Re: New Age Mumbo Jumbo, Psychological Self-Help, Dr. Clayton Tucker-Ladd
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: April 19, 2009 07:39AM

here's a couple more links about the Psychological Self-Help ebook

Overview essay
Locating ‘Psychological-Self Help’ Within the World of Self-Help []

comment from the author, who apparently has cancer.

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: quackdave ()
Date: April 20, 2009 11:33PM

From the essay on the author:
"He maintains a strong commitment to the importance of honesty in the effectiveness of self-help methods and their free distribution to everyone who can benefit from them."

I'd say that pretty much leaves him totally off the list of hucksters who ply their phony wares for cash. A literally 'dying' breed.


Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: Judy ()
Date: June 07, 2009 08:47PM

Oprah is being blasted for promoting alternative "healing" techniques.



Here's a sample from the Newsweek article where Oprah admits The Secret isn't the answer to everything:

A few weeks earlier, Oprah could not say enough in praise of The Secret as the guiding philosophy of her life. Now she said that people had somehow gotten the wrong idea. "I think that part of the mistake in translation of The Secret is that it's used to now answer every question in the world. It is not the answer to all questions," she instructed. "I just wanted to say it's a tool. It is not the answer to everything." The Law of Attraction was just one law of many that guide the universe. "Although I live my life that way," Oprah said, "I think it has its flaws."


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/07/2009 09:10PM by Judy.

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: June 08, 2009 04:34AM

There are more posts on the Oprah health issue at this thread.

Oprah's celebrity doctors, Oprah: The Queen of Snake-Oil

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 16, 2009 10:10PM

Here and there, Ive referred appreciatively to the work of Carl G Jung.

Recently, I have found some research done about Jungs own social context, the ideas that formed him, and it appears that he lived in part of Europe that was much like today's seekers scenes in California, Arizona, Totnes UK and Byron Bay, Australia.

However, very few ever study Jung using historic and sociological methods. If one does, some surprising things emerge.

Richard Noll was able to read German, as many Jungians cannot. He studied the intellectual movements influential at the time young Jung grew up and was finding his professional identity. He uses the methods of Weberian sociology to argue that Jung was not a scientist, but a charismatic leader of an elect society of initiates. Noll's use of the term 'cult' is sociological. Jung was not as disastrously coercive as Jim Jones or L Ron Hubbard, but he kept a lot of things secret, and resisted any attempt to apply methods of historical resource, and the Jung family still keep guard over some very sensitive papers--very different from the climate in which science is done.

By all means enjoy Jung's ideas. But...avoid the trap of discipleship. Do not become an inmate of Jungs ideas, or of anyone elses.

No one should ever put in a position of privilige so great as to be made exempt from scrutiny by an historian.

(An overview of Richard Nolls book, The Jung Cult)


an interview with Richard Noll.


It appears that Jung was mightily influenced by various German folk essence movements, ideologies in which notions of biological and spiritual evolution were mushed together. He was also quite fascinated by various forms of theosophy and seance, and associated with persons who were. Later, it was patients with these very same interests who sought Jung out for therapy, knowing he would respect them for these beliefs, not laugh them out of of the office.

So his beliefs about a primordial collective consciousness were unscientific generalizations from his own experience, and from a very select and biased clinical sample.

Jung concealed the sources of his actual ideas, especially authors whose names would have impaired Jungs own academic crediblity if he cited them directly, such as Bachofen. According to Noll, Bachofen influenced Jung's eventual concept of collective unconscious, but Jung never cited Bachofen as a source, for Bachofen had become an embarrassment by then.

Ive heard it said that if someone quotes authoritively from a source but does not refer to that source, it can give that person an air of authority as if they are channelling something from another world.

What is amazing is that independently of Jung, off in Italy, a quite different man also became interested in Bachofen -- and took Bachofen's ideas in some idiosyncratic directions. Julius Evola, a traditionalist and elitist who tried hard to radicalize the Italian Fascist movement (and failed).

Going from Bachofen and other such authors Jung and Evola and many others visualized some kind of pagan golden age, saw civilization and restraint as thwarting an orginal state of vitality and prescribed ways to get back to one's roots. Some methods such as psychoanalysis were private and peaceful (though expensive and affordable only to a wealthy elite)--but other methods entailed social activism and violence, such as various forms of fascism.

Jung was an elitist but was content with with his private initiatory form of analysis--a model of 'individuation' which according to Noll, ironically enough, takes Jungs own personal life as the template(!)

