by Karen Barna
I cannot even begin to think of a better quotation to open this discussion than from the film “Angels and Demons” when the killer said to Tom Hanks and the female physicist he was with, in the Vatican, that he wasn’t paid to kill them, and so, was going to let them live but if they chose to follow him, well, then that was a different story. He issued the following warning to them before he left:
“Be careful. These are men of God.”
King Farouk of Egypt came to symbolize over-indulgence, in excess, corruption, in-effective weak governance, and kleptocracy as he was perceived as stripe mining the nation’s wealth and leaving the Egyptian people poorer.
In symbolism, his body image is associated with the female pregnant body. Lucy Holmes wrote, “Childbirth is woman’s talisman, manifest and indisputable evidence of female power. The ability to create new life is the earliest and most profound source of power, and we all, men and women, fear it.” (Holmes; 2013) This fear is born out of the paternal superego based in defence protection because the idealization of the father and of the masculine. It has its origins in the defence against the omnipotent bad mother – omnipotent because she is needed, omnipotent because she is desired, omnipotent because she is identified with, omnipotent because she is hated, omnipotent because she is seen to have murdered the father. (Weiland; 1996)
Nancy J. Chodorow and Adrienne Harris wrote in the foreword of Rosemary Balsam’s work “Women’s Bodies in Psychoanalysis“:
“We are all too familiar with the fear and accompanying degradation of women, the concern with bigness and expansiveness, the anxious unsettledness in cultural and psychoanalytic reactions to female flesh. By contrast, it has been a hallmark of writing about male oedipal development to think of the pleasures of bigness, the delight (and fear) in the boy’s links to power and expansiveness. Balsam asks us to question how these processes get reversed when it comes to the maternal body?” (Balsam, 2012).
In my opinion, because the superego is a paternal superego the female pregnant body represents the void; laziness, weakness, lack of discipline, oppression and subordination, and passivity as its constitution even though it symbolizes the power of female fertility and the power of femininity it is not perceived in this light because of the idealization of father. In fact, the maternal symbolic order is a far cry from the talisman of male phallic symbolism. A symbol which has been historically represented to display the power of male fertility and the phallus or King was the shape of an obelisk. Long, lithe phallic power that resembles a penis. We can find modern cultural examples of proclivity towards the male symbolic in the fashion industry. All one has to do is look at the runway model.
In psychoanalysis, we understand the introjection of the female pregnant body as the symbolic for maternity and its healthy introjection allows for little girl the ability to embrace her power and be open to motherhood. We use the perspectives of Sigmund Freud’s Oedipus to explain the little boy moves away from the mother and toward identification with the father’s penis which is a symbol of active, dominant, warrior, protector, and self-disciplined (Freud, 1924). But this move away from mother happens with little girl’s as well especially through ambivalent attachment or what is known as the ambivalent breast. The ambivalent breast is characterized as a breast that is frustrating and if the ambivalent breast surpasses the frustration tolerance of the infant then a sudden violent, traumatic rupture with mother is theorized to occur (Jacobs, 2007; Klein, 1946). Female attacks on female body permeate modern culture. Anorexia nervosa, bulimia, cosmetic plastic surgery; breasts enlargements, breasts reduction, noses, thighs and bellies are modified to achieve some ideal of beauty. “The concept of “beauty” lives deep in the psyche, where sexuality mingles with self-esteem. Fashion insists that beauty can be bestowed from the outside. It is essentially visual; all the other senses, smell, taste, touch and sound, that make a woman erotic, are effectively cancelled out … What is deeply, essentially feminine – the life in a woman’s expression, the feel of her flesh, the transformations of childbirth and menopause, are reclassified as ugly or diseased. Fat and aging are transformed into conditions that must be altered by beauty products [and by advances in technology] (Wolf, 2002; Holmes, 2013).” But the attacks don’t just stop at the plastic surgeon’s office. Attacks against the female body have been pervasive throughout modern Western culture which will be described in the section on femininities and masculinities, and attacks have been carried out by both men and women alike. The weaponizing of technology in the form of electronic radio frequency assaults, remotes that control biological implants, the use of cell phone technology, global positioning systems, and the advent of electronic weapons of war has opened the door for a new age of matricidal destructiveness and war on crime. Through what Freud called the Electra complex and penis envy little girls can also experience a sudden violent, traumatic rupture/loss and separation from the mother as well due to this ambivalence and hints to this matricidal destructiveness can be seen in the disorders of anorexia and bulimia (Freud, 1905; Freud, 1925; Freud, 1931; Freud, 1932). As a result, some little girls strongly identify with their fathers and if the rupture against the mother is a complete foreclosure, homosexuality (lesbianism) can develop or a disturbed personality in paranoid fear of castrating, not only maternal Objects but also paternal Objects, in the little girl’s object relational world (Jacobs, 2007; Klein, 1946; Klein, 1964). It is for this reason personality disorders are closely studied alongside sexual orientation and gender issues.
