issues of war and peace. His work is extremely relevant to the issues of this book and we will be returning to him again and again in this work.

Continue with Everything You “Know” About Religion You Learned as a Fetus: We Are a Fever, Part Three — Later Prenatal Psychology Theorists — Breathwork, Myth, and Consciousness

Return to We Are a Fever, Part One: Perinatal Psychology, the Phenomenon of Re-Experience, and my Personal Involvement with This Research into Our Actual “Human Nature”

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How the Game Works and The Religion of Capitalism: The Game Is the One True Faith with Winning All Important, Integrity Laughable, and Kindness a Sign of Weakness

Reason and Action Eroded, Only The Game Remains:  How the Game Works – People’s Lives Not Even a Chip in the Negotiations Anymore

Culture War, Class War, Chapter Twelve:

Only The Game Remains

The REALLY Special Interests. People’s Lives Are Not Even a Chip in the Negotiations Anymore

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The Really Special Interests…What They Want Is At Our Expense

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Reason and Action Eroded, The Game Is All That Remains

Note to Ordinary Folks: Ordinary Folks Are Out to Get You.

payn110222_01_cmyk20110222091115 Big Union bad politician

Well since they believe a loving God would condemn them to endless suffering, don’t see why we can’t convince them their own biggest enemy is to be found in a mirror.

But the Republicans were at one point cornered by justifiable attacks about being backed by special interests, so they concocted this idea that the Democrats were too.

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Everybody’s Doing It.

union2corporate-greed_27-06-1882They couldn’t deny it was true about them, so they just made it like, well, it was everybody. That way they avoided being revealed as bad people. For what they did wouldn’t make them bad. It would just make them politicians.

aria110512_cmyk20110511042632 labor board vs boeingAn added benefit for them in “democratizing” the guilt this way is that folks thinking all fnc-ff-20110701-unionsrunningamokpoliticians are the same, that they’re all taking money, means they would be unlikely to vote. They would say, “Ah, they’re all crooks.” Is not that what we’re hearing? Isn’t what we’re hearing that there is no such thing as an honest politician? And keeping the masses, who are helped by Democrats, away from the polls can only help Republicans engaged in swindling them.

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The Really Special Interests: What They Want Is at Our Expense.

labor-unionimagsssesBut once the term special interest meant something very specific, and it was hardly confusing. We need to go back to the time before the whole subject became so muddled and full of misinformation that even the pundits didn’t know what they were talking about anymore. Back when the term was coined, the special interests were thought of as the interests of the very small numbers of wealthy people and their financial arms, big businesses, who sought favors from government that were at odds with the welfare of the masses of less moneyed Americans.

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For example there might be a group from, say, the coal industry, whose interests would be higher profits for being allowed to spew extra amounts of toxic fumes into the atmosphere. That would be the kinds of clip_image004things they would want: something that benefited them at the expense of the majority of folks. Consider: If what was sought would benefit most other people as well, it would not need to be lobbied for solely by this small group, this business concern. Such a change would be advanced on behalf of the greater number of people and would succeed that way.

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So a really special interest would push for something desast04that would bring them greater profits in spite of the fact that it would hurt the majority of Americans. In this example of air pollution, it would be felt negatively by all Americans,2008_09_25_wall_st eventually the whole planet, including people of other countries, and even the plant and animal life, in which species in existence thousands of times longer than us would be gone forever. This is why an interest might be “special.” It would be special in that its benefits would be singular, not shared.

To the contrary, the common good would be reduced for the temporary financial benefit of a relatively small group of individuals, in this case, coal barons. Keep in mind also it would only be the rich capitalist owners in these industries who would see the benefits. That is the real meaning of special.

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Religion of Capitalism – The Game Is the One Truth Faith

And Then the Great Threat

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In a clear-headed sense, a boon to a special interest would involve some sort of legislative help to the profits of, basically, these special rich capitalist owners; and it would be given, very often, at great cost to all those others I have been mentioning who were not in the Congressional bargaining room. So how could such a thing be justified? Well, here is how it works, beginning with another great lie, delivered as a threat.

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The threat would amount to this: That unless these favors are granted, say, as in the example,TheTowerOfBabel if you didn’t let us put that stuff in the air, we’re gonna have to have layoffs. The threat of workers losing their jobs is always, always, the gauntlet thrown clip_image009down to jimmy profits into the hands of a few.

And saving worker’s jobs is always, always thrown out to the public as the justification for granting these singular boons. So the American worker is indirectly threatened with the loss of a job and a paycheck.

