Wednesday, January 07, 2009

An analysis of the limits of Daniel Mackler

Daniel Mackler (click on the pic) is Jewish from his mother's side; plays a guitar and used to practice psycho-therapy in New York. Amateurishly, he has also filmed an anti-psychiatric documentary

An enlightened pal?

Dan Mackler used to be my best internet friend. Now I have distanced myself from him. In this post I will mention some of the reasons that moved me to part ways from Mackler and Dennis Rodie, another Alice Miller fan and critic.

In July 10, 2006 I received a wonderful email from an unknown person telling me that he loved my critical book-review of Peter Breggin’s Toxic Psychiatry in Amazon Books. The email made me feel immensely validated. More than two years earlier the “Breggin affair” had left me extremely upset and disappointed, as explained below.

In 2003 I submitted a paper for publication in the journal Ethical Human Sciences and Services, now renamed Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, Breggin’s journal. My paper debunked biological psychiatry from the perspective of non-falsifiable hypotheses. It also mentioned in passing the trauma model of mental disorders, including the work of pioneers Theodore Lidz, Silvano Arieti, Ronald Laing and, of course, the more emotionally mature work by Alice Miller. What a shock for me was to learn that Lawrence Simon, Breggin’s editor, would accept the paper only if I eliminated the section concerning the trauma model. I conceded to remove mention of the late researchers Lidz, Laing and Arieti. But even after submitting this modified version the editor demanded that I removed all reference to the trauma model, including Miller and other 21st century authors. I refused. Since Breggin had written favorably about Miller in Toxic Psychiatry, I could not believe my eyes: that his editor abhorred the trauma model as much as the medical model of mental disorders (the journal specializes in debunking biopsychiatry). Even more shocking was that, after complaining to Breggin himself through various emails and printed letters—I even sent one of them thru FedEx to make sure he would receive it—, he hided himself behind a wall of silence.

You can imagine how vindicated I must have felt when, out of the blue, I got that Daniel email telling me that he admired my courage in exposing this scandalous situation in my book-review of Breggin’s. When in July 2006 I learnt that this unknown person who just contacted me, Mackler, happened to be a big Miller fan, I felt that I had met a sort of ideological twin, even though we never met personally.

Alas, the illusion did not last long… In those early days Mackler was anxious that I commented on his online essay “An analysis of the limits of Alice Miller”. I read it, but since I didn’t want to place our online friendship on peril, I emailed him my critique to his critique in a most gentle way.

As weeks passed on I started to realize that Mackler was not exactly the ideological soulmate I believed him to be. What by then I didn’t tell him is that after reading his Miller essay I felt uncomfortable. It seemed unfair that he wrote of how Miller presumably treated her son and daughter long before Miller reached her present state of maturity. It just didn’t seem right to focus on purported character flaws instead of the positive aspects of a living person who, with Lloyd deMause, are the discoverers of profound psychology. As I said, I repressed this feeling in order to maintain the online friendship. After some minor quibbles in Mackler’s forum I still thought that Mackler—who once advised a poster never to have sex with her partner!—could be a best friend. He actually signed all his very warm emails with the phrase “Your friend, Daniel.”

fancying himself
the Enlightened Buddha.
(In his forum Mackler
acknowledged about
becoming Enlightened:
“This is about my favorite subject,
more precious to me than all the others, really.”)

Then it came out our dispute about the Muslim world in one of the threads. For all Miller's and deMause’s readers this ought to be a no-brainer; and I am appalled by the fact that, with the exception of psychohistorian Robert Godwin, both Miller’s and deMause’s fans are willfully ignorant of it. Here I cannot discuss the work of Bruce Bawer, Robert Spencer, Oriana Fallaci and others. Suffice it to say that current demographics of native Europeans are placing in great danger the child advocates’ cause and what deMause calls “helping mode” families. This is because, like Mackler himself, many helping parents are refusing to have kids in the Western world. To boot, the European Muslims are breeding profusely, and they crave to impose Sharia Law in their adopted countries once they reach numerical majority. Take a look at the grim stats in Mark Steyn’s America Alone. As stipulated in the Koran, Sharia law means treating women and children as they are being treated in theocratic nations such as Saudi Arabia or Iran. Besides Steyn’s, Bawer’s While Europe Slept is must reading to see my point. Bawer, a gay author who escaped the U.S. and fundamentalist Christianity only found far, far more abuse on women, children and homosexuals in Muslim enclaves, thereby demonstrating the reality of what deMause calls “psychoclasses”: some cultures are still more pathological than our culture.

