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Blind Boy Apollo
and the All-White Astronauts

New Age "Asiatic" thought ... is establishing itself as the
hegemonic ideology of global capitalism. (Zizek)

Sunday, February 12

from traumatic damage to personality disorder

The following is from The Washington Post's Book World review (as republished on the book's Amazon page) of Cruel World: The Children of Europe in the Nazi Web by Lynn Nicholas.
Cruel World begins by surveying the eugenics theories of the early 20th century, some of which originated in Anglo-American pseudo-science and led to legalized involuntary sterilization on racial and even social grounds in some American states. The criteria for genetic fitness and superiority -- and the perversion of what little knowledge there was about hereditary laws -- were often more viciously naive than any primitive beliefs in magic at which these same "scientists" would have scoffed. Nicholas writes that U.S. segregation laws and colonial powers' abusive policies provided "lessons" for the Nazis, though the Nazis carried them out on an unheard-of scale, even adding a special section for children in their infamous "euthanasia" program for murdering mental patients.
Only after writing the title slug for this post and dropping in the above clip did I go off in search of an illustrative quote for the second half of the story. What I found -- by searching on the title slug plus "interpersonal," which is critical here -- was an article titled The Role of Childhood Interpersonal Trauma in Depersonalization Disorder from The American Journal of Psychiatry (158:1027-1033, July 2001)...
Dissociation is the disruption of the normal integrative processes of consciousness, perception, memory, and identity that define self-hood. All dissociative disorders currently classified in DSM-IV are characterized by pathological dissociation but differ in the dissociative domains in which symptoms are primarily manifested. Research has revealed that pathological dissociation is a categorically distinct entity from the normal dissociative tendencies that characterize the general population, and in a well-designed twin study, the genetic heritability estimate for pathological dissociation was zero, suggesting that these conditions may be strongly driven by environmental traumas....

CONCLUSIONS: Childhood interpersonal trauma and, in particular, emotional abuse may play a role in the pathogenesis of depersonalization disorder. Compared to other types of childhood trauma, emotional maltreatment is a relatively neglected entity in psychiatric research and merits more attention.

Perhaps this helps to explain the otherwise curious statement that the Washington Post reviewer elects to quote:
Most of Europe's children would, in the next few years, develop a self-protective shell of voyeurism and casualness toward the monstrous events around them.
And perhaps that in turn will help illuminate the farther reaches of human nature -- as good old Uncle Abe called em in "An Esalen Book" -- and we're going to need all the light we can get. To paraphrase Peter Gabriel...

the deeper you go
the darker it gets

More here if you want it:
Interpersonal Trauma and the
Inventory of Altered Self-capacities


I bet you thought this was gonna be easy goin in, huh?