Schizophrenia – What is a Catholic to Make of It?


‘The world holds us to be fools, let us hold it to be mad.’– St. Francis de Sales, ‘The Devout Life’

The vast majority of people today are disconnected from reality.  The vast majority of people are living in their own subjective fantasies disconnected from the truth about existence.  However, in the crazy times we live in Western society, it is the ones who are most insane who are the ones guiding others. For example, the highest number of atheists are to be found in the disciplines of psychiatry and psychology (1). These are the professionals who are appointed as mental health advisors and given the care of the psychologically disturbed. The fact that Joe Biden has recently installed ‘Rachel’ Levine, a dreadfully sick man who seems to believe that he is a woman, to one of the most senior health roles in the USA, only confirms that the world is mad as St. Francis de Sales says. Now, this insane system is set up very well and very cleverly. It has developed gradually over hundreds of years. People have become so brainwashed that anyone who questions the diabolical nature of these current times and provides an outline of the cause and true solution so that we can return to a more sane society will be dismissed as mad, fanatical, delusional, psychotic, schizophrenic, or at the very least, a fool.  Now, this is nothing to marvel at. It has always happened to people who have spoken the truth and it happened to Truth Himself (although the pseudo-scientific terms of psychiatry where not yet then invented by the Jewish mob). To illustrate how some people who speak the truth are dismissed as madmen let us look at how psychiatry uses the terms ‘psychotic’ and ‘schizophrenic’ to ridicule and reject these men and the truth they speak.

Defining ‘Schizophrenia’: 

                                         The World Health Organisation outlines five symptoms for the diagnosis of schizophrenia: hallucinations (hearing, seeing, or feeling things that are not there), delusions (fixed false beliefs or suspicions not shared by others in the person’s culture and that are firmly held even when there is evidence to the contrary), abnormal behaviour (disorganised behaviour such as wandering aimlessly, mumbling or laughing to self, strange appearance, self-neglect or appearing unkempt), disorganised speech (incoherent or irrelevant speech); and/or disturbances of emotion (marked apathy or disconnect between reported emotion and what is observed such as facial expression or body language).  Now, the last three symptoms are often caused by the drugs people are put on to treat ‘schizophrenia’ or they may be due to experiencing a severely traumatic episode such as sexual abuse or they may be a result of excessive alcohol or drug consumption: ‘Many lose their reason by indulgence in strong drinks, and end their days in a madhouse. By surfeiting many have perished (Ecclus. Xxxvii. 34).’ (‘The Catechism Explained’ – Spirago-Clarke). These explanations for these symptoms are far more reasonable explanations than any vague and unscientific theories about dopamine imbalances, which are put forward by psychiatrists. Further, it is the hallucinations and delusions that are the main criteria for the diagnosis of psychosis or schizophrenia and psychiatry has become the decider of when someone is or is not experiencing hallucinations or delusions. Psychiatrists have the power to decide whether someone is or is not in touch with reality and if someone does not agree with their assessment the State gives them power to detain you and to force you to accept treatment.  Therefore, psychiatrists need to be in touch with reality themselves, otherwise how they can assess whether someone else is?  So, let us look at Catholic teachings from men who were truly in touch with reality and assess how a Catholic would respond to these ‘symptoms’ versus how a typical psychiatrist would respond to them:

Global Conspiracy Theories:

                                           Many people have spoken out against the danger and evil of secret societies that seek to spark revolution and disorder across the world.  Speaking about secret societies and their revolutionary aims, Pope St. Pius X said, ‘Revolution is inspired by Satan himself. Its object is to destroy from top to bottom the edifice of Christianity, and to reconstruct on its ruins, the social order of Paganism.’  Pope Leo XIII warned about the perversity of Freemasonry: ‘To wish to destroy the religion and the Church which God Himself has established, and whose perpetuity He insures by His protection, and to bring back after a lapse of eighteen centuries the manners and customs of the pagans, is signal folly and audacious impiety…In this insane and wicked endeavour we may almost see the implacable hatred and spirit of revenge with which Satan himself is inflamed against Jesus Christ.’ (my emphasis). Long before the conciliar/Novus Ordo church became friends with the world these two great shepherds warned the faithful about the dangers in their midst and the secret, evil attempts of men to destroy Christian civilization.  Pope Leo XIII asked his bishops to ‘tear away the mask of Freemasonry’ and expose it for what it is, while highlighting the devious ploys that they use to ensnare souls in their traps: ‘Generally no one is accustomed to obey crafty and clever men so submissively as those whose soul is weakened and broken down by the domination of the passions, there have been in the sect of the Freemasons some who have plainly determined and purposed that, artfully and of set purpose, the multitude should be satiated with a boundless licence of vice, as when this had been done, it would easily come under their power and authority for any acts of daring.’ Here, Pope Leo XIII only repeats what Freemasons have said themselves, as outlined by Fr Delaporte in his excellent book, ‘The Devil: Does He Exist and What Does He Do?’:  “‘Our final end,’ wrote one of the high dignitaries of that gloomy empire, in 1819, ‘our final end is that of Voltaire and the French Revolution, the annihilation of Catholicity, and even of the Christian idea, forever.’  This then, is their object.  Another will give a sketch of the proceedings; ‘It is decided in our councils that we want no more Christians. Let us make no martyrs, but make vice popular amongst the masses. Let them breathe it through the five senses.  Make hearts vicious, and you will have no more Catholics!’ If that be not diabolical language, what is?’” An obedient and humble Catholic would see that these statements come from authoritative sources and conclude that secret societies have been at work for centuries in attempts to overthrow Christ as King in society.  Now, how would psychiatrists interpret these types of ‘conspiracy theorists’ (as that is what they would call them) today? They would most likely cite them as delusional and paranoid.  These statements would clearly tick the box for ‘fixed false beliefs or suspicions not shared by others in the person’s culture and that are firmly held even when there is evidence to the contrary’. (Psychiatrists would, of course, provide the contrary evidence, i.e. what the majority think and/or their own authority as State sanctioned reality makers). (2)

Being Monitored and Influenced By Beings We Cannot See:

                                               We are surrounded by invisible spirits who influence us for better or worse.  On rare occasions they manifest themselves clearly to our senses. This is most notable in the lives of the saints. Other times, we have some vague sense of their influence. Sometimes if one’s mind is exhausted, one has been through trauma or one lets one’s imagination wander far then one can experience hallucinations. The Catholic Church has always acknowledged this (3). However, the influence of the spiritual world cannot be dismissed. Certain truths must be and have been acknowledged by various men, such as the truth that one can either use the influence and help of one’s guardian angel to obtain eternal salvation or one can use the influence and power of the demons in this life which will ultimately lead to one’s demise if these chains are not broke before you die.  As Fr Vonier in ‘The Human Soul and Its Relations with Other Spirits’ outlines, ‘[Man] may ignore forever, and tender ineffectual, the Angelic partnership; but the day he is resolved to turn it to good account, he will find it to be a mine of hidden moral wealth.  Man may make evil use of the Angelic partnership, as he does of the World in which he lives.’  The angelic and demonic influences are real influences. They can influence our thoughts and our feelings and this may sometimes lead to a sense that one’s thoughts are not one’s own. Some people seem to experience this influence more than others, while others, particularly the saints, saw these spirits with their own eyes. Refusing to give way to the psychiatrist’s more ‘scientific’ or ‘rational’ point will likely get you labelled as hallucinating or at the very least, delusional. 