The part that will rarely be spoke is the cost of this legislative largess to the general population.smmn14l In our example, what will not be mentioned is that some people’s lives will actually be ended—there is always some of this, though this is the biggest unspoken—for the granting of this wish. What is recklessly ignored is that when this regulation easing, as in our example, goes into effect, bp-ecocide2it will actually kill some people; it will diminish people’s lives; it will increase diseases, cancer and emphysema for example; and overall it will result in more suffering for thousands or millions of times more people than the few that will benefit. Do you begin to see how really special a real special interest is?

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But as for these costs to us ordinary, non-special, people, they will not be mentioned by either side of the bargaining. This will hardly even be a chip in the negotiations. What will be put on the table is worker’s jobs. That threat is that unless these favors are granted, well, we’re gonna have to have layoffs. And then they would say, “Well, American workers will suffer.”

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And that’s the magical meaningless mantram—”American workers will suffer” which is another one of those lies again added to create fog, to create confusion, in this case a smog of misinformation, stifling the reasoned understanding of what is actually at stake.

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Extortion by the Filthy Rich–Dire Long Term Consequences of Leaving This Crime Unprosecuted

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Their Kind of “Sharing the Pain” – My Problems Will Be Your Problems, They Say.

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And Then Outright Extortion

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In fact we had a conspicuous example of this, the way…let’s call it what it is…extortion was employed by the banks not many years ago. The filthy rich, in the guise of investors, pulled off one of the biggest extortions in American history and got away scot free. Even the Democrats could not see through it (still don’t).

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Well, in any other instance of such a tactic, in any other instance by anybody in America doing what was done, it would have been criminally prosecuted. 317486_10150357184771862_526281861_8706445_629664980_nBut not so in the case of these special rich people, represented by these bank executives.

How spectacular this oversight in singling out the guilty is rarely brought out. But truly massive is this miscarriage of justice. millonareConsider that there are vastly more ordinary Americans than there are in the tiny group of filthy rich. So there will of course be far more instances in the general population of any crime you would think of. In this case we are looking at extortion, and virtually every instance of such a crime committed among the general population would attract the intense attention and the full wrath of justice there. Naturally, the harm to the victim or even victims would be constrained to the tiny number of people affected, and the limited amounts of money involved, in any particular case.

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On the other hand here we had a much tinier group of peoplethe filthy rich and the heads of the banks that represent them. class-warfare-what-now-367And the percentage of that group involved in such an extortion is far greater than the incidence of that crime in the greater population, i.e., they represent a high crime zone for such malfeasance and a much bigger danger when their crimes go unpunished and can continue unfettered. Such small groups with higher rates of crime, when there is smaller mounds of money to protect them, are labeled as “criminal gangs,” “hoodlums,” “organized crime,” “gang-bangers” and the like. But not so when the perpetrators dress in such fine suits and stink with money.

clip_image002Further the scale on which these crimes are perpetrated are that of the entire population of the United States and expands itself to include harm to those in other nations and even among the unbornfuture generations. So the the magnitude of the crime is infinitely larger than could ever be pulled off by an average American. Mongo2Still, the smaller scale, less harmful instances of this crime are ruthlessly sought out and punished. Whereas the immeasurably larger crime of the super wealthy is let go…and this in spite of the fact mentioned that the future threat is larger and considerably more likely if the current wrong is not addressed.

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With these things known, how mind-boggling is it to notice this blatant extortion not pointed out, not labeled as such, hardly addressed?

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Their Kind of “Sharing the Pain” – My Problems Will Be Your Problems, They Say.

clip_image003Well here we have, in this case, the banks, the preeminent fronts for the organized filthy rich, demanding extortion money, which if not received…here we go again…eventually would result in their inability to do business and would affect people. This threat is one of their ploys.

msnbc-20090227-warfareJust like the coal barons in the example above who would ask for concessions saying if they did not get them they would be forced to lay off American workers, the banks would have their way of trying to convince that they should be helped or it will affect great numbers of people. In their case, they would say it would affect their ability to do business and to serve the American people.

One way or another the idea is to obscure the reality that help to the banks will help primarily this small group, in this case, pyramidschemecartoon.ndw0281lof bankers, and to make it that their problem is seen as our problem, the public’s problem. This increases the pressure on politicians to grant the favor. For it is spun that it is not the wealthy investors whose welfare is at stake but the public at large.

So there is the extortion, you see. Unlike coal barons threatening to fire workers, essentially bankers threatened to stop providing loans. They would hold them back if not paid. clip_image005The degree to which this was untrue is shown by the fact that after they did get the bailout, they used it to feather their nests and to expand their bank’s market share. Chase Bank, for example, sat on the bailout cash they received, with the intention of using it to buy out other banks that would fail, which is exactly what they did with the money. Banks also gave out those high bonuses like I’ve discussed.