Julia Kristeva felt the separation from the mother was such a complex issue that if separation didn’t happen in the correct way abnormal psychological development could ensue. Kristeva felt matricide is our psychic necessity if individuation is to occur in the establishment of our own unique identities (Kristeva, 1989). Lacan believed the violent rupture from the maternal order is necessary for the establishment of the symbolic order or patriarchy. This may be true if we are speaking in terms of the “traditional” symbolic order of feminine and masculine, but as you know there are peculiarities to consider, anomalies that do not fit “traditional” gender relations or “normal” personality growth.
Julia Kristeva wrote poetically when she wrote in her work ‘Stabat Mater’ the following:
“For more than a century now, our culture has faced the urgent need to reformulate its representations of and hate, inherited from Plato’s Symposium, the troubadours, and Our Lady, in order to deal with the relationship of one woman to another. Here again, maternity points the way to a possible solution: a woman rarely, I do not say never, experiences passion – love or hate – for another woman, without at some point taking the place of her own mother – without becoming a mother herself and, even more importantly, without undergoing the lengthy process of learning to differentiate herself from her daughter, her simulacrum, whose presence she is forced to confront (Walker, 1998).”
What is missing from Freudian analysis and ‘Dissolution of the Oedipus Complex‘ is the possibility that some individuals do not experience a violent rupture, they experience a gradual working through of the loss and separation from a mother who makes them feel secure which can be explained by attachment theory (Wallin, 2007; Main, 1995; Klein, 1959). The violent rupture seems to occur as a result of the ambivalent breast and not a result of secure attachment. As a result, depending on the specifics of each individual’s development, the rise of unique psychic growth patterns due to a diversity of maternal psychic conflicts and/or foreclosures occur thus creating troubled personalities first observed by Freud and known as ‘Fort-da’ or the compulsion to repeat and the child’s use of objects as mastery over his/her reality (Freud, 1920; Benvenuto and Kennedy, 1986; Knafo and Feiner, 2006; Weiland, 1996, Winnicott, 1971). Juliette Mitchell described in her work, Madmen and Medusas: Reclaiming hysteria, that attachment can be undone through the onset of difficult and frustrating environments as we have seen in such cases of the side-effects of war, and so, we can see how trauma can effect a person’s attachment, undoing or disturbing it through manipulative, destructive, infantile acts that inflict trauma in the minds of an Object by a “Master“, and is observed in cases utilizing modern advanced technological culture (i.e., electronic weapons, cyber misbehavior, and global positioning systems, etc.) to manufacture a particular reality (Mitchell, 2000; The United States Attorney’s Bulletin, U.S. Department of Justice, May 2016).
“Subjection is defined as the act or fact of being subjected, as under a monarch or other sovereign or superior power; the state of being subject to, or under the dominion of another; hence general subordination.” ~Oxford English Dictionary.