In addition, people experiencing what is termed ‘psychosis’ or ‘schizophrenia’ often experience the sensation of being constantly watched or under surveillance. Now, in our world today, where there are human forces watching our moves, through CCTV cameras or the monitoring of our social media activity, this is not such a ‘paranoid’ belief. But what if behind it all these people are beginning to realise that they are being watched, but not just by human eyes? Fr Meyer, in ‘Science of the Saints’ clearly outlines this reality: ‘The evil one is wont to study, what kind of conscience each soul has; whether delicate or obtuse.  If he finds it to be delicate, he endeavours to make it more delicate still, in order that, having brought it to a state of extreme anxiety, he may the more easily put it to confusion and flight.  For instance, if he knows that a soul consents to no sin, mortal or venial, nay that it cannot so much as endure the shadow of sin, he does his best to make it judge that there is sin where there is no sin. The obtuse soul or conscience, on the contrary, he strives to make still more obtuse, so that, if before it made light of venial sins, it may now care little for mortal sins also, and daily fear them less.’ An obedient and humble Catholic would see that these conclusions about the angelic and demonic world come from authoritative sources in the form of books approved by the Catholic Church when its leaders were still interested in feeding the flock with truth and protecting it from error. He would conclude that we are continually being monitored by demonic powers. He would acknowledge that our weaknesses are being continuously studied by them and fresh attacks launched.  He would know that this is the reality of the spiritual battle in life and this battle has a major effect on our psychological state. This would be nothing new or surprising to a Catholic and the person reporting these beliefs to him would be seen as perfectly sane. But what is the most likely outcome if you try to explain all this to a psychiatrist today? They may nod their head and even smile to establish a ‘therapeutic relationship’ but behind the smiling they are likely labelling you as hallucinating and delusional.  You have probably told them enough to make them conclude that you are ‘hearing, seeing, or feeling things that are not there’. (4)

Conclusion:

                                                    Psychiatry may prove a valuable role in people’s life for helping them to suffer meekly and humbly and thus prove a source of good for some people’s sanctification as God, in His infinite goodness, can draw good out of evil. However, apart from this benefit, psychiatry is not a Catholic’s friend.  It is a pseudoscience which has produced terrible fruits and one established and dominated by enemies of Christ (1).  A Catholic who knows his faith and a typical psychiatrist have very different understandings of reality and what sanity or insanity looks like. Either one or the other is in touch with reality. Both cannot be.  The influence of truly Catholic leaders such as popes, bishops, priests and theologians for deciding what order and sanity looks like has decreased, the influence of psychiatrists in deciding these things has increased. There are attempts to wed the Catholic Faith and psychiatry but it is like trying to wed water and oil. They have different frameworks for understanding what sanity is and what order looks like.  Psychiatry is disconnected from the reality of this life, the Catholic Faith is wedded to it. Psychiatry is an ally of Freemasonry in its attempt to established a new non-Catholic world order (5). The shepherds of the Church have now allowed the wolf of psychiatry into its fold and allied themselves with this toxic unscientific nonsense (6). Now some of these shepherds even use psychiatric labels to tar people who speak the truth, such as the attacks on Archbishop Vigano (7) and those ‘rigid’ and ‘insecure’ traditional Catholics (8) who adhere to the teachings of such great popes as Leo XIII and Pope St. Pius X.  It is not a new tactic to use psychiatry as a way of discrediting people who speak the truth. The Russians did this to the writer, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who exposed the Gulags and the horrors of the Communist regime, labelling him as ‘schizophrenic’. However, it is a new thing for Catholic bishops to use psychiatric labelling to dismiss faithful Catholics who are only repeating what previous popes have said and done. Catholics who know that the devil is at work in secret societies throughout the world are considered paranoid, foolish, mad or dismissed as ‘conspiracy theorists’ by the world and their supposed shepherds. Now, some people end up in the snares of psychiatry because they genuinely have lost touch with reality. This is admitted and has been seen while working on psychiatric wards by the author.  However, it appears that it is the ones who are in charge of these wards who are likely to be the most insane. People, whether some or many, have been caught up in the snares of psychiatry because they have remained in touch with reality while psychiatry and psychiatrists have lost touch with it.  These people may get labelled with ‘schizophrenia’ thus discrediting anything they have to say in the eyes of the world.  Leo XIII, Pope St. Pius X, Fr Delaporte, Fr Vonier, Fr Meyer, and countless other Catholic popes, bishops, priests, theologians, and laymen, who shared their views would likely be seen as having, at least, some symptoms of ‘schizophrenia’ and ordered to a psychiatrist to have treatment for their ‘conspiratorial’ and ‘paranoid’ views.  Psychiatry holds the worldly power today and chooses who to deem mad and who to deem sane. It is dominated by atheists and other enemies of Christ who reject or do not know the Truth (1). The effects of the disordered society we currently live in will be felt more or less by us all, depending on the weight of the cross the good God wills to put on our shoulders. Disorder brings suffering but if this suffering is accepted with meekness and humility it can turn towards our sanctification.  The evil of psychiatry can be turned to the good of our souls.  So, if you find yourself or your family member in the hooks of psychiatry for simply being Catholic or adhering to the insights of the writers mentioned above, well, to paraphrase St. Francis de Sales, ‘Psychiatry holds us to be fools, let us hold it to be mad.’ 

God bless you in your efforts to live and speak the truth 

Footnotes:

(1) For psychology professors see: Gross, M. & Simmons, S. (2009) ‘The Religiosity of American College and University Professors’, Sociology of Religion, 70(2), pgs. 101-129.  Available at: https://academic.oup.com/socrel/article-abstract/70/2/101/1637811?redirectedFrom=fulltext

For psychiatrists, see:  Psychiatrists Are The Least Religious Of All Physicians — ScienceDaily

(2) This would be especially true if the person was experiencing common effects, such as facial tics, extreme physical restlessness and agitation, from the drugs that they were put on, and one was unable to articulate themselves clearly.  One ends up looking mad and what they are saying would sound mad to the vast majority of psychiatrists.

(3) A brief glance at the Summa Theologica on the remedies for sorrow (see here: Summa Theologiae FS Q[38] Of The Remedies Of Sorrow Or Pain (summa-theologiae.org)) where St Thomas shows the benefits of a pleasurable activity, crying, sympathy from friends, sleep and baths, highlights how Catholic teaching never ignored or neglected the influence the body had on the mind.  He certainly provides far better answers to the problem of interior sorrow than the quackery of psychiatry.

(4) If you happen to be going through a rough time, can’t articulate yourself well, and have taken some of the toxic drugs that they recommend, it is very likely that you will end up with a diagnosis of schizophrenia.  If you don’t comply there is always the chance you will be put on a compulsory treatment order and perhaps given involuntary electroshock which was still common practice when I worked on a psychiatric ward in New Zealand in 2017.

(5) For just one example, see: Freemasonry and psychiatry in Poland – Tadeusz Nasierowski, Jonathan Britmann, 2012 (sagepub.com)

(6) See article on this website, ‘The Theory of Evolution and Mental Health’, for more on this

(7) See: Archbishop close to Pope suggests Archbishop Viganò suffers from a delusional mental illness | News | LifeSite (lifesitenews.com)                                         

(8) See: Pope Francis on the young who like Latin Mass: ‘Why so much rigidity?’ | News | Lifesitenews

(9) See other articles on this website, ‘False Shepherds’ and ‘The Nutters Running the Nuthouse’

Autism, Boys and St Thomas

An error in definition is always fatal’ – Fr Doolan, ‘Philosophy for the Layman’

Please note: the following article examines the cultural and social attitudes that impact on our understanding of what has come to be referred to as ‘autism’.  It questions whether ‘autism’ really captures disordered behaviour, whether it labels those who have a desire for accuracy and order as disordered, and whether it is being used to pathologise innate male behaviour. It also questions the validity and reliability of this term. It does not dismiss the reality that there are children who are diagnosed with ‘autism’ who display obvious signs of physiological and psychological issues nor those it deny the distress this causes the child and the family, but it does question whether the diagnosis of ‘autism’ is of any use in helping to treat individuals.

