Saturday, 11 February 2012

The Freud Exposure

Clips from the film 'A Dangerous Method'

Jung and Freud

Sabina Spielrein

Our youngest son, Gregory Rikowski, has recently been taking a very lively and critical interest in Psychology, Psychoanalysis and the work of Sigmund Freud and of the Freud family in general.

Leading on from this, he wrote an article about it all, entitled 'Freudian Crisis in the Modern Era' which is now on our 'Flow of Ideas' website - see

He also designed a flyer, highlighting some of the key points in his article - flyer below.

Continuing with this theme, Glenn and I have just been to see the newly released film:
'A Dangerous Method', which focuses on Jung and Freud (although more on the former). The film is directed by David Cronenberg and stars Keira Knightley, as mentally tormented Sabina Spielrein, a Jewish Russian-born patient of Jung's; Michael Fassbender as Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung and Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund Freud.

We thought the film was very powerful, well acted and informative. It also made many good, albeit disturbing points, particularly around the topic of power and control which pervades much of Psychology and Psychoanalysis. Yes, we very much agree with Gregory's basic position in regard to it all. And Edward Bernays (Sigmund Freud's nephew) took it all one step further, but perhaps, more about that on another occasion.

In the film, we see how Sabina Spielrein is transformed, with the help of Jung, from a young mentally-tormeted woman, who had been beaten by her father, into a mature and intelligent woman. She later becomes one of the first female psychoanalysts. Much to my surprise, I also discovered from a google search, that she later psychoanalysed the educational psychologist Jean Piaget! And even more of a coincidence is the fact that I discoverd that Paula Allman did her PhD on Piaget. Glenn ran a Symposium on Paula's work on Marx and Education and critical pedagogy at the Institute of Education last week (see blog entry below), and I found out about the topic of her PhD there. So, life is full of surprises!

Returning to the film, Jung also takes Sabina Spielrein as his mistress for a while, and they have a sado-masochist relationship, which demonstrates the power and control theme. So, whilst on one level Jung helped her, on another level he didn't, or at least, he could have done better. I found this very sickening and disturbing. Sabina also corresponded with Sigmund Freud, but he was not sympathetic to her. Freud largely saw his patients as scientific experiments which he observed. So, Jung was a better person because he did want to help his patients to overcome their problems in some way, and not just leave them in the state they were in, and observe them as experiments. But he was also weak.

In addition, we plan to see the Lucian Freud (who died last year) exhibition, which has just opened at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

On a final note from me here, it is important that I rectify something that I said on a previous blog entry of mine about Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice'

In this blog entry, I linked up the mind of Jane Austen with Marx and Freud. This was a gross injustice, on my part, to both Austen and Marx, who had a wonderful and optimistic view of humankind, unlike Freud, who had a very negative and destructive view. He thought that humans had dangerous and irrational forces and emotions in them, and that this meant that the masses needed to be controlled. Sigmund Freud also, incidentally, was heavily influenced by Nietzsche. Freud's work has done much damage - and the likes of people such as Bernays and Matthew Freud, have carried on and developed Sigmund Freud's ways of thinking and operating still further, thereby doing even more damage. And now all this pervades just so many walks of life, which is all very disturbing. But perhaps more about that on another occasion as well.

And here is the flyer:

The Freud Exposure by Gregory Rikowski

· We live in an age dominated by Psychology and hypocrisy.

· Sigmund Freud’s great grandson Matthew Freud is married to Rupert Murdoch’s daughter Elisabeth. Matthew Freud runs a public health scheme, ‘Freud Communications’ which handles ‘obesity & smoking’ at same time ironically promoting Pepsi, KFC & Walkers crisps.

· Sigmund Freud said that hidden within humans are sexual, irrational & aggressive forces that need to be controlled by psychoanalysis.

· Sigmund Freud’s nephew Edward Bernays was founder of ‘public relations’ i.e. propaganda. He used psychological methods developed by his uncle to tap into people’s unconscious desires to get them to buy products. See BBC documentaries The Century of the Self (YouTube) and The Trap presented by Adam Curtis.

· Edward Bernays in the USA persuaded women to smoke in the 1920s, promoted eggs and bacon for breakfast, stopped democratic Socialism in Guatemala, supported America to go to war, supported fluoride in water campaign - a dangerous toxic which can affect the brain.

· Rather than cure his patients, many of Sigmund Freud’s patients were made worse through psychoanalysis.

· David Freud, great grandson of Sigmund recently rejected plans to support payments for disabled children, plus cancer patients and stroke survivors. He restricted access to the ESA (Employment and Support Allowance) for disabled or ill young people. Prior to this he encouraged single parents to go back to work.

· Apparently Lucian Freud, the painter, sent one of his models a drawing of her with bodily fluids coming out of her orifices after missing a few sittings (S. Observer, 24.07.11, p.15). He also slept with his female sitters and had many illegitimate children (Sunday Times, 24.07.11, p.15).

‘In almost every act of our lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental process and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires that control the public mind’’ (Edward Bernays).

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