ZAIUS: Frank Herbert wrote "What do you despise? By this you are known." And I guess for me, one of the real charismatic aspects of Carl Jung -- the man, not the entourage -- was the persistent stance he took, over and over in his letters and writings, cautioning about projections, inflation, the phenomenon of 'transference', these sorts of traps that he knew lay poised to snag the dazzled explorer. It has always been his stubborness in arguing for his role merely as messenger, as doctor, as empiricist, that for me made him so heroic a voice, especially in the context of the melodrama surrounding for example his relationship with Freud. Yet in both of your books -- "THE JUNG CULT" (1994) and now "THE ARYAN CHRIST" (1997) -- you seem to demonstrate otherwise. Was Jung, do you think, consciously that dishonest?

NOLL: If there is one simple truth that Jung taught us, it's that each human being is "many-sided." Jung's theory that the mind is made up of many complexes -- and that the ego is just one of these -- has tremendous experimental and phenomenological evidence in support of it. Although Jung based this notion on the French dissociationist school of psychiatry (Janet, Binet, Ribot, Flournoy), almost every theory of the mind since then usually posits some form of polypsychism. Jung flushed out his polypsychism with poetic metaphors such as shadow, persona, anima, animus, and self into order to focus on what he considered to be a universal phenomenological taxonomy of human experience. It is therefore not foreign to those persons who would consider themselves "Jungians" to view themselves -- and others -- as "many-sided beings." The problem, however, has been the unwillingness of Jung's disciples -- especially the Jungian analysts who totemically practice in his name -- to do the sort of historical spadework necessary to confront C.G. Jung the multi-sided human being head-on. Generations of Jungians have preferred the official "cult legend" of Jung as a miracle-woker, a kindly Wise Old Man with an engaging laugh, a scientific genius who could break bread with Albert Einstein and Wolfgang Pauli and in his private moments retreat to his stone "Tower" at Bollingen and have intimate discussions with a spiritual guru named Philemon who lived in the "Land of the Dead." All of his writings, all of his claims about the way the human mind and brain work, or about the way "reality" works, are also part of this unchallenged "myth" of C.G. Jung.

The end-product has been a great deal of "persona worship" of the manufactured pseudocharisma of Carl Gustav Jung rather than an appreciation of the historically contingent being that he was. In two books now, THE JUNG CULT (1994) and THE ARYAN CHRIST (1997) I have made a vigorous attempt to uncover the "historical Jung" and to challenge the hagiographic idol that is perpetuated by the community of Jungian analysts and others who look to Jungism as a kind of postmodern, amoral, relativistic, polytheistic, "personal religion" of revelation and ecstasy. In doing so I have focused on the aspects of Jung's life and ideas that have been either "forgotten" or deliberately suppressed by his family, his closest disciples, and generations of Jungian analysts. All of those folks have a financial and social status stake in keeping the pseudocharismatic image of Jung as a Wise Old Man alive for the masses -- and hence are violently resistent to confronting the mountain of evidence about what Carl Gustav Jung was really like as a man. Which brings us to the issue of the shadow that this great man cast during his lifetime and which is perpetuated today by those who practice in his name. Like most human beings, C.G. Jung was not about making mistakes in his logic and social judgment. Nor was he immune to dishonesty and flat-out lying if, in his moral judgment, it served a "higher purpose." In this sense, he was as "many-sided" as any other human being. And yet, even when confronted with the mountain of documented evidence to the contrary, even today ther is a strong resistence among Jungian analysts to openly comment -- in print, instead of behind closed doors -- on the pervasiveness of conscious distortion of facts by Jung during the course of his career. I view Jung as a man who had some extraordinary mystical experiences (most notably a deification vision in December 1913) who then became convinced of a transcendent reality that he attempted to invent a vocabulary for by 1916 with his concepts of the collective unconscious and the archetypes. In any attempt to gauge Jung's conscious deceit, one must really go case by case, document by document. I believe he was a man obsessed with metaphysical notions of a religious nature, but was so obsessed that he not only made gross logical errors in the interpretation of "evidence" for these "theories", but in many cases deliberately, consciously, knowingly falsified key evidence in order to make his claims seem more believeable and "scientific." Jung initially made a gross mistake with his notion of the collective unconscious as a transpersonal or impersonal or archaic "layer" of the unconscious mind from which myths and other meaningful religious symbols "arise" in a sense in the thoughts, fantasies and dreams of 20th century individuals. These mythic structures, motifs, etc., are archaic and "inherited" in some sense. By 1916, when Jung first proposed the collective unconscious, this was not such a stretch from neo-Lamarckian, vitalistic, "organic memory" theories that were still bandied about in German scientific circles, although they were already rapidly becoming marginal to the scientific mainstream. As the 20th century progressed, Jung and his ideas did not. The man lived until 1961 and not once -- not once -- did he pause to reconsider his ideas in light of the remarkable advances in knowledge in brain structure and function, genetics, human memory research, and so on. Nope. Until the end of his life Jung stuck to his 19th century non-Darwinian biological assumptions and anti-experimental science bias and refused to change.

