Read Heart’s post on M. Scott Peck, it is amazing! M. Scott Peck was a hero of Reeducation. It all makes a lot more sense to me now. Reeducation was quite literally a Christian, misogynist, alcoholic and otherwise addicted cult, bent upon projecting its inner nature into the rest of the world. No wonder.
17 thoughts on “M. Scott Peck”
I heard a lot about Scott Peck and the other inspirationalists–Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, etc. from friends–but their mystical musings, as I perused them in bookstores, left me completely amazed that anybody would fall for that–well, let’s just call it “nonsense.”
Someone tried to explain Scott Peck to me at a party one time, and as I nodded and tried to escape, kept reiterating the same stupid and obvious points that Peck made over and over again, as though I was hard of hearing and not too bright. She thought I didn’t get it, and I thought she must have mush for brains if she believed that junk.
My second thought was, “Hey, if all it takes is a lot of vaporous posturing, why don’t I set myself up as a mystic philosopher and make a million dollars?” Unfortunately, I was raised with a conscience.
My third thought was, “I thought we were living in a post-Enlightenment Age of Reason. Guess not.”
This whole Louisiana licensed psychotherapy group told me that M. Scott Peck was what psychotherapy “really was.” At the same time everyone was going to Al-Anon, which is Christian and cultish (sorry Twelve Steppers, but it is, its God concept and its concept of the self and hir pilgrimage through life is Christian, and its double talk [“take what you need and leave the rest” but also “if you don’t take it all, you’re not taking any of it seriously” is cultish]), and all the women’s magazines, which the assistant professor girls were absorbing in great quantities, were pushing these concepts as well.
So when I was called an “intellectual snob” for questioning these things, and told I was “unable to feel” because I do believe in reason, it finally got to me.
What most drove up the wall originally was the way these people think that if you think their schtick is senseless, they think you just aren’t bright — and they accuse you of being “in denial” and also of “arrogance,” and of “feeling superior to others.”
“Don’t you realize you have alcoholic parents just like the rest of us?” they would chant. “Of course I do,” I would answer. “It doesn’t mean I have to be as self destructive as you are, though.” And they would go on, “Yes, it does. Yes, it does. If you do not self destruct as we are self destructing, you are in denial.”
Listening to and trying to finally accept this stuff is what ultimately gave me my breakdown. AHA — and also, part of the finishing touches — I went to the university psychologist to ask whether these ideas could possibly be true, accepted, acceptable, and he said yes, and my problem was I needed religion.
Anyway, all of this is why I didn’t get tenure that time. I was ensconced in the library of Tulane University reading the literature in clinical psychology, and finding out that in fact outside Louisiana and maybe even here if you could find it, people did not confuse that field with this kind of silliness and would even call this silliness counter therapeutic. I was doing this to save my mind and people kept saying “but your book?” and I would say “that is utterly secondary, it makes no difference at all, I am trying to recover my mind…”.
I recovered it well enough pretty soon but not completely until I blogged the whole thing. 🙂
P.S. — So, thanks for dispatching Peck so smartly. I didn’t realize he was supposed to be an inspirationalist — what I read of his (parts of The Road Less Traveled) was just sort of authoritarian and depressing.
Actually, though, writing this comment, I think it is the reading of this book that set the tone for Reeducation, made me accept it in a way I should not have. So I should perhaps have been ranting more at HIM this whole time, more than at Reeducation generally.
I’ll read it. Please also check out my recent post which possibly lampoons some of the contemporary disciples of Nietzsche and (for are they not the same thing?) avid listeners to the right wing media.
I’m not sure you want to read it! I’ve been trying to get through to your site — my Internet is very slow today. Perhaps now.
–What most drove up the wall originally was the way these people think that if you think their schtick is senseless, they think you just aren’t bright — and they accuse you of being “in denial” and also of “arrogance,” and of “feeling superior to others.”–
Sounds like academia to me!
Christopher — well, yes. There is that and it also contributed to my thinking Oh God, the whole world really is this way. However what I would say is that Reeducation was part of the dark side and much of academia is, too. I have only recently grocked how large a percentage of the population really is on the dark side. I am not sure but I think it has to do with the normalization of Reaganism.
“What most drove up the wall originally was the way these people think that if you think their schtick is senseless, they think you just aren’t bright — and they accuse you of being ‘in denial’ and also of ‘arrogance,’ and of ‘feeling superior to others.'”
P. S. All I read of Peck or any of them is what I could glean from leafing through them in the bookstore and from hearing their disciplines preach The Word to me. I decided early on that I had more productive things to do, like watching paint dry.
I think I just had The Word preached to me on a more recent post — and it got a huge reaction out of me. I should emulate you in more ways than I already try to, Undine.
I think the Dark Side is a bit older than Reaganism, but I could be, as I am on so many other things, mistaken.
No, I think — actually, KNOW you are right. I was just sort of protected from it until then. I mean: I got subjected to it but it kept being revealed for what it was, as opposed to being presented as normal or as “reality.”
I am currently defining it as mainstream Christianity (glorification of death by torture and emphasis on original sin) and capitalism or “the bourgeois aspiration.” And I am not sure evil has to exist as a metaphysical type category, although I do think it exists now.
How would you define the dark side … and do you think it has an origin?
I could be glib and say that I’m not sure how to define evil, but I know it when I see it. But I’d probably say it always involves some kind of doublethink. That would be my best stab at a succinct answer.
doublethink — yes.
This is why a good check on the value of somebody’s ideas is what effect they have on others, during their lifetime.
I mean the actual person — not their ideas.