Is there a phenomenon where one feels alienation towards certain body parts

Is there a phenomenon where one feels alienation towards certain body parts

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I am wondering whether is there a name for a phenomenon where one has feelings of "alienation" or feels that body parts (limbs, internal organs, etc) do not belong to him or are not "part of his body" ?

For example - imagine a case where someone loses an arm and is transplanted with a new one, to which he feels that it does not really belong to his body.

I am looking for the name and some details about this type of psychological condition

See the relevant psychological disorders that relate to your question:

  1. Body Dysmorphic Disorder
  2. Body Integrity Identity Disorder
  3. Xenomelia

Xenomelia would be the most likely disorder in-line with your description. The definition is very similar to your description (Lutz and Brugger, 2012):

Xenomelia is the oppressive feeling that one or more limbs of one's body do not belong to one's self.

See Sedda (2011) for a discussion around how Body integrity identity disorder may relate to Xenomelia. The author examines the possibility of BIID as being both a neurological syndrome and a psychological disorder:

Recently, McGeoch and colleagues provided the first direct evidence that the sense on incompleteness reported by BIID patients (First 2005) finds a correspondence in a dysfunctional activity of the right parietal lobe (McGeoch et al. 2011), strongly supporting the hypothesis that BIID in not simply a paraphilia but rather a neurological syndrome (Blanke et al. 2009; Ramachandran and McGeoch 2007; Aoyama et al. in press). McGeoch and colleagues propose that 'xenomelia', from the Greek terms 'foreign' and 'limb', would describe this new parietal lobe syndrome better than apotemnophilia or body integrity identity disorder (McGeoch et al. 2011).

See Brugger et al. (2013) as well. They examines the mind-based and brain-based considerations in understanding the nature of the Xenomelia as a disorder in itself. I've inserted an image of a Venn diagram depicting three approaches in understanding the factors that causes Xenomelia symptoms:

A view of xenomelia research that integrates three approaches

From: Brugger, P., Lenggenhager, B. & Giummarra, M.J. (2013). Xenomelia: A social neuroscience view of altered bodily self-consciousness. Frontiers in Psychology, 4, 204.


  • Hilti, L.M., Hanggi, J., Vitacco, D.A., Kraemer, B., Palla, A., Luechinger, R.J. & Brugger, P. (2012). The desire for healthy limb amputation: structural brain correlates and clinical features of xenomelia. Brain, 136(1), 318-329.
  • Sedda, A. (2011). Body integrity identity disorder: From a psychological to a neurological syndrome. Neuropsychology, 21, 334-336.
  • Brugger, P., Lenggenhager, B. & Giummarra, M.J. (2013). Xenomelia: A social neuroscience view of altered bodily self-consciousness. Frontiers in Psychology, 4, 204.

The condition is called Somatoparaphrenia, and was first described by Josef Gerstmann, in this paper:

Gerstmann, J. (1942). Problem of imperception of disease and of impaired body territories with organic lesions: relation to body scheme and its disorders. Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry, 48(6), 890.

For a more recent review of the topic, see:

Vallar, G., & Ronchi, R. (2009). Somatoparaphrenia: a body delusion. A review of the neuropsychological literature. Experimental Brain Research, 192(3), 533-551.

Relevant parts from this review's abstract:

Somatoparaphrenia has been reported, with a few exceptions, in right-brain-damaged patients, with motor and somatosensory deficits, and the syndrome of unilateral spatial neglect. Somatoparaphrenia, most often characterized by a delusion of disownership of left-sided body parts, may however occur without associated anosognosia for motor deficits, and personal neglect… Somatoparaphrenia is often brought about by extensive right-sided lesions, but patients with posterior (parietal-temporal), and insular damage are on record, as well as a few patients with subcortical lesions.

What is Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)?

Parental alienation syndrome is a term coined by the late forensic psychiatrist Richard Gardner to describe a phenomenon he witnessed where children were being turned against one parent, usually as the result of a divorce or bitter custody battle. He described parental alienation syndrome (PAS) as a &ldquodisorder that arises primarily in the context of child custody disputes. Its primary manifestation is the child&rsquos campaign of denigration against a parent, a campaign that has no justification. It is caused by a combination of a programming (brainwashing) parent&rsquos indoctrinations and the child&rsquos own contributions to the vilification of the targeted parent.&rdquo

What are the Symptoms of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)?

A syndrome is simply a cluster of symptoms with a common etiology. The eight symptoms of PAS are the specific symptoms found in a child who has been successfully alienated. The more symptoms one sees of the eight, as well as the intensity of them, determines the level of severity of the PAS disorder. The eight symptoms are:

  1. a campaign of denigration
  2. weak, frivolous, and absurd rationalizations for the deprecation
  3. lack of ambivalence in the child
  4. the &ldquoindependent thinker&rdquo phenomenon
  5. reflexive support of the alienating parent in the parental conflict
  6. absence of guilt over cruelty to and/or exploitation of the alienated parent
  7. presence of borrowed scenarios
  8. spread of animosity to the extended family of the alienated parent.

In mild PAS, the eight symptoms are mostly present with the exception of two symptoms (lack of ambivalence, and absence of guilt over cruelty to the alienated parent).

As a child moves from mild to moderate PAS, the remaining six symptoms increase in their severity, and the two symptoms noted above begin to appear. In severe PAS, all the symptoms have progressed to the severe level including the two noted above. In other words, with severe PAS, the child loses his or her ability to empathize and to feel guilt in a patterned and predictable way. This level of symptom organization is the very hallmark of the existence of a syndrome.

Is Parental Alienation Syndrome Real?

PAS is not universally accepted by therapists, lawyers, judges, or custody evaluators, and the concept has not yet made its way into the mainstream consciousness. There may in fact be some underlying resistance to the notion that an otherwise &ldquogood&rdquo parent could be so vehemently rejected by his/her child. Perhaps such skeptics hold the belief that a parent must have done something to warrant their child&rsquos rejection and/or the other parent&rsquos animosity.