There are two main problems with Jung's published work: one, although he acknowledges the more plausible, and more scientifically supportable, alternate hypotheses to his collective unconscious and archetypes theories -- the hypotheses of "cryptomnesia" (implicit memory) and the cultural transmisson of myths and symbols through non-recorded human contact over millennia -- Jung NEVER bothers to mount an argument against them. He merely acknowledges them as alternate explanations and then ignores them in favor of a more extraordinary metaphysical claim. Two, the evidence that Jung cites to support his theories of the collective unconscious and the archetypes is logically unsound and, in many instances, deliberately distorted by Jung in his publications. Being "obsessed" and making unconscious mistakes from such an obsession is understandable if not forgiveable. But the sort of deliberate, conscious, distortion that Jung did when presenting evidence for the archetypes and collective unconscious is perhaps more aptly characterized as "lying." I am not the first person to discover that Jung falsified evidence for his extraordinary claim of a collective unconscious. In the final chapter of THE ARYAN CHRIST I cite two former colleagues of Jung -- both analysts -- who make similar claims. These men are the noted British analysts John Layard and Michael Fordham. There are Jungian analysts today who know this as well, but they share the same lack of integrity as Layard and Fordham and refuse to stand up in public and admit that they know this fact about Jung. Again, I believe this is in the self-serving interest of keeping a positive, uni-dimensional, idealized image of Jung in the public eye -- it's good for business for the analysts. Where are the instances of Jung's deceits? I document the logic behind the changing of facts and dates in Jung's many references to the case of the Solar Phallus Man throughout history. All of Jung's so-called "case history" materials are suspect because (a) he provides almost no personal historical information about the individuals that are, say, having 16th century alchemical images in their 20th century dreams, and (b) he inevitable includes the one or two sentence disclaimer that the patient was uneducated, not a scholar, and/or "could not have possibly been exposed" to ancient alchemical symbols, and so on.

Take a look at the essay published in 1950 as "A Study in the Process of Individuation" (English title; the German is different). The dreams of a modern woman who came to Jung for treatment and who "could not possibly have been exposed" to alchemical symbols nontheless is demonstrated by Jung to have them throughout her dreams. Remarkable! Very little other personal history of this woman is given. Jung does not try to demonstrate (as he did in 1902 with his mediumistic cousin Helly) that all of the material came from things previously read or heard -- ie, cryptomnesia (hidden memories of things previously experienced). Nor does he acknowledge the possibility that alchemical symbols, ancient myths, and other arcane symbols and ideas may have been culturall transmitted to the 20th century through popular occult or Theosophical publications (which were common on the streets of late 19th and 20th century Europe and North America). No, Jung insists that the presence of alchemical symbols in this woman's dream is pure, direct, untainted evidence in support of the hypotheses of the collective unconscious and the archetypes. Ignoring the alternate hypotheses would alone be enough to discount this extraordinary "case history" of Carl Jung's. But we can go one step further. We have knows for decades now that this woman was, in fact, Jung's disciple Kristine Mann. Mann came to Jung in the 1920s after a lifetime of immersion in Swedenborgianism, spiritualism, Theosophy, and -- no surprise -- familiarity with alchemical symbols. Discussions of alchemy permeate the 19th and early 20th century literatures of Swedenborgianism and Theosophy (as well as the literature of German Romantics like Goethe). Alchemical ideas were commonly encountered by anyone who read Goethe's Faust or occultist magazines. In this 1950 case we see how far Jung would go to stretch the truth -- in this case lying about Mann's personal history and prior knowledge of alchemical symbolism -- in order to claim "scientific" support for his theory of the collective unconscious and the archetypes. One of Jung's signature strokes was his insistence that historical fact was secondary to emotional truth. In other words, it mattered little to Jung whether a story was factually true or not. The important thing in Jung's mind was whether or not the story could move someone emotionally or psychologically from one place to another. Jung once told a famous theologian who questioned him about the truth of his theories, "Mundus vult decipi" -- the world wants to be deceived. Charges that Jung was an exceptionally intelligent and canny charlatan come from this attitude of his, which he apparently -- and boldly -- did not bother to hide. Only his disciples have felt the need to hide this side of Jung. It's high time his disciples took off their blinders. And it is especially high time that Jungian analysts demonstrated that they have even an ounce of integrity in their bones and address this issue of Jung's deliberate falsifications of evidence for the collective unconscious and archetypes in public.

But, since the Jungian analytic community has no concept of a "quack" or a "charlatan" because everything, no matter how bizarre or unscientific, is "tolerated" without discussion or dispute, I fear that the general public will continue to suffer from this inability of Jungian analysts to recognize or accept "boundaries" or ethical standards. A repetition of the sins of the father? Perhaps . . .


ZAIUS: And yet this satisfaction we take as Western Aftermoderns, capturing and interrogating our forefathers with our X-Rays of finding fault... doesn't it still run the risk of losing sight of the forest -- or the trees -- for the stumps? Critics of Chomsky rip on his deep structures and innateness models of language by accusing it of being "a theory of the stomach which ignores digestion", yet -- like Jung I think -- here you have a guy taking a big swing at presenting some theory that unifies the ways we might talk about a fin de siecle Austrian and an ancient Ainu -- about their stomachs (which are pretty much the same), or their langauges (which are perhaps only to our level of awareness seemingly wildly different), or deepest irrational evanescent experiences, like dreams (which are barely selfsimilar or quantifiable, save as mysteries, period, even to them individually) -- and still be on the same page. Some applied branch of even a sloppy and larval discipline which starts to select and examine essential commonalities and motifs (if you'll permit me to pry the moldering word from Joseph Campbell's eerie, subterranean clutch for a moment) seems urgently desirable, even utile. Is that too vitalist? I wonder if the dearth of verifiable proof for The (or "A") Collective Unconscious or "The" Archetypes (which I sense are your big lines in the sand, or sands, respectively) doesn't still leave me wanting some general taxonomic langauge for 'The Psyche', for the soul; for the great, clamoring, involuntary mindedness of biologically human organisms, Austrian or Ainu, eitherway. Aside from vaguely congruent scribbles on glorified galvanometers designed merely to register and record flickering electrical exhanges on their immobilized and delicately mapped brain tissues, what is happening when both have dreams of Immense Fish, for example?