Our society is disordered.  Those who are given responsibility to fix this disorder are fuelling this disorder further. Those who are designated as mental health experts are often more out of touch with reality than the individuals they are attempting to help.  Their idea of what is right and what is ordered behaviour is often completely twisted.  These ideas are often imposed on their clients and patients.  Due to professionals’ lack of, or false, understanding of what man is, how he is designed and what he is designed for, they often label ordered, natural and healthy behaviour as disordered and label disordered, unnatural and unhealthy behaviour as ordered.  An obvious example of this is the removal of homosexual behaviour as a disorder by psychiatrists and the affirmation of homosexuality as a positive behaviour by the Psychological Society of Ireland.  However, a more subtle, a cleverer and a more pervasive example of this labelling of ordered behaviour as disordered and vice versa is the whole issue of autism in boys. Let me explain why this is so.

The Spiral Into Madness

Over the last sixty years in Western societies, there has been a rapid spiralling into disorder and chaos.  This has eventually contributed to ‘transgenderism’ and a complete blurring of the distinctions between boys and girls and men and women.  Sixty years ago, it was seen as common sense and obvious that boys and girls were different both physiologically and mentally. Boys and girls and men and women had different attributes and these innate attributes meant that they were naturally suited to different roles.  In modern times, Western society has seen men and women attempt to break free from their innate dispositions, leading to mass confusion, societal disorder and decreased psychological freedom as people are wrapped and/or wrap themselves in webs of deceit and unrealities.  The disciplines of psychiatry, psychology and social work became some of the main drivers in encouraging this ‘breaking free’.  Throughout the last sixty years, these disciplines gradually abandoned accurate understandings of the distinctions between men and women in favour of their own distorted and false ideas.  Because they distorted and de-emphasised the difference between the sexes, their model of what constituted a normal individual and ordered behaviour failed to take into account innate psychological differences between the sexes which were crucial to understanding male and female behaviour.  This has had a disastrous effect on individuals and social care services. 

First things first

Though it seems crazy to have to say, there are some who do not seem to realise the following fact: boys and girls are inherently different – they think differently, they speak differently, and they behave differently.  There is something wrong when a boy is thinking, speaking and behaving like a girl and when a girl is thinking, speaking and behaving like a boy.  However, due to the distortion of these distinctions between the sexes, the new model for ordered or normal behaviour is a ‘gender fluid’ creation that is neither too boyish nor too girlish.  When the new norm is ‘gender fluid’, any behaviours that are too masculine or too feminine are seen as abnormal and in need of correction or realignment. The consequences of this are dreadful. As Dr Willibald Demal, ‘Pastoral Psychology in Practice’, points out, ‘A denial of the sex character, accompanied by a tendency to assimilate to the particularity of the other sex, is unnatural and consequently disastrous.’ (This blurring of distinctions has had a disastrous effect on girls and women as well but as I have spoken specifically about the solutions to women’s psychological issues elsewhere, I will focus on boys and men in this blog). This is particularly true of autism.

Healthy Male Behaviour as Autistic

First, let us look at the supposed signs for autism, remembering that the standard clinical measurement for this diagnosis does not acknowledge innate psychological differences between the sexes. Rather, psychologists, psychiatrists and other ‘progressive’ professionals believe that the norm is a type of abstract ‘gender-fluid’ figure that is unconnected from what common sense and reality tell us. (See footnote). Today, statistics shows us that boys are four times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with autism. The following article outlines why this is the case.  The following seven ‘signs of autism’ are taken from the NHS website under the heading, ‘Signs of autism in older children’.  These are contrasted with traditional understandings of innate sex differences:

Signs of Autism:

  • Sign: ‘Not seeming to understand what others are thinking or feeling
  • The Innate Difference: ‘[Man] is not so easily swayed by sentiments, emotions, moods, and prejudices, and thus does not so easily become a victim to the stirrings of sympathy and antipathy as a woman.’ (Dr Willibald Demal, ‘Pastoral Psychology in Practice’)

Men are not moved as much by emotions as women.  They have a certain detachment from them, compared to women.  To eyes that do not understand masculine behaviour and who believe men should be more like women or more ‘gender neutral’, this behaviour can come across as lacking in understanding or empathy.  Thus, this ‘lacking empathy’ sign is more likely to be seen in boys than girls.

  • Sign: ‘Finding it hard to say how they feel’
  • The Innate Difference: ‘If we try to delineate these specifically feminine and masculine features, we find in women a unity of personality by the fact that heart, intellect, and temperament are much more interwoven, whereas in man there is a specific capacity to emancipate himself with his intellect from the affective sphere.’ (Dietrich von Hildebrand, ‘Man and Woman: Love and the Meaning of Intimacy’)

Similar to point one, boys and men do not care as much about feelings as girls and women.  In comparison to girls, boys do not spend as much time analysing or deciphering subjective feelings as girls do.  This is partly explained by the fact that the feelings girls experience are generally more intense than boys so it is easier for them to identify and express these feelings.  Common experience and recent psychological research also highlights how women show more emotionality or neuroticism than men (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3149680/). This difference in emotional expression is also because the thinking of boys is not as wrapped up in feelings as girl’s as von Hildebrand states above. This ‘finding it hard to say how you feel’ sign is more likely to be seen in boys than girls.

  • Sign: ‘Liking a strict daily routine and getting very upset if it changes’
  • The Innate Difference: ‘The specific, organic meld of heart and mind, of the affective and intellective centres in woman, the unity of her entire nature, the delicacy and receptivity of her whole being, the precedence of Being as a personality over objective accomplishments – versus man’s specific ability to emancipate the mind from all his vitality, the ability for pure objectivity which predestines him for official positions, his specific suitability for efficacy and the accomplishments of objective works, his clarity, his strength, and greatness, these differences mark the two sexes in their own peculiar nature.’ (Dietrich von Hildebrand, ‘Man and Woman: Love and the Meaning of Intimacy’)

Men are designed to be active workers and leaders in the home and/or in society.  Women are designed to be the heart of the home.  They are designed to respond to and embrace the variability that a busy family life with children running under your feet and acting spontaneously brings. They are designed to be more flexible than men as they operate in a different environment than men.  Men are meant to establish and guard order and routine both within and outside the home. This makes it easier for women to operate freely and flexibly in these environments. It is natural for boys to like strict routine more and to be upset when this changes. It is natural for girls to like flexibility more and be upset when they can not have this. This ‘liking strict routine’ sign is another one that is more likely to be seen in boys than girls.

  • Sign: ‘Having a very keen interest in certain subjects or activities’
  • The Innate Difference: ‘What makes it difficult for the average man to be a universalist is that the average man has to be a specialist; he has not only to learn one trade, but to learn it so well as to uphold him in a more or less ruthless society.  This is generally true of males from the first hunter to the last electrical engineer; each has not merely to act, but to excel. Nimrod has not only to be a mighty hunter before the Lord, but also a mighty hunter before the other hunters.  The electrical engineer has to be a very electrical engineer, or he is outstripped by engineers yet more electrical…Shall all mankind be specialist surgeons or peculiar plumbers; shall all humanity be monomaniac?  Tradition has decided that only half of humanity shall be monomaniac. It has decided that in every home there shall be a tradesman and a Jack-of-all-trades. But is has also decided, among other things, that the Jack-of-all-trades shall be a Gill-of-all-trades. It has decided, rightly or wrongly, that this specialism and this universalism shall be divided between the sexes.’ (G K Chesterton, ‘What’s Wrong with the World?’)