Meanwhile the public was not served. Money remained tight. There arose a big hue and cry over the fact that the money was covering bankers’ losses (i.e., going into their pockets) but the public was not getting the loans they needed. 2011-01-28-12-17-46-1-the-unemployed-received-free-soup-in-a-charity-camSo in retrospect that money would have been much more wisely spent going somehow directly into the people’s hands who needed it, not by funneling it through the hands of gluttonous banking institutions.

clip_image007And what about their threat of it affecting society at large if they were not placated? Well, society did pay dearly, did suffer, even though the banks were paid their extortion money, handsomely too. And since so much of that loot went to the folks who didn’t need it, overall the economy ended up worse off.peasantsnobleswatching Short term the problem was swept under the rug, but in borrowing from the future to help rich people today it guaranteed the problem would get a permanent installation in America’s economy. Seriously, this problem can not be calculated or even imagined away, so Americans will suffer its results forever as far as we know.

So this is the extortion and the lie that sits in the middle of the threat that it is the American workers who will suffer if the wealthy don’t receive their payola.

phojllkklto03poorTax-thumb-224x167-4595For it is never the workers or, in this case, those needing loans who would suffer if the extortion is not given in to, it is the fat cats, coal barons, filthy rich, 1% who would suffer, and for that matter, not even all that much compared to the suffering inflicted on the public by their greedy practices, whether or not the extortion money or concession is provided.

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To Win at All Costs – How They Convince That Their Problems Are Ours

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To Win at Any Cost – How They Convince That Their Problems Are Ours

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Blacks in chainsAnyway, the game is to claim that the pain of those with wealth is really the American people’s pain, so as to make it seem a large number of people would be helped. images1223That’s one of their lies that gets by; this is how they seek to “share the pain”…”spread their burden.” It is a banking problem, in this instance, winboysomething that has had disastrous effects on the economy and on people’s lives, but it would be better handled by society if the problem of the people involved would be addressed, 610xnot the problems—money lost, investments gone under—of the filthy rich.

The upshot is that over and over we hear these big lies of how “the American people”…one of those huge buzz words… “the American people are going to be hurt.” Or, it became, “the working people of this country,” or in the example of the coal barons, above, that a huge group of coal miners would see massive layoffs. In light of what has been said, I hope it is clear what b.s. that is.

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How They Try to Convince That Their Problems Are Ours

BusinessInsider-DistributionOfWealth-largeWe see the threat; we see the extortion; we see the crime and its magnitude, and we see the lie that gives life to it all. Let us look more closely at the manner of the making of this spectacular ruse.

First…some of this has been said, but watch how it unfolds…you’re starting out with a group that is a minute segment of the population as a whole. But they maintain they are identical with or equivalent to society as a whole, making it that it is not the magnitude of their money but of their numbers which raises their voice above all, which is not true of course.Was6087507 I was talking earlier about how they would do that in making up the tax codes. Recall, they would say, “Well, society as a whole will suffer if you don’t…”

imfghdjagesSo they would always package any benefit to them as being not for them, really, at all but for a great number of people. And if they could pull that off, if they could make that magical equivalency then it was like they had a home run. They would say the working people of this country would be affected, that a huge group of coal miners would see massive layoffs, for example.

go_boardThen here is how they make that number bigger: These people, in this example the coal barons, not to be underestimated, would assert that because of their layoffs naturally there would be more of these layoffs by other coal companies. And then, they’d say, these layoffs would affect all the shopkeepers, retail merchants and so on who service the impacted regions; which in turn…gotta keep making it bigger and bigger, more and more and more people…which in turn would affect all the industries making the products that won’t be sold because of the layoffs; FREESPEEand of course a pull back in demand for products means fewer workers needed to make what is needed, thus an increase of unemployment in all other sectors would ensue; which unemployed workers on a grander scale would have them unable to buy from their local merchants; which equals the losses to the manufacturers in an ever more expanding array of products and industries; clip_image002requiring they let people go; thus even more, ever accelerating rates of layoffs and widening unemployment; well , those laid off would not be buying the products in their local shops; which leads to…well armageddon the way they would have it.

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So it just gets bigger and bigger; it goes around and around and around.

To Win at All Costs

But They Will Say Anything to Win

carly_fiorina_630xJust a hint though, this is one of those seemingly rational analyses that although seeming to make sense is not grounded in the real world; it is speculative and made up. It’s roots are solely in the dark hearts and motivations of those attempting to push through their argument, to give it added weight, to basically win at any cost.

every_gop_2012_candidate-460x307That’s a lot of what the difference is. It is that some people will wager with any amount of harm to others; they will say anything, will make up anything. georgebushjohnmccainhuggingThey don’t have to have any facts; they don’t have to know if that’s the way it works. As McCain said, “I don’t know much about economics.” originalThis is the guy who was popular among the corporate crowd of the country, the same group making that simplistic argument above.