NOLL: But forests are made of trees AND stumps and a whole bunch of other things! Heck, maybe even a few elves. If you only wish to focus on "wholes" (Gestalten) and refuse to consider "parts", you commit the most unpardonable of Jungian sins: being too one-sided. I have no problem with "wholes" as long as the parts that are said to comprise them really do form an organized, all-encompassing pattern that others claim they do. When the parts don't "add up", then the claimed "whole" collapses. This happens to scientific theories, for example, all the time. C.G. Jung claimed that his theoretical innovations -- the collective unconscious (1916) and the archetypes (1919) were "empirical" and therefore "scientific" because of the evidence he offered. Now, if Jung had not made the claim that these concepts were to be taken as "scientific hypotheses," there would be no problem. They are nice, creative, metaphysical concepts that fit nicely within the Western occult or esoteric traditions. Jung and his followers have used them as the basis of a personal religion of revelation and visionary ecstasy. Other than adding the concept of the "self" in the late 1920s, Jung's basic theory did not change from about 1920 onwards. We expect religious dogma to purport to be eternal and unchanging, but not a theory that purports -- as Jung's does -- to be a scientific one. Jung said his concepts of a collective unconscious and archetypes (two separate but related concepts, incidentally) were "hypotheses", that means that he is claiming that they are potentially false. Hypotheses can be analyzed and rejected if the evidence (the parts) do not fit the whole (the theory that purports to explain them). Perhaps the same "parts" -- bits of evidence -- can best be seen as fitting together in an entirely different Gestalt. Perhaps an alternate theory, or theories, are more plausible "explanations" for the empirically observed phenomena. This is certainly the case with Jung's theories. When his evidence is examined carefully, it is shown to be (a) more logically interpreted with alternate theories and (b) at times consciously falsified by the Great Man himself. I document this in THE ARYAN CHRIST. When it comes to the collective unconscious and the archetypes (which is, indeed, where I am drawing my line in the sand), more plausible (and scientifically testable) alternate hypotheses are (a) the cultural transmission of myths and symbols, motifs, etc., from person to person over millennia and (b) cryptomnesia (hidden memories of things previously seen or read or heard or experienced and then "forgotten", only to arise in dreams or in fantasy as entirely "new" ideas or experiences or memories). There is no independent scientific support for a transcendent collective unconscious in the way Jung describes it in his writings. Only Jungians seem to see it. The rest of the world does not. And is the rest of the world wrong and only Jung and his disciples "right"? I think not. If Jung had "the answer" with his collective unconscious and archetypes, then why did he so blatantly falsify his evidence for it? Every Jungian should ask him or herself that question. It was a disturbing thing for me, personally, to discover.

The implications are tremendous: almost all of Jung's published work, and certainly the thousands of books on Jung by Jungians (particularly those by Jungian analysts), comprise a mound of stinking, rotten fruit. They may have tasted good once, a long time ago, but their shelf life was not eternal -- as so many Jungian analysts claim. Yes, Jung is to be applauded for his marvelous attempts to develop a grand, syncretic, theory of "everything" that purported to "explain" both religion and science, mind and body, psyche and soma, Masculine and Feminine. It is grand, 19th century Wissenschaft but not 20th century science. It is, perhaps, good mysticism but bad science. The average person who reads Jung is not a scholar or a scientist, but usually someone who is spiritually-minded and is looking for "answers." The average person would not have Jung's vast erudition and would be unable to assess for him or herself if Jung's evidence "makes sense" or not. They assume that because Jung was so smart, and so credentialed, and was a physician and a former colleague of Freud's that he is an "authority" whose opinion must be placed above their own. This reliance on an "authority" to provide "truth" is a big, big mistake. And one which Jung and Jungian analysts have long promoted. What the average person will not realize -- as I did not as a young man -- was that Jung's entire rhetorical style is based on argumentation for proof by analogy. Now, analogies are fine things. They help us grasp possible connections between things that may seem separate at first. Metaphor is predicated on analogy. But, what people -- especially Jung and Jungian analysts -- tend to forget is that analogies can be false. Like centuries of occultists before him, Jung sees "correspondences" everywhere. Jung sees structural similarities bewtween things that no one has ever connected before, say 16th century alchemical symbols and symbols in the dreams of 20th century individuals (or dreams of a Big Fish in Austrians and Ainu). Jung sees a similarity and then claims there is a fundament law of nature at work connecting the two things that normally would not be connected. His all-purpose agents of Nature are the collective unconscious and the archetypes. But there is a big, big problem here. Just because two different concepts, theories, etc., have certain surface "similarities," it does not mean that they share the same essence, are related in some way, or that one can be used to explain the other. Jung -- and Jungian analysts -- mistakenly think that just because they "claim" a relationship that one exists. And they inevitably leave it at the level of just a "claim." That usually seems to be enough for them. They make absolutely no attempt to "test" these claims. They do not try to fill in all the connecting dots. "Similarity", however, or "correspondence," does not necessarily mean "relationship." Jung never tried to establish direct evidence of correlation, or of causality, nor -- more importantly -- did he ever put any of his claimed correspondences to the test and find that there was NO RELATIONSHIP between two "empirical" phenomena that he claimed were related. Jung claimed his concepts were merely "hypotheses," but then refused to put them to any test. Jungian analysts wallow in the same unfortunate ignorance. And, to repeat myself, to make matters worse, Jung actually falsified his evidence for a collective unconscious and archetypes in his publications. The "whole" that Jung offers us collapses when we realize it was constructed with faulty parts. Again, if -- as I argue in my books -- Jung was more interested in founding a religious movement, then the scientific status of his concepts should not matter to "believers." But Jungians should be aware that Jung's theories are NOT congruent with 20th century science and in fact are contradicted by many, many discoveries in evolutionary biology, genetics, cognitive science, biochemistry, anthropology, and experimental studies of human memory in psychology. If Jungians want to be like Scientologists and claim that their religious principles have a scientific basis, they are free to do so. But Jungians should be aware that the scientific world does not agree with Jung's claims of what is "scientific." Science deals in potentially falsifiable theories and claims. Jung's "hypothesis" is actually nothing of the sort: it is a metaphysical concept is is regarded by uncurious Jungian analysts as eternal, unchanging, and NEVER potentially falsifiable. It's a free country. Believe what you want, I say. Just don't expect the rest of the world to agree with you if you say it's "science".