The problem PAS faces is the problem all new proposed mental disorders face &mdash providing sufficient, objective empirical research that builds upon a solid theoretical foundation. Without such research, professionals can propose all the new diagnoses they&rsquod like, but they will never appear in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the mental health bible of diagnoses).

One contributing factor to the debate is the lack of sufficient empirical data regarding construct validity. The current literature is only about 20 years old and, thus, still in its relative infancy. Moreover, the majority of books and articles on the topic of parental alienation syndrome and parental alienation are theoretical, descriptive, or proscriptive.

As you can see, something that is only 20 years old in psychological and family research tends to be seen as something &ldquonew&rdquo or &ldquountested.&rdquo Some clinicians and researchers see PAS more as a family dynamic rather than a formal diagnosis, and therefore are resistant to slapping another label on a family or child already going through a stressful family dynamic (Baker, 2007). There have yet to be any psychometrically valid diagnostic tools used to assess PAS, and even amongst professionals, what constitutes parental alienation syndrome is in disagreement (are all eight symptoms necessary or prevalent?).

There are also some misconceptions about PAS, despite its relative newness. Baker (2006a) found that alcoholism, maltreatment, and personality disorders co-occurred in most of the alienating families, suggesting possible areas of targeted intervention for PAS families. Parental alienation could occur in intact families as well as even non-litigious divorced families. In other words, the power games parents play with their children aren&rsquot necessarily because of litigation or legal issues.

In late 2005, the American Psychological Association released a brief statement saying it didn&rsquot have a formal stand on parental alienation syndrome, but noted the lack of empirical research supporting this syndrome.

Despite this syndrome not being too well known outside of custody, legal and family therapy circles, there appears to be a growing body of research to support its use.

Baker, A.J.L. (2007). Knowledge and Attitudes About the Parental Alienation Syndrome: A Survey of Custody Evaluators. American Journal of Family Therapy, 35(1), 1-19.

Baker, A.J.L. (2006a). Patterns of Parental Alienation Syndrome: A Qualitative Study of Adults Who were Alienated from a Parent as a Child. American Journal of Family Therapy, 34(1), 63-78.

Baker, A.J.L. (2006b). The power of stories/stories about power: Why therapists and clients should read stories about the parental alienation syndrome. American Journal of Family Therapy, 34(3), 191-203.

Gardner, R. (1998) Parental alienation: A guide for mental health and legal professionals. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics Inc.

Forms of Alienation

All authors who have used the concept of alienation have distinguished between different forms of alienation but not all of them have done so explicitly. Hegel attempted no explicit classification of the forms of alienation but since, for him, the essence of all development was a process of alienation and dealienation, different stages in the development of the Absolute could be regarded as so many forms of alienation. It would be much more difficult to develop a similar classification for Feuerbach's works because the essence of his philosophy was negation of systematic philosophy. "Alienated Labor," a well-known fragment in Marx's Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts, seems to suggest that we should distinguish between four forms of man's alienation: the alienation of man from the products of his own activity, the alienation of man from his productive activity itself, the alienation of man from his human essence, and the alienation of man from other men. But in other places Marx talked about other forms and subforms of alienation not mentioned in this fragment. The enumeration seems to be defective also in that it puts on the same level forms of alienation that should not be at the same level.

Twentieth-century writers differed greatly in their enumeration of the basic forms of alienation. Frederick A. Weiss distinguished three basic forms (self-anesthesia, self-elimination, and self-idealization) Ernest Schachtel distinguished four (the alienation of men from nature, from their fellow men, from the work of their hands and minds, and from themselves) Melvin Seeman, five (powerlessness, meaninglessness, social isolation, normlessness, and self-estrangement) and Lewis Feuer, six (the alienation of class society, of competitive society, of industrial society, of mass society, of race, and of generations).

In listing five different forms of alienation, Seeman tried to define them strictly. According to him, powerlessness is "the expectancy or probability held by the individual that his own behavior cannot determine the occurrence of the outcomes, or reinforcements, he seeks" meaninglessness results "when the individual is unclear as to what he ought to believe — when the individual's minimal standards for clarity in decision-making are not met" normlessness is the characteristic of a situation "in which there is a high expectancy that socially unapproved behaviors are required to achieve given goals" isolation is characteristic of those who "assign low reward value to goals or beliefs that are typically highly valued in the given society" and self-estrangement is "the degree of dependence of the given behavior upon anticipated future rewards, that is upon rewards that lie outside the activity itself" ("On the Meaning of Alienation," pp. 786, 788, 789, 790).

Instead of trying to enumerate all classifications of the forms of alienation that have been made so far, we shall only mention a few of the basic criteria according to which such classifications could be made and actually have been made.

(1) According to the nature of that which is alienated, we may distinguish between alienation of things and alienation of selves. And if we distinguish different types of things or selves, we may add further subdivisions. To those for whom the only self is man, alienation of self is only another name for the alienation of man. But they may distinguish between individual alienation and social alienation. We may classify as types of social alienation the alienation of societies as a whole (such as feudal societies and capitalist societies), the alienation of social groups (capitalists, workers, intellectuals, bureaucrats, producers, consumers, etc.), and the alienation of social institutions (such as the state, the church, and cultural institutions).

(2) According to the question, we can distinguish between alienation from something else or somebody else and alienation from oneself. The distinction is applicable only to alienation of selves a thing cannot be alienated from itself. A self can be alienated either from something or somebody or from itself. According to the different kinds of "others" and according to the different aspects or sides of the self, further subdivisions can be added (for example, alienation from nature, alienation from fellow men, or alienation of the self from its body, its feelings, its needs, or its creative possibilities).

(3) According to whether that which is alienated is alienated through its own activity or through the activity of another, we could distinguish between alienation through others and alienation through oneself. Alienation of a thing can obviously be only an alienation through others. There can be different kinds of alienation of things (stealing, giving, and buying and selling). Alienation of self can be either alienation through others or an alienation through oneself.