The importance of this subject is paramount. But in his forum Mackler never got it, and in one of his web essays Mackler even blamed, to a certain extent, his country for the 9/11 Islamic attacks on New York. "How was it possible that I, who am not an American, felt more outraged about it than this New Yorker?", I thought. But in the forum this “helping mode” man who refuses to have even a single kid thought I was some sort of islamophobic bigot. “Why pick on Muslims?” I was told, as if being concerned about how Islam treats women and children was an irrational phobia. I thought that after replying to his criticism by posting statistics of genital mutilation of millions of pubescent girls in the Muslim world, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, Dan would have second thoughts. But he continued to be soft on such practices.

By then I had posted in another threads of Mackler's forum that I felt hate about the barbarous childrearing practices in ancient Tibet. It struck me that, although Dan said favorable things about my passion, he never shared an iota of my hate toward the perpetrators. Gradually, but unmistakably, every new thread and discussion in Dan’s forum revealed the gulf between two very distinct frames of mind. Dan is such a gentleman that it may be worth mentioning that Dennis Rodie complains that Mackler refuses to confront abusive parents in his therapy office.

Then it came the issue that I am a “total autobiographer” who has devoted his adult life writing about the pains that my parents inflicted on me and how, thanks to my enlightened witness Alice Miller I could heal the wounds. (Dan’s writings on the other hand could never be “witness” since, unlike Miller, he does not share his gut feelings about his parents.) In my writing I expose my brother’s vile negation of the abuse, and I sent emails of my exposé to my other siblings and some of my first-hand cousins. In his personal communications Mackler seemed to praise my courage somehow, but in his forum he labeled my autobiographical passion as “acting out.” How can a healthy speaking out be an unhealthy acting out, he did not explain. Moreover, Mackler seemed to contradict himself regarding the pivotal point in his essay on Miller. I am referring to his remarks on a phrase by Miller in the 1997 edition of The Drama of the Gifted Child where she called “hubris” further exploration of the self through autobiographical writing. Ironically, despite that phrase Miller has revealed infinitely much more about her tormented soul than Dan. This contradiction turned out to be the tip of the iceberg of a massive difference between Mackler and me. If Miller has taught us something it is that pure intellectual dissertation only represses the wounds we received as children. It goes without saying that every “enlightened” Miller fan, to use Dan’s pet word, speaks out publicly about his or her parents. But Dan Mackler never published specific anecdotes about his parents; and he has not explained us why.

At first I speculated in my silent self-conversations that he might depend economically from his parents. Did they pay Danny’s therapy office? I really don’t know. And how could I? Dan didn’t tell anybody anything really relevant about himself. He kept to himself to such extent that he even was reluctant to give his friend Rodie his New York address when Rodie self-published Dan’s essay on Miller (the former complained to me that he could not even forward copies of the book to Dan, the real author!). When several posters of his forum started to speak frankly about their sexual preferences, Dan did not say a peep about himself. We surmised he was gay only when he lost his temper after a provocative post of mine about “ugly males” kissing each other on the streets. The point is that, had I known that Dan was probably gay I wouldn’t have become so provocative.

To be honest I don’t know for sure if Dan is gay because he simply won’t tell. And why would Dan, like so many religionists, recommend celibacy as the way to spiritual “enlightenment”? What could have happened in his past sexual life to reach such extreme view? Also, why did he take issue with Miller because of her atheism and anti-therapy stance in a 2000 Amazon book review? Nobody knows. But the fact is that besides sex Mackler keeps most of his life to himself, especially what happened in his early youth. This strikes me not only as a contradiction for someone who picks on Miller for not exploring herself further through autobiographical writing, but a literary regression when compared to her. By definition, those who shy away from public confessions cannot be as integrated psychologically as they could if they dared to tell it all.

Why? In a long post a young Swede, Andreas Wirsén, explained it beautifully. He took issue with both Mackler and Rodie on this subject and I cannot match his words (see an edited version of Wirsen's essay here).