Heck, why don't we just go back to the humoral theory of Galen? That used to explain everything nicely for 2000 years. The next time I get depressed I'll just strap on a few leeches. They were still doing that in lunatic asylums in France (and elsewhere) in the early 1800s. And it seemed to work just fine -- or so the analysts, er, I mean alienists claimed. In fact, to make things more up-to-date and "scientific", why, we can just rename those "humors" and call them "archetypes" instead! Anyone want to join me?


ZAIUS: Maybe -- since we are utilizing 20th Century science as our most effective corrosive for demode' Jungian claptrap -- it might be good to talk about some of the models which have gained a handhold in this century. What are some empirical examples of science which remains free of metaphysics? My reading of empirical science shows me it is subject to Protean rewrites, overwrites, and erasures in favor of newer and hotter gospels. What science ultimately isn't built on analogy? I have trouble telling. And here I am not attempting to divert our scrutiny away from Jung and his falsification, but say his "greater good" was an open recognition of a disciplined metaphysics that might utilize and merge with rather than just be at eternal odds with advancing discovery and thought? The actual clean division between science and metaphysics you must make or find true is implied but not discussed. And that line has always been a contested, muddy, elusive and crazy one. Insanely unscientific in many ways.


NOLL: I'm using "metaphysical" here with regard to Jung in a looser sense, perhaps, then is used in philosophy. I'm using it in the sense of "non-falsifiable", in a Popperian sense. Does science with a Big S have a metaphysical basis? You betcha. Monism. Materialism. These are, in essence, the metaphysical starting points for good ol' Science with a Big S. But a generally agreed upon principle of Science with a Big S is that its concepts, theories, etc., are subject to constant assault and are tentative, to some degree. There are certain questions -- and certain questions only -- that can be asked and answered by science. And there are established methods of asking such questions in such a way that whatever answers are reached can be (usually) checked by others who are skeptics. Phenomenology often precedes ontology in Science with a Big S. We can make observations, find ways to describe them, and then find ways to categorize them. Perhaps we can even draw analogies between them in order to sharpen the perception of a structural similarity between observed phenomena. All of this is, in fact, the essence of Jung's method. The problem then becomes the next step: What claims do we make about the "reality" of the phenomena under observation? What, in actuality, "links" the phenomena? Are they correlated? Do they share a causal relationship? Or do they have no relationship at all? In the world of Science with a Big S, it is actually possible to discover that two phenomena that seem strikingly similar and perhaps related have absolutely no relationship at all. This, however, is a foreign concept to the typical Jungian mind. The collective unconscious and the archetypes (to use an analogy) are a bit like the Borg in the mind of Jungians: the entire universe must be assimilated to fit in with these concepts. The concepts themselves are not allowed to change. There is too much assimilation without accomodation in the way that Jung and Jungian analysts employ these concepts. Jung -- and Jungian analysts -- use analogical arguments to make extraordinary claims about the way the brain works, about the way the mind works, and even about the ultimate nature of "reality" itself in its extra-Kantian dimensions (you know, the Four-Plus ones). For Jung, and Jungian analysts, there is no such thing as a false analogy. All analogies are true. Why? Because everything is ultimately related to everything else. And what determines "relationship"? Why, merely the claim of the Great Man himself or the claim of one of his analysts. Thinking in terms of correspondences is great mystical entertainment, and is perhaps a great way to generate hypotheses to be tested from a (limited) scientific point of view, but it is not the exclusive way in which Science with a Big S as an enterprise works. I cannot think of a single instance of Jung's concepts of the collective unconscious or the archetypes "advancing discovery and thought" in ANY scientific discipline. They've been dynamite for mysticism and religion-building, mainly because they are non-falsifiable concepts without clear boundary conditions (a bit like God, in fact). Actually, these concepts of Jung's remind me of Silly Putty: they bend and shape and stretch at will to cover any surface and can even seem to "reflect" images in the world around them (like imprints from the sunday newspaper funnies). The archetypes and the collective unconscious are bomb-proof. They give Jungians -- particularly the analysts -- the false impression of "understanding" difficult subjects like alchemy, quantum physics, human dreams, falling in love, and so on, through one simple all-encompassing worldview. No need to learn mathematics if you want to understand quantum mechanical theory, just claim that physicists are simply studying the projected contents of the collected unconscious and you will feel that nice warm feeling of "omniscience". And heck, who doesn't want to be omniscient?