In the case of one Targeted Individual (TIs) the simultaneous use of cell phone/computer blocking technology to frustrate the Object, and then, at the same time deliver electro convulsive shock therapy to sedate the frustrated Object is on par with the Nazi Holocaust medical experiments. The Operator/Controller (i.e., the “Master“) is the Dr. Mendel of Jewish extermination practices! (Perper and Cina; 2010). In addition, regarding this one particular case of a Targeted Individual, receiving unexpected, unannounced, and un-consented electronic assaults to her body in the middle of the night was part of the torture and abuse. At approximately 3:45 AM in the morning, the victim is reported as being awakened by the turning on of an electromagnetic field (RF) and then receiving electro-convulsive shock stimulation to the brain. These are but only two accounts of the torture and abuse the victim has received at the hands of some unknown assailant (Butler, 1997). We can make a comparison between Targeted Individuals suffering electronic assaults with the grooming and targeting practices used by sexual predators on college campuses. One facet of sexual predation on college campuses is the expressed behavior by those individuals interested in preying on others to meet their own sexual needs and/or exert a sense of power and control through sexual assault and rape. Predators use coercion and grooming behaviors to lower the defenses of the target and increase their vulnerability to sexual violence. Predators seek to lessen a victim’s ability to advocate for personal safety and disempower them from bringing concerns forward to authorities. These behaviors also occur in social settings where the targets are softened through environmental factors such as unrestricted access to mass quantities of alcohol, parties with limited exits or lacking quiet, safe places to check in with supportive friends, and the saturation of misogynistic or sexually charged posters, music, or visual displays (Van Brunt, Murphy, Pescara-Kovach, and Crance, 2019). One of aspects to one individual’s account of targeting through electronic assault was the ability, through remote radio frequency control, to lower the conscious awareness of the individual in lieu of alcohol or sedating drugs. This capability opened up access to the victim so that the predator(s) could victimized the target. It also allowed analyst to point to Winnicott’s theory (1971) that an important aspect of object relations was the survival of the object, and by survival we mean the object doesn’t retaliate.
It is important that we realize the internal struggle of men exist on both an individual level as well as a cultural level. So, I want to include a passage from Christina Weiland’s paper, ‘Matricide and Destructiveness: Infantile Anxieties and Technological Culture‘ which was published in the British Journal of Psychology in 1996:
“It is a truism to say that all our patients are engaged in an internal struggle with their objects, especially the mother. This struggle, hidden for some, open for others, seems to underlie the human condition. In this sense it constitutes a fundamental human problem – the solution to which is both an individual and a cultural one. This fundamental human condition has to do with an inadequate separation from the maternal object and the need to separate and individuate. Culture, as a space where the working through of fundamental human problems takes place, constitutes a container; culture, as an ideal and a prohibition, constitutes part of the superego. For the individual the solution to any particular psychic problem will depend on both his/her object relations as well as the cultural space. So, when I refer to matricide I do so on both levels – the individual and the cultural (Weiland, 1996).”
The Differences Between the Genders Regarding the Introjection of the Mother
At this point in the paper, I would like to discuss the psychic fear of becoming the “maternal imago” both in the female psyche (Holmes, 2008; Balsam, 2012) and the male psyche (Freud, 1924; Chodorow, 2012). How the female pregnant body can be perceived as “humiliating” because it represents effectual leadership/governance, over-indulgence, subordination to a higher power, oppressed, weak, diseased, undisciplined, and the “feminine” little girl who lacks a penis. For women who have incorporated a paternal superego void of a positive female pregnant body experience will, in all likelihood, reject maternity and repudiate motherhood for the repressive, humiliating symbol it represents to her ego (Balsam, 1986; Walker, 1998; Holmes, 2013; Kristeva; 1977). And how so, too, the overweight, fat, in effectual male paternal body can be used, at least in an imaginary sense, to fill this same symbolic mythical imaginary as the “weak little girl“. Something we will come to realize as one of the fault lines and fragilities of man’s narcissistic ego in the formation of the ego Ideal; that is, modern, dominant, phallic ego’s insistence on “not being the mother.” Either way, because the ego is first and foremost a bodily ego, no one wants to be symbolized as a “King Farouk” (i.e., over-indulgent, in excess, in effectual leader, passive and weak “little girl“, subordinate to a higher power (in Farouk’s case, he was subordinate to the British monarch). These are the psychic roots of not only the establishment of dominant male patriarchy and the weapon welding warriors of the Industrial War Complex but, according to Freud through his theory of ‘Fort-da‘, the compulsion to repeat, they also find their roots in, and are tied to, acts of sexual sadism, the anal sadistic universe, practices in BDSM, and other forms of sexual deviance like homosexuality as well as personality and psychiatric disorders such as Paranoid Personality Disorder (PPD), anorexia and bulimia (Chasseguet-Smirgel, 1984).