I could easily expand this post to become as long as Mackler’s character-assassination essay on Miller. But I don’t have the time nor the motivation to do it. Presently I only want to find an editor for my book about a subject that is the most potent taboo in our society. Far much safer it's to publish mere academic papers as Mackler did this very year with his psychology colleagues (books mentioned in Mackler's website).

Since Mackler closed down his forum last month, perhaps out of his inner drive to censor all criticism about him, this article might fill a void. Though not overtly, Mackler and Rodie reject de facto psychohistory. These guys are not siding the child in a truly integrated way. They are actually siding the parents of the Third World and primitive cultures.

As I said, Rodie self-published Dan’s essay. He did it under the title Alice Miller: Discoveries and Contradictions, copyrighted in 2008 by Mackler with an ISBN (Stenungsund, Sweden: Annosidus Independent Press). In the preface of the book Rodie wrote:
"An Analysis of The Limits of Alice Miller" by Daniel Mackler is the first serious critique I’ve read on her. I admire Daniel’s courage to have written down the contradictions and shortcomings in her writings, without ever leaving the side of the child… Maybe in the future someone else will write "An Analysis of The Limits of Daniel Mackler". That would be great.
Well my friend, I’ve just done that. And by not accepting psychohistory you guys have inadvertently left the side of the child. Everything Dan says in his terrible essay on Miller is irrelevant if compared to what millions of parents are doing in Third World countries, such as the one in which I was born.

Postscript of December 1, 2009:
A Prophet for a dying planet or an evil guru?

(revised in 2010):

A drawing
that strongly reminds me
the drawings of Silvano Arieti’s
patients in the book
Interpretation of Schizophrenia (note Dan’s name in it).

It’s about a year since I exchanged the last couple of e-mails with Mackler. In my soliloquies I have told myself hundreds of times how on Earth could I had taken someone like Mackler seriously. The guy is really singing songs from a locked ward. Just one example: During the present demographic Winter for the westerners in general and Caucasians in particular, homosexual Mackler recommends his hetero friends and acquaintances to have zero kids. That is: no more population replacement, only self-extinction, for the white people (i.e., the less abusive psycho-class in the entire world).

This Mackler stance is, of course, not only psycho. It is pure evil as explained by Scott Peck's definition of evil.

If antinatalist ideologues like Mackler get their way in the next decades Europe will become Eurabia, conquered by the hordes of Muslims who are migrating into our soil. This means that child abuse will be infinitely worse in the future than in the present. It also means that Mackler, who fancies himself as "a Prophet for a dying planet" is part of the problem of child abuse, not part of its solution. Fortunately, Danny Mackler’s influence on society is about zilch.


Note of November 2, 2011

After I first corresponded to him, Mackler interviewed Breggin and I felt betrayed since Mackler never confronted Breggin about why he stonewalled me when trying to discuss editorial matters. In other words, what I originally liked about Mackler (“You can imagine how vindicated I must have felt when, out of the blue, I got that email telling me that he admired my courage in exposing this scandalous situation in my book-review of Breggin’s”) is dead past by now.

Presently I almost never visit Mackler’s webpage, but now that I had to do it because of the republication of this post I see that a few months ago, in his essay "The Briefest Nutshell of My Entire Point of View" Mackler wrote:

“We need to have fewer kids---and fast.”

Of course: since Mackler is addressing western people this means that he has not, and probably will never, consider the demographic problems inherent in his advice. If you find that video too sensationalist, see instead this temperate interview of Mark Steyn to better grasp what is happening as a result of the demographic winter among the white people.

My educated guess is that, in what remains of his life, Mackler will continue his persistent self-deceit with the intent of maintaining a self-righteous image: Peck’s definition of evil.

Parting word

I have disabled comments here. Please add your comment in the clon replica of this post in another blog (here).

Thank you.

The author


Spharion said...

No comments?? In a post from 9 months ago? Wow. The resistence is indeed strong.

César, this was a great analysis you had there. I hope someone can come with a Analysis of the Limits of César Tort one day, both because this seems to be the dialectical correct way to approach the truth, and because you strike me as someone who, unlike Miller and Maeckler, are likely to welcome such criticism.

Chechar said...

Hi Spharion:

Thanks for posting here. How are you familiar with Mackler? It’s almost a year since he shut down his forum, making it harder to see the mortal behind the words…

Spharion said...