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What’s Truth Got to Do With It?

inequalitygraph-thumb-454x357So basically their game involves winning at any cost to others, being willing to assert anything, with no thought that truth should even come into a bargaining situation. I mean, really, the attitude is that, what the hell does truth have to do with it? It’s like, we can make a good argument; we can convince people; we can persuade people; we can fool enough people into thinking it’s true…and that’s all that matters. [Footnote 1]

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clip_image004MetroTimesTaxSo you see they’re getting kind of cocky; they don’t even think they have to have truth…any actual facts or evidence backing up their arguments. Then you have your whole attitude of, “What the hell, why is anybody bothering to bring any truth to this?”

So they don’t bother even to come with any evidence to be laid out on the table; it becomes the most elegant spectacle in sophistry imaginable.

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Compassion’s Downright Laughable in The Game – But Unlike Monopoly These Results Are Real

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Kindness Means Weakness in The Game – But Unlike Monopoly These Results Are Real


Unlike Monopoly These Results Are Real

What it becomes then for these special interests and their Republican representatives is something with about as much gravity as a board game. They’re seeing these matters, which are of dire importance to most of society, about the way we do when playing a game of Monopoly, in which we compete without consequences and try to win without remorse.

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Though the differences should be noted. There’s nothing at stake in a game of Monopoly among friends; it is just simple play with light-hearted risks. There are no real families having to move out if one player buys up all the land and houses of another; there’s nobody even paying rent of $40 if they land on Boardwalk, nobody suffering when you’re told to pay a doctor bill…or to go to jail.

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Going Directly to Jail, Not Passing Go – The Only Part That’s Really Like Monopoly, for the 99%

This point, however, keep in mind as increased perspective on the real world actions of these wealthy folk. In Monopoly you try to win. And you would consider deception. You might hide how much money or property you have…if you’re asked, for example, you might not tell the truth. And this dissembling would be considered a good ploy and harmless. Even the other players might admire such a deception .

clip_image002But is this the way it is in the bargaining of the special interests through their lackey paid-for Republican representatives? No. The consequences of their cavalier play are being felt somewhere. But they cover up their unconcern through the pretense of acting on interests not of their own, but of that reliable home base of the society at large.

We’re Not Supposed To Be Monopoly … Or the Wild West.

So, there’s Monopoly, then there’s the real world, where things like deception or whatever for the purpose of winning have real world effects on people. But we’re supposedly living in an era or time that is not like the old Wild West. clip_image003We purportedly have a democracy with the aim of benefiting the majority of people, or at least as many people as possible. And we claim our intention is to do this without unduly punishing any particular group or having any persons inflicted with unnecessary grief. It’s supposed to be fair; government is supposed to serve people.

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This Game’s Not For You

clip_image00401-architect-misconceptionsSo that’s why I was saying, in the early days when there was bargaining in Congress by the special interests they maintained a pretense of caring about people. After all, we maintain that government is supposed to be representing the American people.

Getting to Home Base, in Their Baseball Game

imagesSo moneyed interests would garner these special breaks, in the tax codes or wherever, because basically they would get to the point where they would convince enough deciders, even if it wasn’t true, that such a change, in the tax code or policy, or whatever, would benefit society at large. As I said, that is kind of like reaching home base for them. You got it then; you’re home free if you can make that link. clip_image006For that is the touted purpose of our elected deciders, it is to benefit the society at large.

Now, nobody can benefit all the people all the time, so that’s as close as you can get…society at large…it’s as near to a home base as you can get.

Anyway, that was the thought involved on both sides of this whole game for a long time. And I stress—if you haven’t gotten the point already…I’ve been leading up to it—that this was the thinking on both sides of this game. It’s like a game for the Republicans, just like Monopoly for us.

And, how was it played? Well the thoughts were, if you were able to get to home base—which is equal to proving a benefit for average Americans, society at large or as a whole, or the electorate—then you score.

But Supported by “Obvious Truths”—Those Untrue Truisms—It Is Now Easier for Them to “Score.”

5192217_f520But that thinking has changed over time. This difference in particular shows the effectiveness of the brainwashing resulting from the repetition of Republican lies over time…the enshrinement of “obvious truths.”

clip_image008I noticed that over time…and this is a development folks younger than me don’t know about…that the terms formerly used in the game were no longer used. No longer were phrases like “society-at-large,” the common good, government of and by the people, the welfare of the majority, government “caring” for people, anyone’s suffering being eased, and such even brought in.