This, I suppose, is a long way of saying that Jung asks questions and provides answers for those questions that materialistic monistic Science with a Big S cannot. Jung starts with metaphysical assumptions that are different than those of Science with a Big S. And as the 20th century has progressed, the claims Jung made about the operation of the human mind, the brain, and the nature of physical reality itself (especially biological processes) have not found support in biology, cognitive science, and so forth. Charles Darwin had awful ideas -- which we have rejected and forgotten -- and a few good ones that seem to hold up pretty well. There should be no shame in the fact that Jung had some good ideas (the complex theory of the mind and some aspects of his psychology types theory) and some real stinkeroos (the collective unconscious, the archetypes, the phylogenetic unconscious). Again, if Jung and Jungian analysts wouldn't keep claiming that these latter concepts were "scientific hypotheses" there would be no problem. But they do. And so local irritants such as myself continue to challenge the analysts on this issue and rub them the wrong way.


ZAIUS: Can you foresee - given that we have mentioned Frank Herbert and The Borg in addition to Kant and Gestaltists - a time when enough evidence from Big S Science forces us or frees us to make use of comparitive data and analogy in a post-materialistic paradigm? I mean in the case of physics and astrophysics - two of the hardest force-arms of science in use - there has been for a long time some sense that we are hoisting ourselves on our own petard, that certain arrogances of our Newtonian and therefore more richly 'verifiable' models will not be outlived by what we bend them to. Jung might come into a future vogue that would not be based on his charisma as a person, but on his pre post-human attempt to verify - from within - demons, extraterrestrials, spirits, species consciousness, racial consciousness, god, lion-headed divinities, what have you. I see repeatedly the pejorative 'mystic' applied to him, and 'occultist'. But these regions of human experience, and of scientifically observed phenomena, are the very ones we neglect or fail to recognize, despite their persistent and off-camera minority of occurence. Yet haven't we watched the old citadel get stormed over and over and reroofed enough to prepare for that as part of the 'whole' of the pursuit itself? An obselescence or a marginalized cluster of mysteries we one day actually find? Democritus and that crew posited atoms and much, much later, well there they "are" (in whatever sense atoms 'are'; a whole different shell game we better avoid). I'm saying, couldn't the atoms and germs and wavelets of the past be joined by the space ghosts and Nessies and Black Madonnas of the future? And where do you stand on 'memes'? Somewhere quite shy of an egregious X-Files advertisement is the real question of whether even Jung's newly documented failures are unassailable. At our level of interrogation, archetypes might very well be amusing constellations or projections, and you even cede to them that they might be 'good metaphysics', but what if they are more than that? Do you distinguish between good and bad metaphysics, and does the pattern of refutation that upends the Bigshots eventually (Darwin, as you mention, wearing down and out like some spent Nick Nolte) ever suggest to you that maybe someday, somewhere, Jung's hasty and unverified gestalts might not be re-revisioned, as 'scientific' all over again?


NOLL: So you want me to "foresee", huh? Yeow! Will Jung be re-revisioned as "scientific" again? Who knows? Any step into the future is a step into darkness, as our pal Davy Hume once said (or something like that, anyway). Maybe monkeys will fly out of my butt, too. What's valuable about Jung? His openness to subjective experience, his recognition of the multiplicity of individuals, and his heroic attempt to construct a theory of "everything". The problem? too many people -- Jung included -- remained "stuck" on his pronouncements as the Word. I'm actually suggesting that something much more interesting may emerge if we take off the blinders of the collective unconscious and the archetypes and take another look at the sorts of issues Jung was attempting to address. I'm inviting self-professed Jungians to be more creative. I don't have an opinion on "memes." But if you want to hear what I think of mimes, well, then...


ZAIUS: Right, right... I'd like to shift from the inquiry regarding Jung's honesty to that of Jungians. I understand that your attempts to find out the truth, to even raise the question, has been met with a resistance you liken to that of a religious body, and not a scientific community. Before we talk about problematic aspects of Jungians relationship to Jung, I'd like you sketch some of the problematic aspects of Jungian's relationship to inquiry itself. Specifically, when did you first encounter the resistance that has obstructed your attempts to ask the difficult questions you ask?