So first let’s discuss the female psyche with its introjection of the maternal imago. “Femininity, with all its complexities, has been explained by the fact that in this world, woman functions as the deficient “Other” (de Beauvoir, 1952). Monotheism has also reinforced this unconscious hidden hostility toward the mother by praising “God the Father,” thereby obliterating the paternal couple. “Monotheism was praised by Freud, among others, for representing the abstract principle over the concrete. This has been taken, since the establishment of Christianity, as a sign of intellectual and spiritual superiority of Western culture over other cultures. The violence and destructiveness involved in the establishment of this principle have been hidden in the unconscious only to erupt from time to time in unspeakable fits of destructive frenzy (Weiland, 1996).” And here in lies the charlatan act, the lie, the fraud carried out by doctors, scientists and those interested in knowing, and showing, how advancing technological culture can work for the dominant orders by manufacturing a false reality through the compulsion to repeat via manipulations thru advancing modern technological culture (electronic weapons, telemetry, media) and advances in modern medicine (human, inhumane, unethical experiments).
But let us continue our discussion of female development and the female psyche with its introjection of the maternal imago. For the most part, girls do not define themselves in terms of the renunciation of pre-Oedipal relational modes to the extent that boys do, so regression to these modes feel less threatening to women than to men. I say “for the most part” because there are a small group of women who kill. “Most girl’s, as a result, remain in a bisexual triangle throughout childhood and puberty – and though they usually make a sexual resolution in favor of men, they retain an internal emotional triangle throughout life (Holmes, 2008).” Except where there is a complete foreclosure on the maternal order and one where the little girl chooses women over men as a sexual partner resulting from the over frustration of the ambivalent breast (Klein, 1946-1963). It is also interesting to note, Chodorow described penis envy as “the symbolic expression of the wish to detach from the mother and become autonomous rather than as a wish to be a man. A daughter does not have the different and desirable penis the son possesses to oppose maternal omnipotence, and she sees the father’s penis as a symbol of independence and separateness [from an otherwise over controlling phallic] mother.” Chodorow saw Freud’s notion that there is only one genital which people either have or are missing as a way the child defends himself psychologically against the overwhelming importance of its early mother image (Chodorow, 1978). It is here that Kristeva’s comment that “matricide is our vital necessity” can be reinforced because it is seen as a way for the girl child to achieve individuation, autonomy, and dominance against the oppressive psychic forces of maternal omnipotence. It’s a psychic defence against the maternal order. It can be theorized, based on this psychoanalytic information, that most women do not seek a creative perversion to defend against these psychic forces, but that a small percent of women do, and here is where we can begin to discuss diverse outcomes like lesbian homosexuality, personality disorders like PPD, and other psychiatric disorders resulting from a complete foreclosure of the maternal object (anorexia and bulimia).
Secondly, the development of masculine male identity is a little different, but when contemplated upon, you begin to see how the two are connected, and so, how the two share similarities to the same psychic conflict, although, for the most part, the two genders express these conflicts differently. Freud described the little boy’s move away from the mother, in identification with the father, as the beginnings of the ‘Dissolution of the Oedipus Complex.’ “What follows the dissolution of the Oedipus complex is not the establishment of a parental couple but, on the contrary, its destruction. What follows is an idealized/castrating father ruling over a desexualized ego and a repressed maternal world. Ernest Jones, in opposition to Freud, saw the phallic phase as following the Oedipus complex (1927). He maintained that to save his penis the boy gives up mother and substitutes her by his penis. In this reading of the outcome of the Oedipus complex masculine narcissism incorporated in the penis replaces the longing for mother and the accompanying dread of castration. Whichever way we read it; however, the castration complex is central to the outcome of the Oedipus complex (Freud, 1924; Jones, 1927; Weiland, 1996).”
Chodorow on the other hand in ‘Hate, Humiliation, and Masculinity,‘ studies the psychodynamics of violence in modern Western culture. She writes there are two points of diversion in men with regard to how they handle the introjection of mother and this is represented in the separation and loss of mother regarding the little boy’s masculinity. She writes, “The sense of gender in this context comes in only secondarily, at the language of ethnic or religious hatred and is often cast in gendered and sexualized terms (Chodorow, 2012).” That is to say, this supports the notion of a ever present “cultural hatred” towards women. And here it is interesting to see how the infantile anxieties in a dominant male patriarchy, one with access to an advancing technological culture is playing out with regard to a number of cyber violations and this includes the electronically “targeted individual” (TIs) suffering “electronic assaults” (EAs).