As Chesterton points out, men are designed to be specialists while women are designed to the ‘Gill-of-all-trades’.  This distinction is buried within our nature.  It is linked to our natural roles as outlined in the third point above. To rebel against it is to rebel against the natural law.  Even the car manufacturer, Volkswagen, knows that women want to be ‘Gill-of-all-trades’ and it cleverly sells women the fulfilment of this deep psychological yearning through the purchase of its new car with its ‘more than one thing’ tagline (See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLEF2JSM7Dc). This ‘keen interest’ sign is far more likely to be seen in boys than girls.

  • Sign: ‘Getting very upset if you ask them to do something’
  • The Innate Difference: ‘The upright man hates lies, deceit and all pretence.’  (Dr Willibald Demal, ‘Pastoral Psychology in Practice’)

As St Thomas explains in his masterpiece, Summa Theologica, an emotional reaction that is in accordance with the good, i.e. in accordance with the will of God, is a sign of moral perfection.  For example, being upset, or even very upset, at blasphemy towards God or insults towards our Lady, are signs of moral perfection (I have spoken about this here giving examples of saintly reactions to blasphemy).  Today, children are being exposed to toxic falsehoods and messages within our schools, such as inappropriate sexual images and information.  Negative emotional reactions to this are a good sign.  As well as this, boys, more than girls, tend to think more objectively.  They are generally more attached to the objective truth than girls. They care more about the objective truth than what people think. Psychological research also shows that boys are less conscientious and are less likely to follow instruction as, compared to girls, they do not have the same level of innate desire to please and follow authority. Boys are more concerned with defending the truth while women are ‘concerned more with persons than with ideas’. (Dr Willibald Demal, ‘Pastoral Psychology in Practice’). Hence, it is more likely that boys rather than girls will challenge authority, especially one who espouses an inconsistent, hypocritical or false message. There are many lies and much deceit and pretence in our school systems today.  Boys are more likely to challenge the toxicity being spread in our schools than girls and occasionally they may express this by being very upset when asked to do something that they know is not right or which they have concerns about.  Again, it is likely that this ‘sign of autism’ will be seen in boys than girls.  

  • Sign: ‘Finding it hard to make friends or preferring to be on their own’
  • The Innate Difference: A woman should not be judged for needing reassurance, just as a man should not be judged for needing to withdraw.’ (John Gray, ‘Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus’)

Linked to points one and two above, men tend to be able to process and manage emotional reactions or difficulties on their own more so than women.  Hence, they do not need the comfort of friends as much as women do. This is evident in social media where women tend to have more friends and where they tend to share more information than men.  This desire amongst men for withdrawal from the world is also evident in early Christian monastic life which was inspired by Desert Fathers, such as St Anthony, and in later Christian monastic life by saints such as St Benedict and St Bernard, with these saints preferring to be on their own so they could be alone with God. Even modern popular psychology books recognise this obvious difference between men and women in this regard with John Gray in his famous book, ‘Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus’, recognising the need for what he terms, the ‘man cave’. This ‘preferring to be on their own’ sign is more likely to be seen in boys than girls.

  • Sign: ‘Taking things very literally – for example, they may not understand phrases like “break a leg”
  • The Innate Difference: As far as I am aware, there is no evidence that this sign is a predominantly male or female characteristic. 

Boys will be boys!

So, out of the seven signs of autism in older children, six of these signs are more likely to be evident in boys.  This is not because boys are more likely to be autistic but because boys are more likely to act like boys! It becomes clear that autism is a tool that is being used, consciously by some and unconsciously by most, to pathologise and discourage healthy and virtuous male behaviour.  Psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and often parents, driven by twisted ‘gender’ ideology propaganda, are encouraging boys to be more like tame, compliant girls. Any boys who challenge inconsistent authority, who don’t base their opinions about reality on their own or other’s feelings, who value order and routine highly, who have keen interests in one or two particular fields, and who like time on their own, are in danger of being told that they have a disorder called ‘autism’, i.e. any boy that acts like a boy is in danger of being diagnosed with a psychiatric disease! 

The Implications:

Either the writers that are quoted above, such as von Hildebrand, Chesterton, are right about the differences between the sexes and we need to base our understanding of ordered and disordered behaviour on this OR we need to admit, despite what our eyes and common sense tell us, that we are more ‘enlightened’ today and that there are no real differences between the sexes.

Traditional or ‘Enlightened’ Views on Masculine Behaviour – A Saintly Example:

What theory we choose from above has particularly important implications for Catholics and Catholic teaching on academic pursuits.  For example, if there are two theories on what constitutes disordered behaviour amongst men, what are we to make of the behaviour of one of the greatest of saints, the Angelic Doctor, St Thomas Aquinas?

The radicalism of youth is above all a sort of metaphysical hunger, a desire to get to the root of things.’ (Dr Wilibald Demal, ‘Pastoral Psychology in Practice’)

Described as an incredibly sensitive soul, St Thomas was someone who locked himself away from his family and friends in a monastery in his pursuit of truth.  Nothing could hold him back from this pursuit of his beloved Truth.  Fr Martindale, in his book, ‘What are Saints?’ describes the determined, detailed, ordered and zealous investigations into truth that were characteristic of St Thomas, ‘Nowhere in the world – no, not in Aristotle himself – will you find such ruthless distinction between speculation and proof, hypothesis and demonstration, such relentless logic as in St. Thomas, such laborious accumulation of all available fact, such shifting and reshifting and assessment of evidence, such absolute freedom from the scientific or philosophic fashion of the moment – for science has fads and fashions, slagons and cant-phrases too…Aquinas read everything, and forgot nothing; never mixed up the materials with which he was dealing, whether they concerned sheer history, or human psychology…or ascetism, or metaphysics, or revealed dogma and theology.  Nowhere in his enormous work is the least dislocation to be found; nowhere a word used without its meaning having been previously made clear; nowhere a side-slip in an argument.’ St Thomas’ behaviour ticks many of the boxes for the ‘signs of autism’ listed above. He did not allow his own or other people’s feelings influence his reasoning and pursuit of truth, he enjoyed a strict routine as a monk in a monastery, he hated sin and vice and became very upset when his purity was threatened, and he spent most of his life happily alone in his monastic cell while he pursued one particular area, i.e. the study of God, with his whole mind, heart and soul.  We are faced with a slight dilemma and questions arise: Is St Thomas a model for boys who want to commit themselves seriously to study as the Catholic Church has held him up to be? Or, in our ‘enlightened’ times, do we dare to look back at this great saint and call his behaviour a sign of autism and thus disordered? 

The Ordered or Disordered Life of St Thomas?

