The Transubstantiation of Formative Virtue and The Consecrated Eucharist

In John 2:1–11, Jesus is said to have changed water into wine.

Early Christians referred to the Eucharistic elements, during ceremonial Mass, as “The Body and Blood of Jesus” which were represented symbolically as unleavened bread known as a communion wafer and red wine made from grapes respectively. The Didache, one of the earliest Christian texts outside the New Testament to speak of the Eucharist says, “Let no one eat or drink of your Eucharist unless they have been baptized into the name of the Lord, for concerning this also the Lord has said, “Give not that which is holy to the dogs.”

Image: Ignatius of Antioch

Ignatius of Antioch, a founding church father and the priest who would systematically compile the Bible as we now have it today, wrote to the Roman Christians in AD 106 saying: “I desire the bread of God, the heavenly bread, the bread of life, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who became afterward of the seed of David and Abraham, and I desire the drink of God, namely His Blood, which is the incorruptible love and eternal life.”

When the plate of unleavened bread and the cup of red wine are consecrated by the priest during Mass, the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation is believed to have occurred. That is, they believe that an actual changing of the bread and wine into the nourishing substance of Jesus Christ himself has taken place. This is a symbolic ritual that demonstrates to all who observe, the faith of the followers’ belief in the word and teaching of the one true God and his only begotten Son whom he sent to save us from our sins through an ultimate sacrifice on the cross.

Dante Alighieri, who wrote The Divine Comedy, in the Purgatorio speaks of this idea of Formative Virtue. Dante explains to his readers, Formative Virtue is the part of the body’s blood that is responsible for sperm production and the energy transfer that is used to create life (Canto XXV). He explains that Formative Virtue never enters the veins and remains in the genitalia. The idea of Formative Virtue, which is a philosophy that closely resembles the transfer of DNA through the process of meiosis, demonstrates there was a remedial understanding in genetics and scientific knowledge by earlier Catholic followers that blood, as a life-giving force, was capable of transmitting genetic characteristics to offspring. Dante explains through his character Statius in Canto XXV, that the process of Virtue Informative occurs in the “natural vase” (a woman’s womb) when “that part of the blood that creates life” (sperm) enters. It is in this “vaginal vase” where the two types of blood intermingle to create another unique life. Like Sigmund Freud, it was also believed that the female played a “passive” part in all of this and that the male played an “active” role. And through the male’s “active” role, Formative Virtue would be created in the soul of the offspring when life first begins in the woman’s womb. Here we see the misogynistic theme of a male-patterned dominant authority that places the male at the head of the household, and the one being totally responsible for passing the virtues of his heart to his offspring since the females are “passive” to their male counterparts one and only authority. Thus, the logic seemed to be females fully lack this powerful capability of transferring divine knowledge or “divine goodness.”

Statius explains further to Dante, much like a sea-fungus, when the reorganization process takes place in the womb during early gestation, the power of Formative Virtue comes not from the female, but from “the powers whose seed it is.” That is, a sea-fungus will regenerate into another sea-fungus, likewise, a heart full of evil virtues will regenerate into another heart full of evil virtues. Like begets like. “Nature is intent on all its members.” This idea is expressed in Luke 6:43–45 when Jesus says “good trees produce good fruits and likewise, bad trees produce bad fruits.” Thus, the primal Motor, God, brings life into the soul by breathing intellectual life into it. “For without God, nothing is possible”.

It was believed that it was only through faith in God and Jesus Christ, through the study of the bible and one’s faith, one was capable of producing good fruit. As a result, the Motor or God, thru the active male role during copulation brings life into the soul of his offspring and creates three aspects of the soul; (1) Memory, (2) Intelligence, and (3) Will. When freed from our earthly bodies, early Catholics believed MemoryIntelligence, and Will becomes more active and upon death, the Informative Virtue of the body draws on the air around it to produce a visible aerial body or “ghostly” like an apparition. From this philosophy the doctrine of transubstantiation evolved and belief that the dead can walk among us on earth in an ethereal form. This is where belief in God is a schizophrenic symptom. Ghosts and God cannot be proven and so, according to the psychiatric community, represent classic schizophrenia.

Ideologically Motivated Violence

Sir John Falstaff. Sir John Falstaff is a fictional character in four of William Shakespeare’s plays; Henry IV (Part I)Henry IV (Part II)Henry V, and Merry Wives of Windsor. Sir John Falstaff’s character is based on the non-fictional character of Sir John Oldcastle who was a distinguished soldier that served in the Welsh wars and who became a martyr of the Lollards, a late medieval English sect derived from the teachings of John Wycliffe. Oldcastle was less Falstaff-like than how Shakespeare chooses to portray him. That is, as a fat, vain, boastful, and cowardly knight who spends most of his time drinking at the Boar’s Head Inn with petty criminals, living on stolen or borrowed money. However, Falstaff, like Oldcastle, was a friend of King Henry V. Oldcastle had befriended “Hal” in the Welsh wars in which both men served. Through the lens of medieval English politics, it is believed that Oldcastle was probably more widely perceived as a “criminal”.

Eduard von Grützner’s painting of Falstaff

In a confession of his faith, Oldcastle declared his belief in the sacraments and the necessity of penance and true confession, but he would not assent to the orthodox doctrine of the sacrament as stated by the Bishops, nor admit the necessity of confession to a priest. He also said the veneration of images was “the great sin of idolatry”, and, on 25 September, he was convicted as a heretic and sentenced to death for his beliefs but not before escaping several times and being re-captured several times until that faithful day on December 14. On 14 December 1417, he was hung over a fire that would consume the whole gallows. It was not clear whether or not he was burned alive or not.

What made Oldcastle so tenaciously successful in eluding English authority? Secrecy and supporters. The number one characteristic of any successful military campaign is “silent invisibility” and the ability to blend in within a crowd, and possessing secret supporters who hide their allegiance with you. This is how many successful undercover operations operate as well as the clandestine use of electronic targeted harassment and psychotronic torture, the only element that establishes similar types of acts as criminal, rests solely in the power of the ability of spies who keep your secret clandestinely covered up. How you justify killing or murder, even mass murder, depends on which philosophical lens you conduct your analysis.

Here we see a historical reference and a similarity to what we have come to know in modern history as “ideologically motivated violence.” In religious persecutions, where many are killed for adhering to their faith and disobeying the superior ruling orders or ruling class, can be perceived no differently. Religious or political persecutions/executions that are carried out by the more powerful ruling majority or powerless minority are nothing new to human history. We can view these as another example of how conflict is handled, a conflict that was moving towards a change or a revolution within the society by utilizing the enlightened knowledge of evolving philosophical thought based on a different interpretation of Orthodox religious philosophy and the true meaning of Christ’s teachings.

Thus, the transfer of values and virtues (aka Formative Virtue) are not, in fact, actually transferred to Christian followers who consume the consecrated “body and blood” of Christ during Mass. It is transferred during the educational process of learning and study, early child-rearing, and academic learning. This is where Ignatius of Antioch was fully committed to providing the future Christian community with a Bible that expressed, in his opinion, the best teachings and texts that had circulated following the crucifixion of Christ, with the ritual of Mass being more symbolic of the commitment made by Christian followers to Christ than an actual act of cannibalism. It symbolically demonstrates their learned faith and belief in Christ as the Son of God, it also demonstrates that they have digested the teachings of God and Christ and are attempting to actively demonstrate their beliefs to others through direct example. This is the beginning of the transubstantiation process, that process that transforms and elevates lowly men into a higher being with a higher purpose rooted in the best interest of the community and the Church. This is the food that Ignatius wanted future followers to “eat” and “digest”. You might say it was “food” capable of inspiring “ideologically motivated peace.”

Similar to the transfer of values and virtues, that is, the transubstantiation of formative virtue is the transfer of emotional states. Emotional states can be transferred to one another quite readily. Christ addressed this issue in Luke 6:29, “If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone takes your cloak, do not withhold your tunic as well.” This is a concept that is at the heart of “the cure” in psychoanalysis and the transfer of emotional states. It is the job of the analyst to guard against emotional triggers that may set him/her off. One of the first signs that a person has done the work of mourning is an objective awareness of how one thinks, and what one says, and how one acts, and if it is not validating or supportive toward another person or persons. I believe this is a continual process and one that is supported in faith-based learning practices that are continued throughout one’s life. It can be said similarly of the continual learning process through reading, writing, and study.

Dark Money and Its Ties to Electronic Targeted Physical Assaults and the Targeted Individual

Updated: August 30, 2021; 04:59 PM

In February 2009, less than one month after Barrack Obama was sworn in as president, Obama would enjoy an approval rating of over 60 percent. His administration, however, would be under fire from the kind of guerrilla warfare waged against many democratic presidents who assumed presidential office. Virtually every Democratic president since Franklin Roosevelt to Barrack Obama has had political campaigns waged against them. Perhaps, some might say, Obama faced even fiercer factions. It is during this time we see the creation of a new political movement of a small number of people with massive resources orchestrating, manipulating, and exploiting the economic unrest for their own purposes. Hence, the Tea Party. However, the Tea Party was not a new strain of American politics, it was part of the same old ideological thinkers who joined right-wing movements from the Liberty League to Scaife’s Arkansas Project. One thing remained undeniable during Obama’s administration, the element of racial resentment that tinged many Tea Party rallies was the same old and disgracefully enduring story of American politics. What Obama was up against was a new form of permanent campaigning not waged by politicians but by people whose wealth gave them the ability to fund their own private field operations with which they could undermine the outcome of the election. And the phenomenon of electronically targeted physically assaulted and psychotronic torture of the “mentally ill individual” seems to mimic this same crisis in white masculinity. It is just another way those with economic resources, political and business connections find a way to fund their own private field operations for private interests.

Changing gears from presidential politics to state and municipal politics, it was around this time I began my first intimate experience with psychotronic torture. It has been suggested that the year, 2009, was the year the phenomenon of the Targeted Individual manifested itself. How much attention is paid, by the individual, to the unrivaled role of outside money and how it can influence how private interests are carried out and governed in those with political, financial, and social power? It is only those whose interests make it absolutely necessary to keep abreast on the political and business activities of one’s enemies and their corporate interests, their friends with the spending power, political connections, and corporate/business interest and how those interests connect to media power and broadcast manipulations.

Imagine the kind of power that could be unmasked if the conservative political machine, outside the traditional political machine, could control outcomes by being funded by unlimited private fortunes? According to the book “Dark Money: the hidden history of the billionaires behind the rise of the radical right” by Jane Mayer, a self-financed militia could be called into action without transparency, legal restrictions, or accountability to circumvent “problems.” Reading this book one makes eery connections to the role a narcissist plays in the downfall of the weak and vulnerable.

According to the book, “much attention was paid to the portion of this spending that was directed at elections. Less attention was paid to the equally unrivaled role that outside money played in influencing the way the country was governed.” In this way, America’s attention is focused on putting the vote back into the people’s hands and not on the unrivaled role outside money plays in influencing outcomes. It has become a battle between financial and political power and corporate business interest and one where the individual’s vote no longer counts for much anymore.

What I found offensive was the manner in which the House Republicans chose to fight the new Democratic president in 2009. “In January 2009 the model the House Republicans chose to emulate was the Taliban,” states Jane Mayer. “The House campaign committee held up Afghanistan’s infamous Islamic extremists as providing an example of how they could wage ‘asymmetric warfare.’” Compare this political strategy to electronic targeted weapons and the use of psychotronic torture in cases of the gang stalked and one can make an adequate description of the new reign of terrorism, no longer foreign but now domestic, and how it has come to spread itself across the United States like an unbeknownst plague claiming the lives of the innocent through the use of electronic targeted physical assaults and psychotronic torture; military tactics fashioned to emulate Afghanistan’s Islamic extremists.

On December 12, 2016, Dr. Seth Farber wrote an essay, “The Psychiatric Metanarrative, Targeted Individuals and the Deep State” on the discrediting of TIs using a pseudo-scientific psychiatric narrative which dismisses all of them as non-compliant “psychotics, and egregiously asserts the innocence of the deep state.” A quotation from The American Public Informs President Obama’s Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues About Ongoing Non-Consensual Human Experimentation in the USA:

“Neuroscientists, in particular, know that we stand today on the tip of a massive revolution in human affairs with the new knowledge of remote influencing technologies capable of manipulating the human body and human brain. So do the Military and Intelligence agencies. Who will speak and act today on behalf of all humanity? Who will step forward in this country to investigate, prosecute, and terminate ALL non-consensual human experimentation ongoing today? Will the real bioethicists please stand up?”

Like the concealed legendary myth of Greek mythology, Metis’ incorporation by Zeus, hidden within the ancient play of Aeschylus’ Oresteia, the myth narrative helps explains the function of incorporation in psychoanalysis of matricide as opposed to the mechanism of introjectionthe function of mourning. Myth political narratives are the creative narratives by those in positions of political, economic, and social power who attempt to conceal a mistruth or lie through phantasmagorical garb. Like the myth, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg screwed us all,” it eclipses the truth by way of concealment and lies about the true reason American political power is corrupt. The Republican majority leadership in both the House and the Senate. Myths that conceal, even at the local level, the marriage between small businesses (doctors), corporate businesses (advancing technologies), and deep state government statism and corruption.

To compare the analysis of white masculinity in American history, the development of the crisis in white masculinity coincides with developments like the end of the Western frontier and disappearing opportunities for economic independence in an era of business bureaucratization. And where Griffin (1990) is unpersuaded that the impact of these trends on particular groups within the middle class is arguable and, in any case not shown.