The Wikipedia entry on Alice Miller has a "neutrality of this article is disputed" tag since Jan 09, so I referred to the discussion page to see what it was about, and so came in contact with both his and your articles.

It's a shame there is no direct reference on the article. It all feels stale when the psychologist who is supposed to bear the rage of all other psychologists, has no reference to any controversy.

Chechar said...

Although I no longer edit in Wikipedia, I have just removed most of those wiki-tags. Hope I’ll not be reverted…

According to wiki policies, The Mackler article should not be there because it’s a blog article. Yes: Wikipedia has some stupid rules: much of the most reliable info I’ve found about Islamization is in blogs, not in MSM.

Have you read Mackler’s attack on Miller? I despise Daniel because in his article he focused in Miller’s shortcomings when she was not mature. Stupid guy. There’s a long post about it authored by a woman, “Mimsy,” in the Dennis forum linked in the Postscript of my entry, just above our exchanges of today.

Spharion said...

I'm reading that forum now, I came through Mimsy's text.

I think both Mackler and your articles were very insightful. I believe Miller should be criticized. I believe Mackler completely lost it when he decided you have no right to have children until you are 100% not traumatized because no amount of abuse is permited. That's stupid and we will be abusive in so many other espheres... specially he himself, as a therapist. Unless he actually believes he is 100% cured. You did well in pointing out how the guy completely silences about his own parents.

Chechar said...

The gravest thing of Dan’s living-in-the-Moon ideology is the Demographic Winter of Westerners in Europe. Mulsims who want Sharia law (cf. the entries in this blog) are breeding like rabbits while Westerners don’t have kids. Dan et al would leave us at the mercy of Islam by the end of this century, at the mercy of a religion which treats children far worse than we Westerners do.

P.S. A "100% cure" is New Age nonsense.

Spharion said...

It feels violently antibody to me. Medievally even. Until you've not purged yourself of all sins, no sex for you.

Chechar said...

That’s exactly what I felt when listening to Dan’s hostility toward sex. There is a sentence in Nietzsche’s Zarathustra that goes something like, well… I read it in Spanish long time ago and memorized it: “Muchos que han querido expulsar de sí a su demonio han ido a parar ellos mismos dentro de los puercos.” I believe this happened to poor Dan.

Since he’s gay I guess that all is about his previous (promiscuous?) life. But oh!: the guy talks zilch about his life. Zippo. (I did confess stuff about me in Dennis’ forum.) How can we connect the dots then? We can’t. Smart guy…

We are left thus with a sort of New Age guru (in your therapy office you can play guru, believe me) who fancies himself as Having Criticized The Great Miller. But in fact he hasn’t. He who doesn’t talk about his life and claims to have digested Miller is just lying to himself.

If Mackler’s 450,000-word autobiography were available to the public, I bet that the above interpretation would be corroborated. Painfully corroborated…

Adelaide Dupont said...

I think I knew about you guys since ... well, January 2008.

I read both Mackler's and Dennis Rodie's forum before lots of people were banned May/June 2009.

(They banned my IP - and possibly others. Not a friendly act. And I was just looking, not touching, even though I wrote an essay about Reich back in March of 2008).

Actually, it was your writing about Bobby Fischer on January the 15th 2008 which moved me.

Chechar said...

Below I translate today’s short obituary of a true follower of Alice Miller, the Spanish psychologist José Luis Cano-Gil. It contrasts dramatically with the ungrateful “followers” of Miller such as Dan Mackler, whose website contains as to date no obituary about her decease. Though this was expected from someone as egocentric as Mackler, something similar can be said about some former friends on mine: there’s no gratitude to Miller even after her decease.

Unlike these ungrateful sons of Miller, here there are Cano-Gil’s touching words:

I just received an email with horrible news: Alice Miller IS DEAD. I am amazed. My mind is empty... The tears rise to my eyes... She is dead. Alice Miller. My spiritual mother. The spiritual mother of my work, my website, this blog... Of all of us.

Thank you, Mrs. Miller, for your tremendous courage and humanity... For your great wisdom, born—alas—from your own suffering... for the lighting guide, example and freedom experience you have given to all of us...

Admirable Alice Miller, courageous explorer of pain and truth, discoverer of routes beyond human shadows with our perpetual remembrance and gratitude: THANK YOU!

Rest, at last, in peace.