The answer to this question has serious implications.  It could mean that we hold up saints, such as St Thomas, as models for boys to follow, especially those boys interested in academic pursuits.  Or we could see in his behaviour signs of a modern disorder that we have only recently become enlightened about and, if this is true, it would only be wise and prudent to discourage boys from following his example. To me, the answer is obvious.  The second option, which is the current trend today, has led, and only leads, to disaster. Its fruits are transgenderism and societal disorder. If St Thomas was a young man in our modern society and he showed the same boyish enthusiasm for the truth as he did when he was young, what would happen to him?  Would he be considered disordered and given treatment to realign his mind?  How many sensitive young boys today, like St Thomas, who show a love for truth, honesty and accuracy and a hatred for falsehoods, lies and error are told that they have a disorder? The world rejects, ridicules and pathologises young men like St Thomas when the world actually needs more boys and men like St Thomas.  It needs sensitive men who love truth, purity and order and who challenge and detest falsehoods, vice and disorder.  It needs men to search for the truth and once they have discovered it, to tell this truth to the world no matter what labels the world tries to stick on them.  The Catholic Church has always supported endeavours such as this. ‘The Catholic Church…has always upheld St Thomas in his insistence that the business of science, as well as philosophy, is to ascertain not what people think but what is the objective truth or fact.’ (‘Philosophy for the Layman’ – Fr Doolan).  And thank God, the Catholic Church has done so as it helped St Thomas leave his wonderful gifts with us, such as the Summa Theologica.  St John advised his brethren who followed Christ to ‘Wonder not, brethren, if the world hate you.’ (1 John 3:13).  To those boys and young men who follow the example of St Thomas, it might be said, ‘Wonder not, boys, if the world labels you with a disorder’.

Dearly beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits if they be of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world’ (1 John 4:1)

So, I hope that it becomes clear from this analysis that autism is, at the very least, a very questionable diagnosis. It is a diagnosis that appears to pathologise healthy boyish behaviour and one that would paint one of the Church’s greatest minds and saints as disordered. No, let us put away this nonsense and retrospective application of these arrogant and twisted modern theories.  Instead, let us pray to St Thomas that he intercedes for young boys, who like himself, are full of zeal for the truth. Let us pray that, St Thomas, who escaped from the clutches of family members who taught he was mad in his pursuit of his beloved Truth, helps these boys to avoid the snares of psychiatrists, psychologist, social workers, and perhaps their own parents, who tell them that they are disordered and in need of treatment or realignment. Let us not fall for the disordered and dangerous interpretations of behaviour that the world presents to us through false prophets, but let us critically ‘try’ their claims and let us look to saints, such as St Thomas, to guide our understanding of what normal and ordered behaviour should look like.

St Thomas, Angelic Doctor of the Church, pray for us!

Footnote:

There has been one prominent psychiatrist, Sami Timimi, who has pointed out how the diagnosis of autism is not a scientifically valid or clinically useful diagnosis. He explains how this diagnosis pathologises healthy childhood behaviour and he recommends avoiding sending your child to a child psychiatrist for ‘treatment’. However, while he rightly points out many of the errors of psychiatry and psychiatric diagnoses, as an atheist and fan of postmodern Marxist theories, his proposed solutions to psychological distress are flawed and dangerous as they fail to define accurately what human beings are and what the purpose of life is.  In doing so, he fails to direct people to the Divine Physician who will cure them and ultimately reward them with perfect happiness if they follow His will.

Quotes from Bible taken from the Douay Rheims edition, available at: http://drbo.org/

Psychotherapeutic Dangers – The Nutters Running the Nuthouse

‘Sin is never the worst thing that can happen to a man.  The worst thing is the refusal to recognise his sins.’ – Bishop Fulton Sheen

‘It is good to talk’ ‘A problem shared is a problem halved’ ‘Don’t bottle things up!’: All these phrases sound like good advice and following them at times can be of great benefit.  Having a trusted person that you can talk to, who ‘gets it’ and who gives solid advice is a great gift to have. However, these benefits are ultimately based on who you talk to and what advice they give you. This is especially true when it comes to advice on ethical behaviour.  We need people around us to help us recognise ourselves clearly as we do not always see or wish to see certain sides of ourselves.  This article explores the dangers of psychotherapy, particularly in relation to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and shows why it is often not ‘good to talk’ to psychological professionals, especially those who don’t recognise immoral behaviour for what it is and, as a result, give dangerous and potentially soul destroying advice and guidance.

In a previous article, ‘2+2=4?’, I gave a satirical example of how a psychologist can encourage people to doubt obvious realities.  In another article, ‘Validating Emotions’, I spoke about how emotions are important but that the ultimate guide on whether they are ‘valid’ or not is whether they are in accord with reality.  This article explores how psychotherapy, especially CBT, can encourage you to stop you thinking in concrete ways about reality, can promote immoral behaviour and can encourage subjectivism and moral relativity.

Psychotherapeutic approaches, e.g. CBT, can be useful if it is used by someone who wishes to direct people towards the truth. They can be harmful weapons in the hands of those who do not believe there is an absolute truth or who are confused about the truth.  In the article, ‘2+2=4?’, I used a satirical example to try to highlight this point. But let us take a more concrete example to illustrate what I mean:

A young woman comes into a therapy session saying that she has been feeling really anxious and depressed over the last few months. It soon transpires that she has had an abortion recently.  She feels guilty about this, believes that what she has done is wrong and that she should not have done it.  She has been raised with some Catholic beliefs.  She believes that she may go to hell for what she has done but has not gone to confession about it.  She says that she has thoughts about how bad she is and believes she is a murderer. She goes to a psychologist.  The psychologist believes abortion is a woman’s right and that society only imposes its biased attitudes and prejudices on women who have had abortions. The psychologist believes that this is what causes most of the feelings of guilt or regret in these women (as the Psychological Society of Ireland and many of its members believe- see here).  The psychologist sees this woman’s anxiety and guilt as signs of ‘cognitive distortions’ (see footnote), i.e. they are not in accord with reality.  The psychologist tells the woman that she is experiencing the cognitive distortions of ‘heaven’s reward fallacy’, i.e. believing that there is some ‘global force’ that punishes bad behaviour and rewards good behaviour, ‘labelling’, i.e. calling herself ‘bad’ or a ‘murderer’ because of the abortion, ‘emotional reasoning’, i.e. allowing her feelings to strongly influence how she views the truth, ‘shoulds’ fallacy, i.e. imposing rules on herself and feeling bad when she doesn’t live up to them, and ‘black and white’ thinking, i.e. believing that abortion is wrong and not seeing the grey areas.  The psychologist outlines how these ‘cognitive distortions’ have manifested themselves, e.g. cultural/social conditioning, living in a patriarchal society, high emotions, etc., and helps her to see that abortion is not murder but ‘healthcare’.  The psychologist discourages the guilt that the woman is experiencing and discourages the need for confession.  The woman initially feels better as the psychologist seems kind and caring. She also takes comfort in the fact that it is a psychological authority that has told her these things.  She comes to believe the words the psychologist has spoken as she does not have a strong foundation in the Catholic faith and has some of her own issues with it. She arranges to see the psychologist again to help her work through these ‘cognitive distortions’. 

This is a hypothetical example, but I believe that this is close to the reality for women who seek support from modern psychological services today. The sad thing is that the guilt and anxiety will surface again at some stage and they will appear in all sorts of destructive ways later in the woman’s life.  They will continue to fester until the woman is consumed or destroyed by them.  This is the sorrowful reality for many people who visit modern psychological services today.