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“It’ll Benefit Society-at-Large? What Are You, a Wuss?”

Words like suffering, compassion, ease, good, benefit, the people, were not uttered anymore. In fact they were felt to be counterproductive. They were considered deal breakers if let into the conversation on matters that were deemed, well…”real.”

Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Thirteen:
The Great American About Face

Return to Culture War, Class War, Chapter Eleven: Reality Transplant, The Media

Footnotes

1. For a humorous aside on this attitude of the truth not mattering when it comes to the game, check out this “Auto Salesman Tells All on Sillymickel” below.

This is another takeoff from “Anatomy of Class Consciousness” — a much longer audio clip (http://bit.ly/autoclass).

Auto Salesman has the clips from “Anatomy” titled “Auto Salesman Does Perry Como does The Doors” (http://bit.ly/ComoDoors) and “The Snorter, Mr. Boehner, and the Auto Salesman” (http://bit.ly/snorter).

There is a spinoff, as well, at http://bit.ly/ComoDoors2, titled “AutoSalesman Does Como Doing Doors, Update – Aftermath, post-Gig.”

This one, just below, is not clipped from the long monologue and is another spinoff from “Anatomy of Class Consciousness.” In this one, Auto Salesman tears into SillyMickel, talking kind of like his alter-ego:

“Auto Salesman Speaks His Mind on SillyMickel” – comedy monologue, video by SillyMickel Adzema

Category: comedy, environment, politics, psychology, Tea Party, satire

What follows is the full text of the video.

About SillyMickel (me), Auto Salesman (my “evil twin”) says:

“Ok. Enough about that. I’m gonna get back to being this erudite mother-fucker, wherever he is. I guess I got to bring him out.

“I try to keep him in that jar, but he keeps going on about

‘It’s just a laundry room.’

“Aaah, shut up.

“I try to keep him in there. I cover it with grass. Which I give him breathing holes; I don’t know what he’s complaining….

“What’s his big fucking beef? What’s he got against George W. Bush? What’s his beef anyway…better than that bozo we got up there. I don’t know what’s his beef. He says something like,

‘Why, George W. Bush, he’s behind the Trade Center bombing and it was like a government job, and it was all for the purpose of doing this and that, and that it killed thousands of people….

‘And not only that, but the scientists are saying that we’ve only got 20 to 50 years to save the planet, and that we’re all gonna die.’

“And I say, “You call them reasons? ….

“You call THEM reasons?” I mean…..

“I didn’t see where that affected MY pocketbook one bit! Now where does he come from? Just because people, just because the whole world’s gonna die…

“I’ll be dead by then, probably…so what the hell do I care? I don’t think anybody should be caring if it’s not going to affect them!

“Now, as far as, you know, the children and the grandchildren … are gonna die in a fiery inferno and whatever in the next 20, 30 years and all the planet’s gonna be wiped out, now, I think: THEY should be worried! It’s THEIR problem, right? Ain’t my problem…why should I care? See?

“So, I said to that erudite little fuck, you know, ‘You stay in your fuckin’ jar…well, stop BOTHERIN’ me with this stuff about how we’re all gonna die and everything like that because, you know, it’s like, NOBODY cares…If it’s not them, you know, they don’t even care about their children so…what does it MAT-ter!?….”

“Besides, everybody’s so fucking stupid, they think God’s gonna come down and save them anyway, because, you know, they all think they’re so special and everything. And so do I, you know. But not him, he says… He’s kinda wierd because he kinda thinks… that…you know… He’s moved by God, but he doesn’t expect God to come down and save him! I don’t understand it.

“He expects…. He wants God to save everybody. And he wants to help. Well, we don’t think like that around here! Do we?

“Naaa. That’s just…we ain’t…that’s just a little bit too goddamn complex for our thinking processes. I mean, it’s like, ‘Am I gonna die?’… you know… ‘Am I gonna be able to eat?’

“And if it’s anything beyond that, what does it matter?

“I think I understand. Yeah. I understand… I don’t know why that erudite puke doesn’t understand it. You know? Maybe I’ll go and tell. Maybe I will, behind his back, you know. This recording here…maybe I’ll send it to them. Just so that they know…that I understand.

“That he’s got a part of himself that’s sane, you know. Keeps him on track, you know? He’s got a part…

“But then maybe they’d like to hear some of my other stuff, too, you know? Like ‘Perry Como Does The Doors’ and my class consciousness stuff, you know…Mr. Boehner and all that. Maybe they would like that because maybe they would understand that I’m like them, you know? It’s just that, you know, that erudite guy, you know…is the one that they don’t like. Think I should? Yea, I know that.

