Glimpse Into the Soul of Victim Correction...

  Thought reform has a psychological momentum of its own, a self-perpetuating energy not always bound by the interests of the program’s directors.  When we inquire into the sources of this momentum, we come upon a complex set of psychological themes, which may be grouped under the general heading of ideological totalism.  By this ungainly phrase I mean to suggest the coming together of immoderate ideology with equally immoderate individual character traits—an extremist meeting ground between people and ideas.”—Dr. Robert Jay Lifton, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism, at the beginning of the chapter “Ideological Totalism,” where he describes the brainwashing process

“Propaganda is where you have these absolute principles that you say no matter what or how it falls in regard to the experience of people.”—Sister Helen Prejean

  “All people of broad, strong sense have an instinctive repugnance to the men of maxims; because such people early discern that the mysterious complexity of our life is not to be embraced by maxims, and that to lace ourselves up in formulas of that sort is to repress all the divine promptings and inspirations that spring from growing insight and sympathy.”—George Eliot

  “God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.  Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it; Trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will; So that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next—Amen.”—the entire, unredacted Serenity Prayer, as originally written by Reinhold Niebuhr

“The difference between a little more and a little less justice in a social system and between a little more and a little less selfishness in the individual may represent differences between sickness and health, between misery and happiness in particular situations.”—Reinhold Niebuhr, The Nature and Destiny of Man.  One could only wonder what kind of “sickness and health” this was that he mentioned even before “misery and happiness.”  Certainly the victims’ health other than mental health, would be at stake in very few situations.

  “According to National Institutes of Mental Health figures, 20,000,000 people or approximately 15% of the U.S. adult population suffers from a serious depressive disorder in any given year.”—John H. Greist, MD and Thomas H. Greist, MD, Antidepressant Treatment—the Essentials


“I do not want the peace that passeth understanding.  I want the understanding which bringeth peace.”—Helen Keller





Corinthians 13:4-7, a much-beloved elucidation of what love is, gives the real reason why love means never having to say you’re sorry, not that love means doing your best not to do anything regrettable, but that the New Testament would condemn self-pity on the part of your lover, and if there’s no self-pity, there’s no need for an apology: “Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude.  Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”




 ~♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥~

 n the following webpages are some quotes from both Al-Anon, and AA.  These are very relevant to all of self-help philosophy.  Since AA founder Bill Wilson was a stockbroker, and the Big Book was written during the Great Depression, AA-style self-help is basically a stockbroker lecturing those living in the Great Depression that they should just take response-ability for their own welfare, and stop whining.  The sort of personal responsibility that it would have to take seriously, would be a response-ability for one’s own welfare.  Even the worldliest ethical responsibility, such as Situation Ethics (which fundament Christians hate) would be others-help.  The field of psychology, in general, has tended to develop an ethos that honors the übermensch, not wanting to repress him or otherwise re-engineer his human nature, and dishonors the untermensch, insisting that he get control over his weaknesses.  I have some quotes from the book ...In All our Affairs: Making Crises Work for You, a piece of Al-Anon’s Conference-Approved Literature, on Page 2 of this series.  These quotes tell of both the self-responsibility that Al-Anon preaches as one faces an alkie spouse, and also the unpragmatic self-blame that it discourages, though naturally such a self-blame would result from a self-responsibility that’s contingent only on whether or not it seems that someone could change his own problem.  A list of 92 AA slogans that insist that members simply deal with their own problems like this, is on Page 4 of this series.

Wall Street Under Oath, by Ferdinand Pecora, chief counsel for the investigation of the Senate Banking and Currency Committee, 1933-1934, copyright 1939, says in its preface, “Indeed, if you now hearken to the Oracles of The Street, you will hear now and then that the money-changers have been much maligned....  You will be assured that they had nothing to do with the misfortunes that overtook the country in 1929-1933; that they were simply scapegoats, sacrificed on the altar of unreasoning public opinion to satisfy the wrath of a howling mob blindly seeking victims.”  Bill Wilson the stockbroker had exactly this enmity toward whining and supposed passive-aggressive victimhood.  And it’s inevitable that regarding the financial meltdown of 2008, we’ll hear the same logic, since the popularity of AA’s conception of self-respect and self-responsibility shows how many will cheer that.

I have another webpage, Emphasis on Victim Self-Blaming, which includes AA’s Big Book’s explanation of what it considers to be “a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves,” “the exact nature of our wrongs,” and “all these defects of character.”  That is, untermensch defects of character, even the most warranted feelings of resentment anger and fear.  “Resentment is the ‘number one’ offender.  It destroys more alcoholics than anything else....  If we were to live, we had to be free of anger....  [Fear] somehow touches about every aspect of our lives.  It was an evil and corroding thread; the fabric of our existence was shot through with it.”  When this chapter gives its example of what a moral inventory would look like, the table is headed, “I’m resentful at,” “The cause,” and, “Affects my,” not, “These people naturally feel resentful at me,” “How I caused this,” and, “Affects theirs.”  And of course, some of the mea culpas were about the resentment that he dared to feel because he got caught doing certain harmful things, which weren’t themselves confessed.  This reductionism seems good, since the more that such a conflict is reduced to how the person with the problem could most effectively take care of his own problem, the more that the personal responsibility for the problem would go to the person who’s the most motivated to deal with it effectively.  At that time AA didn’t preach, “God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference....  Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it,” but it was only a matter of time....



To say that as doctors treat the million of Americans who suffer a serious depressive disorder in any given year, they should know this rate since it would help the doctors treat each individual as if their depressions simply are their problems, completely ignores the fact that this involves an unnaturally high rate of helplessness, happening to millions of people, year in and year out.  Yet neo-Buddhism means failsafe coping skills, antidepressants mean unconditional control of this social problem, etc.

I have two webpages that tell of how this sort of stolid ideal, has affected psychology in general.  On my Candace Newmaker’s Experience webpage, I go into how the psychologists of this little adoptee, smothered her to death because they had her do a simulated “rebirthing,” and when she screamed that the “birth canal” was smothering her to death, her therapists ignored her because it seemed that of course her screams were just a manipulative machination to get out of therapy.  In 1990 another young adoptee being treated by the same clinic killed herself because when she came home from school and said that she’d been molested, her “therapeutic foster parents” acted as if this was a manipulative machination, and when she asked what would happen if she slit her wrists or took an overdose of drugs, the responded as if this was a machination, and told her calmly that she would die.  On my Breaking Important Confidences for Your Own Good webpage, I have excerpts of a document about a lawsuit against one marriage counselor who “reveal[ed] the most confidential of information disclosed to him by each” spouse, which also tells of another marriage counselor doing the same.  Obviously these therapists didn’t benefit by doing this, so the only reason why they would have done it is that it fostered greater stolid self-determination in their clients.  In cases like this, since the therapists hurt their own self-interests, they must have been true believers in the notion that übermensch is GOOD, and untermensch is BAD.  That really is where anything that implies, “Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it,” has to lead, though only to a degree that circumstances would really require.  When it comes to battling such passivity, psychologists could really become crusaders.

One could say that sure, victim correction as a panacea does have these absolute principles that you say no matter what or how they fall in regard to the experience of people, but it’s still not propaganda.  Also, it does require that you wash your own brain of your own opinions that are based on your own experiences, and replace your beliefs with what you’re supposed to believe, but victim correction isn’t brainwashing.  No matter what you must deal with, and no matter what your own experiences are, pragmatism would make you most likely to succeed.  The worse your realities are, the more important it would be that you deal with them pragmatically.  Washing negative beliefs from your brain and replacing them with positive beliefs, would be one form of this pragmatism.

Pat Buchanan, in a syndicated column in 1977, wrote, “...despite Hitler’s anti-Semitic and genocidal tendencies, he was an individual of great courage...  Hitler’s success was not based on his extraordinary gifts alone.  His genius was an intuitive sense of the mushiness, the character flaws, the weakness masquerading as morality that was in the hearts of the statesmen who stood in his path.”  The “defects of character” stressed by AA’s Big Book, resentment anger and fear in general, are the same as what Buchanan and Hitler meant by “character flaws,” i.e. not handling one’s own problems (whatever they may be) with enough stolid and self-reliant backbone.  “Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it,” as well as, “Whatever your problem is, courageously change what you can and serenely accept what you can’t,” also define “character flaws” as supposed weakness masquerading as morality.

Niebuhr was a hell-raiser, before Stalinism made him fatalistic about human nature.  Yet if any organization preaches the Serenity Prayer at people, the final result would be the same, that self-reliant STRENGTH seems good, and weakness that tries to get persuasive strength from emotion and/or abstractions seems intolerably bad.  As the history of The AA School of Self-Help Psychology shows, Nazism, minus anti-Semitism and committing outrageous aggression, equals taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as you’d have it.

The spirituality of the Twelve-Step groups for addicts’ friends and family members, which could be called the “ladies’ auxiliaries” of Twelve-Step groups, were set up for the purpose of using the same zeitgeist, for addicts’ friends and loved-ones.  THE ORANGE PAPERS, One Man’s Analysis of Alcoholics Anonymous, An Online Book, is a good place to look if you want to make sure that you’d want to have faith in the ideas about psychology, that were inspired by this group’s ex cathedra writings.  One webpage to look at, especially, is The Funny Spirituality of Bill Wilson and A.A.