NOLL: Uh-oh, here we go . . . .(violin music swells and professional mourners wail and gnash their teeth loudly during this scene) I am, by nature, a "show-me" kinda guy. I'm not a good disciple. I'm awful when it comes to admitting to a group identity. The closest I ever really came was when I called myself a "Jungian" in my 20s, and even then is was with great discomfort and personal doubt because I knew that I did not believe in Jung's holiest of holies: the collective unconscious and the archetypes. And why couldn't I believe in these claims? Because I knew there was something wrong with them. There was no clear corroborating evidence from other branches of science, not even in experimental psychology. Experimental psychology proved time and again that, yes, there WAS an "unconscious" mind of some sort, and yes there was a "personal unconscious" made up of one's personal experiences and cultural symbols that were LEARNED. I knew there was tremendous support from many branches of science for the operation of what Jung calls the "personal unconscious," but not for the collective unconscious. In fact, everything that Jung says is the operation of the collective unconscious is easily "explained" by the operation of the personal unconscious. There is no need for the more extraodinary concept (especially now that we know Jung even falsified -- "consciously" or not -- his published evidence for it.) My first awareness that I was a "bad Jungian," a young pup who dared to think a bit differently from his suppossedly more knowledgable elders (Jungian analysts)? Early. In my early 20s. And it was a series of experiences. I would question the fact that Jungian analysts seemed to improvise their own idiosyncratic formulae for interpreting dreams or myths or other cultural symbols. So, hey, where's the rule book? Where does Jung spell out these formulas? How do you know that a specific dream motif or symbol is "really" direct from the impersonal, transcendental collective unconscious and NOT from some old, forgotten personal memory buried deep in the person's "personal" unconscious? I witnessed the discomfort in the people I asked (many analysts included), and that tipped me off that they didn't know the answer either. But boy, did the Jungian analysts, especially, pretend to know those answers! I filed away these experiences for future reference. It was my first awareness that these folks had an almost cult-like blindness to challenging the notions of the collective unconscious and the archetypes. These were the bedrock religious beliefs -- dogma, really -- that could NEVER be questioned. But, young and under-educated as I was in many things in my 20s, I gave Jung himself the benefit of a doubt and just figured that his puffed-up reps on Earth -- Jungian analysts -- were intellectually and emotionally too juvenile to handle an adult give-and-take kinda discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of Der Meister's theories. In his book, INTERVIEWS, James Hillman refers to Jungian analysts as people with second-rate minds who are essentially only interested in the petty social-staus and financial benefits that come from belonging to an exclusive club. In my humble opinion, Hillman hit a bull's eye with that observation. So as I say, I never really "believed" in the collective unconscious in the intense metaphysical sense that Jungians do, as the 'Great Answer To Every Mysterious Thing That I Cannot Explain', and I certainly had a growing awareness of all the scientific problems with it as I went through grad school in clinical psych and then worked with an institutionalized population for four years (as Jung did) and realized all the claims about "pure" evidence for the "collective unconscious" being found in schizophrenics and other psychotic persons was a terribly problematic claim. The content of delusions and hallucinations were more demonstrably products of the personal unconscious, not some exotic collective unconscious. So my distrust of Jung's claims widened. Also my distrust of the claims of Jungian analysts, who glorify and romanticize the terrible brain diseases that cause psychotic disorders like schizophrenia. As I had been publishing stuff in anthropology and psychology and psychiatry using Jungian terminology, and arguing (as I still do) for Jung's genius as a phenomenological taxonomist of human experience, I decided to finally publish a "correction" of my views in a Jungian journal -- The Journal of Analytical Psychology -- in 1993 in order to make my "formal" rejection of Jung's concept of the collective unconscious known. But I had held those views privately for many, many years by that time. Jung's phenomenology was acute and brilliant. His ontology sucked (unless he was read purely as a mystic, a religion-builder, and not as a scientist). In the late 1980s I taught "study groups" on Jung and on topics (mythology, archeology, etc.) that intersected with Jungian thought. The students who attended were intellectually gifted, curious, and a great deal of fun. They seemed to handle my skepticism and iconoclasm with a great degree of understanding and humor. However, local Jungian analysts started screaming about my courses when they realized I was spouting heresies in courses like "Jung the Man, Jung the Myth" in which the historical literature on Jung was contrasted with the weird hagiographic literature written by Jung's disciples and Jungian analysts. This was a valuable lesson for me in the "cult-think" that pervades the Jungian community. Ah, here we go: Let me give you a boo-hoo litany of all the crap I've had to endure since then for doing only one thing: raising questions about the scientific and historical "truth" of Jung and his theories. Darwin, Freud, Marx, and all the grand poobahs of history have gone though this scrutiny at the hands of their "disciples" -- why not Jung? Why have the Jungians been so uncritical, so uncurious, and so easily threatened when their beliefs are challenged? Well, I found out . . . .(violin music becomes more sorrowful here, the Professional Mourners sob hysterically . . . .) Since there is no culture of "debate" or "critical thinking" or "critical discussion" in the Jungian world, disagreement is universally dealt with by trashing the mental health or the reputation of the person you disagree with. Jungian analysts do this to each other all the time in private and in print. How "individuated"! This is, in part, how they maintain the cult-like social cohesion of their community. Jungian analysts -- who are at the top of the pyramid -- know many of the dirty little secrets of each other and especially of the trainees (who occupy the lower rung of the "spiritual superiority" ladder). Hence, the threat of blackmail is always implicit in analystic communities (Freudian and Jungian). Dissent is therefore discouraged by the implicit threat of "blackmail." Now, Richard Noll presented a problem to them. Here's this guy -- a clinical psychologist who was not a Jungian analyst or a trainee -- passing himself off as someone who knows something about Jung. Since I was not part of the patronage system, and my future career was not subject to the threat of blackmail, there was little they could do to maintain my silence in the usual ways. So what do they do? They gossip, they spread weird little lies about me, and generally do whatever they can to trash me as a human being. What they NEVER do is confront the issues I raise about Jung, or about Jung's falsification of his evidence for the collective unconscious and the archetypes, or the shadowy sides of his life as a man -- not the "living myth" that they promote.