“Because, you know? They should at least know that there’s part of him that’s like that….

“Oh, he’s…. He wants to come out now. He wants to come out.

“What, you don’t like me? Ain’t I better lookin? Ain’t I better lookin than him?

“No!?

“Well, you’re an insultin’ little prick, aren’t you? Well, you’re snortin’ and you’re insultin’…snortin’…insultin’

“Man! Ok, alright, alright, alright!

“What’s your name? Katie? Anyway?

“It would be Katie, I figured it. Boy, man, that Katie, she’s a bad aaaassss! I seen her on TV, she’s a BAD ASS!

“Anyway. I see, underneath all that sweetness….

“Ok! Alright, I’ll go, I’ll go!

“Ya don’t have to PUSH!

 


The Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths,”Part Two
– an Audio Reading by SillyMickel Adzema

Here is an audio of the author’s impassioned reading of this part. Though it is of the first, unedited and unpolished version, and it does not contain all the detail of its current form below, it does capture the flavor of it all. I offer it here for your listening pleasure. For the reading of this part, “The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths,’ Part Two,” click on the link to the audio site above or click the link to the audio player below.

http://cdn.hark.com/swfs/player_fb.swf?pid=dhvsqlbnjl
The Rise and Fall of Obvious Truths, Part 2. by SillyMickel Adzema


Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Thirteen:
The Great American About Face

Return to Culture War, Class War, Chapter Eleven: Reality Transplant, The Media

Invite you to join me on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/sillymickel

friend me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sillymickel

 

 

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3 Comments

Extortion by the Filthy Rich–Dire Long Term Consequences of Leaving This Crime Unprosecuted: Only the Game Remains, Part 2

reagan2

Only the Game Remains, Part Two:
Their Kind of “Sharing the Pain” – My Problems Will Be Your Problems, They Say.

slavesinegypt

And Then Outright Extortion

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In fact we had a conspicuous example of this, the way…let’s call it what it is…extortion was employed by the banks a few years ago. The filthy rich, in the guise of investors, pulled off one of the biggest extortions in American history and got away scot free. Even the Democrats could not see through it (still don’t).

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Well, in any other instance of such a tactic, in any other instance by anybody in America doing what was done, it would have been criminally prosecuted. 317486_10150357184771862_526281861_8706445_629664980_nBut not so in the case of these special rich people, represented by these bank executives.

How spectacular this oversight in singling out the guilty is rarely brought out. But truly massive is this miscarriage of justice. millonareConsider that there are vastly more ordinary Americans than there are in the tiny group of filthy rich. So there will of course be far more instances in the general population of any crime you would think of. In this case we are looking at extortion, and virtually every instance of such a crime committed among the general population would attract the intense attention and the full wrath of justice there. Naturally, the harm to the victim or even victims would be constrained to the tiny number of people affected, and the limited amounts of money involved, in any particular case.

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On the other hand we have a much tinier group of people, the filthy rich and the heads of the banks that represent them. class-warfare-what-now-367And the percentage of that group involved in such an extortion is far greater than the incidence of that crime in the greater population, i.e., they represent a high crime zone for such malfeasance and a much bigger danger when their crimes go unpunished and can continue unfettered. Such small groups with higher rates of crime, when there is smaller mounds of money to protect them, are labeled as “criminal gangs,” “hoodlums,” “organized crime,” “gang-bangers” and the like. But not so when the perpetrators dress in such fine suits and stink with money.

clip_image002Further the scale on which these crimes are perpetrated are that of the entire population of the United States, and expands itself to include harm to those in other nations and even among the unborn…future generations. So the the magnitude of the crime is infinitely larger than could ever be pulled off by an average American. Mongo2Still, the smaller scale, less harmful instances of this crime are ruthlessly sought out and punished. Whereas the immeasurably larger crime of the super wealthy is let go; and this in spite of the fact mentioned that the future threat is larger and considerably more likely if the current wrong is not addressed.

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With these things known, how mind-boggling is it to notice this blatant extortion not pointed out, not labeled as such, hardly addressed?

reaganomicswetoldthemtrickledown

Their Kind of “Sharing the Pain” – My Problems Will Be Your Problems, They Say.

clip_image003Well here we have, in this case, the banks, the preeminent fronts for the organized filthy rich, demanding extortion money, which if not received…here we go again…eventually would result in their inability to do business and would affect people. This threat is one of their ploys.

msnbc-20090227-warfareJust like the coal barons in the example above who would ask for concessions saying if they did not get them they would be forced to lay off American workers, the banks would have their way of trying to convince that they should be helped or it will affect great numbers of people. In their case, they would say it would affect their ability to do business and to serve the American people.