According to the Serenity Prayer school of psychology, the fact that the person who has the problem, would simply be held response-able for dealing with it by courageously changing what he could and serenely accepting what he couldn’t, would be a fait accompli.  On one hand you have the psychological advisors and other pragmatists who are very aware of how important fitting in always is, and on the other you have natural human feelings.  “God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference,” doesn’t necessarily mean, “Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it,” but is necessarily that unconditional, all-or-nothing, and

This means that when victims of addicts in the family, don’t live up to these expectations, they must be criticized, and get labeled that they’re characterologically weak and passive, even when they’d shown enough maturity that such labels should ring hollow.  The worse that your realities are, the more important it is that your coping skills are

It’s very easy to get sanctimonious when defending this sort of moral bankruptcy, since those who abide by it, stolidly deal with their own problems, without finding blame.  Those who see no evil hear no evil and speak no evil, who take as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as they’d have it, would be the most respectably resilient and perseverant.  Such people wouldn’t have “character flaws,” as Zoloft’s Learning About Depression webpage would define that term, “If you have depression, this sad mood along with other symptoms can last weeks, months, or even years if not treated.  Depression isn’t a sign of weakness or a character flaw.  It’s a real medical condition, but there are ways to successfully treat depression....  Depressive disorders affect about 34 million American adults.”  It’s pretty safe to say that there’s always an out, in that if the person who has the problem wants to be well-adjusted and non-passive, then she’ll see how what caused the problem is at least excusable, and how much she plays an active role.  Glibness could very easily seem to be a positive attitude.


Manic-Depressive Illness, Bipolar Disorders and Recurrent Depression, by Dr. Frederick K. Goodwin and Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, says, in its chapter on personality differences, “Character has been defined as ‘personality evaluated’—that aspect of an individual which bears a moral stamp and reflects the person’s integrative and organizing functions.  The concept of character is employed less frequently in the United States than in Europe, although it is often used interchangeably with that of personality.”  Actually, the word character is used plenty in the United States, whether it be in comments on depression or from the likes of Pat Buchanan and Frank Buchman, to pass judgment on how integrated and organized are traumatized people.  After all, such judgments aren’t moralisticSomeone absolutely has to provide our society’s homeostasis, since things simply have to remain integrated and organized.

The entry on Niebuhr in The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2001, says that he “defended Christianity as the world view that best explains the heights and barbarisms of human behavior,” so we’re simply supposed to accept the existence of barbarity, and change our vulnerability to barbarisms.  Reinhold Niebuhr, a biography, by Richard Wightman Fox, says that in the last half of the 1930s Niebuhr had almost a cult following among young Christians in England, giving a student conference at Swanwick. Among his fans (not his detractors) a favorite limerick was:

t Swanwick when Niebuhr had quit it
A young man exclaimed “I have hit it!
Since I cannot do right
I must find out tonight
The right sin to commit—and commit it.”

But, of course, if anyone thinks that The Serenity Prayer implies a fatalism about others’ sinfulness, that person would seem to be victim-posturing, whiny, negativist, resentful, etc.







Joseph H. Califano, Jr.’s High Society, How Substance Abuse Ravages America And What to Do About It, says, “...Americans often feel most comfortable turning to their clergy for help with a substance abuse problem in their family.”  The classic response that you’d get if you tried to hold an addict responsible, using a logic like Situation Ethics, would be, “Stop preaching at me and trying to guilt-trip me!”  Sure, ideally, clergy would be able to refer addicts’ family members to treatment that’s compatible with addicts’ tendencies, and, therefore, would be most likely to succeed with them.  Yet, in the end, if the clergyman is loyal to his principles, he’d have to start talking about what the addict should and shouldn’t do.  Yet this seems to work, at least a good deal of the time.

A book from Gamblers Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, The First Forty Years, says that in Southern California for a time, Gamblers Anonymous and Gam-Anon had “mixed” meetings.  When someone from higher up said that the meetings “should be separate and not meet together,” “The women, because GamAnon was all women at the time, were very upset at the thought that they would not be present at the Gamblers Anonymous meeting to check up on the gambler.”  This “checking up” would be along the lines of Situation Ethics, concerned with the consequences of the gambling, rather than preaching some sort of moral code.  These consequences, and risk of far greater consequences, would be pretty high for these women and their children.  Yet even this seemed too preachy and intrusive for Gamblers Anonymous, especially if this consists of women checking up on men.

On one hand, it would seem that the only question that someone in trouble could legitimately ask about his own problem, is, “Can I change this, and if so, how could I do so the most pragmatically?”  On the other hand, it really is true that, “The difference between a little more and a little less justice in a social system and between a little more and a little less selfishness in the individual may represent differences between sickness and health, between misery and happiness in particular situations.”  One can hardly draw such distinctions regarding moral responsibility, if he can’t bring up moral responsibility without seeming SELF-WILLED, blaming, whiny, resentful, etc.  But then again, it would be good to remember that Niebuhr said this in a book titled The Nature and Destiny of Man, where the nature that was to so determine our destiny, is sinfulness.  What immediately follows that sentence, is, “Theologies, such as that of Barth, which threaten to destroy all relative moral judgments by their exclusive emphasis upon the ultimate religious fact of the sinfulness of all men, are rightly suspected of imperiling relative moral achievements of history.”  If one has this very German belief in the Doctrine of Original Sin, then naturally, at times, he’d figure that if Americans in general, addressed their own problems by asking only, “Can I change this, and if so, how could I do so the most pragmatically?” then Americans, in general, would have the greatest chances of facing “life on life’s terms,” whatever that may be for each person, the most pragmatically and honorably.

Self-protection would be all the more important in a society with rampant depression, anxiety disorders, etc.  The   homepage of the Mental Illness—What a Difference a Friend Makes website, by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, says, “An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older—about one in four adults—suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.”  As the title suggests, this website is about getting the friends of the 26.2% of the American adult population, to support these people rather than stigmatizing them.  The ways in which one friend treats another, is one of the few sociological factors of this huge social problem, that we could honorably take seriously.






When you’ve seen ads and other guides that say things like this, you may have thought, “So how am I supposed to fit in with all this?  So it seems only natural to see this huge social problem as either 34,000,000 rather severe character defects, or 34,000,000 rather severe medical conditions.  Not only that, the sort of ‘character flaw’ in connection with our rampant depression that we discuss, is the untermensch character flaws that could be attributed to the victims, not the übermensch character flaws of those who cause the helplessness that leads to the excessive depressions!  Everyone knows that what’s at fault, is inside the millions of victims.  Those who aren’t that forgiving could seem suppressive, and, therefore, scary in their victim-power.  It seems that the magnitude of this social problem could just be brushed aside, and would be by those who are gutsy enough.

“AA’s Big Book is the main exemplar of all self-help, though its ideas came from Bill Wilson simply pontificating.  Recovering addicts probably have enough real character defects!  Yet when the Big Book tells addicts how to do ‘a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves’ that confesses ‘the exact nature of our wrongs’ to repent ‘all these defects of character,’ what they’d actually repent is exactly the sort of hurt feelings that, in depressed people, could be attributed to their own untermensch character flaws!  Sure, this is self-help, in that all problems could be solved by the victims helping themselves by solving their own problems.  Sure, the sort of personal responsibility that the Big Book most stresses, could be defended in the same ways that the sort of personal responsibility that modern Western culture could be defended.  ‘God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference....  Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it,’ has certain benefits, in all circumstances even the most serious: the person taking responsibility for each problem is the one with the most reliable motivation to do this wholeheartedly, giving freedom to the übermenschen and demanding fortitude from the untermenschen looks healthy and honorable, and this gives both the virtuous and the well-adjusted advantages of forgiveness.  Yet this unconditional self-responsibility for one’s own problems, is exactly what the cognitive distortions of modern Western depression look like!  And with that sort of moral bankruptcy, it’s no wonder that our society has the sort of devastation that leads to that rate of depression!”

Yes, what we’re supposed to do is NOT CARE, even about a rate of depression that’s that great.   If you do, plenty of untermensch attributes would be attributed to you, such as: weak, passive, whiny, bitter, resentful, manipulative, insidiously self-interested, counterproductive, troublemaking, controlling, restrictive, blaming, excuse-making, anti-freedom, intellectualist, self-righteous, self-pitying, subjective, unrealistic, immature, negativist, defeatist, melodramatic, emotionalist, and judgmental.  The Missing Question is, “But what about the fact that these social norms accept helplessness that provably leads to an unnaturally gargantuan rate of depression?”