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Keywords : chills, frissons, emotion, music, review

Citation: Harrison L and Loui P (2014) Thrills, chills, frissons, and skin orgasms: toward an integrative model of transcendent psychophysiological experiences in music. Front. Psychol. 5:790. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00790

Received: 28 May 2014 Paper pending published: 19 June 2014
Accepted: 04 July 2014 Published online: 23 July 2014.

Adam M. Croom, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Adam M. Croom, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Donald A. Hodges, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA
Jeanette Bicknell, Canada

Copyright © 2014 Harrison and Loui. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

Waiting 4 Ethan

Understanding Brainwashing in the Context of Parental Alienation:

Brainwashing is something we normally think of when we talk about a cult or prisoners of war, but is something far less abstract and distant than what most people think and happens in homes around the world. What is brainwashing? In the world of psychology, it is also referred to as thought reform, with its source

being social influences. It’s a way to change someone’s beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. “Brainwashing is a severe form of social influence that combines…[compliance, persuasion, and education]… to cause changes in someone’s way of thinking without that person’s consent and often against his will.” (

  • Compliance – behavior changes
  • Persuasion – attitude changes
  • Education – is considered the “propaganda method” or teaching one’s own distorted “truth”

Brainwashing has been studied since 1929 by Mao Tse-tung, the leader of the Chinese Communist party – who called it “thought struggle” – to 1951 by the CIA who developed their own mind-conrol research with a program called MKULTRA.

Esteemed expert on the topic of parental alienation, Amy J.L. Baker wrote, “The Cult of Parenthood: A Qualitative Study of Parental Alienation (2004),” where adult survivors of alienation “described their parents in much the same terms that cult leaders are described.” She concludes in her paper that, “these parents required excessive devotion and utilized a range of strategies in order to cultivate their children’s dependence on them.”

In spite of a well-established body of research on the culmination of brainwashing children (parental alienation), the professional community is slow to catch up to the research. Therapists will say, “don’t you think that if a child could be brainwashed that all parents would be able to get their children to do their homework?”

Clearly, there is a considerable lag between what is known about brainwashing children today and the generalization of professional expertise in this area. While the U.S. military teaches soldiers about brainwashing in their training with the understanding that knowledge about the process makes it less effective, parents whose children are at risk for being brainwashed must arm themselves sooner than later with this information to help prevent it.

In Dr. Richard’s book, “Divorce Poison,” chapters 5 and 6 outline the “Alienating Environment” and “The Corruption of Reality” of brainwashing within the family, respectively. These pre-requisites and tactics unveil the secret ways that parents are able to successfully turn one child (without legitimate cause) against the other parent.


(Programming parents need be effective in at least one of these measures, with the objective being to create psychological dependence and to prevent exposure to competing views of reality.)

  1. Isolation: Parents who have the most access to the children tend to be more effective at the brainwashing, but this is not a pre-requisite. Parents with little access can also alienate their children. (See my post: The alienator will sabotage visits with the other parent one way or another to reduce their time, restrict communication, and screen phone calls. Gradually, the time the child spends with the Target Parent is reduced to zero. Isolation leads the child to becoming more and more dependent on the alienating parent. The negative messages about the Target Parent eventually become ‘the truth’ because there is no access to people who can offer the child any competing views.
  2. Stripping: The emotional and symbolic connection with the Target Parent is broken through stripping. The child is ‘stripped’ of any reminders of the Target Parent, whether physical (photos, gifts received from the Target Parent) or simply conversational.
  3. Fear: The Favored Parent demonstrates aggressive behavior, lashes out at the Target Parent in front of the child. The child does not want to become the next target. To the child, it is ‘safer’ to choose the parent who is abusive. In some cases, the child has also been a victim of abuse (aside from the alienation efforts) from the alienating parent.
  4. Age: While Dr. Warshak doesn’t list age as a prerequisite factor in Chapter 5, he does point out in his book “Divorce Poison” that children ages 9 to 12 are the most susceptible to alienation.


  1. Names: Alienators will encourage the child to use the Target Parent’s first name, signifying that the Target Parent does not deserve the respect that accompanies being a parent. The child may also hear the Target Parent referred to as a “witch” or other perjorative labeling that the child will use the same terminology.
  2. Repetition: Per Dr. Amy J. L. Baker, the alienator will repeatedly (overtly or covertly) convey to the child the that “basically that parent doesn’t really love you, they’re not really around, they’re not really doing anything to take care of you and in some cases, the message is that person is dangerous.” “In fact, studies have found that if just one person repeats the same opinion three times, it has a whopping 90 percent chance of converting three different people in the group to have the same opinion.”
  3. Selective Attention: This tactic is a “potent image shaping tool” whereby the alienator capitalizes on the child’s natural mixed feelings (all healthy children have mixed feelings about both parents) of the Target Parent by selectively magnifying the minor negative thought the child may have had and making it into a reason worthy of rejecting the other parent. At the same time, the alienator will intentionally leave out any mention of positive aspects of the Target Parent. This tactic can be obvious, or very calculatingly subtle. “While braiding her daughter’s hair, a mother asked, “Does Daddy do this for you?” (pg. 154 Divorce Poison)
  4. Judging Behavior out of Context: This tactic is a way to train the child to misinterpret the Target Parent’s behavior to always support the message that the parent does not love the child, is unavailable, and is unsafe. The Target Parent who is working long hours and cannot take time off from work to come to the child’s sporting event is judged by the alienator to the child as selfish and unloving.
  5. Exaggeration: The Target Parent who has started to date occasionally is portrayed to the child in an exaggerated way, e.g., preoccupied with men/women. Exaggerated messages that are repeated enough times will become integrated into the growing distortion of the Target Parent.
  6. Lying: Blatant lies may be told particularly if the child has been resistant to the brainwashing tactics described above. “Though such behavior is common among psychotic parents who have lost touch with reality, it also occurs among less disturbed people.” (Divorce Poison, Ch. 6)
  7. Revisionist History: The alienator devalues the formerly warm, close relationship the child and Target parent have/had. The alienator will review the pre-divorce family life with the child in the terms that supports the alienator’s distorted view. Especially if isolated from the Target Parent, the child will gradually adopt this revised family history, sometimes to the point that the child demonstrates a form of amnesia.
  8. Suggestions, Innuendos, and Implications: These are the more sneaky and subtle ways to program the child that can be especially potent and more difficult to prove. Dr. Amy J. L. Baker provides a good example of this category in an interview. Dr. Baker explains that, “It’s the trick that the alienating parent — one of their strategies — is that they send their kids for visitation trying to have a big fight with the targeted parent. The targeted parent often takes the bait and then they end up spending the whole visitation fighting with their kids. Then, the kid leaves and goes, “Mom’s right! Dad is unsafe. All he did was yell at me all weekend.”
  9. Exploitation: The alienator will support and encourage the child’s efforts to denigrate and disrespect the Target Parent. It is another expression of alienation.
  10. Projection: An Alienator’s repeated accusations about the Target parent that have no basis in reality are actually self-descriptive. Don’t dismiss cues of projection just because it seems too obvious. These texts from an alienator to a Target parent shed light into what the alienator subconsciously thinks about himself and his own real danger he presents to the child. He wrote:

You are absolutely crazy, a bad person. You are angry and bitter. [The child] is downright scared of you. [The child] is a prisoner in your own home…don’t get mad or defensive…stop ignoring [your] deficiencies and embrace them…deeply concerned at the prospects of your current mental state…Is something wrong that I don’t know about? You do need help! Holy Shit!…I’m very scared for the children to be in your custody…I’m going to do everything in my power to make you undergo psychological evaluation to confirm you are fit to have the children. I really do not think you are [fit to have the children]…I am very sad for the kids…scared for their well- being …I feel very sad for [the child] to continually suffer at he hands of your actions…I am very sad the kids are continually being adversely impacted…[you are] immature…[a] joke…manipulative…petty…There will come a day when the kids’ opinions will matter. You are not going to like that day. Personally, I can’t wait for that day. You are having a hard time differentiating between your feelings and the right of the kids to have their own feelings. You need to talk to someone with whom you can be totally honest.

Are we ready for the genetic revolution?

When the time comes, and experts believe it is coming sooner than we expect or are prepared for, genetic meddling with the human genome may drive social inequality to an unprecedented level with not just differences in wealth distribution but in what kind of being you become and who retains power. This is the kind of nightmare that Nobel Prize-winning geneticist Jennifer Doudna talked about in a recent Big Think video.

CRISPR 101: Curing Sickle Cell, Growing Organs, Mosquito Makeovers | Jennifer Doudna | Big Think

At the heart of these advances is the dual-use nature of science, its light and shadow selves. Most technological developments are perceived and sold as spectacular advances that will either alleviate human suffering or bring increasing levels of comfort and accessibility to a growing number of people. Curing diseases is what motivated Doudna and other scientists involved with CRISPR research. But with that also came the potential for altering the genetic makeup of humanity in ways that, again, can be used for good or evil purposes.

This is not a sci-fi movie plot. The main difference between biohacking and nuclear hacking is one of scale. Nuclear technologies require industrial-level infrastructure, which is very costly and demanding. This is why nuclear research and its technological implementation have been mostly relegated to governments. Biohacking can be done in someone's backyard garage with equipment that is not very costly. The Netflix documentary series Unnatural Selection brings this point home in terrifying ways. The essential problem is this: once the genie is out of the bottle, it is virtually impossible to enforce any kind of control. The genie will not be pushed back in.

1. Strong Magnetism

One sign of a twin flame connection that is undeniable is the magnetism you might feel towards this other person. The attraction to one another is almost surreal like something never felt before.

It does have to be mutual, or this attraction is just a strong attraction and nothing more. Both flames can feel the pull, and it is a strong pull towards each other.

2. Destined to meet

They say people never forget how others made them feel. This is true with twin flames. That these folks are destined to meet is a given. Once they do, there is no turning back. Because they both know how the other has made him/her feel.

Once that feeling is embedded in the soul, there is endless seeking, which can only end in togetherness. The Universe brings them together because of the magnitude of force with which they seek each other. It feels like destiny, but what it really is, is a soulful attraction of sorts.

3. Surreal Announcement

Another exciting thing that happens between twin flames is this surreal announcement that the other flame is nearing. Yes, some people experience strange dreams or start to feel a strange but familiar presence nearing.

Others start to see little signs showing synchronicities, like seeing the 11:11 on the clock more often than usual or strange waves of energy start taking over the body.

Sometimes, people start to take notice of a song playing more and more, even without you seeking this particular song out. The other person is likely experiencing the same things, and all of these are signs of an impending meeting.

4. Underlying Connection

Okay, the Universe doesn’t design people like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle so that they can fit together instantly. The connection between two flames is undeniable, but still fitting together can be a massive challenge.

Imagine if the two signs are Scorpio and Libra, the former is all about passion while the latter focuses more on fairness. The two flames are still inside two people with all sorts of differences in personalities, demeanor, likes, or dislikes. However, there is still going to be an underlying connection.

Some people may find it in their astrological signs, like the perfect match between Aries and Libra. Others may see it in the way their energies complement each other. Try to look beyond superficial traits, and the connection between twin flames will seem more real.

5. A Space Called Home

Meeting a twin flame is a magical ordeal though some people may miss it. All the memories shared can rush back or at least the feeling of memories. Some may see vivid memories come to life, while others may simply feel like they have been together before.

In a sense, being with a twin flame is going to feel weird because you are going to feel at ease with him. It will be like you can tell them anything. Also, it is more likely that they will be just super easy to talk to.

The emotional connection will be just exceptional. Some are going to feel content, happy, and just relaxed when together. Try to be as open to this experience as possible whenever talking or connecting with a potential twin flame.

6. Telepathic Connection

As mentioned before, the connection between twin flames is supernatural. Some people experience a telepathic link with their twin flames. This connection could manifest in several ways: it can sound like Charlize Theron and Will Smith in Hancock, but twin flames can sense when the other is in trouble.

Even if the twin flames are far away from each other, they would feel like they share the same room. The telepathic twin flame connection is so strong that sometimes, the two experience illnesses, emotions, and even pain together.