With that said, the first fracture in the fragilities and fault lines of masculinity within an advancing technological culture is the paranoid-schizoid splitting that results from felt threats to the self, and humiliation that reacts to narcissistic injury, and these felt threats and humiliations are experience by humanity in general (see Klein, 1946). National and religious ethnicity of peoplehood are experienced psychodynamically as a “cultural selfhood,” and one where threats to such identities are experienced as threats to the cultural-national self. I’ll come back to this discussion with an explanation of a “technological culture of selfhood” in just a moment, and this applies to both men and women alike. However, it is only a small group of women who carry out masculine defence mechanisms against Objects in their relational world through violent retaliation and physical violence (James Alan Fox, and Emma E. Fridel, 2017). Chodorow writes:
“This first psychic fault line of masculinity involves gender and selfhood in relation to women and femininity. Men’s relationships to women, forged originally in the relationships to the mother, bring up a range of threats to masculinity and the male sense of self – especially fears of dependency, abandonment, and loss of self, as well as an intolerance and fear of women’s sexuality. This negotiation of maleness in relation to the mother – masculinity as developmentally not-female and not subordinate to women – is one component of masculinity [my bold, italics and underline added]. Masculinity, here, has to do, fundamentally, with not being a woman or dependent upon a woman. Freud, Horney, Stoller and many psychoanalytic feminists have shown how the repudiation of women and fears of feminization, beginning with the threat of humiliating inadequacy vis-a-vis the powerful mother, are developmentally fundamental to masculinity and tied to the male sense of self (Freud, 1924; Horney, 1932; Stoller, 1965) …
Because of this developmental context, issues of selfhood as well as of gender tend to differentiate men from women, such that the male’s sense of self may typically be more defensive and in need of protecting its boundaries than the female’s typical sense of self. Masculinity thus defines itself not only as not-femininity and not-mother, in a way that femininity is not cast primarily as not-masculinity or not-father. In addition, seeing the self as not the other, defining the self in opposition to the other, does not seem generally as important to women as to men, nor does merging seem as threatening (see Chodorow, 1978, 1979, 2012).”
Chodorow further writes, “the second psychic fault line of masculinity has to do with the superordinate-subordinate, male-to-male relationship is not reducible to male-to-female. We can find mythical developmental representation of this dilemma of humiliation and subordination to another man, but it is not Oedipus. (Chodorow, 212).” Here is where I feel she is wrong since a small group of women, like men, employ the same psychic fault line of masculinity thereby allowing for the possibility of male-to-female, female-to-female and also female-to-male superordinate-to-subordinate object relations. The reason for this failure is attributed to the fact psychoanalysts can’t find a “mythical developmental” representation with which to resolve this dilemma of hate, humiliation and subordination in terms of male-to-female, female-to-female, female-to-male. Although statistically, we know it occurs (see James Alan Fox, and Emma E. Fridel, 2017). Here Chodorow suggests that if we are interested in myths that capture the inevitable challenges, anxieties, and conflicts of two generations, two genders, power and powerlessness, and desire and its limits, then the story of Persephone in mythical development is more accurate for girls. But in terms of the mythical development to explain male-to-male, superordinate-subordinate object relations it is the “Achilles complex” found in the Iliad by Homer.
In order to capture the intense and driven power in male psychology of male-to-male/superordinate-subordinate conflict, the core development and psychodynamic narrative comes from Homer in the Iliad. In this account, Achilles is a junior man, powerless, humiliated, and taunted by Agamemnon, a senior man who already has a wife and children. On a whim, to feed his own narcissism and to humiliate and taunt this challenging young warrior, Agamemnon takes away Achilles’ prize, Briseis, a woman of Achilles’, not of Agamemnon’s generation. In Achilles’ sulking retreat bred of humiliation, Achilles does not care if the entire war is lost. There is a woman involved here, certainly – Briseis (and earlier in the narrative, Agamemnon has scarified his daughter Iphigenia, who had been promised to Achilles) – but the attachment to her seems minor compared to Achilles’ passion about the affront dished out to him by Agamemnon.