Unlike Jung, Evola was an elitist but did not trust in slow methods of private transformation. Evola believed social change, even when violent, was what was needed to purify a decadent civilized society and return it to its more vital life giving roots. Evola prescribed social and political action, not therapy as the remedy.

Evola and Jung both used Bachofen's ideas, but otherwise the two men wouldve probably disliked each other.

Evola's ideas later became so influential during the radical right terrorist years in Italy that someone once said that just having Evola's books in ones possesion could lead to trouble.

(Mark Sedgwick, Against the Modern World: Traditionalism and the Secret History of the Twentieth Century.

So given that I have referred to Jung in earlier posts, please see fit to examine these articles.

Any time you feel yourself getting emotionally involved in someone's body of work, check the social and historic background of the author and use independent sources.

That way, one can find a way to enjoy that author but retain one's adult autonomy.

I would especially urge anyone to read these articles if they think they wish to enter Jungian analysis or become an analyst...a hell of a lot of time and money are involved and its best to learn family secrets beforehand

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/16/2009 10:14PM by corboy.

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 16, 2009 10:20PM

"That bothers me, as does the idea that myth and the emotional response to myth is more important to historical facts. To Jung, it didn't matter whether or not a story was true. What mattered was the effect on the listener, how it makes him or her feel."

Quotations from the Beatrice interview


Elements of Jung's theories lie at the basis of much of contemporary "New Age" thinking; Noll reveals the extent to which Jung himself was an active participant in an earlier New Age that isn't much different than today's version.

RH: OK, imagine a sliding scale. At one end, you have William James and Sigmund Freud. At the other end, you've got L. Ron Hubbard and Jim Jones. Where do you want to put Jung?

RN: Well, I'd move Freud a little bit further away from James, but yeah, Jung's is much closer to L. Ron Hubbard than he is to Freud or James, no question about it, especially after 1916. Jung was a famous research scientist at the age of 31, more famous than Freud when the two of them met, and he just chucked all that for the idea of the collective unconscious. He claimed that you can get racial memories from your ancestors, and that you can enter into visionary states and talk to your ancestors. You can't really look at his psychology or his techniques without looking at occultism and spiritualism.

RH: Some of the stuff that comes up in this book is almost perversely fascinating, like Jung's belief that he was the manifestation of a lion-headed god.

RN: It's wild stuff. That's why I argue that, especially after his break with Freud, Jung was basically setting up his own religious movement. Analysis became an initiation into mysteries, teaching people to speak to the dead and to the gods. And if you look at Jungians today, what are they doing? It's a lot of the same stuff. Many people, including Jungian analysts, are attracted to Jung's thoughts because they want that spiritual big bang.

RH: The break with Freud is interesting in that you present evidence that suggests Jung created the situation himself, seeing Freud as a mentor on whom he had, in his own words, a 'religious crush' he would have to disavow, and that Freud recognized what Jung was doing and told him so.

RN: The relationship between Freud and Jung is one of the great love stories of the 20th century. If you read their letters to one another, there were times they were really obsessed with each other. They would meet someplace, then they'd part, and one of them would write, "Now when I walk the streets, everywhere I think I see you." These guys were aware of the dynamics. They were Freud and Jung, they'd better know what was going on, right? And we all know that true love is an impossible fantasy. It's doomed to fail, and that's what happened to them.


RH: Another thing that never crossed his mind is 'cryptomnesia,' or 'hidden memories.' He never seems to have considered the possibility that his visions of being a lion-headed Christ might have something to do with the books he'd read.

RN: And I know what he was reading then. For nine years, Jung built his career as an experimental psychologist on examining the human memory. He proved to himself in experiment time and again that we continually distort our memories, that we unconsciously plagiarize at times. He showed repeatedly that people could forget that they had been exposed to materials, then have elements of those materials appear in their consciousness or dreams and feel 'new.' It happens all the time, like when George Harrison didn't realize that the melody to "My Sweet Lord" was the same as "He's So Fine."

So Jung, who's read extensively in spiritualist and occultist texts, documents this memory process at length, and then in December 1913 he has an experience in which he becomes a lion-headed god. That was such a transformative experience for him that within months he's developed a theory about cosmic and archetypal forces that influence everyone. Then he surrounded himself with patients who had been steeped in spiritualism, Theosophy, and other forms of occultism. They're drawn to Jung because they know he's into occultism as well. And when they have dreams with occultist imagery in them, Jung thinks this is direct evidence of a collective unconscious outside the realm of their personal experiences. He was participating with these people in a shared delusion; it's such a massive error in his logic.