Probably anthropologists could find out how the conformists of each different kind of society that has rampant depression, anxiety disorders, etc., would fill in the blank in the following: “Oh well, we’re just going to have to accept what causes our rampant devastation; that’s ________.”  In modern Western societies this would be “life” and/or “human nature,” though rampant devastation obviously isn’t a natural part of life.  In theocracies, this would be “God’s will,” though obviously God wouldn’t want rampant devastation.  In Communist countries, that would be blamed on pretty much whatever suits them.  And, in the end, conformists’ faith in their attributing the causes to what they attribute them to, wouldn’t depend on coercion from the thought police or inquisitions.  If you don’t accept what life, human nature, God’s will, etc. are, then something is very wrong with you.  That’s all that conformity needs, even conformity to rampant devastation.  And in societies with rampant devastation, conformity to these expectations that we choose to be well-adjusted is so crucial, that halfway measures (or even 9/10 measures) will avail us nothing.  Deviants, on the other hand, could seriously question their own societies’ rampant depression.  Since destruction is all too easy, truly responsible people would reject anything that significantly contributes to rampant devastation, no matter how strongly their cultural norms say that accepting it is responsible and rejecting it is irresponsible.




(This is the heading of the section of Al-Anon’s workbook Blueprint for Progress, Al-Anon’s Fourth Step Inventory, for those who seem to be codependent to take a fearless moral inventory of behaviors, including helpful ones, that are labeled as “controlling.”  Frankly, just about any helpful behavior in a relationship that’s considered codependent, would be considered “controlling,” as in, “Sure, you think that what you’re doing is trying to help, but supposedly trying to help someone is a great way to control him.”  This morality-based “control” is in the same sense of what the Mississippi preacher mentioned by Bobby Kennedy’s administrative aide James Symington, meant by tyranny, “One preacher let me into his church, and told me, ‘You represent a tyranny.’   I said, ‘How do you think black people feel living in Mississippi with no rights?’   He said, ‘Well, it’s better to have a lot of little tyrannies than one big one.’”  Control based on one person having power over another, is only a little tyranny.  Of course, if those driven into depression, anxiety disorders, etc., by such behavior, instead fixed themselves by taking antidepressants, choosing to think positively, eating more omega-3 fatty acids, etc., that wouldn’t seem controlling, anti-freedom, manipulative, resentful, etc.  If you object to sinfulness, that’s really your will-to-power.  One could only ask: if control, resentment, etc., really were character defects so the person who had them got bad karma, what would be the learning experience that he’d get to teach him what’s wrong with them, that he be reincarnated as an SOB so he could see what it feels like to be on the receiving end of victim-posturing control tactics?)



And, naturally, all this means...

Certainly you could imagine what would happen if you responded to one of those who figured that naturally you’re simply supposed to adjust to the norms that cause our rampant depression, by saying, “Yeah, I guess you’re right.  Sure, for depressive disorders to affect about 34,000,000 American adults is a very serious social problem, but in order to fit in, you’ve got to minimize the problems around your somewhat.  Therefore, I’ll treat this as if it were just a moderately severe social problem.”  After all, if you could care somewhat, then that would make you somewhat discouraged, maladjusted, thinking like a victim, etc.

These are basically the same labels that the self-help that’s based on the Al-Anon philosophy, would have to put on those who care about the helplessness in their own lives, just as Al-Anon must get under control the sort of hurt feelings that would result from living with alkies, not hurt feelings that result from the members’ own neuroses.

The cognitive distortions of modern Western depression involve absolutist victim-self-blaming, but so does victims’ pragmatic response-ability for their own welfare.  Paul Gilbert’s Depression, The Evolution of Powerlessness says, “Thus, as Beck et al. (1979) point out, depressed people are more ‘primitive’ in their thinking, more global and absolutistic, less flexible and less integrated.”  Yet “realism” when dealing with big problems, where the only question that one could legitimately ask is, “Can I change this, and if so, how could I do it the most pragmatically?” wouldn’t be very partial discriminating flexible or integrated.  That would be completely focused on, “How could I correct myself?”

An untermensch-phobia could become very popular.  It seems that we must fear the untermenschen and their victim-power, and mustn’t fear the übermenschen and their freedoms.  Moral responsibility could seem to be a great moral hazard.  After all, exactly what moral responsibility is manipulative, is a matter of opinion.  Even when someone is very sincere and assertive when holding another morally responsible, that still would reflect that person’s SELF-WILL to one degree or another.  Not only is such manipulation insidious and unprovable, but one can’t defend himself against it without seeming to re-victimize victims.

Also on this webpage, are some slogans from Alcoholics Anonymous, which express the basic ideas of victim correction as a panacea.  I.e., those beleaguered by anything absolutely can change themselves, absolutely can’t change anyone else.  They may or may not be able to change what happened to them but the more they correct their own shortcomings the greater would be their own chances of success.  Chapter 5 of their Big Book, “How it Works,” tells how members are to do the fourth of the Twelve Steps, “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves,” the fifth, “Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs,” and the sixth, “Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”  This chapter then goes on to say about this, “Resentment is the ’number one’ offender.  It destroys more alcoholics than anything else....  If we were to live, we had to be free of anger....  [Fear] somehow touches about every aspect of our lives.  It was an evil and corroding thread; the fabric of our existence was shot through with it.”  This defines “defects of character,” as the same weaknesses that some antidepressant ads describe as “character flaws.”


 he Tragedy of Victim Correction as a Panacea~



  As the above says, this is Al-Anon approved literature, for Alateen.  You couldn’t make this stuff up!  Persuading people to think like this works best with Groupthink, but if you, on your own, must deal with a devastating reality in order to fit in and function, then you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do, and our self-responsible cultural norms (“Everybody knows that The Serenity Prayer is good.”) would provide the Groupthink.  As Addiction: Why Can’t They Just Stop?, by John Hoffman and Susan Froemke, says, in a survey of addicts’ family members, “...the words that everyone used were powerfully negative: ‘devastating,’ ‘abusive,’ ‘horrible’.”  Yet no concerns that would interfere with the victims’ self-responsibility could matter, since in the long run, caring about them would only mollycoddle and weaken the people who’d have to take care of themselves optimally.  Victim-blaming is incentives-based.  George Vincent wrote, “To survive growing up in an alcoholic family is second only to surviving the Holocaust,” but the big difference is that despite the fears that addicts’ kids feel, they aren’t really in mortal danger, so Buddhists, etc., could say that these fears are only illusions.  Victim correction as a panacea could be called chicken soup for the soul, unconditional serenity and courage.  If that’s stooping to the lowest of the low, then sometimes we’ve got to stoop to the lowest of the low in order to make sure that problems get solved by those who have the most reliable motivation to solve them.  Moral relativism becomes amoral absolutism; “Your righteous objections are only your opinion!” becomes, “Your righteous objections are only your self-righteous, resentful, manipulative, controlling, unpragmatic, whiny, judgmental... opinion, and you simply can’t afford those disgraceful victim attitudes!”

Yet though it might seem only natural to want to feel better by practicing Buddhistic self-discipline and self-re-education, and this doesn’t involve any medication, this is hardly natural.  In the words of Ayn Rand, “We the Living” could very much object to this sort of de rigueur coping with helplessness, Stoically!  Yet though a Marxist mentality of, “Love your brother,” is supposed to degrade the natural human spirit, a requisite mentality of, “As long as it’s your problem, ‘self-responsibility’ means courageously changing whatever you can and serenely accepting whatever you can’t,” mustn’t, or you might have problems coping with reality.  (Everybody loves The Serenity Prayer, right?)  In general, we do revere self-responsibility for one’s own welfare, and don’t revere self-responsibility for how one’s own choices affect others.  Victim-power seems to be the tyranny of helplessness, though, “But look at how helpless I am about what I did!” is the ultimate tyranny of helplessness.

In general, this sort of self-help is cognitive therapy, the modern version of behaviorist psychology, so this can be given the title of behaviorist B. F. Skinner’s classic book, Beyond Freedom & Dignity, pragmatic in such a way that’s far more important than such abstract niceties.  This represents what is good, what most motivates people to do what must get done, which is what those who have the problems should want.  If, instead, the advisee insisted on drawing his own honest well-founded conclusions about what was happening to him, he’d be told that he’d better realize how important it is that he think in whatever ways would maximize his chances of self-reliant success in solving such big problems.  What else could Alateen members, etc., be told, “Go right ahead and fail to deal with your problems adequately.”?

This self-help logic could be used interchangeably for all sorts of problems, including exploitative lovers of every variety, unemployment, and literally even cancer and getting up the mettle to fight it.  Responsibility for one’s own choices means blame, naiveté, and controlling (As Niebuhr wrote in Moral Man and Immoral Society, “The power necessary to control the wicked is the danger, not the wicked,” and chances are that most of what contributes to our very unnaturally high rate of depression, isn’t even truly malicious.), while response-ability for one’s own problems means self-reliance, realism, and freedom.  Claiming, “You caused your own problem,” makes Victim Correction as a Panacea sound the most justifiable, while, “You’ve simply got to take response-ability for your own welfare, your own problem,” is the fallback position, since all problems must get taken care of.  The self-help formula for conflict resolution is for general public consumption, and it works.  If such sophistry weren’t so predictable and absolutist, just think of how often people could: lose faith, play the victim role, not do what needs to get done (by those most motivated to do it), etc.  Like Sarah Palin, this has both the appeal of going rogue, and the appeal of conformity.  America’s latest, most trendy, patriotic song begins, “If tomorrow all the things were gone, I’d worked for all my life.  And I had to start again, with just my children and my wife.”