CBT is useful but only in the hands of those who have an accurate understanding of what a human being is and what the purpose of life is.  It can be used to encourage people to reflect on whether they are interpreting a situation, their behaviour or their thoughts accurately.  The bedrock for this interpretation is reality. If someone’s thoughts or emotions are not aligned with reality then this can cause serious psychological and emotional difficulties. This is why it is essential that a professional that uses CBT has a firm grounding in and an accurate understanding of reality.  In the hands of a professional who is detached from reality (and there are many of them operating in the world today) CBT will be toxic and corruptive.  Instead of encouraging people to deal with and face reality, they will encourage them to run away from it by telling their clients that they have cognitive distortions or telling their clients that they can not see reality as accurately as they can.  As Fr Ripperger notes, ‘Psychology has caused an enormous amount of damage by preventing people from appropriating their problems. This occurs when someone commits a horrific act which later affects them mentally. The psychologist comes to knowledge of it but tries to assure the person that he is ‘OK’ and that he should not concern himself with it.  Often this is done in order to avoid causing emotional disturbances.  The problem is that it is a denial of reality and denying reality has never helped any mental patient.’ (‘Introduction to the Science of Mental Health’, p. 96)

Overall, one must be very careful about the professionals you decide to confide in. Psychological professionals are trained to empathise with you and gain your trust. They also hold a position of authority which can encourage people to take the nonsense they speak seriously and follow what they say or advise.  This is especially true if they have a few letters after their name. Although they lack wisdom, they are usually of high intellect and they are able to use convoluted and ‘sophisticated’ arguments citing evidence and science to convince you that they are right and you are wrong.  Some also have the power to take away your rights, put you on compulsory treatment orders or contact other services, e.g. social services, if you persist in your ‘cognitive distortions’.  Some people may respond that it is only humble to not trust your own judgement too much and sometimes we must follow the advice of authorities and those that know better than us.  This is true in some instances and it takes prudence to understand when one should and should not follow the voice of authority. However, one must remember that humility is a willingness to live in accordance with the truth’ (‘Introduction to the Science of Mental Health’, p. 292).  If you know that what the psychological professional is saying is false or you do not believe it to be true, it is not humble to follow their advice as it is not humble to live one’s life in accordance with falsehood or error. Be on guard. Follow what common sense and the Faith tells you. As Our Lord says, ‘Behold I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves.  Be ye therefore wise as serpents and gentle as doves’ (Matthew 10:16)

One last note: If you are somebody who believes that there are absolute truths and believes in Catholic dogmas, e.g. people either go to heaven or hell when they die, people who die in mortal sin go to hell, or even if you believe that there are scientific facts, e.g. there are only two sexes, abortion is the murder of an innocent human being, be very careful going to any psychotherapist or psychologist today. They will likely see these beliefs as some form of ‘cognitive distortion’, e.g. black and white thinking, a fallacy of fairness, a ‘should’ mentality, an ‘always being right’ mentality, etc.  Due to the training they have had and the lies and falsehoods they have been exposed to and accepted, e.g. the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) and its members promoting abortion and homosexual behaviour,  it will be highly likely that they will work at ways of ‘helping’ you to see things more clearly, i.e. their way or the ‘new’, ‘liberal’, ‘enlightened’ way.  Be on alert to this. Ground yourself in the truth and stand firm in it.  In these times where it is hard to trust figures in authoritative positions, Professor Charles A Dubray’s words are particularly salient: ‘It is necessary to learn how to use one’s own reason and to practice the difficult art of criticism so as to distinguish truth from falsity, and thus to become able to steer one’s own mental life, to think for oneself, and no longer depend too exclusively on the thinking of others.’ (‘Introductory Philosophy’, p. 5)

May God bless you in your endeavours to ‘distinguish truth from falsity’.

Footnote: The cognitive distortions listed above are a selection from the article, ’15 Common Cognitive Distortions’ from one of the most popular and influential websites for psychological advice, psychcentral.com.  Overall, this article pushes subjectivism and moral relativism as the right way to think.    

Validating Emotions

Emotions, and especially passions, are the source of the greatest good, and of the greatest evil.’
– Harvard Professor of Philosophy, Charles A. Dubray

In the psychotherapeutic field one often hears about the need for feelings or emotions to be ‘validated’. This type of talk has come particularly from those who are on the left side of the political spectrum and particularly mental health professionals who lean towards left wing politics, e.g. websites – Psych Central, Psychology Today.  In reaction to this type of talk, some of those on the right side of the political spectrum, have dismissed feelings as irrelevant in informing serious political discussions, e.g. Ben Shapiro, Stefan Molyneux.  This blog examines what is understood by ‘validating’ feelings, looks at how emotions are treated in modern psychological services and concludes by outlining what it means to truly validate emotions. 

Take a look around you. If you can slow down your own mind enough, sit and look at people as they go about their everyday business.  Many people are extremely agitated and anxious.  There is a restlessness that pervades our society.  Many people are feeling overwhelmed by the psychological pressure and emotional turmoil they are under. Mental health services can not keep up with the public demand, pharmaceutical companies have never been richer, and psychotherapists have never been busier.  Amongst all this anxious activity, one hears the cry that feelings must be ‘validated’.  It seems to come from those who are truly entangled in their emotions and want to be heard. What is certainly valid is that people are in distress and need help.  How people, especially those professionals in mental health services, decide to deal with and interpret or ‘validate’ emotional expressions is vitally important in helping people and society regain emotional stability.        

Emotions should be acknowledged (See footnote). Acknowledging feelings is essential in helping and communicating with people.  Feelings could be indicating an objective reality that the person is experiencing or has experienced, i.e. feeling more agitated after taking prescribed drugs, feeling guilty after aborting my unborn child, feeling sorrow after lying to my friend. What feels subjectively bad and what is objectively bad can overlap due to the nagging of our conscience which can trigger an emotional response in us.  Due to this, it is worth acknowledging feelings as they can, sometimes, be the first signs of something going wrong.  However, feelings are far from infallible guides. 

Feelings are often disconnected from the truth, especially if the experiences involve the passions as passions blind us to the truth, e.g. I feel good after casual sex (fornication) and so does the person I had sex with so what’s the harm in it?, I get a thrill out of petty theft so what’s the harm?, I felt happy on the day I was ‘married’ to my same-sex ‘partner’ so what’s the harm?. Our conscience can be misinformed and/or blinded by our passions/feelings.  Feelings are often wrong and can lead the conscience, which is informed by the intellect, astray. Therefore, feelings and one’s conscience need to be measured in the light of reason and evidence to see if there is any objective truth in the emotions experienced.  

Reason and evidence can guide people to the truth.  It is particularly important for mental health professionals to have a firm understanding of what is objectively true/good as they are the ones working with people who have lost their way. If the client/patient has no idea of what is objectively good/true, then it is even more incumbent on the professional to have a good idea of this.  Professionals also need to be humble enough to acknowledge that the personal experiences and emotions of clients or patients are worth hearing and exploring, especially in areas where there is no clear understanding of what is objectively true/good, e.g. a certain drug may not have caused agitation in many patients but there is always the possibility that it could have in the patient in front of you.  A correct formation and education in the truth about human beings and a humble attitude are essential traits in a mental health professional, particularly in any professionals that hold the power to force treatment on someone or take away their basic human rights.  The more responsibility one has, the humbler he should be. ‘For he that is the lesser among you all, he is the greater. (Luke 9:48).

While it is not possible to classify every emotional reaction as good or bad, a good and clear education about the nature of human beings and an accurate understanding of human psychology helps the professional to have a clearer understanding of emotional expression in humans. This formation also helps to give a clearer idea of when people’s feelings are disconnected from reality.  Being humble helps the professional to treat the person in front of them as an individual who has unique experiences and insights.  The basic premises of good psychological health care are summed up in: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength. This is the first commandment.  And the second is like to it: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself (Mark 12: 30-31) (Or ‘All things therefore whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you also to them.’ (Matthew 7:12)).  As mental health services become detached from these premises, it only leads to a rigid and totalitarian approach, which often is initially packaged as ‘care’ and ‘compassion’.  There are many wolves in sheep’s clothing today in mental health services.  Once society has detached itself from the divine guidance above, decreased freedom is the inevitable outcome. 

