Why do people like me write posts like this?
I give the official answer to this question on the home page of The Imprinted Brain site, but two outstanding books I have just read prompt me to give a fuller, more candid one. The first is Erik Ringmar's A Blogger's Manifesto.
The book's subtitle is Free Speech and Censorship in the Digital World, and Ringmar gives a compelling account of the issues, along with case-studies--not least his own bitter experiences at the London School of Economics (LSE).
Alternatively now known ludicrously as The Libyan School of Economics, the celebrated Gaddafi affair and the Woolf Inquiry which it produced make a compelling footnote to Ringmar's story and underline many of the points he makes. This frequently hilarious book is a must-read for anyone who takes blogging seriously--not to mention anyone who cares about truth and free-speech (and not least at the LSE).
The second book is Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen and Sonu Shamdasani's The Freud Files: An Inquiry into the History of Psychoanalysis. This argues that Freud, his family, and their co-conspirators such as Ernest Jones and Kurt Eissler perpetrated one of the most successful and shameless frauds in history. It went from Freud's blatant self-promotion of himself as a scientific guru to control freakery on an industrial scale which established psychoanalysis as an exclusive Freudian franchise in psychotherapy and culminated in the burial of the evidence in the notorious Freud Archive of The Library of Congress.
From 1980 until her death in 1982 I had a private didactic analysis with Anna Freud, which had been arranged by Kurt Eissler, the original Director of the Archive. Both of them assured me that the measures to restrict access were dictated by the need to ensure that the truth was preserved, free from fear of litigation. The Freud Files reveals that the outcome has been very different. At the time, Eissler struck me as a complete Freud fanatic, and his complaints to me about libel only being possible in relation to living persons suggest that had the law been amended to include dead ones, the Freud Archive under his leadership would have become a major litigator against each and any critic, rival, or enemy of the Prophet!
What both books have in common is their central concern with truth, censorship, and freedom of speech. And given that the imprinted brain theory has been called by The New York Times psychiatry's "grandest working theory since Freud," the fate of its predecessor in this respect is obviously pertinent.
Ringmar's account of the way he was treated by the LSE resonates with me, because I had a very similar experience under the same, now discredited regime. As Ringmar also eloquently argues, so-called free speech is the prerogative of the rich, powerful, and politically-privileged--like the people who inveigled the Library of Congress into housing the Freud Archive at the expense of taxpayers or those who organized the Gaddafi "love-in" at the LSE.
Where the imprinted brain theory and his role in it are concerned, this author can at least ensure that nothing resembling the Freud fraud will be perpetrated (even if he had less success with his career at LSE, where something like it was). One reason is that, once published, nothing can be permanently deleted from the internet--somewhere, somehow, copies will always survive! This is particularly reassuring to those vulnerable to being swept under the carpet as history is tidied up by the spin doctors of the ruling elite and rewritten by its professors of propaganda. In the world of email archives everything can be preserved for posterity in digital formats that do not require the bulky sealed boxes that fill up the Freud Archive at the Library of Congress--or the elaborate security measures to ensure that no unauthorized person reads them!
If the imprinted brain theory lives up to the expectations touted by the NYT, the true story of its origins may eventually be of some interest, and so I have drafted an autobiographical account summarizing the facts as they are uniquely known to me. (Indeed, it includes a chapter on my analysis with Anna Freud which reveals a somewhat different and more creditable side to her character to that portrayed in The Freud Files.)
But English libel law and the vigilance of universities which have now become big businesses with corporate brands to protect means that such texts can never be published in their author's lifetime if he values his freedom from litigation--or worse. So much for free speech!
Nevertheless, I am dedicated to seeing to it that nothing will prevent the posthumous publication of my autobiography. This post serves notice of the fact.