similarities between LGAT and pop psychology?
Date: September 10, 2004 02:54PM
Thanks for the info on John Gray’s lack of credentials. I’m not terribly surprised. It seems to be an epidemic among new age authors. Isn’t there some similar problem with Deepak Chopra? I understand that he uses ghost writers too.
It’s difficult to separate the information from the author. What we know about an author’s life and credentials really colors how we perceive what they are saying. Some writer’s styles make what they are saying so hard to understand. As I did with Steven Hassan’s book sometimes I have to insert or change terminology while I’m reading a book so that it applies to my situation and I can use it. That’s why I’m reading the book after all - for helpful information.
What I meant about liking John Gray’s material is that after at least one divorce - I can’t remember his ex-wife’s name but she is a brunette who also writes relatinship books! - he started learning from his mistakes. He is doing what he can to help couples communicate with each other and stay together - and enjoy their marriages instead of turning them into war zones which is what has happened in the United States, judging from the 60 percent divorce statistic. He is teaching people to appreciate each other’s ways by understanding them better. Some people are attached to the battle mode though. They grew up with battling parents and so they think that it is normal and proper - and downright RIGHT to fight. Nothing gets resolved and the children just become the next generation of damaged, hurt adults who go looking for the perfect mate to fight with. They learned that fight equals love.
I saw a John Gray workshop on ‘The Wisdom Channel’ on TV recently. He was talking about how he had learned to actually meet his young daughter’s emotional needs by actually hugging her and listening to her as she expressed her feelings to him and cried. Since he did this she felt validated and relieved and secure that he was there for her. No parent is perfect, but he’s doing it - unless he’s lying about that. However, even if he is lying, some poor schmuck in the audience might give it a try with his daughter or son - just because John Gray, a successful author told about how he did it and how good it was for his daughter. In other words, people who grow up in dysfunctional families need a new example of how to behave effectively as a parent. They learn from whomever they trust to be a good example, and whoever provides ‘proofs’ and personal examples of what they have done. It’s like, ‘See? I did this and it was great for me and my daughter. Maybe it will be good for you too.’
So, on the scale of teachers out there I think John Gray is trying to do a service for people, and I’d give him an 8 out of ten at this point. He may be a liar about his credentials, but compared to say Jack Rosenberg (Werner Ehrhart) I think he’s doing pretty well. I haven’t seen anything dangerous about his recommendations yet. Whether he really takes his own advice only time will tell. Maybe his daughter will write a tell-all book someday.
I was reading the customer reviews of his book, ‘How To Get What You Want, and Want What You Have’ on Amazon dot com today. It is the book in which he discusses his concept of ‘love tanks’. It is his way of describing the various emotional developmental stages we all go through growing up. If we don’t get our needs met in each time period we try to fill in the empty tanks later in inappropriate ways for our age. The material is not new. He just describes it in his own way. I saw it the first time on the Oprah show. He also talks about how people cover one emotion with another. This is generalizing again. Women go for sadness and crying before anger, because it’s acceptable - and it works for them. Men go for anger first to avoid crying and appearing weak.
As the years have gone by since the feminist movement began more women are using anger first - and verbally, if not physically, beating the crap out of their husbands, boyfriends and children on a regular basis. Men, especially new agey or spiritual men started using passivity more. They bought the idea that women want sensitive, nurturing, compliant men so they adjusted their behavior - yes, to get sex and closeness. They meditate and surround themselves in white light instead of expressing anger or sadness. In other words they started ‘numbing out’ in the new, allegedly acceptable way. New agey women think that they want that new agey man, but eventually they get an ‘ick’ feeling about them. They intuitively know that they want a man who will protect them in dangerous situations and keep a steady job to support the family, not Mr. White Light of the heart chakra, and they drop the guy - IF they listen to their instincts.