Increasingly, in the liberal/secular/Marxist paradigm that dominates mental health services, some emotional responses are seen as ‘right’ and others are seen as ‘wrong’. If you are annoyed or become irritated that the psychiatrist is not willing to validate the feelings you have that the drugs you are on are damaging your brain (which many do) and you express this to him you can be labelled as ‘non-compliant’ or ‘irrational’. If you don’t believe that you need the drugs you might be seen as ‘lacking insight’ and if you keep up the opposition, you might get diagnosed with another disorder such as ‘oppositional deviant disorder’ (While working on psychiatric wards I have seen this happen).  If you are feeling guilty about having had an abortion or about engaging in homosexual activity, the kind, warm hearted therapist will ease your worried conscience. Most likely, they will ‘validate’ your feelings with good eye contract and basic counselling phrases like ‘that’s tough’ and ‘poor you’ while telling you that you have done nothing wrong and that it is only society and the Christian culture you were brought up in that is making you feel guilty (This is what the Psychological Society of Ireland are currently doing). 

Authorities such as psychiatrists, can physically restrain you and force treatment on you if you disagree with their pseudoscience.  Psychologists and psychotherapists can encourage you to become a slave to sin and the devil by comforting you and helping you find ways of rethinking or reimagining your ‘negative’ emotions.  Your emotions and concerns may be acknowledged, i.e. the professionals may acknowledge your emotions by acknowledging that they are what you are experiencing, but they will eventually dismiss these emotions as not being in accord with their interpretation of reality.  In many cases, a softly, softly approach may be taken to convince you that their interpretation of reality is correct. If that doesn’t work some mental health professionals (who are often detached from reality themselves but have lots of letters after their name after many years of study) can bring the full force of the law down on you to force you to see the world their way.  If a professional or others are going to tell you that your feelings are not in line with reality or that ‘feelings don’t matter’ or ‘facts don’t care about your feelings’ (as some notable right wing political commentators suggest and are applauded for) they must do this with humility and they must be sure that they know the facts and have a good knowledge of the truth.  It is easy, due to pride, to force our false interpretations of reality on others and by doing so, we may be missing genuine concerns that the individual expresses which indicate that there is something seriously amiss. 

If today’s mental health professionals knew the truth of human psychology, they could really help people who have nagging consciences. They could then direct them appropriately, e.g. confession, catechism classes. Instead they mostly exacerbate the problem as Willibald Demal (‘Pastoral Psychology in Practice’) explains, If ever-recurring impulses or emotions which either cannot be defended before the tribunal of our conscience or appear to be indefensible do not find a natural outlet and are forcibly repressed from consciousness, they simply continue to grow in the subconscious and cause the gravest disturbances.’ The liberal/secular/Marxist mental health professionals are coming up with more and more convoluted ways of suppressing one’s conscience and the feelings that arise from it, while the Church, which many of these professionals criticize for suppressing people, has always acknowledged that emotional expression is part of what makes us human as Bishop Fulton Sheen (‘Peace of Soul’) points out: ‘[The Church] does not deny emotions, any more than it denies hunger; the Church only asks that, when a man sits at table, he shall not eat like a pig.  Our Lord did not repress the emotional zeal of Paul; He merely redirected it from hate to love. Our Lord did not repress the biological vitalities of a Magdalene; He merely turned her passion from love of vice to love of virtue.’  This is the healthier and nobler way of handling emotions, i.e. by directing them towards Love itself.

So, the ultimate judge of whether an emotional response is reasonable is whether it is line with the truth/reality.  Now, as there are so many variables that inform emotional expression, e.g. life experiences, temperament, character, education, understanding, what is and is not an appropriate emotional expression is difficult to decipher.  There are no fixed standards for emotional expression. To try to create fixed standards, could impede the cultivation of the personality of the most remarkable of individuals.  For example, if we were to apply today’s standards of ‘normal’ emotional expression to the lives of the saints many of them, such as St Francis of Assisi or St Martin de Porres, would likely have been diagnosed with mania, locked up on a psychiatric ward and drugged up for being too exuberant in their love of God, their neighbour and the animals of this world.  Other saints, such as St Dominic and St John Vianney, who were known to weep at the thoughts of all the offences committed against God, would likely to be diagnosed as ‘depressive’ and put on drugs that would blunt their emotions, such as SSRI’s, today.  While under the control of reason and guided by the light of faith, the emotional expression of these saints was an essential part of their being. 

Unlike, the Catholic Faith, which celebrates the cultivation of one’s unique personality and which has given many sainthoods to those who may be considered ‘mad’ or, at least, eccentric, by today’s standards, psychiatry and modern psychology is only coming up with more diagnoses and formulas to destroy individuality and numb emotions in the name of ‘scientific progress’.  In their efforts to control the emotional expression of the masses, psychologists and psychiatrists, informed by Marxist or liberal ideologies, have helped to tear down walls that gave people a chance to express themselves and their emotions in a safe and healthy way.  As Bishop Fulton Sheen (‘Peace of Soul’) notes,Life may be likened to children playing…the playground established by the Church might be a rock in the sea, surrounded by great walls; inside of those walls the children may dance and sing and play as they please. Liberals would ask the Church to tear down the walls on the grounds that they are a restraining influence; but if this were done, you would find all the children huddled in the centre of the island, afraid to play, afraid to sing, afraid to dance, afraid of falling into the sea.  This is exactly what it is happening today as the walls come crumbling down. 

The wisdom written on these desecrated walls has also been cast aside in our current era but fragments of great advice can be found such as those offered by Professor Dubray in the early part of the 20th century.  He speaks about how emotions need to be cultivated, controlled and ‘made an auxiliary in striving for the noblest aims’. They should be evaluated by and brought under the control of reason. Reason should be the master of feelings as feelings are blind in themselves and are not universal but vary across individuals. 

Until we get back to a stage where we truly understand what exactly a human being is and what human beings were created for, we will struggle further in our attempts to understand and evaluate the appropriateness of human responses. There will continue to be constant endless bickering between those who encourage ‘validating’ of feelings and try to create their own reality based on these feelings and those who dismiss feelings rashly and don’t believe that feelings are relevant in any serious discussion about life.  Let us understand ourselves and let God use us and our human frailty, which includes emotional expression, in the way He sees fit.

As Prof Dubray (‘Introductory Philosophy’) makes clear, ‘To try to eliminate all feelings from morality, and look upon them as obstacles to be removed, as the Stoics and Kant did; to look upon duty as being by its very nature a burden to be carried painfully and by dint of effort; to place the ideal of man in a state of perfect calmness and rest undisturbed by any feeling or emotion, is to misunderstand human nature, to overlook human psychology, and to give a rule unfit to guide men, since it fails to take men as they are essentially.’ Let us understand human psychology and emotions and use the energy they can inspire in us for the greatest good. If there is any real ‘validating’ to be done, let us first validate the true meaning of our existence.  Then let us validate the true dignity of each human soul by acknowledging the sadness that can come in this valley of tears and let us try to help each other to carry our crosses as we strive to find or stay on the straight and narrow path.  In this way, we do not give emotions the worship nor the disdain that the world thinks they deserve but, rather, we place them within the divine order to which they belong. 

This is truely validating emotions.     