7. An Evolving Relationship

Twin flames evolve together no matter the hardships. Life is always going to throw people curveballs. Some of these are going to be pretty hard to overcome, and pure twin flames find a way through these issues together and usually evolve as a couple. Couples who aren’t twin flames often crack when life throws them the slightest hint of hardships coming their way.

This phenomenon is usually what happens because twin flames complement each other’s weaknesses and strengths. It is almost like a couple gets to face the obstacle with the right person for each problem.

Twin flames can easily see that the hardship could not have been vanquished with anyone else but the person they are with. They got each other’s backs no matter what. It is almost like they are two sides of the same coin, and no matter how you flip them and how many times you flip them, they are going to stick together through thick and thin.

8. Exploratory Relationship

Twin flames have an exciting way of helping each other out. You get to learn more about yourself with your twin flame than you would have with anyone else. This person is going to know what questions to ask and what to say to help the other person in the relationship grow.

You will also be able to naturally ask penetrating questions and say things to your partner that will do the same for him or her. The level of understanding between twin flames is incredible and only gets more profound the longer they are together, the greater the connection. These are some reasons why twin flames form an everlasting bond given enough time.

Hopefully, some of these signs make it easier for you to find your true twin flame. We know it is going to take some time, and it is going to require some patience, but this is something worth waiting for.

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I’ve experienced this with multiple women, but then my kundalini awakened in 2000 and rose through the crown chakra, essentially having a near-death experience without having to die. Most cannot handle the connection. They panic at the onset of ego loss. So, it’s not a physical death, but an ego death. Indeed, a sexual orgasm has been referred to as a “little death” and women have been known to eject themselves from their body when one occurs. It can happen during sex although it’s not required, and one’s energy field extends beyond the physical body. Indeed, the physical body is merely the densest part of the aura or overall energy field, that which is visible to the senses.

You’re way beyond mainstream psychology. For the most part, they only see broken pieces of something they don’t fully understand. I sometimes tell someone who has had some sort of paranormal or spiritual experience to not tell a psychiatrist what the told me or they’re likely to get diagnosed with schizophrenia or some form of psychosis. We desperately need more transpersonal psychologists in the world, as psychiatry tends to do far more harm than good. In their ignorance, they damage people instead of helping them.

Your light is meant for the greater GooD of humanity. The conceptualization of your perspective starts in alignment, the aspect that create the allowence of abstraction is in your thought is ready to continue,however the idea of the Art of Psychiatry has been hidden. Perhaps from experience or lack of. Balance is the true nature in your awareness. As the abstraction of Understanding is revealed to you the. Crowns of wisdom live within each of us. Keep moving forward in Grace.

Wow. I hope God has shown you that you are with your twin flame. Life speaks to you in many ways,but it is undeniable when the truth is imparted to you,what ever form that may take. I play the piano for a church of God,and i met my twin flame at church. She also is a piano player and played for many years at her church. I feel we were put together by a higher power,to perform music together for our great God and creater. I feel God has a mission in your life,and sometime you have to reach out and take it. Go with the inner voice that can only speak to you in your own way. It always will correct you and will never tell you lies. It is hard to hear if you are busy (being.under.satans.yoke.) but i think Jesus has a plan for you. Take care and Godbless.

Here are some signs: hearing their voice in your head and confirming what the other one said feeling their body controling yours in alpha state living their experience like you where in their bodies and confirming it, from things that were said and experienced having the same feeling and parallel lives and experience same reaction to events and people seeing their next words they are going to speak in the back of your mind, getting fat when the other one does, sliming the same etc. In conclusion it is like living in the body of the other one for your whole life and knowing everything about the other one without even talking or even if years teared you apart.

I’m an open minded skeptic, but I am delighted, weirded out, confused, intrigued by how my experience is so on point to this description. I have been researching the Twin Flame phenomenon for a few years, trying to understand the strangeness of a particular relationship. It seems too surreal to be fact, and unprovable to anyone except maybe him with our shared anecdotes.

Everything has been happening: The runner/chaser, strange overwhelming magnetic and electric energy around them, dark night of the soul, personal epiphanies and changes, shared thoughts, words, and mannerisms. Our childhoods have many mirrors, and we have similar body types. Synchronicities have been frequent, especially seeing 1:11 and 11:11, especially when thinking or interacting with him. He is constantly in my dreams, and has been for years now. We have seemingly simultaneously shared moods, emotions, and physical pains. The sordid relationship dynamics (stuck in a long term relationship but having to face leaving it all to be with this other person). I have dealt with my shadows, had my morals, identity, story, sexuality, insecurities confronted.

I started making the effort to hang out with him to better understand our dynamic this year in February. As we all know, it has been one of the craziest years in recent memory. Within a month of hanging out, quarantine started, we had raging wildfires here in California. When we hang out, the sun comes out, the energy changes to be more positive. Initially neither could talk to one another from nerves, and now there is a natural serene comfort and talk easily. Songs I’ve never heard of will come on describing our situation on the radio, the tv will sound like its narrating our real time moment in the background. Recently, we were sitting together when a commercial I’d never seen came on and there was a male character who said “(my name), will you marry me?”.

Its all been so strange and thus far its been mostly a solo journey, afraid to confide the oddities to him. After we went to the redwood forests today and THREE giant trees fell (three unadjacent trees, snapped, no wind, rain, or environmental disturbances. No one else in the forest but us. What are the odds three 100 year old plus redwood trees would suddenly fall?! We were there only a few hours and never happened any other time in similar forests by myself or with others. Other strange events include a floating box (the wind did some weird thing where i threw a box to him and a strange breeze floated it back to me). One time we were talking and a shopping cart no one was touching or near suddenly had all the merchandise explode off of it.

I also asked three psychics/tarot card readers if he was my twin flame, and all said yes. I’ve seen the outer world on all levels go to hell, my energy turn to low vibration, become a social pariah locally. Spending time with him has been healing my heart, lifting my energy, and likewise for him.