In theory this means self-responsibility, self-reliance, gutsiness, anti-controlling, good coping skills, realism, conventionality, respectability, etc., but in practice this means that nothing except, “Can I change this?” including the most basic morality and concern for the weak, can really seem to matter.  Sure, you could recognize that destructive sinfulness is destructive sinfulness, but in the end you’d have to forgive it, or you’d be maladjusted and suffer the consequences of this weakness.  (“YOU VILL ENJOY!”)  Frank Buchman, leader of the Oxford Groups, the club on which AA and then Al-Anon was based and until recently was called “Moral Re-Armament,” (Sinclair Lewis’ novel It Can’t Happen Here, from 1935, includes Buchman in its list of currently trendy “Messiahs.”) said, “D’you know Heinrich Himmler?...  Say, you ought to know Heinrich.  He’s a great lad....  [Hitler] lets us have house-parties whenever we like.”  Anti-Nazi British travel-writer and journalist Robert Byron, who got a chance to observe Nazism up close, wrote in his diary, “Himmler apparently dotes on the Oxford Group [How cute.] and writes to its English members discussing their troubles with them,” so he was their Dear Abby.  This was the same Himmler who said, in his speech on October 4, 1943 to the SS Group Leaders in Poznan, “Most of you know what it means to see a hundred corpses lying together, five hundred, or a thousand.  To have stuck it out and at the same time—apart from exceptions caused by human weakness—to have remained decent fellows, that is what has made us hard,” but that personal strength concerned one of the Nazi practices that Buchman didn’t like.  It’s pretty obvious what the “Dear Abby” version of that would advise those in trouble, who are members of an honored group of people who are working on their own resolute and impassively accepting attitudes.  Anything less than, “Happiness is an inside job,” (in general), or, “Things happen.  It’s what we do when they happen that’s key,” (in general), would have been too weak-spirited and blaming for Himmler, so he was their perfect “Dear Abby.”  The only suggestions that Himmler would have made in a Dear Abby letter, including one to an addict’s family member, would have been, (1) courageously change what you can, and, (2) serenely accept what you can’t, since anything else would have mollycoddled WEAKNESS.

Himmler Logic, after all, would focus on whether the person with the problem seems to have a weak (as in literally WEAK) character, and would be quick to interpret inadequacies in problem-solving as weaknesses of character, so the weak seem contemptible, blameworthy, and, possibly, insidiously dangerous.  This self-responsible self-help approach is also like the “exemplary dualism” of the Militia Movement, like classifying people as redbloods or mollycoddles, or as übermenschen or untermenschen; this preaches that those who seem to have (literally) strong characters are the allies of decent people so are at least forgiven, and those who seem to have (literally) weak characters are the enemies of decent people.  This leads to some predictable distortions in our conceptions of right, wrong, shame, etc.  Take the Nazi might-makes-right ethos, remove the racism and war crimes, and you’d have what Western culture considers to be the only conception of personal responsibility that works, which is what Hitler’s Wagner’s and Nietzsche’s main inspiration, Schopenhauer, actually wrote about.

This was the original middle-class going rogue with conformity.  As It Can’t Happen Here says, “Why, there’s no country in the world that can get more hysterical—yes, or more obsequious—than America,” and devotion to anything that would imply, “Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it,” would require obsequiousness of Biblical proportions.  The question of whether “it” can happen here, all depends on whether or not “it” includes the aspects of Nazism and Himmler that Buchman’s formula for living didn’t include; if not, “it” happens every day.  The “it” in It Can’t Happen Here included merely an ambiguous, covert, attitude-of-gratitude racism (“It was understood... that all Jews of all conditions were frequently to sound their ecstasy at having found in America a sanctuary, after their deplorable experiences among the prejudices of Europe....  The allegiance of all such Negroes as had the sense to be content with safety and good pay instead of ridiculous yearnings for personal integrity Sarason got by being photographed shaking hands with the celebrated Negro Fundamentalist clergyman, the Reverend Dr. Alexander Nibbs, and through the highly publicized Sarason Prizes for the Negroes with the largest families, the fastest time in floor-scrubbing, and the longest periods of work without taking a vacation.”), so the “it” in modern America could include merely an ambiguous, covert, attitude-of-gratitude form of the strong horrifying the weak.  A classic cliché expression is, “There is no alternative,” to the power dynamics of our economy, and another way to say this is that there is no alternative besides dictatorship and/or Zimbabwe-style economic failures, so every time that these power dynamics horrify us, we should be grateful that we’re not instead dealing with dictators’ outrages, and/or economic failures including massive unemployment, irrespective of any indefinable abstractions such as integrity.  If you’re in a Wagnerian conflict, and you simply must deal with your realities, then you simply must deal with them as Schopenhauer prescribed.  The psychology of, “You don’t want to think/act like a weak person, do you?” could be called a form of neo-Nazism.



Yet, in a society with rampant depression, one could just as easily call that “pragmatic logic”: the weak courageously change what they can (themselves) and serenely accept what they can’t (everyone else), and what one deserves is completely irrelevant.  You can’t change your enemies, except for one.  Yet the limits of the threshold of human endurance are a fact, and if we don’t deal with it, it will deal with us. 

“Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it,” is all about what the weak should do, believe, and take responsibility for.  Even sophisticated psychology tends to classify people, aspects of human nature, desires, etc., into categories that are very German, Freudian: übermensch means ineradicable so at least forgivable, while untermensch means true shamefulness, suspiciousness.  (And, of course, treating this moral bankruptcy as necessary for realism seems a lot better than does treating this as admirably open-minded and gutsy.)  These Oxford members no doubt tended to take his ideas about coping skills, to heart, since they wanted self-improvement that would build fiber.  After all, we must accept that if you win, you win, and if you lose, you lose.  That self-responsible self-motivation is also how, and why, market discipline works; we must discipline even perfectly innocent failures.  The more that the weakness of the weak is blamed (What exactly is to blame when someone doesn’t protect himself well enough to succeed?): the more that they’d be motivated to take responsibility for taking care of themselves, the more hope that they’d have that they could change what causes their problems (themselves), and the more that we could all have faith in this red-blooded worldview.   Prejudice against the weak means an optimistic and patriotic faith in The System, and focusing on how the weak could hopefully solve their own problems if only they made themselves worthy, changed what they can.   Übermensch imperfection such as sinfulness would have to seem at least forgivable, while untermensch supposed imperfection would have to seem to be an insidious (as in “the hidden lie,” and, “We are all victims of victims.”) expression of weak people’s SELF-WILLS.  Dictator or no dictator, just about all of those in any society must define “personal responsibility” in basically the same predictable way and truly believe it, or different people would play by different rules, and plenty of people wouldn’t take the rules to heart when fortitude would be most necessary.  No doubt plenty of Oxford members who weren’t Himmler’s advisees, could have been just as easily, since they were just as free of whiny resentment; all “good” members followed the same school of psychology.



As far as self-help is concerned, the bottom line is that you’re simply going to have to deal with your own problem whatever it may be, and expectations that one simply deal with normal problems are interchangeable with expectations that one simply deal with an addict in the family.  “Personal strength,” “strength of character,” etc., tend to mean literally strength, transcending “weak” but natural and warranted feelings.  As Langdon Gilkey’s On Niebuhr says, “Thus transcendence is perhaps the key word in Niebuhr...”  For anyone in trouble, this would be: self-help, self-responsibility, self-care, self-protection, self-actualization, self-empowerment, etc.  As any conservative social analysis would say, you, that teen who looks like Archie, etc. could think productively, or think counterproductively (though if you’re the problem person, then probably we’ll just have to accept your counterproductive thinking, since people aren’t perfect and we mustn’t try to re-engineer human nature).  The effects of “Archie’s” dad’s actions are short-term (since others are motivated to resolve them), but the effects of Archie’s reactions are long-term (since others aren’t).  Twisting reality in “positive” ways is realistic, since it increases people’s chances of success.  Archie’s non-addicted parent (who’d really have to have a Gelassenheit “productive” attitude, what with all that she must do to make her family as normal as possible), has just as much autonomy as does the typical adult, since addicts’ power over others is physical, not authoritarian.