In his cultural history of American manhood, sociologist Michael Kimmel (1996) points to several co-extensive phenomena which he argues cracked the foundation upon which manhood had been grounded. These included: (1) industrialization(2) the entry into the public sphere a significant number of women, (3) Emancipation of the blacks, (4) a massive influx of immigrants, and (5) the closing of the Western frontier. Once again, the meaning of manhood was uncertain. Comparing the aspect of uncertainty within this historical context and in light of Jane Mayer’s information in “Dark Money” we can come to an understanding of how the impact of “feeling frightened and cut loose from traditional moorings of their identities, adrift in some anomic sea” may lead to a crisis of white masculinity, indeed of any gender and ethnicity.

Rituals of initiation of men into popular fraternal orders and aggressive reactionary politics are nothing new and still maintain their presence in American culture and we can further compare these fraternal brotherhoods to initiations and rituals found in gang memberships as well as the phenomenon of gang stalking, electronic targeted physical assaults and psychotronic torture. Might the depletion of economic business opportunities and marketing niches birthed the phenomenon of gang stalking, electronic targeted physical assault, psychotronic torture and the new business of electronic service security surveillance?


Jane Mayer. (2016). Dark Money: The hidden history of the billionaires behind the rise of the radical right. New York. Doubleday.

Joshua A. Perper and Stephen J. Cina. (2010). When Doctors Kill: Who, Why, and How. New York. Copernicus Books.

Ramola D. (2016). Seth Farber, Ph.D. The Psychiatric Metanarrative, Targeted Individuals, and the Deep State: A Response to The New York Times. The Everyday Concerned Citizen. Published online December 12, 2012.

Seth H. Farber, Ph.D. “The Psychiatric Metanarrative, Targeted Individuals and the Deep State.”

William F. Pinar. (2001) The Gender of Racial Politics and Violence in America: Lynching, Prison Rape, and the Crisis of Masculinity. New York. Peter Lang AG International Academic Publishers.  The Destabilization of Gender, Chapter 6   The Crisis of White Masculinity by William F. Pinar (this research is confined to the white middle class) also found in Counterpoints   Vol. 163, The Gender of Racial Politics and Violence in America: LYNCHING, PRISON RAPE & THE CRISIS OF MASCULINITY (2001), pp. 321-416 (96 pages) “Peter Filene (1998) argued it first appeared in 1974 that at the turn of the century men’s sense of themselves as men were under stress, not only at work, but at home, and in terms of sexuality.” 

Judith Butler. (1997). The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection. Stanford, California. Stanford University Press. 

C. Griffin. (1990). Reconstructing masculinity from the evangelical revival to the waning of Progressivism: A speculative synthesis. In M. C. Carnes and C. Griffen (Eds.), Meanings for manhood: Constructions of masculinity in Victorian America, 183–204. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Michael Kimmel. (1996). Manhood in America: A cultural history. New York: Free Press.

Big Brother or Black Brother? A psychoanalytic investigation of alliance parturition function and foreclosure and what that might tell us about human psychopathology

‘Big Brother’ Fans Are Accusing the Show of Racism — Has a Black Person Ever Won?

A significant portion of this writing came from Amber Jacobs’ 2007 book, On Matricide: Myth, Psychoanalysis, and the Law of the Mother. New York. Columbia University Press and is listed in the sources below. But first, let me start off with a brief discussion about the psychoanalytic roots of targeting and my personal experience being a targeted individual.

I am a targeted individual (TI). The last time I was sent to a psychic ward, which was on June 14, 2021, the psychiatrist assigned to my case was Dr. Shamilov who explicitly stated to me that “it was not my mother who was doing this to me.” First, I have to go on a bunch of assumptions here. Assuming of course that what Dr. Shamilov was talking about is the gang stalking with electronic targeted physical assaults and psychotronic torture I am experiencing. And then, assuming that somehow the psychiatric community is involved based on the fact that an authority in the psychiatric community, a medical doctor, knows what my personal case of gang stalking with electronic targeted physical assaults and psychotronic torture is all about. The next assumption is that this phenomenon is about experimental medical technology that manipulates the human brain or the authorities have uncovered my perpetrators.

Next, in this line of hypothesis, is stating the psychoanalytic truths that uncover the fundamental wrongful intent in the practice of gang stalking with electronic targeted physical assaults and psychotronic torture. This phenomenon eerily points to the indexical sign of incorporation as the means by which what is desired and envied is appropriated and taken to be one’s own. The psychopathological defense function of incorporation has a myth that is used to better understand its reason, causes, and purpose, like Freud’s Oedipus, in Greek mythology. This myth is known as the incorporation of Metis by Zeus. This myth, similar to Freud’s Oedipus, helps us to understand psychopathology. And it goes like this, Zeus swallows whole the pregnant body of his wife Metis. Then, Zeus and Metis’ fully formed fetus springs forth from the head of Zeus. To understand this myth, we analyze the narrative content of what is happening. I have stated one of the things that is happening is Incorporation. Incorporation of the mother and her subsequent disappearance/destruction form the process by which Zeus establishes his power. With the incorporation/swallowing/consuming of the pregnant mother. Zeus not only achieves the appropriation of the female reproductive capacity together with the “wisdom” of Metis, his wife but also effectively swallows and obliterates the mother-daughter relationship. Here, if we delve further, we uncover that Zeus himself possesses anxieties regarding his own mother. But how can that be? Zeus is the ultimate creator. He doesn’t have a mother and thereby debunks the entire system of an omnipotent fatherly diety and religion itself.

To further analyze, since the mother-daughter relationship has been destroyed with the disappearance/destruction of Metis, the fact that she has been swallowed whole into the belly of Zeus expresses Zeus now has infantilized Metis. Metis has now taken on the position of the fetus inside the male womb/brain. The appropriation gestation achieves the fusion of the mother into the daughter with the final product being Athena. Through his incorporation of Metis, Athena is born the motherless daughter, who will never become a mother herself but will remain a virgin daughter forever: an asexual, aggressive virgin, veiled, armed, synthetic, all artifice, seduction, and defense, a femininity created from the mind of Father Zeus. We can certainly come to understand how this explains some creative perversion of lesbian/transgender sexual/gender roles. But lesbians, nor do transgender people, do not normally pose a threat to the larger social order we live in. However, in the minds of some, unconscious fears surround gay and lesbian sexual orientations and these individuals are cast as phantoms, spirits, ghosts that frighten and threaten to annihilate us.

The myth of Zeus’ parturition functions to foreclose the question of the scar of the navel (belly button)the one indelible mark of the connection to and disconnection from the original maternal body. Athena becomes the precious proof that the father is the prime author of identity. She will represent this grandiose logic/phantasy and devote her work to endorsing and institutionalizing it as law in her court of justice, as dramatized in the Oresteia. Unaware of the story of her own mother, Athena will condemn Clytemnestra and declare that the mother will not be mourned. The murdered mother will signify no loss, and Athena’s culture will collectively deny that there has been any loss at all. It will become a buried loss that cannot be mourned, experienced, or represented. The name of Metis is shrouded in silence along with the eradication of the navel as a symbolic mark of the generative link between offspring and mother. Eradication of Metis via the incorporation defensive function sustains the parthenogenetic phantasy on which Zeus’ order is based. Athena, as Zeus’ perfect abstraction, represents the radical divorce of the patriarchal social symbolic order from its roots to the flesh of the maternal body and the violence committed against the mother. Metis the Titaness is ransacked, raped, pillaged, and eaten. She will then be eradicated from representation in the moment that Zeus’ order of democratic justice is established through his perfect creation: Athena and her court of law.

What are the implied probabilities to this kernel of psychoanalytic Truth that by its very nature represents proof or evidence? The possibilities are vast no doubt with a wide array of interesting case vignettes.

To demonstrate the significance of Zeus’ incorporation for the sake of argument, let’s reiterate Levi-Strauss’ point that in order to understand one myth one needs to explore its relationship to other myths. The Metis myth is matricidal. It inextricably relates to the Oresteia yet is only visible in the latter through the figure of Zeus’ perfect abstract creation, The Court of Law of Athena. Athena’s motherless status functions to secure her royalty to Orestes. In this way, the Oresteian myth conceals within it the story of the incorporation of Metis. If we reread the Oresteia in relation to the myth of Metis, we are able to discover what I consider to be the defensive function of the Oresteian myth. That is to say, the Oresteian myth distorts and reworks the myth of Zeus’ rape and incorporation of Metis in such a complex way that it functions to keep it concealed beneath its manifest content. The Oresteian myth conceals this matricidal myth of Metis as part of the desire of the masculine cultural imaginary that seeks to eradicate the process and the memory of the mother’s exclusion (parturition).

Therefore, in this way, the Orestreian myth effects censorship of the Metis myth for the purpose of consolidating and further sustaining the paternal law of the father. This paternal law depends on the foreclosure of a generative matricide. Yet the myth, like the dream (phantasy), reveals the traces of its censoring process through distortions, blanks, and alterations, which if analyzed properly can lead to the reconstruction of the original censored elements. Rereading the Oresteia in relation to the myth of Metis serves to restore a vital link between these two matricidal myths, whose severance hitherto has resulted in an incomplete analysis of the Oresteian myth and, further, has led to the situation in which matricide becomes a non-concept that cannot deliver its underlying structural law.

What is striking about the myth of Zeus and Metis is its representation of the violent primitive process of oral incorporation as the means by which what is desired and envied is appropriated and taken to be one’s own. To demonstrate the significance of this incorporation we must refer to Abraham and Torok’s distinction between incorporation and introjection. In their essay “Mourning or Melancholia: Introjection Verus Incorporation,” Torok and Abraham identify incorporation as a phantasy and introjection as a process; both are psychic mechanisms that attempt to negotiate the loss of a loved object. In the case of Metis, a loved maternal object.

Big Brother or Black Brother? A Psychoanalytic Investigation Into Human Psychopathology

Entertaining a theoretical dialogue using the incorporation of Metis by Zeus myth, we uncover psychoanalytic clues in this season’s version of Big Brother. In this new season, a new alliance group has been formed known as “The Cook Out.” This new alliance group is comprised primarily of black house guests. This alliance systematically annihilated and voted out all the white male house guests and they are now working on all the white female house guests. This suggests an unconscious defensive function of at least one of the black house guests, the leader running the alliance of “The Cook Out.” We can surmise that because of the actions taken, those actions identify an incorporation phantasy as a psychic defense that attempts to negotiate the loss of something once loved. But what was it that the leader of “The Cook Out” once loved so dear, that they are basing an “all-white expulsion of house guests?” And the myth we use, in psychoanalysis, to uncover the obscured wound is the incorporation of Metis by Zeus myth in Greek mythology. To describe and understand this psychopathology, the “kicking out” defensive function acts like Metis’ parturition function by Zeus to foreclose the scar of the navel (belly-button), the indelible mark of connection to and disconnection from the original maternal body. But the “original maternal body” can also be represented as the intimate space once enjoyed with someone once romantically loved or the intimate space of brotherhood once enjoyed between business associates or gang members.

The psychic mechanisms of introjection and incorporation both pertain to taking something inside, but incorporation is not a process, For Abraham and Torok, it is a phantasy that blocks the possibility of transforming the loss into symbolism. That is to say, transforming the loss into personal symbolism. Incorporation defends against the process of introjection in whole object relations. In the process of introjection, the loss of the loved object is acknowledged and mourned, allowing the loss to be converted into words. It is through the process of introjection that the loss becomes generative. Incorporation, however, is a phantasy that functions to deny the fact that there has been any loss at all: Failing to feed itself on words to be exchanged with others, the mouth absorbs in fantasy all or part of the person — the genuine depository of what is now nameless. The crucial move away from the introjection to incorporation is made when words fail to fill the subject’s void and hence the imaginary thing is inserted in the mouth in their place.

Incorporation is a refusal to introject loss. Incorporation results from, those losses that for some reason cannot be acknowledged as such. In this way, the incorporated object is rendered as unspeakable, unknowable, unable to be mourned or replaced with a substitute. Incorporation is the annulment of figurative language and allows for the fantasmic destruction of the action by means of which metaphors become possible. The phantasy of incorporation functions in the active destruction of representations. Thus, the clues are rendered as active destruction of the metaphorical through incorporation (parturition). Secrecy is imperative for survival and since incorporation is an eminently illegal act it must hide its face even from the ego.


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Uncovering the Clues to Electronic Targeted Physical Assaults and Psychotronic Torture and Why the Central Illusions of White Supremacy Has Not Ended

Once we had black slavery. Now we have clinical trials, paid experimental test subjects, clandestine electronic targeted assaults and psychotronic torture.

Post Updated: August 17, 2021

“An era can be considered over when its central illusions have been exhausted.” ~Arthur Miller


John Cusack tweeted this quote about our political environment. It’s a compelling quote. Of course, when I think of political central illusions, and a time era, I think of Adolf Hitler. Of course, when it comes to discussing perverse acts the like of Adolf Hitler, we believe that era has ended but it’s only become an infinite game in business and profits. It’s only become more conventional through the use of advancing clandestine technologies that can hack into peoples’ lives and steal away their rights and their bodies through cyber warfare. We now live in the era of eSTIM (wireless electronic stimulation). We also live in an era of wireless communication in which handheld devices have been placed in our hands. There is a very real connection to man’s proclivity to use eSTIM sex toys as a form of BDSM and the electronic targeted physical assaults and psychotronic torture both have connections rooted in the human pregenital instincts and the pregenital human ego. That is to say, acts of sadism and the creation of the anal sadistic universe.