We’re still on the road to figuring it all out, but we seem so connected in our hearts and energy that we will work together to sort through our experience.

Merleau-Ponty, The Phantom Limb, and Pareidolia

Merleau-Ponty in The Phenomenology of Perception places a special emphasis on the body. In doing so, he uses a multitude of phenomenal disorders. The least obscure of these examples -in my opinion- is the phenomenon of the phantom limb, which is where an amputee has the feeling that the amputated limb is still there. With regard to all of these disorders, the reason why Merleau-Ponty sees the need to analyze them is that his sense is that all investigations prior to his, with respect to these disorders, has been inadequate. Empiricism & physiology and intellectualism & psychology, in its classical sense, or a combination of these two, are all inept in explaining these disorders. Merleau-Ponty argues that it is to be explained from the point of view of being-in-the-world. Looking at these disorders can help elucidate what it is like to be a normal person (in-the-world), by looking at deficiencies in our Being & by refuting the existing explanations of the plethora of disorders that Merleau-Ponty examines, the obscurity of the aforementioned elucidation is alleviated, and an existential analysis is given prominence. Acceptance and developing new habits also contribute to this elucidation.

The phantom limb phenomenon has been given two irreconcilable and on their own, inadequate, explanations according to Merleau-Ponty. The first of which is an empirical/physiological explanation. This way of attempting to analyze the existence of the phantom limb is entirely through the lens of the body, with the exclusion of the mind. Merleau-Ponty primarily finds this problem because, in his existential analysis of all of the disorders he examines, he is clear to deem the body & mind as inseparable. This is in terms of actual limbs, nerves, neurotransmitters, and components of neurophysiology. Part of why this is a problem for Merleau-Ponty is because nerve signals in connection to actual limbs cannot by itself account for the phenomenon of the phantom limb. One of the justifications for this is that the actual phenomenon of the phantom limb occurs within the domain of experience. This means that there are some psychological factors in play, which makes physiology alone a non-starter as an explanation. Marleau-Ponty rightly points out that “a collection of cerebral traces could not represent the relations of consciousness that intervene in the phenomenon.” Given that experience occurs within consciousness, and from a scientific standpoint we do not -even now- know the neural-correlates of consciousness, it is clear that Merleau-Ponty would reject Francis Crick’s claim that “we’re nothing but a pack of neurons”. There are also psychological triggers which factor into the amputee’s experience of the phenomenon, like emotions, memories, desires, the fact that the position of the limb when it was amputated plays in the way in which it manifests phenomenally, and some of the specific aspects of what occurred to the amputated limb -like the war-torn man who had shrapnel in his limb- are retained in the phenomenon. The inherent third-person level-of-analysis of empiricism/physiology cannot account for any of this. Merleau-Ponty certainly grants that physiology is not a complete dead end in terms of explaining the phantom limb the physiological fact of the limb being amputated in the first place plays a role in the phenomenon’s existence. However, even with this bestowing, a similar phenomenon of anosognosia occurs even when a person has not been amputated.

With the physiological explanation out of the way, Merleau-Ponty proceeds to explain why the psychological explanation is also inadequate. Psychology is inadequate for a similar reason: it excludes the body, for an emphasis on the mind. This is problematic primarily for the same reason as the physiological explanation is (i.e. negates existential linking of mind & body). The intellectualist/psychologist attempts to reduce the phantom limb down to mere mental disorder. This is clearly incoherent, in that, the phantom limb has some physiological explanations that are valid (i.e. the amputee physically not having a limb is a factor in the phenomenon’s existence). “No psychological explanation can ignore the fact that the phantom limb disappears when the sensory conductors that run to the brain are severed.” Indeed, if it was just an experiential disorder, the limb being amputated would be entirely irrelevant which it simply cannot be said to be. The intellectualist explanation here simply ignores neurophysiology and anatomy entirely, when such enterprises are to at least some extent relevant.

Merleau-Ponty, with physiology and psychology by themselves dismissed, he acknowledges that it might be supposed that a psychophysiological explanation would be adequate for explaining the phantom limb. However, Merleau-Ponty asserts that the gap between mind and body cannot be bridged via psychology and physiology, because these two modes of inquiry are fundamentally incompatible with one another.

Indeed, for the two series of conditions to be able to co-determine the phenomenon -the way two compartments determine an outcome- they would require a single point of application or a common ground and it is difficult to see what might serve as the common ground between ‘physiological facts’ (which are in space) and ‘psychical facts’ (which are nowhere), or even between objective processes, such as nervous impulses (which belong to the order of the in-itself), and cogitationes, such as acceptance or refusal, consciousness of the past or emotion (which belong to the order of the in-itself).

Any attempt to bridge the gap between these two modes of inquiry brings forth obscurity. A significant animosity between psychology and physiology is that the former explains the phantom limb as a representation of a presence and the latter as a presence of representation these are explicit opposites. The former wishes to say that something is being represented as present, when it actually isn’t, in my mind and the latter wishes to say that in objective space there is an existent representation. Again, the former exists nowhere and the latter exists objectively. This is a reductio ad absurdum. Furthering the reductio, when Merleau-Ponty enters his existential analysis of the phantom limb, he states that “the phantom arm is not a representation of the arm but rather the ambivalent presence of an arm.” Thus speaking of representations when attempting to uncover the cause of the phantom limb is a non sequitur, as our interaction with the world is more direct than mere representation. There, however, must be some sort of ground between the two, as it would, in turn, make no sense for physiological occurrences to occur along with psychological occurrences (ex: I put my hand on a hot stove (physiology) and I feel pain as a result (psychology)) the ground for all said phenomena is Being-in-the-world, which Merleau-Ponty describes as the pre-objective perspective in which we are constantly engaging in a world practically and with meaning at the forefront of our experience.