As the invocation to Achilles would imply, the superordinate-subordinate male-to-male relationship may particularly underpin terrorism and other male political and ethnic violence. This surely does give us an accurate framing of the psychodynamics of violence in our culture. Another way to formulate this mythical developmental story is to suggest that “the Achilles heel” of men and boys – that is, of both the father’s and the son’s generation – is the fear of narcissistic humiliation by another man, or by other men, and that the currency of this humiliation is often capricious and arbitrary control through war and conquest, or the monopolization, not of the mother, but of younger women who should rightfully belong to the younger man.
In terms of the “technological culture of selfhood“, of which I spoke earlier, in an advancing technological culture, it is technology then that becomes the avenue with which the establishment of a masculine sense of selfhood (identity) is attained. Especially when we think about how “technology has its roots in the use of the object and in object mastery (Weiland, 1996).” The use of the object is, as we know from Winnicott, ruthless and only eventually, with the survival of the mother and with the emergence of externality, will the child develop ‘concern‘ and the ability to ‘make reparation‘. But what if reparation is not possible because the mother has not survived, or even worse because the mother has been murdered (Weiland, 1996)?
Since the “technological culture of selfhood” becomes an integral part of advancing technological cultural, and part of technological culture is Object mastery, technology becomes the avenue with which men seek to vindicate their injured narcissistic ego against the “Achilles complex”. And here in lies the charlatan act, the lie, the fraud carried out by doctors, scientists and those interested in how advancing technological culture can be employed to work for the dominant order by the mere sleight of hand in manufacturing a false reality through the manipulations of advancing modern technology and advances in modern medicine against the affronted bad objects. And here I am speaking of electronically targeted individuals (TIs) and electronic assaults (EAs). And since Western culture as well as the individual is interested in how advancing technological culture can be employed to work for their benefit by the mere sleight of hand (creations of illusions based in delusion) we are witnessing the manufacturing a false reality through the manipulations of advancing technology and advances in modern medicine against the affronted bad objects. Do we not hear a hint towards Klein’s “bad object”, and now the bad object has now become the frustrating ambivalent father whose lack of concern for the son becomes the roots with which we explain the psychodynamics of male patterned violence? Does this not accurately describe the events of January 6, 2021 when an angry mob of people stormed the US Capitol? And, too, does this psychodynamic not play out in the female psyche as well?
“On the ground, my own historical reading is that both components of masculinity fuse in the Holocaust and in other genocides, where ethnic cleansing often includes the mass rape of women and the murder of helpless old men and boys, in the sexual humiliation and torture of men as well as women by right-wing dictatorships, and in those Islamic countries that restrict and terrorize women and punish severely those who violate sexual codes. Male sexual terrorism against women and men express ethnic, religious, and state power in reaction to national and ethnic humiliations through gendered and sexual psychic lenses …
We find similar dynamics in homophobia, which is often latent in terrorist ideology and direct in the torture and murder of gays, both in the United States and as we find homosexuality proscribed and brutally punished in other countries. In this context, homosexuality is figured both as submissiveness to other men and as challenging the male-to-female divide, making some men feminine [as I have theorized in the opening with the fear surrounding the symbolic imaginary of the female maternal body]. The particular dynamics that lead to homophobic violence are, of course, complex and varied, but I think it is worth stressing the regressive pull toward and fear of old libidinal and identificatory positions – in the case of men, schematically, to attachment to father and to a terrifying identification or fusion with mother (Chodorow, 2012).”
It is important to say that there is a small category of men who are turned into the submissive Object by their dominant abusive female spouses. Although, domestic violence (DV) and intimate partner violence (IPV) are carried out primarily by men against women, there are a small number of women who have been labeled “Deadly Women” because of the violence they employ with others. These women abuse their male spouses as well as others, both male or female, who stand in their way.