Now, I shouldn't have been surprised at any of this. Analysts have been doing this to each other since the Dawn of Creation (Freud-Jung era). But what has surprised me is that such prominent members of the Jungian analytic community would attempt to spread such false and defamatory rumors about me (and stupid ones too -- facts that can be easily checked). I think the enormous emotional backlash against me personally in the Jungian world is very telling. It points to the "shooting the messenger" mentality of cults. For a group of people who talk about "The Shadow" all the time and profess to integrate it, it is interesting to observe how they demonize without reflection. One prominent Jungian analyst called me "The enemy." Another said I've "declared war" against Jungian psychology. I think that Jungian everywhere should pay close attention to the way in which "Richard Noll" has been demonized by those paragons of individuation and spiritual growth -- Jungian analysts. There's a big lesson to be learned. One of the most obvious signs that a cult-like mentality pervades the Jungian analytic community is the spin-doctoring of my "real" motives behind my books THE JUNG CULT and THE ARYAN CHRIST. Now, anyone who glances at those books will notice that I've done a great deal of archival scholarship and have read widely not only in Jung but also in the German language publications that he read. These are not exactly the sorts of writings that are just tossed off in a fit of rage. However, that is continually how they are "framed" by Jungians. And what could have caused such rage? Why, getting turned down by a Jungian training institute, they say. In other words, since the cult rejected me for membership, I've been on a rageful rampage ever since. Well, if this is the case, then I want to find some more organizations that will reject me, because my books on Jung have won an award and have been hailed as "landmark" studies. Anyone out there want to reject me? I could use some more awards. What no Jungian analyst will ever believe (because they can't -- they can't handle rejection very well) is that I has already lost my "faith" in things Jungian a long time before I applied to a Jung institute for training and was doing so, in part, to collect material for an expose of Jungian training. I've written about this at length in AT RANDOM, and I've posted it on the web as well. There's nothing I can do about the rumors, however: people will always believe what they want to believe. And that is all-too-often the grandiose distortions relayed by Jungian analysts about "Noll's motivations" -- Like, as if, they could read my mind, ya know? I'm really glad that witchcraft isn't a crime anymore. Otherwise, I'd be in big, big trouble. Jungians believe I'm in league with Satan. Hey, maybe I am ..... Some Jungians view me (incorrectly) as a fundamentalist Christian (I'm no Christian of any sort, by the way), who'se operating like some Grand Inquisitor. In actuality, I'm a heretic who challenges their orthodoxy. The dogma stinks, and the Emperor has No Clothes, and I ain't afraid to say it in public. I'm probably best viewed as the Jan Hus of the Jungian world -- you don't need Jungian analysis and you don't need those puffed up pretenders to the spiritual throne of Jung -- the Jungian analysts -- to participate in the Mystery and drink from the chalice (assuming there IS a Mystery and a chalice -- I'm skeptical, myself, as usual). Heretics of the world, unite! (Noll and tutelary demons exit stage. Cymbals -- symbols? -- clash, kettle drums boom, and the Professional Mourners now laugh hysterically, interspersedwith cries of "Simony!" and "Shame! Shame!" and throw silver dollars and Swiss francs at a Mandala with the Holy Tetragrammaton "IAAP" written in the center. The Jungian analysts in the kennel bark impotently....)


ZAIUS: It seems tragic in a way that makes my image of Jung sad in and of itself. It seems such a betrayal of his best self, the one who could not sign on with Fread against 'the black tides of occultism' and the 'bulwark' of the sexual theory. Jung is unequivocal about the provisional and therefore correctable or appendable nature of his science. Regardless of how he actually played it out, his words must be taken as his best hope for The Proper Path, and yet this is the very thing dispensed with altogether. This Fresh Bulwark that an adherent priest-class daily refortifies is a terrible one. It's such a Dianetics thing and it does the Old Man's memory a wrongness. Paraphrasing Sydow's character Frederick in 'Hannah and Her Sister's, "If Carl Jung came back from the dead and saw what was being done in his name, he'd never stop throwing up." Does it disturb anyone within Jungian circles that you are so demonized when clearly you are working so hard? The sheer volume of original German manuscripts and these recently obtained texts (letters and so forth) you have been working with seem to indicate that, pro or con, you are doing your homework. Even scholarship has seemingly been reversely alchemicalized by your detractors. And yet it seems certain that such censorship as theirs won't harm the machineries that will remain in place, harvesting analysands and selling New Age periodicals and dream journals printed on faux-parchment and the occaisional Native American or Tibetan "desk-calendar of Quotes". There's no testing for fraud in so phantasmal and rarefied a zone and that's part of the way it really does work, I suppose?