The first thing that Merleau-Ponty notices about those the phantom limb is that they are in denial of the amputation. “Subjects who systematically ignore their right hand, and who rather offer their left hand when they have been asked for their right, nevertheless speak of their paralyzed arm as a ‘long and cold serpent’, which excludes the hypothesis of a genuine anesthesia a suggests the hypothesis of a refusal of the deficiency.” This is not a psychological refusal rather it is an ontological one. This is because we are primarily Beings-in-the-world. Prior to the amputation, the way in which the amputee engaged in the world was an engagement that always involved having the limb which existed prior to being amputated. The world that the amputee had, no longer phenomenally belongs to them. The practical significance of the limb no longer has that significance.

It is, however the case, that the significance of the limb has been retained to some extent -otherwise, the phantom limb would not occur. The significance/way in which the amputee formerly engaged in the world -the familiarity of their prior world, which entailed having a limb- has been to a certain degree retained due to the amputee’s ambivalence at his new situation in the world. This is not a memory or a representation of the limb, it is an ambivalent presence of one. The denial of the injury is the key factor in conjuring this presence. The example he gives of losing a friend clarifies this: pareidolia is not uncommon when we’re not around our friends we could be walking down the street and see our friend’s face in a stranger’s and, for a moment, really think that it is them this occurs even when a friend is alive “But at last it became night, and a cold wind blew upon the lonely one” perhaps facial pareidolia is an implicit illumination of a deeply rooted human loneliness, which is characterized by an unconscious denial of our friends not being around, which we all possess -a cold wind that blows upon us all-, as, -par recent experience- this phenomenon occurs with a much higher frequency when a friend has died. Just as the phantom limb is the refusal to accept the loss of the practical world which one once was engaged in, pareidolia is the refusal to accept the loss of the social world which one once was engaged in. “The phantom limb is thus, like a repressed experience, a previous present that cannot commit to becoming past.”

Towards dis-alienating the nation

It has been said that nothing is so thoroughly bad that it cannot serve as a bad example. To that extent, no human being or entity can be so comprehensively useless as to foreclose or foreclude their deployment as an example of how things ought not to be. Future sociologists of deracinated nations will have a lot to ruminate about contemporary Nigeria.

As the nation hurtles towards an inevitable rendezvous with fate, it is showing all the classic symptoms of alienation. In clinical psychology, alienation is the most severe form of self-estrangement, a condition in which there is a total dissociation of personality a permanent battle for supremacy among contending neuroses. Far from being at peace with itself, the individual is a vast battlefield of countervailing impulses.

In some radical variants of Political Theory, alienation occurs when institutions made by humankind and for the benefit of humanity suddenly disentangle themselves from the hosting body to assume an independent life of their own.

In their disembodied form, the alienated entities take the host as hostage as they begin a reign of terror which has nothing to do with the original inspiration or aspiration. Anarchy and chaos reign supreme. But the afflicted appear powerless to do anything about their parlous state.

The physics of rapid industrialization is replaced by the metaphysics of baleful groaning and utter paralysis. Everything appears like a monstrous fetish a primitive ritual without the sorcerer or his apprentice.

In the modern era, the most powerful dramatization of alienation can be found in Franz Kafka’s novella, The Metamorphosis. Kafka himself has been famously described as the classic representative of the Age of Anxiety a walking distillate of combustible alienation. He was a German-speaking Czechoslovakian Jew. Talk of multiple displacements in the post-Empire epoch.

In The Metamorphosis, Joseph K went to bed only to find out that he had become an insect, a beetle-like dung to be precise. But since punctuality remains the soul of business, all his subsequent efforts that morning were geared towards getting up to get to work. Meanwhile, the wall clock ticked away with merciless precision reminding the embattled human beetle of its contractual obligation to the deity of modern capitalism.

The wall clock has become a master symbol of human alienation from its own designers. Honed to precision by western technology for ease of business transaction if not exactly invented by it, it has now assumed a life of its own as a terroristic contraption regulating human existence with unrelenting modern rationality without any further reference to its originating summons.

Nowhere is the concept of political alienation more germane and apposite than in postcolonial Africa. Here, and particularly in Nigeria, the nation-state paradigm which was imposed on Africa by the colonial masters to regulate and rationalize the chaotic pre-colonial fiefdoms and expired empires had disembodied itself from the notions of the modern nation to become a terror machine in its own right, spreading fear and mayhem among trembling denizens and unhappy captives.

Those who still believe, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that the Nigerian union of disparate nationalities is divinely ordained or an indissoluble nuptial which no human being can do anything about are the most afflicted victims of this form of alienation. They need to be pitied provided they are willing to come to terms with their affliction.

In the name of their sick and psychotic notion of the nation, they inflict unspeakable horror and crimes against humanity against compatriots. Human life no longer matters. It is their disembodied notion of the nation that does. If the Nigerian crisis degenerates into wanton bloodshed as a result of their medieval arrogance and obtuseness, they may yet have their day at the International Court for crimes against humanity.

But as it has been famously observed, a man can make for himself a throne of bayonets, whether he will be able to sit on it is another matter entirely. This past week, the heat of national alienation seems to have finally reached the presidential kitchen shattering General Mohammadu Buhari’s glacial imperturbability and unflappable mien.

For those who have been warning about the mismanagement of ethnic diversity in Nigeria which has escalated during the current regime, it may be sheer fun laced with macabre humour watching the Nigerian presidency roiling and roasting in a national conflagration of its own making. But for many die-hard Nigerian patriots, it is a distressing sign of a dire national emergency.

Having returned from peace-making abroad over the Malian debacle where he appeared glum-faced and forlorn, General Buhari was immediately confronted by the festering crisis at home. This was against the background of escalating stagflation, the death of the former Army chief and his aides in an air crash and the wanton destruction of government properties in the east as a result of what has snowballed into well-heeled guerrilla insurgency in the troubled region.

Receiving a report from the INEC boss over the obviously orchestrated torching of the properties of the electoral body in the South East, General Buhari finally blew his top, noting that those misbehaving in certain parts of the country were obviously too young to know the travails and loss of lives that characterized the Nigerian civil war.

The president then concluded with chilling resolve: “Those of us in the fields for thirty months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand. We are going to be very hard sooner than later”. Twitter, the international media conglomerate, promptly deleted the tweet from the presidential handle sparking off a global media fire fight with the Nigerian authorities which culminated in Nigeria’s government banning Twitter from the nation.

