Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Jean Martin Charcot: Another LYING Psychological Fraud

We’re reading Dr. Thomas Szasz’s book:

“The Myth Of Mental Illness”

And right off the top, in Chapter 1 we find (as if anyone should be Surprised) that Jean Martin Charcot, the19th Century Mesmerist/Hypnotist who split hysteria from malingering was a Lying Clown passing off Fraud as Science: just like the others.

“Already, during Charcot’s lifetime and at the height of his fame, it was suggested, particularly by Bernheim, that the phenomena of hysteria was due to suggestion. It was also intimated that Charcot’s demonstrations of hysteria were faked, a charge that has since been fully substantiated. Clearly, Charcot’s cheating, or his willingness to be duped – whichever it was, seems impossible to ascertain now – is a delicate subject. It was called “the slight failing of Charcot” by Pierre Marie. Guillain, more interested in the neurological than the psychiatric contributions of his hero, minimized Charcot’s involvement in and responsibility for faking experiments and demonstrations on hypnotism and hysteria. But he was forced to concede that “Charcot obviously made a mistake in not checking his experiments. . . . Charcot never personally hypnotized a single patient, never checked his experiments and, as a result, was not aware of their inadequacies or of the reasons for their eventual errors.”

To speak of “inadequacies” and “errors” here is to indulge in euphemisms. What Guillain described, and what others have previously intimated, was that Charcot’s assistants had coached the patients on how to act the role of the hysterical or hypnotized person. Guillain himself tested this hypothesis with the following results:

In 1899, about six years after Charcot’s death I saw as a young intern at the Saltpetriere the old patients of Charcot who were still hospitalized. Many of the women, who were excellent comedians, when they were offered a slight pecuniary remuneration, imitated perfectly the major hysteric crisis of former times.

Troubled by these facts, Guillain asked himself how this chicanery could come about and how it could have been perpetuated? All of the physicians, Guillain hastened to assure us, “possessed high moral integrity.” He then suggested the following explanation;

It seems to me impossible that some of them did not question the unlikelihood of certain contingencies. Why did they not put Charcot on his guard? The only explanation that I can think of, with all the reservation that it carries, is that they did not dare alert Charcot, fearing the violent reactions of the master, who was called the “Caesar of the Saltpetriere.”

We must conclude that Charcot’s orientation to the problem of hysteria was neither organic nor psychological. He recognized and clearly stated that problems in human relationships may be expressed in hysterical symptoms. The point is that he maintained the medical view in public, for official purposes as it were, and espoused the psychological view only in private, where such opinions were safe.”

We told you so.

We don’t Have to make it up. We just Look it up.

here's Wiki's take on this Fraud:

Jean-Martin Charcot


Ana said...

I came here this week but I cannot find the comment now.
How are You?
Susan told me she spoke to you and you asked about me.
Thank you.
I just gave you two awards.
I know you don't publish them but I don't care. It's just to say I think about you, I like your work and you inspire me.

D Bunker said...

It's always a delight to hear from you, & we will come by Post Haste for those awards.

And when something actually Changes, we will display them, hoping that we had some hand in the clean up.