Sunday, December 05, 2010

Wanting People to Know and Understand My World

The intent of this blog, My Daily Struggles, is to enable people to know and understand my world. I report accurately what I perceive; the inferences I form from what I perceive; and what I believe to be objective peculiarities about what I perceive and experience.

It's true, in one notable instance I lied about my feelings about someone -- but that served a larger purpose: to prompt the Powers that Be to investigate and make an effort to understand my world.

I like to think that I have the disposition of a scientist who wants to share his understanding of phenomena with the wider world. I am not trying to promote false perceptions in an attempt to mislead.

The following blog post contains a personal observation about the lawyer David Kendall, who represented former President Bill Clinton in the Senate Impeachment trial of the late 1990s.

I could have lied and said that it appeared to me that Kendall recognized me. But I reported accurately what I saw.  I have no evidence that David Kendall knows who I am or that anyone has ever spoken to him about me.  Would it gratify my ego to believe that David Kendall knows who I am?  Of course, but it is not ego gratification that forms the basis of my beliefs about my world.

If I say that I believe that Bob Strauss spoke to former Soviet President Gorbachev about me, it is because my perceptions -- warped as they may be -- led me to that tentative theory.  And keep in mind: I formed the belief that Bob Strauss talked to Gorbachev about me in late December 1991 -- it wasn't until the summer of 1993 that I found out that Gorbachev was a big Wagner fan and had attended a performance of Tristan und Isolde at Bayreuth. 

In assessing my ideas I always look for elements of uncanniness in my beliefs.

An example of uncanniness.  In early August 1990 I formed the belief that senior attorney managers at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, where I worked as a parelegal, spoke to the nationally-prominent psychiatrist Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D. about me and my analytic study, The Caliban Complex.  I had written the study on the firm's computer network, so the firm's managers could have had access to the writing.  I believed that either Dr. Ticho, or her husband, the psychoanalyst Ernst Ticho, Ph.D., had said that I "did a good job."

If I had told somebody about my belief in August 1990 I would have been told.  "You're paranoid.  You formed that belief because it gratifies your ego to believe that the senior attorneys at a major law firm talked to a nationally-prominent psychiatrist about you."

In May 1992 Akin Gump admitted -- or claimed -- in a statement the firm filed with a government agency, to have spoken in late October 1991 to none other than Gertrude R. Ticho about my employment problems at the firm.  Now that's uncanny!

But there is more than this.  I learned in the late 1990s that Ernst Ticho had been the mentor of Otto Kernberg, M.D., past president of the International Psychoanalytical Association and an expert in disturbed organizations and job harassment.  Dr. Kernberg's book, Ideology, Conflict, and Leadership in Groups and Organizations, is dedicated to none other than -- you guessed it! -- his old mentor, Ernst Ticho.

My seemingly paranoid idea about Dr. Gertude Ticho from early August 1990 was bolstered by these seeming coincidences.


Gary Freedman said...

"I like to think that I have the disposition of a scientist who wants to share his understanding of phenomena with the wider world. I am not trying to promote false perceptions in an attempt to mislead."

I don't know what this means but oddly enough at the Breakfast Meeting with Bob Strauss held in Akin Gump's fifth floor meeting room on Thursday April 6, 1989 for the firm's paralegals, Bob Strauss was wildly enthusiastic about the report that Fleischman and Pons had developed what they called "nuclear fusion in a glass of water." The "discovery" prompted hopes that unlimited supplies of cheap energy could be obtained easily. Strauss was suckered in by that loony "discovery."

(What else do I remember from that meeting? "Washington is the greatest, most exciting city in the world," Strauss said. "People rave about Paris. Well, I just got back from a trip to Paris, and I tell you, I couldn't wait to get back to Washington." -- Mind like a steel trap!)

Gary Freedman said...

Otto Kernberg's late wife, Paulina Kernberg, M.D. was the DOJ's psychiatric consultant in the Elian Gonzalez matter in the late 1990s (Eric H. Holder, Jr., Deputy Attorney General).