General Buhari’s anger and frustration are quite understandable. The wanton destruction of life and property, the targeted elimination of security forces by rogue non-state actors in the old Eastern region, is quite unfortunate and a direct challenge to the authority and legitimacy of the Nigerian postcolonial state as currently constituted. A man with a military cast of temperament and regimented mind-set is not expected to take this lying low.

Unfortunately, this is a propaganda war the federal authorities can never win. If anything, the testy and unmeasured responses can only attract more international opprobrium for the Nigerian president. Twitter, like all western medium consortiums, is founded on the tenets of western liberal democracy, however repulsive and insensitive to the plight of fractious nations this might appear.

By deleting but not suspending his Twitter accounts, the global media octopus is sending a dire signal to the Nigerian presidency. But the situation has now been compounded by the Twitter proscription. General Buhari would from now on have to watch his back. This is the treatment normally reserved for leaders that the western civil and political society has grown tired of. They are preparing a Yugoslavian scenario for Nigeria.

It is a sad day when the Nigerian president hugs the international limelight of notoriety with an outlaw and political deadbeat like Donald Trump, the disgraced American former president who has just been banned by Facebook for two years. It is worthy of note that recently, and against the run of play, Britain granted the right to asylum for members of the proscribed IPOB.

Yet it would have been another matter entirely if the entire country were to be solidly behind the retired general. Unfortunately despite the hoopla and alleluia chorus about infrastructural revamp, the country has never been this divided and sharply polarized with several important segments so disillusioned and disappointed that they want out. It is not the thought of happy grandchildren that fuels wars and revolutions but the memory of defeated and enslaved ancestors.

It is worthy of note that Twitter was probably forced to delete the presidential tweet as a result of being swamped by a tsunami of protests from outraged and affronted Nigerians in and out of the country. By making a barely veiled reference to vanquished Biafra and the savage nature of the last civil war, the president tactlessly touched on raw nerves, reviving ethnic animosities in an already inflamed polity and ancestral memories of persecution.

This is more so when it is widely believed that he has not found the pluck and courage to address the issue of his marauding ethnic kinsmen who have decided to put the entire country to sword leading to even more widespread bloodshed, mayhem and looming famine. Modern governance is predicated on integrity and squeaky cleanliness. Do not come to equity if you have soiled hands.

It is not hard to see where bungled elite harmony and the mismanagement of ethnic diversity are leading the country. It has led to growing radicalization of hitherto sedate and statesmanlike ethno-cultural organizations. Nothing concentrates the mind more than the thought of looming political extinction. This week, it was reported that Ohaneze, the Igbo apex ethno-cultural organization, has petitioned the United Nations about the plight of the Igbo in contemporary Nigeria.

This externalization of the national crisis is an ominous departure from Ohaneze’s normally cautious and cagey engagement with the federal authorities. It is an admission of growing frustration and despair over the National Question.

Stunned into action by the spectre of looming political irrelevance and finding its constituency evaporating as IPOB seizes the Igbo political imagination, Ohaneze is fighting for its political life. In the old east, IPOB is now in power while the ruling parties are in government or government houses as the case may be.

The national emergency cannot be more concerning. In the west, the secessionist clamour is growing daily acquiring more respectable and hitherto mainstream voices and a fierce Diaspora lobby fuelled by abstract idealism. This past week, a Yoruba traditional ruler made an articulate and well-reasoned plea for decoupling the Yoruba people from Nigeria.

The danger for the current Yoruba political elite is the possibility that given the parlous plight of economically disempowered underclasses that are becoming increasingly restive, things might degenerate into messy class warfare. There are lots of burgeoning rogue cells out there in pristine forests with rudimentary military training waiting to take advantage of state collapse.

If General Buhari already does not know, we beg to inform him that the embryonic outlines of the Second Nigerian civil war are already here with us. But what is probably occluding his vision is the fact that it is not going to be the symmetrical warfare for which he is trained in military academies. As at this moment, Nigeria is plagued by asymmetrical forces which despite their mutual hostility and contradictory ideologies are in paradoxical complicity to unhorse the state.

But there is still something play for. If we are going to be ruthlessly honest with ourselves, Nigeria is a product of elite failure with the dominant and hegemonic group most guilty. But everybody has played their unheroic bit. It is a tragedy with very few heroes. In its current messy state, even if Nigeria is split into a thousand new nations, they will be nothing but a proliferating atomistic mess. Nothing will come out of nothing.

We must not bequeath this mess to our children in whatever form despite the inflamed passions and separatist catcalls. We must begin the process of dis-alienating the messy and chaotic amalgam that is Nigeria as currently constituted. It is going to be a Herculean task.

But it can also be a learning curve for our barons of disintegration dreaming of an Eldorado once Nigeria is Balkanized. Proliferating identities is a human phenomenon and a strategy of survival in all human societies. Those who cannot handle big nationhood will never be able to handle small nationhood.

This is a task that calls for a visionary statesman and not somebody with a military mind-set dreaming about expresso conquests and summary subjugation of people with different cultural outlook and antithetical modes of political, economic and spiritual production. Given the proliferation of arms and their bearers in the nation, the Nigerian post-colonial state has passed the point where it can impose a military solution on the Nigerian crisis of nationhood.

If he still has anything left to offer the nation, General Buhari must immediately begin the process of healing and national reconciliation, a procedure of disalienation, by bringing all the warring sides to a negotiating table. To achieve this, there are two urgent national imperatives.

First, in order to restore legitimacy and authority, he must be seen to have taken off his gloves against rampaging herdsmen who have turned the nation into a living hell. Second, he should carry out an immediate cabinet make over and rid himself of the deadwoods who have become a menace unto the government and the nation.

These are obviously tall orders for a man with a stubborn fidelity to ethnic particularity and whose sense of loyalty to the old feudal code appears to preclude a sense of obligation to the larger nation. But we must caution that where national mediation fails, international arbitration must surely follow.

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