For the last few days, I have been excessively manipulated with electronic convulsive shock therapy during the nighttime hours as I sleep, again. I can’t see my predator, his identity, his ethnicity, his nationality, the color of his eyes, nor the color of his skin.

There seems to be a connection between past violence (past domestic/physical violence element), Capital Health Systems at Fuld (medical facility element/medical access to victims’ bodies), the police (state authority element), and the electronic physical assaults and psychotronic torture (continued violence element against a human body) of victims. At least, as I have experienced it in my case.

When analyzing sadistic targeted physical assaults utilizing electronics and psychotronics, at random and at will assaults, there is the pregenital instinct of the pregenital ego of the perpetrator to consider. When I say “pregenital instincts” and “pregenital ego” that’s a clue that’s been uncovered about the psychological state and persistency of character of the perpetrator. The suspect who is responsible for torturing me from “a far”, who may in actuality be very close in proximity, will have as part of their personality tendencies and repertoire persistent sadistic and anal sadistic phantasies (unconscious wishes towards annihilating victims) and fantasies (the acting out these same sadistic fantasies in their relational world. This is something that escapes the barrier of invisibility to that point of observations to hint towards suspicion). (1) There seems to be a basic breach in human decency and standards of conduct with this perpetrator who is acting out his/her sadistic conscious or unconscious phantasies against me.

“The real problem of humanity is the following: we have Paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions and god-like technology.”

E.O. Wilson, September 9th 2009

Since human violence first takes the form of aggression, some type of conflict is most likely an element that proceeds the initiation of mind and body physical assaults the targeted individual experiences. And we know from past time eras, that the label “mental illness” has been used to manipulate wives and love interests, and to satisfy the male pregenital instinct and pregenital ego in management of his anger toward female flesh (in fact, any flesh), as a result of his maternal Object’s initial ambivalence towards him in infancy. That is to say, he/she not only cast females in delusional images and images of Evil, but males as well. It is an indexical sign of the perpetrator’s warped and distorted notion surrounding their mothers accompanied by notions of feminine evil. He is from the middle class. (2)

Here, when we speak of a time era where the anal sadistic universe manifested, I think of the World War II era. What if Hitler said, “I’m sorry but I didn’t know what I was doing.” Would this be an acceptable excuse for his actions? Certain actions are just beyond the pale of human decency. (3) Arthur Miller said, 

“Betrayal is the only truth that sticks.”

Exactly why does REVENGE and VENDETTA tap into the pregenital instincts in the pregenital ego to satisfy the human proclivity for sadistic attacks against human flesh? The answer to that question is rooted in theories of matricide and the paranoid-schizoid personality position.

For me, I have to ask, “Why do these attacks increase and coincide with phone calls from psychiatric service facilities and calls from my insurance company to remind me of “services” that are available to me?” And, “Why are these attacks happening in the privacy of my own home?” This makes me believe it is more about violence and territory. The canvas of the human body in the form of female flesh echoes the past violence of the pregenital stage (preOedipal stage). That is to say, the unconscious territory of the female sexual body is locked in the masculine and feminine mind from our pre-Oedipal phase of psychosexual development. There, in our unconscious mind, resides our pregenital instincts and the pregenital ego. Here is what stranded objects do with their psychic fodder that remains unsublimated:

Trash, City, and Death

Jews from the World War II Holocaust
One of Washington State Prostitute Killer, Robert Lee Gates’ victims
Gang Murders Credited To El Chapo and The Sinaloa Cartel

Below are the images of Elizabeth Short. In the case known as the Black Dahlia murder.

Additionally, “Why do these attacks end after I’m placed in psychiatric care in the hospital and start again a few days after release if it’s not about controlling a human body as an Object Other?”

Please consider reading the following post to better understand historical phenomenon and how phenomena can be considered harbingers for change.

In The In-Between ‘Space’ of ‘Voice’ and ‘Silence’: Comparing the phenomenon of the T.I. to other historical harbingers | by Karen Barna | Jul, 2021 | Medium


Janine Chassegeut-Smirgel. (1984) Creativity and Perversion. London. Free Association Books. Chapter 7, “Psychoanalytic Study of Falsehood” and Chapter 9, “Aestheticism, Creation and Perversion.”

Bram Dijkstra. (1986) Idols of Perversity; Fantasies of Feminine Evil in Fin-de-Siècle Culture. New York. Oxford University Press.

Eric Santner. (1990). Stranded Objects: Mourning, Memory, and Film in Postwar Germany. Ithaca and London. Cornell University Press. The interesting connection to the opening of the play by Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s 1975 play entitled “Trash, City, and Death” was a speech of commemoration by the cardinal of Cologne, Joseph Höffner, in which he declared that the Germans “should not, again and again, exhume past guilt and mutually committed injustices, in constant self-torment.” Yet the connection being made here, by me, is to this fact, German Nazis have not left us but are still living with us in the form of white supremacist narcissism and group (gang) psychology. The only way this can be explained is through personality and the existence of the paranoid-schizoid personality position rooted in pregenital instincts and the pregenital ego of the individual. That is to say, human sadism.

The Targeted Individual Experience as a Coming of Age New Novel Experience

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane was a coming-of-age novel where the main characters had to question the notion of “civilized society” and “social honor.” The author of this post makes a literary connection between War, the Targeted Individual, and the notion of “coming of age.”

I find myself questioning society’s notion of “civilized living.” That is, questioning society’s idea of “honor” when men use very individual and varying forms of “protection” in protecting their interests. Every day people can be corrupt like the denizens of industry; businessmen and politicians. People who manipulate many variables in their pursuit of protecting profits and interests, while violating the personal boundaries of others. The bottom lines are always profitsales, and personal interests. It’s a social game of thrones.

In comparing The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to The Red Badge of Courage I find similarities in my own personal experience with Electronic Targeted Physical Assaults and Psychotronic Torture as a Gang Stalked and Targeted Individual. Similarities in comparing the two novels and the experiences of the Targeted Individual:

•The main characters have to explore the notion of “civilized living” in the societies where they exist. That is to say, they have to question society’s notion of what is “honorable.”

•Each main character has to question the behavior of his male role models and his male peers. (Except for me, I find myself questioning both female and male role models as well as female and male peers). Something that is decidedly different when comparing the above two novels because they were about men, and not women.

•Each main character encounters challenges.

•Each main character witnesses behavior that makes them question their role models. (Of course, this would implicitly suggest that the purpose for my targeting is that I am a “child” who needs to “grow up.”)

•Each main character question their former beliefs.

I suppose “coming of age” as a male is decidedly different than coming of age as a female. Is it not? And the answer to that question I suppose should be, “It depends.” It depends on the culture in which you live. Personally, as a woman, I have been used as a receptacle (vehicle) for sexual pleasure as well as physical violence. I have been made the canvas with which one gets to dispel their anger, hate, violence, and frustration on to. Used for a purpose, I often wonder what it’s like for men? Of course, the answer to that question would be, “It depends on which culture you live in.” I sometimes feel it’s the greedy, cold-hearted who fair the best in this “system of civilized honor” that depends on one’s skill in the social game of thrones. That to possess an element of sadism is to possess a piece of success I suppose. As a Targeted Individual, I am dealing with an intelligent operator who is networked and belongs to a certain “culture.” That is to say, the past incarcerated type of culture.

It’s funny to discuss such notions of “coming of age in civil society” when many have not made it to the “coming of age” benchmark. People who are still rooted in their destructive infantile narcissism. I remember in 7th grade wondering about what it would be like upon my “coming of age” as a young married adult female when I would experience a challenge by something on the outside in young adulthood. Who could have predicted my detour? The people who were influencing me at the time; other lost peers and the uneducated. And shouldn’t my eating disorder have been an indexical sign that something was seriously wrong? My parents didn’t have money for proper health care, I, therefore, did not receive treatment and even the pediatrician said “Just let it be. It’s just a phase she’s going through.” I never got routine blood tests. My mother couldn’t afford to pay the fee unless I was sick with fever and unless the doctor said it was necessary the test would not get performed. And now, at the mature age of 53, they want to “fix me” of my so-called “ill” with electronic targeted assaults? When it’s more like fix me of my so-called “ilk” so someone else doesn’t get inconvenienced by my presence. It appears some masked veiled person(s) in society are screaming, “Get fixed girl! You’re broken.” And I’m telling them, “Go fuck yourself asshole! Because you are violating my basic civil rights!” It’s the smoke and mirrors of an illusionist playing an illusionist’s game. A veiled operator behind the curtain making the car levitate on fish wire and pulleys.

I have often asked myself where were the loving parents who failed this veiled impoverished predator? What happens to the children who are unwanted? When people get cast aside, what happens to their psyches? Did I reject this operator at some point in my past? When parents can’t afford their children, don’t they grow up on a type of “Offal Court” down on “Pudding Lane” like in the Prince and the Pauper? Romy Reiner tweeted she wanted to find a husband who looked at her like her parents did. Not me. My parents wanted to abort me. How do you think the Pauper’s parents, the character Tom Canty, looked at him? To find a husband who shares that sentiment is like a death wish. When the love I needed the most failed, why would I want a husband like that? Or maybe, it is like Shakespeare said, that is the rub. We can never find that “holy” love because we are all just hell-bound lovers perpetually bound in leather and chains to our past ambivalence. When will that next thorn pierce us?

Someone posted a question over They asked if it would be unethical to arrest someone before they committed a crime, even as a baby if the authorities had prior knowledge of future wrong-doing like in Minority Report? If you have knowledge of specific probable outcomes in children, why not offer interventions instead of full-on castration of the subject through incarceration? The question baffles me.

And why is saying poor so much more unpalatable than saying, “I have no money?” Because to be poor might also mean destitution. It might mean an absolute poverty, the type of poverty where a person has not even friends or relatives who care. To say, “I have no money” means temporarily broke and that might mean you will be getting more money soon, and so, are not really destitute or “poor.” Just poor in the moment.

Yesterday, August 6, 2021, I was targeted again with electronic physical assault and psychotronic torture. They used electronics that sedate me at the operator’s will as they used on me in Captial Health Systems at Fuld in their psychiatric holding area but why? I slept in my home for quite a few hours today as a result. My body is being managed by an unknown perpetrator that is violating my 4th amendment rights. The connection to this phenomenon IS with the mental healthcare system which is violating my rights. The connection is this. Yesterday I receive a reminder phone call that I had an appointment with a psychiatrist today (Saturday, August 7, 2021). An appointment at Oaks Integrated for “aftercare” follow-up on a Saturday? They don’t have appointments on Saturday. But yet there is the connection to being electronically targeted in the privacy of my own home and my appointments with behavioral health. I was attacked yesterday because of someone’s sick game. Someone is using electronic targeted assault as a form of punishment against me. This would be consistent with a research sample percentage of people claiming they are being targeted so as to get them to attend meet-up groups or meet with psychiatrists to receive treatment and additional federal funding. To make them think “They’re crazy” and be awarded disability benefits. The same research paper reports that 42% of the respondents suffered some type of psychological damage with 26% reporting a lifestyle change. The content narratives were gleaned from internet-based searches for websites, blogs, and forums data mining terms like “gang stalking,” “group stalking,” “gang stalking stories,” and “victims of gang stalking,” “targeted individuals,” and “TI.”


Grace Fleming. How To Compare To Novels In Comparative Essay. Thoughtcom. Published August 11, 2019. Retrieved online August 7, 2021.

Sheridan, L., James, D., & Roth, J. (2020). The Phenomenology of Group Stalking (‘Gang-Stalking’): A Content Analysis of Subjective Experiences. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(7),

In The In-Between ‘Space’ of ‘Voice’ and ‘Silence’: Comparing the phenomenon of the T.I. to other historical harbingers

Inquisitors torturing a heretic.

This post was originally published over on February 23, 2020.

In the in-between ‘Space’ of ‘Voice’ and ‘Silence’ there resides torture (consider Peters, 2012).

In a review of Cullen Murphy’s book, Edward Peters writes, “Murphy ponders “what . . . any inquisition really is: a set of disciplinary practices targeting specific groups, codified in law, organized systematically, enforced by surveillance, exemplified by severity, sustained over time, backed by institutional power, and justified by a vision of the one true path. Considered that way, the Inquisition is more accurately viewed not as a relic, but as a harbinger.” In this sense then, Jane Mayer, author of “Dark Money” writes,

“Cullen Murphy finds the ‘inquisitorial impulse’ alive, and only too well, in our [modern] world.”

“The politics of experience sometimes takes the form of a tendency amongst both individuals and groups to ‘one down’ each other on the oppression scale. Identities are itemized, appreciate, and ranked on the basis of which identity holds “the greatest currency” at a particular historical moment and in a particular [social] setting. Thus, in an Afro-American Studies classroom, race and ethnicity are likely to emerge as the privileged items of intellectual exchange, or, in a Gay Studies classroom, sexual ‘preference’ may hold the top-notch on the scale of oppression (Torres, pg 116).”

In the politics of ‘voice’ and ‘speaking’ in my Italian immigrant home there was a tendency to ‘one down’ the other. In my home this “one downing” was done by the “superior order,” that is, the “superior identities” in order for them to wield power over by holding the perception that they were the ones in possession of the “superior social and intellectual currency” (intellect and knowledge) over the other(s) who did not speak in the same dialectic. I’ve heard this referred to as “mafia mentality.”

“This kind of “one downing” works much like inverse cultural capital: identity markers (e.g. color, lesbian, disabled) can easily become the ontological ground on which to base a ‘superior’ insider knowledge of more ‘authentically’ experienced, ‘real’ embodied oppressions which, say, the white, homosexual, able-bodied woman cannot match (Luke, pg 220).”

