world's bloodiest criminal
Psychoanalyst Alice Miller researched the childhood...of...Adolf Hitler. Hitler's grandmother, Maria Schicklgruber...a maid in the household of the Jewish family of Johann Trummelschlager...wanted her employer to acknowledge that he was the father...Johann, a respectable family man, denied (this)...but...did provide financial support for young Alois until he was about 15. Thus, in addition to the anti-Semitism of Western society, from his mother, Alois grew up with an extra dose of hatred for Jews.
Alois married a docile codependent named Klara, and one of their children was Adolf Hitler. Everyone knew (Alois) was a "good parent" as attested by his stern discipline with his children. As a "good parent," Alois knew it was necessary for Adolf to acquire the esteemed quality of unquestioned, instant obedience to parental authority.
...From the time young Adolf was four, when Alois came home each evening he often severely beat and demeaned his son--even if he had been a "good boy" all day. He almost beat Adolf to death when he was eleven!...
(Later) Hitler...told one of his secretaries that, in his boyhood, he had read in an adventure novel that it was a proof of courage to show no pain. He told her, "I resolved not to make a sound the next time my father whipped me. And when the time came - I still can remember my frightened mother standing outside the door - I silently counted the blows. My mother thought I had gone crazy when I beamed proudly and said, 'Father hit me thirty-two times!"
Children who are made to endure constant, severe, unexpressed pain can learn to turn off the pain. To survive such abuse they lose some of their human sensitivity. Unless healed, they cannot empathize with the pain of others.
...Horrible abuse by itself will not necessarily produce lifetime damage and plant the seeds of adult violence. Children can heal themselves if there is anyone on whom they can depend to be warm, understanding, and available. They only need to feel their feelings and safely express them. They must have at least one person with whom they can vent their hurt and outrage by grieving, crying, expressing anger, or even laughing about the painful happenings. This is the traditional "grandmother" role. ...Alice Miller comments,
Hitler never had a single other human being in whom he could confide his true feelings; he was...prevented from experiencing and expressing his pain; he didn't have any children who could have served as objects for...[projecting] his hatred...(If) one of these factors been different, (he might not have become a sociopath).
Not everyone who is the recipient of poisonous pedagogy is able to establish leadership in a gang of ruthless young men. Through the vagaries of time and place, Hitler's charisma enabled him to lead such a group and eventually gain political power in Germany in 1933.
The stage was now set for (him) to guide the destiny of his nation. Hitler's anti-Semitic hatreds (were useful) in providing a scapegoat on which everything bad could be blamed. (The result was) a holocaust that killed six million Jewish people. Since Hitler had long since turned off his empathy for himself (and hence others), such a ruthless decision was made under the righteous, rational banner of patriotism.
(Hitler hated) a schizophrenic aunt (who constantly stirred up trouble in) young Adolf's family. ...he later decreed that all mentally ill and retarded people must be put to death! After all, such a "healthy housecleaning" would relieve the German economy of (this) burden... Hitler's natural, human feelings of compassion and empathy had been turned off so that he could survive Alois' beatings. He could make this...decision without being consciously aware of "heart" feelings from his true-self. To Hitler's unconscious mind, his euthanasia decision was a personal act of revenge, for the fear and rage he could not safely express in childhood...
Our Imperiled World
The World War II price tag for society's tradition of poisonous pedagogy was 40 million lives plus countless other (destruction). In the...third millennium, (we may continue to) pay...for abusing (our) children...
Achieving dynamic changes in our parenting skills is an international emergency today. Without vastly improved parenting skills, all other attempts to solve the problems of society will be blunted or will fail! ...
Over half of the German terrorists in recent years have been the children of Protestant ministers...(who) had sternly crushed the aliveness of their children so that they would "act" like ideal adults: considerate, unselfish, self-controlled, grateful, good, responsive, well-behaved, agreeable, undemanding, and meek. They must not appear willful, headstrong, or defiant. When these sons and daughters in their teens discovered terrorist groups, their unconscious minds were like time bombs waiting to explode. ... When they were little children full of vitality, their parents had offered them up as human sacrifices to a grand pedagogic purpose and lofty religious values...
We're All Wounded
The old style of parenting that most of us had to survive was ignorant of the life-damaging, false-self programming going into our unconscious mind. All of us have a wounded child inside us. Unless we reclaim the missing parts of our true-self, we cannot become the alive, creative...kind, generous...loving person that is our...birthright. When we murder parts of the souls of our children, they...pass on to their children the same abusive ways they painfully experienced as a child. Without retraining, how could they parent differently? And "they" are us!
...today...society...is increasing in violence (and) mass destruction... We are rapidly ruining the quality of life for our descendants. ...crime...scandals, and personal violence are increasing.
...This book has been written in the hope that it will awaken us to the...wars and environmental deterioration we may face (ahead). When we begin to skillfully parent both the conscious and unconscious minds of our children, we can turn our "civilization" around. We will begin to pass on to future generations their true-self birthright of understanding, compassion, and love - instead of the increasing violence, fear, guilt, and shame that blight our lives today.
Reprinted from Your Road Map to Lifelong Happiness: A Guide to the Life You Want
by Ken Keyes, Jr. Copyright 1995.
The lesson of the Holocaust, that we must become more skillful parents to prevent the growth of violence in our society, applies directly to the violence in our schools. No parent is perfect but we all need to take a hard look at how to get better at it. This begins with a re-evaluation of our ideas of what constitutes being a good parent. Our beliefs come from the way we were parented and from our social environment.
Bad parenting produces sociopathic killers at one extreme and weak minded conformists in less virulent examples. There are a host of variations in between. A common one in our schools is the bully. Their deep insecurity and inner lack of self-respect leads them to abuse and shame others when they can get away with it. The conformists support this out of fear and even join in the ostracization in hopes of being accepted by the cliques.
Dr. Elliot Aronson, in his book, "Nobody Left to Hate: Teaching Compassion After Columbine", and on his website www.jigsaw.org, presents a solution to the prevention of violence in our schools. As a social psychologist he was asked to come up with a plan to combat racial rioting in Texas public schools in 1971. He proposed a method of learning where classes were divided into small, racially mixed groups to work on lessons. The success of each group depended on how they worked together. After several weeks the initial resentment gave way to acceptance and prejudice declined, even in the schoolyard.
Dr. Aronson believes this "jigsaw classroom" method can also help stop the cliquish environments that are at the root of school violence today. When unpopular students are ostracised and humiliated it leads a second and third tier of cliques to tease them as a way of identifying with the most popular group. They know who they can get away with taunting. Those at the bottom of this pyramid are ridiculed by all. They may remain silent or contemplate suicide, but a handful retaliate violently against a random part of the student body. Since the majority is oppressing them they attack any member above them on the pyramid. The social structure of the school has made them outcasts that have become killers. They have shown us we need to change our school environments but even more fundamentally, change our parenting.
ted knerr © 2001
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