In general, motivation is everything; irrespective of moral responsibility, addiction or lack of it, etc., the only personal responsibility that we could count on is one in which those held responsible for problems are those motivated to take responsibility.  Charles P. Pierce’s Idiot America, How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free, says, “The [conservative] movement swallowed whole the quack doctrine of supply-side economics, adopting it with almost comically ferocious zeal,” and self-help, also, must follow this pattern, since in a gutsy and as-uncompromising-as-reality fashion, it holds that no matter how much others are responsible for your problems: if you win you win and if you lose you lose, that’s what’s realistic (what most reliably works), and that stupidity is a virtue in the name of freedom.  (We all know where intellectualism leads.)  Idiot America also says about a Cuban-American refugee who worked with AIDS patients in the early 1980s, “The situation reminded her a little of the way things had worked in Cuba, where the government would tell you something that you knew from your own experience could not possibly be true, yet people seemed willing to believe that it was, and to act upon that belief, until the manufactured reality displaced the actual one [which is also the classic definition of brainwashing, washing the brain of “bad attitudes”].  She felt she was working in parallel worlds.  There was the world of the disease, and of the people who had it; and then there was another world, in which everything was a symbol and in which her patients stood for something,” and one could say the same thing about this sort of self-help, where there’s the world of what people like Archie must actually deal with, and then there’s the world of what they symbolize: our duties regarding the never-ending virtues and necessity of response-ability for one’s own welfare, which shape what we should believe irrespective of what we’ve learned from experience, e.g. that Archie looks at himself.  (Marxism applies how cultural conditioning works, to shaping “the ideal society,” right?)



It’s amazing which moral norms could (i.e. must) seem less important than whether or not the person with the problem is doing what’s necessary for him to overcome it successfully.  That seems good; “whining” seems bad.  What’s most important in practical terms, might go very much against what we’d like to believe is important.  Banalities get things done.  Realism is the ultimate mandate.  This is the sort of Populism that H. G. Wells called “magnificent stupid honesty,” adamantly anti-manipulative-morality, so this sort of supposed populism would adamantly accept what causes 15% of the adult population to suffer serious depressive disorders in any given year.  (This “honesty” often has big unintended consequences, but could seem all-important.)  “Stop doing that, since it’s judgmental and controlling!” would probably make you at least hesitant, but, “Stop doing that, since that sort of thing has been proven to contribute to our very unnaturally high rates of depression and anxiety disorders!” would probably seem judgmental and controlling to you.  If this weakness-anathematizing conception of personal responsibility weren’t that absolutist, plenty of problems wouldn’t get resolved well enough, yet the fact that this is that absolutist, is pretty scary.  (Yet, the fact that so many stupid and reckless people got such important jobs on Wall Street, shows that even this very costly way of motivating winning could fail in very important ways, though they could always be excused as “inevitable human imperfection.”)  Sure, on Larry King Live on August 11, 2009, economist Ben Stein said, “Big government is a terrifying subject” (i.e. the kind that you could openly and proudly get terrified about), but you don’t dare say, “Big depression is a terrifying subject,” even if you’ve been there, or, “Big Wall Street greed is a terrifying subject.”  Also, on an interview on a Christian radio network, Stein said, “ leads you to killing people.”  Magical thinking like this could seem more acceptable to economists, since they could always figure that consequences don’t really matter, since those who have the problems are always motivated to solve them; that “works.”  Self-help’s conception of which freedoms, self-determination, personal rights and responsibilities, etc., do, and which don’t, seem to matter, sounds like something right out of The Communist Manifesto (and certainly plenty of others in the 19th Century noticed this, too), “ place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom—Free Trade,” and since someone must take responsibility for the consequences of adversarialism, “self-responsibility” must mean that in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered forms of personal responsibility, we have set up that single, unconscionable personal responsibility—response-ability for one’s own problems.  (A better word than freedom might be right, i.e., “I have a right to expect something better!”  “No, the only right that you have is to become a winner by protecting yourself better, with proud self-reliance!”)





In fact, though we’re supposed to take addictive behavior as a given since addiction is a disease, the law certainly doesn’t treat addicts as not guilty by reason of insanity, one can’t be brought out of real legal insanity through “hitting bottom” or an intervention.  Addicts’ family members, who can’t change them, must minimize their responsibility and magnify the responsibility of their own reactions, but the law, which can change most addicts with whom it comes into conflict, doesn’t have to minimize and magnify.  As the publishers’ notes of Gene M. Heyman’s Addiction: A Disorder of Choice says, “He shows that the causes of addiction, its control, and its potential reduction are the same as the causes, control, and reduction of all voluntary behavior.”  (Certainly you could imagine what would result if someone said at an Al-Anon meeting, “But when he relapsed, it was because he got angry and chose to, not because he saw something that triggered a compulsion to drink!  That means that my objections are legitimate!” or even, “But the person who caused this problem, whom I can’t change, isn’t addicted!”)  Yet whether or not addiction is involved, you could always find some sophistry to make courageously changing what you can and serenely accepting what you can’t seem legitimate, and ignore any facts that would disrupt this pragmatism; form follows function.  This, also, could be called “pragmatic logic,” applicable to any realities that contribute to our rampant depression.  Both an acceptance of an addiction, and an acceptance of aggressive human nature, are fatalism about unrestrained desires, what the pleasure centers of our brains make us do, etc.  What works for AA is what works for addicts, i.e. for addictive personalities, which would single-mindedly insist on: excuses to do what one pleases, stopping righteous indignation and “controlling,” etc.  The more that we serenely accept übermensch, active, imperfections, the more that we can’t afford to accept the untermensch, passive, imperfections of those hurt by them, and who, therefore, must deal with them in order not to be maladjusted maladaptive and dysfunctional.  If this wasn’t as simplistic and resolute as Reagan, their awareness that they’re victims would leave them both too weak by feeling helplessness and making unrealistic expectations, and too strong in that they could insidiously get the benefits of victimhood.



Your realities are whatever they are, and either you deal with them or you suffer the consequences.  NOTHING CAN LIMIT HOW MUCH ALL THIS COULD AFFECT YOU.  To paraphrase a Catholic riddle: “What’s the difference between a victim corrector and a terrorist?  You can negotiate with a terrorist.”  As pioneering behaviorist John B. Watson wrote, “The raw fact that you, as a psychologist, if you are to remain scientific, must describe the behavior of man in no other terms than those you use in describing the behavior of the ox you slaughter, drove and still drives many timid souls away from behaviorism,” and the only real difference between behaviorism and cognitive therapy is that it credits humanity with self-control abilities that animals don’t have, such as the ability to choose to serenely accept hardship and sinfulness; training people who are motivated to be trained is a lot easier.  (This self-control would benefit the person who serenely accepts the hardship, sinfulness, etc. that he’s helpless to change, whether or not the person who caused the problem is addicted. )  As Paul Krugman wrote, “The truth is that good old-fashioned demand-side macroeconomics has a lot to offer in our current predicament—but its defenders lack all conviction, while its critics are filled with a passionate intensity,” and one could say the same for debates between those who stress personal responsibility for the consequences of one’s own choices, which could usually be called “blaming,” “guilt-based,” “controlling,” etc., and the gutsy people who stress red-blooded personal response-ability for one’s own welfare, which could always be called “self-help,” “self-empowerment,” “realism,” etc.  As the Great Crash of 2008 shows, some things will never change.


THE GREATEST RISK IS NOT TAKING ONE, AIG ad from 2001, so if you tried to restrain this you’d seem profoundly: weak, whiny, defeatist, controlling, unrealistic, counterproductive, opinionated, manipulative, negative, moralistic, etc.  Sure, post-scandal AIG CEO Edward M. Liddy said, “I have seen the good side of capitalism.  But over the past six months, since agreeing to take the reins of AIG and reviewing how it was run in prior years, I have also seen instances of the bad side of capitalism,” but one could also call the gutsiness of AIG in its PIG era, “character-building,” giving plenty of backbone and fortitude.



Sure, Rush Limbaugh is more unpopular than Bill Ayers or Jeremiah Wright, and conservatives could be afraid that such aggressiveness looks “ugly” to the public.  Yet, especially if you’re in big trouble, if you thought like Limbaugh and the other attack politicians then you’d face up to your problems more serenely and courageously, and we dare not care how profoundly ugly is coaching Archie, etc., into having attitudes of, “I’ve stopped blaming others and I’m looking at myself!”  If Himmler had sent you some “Dear Abby” letters that didn’t mention the Nazi practices that Buchman didn’t like, the advice that the letters would have given would have helped you become more resilient, courageous, self-responsible, realistic, and abiding by Gelassenheit (a fatalism that teaches that willfulness leads to self-defeating frustration if you’re helpless to get what you want or need), so you would have ended up with a stronger character.  Victim Correction as a Panacea, is Gelassenheit and similar all-encompassing attitudes about physical response-ability for one’s own problems, exactly what a society with rampant depression, anxiety disorders, etc., would most need.

Sure, Niebuhr wrote that he was shocked about Buchman’s admiration of Hitler, though The Serenity Prayer summarizes the book that most shaped Hitler’s thinking, Schopenhauer’s The World as Will and Representation:   As with a panacea, we must see the entire world in terms of the ineradicable SELF-WILLS of the sinful, the ignominious and surreptitious SELF-WILLS of victims who don’t represent their own bad experiences to themselves as being as innocuous as possible (“Those manipulative whiners want to believe that someone owes them something!”), and, therefore, our responsibility to do this.  Niebuhr wrote that Buchman’s faith that dictators, business tycoons, etc., should use their power to push Christianity, vapidly ignored how realpolitik would affect the outcome, “The slightest acquaintance with the history of Christian thought on the problem of the relation of the absolute demands of the gospel to the relativities of politics and economics would prove its childishness,” but the same could also be said about applying a simplistic sloganeering spirituality to the situations that contribute to our rampant depression.  It isn’t possible to get any more vapid than,“Serenely accept everything that happens to you in a society with rampant depression, that you’re helpless to change.”