In regard to the phenomenon of Targeted Individuals (TIs), I’ve heard the term “dumbing down” or “dumb downing” to express the act of retarding a person’s ability to “know what they know” and to make connections to and parallels with past experiences. This “dumb downing” is also known as perspecticide and, traditional speaking is one of the most devastating psychological effects of coercive control that is accomplished through isolation (Stark, pg. 267). However, in the abuse-related capacity of relationships, one is made unable to “know what they know” by either making that person self-doubt or by some other form of direct physical manipulation such as in electronic assaults or physical torture. This act of “dumbing down” leads to the person’s inability to be authentically and genuinely known as their true selves. This act of “dumbing down” your opponent facilitates and aides the competition of the “superior power” traditionally seen as the one with “superior class identity” and helps them become organized and recognized as the “real,” “better than,” “preferred identity” that possess the greatest worth among a group’s social members. Please consider the invention of inquisitorial practices (, 2017, Inquisitions).

“In women’s accounts of family separations, indentured servitude, forced sterilizations, and systematic genocide are powerful messages about historical silencing, and these often rate higher on the oppression scale than white women’s testimonials (Luke, pp. 220).”

The forced and retarding nature inflicted by electronic assaults conveys a message that can be compared to the forced sterilization of Aboriginal women in Australia. Both acts send a powerful message about the historical and political nature of silencing the individual voice. A position that has been historically held by the dominant phallocracy. However, there’s power in victimhood. The perpetrators unknowingly hand over power to their victims immediately upon the initiation of the criminal conspiracy or abuse. For the victim has now become the ‘Signified’ by the ‘Signifier’ made by a visible wrong.

In the philosophy of Law, derision is most assuredly not tolerated much like acts of physical violence are not tolerated. Derision is closely associated with bullying, tyranny, and the unfair treatment of marginalized groups. Harboring deep-seated feelings of hatred, scorn, and contempt for another or a group of people have historically led to outbursts of violent aggression during historical epochs, wrongful and unlawful death of innocent people by gangs, mafias, and other organized criminal groups, as well as the oppression of groups based on marginalized characteristics such as colorsexual orientationethnicityreligiongenderintelligencestrength, and power. These characteristics have very well-established and documented historical cases known to many. The institution of slavery, historical oppression of women’s rights, the Holocaust and other historical events of genocide, the Inquisitions, and the Witch Trials. As well as many criminal cases rooted in individual competition which take into account man’s nature and his relationship to objects in his relational world. We can refer to a variety of documented criminal cases for clarity and proof of man’s paranoia against threatening objects in his field of object relations. Consider Juliett Mitchell’s 2000 work “Madmen and Medusas: Reclaiming Hysteria.”

Exposing a ‘face’ to the broader social group can pose a ‘cultural taboo’ and reveal a raw sense of lived pain that was not experienced from other cultural perspectives. As a result, a deafening silence can abound when individuals give testimonials about the horrors endured by them as marginalized groups whose ‘lack of insider identity’ and ‘lack of status recognition’ can expose raw truths about the true nature of humanity. Raw truths that can expose blood violence and acts of callous hatred. Characteristics such as a ‘lack of insider identity’ and a ‘lack of status recognition’ have historically been used during colonization which creates tensions and hierarchies along divided lines of power. Issues of divide and rulepowergender and identity, ethnicity, and religion are connected to relationships that promote “authentic authority.” But these same attributes can contribute to individual silence and “inauthentic identities.”

Refusal by the larger social group to “look at” and “speak to” the ‘exposed face’ of a targeted individual may be a reason the phenomenon of electronic assault has gone unaddressed and uncorrected. A refusal that has closely been tied to the ‘imaginary symbolic’ and muting feminine voice has been reflected in the gender politics of historical-philosophical discourses isolating the feminine voice from the dominant phallocracy. This refusal, silence, and muting have been reflected in acts of religious inquisitions, the turning of one’s will toward the wishes of the other, the burning of ‘witches’ at the stake, other acts of forced confession through torture as well as conspiracy theories surrounding mind control techniques.

The Complexity of Power in “Divide and Rule” and “Knowledge and Ignorance” in Colonization

The colonial legacy has re-written cultural identities, individual life histories, and contemporary cultural politics, both individual and institutional. Silence, whether it is being promoted by feeling threatened or guilty, as a consequence of the particular subject’s position in relation to an “authority,” or the silencing of one’s ability “to know what they know” through the act of electronic assault and coercive control are complex power/knowledge relations for which simple prescriptions for empowerment through voice and action do not account and may not work. For targeted individuals, this simply is because the “authoritative voice” that is silencing the powerless cannot be seen. It remains hidden under the veil of the invisible via electromagnetic assaults. When you have been systematically terrified over and over again, you get to a point where you become unafraid. You learn to accept your powerlessness and while the assaults have violated your body’s private spaces, and taken your quality of life, it hasn’t taken your life completely and this gives hope that it might one day end. I suspect that for me, as a female, a girl’s castration has already occurred and can no longer be feared perhaps making victimization a bit more palatable to digest intra-psychically. Girls don’t experience the dramatic destruction of the Oedipus complex typical for boys. What complicates psychological issues further is the fact that women need to be loved far more than they need to love. As Freud pointed out women are much more narcissistic than men. Acts of invisible, physical, electronic assaults do not seek to lift up and empower, but rather to tear down, destroy, humiliate, and demean.

In comparative literature and film, we could consider as the cultural symbolic of invisible assaults, a book by Ralph Ellison ‘The Invisible Man’ in that sometimes these cultural rules surrounding race were unspoken but still acknowledged. We could also address the new film release of “The Invisible Man” and how this film address issues of invisible physical assaults similar to invisible physical electronic assault and how too, the enforcement of “rules” sought to be acknowledged through unspoken but acknowledged obedience.

Trailer Link: THE INVISIBLE MAN Trailer (2020) Horror Movie HD — YouTube

In the book “The Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison, “Invisibility is used as a metaphor for the oppression faced by African American men throughout society as the narrator comes to a greater understanding of himself (Robinson, 2017).” The novel work’s to protest against racism and the cloak of invisibility that is placed on Black people. It addresses the oppression faced by people of color that goes against mainstream White society. In this way, the Invisible Man is considered an existentialist novel or bildungsroman. This reflects a journey of transformation that occurs within the character. It includes individuality, identity, and self-discovery. “The novel can be studied as an existential one for it deals directly with questions of individual existence, identity formation, and the meaning of life for a Black man confronted with racism and cultural stereotypes.” Some literary scholars call “The Invisible Man” a protest novel (Robinson, 2017). Since all past historical inquisitions, witch burnings, and forced confessions were protests too, I wonder if the electronic assaults I am suffering are the ‘voice’ of some “invisible man” protesting my identity and existence? Why does he hide his face?

The name of the main character in the original novel is never revealed. This is a technique done purposely by the writer. However, throughout the remainder of Russia Robinson’s research, she refers to the main character as ‘I Am.’ The main character, the narrator of the novel, is a social outcast. Who he is, his identity as a black man is rejected by mainstream society. The book was written in 1945 and the main character speaks of his experiences. He is African American, he is male, he is young, he is from the South. It was written during a time in America when Jim Crow laws and segregation were alive and heavily enforced. Racism and discrimination were rapid and blatant in society. But since the author does not give the main character a name, a clever strategy put forth by the way, he refuses to give the main character a personal identity. This forever shields the invisible man from establishing a uniqueness, a distinction that would portray and establish himself as a separate self, a separate part from the larger whole. It also provides another effect. The character is known and recognized as being invisible to the world due to his race. With no name, the reader must further recognize his invisibility through language. That is, through ‘voice’ and ‘speaking.’ Scholars and researchers refer to the main character as, Invisible Man. This is the main character’s self-identity and the title of the book. This literary approach in writing gives ‘voice’ to the sentiments and feelings of the author and thus grants him ownership over the main character.

In the act of electronic assaults, there are no authors to refer to except for those authors found in history who have carried out acts of persecutory violence, genocide, murder, oppression, Inquisitions, and more. In this sense, one is only able to unearth a dialectical, a language that has been spoken by many abusive male leaders throughout historical time. The person casting the electronic signals in my personal case of electronic assault may be a person who is attempting to gain a hold of language, voice, and speaking in the abusive male tongue (dialectic) that allows them to speak but also keeps them safe from prosecution.

I find it important to note that the latest film scheduled to be released on February 28, 2020 entitled “The Invisible Man,” the invisible man is a sociopath who is obsessed with a woman he wants to control and possess. When this woman runs away from him in the night to free herself from his abusive control, he ends up murdered. But is he really dead or has he found a way to make himself invisible? The film addresses some of the similar topics the original book “The Invisible Man” addressed in the 1940s only with variations on its themes of rejectionidentityseparation and lossidentity transformationindividuality, and perhaps never addressed before, psychosis.

I find the subject of “identity transformation” an interesting topic because this is exactly what Inquisitions did. They tried to convert one religious’ group to another religious affiliation thru torture. Jews and Muslims were often their targets.

It is not only patriarchy that silences woman’s voice. Many women may not survive the odds against them in their quest for mobility and this fact can be exacerbated by the fact that women can and do often silence each other. If the telling of individual experience requires a narrative cultural content and vantage point, it may be desired to silence some voices and not others in order to benefit one’s self-interests. Naming one’s historical trajectory, identity, location, and acknowledging one’s historical complicity in the colonization of discourse by socially skilled power players becomes relevant in uncovering critical facts.

“There are times when it is not safe for students to speak: when one student’s socially constructed body language threatens another when the teacher is not perceived as an ally. It is not adequate to write off student silence in these instances as simply a case of internalized oppression. Nor can we simply label these silences resistance or false consciousness. There may be compelling conscious and unconscious reasons for not speaking — or for speaking, perhaps more loudly, with silence (Luke, 1994).”

“Conversely……several (usually male) students of colour in mixed-race classes over the years….refuse steadfastly to say anything for an entire semester……these young men’s silence is a political strategic move to assert their identity by not giving the ‘black point of view’ for the benefit of white students (or the white teacher) (Luke, 1994).”

Making corollaries between the anal-sadistic universe where boundaries are obliterated and individual histories are re-written (Chasseguet-Smirgel, 1984), the Inquisitions of past history were the harbingers for a new world order and, similar to these harbingers, so are the electronic assaults suffered by Targeted Individuals (TIs). Could these electronic assaults act as “mini-inquisitions” where a set of disciplinary practices targeting specific groups, codified in quasi-law, organized systematically by a larger or networked group, enforced by surveillance, exemplified by severity, sustained over time, backed by either institutional power or network gang-related power, and justifies its vision of “the one true path?” But who are the Inquisitors? And will their faces ever be exposed?

Source References:
Peters, Edward. “God’s Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World,” by Cullen Murphy. The Washington Post. Published on January 13, 2012. Retrieved online February 22, 2020.

Torres, L. (1991) “The construction of self in US Latina autobiographies,” in: C.T. Mohanty, A. Russo & L. Torres (Eds) Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism, pp. 271–287 (Bloomington, IN, Indiana University Press).

Luke, C. (1994) “Women in the Academy: The politics of Speech and Silence.” British Journal of Sociology of Education. Publishers Taylor & Francis, Vol. 15. №2., pp. 220.

“Inquisition.” Published on November 17, 2017. Retrieved online February 23, 2020. It is important to note that inquisitions were considered a “tool” to exert social control and power dominance and as such became means of absolute power and control over the powerless. There are many mentions of countless abuses in which people were wrongly accused and tortured. Much like electronic devices today such as smartphones, laptops, desktops, global positioning systems, etc. These “tools” can also be abused and violate people’s personal boundaries.

Mitchell, Juliet. (2000) “Mad Men and Medusas: Reclaiming Hysteria.” New York. Basic Books.

Stark, Evan. (2007) “Coercive Control: The entrapment of women in personal life.” New York. Oxford University Press. Chapter 8, The Technology of Coercive Control, pp. 267.

Walker, Michelle B. (1998) “Philosophy of the Maternal Body: Reading Silence.” New York. Routledge. pp. 18. Walker points to Le Doeuff’s reference to the “shameful face of philosophy” which “alludes to the fact that philosophy is unable to recognize its dependence upon the images or metaphors that it plunders from an imaginary outside. Elsewhere she speaks of this as the “internal scandal” of philosophy, its inability to fathom its own inclusory and exclusory devices.” Michelle Boulous Walker points out on page 18 that in Le Doeuff’s exploration of the philosophical imaginary “she traces an elision of woman and interiority in the text of an eighteenth-century physician whose concerns slip curiously from medicine to moral philosophy. The text in question, Systeme physique et moral de la femme, published in 1777, is read in conjunction with some contributions to a contemporary one, Le Fait feminin, edited by Evelyne Sullerot and published in 1978. The fact that just over two hundred years separate these is cause for (feminist) concern when Le Doeuff exposes their ideological function of assigning woman the place of a mute interiority in her published work The Philosophical Imaginary (1998). I should point out that Le Doeuff does not attempt to reduce the structural complexities or specificities of these texts to one simple statement about femininity, but rather that she discovers the echo of an imaginary femininity embedded in a philosophical tradition that can only be labeled phallocratic.”

“The Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison: An Analysis.” Russia Robinson. Published on February 21, 2017. Retrieved online over February 25, 2020.

Chasseguet-Smirgel, J. (1984) “Creativity and Perversion.” New York. W.W. Norton. Chapter 1 “Perversion and The Universal Law,” The Anal-Sadistic Universe and Perversion, pp. 2–6.