Justin Sterling, whatever his real name is, has used this fact to create his men’s weekends - unfortunately . . . He’s over-doing it and getting in his punches at women and turning them into evil ‘bitches’ in the way he uses them during the weekend. Of course it is staged that way to goad the men into getting back to their tougher style and they get to release some anger about women that they have saved up, but somehow it just seems to make it worse. I don’t know . . . there’s something very wrong there. Do the men deal with their ‘father issues’? Or is it a bad mommy versus idealized, good daddy thing?
But, anyway, the reviews on that John Gray book are mixed. Most had complaints about the style but not the information. One or two (Christian) people complained that he had brought ‘God’ into the picture, whereas he had not done that in his previous books. Amazing. So, hey, people can always find something to complain about. I just wonder . . . why did these Christians have a problem with him bringing up God? My nose tells me that THEY have a problem there. He picked a scab off of a cut in their minds, and exposed an emotion that they don’t want feel, so . . . out pops the anger. But, since they aren’t (probably) in therapy with a good therapist who knows how to work with that and move them into working out the buried emotions instead of away from them, they are stuck writing a negative review on Amazon dot com - and they are still angry.
I know what you mean about the no empathy, no compassion, no praise mindset. I was so essentially ignored by my mother, father, and step-father it was incredible. They were so into the alcohol cult that we kids didn’t get much emotional connection at all. We got fed and clothed, but my mother, as she finally told me after a major stroke, had decided in her mind that we were all ‘perfect’. I know that this is the opposite of what most kids get - the ‘you are bad’ message - but we didn’t feel perfect, or loved, just ignored and abandoned = unsafe. So, we just went numb and picked up various addictions along the way to help us feel ‘safe’.
I didn’t realize how numb (vulnerable and scared really) I was until after my step-father died eleven years ago. I was an emotional wreck so I went to my first ACOA meeting. They passed out packets of information. On the front page were little faces that showed different emotions - like emoticons. They talked about how adult children of dysfunctional parents don’t know which emotion they are having when they have it - IF they have it - because we really don’t have practice in a wide emotional range, and we’re actually phobic about what should be perceived as normal emotions. We get scared about any emotion that we haven’t experienced for such a long time. I went to a few meetings and little did I know that in just a few months I would experience my first major manic episode. It wasn’t a fun type either. I bounced back and forth between rages and crying for six months. It was scary but good because I got to grieve all of the stuff I didn’t have a chance to when I was young. It really cleared out my lungs too. But finally I got tired of it and made a conscious decision to stop both the rages and the crying. I released a lot of anger and felt a lot of sadness, but it was wearing me out. I faded into a moderate depression which I was used to.
That Forum crap, whew. Is that the old ‘punishing parent’ crap or what. It’s no wonder that Jack became a salesman. He was probably always trying to ‘sell’ himself to his parents. Let’s put those words back into Jack Rosenberg’s mother’s or father’s mouth - where they probably originated:
‘Jack, son, you are such a crybaby! You want me to do this and that and you just don’t get it! You keep making up these stories in your mind about me. I’m only required to provide you food and shelter until you turn 18. Then, you are on your own sonny boy! So shut up and be grateful for what you have. You aren’t going to get any love out of me no matter how hard you try. Give it up.’
And so Jack did - and he so generously gave his cold, punishing parents to the whole world, in the form of EST and Forum leaders! And the people in Landmarkland loved their Forum leaders . . . well, most of them anyway. A few escaped Landmarkland. It’s magic . . .
I’m glad you went after them and got your money refunded Hope. It seems like that was your way of doing the forum. I would have loved to see you up on stage on graduation night with the forum leader introducing you saying, ‘Hey people! Here’s Hope! She had the unmitigated gaul (courage) to try to get a full refund out of us! And she did! Isn’t she amazing?!’ Then the crowd stands up and applauds for several minutes as you curtsy and bow, and blow kisses. You wave a fond good-bye and leave the building, having not enrolled one new customer for the bastards.
How’s that for fun? I for one applaud you.