The wave of the future, the “new economy” of self-responsibility, requires that we want to be responsible members of society, take response-ability for our own welfare.  With that approach you’d be more likely to succeed, and that’s good, maybe irreplaceable.  Your natural objections to this would be counterproductive (though you’re free not to hold others personally responsible by these standards, as long as you hold yourself responsible by them).  The same would go for minimizing any “whiny” lessons we might learn from the Great Crash of 2008.  If we can’t change wretched excesses on Wall Street but can change victims’ not fixing the consequences adequately, then either we correct the victims or we’ll have a dysfunctional society.  Since we simply must solve our problems, our perceptions must be distorted in order to fit in with this; there is no alternative.




(Cartoon generated by “Build Your Own Meat”)


Nothing can drive anyone away from this sort of cognitive therapy, just as nothing can drive Archie away from his unconditional and immoderate, contrived serenity and courage, though Gelassenheit is very unnatural social engineering.  In self-help books about codependency, stories in which the problem spouses are addicted are absolutely interchangeable with stories in which the problem spouses simply choose to act like buttheads, since in both cases the victims are equally unable to change the victimizers’ behavior.  Whatever you must do to take care of yourself, is whatever you must do to take care of yourself, so you must look at yourself when you’re looking for things that you could correct in order to solve your own problems.  Sure, the Financial Times on March 10, 2009 quoted Bernie Sucher, the head of Merrill Lynch operations in Moscow, as saying, “Our world is broken—and I honestly don’t know what is going to replace it.  The compass by which we steered as Americans has gone.  The last time I ever saw anything like this, in terms of the sense of disorientation and loss, was among my friends [in Russia] when the Soviet Union broke up,” but Americans have been culturally conditioned to serenely accept economic difficulties, and not to accept supposedly manipulative whining about them.  Those with plenty of “personal strength” would tolerate Wall Street Darwinism and its effects.  Archie could “get on with life” since folk wisdom, common sense, says that that’s what everyone must do; everyone could “stick it out.”  (On June 19, 2009 [just before the threatened bloodshed began, “On 9/11 we were all Americans, and tonight we’re all Iranians.”], when Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that they were going to crack down on the protests of the election fraud, he said, “If the political elite want to ignore the law or break the law then they are taking wrong measures...,” so dogmatists of all stripes excite their followers by condemning the supposed intellectual elite.)  Archie, and others who are powerless, couldn’t afford the dysfunctionality of feeling disoriented or lost.  Realism requires that this self-responsibility be the lynchpin, so any concern that would conflict with this must be shrugged off.  (Of course, this self-response-ability must include the same self-justifying, fatalistic, conformist, simplistic, “upbeat,” absolutist, unconditional, predictable, illusions that got our economy into such trouble; after all, people will do only what they feel motivated to do.)  We all must adjust to and deal with reality, and others determine what is reality for you, which tends to mean that the strong (whether or not they’re addicted) determine what is reality for the weak.  Resiliency is everything.




Wall Street, August 23, 1929,  “As I wrote last March, those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity, myself especially, are in a state of shocked disbelief….  That’s precisely the reason I was shocked, because I had been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.”—Alan Greenspan, testimony before Congress, October 23, 2008



That’s why self-help in general tends to admire Al-Anon, The Serenity Prayer, etc., and this self-reliant ethos.  The only thing that really matters is what you do and don’t have the power to change.  This is how the ideal American faces his own problems.  Since Bill Wilson, co-founder of AA who wrote much of their Big Book, was a stockbroker around the time of the Great Depression, one could call this The Great Depression Stockbroker’s Approach to Self-Responsibility; we’d have to be firm with those victims and whiners who object to productivity that involves strong character, such as “creative destruction,” and, “Your problem is your problem.”  The economist who, just after the Great Depression, came up with the concept of creative destruction, Joseph Schumpeter, also wrote during the Depression that recovery from it, “is sound only if it [comes] of itself.  For any revival which is merely due to artificial stimulus leaves part of the work of depressions undone and adds, to an undigested remnant of maladjustment, new maladjustment of its own which has to be liquidated in turn, thus threatening business with another [worse] crisis ahead.”  Daniel Gross’ Dumb Money says that Maestro Alan Greenspan, in an interview, “had an abstract fervor for the glories and potentials of creative destruction,” and, in the abstract, saying that alkies’ teens, etc., should have an attitude of, “I’ve stopped blaming others and I’m looking at myself!” sounds just as proudly productive.




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“The National Socialist Party will prevent in the future, by force if necessary, all meetings and lectures which are likely to exercise a depressing influence”—Hitler (Of course, if force isn’t necessary to prevent any and every depressing influence in meetings, that would be all the more effective.)



We’re to have the same faith in this failsafe sort of self-responsibility, that we’d have in any other cultural norms, as if it’s a universal truth that will work forever.

Just imagine what it would look like if cognitive therapy gave equal time to re-engineering any aspect of human nature that might give us problems:

The Fine Art of Propaganda, by Alfred McClung Lee and Elizabeth Briant Lee, quotes Hitler’s Mein Kampf as saying, “A lie is believed because of the unconditional and insolent inflexibility with which it is propagated and because it takes advantage of the sentimental and extreme sympathies of the masses.”  It should be obvious to anyone that the problems of the victims of alcoholic parents (or anything comparable) aren’t inside of themselves.  Yet the sentimental and extreme sympathies of Americans tend to insist that one take personal response-ability for his own welfare.  If he doesn’t, he could be insolently and inflexibly accused of having “pity parties” and the like.

The classic question to ask about addicts is, “Why can’t they just stop?”.  If one were to ask, “Why can’t they just stop correcting the victims?” the answer would be, “If we did, the untermenschen could get what they want through manipulative machinations, or, at the very least, would continue to think passively.”

With all cognitive therapy, the more impressionable that one is, the more that he could learn to think pragmatically.  Since cognitive therapy arose in the 1960s based on the then-popular Eastern transcendence, this could be called “Calcutta survival skills.”

Al-Anon’s approach was based on AA’s approach, in which the more impressionable a recovering alkie is, the more that he could get rid of his pathological thoughts.  Something very vital is missing.

AA’s Big Book came from 1939.  Naturally, at that time, people tended to think in whatever ways would best let them cope with the Great Depression.

That’s still how we’re supposed to think.  No matter what we have to deal with, then we have to deal with it, including “Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it.”  It’s no wonder that this zeitgeist could so readily be adapted for those in the ladies’ auxiliaries.  Moral bankruptcy could make a great coping strategy for anyone, along the lines of, “All you’ve got to do is lower your standards, and you’ll feel a lot better.”

Only a sociopath would engage in moral bankruptcy for its own sake.  Other moral bankruptcy is supposed to serve a greater purpose, such as, “Catholic theology says that one shouldn’t create scandal regarding Catholic leaders, and influential people who try to hold the Catholic hierarchy morally responsible are bigoted against Catholics,” “Those who are trying to restrain us are anti-freedom manipulators!” and, “Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as you’d have it, would give you inner peace, and in your situation, serenity courage and tactical wisdom aren’t just luxuries that you could safely choose to live without.”

Of course, for the sinners to choose to think in ways that would get control over their destructive behavior, would work in the same way, but they don’t prefer serenity over their aggressive feelings.  It would work to preach to the victims of sinfulness, the following AA slogans: “I don’t have a problem unless I think I do,” “Everything is perception,” “Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace amid the storm,” and, “Optimism is an intellectual choice.”  It wouldn’t work to preach to the sinful that they don’t need to act aggressively unless they think they do, that everything concerning one’s own aggressive desires is perception, that choosing serenity could get control over their storms of aggressive desires, and that this optimism is an intellectual choice.  Only the victims would want the forgetfulness.

Not only is that the obscene language of forgetfulness, but when it involves traumas that are run-of-the-mill, it would naturally encourage more moral bankruptcy among those who cause the problems, and pessimism among those who are told that they’re simply going to have to accept that their society has such low moral standards.

And these are also the standards by which we judge whether victims are adjusting well enough to their problems, to seem well-adjusted.  As C. S. Lewis, 1898-1963, a favorite writer of Fundament Christians, wrote, “Those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience....  To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to put on a level with... the infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”  The mental health counseling of his era wasn’t influenced by Reaganomics’ prerogatives.  Nowadays, it seems that “everyone knows” that whatever your realities are, you’re response-able for your own welfare, so if you aren’t adequate to do this, lose the battle, fail, and come up short with big consequences, you’d seem to be an irresponsible and inadequate, loser and failure with very consequential shortcomings.  If you don’t adjust to this, adapt to it, function with it, fit in with it, and feel content with it, you’d seem to be a maladjusted maladaptive and dysfunctional, misfit and malcontent.  And that would be for your own good, since no matter what you must deal with, if you got rid of your inadequacies, became well-adjusted, etc., you’d benefit.