Biopower as an Act of Carnival Illusion

The philosophy of biopower is a broad philosophy that can be applied not only to various political policies the likes that inspired Atlantic City Councilman Hossain Morshed’s attack but it can also be compared to the killing of 85-year-old Anthony Tomaselli. Compared to the 1944 movie “Arsenic and Old Lace” in which two sisters poison lonely old men “as an act of charity” when they conclude these men have nothing to live for. In Tomaselli’s case, “Who would suspect two old ladies killed their father?” An act that omnipotently decided what population is deemed “livable” and what population is deemed “not livable.” Whose lives constitute “value” and whose lives do “not constitute value.”

The smoke and mirrors of electronic targeted assaults and psychotronic torture are in the creation of a perverse seduction that draws onlookers into a magical mystery ride. In order to understand the “magical carpet ride” one needs to uncover Truth in research and study of philosophy and psychoanalysis. It’s easy to get duped. Although, it requires a high degree of organizational skill and, not only intellect, networking with others. Upon completion of the orchestrated conspiracy, it becomes way too easy to manipulate the subjects targeted. The use of electronics to control the mind and body of individuals where the Objects (test subjects) become the automata that satisfy a perverted ego. And here I am thinking of the 1983 video “She’s a Beauty” by The Tubes and the carnival illusion of “Ride the Beauty.” It’s a seduction. Anet cast upon the heads of bedazzled onlookers. Now, this is exactly what some people want. They want the illusion. “Riding the Beauty” becomes a lot like riding the pastel-colored inflatable unicorn. It defies reality and people love illusion because, let’s face it, reality can pretty much suck. It can also tear down the boundaries of what divides us.

“Step right and don’t be shy, because you will not believe your eyes…..You can step inside another world….She’s one in a million girls….Why would I lie?” ~The Tubes, “She’s A Beauty”

Political masterminds know this game as “spin” and spin is how you influence the state of public opinion. You can look at it, but you can’t quite touch it. You can perceive it, but you can quite taste it. You know it is there, but what is it really?

You can also look at it as the difference between accepting a transgender woman, who for all intense purposes looks like a biologically born female, and the transgender female who, wearing razor stubble and make-up, gets cast the “freak” because of asymmetry. Both possess penises yet, the illusion is, the one that looks more like a female possesses “normal psychology.” This facet of the debate surrounding whether or not transgender people should use restrooms of their biologically given sexuality is part of “Riding the Beauty” illusion because how will you really know whether or not someone is transgender unless you perform an “inspection?” We become duped into believing that normal people look beautiful and abnormal people do not. Monsters look like monsters, and normal people are real people. When, in all actuality, this is a fallacy because of surface images. They never give a clear and accurate picture of what’s going on beneath the surface in the depths of psychoanalysis.

This also becomes part of the philosophical psychology of ideological influence. Not to disrespect Winston Churchill for his accomplishments during World War II, but Churchill had a propensity for white supremacy. It turns out he had more in common with Hitler than history would like to tell. Why was Winston Churchill a white supremacist? Churchill took part in what he called “a lot of jolly little wars against barbarous peoples” in Africa. He believed Africans were violent, not because the Brits were invading their land, but because they had a “strong aboriginal propensity to kill.” These Africans were violent, not because they were defending themselves, but because they were “unrefined animals.”

Another highly respected personality, Caravaggio. Caravaggio was a highly respected Renaissance artist who painted “Judith Beheading Holofernes,” but Caravaggio was also a murderer. In 1606 Caravaggio killed Ranuccio Tomassoni which was reportedly over a tennis match. However, Graham Dixon did a little investigative history on Caravaggio and found it was really over a woman, but not just any woman. A prostitute. Now, I have a problem with this because the “prostitute” is no longer here to defend herself, and neither is Caravaggio. But even still, the murder was recorded as occurring in 1606 and committed by Caravaggio.

No doubt there are countless famous people whom we could list who were all well respected but hide licentiousness past histories. I mean, after all, licentious behavior is what makes us all human. Right? But my point is, it is far too easy to dupe an unsuspecting onlooker with the right amount of information; just enough of the right information will get you a “sale.” I mean, this is how sales are accomplished after all. And what are sales? They are nothing more than public votes. The questions to ask and when investigating:

Is someone lying?

If so, why are they lying?

And, what other motivating factors caused the lying?

Are the lies being told of any real consequence to the victim? That is, are they insignificant and petty? Or will they do real character damage?

The philosophy of biopower plays into the electronic target who is suffering electronic physical assaults and psychotronic torture. And not only can it be used as a weapon, but it is used as an aid, to create “spin,” influencing the public state of opinion and by entertaining someone’s anal-sadistic fantasies. Someone suffering the effects of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease may often be misconstrued as intoxicated or alcoholic. Neurodegenerative diseases that affect brain cells can cause stupor, slowed speech, and shakes. Similarly, psychotronic torture can also mimic these side effects because they are programs designed to control populations through biopower. Not only can they mimic these side effects but they can induce states of active awareness; alertness. The brain runs on two chemical signatures. One is electrical and the other is chemical.

It seems to me the study of Falsehood in psychoanalysis becomes a versatile tool in understanding many faulty, lopsided, sublimation of the instincts. For example, a modern study, “The Impostor — A Contribution to Ego Psychology of a Type of Psychopath” (1955) by Helen Deutsch examines the odd nature of the tie to reality in this disturbance of psychopathy. The concatenation of psychic forces involved in both extreme narcissism and its opposite, for example, the need for others, makes for an “orientation toward reality,” but the reality is viewed as a stage for the performer, with humanity as the admiring audience. The disturbed personality is not just the personality of the sexual “pervert” or of transgender homosexual difference. The disturbed personality can be triggered by interpersonal events that cause a failure in the synthesis of infantile identifications. According to Freud in his analysis of “The Wolf-Man” (1918):

“…this contingency, he behaved as children, in general, behave when they are given an unwished-for piece of information, whether sexual or of any other kind. He rejected what was new (in our case, from motives connected with his fear of castration) and clung fast to what was old.” (p. 44).


1) Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel. (1984) Creativity and Perversion. London, England. Free Association Books. Chapter 7, “A Psychoanalytic Study of ‘Falsehood’” (p 72).

(2) Helen Deutsch. (1955) The impostor: contribution to ego psychology of a type of psychopath. The Psychoanalytic Quarterly. Vol. 80, №4. Published October 2011 (pp. 1000–5–24).

(3) Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel. (1984) Creativity and Perversion. London, England. Free Association Books. Chapter 5, “A Re-reading of Wolf-Man” (p. 44).

(4) Lucy Holmes. (2008). The Internal Triangle: Theories of Female Development. New York. Jason Aronson.

(5) Nancy J. Chodorow (2012). Individualizing Gender and Sexuality: Theory and Practice. New York. Routledge.

(6) Judith Butler. (2021). The Force of Non-Violence. New York. Verso Publishing.

(7) The Tubes. (1983). She’s A Beauty. YouTube. Retrieved July 22, 2021.


The Biopolitics of The Signifier and The Signified: Psychoanalysis of Gang Stalking, Electronic Targeted Assaults and Psychotronic Torture and The Monsterous Female Form

This brief essay entertains the historical phenomenon of inhumane, unethical medical experiments carried out on innocent populations within the archive of human history and entertains how medical doctors may contribute to female victimization that denies the female’s agency and possessed human identity.

Doctors are part of the conspiracy involving the phenomenon of Targeted Individuals simply because they want to point blame at the victim by claiming “mental illness.” I say this because I find it funny that very few, if any, doctors ever provide an explanation like, “Well, there are evil and sadistic people in the world who may have figured out a way to pull this type of crime off. Hitler did rise to power over a disenfranchised population of people. Maybe, just maybe, it could be happening again.” People who ignored and turned a blind eye to important red flags during the Holocaust made a grave decision, except for the few who saw the phenomenon of the Third Reich emerge and acknowledged it for what it was; a silent war waged against the innocent.

Targeted Individuals may very well be manipulated by the medical professionals they see and these same doctors gaslight them, professionals, who are interested in advancing technology for the future benefit of mankind? Its mere nature of being a “biopolitic” — a fractional portion of a population being managed through biotechnological targeting (medicine & technology) — is an indexical sign that points a finger to the signifier’s identity and intention. The Signified are the fractional population being managed by a controller, and the controller is The Signifier. How many lives have been lost in the name of science? Countless individuals, no doubt. Why would anyone think Targeted Individuals are any different? The mere fact many of these individuals may also be suffering some form of mental illness compounds the phenomenon and cloaks it in even more secrecy. Are the victim’s symptoms a side-effect of the experiments or are the symptoms the result of the person’s mental illness? If this is one grand experiment, I think it may be a conspiracy between the patient’s family and medical professionals. Or is it a conspiracy involving the victim, the victim’s family, and an outside co-conspirator(s)? This would be true in my opinion, at least in my case. Is it truly an inchoate crime because its purpose has not yet fully come to fruition, which seems to be untimely death. Or is this phenomenon a concept in crisis, similar to rape and deceptive sexual relations? Is it an infinite game being played out whose purpose is to exhaust the victim and change their behavior and lifestyle through a “biopolitic” that causes misery, unhappiness, and reduced quality of life of a fractional part of the U.S. population, thereby causing behavioral modifications and the usurpation of personal choices and personal freedoms? Let us not forget that “quality of life issues” are always involved in state-assisted suicide cases and in people who suffer from stroke and other traumatic brain injuries. Two of my family members already endured reduced quality of life issues as a result of “poor health.” But electronic targeted assaults were involved in their inhumane “treatment.”

Whatever the phenomenon of the Targeted Individual is, it’s a violation of my Fourth Amendment rights and my First Amendment rights. This technology took away my right to believe in God, I suffered a loss in my freedom of speech and expression as a direct consequence of this technology, and the right from unreasonable searches and seizures every time a frequency signal laches onto my body. I believe a form of Global Positioning (GPS) may have been used and experimented with on a fractional portion of human test subjects. At least, this has been my experience. I don’t know this for sure though except to say a high power magnet of some sort is being used. My mental health issues involved drug use and alcohol use. I was diagnosed with schizophrenia because I believed in “God” and because believing in “God” is a delusion. I suffered from hallucinations as a result of “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” and hallucinations” based on a profound sense of love for my God based in my Christian faith known as a “second baptism.” I would feel “presences” in the room when no one was there which I now believe was nothing more than clairsentience which is not a psychic phenomenon but an evolutionary adaptation that allows one to elude danger while “living in the wild.” Anyone who has ever felt “eyes on them,” like they were being watched has experienced what is known as “clairsentience.” An adaptation that allowed our ancestors to perceive the enemy before he showed his face. A chance for us to run before the enemy had an opportunity to kill us.

In the words of Hamlet penned by the great William Shakespeare, “There’s the rub….” meaning the difficulty, the obstacle, or objection found in the situation. In Hamlet’s case, it was the difficulty in committing suicide. But a rub is some fault in the surface of a playing green that stops a bowl or diverts a golf ball from its intended direction. In my case, it is the purveyors, of electronic targeting technology, who believe that man is somehow “civilized.” I find this belief completely outrageous because “civilized living” has more to do with the amount of money one possesses and the type of company one keeps. And even then, “gentrified” or “civilized man” still runs the risk of acting like a Neanderthal, groping around in the dark, trying not to kill others, but somehow still doing so anyway. Its ideology can only be understood through the lens of reverse psychology and abnormal psychology. And therein lies the gaslight; “Ah! the rub.”

Uncovering the truth behind the phenomenon of Targeted Individuals will require an understanding of symbols and signs; signifiers and the signified, indexes and iconography. My electronic targeting was designed to make me less active and slovenly. As a result, I gained weight. “Fat” as an indexical sign expresses personal meaning to The Signifier. What is its meaning? What is its message to a “viewing audience?” What does it want the onlooker to see? How does it affect the audience’s “gaze” and “perceptions?” In the Victorian era painting shown below, one can see the overs-sized face of a male voyeur as he peeps in on the naked woman lying on the panther skin rug.

Artwork: “Naked Girl on Panther Skin Rug” by Felix Trutat (1844). In the song lyrics of Peter Gabriel’s Shock the Monkey, I am reminded monsters are seldom born but are always made. “Darling don’t you monkey with the monkey…You throw your pearls before swine…Make the monkey blind!” The song is about the transformational effects of jealousy and envy in men. Anyone who has ever experienced jealousy or envy over another receiving the “male gaze.”

The lifestyle changes that take place in the life of the Targeted Individual have personal meaning to The Signifier who wishes to humiliate his/her victim(s). You have to ask yourself, “What do the behavioral changes represent, in regard to their personal meaning, both to The Signified and The Signifier?” And, “Can the progress, rather the regression, be charted or mapped?” No doubt it will always revolve around and represent some type of forced narcissistic injury, meant as an inflicted blow because of The Signifier’s wounded ego. Loss of narcissistic enjoyment of some type for The Signifier that is rooted in competition that points us back to the Oedipal scene of early childhood development. Could this be a result of someone’s perceived sense of “violation” by another, rooted in a breach of “common culture” between the victim in his/her relationships with other Objects that inhabit his/her object-relational world? Whatever it is, it involves a criminal conspiracy that would require two or more persons and most likely involve an outsider, outside of the victim’s normal object-relational orbit. That is to say, an unknown identity who may possibly be a medical doctor, a state administrator, or some other identity interested in vendetta.

Artwork: Marc Quinn’s sculpture “Origins of the World.”
Artwork: “Alison Lapper Pregnant.” Alison Lapper was born with phocomelia. She was malformed lacking arms and deformed legs.