How the psychodynamics of violence are diffused in acts of sexual deviance
Body expansion (BE and B2E) fantasies are tied to these same roots of hostility toward the maternal/female body. Instead of binding the body with rope, tape, or some other ligature, this form of BDSM binds the body with its own flesh or a flesh substitute which is usually represented as a rubber inflatable suit (Gates, 2000). These psychic fantasies, when primarily used against females, may hint towards the complexity surrounding the introjection of mother and the absence of normal Oedipal growth, lacking a gradual working through of the loss and separation of mother that Kristeva speak of and which I referenced early in this paper (Kristeva, 1989). We can certainly make a connection here to Winnicott’s theory (1971) on object mastery:
“At this point of development that is under survey the subject is creating the object in the sense of finding externality itself, and it has to be added that this experience depends on the object’s capacity to survive.” (It is important that ‘survive’, in this context, means ‘not retaliate’.)
The maternal body introjected in to the psyche when a sudden, violent, traumatic rupture occurs can develop into Freud’s Ego Ideal, that is, the narcissistic idealization of the paternal image born of the powerful father in the exaltation of the psychic murder of the mother. Weiland writes:
“Irigaray describes Clytemnestra’s murder as the archaic murder of the mother that established the right of the father. Aeschylus’ trilogy, The Oresteia, portrays the murder of Agamemnon by his wife Clytemnestra and, subsequently, the murder of Clytemnestra, together with her lover Aegisthus, by their son Orestes. After the murder Orestes is persecuted by the Furies, maternal goddesses that seek revenge for the murder of the mother, and by Clytemnestra’s ghost. Exhausted he arrives in Athens and takes refuge in Athena’s temple. In the final part of the Oresteia Orestes is tried by the Athenian High Court presided over by Athena, with Apollo taking Orestes’ defence. In this trial Apollo argues that the murder of Agamemnon by Clytemnestra is a bigger crime than the murder of Clytemnestra by her son Orestes because the child does not belong to mother but to father. Orestes’ duty was, therefore, to avenge his father’s death by murdering his mother. In Athena’s casting vote that declares Orestes innocent we have the final dictum that the child belongs to father, not to mother, and in Apollo’s passionate defence of Orestes we have the birth of the paternal superego. The paternal principle having thus been established, Orestes is exonerated and the Furies are rendered harmless – they are indeed invited to make Athens their residence and are offered a cavern on the Acropolis” (Weiland, 1996).
Weiland further writes:
“Technology is, of course, linked to the use of the object. As such it partakes in the struggle for the establishment of externality and involves attacks on the object, as well as the search for an object which, unlike the murdered mother, would survive the attacks. To the extent to which concern has not been established technology is ruthless. To the extent to which externality has not been established technology is a narcissistic extension of the self that relates more to faeces than to baby” (Weiland, 1996).
So, the introjection of mother as the “bad object” is a predominant theme that holds true for both little boys and little girls. But what happens when an adult bisexual female Object who, forced through electromagnetic frequency manipulation, that is clandestine, surreptitious electronic assaults and electronic attacks against the body via an electromagnetic tether is made to give up her paternal superego defence; active work outs and weight lifting which act as a defence AGAINST her internalized maternal bad object, and instead is abused through forced sedation/stimulation via an electromagnetic tether? Do we not have an unknown dominant phallic ego abusing a female bisexual subordinate Object into a further subordinate position of “silenced, muted sexuality” (Walker, 1998)? We can read the silence to this act of matricidal destruction through a projection onto the Object the repudiated cultural symbolic of the maternal body. This is exactly the matricidal destructiveness born out of infantile anxieties in an age of advancing technological culture! Let me reiterate, since the “technological culture of selfhood” becomes an integral part of advancing technological cultural, and part of technological culture is Object mastery, technology becomes the avenue with which men (and women) seek to vindicate their injured narcissistic egos against the “Achilles complex”. And here in lies the charlatan act, the lie, the fraud carried out by doctors, scientists and those interested in how advancing technological culture can be used to work for the dominant order by the mere sleight of hand in manufacturing a false reality through the manipulations of reality using advances in modern technology and advances in modern medicine against the affronted bad objects. And since Western culture as well as the individual is interested in how advancing technological culture can be employed to work for their benefit by the mere sleight of hand creating an illusion based in a delusion, the manufacturing of a false reality through advances in modern technological culture and medicine becomes the narcissistic egos solution in defence against their affronted bad objects. This is how the masculine ego shore’s up its wounded identity when there has been a psychical defeat. Do we not see Western cultures “Fort-da”; its compulsion to repeat by creating an illusion based in a delusion? Do we not hear a hint toward Klein’s “bad breast/object“, except the bad object can be worked out as belonging to both the frustrating ambivalent breast of the mother with a lack of concern for the infant and the frustrating ambivalent father whose lack of concern for the son becomes the roots with which we explain the psychodynamics of male patterned violence? Were these not what the Witch Trials were all about (Hill, 1995)? The Oresteian myth stands, next to the Oedipus myth, as does Homer’s Iliad with its “Achilles complex” as central Greek myths that express both a psychical and a cultural problem. They both can be used as tools to explain the psychodynamics of violence for both men and women because both men and women are raised by two gendered Objects; one paternal and one maternal. They therefore introject both objects in very diverse way but always some meaningful way, and since The Oresteia portrays vividly the violent event that brings about the death of the early powerful mother as well as the need for defence against the internal persecutors that such an attack on mother produces we can use them side-by-side along with the “Achilles complex” to help explain Western cultures phenomenon of violence and the electronically targeted individual.
