Sunday, 19 December 2010

David M. Allen - Making fun of child abuse

Back in April this year, I wrote in a post on this blog: "Visiting David M. Allan, M.D.'s blog, your first impression might be a rather positive one. He seems to have got at least something. And yes, he has got something." Today, reading this entry on his blog, I take back my words from April. David M. Allen hasn't got anything. Not a thing. Or he wouldn't make fun of child abuse.


Duane Sherry said...


This is about children whose lives were lost, taken from them.... and he makes light of such tragic loss.

Is there any wonder why people don't trust psychiatrists?

This guy pretends to be different than his colleagues.... He's not. He lacks good judgement, and empathy.

His words speak for themselves... sick, disgusting.

That's all I have to say.

Duane Sherry

David M. Allen M.D. said...

I'm making fun of Elizabeth Loftus (who invalidates the sexually abused), False Memory types who do the same, and overzealous advocates who see abuse under every tree. How on earth do you read it as making light of child abuse? Read it again. Sheesh!

Hacrad said...

For what its worth I dont feel D. Allen was making light of the experience of child abuse. I think he was attempting to critize Loftus (child abuse denier) and over zealous individuals who are maybe too keen to label something as child abuse.
At worse Allen was a tad insensitive (probably a result of his probable one dimentional education). However I agree with a lot of his comments and theories, especially on the role of family dynamics in individual trauma and distress.

Marian said...

You know, Dr. Allen, to make fun of child abuse, no matter in what fashion, is about as respectful towards the victims as making fun of the Holocaust (pun intended). Especially when it comes from someone who in the past has denied the consequences of child abuse (and there are other, less obvious kinds of abuse than sexual/physical abuse, while it is primarily these emotional aspects that render abuse traumatizing), and thus the abuse itself, as we've seen you have.

If anyone can expect not to be critisized for making fun of child abuse, it's the victims/survivors themselves making fun of their own story, in the shape of self-irony. Since you don't identify as a victim/survivor yourself, and in addition have nothing but prejudice and contempt for the vast majority of victims/survivors of abuse, which your piece is just another example of, you'll have to live with being critisized.

Hacrad said...

Hi Marian.
can you please tell me what else did Allen say that has (besides his aloof 'mocking' of Loftus et al) shown "prejudice and contempt for the vast majority of victims/survivors of abuse". As a survivor I'm interested because what I've read on his site (so far) I largely agree with. Ta

Marian said...

Hacrad, while Dr. Allen stands with the, absolute, power of definition, and although he has no science to back his allegations up with, while there's quite a bit of both scientific research and "anecdotal" evidence pointing to his allegations being incorrect, which at least should have him think critically about them, he claims that there's such a thing as biological brain diseases called "schizophrenia", "bipolar disorder", etc., that are caused by the individual's defective genes/biology, and that have got nothing to do with trauma.

Now, biological brain diseases are fine with me, as long as it is the individual him-/herself who has the power of definition over themselves. But, as mentioned, this isn't so. Whenever it suits Dr. Allen, he may ignore a person's life story, label the person brain diseased, and any objection from the person herself as just another "symptom" of this supposed brain disease, a "delusion". This is in no way different from what Elizabeth Loftus does. And it's in no way different from leaving it to a Holocaust denier to decide whether we should believe the Holocaust really took place, or not...

You can see for yourself in the comments at my post from April this year, and at the post on Dr. Allen's own blog, which my post from April has a link to.

David M. Allen M.D. said...


I'm ridiculing the nazis, not the holocaust. Like Mel Brooks does in The Producers. Sorry if you can't see that. And whether you believe in brain diseases or not is not relevant to the question of whom I'm satirizing.

Duane Sherry said...

"A tad insensitive?"

These kids died at the hands of their care takers, and Dr. Allen sees fit to bring in the work of Loftus?

What has the work of Loftus to do with the killing of children?

Oh, I see, it was all a joke... to show how clever Dr. Allen is, how knowledeable of the ongoings of his profession, is that it?

Psychiatrists as a group can hardly boast providing any protection for children, in fact, they are responsible for many deaths each year themselves.

It's as if the profession itself is blind to its own actions - with labels, drugs, incarceration of children....

It's as if all is fair when it comes to kids, including a "joke" that makes reference to their mass murder.

A "tad" insensitive?
Like hell it was a "tad insensitive!"

His comment spoke volumes!!!

Duane Sherry

Duane Sherry said...

Dr. David Allen,

Everyone has a right to their opinions... but all opinions are not the same.

There are good opinions.

There are bad opinions.
Ones that make no sense.
Ones that do not earn respect.

You wanna be respected for your opinions?

Start giving some good opinions!

And stop with the condescending tone and the lack of respect that is so prevalent in your posts, and with your comments!

Duane Sherry

Marian said...

Dr. Allen, you may ridicule the nazis, but it seems to me, you, very conveniently, have "forgotten" the other half of the equation, i.e. that you also are ridiculing the victims and survivors of the Holocaust.

Whether I believe in the biological brain disease bs, or not, may not be that relevant. Which nevertheless is quite relevant, is whether you believe in it, or not. Simply because the biological brain disease bs is the blame the victim-trauma denial doctrine par excellence.

Sigrun said...

I understood it in the way David M. Allen explains in his first comment here, and can't see anything wrong in it.

In Norway, where I live, before Christmas every year humanitarian organizations write about the hundreds of thousands of children who don't look forward to the holidays.

The problem is, though, that there never has been any research on the subject.

Marian said...

Sigrun, it would be ok, maybe even funny, if the post had been written by a trauma survivor, or by any other person who doesn't deny trauma. John Read, for instance. Unfortunately, Dr. Allen denies trauma, even thinks his professional training allows him to decide whether someone was traumatized or not, without any regard to what the person in question might have to say about the matter. So, he denying trauma isn't only a personal matter, but one that has, often devastating, consequences for those he has the power to force his personal view of them upon. In Dr. Allen's eyes, someone like John Read is a "zealot".

Marian said...

Sigrun, P.S., it's true that there is very little interest to do research in the field. Society has decided that, with a very few exceptions, the ones where it is too obvious to be denied, abuse/violence doesn't exist. This denial can only be maintained, if any consequences of abuse/violence, experienced by the victim, can be explained as the victim's own fault. Which is what psychiatry does. The thing is, the research results are already out there. All it would need is to connect the dots, as done by for instance John Read and Paul Hammersley. Data indeed is the plural of anecdote.

Duane Sherry said...

Marian and Sigrund,

I can appreciate satire as much as anyone...

It was these words that had such a strong impact on me as I read them for the first time -

... "the childrens' memories of having been murdered had been falsely implanted."

I suppose some people might say I "over-reacted"....

Psychiatry has a history when it comes to children... not a good history....

I suppose knowing these words were from a psychiatrist only added to the sense of outrage I felt...

Psychiatry has a history of causing enormous injury to children, including death.

Just wanted to clarify some of my thoughts.

I suppose some people might think so...

I don't think any psychiatrist is in the position to make a "joke" within the context of the murder of children.

Thats' just my opinion, I suppose.

Duane Sherry