Because I am a woman, I make feminist connections to fantasies of feminine evil as well as connections to signs and symbols, indexes and iconography in artwork, song, and film that represent both the feminine fertile object and the monstrous maternal form. In one example, let’s take Marc Quinn’s sculpture “Origins of the World” which depicts and mimics the vulva labial opening of a “golden conch shell.” In this rendering of female fertility, the female vulva is made “golden” thereby expressing its value as important. In “Promising Monsters: Pregnant Bodies, Artistic Subjectivity, and Maternal Imagination” by Rosemary Betterton, this paper talks about both the work of Marc Quinn, whose art seems to differ from the artistic subjectivity of other female artists she covers and an artist by the name of Tracey Emin as well as a sculpting of Alison Lapper. The women Bretton features seem to have a shared theme that identifies pregnancy with “disability,” “abortion,” and “the monstrous.” For example, consider Tracey Emin’s mixed-media artwork.

Artwork: “Pregnant Belly” by Tracey Emin.

As Julia Kristeva notes in The Powers of Horror, the womb is often depicted as and understood as simultaneously repulsive, threatening, and desirable, and as Lynda Barry reflects in One Hundred Demons, “I knew a lot more about monsters than I did about people. Monsters were understandable…Monsters hardly ever started out as monsters. Something always transformed them.”

Artwork: Artemisia Gentileschi’s “Susanna and the Elders”, which shows Susanna in distress at being watched.

In feminist theory, the male gaze is the act of depicting women and the world, in the visual arts and in literature, from a masculine heterosexual perspective that presents and represents women as sexual objects for the pleasure of the heterosexual male viewer. The act of gazing at another human being creates a subjective power difference, which is felt by the gazer and by the gazed because the person being gazed at is perceived as an object, and not as a human being. The gaze can be interpreted as the aesthetic pleasure of the viewer). The male gaze is conceptually related to the behaviors of voyeurism (gazing for sexual pleasure) and scopophilia (pleasure from gazing) and narcissism (pleasure from contemplating one’s self). Here Laura Mulvey’s theory of sexual inequality and the asymmetry of social and political power between men and women are important in understanding the full purpose of the phenomenon of Targeted Individuals. Mulvey’s theory built upon a Freudian psychoanalytic concept of male castration anxiety and in her analysis, there are two ways in which women as the passive recipients of the male gaze can be sexualized to avert castration fear: the first is voyeurism-sadism and the second, fetishization. Mulvey’s analysis references voyeurism-sadism as “pleasure lies in ascertaining guilt (immediately associated with castration), asserting control and subjecting the guilty person through punishment or forgiveness.” Fetishistic scopophilia involves reducing the threat of castration fear associated with the female presence by fragmenting and hyper-sexualizing parts of the female body. We see this in the sexual fetish of body inflation fantasies. In the cinematic representations, which Mulvey theorizes is more aligned with the voyeurism-sadism reference, the male gaze denies the female’s agency and human identity, thus dehumanizing a woman, transforming her from person to object, to be considered only for her beauty, physique, and sexual appeal, as defined in the male sexual fantasy of narrative cinema. Here we can make references to the artwork of Hans Bellmer, the murder scene of Elizabeth Short, BDSM, and the sexual fetish of body inflation fantasies as well as to the phenomenon of electronic targeted assaults and psychotronic torture being carried out on female victims.

Artwork: “The Doll” by Hans Bellmer (1934)
Image: Elizabeth Short’s Murder Scene (January 15, 1947).
Graphic Art Media: Body Inflation Fantasies (sexual deviance); a sexual fetish.
Image: BDSM wardrobe for Bondage Discipline and Sadomasochism.

In regard to my targeting, it would seem it involves both voyeurism-sadism as well as fetishistic scopophilia and a heterosexual perpetrator.

Flower Symbolism and the Female Sexual Metaphor: Crime scene interpretation

Artwork: Yoni Flower, Womb of Creation, The Sacred Feminine Altar. The yoni is a Sanskrit word used to describe the womb or sacred feminine place. In India, sexual mythology exists around the lotus flower. The Indian term padma (lotus) is quite often used as a secret code for the yoni or the sacred place of femininity.

The removal of Elizabeth Short’s rose tattoo from her left upper thigh and insertion of it into her vagina could be interpreted as the “plucking” of a flower, a metaphor for “deflowering” a woman. Insertion of it into her vagina may be symbolic of the metaphor to “return her innocence”? The rose is traditionally symbolic of the metaphor of female sexuality.

Flowers are sexy to the masculine gaze and feasting’s one’s eye on the beauty of a flower is an accessible easy and uncomplicated thing to do. By placing the severed tattoo of the rose into her naked and exposed vagina, exposed for all to see, the killer is perhaps suggesting Elizabeth Short was “easy”? I infer this because of the way her lower half was positioned, severed from her upper torso, legs spread open with her vagina full exposed to “the gaze.” Whoever killed her, wanted her body to be found and previewed. This might be a strong indication the perpetrator had sex with the victim OR perceived her as a prostitute; “easy and accessible” to mostly anyone. This would hold true because Elizabeth Short, was just recently kicked out of her home and was mostly dependent upon a male suitor for something to eat and, sometimes, “a place to sleep.”

The fact the killer placed the rose tattoo in her vagina may symbolize his perception of her. In particular, that Elizabeth had “perfect femininity” but then to sever her lower body from her facial identity would be an indication to the contrary. Like pornography, the gaze set upon the flower has no purpose but pleasure itself. Here we might conclude how the perpetrator perceived Elizabeth as a symbol or idol that represented pleasure and nothing more.

The rose was also symbolic in Greek and Roman mythology (Greek: Aphrodite, and Roman: Venus) as belonging to the goddess of love and seduction. Still further, the verb “to deflower” which is a euphemism for breaking a virgin’s hymen through sexual penetration has more to do with “the plucking of a flower”, and the taking of her “essence.” Perhaps the perpetrator perceived Elizabeth as a woman with pure beauty. Although less common, the term “flowering” is still occasionally used to describe a woman’s menstrual period. In Short’s case, the symbolic removal of her rose tattoo may have had a dual reference to her sexuality and to the act of “bloodletting” the killer performed in draining her body of all its blood. Here we can reference “the taking of her life essence.” Blood is an element needed to sustain life itself.

Still further in the analysis, the perverse disarticulation of her severed body as a reference to Hans Bellmer’s “The Doll” as many people believed she was not in fact a dead woman but two pieces of a mannequin that had become detached.

Hans Bellmer

“My approach to perversion embraces the more general problem of its relation to reality and hence to truth……. As I have already stated, all of us are open to the perverse solution which constitutes a balm for our wounded narcissism and a means of dissipating our feelings of smallness and inadequacy. This temptation can lead to our losing the love for truth and replacing it with a taste for sham (Chassguet-Smirgel, pg. 24).

In the work of Hans Bellmer, The Doll, Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel uncovers its meaning as the disarticulation of language. She includes a comment made by Bellmer himself, “The body can be compared to a sentence inviting one to disarticulate it for its true elements to be recombined in a series of endless anagrams (Obliques, pg.109).” Bellmer says, “O rire sous le couteau” (To laugh beneath the knife). Jean Brun thought the purpose of The Doll was to dethrone the father and his genital begetting capacities, implying the doll maker’s tools as “phallus.”

In the creation of a perverse scenario, there is a loss of reality. The creation of a perverse solution gives the subject a way to get around the truth of reality. Thereby defying reality for the subject’s own purposes. Hans Bellmer’s The Doll has been described as a fetishistic object; an idol. It embodies fancy and can provide an escape into the whimsical wishes of its owner. Hans Bellmer writes:

“to extract from the spheres and their radii the image of children’s attitudes, to gently follow the valley-contours [the canabal curve], to relish the curves and to shed — not without resentment — the acrid taste of deformation. And finally, to refrain from standing still before the inner mechanisms, to peel away the little girls’ secret thoughts, and make visible, preferably through the navel, the very bottom of these thoughts: a panorama disclosed in the depths of the belly by means of multicolored electric lighting. Isn’t that the solution? (Obliques, 1975)”

Artwork: “That Obscure Object of Desire.” This is an image of artwork produced by Hans Bellmer. The displacement of body parts in this image is perceived as an impossible rendering of normal reality. Yet, if we rotate the photograph 180 degrees so as to look at it upside down, we may better understand the piece as the form of a woman’s yoni, and the two branches may be interpreted as the open legs of a female who, exposing her yoni, is accompanied with a “phallic wooden sword” at the very center which hints toward the intrusive penetration of the phallus. Its somber placements and lack of color and conformity to nature is part of surrealism, artwork that may often depict the phantasmagorical.

To further bear upon the notion of “body as an anagram,” Bellmer further says: “The displacements, the metamorphoses, the impossible permutations. To obtain by mere permutation the sentence “O rire sous le couteau” (To laugh beneath the knife) which he then, in a follow-up statement says the anagram: Leib (body), Lieb (love), Beil (ax). His sadism is striking. In comparison, the perpetrator responsible then for Elizabeth Short’s murder must have felt like Hans Bellmer with his Doll in achieving an alternate reality, and one in which he thought he may have “at last found a magical technique to violate stubborn reality.” The fascinating, yet frightening reality of dismemberment, in Elizabeth Short’s murder case at least, allows one to understand why some cling rigidly to order and want “order at all costs”, an attitude which can allow for the return of the repressed in psychoanalysis and as something that may belong to the terror and chaos of our unconscious neonatal experiences. That is, during a time before the acquisition of language when we were thrust into a world, a world in which we were dependent utterly upon the mercy of our caregiver(s). Put in this way, it is a way in which the child can achieve a sense of power and control in an otherwise unforgiving and unpredictable universe.

Hans Bellmer’s work was to cause discomfort in the viewing audiences. Interestingly, critics focusing on Bellmer’s creation noted rebellion to the industrial commodification of the body which might be considered in the staged murder scene of Elizabeth Short and to which gives the perpetrator a very distinct Victorian-era way of thinking about the female body. In Bellmer’s case, his violence also centers on “the gaze”. However, Bellmer’s focus is on the removal of the eyes of his doll or he positions the bodies of the dolls in such a way to obscure the doll’s gaze placing their faces away from the camera or viewing audience. Thereby preventing them from seeing and taking ownership over their surroundings. One aspect remains constant in each of Bellmer’s images, each photograph, including the doll’s head, shows it at a side profile, never pointing at or toward the viewer. Often, the eyes are left separate from the face and lie next to the body, like marbles. In Elizabeth Short’s case, the perpetrator’s focus was not on Elizabeth’s eyes, but on the focus of the observer’s or male’s gaze. That is to say, the gaze upon Elizabeth Short’s body which, because of her beauty, was similar to the pleasure of gazing upon a flower. Her body was positioned to prevent the pleasurable experience, by anyone interested in gazing upon her beauty, which has now become a disarticulated and grotesque image.

Critics who have examined Bellmer’s artwork show, that Bellmer like many of his contemporaries, were unable to fully understand and take control of female bodies, compensated for this confusion by obstructing or removing the vision of the dolls in his artwork, thereby preventing them from seeing and taking ownership over their surroundings. I believe these conclusions may be applied to many of Bellmer’s fellow surrealists and help scholars better understand what it meant for the surrealists to see.

Change In Flower Symbolism

Artwork: “Lady in a Garden” by Edmund Blair Leighton (1852–1922)

Interesting that the Victorian era should change the value of flower symbolism from the sexually charged indulgences of carnal pleasure of ancient Roman and Greek mythology to meanings surrounding virginity, sexual innocence, and generalized femininity. For to live righteously was to deny any connection to “sin” blending closed gardens and fenced in gardens with “sexual purity.” The art of these male artists during the Victorian era conformed to the traditional Victorian definition of femininity at a time when many women began to question their rigidly defined societal and familial roles. In the early 20th century to “deflower” or “to pluck a rose” as it were, the word “flower” was used in circles of prostitution and where prostitution became known as a “flower market.” Marcel Proust, the image of the common orchid specifically refers to sexual intercourse.

Georgia O’Keefe’s Calla Lily

Artwork: Georgia O’Keefe, White Calla Lilies.

The Calla Lily on the other hand symbolizes the exotic and sensual side of female sexuality which may further represent a sexually charged image of the erotic nature of not only sexual indulgences but of deviant sexual behaviors as well, most notably homosexuality and bisexuality due to the flowers androgynous form. The calla lily’s dramatic concavity and roundness provoke obvious associations with the feminine, yet its prominent spadix is often seen as phallic. Its combination of male and female elements makes this flower an appropriate representation of sexual malleability.

John Everett Millais “Ophelia”

Artwork: John Everett Millais, “Ophelia”.

The red poppy is often seen as a symbol of death and in John Everett Millais’ painting “Ophelia,” a Victorian-era artwork, Ophelia’s death is a vivid psychologically charged image. The lovelorn noblewoman, distressed by the death of her father at the hands of her beloved Hamlet, is said to have wandered into a riverbank while collecting wildflowers. In her depressed state she does not, or perhaps cannot find the strength to fight back, and so calmly and quietly surrenders to the water’s demise. The painting centers on the drama of the figure of Ophelia and strewn around her body in the water are the flowers Ophelia was picking. Not surprisingly, the image of a red poppy is among them.

Georgia O’Keefe’s “Red Poppy” (1927)

Artwork: Georgia O’Keefe, “ Red Poppy” (1927).