Manufacturing the Monster
Weiland is most certainly correct to compare modern advancing technology to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as it portrays phallic omnipotence in the manufacturing of a monster in the image of the self. The manufacturing of a monster with an observable lack of concern for those involved. Like technology, Frankenstein’s monster was not a monster to start, but as the monster absorbs the projections of those with whom he is confronted he evolves. Technology, like Frankenstein’s monster, has become “the thing” that cannot feel empathy, concern, or pity for those that use it. Like money, it has become a vehicle for which men assuage their fears and mount their hopes for the future, for something better. Hopefully a better life. But like Dr. Frankenstein, technology cannot fill the empty void; the fracture in the soul of man. It becomes the band-aid for a wound that is too deep to fix without the work of mourning.
While writing this paper, the events in U.S. News on January 5 and January 6, 2021 transpired. First, on January 5, some unknown person hacked a “secure” radio frequency and several New York air traffic controllers heard an automated message “We are going to fly a plane into the Capitol on Wednesday. Soleimani’s death will be avenged.” Then on January 6, a large group of protesters dressed like Trump supports stormed the US Capitol, breaking through barricades, smashing the Capitol’s windows, and mounting a revolt in side the complex against the election of Joe Biden. I like to quote Adrienne Harris:
“Whether as a bludgeoning force or a subtle glance, “History comes to us,’ in the neo liberal state, as in the totalitarian. Intimacy is the contradictory site of freedom and regulation. Intimate life, particularly the intimate life of the body, of gendered experience, and of sexuality, however delicate, sensually rich, secretive, archaic, or primitive, is always already infused by regulation, by violence, and by power (Harris; 2017).”
Harris’ said one of her tasks in writing ‘Intimacy: The tank in the bedroom‘ was to speak about intimacies’ ties to and dependency on social and historic forces. I see it as my task to talk about the manufacturing of ‘monsters’ through the same very forces and the last four years of US politics and news seemed to be focused on just that, manufacturing the ‘monster’. For one might say that like Shelley’s Frankenstein, the monster that stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 was a projection of Donald Trump’s own creation. And what further complicates these manipulations by political leaders are the actions by other players, who, with the interest to further manipulate the press, employ the tactic known as ‘spin’. I believe this is what Russia-Gate was about in the Facebook conspiracy that sought to create ‘spin’ surrounding a US president and a Russian leader. This tactic allowed for ‘kick-back’ to be analyzed. These manipulations further exacerbate the problem that creates distortions, delusions and illusions. Much like the manipulations of reality through the use of advancing technology and advancing medical technology to create a false reality with regard to the Targeted Individual (TIs) suffering electronic assaults (EAs). These actions are the result of matricidal drives which display a lack of ‘concern‘ and ‘reparation‘ toward objects which may be hidden unanalyzed, unconscious fantasy because there has been no working through mourning the loss and separation and rupture with the mother (Winnicott, 1971). And because the act of targeting certain individuals with electronic assault is part of “manufacturing the enemy“, ‘the monster‘ that is based in the sleight hand of an illusionist creating a mythical evil rooted in difference. __________________________________________________________
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