If instead diagnoses were determined on a case-by-case basis, where all aspects of each individual’s situation are balanced to determine, for example, whether it has the dangers of the normalcy that leads to so much depression, anxiety disorders, etc. in the West, this would go against the unconditionally self-reliant requirements of Reaganomics.  If someone with a big problem said to anyone, especially a psychologist, “I’m willing to face problems with the absolute stolidity of The Serenity Prayer, up to a certain point, but this situation goes too far,” that person would probably get a far more unfavorable response than Lewis got to his writers’ eccentricities.


Yet the concepts of good and bad that we’d tend to see from psychologists, especially those influenced by the zeitgeist of Twelve-Step groups including those for addicts’ friends and family members, reflect very Wagnerian, German conceptions of strength vs. weakness, which came through both Freud, and Reinhold Niebuhr.

A webpage about Hitler, A Born Soldier, says, “Hitler’s favorite writer during the war was the early 19th century philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer....  Hitler, like Thomas Mann, was greatly impressed by Schopenhauer’s book: The World as Will and Idea.  Hitler read the book over and over again during the war and was greatly influenced by Schopenhauer’s teaching.”

This zeitgeist is best summarized in the title of the magnum opus of super-Kraut Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, published in 1819.  He was a big influence of both Wagner and Nietzsche.

Another way of saying “The World as Will and Representation,” is, “Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it.”  When applied to psychology, the “The World as Will and Representation” zeitgeist has four main elements:  The aggressive sinful WILL is ineradicable, so it must be taken as a given.  This is also a main theme of psychoanalysis.

Our pained emotions aren’t ineradicable, so we should choose to make our representations of the world as innocuous as possible, a la cognitive therapy.  Though it should be just as effective in re-engineering aggressive human nature as it is in re-engineering our reactions to helplessness, cognitive therapy is far more likely to be used in re-engineering hurt feelings, than it is re-engineering aggressive feelings.

If we do object to what happens to us, then these objections are just a manifestation of our SELF-WILLS wanting the world to be as we’d have it.  Impugning the weak is pretty much the norm.  Even if when they assertively stand up for their own rights, this didn’t involve any cunning, what they sincerely believe are their rights was no doubt affected by what they want to believe they’re entitled to, so this could still seem manipulative.  Though sinfulness must be forgiven, supposed manipulativeness mustn’t be.

For example, Al-Anon’s book of meditations, One Day At A Time In Al-Anon, says,

We are told in Al-Anon that there can be no progress without humility.  This idea is confusing to many at first, and it almost always encounters a stubborn resistance in us.  “What!” we say, “am I supposed to be a submissive slave to my situation and accept everything that comes, however humiliating?”  No.  True humility does not mean a meek surrender to an ugly, destructive way of life.  It means surrender to God’s will, which is quite a different thing.  Humility prepares us for the realization of God’s will for us; it shows us the benefits we gain from doing away with self-will.  We finally understand how this self-will has actually contributed to our distress.

Everybody needs a moral compass, and this is theirs.  This, explicitly, is the world as will and representation, so should constitute one’s entire worldview, since awareness of anything else would be counterproductive.  Even if the problem to be represented to oneself sublimely, is life with an alkie, then that’s what must be coped with like this.



Three quotes from The World as Will and Representation pretty much sum this up, “This world is the battle-ground of tormented and agonized beings who continue to exist only by each devouring the other.  Therefore, every beast of prey in it is the living grave of thousands of others, and its self-maintenance is a chain of torturing deaths.”  One could call this global, all-inclusive, approach to problem-solving, “a panacea that consists of acceptance of the aggressive WILL, and rejection of weakness, ineffectiveness, and unhappy representations of the material world.”  While “cherchez la femme,” look for the woman, had meant to suspect her since she’s the one who traditional moralism would morally condemn, now “look for the woman” would mean that since she’s the powerless one, for her to solve her own problems by correcting herself would mean: self-help, self-efficacy, self-empowerment, self-reliance, self-responsibility, self-motivation, anti-moralism, etc.

(Nazi poster saying “EUROPAS FREIHEIT,” or “EUROPE’S FREEDOM”)

Schopenhauer also wrote: “Such a [good] character will accordingly consider men in a purely objective way, and not according to the relations they might have to his will.  For example, he will observe their faults, and even their hatred and injustice to himself, without thereby being stirred to hatred on his own part....  For in the course of his own life and in its misfortunes, he will look less at his own individual lot than at the lot of mankind as a whole, and accordingly will conduct himself in this respect rather as a knower than as a sufferer.”

“Nature has produced [the intellect] for the service of an individual will; therefore it is destined to know things only in so far as they serve as the motives of such a will, not to fathom them or comprehend their true inner essence.”

Cognitive therapy would say that an approach of “the world as will and representation” would lead to optimism, since one would transcend the problems created by others’ wills, so would represent the world to himself as positive.  Schopenhauer admitted that he was a pessimist, and on Majikthise’s Philosophers’ Theme Songs webpage, the theme song assigned to him is “Desolation Row,” but the ideas that Schopenhauer-style self-discipline would put into one’s head would, in all circumstances, be optimistic. For example, “Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it,” or anything that implies this, is pessimistic, but that transcendence would lead to a positive outlook in even desperate circumstances.

Therefore, if one’s intellect objects to sinfulness, it’s willfully expecting the world to be as he’d have it.  Of course, anti-intellectualism is a lot more susceptible to emotional reasoning, including willfulness, since anti-intellectualism doesn’t have to be reality-tested, but it’s more likely to reflect the accepted willfulness of the strong.  The Fine Art of Propaganda, from 1939, tells of the “World Service, a leaflet circulated by the Nazis to ‘reveal’ the ‘machinations of the Jewish under-world’...”, which expressed this fear that intellectual ideas are actually manipulative.

As Eric Hoffer wrote in The Passionate State of Mind, “The beginning of thought is in disagreement—not only with others but also with ourselves,” but the only disagreement that anti-intellectualism would have with one’s own aggrieved will, would be desires to be too pragmatic red-blooded and/or forgiving to get upset.  Serious apologies, compunctions, or other equivocations about this zeitgeist, seem bad, since they could weaken the self-reliant problem-solving, and strengthen the willfulness of victims’ objections.

And those who believe in the zeitgeist of The Serenity Prayer, had better keep in mind that Niebuhr had the same pessimism about the material world, but optimism about how we could feel serene despite it.  This follows the same patterns as the cognitive distortions of modern Western depression, since both aim for the same absolutist and unconditional self-responsibility.  Intercultural studies have consistently found that depressed people who’ve lived in developed areas outside of the modern West have tended to feel paranoid, but modern Westerners, whether depressed or not, tend to figure that even if someone did “get you,” that would mean only that you lost the battle so you’re a loser.  In the modern West, absolutist victim-self-blaming also tends to come with anxiety, and having had grown up in dysfunctional families, including those with alkies.

(The Current stationery and mail-order company, which has an extremely square image, sells these T-shirts.  Though you might think that this looks too trashy for a nice Midwesterner to wear, the stouthearted and perseverant “and deal with it!” might make up for that.)



Dr. Robert Jay Lifton, in his classic study on Maoist brainwashing, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism, in the chapter “Ideological Totalism,” describes the Maoist brainwashing process.  This centered around what he called “Doctrine over Person,” the actual brainwashing, where if what one’s supposed to believe disagrees with his own interpretations of his own experiences, he’s to wash his own opinions from his brain, and replace them with what he’s supposed to believe.  All of what leads up to it makes it seem desirable, and what follows it is a usual outcome.  What leads up to the washing are: “Milieu Control” to get rid of influences that could make it seem undesirable, “Mystical Manipulation” to make it seem to serve a profound purpose, “The Demand for Purity” and “The Cult of Confession” to anathematize conflicting beliefs, “The ‘Sacred Science’ ” to make the washing seem to fit modern goals, and “Loading the Language,” so that one’s consideration of the matters at hand would be limited as is desired.  Lifton begins the section on Loading the Language, “The language of the totalist environment is characterized by the thought-terminating cliché.”  What follows Doctrine over Person is “The Dispensing of Existence,” meaning treating only those who follow the expectations of the doctrine, as “The People,” as if everyone else might as well not exist.

But one can have the washing of the brain, along with different reasons for why those whose brains are washed, find this desirable.  As is shown in groups such as Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, and Gam-Anon, an addict’s wife who follows their program would wash from her brain her objections to his extremely objectionable behavior, because of the pragmatic benefits that would come from unconditional serenity and self-reliant courage.  Whether she stays married to him or leaves and must raise their children with her limited financial resources, she’d feel and function a lot better if she washes from her brain anything that would distress or dishearten her.  If a conflicting belief should pop into her head, she’d terminate it with a thought-stopping cliché that would label this as immature, resentful, self-pitying, etc.  This self-reliant response-ability suitable for Götterdämmerung, is supposed to serve the interests of “The Individual.”  The individuals who are hurt by this, might as well not exist.  The whole idea is the reform of people’s thoughts, and this must be as total as such circumstances dictate.