RH: It's amazing to me how little Jungians know or are willing to know about the origins of Jungian teachings, and how much of a personal affront they consider it when people like you so much as raise the issues.

RN: That's disturbing. I once thought that the whole Jungian, psychoanalytic thing was about consciousness, you know, facing up to stuff that might be disturbing. So when I bring stuff up, and Jungians respond by ignoring it, refusing to read it, or claiming that it's untrue, it's kind of sad to see that kind of irrational response, but it's also telling.

RH: And you're not even saying that polygamous occultism is necessarily a bad thing.

RN: No, I'm not, but that's what they're hearing.

I just want them to accept that that's the foundation of their beliefs. I'm open to all sorts of things as long as we're all clear about what those things are.

There is no scientific evidence to support the collective unconscious, yet analysts with medical degrees claim to help their patients to tap into it. As a society, do we want medical insurance to cover that sort of thing? Where's the line between religion and medicine?

Sometimes I feel like the Ralph Nader of the Jungian world, but I've seen so many people who have been harmed by this, people who need to have their screws tightened rather than loosened. And in Jungian circles, critical thinking is looked down upon.
It's devalued in favor of emotion or intuition.

RH: We've seen that attitude gain in popularity in the last decade or so, and I believe we can pin it down to a very specific moment: Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers on PBS.

RN: You're absolutely right. That did more to promote Jungian thought than anything during that period. Campbell was charismatic, he was great on TV, and what he was spouting was pure Jung.

RH: And Moyers has run with that ball ever since. In 1996, it was "Let's do a series about Genesis, and our need for origin myths!"

RN: I'd like to see somebody do a series on the need for critical thinking and skepticism. Carl Sagan nailed it pretty well in The Demon-Haunted World, and although he could be too smug at times, he addressed the issues straight on and his 'baloney detection kit,' a guide to critical thinking, is something I'm going to use in my classes when these issues come up. People forget that it's okay to think, to analyze situations, and they need to be reminded more often.

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 16, 2009 10:39PM

There is an additional interview of Richard Noll by an ultra conservative Catholic newspaper, The Wanderer.

The Wanderer tried hard to push for certain conclusions from Noll. Noll, a lapsed Catholic, did state that given the actual pagan foundation of Jungs work and Jungs gnostic definition of salvation, Jungian material would not slot well with Catholic doctrine, which is a valid point--just as valid as pointing out that Linux and Microsoft are two quite different operating systems for a computer.

But even this interview by a biased newspaper gives us some valuable material:


Noll did remark:


A. Jung, to his credit, really was able to see the positive aspects of
suffering. He tried to find the meaning in it, in a way Freud did not. Jung
realized there is no such thing as normal.


<The Wanderer> conducted a telephone interview with Dr. Noll from his home
in Boston.

Q. I suspect <The Jung Cult> has come as a very unwelcome intrusion to many
Jungians, who have probably never considered his historical and cultural
background. The Jung you present is a rather base product of his milieu,
who acquired a smattering of bad science bad theology, bad philosophy, bad
history, added a large share of occult mysticism, theosophy, and sexual
libertinism, and came up with modern psychotherapy.

Is this perception correct?

(Corboy notes-observe how The Wanderer seeks to load the question--Jung as 'a rather base product of his milieu' 'acquired a smattering of bad science, bad theology, bad philosophy, bad history, sexual liberinism...and (big generationalization!!!) came up with modern psychotherapy'. You can see how hard Noll has to work in response to this loaded question. But in so doing, Noll manages to tell the reader a great deal about the social world which produced Jung. And in the book, Noll is at pains to tell the reader that in the German speaking world, young men from literate families, such as Jung and Freud and others, all received top notch classical education, could read original sources and classics in Latin and Greek, memorised classics in German literature.

And at university and in medical school Jung was well trained in scientific method and made some early and good contributions to memory research. He started out well trained as a scientist--only when older did he decide to go a different route. This was not a case of 'bad science' but of a person who discarded what he knew of science because his later personal aspirations overrode his training as a scientist.

This is a higher level of education and literacy than many of us attain today. So the minds of these young men would have been richly fertilized by images from Greek, Roman and German mythology. The Wanderer wants to use Noll for its own narrow ideological uses--to discredit all of modern psychotherapy--but Noll to his credit tries in this interview to prevent it.)