Footnote:

Acknowledging emotions is not meant, in the sense, that strong emotions should be associated with objective reality if they contradict plain facts or conclusive evidence. Neither is it meant, in the sense, that talking about feelings is always useful as some people like to suggest.  For example, if someone rejects basic facts, e.g.‘2+2=4’ or first principles, e.g. ‘something cannot be at once one way and the contradictory way’, then Prof Dubray suggest that ‘nothing is left but to stop thinking altogether or go an asylum’.  You can still care for the person who is thinking like this but engaging in any conversation rather than pointing out the absurdity of their feelings may only validate the falsehoods they are expressing. Acknowledging emotions is meant, in the sense, that emotions indicate a psychological reality for people. In most cases, outside of the above examples, one can safely acknowledge them, i.e. acknowledge that certain feelings are real for the person you are speaking to, without encouraging the belief in obvious falsehoods.  For the above examples, where somebody doesn’t have an obvious biological/cognitive impairment that is disrupting their reasoning, the Irish expression, ‘Ah, would you cop on’ is probably useful in these cases as it is not too harsh but gets to the point quickly.  Gentle and firm encouragement is sometimes needed to help people see the absurdity of their feelings or beliefs before they get in a lot of trouble trying to live a life formed on false and unstable foundations.

The False Philosophy of Modern Psychology

Every theory which discredits the true nature of man or denies the need of a Divine Remedy is only intensifying the disease which it attempts to cure.  The psychopathic messes into which many tumble are due either to a want of a knowledge of human nature or to a want of a genuine religion.’ – (Bishop Fulton Sheen, ‘Peace of Soul’)

The last blog, ‘2+2=4?’, gave a brief insight into how mental health professionals can push falsehoods on their clients. It highlighted how mental health professionals can convince or persuade their clients that the client’s refusal to accept falsehoods is due to psychological or emotional issues that the client is experiencing or has experienced in the past. This can be done in a subtle and clever way under the guise of care (as outlined in the blog) or these falsehoods can be pushed more directly and violently on people, e.g. involuntary electroshock or involuntary injection of ‘non-compliant’ patients by mental health professionals (as outlined in the first blog, ‘Introduction/Bricks in the Wall’).  This blog looks at how modern psychology gives the false answers from the outset and how it is sending many people the wrong way.   

‘An error in definition is always fatal’

Fr Doolan’s quote above outlines the importance of accurate definitions in philosophical endeavours.  This applies equally to psychological endeavours. To help a person, one must understand what a human being actually is.  In the blog, ‘Be Yourself’, it was outlined how important an accurate answer to the question, ‘what am I?’, is if one wants to be truly free.  As the discipline of psychology is concerned with understanding the human mind and human behavior, it is essential that those who study and practice psychology have a clear understanding of what a human being is. Defining the object of study, i.e. human beings, is the first task that a psychologist must do. Understanding what a human being is involves scientific analysis and speculation to reach the right answer. One must be very careful in this initial process to avoid error as this will have devastating results further down the line if an error in definition has crept in.

 ‘A hair,’ they say, ‘divides the false and true.’ But a hair’s breadth departure from the heights of speculation from what is true and straight, will mean an ever widening gap as the stream of thought is followed from the heights, down to the lower planes whereon men’s everyday lives are passed.’ – Fr Doolan (‘Philosophy for the Layman’)

A thorough examination of philosophical science, driven by good will and a sincere love for the truth, will bring one to the conclusion that a human being is made of a soul and a body, with the soul being the more noble part of man.  Further philosophical analysis informs us that God is the Creator of each individual’s soul.  The Catholic Faith shows us that the purpose of human being’s existence is to know, honour and love God and it gives us the necessary supernatural assistance to help us do so.  Continuous deviation from or a rejection of this task of knowing, honouring and loving God will only mean misery and destruction for ourselves and the society around us.  ‘As we approach God we approach unity and perfection; as we descend from God we descend into multiplicity and imperfection.’ (Bishop Fulton Sheen, ‘God and Intelligence in Modern Philosophy’).  Any definition of man that does not acknowledge this true nature of man is already set out on the wrong path.  Any psychological service that does not work with the person in helping them to achieve the task of knowing, honouring and loving God is only intensifying the disease it is attempting to cure.   

Breakdowns:

When a person is experiencing a psychological breakdown, it is often a sign that the person is deviating from the task that they were created to fulfil.  An analogy will help to make this clear.  If a car has broken down and you are unable to start it, it indicates that something is wrong with the car as it is not performing the function it was designed to do.  If a person is living a disordered life where God is dismissed, mocked, ridiculed and insulted, it is a sign that something is wrong as they are not fulfilling the task that they were created for.  The car needs fixing and so does the person.  One fix involves a mechanical or electronic readjustment so the materials necessary to start the car work efficiently.  The fix for the person usually involves a divine remedy which nourishes the soul so that the person can work efficiently in their task of knowing, honouring and loving God.   Viewing sinful behaviour as ‘normal’ or ‘healthy’ behaviour is like the mechanic viewing the car being unable to start as ‘normal’.  Both require interventions.  A competent mechanic who understands what a car is and what it was designed to do is far better than one who believes a car being unable to start is ‘normal’ for cars!  A competent psychologist who understands what a human being is and what human beings are designed for is far better than one who believes sinful behaviour is a sign of good health and ‘progress’.  However, unlike the car, people who are offered fixes from mental health professionals have a choice over whether they accept the fix or guidance offered.  God gifted humans with free will and gave them a choice over whether they decide to live a life ordered towards His divine plan or not.  

It is not our privilege to measure out the kind of God we shall have…If there is any fitting to be done, it is we who are to fit ourselves to God, and not God to ourselves.’ (Bishop Fulton Sheen, ‘God and Intelligence in Modern Philosophy’). 

Modern psychological services are encouraging people to not live life in accordance with the divine plan or they try to twist God’s plan to fit the client’s disordered lifestyle. These psychologists encourage people to continue in their disordered lifestyles and they blame society for any pangs of conscience that a client engaging in sinful behaviour experiences.  For example, being registered as a psychologist with the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) is contingent on affirming and encouraging homosexual behaviour (see: https://www.cancer.ie/sites/default/files/content-attachments/psi_guidelines.pdf)  and the PSI blames societal ‘stigma’ for women feeling bad after an abortion (see: https://www.psychologicalsociety.ie/footer%202/PSI-Guidelines-Policies–Papers).  By not understanding what human beings are and what they were designed for, modern psychologists push man away from the Truth and further into a disordered and chaotic lifestyle.  If the distressed person believes and acts on false information provided by the mental health professional the inevitable result will be more misery in this life and an increase in the likelihood of experiencing eternal misery and torture in the next.

Clear Reflections:

Bishop Fulton Sheen highlights how necessary it is for us to gain a true picture for those leading a destructive life: ‘As a drunkard will sometimes become conscious of the gravity of his intemperance only through the startling vision of how much he has wrecked his own home and the wife who loved him, so, too, sinners may come an understanding of their wickedness when they understand what they have done to Our Divine Lord.’ (Peace of Soul).  Just as there is a duty to point out the destruction the drunkard is causing for their own good, it is a duty of mental health professionals to point out the sinful behaviour of their clients for their own good. If people living in sin are not given the truth about their situation and not encouraged to change their lifestyle and seek divine remedies, then the chains around them will only become tighter. There are solutions and people should be directed towards these.

It is the intention of this service, Truth and Freedom Therapy (TFT), to provide an alternative to the predominant, false and destructive direction modern psychological services are going in.  A true understanding of what it means to be human is the foundation for TFT. Understanding what us, human beings, are and acting on this knowledge is the starting point on the road to freedom.  This is the way to happiness.

Introduction/Bricks in the Wall

Here is a link to an article I wrote for the website of Prof David Healy (a psychiatrist and psychopharmacologist who speaks out against the current corruption in the mental health field). It provides an insight into my experiences working in the ‘progressive’ mental health services of New Zealand and coming up against brick walls, before coming home to Ireland and the Faith.  See: https://davidhealy.org/being-the-right-peer/ 

More blog posts to follow soon…