In Georgia O’Keefe’s rendering of a red poppy, the viewer is invited to delve further into the darkly painted center and in comparison, to Eve Ensler’s popular play The Vagina Monologues (1996) she writes:

“I realized then that hair is there for a reason — it’s the leaf around the flower, the lawn around the house”; “My vagina is a flower, an eccentric tulip, the center acute and deep, the scent delicate, the petals gentle but sturdy.”

Here the inner black mystery of the red poppy, which may be interpreted as a symbol for death, might also represent the culmination of the carnal act of intercourse itself. Its pinnacle crescendo of orgasm or what the French like to refer to as “la petit mort” (little death). Interestingly, this “death” may be the metaphor which, associated with opium “flower smoke rooms” in which customers could not only smoke the opium but visit a “flower market” (e.g., prostitution ring) simultaneously, represents the metaphorical death of stress and tension. Reborn a new in the inner workings of the mysterious red poppy.

Weston’s Shell Photography

Artwork: Photograph of Edward Weston’s Shell (1927).

In purveying other works of art, I often wonder why artists chose shells to make associations with the female form. My first inclination was the curve linear lines which can call us back to the embrace of the pre-oedipal mother and child during our neonatal experience and they look similar to the curve linear lines of flower petals. My second inclination is that we are just fixated on our mothers and that maybe we are all really trying to just imagine a way back into the womb where we were once safe from the chaos and unpredictability that our neonatal experiences had to offer us. And too, the shell’s connection to the water and its oceanic experience of our inter-uterine pre-birth experiences.

Hesitant, Hurt, and Healing Flowers: Watercolors of Female Sexual Anatomy

Artwork: Pinned for Safety (December 2009) by Andrea Frownfelter.

Andrea Frownfelter stated,

“creating these watercolors was certainly therapeutic for me; I hope that other women who have trouble expressing and embracing their sexuality can identify with my work and perhaps learn how they can communicate personal feelings about their anatomy and sexuality by initiating their own internal conversations.”

For Frownfelter, her endeavor was to address the often-unacknowledged theme that women are unknowledgeable of and uncomfortable in their own bodies. Hence, vaginal iconography can be found in flower art. Artwork that not only depicted the exotic and sensual nature of femininity but also artwork that depicts the physical and emotional harm endured by women who suffered from female genital mutilation, rape, sexual abuse, and physical assault by their husbands, friends, or intimate partners. Frownfelter depicts in her watercolors, roses that have been wrapped in “caution” tape, bruised and wounded, covered in and juxtaposed against bandages, drastically altered in color, or rubber-banded, stapled, or pinned shut. As Eve Ensler aptly put it in her play The Vagina Monologues“There’s so much darkness and secrecy surrounding them — like the Bermuda Triangle. Nobody ever reports back from there.”

Artwork: Feminine Layers (September 2009) by Andrea Frownfelter.

Feminine Layers (September 2009) — The painting depicts a very close-up view of some of the layers in a rose, with decorative patterns projected onto the petals. The flower is feminine flesh whose patterns and depictions take on particular meaning.

Artwork: Silk Caution (October 2009) by Andrea Frownfelter.

Silk Caution (October 2009) — A flesh-colored rose wrapped in caution tape echoes a swath of silk spun into a spiral. The silk spun into a spiral and the symmetry of the rose is approximately the same size, they are understood as being together and form an infinity sign or suggest the shape of a woman’s breasts.

Artwork: Poisoned Rose (October 2009) by Andrea Frownfelter.

Poisoned Rose (October 2009) — Is the caution tape placed to protect the “rose” from the viewer or there to protect the viewer from the “rose”? This question has been left unresolved by the artist. In my interpretation, as a female, I’d like to believe the caution tape is placed as a protective barrier from further insult and injury. However, from a male’s perspective, it might mean the contrary. Something is wrong with this flower that makes it appear unsettling and uninviting, similar to Hans Bellmer’s doll art. The artists tell us the bright green is indicative of something dangerous because it evokes how nuclear spills and toxic waste is depicted in cartoons and comic books. But, is the rose really poisonous? Or is it a survival tactic to ward off potential predators? The wings of a non-poisonous butterfly might mimic the bright colors of a poisonous butterfly. So too, is this “rose” really an ill-fated omen for lethality?

Artwork: Bandaged Duality (November 2009) by Andrea Frownfelter.

Bandaged Duality (November 2009) — The flesh color roses are in the process of healing damage already there. The two roses look complete and relatively healthy and have already healed over or were not greatly damaged, to begin with. The two shapes placed side-by-side are supposed to invoke in the viewer healthy female breasts. The use of violet is supposed to denote bruising.

Artwork: Pinned for Safety (December 2009) by Andrea Frownfelter.

Pinned for Safety (December 2009) A rose that is held together by safety pins of various sizes. In the background, petals that have fallen off of the flower are seen in various states of damage.

Artwork: Stabbed (December 2009) by Andrea Frownfelter.

Stabbed (December 2009) — The flesh color roses are being held together with safety pins. Here the artist sees how the artwork is defensive, ready to fight and ward off potential invaders, or made stronger through adversity.

Artwork: Hanging by a Petal (January 2010) by Andrea Frownfelter.

Hanging by a Petal (January 2010) — The flesh color rose is being held together by safety pins and is, unfortunately, starting to unravel. The pile of petals giving evidence to the unfortunate future of the rose.

Artwork: Stapled Apart (February 2010) by Andrea Frownfelter.

Stapled Apart (February 2010) — The flesh color rose is being assaulted with numerous staples.

Artwork: Bound (February 2010) by Andrea Frownfelter.

Bound (February 2010) — The flesh color rose is tightly bound with rubber bands. Roses are aesthetically pleasing and act as a reproductive agent for the plant, but this rose is literally restricted from fulfilling either purpose. These limitations could reference physical violent genital restriction and emotionally or psychologically restrictive social norms placed on expressions of female sexuality (Elizabeth Short). Even when no sexual abuse has occurred, women are taught silence when it comes to the parts of their body that are stimulating, erotic, and sensual.

Artwork: Debris (March 2010) by Andrea Frownfelter.

Debris (March 2010) — The debris of flesh-colored rose petals that have survived a “rose’s” destruction. There is no indication as to what destroyed the flower, only the debris left in its aftermath.

“Things don’t have to look visibly dangerous to be so. Serial killers are often described by those who know them as friendly, charming, and charismatic. There could be something wrong with the rose that is unrecognizable to the naked eye, just as a woman might appear healthy when she is suffering internally. She may be ashamed, embarrassed, or afraid, yet put on a brave face, showing no outward signs of distress, even after physical trauma.” ~Andrea Frownfelter


Chasseguet-Smirgel, Janine. (1984). Creativity and Perversion. London. Free Association Books.

Dijkstra, Bram. (1986). Idols of Perversity: Fantasies of Feminine Evil in Fin-de-Siècle Culture. New York. Oxford University Press.

Ensler, Eve. (2008). The Vagina Monologues. Tenth Anniversary Edition. New York: Random House, Inc.

Frownfelter, Andrea. (2010) “Flower Symbolism as Female Sexual Metaphor”. Senior Honor Theses. 238. 

Kennedy, Randy. Doll Flesh and Art Fetish. The New York Times. Published online August 15, 2014. Retrieved online June 3, 2021.

The Black Dahlia Death and Autopsy Photos.

Wetzel, Hannah J. Hans Bellmer’s Dolls and the Subversion of the Female Gaze. Vol. 13. №01 (2021). Retrieved online June 3, 2021.

Yoni flower Womb of Creation, sacred yoni sculpture, Sacred Feminine goddess art, sensual flower wall sculpture altar. Retrieved online June 3, 2021.

Signs, Symbols, Icons, and Indexes: How to Understand and Appreciate Art Analysis

Artwork: Pieter Claesz “Vintas with Skull, Violin, and Jewels.” A “Vintas” is a symbolic work of art showing the transience of life, the futility of pleasure, and the certainty of death, often contrasting symbols of wealth and symbols of ephemerality and death. Best-known are vanitas still lifes, a common genre in Low countries of the 16th and 17th centuries; they have also been created at other times and in other media and genres.

The purpose of this article is to encourage the reader to further explore and uncover the hidden meaning found within works of art as well as in acts of staged violence in crime scene investigations.

“All art is about signs and symbols.”

Representational art is a symbol for the object, places, or people being represented.

Abstract art can be a symbol of an idea or feeling in the artist or viewer or it can be a symbol, idea, or feeling in the viewer. (Surrealism is often depicted in abstract form using abstract symbols often occurring in dream states).

There is a relatively new field of academic study called semiotics which is the study of signs. Psychoanalysts and the field of psychoanalysis are interested in studying signs is important to understanding language. Can you guess why?

Signs are basically everything. You have a visual depiction. You have street signs. You even have body language. It makes a difference whether your arms are closed and folded in front of the body or if they are extended out openly away from the body. Both representations in body language will be interpreted in very different ways.

Everything really works in art; we can look at particular symbols but also things like color and line and these too can be symbols or signs of something else.

The recognized founder of semiotics was Ferdinand de Saussure. He considered calling all these things; colors, lines, objects a “sign” rather than a symbol. He had a problem with calling these things a symbol. Everything we identify in a work of art is signs and signifiers and what they refer to is the signified.

For works of art that means that everything in the painting, sculpture, or print can be read as a sign, or signifier, or something else. So, in art, we analyze color, line, object and they may appear to us to be symbols or obvious signs.

In the psychology of color and line; warm colors signify happiness and downward curving lines are signifiers of sadness.

Sharp angular geometric lines when depicting human bodies might be an indication of violence and conflict whereas smooth curved lines of a female torso are more indictive of agreeableness and continuity. In terms of semiotic language compare the two different works of art below.

In the painting by Pablo Picasso to the left, Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907), we can interpret the lines of the breast as a pointed sharp object which we might interpret as being violent and intrusive even hostile. This is just the upper right portion of the painting. The full painting is, in fact, much larger with more women depicted in the composition. Now if we consider the sketch of the “Mother and Child,” in this drawing of the curve linear lines are smooth and cohesive, and where we might go on further to imagine that the breasts of the mother if the artist chose to depict them in this image, would be soft, round and rather robust. This image might be interpreted as signifying inclusive warmth and the nourishment needed for life, based on the way the lines are drawn in the sketch.

Vincent van Gogh. Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear and Pipe (1889). The Bridgeman Art Library Nationality / copyright status: Dutch / out of copyright.

In the color analysis of Vincent van Gogh, Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear and Pipe (1889), on the color wheel van Gogh chose colors that complement each other. His blue cap is set on top of an orange background and his green jacket is set against the red background. Here, the interpretation of the color scheme is contentment and simplicity and as being in the company of simple folks. And this could be verified by the letters he wrote to his brother indicating that things were becoming calmer in his life. The bandaged ear on the other hand is a symbol or sign as to how he is not so simple or normal.

So the color background in the art could be a signifier of what is really going on with the painting or what’s really going on inside the artist’s head. Line, color, composition, sense of texture, and motion everything can and will act as a signifier or a sign. We only fully understand the work when we have fully interpreted all the different signs when we carefully consider their relationship to one another and the context of the work itself.

Let’s look at some obvious signs, objects that are clearly depicted to be read as symbols. Then we can see how this relates to other non-object signifiers and what a semiotician would call an entire sign system. We are going to be analyzing two symbolic portraits. Both works are by Vincent van Gogh and they are “Van Gogh’s Chair” (1888) and “Gauguin’s Chair” (1888).

In order to accurately interpret art, it helps if you have a clear understanding of the context and the history of the artwork.

First, we are going to look at context. Here we are going to look at the working relationship between van Gogh and Gauguin in 1888. Gaugin had actually moved in with van Gogh in a little house that he was renting after he had settled in Arles, France. For Gauguin, this was an opportunity to collaborate with another artist. Vincent had actually invited other artists to come and stay with him but Gauguin was the only artist that showed up. Van Gogh almost wanted to set up an artist’s colony there. But to be honest, Gauguin came because he had the opportunity to live there for free because both of them were accepting Vincent’s brother Theo’s generosity.

So, the context might include knowing a little bit further about each painter’s personality. However, the paintings of the two chairs are so obvious to their personalities, we can learn about them from analyzing the paintings.

Obviously, the chairs are symbols that represent the two different men; Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin.

Now here both symbolic portrait is depicted and symbolic self-portrait. So, what do these works of art tell us about each other? We are going to focus on the analysis of the two chairs.

First, look at the huge difference in the styles of the chairs. Who is the plain person and who is a lot fancier?

Van Gogh’s Chair — is obviously a lot plainer and simpler. It’s a straw kitchen chair. Simple yet functional with plain straight natural wooden legs. Probably made out of more common wood with a straight plain back support and interwoven straw seat. It’s made out of natural and probably more common materials that were easier to come by making it less expensive to purchase. There is nothing fancy about this chair. Also, there is a pipe and a packet of tobacco resting on the seat of the chair. The pipe is a symbol of calm. Something one does in repose and expresses an everyday feeling of home. At least for van Gogh.

Gauguin’s Chair — Paul Gauguin’s chair is obviously much fancier than van Gogh’s. It appears to be made of a finer wood. Its craftsmanship is more complex. The carving of the legs of the chair is not straight, but in fact, curved in more of a Queen Ann style fashion. It’s more cosmopolitan and more “glam.” Gauguin’s chair also has armrests which van Gogh’s chair is lacking. They too are carved in a curved and fancier fashion. The backing of the chair is carved in a much more stylish way also. Its seat is interwoven straw, similar to van Gogh’s chair except for the symbolic objects that rest on the seat of the chair. Gauguin has a lite candle and some books. Now, books are a sign of knowledge and intelligence. The lite candle is a sign of divine light and wisdom. These are signs of enlightenment and wisdom which Gauguin did pride himself on having. Symbolic objects give a layer of meaning and significance to these portraits.