Or, as François Furet’s The Passing of an Illusion, The Idea of Communism in the Twentieth Century says about both Lenin and Mussolini (who proudly coined the word totalitarian), “For the promulgators of such a political discourse, all criteria other than immediate results tended to fall by the wayside as their discourse turned into demagogy, dictated exclusively by the interests of the speaker, no longer bearing any relation to morality in its most universal, elementary aspect or to the observation of the most everyday facts.”  Sure, those who encourage the members of the ladies’ auxiliary Twelve-Step groups to serenely transcend all their problems they’re helpless to change, don’t do this to serve their own interests, though since this serene acceptance of even hardship and sinfulness ad infinitum began in Twelve-Step groups for addicts, one could say that it reflects addictive personalities’ sociopathy.  At the same time, this serene acceptance and other self-responsibility expected of the victims, are intended to produce the best pragmatic results, ignore even the most basic and universal morality, and transcend the everyday facts in the real world.  One could say that, “Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it,” and moderate versions of this, ignore even the most basic and universal morality, though one could also say that since they make people resilient, they promote what is good, productive.  Sometimes, in order for a society to keep functioning, the ends must justify the means, and we don’t really have a choice in what those ends and means must be.

Though the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary’s definition of totalism is “TOTALITARIANISM,” what Lifton wrote about ideological totalism doesn’t require authoritarianism, only immoderate thought reform.  For example, when alkies’ kids are inculcated to have outlooks of, “I’ve stopped blaming others and I’m looking at myself!” that isn’t done to to obey an authoritarian dogma, but it tells beleaguered people to replace their normal opinions with what they’re supposed to think, and not moderately, either.  Here we have the “The World as Will and Representation” zeitgeist, which on one hand has to be totalist since counterproductive distractions must be eliminated, but on the other hand, could be very dangerous to be that unquestioned.  It would seem ridiculous to say, “As Salman Rushdie described the Muslim Fundamentalists as ‘literalist,’ I’m not going to be that literalist in following your spirituality.”

James 2:8-13 says, “If you really fulfill the royal law, according to the scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you do well.  But if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.  For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.  For he who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ said also, ‘Do not kill.’ If you do not commit adultery but do kill, you have become a transgressor of the law.  So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty.  For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy; yet mercy triumphs over judgment.”  Cross Christian forgiveness with pragmatism, and you’d end up with the cognitive distortions of modern Western depression, including the unconditional all-or-nothing thinking.  One could call this the “law of liberty,” since it constitutes the social contract under which a society could live under moral bankruptcy and keep functioning, with each individual taking response-ability for his own welfare, and not trying to control or guilt-trip others.  Whatever are the most important elements of any society’s social contract, those in the society must abide by them, or their deviance would be taken seriously.

As Rousseau wrote in The Social Contract, “Then only, when the voice of duty takes the place of physical impulses and the cravings of appetite, does man, who so far had considered only himself, find that he is forced to act on different principles, and to consult his reason before listening to his inclinations.”  If, when faced with hardship, sinfulness, etc., we didn’t listen to our desires that the world be as we’d have it, and instead lived up to our duty to take personal responsibility for our own problems, we’d fit in perfectly.



David Brock’s Blinded by the Right quotes Bo Hi Pak, a member of Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church and leader of one of his secretive groups, as saying, “It is a total war, basically war of ideas, war of minds.  The battlefield is the human mind.  That’s where the battle is fought.  So in this war, the entire thing will be mobilized—political means, social means, economic means and propagandist means—trying to take over the other person’s mind.  That is what the Third World War is all about.”  Moon’s ownership of such right-wing publications as the Washington Times, where Brock, who near the end of his book says, “In twelve years of right-wing journalism, my work had never been fact-checked,” began his career.  Sure, such publications don’t program people through cult tactics, but people are still programmed into washing from their brains, beliefs that appreciate why social problems are social problems.


The following excerpts from ...In All Our Affairs, which give the details of exactly what it means when those burdened by alcoholics “discover that no situation is really hopeless, and that it is possible for us to find contentment and even happiness, whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not,” show both how much of a problem is victims’ self-blame along the lines of victim correction as a panacea, and how much the victim-blaming ideas of modern pragmatic psychology, which originally came from the forgiving Christian spirituality of the Twelve Step groups, are very much along these lines.  These excerpts are from many personal stories given in ...In All Our Affairs, one after the other, so they’re from many different people who’ve all had alcoholic friends or family members.  Some of these tell of self-blaming attitudes that they had before they joined Al-Anon, which talked them out of it because this dismay wasn’t doing them any good.  Some of these statements are of people telling of the self-blame that Al-Anon told them to accept as personal response-ability, along the lines of The Serenity Prayer.  Only in some situations, to varying degrees, does the Serenity Prayer become the Barbarity Prayer, and does serene acceptance mean in the words of Shakespeare, “like patience on a monument smiling at grief,” but in those situations, unvaryingly, the response-ability goes absolutely to the person whose welfare is at stake.  More on this is on my webpage on Niebuhr’s book set The Nature and Destiny of Man.

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Susan Faludi, in her book Backlash, wrote of Robin Norwood, the writer of the book Women Who Love Too Much, which millions of victims of outrageous behavior have used as a guidebook, “Norwood’s self-help plan, modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous’s twelve-step program [through Al-Anon], advises women seeking the source of their pain to refrain from looking beyond themselves, a habit she calls ‘blaming.’...  It doesn’t actually help you to change your circumstances or yourself, but it ‘helps change your perspective from being victimized to being uplifted’; simply by saying, silently and to yourself, ‘I no longer suffer,’ a woman can get relief.”

This sort of self-help was especially promoted and insisted upon during the Reagan/Thatcher era, which is why the theme song that was emblematic of Reaganism, and is still very popular today, was Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA, which proudly begins, “If tomorrow all the things were gone I’d worked for all my life,” whether this was my fault or not I’d simply take responsibility for my own welfare by rebuilding, while if one instead said, “If tomorrow all the things were gone I’d worked for all my life and I caused their destruction, I’d accept and take care of my problem,” he would have seemed to be abdicating personal responsibility for his own welfare.

Christopher Lasch wrote in his article in the New Republic of August 10, 1992, For Shame, that our culture has,

a cult of the victim in which entitlements are based on the display of accumulated injuries inflicted by an uncaring society. The politics of “compassion” degrades both the victims, by reducing them to objects of pity, and their would-be benefactors, who find it easier to pity their fellow citizens than to hold them up to impersonal standards, the attainment of which would make them respected. Compassion has become the human face of contempt.

One needn’t be a sociologist to see in this, the crux of Reaganomics, that if only those who keep talking about victimology and victimhood, or sue businesses because their pain and losses (rather than objective achievement) entitle them, or evade their personal response-ability for their own problems, etc., thought like Lee Greenwood instead, that would solve our problems.

Sure, that’s impersonal, but it would make people more respectable, if we consider those who seem to be übermenschen/redbloods to be respectable, and those who seem to be untermenschen/mollycoddles to be contemptible.  Just as in old Wagnerian Germany it was the weak who seemed “ignominious,” in modern America it’s the weak who get the “contempt.”

If instead we tried to have a balanced approach that differentiated the real victims from the fakes, showed contempt for the victimizers, etc., that would seem too: unpragmatic, abstractly analytical, idealistic, equivocal, iconoclastic (Just look at the unequivocal personality types that were icons during the Reagan/Thatcher era, and that still inspire profound admiration, which would include the pro-freedom and red-blooded, “hold them up to impersonal standards, the attainment of which would make them respected.”), moralistic, opinionated, unrealistic about how much real victims must deal with their own problems, restrictive, unforgiving, potentially manipulative, etc.  Even if all that someone did was set limits as to how much victim-correction he’s willing to accept, that could seem to be choosing not to impersonally become adequately correct, and, therefore, respectable.

A society with rampant depression will have plenty of real victims.  In order for it to keep functioning, it must pressure them into simply dealing with their own problems objectively and self-reliantly.  In all societies including those with rampant depression, no one could seem self-reliant enough unless he’s self-reliant enough to succeed with whatever realities and risks he must deal with.  (Of course, if he showed some self-reliant responsibility, but not enough, that loser would get contempt rather than respect.)  Before the Reagan era, these social pressures and cultural conditioning were usually done more subtly than anything that implied, “Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it.”  Reaganomics couldn’t exist without these unequivocal conceptions of: personal rights, personal responsibilities, supposedly manipulative, mollycoddle victims, why responsibility should (predictably) be projected onto victims, which entitlements seem respectable, which “defects of character” we take seriously, etc.  The quotes from In All Our Affairs: Making Crises Work for You on Webpage 2 of this series, show how easy it is to espouse that if you’re strong then naturally you’d courageously change reality, and if you’re weak then naturally you’d serenely accept reality.












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Cancer Victims Corrected Too

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Darwinist Lehman Brothers’ INSIDE Sales Tips

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Out of the Same Mold as the Great Crash of 2008

Message for Intellectuals in the Islamic World

Candace Newmaker’s Experience

Breaking Important Confidences for Your Own Good

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Cigarette Industry and Victim Correction

Niebuhr’s Ideas on Our Nature and Destiny

Herbal Experiences for Women

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