One way or another the idea is to obscure the reality that help to the banks will help primarily this small group, in this case, pyramidschemecartoon.ndw0281lof bankers, and to make it that their problem is seen as our problem, the public’s problem. This increases the pressure on politicians to grant the favor. For it is spun that it is not the wealthy investors whose welfare is at stake but the public at large.

So there is the extortion, you see. Unlike coal barons threatening to fire workers, essentially bankers threatened to stop providing loans. They would hold them back if not paid. clip_image005The degree to which this was untrue is shown by the fact that after they did get the bailout, they used it to feather their nests and to expand their bank’s market share. Chase Bank, for example, sat on the bailout cash they received, with the intention of using it to buy out other banks that would fail, which is exactly what they did with the money. Banks also gave out those high bonuses like I’ve discussed.

Meanwhile the public was not served. Money remained tight. There arose a big hue and cry over the fact that the money was covering bankers’ losses (i.e., going into their pockets) but the public was not getting the loans they needed. 2011-01-28-12-17-46-1-the-unemployed-received-free-soup-in-a-charity-camSo in retrospect that money would have been much more wisely spent going somehow directly into the people’s hands who needed it, not by funneling it through the hands of gluttonous banking institutions.

clip_image007And what about their threat of it affecting society at large if they were not placated? Well, society did pay dearly, did suffer, even though the banks were paid their extortion money, handsomely too. And since so much of that loot went to the folks who didn’t need it, overall the economy ended up worse off.peasantsnobleswatching Short term the problem was swept under the rug, but in borrowing from the future to help rich people today it guaranteed the problem would get a permanent installation in America’s economy. Seriously, this problem can not be calculated or even imagined away, so Americans will suffer its results forever as far as we know.

So this is the extortion and the lie that sits in the middle of the threat that it is the American workers who will suffer if the wealthy don’t receive their payola.

phojllkklto03poorTax-thumb-224x167-4595For it is never the workers or, in this case, those needing loans who would suffer if the extortion is not given in to, it is the fat cats, coal barons, filthy rich who would suffer, and for that matter, not even all that much compared to the suffering inflicted on the public by their greedy practices, whether or not the extortion money or concession is provided.

child_labor

Continue with To Win at All Costs – How They Convince That Their Problems Are Ours: Only the Game Remains, Part 3

Return to The REALLY Special Interests. People’s Lives Are Not Even a Chip in the Negotiations Anymore: Only the Game Remains, Part 1



The Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths,”Part Two
an Audio Reading by SillyMickel Adzema

Here is an audio of the author’s impassioned reading of this part. Though it is of the first, unedited and unpolished version, and it does not contain all the detail of its current form below, it does capture the flavor of it all. I offer it here for your listening pleasure. For the reading of this part, “The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths,’ Part Two,” click on the link to the audio site above or click the link to the audio player below.

http://cdn.hark.com/swfs/player_fb.swf?pid=dhvsqlbnjl
The Rise and Fall of Obvious Truths, Part 2. by SillyMickel Adzema



Continue with To Win at All Costs – How They Convince That Their Problems Are Ours: Only the Game Remains, Part 3

Return to The REALLY Special Interests. People’s Lives Are Not Even a Chip in the Negotiations Anymore: Only the Game Remains, Part 1

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The REALLY Special Interests. People’s Lives Are Not Even a Chip in the Negotiations Anymore: Only the Game Remains, Part 1

SpecialInterests413

Only the Game Remains, Part One:
The Really Special Interests…What They Want Is At Our Expense

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Reason and Action Eroded, The Game Is All That Remains

Note to Ordinary Folks: Ordinary Folks Are Out to Get You.

payn110222_01_cmyk20110222091115 Big Union bad politician

Well since they believe a loving God would condemn them to endless suffering, don’t see why we can’t convince them their own biggest enemy is to be found in a mirror.

But the Republicans were at one point cornered by justifiable attacks about being backed by special interests, so they concocted this idea that the Democrats were too.

efin818l

Everybody’s Doing It.

union2corporate-greed_27-06-1882They couldn’t deny it was true about them, so they just made it like, well, it was everybody. That way they avoided being revealed as bad people. For what they did wouldn’t make them bad. It would just make them politicians.

aria110512_cmyk20110511042632 labor board vs boeingAn added benefit for them in “democratizing” the guilt this way is that folks thinking all fnc-ff-20110701-unionsrunningamokpoliticians are the same, that they’re all taking money, means they would be unlikely to vote. They would say, “Ah, they’re all crooks.” Is not that what we’re hearing? Isn’t what we’re hearing that there is no such thing as an honest politician? And keeping the masses, who are helped by Democrats, away from the polls can only help Republicans engaged in swindling them.

skeptics

The Really Special Interests: What They Want Is at Our Expense.

labor-unionimagsssesBut once the term special interest meant something very specific, and it was hardly confusing. We need to go back to the time before the whole subject became so muddled and full of misinformation that even the pundits didn’t know what they were talking about anymore. Back when the term was coined, the special interests were thought of as the interests of the very small numbers of wealthy people and their financial arms, big businesses, who sought favors from government that were at odds with the welfare of the masses of less moneyed Americans.