A. I would eliminate the word "bad" in your list.

Jung's background must be seen in his German cultural context- a context
that frankly has been lost to history because of the gross obscenity of
Adolf Hitler. It has taken so many generations for us to assimilate
National Socialism that the world of pre-Hitler central Europe has largely
been forgotten. Historians have focused so much on National Socialism and
Hitler that they have neglected the period in the 1920s when he was
amassing his movement. There was a lot going on besides Adolf Hitler.

Q. As a psychologist, do you make a judgment call on the intellectual
"culture" of Germany in the early 20th century, preoccupied, as it was,
with notions of racism, anti-Semitism, philosophical idealism, the occult,
and anti-Catholicism?

A. It may seem crazy, but this was their world. It made sense to them. When
you examine history and try to understand historical figures, the main task
is to try to figure out which category the actors were acting in. It's
almost as if you have to figure out which category the actors were acting
in. It's almost as if you have to time travel and leave your values at
home, and transmit yourself back to that world. There were all sorts of
unusual and kooky things going on.

Actually, the Nazis got their eugenics ideas from the United States. We
were the ones sterilizing people under sterilization laws which made it
mandatory for the insane, criminals, and other groups.

Q. You seem to make a great effort to distance Jung's anti-Semitism from
Hitler's anti-Semitism, and to exculpate Jung from the charge that he was
one of the intellectuals who prepared the way for Hitler.

Why do you do this when it seems, at least to this reader, that the two
matured under exactly the same intellectual and mystical influences-the
only difference being that the one obtained real political and military

A. As I tried to point out in the book, the world was a racist world. It
was accepted in bourgeois middle-class society. The society accepted the
belief that there were great biological differences between Jews and non-
Jews, that was what educated people thought.

Frankly, Jung wasn't big enough at all to influence Hitler's rise. Back in
the 1920s, everyone was talking about Count Hermann Keyserling, who did
have a very strong anti-Semitic influence and connections to people who
became some of the leading Nazis.

Jung was not a big player in Zurich. He was attracting mostly people from England and the United States. I can't lump him in with Hitler, despite his views on women, Jews, and other issues. Jung was never interested in a political movement. He wanted a
spiritual renewal.

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 16, 2009 10:58PM

It appears that Noll, a lapsed Catholic, has moved to a biblical protestant stance.

Still if something gives someone the guts and staying power to do tough minded historical research and to look for papers and interviews that have NOT been published in the official collections of Jungs essays and longer works...some of the grit of a Martin Luther may well be needed to withstand the flack.

Nolls first book on the Jung Cult was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and published by Princeton University Press--not a lightweight publisher.

From a different source than Noll, here is a paper giving an overview on Theosophy and how Blavatskyian Theosophy influenced all sorts of German and Central European neo pagan nationalistic agendas, many of which were elitist, some of which were to nurture various forms of proto-Fascism.

When Hitler came to power, he closed down many of these study groups..but coopted
elements of thier ideology into Nazism.


Jung grew up during this very volatile time and its imagry would have seeped into his dream life. No one is immune.

Must mention talking to a fellow who survived being mugged. My friend was attacked in his home by a man with a pistol. He grabbed hold of the weapon, rolled over and over with the attacker, scared for his life, and eventually got the weapon away and made the man flee.

My pal told me, 'Every single image of a fight scene I had ever seeen from TV or from a movie flashed through my mind while I was fighting this guy.' pal was born in the 1950s, and had grown up in a US city. So he could remember where those images that saturated his consciousness originally came from.

But if he had grown up around 1899 and had saturated his mind with Seigfried mythology and neopaganism, he might have convinced himself that all this was ancestral warrior spirit coming to his aid in a time of need, not buried memories from a slew of TV shows and movies!

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: notanantiGnostic ()
Date: June 18, 2009 01:11PM

Yes theosophy had all sorts of negative influences but Noll probably neglects to mention that Gandhi is said to have started studying Hinduism after a visit to the theosophists in 1889. Is that a bad influence. Personally I see the miss use of Jungs ideas, usually in a dumbed down form by the new age movement to be the real problem. Noll is very much writing with a protestant agenda. An bias that also sees preachers condemning Yoga as evil because you worship Hindu goods in the process. There is much ethnocentrism in this perspective.

Jung is in particular opposition to Noll as he rejected the Protestant hegemony that he was raised with. His respect of Ancient Gnosticism as valuable is also a cardinal sin among protestants. However it should be noted that Jung had a family history of the Church, Alchemy, secret society, the Masons, medicine and the the occult in general. His relationship to these things did not start with the Theosophists.

Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: quackdave ()
Date: June 26, 2009 03:14AM

Ach du leibe zeiten. (to quote my Grandma)

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This forum powered by Phorum.