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Monday, April 23, 2012


Then there is psychoanalysis, which is interesting because it can attract so much condemnation, yet I've never known analysts to kill goats, burn witches or fly airliners into buildings.


Under the psychoanalytic hegemony in American psychiatry, 1940-1970, homosexuality was considered such as severe mental illness, it was per se grounds for involuntary commitment in IIRC 16 different US states, and was sometimes treated with lobotomy. Mainstream American psychoanalytic psychiatry waged a persecutory war on "homosexuals", hand in glove with the state. It succeeded in making homosexuality dramatically more stigmatized, enormously more dangerous, and vastly more pathologized, all of which contributed to increasing violence (both state and private) against gay people, increasing suicide among gay people, and, ultimately, retarding governmental response to AIDS.

I'm pretty sure far, far more gays and lesbians and bisexuals and trans people have died because of psychoanalytic psychiatry than witches died in Salem.

I think there are many wonderful aspects to psychoanalysis, and it contains much wisdom and insight. But let's get one thing absolutely clear. While there are many interesting other psychodynamic reasons psychoanalysis might provoke hostility, perhaps promulgating a homicidal scapegoat projection onto a vulnerable minority is something that some people might not like, even if they only vaguely sense that analysts do this sometimes.

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