As a doctor of forensic psychology (PsyD), I study a variety of techniques and therapeutic paradigms. I estimate that the professional discipline of psychology is about one-third science and two-thirds art.
The time or two I’ve actually watched Glenn Beck, I’ve always been amazed at how he could be so popular. It reminds me of a reality show—this one from an asylum.
Since I’m not a clinical practitioner, nor is Beck a client of mine, nor do I have any privileged information regarding him, I am not in any violation of professional ethics in these discussions.
Transference and projection is most definitely a well-proven facet of psyche science. It’s practically impossible for an individual to consistently and effectively disguise the reverse imaging of their internalization. The process is like a living lie detector.
If you want to find out what someone is all about (we can skip therapeutic intervention at this writing), particularly if they’re exhibiting pathological behavior, then watch and listen carefully to what they do and say about others.
Authoritarian conservatives tend to be obsessive and compulsive in their behavior. They can’t help it. Their mentality became fixated at some earlier formative period for any variety of reasons, including gross trauma, or acute or chronic abuse, such as victimization to extreme punitive and arbitrary authority.
A short listen to virtually any of Beck’s rants on Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Newscorp channel—another strange character—reveals a confused, obsessive, compulsive, paranoid, delusional complex of symptoms.
These sentiments are echoed in a recent column in Harper’s by Thomas Frank, “The Confessions of Glenn Beck” (March 2011). Frank is an author of several books on the economy and a former staffer at the Wall Street Journal, another Murdoch property.
Frank’s column focuses on the recent novel by Beck entitled, The Overton Window. In a nutshell, Frank confirms Beck’s obsessional worldview (daddy’s gift?) as an expression of his “actually writing about himself….he has given us here a ‘demnted reflection’ of his own career as an opportunist and a predatory deceiver of the most vulnerable sectors of the public.”
Beck’s novel is a delusional fear of a liberal, progressive, metaphorical golem, which Beck describes as “like a political and economic and social structure.” I suppose that in the mind of a disordered personality or an archconservative, that somehow suffices as an explanation.
Much of what Beck describes in his novel parallels the convoluted and disjointed thinking of Jared Lee Loughner who, listening to Palin, Beck and his own demons, shot up and murdered a number of his imaginary tormentors in Tucson last month.
The female love interest in the novel betrays the hero—ironically named Noah Gardner—in a manner that makes me jot in my mental case-notes: “Mommy?”
Beck’s novel describes an “invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country….a scientific superdiscipline capable of putting just about anything over on anybody….a controlled media all lined up and ready to carry out their PR campaign (Fox et al.?) and a mind-controlled public ready to turn to anybody (Beck?) who says he’s got the answer.”
I wonder if Beck is a fan of the TV show, Fringe, another Fox product? I think the alternate universes would appeal to him…his thinking appendage is clearly somewhere else.
I recall one of our editorial writers on the South End at WSU (Detroit, 1968-69), where I was managing editor, who wrote intensely detailed mathematical symbols and formulas connected to world events that explained “everything.” In prison, where over 50% of the prisoners have a mental syndrome in one form or another, we knew many of these “Glenn Becks.”
I have to admit, I agree with Thomas Frank when he writes: “Glenn Beck may well have writer, at long last, his dark and muddled confessions.”