NOLL: To answer your first question: Naaaaahhh. I get no respect. To answer your second question: Uh, no! As I mentioned earlier, there is no concept of "true and false" in the Jungian cosmos -- unless of course you disagree with Der Meister or his swollen reps on Earth who suffer from Gout of the Psyche from dining on too many sweets. The very thought that Jung's genius can be challenged or (God forbid!) actually UNDERSTOOD or (gasp!) SUPERCEDED is bitterly denied by die-hard Jungians. They tend to be a pious bunch. Not at all the Wild Bunch (as they like to think of themselves), but more like The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight. There's too much cognitive wheezing in Jungian publications, and no one wheezes louder than many Jungian analysts. It's hard to imagine how some of them can focus their attention long enough to decide what to have for breakfast in the morning. Fuzzed-out ambivalence and woozy awareness of boundaries seems to be the archetypal "Jungian consciousness." I guess that's what awaits people at the end of the "individuation process." Are all Jungian analysts this bad? No, of course not. There are some fine people doing fine work out there. The problem is that they tend to keep silent about the ethical, moral, and intellectual lapses of their colleagues. I believe that C.G, Jung would be horrified to see how many degenerate progeny are out there practicing in his name. Individuation. Glad I brought it up. There are some bigtime misconceptions about it. Did Jung mean one becomes more Buddha-like or Christ-like? You know: more compassionate, kind, empathetic, whole, and so on, and have the silly little smile of Wise Men, Children, and Fools? Nope. No way. It's a little darker than that. But that's not the impression you would get by reading the Old Maid-ified and Auntiefied Jungian literature (including Jung's spurious "autobiography", MEMORIES, DREAMS, REFLECTIONS). If you read Jung carefully, an individuationed person is one who has transcended categories of Good and Evil in a Nietzschean sense. It is someone who is capable of BOTH supreme good and supreme evil. For obvious reasons, Jung and the Jungian literature emphasizes acting out the good stuff and just gives lip service to the evil stuff. Well, if we REALLY want to become whole, complete, individuated, according to Jung we MUST live out our evil sides. And Jung, to a large degree, did. Jung was a genius and a legitimate Great Man. But he was not a "nice" man. He once admitted to one of his disciples (Michael Fordham, I believe) that he had a "narcissistic character." "I either inflate people or crush them," he once observed about himself. Should we be more Jung-like? I wonder. Perhaps Jung benefitted the least from his own brilliant insights. (But then, if that's the case, why should we even believe him when he says he has a "path" to offer us? Should we follow such a flawed human being who seems to be saying, "Do what I say, not what I do"?) It is this attitude of Jung's that allowed him to "psychologize" all the evils of the world, and not only the horrors of the First World War but also all the stuff happening in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s. Well, that's a bit dark -- too dark for this ZAIUS interview (which is already getting very long . . . .)


ZAIUS: Your two books on Jung and Jungian exponents were, to my reading, extremely fair and even handed. Your conversational irreverence is almost at no point present in your texts, and that I think is a sign of your real agenda. These are serious explorations of the man and the movement. I think it would take a rather un-individuated or unintelligent point of view not to at least recognize the balancing function your books perform. Even as sheer counterweight to the countless out-of-focus restatements of the demigod "C.G.Jung" the books are welcome and prove actually generous. Specifically the sections discussing Jung's professional and personal relationships underscore fundamental questions we still must ask regarding elusive and contested definitions of 'therapist' or 'doctor' in the psychological sense. Lastly, now that you have asked your questions and made your statements regarding Jung and the Jungian movement, what will you write about next?


NOLL: Whoa! I've just noticed something: the more irreverent/thought disordered I allow myself to be in my answers, the more restrained/serious your questions become. Jungian "compensation" at work? Hmmm... Anyhoo, there are two things that would REALLY help the Jungian community a great deal and make them more... human. First: They need to realize that it is OK if Jung screwed up occasionally. It's OK that he got his major ideas wrong. It's OK that he lied about them. BUT: it is NOT OK to deny that these things happened (and to shoot the messenger -- me -- instead) and it is NOT OK to continue to believe in bad scientific theories and fabricated evidence just because Jung did. No more compulsion to repeat the sins of the father, puhleeze! And Second: Get a sense of humor, folks! One ofthe most telling characteristics of Jungian analysts -- and the Auntified Jungian community as a whole -- is the absence of a vital tradition of jokes, puns, and self-deprecatory jibes. Jung was famous for his sense of humor. Jungian analysts are not. Where's the light-heartedness, folks? Why can't you all poke a little fun at yourselves sometimes? There is just no tradition of "Jungian humor." And why? Because it's considered to be blasphemy. One doesn't mock The Great Man nor his Dogma. And that's a shame. Because there is so much genuine absurdity in Jung's ideas that someone could build a successful stand-up comedy career on just that material alone. Heck, there are more jokes about Freud ("sometimes a cigar is just a cigar") than about Jung. I think this says something very crucial about the Jungian community, and particularly Jungian analysts. You know, when I practiced as a clinical psychologist, one of the most important signs of emotional maturity and mental health was a "sense of humor" -- particularly a sense of humor that allows one to poke fun at oneself. As we used to say, it's sign of "ego-strength" in people. Why so grim, Jungians? Lightnen up! Enjoy life! Future projects? No more Jung for a while. I am cranking-up my fiction writing career. I am finishing a novel for Random House right now. It has nothing to do with Jung, but you might say that it's best characterized as a novel of "alchemical suspense."

Other than that, I can't say much right now until all the movie and foreign rights sales are nailed down.



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