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For example there might be a group from, say, the coal industry, whose interests would be higher profits for being allowed to spew extra amounts of toxic fumes into the atmosphere. That would be the kinds of clip_image004things they would want: something that benefited them at the expense of the majority of folks. Consider: If what was sought would benefit most other people as well, it would not need to be lobbied for solely by this small group, this business concern. Such a change would be advanced on behalf of the greater number of people and would succeed that way.

403781_348626541815889_100000056392831_1428618_1287915522_n

So a really special interest would push for something desast04that would bring them greater profits in spite of the fact that it would hurt the majority of Americans. In this example of air pollution, it would be felt negatively by all Americans,2008_09_25_wall_st eventually the whole planet, including people of other countries, and even the plant and animal life, in which species in existence thousands of times longer than us would be gone forever. This is why an interest might be “special.” It would be special in that its benefits would be singular, not shared.

To the contrary, the common good would be reduced for the temporary financial benefit of a relatively small group of individuals, in this case, coal barons. Keep in mind also it would only be the rich capitalist owners in these industries who would see the benefits. That is the real meaning of special.

6239323185_62de1f7b46

Religion of Capitalism – The Game Is the One Truth Faith

And Then the Great Threat

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In a clear-headed sense, a boon to a special interest would involve some sort of legislative help to the profits of, basically, these special rich capitalist owners; and it would be given, very often, at great cost to all those others I have been mentioning who were not in the Congressional bargaining room. So how could such a thing be justified? Well, here is how it works, beginning with another great lie, delivered as a threat.

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The threat would amount to this: That unless these favors are granted, say, as in the example,TheTowerOfBabel if you didn’t let us put that stuff in the air, we’re gonna have to have layoffs. The threat of workers losing their jobs is always, always, the gauntlet thrown clip_image009down to jimmy profits into the hands of a few.

And saving worker’s jobs is always, always thrown out to the public as the justification for granting these singular boons. So the American worker is indirectly threatened with the loss of a job and a paycheck.

The part that will rarely be spoke is the cost of this legislative largess to the general population.smmn14l In our example, what will not be mentioned is that some people’s lives will actually be ended—there is always some of this, though this is the biggest unspoken—for the granting of this wish. What is recklessly ignored is that when this regulation easing, as in our example, goes into effect, bp-ecocide2it will actually kill some people; it will diminish people’s lives; it will increase diseases, cancer and emphysema for example; and overall it will result in more suffering for thousands or millions of times more people than the few that will benefit. Do you begin to see how really special a real special interest is?

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But as for these costs to us ordinary, non-special, people, they will not be mentioned by either side of the bargaining. This will hardly even be a chip in the negotiations. What will be put on the table is worker’s jobs. That threat is that unless these favors are granted, well, we’re gonna have to have layoffs. And then they would say, “Well, American workers will suffer.”

prison-labor2

And that’s the magical meaningless mantram—”American workers will suffer” which is another one of those lies again added to create fog, to create confusion, in this case a smog of misinformation, stifling the reasoned understanding of what is actually at stake.

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Continue with Extortion by the Filthy Rich–Dire Long Term Consequences of Leaving This Crime Unprosecuted: Only the Game Remains, Part 2

Return to Disposable Truth: What They’ve Succeeded in Getting Us to Forget



The Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths,”Part Two
an Audio Reading by SillyMickel Adzema

Here is an audio of the author’s impassioned reading of this part. Though it is of the first, unedited and unpolished version, and it does not contain all the detail of its current form below, it does capture the flavor of it all. I offer it here for your listening pleasure. For the reading of this part, “The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths,’ Part Two,” click on the link to the audio site above or click the link to the audio player below.

http://cdn.hark.com/swfs/player_fb.swf?pid=dhvsqlbnjl
The Rise and Fall of Obvious Truths, Part 2. by SillyMickel Adzema



Continue with Extortion by the Filthy Rich–Dire Long Term Consequences of Leaving This Crime Unprosecuted: Only the Game Remains, Part 2

Return to Disposable Truth: What They’ve Succeeded in Getting Us to Forget

Invite you to join me on Twitter:
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