What are some other signs and signifiers in these two paintings?

The Point of View — The point of view for both of these two paintings is given as if we are standing very close to the chairs, perhaps contemplating whether or not we should sit down. In the point of view of these two paintings, both chairs are presented facing in different directions. Gauguin’s faces to the left and van Gogh’s faces to the right.

Now, imagine you did want to sit on one of them. Which one would be the easiest to approach and sit down on?

The one that is most opening and welcoming is van Gogh’s chair. It has more seat space available with fewer bulky objects taking up space. So, if we wanted to sit down quickly, we could just grab van Gogh’s pipe and tobacco and take a seat.

However, this is not the case with Gauguin’s chair. Gauguin’s chair has arms and larger and bulkier objects to remove from the seat. Therefore, you would have to approach Gauguin’s chair much more cautiously. You’d have to move with much more respect and honor around the arms of the chair and then very carefully you would have to move the lite candle as well as the two books before actually sitting down. So, the personality that was Gauguin’s, required a much more careful and complex approach.

Both van Gogh and Gauguin were part of a movement in the late 19th century that was actually called Symbolism. And these types of artists were interested in using all the symbols they could and these visual signs to direct the viewer to other content in the work. So, it’s putting all these signs together and understanding their relationship to each other and to the whole of the piece that makes reading signs much more interesting than just looking at a couple of symbols.

How to understand art is actually learning how to identify signs.

The interpretation begins when we start looking at the relationship with them all, other signs and elements which include context, texture, point of view, etc.

Recognizing and understanding certain visual objects in the work that would serve what we would call symbols. Now, we might call them special representational signs. And these are complex even when we are looking at just one example. Here I’d like to bring up the staged murder of Elizabeth Short, also known as the Black Dahlia murder and it will be something we will come back to in a little bit. For now, just know that there are different kinds of symbols. If the symbol meant something at the time that it was included in the work of art, it might not have the same meaning decades or centuries later.

Let’s look at representational signs, not just color or lines, they are also signs but representational signs that would be actual represented objects.

There are three (3) kinds of these representational signs in semiotics:

(1) Symbol — The signifier does not look anything like the signified. It’s totally arbitrary. Often this will become a convention so that you look at one of these totally arbitrary symbols and you know what it means but you’ve only learned its meaning over the course of time. An example might be a simple ring may of gold which will be interpreted as a wedding ring. So, it signifies the union of “marriage.” Even better, two interlocking gold rings would signify a marriage union or partnership of some kind. So we come to understand a gold ring as a convention but it really is only just a ring. Another example would be national flags — flag symbols have to be learned. Likewise, the historical crests of famous families would have objects depicted on them as well. So, these arbitrary symbols would also have to be learned as to what possible connections they may have with the signified.

(2) Icon — Signifier resembles the signified (e.g., a portrait or even a cartoon). Here an example of an icon would be in the artwork of Gedeon Baril, “Caricature of Giuseppe Verdi” in the 19th century. Another icon might be Andy Warhol’s Marilyn which represented Hollywood culture and yet another American iconic symbol would be “Uncle Sam” which represents American Democracy.

(3) Index — Signifier is not arbitrary; rather it has a direct connection to signified. Remember I talked about Elizabeth Short and the Black Dahlia murder, this was the type of symbolism employed in Elizabeth Short’s denial, by her perpetrator, of her female identity and its association with her disarticulated sexuality (female genitalia). It was symbolic of castration. It was a psychotic foreclosure on the part of the perpetrator in his/her psyche as pertaining to the violent expression of “No! Not that!”

Other examples of indexes would be a bullet hole that directly pointed to the bullet.

Another example of an index sign would be footprints which are classic index signs that someone has been there.

Smoke is another index sign of fire.

A lot of times you have actual “pointers.” Someone is looking at an index sign and will actually point for the viewer to make sure that the viewer understands the connection.

If you think “index” think “index finger” which is used to “point to something” you can easily make the connection between the index and how it points to the signified.

With absent index, and here we can think of the work of Julia Kristeva, is the simulacrum or absent presence which circles around the image’s surface. Julia Kristeva was, of course, talking about the relationship between mothers and daughters but in written works of psychoanalysis, but if we considered the bullet hole it might be the absent presence of the bullet.

At the heart of this philosophical debate is whether truth and presence are absolutely linked. In Phaedrus, Plato argues for the unmediated truth of speech over the mediation of writing. The unmediated truth of speech comes from the presence of the speaker, while the writing mediates this presence. Therefore, representations in the form of images or writing present presence through mediation. It is through a medium (such as art, literature, and poetry) that meaning is presented to the world.

“Marie Antoinette and Her Children” (1788) by artist Vig e-Lebrun.

In the artwork by Vig e-Lebrun, Marie Antoinette and Her Children (1788), there is an empty cradle next to Marie Antoinette in this painting, while the eldest child lifts the empty cradle’s curtain while pointing at it was an indexical sign that his mother had recently lost a child; Princess Sophie. This portrait was done as a public relations piece to depict Marie Antoinette, as not only a good queen, but also a good mother who had recently suffered a tragic loss.

William Holman Hunt. “The Awakening Conscience” (1853).

This painting was included in Bram Dijkstra’s “Idols of Perversity: Fantasies of feminine evil in the fin de siècle culture” which was a book written about the pervasive fear of female flesh and the will they exerted against their male counterparts. It was a Victorian-era painting that depicted a lesson was being learned. What was the lesson? That the woman in the painting was “living in sin.” The index sign is very easy to pick out if you are familiar with the relationship between signs. In this painting, it is the bird and the cat in the lower left-hand painting of the work. The cat is obviously preying on the bird and that is a sign that someone is preying on somebody but who, we are not sure. Or are we? This piece was done during a time when women felt they were being treated unfairly and were not given the same equality as men. A critic at the time this painting was presented said the most obvious sign was “the telltale newness of the furniture.” This was not “married couple” behavior at the time and most certainly the two people in the painting were clearly “living in sin.” So, here is where we need to learn a little about the Victorian era’s way of thinking because, today, this painting would be interpreted much differently.

There is a difference in the types of symbols used.

In Marie Antoinette’s painting, the index makes more and more sense as we get used to recognizing the index signs in art because they have a logical connection and they make sense to us.

“Vanitas with Books, Violin, and Skull” by Levin Rodriguez.

If we see a skull, what do we think of? Death. And that’s an index sign for us as Pieter Claesz and Levin Rodriguez both used skulls in their vintas or still life paintings. Remember a “vintas” is a symbolic work of art showing the transience of life, the futility of pleasure, and the certainty of death, often contrasting symbols of wealth and symbols of ephemerality and death.

The icon is also not difficult because it looks like what it is signifying.

It’s the symbol and the arbitrary sign that is something totally unrelated that might cause us trepidation in our analysis.

With arbitrary signs we ask ourselves, how do we know this?

And the answer is, you might see them “sticking out” in the composition because they are arbitrary and they look like they don’t actually belong there so you might have to do more research as to why those symbols were included. So, if you’re looking at something that just doesn’t seem to fit in the composition because it seems odd or juxtaposition you might want to think about it further as being a symbol. After all, symbols are often represented in our dreams, and they don’t make much sense to us until we do further research and find out what their symbolic meaning is.

Giovanni Arnolfini and His Wife (1434) by Jan van Eyck.

Here is an interesting exercise in art analysis that you can do yourself. Look at the painting and look for something that you think is unusual. There are several things. See what you can uncover before reading on further.

(1) Shoes in the lower-left corner of the painting and Giovanni is in stocking feet. This is a SIGN he is standing on “holy ground.” If you remember the story from the bible with Moses and the burning bush. Moses had to take off his shoes because he was standing on holy ground in the presence of God.

(2) Only one lite candle in the chandelier. This is a classic sign that you are in the presence of a holy presence. There are many paintings that depict light as being in the holy presence of divinity. One is Caravaggio’s Conversion of St. Paul (1600–1601) and the other is Adoration of the Shepherds (1622) by Gerard von Honthorst. Both artists’ use of light to depict divine presence can be understood as a symbol of divinity.

(3) The portrait is taking place in the bedroom. The importance of this is the connection between marriage and procreation.

(4) The sculpting on the headboard of the bed is of St. Margaret the patron saint of midwives.

(5) The fruit on the windowsill is a symbol of fertility and is completely indexical sign. The fruit has seeds, seeds bear fruit, fruit equals sex.

(6) Giovanni’s Wife’s pregnancy is a sign of what’s to come or what they hope to do. It is showing their marriage as a holy covenant in the sacrament of the church and that they made this covenant on holy ground in the eyes of God.

Thus, the portrait is about being holy and expresses the commitment he has taken to his wife before the eyes of God.

Hieronymus Bosch. “Garden of Earthly Delights” (1500–1505).

It is a triptych in three panels. We ask ourselves, did the author of this painting want us not to be confused about the role of sexuality and the human proclivities of pleasure? Absolutely not. This work screams SEX! SEX! SEX! You could spend years analyzing this particular artwork. There is a lot going on here and I’m particularly confused by the image in the central panel of a person, naked and bent over, with another naked person alongside him or her sticking flowers in their derriere. What does that mean? Of course, this is a triptych that is supposed to depict acts of human evil and licentious behavior.

“All art is about signs and symbols.”

The Tools of Analysis

First, notice how the artist uses signs, symbols, and representational signs in a work to suggest meaning. This helps one to begin to formulate an interpretation.

Second, are there any elements particular to the seasons or the time of day?

Third, in a picture with people what are their objects, activities, and relationship? How are they connected?

Fourth, what time period is the artwork from? What meanings would the significant objects in the work have had at that particular time?

Fifth, are there any traditional symbols?

Sixth, are there objects that might be symbolic?

Seventh, always look for “signs” or “pointers” that link indirectly to the signified objects. In Elizabeth Short’s murder, her murder scene was staged near a dumpster and she had several suitors who called on her.

Eight, how are various signifiersthe symbolsthe iconsthe indexes related to style-based signs, such as line, color, light, point of view, etc., all of that?

Nine, together, how do they enhance your understanding?

Ten, ask yourself. How does the way the artist uses signs and symbols contribute to the overall meaning of the artwork?

On a final note, if we considered the staged murder scene of Elizabeth Short depicted below, what might we conclude using the above-referenced tools? We might need a little background information on Elizabeth Short’s lifestyle and the time period this murder took place.

Elizabeth Short’s body was severed into two pieces in a procedure known as a hemicorporectomy and her body was drained of all of its blood.

The procedure used on Short’s body was known as a hemicorporectomy. It is a medically induced disarticulation of the pelvis from the upper torso for the purpose of saving the life of the patient. In Creativity and Perversions, Chasseguet-Smirgel presents three Luciferian characters; Caligula, Doctor Moreau, and Hans Bellmer. It is Hans Bellmer, whose fascination with disarticulated doll parts, may provide clues to the inner workings of the mind of the perpetrator in the Black Dahlia murder.

“It is in Germany in 1933 that Hans Bellmer created ‘The Doll.’ Constantin Jelinski, writing on it, says: “It is a fetish, and idol” and calls its maker a ‘demiurge’: Disarticulated, placed in a doorway, its limbs scattered over a bed, or reduced to a pair of legs, set off with lace, The Doll, embodied fancy, seems as Olympia to escape the will of its demiurge’ (Les Dessins de Hans Bellmler, 1966).” (Chasseguet-Smirgel, 1984, pg. 20)

In the case of Elizabeth Short, her ‘demiurge’ is more accurately described as belonging to the Platonic schools of philosophy by definition. In Platonic philosophy, the demiurge is an artisan-like figure responsible for fashioning and maintaining the physical universe. Here, it is most likely a medical doctor or someone with surgical medical knowledge. Most definitely male.

“Jean Brun had the intuition that the Doll is a product whose aim is to dethrone the father and his (genital) begetting capacities (Chasseguet-Smirgel, 1984, pg. 20).” Thereby, vanquishing “the father.” In the form of a creative perversion, a creative solution to a perplexing problem, Elizabeth Short’s genital begetting capacity was denied and her sexuality dethroned from her facial identity and can be interpreted based on the severance between the genitalia and her facial identity. An act that screamed, “No! Not that!” Was she an embarrassment to her father? To one of her boyfriends maybe? She had many male callers. Could the perpetrator have been her father who, had only recently kicked her out of his home, and only lived three blocks away from her staged murder scene where her body was dumped? Or was it an older male she was dating who might have been enraged by her proclivity toward what may have been perceived as acts of promiscuity? Was Elizabeth Short an “idol of perversity?”

Other posts to consider

Romance, the Novel, Psychoanalysis and Sexual Fantasy – Proclivities’ Principle Wisdom (

Theaters of the Mind: The Psychic Theater and the Psychoanalytic Stage (Part II) – Proclivities’ Principle Wisdom (

Theaters of the Mind: The Psychic Theater and the Psychoanalytic Stage (Part III) – Proclivities’ Principle Wisdom (


Absence/Presence. The Chicago School of Media Theory

Chasseguet-Smirgel, Janine. (1984). Creativity and Perversion. London. Free Association Books.

Dijkstra, Bram. (1986) “Idols of Perversity: Fantasies of feminine evil in the fin de siècle culture. New York. Oxford University Press.

Walker, Michelle Boulous. (1998). Philosophy and the Maternal Body: Reading silence. New York. Routledge.

Additional Sources Providing Context and History on the Black Dahlia Murder: